In The Mailbox: 10.24.16
37 minutes ago
As the name suggests, Forever Stamps can be used to mail a one-ounce letter regardless of when the stamps are purchased or used and no matter how prices may change in the future.So the Forever Stamps that you buy today for $0.42 each can be used to mail a 1oz letter after Obama leaves office despite the first-class rate having risen to $4.20 then. Yeah, the last inflation resistant government fiat currency is being printed by the USPS!
I love your work, just love it. About your newspaper blog post… here are some follow-on questions to think about:Leave your thoughts in the comments!
Here’s a much deeper question… In “Ontology is Overrated” you said: “…East Germany actually turned out to be an unstable category. Cities are real. They are real, physical facts. Countries are social fictions.” It’s been years since I read that article—I still recommend it to friends, though. Anyway, I’ve been wondering if cities might become “less real” during/after the tumult you discussed in your newspaper blog post. 5. What is the value proposition of "the city"? I live in St Louis, MO. I get to pay 1% annual income tax to the city. The schools are unaccredited. Crime is high.
- When will the problems with newspapers trickle-up to broadcasting? (Broadcast doesn’t have the craigslist problem, but I still think they’re vulnerable.)
- Why do we still have libraries? When will they mostly disappear? When will they be replaced with a server hosting a copy of the Gutenberg project and/or Wikipedia?
- If small classes sizes are so great, why not require homeschooling?
- When will it be possible to get a masters degree by attending iTunes University? A PhD? Why pay for the sheepskin?
To be a little dark… What happens if a city somewhere in the world is nuked? City property values the world over will go down while non-city property values will go up. What about a second nuke and so on? I certainly hope none of that happens. Nonetheless, I think humanity’s future will more closely resemble peer-to-peer networks than the current client-server architecture sustaining our cities.
For investors, the question is: Does it still work to bet against the popular mood? I think so, but the worm in this apple is bad public policy. Specifically, the cockeyed policy that has, since late 2007, tilted the investing playing field toward short selling. Good public policy should not side with either longs or shorts. Policy should be neutral.I do not feel that the playing field is tilted toward short selling. Nor do I see how anyone could honestly claim that it was. More importantly, the current regulatory scheme favoring long positions is better than a neutral policy.
The Investment Company Act severely restricts a mutual fund's ability to leverage or borrow against the value of securities in its portfolio. The SEC requires that funds engaging in certain investment techniques, including the use of options, futures, forward contracts and short selling, "cover" their positions. The effect of these constraints has been to strictly limit leveraging by mutual fund portfolio managers.In other words, the people least leveraged in the recent economic implosion (elderly folks with IRAs bulging with mutual funds) were some of the hardest hit. Did I mention that mutual funds only trade at the end of the day? The price of a mutual fund is set when the market closes. This means that on days where the market loses 5% of its value, you cannot cash-out your mutual fund to avoid further loses. You certainly can't flip a mutual fund in your IRA to a short position in the hopes of recouping some of what you losed. For these reasons, I prefer ETFs to mutual funds.
1. Suspend mark-to-market accountingI don't think #1 is relevant to his argument. It would cause the firesale of a few banking concerns as companies would have to realize their paper loses. And, "suspending" it is a really bad idea. This market needs certainty and "suspend" is a word littered with temporal ambiguity. I'm not even convinced that mark-to-market is a bad thing.
2. Make the SEC enforce its own ban against naked shorting.
3. Reinstate the short-uptick rule.
...of the 773,000 jobs that Gotham added from 1981 to 2006, a stunning 491,000 were people working for themselves, making self-employment the biggest source of job creation in the city.Has DC awakened a slumbering giant?
Do I want Obama to fail? Aren’t I, as a Christian, required to pray for our president? I do pray for him. But I don’t pray for his success, where his success means implementing policies which harm the country’s security, kill babies, increase poverty, and decrease freedom.I agree with her; however, my theological reasons for going John Galt are a little different. First, I feel that socialism violates the ten commandments. And, second, I believe socialism damages charity.
TEN: 'You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's.'Leftist politicians promise to steal for their covetous constituents and call it charity. That is the pernicious evil of socialism.
EIGHT: 'You shall not steal.'
36"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" 37Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'[a] 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'[b] 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."Your obligation to love your neighbor as yourself cannot be fulfilled if the government is doing it for you. In other words, socialism erodes our civic charity. Exhibit A is Joe Biden. Over the course of ten years he earned $2,450,042 and donated $3,690 to charity—about 0.15%. That's about one seventh of one percent.
8 "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. 11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.This doesn't bother me because I'm a stay-at-home dad so I've chosen to do work for which I will not be paid. Nonetheless, I think this could lead to an interesting theological discussion.
Why journalism is dead 3.0: The sources got blogs.Perhaps, there are other reasons. Perhaps, the Net has interpreted newspapers as damage and is routing around them.
In the halcyon days when American newspapers were feared rather than pitied, I had the pleasure of reporting on crime in the prodigiously criminal environs of Baltimore. The city was a wonderland of chaos, dirt and miscalculation, and loyal adversaries were many. Among them, I could count police commanders who felt it was their duty to demonstrate that crime never occurred in their precincts, desk sergeants who believed that they had a right to arrest and detain citizens without reporting it and, of course, homicide detectives and patrolmen who, when it suited them, argued convincingly that to provide the basic details of any incident might lead to the escape of some heinous felon. Everyone had very good reasons for why nearly every fact about a crime should go unreported.Read the whole thing.
In response to such flummery, I had in my wallet, next to my Baltimore Sun press pass, a business card for Chief Judge Robert F. Sweeney of the Maryland District Court, with his home phone number on the back. When confronted with a desk sergeant or police spokesman convinced that the public had no right to know who had shot whom in the 1400 block of North Bentalou Street, I would dial the judge.
And then I would stand, secretly delighted, as yet another police officer learned not only the fundamentals of Maryland's public information law, but the fact that as custodian of public records, he needed to kick out the face sheet of any incident report and open his arrest log to immediate inspection. There are civil penalties for refusing to do so, the judge would assure him. And as chief judge of the District Court, he would declare, I may well invoke said penalties if you go further down this path.
Delays of even 24 hours? Nope, not acceptable. Requiring written notification from the newspaper? No, the judge would explain. Even ordinary citizens have a right to those reports. And woe to any fool who tried to suggest to His Honor that he would need a 30-day state Public Information Act request for something as basic as a face sheet or an arrest log.