1 of 33012345678910...Last »

Category Archives: Crony Capitalism

What Is an American?

On this Independence Day eve it’s a good question to ponder. I believe being “American” means that one adheres generally to the values and spirit embodied in the Declaration of Independence and in the Constitution. We embrace personal liberty, tolerance, respect for property rights, rule of law, and equality under the law.

Ed Hudgins has some more thoughts on the subject.

Read More

The Grateful Dead were innovators in technology and in business, fundamentally friends of liberty

 

After 50 years the Grateful Dead, what is left of the Dead, is calling it quits officially. The music will stop at Soldier Field on July 5th. It’s a sad moment for me as there is no other band I have enjoyed as much over the years. Really no band comes close.

One of the main reasons for this is because there is so much material to discover. There are only so many Beatles albums to appreciate. With the Dead, the albums aren’t even the most important part.

The Dead openly allowed fans – deadheads – to record their shows from the audience. This stood in contrast to most music artists at the time. (And even now.) This openness resulted in a fascinating documentation of the band through the decades. For instance I can tell you within a few seconds if a particular song was preformed in the early 70s, late 70s, 80s etc and I am no where near the connoisseur that some are.

The band gave the music to the audience for a fee and the audience in turn took the product and spread the word. In time the Grateful Dead, a band which never had a number one song, would become the top earning act on tour for years. (Or close to it.) The Dead encouraged sharing. Really it deployed a kind of “freemium” business model – though they probably didn’t do it on purpose.  The band was (is) a trailblazer in what would become today’s sharing economy. They were 25 years ahead of the curve.

Jerry and the boys were pioneering capitalists. (Though they might balk at the term – but maybe not.) And it’s one of the reasons, in addition to the music, that the Grateful Dead hold a special place in my heart.

Fare thee well guys.

Read More

Obamacare Bonzanza: Fat times in the health insurance industry

So let’s see…Obamacare has infused the health insurance companies with heaps and heaps of taxpayer dollars. Big Pharma has done almost equally as well under the cronycare regime. Premiums for terrible policies – which as I see it could largely be bought for the same or lower prices before Obamacare – are going up.

Yup, this thing worked out great.

Read More

Welcome to Jun, the town that ditched bureaucracy to run on Twitter

In 2009 I founded a company (of one, me) called Exleorix which focuses on how businesses (and others) can use social media effectively. It warms my heart to see this story.

Believe it or not we are just getting started with social media. There are many areas where it will grow further. Virtual reality plus social media is right around the corner.

The idea that social media can be used to cut through red tape is exactly the kind of idea which inspired me 6 years ago. We wish Jun the best of luck and hope that other towns will develop similar programs to cut bureaucracy. It’s still very early days, but we should be able to shrink government dramatically with current and future technologies.

Read More

Chicago to Apply 9% ‘Netflix Tax’

Again, I ask. Why does anyone live in these cities? The governments are corrupt. They are violent. They are crowded. They are dirty. They are running out of money. They are dysfunctional. They are expensive. And yet people stay.

There are highways. You can leave. I don’t have much sympathy if you stick around and let the local government just abuse you.

Read More

Why the US nuclear industry is eager to save this obscure, government-run bank

Nuclear, though not widely known, is heavily underwritten by taxpayers. In the event of a catastrophic meltdown nuke companies are also only exposed to $10 billion in liability. The rest is on the taxpayers. That the nuke industry is subsidized by taxpayers abroad only makes “sense.”

And what’s funny is the nuclear industry wants to use the Export-Import Bank to underwrite the building of new nuclear plants in CHINA.

China.

Yet another reason to make sure the Export-Import Bank dies.

Read More

1 of 33012345678910...Last »