How Airbnb actually makes NYC affordable

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Airbnb isn’t just making New York affordable for tourists, it’s making it (more) affordable for people who live in the city.

Have an extra bedroom? Why not rent it out a couple of nights a week to help make ends meet? The rent is $5000/month so every little bit helps.

But the hoteliers don’t like people doing this and they, like the cab companies battling Uber are fighting Airbnb in the courts and at City Hall instead of tailoring their product to a new, more competitive marketplace.

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Win for free speech: WSU says professors may not discriminate against students who use terms “male” or “female” in class

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Political correctness is so disheartening. It is a speech code imposed by those who spend their lives perpetually offended. Everyone (well nearly everyone) knows that these perpetually offended individuals are out to lunch, but for a long time people were afraid to say anything for fear of being labeled a “racist” or worse. Such a tag from the politically correct community of grievance studies professors could potentially derail a career in academia for a student or prospective professor. It is a deeply totalitarian phenomenon. Thankfully the newspeak brigade is being challenged on campuses. But it needs to be challenged more vehemently still.

Those professors who indulge in this sort of behavior at state colleges should not be tolerated. At a private school, if it wants to let the speech fascists run free while oppressing everyone else that’s their business.(Though students and donors should fight PC in private schools also.) But when taxpayers are paying for things the deal is totally different. We should not be expected to fund such anti-intellectual nonsense.

Free speech is a fundamental tenant of this country. White, black, gay, straight, red head or blonde, one should feel free to speak. Particularly at a university.

Fight PC. It is against the very spirit of higher education.

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The Crony Capitalist Crash Continues*, Dow down 468, S&P at 1913

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Oil got hammered over 8% today. Stocks in the US 3% roughly.

This is largely driven by reality hitting China, the Ultimate Crony Capitalist State, and reality hitting investors around the world who have ridden the Fed driven asset inflation of the last few years. As we have said there are huge, massive, pockets of monetary cotton candy in markets which will collapse sooner or later.

But don’t worry, supposedly China has another dose of “stimulus” on the way. That ought to make things better.

Below are a few of the articles we have done on markets and China in the past 6 months or so for your information.

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Socialism sucks (the life out of an economy): A 90-Year-Old Goes Shopping in Venezuela

¡Viva Socialismo!

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Socialism is death. It is sold as life of course. It is sold as a way to get even with those nasty capitalists with their “greed driven” profit motives. A way to bring heaven to earth. Better to let the cronies in government manage things than the people in a free economy. The cronies only have your best interests in mind.

Socialists prey on the ignorant and hopeless.

Socialism is a kind of religion. It has many offshoots and schisms, but fundamentally it is about all too fallible cronies telling other people what to do, and these same cronies thinking that they are smarter than the market. This is the faith.This is the religion. It is about power OVER people. But again, it is sold as liberation.

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World’s Poor: “We Want Capitalism”

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The way out of poverty is through capitalism, free enterprise, free markets, and free prices. But so many people who I believe honestly want to do good do not understand this. They believe that central planning and aid from “rich countries” will solve the world’s problems even though they have only worsened things in aggregate around the world for decades.

Where poor people can build wealth and enjoy property rights and honest pricing the tendency is toward prosperity. Where there is government intervention, where the government or connected cronies can just seize the limited wealth of the poor (often in the name of “justice”), where prices are obfuscated, there is poverty and misery.

We do not believe in free prices and free markets because we want to keep “what’s ours.” We believe in them because we know, and have seen, how much better capitalism is for everyday people than state intervention and its associated cronyism.

In order for a society to truly proper people need both personal liberty and economic liberty, which are actually one and the same. Capitalism allows for both and offers a path out of poverty. (Not that it is always easy.) But many people just refuse to see this. It fundamentally conflicts with everything they’ve been told, to date.

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Bloomberg: Afternoons in the Chinese stock market have turned into a waiting game for the state-backed funds to arrive.

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Why have we focused so much attention on China as of late? First because the Chinese economy is huge and hugely important to the overall world economy. Second because China is, as we say, The Ultimate Crony Capitalist State. It is an economy built on fiat. It is an economy built on commands from on high. It is an economy with massive potential, potential which to some degree has been actualized, but which is undermined by cronyism and central planning.

China in many respects is a cautionary tale.

China will continue to grow. It will continue its rise as a great power. But it is increasingly obvious that the Chinese model is not one to emulate.

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China stockmarket: Journalists, traders, officials rounded up in wake of ‘panic and disorder’

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China is going all coo coo bananas here lately. Not that arresting journalists and other people is outside the norm for The Ultimate Crony Capitalist State, but still. Tianjin, the yuan devaluation, the stock crash, this new explosion, the big military parade on the 3rd. Lots of stuff going on. Lots to keep the jailers busy.

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Seriously, what is going ON in China? Another massive blast at a another port, Just south of the Tianjin exlosion 2 weeks ago

A stones throw from the previous blast. Image: Google Maps

A stones throw from the previous blast.
Image: Google Maps

So as of this moment we are being told that it was another chemicals depot. OK. That is pretty weird especially coming on the heels of the Tianjin explosion earlier this month.

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EPA fines rancher $37,000/day, $16 million total to date, for installing a pond (Video)

Image: KSL.com

Image: KSL.com

The EPA in many respects, and certainly in this case, is out of control. Truly, there seems a massive divergence between the sane, rational people out in America and the environmental agency in Washington DC which thinks crushing a private citizen under the wheel of the state is perfectly OK.

This is abuse. Actually it’s worse than that.

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FCC versus Your Health

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Will the FCC under “Net neutrality” kill an important and promising area of innovation in medicine, “mobile medicine”?

The FCC may not kill such innovation completely but it may slow it down, likely by a lot. This is a particular shame as the people who may benefit most from “mobile medicine” are the poor and otherwise isolated and marginalized.

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Lobbying firm has you covered no matter who’s in power

We say often that fundamentally there is little real difference between the establishments in the Democratic and Republican parties. The below graph sums it up pretty well.

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So it makes sense to have a lobbying firm which is comfortable dealing with whomever. Because in the end, Republican or Democrat it really does come down to just getting paid.

(From The Intercept)

The founders of Rokk Solutions, a new political consulting firm that serves corporate trade associations and other lobbying ventures, offer their clients an unusual value proposition: whichever party triumphs, they’ll have had a hand in a big-money group that can claim victory.

While bipartisan political consulting firms are a dime a dozen in Washington, D.C., what makes Rokk noteworthy is that it is comprised of campaign operatives with major roles in two big-money groups — one Democratic, one Republican — expected to play major roles in the 2016 elections.

Click here for the article.