Category: Business

Selective Smelling

Women, those creatures from Venus, assume that most men, particularly boyfriends and husbands, suffer from a malady known as “selective hearing.” Other forms of this pervasive syndrome include “selective memory” and “selective comprehension.” A rough description: When the Lakers score is coming over the radio, a man hears like a bat; when the wife is...

Shopping Our Way to Happiness

Friends are fickle. Family is unreliable. But shopping – now that’s something we can all count on to raise our collective Holiday Spirit. This was the primary message of hope we heard during Thanksgiving, which has gradually morphed into a two-day bacchanal. (Day One, Thanksgiving Thursday, features food and football. Day Two, Black Friday, features...

Acceptable Collateral Damage

Every time we get into our car, we die a little. Every time we return safely home, someone else hasn’t. That driving an automobile is a dangerous activity is not open to dispute. We all understand the frequency of accidents, and what happens when cars crash: terrible collisions that ruin (or end) lives.  This specter of...

Blame the Poor

COMMEMORATING THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY of “THE WAR ON POVERTY.” At 25 of the 100 largest U.S. Corporations, at places like Ebay, Boeing, and Verizon, the chief executive earns more than the entire company pays in federal income taxes. These patriotic chaps, who, in their defense, are merely competing in the Financial Olympics according to the...

Educating Everyone Excellently

My dear mother is a knee-jerk liberal hippie Democrat progressive pro-labor vegetarian yoga-doing leftie. For most of her adult life she’s served as one of the most beloved and revered elementary school educators in her community. She’s taught across the spectrum of scenarios: inner-city public school with “at risk” students; suburban public school with “smart...

The Big Lie

My late father, who left us before the phrase “credit default swap” ever passed the lips of a lower Manhattan swindler, believed that United States Treasury Bonds, or T-Bills, were the safest investment on the planet. “When the Federal Government can’t cover their own bonds, don’t worry about your lost interest. Start stockpiling,” he counseled,...

Corruption

Our dwindling reserve of human kindness and compassion, diluted and poisoned by nearly constant assault from the corroding force of cruelty, still becomes inflamed by the fuel of outrage when we receive reports of foul play, endemic unfairness, and rank injustice motivated by the eternal and constant tug of noxious human greed. We blanch at...

The Food Truck Scourge

Los Angeles is lousy with food trucks at the moment. Thanks to a collision of social- and mass-media fawning, they’ve earned all the valuable trend labels (“hot,” “in,” etc.), transcending their utilitarian function and entering the lofty realm of Culturally Significant Phenomena. No longer do these Winnebago-sized mobile restaurants simply serve workers at construction sites...

On Wisconsin: On, Wisconsin!

Having grown up in the Badger state, I feel well qualified to write sniggeringly about the place. I was there. I know what I’m talkin’ about, all right? It’s a great state beside a Great Lake, populated by generally nice folks. It also has more taverns per square mile than just about anywhere, including Bavaria....

No Free Parking

The idea behind Congestion Pricing is to charge people more to use things — city streets, toll roads, cellphones — during peak times. By raising the cost you reduce demand, freeing up more space. And if demand stays constant you earn higher revenue and then raise the price some more. Such programs are in place...