Category Archives: Business

“Flight shaming”: Global travel should be banned.

Saving the planet requires that we stop gaping and gawking at travel blogs and vacation selfies. Instead, everyone who cares about the environment should shame those who clamber onto an airplane every chance they get.

This is what counts as discourse from an “intellectual”. Let’s take mask shaming to a new level – and scream at anyone who posts a vacation photo online! And yell at those who view travel items on Instagram, Facebook and Youtube.

In addition to “Flight shaming” there is also “overtourism” where some popular destinations now have more tourists than some desire. I wrote about that topic previously – proposed solutions are to limit the number of visitors to those who pay more (the elite?). They want fewer tourists each of whom spends more money. One way may to be set minimum stay duration (e.g. 5-7 days). Some destinations have added tourist taxes and new requirements such as health insurance bought from an in-country health insurer (not your usual travel insurance).

Continue reading “Flight shaming”: Global travel should be banned.

FDA advisory panels votes 16-2 against boosting Pfizer share price

An influential Food and Drug Administration advisory committee on Friday resoundingly rejected a plan to administer booster shots of Pfizer and BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine to the general public….

The final tally failed 16-2.

Source: FDA panel rejects plan to administer Pfizer’s Covid booster doses to general public

The panel is still considering an option for those aged 60 or 65 and older.

Update: They approved a booster shot for those age 65+ only. It is amazing how the need is a square wave function at age 64 to 65. Zero need at age 64 and 364 days, and then a need one day later.

Lying about the ACA

February 2021 ACA policy enrollment – 11.3 million:

Overall, 31 million people were enrolled in marketplace or Medicaid expansion coverage under the ACA. This includes 11.3 [million] marketplace enrollees with effectuated coverage as of February 2021, 14.8 million Medicaid expansion enrollees as of December 2020, an additional 3.9 million Medicaid expansion enrollees who would have been eligible for Medicaid pre-ACA but were enrolled via Medicaid expansion, and 1 million Basic Health Program (BHP) enrollees in Minnesota and New York.

Source: Record High ACA Enrollment At 31 Million Americans | Health Affairs

September 2021 Biden says 12.2 million are enrolled, an increase of 2.8 million.

“That’s 2.8 million families who will have more security, more breathing room, and more money in their pocket if an illness or accident hits home,” Biden said in a statement. “Altogether, 12.2 million Americans are actively enrolled in coverage under the Affordable Care Act — an all-time high.”

Source: 2.8 million get health coverage during special Covid-19 sign up

Here is the official White House press release.

The actual increase was 900,000, not 2.8 million.

Continue reading Lying about the ACA

Online coding school lays off most staff

“Coding” school “boot camps” have become popular. The programs, often six months or so in length, promise to train students in specific programming skills, such as JavaScript web app development, with an expectation of high paying jobs.

Some require a 4-year degree in any subject, prior to start, while others do not.

This coding bootcamp received publicity for promoting the idea that management was not necessary and staff could complete their work in 32 hours per week.

Treehouse attracted national attention in 2013 and 2015 with two unorthodox management strategies: The company eliminated all layers of management and it moved to a 32-hour-work week.Neither experiment worked.

Source: Online coding school Treehouse, formerly based in Portland, lays off most of its staff – oregonlive.com

They later re-introduced both management and a 40 hour work week before imploding in 2021.

In my view, coding boot camps likely have value to those who have appropriate backgrounds and are seeking specific skills in software development. Boot camps do not substitute for degrees in computer science, software or computer engineering.

However, the reality is that much software development is more akin to a high skilled “blue collar” workforce that is developing specific projects with a limited skill set domain. You do not need a degree in computer science to develop most web or mobile applications.

Continue reading Online coding school lays off most staff

The goal is Denmark level taxes in the U.S.

I wrote about this last May. In Denmark, most workers pay 40% to 70% of their annual income as taxes; those are not marginal tax rates but the percent of your income paid as taxes.

And here we are: Top earning New Yorkers could face 61.2% combined tax rate under House plan (that would be a marginal tax rate). And that is just taxes on income and capital gains. Add in Social Security, Medicare “contributions”, and local property and sales taxes and the U.S. will be on par with the most taxed nations in the world.

Continue reading The goal is Denmark level taxes in the U.S.

Oh: Restaurant owners see jump in job applicants and unemployment benefits end

It’s been one week since federal pandemic unemployment benefits ended. In the days following, restaurants across Portland tell KATU News they saw a spike in people looking for work.

Source: Restaurant owners in Portland see spike in applications as federal jobless benefits end | KATU

The experts told us for months that extended unemployment benefits had nothing to do with shortages of applicants.

Post pandemic EU air travel prices to rise sharply

As I predicted long ago

“I think there will be a dramatic recovery in holiday tourism within Europe next year,” he said.”And the reason why I think prices will be dramatically higher is that there’s less capacity.”

Ryanair’s short-haul rivals had all had to reduce their fleets because of the pandemic, he added.

Source: Ryanair: Holiday prices likely to rise sharply soon – BBC News

Additionally, new “environmental taxes” on tickets.

Demand will spike while supply remains constrained, leading to higher prices. We may not see a return to a consumer price favorable market until at least 2023.

King County, Washington expects mandatory vaccine passports by October

They may be required for access to retail, business and restaurant venues.

It seems that an official vaccine requirement for dining out in Seattle is a matter of “when” not “if.” On Tuesday, September 7, King County executive Dow Constantine announced that the local public health department is working on developing a COVID vaccine verification policy for “some non-essential business activities and other venues” in the region.

Source: Proof of Vaccination Requirement for Seattle Restaurants Possibly Coming Soon – Eater Seattle

The confusing part of vaccine passports is the CDC says that the vaccinated can spread Covid-19 and must wear face masks. These mandates seem to be about forcing the unvaccinated to become vaccinated.

The next County to the north may require vaccine passports and mandate outdoor masks, including for the vaccinated.

These policies are inconsistent, contradictory and incoherent with respect to the purpose of vaccine passports.

De facto vaccine passports to be announced this week?

There are many hints that de facto vaccination passports will be announced by President Biden, later this week.

First, there is apparently public support for this:

Second, Biden’s former Covid Czar, Andy Slavitt, when asked about vaccine passports, just last month, said in so many words, “Wait until early September”.

Third, CNN is reporting President Biden will be making his most important speech, so far, on Covid issues later this week.

Biden has favored businesses mandating vaccination of all employees, and businesses and organizations sponsoring events to mandate vaccination of attendees (many already are). Canada has already announced that vaccinations will be mandated for domestic air and rail travel.

Seems likely this is coming to the U.S. very soon.