Category Archives: Economy

“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.

Oregon unemployment hits 4.9%; state maintains eviction moratorium through Dec 31

Oregon’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.9% in August from 5.2% in July, the state Employment Department reported Tuesday. It’s the first time Oregon’s unemployment rate dropped below 5% since March 2020, when the rate was 3.6%.

Source: Oregon adds 7,900 jobs; unemployment rate falls below 5% for first time since March 2020 – KTVZ

Even with such a low unemployment level, and with employers having more job openings than job seekers, Oregon retains an eviction moratorium through the end of the calendar year.

Dr. Gottlieb and others have suggested large Covid-19 waves are behind us once the Delta wave subsides. My state and the U.S. are both now seeing sharp declines in daily cases, as reported on the CDC web site.

When will the domestic pandemic be declared over with? The answer appears to be determined primarily by politics.

Continue reading Oregon unemployment hits 4.9%; state maintains eviction moratorium through Dec 31

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.

Stimulus checks forever

Stimulus checks forever

some lawmakers are pushing for a fourth round of stimulus aid that would effectively send recurring payments until the pandemic ends.

Source: What’s behind the push for a fourth stimulus check

Which, when defined as “ZeroCovid” is never.

  • Official unemployment rate is 5.2%. Economists have long considered 5% as full employment due to the dynamics of the employment market.
  • There are currently more job openings than people identified as looking for work.
  • This is separate from the Child Tax Credit payments that many continue to receive.
  • This is separate from proposed $7,500 to $12,500 subsidies for buying EVs.
  • It is unclear how this will be paid for.

As best I can tell, the goal is to implement full Scandinavian social benefits programs without actually saying so, without debate and discussion, and without (yet) raising taxes to 40-70% of your annual income (actual values from Denmark). Sharp tax hikes come later.

Another difference is Scandinavian countries do not have 30 trillion dollars in debts and non-stop deficit spending. Norway currently has a budget surplus, and a trillion dollar sovereign wealth fund that pays for many programs. Sweden had a budget surplus 2016-2019, and a deficit in 2020. Denmark had a budget surplus for 5 of the past 7 years. Other countries, like Netherlands, have had budget surpluses 4 out of the past 5 years.

The Democrats are asking: Do we want lots of “free” goodies?

But the accurate question is: Do you want to pay Denmark level taxes of 40-70% of your annual income?

Half of US business travellers likely to cancel existing trips

Business travel is taking a hit as the number of Covid19 cases climbs across the US, a major new study by Morning Consult on behalf of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) indicates. ….

The poll of business travellers found that 52% are likely to cancel existing travel arrangements and have no plans to schedule. Moreover, 60% are likely to postpone existing arrangements, 67% are likely to embark upon fewer trips, and 66% are likely to only visit places they can drive to.

Source: Half of US business travellers likely to cancel existing trips | TOPHOTELNEWS

Postal service short staffed, not delivering mail

On several occasions recently, we’ve had tracked mail items that, late in the day, are marked “DELIVERY EXCEPTION – UNABLE TO ACCESS DELIVERY LOCATION”.

Those errors are bogus – apparently the USPS lacks a proper code to indicate that they are short staffed and were unable to deliver mail to anyone on the route.

I just spoke with our mail carrier and she tells me our route had no deliveries on Saturday or Monday due to lack of staff. Oddly, today we may receive two separate deliveries as they catch up (we did, in fact, get a 2nd delivery).

She is working two route shifts today.

Meanwhile, my state has banned rental housing evictions through the end of the year, and unemployment benefits were extended until next week, Sep 4th, because finding a job is allegedly hard, even though nearly every business in town has a “Now hiring” sign in their window. Crazy. Have not seen a coherent explanation for the staffing problems.

UPDATE: This is nationwide. Some people in some cities only getting mail deliveries once every two weeks. And the problem appears to be getting worse, and not getting solved.

EU moves to reintroduce COVID travel curbs on U.S.

According to the 2019 WHO report on pandemic response, border closures and travel restrictions make little sense except at the very beginning and for some island nations. Thus many countries enacted border restrictions because Science.

The European Union on Friday moved to reinstate COVID travel restrictions like quarantine and testing requirements for unvaccinated citizens of the United States and five other countries, two diplomats told Reuters.EU countries started a procedure to remove the United States from a list of countries whose citizens can travel to the 27-nation bloc without additional COVID restrictions.

Source: EU moves to reintroduce COVID travel curbs on U.S. -diplomats | Reuters

Part of this is because the U.S. has banned travel by ordinary people from the EU.

The only way to travel now is to have dual residency or dual citizenship or being an elite person, including certain “essential workers”. The rest of us can pound sand.