10 Monday AM Reads

Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends. Start it right with our morning train reads:

• Companies are wasting money from layoffs on share buybacks (Marketwatch)
• Restaurant openings soar after wage hike (Puget Sound Business Journal)
• Why Self-Driving Cars Must Be Programmed to Kill (MIT Technology Review)
• Why too much choice is stressing us out (The Guardian)
• Most Earth-like planets have yet to be born, study suggests (Washington Post)

Be sure to check out our Masters in Business interview this weekend with Paul Desmond of Lowry’s Research.


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    • rd commented on Oct 26

      Dihydrogen monoxide is also a major player in cancer formation, as well as being a suffocant that is related to numerous deaths each year.


  1. rd commented on Oct 26

    Re: Restaurant openings soar after wage hike

    Since it is not possible for business to thrive with increased employee costs, the restaurant opening data must therefore be erroneous and is being spread maliciously by the left-wing liberal media. In reality, the restaurant industry in Seattle is suffering.

    • VennData commented on Oct 26

      I got stuck watching CNBC just now. Let me summarize:

      Rick Santelli: When things get religious like Climate Change, is that interest rate policy?

      John Taylor: Some people say… Some people say… Some people say…

  2. rd commented on Oct 26

    Re: Autonomous cars and moral decisions

    I find it fascinating that we are finally applying some of the thinking in the real world that Isaac Asimov and others were writing short stories about 60+ years ago. These were the types of moral dilemmas that Asimov, del Rey, Kornbluth, Pohl and others were writing about in the 40s, 50s, and 60s as they imagined what out world would look like now and further in the future. Those writers focused much more on the ethical, moral, and cultural issues related to technology than the technology itself.

    (The Complete Robot is not really complete as Asimov wrote many other robot-based stories, including entire novels, but its a great start)


    • kaleberg commented on Oct 26

      Human drivers, of course, don’t make moral decisions like that. The time frame is too short and an awful lot of accidents are caused by driver impairment and the need for conscious focus.

      Unlike humans:
      – Computers don’t get drunk or otherwise wasted, though they can be infected with various viruses and other forms of malware.
      – Computers can monitor all of their sensors simultaneously, so their decisions are not limited by the need for conscious focus.
      – Computers can think and react quickly enough to choose whether to kill the cripple or the orphan while the car is skidding along with limited control.
      – Computers will have access to the appropriate databases so they can determine whether the relevant party is a cripple or orphan and make the appropriate moral choice.

      It sounds like utopia to me.

    • rd commented on Oct 26

      I have been baffled about why I would want to connect my thermostat and refrigerator to the internet so that some high school kid somewhere could hack into it and turn them off on a -20 day.

  3. VennData commented on Oct 26

    Ben Carson: Abolish Medicare


    Carson pulls best with Americans who’ve brought Jesus Christ into their hearts…

    ​Grandma go out there and find insurance! Read through the forms you old bat! If you don’t switch over to your own policy, hedge fund managers won’t get their tax cuts and big companies can keep their cash hordes of US Treasuries in Switzerland.

  4. bkilz commented on Oct 26

    I am officially a VennData ditto head. Keep’em coming.

    • Init4good commented on Oct 27

      I’ve been one for a while now….

  5. grimreaper commented on Oct 26


    In rare form today, dude. Always a pleasure. Bravo.

    Reaper (former Republican)

  6. RW commented on Oct 26

    Wonder if the citizens of these states would consider electing fiscally competent, representation next time …you’d think, if nothing else, that the gag reflex would finally get to them WRT the sort of people who could do this kind of thing.

    Red States Spent $2 Billion in 2015 to Screw the Poor
    In 2015, …spending by states that refused to expand Medicaid grew by 6.9 percent. That’s pretty close to the historical average. However, spending by states that accepted Medicaid expansion grew by only 3.4 percent. Obamacare may have increased total Medicaid enrollment and spending, but the feds picked up most of the tab. At the state level, it actually reined in the rate of growth.

    In other words, the states that have refused the expansion are cutting off their noses to spite their faces. They’re actually willing to shell out money just to demonstrate their implacable hatred of Obamacare.

    …there’s more. The residents of every state pay taxes to fund Obamacare, whether they like it or not. Residents of the states that refuse to expand Medicaid are paying about $50 billion in Obamacare taxes each year, and about $20 billion of that is for Medicaid expansion. …

  7. intlacct commented on Oct 27

    re: too much choice: I largely agree but in some cases it is a distinction without a difference. Our political process would be exhibit 1. Popular will is thwarted maybe 70% of the time. The will of the 0.1% is enacted 90% of the time.

  8. intlacct commented on Oct 27

    more on too much choice: whenever I start with a new employer, the employee benefits onboarding process is a day. The health care ‘choices’ are 6-8 inches thick. My solution: ask someone who seems level-headed what I should do. Almost always it is BC/BS (I’m over 50 and significant health issues are realistic concerns).

    • rd commented on Oct 27

      In Canada, the basic healthcare coverage is payed for through an provincial plan paid for with payroll taxes. The “Health care insurance” offered by the employers are for covering improved rooms in hospital stays, better prescription drug coverage, dental care and vision care. As a result, on-boarding for those options is pretty quick and painless.

      People usually go to university or college in their own province at relatively low costs. It would be unusual for a 4-yr degree to cost more than $100k all in (tuition, books, room, and board). Most people aren’t carrying large student debt. Professional schools (e.g. med school) don’t cost much more, so doctors don’t come out with massive debt which helps keep pay lower which helps reduce healthcare costs (another reason why healthcare costs there are only 2/3 those of the US).

  9. intlacct commented on Oct 27

    one more point on less is more choice-wise: Europeans have a high tax rate but no concerns about health care, college or retirement funding. They are MUCH less stressed out.

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