Privately I’d be bleaker about this

It’s possible, but not necessary, to be as cynical as I am about this. Which is to observe that there are those who wish to gain political and economic power and regulating large companies that aren’t doing any harm is sure a cute way of doing that. A support to my bleak view is that those advancing the regulation of the tech giants do tend to insist that this should apply to all actors in the economy. Anyone that is a significant source of near anything must be regulated.

This isn’t really about Google – and nor will the other likely cases be – being detrimental to the consumer. Because there’s pretty much no proof that the company is. It’s about whether the tech giant might be if left unconstrained, if we’re to be charitable about it, and whether a big bad company and source of economic power should remain unregulated by politics, if we’re to be unkind.

Politics is the gaining of power over peeps. The insistence that all large companies must be regulated is just a grab for more power over peeps. Dressed in the perfectly fine and reasonable anti-monopoly arguments that are being stretched out for political gain.

A new scam

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Got to admire the inventiveness if nothing else.

It would be rather a fun job – if I actually knew how to accept Bitcoin, organise spam emailings and all that – writing such appeals. This week protect the trans from JK, last it was BLM and next it’ll be aid elderly VPs in retiring gracefully etc. As I say, it would be rather fun having to be this inventive……

An interesting way to put it

Mighetto is on the front line of a battle over not just the future of Uber but the gig economy itself. The app-based casual-work industry has become a force in the modern economy. The conflict will come to a head in nine days when a powerful coalition of five gig-economy giants, led by Uber, attempts to rewrite employment law in California. The five have ploughed an astonishing $195m into the campaign.

The companies claim their proposal will ensure flexible working for millions. An oddity of California politics means that if you can gather 623,000 signatures from the state population of 40 million, you can put any measure you want on the ballot. Voters will decide on Proposition 22, as the gig-economy measure is known, on November 3 — the same day they choose the next US president.

If approved, the move would exempt app-based services from a law, passed in 2018 and put into effect in January, that requires them to treat their workers as employees, guaranteeing higher wages and benefits such as paid holidays.

We might even suggest that Uber et al are just trying to return employment law to where it was three years ago.

This new law, as an example, says that if I were to write a column for a California newspaper – you know, normal weekly stuff – then I would have to be an employee of that newspaper or magazine. The idea that freelancing should be banned being more than a little odd…..

Oh dear

A British car manufacturer banking on the future of hydrogen cars aims to raise £150m over the next three years. Riversimple – the brainchild of entrepreneur Hugo Spowers – has developed a two-seater hydrogen fuel cell car named the Rasa, Latin for “clean slate”. The car is aimed at city dwellers and boasts a top speed of 60mph.

Hands up who wants to give £150 million to the man who didn’t check the dictionary? You know, one of those brown M&M moments.

Clean slate is tabula rasa, rasa thus, presumably, meaning slate.

Isn’t this fun

The owner of Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group (EWM) has only days to convince administrators not to seize control, with 21,000 jobs in 1,100 stores at risk

Mr Day, who founded the company nearly two decades ago and built it up via acquisitions of brands including Ponden Home, Peacocks and Jaeger, is working on complicated rescue proposals at his home in Switzerland.

However, with grim prospects for parts of the business, thousands of job losses are expected as soon as this week.
The self-made Cumbrian has concluded that banks will not lend to EWM in its ­current state. Credit insurers have withdrawn cover, meaning it is effectively unable to trade.

The really important part is those credit insurers. And the way he tried to fuck over the Bangladeshi factories does make him a higher risk. Oh dear, how sad.

The TUC’s commitment to accuracy

Established in 1994, Amazon began life in owner Geoff Bezos’ garage as an online bookstore,

Oooh, and again!

In fact, UK-based organisation Fair Tax Stamp ranked Amazon the worst
of the big six tech giants for aggressive global tax avoidance

That’ll be Snippa’s lot “2 Fair Taxmark, December 2019,”

Looking at cash tax paid

As we know, given that corporate tax is paid in arrears, cash tax paid doesn’t work when examining corporate tax. As Snippa informed us when he pointed out that if you put this year’s tax collections into last year’s budget then there was no Labour deficit. And we should, because last year’s tax was paid this year…..

“There is also a longstanding issue of the disparity in rates between bricks and mortar
retailers and online companies such as Amazon when it comes to rates for their premises.
For example, in 2016-17 Tesco paid business rates of £700 million, while Amazon paid just
£63.4 million despite generating far higher profits”

Err, yes? Rates being a tax on property, if you don’t use the expensive high street property then your property tax bill should be?

Despite, eh?

Kuljinder Bahia, the entrepreneur behind one of Britain’s biggest private-owned travel agents, paid himself a £3m dividend despite a sharp fall in profits.
Onkar International, the parent company of Southall Travel, warned of the “unprecedented challenge” facing the industry from Covid in accounts filed last week. Pre-tax profit fell by two thirds to £7.9m on almost £600m of revenue in the year to March 2020.

The ghastly little piker manages to make a profit in the harshest times for a travel business ever and then has the effrontery to pay himself some of his own profits.

Despite, eh?

Err, yes?

Then in August, Modern Farmer reported that New York Attorney General Letitia James was suing egg producer Hillandale Farms for allegedly gouging its prices during the pandemic.

“The lawsuit alleges that Hillandale has raised its prices not because of increased costs, but simply to take advantage of higher consumer demand during the pandemic,” said a press release announcing the lawsuit.

This being how a market economic system works…..

Where is this possibly true?

But in reality, this model has skewed investment, directing it away from manufacturing and other industries that still make up the bulk of employment in towns and outer city areas.

As long as we don;t define “local” to mean “inside the factory walls” there is nowhere in Britain where manufacturing produces a majority of jobs. Nowhere that even industrial production does. Hasn’t been for generations either.

Seriously, manufacturing is 10% of the UK economy, “industry” as a whole maybe 20%. Get over it you fool.

The Han Chinee are racist, see?

Perfume brand Jo Malone has apologised to the actor John Boyega for cutting him out of an advert he conceived, directed and starred in when it was launched in China.

Boyega was replaced by Liu Haoran after the commercial was recast and reshot for the Chinese market. The original advert, London Gent, which was released last year, featured Boyega walking around Peckham, south London, riding a horse, dancing with friends and hanging out with his family. The original cast was multicultural, while the Chinese remake featured no black cast members.

“We deeply apologise for what on our end was a mistake in the local execution of the John Boyega campaign,” Jo Malone said in the statement to the Hollywood Reporter.

If you’re trying to sell stuff to people you have to go with their beliefs, their prejudices, not your own. Otherwise you’ll not persuade people to buy your stuff.

Just one of those things….

Ah, yes, the defence

Blah blah, blah blah, charged with a dozen felony fraud counts over her defunct Palo Alto blah blah startup, plans to introduce evidence of a mental condition that affects the issue of guilt, a blockbuster judge’s order has revealed.

Federal prosecutors will be allowed to subject the Stanford University dropout to 14 hours of psychiatric testing and examination over two days, Judge Edward Davila said in a ruling this week.

Blah in December notified prosecutors of her intent “to introduce expert evidence relating to a mental disease or defect or any other mental condition of the defendant bearing on … the issue of guilt,” according to Davila’s order, released late Wednesday.

She plans to call as an expert witness California State University at Fullerton psychology professor Mindy Mechanic, whose university bio says she studies “the psychosocial consequences of trauma, victimization, and interpersonal violence.”

Mechanic “regularly serves as an expert witness in complex legal cases involving battered women charged with crimes and in other legal cases involving childhood or adult trauma, victimization and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD),” according to her bio.

Billy Jones showed me his wee wee in second grade therefore I bilked investors because PTSD.

Any advances on that?

I could do this!

Hiring Freelance Writers for EMF Protection Website


Don’t exist, don’t worry, be happy!

We’re looking for a writer who can contribute a minimum of 1-2 articles per week between 1500 and 2500 words each (so about 4,000 words per week) about EMF radiation protection.

Hmm, might be a bit of repetition there to get to word length.

One reader here is about to get rich!

Quantum computing is on cusp of commercial breakthrough
A Cambridge start-up’s operating system could lead to the creation of a software market

Given that one reader here is a senior bod in this quantum computing lark.

Altho’, y’know, slips ‘tween cup and lip.

More realistically, how much of an advance is this O/S?

Sounds like a fun business plan

Justin Fryer, the number one Amazon reviewer in the UK, left a five-star rating once every four hours on average in August, according to the FT’s analysis. Many of these reviews were for products from random Chinese companies. Fryer then seems to have resold the products on eBay.

No, there must be more to it than that.

Once the connection is made, the reviewer chooses a free product, then waits a few days to write a five-star review. After the review is posted, they get a full refund, and, at times, an extra payment.

Err, refund, extra payment and also flog off the item? That sounds better.

So, where do I sign up? Although taking four hours to write a review seems excessive. 20 minutes maybe?


Finally, accountability needs to be embedded in order to build momentum. This could be achieved by establishing joint liability of brands and suppliers for what happens in their supply chain (as mooted by the former director of the government’s Labour Market Enforcement) or enforceable agreements between brands and labour organisations on working conditions in supply chains.

The supply chain of anything at all is the entire global economy.


Amusing as it is to see the ethical company slammed:

Three current Lush workers, who spoke to Guardian Australia on the condition of anonymity, claimed that they have suffered back and wrist injuries and are given personal quotas that result in lifting the equivalent of 500kg of dry materials a day, without adequate equipment or personal protective equipment.

That’s one bag of sugar per minute. Horrors, eh?

I’ve not really tried to write this down before but….

A question from Rob Fisher:

My conjecture is that supply chains, even “just in time” ones, are in fact robust, on account of the self interest of the people involved in them, and the price signals of the market and so on. The appearance of fragility comes from somewhere else, possibly the mind of the observer lacking all the information.

Tim, do you see what I’m getting at? I have a feeling you would have something to say about this, possibly involving exotic metals.

Without running off into weird metals.

The global experts in running supply chains are the people who run supply chains. They have more information than anyone else about who produces at what price and quality etc. That is, after all, what they do for their living. That they do it for their living means they also have the correct incentives. Their wages/profits depend upon the chain being supplied. They have, as it were, skin in the game.

The global experts are committed to the system. Can’t see that we’re going to get a much better system than that. Moving to any other system of the State or bureaucracy would seem to violate one of those two principles, knowledge and commitment.

As to JIT a lot of people misunderstand this. It’s a matter of scheduling more than it is of not having stock in the supply chain.

Think back to coal going down a canal. Takes 2 weeks for a barge to get somewhere, the somewhere uses a barge a day. Do they need to have 14 barge’s worth in storage at the end of the canal to cover delivery time? Nope, they need the canal to be loaded with one barge a day of coal at the start so there’s one barge a day arriving at the end. JIT is that second. It’s not that the order is placed and the supply chain is empty then it’s delivered. It’s that the supply, chain is tuned to deliver when it is needed. There’s much the same forward commitment to take stock etc. It’s just instead of delivering my 14 barge’s worth, please deliver one a day under the same contract.