Fast Food Surge Pricing? Price Gouging? WTF?

There are ideas that sweep through the business world that slowly work there way into every aspect of business though at first they seemed a little odd. It’s like going to the beach and coming home with sand in your shoes — it’s everywhere.

I offer two examples:

 1. Creating a club around a set of benefits such as Prime membership with Amazon; and,

 2. Subscription services such as was copied by Restoration Hardware.

Each of these ideas is related and each results in a true economic benefit to the customer whilst creating a solid, secondary cash flow for the sponsor.

Prime members number 230,000,000 and each will pay $179 for their next renewal. It started out at $79 nineteen years ago in 2005.

Do the math, that’s a lot of money. Continue reading


Pure Philanthropy

In this era of massive self-aggrandizement and virtue signaling, it is heartwarming to relate a tale of pure philanthropy and goodness. We all need a bit of good news, no?

What’s THE STORY, Big Red Car?

The story goes like this:

Sandy and Ruth Gottesman lived happily in Rye, New York. Sandy was a finance professional and a protege of a chap named Warren Buffett who started a company called Berkshire Hathaway.

Sandy got in on the ground floor with his pal Warren and invested in his fledgling conglomerate, Berkshire Hathaway, resulting in a highly successful and lucrative fortune that Sandy managed well.

In 2022, Sandy passed away at age 96 leaving his wife Ruth with a fortune and spare instructions:

“Do whatever you think is right with it.”

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Jamie Dimon, Ray Dalio And The STRICT PARENT Defense Of Evil

In the recent annals of Chinese apologia stand two giants: Jamie Dimon and Ray Dalio. Allow me to elaborate.

Jamie Dimon – Chairman/CEO of America’s largest bank and billionaire

“This is my big bad wolf look. I am the Jamie Dimon, Chairman/CEO of America’s largest bank. I am a freakin’ billionaire. I take shit from nobody. Well, except the Chinese to whom I will give a belly rub at the drop of a hat, but I’m still a powerful badass, except when the Chinese tell me to jump and I ask, ‘How high?’ on the way up. Grrrr!”

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Solving The Wrong Problem

Government at all levels often solves the wrong problem, is not very smart, is slow to act. Allow me to provide a vivid example.


Shipping is backing up at West Coast ports with more than 100 ships awaiting unloading at ports like Long Beach and Los Angeles. This will negatively impact Christmas sales, the cost of transportation, and temporary holiday hiring.

Here is a recent graphic showing the status of Long Beach.

The yellow dots are ships waiting to unload.

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Killing The Gig Economy

A lot of trends, suspect ideas, cultural quirks, and bad laws start in California and spread across the country.

Case in point is California Assembly Bill 5 which destroys the gig economy by imposing standards on the employer-employee relationship that prevent the gig economy from functioning in a manner as it currently does.

Lyft and Uber have both threatened to pull out of California if the law is not repealed in November.

Joe Biden supports California Assembly Bill 5 which effectively kills the gig economy and wants to pass a Federal law mirroring it. If you are a gig worker, take note.

Cal AB 5 came to life in December 2018 in response to controversy created by the employment of Lyft and Uber drivers, classic gig economy workers. These contract, independent contractor, 1099, gig workers are eliminated under the law that was passed in September 2019 and took effect in January 2020.

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College Basketball — Carolina Tar Heels v Duke Blue Devils — A Modest Proposal

If you are like me, you are still wondering when the 2019-2020 NCAA Tournament, March Madness, is going to start.

Alas, we are well and truly fucked, amigo. It is never going to happen. Which brings me to the quandary of what to do with college basketball come November.

So, I make bold to make a modest proposal. Read to the end before you judge me. Keep an open mind.

The Modest Proposal

I propose that in order to avoid any COVID infection risk, rivalry schools, like the Carolina Tar Heels and the Duke Blue Devils, enter into a series of games which will approximate their season whilst mining the enthusiasm of these critical rivalries and providing loyal fans with the necessary juju and mojo they need to stabilize their lives.

It goes without saying that it will be a welcome diversion from the COVID.

Somebody may make a buck along the way, but, hey, that’s capitalism, right?

 1. The Carolina v Duke rivalry in basketball is the gold standard by which all other rivalries are measured.

Carolina, a public school founded in 1789, and Duke, a private school founded in 1838, have played each other in the noble contest of basketball for a century this year. First game was 1920, UNC 38 – Duke 25.

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Capitalism To The Rescue

The day after Pearl Harbor, Ford Motor Company announced it was retooling all of its production lines to produce Jeeps and other military vehicles thereby setting in motion a wholesale shift of American industry to support the war effort. Three and a half years later, America was producing 50,000 airplanes of all types on a monthly basis.

The US would produce 640,000 Jeeps (270,000 by Ford alone, the balance from other auto manufacturers) in those three and a half years. When I was in the Army in the 1970s, I had a Jeep like this. I loved my Jeep.

This is what happens when American industry is tapped to rise to a national crisis. Today, we see the same thing happening in the startup world.

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Elon Musk — Quick Trigger Capitalist

I am a huge fan of the core businessman Elon Musk. Not so much on him personally. Very skeptical on Tesla.

Having said that, I rise to applaud Elon Musk (I was going to call him “Elon” like he and I are pals, but we’re not) for being quick on the draw as it relates to using the current uptick in Tesla stock as a means to raise additional capital in a secondary offering.

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