Email, Texting and Online Bill Paying is doing to Canada Post what it did to the USPS

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 19th, 2014

Week in Review

The United States Postal Service (USPS) is going broke.  Thanks to email, texting and online bill paying.  Making the USPS more and more irrelevant these days.  And it’s not just the USPS having this problem (see Ontario mother with sick child urges Canada Post to keep door-to-door delivery by The Canadian Press posted 1/13/2014 on City News Toronto).

An online petition urging Canada Post to reconsider its decision to end door-to-door delivery in urban centres has garnered more than 120,000 signatures…

Canada Post announced some dramatic changes to its operations last month, including plans to phase out the age-old tradition of home delivery in urban areas. The company said that without postal carriers travelling by foot, it would save a significant amount of money…

The petition — posted on the website change.org — draws attention to anyone in Canada who has limited mobility, such as the elderly or disabled, and the possibly dangerous effects this change could have on their lives…

Hamilton said that Canada Post is trying to maintain service to all Canadians but that they need to find innovative ways to do it in order to remain self-sufficient.

Canada Post had projected an annual loss of $1 billion dollars a year by 2020 if they were to continue with the door-to-door delivery.

Part of the reason why Canada can’t afford to keep urban delivery is because they have single-payer health care.  Which is pretty costly.  Especially with Canada having what all advanced economies have.  An aging population.  Which means more people are leaving the workforce and consuming taxpayer benefits than there are people entering the workforce paying taxes.  And with better health care people are living longer into retirement.  Which forces tax rates higher on the working (i.e., the young and healthy) to pay for those not working.

It is interesting that the same people, the young and healthy, are the ones destroying Canadian Post.  For they’re the ones emailing, texting and paying bills online.  Which means they will have to raise taxes further on the young and healthy to support the older generation.  Transferring more and more costs from the old to the young.  Which is what happens in a socialist country.  Generational theft.  Costs keep rising so people have smaller families.  Causing the population to age.  And requiring ever higher tax rates on those in the workforce to pay for the growing numbers who have left the workforce.

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Canada is enjoying a Booming Oil Industry because they don’t have a President Obama

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 19th, 2014

Week in Review

The latest jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that for every person that entered the workforce in December seven people left the workforce (see The BLS Employment Situation Summary for December 2013 posted 1/13/2014 on PITHOCRATES).  In fact, since President Obama assumed the presidency 11,301,000 people have left the labor force.  Despite his policies to create greener and higher-paying jobs to replace the jobs in the coal and oil industries he destroyed.

For America was going green.  Whether we wanted to or not.  Pity, because we’d have a lot more high-paying jobs in the coal and oil industry had it not been for President Obama.  North Dakota is doing really well thanks to natural gas production on private land. Not much he can do to shut that down.  And just to the north things are going very well in the oil business (see Oil patch salaries rise 5 times as fast as rest of Canada posted 1/13/2014 on CBC News).

The average salary of young men working in Canada’s oil patch increased by 21 per cent between 2001 and 2008, more than five times the pace of gain seen by those workers in other parts of the country.

According to a report published by Statistics Canada Monday, men aged 17 to 24 living in the oil-producing provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador were more likely to have a job than their counterparts in other areas, less likely to still be in school, and more likely to earn more.

Kids graduating college with worthless social science and humanity degrees have a boatload of student loan debt.  And little prospect of a job in a high-tech economy.  Had some of these kids had a chance to get a high-paying job in the oil industry instead of getting those worthless degrees they probably wouldn’t be living in their parent’s basement.  With that huge student loan debt hanging over them like the Sword of Damocles.

It’s a pity that the Americans can’t learn a lesson from the smarter Canadians when it comes to energy.  If we had pursued Canadian energy policies instead of Obama policies 11,301,000 people wouldn’t have left the labor force during his presidency.  For a good number of these people would now be in the oil business.  In the oil pipeline business.  In the oil refining business.  In the refined oil distribution system.  And all of the Mom and Pop stores catering to this influx of economic activity all along the way.  That’s what we could have had if we didn’t have President Obama.

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Washington DC is Literally Full of Explosive Stinky Gas

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 19th, 2014

Week in Review

One of the riches places to live in the United States is in the Washington DC area.  And you know what you can do to rich people?  You can increase their utility rates.  Because whatever they charge a rich person is going to be able to pay it.  Easily.  In fact, they won’t object to rising utility rates.  For they have so much they wouldn’t want to deny pensions and health insurance to the working people.  At least they wouldn’t want to be seen as denying pension and health insurance to the working people.  So they don’t complain about rising utility rates.  Which is probably why stuff like this happens (see D.C. Full of Gassy Leaks, Researchers Say by Alan Neuhauser posted 1/17/2014 on US News and World Report).

Nearly 6,000 natural gas leaks were discovered beneath the streets of the nation’s capital last year when a team of researchers from Duke and Boston universities surveyed all 1,500 miles of the city’s roadways, according to an article published Thursday in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

A dozen were leaking enough methane to explode, while others were letting off enough gas to fuel from two to seven homes…

On average, pipelines across the country lose about 1.6 percent of the natural gas they transmit. The pipelines in D.C., by contrast, were losing about 4 percent of their gas. These findings, Jackson says, highlight “the opportunity to fix them.”

Gas leaks?  So what.  Just raise the utility rate.  It’s easier.  And less costly.

Public utilities are highly regulated.  They just can’t raise their rates.  They need the approval of government to do that.  The problem with these public utilities is that they are very close to the people that regulate them.  Who often approve high rates in exchange for something nice from the utility to show their appreciation.  It’s this kind of cronyism that brought satellite television into the market to compete against cable television.  Because cable television companies had some real sweetheart deals that were gouging the consumers.  Now the cable companies have a lot of competition.  And they have to be a lot more creative in how they charge their customers today.

Competition makes everything better for the consumer.  Where there is no competition you get high utility rates.  And a lot of explosive natural gas leaking up from buried pipelines.

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Union Cabbies want you to wait Longer for a Ride

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 19th, 2014

Week in Review

Today there is an app for everything.  Have smartphone will travel.  Literally.  Unless, that is, union cabbies want to make you stand in the rain/snow and cold for an hour in a bad neighborhood (see Why a taxi driver protest turned violent in Paris by Dylan Stableford posted 1/14/2014 on Yahoo! News).

The attacks by striking cab drivers on Uber cars in Paris on Monday — with protesters shattering windows, smashing mirrors and slashing tires — appear to be the first violent clashes in the ongoing battle between local cabbies and app-based car services.

But tensions, in Paris and elsewhere, have been brewing for months. Cab drivers say Uber and apps like it, which allow customers to hitch rides nearly instantly from their smartphones, create unfair competition and undermine the traditional cab-hailing business…

In Portland, Ore., Uber has urged lawmakers to change an ordinance requiring town cars to wait an hour before picking up would-be passengers.

In Paris, a “15-minute law” went into effect on Jan. 1, requiring all Uber drivers to wait 15 minutes after a request is placed to pick up a passenger — a move aimed at leveling the competition for traditional Parisian cabbies.

Nonetheless, hundreds of unionized cab drivers participated in Monday’s protests in Paris, demanding a 30-minute delay, minimum fares and a driver recruitment ban. At least 12 Uber cars were targeted, according to local reports.

Imagine that.  Because someone else found a better way to do things union cabbies want new laws to prevent that better way.  They want to make a person wait for an hour before anyone picks them up.  An Uber car could be around the corner when they get the request.  They could drive around the corner and pick this person up within three minutes.  But if the union cabbies get their way the Uber car will have to sit there for an hour before moving.  To give a union cabbie a chance to drive by and get hailed.  Leaving that person in the rain or snow.  Or in a bad neighborhood.  Just standing there.  Vulnerable.  Just so someone providing a poorer service can get his or her business.

This is the difference between free market capitalism and crony capitalism.  In free market capitalism the consumer is number one.  And gets the highest quality at the lowest price.  In crony capitalism unions, businesses and government are number one.  For they are cronies and look out for each other.  At the expense of the consumer.  Who gets lower quality and higher prices.  As unions, businesses and governments collude together to enrich themselves by forcing people to pay more for less.

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The Democrat War on Women leads to Young Single Mothers and Abject Poverty

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 19th, 2014

Week in Review

Doctors don’t just treat symptoms.  They order tests and procedures to find the cause for the symptom.  Because if they don’t the underlying problem may get worse.  Causing greater medical problems for the patient later.  Or worse.  This is how medicine works.  Because it’s not a government bureaucracy making medical decisions about the patient.  Now contrast that to how government programs operate.

When a government program shows symptoms that something isn’t right what do government bureaucrats do?   Address only the symptoms.  By throwing money at them.  While never addressing the underlying cause for those symptoms (high chronic unemployment, families below the poverty line, rising federal debt ceiling, etc.).  Instead they just politicize those who are struggling.  And blame everything else but the underlying government policies for their suffering (see Why you can’t “bootstrap” yourself out of poverty by Nicole Goodkind posted 1/17/2014 on Yahoo! Finance).

When money is at its tightest, cost-saving choices are often impossible to make, digging impoverished Americans deeper and deeper into the pit of day-by-day living…

A car…is a necessity for many jobs but the down payment can be insurmountably high. And even after the down payment poor drivers still face monthly payments, high gas prices, and the fact that low-income car buyers pay 2% more for a car loan than affluent people. Low-income drivers can also pay up to $400 more annually than wealthier drivers to insure their cars (for a car of the same model and with the same driver risk).

A lack of capital can also make it impossible to afford the security deposit on an apartment causing those in poverty to live day-to-day in expensive hotels…Those in poverty who are able to rent or buy homes are also more likely to get household appliances through rent-to-own companies and end up paying more due to added interest.

…banks often charge large fees for those who don’t have a minimum amount of capital in their accounts—this makes cash checking establishments, who charge incredibly high interest rates on pay-day loans, the only choice for many.

Ben Hecht, CEO and president of Living Cities, an organization that works to revitalize impoverished areas, joined The Daily Ticker to discuss why it costs so much to be poor.

“Many of us are salaried employees and many poor people, if they’re working, are hourly employees,” explains Hecht.

If you’re an hourly employee who needs to apply for benefits or even see a doctor, you’re missing out on vital pay, Hecht points out…

One of the biggest disadvantages that those in poverty experience is a lack of broadband Internet. “One of the fundamentals about poverty is a lack of access to economic opportunity,” says Hecht. “And we all know that the number one factor in economic opportunity is education and we know that in today’s world much education, even in public schools, is done online.”

A lack of broadband access is not why kids are doing poorly in school.  It’s because they spend too much time online with their social media.  Or spend too much time having fun with sex and drugs instead of doing their homework.  And those who do buckle down and study are being taught things like global warming and the unfairness of capitalism.  Instead of the math and science skills high-tech employers need.  It’s so bad that they have to hire foreigners in the visa program to fill their high tech—and high paying—positions.

What is this about being able to take time off with pay to run errands if you’re salary?  Every salary job I had didn’t work that way.  You were hourly until you reached 40 hours.  Then you were salary after 40 hours.  So if you worked only 36 hours because you took a half day for personal business you got paid for 36 hours.  But if you worked 65 hours to bring a project in on time you got paid for 40 hours.  Because you were salary.  And were expected to put in the hours necessary to get the job done.  The hourly guys laugh at the salary guys.  For if they work 65 hours they’re paid for 65 hours.  With 25 of those hours paid at a time-and-a half premium.

Banks have employees who don’t work for free.  And how does a bank pay for their employees?  In one of two ways.  From the interest they earn in lending your money.  Or the fees you pay when you don’t deposit enough money to lend.  Just look at the numbers.  If someone has an average balance of $3,000 the bank can earn about $4.62 a week on that by loaning it out.  Whereas if someone has an average balance of $25 the bank can only earn about 4 cents a week.  And 4 cents a week isn’t going to help pay anyone’s paycheck.  Even if you have 100 depositors.  Which would give the bank about $4 each week to pay their bills.  While having 100 $3,000 depositors would provide $462 each week to help pay the bills.  So they must charge fees for low balances.  Or lay off workers.

The reason why people can’t save for down payments and security deposits is because they don’t have the job skills to earn a larger paycheck.  Either they didn’t graduate from high school.  Or they are a young single mother who became a mother before getting higher-paying job skills.  For the path to a higher paying job is to graduate from high school.  Go on to college.  Establish a career.  Go to church.  Then get married and start raising a family (see Strong families steeped in Conservative Values and Traditions do Well in America posted 1/11/2014 on PITHOCRATES).  Whereas the people most mired in poverty are young women who have children out of wedlock.

The system isn’t unfair.  The system works very well for those who do what’s best for their future instead of what’s the most fun right now.  We need to take care of the children born into poverty.  But we need to address the cause of this poverty.  The breakdown of the family.  And the abandoning of our culture and traditions.  Those things that made America great.  For the left can talk about the War on Women and Christian oppression all they want.  But it is their libertine attitudes that are putting young single mothers into poverty.

We need to listen to the wise words of Cary Grant in Operation Petticoat.  When the women came aboard the submarine accompanied by a ‘wow’ from the crew Grant’s character said, “Mr. Stovall, Lt. Holden’s influence upon you is starting to worry me. I suggest you “wow” less and “tsk tsk tsk” a little more.”  As a society we need to ‘wow’ less and ‘tsk tsk tsk’ more.  Promote marriage and family over the casual sex that so often results in abject poverty.

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