October 15, 2008

Water Over the Bridge

What are the incentives for a State to investigate infrastructure failure, such as bridges and roads, and pay for their replacement? What would the incentives be for a private company with ownership rights to those bridges or roads, funded by tolling?

October 14, 2008

Are You Cereal?

Cereality is a company I have heard about a lot over the last year, from friends who, aware of my cereal obsession, imagine how excited I'm going to be about it. Recently, I have also seen several television shows highlight this business model as sheer brilliance. They are all wrong. Cereality is a cereal bar and cafe, where people can order their choice of any of dozens of cereals, and top it with fresh fruit, peanut butter, chocolate, you name it...for $4 a bowl. This is a horrible, horrible idea for two main reasons. #1. Breakfast is the most skipped meal of the day for one important reason. Lack of time. Fast food companies around the country are constantly trying to create breakfast menus that one-up each other on taste, price and portability. Cereality asks me to go into a place, sit down, eat a bowl of cereal, and pay $4 for it. #2. This idea completely ignores the target market of cereal fan. Someone like me, who at the time of this posting, has 5 different boxes of cereal stored in my work cabinet and another 3 at home, do not need a cereal cafe. Any choice of cereal I want, I buy at my convenience and enjoy for pennies on the dollar of what it would cost me at Cereality. I believe that Cereality is simply a business fad, will have a bunch of one-time customers, and quietly snap. crackle. and pop. their way into soggy non-existence.

October 13, 2008

Let’s Say Every Rumor is Right

...and Barack Obama is indeed a terrorist and a communist. If elected, what could he actually do to pursue these desires? Let's say he wanted to institute a Marxist command and control economy. There's no chance of any of those bills actually getting drawn up, much less, getting through Congress successfully. Or, let's say he commands an American general to bomb the Statue of Liberty. The general has to do it, right? No, he doesn't. The general could lose his job for disobedience, but not before the President's Cabinet claims the President's mental incapacitation, and relieves him of his duties. So, what's the worst case scenario if America elects a terrorist or a communist? If he's really, really convincing, maybe you'll get some new Departments of ___, some raised tariffs, some new entitlements, and financial support for Israel could mysteriously drop from the defense budget. But, that's about it. The President is not as powerful as we all seem to think.

October 10, 2008

Earn Your Meds, Gramps

As healthcare continues to improve, and our ability to prolong life grows, how do we financially support these years? Specifically, what are some possible solutions for the elderly to produce value during retirement? A) They plan on this longer retirement, and financially prepare for it during their working years. B) They make smart investments during retirement, and are able to live perpetually on those earnings. C) We promote the extended family - the grandparents live with their children, and take care of their grandkids so that the children can work more. D) The Fed budgets for it. E) Any other ideas of elderly entrepreneurship?

October 9, 2008

Why Every President Sucked

(a continuation) #12. Zachary Taylor In February of 1850, Taylor met with Southern leaders threatening secession who believed the Federal Government was overstepping its constitutional power and encroaching on their state rights. Taylor threatened back, telling them that persons "taken in rebellion against the Union would be hung... with less reluctance than he had deserters and spies in Mexico." A powerful way to get your point across. Unfortunately, before these mass lynchings of Americans could occur, Taylor died in office.

October 8, 2008

The Problem with Yes/No Questions

In a Republican primary debate several months ago, the candidates were asked to raise their hands to answer the question: "Do you believe in evolution?" That's simply not a question that can be answered with a raised or lowered hand. What would be a good way to reword the question to get more meaningful answers out of the candidates? Here's mine. "Do you believe that the theory of evolution explains either the origin of species or the origins of life?"  

October 7, 2008

Ten on an Island

(continuation) The premise is that there are ten people on an island, they are a sovereign nation, and they are trying to best determine how to govern themselves. Question #6: Two on the island have become full-time fisherman. The other eight think that the prices charged by these fisherman are too high, and want to place price maximums on fish, considering food to be a human right. What should the group do?

October 6, 2008

Sabai Says:

"Knowledge comes to those who desire it, and who understand that sometimes you learn the most from those who are wrong."

October 2, 2008

We Need an American Pope

...so to speak. During election season, it seems that most people put a vested interest in learning about the different candidate's positions, and adjust their own political beliefs, even if only to keep up with the water cooler conversations. If we had to elect a symbolic spiritual leader for our country, would this have the same result? People thinking about philosophical and theological issues? Lively debates and discussions? That could be WAY more fun, and arguably more profitable.

October 1, 2008

Classless Envy

One of my friends recently told me he was angry at his sister for supporting John McCain for President. His statement: "She has an entry-level job at Kohls. I figured she would want the rich to get taxed more." Isn't it pretty cynical to assume that class envy is a big enough reason by itself to vote Democratic?
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