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Sunday, May 12, 2024

Links - 12th May 2024 (2 - Left Wing Economics)

Meme - Jeremiah Johnson @JeremiahDJohns: "A thread of DoorDash takes: "l am entitled to DoorDash and can't eat a frozen dinner, because I am disabled and frozen food has 'histamines' in it."
Avery Edison @aedison: ""why are people so weird about doordash?" because it is exploitation. the business model does not function without massively underpaying workers, most of whom live in poverty. habituating yourself to using doordash is a moral sickness."
Sofi @resinthunder: "Restaurant employees are never exploited? Lol. Leave disabled people alone. People are trying to survive the best way they can and you're relegating us to frozen dinners. As if everyone's diet can tolerate them. As if histamines in frozen food don't trigger autoimmune responses."
Jeremiah Johnson @JeremiahDJohns: "I am upset that you call hand-delivery of restaurant quality meals to my home a luxury service"
Violet Carter: "Does anyone else think it's upsetting that food is currently considered a luxury item? That we are being told to just eat cereal and frozen dinners? I'm feeling a type of way about it."
@JeremiahDJohns Jeremiah Johnson: "Frozen meals are a gendered capitalist scheme"
auntie cistamine @laurenanc: "they hate disabled people so much they're out here defending frozen food. a meal format that gained mainstream popularity as white women entered the workforce, while at the same time it became harder to support a family on one salary, so not having to cook meant more time for doing capitalism!"
Jeremiah Johnson @JeremiahDJohns: "l am too anxious and depressed to take a meal out of the freezer and microwave it. I need communal cooks to feed me"
"substitute for frozen meals, despite being less convenient and radically more expensive. And a lot of frozen meals taste fine, plenty of chain restaurants are actually serving that."
KD$ign @KnoxEndemic: "Umm, people have depression and anxiety? Not everyone can just go to the grocery store and plan meals like this"
cai @AnneNotation: "It's not a planned meal. It's a meal you take out of the freezer. It is perfect for people who are not coping with their depression or anxiety."
KD$ign: "I wonder if we could build a system within a local community where we take shifts cooking the frozen food and sharing it? This might mitigate some of the distress it"
Jeremiah Johnson: "Why don't they sell individual slices of cheese, lettuce, bacon and tomato?"

Meme - "I regret to inform you the DoorDash takes are still going: "I have a human right to literally all food items""
Violet Carter @ThatEffinFlower: "Does anyone else think it's upsetting that food is currently considered a luxury item? That we are being told to just eat cereal and frozen dinners? I'm feeling a type of way about it."
Retroscopic @Retroscopic1: "Some types of food are basic staples - see rice, pasta, veg, fruit etc Some types of food are more luxury items. Both can exist, no-one has an automatic human right to be able to shop at Waitrose."
acorn @ironspidergwen: "It's a basic human right to afford ALL food, you can't pick and choose what people deserve. The fuck is wrong with you?"
This is why left wingers are poor, and why they want to destroy capitalism, since they can't take responsibility for their failures, and why their proposed solution: more and more free money, will never work, since wants are unlimited, even if they are framed as needs

Meme - Jeremiah Johnson @JeremiahDJohns: "The mean streets of SoHo are too frightening for me to get a burrito"
Senior PowerPoint Engineer @ryxcommar: "who the fuck are all these people overpaying for fast food delivery. leave your fucking houses. good god. half the people at one of my favorite spots are some salaried fake email job person's food delivery slave."
Marcus Sinclair @MarcusSinclair2: "Let's see you leave your house after 10pm in NYC tough guy."
@JeremiahOJohns "As a disabled person, eating the same meal multiple times is torture"
"You clearly don't suffer from executive functioning issues or you'd understand why some of us see that as torture."
Johan Mullet @JohanMullet: "Waterboarding is torture. This isn't torture."
Lipton @liptonTCat: "It is when you have executive functioning issues. Those of us with ADHD have different brains than the average person."
Of course, this reliance on food delivery clashes with their demands to pay everyone a living wage. But they think the company CEOs making a lot of money means the companies are profitable, so of course they won't understand that

Meme - Armand Domalewski @ArmandDoma: "If you find microwaving a meal this difficult you genuinely need to be under some form of supervised care"
Kelly @broadwaybabyto: "I see people saying things like "can't cook a meal but can answer the door to get delivery" I want to scream. Only someone who's had good health their whole life would make a comment like..."
Max Bedroom @sextoyspo...: "There's getting the box open, firstly, which is often harder than it should be, & someone with hand pain or dexterity issues may not be able to get past that step. Then there's reading & understanding the directions, which, especially when I'm tired, is difficult enough for me."

Meme - Armand Domalewski: "This is what someone sent me because I pointed out that someone who is so disabled they are incapable of microwaving a meal needs hands-on medical care and not DoorDash"
Zack the Zorua(He/They): "Imagine spending your time attacking people feeding themselves instead of spending your energy going after the people who make it harder for disabled people to even go outside. You're spineless. Oh by the way I doordash because my family is food insecure but I have partners who help me order lunch. I can't cook and I shouldn't have to ask your permission to be able to feed myself in a way that works for me. If you actually cared about disabled people you would advocate for proper meal delivery services that listen to dietary restrictions and aren't only for 60+ physically disabled people. But you'll spend your time attacking people you've never met instead of lifting a finger to help the most vulnerable in your community because you don't actually care if we starve. One less useless mouth to feed right?"
If you're food insecure and spend your money on food delivery and you're poor, it's proof that capitalism has failed

Meme - Tony @tonyzentelis: "The economics of groceries is what frustrates me. If I want a burger, I must buy an entire pack of buns, a head of lettuce, and tomato, hoping my mustard hasn't expired. I want a proportionally priced "kit" to make 1-2 burgers, as I end up throwing out so many ingredients."
KD$ign @KnoxEndemic: "Just make all of them at once and freeze what you don't eat"
Tony @tonyzentelis: "Umm some of us don't have unlimited freezer space? My 17 year old child has severe bipolar depression and anxiety and needs 50-250 popsicles per day to cope with it. Because of their condition my entire freezer is filled with boxes of popsicles. It's called sacrifice!"

Meme - Anna Harren @garblefart: "why are you so scared of the idea that someone who can't, hasn't, or doesn't want to work a day in their life would be able to live comfortably
someone who refuses to work, someone who wants to spend their entire life doing absolutely nothing, deserves stable food, shelter, water, security, and privacy. this is not debatable. human rights don't come with requirements. they're human rights. and hey, let's pretend for a moment that people commit crimes for no reason, and it isn't because they're lacking in basic human rights: THEY STILL DESERVE TO LIVE COMFORTABLY. the idea that criminality is an innate trait is an intrinsically racist, eugenicist, genocidal concept. crime happens out of necessity. it's a symptom of inequality. to be clear: in these tweets i am deliberately playing into the myth that people require tangible reward to motivate work. this is bullshit. people will create because they can, and they always have. cave paintings didn't happen because a caveman wanted two more acorns than he had before"
This ticks so many left wing boxes and displays the usual ignorance of reality (e.g. trying to claim that it's literally impossible to reasonably disagree, and not knowing that one theory about cave paintings is for luck in hunting, i.e. getting two more deer than you had before)

Selling Butter At 54% Profit: Leaked Docs Show Loblaws' Exorbitant Markups : r/ontario - "That before any costs come out. Ya all need some accounting classes. Wages utilities etc etc. Some things will have higher margins some have less, that's kinda the way business works. Fuck loblaws, I'm a costco shopper bit this info is just clickbait bullshit to rile people up. Show me the final profit or don't fucking bother. "
"The store also has to figure in the cost of the fridges and electricity to keep these products cold. Also the labour cost of unpacking and putting it one the shelf and the amount of spoilage there is on this type of product."
Why left wingers are poor.

Selling Butter At 54% Profit: Leaked Docs Show Loblaws' Exorbitant Markups : r/ontario - "The "final profit" is a made up number that excludes rent paid to a real estate investment trust owned by a Loblaws holding company. That final profit is also purposefully made thin because Loblaws pays its suppliers for those goods - many of which are also shell companies owned and operated by Loblaws. They can charge themselves for those goods as much as they desire to reduce their tax burden, same with rent. What I'm trying to say is the final number you wish to see is totally made up and untrustworthy.  If I start a business in my home, as the home owner I set the cost of goods and rent to 100% of my business profit. So I pay almost zero tax, is that an accurate final number for my profit?"
"Except they don't own the manufacturing and suppliers, so it's just the distribution and retail, which all roll up to the same company. The rent is paid to another publicly traded company that doesn't have the exact same shareholders (so if you're a shareholder of Choice REIT you'd be getting screwed over)"
"If you are renting out your house, the rent collected will be part of your profits and you will need to pay tax on it.  Loblaws is a public company. The "final profit" they are legally obliged to report will include the income and expenses from all of their subsidiaries"
"It’s not made up, it’s all in accordance with IFRS, they are a publicly traded company"
Selling Butter At 54% Profit: Leaked Docs Show Loblaws' Exorbitant Markups : r/ontario - "Lol. Every post is the same. A bunch of people make claims against Loblaws of questionable validity; people who care to ... do basic math? ... correct them; initial people accuse basic math do-oers of being corporate bootlickers. Gets kind old."

Selling Butter At 54% Profit: Leaked Docs Show Loblaws' Exorbitant Markups : r/ontario - "This sounds ridiculous, but these are standard margins in the grocery business in North America. Kroger reports similar margins on individual products.  The actual margin is actually much lower. A shocking amount of food is thrown out or never sold. People are extremely picky when they buy food from the grocery store, and so products that are expired, blemished, or otherwise anything less than perfect, becomes unsellable. And if enough of such products accumulate it looks bad on the store. When people pick apples, ones that are cosmetically blemished but perfectly edible, gets left behind until all the blemished ones are left. Loblaws has to throw these out because if people saw displays of blemished foods it degrades the quality of the store in their mind (Loblaws wants people to think of well stocked shelves with fresh food when they think of their store).  Another interesting thing about retail is it's actually very important to keep shelves looking stocked, and to ensure that you have a large variety of products, even if some of those products don't sell. When stores run into supply shortages, they will often block off parts of the store to prevent it from looking like they have empty shelves. Having well stocked shelves makes food appear more plentiful and less expensive to customers. If one product in running short, it's important that stores fill it with something, anything, to avoid the shelves looking like they're empty. This is a well know strategy in retail. This is another reason that increases the amount of food spoilage.  Did you know, a study from Queen's university shows that about 60% of all food produced in Canada is wasted? some of this happens at the indvidual household level, but a very large amount of it happens at the grocery store or distribution level: See Smith Business Insight - To Fight Food Waste, Grocers Turn to Analytics (queensu.ca). These products purchased by grocers, that are never sold, factors into the gross margin.  Anyone who's ever worked at a grocery store will tell you the astonishing amount of perfectly edible food they throw out as a result. Things like expired food, cracked eggs, slightly browned or shriveled produce, imperfect apples, returned products, products that have cosmetic damage to their boxes, etc. It's literally dumpsters full of food on a daily basis.  The cost of throwing away food is counted as "cost of goods sold" and actually will decrease margin. The combination of such things
loss leaders
shrinkage (i.e food that goes missing or is stolen)
cosmetically blemished food
food that is damaged or spoiled in transport or storage (a surprisingly large amount) or was infested with pests
expired food
returned food
These all weigh on margins. The gross margin was about 30% (reported in Loblaws financial statement). This is on the higher end of the industry standard. Grocers in the USA, like Kroger's report a gross margin of around 25%. Loblaws has somewhat higher margins because of their drugstore business, which they mention in their annual report and shareholders filings.  Then the company has to pay rent, insurance, salary, utilities etc. After all this, the net profit is only about 2-3%.  So yeah, grocers are expensive businesses to operate."
"And yet they are earning record profits in a time when consumers and many other businesses are suffering due to rising input costs."
"Context is everything. 1 billion in profits is a lot for a corner store, but is not an unreasonable amount for a company the sizes of loblaws to make on 60 billion in revenue  To compare to a grocer in the United States, Kroger made 2.7 billion in net profit on a gross sales of 150 billion in 2024. So comparable.  Most retailers are making record profits. This is because most of them have maintained their (relatively thin and competitive) margins in context of inflation. Higher prices with same margins equals more profit.  3% net margin is really tight. Occasionally negative business circumstances like recession, drought or war can damage those margins. Also these companies have debts to service with that money. No reasonable company could be competitive long term with narrowing margins, even in more developed markets like the US.  Loblaws isn’t perfect. They can certainly be more efficient if there was more competition. But I honestly in my heart of hearts don’t believe grocery price gouging is a major contributor to inflation, which is a global phenomenon."

If you see someone stealing food... No you didn't. : r/antiwork
Retail Workers Increasingly Fear for Their Safety - The New York Times - "“If an employee gets caught stealing a candy bar, they get fired,” said Mr. Settles, who has worked in the grocery industry for 40 years. “But you have shoplifters who come in here and steal a whole buggy full of Tide. They leave, and we tell them not to come back. But they come back a few days later.”... She thinks the hands-off approach to shoplifting is leading to a broader breakdown. Ms. Barry, 59, who has been working in the grocery industry for more than 20 years and is a member of U.F.C.W. Local 3000, said she had recently noticed that regular customers were walking out the door without paying for items.  “It’s like a disease,” she said. “When there are no consequences, some people think: Why should I pay if others are not?”... Punishments for retail theft have been eased over the past few decades in part to reduce incarceration rates. Many states now have a felony theft threshold of $1,000 or more, so even if a store reported a shoplifting case, some police departments wouldn’t be likely to make it a priority.  Retailers have tried imposing civil penalties on shoplifters, essentially threatening to sue them to cover the value of the stolen merchandise. But large companies like Walmart discontinued that practice after it was revealed that the retailers were hounding falsely accused customers.  The industry says it is putting much of its focus on stopping organized rings of thieves who resell stolen items online or on the street. They point to big cases like the recent indictment of dozens of people who are accused of stealing millions of dollars in merchandise from stores like Sephora, Bloomingdale’s and CVS. But it’s not clear how much of the crime is organized. Matthew Fernandez, 49, who works at a King Soopers in Broomfield, Colo., said he was stunned when he watched a thief walk out with a cart full of makeup, laundry detergent and meat and drive off in a Mercedes-Benz S.U.V... When people steal, she said, the company can write off the loss. But those losses mean less money for workers.  “That is part of my raise and benefits that is walking out the door,” she said. “That is money we deserve.”"

Richard Hanania on X - "Many people want their children to be smarter and healthier, but many ethicists are concerned because they think people should be sick and dumb. Note there’s not even a poll of ethicists here, just a journalist with an agenda. Evil and sick."
Americans are ready to test embryos for future college chances, survey shows | MIT Technology Review

for good things, against bad 🏳️‍πŸŒˆπŸŒπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡¦ on X - "As the children who received Child Tax Credit payments grow older, we’re going to see studies measuring the effect of receiving transfers. These are the first — does it improve infant health? Absolutely not. There’s no effect on anything."
Effects of Income on Infant Health: Evidence from the Expanded Child Tax Credit and Pandemic Stimulus Checks
Clearly, even more money is needed

Yes, that Big Mac meal may cost $18 — but there’s one good reason for it - "Several months ago, the most significant factor pushing fast-food prices upward was the rising cost of food itself. Now, the No. 1 driver is the cost of labor, said Eric Gonzalez, a senior analyst covering the restaurant industry for KeyBanc Capital Markets. In other words, McDonald’s workers are making more money than they used to."
The same left wingers who demand higher wages get upset at higher prices. But they don't even understand that franchise CEOs have separate balance sheets from franchisees, which is why McDonald's CEO earning a lot isn't linked to McDonald's workers earning little, so good luck getting them to understand that

Jeff Bezos's $150 Billion Fortune Is a Policy Failure - The Atlantic - "Amazon is a marvel that has changed everything from how we read, to how we shop, to how we structure our neighborhoods, to how our postal system works. But his fortune is also a policy failure, an indictment of a tax and transfer system and a business and regulatory environment designed to supercharging the earnings of and encouraging wealth accumulation among the few. Bezos did not just make his $150 billion. In some ways, we gave it to him, perhaps to the detriment of all of us."
From 2018. This article keeps going on about inequality and exploitation, but doesn't consider the effects of left wing economic policies, just their intentions, which is typical. Alternatively, the left are happy to impoverish everybody if it reduces inequality (some of them certainly do think that way)

10 Hilarious Ways Star Trek's Economy Makes No Sense - "One of the most inspiring aspects of Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek franchise is that in the 24th century, the galactic economy will no longer be rooted in democratic capitalism. It will exist on a meritocratic system, where instead of remuneration for services rendered, Federation citizens will go into fields for the betterment of their species. The invention of the replicator ensured no Federation citizen would go without their basic needs, thereby eliminating the need for currency to acquire material goods. That being the case, we still see Kirk talking about paying miners for lithium, and Doc McCoy trying to pay some sort of currency for a ship in Star Trek III. So how exactly does the Star Trek economy work? Star Trek: The Next Generation stated that Earth had long since done away with money, yet features Picard offering to "buy" dinner. Set phasers for skeptical, and read on for 10 ways that the Star Trek economy makes no sense."
No wonder left wingers like it so much

Curt Doolittle on X - "@Culture_Crit --"Q: What exactly is preventing you from moving to France?"--
Promoting the common illusion that the nice parts of Paris where the millionaires live, and the tourists spend their drachmas, is anything to do with the absolute slums that surround the isle de france like an encampment, and the absolutely depressing, poor, and unsafe disasters of the big cities (without even touching the smaller ones): Toulouse, Rennes, Lille, Lyon, Grenoble, Nice (OMG), Nantes, Marseille (Marseille has a crime rate five times higher than most other cities in France including a gun-related fatality approximately every four days (2.83 gun deaths per 100,000 residents). The city has around 30 homicides per year and 40% youth unemployment, which results in high levels of property and petty thefts.
(a) Islamization, political unrest, and an oblivious government.
(b) Riots, Strikes, Blockades, and "everything on fire" nights.
(c) multiple cities with no go zones
(d) relative hostility to entrepreneurship.
(e) unbearable business regulations.
(f) intolerable taxes.
(g) the offensive authoritarian arrogance of the bureaucracy.
If you're a commoner france is great. If you're competent and ambitious then there is no alternative to the anglosphere, with the american system simply unparalleled.  When the French government approached me about opening a location in france they acknowledged all their issues - they didn't even deny it - but they stated that they still needed to work on bringing business and particularly technology entrepreneurship to france. To which I responded - you cannot create a technology company that cannot turnover highly paid employees at will. The technolgoy marketplace requries continuous talent rotation that mirrors that "noise" of tech moving through the businesses and institutions in the economy.
I'm met with Glazed eyes. :)
So yeah."

Meme - Elizabeth Warren @SenWarren: "This week I reintroduced my Ultra-Millionaire Tax. It's time for millionaires and billionaires to start paying their fair share."
Readers added context they thought people might want to know: "In 2020 the top 1% paid 42% of all income tax."
When the left say the "rich" need to pay their "fair share", they mean they need to pay so much they're no longer rich

Meme - Paul Graham: "Elizabeth Warren says her wealth tax will "rebuild America's middle class." Amusingly enough, that's true! The reason the middle class has been shrinking is not because more people are becoming poor, but because more are becoming rich. Her tax will reverse that trend.
Percent Shares of US Households by Total Money Income in Constant 2019 Dollars, 1967 to 2019"

Assessing Claims That U.S. Billionaires Get a Free Ride on Taxes
Occupy Democrats got upset at being fact checked, and failed to refute the facts. Ironic

Meme - Alec Stapp @AlecStapp: "Austin built a shit ton of new housing and now rent is falling 7% year-over-year"
"This is so crazy. I wonder what caused landlords here to become so much less greedy?"

Meme - "Stop Using Anti-Landlord Language
Instead of: Say:
Landlord - Person of Land
Security Deposit - Moving Out Tip
Eviction - Relocation
"It was like that when we moved in." "I'm sorry for not improving the property."
"This rent increase is excessive!" "Thank you for not evicting me :)"

Meme - "How to use PoL friendly Language
People of Land (Landlords) have experienced much oppression in recent years. Landphobic language is at an all time high. In an effort to combat such language, I will be providing PoL friendly alternatives. Kings, I will be using the landphobic slur without censor. Keep in mind, this is strictly for educational purposes. This is your trigger warning Kings. No one will blame you if you do not want to read further.
Landlord -> Person of Land, King, Housing Provider
Security Deposit -> Reparations, Gift, Moving out Tip
Eviction -> Contract Violation, Relocation, Public Shaming
Landphobic Slurs to NEVER use: Some Landphobic slurs are reprehensible : NEVER use these words, especially around PoL
Slumlord Guillotine Parasite Leech Mao "Real Job""

Meme - "Rich black kids are more likely to go to prison than poor white kids
Share of people born between 1957 and 1965 who eventually went to prison or jail, by how much wealth they had as of 1985, when they were between 20 and 28 years old"
Clearly, since this shows that poverty is not the reason for crime, as we keep being told, it must be racism

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