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Money | Anorak - Part 20

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Money in the news and how you are going to pay and pay and pay

Surprise! Men In Pubs Target The Drunk Women! And Shirley Temple Smoked!

DEAR God this is one hell of a surprise, isn’t it?

The more drunk a woman looks in a bar, the more likely she is to be targeted by predatory men, a study has claimed.

Nine out of ten aggressive incidents in bars involved men approaching women because they look ‘easy’.

The research, published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, investigated sexual aggression in bars.

Well knock me over with a feather and all that.

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Posted: 4th, March 2014 | In: Money, Reviews | Comment


Rachel Johnson Discovers The Poor On A London Poverty Safari: London Mayor’s Sister Finds UK’s Lost Tribe

THE Times reports on Rachel Johnson, sister to London mayor Boris Johnson. She’s been on a Poverty Safari. Yes, those darling poor London wildings have been viewed:

 

Screen shot 2014-03-04 at 17.14.25

 

Spotter: @Fatima__Ayad

Posted: 4th, March 2014 | In: Celebrities, Money | Comment


It’s Smoking Bans That Cost Money, Not Smoking Breaks

smoking is good for you

 

WE’VE the usual suspects out today trying to tell us that smoking is very very bad indeed and all who do so must be held to account. The particular method today is to show how much production is lost by people going off on smoking breaks:

Cigarette breaks at work cost British businesses £8.4bn a year in lost productivity of smokers who disappear for a cigarette for 10 minutes four times a day, new research reveals.

Smoking breaks cost employers £1,815 a year for each full-time member of staff who lights up during working hours, according to a study for the British Heart Foundation (BHF) carried out by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).

This is of course piffle.

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Posted: 4th, March 2014 | In: Money | Comment


Whining About Google’s Racist Doodles, A Seriously First World Problem

google

THERE are indeed things wrong with this world and it behoves us all to pay attention and try to make the world a better place by solving such problems. However, whining about what Google puts in its front page as a doodle may not actually be one of these things.

Activists have accused Google of being racist and sexist in their choice of figures to create the firm’s much loved Google Doodles for.

Spark, which describes itself as a ‘girl-fueled activist movement’, said its analysis found the majority of Google’s doodles were of white males.

It said the accolade was the modern equivalent of being put on a stamp, and said ‘it’s uncommon for Google to celebrate historical women of color.’

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Posted: 28th, February 2014 | In: Money, Technology | Comment


Do Benefits Benefit The Workers Or The Employers Paying Scummy Wages?

THERE’S an argument around and about the place that paying benefits to poor people just ends up as a subsidy to the people who pay them scummy wages. The argument being that as the taxpayer is picking up part of the bill of keeping body and soul together then the employer can get away with paying peanuts.

To which my usual response has always been, well, great, let’s abolish all benefits then and see whether wages rise.

However, I’ve rather changed my mind as a result of this point:

As long as non-workers remain eligible for poverty programs, the answer is no. This is basic supply-and-demand. When the government offers free stuff to people with low incomes, the marginal benefit of work falls – and so does labor supply. When labor supply falls, hours of work go down, and wages rise. This could be very nice from the point of view of Walmart’s workers. From the point of view of Walmart’s stockholders however, it’s bad.

Not convinced? Ask yourself: “If I ran Walmart, would I favor higher unemployment benefits?” Of course not. Why not? Because higher unemployment benefits make it easier to not apply for a job at Walmart. The same goes for any government program that makes idleness less unpalatable.

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Posted: 27th, February 2014 | In: Money | Comment


Those Tax Dodging Scumbags At Zara!

WE’RE well used to hearing stories about how the tech companies, Apple, Google and the like, are dodging taxes all over Europe. But people are starting to realise that it’s not just that sector. Many other multinationals are indulging in very much the same behaviour:

Another reason for Inditex’s industry-best profit margins of almost 15 percent: the company uses the kind of tax loopholes coming under increasing scrutiny from international regulators.

In the past five years, Inditex has shifted almost $2 billion in profits to a tiny unit operating in the Netherlands and Switzerland, records show. Although that subsidiary employs only about 0.1 percent of Inditex’s worldwide workforce, it reported almost 20 percent of the parent company’s global profits last year, according to company filings.

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Posted: 26th, February 2014 | In: Money, Reviews, The Consumer | Comment


Econophysics: When Physicists Do Economics They Do It Late And Badly

THERE’S a whole new field out there called “econophysics”. It comes from the brainboxes in physics noting that they deal with chaotic systems a lot and so does economics: therefore we can apply what we know in one field in the other.

It does rather fail in one sense, for absolutely none of the physicists would agree that an economist knows damn all about quantum theory but they’re absolutely certain that a physics guy can know all about minimum wages. Odd that.

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Posted: 25th, February 2014 | In: Money | Comment


Christian Aid’s Hugely Amusing Ideas About Tax In Africa

CHRISTIAN Aid has a new report out about how tax should work in Africa. And it’s a hugely amusing report. Amusing for devotees of blinkered ideologues ignoring reality that is.

The page is here and the actual report here.

Here’s the basic problem. In this part they are correct:

After a decade of high growth, a new narrative of optimism has taken hold about Africa and its economic prospects. Alongside buoyant growth rates, there has been some poverty reduction and some positive progress in sectors such as health and education.

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Posted: 25th, February 2014 | In: Money, Reviews | Comment (1)


Special Offer: 100 Plastic Pennies For $3.49

THE economy can be saved. Keep your bitcoins – invest in plastic pennies:

pennies

Spotter: Bits and Pieces

Posted: 25th, February 2014 | In: Money, Photojournalism, The Consumer | Comment (1)


Good News: The Dying Record Industry Continues To Fleece Music Lovers And Acts For Mega Bucks

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IDIOTS keep saying the music industry is dying. Of course it isn’t. Have you seen how much money they spent on The Brits? If they’re skint, award shows would be held in a pub function room with darts trophies handed to the three remaining artists who have been daft enough to sign to a record company.

No, the record industry is doing just fine.

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Posted: 23rd, February 2014 | In: Money, Music, Reviews | Comment


Now You Can Lick Steve Jobs’ Arse!

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THIS is, of course, the moment that all Apple fanboys have been waiting for, the opportunity to get up close and personal with their now departed icon. The ability, even, to give his arse a good licking:

While Steve Jobs probably didn’t send much snail mail in his later years, the US Postal Service intends to honor the late tech icon by putting his visage on a commemorative stamp.

Stamp subjects are normally kept secret until just before printing, but the Washington Post obtained a document outing approved stamps for the next few years. The Apple co-founder’s stamp is already in design development for 2015, alongside stamps for music legends Elvis Presley and James Brown.

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Posted: 21st, February 2014 | In: Money, Technology | Comment


Paying $19 Billion For WhatsApp Will Kill Facebook

THIS will sound a little contrary, but bear with me: the purchase of WhatsApp by Facebook for $19 billion contains the seeds of what’s going to kill Facebook in the end. For it’s a sign that it’s both relatively easy to start a new messaging application and also that Facebook is going to have to keep buying up the new ones as they appear. And that way lies eventual bankruptcy.

The deal in essence is as follows:

The two men have known each other for years, but only began discussing the deal 12 days ago. They settled it for $19bn, including $4bn in cash, $12bn in Facebook shares and $3bn in restricted stock awards for WhatsApp’s founders and employees.

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Posted: 20th, February 2014 | In: Money, Technology | Comment


Sorry Folks, Raising The Minimum Wage Does Increase Unemployment

OK, so this evidence is from the US but it is pretty conclusive:

minimum wage

 

The Congressional Budget Office has cranked through the numbers for the proposed rise in the US minimum wage and it appears that it will put 500,000 people out of work.

Once fully implemented in the second half of 2016, the $10.10 option would reduce total employment by about 500,000 workers, or 0.3 percent, CBO projects. As with any such estimates, however, the actual losses could be smaller or larger; in CBO’s assessment, there is about a two-thirds chance that the effect would be in the range between a very slight reduction in employment and a reduction in employment of 1.0 million workers.

….
The increased earnings for low-wage workers resulting from the higher minimum wage would total $31 billion, by CBO’s estimate. However, those earnings would not go only to low-income families, because many low-wage workers are not members of low-income families. Just 19 percent of the $31 billion would accrue to families with earnings below the poverty threshold, whereas 29 percent would accrue to families earning more than three times the poverty threshold, CBO estimates. Moreover, the increased earnings for some workers would be accompanied by reductions in real (inflation-adjusted) income for the people who became jobless because of the minimum-wage increase, for business owners, and for consumers facing higher prices.

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Posted: 19th, February 2014 | In: Money | Comment


How To Marry A Rich Guy

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WHAT can you do to marry a rich guy. So asked Ms Pretty on a forum:

I’m going to be honest of what I’m going to say here. I’m 25 this year. I’m very pretty, have style and good taste. I wish to marry a guy with $500k annual salary or above. You might say that I’m greedy, but an annual salary of $1M is considered only as middle class in New York. My requirement is not high. Is there anyone in this forum who has an income of $500k annual salary? Are you all married? I wanted to ask: what should I do to marry a rich person like you? Among those I’ve dated, the richest is $250k annual income, and it seems that this is my upper limit. If someone is going to move into high cost residential area on the west of New York City Garden(?), $250k annual income is not enough. I’m here humbly to ask a few questions: 1) Where do most rich bachelors hang out? (Please list down the names and addresses of bars, restaurant, gym) 2) Which age group should I target? 3) Why most wives of the riches are only average-looking? I’ve met a few girls who don’t have looks and are not interesting, but they are able to marry rich guys. 4) How do you decide who can be your wife, and who can only be your girlfriend? (my target now is to get married)
Ms. Pretty

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Posted: 19th, February 2014 | In: Money | Comments (2)


Fitbit’s Wristbands Cause Nickel Dermatitis: Just Like The Euro

THIS amused me: the new wristbands containing all sorts of lovely electronic gizmos to aid in monitoring your health actually make you ill. Fitbit, the company that makes them, apparently forgot about how you’ve got to be careful of the nickel content of something that you’re going to put onto a human being who then starts sweating:

Fitbit, a maker of wristbands that track physical fitness, says it is “helping people lead healthier, more active lives.” But complaints continue to mount from users who say Fitbit’s newest product, the Force band, is causing blisters, rashes and itchy dry patches on their wrists.

User forums on Fitbit.com, the website of the San Francisco company that also makes other wearable devices, include hundreds of comments about skin problems from wearers of the $129 Force.

One woman said she developed a burn-like red patch on her wrist that required medical treatment after wearing the wristband for seven weeks. She said Fitbit offered her a financial settlement, which she declined.

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Posted: 17th, February 2014 | In: Money, The Consumer | Comment


The School Holiday Travel Trap: What Is It That People Don’t Understand About Markets?

THIS is one of those stories where you just have to put your head in your hands at the gross stupidity of our fellow citizens:

When he vented his frustration about holiday prices shooting up during the school half-term break, Paul Cookson struck a chord with other parents.

His rant to 250 Facebook friends quickly went viral as outraged parents shared his post about rip-off prices 143,000 times.

Now the issue may even be debated in Parliament after more than 100,000 signed an online petition calling for the Government to curb prices.

Yep, 100,000 people are entirely mystified about why the price of something might rise when more people want it. Completely blind to the way that prices, supply and demand interact. You wonder how they manage to exist in a market economy really.

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Posted: 15th, February 2014 | In: Money, The Consumer | Comment


Forgotify, The Website That Plans To Kill Itself

Forgive me but I think this is rather amusing, a website called Forgotify. The business structure of whic is that the more successful it becomes then the faster it will close itself down.

Err, yes,  that’s right. The more people use the site then the faster it will go out of business.

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Posted: 31st, January 2014 | In: Money, Technology | Comment


You Don’t Own Your Amazon And iTunes Stuff

You might think that you own the stuff you’ve bought from Amazon and iTunes. After all, you’ve coughed up the cash for it, all that music, those electronics books, they’re all on your devices. But sad to say you don’t in fact own it: you’re only renting it.

More than £30 billion of films, music and books bought through iTunes and Amazon could vanish when their owners die.

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Posted: 31st, January 2014 | In: Money | Comment (1)


Women’s Lib Caused Rising Inequality!

Pickets from a group calling itself "Women's Liberation Party" march in front of the Convention Hall in Atlantic City, N.J. in protest of the annual staging of the Miss America Pageant, Sept. 7, 1968. (AP PHOTO)

Pickets from a group calling itself “Women’s Liberation Party” march in front of the Convention Hall in Atlantic City, N.J. in protest of the annual staging of the Miss America Pageant, Sept. 7, 1968. (AP PHOTO)

 

YOU may think this is absurd but nevertheless it’s is actually true. From somewhere around a lot to all of rising household inequality has been caused by womens’ lib. Which is, of course, an exciting finding:

The economists test this by comparing the Gini coefficient against their model of what the Gini coefficient would have been if men and women married randomly. In 1960, the actual Gini coefficient in the U.S. was 0.34, almost indistinguishable from the Gini coefficient produced by their random model (0.33). That suggests there was very little assortative mating back then. (Think of all the executives who ended up with their secretaries.)

By 2005, the Gini coefficient was 0.43. That’s a big increase. What’s more, the economists found that “if people matched in 2005 according to the 1960 standardized mating pattern there would be a significant reduction in income inequality; i.e., the Gini drops from 0.43 to 0.35.”

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Posted: 29th, January 2014 | In: Money, Reviews | Comment


Why Raising The Minimum Wage Isn’t A Great Way To Help The Poor

In accordance with ancient custom after the Good Friday service at St. Bartholomew The Great Smithfield, 21 poor widows of the Parish were invited to pick up sixpences from an old flat tombstone. They also afterwards received a hot cross bun each from an alms dish. Some of the 21 poor widows picking up the sixpences from the flat tombstone outside St. Bartholomew The Great in London, on April 7, 1939. (AP Photo) Date: 07/04/1939

In accordance with ancient custom after the Good Friday service at St. Bartholomew The Great Smithfield, 21 poor widows of the Parish were invited to pick up sixpences from an old flat tombstone. They also afterwards received a hot cross bun each from an alms dish. Some of the 21 poor widows picking up the sixpences from the flat tombstone outside St. Bartholomew The Great in London, on April 7, 1939. (AP Photo)
Date: 07/04/1939

 

 

WE’RE being told, endlessly, that we must raise the minimum wage in order to increase the incomes of the working poor. It’s an outrage that people cannot support themselves in the style we think they all ought to be simply by the sweat of their brow. Thus the minimum wage must be raised to a truly living wage to make the world a better place.

However, here’s why that’s not actually all that great an idea:

Across the bulk of the income distribution, a 10% rise in the NMW leads to an increase in net family income amongst NMW families of around 3%; this is around 4% for families where the NMW is the main source of earnings, and around 2% for families where the NMW is the secondary source of earnings.

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Posted: 29th, January 2014 | In: Money, Politicians, Reviews | Comment (1)


Prince Sues 22 People For $22 Million

Rock singer Prince performs at the Orange Bowl during his Purple Rain tour in Miami, Fla., April 7, 1985.

Rock singer Prince performs at the Orange Bowl during his Purple Rain tour in Miami, Fla., April 7, 1985.

POOR, hard-up Prince has shocked his fans after The Purple One launched some legal action against 22 people for posting copies of live performances online.

Court documents say that the accused have distributed bootleg recordings using social networks and blogs.

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Posted: 28th, January 2014 | In: Celebrities, Money | Comment


80% Of All New Jobs Are In London

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THERE are various ways you can look at this but it does seem to be true that four out of five, or 80%, of all new private sector jobs are in London:

Talented young people are leaving provincial cities in their 20s, making a success of their lives in London and never go back. London is where the work is: the capital was responsible for four out of every five jobs created in the private sector between 2010 and 2012.

The brain drain meant that every major city outside the south-east is losing young people to London. One in three 22-30 year olds leaving their hometowns end up with Oyster cards and Boris as their mayor.

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Posted: 28th, January 2014 | In: Money | Comment


Why Britain’s The Winner In This Online International Trade Stuff

A special constable stands guard at a rubber factory which exports rubber in latex from, in British Malay, Nov. 15, 1948. (AP Photo)

A special constable stands guard at a rubber factory which exports rubber in latex from, in British Malay, Nov. 15, 1948. (AP Photo)

 

SO we’re told by a report about international online trade: the UK has the world’s largest trade surplus in it. Woo Hoo!

Makes up for the fact, well, just a little bit, that we’ve been running trade deficits for as long as most of us have been alive. Here’s the good news:

The value of online exports in six of the top e-commerce markets will grow fivefold to $130 billion by 2020, with Britain currently generating the biggest online trade surplus by selling more goods abroad, research showed on Monday.

It’s just that, well, I didn’t believe this. So I went off and got a copy of the report and asked the people who had written it quite how they had come to this conclusion.

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Posted: 27th, January 2014 | In: Money, Reviews | Comment


McDonald’s Gets Dinged By The French Taxman

IT’S something of a pity that the various taxmen across Europe don’t actually understand the tax laws that they’re supposed to be administering. We had the case a couple of weeks back of Italy trying to impost the “Google Tax” in clear violation of EU law and here we’ve the French taxman going after McDonalds. Again, seemingly ignorant of the fact that they’re just not allowed to do this under EU law.

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Posted: 27th, January 2014 | In: Money, Reviews | Comment


Thomas Perkins Is A Leading JEW: A Victim Of Jealously Earned Wealth

Finest Crystal Nacht (aka The Dinner Party)

Finest Crystal Nacht (aka The Dinner Party) 

THOMAS Perkins is being persecuted. His bloodline is a story of horror and systematic abuse. You see, Mr Perkins is rich. He is one of the one percent. Hell, he’s worth $8bn. He’s one of the one percent’s one percent. And he’s feeling persecuted. He’s living in a gated community, or ghetto, from which he can only leave at the gatekeeper’s approval. His house is full of uniformed spies, the eyes and ears disguised as maids, drivers, toothpaste squeezers and gardeners. Mr Perkins is a JEW. No. He’s not an actual Jew. He has Jealously Earned Wealth.

In a letter to the Wall Street Journal, Perkins speaks of “parallels” between the treatment of lower-case Jews in Nazi Germany and the “progressive war on the American one percent”. He notes:

 “Writing from the epicenter of progressive thought, San Francisco, I would call attention to the parallels of fascist Nazi Germany to its war on its ‘one percent’, namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American one percent, namely the ‘rich’.

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Posted: 26th, January 2014 | In: Money, Reviews | Comments (2)