Economy

Would You Pay More if Amazon Hired Union Workers?


Whenever anything related to Amazon comes up, I feel like commenting on it after I tell you that:

1. I publish crappy short stories on Amazon as a wannabe author

2. I use Amazon extensively to entertain the family

3. I buy things cheap from Amazon on a regular basis

Having said that, would I pay more if Amazon hired union workers?

Absolutely. I would pay more. And so, adding 1,000 jobs to Baltimore's work force will improve the lives of a lot of people even if these jobs aren't union jobs (don't laugh because this is not Germany and nobody forms a union here and survives). You'd have to be a braying jackass to make it about yourself and bemoan 1,000 jobs in the economically depressed Southeastern part of Baltimore. Whatever they are going to pay those folks just isn't enough, but at least it is something.

If someone were to stumble across this crappy blog, they would know one thing--Amazon's stuff is dirt cheap because they don't pay their people enough. If they charged just a little more for their stuff, I would still buy things from Amazon.

Really, this isn't hard to understand.

The Russian Ruble is Collapsing


Couldn't have happened to a nicer kleptocracy:
The ruble tumbled the most since 1998, sliding past 60 for the first time, as traders tested Russia’s willingness to defend the currency amid an oil slump that’s pushing the economy toward recession.
The ruble weakened 9.1 percent to 64.0005 per dollar at 7:57 p.m. in Moscow, the steepest slide on a closing basis since the year Russia defaulted on local-currency debt. The 10-year government bond yield rose 23 basis points to 13.23 percent. Three-month implied volatility for the ruble climbed to a six-year high as the rout triggered the Bank of Russia to sell foreign exchange, according to BCS Financial Group and MDM Bank.
Traders are pressing the central bank to buy more rubles to limit a selloff that has wiped out 22 percent of the currency’s value this month. Oil’s slide toward $60 a barrel in London and sanctions over the conflict in Ukraine are undermining confidence in Russian assets as evidence mounts that the economy is entering a recession. Industrial output fell the most in more than a year in November, data showed today.

Everyone who bet on oil being expensive is losing money right now. And I think that this is largely driven by the fact that alternative forms of energy are making inroads and so there's a glut of oil on the world market. I don't want to be around (but I will be) when the major producers scale back--the price will shoot up, no doubt.

Is it time to get that electric car and invest in solar panels? It's always time to get the electric car and put solar panels everywhere.

The decision made by the Western nations (The U.S. and Europe) to put a shiv into the side of Russia's economy is paying off. The price for all of this has to be for Russia to give up two things: Eastern and Southern Ukraine and Edward Snowden.