Friday, March 04, 2011

Random Thoughts

Lets face it, this is not a poker blog anymore. I am just going to throw out random thoughts on the world going forward. So here we go.

Charlie Sheen

I think he has a real case against CBS for canceling his show this year. The guy plays an rich, arrogant, alcoholic, loser who bangs prostitutes weekly on the show, and they canceled his show for him being a rich, arrogant, alcoholic, loser who bangs prostitutes weekly in real life. That's called preparation, and all good actors do it religiously. Had the guy not shown up for work, or was missing his lines they have reasons, but he was only "studying" his character. Well he was also smoking boulders or whatever, but they could easily work that into the script and it would be well with-in character.

3D Movies

3D movies suck, and I will never see another one. There I said it. Its bad enough that they bend you over for an extra 5 bucks or whatever, but 3D actually makes the movie experience much worse. The picture quality is drastically reduced when viewed through 3D glasses, and wearing those uncomfortable glasses really keeps you from immersing yourself in the film. I always feel like I am watching a movie and not really part of it with the stupid glasses on. 3D movies are also not more realistic than 2D, because the 3D effects are over exaggerated. We may live in a 3D world, but anything that you are looking at that is more than 10 feet away is going to appear 2D. Since the action is typically from a perspective of more than 10 feet away, 3D is really not required, unless you are going to jab something at the viewers eyes, and that does not happen typically, and is hard to work into the story line. I have a 60 inch LCD TV at home and movies already look better on it than films look in a movie theater. If you make a movie 3D, I will wait to watch it at home from now on.

Public Unions

I don't really like the idea of Unions in general, but I am cool with allowing them in some cases. Where they should never be allowed is in the case of a double monopoly. A double monopoly would be were the product or service provided is from a monopoly, and the labor provided is also monopolized (Unionized). When there is no competition for the product or service, there is nothing to keep union salaries and wages in check with reality. If unionized workers want to make more money and better benefits they need to provide a compensating level of extra productivity. Let's look at a couple of examples. Lets say that in the Auto industry Ford, and GM were unionized, and Toyota, Honda, and Nissan were not. The Auto industry is not a monopoly so unions are fine there. If the unionized workers demand or receive salary and or benefits in excess of the productivity they bring to the plate, they make their company uncompetitive. As the company fails, they will lose union jobs unless they are willing to take pay /benefit cuts. The competitive industry keeps the union demands in check.

Now lets take the teachers union. K-12 education would meet the definition of a monopoly even though there are some private schools, because public schools dominate the scene in every way. You can send your kids to public school for free or pay big bucks for private school, so real competition is very limited. To really see if pay and benefits were fair for unionized teachers, you would have to remove the barriers to competition first. A great way to do this would be to offer vouchers to everyone for the amount of money that a state funds schools per student, per year. You could then use that voucher to attend a public school for free, or use the voucher to pay a private school instead. The state is not outlaying any more money for education, they are just allowing a choice between private and public schools. If the private school was more expensive than public, you would pay the difference. If it was less expensive you would keep the change. As people choose to go to private over public schools, you would close down public schools, and lower the amount of unionized teachers in them. If unionized teachers worked in private schools that's fine to. Allowing parents to choose, keeps union rules, wages, and benefits in check, because they can kill thier employer by making them uncompetitive. So my solution to public unions is to outlaw them for double monopolies, or make the public service competitive so you can keep them.

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