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From the Washington Post, which is personally owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos:

Trump personally pushed postmaster general to double rates on Amazon, other firms

By Damian Paletta and Josh Dawsey May 18 Email the author

Progressives were outraged that the sacred American principle of giving a lavish government subsidy to the World’s Richest Man was being questioned:

How dare the President of the United States notice that the World’s Richest Man (net worth $131.2 billion, up $64 billion since 2016) isn’t paying his fair share of postage!

But from deep in Jeff Bezos’s Washington Post coverage of the crisis:

David Vernon, an analyst at Bernstein Research, estimates that Amazon pays the Postal Service roughly $2 per package for each delivery, about half of what Amazon would pay United Parcel Service or FedEx. He based this estimate on broader data released by the Postal Service.

What outrage will be next: Perhaps Trump might even mention Carlos Slim rips off Mexican phone customers?

Where is the respect, the deference owed to the world’s richest monopolists?

Remember all those years when Bezo’s firm didn’t have to pay state sales tax because reasons? That’s the kind of submissiveness to the rich that is the essence of liberal democracy.

 
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  1. Anon[381] • Disclaimer says:

    I wonder if they’d be similarly outraged if Home Depot and Peter Thiel were the targets.

    “Amazon Inc. Paid Zero in Federal Taxes in 2017, Gets $789 Million Windfall from New Tax Law”

    https://itep.org/amazon-inc-paid-zero-in-federal-taxes-in-2017-gets-789-million-windfall-from-new-tax-law/

    Trump has to pay for his tax cut somehow. Why not make Bezos and company do it? In any case, what are these regressives complaining about? Trump gave Amazon money with his tax cut, then takes some of it back. On the whole, Amazon’s losses will probably not exceed their gains from the tax cut.

    • Replies: @Pat Boyle
    , @Lagertha
  2. Not Raul says:

    The US Postal Service charges too little for packages and junk mail.

    • Agree: unit472
  3. Thomm says:

    Two points :

    a) If the USPS keeps whining about losses, they need to up their prices.
    b) If postage costs on packages increased, then Amazon would just raise the free shipping minimum from $25 to something higher (it used to be $50 anyway).

    • Replies: @donut
  4. Bezo’s

    Is this a typo, or a sly reference to this man:

  5. …Amazon pays the Postal Service roughly $2 per package for each delivery, about half of what Amazon would pay United Parcel Service or FedEx.

    The Post Office collected $70,000 from some guy to ship a lot of heavy equipment within Alaska. It cost them $120,000. Not the best business model, but perfectly legal.

    Now, I take extra flavored creamers at the convenience store, too, but not at this scale.

    • Replies: @Barnard
  6. Anon[856] • Disclaimer says:

    Lol, constitutional crisis. Which amendment sets AMZN’s postage discount? It’s somewhere in the back I think

    • Replies: @TheBoom
  7. OT-

    Michael Eric Dyson goes “in” on Jordan Peterson in a Munk Debate. I enjoy listening to Michael Eric Dyson speak, but he seems really worked up over Jordan Peterson. The Left apparently believes that Jordan Peterson is the second coming of George Lincoln Rockwell. It’s all very strange.

  8. Cato says:

    Solar and electric-car subsidies benefit Elon Musk. Still, he is an admirable man, as is Bezos. Both are true game-changers who are creating the world our children will live in.

  9. For whatever it may be worth, Amazon was still two years away from existing in the distant prehistoric days when Quill v. North Dakota was handed down:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quill_Corp._v._North_Dakota

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Jonathan Mason
  10. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:

    The junk mail industry has been subsidized for a century and no one with any power has ever complained.

    Of course, the junkmailers claim that it is the other way around, but it isn’t.

  11. Anonymous[270] • Disclaimer says:
    @James Kabala

    It will be interesting to see how SCOTUS will rule in the rematch of Quill v. North Dakota, a.k.a. South Dakota v. Wayfair, now that Internet commerce is killing the malls.

    Any predictions?

    • Replies: @James Kabala
  12. newrouter says:

    “David Vernon, an analyst at Bernstein Research, estimates that Amazon pays the Postal Service roughly $2 per package for each delivery, about half of what Amazon would pay United Parcel Service or FedEx.”

    Just another bad trade deal made by the US Gov’t that Trump noticed. This one is getting fixed though:

    “At the direction of President Donald J. Trump and President Xi Jinping, on May 17 and 18, 2018, the United States and China engaged in constructive consultations regarding trade in Washington, D.C. The United States delegation included Secretary of the Treasury Steven T. Mnuchin, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur L. Ross, and United States Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer. The Chinese delegation was led by State Council Vice Premier Liu He, Special Envoy of President Xi.

    There was a consensus on taking effective measures to substantially reduce the United States trade deficit in goods with China. To meet the growing consumption needs of the Chinese people and the need for high-quality economic development, China will significantly increase purchases of United States goods and services. This will help support growth and employment in the United States.

    Both sides agreed on meaningful increases in United States agriculture and energy exports. The United States will send a team to China to work out the details.”

    https://publicpool.kinja.com/subject-joint-statement-of-the-united-states-and-china-1826167632

    • Replies: @ThreeCranes
  13. Anonymous[570] • Disclaimer says:

    Steve, another gamma just shot down ten kids. You need to be writing about that. All our kids could be next. We can’t leave our kids at the mercy of brittle gammas. Write about gammas acting checheny, please, and give us your suggestions on how to minimize this in future.

    • Troll: Almost Missouri
  14. If Bezos owned Fox – even better, Fox ‘n’ Friends – almost everything would be reversed. Those now saying Trump is just going after a subsidy would defend it with what little they have. There’d be talk of trickle down, how many Amazon employs, how great Bezos is, etc. etc. Perhaps a pic of Bezos and Ted Nugent at target practice.

    The patriotic choice is to oppose both corporate grifting (unless, all things considered, it helps the USA) and a dim, deranged, 71-year-old man-child who’d be like any other tinpot dictator given the chance.

    Oppose WaPo? Great, so too do I at least on their immigration coverage. I’ve gotten almost zero help from those predisposed to support Trump with my many posts and campaigns that show them wrong. They only know how to enable someone who lacks the smarts and patriotism to show them wrong*.

    *Weigel is a rare exception. Several years ago he smeared me on his site and refused to post my reply. That could have been used to undercut him to other supposed journalists, but I’ve never gotten any help with it. Why? See above.

    • LOL: 27 year old
  15. Meanwhile, David French appeals to the highest authority, Malcolm Gladwell, to explain the recent rash of school shootings:

    https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/why-do-mass-shootings-happen-best-explanation/amp/?utm_source=gab.ai

    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
  16. Kaz says:

    Is the USPS run by morons?

    UPS makes sure the rates they are charging Amazon are to a point where they can still profit.

    Is USPS not doing this? Or are they charging the right amount to Amazon for their slower delivery rates and higher incidence of employee theft?

    • Replies: @36 ulster
  17. GU says:

    There’s a big difference for between *paying* sales tax and *collecting* sales tax. To be sure, the latter is burdensome, but it’s not the same thing.

    Incidentally, Amazon decided to agree to collect sales tax in all states that have one because they figured it would give them an edge over smaller sellers. Basically, Amazon is better able to bear the large costs of sales tax compliance than its competitors. And now Amazon expects all sellers to be forced to collect the tax.

    • Replies: @Aardvark
    , @Laugh Track
  18. @James Kabala

    Amazon certainly used Quill as a justification to avoid paying state sales taxes, and Quill increasingly seems like a very unfair ruling in the days of large scale Internet commerce, because some states depend a lot more on sales tax than others that have state income taxes, so it is lucrative for mail order or Internet businesses to set up a nominal HQ in some desert state where nobody lives and ship stuff to the other 49 states.

    However Amazon has used similar kinds of legal skulduggery, for example paying VAT at the Luxembourg rate for all its sales in Britain, even though the goods are shipped from warehouses in Britain to addresses in Britain.

    Similarly Starbucks siphoning off profits to Switzerland by buying overpriced coffee from a Swiss subsidiary.

    Really there is no limit to the extent to which big business is run by antisocial criminals, but legislatures have only themselves to blame, plus, of course, lucrative bribes.

    Be that as it may, I would think that the Post Office ought to be free to negotiate discount rates with large customers without presidential interference.

    It is about time that someone noticed that Trump is as bonkers as George III and that a Regent needs to be appointed for the rest of his term in office, before he does something stupid. Well, too late for that, but all the same…

    • Replies: @newrouter
    , @SFG
    , @MetaCynic
  19. newrouter says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    “Be that as it may, I would think that the Post Office ought to be free to negotiate discount rates with large customers without presidential interference.”

    Do you know what the three branches of the Federal Gov’t are? And who controls what under their jurisdiction?

  20. One big advantage the USPS has over FedEx, UPS, and the rest (DHL …) had to do with the letters. There’s that sacred mailbox on people’s porches or out at the road in which it is against FEDERAL LAW, OMG to put anything but US Mail … no lawn service flyers, no “welcome to the neighborhood” notes, no nothing. Especially, it is not allowable for UPS and FedEx to put letters in there.

    That is a big disadvantage for the other guys. Back to packages, a big drop box that could accept and securely hold packages up to a certain size, put next to the household’s trashcans, would be a big break for all involved the package delivery business.

    That all said, the Postal Service is one of the 0.01 % of the current functions of the US Feral Government that IS specified in the Constitution. They really do a good job IMO, at least where I live, all joking aside for a while (because they do set themselves up for some doozies!) 50 cents or so to send 1 ounce of material to anywhere in the country within (usually) 3 days? That’s a steal.

    • Agree: ic1000, Rosie
    • Replies: @Lot
    , @james wilson
  21. Barnard says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Right. The Post Office has been horribly mismanged for decades. This deal with Amazon is just one example of many.

  22. Anon[397] • Disclaimer says:

    And the USPS also delivers Amazon stuff to Alaska and Hawaii for really cheap, don’t they? If you want to live in the middle of nowhere fine, but why do I pay for your delivery?

    • Replies: @snorlax
  23. I wonder about that $2 a package estimate. Amazon uses other carriers, including UPS and FedEx, to get packages to the postal distribution center closest to the delivery address. The USPS just does that ‘last mile’ section of the delivery. Even with the cheaper price, since the USPS isn’t carrying the packages very far, it might still be making a profit for the USPS to do so.

    Another thing to remember is that the USPS has carriers going by/to a very large percentage of all the delivery addresses in the US every single day anyway. It’s almost a fixed cost for them, so the marginal profit might be very high per package. This is different than UPS and FedEx, where they only go where the deliveries are that day.

    I just wonder if the comparisons between USPS charges and UPS/FedEx charges are so complex and so different in circumstance, that it’s giving any side the opportunity to twist the statistics to seemingly support whichever outcome they prefer.

  24. snorlax says:
    @Anon

    why do I pay for [AK and HI] delivery?

    Four Senators.

  25. Lot says:
    @Anonymous

    His stated policy is that mass shooters want attention and attract copycats, so ignoring them is the best policy.

    Lion of the Blogosphere has a generally similar perspective to Steve’s, but always covers mass shootings, so there you go.

    There’s also something low-brow and Truman Capoteish about concerning ourselves with mass shooters. It is a big world out there, these things are going to happen regularly. There’s no evidence for any special way to stop them other than things we should be doing anyway, like stopping mass Muslim migration.

  26. Lot says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    “Back to packages, a big drop box that could accept and securely hold packages up to a certain size”

    Or just move out of the ghetto.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  27. Anonymous[154] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    Dominance hierarchies are not set in stone. By his act of mass murder, that boy is now an alpha and will receive the love letters from females to prove it. He is a gamma no more.

    Your assumption of dominance status as permanent and unchanging is one of the contributing causes to these shootings. Those near the bottom of the ultra-fixed hierarchies in modern school-prisons have nothing to lose and everything to gain by flipping the table and scattering the pieces on the game board. They are offered absolutely no other way to redress the wrongs done to them, especially when adult school employees are amongst their tormentors.

    Much violence, physical and emotional, was done to this young man before he chose to react with his own violence. The threat of retributive violence against those of higher status is a natural corrective for excessive abuse of lower members of a social pyramid. Actions have consequences.

  28. @Achmed E. Newman

    “50 cents or so to send 1 ounce of material to anywhere in the country within (usually) 3 days? That’s a steal.” It’s also stealing to send one ounce of materiel across town for 50 cents, and extremely annoying that I cannot refuse the junk mail cluttering my mailbox, Daddy. The fact that it is increasingly rare for people to be sending units of one ounce materiel across the country or across town is why USPS is desperate to stuff my mailbox with junk.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  29. TheBoom says:
    @Anon

    -0.5 amendment. Democracy dies with high shipping costs for Black Friday sales

  30. AndrewR says:
    @Lot

    What astounds me is that mass shootings are so very rare. People who think mass shootings are common are utterly clueless about the world.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  31. 36 ulster says:
    @Kaz

    No, they’re not run by morons. It’s worse than that. The Post Office is run by bureaucrats. Feminized, Sovietized, though not yet weaponized–not on a massive scale, anyway. I delivered mail for 36 years and could have done so for five or ten more; so could many of my veteran co-workers, but we called it a career after years of finger-wagging, pointless data munching, apathy and mediocrity of some of our newbie co-workers, and the generally condescending attitude generated by the rear echelons toward those of us in the front ranks, in the pursuit of some perverse notion of equality. In short, CONTROL, not efficiency or effectiveness, motivates the USPS as it trundles and staggers onward.

    • Replies: @Jim Bob Lassiter
  32. George says:

    “didn’t have to pay state sales tax because reasons? ”

    States are not able to tax interstate commerce. It was legal prescident for Sears catalogue business too. For some reason they never thought to tax Sears because they had physical business in their state.

  33. whahae says:

    Privatize the post office. There, problem solved.

  34. Tyrion 2 says:
    @Clifford Brown

    Peterson draws large crowds of nice-looking, well-spoken young people. And they’re not even the type who do kooky things like wear special underwear because their church tells them to.

    That is enough to send the contemporary liberal left into hysterics. It is supposed to be their market segment.

    And worse, Peterson is a relational leader and not an activist type. His work swells from his audience to his page. That is extremely admirable and effective. It is the best part of Alinskyism.

  35. Mr. Anon says:
    @Cato

    Both are true game-changers who are creating the world our children will live in.

    Of course the same could have been said about Genghis Khan, Napoleon, Stalin, Hitler, or any other of history’s tyrants.

  36. MEH 0910 says:
    @Anonymous

    and give us your suggestions on how to minimize this in future.

    Steve already has that covered:

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/how-to-impress-girls-with-your-shoes/

  37. @Lot

    I’m not in the ghetto, Lot. However, plenty of people DO live in the ghetto or at least an area where there’s that non-negligible chance that the expensive item disappears – it may be worth absolutely nothing to the thief either – that’s the sad part about it (but I guess it’s like Christmas to him). There’s not always someone at home to get a package when that UPS guy runs up to the porch and then runs like hell back to his truck (he is being heavily tracked/measured).

  38. @james wilson

    It sounds like you are learning the value of free markets, Mr. Wilson. Yes, if the 50 cents is being subsidized by the junk mail, it should be raised. I was under the impression that it WAS calculated once in a while to match costs, but I could be wrong. I wouldn’t mind paying a buck, if that covered actual costs. I’m sure you’re right that the volume can’t be near what it used to be, bringing up:

    On the junk mail, hey, welcome to the party, pal! When I lived in a big city, with 10 mailboxes together, there was a 13 Gallon trash can right under them – it’d fill in a couple of weeks from the junk – very convenient – thanks to my landlord. At a different house, and I know I can’t get him in trouble now, but my postman had stopped putting in junk mail for about 3 years per my request. (I’m sure that would not not have been too cool with the Postmaster General, or even the full-bird Colonels and the postmaster Majors!). My wife then wanted certain store ads, so I asked that mailman to not worry about it anymore – I regret that at this point.

    Why do you call me Daddy? Is that some literary tic from back in the Jazz era?

    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
  39. @36 ulster

    Amen brother. Anytime I have to go to the post office, I drive an extra three miles out of town to a small 1 to 3 postal worker semi-rural office just to avoid the black undertow running the main city office. I shit you not (from neither low or high altitude) they have clerks that can’t multiply .49 x 10 in their head and a postmaster who looks like a cover model for a Stacey Adams catalogue.

    Image result for stacy adams pimp wear
    300 × 619 – pinterest.com

  40. vinteuil says:
    @Clifford Brown

    Gotta say this for Jordan Peterson – the dunces are all in league against him.

    Dyson is such a sanctimonious twit.

  41. vinteuil says:
    @24AheadDotCom

    I’ve gotten almost zero help from those predisposed to support Trump with my many posts and campaigns that show them wrong.

    Does the fact that you never get any respect around here ever suggest to you that maybe, just possibly, you should rethink your approach?

  42. @vinteuil

    “I’ve stopped kicking the people I pee on, but they still hate me”.

  43. Anonymous[570] • Disclaimer says:
    @Lot

    First, lion is not a very deep thinker so I don’t read him anymore. Second, I don’t buy the attention-seeking argument- I think it’s quite obviously a craving for revenge which makes these losers strike out.

    I agree it’s time for the media to stop covering these guys. Maybe they should run unflattering pieces about how gamma and cringeworthy they were, to dissuade further shootings. Don’t know.

    But I really don’t think it’s something to ignore. Heck we talked for days on this blog about things like the Boston marathon attacks and the time that gay black reporter killed someone. The death toll was far lower in both those incidents.

    The intellectual right is keeping its head in the sand about these gamma driven crimes, like the left does about Somali scams and Checheny jams.

  44. Anonymous[570] • Disclaimer says:
    @AndrewR

    Listen to yourself. You sound like a leftist who says we should not analyze Islamic crimes because the”odds of getting hurt by Islamic terror are ten times less than getting killed in a car crash!!!!”

    These are preventable crimes arising out of remediable social issues. Certainly far more worthy of consideration than transgender bathrooms, say.

    • Replies: @BenKenobi
    , @AndrewR
  45. @newrouter

    “Both sides agreed on meaningful increases in United States agriculture and energy exports. The United States will send a team to China to work out the details.”

    Figures. Some Japanese assistant Vice Minister let the cat out of the bag twenty years ago when he said something to the effect, “In the twenty first century Asia will manufacture goods for the world, Europe will design them and America will feed the world.”

    America, raw material exporter, colonial doormat for the world’s manufacturing Elite.

  46. post office should not be allowed to restrict other carriers from delivering to mailbox and po box.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  47. dearieme says:
    @Cato

    “Elon Musk … is an admirable man”: really? I’ve always assumed he’s just a flim-flam man.

    • Replies: @Cato
  48. Aardvark says:
    @GU

    I am not for sales tax as they amount to permission to buy fees.
    However, sales tax is complicated to collect on a national level because there are thousands of individual tax jurisdictions. If the State level is 6% but the county someone lives in is an additional 0.5% then it amounts to 6.5%. So if we capped the collection of tax to 6% at the state level, then the lesser jurisdictions miss out on tax unless the State agrees to compensate them. I suspect they won’t agree to that so the lesser jurisdictions aren’t likely to be happy with settling for a plan to collect sales tax at the state level. The bottom line is that unless they make it nearly brain dead simple… which is something government can never do (just look at any Sales Tax remittance form or a 1040 income tax form) then it will always be opposed because the cost of compliance is too burdensome. As it is today, you have to apply for a Sales Tax license to collect tax on behalf of the government. How stupid is that?

  49. @Anonymous

    I have no idea. Of course Amazon is so rich that they eventually decided they could afford to pay sales tax voluntarily. (Plus by now they have some kind of facility in most states, so the number of states where they could rely on Quill had already dwindled to a few.) They are not involved in the case even as an amicus.

  50. Travis says:
    @contriturated anon

    Amazon pays the USPS to deliver their packages on Sundays when they do not deliver regular mail…

  51. Ed says:

    Bezos as a human being is not much to write home about. According to people that have worked with him, he’s unpleasant and prone to nastiness. In public he shows little concern about the public or country or even the world. He’s a living, breathing Monty Burns.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    , @Steve Sailer
  52. Thea says:
    @Anonymous

    We know if we close the border to Chechens & Somalis then they won’t blow me up. No one knows how to solve the problems of social rejection and alienation do to poor social skills that triggers mass shootings. Anti bullying week just doesn’t seem to cut it.

  53. ic1000 says:
    @Anonymous

    Re: commentary on mass shootings — Sailer has claimed that he tries to write posts that will strike readers as insightful and/or novel. Pick a story on a school shooting and start clicking, you will discover a surplus of hand-wringing and pedestrian opinionating, rotting in the fields.

    Perhaps it’s a bit much for the audience to demand a performance as The World’s Most Interesting Man, on every single topic.

    • Replies: @Jack Hanson
    , @Steve Sailer
  54. @contriturated anon

    >The USPS just does that ‘last mile’ section of the delivery.

    USPS does that for FedEx, as well (i.e. not just for Amazon items)

  55. Anonymous[526] • Disclaimer says:

    It may not be smart for Trump to mess with the Post Office

    Talk about the Deep State!

  56. The Post Office should set their pricing like any other business. Amazon shouldn’t get subsidies or penalties, they should pay market prices for shipping service, which may include volume discounts or perks. Amazon sometimes runs their own shipping, or can switch carriers if USPS isn’t competitive. I don’t see why Trump needs to intervene.

  57. A template for political columnists and professional chin-pullers, growing gradually in usage in recent decades, and exponentially since June 16th, 2015:

    (1) Observe an act or proposal of your target.

    (2) Wrack your brain to guess the worst possible motivation for that act or proposal.

    (3) Declare in writing that that your speculation on (2) is the true motivation.

    (4) Pad the declaration enough to fit the your quota, e.g., 1500 words.

    (5) Head for the bar, or wherever your drug of choice is available. Your boss will agree that you’ve done a full day’s work for a full day’s pay.

    You don’t need any extrinsic evidence. Just type it out. Quote real or imagined “confidential” sources. It works so well that your audience won’t care if your yourself have an obvious conflict of interest – or if your sources do.Why else would Trump try to stop the government he administers from being ripped off?

  58. @ic1000

    Steve had to be dragged kicking and screaming to write a blurb about Trayvon Martin.

  59. @Peripatetic commenter

    Gladwell’s claim that each mass shooting “lowers the threshold for the next”, is probably at least partly true, but Gladwell misses the the larger point of his own argument.

    First, as Steve notes, this lowering of thresholds is something that the media-political complex actively colludes in, both in advertising these incidents in the first place, and then by obsessing over what they “mean”, which is supposed to “mean” ban guns now, but actually feeds the distorted, attention-starved psyches of the present and future murderers with industrialist-strength id juice.

    Second, when was the Great Lowering of social and cultural thresholds anyway? Oh that’s right, it was the Great Liberal Awakening of the 1960s and beyond! Prior to that, traditional, patriarchal, uncool norms prevailed. After that, the only bad taboo was the unexplored one; the bigger the freak, the bigger the celebrity–authority even. Prior to that, guns were plentiful and mass shootings rare. Since then, guns have been less available, yet mass shootings are more common. Funny how that works.

    Gladwell says that mass shootings are a “slow motion riot”. Okay then, who started and conducts this riot?

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @J.Ross
  60. Rosie says:

    That’s the kind of submissiveness to the rich that is the essence of liberal democracy.

    Truthbomb.

    “Open society” means everything is open for debate until the plutocrats win, at which point it is closed forever and reconsideration is not allowed.

    Obviously, this is a game only the rich can ever win, by design. They never see the bottom of their political war chest, whereas small donors are subject to fatigue and eventually exhaustion.

    It’s hard to see any solution that to this conundrum that is not dictatorial.

    The fact is, a society that must constantly devote massive resources to the protection of their standard of living and/or constitutional rights cannot help but stagnate. There will be no money left to support innovators.

    Meanwhile, the Chinese-ruled Chinese, invest in their future.

  61. Anonymous[820] • Disclaimer says:
    @Almost Missouri

    I agree liberalism is to blame for school shootings, not guns. Which is why it’s time the right made it an issue.

    I blame coed schooling, keeping post pubertal humans cloistered in tightly monitored environments, and disrupting healthy male hierarchy formation.

    The point is, as the intellectual lodestar of our part of the political spectrum, Steve should write about it. Use his power to highlight the liberal roots of the school shooting crisis, and hopefully set in motion something to set it right.

    • Replies: @Rosie
    , @Anon
  62. @Achmed E. Newman

    “‘I was under the impression that it WAS calculated once in a while to match costs, but I could be wrong.”

    Take it from a former cost analyst: costs for any but the simplest activities are notoriously difficult to calculate. To take one simple conundrum for postal carriers: how do you amortize the full cost of employment (wages + Federal benefits + plant overheads, etc.) for a postal carrier? By route? By addresses delivered to? By items delivered? By weight delivered? By distance traversed? Some combination? Weighted how? What about the sorting personnel’s costs? What about the high-fixed cost/low-variable cost automation? Etc., etc. PhD theses have been written on less.

    Any modestly complex cost model quickly runs into a morass of estimations, infelicities, and outright errors. The cost-based pricing of large, dumb organizations (e.g., the Post Office) are full of inaccuracies and inefficiencies. Smart, strong, ruthless customers (e.g., Amazon) exploit these to their own advantage.

    The Post Office may very well have calculated prices to match costs. The Post Office may very well have been wrong. Amazon may very well have noticed the mismatches and made use of them.

    In space, no one can hear you scream. On earth, no one knows their own costs.

  63. Alfa158 says:
    @Clifford Brown

    Dyson is a parody of the combination of gibberish and hatred that passes for thought in the black so-called intellectual community. He is particularly good at putting together words that sound smart but don’t actually mean anything.
    Black people aren’t doing so well. He hates that, and he hates Whites for doing better. Got it, understood, so what more do we really have to say to each other? Why are we even bothering with these pointless debates where everyone talks past each other, nothing is going to change, and no one can do anything about it?

    • Replies: @William Badwhite
    , @bomag
  64. @Anonymous

    If you click through to the Gladwell article cited by Peripatetic commenter above–or just Wikipedia, you’ll see that many mass killers don’t fit the gamma-losers-seeking-revenge template.

    “I really don’t think it’s something to ignore.”

    Why not? The universe is infinite. We are finite. We ignore most stuff. Steve’s standard is (I quote from memory): be novel, insightful or funny, or shut up. If you have a different standard, why not make your own blog? Those who agree will seek it out.

  65. donut says:
    @Anonymous

    I hadn’t heard about the latest school shooting , my friend started to tell me about it . I told not to bother , I don’t really give a shit .

  66. J.Ross says: • Website
    @Ed

    Montgomery Burns was based in character and visual dsign on the current Lord Rothschild but is specified as a WASP in the show.

  67. J.Ross says: • Website
    @Almost Missouri

    The only book I like on rage shooting is Mark Ames’ Going Postal; it goes deeper than anyone else and it upends a lot of the conventional wisdom, even though its explanation approaches impossible philosophy (“society should be more fair”). It happens that news has emerged regarding the Texas shooting which ties into Ames’ reasoning: students have claimed they saw the kid with the funny Greek name getting almost universally bullied, including by multiple teachers. Clearly the answer is to suspend the Constitution amd strengthen teachers’ unions. This follows one of the scripted activist-actors from Parkland, Florida, admitting that she had bullied Nicholas Cruz.
    The liberal response is always “what can we do — to someone else — so that we can continue to attack people with impunity?”

    • Replies: @James Kabala
  68. wren says:

    Another huge issue, a scandal really, is that Chinese companies can mail products to America for just a few pennies with tracking.

    I have purchased small items from China including postage for MUCH less than what I could mail them across town for. And that doesn’t include the price of the product itself.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/wadeshepard/2017/11/05/how-the-usps-epacket-gives-postal-subsidies-to-chinese-e-commerce-merchants-to-ship-to-the-usa-cheap/#79180f3840ca

  69. Pat Boyle says:
    @Anon

    It’s sad that Tom Wolfe has died before he could write a piece on the Post Office.

    I came West in the sixties to work at the Rincon Annex Post Office in San Francisco and to live in the Haight Ashbury. On the whole the Post Office was crazier and more colorful.

    I sorted mail from three in the morning till seven. Then I went to school. The Post Office was another kind of school. It was rotten with artists and would-be artists. I was lambasted by another postal clerk once who had decided that I disagreed with him on so many matters because unlike virtually everyone else there, I wasn’t an artist. I explained that I was an opera singer but that cut no mustard with him. I didn’t paint, so I couldn’t be expected to hold appropriate political views.

    The management was composed of half wits who had somehow gravitated to the one organization on earth where halfwits were given management jobs. I’ll always remember the day when a total fool was made our section’s supervisor. He immediately took up cigar smoking. All the bosses who roamed the work floor had a well chewed stogy clamped in their teeth. They were living a cartoon stereotype existence and proud of it.

    I wish I could write like Wolfe.

    • Replies: @wren
    , @Dan Hayes
  70. Neoconned says:
    @Anonymous

    Statistically school or mass shootings peaked in the 1990s and we’re higher in the 1980s than the 2000s or the current decade…..

    You statistically have as high or higher a chance of being struck by lightning than being killed in a media sensationalized mass shooting at a school or elsewhere…..

    • Replies: @res
  71. wren says:
    @Pat Boyle

    Thank you for that comment.

    John Kennedy Toole might have also done justice to that subject.

    My feeling is now, due to automation and computers, PO employees have very little leeway to get away with anything.

  72. @Clifford Brown

    1:53 was all I could fucking take of that shit………WTF is going on? I’ve never seen such hate and resentment based only on other peoples skin tone.

    This is not going to end well…….for any of us.

    • Replies: @William Badwhite
  73. @wren

    But if the Chinese had to pay their fair share of postage, how could Baby Boomer rock legends afford their fatal doses of fentanyl?

    • Replies: @wren
  74. Anonymous[400] • Disclaimer says:

    The thing is that the Post Office is supposed to have lower rates than private companies. That’s the point of public utilities: not to exploit their natural monopolies like a private business would and charge monopoly prices. Public utilities aren’t really supposed to make profits. They’re supposed to keep prices in line with costs, so their revenue covers costs and little or no more and the entire surplus goes to citizens via lower prices. This is why businesses and financiers and always clamoring for privatization of utilities and other assets: it gives them control over natural monopolies that are insulated from competition and allow them to set monopoly prices. If utilities like the postal service decided to act like private profit maximizers, then everyone’s water, gas, electricity, etc. bills would be jacked up sky high.

    Trump is a real estate man, and the real estate business is all about exploiting monopolistic conditions and rent-seeking. A valuable piece of land or real estate is like a mini monopoly that can’t be replicated easily or quickly by a competitor, unlike in say industry where competitors can develop different or new products. So he naturally thinks like a monopolist and wants to jack up the rates of a natural monopoly like the postal service. But that’s the wrong way to go about attacking Amazon. He should attack Amazon for its own monopolistic position and behavior.

  75. @24AheadDotCom

    “and a dim, deranged, 71-year-old man-child who’d be like any other tinpot dictator given the chance”

    it’s really hard to take you seriously when you say something that stupid.

    the very best thing about Trump……and make no mistake I realize he’s a blowhard……but the best thing is it’s exposing how insane the liberals really are…….keep this insanity going like ya’ll have been and you’ll be dealing with this man for another 6-1/2 years.

    • Replies: @24AheadDotCom
  76. @Anonymous

    But the Post Office is specified in the Constitution as a general public good to facilitate communication across a vast country so that, say, a citizen in remote Podunkville can get a letter to his Congressman and the like, not to subsidize the World’s Richest Man as he adds $30 billion per year to his net worth annually during the Trump Era.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  77. wren says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Yes, and the other tens of thousands of folks (who are now dead from Chinese fentanyl) who lost their jobs due in part to Chinese companies ripping off IP and undercutting their ex (now bankrupt) employers.

    I’d guess Chinese Fentanyl has killed more Americans in the past few years than British traded opium killed Chinese back 150 years ago.

    That is a guess though.

    I wish I could write a few tweets for Trump.

    • Replies: @wren
  78. wren says:
    @wren

    How many Chinese OD’d on opium?

    Lots of addicts, but I can’t find any estimates on actual deaths.

    Quite an interesting history.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_opium_in_China

  79. @Alfa158

    “That is to be complicit in the very problem itself, terminologically….”

    Translated: I’m going to try use some big words now and will make some up if necessary.

  80. @24AheadDotCom

    Our thing is fairly meritocratic. Good ideas/memes/tactics get adopted and spread very quickly regardless of whether they are from a known/liked figure or some random anon (e.g. “it’s okay to be White” RIP).

    You’ve been posting your tactical prescriptions on friendly sites for years and they haven’t caught on even a little bit, the problem isn’t everybody else.

    • Replies: @24AheadDotCom
  81. @interesting

    You beat me. I got to the part where the black guy was going on and on about how he’s never seen so much “whining and snow-flaking”. As if black “intellectuals” ever talk or write anything that isn’t whining and complaining and bitching and moaning.

    If you randomly grabbed a sample of something, anything, written by a white American, it could be a discussion of mountain climbing, better methods of accessing spark plugs in 70-year old radial engines, food reviews, travel ideas, etc. Countless subjects.

    If you randomly grabbed a sample of something, anything, written by a black American, there is a 90% chance it is going to be whining and bitching and black black blackety black.

  82. Rod1963 says:
    @Anonymous

    Those aren’t Gammas that are causing it. It’s a mix of a collapse of public schooling and white culture that are probably driving it. I

    Percentage wise you stand a much greater chance struck by lightening than getting plugged by one of these rage monsters. So it’s not a big worry.

    There are other things to be more concerned about such as black on white crime; the knock out games; why our public schools are unfit for white working and middle-class students; The fact our college campuses are becoming brainwashing centers, no go zones for thinking whites and turning people into debt serfs.

    And oh mass shooters tend to kill everyone, even friends. They are rage filled psychopaths.

    Ideally what the people should do in these cases where the monster is taken alive to simply kill the SOB on the spot and be done with it. Or just put him in general population and the inmates will offer the proper fatal corrective that our morally and mentally bankrupt society cannot bring itself to do.

    IOW erase them.

  83. Rosie says:
    @Anonymous

    I blame coed schooling, keeping post pubertal humans cloistered in tightly monitored environments, and disrupting healthy male hierarchy formation.

    I suspect it’s not good for girls either.

    • Replies: @Anon
  84. res says:
    @Neoconned

    It is good to give references with statements like that. Here is some backup. Worth noting that the US has more people now and this data is not per capita.

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/03/there-is-no-epidemic-of-mass-school-shootings.html

    But it is worth noting the 2007-2014 trend is unfavorable. The one school shooting a week statistic we have now sounds horrible, but the bar is lower than for the stats above: https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/02/us/school-shootings-2018-list-trnd/index.html

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @Neoconned
  85. Buddy Ray says:

    If Bezos were smart, the Washington Post would start being nicer to Trump.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  86. @Buddy Ray

    “If Bezos were smart, the Washington Post would start being nicer to Trump.”

    Bezos has been adding a couple of billion dollars per month to his net worth since Trump’s election.

    Bezos is smart.

  87. Anonymous[400] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer

    I suppose you could restrict the Post Office to its original intent of just handling letters. But then you’d still be left with the natural monopoly of package delivery networks that you’d be handing over to some guy and making him obscenely rich with higher prices. You’d be making another Bezos with more expensive delivery. They should go after Amazon for being a monopolist in its own right.

  88. @res

    US mass school shootings would appear to be a very good example of Social Construction in action. This 1981 hit single about one of the first of the modern school shootings did a lot to make it a Thing in our culture:

  89. Hibernian says:
    @Cato

    Your handle is ironic.

    • Replies: @Cato
  90. @Steve Sailer

    Yeah, that is what I think of as the first real “school shooting”. Most of the “school shooting” statistics that get thrown around mix a variety of things together. Usually a big but unlabelled ingredient is gang retaliations at inner city schools. There is a lot of this in crappier zip codes, but the media don’t bother reporting it except as statistical filler for their “school shootings every week” hair-on-fire ledes.

    What most people think of as a “school shooting” is a sudden outbreak of violence from someone formerly supposed harmless with no pragmatic motive. In other words, an “I Don’t Like Mondays” shooting. These seem to be a byproduct of liberal modernity.

    Tell me why? …
    And he can see no reasons
    ‘Cause there are no reasons
    What reason do you need to die?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  91. res says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Agreed. Though I do wonder if there are other factors (e.g. psychiatric drugs).

    Some more background: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cleveland_Elementary_School_shooting_(San_Diego)

    Life imitating art imitating life.

  92. J.Ross says: • Website
    @Steve Sailer

    A massive amount of pop cultural “seeding” in movies, video games, and so on, reliably out of proportion to the phenomenon; I remember a dream sequence in the early Leonardo DiCaprio film The Basketball Diaries being blamed for Columbine.
    —–
    The first one was the University of Texas tower. It was demonstrated that the shooter in that case had been given massive amounts of drugs when his brain was posthumously examined. He actually noticed the artificial madness in notes but said he felt unable to stop it.

  93. @J.Ross

    Of course we also have the alternate version in which the killer aggressively pursued a female student and then made her his first victim. These early reports often prove dubious (almost everything the average person thinks he knows about Columbine is wrong), but this actually comes straight from the victim’s mother.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
  94. @Anonymous

    The Constitution empowers Congress to “establish post offices and post roads.” Or, to put it in modern parlance: to create a communications network. It is silent on the hows, wherefores, management and pricing of this network. Statute and custom have created the current situation, but it need not have been this way and may not be in future.

    Being immune to competitive pressure, monopolies rarely if ever have lower costs than private competitors. In spite of their higher costs, they may indeed sell their services at a loss, but when they do, it is not because they are actually cheaper, rather it is usually a political concession. For example, most OPEC governments sell their monopoly fuel to their citizens at sub-market rates as an off-book way to purchase broad political support.

    In the case of the US Post Office, the Direct Marketing lobby makes sure that the Post Office, i.e., the Federal government, i.e., taxpayers, i.e., you, subsidizes their clients’ dubious product (junk mail) by charging them especially sub-market, sub-cost rates. I do not know whether these lobbyists use the argument that the Post Office “is supposed to have lower rates than private” or whether they just use the traditional hookers and cocaine, but the result is the same.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  95. @Steve Sailer

    But that was only a minor hit in the U.S. and a much bigger hit in other Anglophone countries where school shootings have not taken off as a phenomenon. And there was a big time gap before the real start of the mass school shooting era in the late nineties. (There were mass shootings in the eighties in workplaces, and there were gang-related school shootings, but it was the late nineties events in Mississippi, Kentucky, Arkansas, Oregon, and finally and most famously Colorado that began the modern era of the mass school shooting.) And also the primitive video makes no attempt (thank goodness) to evoke the actual event.

    I think Geldof did play with fire in writing and recording it, but I am skeptical as to whether he had any real effect.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
  96. J.Ross says: • Website
    @James Kabala

    “Alternate” version? I see no contradiction. And how is information coming from a grieving parent who was not at the school more reliable than a consistent story from several direct witnesses describing a reliable occurrence?

  97. @Almost Missouri

    Take it from a former cost analyst: costs for any but the simplest activities are notoriously difficult to calculate.

    We Calvinists like to order stuff online from a company called iHerb. It’s based in the USA, and ships boxes of extremely heavy groceries and household products (e.g. vitamins, cans of soup, bottles of shampoo, etc.) to our flat in Hong Kong for free if we order something like 40 bucks’ worth of stuff in one go. Their prices are very good; they don’t seem to be making up too much of the postage there.

    We have no idea how iHerb can afford this international shipping policy and still make money, but as long as the stuff keeps showing up, we’re not complaining.

  98. Of course we also have the alternate version in which the killer aggressively pursued a female student and then made her his first victim.

    We can never know the exact reason in each case, and it may be complex.

    However a generation of schoolchildren is growing up in the US that knows that school shootings are a thing. Even my five-year-old daughter knows all about what to do in active shooter drills, so every teenage boy, including all the future mental patients, psychos, and criminals, will know all about school mass killings and some of them may take steps in that direction, usually when they feel that life is not worth living any more, and they would like to take some enemies with them when they die by suicide or by cop.

    This phenomenon seems to be much more common in the US than in other countries. I cannot imagine why, but Americans are an ingenious and inventive people, even if sometimes slow to catch on, and I am sure they will eventually find a way to deal with the phenomenon.

    The best approach is probably to find some way to make it profitable for corporations to prevent school shootings.

    • Replies: @SFG
  99. Anonymous[400] • Disclaimer says:
    @Almost Missouri

    I don’t have a problem with having the Post Office stick to letters and postcards. But we’re left with the problem of natural monopoly in delivery networks. This is something that can be dealt with reasonably by public utilities at the municipal and state levels, and perhaps even among the states due to the commerce clause.

    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
  100. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    I blame schools for school shootings.

    If there were no schools there would be no school shootings.

  101. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Rosie

    If you don’t like coed schools there are plenty of single sex private schools around.

    I don’t get this dependence on public schools when there are so many alternatives.

    • Replies: @Rosie
  102. @Anonymous

    How is delivery a “natural monopoly”? Lots of firms do it. It is only statute that gives the Post Office the monopoly it has.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  103. SFG says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    I actually don’t have a lot of faith in DJT, but I’d trust any Deep State ‘regent’ a lot less.

  104. SFG says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    Oh, come on. It’s the guns.

    Nobody can say it, because it sounds way too spergy to claim it’s justified, but the cost of having the ability to shoot your government if they get too tyrannical is that once in a while some nutjob goes off the deep end and shoots someone he doesn’t like, and once in a while that nutjob is a teenager, and his enemies are going to be his age, like most people’s.

    It’s actually not that huge a number of casualties compared to other things, a few hundred a year in a nation of 300 million–school shootings are rare. But in a country this size you can always find a few. And then the liberal media blows them up. And, well, it’s naturally horrifying–everyone wants to protect their kids.

    You can’t always get everything you want. More diversity means less socialism, and the right of revolution means a higher rate of gun violence. Jefferson said almost as much in a different context–the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of tyrants *and patriots*. You pays your money and you takes your choice.

  105. @Almost Missouri

    Right. There have been mass killings forever, but the modern age of them starts with the U. of Texas tower sniper in 1966(?), and the K-12 version starts with the I Don’t Like Mondays girl around 1980. The peak was Columbine in the late 1990s or 2000. There were lots of Columbine copycats, but the one I covered for UPI in early 2001 was the last classic Columbine-style one for a few years. I think maybe they got boring and unfashionable, and then 9/11 came along to distract people for awhile.

    My guess is that they are tied to a decline in fears of going to hell. For example, see “Hamlet” where concerns about hell stay Hamlet’s hand from killing himself (To be or not to be) and from killing his praying uncle, who wouldn’t go to hell like he deserves because King Claudius was begging God for forgiveness.

    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
  106. Anonymous[400] • Disclaimer says:
    @Almost Missouri

    A natural monopoly is where production costs of a single firm are lower than production costs by multiple firms. A single post office company can build out its delivery network and spread the cost over the larger network. Multiple post office companies don’t have as great economies of scale and can’t spread out their production costs.

  107. Lagertha says:
    @Anon

    Why do people bother with Amazon? I think I buy patio furniture covers (bc I must) every 5 years. Why do people buy crap they don’t need from Amazon? This is a serious question, haha! Amazon is for lazy and elite people who don’t want to buy from local stores or shopping plaza. Sooner or later, you have no mom & pop stores….once the grid is destroyed by ISIS or whatever, you will not have food.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  108. @vinteuil

    vinteuil & thus Redneck farmer say: “Does the fact that you never get any respect around here ever suggest to you that maybe, just possibly, you should rethink your approach?

    I’m not looking for the respect of people like you, that means nothing to me.

    I am looking for help solving problems. When I see problems I want to solve them and I come up with plans that would work. Others’ plans aren’t designed to solve problems, they’re just designed to feather their nests. I’ve gotten almost zero help solving problems no matter how I phrase things: good cop, bad cop, buddy, etc. etc.

    The fact is that people like you are dim and irrational. People like you enabled Trump, while I’ve been warning since Aug 2015 how weak he is on immigration. People like you might as well be working for Soros.

    Let’s put it to the test: I want to stop Trump’s amnesty by pressuring/shaming his proxies into giving him smart arguments that would undercut Pelosi etc to her base. Since you smear me, you must have a better plan. What’s your plan?

    Either you have (or know of) a better plan, or you support amnesty, or you’re too irrational to help with my plan. Which of those is it?

    • Replies: @res
    , @Thea
  109. @interesting

    but the best thing is it’s exposing how insane the liberals really are

    He is? To whom? Certainly for such a bold claim you can point to some sort of polling showing Trump moving the needle on something, right?

    For instance, are SJWs less powerful now than they’ve been, or is their power increasing? Are FB & Twitter more or less willing to quash dissent? Is the MSM backing off pushing the SJW line? Even if you can’t provide a poll, provide some examples of Trump having a meaningful impact on anything.

    From my POV, Trump has made things much, much worse. He’s coarsened debate even more than it was, making things even more WWE than they were before. He’s served as a foil that the Dems can use to make things worse. CA Dem candidates are full-throated in support of illegal immigration because of Trump; if Trump were like MLP they wouldn’t dare do that.

    The fact is that Trump’s just an entertainer. He hasn’t changed any minds. It’d be possible to use his ego to make him help the USA, but those in his audience lack the patriotism to help with that.

  110. @27 year old

    “27 year old” says Our thing is fairly meritocratic. Good ideas/memes/tactics get adopted and spread very quickly regardless of whether they are from a known/liked figure or some random anon

    OK, let’s try another test! One of my good ideas is to undercut immigrantdocs (a Twitter handle) to their base and to use those promoting them to reduce immigration.

    Could you list a few of those good ideas you’re referring to? (“memes” aren’t ideas, they’re for kids).

    Is using immigrantdocs to undercut the many MSM reporters who promoted them a good idea, or a bad idea, or a nothingburger per you?

  111. @GU

    There’s a big difference for between *paying* sales tax and *collecting* sales tax. To be sure, the latter is burdensome, but it’s not the same thing.

    Incidentally, Amazon decided to agree to collect sales tax in all states that have one because they figured it would give them an edge over smaller sellers. Basically, Amazon is better able to bear the large costs of sales tax compliance than its competitors. And now Amazon expects all sellers to be forced to collect the tax.

    To an Amazon customer in a state where there is sales tax, it may appear that Amazon is charging and collecting sales tax on that customer’s orders. (And on orders where Amazon is directly the seller and supplier, that may be so.)

    But for the many businesses who sell things via Amazon, Amazon gives its customers the illusion that they are charging and collecting sales tax on their orders, while passing along the burden to those businesses of actually paying sales tax to their state authorities.

    For instance, if you are a widget seller selling widgets through Amazon, Amazon will charge a customer your Amazon price (usually a sum of your base price + the markup you charge to cover Amazon’s fees) and charge sales tax on that total price and their standard shipping fees. However, at the widget seller’s end, the sales tax calculated on the total price basically wipes out the markup for Amazon’s fees AND pushes the shipping fees into the negative. In other words, the payment of sales tax is the responsibility of the widget seller and the illusion that Amazon collects it is deducted from the seller’s markup and shipping costs.

    Quite a nifty trick, no?

  112. @James Kabala

    If Bob Geldof hadn’t invented Live Aid, The Boomtown Rats would have been forgotten about in the US. He was redeemed by writing “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”

    As Russell Brand put it in 2006

    Really, it’s no surprise [Geldof]‘s such an expert on famine. He has, after all, been dining out on “I Don’t Like Mondays” for 30 years.

    • Replies: @James Kabala
    , @Olorin
  113. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Richter

    Post Office Boxes are USPS property by obvious inherent fact-they are located in the Post Office!-but the mailbox at the end of your driveway is proprietary to the Post Office by fiat alone. You can, and in the days of newspapers many did, have little secondary boxes or hutches where the newspaper could be put, and they could be co-located on the same post as the US Mail box, but they were clearly marked and separated as being separate from the mailbox.

    You can get a private mail box at UPS Stores, or at any of dozens of other places, that all the carriers deliver to. The price is generally quite a bit higher.

    I’m astonished that as many libtys and ex-libtys as there are here no one has brought up Lysander Spooner and the first use of the Postal Express Statutes.

    Lysander Spooner

    Lysander Spooner (1808–1887) is the American individualist anarchist and legal theorist known mainly for setting up a commercial post office in competition with the government and thereby being shut down. But he was also the author of some of the most radical political and economic writings of the 19th century, and continues to have a huge influence on libertarian thinkers today. He was a dedicated opponent of slavery in all its forms — even advocating guerrilla war to stop it — but also a dedicated opponent of the federal invasion of the South and its postwar reconstruction. See Let’s Abolish Government, a collection selected personally by Murray Rothbard as Spooner’s best work.

    https://mises.org/profile/lysander-spooner

    Spooner is probably the most influential protolibertarian writer in LP history besides Malice Rosenbomb and Murray Rothbard themselves.

  114. Dan Hayes says:
    @Pat Boyle

    Pat Boyle:

    In the 60s to get a job as foreman in the NYC Post Office required (I believe) a $2,000 pay off, or so I heard!

    • Replies: @Johann Ricke
  115. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    There is UPS and FedEx, and they show no signs of consolidating in the near future. There were more in the past but they have merged or now only handle international freight. The market and not government should determine what is and is not a monopoly.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  116. res says:
    @24AheadDotCom

    If you really are looking for help calling other people dim and irrational is not helping your cause.

    • Replies: @24AheadDotCom
  117. Neoconned says:
    @res

    Is that the study by the dude at Northwestern University?

    • Replies: @res
  118. Dr. Doom says:

    Well now that Trump has done this, I suppose Amazon will switch to computer guided drones.
    Do they know its Christmastime in Afghanistan? This Christmas you might know what that’s like.
    Google maps is your drone’s Uber Driver.

  119. Rosie says:
    @Anon

    I don’t get this dependence on public schools when there are so many alternatives.

    There is a critical difference between public schools and other products/services: you’re forced to pay for it whether you use it or not. Choosing not to use it means paying twice. I’m lucky enough to have options, but many are not.

  120. bomag says:
    @Alfa158

    Black people aren’t doing so well

    That is a lot of it.

    After installing Obama and all other manner of PC, Blacks were supposed to soar high into the sky; but immigrants and other interlopers are hovering up the benefits of erasing historical ‘merica. Anger ensues.

  121. Bryan says:

    Amazon does weird things to Americans. I know a thing or two about UPS pricing & Amazon gets very low rates from UPS.

    You might think that the company driving massive increases in capital expense wold be expected to pay for those additional costs (the network is, whatever, 5% , 10% larger that it would otherwise need to be). You’d be mistaken. Their perspective is like Amazon is doing them a favor by driving additional capital requirements & therefore deserves absolute rock-bottom pricing.

    Of course, Amazon is using the savings to build a delivery network of its own. Drones (blah, blah,), but more important, long-haul trucking. Not the last-mile stuff – that’s expensive.

    Amazon is a cult.

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
  122. @Steve Sailer

    I too thought there was a hiatus in I Don’t Like Mondays-style school shootings after 9/11. This suggests that while what we might call Practical Atheism (no fear of Hell) is a necessary precondition for IDLM-style shooters, the publicity and attention aspect matters too. Osama killed 3000 people and brought down iconic skyscrapers. How can penny-ante school shooters compete with that? It’s like he sucked all the oxygen out of the attention market.

    That attention/publicity matters too is perhaps confirmed by the fact that IDLM-ers didn’t really get started again until Virginia Tech in 2007, by which time 9/11 had faded from the adolescent memory slate. (And even then the shooter was a foreigner whose perception of 9/11′s significance was probably less than it would have been for a native-born American. Besides the horror on hearing the news, I can actually remember thinking, oh he’s a foreigner so he probably doesn’t realize how passé this is.)

  123. @Almost Missouri

    Lest any readers deem me insensitive for thinking such a banal thought in the face of a tragedy, let me say that if such thoughts are not common to everyone, I do at least not confine them to tragedies of others’. I think them about myself when bad things happen to me.

  124. @Anonymous

    If a natural monopoly is where a firm has economies of scale, then what market is not a natural monopoly? There are firms in every market with economies of scale. And after all, even markets once supposed to be obvious natural monopolies (e.g., telecom, electrical distribution) are now more competitive.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  125. @ScarletNumber

    Yes, I was surprised to learn (from Wikipedia) that this song did make it as high as 73 on the Hot 100. I never knew the Boomtown Rats had any U.S. chart success at all. It was Number 1 in Britain and Ireland and Top 5 in Australia, New Zealand, and even Canada.

  126. Thea says:
    @24AheadDotCom

    Trump is not all we hoped he would be but just imagine president Hillary. He saved us from that and should be thanked.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  127. Choosing not to use it means paying twice. I’m lucky enough to have options, but many are not.

    True, Rosie, and that’s why I do not agree with taxpayer supported education in ANY form.

    However, the fewer kids that go to government indoctrination camps I mean, schools, the less money they schools get, in general, so that’s a good thing. Granted there’s a lower limit, as the infrastructure’s got to be there. Where I live, the kids have to go ungodly early in the morning, just so there are buses available for the ones that want bus service. Hell with that – the school is no more than one and a half miles from anyone who goes there. Walk, bitchez!

    • Replies: @Rosie
  128. @Thea

    He saved us from that and should be thanked.

    We thanked him by going to rallies and voting for his ass. He needs to start leading, and that starts by picking employees that are not sworn enemies of everything he (supposedly) stands for.

  129. MarcB. says:

    This is another case of the Sailer who/whom. Amazon’s profit model is based on severely discounted shipping charges. Smaller online retailers could meet or beat them on price, but mailing bulky or heavy items made the shipping costs a deal breaker. Leftists are fine with USPS discounts, freebies, corporate tax dodges/breaks, data basing personal information and government protected monopolies as long it involves their fellow travelers in the tech industry.

  130. Anonymous[400] • Disclaimer says:
    @Almost Missouri

    Yes, because of economies of scale, many markets are natural monopolies, especially markets with high capital costs.

    Those markets you cite are now oligopolies following deregulation.

  131. Anonymous[400] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    So without the Post Office, you have a duopoly. You want 2 companies to monopolize the market and have monopoly pricing power to maximize profit by setting price far above cost?

    By the way, since this duopoly’s delivery networks are built on top of the public road, air traffic, infrastructure network, you’d be back to square one and have a situation where the government/public/taxpayers are subsidizing wealthy monopolists.

  132. @James Kabala

    An aspect of Columbine that wasn’t widely reported was that the shooters kept journals wherein they recorded their plans. Shooting up the school was just supposed to be the start. Then they wanted to hijack airliners and suicide-crash them into NYC. Two years later, Osama did just that. The psycho-murderers’ dream had been realized. How can you top it if you are an aspiring psychokiller? You can’t, so spectacular psychokillings went dark for a while. But after a few years, 9/11 became just another piece of background history to anyone who was, say, younger than puberty in 2001. So now the current generation of misfits/lunatics feels like they have an open field again. And the corrupt media is only too happy to oblige in making their dreams of infamy come true.

  133. @Dan Hayes

    In the 60s to get a job as foreman in the NYC Post Office required (I believe) a $2,000 pay off, or so I heard!

    Given that the average new car was around $3K, that was a good chunk of cash.

  134. Rosie says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    True, Rosie, and that’s why I do not agree with taxpayer supported education in ANY form.

    I sympathize a great deal with your concerns. When I was a kid, a Catholic education could be had for a song. Though the stereotypes are overdone, nuns did ensure a suitable learning environment for all. With secularization, that option costs a lot more now. I don’t know what would replace government education. Vouchers? I see you have a site. Have you written something on this?

  135. @wren

    Good point. But why are you screwing Americans by buying from China, then? Are these necessities that you honestly need and honestly cannot afford if you buy from Americans?

    • Replies: @wren
    , @wren
  136. BenKenobi says:
    @Anonymous

    These are preventable crimes arising out of remediable social issues.

    Okay, I’ll bite. Whaddya got?

    It seems like you’re peddling some solution to the alleged gamma uprising, so let’s hear it.

  137. @Lagertha

    Great point about being helpless after we help amazon drive out small local stores. But two corrections as to SOME amazon.com regulars.

    First, our family has multiple minor children and we use amazon to buy a ton of American-made clothing, shoes, toys, and household items for our children. (The included shipping and the 5% discount for paying with Amazon credit card generally make this a better bargain than trying to buy directly from those makers’ websites, though we have bought from their sites directly at times, as well.) American companies making products in the USA, such as Roundhouse overalls, Soft Star Shoes, City Threads clothing, Luna mattress covers, etc.

    The physical stores here in LA, and almost everywhere else, offer few to none of these American-made products. So it is hardly elitist or lazy to go online to buy the American-made goods that both large and small stores don’t bother to carry.

    Second, those beloved mom-and-pop stores are often owned, around here, by people who cannot speak English well enough to make it pleasant or even worthwhile to shop there, and who often don’t seem to have much interest in getting our business or treating us politely. Things are somewhat better at some small brick-and-mortar businesses farther from LA, and we do shop there.

    But yes, people who have actual non-rude American-owned small stores nearby, should try to shop there and not mostly online.

    • Replies: @Lagertha
  138. fitzGetty says:

    … oh well, we will always have a handy Starbucks latrine to hang out in …

  139. @res

    “res” says If you really are looking for help calling other people dim and irrational is not helping your cause.

    I’m not calling people names randomly. I’m, unfortunately, stating a fact based on years of observing how cons work. Some could correct their issues, but instead – as you do – they simply prove my point over and over and over.

    If I see you trying to eat scalding soup with your hands, I might say “use a spoon, you scalawag!” The rational choice in such cases is to use a spoon or similar. The irrational choice is what you in effect said: “I’m going to keep using my hands just because you called me a scalawag!”

    Let’s try another test!

    I and many others are up in arms about Twitter squelching them (both my active accounts are being ghosted). My name’s link is a petition I created that, if enough people help with it and get those with an audience to cover it, I think would go a long way towards changing how Twitter does things. I specifically designed the petition as something most people would agree with. It’s all fact-based and reasonable.

    Some of those here would have people believe that my plans shouldn’t be followed. In this case, that means there must be a better plan to solve the issue than my petition. I’d like to know what that plan is. Surely, one must exist, right? So, let’s hear them.

    (Note: anything other than other plans admits my plan is best. Bluff and spin all you want: either present what you think is a better plan or you’re admitting mine is best.)

  140. MetaCynic says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    First of all neither Amazon nor any other business pays postage or sales tax. Their customers do. Businesses collect the money from customers. What’s wrong with any individual or business structuring their operations in order to minimize costs to themselves and their customers? Do you go out of your way to pay higher prices for goods including taxes and postage? I thought not!

    The real criminals here are not business people who transact deals with customers who come to them voluntarily. Despite their propaganda and self-serving laws enforcing our submission to their will, the real antisocial criminals wrecking the world are the political classes who perform their, at best, mediocre, laughingly called “public services” at gunpoint. No business would survive if it used force to get customers who are free to go elsewhere. But force is the key to the survival of the parasitic state and its crony business partners who have learned to harness the gun of the state to generate profits from unwilling customers.

    All efforts to keep money out of the hands of state politicians to fund the grotesquely extravagant pension plans they had negotiated with their criminal public sector unions is to be applauded!

    • Replies: @Olorin
  141. wren says:
    @RadicalCenter

    Good point.

    Look for things like a mini USB to USB-C adapter, and you will find that they are not as easy locate as expected, 100% made in China and if you can find a Chinese one locally, they are way over priced.

  142. res says:
    @Neoconned

    The graphic gives the data source at the bottom. James Alan Fox is at Northeastern University: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Alan_Fox

  143. wren says:
    @RadicalCenter

    Good point.

    Look for things like a mini USB to USB-C adapter, and you will find that they are not as easy locate as expected, 100% made in China and if you can find a Chinese one locally, they are way over priced.

  144. @Lot

    There’s also something low-brow and Truman Capoteish about concerning ourselves with mass shooters. It is a big world out there, these things are going to happen regularly. There’s no evidence for any special way to stop them other than things we should be doing anyway, like stopping mass Muslim migration.

    Yes, I agree, especially with the last sentence.

  145. Olorin says:
    @MetaCynic

    to fund the grotesquely extravagant pension plans they had negotiated with their criminal public sector unions

    So you too advocate stealing the retirement savings of white workers?

  146. Olorin says:
    @ScarletNumber

    Bob Geldof got rich selling the rights to the program that spawned the Survivor TV show franchises (as a UK series called Castaway).

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/bob-geldof-the-millionaire-media-player-6104048.html

    That was 12 years ago, note.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  147. @Olorin

    Bob Geldof is a clever, energetic, entertaining fellow. I’m hardly surprised he’s done well for himself over the years.

  148. @Bryan

    Of course, Amazon is using the savings to build a delivery network of its own. Drones (blah, blah,), but more important, long-haul trucking.

    Right. I’ve seen more than a few Amazon trucks recently, and I will bet you $100 that all of them are Mom and Pop operators glad to have steady business. The last mile is where it gets expensive. Ask the Telcos.

  149. What outrage will be next: Perhaps Trump might even mention Carlos Slim rips off Mexican phone customers?

    Where is the respect, the deference owed to the world’s richest monopolists?

    Remember all those years when Bezo’s firm didn’t have to pay state sales tax because reasons? That’s the kind of submissiveness to the rich that is the essence of liberal democracy.

    I was amazed by the comments at the WaPo. The readers unanimously think that something apparently sensible is an absolute outrage. This may be peak TDS.

  150. Cato says:
    @dearieme

    Space, Tunneling, Batteries — he’s identified all of these as critical sectors/low-hanging fruit, and advanced the technological and commercial development of them all. He sucks the public teat, but is part of the weaning process away from that teat (SpaceX is more private than NASA). Admirable. Yes. Definitely.

  151. Lagertha says:
    @RadicalCenter

    I live in semi-rural (on the border; we have bears galore …and must be careful when opening front or back doors) New England. However, I live in Old world and you live in LA, so, of course there are no traditional shops in the mega-city you live in. We have 4 organic farms (original 1700′s) and a vineyard that I can ride my bike to.

    I dread that my sons want the “big city” experience (it’s not as cool as mine of the 80′s in NYC – that’s all dead and done) and want to live in LA & SF…after growing up in Small Town, USA; and, small town for Uni years – so, gotta let them do the city experience. You make me feel a little better that metropolitan areas in CA are not cancer zones , wastelands, and yeechh, in general! I do love some parts of LA – I have been there often. There are some amazing places that are still good.

  152. @ic1000

    I’ve probably written 50,000 words on school shootings over the decades. I don’t have all that much more to say.

  153. @Ed

    But wow is Bezos a great businessman/manager. He’s been doing the same thing for over 20 years, so his success isn’t a fluke or a fad. And now, finally, the vast profits are rolling in just the way he forecasted in about 1995.

  154. duncsbaby says:
    @Steve Sailer

    I love this song. It’s David Geldof’s crowning achievement. Thinking about this song takes me back to when I was 13 years old & I thought I was so much smarter than middle aged types like myself now. Which then lead me to think, wait a sec, I was 13 in ’79, not ’81. Sorry, Steve, I had to look it up, it came out the summer of ’79. New Wave that year was to me still a big, new, thing. Not so much in ’81. Sorry to be that guy. What were we talkin’ about anyway?

  155. AndrewR says:
    @Anonymous

    I have a lot to say on this subject, but at this point it’s unlikely anyone will read my comment, least of all you.

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