Monday, April 25, 2016
I get tickled every time I see a certain home improvement referral service advertised on TV. They tout how they do all the vetting for you and can without hesitation say their select tradesmen are the best...AND THEIR REFERRAL SERVICE IS ALWAYS FREE!
Free, huh? So who is paying for all those TV ads that air every 10 minutes?
Here's the truth: In virtually* every transaction, only ONE participant is paying money....the buyer. The seller is receiving money. No doubt the service provider is paying the referral service a fee, which is rolled into the price they are quoting you. YOU are paying for the referral service, I don't care what the ad says. It is NOT free!
The same for an electric service provider in my area who advertises "free night and weekend electricity" for people who sign up for this special program. My advice: Quietly back yourself into a corner and hold on to your wallet. They just coincidentally fail to mention that the per-kilowat-hour-price for the hours they DO charge for is twice as high as their normal rate.
How about the furniture company who says if you buy this weekend they will pay your sales tax! Sweet, huh? And people no doubt camp out all night in order to be the first in line to get cheap furniture while the retailer PAYS the sales tax for them.
Remember, only one party in a transaction is PAYING....the buyer. Anything the seller is "giving" you for free or "paying for" on your behalf is figured back into the deal as a "cost of doing business", just like rent and insurance and payroll.
I have a challenge for medical science: Will someone please look into this phenomenon and figure out what happened to our common sense gene? I'm pretty sure we all used to have one, but for some reason most of us have lost ours.
* The exception to the "only the buyer pays in a transaction" statement is a true distress sale, and they are rare. The perpetual "going out of business" sale does not qualify.
Monday, April 11, 2016
I think Donald Trump has stumbled on to something. His current heartburn is that, according to him, he's getting screwed out of his rightful Republican presidential nomination. Practically speaking, he's right. Technically speaking, he just got snookered.
The Donald is pissed because he has won the popular vote hands down, yet because of the way each state Republican Party writes their rules...and they are all different...they can award him fewer convention delegates than his popular vote count would suggest he should receive.
Ted Cruz, evil as I believe him to be, is NOT stupid. He knows how to play the game to get what he wants. And it's this corrupt game that Donald Trump has exposed.
Us common folks have naively believed until now that the majority ruled, that our elections were based on "one man, one vote". But now we find out that party nominating processes are not "elections" in the proper, legal sense, but are just a game a bunch of powerful, rich (mostly white) guys play to further feather their nests. They can legally do this because they say the state primaries/caucuses/conventions are NOT elections. The rules of fair play only apply to the official election on the second Tuesday in November. Donald Trump obviously didn't read that memo.
They will NOT give us a candidate we want*, but only the one they want us to have. Trump has exposed how the Republicans operate, but the Democrats no doubt have things rigged, too. (Do "Super Delegates" sound fair to you? It's just their way of denying The People's Candidate if they feel they can't control him/her.)
So why can't we just tell both parties to go f--k themselves and then nominate someone as a third party candidate who will truly represent us? Because again, they have rigged the system and made it virtually impossible for a third party candidate to get their name on the ballot in all 50 states. They have a monopoly, and they intend to keep it that way. All the hoops a third party candidate would have to jump through, with each state (controlled by one or the other of the established parties) setting their own rules, is by their design impossibly Byzantine.
The parties only want to nominate candidates they feel are "one of them". But this year, thanks to Donald Trump and to a lesser extent Bernie Sanders, outsiders are threatening their privileged positions, and both parties are out of desperation exposing their sly little built-in "fail safes".
Our Founding Fathers are no doubt looking down on us and thinking all their brilliant work is now officially down the drain. And they would be right!
* Hypothetically speaking. I am in no way intending to endorse Donald Trump.