Category Archives: Economy

TikTok and Microsoft Art of the Deal

TikTok
Click image to enlarge

TikTok is a hot property. It’s the world’s 7th biggest social-media company and popular with the under 25 group. It’s also owned by Chinese company ByteDance and that’s a worry to the feds. They’re afraid China will get access to TikTok user data. And that caused President Trump to threaten to ban the app in the U.S. But along comes Microsoft with an offer buy TikTok. And now Trump wants a finders fee.

Go ahead, Throw a Brick, You’ve Been Through a Lot

throw a brick, you've been through a lot this spring, better to light a candle
Click image to enlarge

Throw a brick. You’ve been through a lot this spring.

But, remember, it’s better to light a candle than curse the darkness. Oh, wait, I just looked it up and that might be a Chinese proverb. It’ll have to be quarantined.

How about this? It’s better to throw a brick at your own TV than your neighbor’s TV. What could be more American?

Could be the first step back to sanity.

Shared Famous Last Words: I Can’t Breathe

famous last words, I can't breathe, fake money
Click image to enlarge

George Floyd isn’t the first guy whose last words at the hands of the police were “I can’t breathe.” Eric Garner said the same in 2014 as his breath slipped away while being choked by a cop.

Famous Last Words

Both men were big and black, and protests and riots soon followed. But that’s not all they had had in common. Garner was busted for selling single untaxed cigarettes. In Floyd’s case it was passing an allegedly fake $20 bill.

The Fed has printed fake money to the tune of $3 trillion just since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Maybe racism isn’t the only thing here to take your breath away.

What do You get for not Playing Your Music

not playing, band, musician, unemployment relief, $600 a week
Click image to enlarge

I got this “what do you get for not playing?” idea from a WSJ piece by Gregg Opelka, a musical-theater composer-lyricist.

We’re all Marxists now. Not Karl, Groucho. There’s a famous sketch in “Animal Crackers” (1930) in which Groucho (as Captain Spaulding) quizzes Chico (Signor Emanuel Ravelli) on how much money the band gets paid. “What do you fellas get an hour?” Groucho asks. “For playing we get $10 an hour,” Chico replies. 

Groucho presses: “I see. What do you get for not playing?” “For not playing we get $12 an hour. . . . Now for rehearsing, we make special rate. That’s $15 an hour.” Groucho: “That’s for rehearsing? And what do you get for not rehearsing?” Chico: “You couldn’t afford it. You see, if we don’t rehearse, we don’t play. And if we don’t play, that runs into money.”

Then he goes on about his real life friend.

I have a musician friend, Jim. He plays the bass. Jim is a talented man, and his gigging takes many forms—studio recording as well as live performance. As has happened to so many, his entire livelihood dried up overnight in mid-March. After filing for unemployment relief, he was grateful to receive the bulk of his lost weekly income but equally surprised by the unexpected $600-a-week bonus.

Without auditioning for it, Jim has become an unofficial member of Signor Ravelli’s Animal Crackers orchestra. He recently complained, only half ironically, that he doesn’t know how he’ll make ends meet once he can work again. 

Gregg Opelka, Wall Street Journal

Blue State Pre-existing Condition

blue state pre-existing condition, bailout, public worker pensions
Click Image to enlarge

Blue states have a pre-existing condition that makes them more vulnerable to the Corona virus lockdown. And Nancy Pelosi has a plan for that. But Mitch McConnell pronounced her $3 trillion bailout cure dead on arrival. Instead, he prescribed bankruptcy.

But the U.S. Constitution might pronounce that idea is dead on arrival too.

The plan could be raised from dead though. Bloomberg Businessweek says red states need bailouts too.