Business

"Make America Small Again"

Review of Yuval Levin's recent book. I certainly like this:

In Levin’s view, the best politics for a decentralized society is one based in subsidiarity, a concept which holds that because society is a complex web of institutions, with the whole structured like concentric rings, political challenges should be tackled as close to the local level as possible.


"How CVS Invaded My Brain"

Joe Bob Briggs--long time, no see!--doing his thing.

There’s some guy at the world headquarters of CVS drugstores screwing with me.

I don’t know who he is yet, but he lives in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. This is where CVS Health, the largest drugstore chain in the history of drugstores, has its main offices, and where a designated marketing jerk chews on the nub of a pencil and thinks all day about how many coupons he can string onto the bottom of my sales receipt.


"Why Do We Haggle For Cars?"

The article is skeptical, properly I think, of the "path dependence" explanation. (Across five generations of car buyers?) But this makes a lot of sense to me because I recently did a similar thing:

Desai speaks from experience. A few years ago, he decided to buy a Lexus. The process was short and sweet: he went online, found a price reference, called up a dealer and made an offer. Sure, with a little more time and cunning, the professor could have lowballed the salesperson and gotten himself a sweeter deal. But he says he opted for the simpler approach.


"To improve diversity, don’t make people go to diversity training. Really."

Some people apparently will be shocked--just shocked--to learn this:

"If someone is supposed to sit there, psychologically they will be grumpy," she said. "They will not want to engage. This is what we do as human beings -- we resist control."

Pro tip: if your worldview results in you being hugely surprised by the world nearly every damn day, there's something wrong with it.


"What It's Like to Live in a City Without Uber"

Cue Joni Mitchell: "You don't know what you've got until it's gone."

More: "Austin, After Driving Out Uber and Lyft, Launches Sting Operations Against Those Who Dare to Serve the Public with Rides" and "Prop 1 fallout: The Austin fuzz crack down on the working folk".

Still more: "A World Without Uber: Dispatches From Austin".

Recent data obtained from the Austin Police Department would seem to support Acevedo’s narrative. In the first three week after Uber and Lyft left Austin, DWI arrests were up 7.5 percent over the same time last year. City police made 359 DWI arrests from May 9, 2016 (the day Uber and Lyft shut down) to May 31, 2016. During that same period in 2015, Austin police made 334 DWI arrests.