Tuesday, April 11, 2017

A Corporate Pledge of Allegiance

I pledge no allegiance to the CEO of the United Airlines of America, and to the corporation for which he stands, as one "volunteer" under duress, divisible, gets no liberty or justice at all.

April 10, 2017
Time: Searches for 'Volunteer' Definition Spiked 1900% After United Airlines Incident

In the case of Sunday evening’s United Airlines Flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville, passengers had already boarded the plane and no one was willing to volunteer for the switch, passenger Audra Bridges told the Courier-Journal. United officials then randomly selected four passengers to switch flights to make way for four United employees who had to catch a flight in Louisville.

Perhaps United should have increased the incentive to "volunteer" until some passengers actually "volunteered" willingly?

Pretty crazy idea, I admit. But hey, in an age of cell phone video and PR nightmares, what do I know?

They say there's no such thing as bad publicity. United sure seems hellbent to test the theory lately!

Oh, and when I say hellbent, I really mean recklessly determined at all costs. Perfect word for the perfect airline.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Lies, Damn Lies, and Retirement Quizes

March 30, 2017
MarketWatch: Most Americans failed this eight-question retirement quiz

Q: About what percentage of your savings do many financial experts suggest you withdraw annually in retirement?

Why would I even care what "many" financial experts would suggest? Many financial experts suggest many things, especially when it concerns the money of others. Take Ben "There's No Housing Bubble to Go Bust" (2005) Bernanke or Ken "Housing Boom!" (2007) Fisher, for examples.

Q: Given the current average life expectancy, if you want to retire at age 65, about how long would you need your retirement savings to last?

The correct answer is 87, or 22 years after a retirement age of 65, according to Social Security Administration data.

No, the correct answer is not the life expectancy of people similar to you. You need your money to last until you actually do die. 87 would have been horrible advice to my mom, who died at age 93 this year, and to both of her brothers who lived into their 90s. Don't even get me started on my aunt currently rooting for Gonzaga at the age of 94!

I know that there are 6 other questions to heckle, but I must stop at 25%. My time is still worth something to me. Using advanced statistical algorithms based on mood, available sunshine, expected life expectancy, and current video game addictions, I currently estimate it to be exactly $6.77 per hour. I know it is below the federal minimum wage, but it's a fact. Trust me.

P.S. Eddie Lampert, if you are reading this then please don't build up your hopes that I will be shopping at Sears just because my free time is only currently worth $6.77. I still consider it to be worth far more than temporary shopping experiences at any mall. It doesn't help your cause that I recently bought a video game on my phone for just 99 cents, and have experienced nearly 100 hours of enjoyment from it so far. A penny an hour? See? My free time is practically priceless by comparison! ;)

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Sarcasm Report v.275

March 21, 2017
MarketWatch: Remote workers are NOT watching daytime TV in their pajamas

It may sound counter-intuitive, but employees are apt to work more efficiently and collaboratively when operating remotely, a new study released Tuesday by video and voice collaboration technology company Polycom, Inc. and Human Resources executive network and research firm Future Workplace found.

If you can't trust a study released by a video and voice collaboration technology company to tell you the true merits of video and voice collaboration technology, then who can you trust?

We now know that there aren't any remote workers watching daytime TV in their pajamas. That's certainly a relief. Or is it?

June 16, 2016
HUFFPOST: Does It Really Help To Picture Your Audience Naked?

Thursday, March 16, 2017

My Personal Cynicism Level Trending Higher

First, allow me to offer a free interview tip.

When trying to land that perfect police job, try not to confess to any serious crimes. Always keep in mind that you have the right to remain silent.

March 14, 2017
Man confesses to date rape during police job interview, lands in jail instead

A West Virginia man mistakenly confessed to a date rape while interviewing for a probation officer job in South Charleston and is now facing sexual assault charges.

They say that we can become more cynical as we age. Now we know why. A younger, more naive version of me, might have expected this man to help pay for my Social Security. The older, wiser version of me, realizes that I may need to help pay for his incarceration.

P.S. Don't even get me started on Trumpcare.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Sears Soars 30%!

Sears has breached the psychologically important $7 barrier again to levels not seen since late January. For those keeping track at home, it's almost back to where it was exactly two weeks ago! Almost.

This is great news for long-term investors who never gave up on the turnaround story. Much like an 18-wheeler which accidentally drives down a very long and very narrow dead end alley but miraculously manages to back up a few feet without taking damage, here it is! Woohoo!

Yes, sir. I never thought I'd say it. This turnaround story may have L'eggs. Next stop? Levels not seen since 1978? Keep the faith!

Monday, February 6, 2017

The Super Bowl's Black Swan

February 3, 2017
Wells Fargo Quants Tell You How to Bet on the Super Bowl

Wells Fargo Asset Management’s Analytic Investors LLC, the Wall Street quant shop that has accurately predicted 10 of the last 13 Super Bowls against the point spread, says take the Atlanta Falcons and the three points over Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots.

So what went wrong? 25-sigma event just after Lady Gaga's halftime performance? Nobody could have ever seen it coming! Again.

And here's the best part. I have no assets with Wells Fargo Asset Management. Woohoo! ;)

Saturday, February 4, 2017

The Sarcasm Report v.274

February 4, 2017
CNBC: A couple who spent $30,000 eating out last year highlights a critical money lesson

The life lesson is obvious. If you are spending $80+ per day to eat out then it is very easy to forget exactly how much you are spending. Make it an even $100 though, and you'll never forget. Neither will your waiter! Round up, I say. Round up! It's a win-win for everyone!

"What most people do when they earn a dollar is pay everyone else first. They pay the landlord, the credit card company, the telephone company, the government ..." writes financial adviser David Bach in "The Automatic Millionaire," and at the end of the day, they pay themselves whatever is left over. Oftentimes, that's not much.

Pay yourself first. If there is anything left over then send a few dollars to the landlord, the credit card company, the telephone company, and/or the government. It's a vastly superior plan. None of those entities need the money as much as you do. What's the worst that could happen? Eviction notices? Penalties? Collections? Liens? Lawsuits? Summons? Oh, please. That only happens in the movies!