Site: Warren Meyer

Slant: Sceptic

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Recent Articles

Warren Meyer: Why Western Efforts To Ban Plastic Drinking Straws is GREAT for Global Prosperity

Yes, most plastic waste in the ocean comes from monsoon flooding of Asian rivers / cities that washes trash out into the ocean.  Yes, plastic drinking straws are a trivial percentage of the waste stream.  So yes, plastic drinking straw bans will have little effect on cleanliness of the environment. BUT, this effort does seem

2018-07-18 18:22   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: The Days I Love My Job

I write on this blog a lot on those days in my job that get me down.  That only makes sense because I write about government regulatory policy vis a vis business and it is government interventions that often cause me the most heartache. But there are good days too.  I have been putting together

2018-07-17 22:03   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: If Only We Had One "Sustainability" Number That Summarized the Value of the Time and Resources That Went Into a Product or Service....

From an article about how China's decision to restrict imports of recyclable materials is throwing the recycling industry for a loop: The trash crunch is compounded by the fact that many cities across the country are already pursuing ambitious recycling goals. Washington D.C., for example, wants to see 80% of household waste recycled, up from 23%. D.C.

2018-07-17 19:21   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: I Feel Like Maybe I Have An Addiction Problem If I Am Seeing This on My Diet Coke

2018-07-17 17:37   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: I'm Exhausted With Banks Treating Me Like A Criminal

For 15 years I have been a customer of El Dorado bank in a small town in California, just depositing our weekly revenues in the account and sweeping it out from time to time.  When Bank of America closed a few locations we use in other California small towns, it seemed easier to just add

2018-07-16 18:58   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: Schadenfreude: Crony Jerks at Whirpool Who Begged for Tariffs Are Now Suffering From Them

This is definitely from the schadenfreude files, via the WSJ: After the Trump administration announced new tariffs on imported washing machines in January, Marc Bitzer, the chief executive of Whirlpool Corp., celebrated his win over South Korean competitors LG Electronics Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. “This is, without any doubt, a positive catalyst for Whirlpool,” he said on an…

2018-07-16 18:17   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: Why are you opposed to all these worker protections? Or, more directly, why do you hate workers?

This is from the questions and comments I am getting on my Summer 2018 Regulation cover story, "How Labor Regulation Harms Unskilled Workers."   Here is my typical answer: I don't and I am not.  But this sort of reaction, which you can find in the comments of this and other similar articles, is typical of

2018-07-11 15:43   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: How Labor Regulation Harms Unskilled Workers

As a reminder, I have the cover story in Regulation magazine's Summer 2018 issue.  You can find links to the article and the issue, as well as a growing FAQ, here.

2018-07-11 15:38   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: The Value of Branding

This is yet another in a series of posts on the value of branding (previous iterations include here and here).  Socialists and anti-capitalists often deride branding as, at best, a complete waste of resources and at worst a huge value destruction in that the marketing associated with branding tricks consumers into buying products they don't

2018-07-11 15:36   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: The Death of Honor

When my company screws up, one of the steps we take to try to make customers happy is to give them a refund or some free future services.  For example, last weekend we had a customer who reserved a boat and apparently our staff in the rush of the holiday weekend lost the reservation, so

2018-07-10 17:29   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: I Have The Cover Story In Regulation Magazine -- How Labor Regulation Harms Unskilled Workers

I have written the cover story for the Summer 2018 issue of Regulation magazine, titled "How Labor Regulation Harms Unskilled Workers."  The link to the Summer 2018 issue is here and the article can be downloaded as a pdf here.  I meant to be a bit more prepared for this but it was originally slated

2018-07-03 17:17   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: Serving Everyone -- Letter to All My Employees

Sent over the weekend: Recently, there have been stories in the news about businesses who have refused to serve some customer because they belonged to some group that business did not favor. I want to be clear that RRM serves EVERYONE. I don't care, nor do I even want to know, their politics or their

2018-07-02 15:08   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: Ideological Turing Test Fail

Kevin Drum claims to want to really understand the Trump voter.  I will let you read it to see what you think, but here was my comment: I am all for promoting understanding between our two great national tribes. But you ruin your attempt by whipping out a statement like this: "There are plenty of

2018-07-01 04:01   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: If Socialists Understand the Free-Rider Problem, Then Why Are They Socialists?

There was a funny sideshow to the recent Supreme Court Janus v. AFSCME decision.  That decision essentially made it impossible for local or state governments to require that all employees pay support to certain public employee unions, even if they are not a member of that union and/or don't support that union's activities and, particularly, that

2018-06-29 18:30   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: Power, Privilege, and Free Speech

This is an excerpt from a letter I wrote to the Daily Princetonian a couple years ago in response to an editorial calling for speech codes of some sort (e.g. bans on "hate speech") This is why I think Progressives are making a huge mistake in opposing free speech, on their own terms. Speech codes

2018-06-29 17:54   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: A Few Thoughts on Recent Supreme Court Decisions

Trump vs. Hawaii More Interesting Than I Thought The Conservative and Progressive responses to the Supreme Court's Trump vs. Hawaii decision that upheld v3.0 of the travel ban are pretty predictable -- Progressive writers have argued that of course it violated the first amendment because Trump made clear any number of times that he was

2018-06-27 16:21   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: Modern Guide to Analyzing Complex Multivariate Systems

 Choose a complex and chaotic system that is characterized by thousands or millions of variables changing simultaneously (e.g. climate, the US economy) Pick one single output variable to summarize the workings of that system (e.g. temperature, GDP) Blame (or credit) any changes to your selected output variable on one single pet variable (e.g. capitalism, a

2018-06-25 21:19   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: What Tesla Is Doing This Week

I do not have any insider knowledge, so this is pure speculation, but I have worked in a lot of organizations that did insane things to try to reach milestones or goals, and so I think it is educated speculation. A lot of Tesla's market valuation comes from the prospects of getting a lot of

2018-06-25 20:50   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: Good For Princeton

This is great news from my alma mater, which I have criticized in the past: Much of the news regarding free speech on campus is enough to make anyone despair. Year after year more people and ideas are muzzled. But some very heartening news of late comes from Princeton. Due largely to a new book

2018-06-25 19:59   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: I Can't Believe I Have Been Taking Long Driving Trips Without Consulting This Site First

Roadside America.  I feel like tourist traps have been going a bit out of vogue, but I feel like this is exactly the sort of thing that is going to make a comeback as millenials have kids and start travelling with their super-hip airstream trailer.

2018-06-25 17:50   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: Wow, Public Schools Must REALLY Suck

The title was my first thought when I saw this over at Kevin Drum's: The Gates Foundation has spent about $200 million since 2010—in addition to other sources who kicked in about $400 million—on an education initiative designed to increase student performance: The school sites agreed to design new teacher-evaluation systems that incorporated classroom-observation rubrics and a measure

2018-06-22 18:55   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: Are You (or Trump) Really for Free Trade? Here is a Hypothetical to Test You

A few days back, we had a debate in the comments about whether Trump really wants free trade.   In my view, Trump looks at tariff rates and trade deficits like a simple scorecard of winning or losing without really understanding trade and its benefits.  Sure, Trump proposed a zero tariff rate agreement in passing with

2018-06-22 17:40   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: The Sales Tax Problem for Small Businesses

I am, perhaps surprisingly to many readers, NOT going to go on a rant about the Supreme Court's decision yesterday that states can collect sales tax on interstate sales over the Internet, at least I am not going to rant about taxing internet sales per se.  Realistically, it was never realistic to think the government

2018-06-22 16:37   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: Scam Alert - Fake Utility Company Call

Someone called one of our locations claiming to be the local utility company (they had the correct name, phone number and service address) said our power was going to be shut off that day for non-payment unless they were paid immediately over the phone.  Fortunately our managers hung up and called the utility main number

2018-06-21 13:38   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: Fraudulent Caller ID

You guys know me, I am not calling for some new law or government program.  But I would like to see the telephone companies exercise a little bit of basic professionalism.  The last several spam marketing calls (50/50 it is either for toner or credit card processing) have had legitimate-looking caller IDs that have caused

2018-06-20 16:23   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: Bernie Sander's Jobs Plan

A while back Bernie Sanders proposed a plan for "government jobs for all" -- a guarantee that the government would hire you at $15 an hour plus benefits and medical care.  All a worker has to do is bother to show up each day to get paid. The Saudis have done something similar for years. 

2018-06-20 16:13   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: Republicans Have A Learning Problem

Trump supporters are complaining that similar immigration actions that were essentially ignored by the press under Obama are now taking up half the nightly news broadcast under Trump.  As an aside, this is only partially true -- the Trump Administration has antagonized and worsened what was previously a bad, admittedly ignored, situation.  But my main

2018-06-19 17:54   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: But On the Positive Side, They Got Rid of Plastic Bags

The City of San Francisco seems to have odd litter preferences.  After a huge program to ban and/or charge for plastic bags to get them out of the litter stream ( a program that for all my whining about it seems to have achieved that goal pretty well), the city seems to have substituted used

2018-06-19 16:58   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: When the F*ck Did We Give The President So Much Power? Trump Unilaterally Raises Taxes Again

Republicans that used to lament the imperial presidency under Obama sure seem to be OK with Trump unilaterally levying tens of billions of dollars of new taxes on American consumers.  I presume since no one has seriously questioned his power to do so that he must have this power.  Yet another example in the shameful

2018-06-19 16:11   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: A Thought Experiment Wherein Coyote Makes In Intersectional Argument, Sort of

The following is a thought experiment: Modern SJW's argue that it is impossible for one gender or ethnicity or sexual preference to understand another.  Taking that as a launching point, there appears to be a crisis in psychology that can only be fixed by government intervention.  Begin with a basic fact:  Between 3 and 4

2018-06-19 15:20   Click to comment


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