Trading cards

Random thoughts

Recently a local chain restaurant closed, and friends at dinner expressed disappointment that they would now have to drive to the next town over to use their gift cards. Those gift cards had lost value. If the whole chain went out of business, I guess their gift cards would become worthless. If there were similar cards for milk, or McDonald’s hamburgers, or cups of Starbucks, people could trade them.

If there were a Chicago Gift Card Exchange, people could sell theirs and buy others that were still locally available. But if there were a CGCE, transaction costs would be prohibitively high for just one card. Sharpers from the city would come around every few weeks buying up cards at steep discounts.

It would be interesting if you could buy a card from Shell or BP that was good for fifty gallons of gas, instead of fifty dollars worth. I suppose they don’t exist (at the consumer level, as far as I know) because nobody would buy them at the price the seller would need to charge to make a profit.

If these existed, and you’d had a few fifty-gallon gas cards six months ago, you might have thought yourself a clever fellow, not like those saps with their money in US dollars. Who knows? Maybe now is a buying opportunity.

If you hired illegal aliens you could pay them with these, although I guess you could pay them with Walmart gift cards denominated in plain old dollars just as well. It seems like that wouldn’t give anybody any advantage over just paying cash though.

Earn tax-free income today!

Corporations don’t pay taxes, they just pass the cost on to, ultimately, the consumers.

But consumers don’t pay taxes. Their employers do. The employee must make enough after his own costs, including taxes, so that working is more attractive than not working. The government subsidizes low-wage jobs with earned-income credits, and food stamps, and bus tokens, paid for by individual and corporate taxes.

So really, nobody is paying any taxes. When the government needs money, they print up a batch of zero-coupon perpetuals. People use these as money, for reasons I don’t fully understand.

For a more rational explanation of money, follow the link.

The business plan behind illegal immigration

Who says business innovation is dead in America?

For years now, it has seemed like there was no business legal in the US that required lots of illegal immigrants. But lookee, there has been just such a business – a whole industry – for years. Right now it’s dominated by DCCC, but NRCC is working hard to catch up.

The lie of “immigration reform”

The lie is the assumption that, once current illegals get their legalization, pro-immigrant activists in both parties will continue to support the second half of the bargain, the increased security.

The chaos in Texas shows they won’t. Faced with a clear hole in the border – with a wave of tens of thousands of undocumented Central Americans crossing into the U.S. in order to get in line for hearings years from now, which they likely won’t attend while they continue to live here – pro-reform activists have scrambled, not to show their border security bona fides, but to generate arguments and outbursts designed to let the new wave stay. — Lie at Heart of “Immigration Reform” Exposed

Many reformers do not really want to stop illegal immigration. They want illegal immigrants, because their business plans rely on illegal immigrants. Legal residents would not do the work unless their employers paid what they would have to pay legal residents to do the same work.

And let me add, if your business plan is predicated on hiring illegals, that’s not good business; that’s organized crime, whether you’re a fruit grower, a restaurant owner, or a non-profit.


“…he very often laid the foundations of his fortune in a very curious and poetical way, the nature of which I have never fully understood. It consisted in his walking about the street without a hat and going up to another man and saying, “Suppose I have two hundred whales out of the North Sea.” To which the other man replied, “And let us imagine that I am in possession of two thousand elephants’ tusks.” They then exchange, and the first man goes up to a third man and says, “Supposing me to have lately come into the possession of two thousand elephants’ tusks, would you, etc.?” If you play this game well, you become very rich; if you play it badly you have to kill yourself or try your luck at the Bar.” — Eugenics and Other Evils, by G. K. Chesterton


A business plan that requires illegal immigrants is simply organized crime.

“More than 50 million working age Americans are either officially unemployed or not working, but George W. Bush’s former Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez says amnesty and significant increase in legal immigration are needed because businesses can’t find suitable employees.” — Despite 50 Million Americans Out Of Work…

These business plans should be non-viable. Fortunately for these legitimate businessmen, we have the leadership of two political parties and several important non-profit corporations working hard to get them cheap labor. That’s just one example of our meritocracy’s approach to governance that’s helped make America what it is today.