Life After the Virus

I wonder how this will affect tax codes as well. If an employee that’s not under contract has to bare the cost of their work space then that should be easy to write down but that’s assuming the GOP doesn’t carve out a huge exemption to make their corporate masters happy.

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This makes sense to me as the robot is a special form of capital that not only improves productivity but it also eliminates labor entirely for sections of the workflow in production. So it should be taxed at a higher rate accordingly as it gives 100% of the proceeds of production to the firm and not to labor (tfw you’re channeling the spirit of Adam Smith and/or David Ricardo in this convo).

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A 2 hour flight is about 600—700 miles, give or take. If you have an entire day to spend sitting in a car, each way, then it’s not so bad. If you’re traveling for work and they expect you to be working for those two days, maybe not. If you have pain issues, mobility issues, small children, etc, it’s pretty much a no go.

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Certainly, it doesn’t work for an employment situation (in which they’d probably be paying for the flight anyway), but the specific circumstance was being away from family and friends during the pandemic and wanting to get back to them.

I know a handful of people who have driven home for distances of at least 800 miles in the States, to avoid flying and being around other potentially contagious people. It’s an extreme time, so people are resorting to extreme behaviors. As it turns out, in the above case, driving would not have worked due to topography.

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For me, it depends on which mode of transportation is more reliable. In some cases, that may be driving, in others it may be flying. If air travel gets much worse, we will see a lot of people driving, even 800+ miles with a car full of kids. But then the roads get congested, and people will continue to drive like morons, so…

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Ugh, what a headline…

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Do they bother considering things like: cities with officials that take public health seriously so you’re less likely to die in the next emergency?

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The article is not much better. It’s full of assumptions about wanting to move vs. having the resources to do it. Worse, it uses the idea that remote work is an option for those who can move (as if employers will continue to support it). The last straw was what they used to measure (starting with college grads over 25 with no mention of debt):

These measures are the pre-coronavirus unemployment rate, ability to work from home, population density, housing affordability, monthly household costs, cost of living, weekly two-way work commute, total elementary- and secondary-school spending per student, and share of residents age 25 and over who have at least a bachelor’s degree.

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Say, you’re talkin like you’re not a . . . Business Insider!

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Yeah, I’d love to be a fly inside the room to hear why businesses might want consumers to follow this advice. Are they losing people (and associated market share) to prepper communities and survivalist camps, or just baiting the hook?

Warning - names in the article below may induce spit-takes. Do not read while drinking hot liquids, and maintain safe distance from screen.

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Interesting that almost all of the cities are in flyover country.

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They just plugged a bunch of numbers into an equation they pulled out of their collective ass. That’s what these people call being “data driven”.

I’m not sure what the percentage of jobs that can be done from home has to do with anything. If the job can be done from home, you can do it from anywhere in the country. Not sure what the percentage of people over 25 with at least a bachelor’s degree means either, except that they’re assuming that their readers are in that demographic and not, say, semiskilled laborers who have lost their jobs because of the virus and actually need to move now.

So, plug these bullshit numbers into a bullshit equation and you get a bunch of Midwest college towns. Plus places like Huntsville (:nauseated_face:), Dubuque (:face_vomiting:), and Springfield IL (:face_vomiting: :face_vomiting: :face_vomiting:) scoring really highly.

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Having now RTA, I know almost all of those cities pretty well. They’re (mostly) the ones that have been losing population because they’re not great to live in. The kinds of people who can work from home usually like local goods and services to be more than the feed store, Hobby Lobby, and Walmart.

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I’m depressed, but not surprised, to see a verdict of “the disruption will result in higher prices and lower wages; despite the fact that labor costs are a substantial component of production costs for many goods and services.”

I certainly don’t doubt that this outcome can be arranged; but it certainly feels as though there’s some sleight of hand they don’t tell you about in EC101 going on if suppliers are paying more and getting lower productivity; yet the wages of those work in the apparently costly onshore production operations will still be permanently impaired.

Perhaps I’m being unfair to some actually lovely people; but I have this strong, visceral, sense that being surrounded by the people who would buy access to a “luxury prepper community” would make me stop wanting to survive the apocalypse, fast.

There are definitely some unwholesome influences at work behind various factions in the more downmarket and DIY prepper community(some cults, racial holy war enthusiasts, the anything-other-than-the-sheriff-and-his-posse-is-fascist-communism theorists of government, etc.); but at least there’s some fun DIY, some people with actual community interests, even ecological motivations in some quarters.

‘Luxury Prepper’ seems like it would pretty much be a bunch of vulgar new money working on the hope that an HOA with a militia can ensure that the status quo is swiftly restored; or, if that isn’t practical, a nice, traditional, colonial relationship imposed on such resources and human capital stocks remain outside the wire.

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I like to imagine/hope they wouldn’t exist in great numbers, like the Howells on Gilligan’s Island. As long as we have them outnumbered, and there are necessary resources outside of their enclaves, they’ll be forced to coexist. Their old lifestyle wouldn’t be sustainable, but some will live in denial as long as possible.

If we’re lucky, their bitter disappointment will be directed toward the wealthy folks who escaped on their yachts and left these wannabes to face the rabble.

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Living around them would give you the opportunity to sell high-margin but useless prepper supplies (or if you’re particularly ambitious, start your own doomsday religion for even higher margins) and then ride off into the sunset come “armageddon”.

Oh wait, you’re not a sociopath? Nevermind.

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A memo from the distant future… June 2022: The boss decides working from home isn’t the new normal after all

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I was looking at a can of hand sanitizer yesterday that had a weirdly macho blurb about their industry, “where only the strong survive.” They meant businesses, but I read it as germs. With all of this constant disinfecting of everything, we must be helping some pretty bad super germs evolve.

Maybe after a few rounds, we’ll be good enough at quarantining that we can do periodic brief-but-total quarantines.

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