I thought so

Two-day shipping has helped double warehouse land prices.

I wrote about it here. Well, not doubling warehouse land prices, but causing the shift to online retail.

The first article mentions that old retail space will start to be converted to last-stop warehouse for extra fast deliveries. Sound good.


Why not raise (or eliminate) the limit on immigration?

One of the key reasons we have illegal immigration in the U.S. is the limit on the number of people let in legally.

I believe that limit is about 700,000 per year, set by the Immigration Act of 1990.

If you restrict the supply of something (in this case, legal immigration) that is in high demand, an underground market will emerge to meet the unserved demand.

This is why it’s difficult to win the war on drugs or to raise minimum wage.

If you make drugs illegal, an underground economy emerges to supply the illegal drugs that are in demand.

If you raise the minimum wage to make it illegal to work for less than a certain amount, an underground economy of off-the-books jobs for people who are willing to work for less.

Sometimes, even legal loopholes emerge, like treating employees as independent contractors. I wrote about how one high minimum wage supporter I knew skirted the minimum wage law in his own business here.

I find it strange that anyone for immigration has not mentioned raising the limit on legal immigration. Why is 700,000 a good number? What can’t it be higher?

Rather, it seems they just want to illegal immigration to continue to happen. Why not make it legal?

I’m fine with immigration and I’m fine with having more than 700,000 per year. I’m not even sure we need to set an arbitrary limit.

Maybe there are good reasons, but I haven’t heard them, yet.

I think the vast majority of immigrants come here for an opportunity at a better life and to contribute, not by taking benefits, but by creating value through the market system and that letting them in makes us all better off.

Raising the limit also reduces the number of folks who come in illegally who may intend to cause harm, making it easier to keep tabs on them since they came through the official process (though I won’t kid myself into believing that official processes are good at that sort of stuff).

Sports and Politics

Most of the banter between sides in politics is the same as sports. My team vs. your team. Us vs. Them. He said, she said.

In terms of debate, though, there’s no there there.

It never gets to actual discussing of issues and reasoning. It stays at the level of your side is all good and the other guys are all bad.

Most of the banter in sports is to sell beer, t-shirts and hats.

Most of the banter in politics is to keep you from thinking. If your side convinces you that I’m bad, then they minimize the risk of losing you.

I think you should be wary of people who act like this because they’re employing the same tactics as the adults in M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village.

[Spoiler alert] 

They used phony beasts in the woods to keep their kids from exploring beyond the village limits and discovering there was an entire modern world out there.

Economist Thomas Sowell said:

There are no solutions, only trade-offs.

The world looks very different when you grasp this.

You begin to feel like the kids who found their way through the woods. You realize that many of your beliefs were built on fiction because others thought it best for you and for them.


What’s in a name?

US Soccer Federation – The name of the governing body of the sport of soccer in the U.S.

The Football AssociationThe name of the governing body of the sport of soccer (football) in the U.K.

One sounds like it’s driven from the top. Clubs exist to give the heads of soccer their power.

The other sounds like it is driven from the bottom.  The power exists to enable the clubs to be the best they can be.

Phony concerns about how much tax rate changes will cost

I will be more interested in hearing from folks about how much tax rate changes “will cost us,” when they are just as concerned about how much spending costs us.

Top-down soccer federation

Gary Kleiban of 3four3.com contends that structuring a pyramid of soccer leagues in the U.S. and opening the leagues to clubs, will encourage club formation as investors seek to start clubs that might be able to win their way into the top league for the financial gain.

This is the bottom-up way soccer is organized in many soccer-loving nations. England has about 10 levels in its league pyramid, with the top 4 levels being pro.

I think Gary’s argument has merit.

I think there are two barriers.

First, the lower levels the pyramid would likely need to wipe out high school and college soccer.  I don’t see how the pyramid co-exists with serious scholastic soccer.

Check out the highlights from the NCAA National Soccer Championship. Note the empty seats in the stadium. The only people who will miss college soccer are those who play it and the parents who like to brag that their kid is a college athlete.

Second, even the money on the top level currently in the U.S. isn’t that great, so it may not be as big of a motivator as Gary thinks.

Soccer-loving nations had an advantage to creating a bottom-up system…the bottom was already in place. The bottom is kids teaching themselves how to play soccer at ages 5 and 6 in schoolyards and sports clubs that give kids a convenient, consistent and inexpensive avenue to get even better.

Federations in those countries just needed to organize competition among the grassroots.

US Soccer has a disadvantage. The grassroots is weak. School teams fragment the sport and 2nd graders aren’t chomping at the bit to play ‘monkey-in-the-middle’ 15 hours a week on their own.

But, that’s not to say that US Soccer shouldn’t recognize that some bottom-up thinking could help and that competition is good.


Power of Voice and Exit in soccer

We have two powers at our disposal.

  1. The power of voice — If we don’t like something, we can try to convince the powers that be to change it.
  2. The power of exit — If we don’t like something, we can try alternative — often a competitor or substitute.

Having both is important.

If there was just one beer maker, we’d just have the power of voice in the beer market. The chances of getting the beer we wanted would be low.

Thankfully, we have many beer makers that make many different beers — so we have both the powers of voice and exit and a much improved chance of getting beers we like.

In fact, we have so many beer options that we don’t need to exercise our power of voice to convince a beer maker to make the beer we like.

We simply exercise our power of exit. If we don’t like a beer, we choose another. If enough of us do that, it rewards the beer makers who make what we like and punishes the ones who don’t. The latter either changes or goes away.

An election for the president of US Soccer will be held in February (2018).

One group of soccer fans would like to see a pro league structure that includes promotion/relegation, among other changes. So far, their power of voice has been ignored by US Soccer officials.

Promotion/relegation (“pro/rel,” for short) is where the bottom 2-3 teams in the top league (in this case, the MLS) each year would be relegated to a lower league, while the top 2-3 teams in the lower league would be promoted to the top league, hence ‘pro/rel’.

The current US Soccer administration is against it for various reasons. One reason is they think it would make it tough to attract investors in teams if there was a risk of losing their ‘major league’ status.

The “pro/rel” folks are now trying to use their power of voice to influence who wins the election for US Soccer president. They want a president that supports their ideas.

Unfortunately, the power of voice is muted without the power of exit. It sometimes works. But that’s not the norm because getting enough people to agree on something is difficult enough without politics and corruption. Even more so with it.

With US Soccer having a big say over how soccer is done in the U.S., the power of exit is limited. But, the power of exit is more effective way to get what we want.

Basic question…why does US Soccer have so much say over how soccer is done in the U.S.?

I could be wrong, but I think it’s because FIFA (which organizes international football competitions) recognizes just one soccer federation per country and so US Soccer has a monopoly on dollars from international competitions sanctioned by FIFA.

That makes it difficult for other soccer associations to emerge to compete with US Soccer.

I will add that soccer federations in other countries seem to view their role in soccer a little different than U.S. Soccer. More on that in the next post.