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The Great Taxi Upheaval

dada21 From a non-driver perspective (218 comments)

I stopped driving 2 years ago, voluntarily. My SUV cost me around $800 a month in replacement costs. Another $200 in maintenance. I was burning through $12,000 a year in gas. I spent an average of 1000 hours a year in the car, for work, for groceries, for fun. 999 of those hours were spent focused on the road. I hate talking on the phone while driving.

Consider my annual total: about $25,000 + 1000 hours of my time. For the "privilege" to sit in Chicago traffic.

I'm a consultant. I now use UberX every day. I also use public transportation when I'm not in a rush or when someone isn't paying me to swing by.

I spent about $5000 a year on UberX. $100 a week. While I am being driven around, I can respond to emails, make phone calls. I bill for that time. When a customer wants me to visit them, I pass the UberX fee on to them plus 50%. No one scoffs at it. Some customers will realize the cost of me visiting them is more expensive than just consulting over the phone.

I figure I'm $20,000 ahead in vehicle costs, plus I've literally gained another 600-700 hours of phone and email consulting time a year. Call it $40,000 ahead.

I don't take cabs, because they don't like to come to where my HQ is (ghetto neighborhood). UberX comes 24/7, within minutes.

My little sister had an emergency surgery a few months ago. I immediately hired an UberX driver, who took me from the office, to the hospital. He waited. We then took my sister to her apartment to get her cats and clothes, then he took us to the pharmacy. After, he drove us to our dad's house to drop her off, in the suburbs of Chicago. Then he drove me back to work. 3 hours, $90. I can't get a cab to wait even 10 minutes while I drop off a package at UPS. Forget about them taking credit cards.

UberX charges my Paypal account and they're off. If they're busy, they charge a surcharge. I can pick it or take public transportation.

I know why the Chicago Taxi authorities want Uber gone. But a guy like me is their best customer. Next year I'll budget $10,000 a year for UberX, and it will make my life so much more enjoyable and profitable.

Driving yourself around is dead. It's inefficient. Ridesharing is "libertarian" because it is truly freeing.

about 3 months ago
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Drug Site Silk Road Says It Will Survive Bitcoin's Volatility

dada21 Re:I sell actual things in Bitcoin (293 comments)

Since my financial stability for the future doesn't correlate with income nor even profit, I think my risk is pretty low. Even if volatility continues, and even if my businesses took in 50% of their revenues in BTC, I still wouldn't see any actual harm. The businesses have been around for decades, and they're self-sufficient and stable.

Converting BTC to fiat currency puts a sell-pressure on BTC. Holding BTC would reduce the selling supply, thereby reducing volatility from the sell side. It's the same with dollars: I hoard my dollars in cash "under the mattress" rather than put it in a bank to get loaned out as debt (money multiplier effect).

The "market forces" in BTC right now are pretty unique because only a small number of BTC holders are actually transacting. Most people are "long game speculators", and are neither buying things with BTC nor selling it to liquidate for fiat currency. As the number of BTC users goes up (which will likely happen when volatility is reduced), I believe we'll see a more stable platform.

about a year and a half ago
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Drug Site Silk Road Says It Will Survive Bitcoin's Volatility

dada21 Re:I sell actual things in Bitcoin (293 comments)

I'd be happy to throw back just to the 1800s or so -- when poor people could actually save their way to wealth, where credit addiction didn't lead to thrill-seeking behavior addiction, and where the money supply wasn't a medium to fund warfare and welfare entitlements benefiting the rich and powerful.

Business regulations, money regulations and savings dilution aren't modern in any way, but they've become the norm. I'd rather see all 3 go away, or at least just become part of the nanny-state economy, not my economies.

about a year and a half ago
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Drug Site Silk Road Says It Will Survive Bitcoin's Volatility

dada21 Re:I sell actual things in Bitcoin (293 comments)

Bingo. I may be aligned with the anarcho-capitalists, but I also have no issue with government regulating the people who want government.

I don't care for money stability, I just want a bartering medium that is freed from the pressures associated with money. Bitcoin is unlikely to fund government programs -- and if the day comes that a commodity currency becomes official, it will certainly restrict government to acting within their means.

I also appreciate that Bitcoin doesn't have the money multiplier effect of credit (cards, loans, etc). People have to live within their means with Bitcoin.

about a year and a half ago
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Drug Site Silk Road Says It Will Survive Bitcoin's Volatility

dada21 I sell actual things in Bitcoin (293 comments)

I sell physical goods and accept Bitcoin as a payment method. The volatility doesn't bug me at all. While it's only a tiny percentage of overall sales, it's still exciting to see a currency that can actually become a true bartering agent that is freed of non-market forces.

If a seller is concerned with volatility, they should consider not selling their received BTC for fiat currency. It's the number of "we accept bitcoin" sites that accept currency and then immediately convert it to fiat that is one reason for the downward pressure.

I blogged about it the other day, in how I wish governments would just make BTC to fiat currency transactions illegal. It would be a great step in reducing volatility and decoupling BTC from the regulated markets.

about a year and a half ago
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For Businesses, the College Degree Is the New High School Diploma

dada21 Re:How about a Monster.com for the non-degreed? (728 comments)

It sounds like you're projecting your own insecurities about your inability to interact with whom you want to interact with. That's too bad.

The straw man argument about "giving up" roads, postal, internet etc is irrelevant to me. I'm not political. I believe in the feudalism that has existed since the dawn of agriculture. 80% of people are serfs, 20% are lords. I'll take advantage of the system that you serfs have created, be it political, corporate, even sexual markets.

I don't support the systems, and in a truly free market guys like me would be knocked down a notch.

But we aren't. I'm still making good enough money to vacation every week or two. I have great friends who either really like me, or like the things I have access to. I sleep with great women who also take care of my domestic needs. I don't work in a cubicle or in a "team environment" and I work with the customers I want to work with -- and ones who want to work with me.

And I work when I want to work. My employees have that same freedom: if they don't need the income, they don't have to come in and field new jobs. It's pretty basic, it's how humans seem designed to operate.

Or, you can be a serf in a 9-5 job paying off a mortgage for 42 years, college debt for 20+ years, and hope you'll die being able to leave your children something of value.

You can have your society, I don't want a part of it.

about a year and a half ago
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For Businesses, the College Degree Is the New High School Diploma

dada21 Re:How about a Monster.com for the non-degreed? (728 comments)

The entire world has attempted this one-size-fits-all mentality, and it's a failure. People are unhappy with it.

I want to be with happy people in my life. I don't need the money from any one unhappy person, so I'd rather not have them in my life.

The idea that all businesses should accept all customers is insane. Should all men accept all women as possible sex partners? Should you accept any platonic friend who comes into your life?

No. We form relationships based on compatibility, and my businesses do BETTER because my clients are generally compatible with my viewpoints.

about a year and a half ago
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For Businesses, the College Degree Is the New High School Diploma

dada21 Re:Misplaced arrogance (728 comments)

"Being a self starter has nothing to do with whether or not you went to college."

Really? I don't meet too many college graduates who I would consider self-starters. Very rare, actually.

"Having a college degree isn't the only thing that matters but it can be a very useful indicator of what the person standing in front of me is capable of."

"I have several college degrees including masters in both engineering and business. I've started 5 businesses, am a certified accountant, run a manufacturing company and am on the board of a non-profit. My wife has a doctorate and does even better than I do. If you think our college degrees have held either of us back in any way you are delusional."

I'm sure they haven't held you back, but I also don't see the purpose of those degrees connecting with your 5 businesses. Sounds like you wasted a lot of time chasing degrees. I wouldn't hire you.

"So you want to hire people who have no respect for others? Nice. I'll be sure to avoid you and the people you hire."

Feminists have respect for others? Please. Progressives have respect for others? Yeah, sure, tell me another one.

"You know a lot of engineers or doctors who picked up their profession "on the streets"?"

I own an engineering company and I have no degree. Two of my consultants who work with me also don't have degrees.

And I did mention in my OP that STEM degrees can make sense -- but they aren't the end off for confirming someone's ability to engineer.

The greatest engineer I ever met, in Chicago, who has been retired just 5 years, did not have an engineer degree. And he was the #1 guy in a certain engineering field in the Midwest. My mentor, of sorts. Never went to college.

about a year and a half ago
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For Businesses, the College Degree Is the New High School Diploma

dada21 Re:How about a Monster.com for the non-degreed? (728 comments)

I refuse to subsidize bad ideology.

The idea of freedom is that we can congregate with people we like, and refuse to congregate with people we don't like.

For me, all relationships I have include an economic metric. Not a FINANCIAL metric, but economic -- both parties should gain, and both parties should invest in the relationship. It's that way with love, with sex, with family, with platonic friends, and with business.

I don't want to invest in people with shitty entitled attitudes. I tell feminists that I am anti-feminism, but they still shop from me. Some of them date me, which is insane because I am THE anti-feminist. Figure that one out.

A few years ago, I purposefully told state employees that I'd rather not do business with them. Some of them came to me and discussed it. Cops, public school teachers, even the local postal employee. I told them why I didn't want to do business with them, and they basically agreed with me. They agreed with my opinion, even though I was trying to fire them as customers.

I'm very open about my prejudices. If people want to do business with me, they either accept it, or they don't. Isn't it better to KNOW what another person believes, so you can make the decision to congregate with them, or not?

about a year and a half ago
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For Businesses, the College Degree Is the New High School Diploma

dada21 Re:How about a Monster.com for the non-degreed? (728 comments)

That's an imbecilic response.

All my companies have an open books policy. That means that even the lowliest employee can look at our accounting books, our bank statements, even my tax returns (personal identity information redacted).

I generally earn the LEAST of any business I own. If I am not at the bottom, I am pretty close to it.

If I was a capitalist overlord, I'd be earning the most.

Why do I have an open book policy? To teach my employees how to be entrepreneurs. To teach them that the $1500 job they're working on doesn't create $1500 in wealth for us, but for many suppliers, contract workers, waged workers, and sales persons.

People learn from me. I have many competitors in my field who worked for me a decade ago (or even 1 year ago). They move on to doing things themselves, or partnering up with someone else. I encourage this. Competition doesn't hurt me, it helps grow the markets I am in.

Showing my staff the books doesn't hurt me, it encourages them to work harder knowing that the wealth is shared.

about a year and a half ago
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For Businesses, the College Degree Is the New High School Diploma

dada21 Re:How about a Monster.com for the non-degreed? (728 comments)

Not a sociopath, no.

Just an entrepreneur who has gone above and beyond the call of duty for the people I like, and has the option to give a big middle finger to those I don't like.

Freedom is a beautiful thing. It lets like-minded people congregate with like-minded people.

And the surprise to many of the entitled-progressive bunch is how many people are like me but afraid to talk about it. When those people discover that I am unafraid to give witness to how I live my life, they flock to what I have to offer.

about a year and a half ago
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For Businesses, the College Degree Is the New High School Diploma

dada21 Re:How about a Monster.com for the non-degreed? (728 comments)

Turning away customers has always been good for me. I've been in the consulting, communications, retail and services industries since 1987. And we turn people away weekly.

They go and bitch to their friends and family, or yell to high heaven on Yelp, but it hasn't changed the fact that for every 5 people who get angry that we denied them, we get 5 more who are just ecstatic that we have that policy.

I booted someone out of one of my businesses today. Gave her some business cards of our competitors and told her "don't let the door hit you on the way out."

Because we do fine work, and we don't want to do that work with people who we disagree with.

If more business owners would adopt the attitude that we are customers buy cash from cash-sellers, we would slowly put a stop to this "customer first" entitlement mentality.

Both parties in any transaction are sellers, and both parties are buyers.

about a year and a half ago
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For Businesses, the College Degree Is the New High School Diploma

dada21 Re:How about a Monster.com for the non-degreed? (728 comments)

Pfft, I mentioned STEM fields as a place where college degrees make sense. Read it again.

STEM: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

I'd probably say that most IT people can learn through mentorship programs versus college, though.

about a year and a half ago
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For Businesses, the College Degree Is the New High School Diploma

dada21 Re:How about a Monster.com for the non-degreed? (728 comments)

Yes, I routinely turn away customers.

I am proud of the product we provide, the price we aim for, and the overall quality of the people I've hired.

In the 25 years I've been running businesses (since back in the BBS days), I've had this attitude. It's my product. I am buying your money with my product. For my payment in services, I am expecting cash-sellers who have a good attitude and aren't part of the every-growing sissy-entitled mentality that has taken over the average Joe in this country.

I don't care if you don't like me. Some of my regular customers actually hate me (and have told me so), but they're willing to shut their traps about their political ideologies because I run damn fine businesses.

about a year and a half ago
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For Businesses, the College Degree Is the New High School Diploma

dada21 Re:How about a Monster.com for the non-degreed? (728 comments)

And what's wrong with that?

The entitlement mentality for those with college degrees in almost every field is astounding. Completely jaw-dropping in some cases.

Other than STEM fields, I can't imagine what a college degree will bring to a person's ability to make a happy customer and a profitable company.

All of my businesses are those where degrees have replaced internships and mentorship programs. Most of my top earning employees have moved on to other companies -- companies that didn't even consider their lack of a degree because they had actual job skills earned by working for me and learning from my people.

I look at all my friends who have graphic design degrees but can't design. I look at friends with business degrees but they can't run a business. Administrative assistants who went to college? For what, to answer the phone, manage customers and file paperwork? For real?

Even in accounting there is much more to be learned on-the-job than in any 4 year program.

Fuck if I care -- 90% of my client base is non-degreed. 90%. And the 10% who are degreed? They can barely afford our services across the board, usually due to their debt burden.

about a year and a half ago
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For Businesses, the College Degree Is the New High School Diploma

dada21 How about a Monster.com for the non-degreed? (728 comments)

I own businesses in the Midwest and South Florida. When I post a job listing (usually through Craigslist), I specifically request people with no degree apply.

In the past 9 years, 100% of people I've hired were undegreed. These were the people I wanted, because they specifically weren't indoctrinated into the college mentality. I want self-starters, people I can later on invite to become a business partner. I also don't want political correctness, feminism or any of the other progressive mindsets in any of my businesses. Those people can hit the road -- I don't even want them as customers.

I also hate having employees with major debt.

I pay better than average wages, and I purposely look through applications for the non-degreed folks.

I'd love to see a job search website that focuses on people bright enough to skip 4 years of college and just hit the employment roles.

Of course, I don't have HR departments, I would never hire an MBA, and I go out of my way to work with the millions of entrepreneurs out there who also didn't go to college but are earning bank.

Maybe with luck society will separate into two groups: the politically correct nauseated degreed folks and the self-driven and determined entrepreneurial type.

about a year and a half ago
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Are Porn and Video Games Ruining a Generation?

dada21 No chance of ruining the species... (1034 comments)

...recent Western culture has shown that a higher percentage of men have become fathers in the past few generations than before that.

As more and more males become adjusted to the instant high of popular culture, we'll just return to the times when a tinier percentage of men were having all the babies.

Marriage is already on a decline, in some races good husbands are hard to find so women have more biracial babies, and the powerful men won't stop spreading their seed.

Does it matter to me if the weak male class doesn't have kids? Hell no -- and they make good employees, too. Maybe better ones.

more than 2 years ago
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Report on Web-Surfing Speeds Finds Pervasive Throttling

dada21 Re:I'm sure they'll stop (189 comments)

They never said:

1. Unlimited speeds
2. Unlimited data

The term "unlimited" is from the AOL-centric dial-up days where you had a limited amount of connection hours.

Unlimited still means *unlimited connection time*.

It's been discussed before. Read your TOS and the fine print on advertising.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

dada21 hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

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The Gold Museum

dada21 dada21 writes  |  more than 8 years ago

For those regulars who read my posts, I've started a Museum of Gold Coins and Gold Bars that I'll be updating daily for the next 2 weeks. I know many of my "fans" are starting to show interest in coins, and I hope this museum will eventually have enough facts on coins so that one can decipher the real deals from the "collectible" scams out there.

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Be Your Own Boss?

dada21 dada21 writes  |  more than 8 years ago

I've received numerous e-mail regarding how I run my businesses and the secrets to my success. Since so many of the e-mails are along the same vein, I decided to blog my responses and follow up in private e-mails for those who hate blogs.

http://yourownboss.blogspot.com

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