Author Topic: Overheard at Work  (Read 6053051 times)

paddedhat

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18950 on: October 11, 2017, 01:00:58 PM »
Just went and got lunch out of the fridge. In there is a store bought pack of hard boiled eggs (non-organic, I looked). 6 for $3.99

For comparison, I bought a dozen eggs for 34 cents.
.  The crazy part is that, if nobody buys the stupid priced eggs, you may not have the chance to buy eggs for a few cents each. We recently spoke with an employee of one of our regional mega egg factory farms. He is in charge of marketing things like Buffalo Wing flavored hard boiled eggs for a buck each, in a clear plastic refrigerator package. High profit items like this are literally keeping the lights on and the doors open when it comes to factory Ag. Eggs were a very, very low margin product, and now it's gotten to the point where there in no money to be made. Sadly, a delivery guy might roll a hand truck past you with six cases of $0.34 / dozen eggs and a few packs of prepared eggs. The handful of small packages and the few bucks in net profit they bring are the only think keeping that guy in a job. We have similar issues with small dairy farmers, many who have lost money in six of the last seven years

The economist in me thinks "These things have a tendency to work themselves out." If some farmers quit doing dairy and eggs because it's not profitable, the lower supply should raise prices and balance out the costs for the factory farms who remain.
.   You are obviously correct, but the question is, where does it end, and to who's benefit? We are at the point where local farmers are selling their dairy herds and switching to growing tobacco, while local grocery stores sell milk that contains powdered  milk from China. In the case of things like commodity eggs and chicken there are local outfits that are raising hundreds of thousands of chickens or producing tens of thousands of eggs a week and still barely breaking even. At some point all the theories of Efficient Markets and the magic of competition no longer explain the systemic failure.

solon

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18951 on: October 11, 2017, 01:09:40 PM »
Just went and got lunch out of the fridge. In there is a store bought pack of hard boiled eggs (non-organic, I looked). 6 for $3.99

For comparison, I bought a dozen eggs for 34 cents.
.  The crazy part is that, if nobody buys the stupid priced eggs, you may not have the chance to buy eggs for a few cents each. We recently spoke with an employee of one of our regional mega egg factory farms. He is in charge of marketing things like Buffalo Wing flavored hard boiled eggs for a buck each, in a clear plastic refrigerator package. High profit items like this are literally keeping the lights on and the doors open when it comes to factory Ag. Eggs were a very, very low margin product, and now it's gotten to the point where there in no money to be made. Sadly, a delivery guy might roll a hand truck past you with six cases of $0.34 / dozen eggs and a few packs of prepared eggs. The handful of small packages and the few bucks in net profit they bring are the only think keeping that guy in a job. We have similar issues with small dairy farmers, many who have lost money in six of the last seven years

The economist in me thinks "These things have a tendency to work themselves out." If some farmers quit doing dairy and eggs because it's not profitable, the lower supply should raise prices and balance out the costs for the factory farms who remain.
.   You are obviously correct, but the question is, where does it end, and to who's benefit? We are at the point where local farmers are selling their dairy herds and switching to growing tobacco, while local grocery stores sell milk that contains powdered  milk from China. In the case of things like commodity eggs and chicken there are local outfits that are raising hundreds of thousands of chickens or producing tens of thousands of eggs a week and still barely breaking even. At some point all the theories of Efficient Markets and the magic of competition no longer explain the systemic failure.

Wouldn't systemic failure itself be self-correcting?

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18952 on: October 11, 2017, 01:21:57 PM »
Just went and got lunch out of the fridge. In there is a store bought pack of hard boiled eggs (non-organic, I looked). 6 for $3.99

For comparison, I bought a dozen eggs for 34 cents.
.  The crazy part is that, if nobody buys the stupid priced eggs, you may not have the chance to buy eggs for a few cents each. We recently spoke with an employee of one of our regional mega egg factory farms. He is in charge of marketing things like Buffalo Wing flavored hard boiled eggs for a buck each, in a clear plastic refrigerator package. High profit items like this are literally keeping the lights on and the doors open when it comes to factory Ag. Eggs were a very, very low margin product, and now it's gotten to the point where there in no money to be made. Sadly, a delivery guy might roll a hand truck past you with six cases of $0.34 / dozen eggs and a few packs of prepared eggs. The handful of small packages and the few bucks in net profit they bring are the only think keeping that guy in a job. We have similar issues with small dairy farmers, many who have lost money in six of the last seven years

The economist in me thinks "These things have a tendency to work themselves out." If some farmers quit doing dairy and eggs because it's not profitable, the lower supply should raise prices and balance out the costs for the factory farms who remain.

Farmers, as a group, are the most stubborn individuals around. Before they go out of business they will fight right down to the wire and cut expenses wherever possible. Unfortunately in the interests of profit animal welfare is the first thing to suffer. Chickens in factory farms or even most of the "free range" or "cage free" farms are no longer kept in anything resembling humane conditions.
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iowajes

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18953 on: October 11, 2017, 01:24:38 PM »
Just went and got lunch out of the fridge. In there is a store bought pack of hard boiled eggs (non-organic, I looked). 6 for $3.99

For comparison, I bought a dozen eggs for 34 cents.
.  The crazy part is that, if nobody buys the stupid priced eggs, you may not have the chance to buy eggs for a few cents each. We recently spoke with an employee of one of our regional mega egg factory farms. He is in charge of marketing things like Buffalo Wing flavored hard boiled eggs for a buck each, in a clear plastic refrigerator package. High profit items like this are literally keeping the lights on and the doors open when it comes to factory Ag. Eggs were a very, very low margin product, and now it's gotten to the point where there in no money to be made. Sadly, a delivery guy might roll a hand truck past you with six cases of $0.34 / dozen eggs and a few packs of prepared eggs. The handful of small packages and the few bucks in net profit they bring are the only think keeping that guy in a job. We have similar issues with small dairy farmers, many who have lost money in six of the last seven years

Interesting that the boiled eggs help the farmer.  My thought was a middle man or the store was boiling the cheap eggs.  They aren't in any sort of commercial packaging.

In general mustachian habits hurt small businesses. I know all the restaurants in town would likely appreciate if I went there more often. As would the movie theater. And the farmer's market probably wished I didn't grow my vegetables.  Big businesses too- wouldn't it help the cable company if I subscribed? etc



A Definite Beta Guy

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18954 on: October 11, 2017, 01:32:26 PM »
Just went and got lunch out of the fridge. In there is a store bought pack of hard boiled eggs (non-organic, I looked). 6 for $3.99

For comparison, I bought a dozen eggs for 34 cents.
.  The crazy part is that, if nobody buys the stupid priced eggs, you may not have the chance to buy eggs for a few cents each. We recently spoke with an employee of one of our regional mega egg factory farms. He is in charge of marketing things like Buffalo Wing flavored hard boiled eggs for a buck each, in a clear plastic refrigerator package. High profit items like this are literally keeping the lights on and the doors open when it comes to factory Ag. Eggs were a very, very low margin product, and now it's gotten to the point where there in no money to be made. Sadly, a delivery guy might roll a hand truck past you with six cases of $0.34 / dozen eggs and a few packs of prepared eggs. The handful of small packages and the few bucks in net profit they bring are the only think keeping that guy in a job. We have similar issues with small dairy farmers, many who have lost money in six of the last seven years

The economist in me thinks "These things have a tendency to work themselves out." If some farmers quit doing dairy and eggs because it's not profitable, the lower supply should raise prices and balance out the costs for the factory farms who remain.
.   You are obviously correct, but the question is, where does it end, and to who's benefit? We are at the point where local farmers are selling their dairy herds and switching to growing tobacco, while local grocery stores sell milk that contains powdered  milk from China. In the case of things like commodity eggs and chicken there are local outfits that are raising hundreds of thousands of chickens or producing tens of thousands of eggs a week and still barely breaking even. At some point all the theories of Efficient Markets and the magic of competition no longer explain the systemic failure.

Well, selling powdered milk from China isn't anymore a market failure than me buying food from a grocery store instead of farming it in my backyard. If people don't want to pay the premium, the good can't be produced.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18955 on: October 11, 2017, 02:34:11 PM »
All y'all should try some socialism to deal with that market failure. (Joke! Don't hurt me!)

paddedhat

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18956 on: October 11, 2017, 03:30:24 PM »
Just went and got lunch out of the fridge. In there is a store bought pack of hard boiled eggs (non-organic, I looked). 6 for $3.99

For comparison, I bought a dozen eggs for 34 cents.
.  The crazy part is that, if nobody buys the stupid priced eggs, you may not have the chance to buy eggs for a few cents each. We recently spoke with an employee of one of our regional mega egg factory farms. He is in charge of marketing things like Buffalo Wing flavored hard boiled eggs for a buck each, in a clear plastic refrigerator package. High profit items like this are literally keeping the lights on and the doors open when it comes to factory Ag. Eggs were a very, very low margin product, and now it's gotten to the point where there in no money to be made. Sadly, a delivery guy might roll a hand truck past you with six cases of $0.34 / dozen eggs and a few packs of prepared eggs. The handful of small packages and the few bucks in net profit they bring are the only think keeping that guy in a job. We have similar issues with small dairy farmers, many who have lost money in six of the last seven years

The economist in me thinks "These things have a tendency to work themselves out." If some farmers quit doing dairy and eggs because it's not profitable, the lower supply should raise prices and balance out the costs for the factory farms who remain.

Farmers, as a group, are the most stubborn individuals around. Before they go out of business they will fight right down to the wire and cut expenses wherever possible. Unfortunately in the interests of profit animal welfare is the first thing to suffer. Chickens in factory farms or even most of the "free range" or "cage free" farms are no longer kept in anything resembling humane conditions.


Unfortunately, most of the injustices you speak of have been part of the big AG. operating procedure in NA for a long time, and are now standard procedure.  Local farmers here, that used to run 100 head of dairy cattle now have several 8-900 ft. long chicken barns and they don't own a single bird. The chicks are delivered to them as property of a huge, national chicken brand, the owner supplies the feed and the farmer does the raising. No competition, just take it or leave it, and very little profit in the deal for the farmer. Eggs are produced by the tens of thousands a week in similar conditions, with net profits of a few cents a dozen, if that. Once again, the farmer is the middle man, and has no control over anything, except stay in, or leaving, the farming life. It's easy to call somebody stubborn and ignorant, but it's tough to be a farmer, from a family that worked the same ground for a century or more, and have to decide if you can afford to have another year of losses that you have zero control over. Not to mention helping your children get out, so they don't have to suffer like you are. I understand the fact that small dairy farmers and others small operators will eventually fade away, but when you have essentially become a farmer owned, large scale manufacturer of food products, have millions invested in facilities, and are making little more that the assistant manager of the local McDonalds, in a good year, there is a problem that transcends the free market.

The one thing that few think of when they do nothing but worship the laissez-faire market, and survival of the fittest is, is anybody really looking at the big picture here? When we let China become the only producer of military grade specialty steels, and buy everything from powdered milk, to solar panels, and every chip and circuit board we use, from them. When we ignore, or even due to ignorant political interference, actually impede the growth of, everything from domestic solar and high tech. battery production to stem cell research, do we really think that there isn't going to be a huge price to pay in the future. As we flounder about with failing infrastructure and a failed legislative and executive branch of our federal government, China is merrily succeeding with the "belt and Roads" initiative. One day they will be a true super power, and have a firm grip on a dozens, and dozens of countries, controlling everything from millions of acres of "foreign" crop land to other countries distribution and transportation systems. Their goal is simple, extract what they need from those who have it, while becoming the supplier of choice to the countries that you are extracting resources from. Build everything from rail systems to ports, and roads in the nations you are "helping" and keep your new friends up to their eyeballs in debt, with a healthy trade imbalance.  Unlike our model of continual war, and endless aggression, they will have bought their standing in most places they conquered without the need for even a threat. They are literally outsmarting us, on many fronts, and it's due to nothing more than ignorance and complacency here. Can you imagine a dispute in a decade or two, when china decides to impose trade sanctions that prohibit the exportation of smart phones, computers, EV batteries, and a whole list of things that we foolishly have become sickly dependent on?  Interesting times ahead?

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18957 on: October 11, 2017, 04:23:22 PM »
Just went and got lunch out of the fridge. In there is a store bought pack of hard boiled eggs (non-organic, I looked). 6 for $3.99

For comparison, I bought a dozen eggs for 34 cents.
.  The crazy part is that, if nobody buys the stupid priced eggs, you may not have the chance to buy eggs for a few cents each. We recently spoke with an employee of one of our regional mega egg factory farms. He is in charge of marketing things like Buffalo Wing flavored hard boiled eggs for a buck each, in a clear plastic refrigerator package. High profit items like this are literally keeping the lights on and the doors open when it comes to factory Ag. Eggs were a very, very low margin product, and now it's gotten to the point where there in no money to be made. Sadly, a delivery guy might roll a hand truck past you with six cases of $0.34 / dozen eggs and a few packs of prepared eggs. The handful of small packages and the few bucks in net profit they bring are the only think keeping that guy in a job. We have similar issues with small dairy farmers, many who have lost money in six of the last seven years

The economist in me thinks "These things have a tendency to work themselves out." If some farmers quit doing dairy and eggs because it's not profitable, the lower supply should raise prices and balance out the costs for the factory farms who remain.

Farmers, as a group, are the most stubborn individuals around. Before they go out of business they will fight right down to the wire and cut expenses wherever possible. Unfortunately in the interests of profit animal welfare is the first thing to suffer. Chickens in factory farms or even most of the "free range" or "cage free" farms are no longer kept in anything resembling humane conditions.


Unfortunately, most of the injustices you speak of have been part of the big AG. operating procedure in NA for a long time, and are now standard procedure.  Local farmers here, that used to run 100 head of dairy cattle now have several 8-900 ft. long chicken barns and they don't own a single bird. The chicks are delivered to them as property of a huge, national chicken brand, the owner supplies the feed and the farmer does the raising. No competition, just take it or leave it, and very little profit in the deal for the farmer. Eggs are produced by the tens of thousands a week in similar conditions, with net profits of a few cents a dozen, if that. Once again, the farmer is the middle man, and has no control over anything, except stay in, or leaving, the farming life. It's easy to call somebody stubborn and ignorant, but it's tough to be a farmer, from a family that worked the same ground for a century or more, and have to decide if you can afford to have another year of losses that you have zero control over. Not to mention helping your children get out, so they don't have to suffer like you are. I understand the fact that small dairy farmers and others small operators will eventually fade away, but when you have essentially become a farmer owned, large scale manufacturer of food products, have millions invested in facilities, and are making little more that the assistant manager of the local McDonalds, in a good year, there is a problem that transcends the free market.

The one thing that few think of when they do nothing but worship the laissez-faire market, and survival of the fittest is, is anybody really looking at the big picture here? When we let China become the only producer of military grade specialty steels, and buy everything from powdered milk, to solar panels, and every chip and circuit board we use, from them. When we ignore, or even due to ignorant political interference, actually impede the growth of, everything from domestic solar and high tech. battery production to stem cell research, do we really think that there isn't going to be a huge price to pay in the future. As we flounder about with failing infrastructure and a failed legislative and executive branch of our federal government, China is merrily succeeding with the "belt and Roads" initiative. One day they will be a true super power, and have a firm grip on a dozens, and dozens of countries, controlling everything from millions of acres of "foreign" crop land to other countries distribution and transportation systems. Their goal is simple, extract what they need from those who have it, while becoming the supplier of choice to the countries that you are extracting resources from. Build everything from rail systems to ports, and roads in the nations you are "helping" and keep your new friends up to their eyeballs in debt, with a healthy trade imbalance.  Unlike our model of continual war, and endless aggression, they will have bought their standing in most places they conquered without the need for even a threat. They are literally outsmarting us, on many fronts, and it's due to nothing more than ignorance and complacency here. Can you imagine a dispute in a decade or two, when china decides to impose trade sanctions that prohibit the exportation of smart phones, computers, EV batteries, and a whole list of things that we foolishly have become sickly dependent on?  Interesting times ahead?

My mother's family have been farm owners for the last century and a half. That's how I know how stubborn they are. They do very well financially most years, however they focus mostly on niche markets with a high margin, and they're committed to mixed farming. When something is no longer profitable, they drop it.

The changes in the egg industry actually caused my grandmother to quit the egg business because she couldn't be decent to the birds and also turn a profit. Industry-wise it's been a gigantic race to the bottom.
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mm1970

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18958 on: October 11, 2017, 06:17:24 PM »
Quote
The one thing that few think of when they do nothing but worship the laissez-faire market, and survival of the fittest is, is anybody really looking at the big picture here? When we let China become the only producer of military grade specialty steels, and buy everything from powdered milk, to solar panels, and every chip and circuit board we use, from them. When we ignore, or even due to ignorant political interference, actually impede the growth of, everything from domestic solar and high tech. battery production to stem cell research, do we really think that there isn't going to be a huge price to pay in the future. As we flounder about with failing infrastructure and a failed legislative and executive branch of our federal government, China is merrily succeeding with the "belt and Roads" initiative. One day they will be a true super power, and have a firm grip on a dozens, and dozens of countries, controlling everything from millions of acres of "foreign" crop land to other countries distribution and transportation systems. Their goal is simple, extract what they need from those who have it, while becoming the supplier of choice to the countries that you are extracting resources from. Build everything from rail systems to ports, and roads in the nations you are "helping" and keep your new friends up to their eyeballs in debt, with a healthy trade imbalance.  Unlike our model of continual war, and endless aggression, they will have bought their standing in most places they conquered without the need for even a threat. They are literally outsmarting us, on many fronts, and it's due to nothing more than ignorance and complacency here. Can you imagine a dispute in a decade or two, when china decides to impose trade sanctions that prohibit the exportation of smart phones, computers, EV batteries, and a whole list of things that we foolishly have become sickly dependent on?  Interesting times ahead?

We were just discussing this at work today.  We are in semiconductors.  China is very secretly buying up companies.  They aren't allowed to outright buy up companies, but they buy them up piecemeal - just enough to stay under the radar.

paddedhat

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18959 on: October 11, 2017, 07:36:18 PM »
Quote
We were just discussing this at work today.  We are in semiconductors.  China is very secretly buying up companies.  They aren't allowed to outright buy up companies, but they buy them up piecemeal - just enough to stay under the radar.
And at the other extreme, Scott Walker is on his knees, blowing Foxconn, while making an unbelievably crappy deal and giving away three BILLION in WI. taxpayer money to a Chinese company with a long history of NEVER following through on promises they make to invest in foreign plants. The stupid in that deal is almost to much to process.

neverrun

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18960 on: October 11, 2017, 07:40:43 PM »
Wal-Mart sounds like hell on Earth for grocery shopping. :(

When my sister was living in Rural Tennessee she an my BIL planned weedend trips to cities about 2 hours away so they wouldn't have to shop at the local Walmart which sounds similar to the one described above.

dragoncar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18961 on: October 11, 2017, 11:21:14 PM »
Just went and got lunch out of the fridge. In there is a store bought pack of hard boiled eggs (non-organic, I looked). 6 for $3.99

For comparison, I bought a dozen eggs for 34 cents.

Ah. But you have to COOK them. Horrors.
Seriously though, looking in our shared fridge at work on any given day you would see worse than this. Just the combined volume of crap (non) foods people eat. At least eggs have some food value.

I have to admit to grabbing one of these things the other day:



It was a free promo, but I still felt dirty at the amount of packaging consumed for so little food

Imma

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18962 on: October 12, 2017, 12:05:50 AM »
Just went and got lunch out of the fridge. In there is a store bought pack of hard boiled eggs (non-organic, I looked). 6 for $3.99

For comparison, I bought a dozen eggs for 34 cents.

On the other hand, a dozen eggs for $0,34 is also ridiculous. I don't understand how it is even possible to produce eggs for that little. In Europe I pay about Ä0,25 per egg in a grocery store. Farmers sell their eggs for nearly Ä0,10 / egg these days, so sadly most of the money still ends up with the retailer.

I was raised in a family of farmers. No one is farming now anymore because they have all gone under. The thing that sets farming apart  from most other businesses, is that farming is a lifestyle. You were raised on a farm, your parents and grandparents were raised on a farm, farming is your culture and lifestyle as well as a way to make a living. Seeing a small business going down is hard for any small business owner, but for a farmer it's even harder because he was raised on that farm, he lives on that farm, he's worked with animals since the day he was born. It's a massive decision to quit and many will go under rather than quit at the sensible time. It is certainly not unheard of for farmers to end their lives when they go under.

They also have this habit of selling below cost price to minimalize their losses. I think the best way for farmers to increase pricing would be if they all stopped supplying below cost price, but as a producer of food it is very hard to pour good milk down the drain instead of supplying it to the factory. They would rather sell below cost price than waste it. Also, animals are not machines, you can't just turn them off. They are going to produce milk and eggs and you're going to have to buy feed, so you might as well sell the eggs below cost price to at least cut your losses than not sell them at all.

As a group, they are generally stubborn and it makes them vulnerable to big ag as well. Farmers are independent people with many skills, but few marketable skills, when they lose the farm very often they end up awful, low paying jobs. Transporting pigs to the slaughter, working at a slaughterhouse or working as a help for another farmer. The best option is often for a big ag investor to buy your farm and hire you as a contractor. That way your family can stay where they have always been, you can pretend you're still a farmer but be relieved of the debt burden. Very soon they find out that these big ag investors are absolutely investors and not farmers. All they care about is cutting costs instead of animal welfare and good practices, and if you don't work with them they can easily throw you off of your farm.

As for me, I would love to live on a homestead-type farm, and it's what I plan to do in RE. It's what my grandparents' farm was like. I would want to produce for myself and my family and maybe sell a bit of produce to people I know, but commercial farming? Never in a million years. I try to buy directly from farmers where I can to make sure I support them, not big ag. I generally pay less than in a grocery store and all my money goes to the farmer and not to all the middle men.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2017, 12:18:59 AM by Imma »

dragoncar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18963 on: October 12, 2017, 12:14:14 AM »
Thereís some kind of egg glut in the us now.  Lowest Iíve seen is $1/doz, but the 34cent price is likely below cost.  The farmer has a choice to sell at a loss or get nothing, they will choose the (smaller) loss

LennStar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18964 on: October 12, 2017, 02:35:00 AM »
Quote
Unlike our model of continual war, and endless aggression, they will have bought their standing in most places they conquered without the need for even a threat. They are literally outsmarting us, on many fronts, and it's due to nothing more than ignorance and complacency here.

You mean in the US you still have not read what the Chinese government openly said more then a decade ago??
China has a tradition of long time planning and outmanouvering the barbarians, and they still know how to do it. They know energy and food and water are the 3 things that decide the 21st century, and they are buying that whereever they can with the money they make from the exports.
And if China wants they can kick the US into an economic crash in a matter of weeks. They only don't do it because it's still a lot more profitabe to not do it. 


btw if you don't know it already, China has the the biggest amount (and biggest yearly new installations) of renewable energies.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18965 on: October 12, 2017, 05:26:12 AM »
Quote
Unlike our model of continual war, and endless aggression, they will have bought their standing in most places they conquered without the need for even a threat. They are literally outsmarting us, on many fronts, and it's due to nothing more than ignorance and complacency here.

You mean in the US you still have not read what the Chinese government openly said more then a decade ago??
China has a tradition of long time planning and outmanouvering the barbarians, and they still know how to do it. They know energy and food and water are the 3 things that decide the 21st century, and they are buying that whereever they can with the money they make from the exports.
And if China wants they can kick the US into an economic crash in a matter of weeks. They only don't do it because it's still a lot more profitabe to not do it. 


btw if you don't know it already, China has the the biggest amount (and biggest yearly new installations) of renewable energies.
Couldn't we do the same thing to them? Kind of mutual destruction?

The Foxconn deal really gets me. It gives someone a job now, but hurts their kids. Those jobs wont be there in 20 years unless heavily subsidized as they are becoming now. We need to be a leader in innovation and new products. Who cares who manufacturers them if the profits are creating well paying jobs in the US.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18966 on: October 12, 2017, 05:45:49 AM »
... bitching about Wal-Groceries...

Highly recommend Aldi. It sounds like if there's one that's within a 30min drive it may be quicker for you to do that. I'm usually in/out with a week or two of groceries in 15min.

I'd like to try Aldi's but according to their on-line tool the closest one to me is 473.27 miles away by air. That's a little more than the distance from London to Geneva, and a little less than the distance between Milan and Sarajevo.

The self-checkout lines work for mainstream items that don't require adult assistance, if and only if the receipt paper is filled regularly, the card-reader device is functional, and they're amply stocked with cash (for making change from cash transactions). None of those three assumptions is necessarily valid. New Mexico is like living in Ayn Rand's wet dream, but with more gun violence.

I don't get Aldi's. The prepared food tends to be cheaper, but the ingredients tend to be more expensive. I can get pasta and milk consistently cheaper, often eggs as well.

I'm a little late on the Aldi boat, but I've just gotta add this:

Cheaper beans...CHEAPER BEANS! - dagiffy1

paddedhat

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18967 on: October 12, 2017, 06:15:52 AM »
Quote
Unlike our model of continual war, and endless aggression, they will have bought their standing in most places they conquered without the need for even a threat. They are literally outsmarting us, on many fronts, and it's due to nothing more than ignorance and complacency here.

You mean in the US you still have not read what the Chinese government openly said more then a decade ago??
China has a tradition of long time planning and outmanouvering the barbarians, and they still know how to do it. They know energy and food and water are the 3 things that decide the 21st century, and they are buying that whereever they can with the money they make from the exports.
And if China wants they can kick the US into an economic crash in a matter of weeks. They only don't do it because it's still a lot more profitabe to not do it. 


btw if you don't know it already, China has the the biggest amount (and biggest yearly new installations) of renewable energies.

I think it's fair to say that the US based members here on MMM don't reflect the status quo, and  the majority are a exponentially more aware politically, and on foreign policy issues, than the general public. So, yes, I think like most here, I'm pretty aware of the brilliance of China's efforts. That said, when it comes to your first question, as the famous satirist, H.L. Menchen famously said, "ďNo one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.Ē So, no the vast majority of Americans haven't go a clue as to China's maneuvering to control the narrative of the 21st century.

Don't forget, our leader is a con-man and master manipulator, who is willing to destroy the environment, and any real progress in catching up with the first world in our energy policy, in order to play to his base. (literally play, the transcript of his very first combative call to the president of Mexico made it quite clear the he knows his base is composed of idiots, he is playing them, and wanted Enrique to play along, on the wall issue)  He has deluded his followers into believing that he can revive the coal industry, the other long dead heavy industries we once had,  and give then everything they miss about the 1950s.  As they lust for a time when white males ruled the land, women and minorities were properly subservient, gay was a verb describing a great birthday party, and the "man of the house" did manly things like make steel beams or dig coal. One of the saddest human interest pieces I have seen recently was a pre-election interview with a failing Pittsburgh PA. diner owner. The scene was shot as he sat in one of his booths with the hulking remains of a giant steel mill behind him. The mill was closed three decades ago, and thousands of employees were out of jobs. He was a Trump supporter and sincerely believed that, in the fashion of a biblical miracle, the Donald would make this obsolete unneeded steel mill rise from the wreckage, and once again be a bountiful source of high paying jobs for thousands. Meanwhile China buys ports in Greece, hundreds of thousands of acres of crop land in South America, and builds new railroads in African countries that last had rail investment when the Brits. ruled the world, in the 1800s.

Finally, you are correct, our government at both the federal and in some cases the state level, actively works to damage and delay renewables, to satisfy the greed of their masters, mostly big oil and the utility industry.  Florida is probably the most bizarre example of a failed, corrupt state in this. It has massive potential for any solar electric and water heating applications, yet it has one of the lowest levels of utilization in the country, since their corrupt state government is owned by the electrical utility industry.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2017, 06:20:36 AM by paddedhat »

BiochemicalDJ

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18968 on: October 12, 2017, 07:33:47 AM »
Stimulating discussion, but now back to form:

A week ago I was talking about how I just bought a 'New' to me car for $1250- the first car that I've actually paid money for as an adult.

Our latest hire, a university graduate of ~4 months ago, proceeds to tell me that he just did the same thing- except with a 2017 Honda Civic with a sporty package that includes 19" alloy rims. In Canada, no less, where our winter guarantees that one pothole later those things are toasted and nuke tires- expensive ones at that.

And he's mentioning that he's desperate to put a new intake manifold on, voiding his 2017 warranty, because 'performance.'

Admittedly, he's not *intentionally* antimustachian, but I'm still not super 'out' at work about it, so I can't talk to him to find out- my employer is one of the last bastions of having the 'cadillac of pensions' and everyone seems to live like it.
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A Definite Beta Guy

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18969 on: October 12, 2017, 07:42:57 AM »
Slight tangent. One off-topic post and I promise no more from me. Putting in quotes so it can be more easily skipped:

Quote
Contrarian opinion: the 21st century will end with the US being relatively even more powerful than China than it was at the start of the 21st century.

China has 1.3 billion people today. It is expected to SHRINK to 1 billion by 2100.
The US has 300 million people. It is expected to GROW to 450 million by 2100.

People overestimate the Asian Tigers in general. These economies are rife with corruption and cronyism that make them unproductive, and much of their economic growth is based on input growth that cannot be replicated again (Krugman made this point WRT to Singapore back in the 90s: sure, you can give everyone a basic high school education, but you cannot give everyone a PhD).
On a per hour basis (last time I checked these numbers, which was several years ago), Japan is no more productive than Slovenia, and South Korea is no more productive than Russia. China will probably top out even lower than these nations, because they have a shit rule of law system and no democratic process to ferret out corruption. For the record, Slovenia is about 75% of US per hour productivity, and Russia is about 40% of US per hour productivity, so China topping out at like 30% of US per hour productivity is realistic.

I doubt they'll ever supplant the US in high-end research, especially of the military kind. Japan does some interesting stuff, but it's nothing like the US or Europe.

If I am worrying about something geopolitically, it's Russia and Eastern Europe, as the Eastern European states are becoming depopulated and the European Union is a joke. If I were Polish, I would NEVER bet my national security on Germans, French, or British soldiers and be very worried about the US leaving at some point in the 21st century.


On-Topic:
One of my co-workers wants me to get a sweater from LL Bean, retail $100. But it's okay, I can just return it in a few months, after winter, when it's no longer in season.

Like...do people regularly do this? He seems to do it all the time. He just returned a belt he got a few years ago because he decided he didn't like the style anymore. He regularly buys shirts and tie clips and ties and the like for formal wedding or events and returns them after the weekend. I...don't get this?

BiochemicalDJ

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18970 on: October 12, 2017, 08:10:59 AM »

On-Topic:
One of my co-workers wants me to get a sweater from LL Bean, retail $100. But it's okay, I can just return it in a few months, after winter, when it's no longer in season.

Like...do people regularly do this? He seems to do it all the time. He just returned a belt he got a few years ago because he decided he didn't like the style anymore. He regularly buys shirts and tie clips and ties and the like for formal wedding or events and returns them after the weekend. I...don't get this?

The hilarious part about this is that I am willing to stake money that someone in this forum somewhere does this regularly and would count it as a mustachian, money-saving life pro-tip xD
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JLee

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18971 on: October 12, 2017, 10:07:53 AM »
Slight tangent. One off-topic post and I promise no more from me. Putting in quotes so it can be more easily skipped:

Quote
Contrarian opinion: the 21st century will end with the US being relatively even more powerful than China than it was at the start of the 21st century.

China has 1.3 billion people today. It is expected to SHRINK to 1 billion by 2100.
The US has 300 million people. It is expected to GROW to 450 million by 2100.

People overestimate the Asian Tigers in general. These economies are rife with corruption and cronyism that make them unproductive, and much of their economic growth is based on input growth that cannot be replicated again (Krugman made this point WRT to Singapore back in the 90s: sure, you can give everyone a basic high school education, but you cannot give everyone a PhD).
On a per hour basis (last time I checked these numbers, which was several years ago), Japan is no more productive than Slovenia, and South Korea is no more productive than Russia. China will probably top out even lower than these nations, because they have a shit rule of law system and no democratic process to ferret out corruption. For the record, Slovenia is about 75% of US per hour productivity, and Russia is about 40% of US per hour productivity, so China topping out at like 30% of US per hour productivity is realistic.

I doubt they'll ever supplant the US in high-end research, especially of the military kind. Japan does some interesting stuff, but it's nothing like the US or Europe.

If I am worrying about something geopolitically, it's Russia and Eastern Europe, as the Eastern European states are becoming depopulated and the European Union is a joke. If I were Polish, I would NEVER bet my national security on Germans, French, or British soldiers and be very worried about the US leaving at some point in the 21st century.


On-Topic:
One of my co-workers wants me to get a sweater from LL Bean, retail $100. But it's okay, I can just return it in a few months, after winter, when it's no longer in season.

Like...do people regularly do this? He seems to do it all the time. He just returned a belt he got a few years ago because he decided he didn't like the style anymore. He regularly buys shirts and tie clips and ties and the like for formal wedding or events and returns them after the weekend. I...don't get this?

People like that are why Costco had to make their return policies more strict. People were buying computers, using them for years, then returning them for the price they paid and getting new ones.

economista

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18972 on: October 12, 2017, 10:14:45 AM »

On-Topic:
One of my co-workers wants me to get a sweater from LL Bean, retail $100. But it's okay, I can just return it in a few months, after winter, when it's no longer in season.

Like...do people regularly do this? He seems to do it all the time. He just returned a belt he got a few years ago because he decided he didn't like the style anymore. He regularly buys shirts and tie clips and ties and the like for formal wedding or events and returns them after the weekend. I...don't get this?

The hilarious part about this is that I am willing to stake money that someone in this forum somewhere does this regularly and would count it as a mustachian, money-saving life pro-tip xD

Apparently a lot of people do this.  This American Life actually did an episode about it.  It's Act 2 of this one: https://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/591/get-your-moneys-worth
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Imma

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18973 on: October 12, 2017, 10:21:55 AM »
Slight tangent. One off-topic post and I promise no more from me. Putting in quotes so it can be more easily skipped:

Quote
Contrarian opinion: the 21st century will end with the US being relatively even more powerful than China than it was at the start of the 21st century.

China has 1.3 billion people today. It is expected to SHRINK to 1 billion by 2100.
The US has 300 million people. It is expected to GROW to 450 million by 2100.

People overestimate the Asian Tigers in general. These economies are rife with corruption and cronyism that make them unproductive, and much of their economic growth is based on input growth that cannot be replicated again (Krugman made this point WRT to Singapore back in the 90s: sure, you can give everyone a basic high school education, but you cannot give everyone a PhD).
On a per hour basis (last time I checked these numbers, which was several years ago), Japan is no more productive than Slovenia, and South Korea is no more productive than Russia. China will probably top out even lower than these nations, because they have a shit rule of law system and no democratic process to ferret out corruption. For the record, Slovenia is about 75% of US per hour productivity, and Russia is about 40% of US per hour productivity, so China topping out at like 30% of US per hour productivity is realistic.

I doubt they'll ever supplant the US in high-end research, especially of the military kind. Japan does some interesting stuff, but it's nothing like the US or Europe.

If I am worrying about something geopolitically, it's Russia and Eastern Europe, as the Eastern European states are becoming depopulated and the European Union is a joke. If I were Polish, I would NEVER bet my national security on Germans, French, or British soldiers and be very worried about the US leaving at some point in the 21st century.


On-Topic:
One of my co-workers wants me to get a sweater from LL Bean, retail $100. But it's okay, I can just return it in a few months, after winter, when it's no longer in season.

Like...do people regularly do this? He seems to do it all the time. He just returned a belt he got a few years ago because he decided he didn't like the style anymore. He regularly buys shirts and tie clips and ties and the like for formal wedding or events and returns them after the weekend. I...don't get this?

I know my sister does this all the time. She's the opposite of a mustachian, but she wants to wear something new to every party she goes to and she has a lot of parties. She orders outfits online, wears them, hangs the clothes in the fresh air then sends them back. So far, she's always been succesful, although I'm sure it must have been noticeable...  you don't get the smell of smoke or alcohol out of clothes that easily.

On the topic of the EU: I wouldn't bet on them if I were in Eastern Europe. Russia is clearly after their territory. While we are more and more dependent on cheap labour from Eastern Europe (not just unskilled jobs, several countries in the East are also doing well in the IT field) because of our own ageing populations, the EU will never defend Eastern Europe from a physical, military invasion by Russia.

I absolutely cannot understand why so many of my fellow Europeans are opposed to European unity. Politically, the EU is not where we should be. We need a stronger parliament and less public servants. We need people to feel truly represented by the EU. The Euro was a good idea in theory, and I'm convinced we would have been economically far worse off if we didn't have the Euro, but of course many mistakes were made in the implementation.

Still, what we need most of all is a political union in Europe, similar to the US. We shouldn't have to be afraid to lose our national identity: American states have clear identities, as well as having a national identity, and they are all in one federation. We can (and should) give the federal states a lot of political freedom at the state level, but we need one federal government for economic, military and foreign policy issues. One head of state. One office to carry the ultimate responsibility.

In our daily lives, we are already very united. Most students go to another EU-country for a semester, we all speak each others' languages, we do a lot of business across borders. We have free movement of people which has made it very normal for people to visit and live in other countries than their own. I just don't get why we are all so extremely scared of the political EU.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18974 on: October 12, 2017, 11:04:27 AM »
The EU is nowhere near as cohesive as the US, and I donít expect that to change in my lifetime.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18975 on: October 12, 2017, 11:48:43 AM »
The EU is nowhere near as cohesive as the US, and I donít expect that to change in my lifetime.
Agreed. Here in the US, we have plenty of cultural diversity, and a lot of tension just between urban and rural politics.  I can't imagine how hard it would be in Europe, where you have language barriers and even larger cultural differences.  Just compare Greece vs. Germany.

RidetheRain

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18976 on: October 12, 2017, 11:51:10 AM »
Still, what we need most of all is a political union in Europe, similar to the US. We shouldn't have to be afraid to lose our national identity: American states have clear identities, as well as having a national identity, and they are all in one federation. We can (and should) give the federal states a lot of political freedom at the state level, but we need one federal government for economic, military and foreign policy issues. One head of state. One office to carry the ultimate responsibility.

I don't think this is as apt a comparison you might imagine. Americans as a group have grown together as a nation first with states second. I'm originally from Illinois and now live in California with family in Texas. My parents are from Indiana and Wisconsin. We shed our state identities easily and don't adopt our parents. I think this is what scares Europeans looking to the US as an example of unifying Europe. After all, I don't consider myself a "Hoosier" (person from Indiana) even though my Dad is from there and I lived there for a few years. Imagine a Frenchman with a daughter who doesn't consider herself French. That is a much bigger deal in Europe where national identities have such a long history.

The exceptions are the places with the most contention:
Texas - Was the Republic of Texas for a short time
Hawaii - Was a monarchy prior to statehood
Puerto Rico - Currently a territory with debate about whether statehood matches the cultural identity

These three places might be the best example of what Europe would look like if they were to unify as you suggest. They are not all examples of sunshine and roses.
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Goldielocks

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18977 on: October 12, 2017, 11:53:40 AM »
Quote
On-Topic:
One of my co-workers wants me to get a sweater from LL Bean, retail $100. But it's okay, I can just return it in a few months, after winter, when it's no longer in season.

Like...do people regularly do this? He seems to do it all the time. He just returned a belt he got a few years ago because he decided he didn't like the style anymore. He regularly buys shirts and tie clips and ties and the like for formal wedding or events and returns them after the weekend. I...don't get this?
Quote
The hilarious part about this is that I am willing to stake money that someone in this forum somewhere does this regularly and would count it as a mustachian, money-saving life pro-tip xD

My achilles heel is related to buying stuff at Canadian Tire.   And returning it 3+ months later.   I just found out that my local store refuses to return anything without a receipt now (even for last sale price on a gift card), and anything over 90 days old.  I missed the deadline by 3 days.  I have been lazy and just put the items on the shelf, and return in a batch about 3x per year..  Their policy changed and I lost out on $50 on what USED TO BE A GREAT MMM TIP!

So what I am I constantly returning? My last trip to the return counter...
a)  The replacement coil for the stove top for my aunt's summer place - it did not do the trick and when I got it back from her after 6 weeks, I went on vacation and did not get it back to the store promptly.
b) oil filter -- l had looked up the one for my car model instore, but mixed it up and got the one for a different engine.
c) oil filter wrench -- so I ended up taking my car to the get repaired and no longer want the wrench, either.
d) Lamp socket replacement -- wrong size, lamp still sitting the garage.

etc.   Home depot's return policy is much better, but they don't have the same amount of car parts and household goods.

I sure hope you did not mean that you friend used the items then returned them??!

ETA:  Damn quotes. Fixed.?
« Last Edit: October 12, 2017, 12:39:03 PM by Goldielocks »

TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18978 on: October 12, 2017, 11:58:00 AM »

On-Topic:
One of my co-workers wants me to get a sweater from LL Bean, retail $100. But it's okay, I can just return it in a few months, after winter, when it's no longer in season.

Like...do people regularly do this? He seems to do it all the time. He just returned a belt he got a few years ago because he decided he didn't like the style anymore. He regularly buys shirts and tie clips and ties and the like for formal wedding or events and returns them after the weekend. I...don't get this?
Quote
The hilarious part about this is that I am willing to stake money that someone in this forum somewhere does this regularly and would count it as a mustachian, money-saving life pro-tip xD

My achilles heel is related to buying stuff at Canadian Tire.   And returning it 3+ months later.   I just found out that my local store refuses to return anything without a receipt now (even for last sale price on a gift card), and anything over 90 days old.  I missed the deadline by 3 days.  I have been lazy and just put the items on the shelf, and return in a batch about 3x per year..  Their policy changed and I lost out on $50 on what USED TO BE A GREAT MMM TIP!

So what I am I constantly returning? My last trip to the return counter...
a)  The replacement coil for the stove top for my aunt's summer place - it did not do the trick and when I got it back from her after 6 weeks, I went on vacation and did not get it back to the store promptly.
b) oil filter -- l had looked up the one for my car model instore, but mixed it up and got the one for a different engine.
c) oil filter wrench -- so I ended up taking my car to the get repaired and no longer want the wrench, either.
d) Lamp socket replacement -- wrong size, lamp still sitting the garage.

etc.   Home depot's return policy is much better, but they don't have the same amount of car parts and household goods.

I sure hope you did not mean that you friend used the items then returned them??!

I think both Beta and Imma are complaining about people who do exactly that. BiomedicalDJ is clearly returning unused merchandise that is still in season and that can legitimately be sold as new to somebody else.

(edited to fix quotes and clarify)
« Last Edit: October 12, 2017, 02:36:42 PM by TheGrimSqueaker »
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A Definite Beta Guy

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18979 on: October 12, 2017, 12:11:32 PM »
This guy definitely uses the items and returns them. He bought a hole saw recently, used it to chew through two doors, and then returned it. Also broke during use (likely due to user error), but he was going to return it regardless.

Dude seems kinda unethical in general. His boss is out this week, so he decided to take half-days every day. I...doubt this was cleared with the boss before-hand.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2017, 12:21:01 PM by A Definite Beta Guy »

MgoSam

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18980 on: October 12, 2017, 12:22:35 PM »
This guy definitely uses the items and returns them. He bought a hole saw recently, used it to chew through two doors, and then returned it. Also broke during use (likely due to user error), but he was going to return it regardless.

Dude seems kinda unethical in general. His boss is out this week, so he decided to take half-days every day. I...doubt this was cleared with the boss before-hand.

Don't know if this leads to more work than you, but yeah if that happened at my work it would be reported (small office with only a few other employees so this would be noticed). I personally hate people like your coworker, my guess is that he is a shitbag to the retail employees that he cons to returns the items and then thinks that he's a genius when he's bragging about it to his friends. Yes, I made a lot of assumptions here.

MrMoogle

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18981 on: October 12, 2017, 12:45:00 PM »
This guy definitely uses the items and returns them. He bought a hole saw recently, used it to chew through two doors, and then returned it. Also broke during use (likely due to user error), but he was going to return it regardless.

Dude seems kinda unethical in general. His boss is out this week, so he decided to take half-days every day. I...doubt this was cleared with the boss before-hand.

Don't know if this leads to more work than you, but yeah if that happened at my work it would be reported (small office with only a few other employees so this would be noticed). I personally hate people like your coworker, my guess is that he is a shitbag to the retail employees that he cons to returns the items and then thinks that he's a genius when he's bragging about it to his friends. Yes, I made a lot of assumptions here.
There are assumptions and there are extrapolations.  I think you extrapolated provided data.  If someone is an ass in front of you, he's also likely as ass away from you.

Liberal return policies are useful for a lot of people.  Maybe they don't want to try it on in the store, or with another outfit they have at home, or order online, or for someone who isn't there.  Buy it, see if it works out as intended, and when it doesn't return it.  People will buy $100's of stuff and return half of it, but they still probably spent more than they would have with no return policy.  But most of this is returned without it really being used.

There are a lot more people like that than there are that "abuse" the policy.

dragoncar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18982 on: October 12, 2017, 01:44:45 PM »

On-Topic:
One of my co-workers wants me to get a sweater from LL Bean, retail $100. But it's okay, I can just return it in a few months, after winter, when it's no longer in season.

Like...do people regularly do this? He seems to do it all the time. He just returned a belt he got a few years ago because he decided he didn't like the style anymore. He regularly buys shirts and tie clips and ties and the like for formal wedding or events and returns them after the weekend. I...don't get this?

The hilarious part about this is that I am willing to stake money that someone in this forum somewhere does this regularly and would count it as a mustachian, money-saving life pro-tip xD

I would never buy something with the premeditated intention of using then retiring it.  But I have no qualms about returning things Iím genuinely unhappy with, and if that item or store has a ďlifetime guarantee,Ē then I have no problem returning it years later if it fails.  I figure Iím paying a markup high enough to compensate the retailer for this.

Things Iíve returned:

ď20 yearĒ Led bulbs that failed after a few years
An air mattress that leaked after three years (only a few uses) to bed bath and beyond
Food from Costco that molded within 1-2 days
Clothes to places like banana republic when I didnít like the fit, I found a flaw, or they shrank in the wash (was told they were preshrunk)
Tools to Home Depot that broke (not user error) or didnít do the job/fit (they expect this)

I think itís pretty reasonable.  I definitely keep all my Costco receipts for expensive stuff that I may need to return after itís short warranty period expires, although itís never happened so far for anything particularly expensive

JLee

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18983 on: October 12, 2017, 02:25:26 PM »

On-Topic:
One of my co-workers wants me to get a sweater from LL Bean, retail $100. But it's okay, I can just return it in a few months, after winter, when it's no longer in season.

Like...do people regularly do this? He seems to do it all the time. He just returned a belt he got a few years ago because he decided he didn't like the style anymore. He regularly buys shirts and tie clips and ties and the like for formal wedding or events and returns them after the weekend. I...don't get this?

The hilarious part about this is that I am willing to stake money that someone in this forum somewhere does this regularly and would count it as a mustachian, money-saving life pro-tip xD

I would never buy something with the premeditated intention of using then retiring it.  But I have no qualms about returning things Iím genuinely unhappy with, and if that item or store has a ďlifetime guarantee,Ē then I have no problem returning it years later if it fails.  I figure Iím paying a markup high enough to compensate the retailer for this.

Things Iíve returned:

ď20 yearĒ Led bulbs that failed after a few years
An air mattress that leaked after three years (only a few uses) to bed bath and beyond
Food from Costco that molded within 1-2 days
Clothes to places like banana republic when I didnít like the fit, I found a flaw, or they shrank in the wash (was told they were preshrunk)
Tools to Home Depot that broke (not user error) or didnít do the job/fit (they expect this)

I think itís pretty reasonable.  I definitely keep all my Costco receipts for expensive stuff that I may need to return after itís short warranty period expires, although itís never happened so far for anything particularly expensive

eh?

https://www.costco.com/member-privileges-conditions.html

"Short warranty period" and "Costco" don't really go together.

A Definite Beta Guy

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18984 on: October 12, 2017, 03:05:12 PM »
This guy definitely uses the items and returns them. He bought a hole saw recently, used it to chew through two doors, and then returned it. Also broke during use (likely due to user error), but he was going to return it regardless.

Dude seems kinda unethical in general. His boss is out this week, so he decided to take half-days every day. I...doubt this was cleared with the boss before-hand.

Don't know if this leads to more work than you, but yeah if that happened at my work it would be reported (small office with only a few other employees so this would be noticed). I personally hate people like your coworker, my guess is that he is a shitbag to the retail employees that he cons to returns the items and then thinks that he's a genius when he's bragging about it to his friends. Yes, I made a lot of assumptions here.
Ha, well, you aren't entirely off-base. I've been with him on his returns a couple times, and the stores normally put up no fuss. They have quite generous return policies.

The way he talks about it, he seems to think it's perfectly normal. He doesn't talk about it any differently than he talks about getting lunch or what kind of housework needs done.

He DOES have a braggadocious personality in general. And he is somewhat curt to people he does not like, and describes interactions with them in a highly manipulative, commanding manner. He's an above average employee, but it doesn't seem like management is overly fond of him...

mustachepungoeshere

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18985 on: October 12, 2017, 05:15:00 PM »
On returning worn items...

I bought new running shoes recently (well, they're technically a birthday gift from my husband since I need them but don't want to break my streak of more than 12 months without buying shoes).

Went for a run in them and I could tell they just didn't suit my feet. I had tried them on, of course, but the arch support that was fine in the shop was painful after a couple of kays.

I was totally upfront about having worn them, and exchanged them for a different pair (which happened to be cheaper) and a gift card.

Renting items by buying them, knowing full well you intend to return them, is such a dick move.

Anyone else remember the archaic concept of appro?

LadyMuMu

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18986 on: October 12, 2017, 05:44:49 PM »
... bitching about Wal-Groceries...

Highly recommend Aldi. It sounds like if there's one that's within a 30min drive it may be quicker for you to do that. I'm usually in/out with a week or two of groceries in 15min.

I'd like to try Aldi's but according to their on-line tool the closest one to me is 473.27 miles away by air. That's a little more than the distance from London to Geneva, and a little less than the distance between Milan and Sarajevo.

The self-checkout lines work for mainstream items that don't require adult assistance, if and only if the receipt paper is filled regularly, the card-reader device is functional, and they're amply stocked with cash (for making change from cash transactions). None of those three assumptions is necessarily valid. New Mexico is like living in Ayn Rand's wet dream, but with more gun violence.

I don't get Aldi's. The prepared food tends to be cheaper, but the ingredients tend to be more expensive. I can get pasta and milk consistently cheaper, often eggs as well.

This has a good breakdown of what is and isn't a better deal--at least in the Midwest. https://www.mashupmom.com/who-has-cheaper-grocery-prices-walmart-or-aldi/

paddedhat

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18987 on: October 12, 2017, 06:16:58 PM »

Tools to Home Depot that broke (not user error) or didnít do the job/fit (they expect this)

I once returned some sort of a "dustless" drywall sander to HD since it was neither dustless nor much of a sander. The high school aged girl at the return counter walked up and said, "oh, so you are done with this?". I gave her a hard stare and said, "why would you ask me that?". She then realized that accusing a random customer of unethically buying, using and returning tools after the job is done, wasn't a good idea. OTOH, after playing it over in my head, I realized that she probably has so many scumbags returning stuff, after the job is done, that she was just handing another of dozens a week, and doesn't really care one way of another.

dragoncar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18988 on: October 12, 2017, 11:24:00 PM »

Tools to Home Depot that broke (not user error) or didnít do the job/fit (they expect this)

I once returned some sort of a "dustless" drywall sander to HD since it was neither dustless nor much of a sander. The high school aged girl at the return counter walked up and said, "oh, so you are done with this?". I gave her a hard stare and said, "why would you ask me that?". She then realized that accusing a random customer of unethically buying, using and returning tools after the job is done, wasn't a good idea. OTOH, after playing it over in my head, I realized that she probably has so many scumbags returning stuff, after the job is done, that she was just handing another of dozens a week, and doesn't really care one way of another.

The minimum wage employees absolutely donít care, but Iíll still rent the tool if I know I only need it for a day

honeybbq

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18989 on: October 13, 2017, 02:41:03 PM »
My shopping list is written in the order that things are laid out in my regular supermarket.


Not only that, but there are 4 different supermarkets within a 5 min walk radius. I know he's aware of the concept since he sometimes goes to buy a post-lunch snack at the supermarket by work.

WTF? A post-lunch snack? A snack, for after lunch, which is a meal, at which food is consumed? Seriously? He should try eating actual nutrition for lunch and see if that makes a difference to hunger levels.

wait wait. Hold the phone. I have 2 snacks every day usually. One between breakfast and lunch and one between lunch and dinner. Don't go dissin on the snacks! I like to forage. I don't like to stuff myself. I eat lots of vegetables, so I get hungry often.

honeybbq

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18990 on: October 13, 2017, 02:44:37 PM »
Just went and got lunch out of the fridge. In there is a store bought pack of hard boiled eggs (non-organic, I looked). 6 for $3.99

For comparison, I bought a dozen eggs for 34 cents.

Where on Earth is this possible? Best I've seen is with a special coupon at Safeway, 0.99$ as a loss leader. I think usually they are 1.99. Organic/cage free/whatever are in the 4.99 - 8.99/dozen range.

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18991 on: October 14, 2017, 01:40:02 AM »
My shopping list is written in the order that things are laid out in my regular supermarket.


Not only that, but there are 4 different supermarkets within a 5 min walk radius. I know he's aware of the concept since he sometimes goes to buy a post-lunch snack at the supermarket by work.

WTF? A post-lunch snack? A snack, for after lunch, which is a meal, at which food is consumed? Seriously? He should try eating actual nutrition for lunch and see if that makes a difference to hunger levels.

wait wait. Hold the phone. I have 2 snacks every day usually. One between breakfast and lunch and one between lunch and dinner. Don't go dissin on the snacks! I like to forage. I don't like to stuff myself. I eat lots of vegetables, so I get hungry often.

I'm loving snacks in general, and a mid-afternoon snack is fine. But a snack right after lunch is weird to me. If you need a snack right after lunch then you're doing lunch wrong.

Second breakfasts are fine. 9am is a perfectly reasonable time for a breakfast, so is 6am, and three hours is a reasonable time between meals.

I think we're good HoneyBBQ?

Tom Bri

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18992 on: October 14, 2017, 08:30:01 PM »
Just went and got lunch out of the fridge. In there is a store bought pack of hard boiled eggs (non-organic, I looked). 6 for $3.99

For comparison, I bought a dozen eggs for 34 cents.

Where on Earth is this possible? Best I've seen is with a special coupon at Safeway, 0.99$ as a loss leader. I think usually they are 1.99. Organic/cage free/whatever are in the 4.99 - 8.99/dozen range.

Aldi's near me has been running <40cents/dozen recently.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18993 on: October 14, 2017, 09:31:12 PM »
Just went and got lunch out of the fridge. In there is a store bought pack of hard boiled eggs (non-organic, I looked). 6 for $3.99

For comparison, I bought a dozen eggs for 34 cents.

Where on Earth is this possible? Best I've seen is with a special coupon at Safeway, 0.99$ as a loss leader. I think usually they are 1.99. Organic/cage free/whatever are in the 4.99 - 8.99/dozen range.

Aldi's near me has been running <40cents/dozen recently.

What conditions do you suppose those chickens live in, if they can sell their eggs so cheaply?

LennStar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18994 on: October 15, 2017, 12:24:29 AM »
Just went and got lunch out of the fridge. In there is a store bought pack of hard boiled eggs (non-organic, I looked). 6 for $3.99

For comparison, I bought a dozen eggs for 34 cents.

Where on Earth is this possible? Best I've seen is with a special coupon at Safeway, 0.99$ as a loss leader. I think usually they are 1.99. Organic/cage free/whatever are in the 4.99 - 8.99/dozen range.

Aldi's near me has been running <40cents/dozen recently.

What conditions do you suppose those chickens live in, if they can sell their eggs so cheaply?
At this price, I am not sure if they are even alive. Or chickens, come to that.

force majeure

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18995 on: October 15, 2017, 09:17:24 AM »
Age 40, a girl works in my team - this is a regular conversation overheard...

"I have 25 Dollars left in my bank account. Boy, did we have a busy weekend"

Its non-stop eating out, cocktails, trips away.

This girl still lives in a shared rental, puts nothing extra away each month into a pension.
Her plan is to find a rich older guy, who will come with a house. WTF?
Is this a common theme? I know a few other people like this.


p.s. I get this from friends a lotÖ

"What will you do?Ē
"Whatever the hell I feel like doing on any given day."

iowajes

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18996 on: October 15, 2017, 11:09:41 AM »
Just went and got lunch out of the fridge. In there is a store bought pack of hard boiled eggs (non-organic, I looked). 6 for $3.99

For comparison, I bought a dozen eggs for 34 cents.

Where on Earth is this possible? Best I've seen is with a special coupon at Safeway, 0.99$ as a loss leader. I think usually they are 1.99. Organic/cage free/whatever are in the 4.99 - 8.99/dozen range.

Aldi's near me has been running <40cents/dozen recently.

What conditions do you suppose those chickens live in, if they can sell their eggs so cheaply?

Regardless, the hard boiled eggs are coming from the same chickens.

But part of the reason for the low price is high supply. Hens are super productive due to breeding, and after the avian flu high prices caused many more farms in my state to turn to chickens. Now there are too many hens laying.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2017, 11:12:29 AM by iowajes »

martyconlonontherun

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18997 on: October 15, 2017, 02:15:47 PM »
Age 40, a girl works in my team - this is a regular conversation overheard...

"I have 25 Dollars left in my bank account. Boy, did we have a busy weekend"

Its non-stop eating out, cocktails, trips away.

This girl still lives in a shared rental, puts nothing extra away each month into a pension.
Her plan is to find a rich older guy, who will come with a house. WTF?
Is this a common theme? I know a few other people like this.

Is she that good looking? Seems pretty risky because isn't it the old joke that a healthy single man in a nursing home is bombarded with women since they die off first leaving tons of women?

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18998 on: October 15, 2017, 04:14:56 PM »
Age 40, a girl works in my team - this is a regular conversation overheard...

"I have 25 Dollars left in my bank account. Boy, did we have a busy weekend"

Its non-stop eating out, cocktails, trips away.

This girl still lives in a shared rental, puts nothing extra away each month into a pension.
Her plan is to find a rich older guy, who will come with a house. WTF?
Is this a common theme? I know a few other people like this.

I have $20 in my bank account right now. I keep my money in other types of accounts where I can't access it as easily, because I'm not a natural saver.

I think she might be a tad old for the rich older guy fantasy crap.

paddedhat

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18999 on: October 15, 2017, 05:08:43 PM »

I think she might be a tad old for the rich older guy fantasy crap.

Any time the topic of a woman being too old to trap a man comes up, I always this of an episode of NCIS, and chuckle, There is a scene where an older lady is aggressively hitting on Agent DiNozzo. After she leaves the room, he says to his colleagues,  "That's what they call a "Turkey Vulture." 20 years past a cougar - still likes to hunt but can't take down the prey."