Wednesday, January 26

One of life's biggest mysteries

I love pineapple juice. It is full of deliciousness — and economic mysteries.

Monday, January 24

A lose-lose proposition

It is normal for a collective agreement to have win-lose propositions. Some clauses clearly favour management at the expense of employees, and some perks for workers clearly hurt a company's bottom line.

But collective agreements should not have lose-lose propositions. If management and workers can both do better by eliminating a provision in a collective bargaining agreement, there's no logical reason for the clause to be there in the first place.

Wednesday, January 19

Pogs, surgeries and consent

I've been trading since I was a kid. Whether it was hockey cards, recess snacks, Magic cards, Pokémon cards or pogs, we were always trading something.

There was a tacit understanding that the buyer-beware policy applied when making a trade. But it was also understood that it was bad practice to take advantage of an ignorant trader. No one liked situations where a kid went home to boast to their older brother about a trade, only to hear he'd been duped. It inevitably led to a big argument the next day: "I didn't realize the card I gave you was so good. No fair — I want it back."

Should a kid who unknowingly trades away a valuable pog be able to undo the trade? This was one of the tougher ethical questions we dealt with on the playground. You shouldn't make a trade if you're not sure about it. But on the other hand, if you didn't understand the trade you were making, how can you consent to it?

Monday, January 17

Hairdressing is also way too socialist

I thought Vancouver's taxi industry is way too socialist. But I found another example that might top it.

In the Outaouais region (the Quebec portion of Greater Ottawa), central planners have been controlling hair cuts: who you can get them from, the minimum price hairdressers can charge, and what hours they can work. According to an article in Le Droit, it's a depression-era practice that was repealed decades ago everywhere else in Quebec, but for some reason still exists in the Outaouais area.