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Cake day: June 2nd, 2023

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  • The best description I have seen for single store franchisees is, you’ve paid a lot to give yourself a job. They are not lucrative, and in fact, are capital intensive, and often predatory.

    There is a very high up front cost, and you generally do not own the real estate. This means you are locked into 30 year leases, often with complicated terms that are solely beneficial to the land owner.

    Next, with regards to liquidity, if you don’t own the real estate, you often can’t get multiple business loans with a single franchise, so you must secure the loan with your personal assets, which means you will go personally bankrupt if you hit a rough patch.

    Then, after dealing with the complicated business to business transactions and legal work, you still have to deal with the corporate bullshit, taxes, and supervisory duties, particularly if you do not already have a strong business partner to do this for you.

    Pretty much, unless you are independently wealthy, own the real estate in a high traffic location, or already have multiple other franchises, it’s a losing venture that will kill your soul and eat every dollar you have.



  • What does fairness have to do with it? Compound interest is just math.

    One could trivially make an argument that we should redistribute the wealth among the population, but there is not a clear way how to do this effectively, or it would have been done already.

    The hard part is taking on the appropriate amount of risk in order to actualize those gains; a bank won’t just give you a 10% interest rate, you have to work your ass of for it. An entrepreneur needs to assess the landscape and invest in what the market will want tomorrow, and most people guess suboptimally (3-6%), or end up losing money, whether in fact (negative returns) or relative to inflation (0-3%).

    Even pointing to the S&P 500, as most people do, you still need to make the conscious decision to sell and take profits, FOMO be damned. Or alternatively, taking a perceived loss but actual profit (e.g., you didn’t sell right at the peak, but that’s usually okay). It’s not easy, and most people don’t have the time or stomach for it; these people are best served by long term, government-backed bonds, after which you will come out only slightly ahead of inflation.

    Using the rule of 72, and a 3% bond rate, it would actually take you 24 years to double your money, not seven. And that, my friend, is why you and I are not billionaires.


  • And guess what those business have? Valuations. Stock price is just an aggregate indicator of the valuation for a company, for the given percentage of shares that are publicly traded. But private companies have valuations, too, and even if they’re not tied to a public stock offering, those valuations are used to form these Billionaire lists.

    Same thing with real estate. The value of any asset is based on what someone is willing to pay. Sometimes, you’ll find some crazy billionaire or investment firm who grossly overvalues an asset relative to their peers, and that insane overvaluation does get rolled into those lists.

    But such is the nature of economics. You’ve neither gained nor lost value until someone pays you. Until then, it’s anyone’s guess.





  • Trade deficit has been known to economists as a farce for decades, so no, they are not the only source of growth.

    Most GDP of first world countries comes from services, not goods, which are not accounted for in “exports”.

    Once again, if a clickbait title asks a question, the answer is “No”. Otherwise, the title would be the much stronger affirmative statement, e.g., “Exports are the only source of growth for countries”.



  • NB: Alignments are not factions. Two Chaotic aligned characters are not inherently on the same side; they are on their own sides, individually.

    Here are two potential ways to play it.

    If your Fey is Chaotic Neutral:

    You find the two clerics dragging your resident murder hobo in front of a tribunal hilarious, and in fact, might be inclined to help. It would be different if they attempted the same for you; in your mind, the action would be justified if you did it, but for the supposed “good” rogue, they still just killed someone out of convenience. You are allowed to be a hypocrite, they are not.

    If you are Chaotic Good:

    That rogue still straight up ganked a guy for being an asshole. Even if you think the guy probably deserved it, and maybe could have talked yourself into doing the same, it has nonetheless created a situation where you are inconvenienced. They screwed up big time, and not even that deep down, they know they’ve got a black mark on their soul, but that’s neither your nor the clerics’ problem. The last thing you want to hear are more verbose, moral arguments from the clerics and to be sidetracked from the mission; the rogue can atone later, this nonsense is getting between you and getting paid.


  • Are you and the rogue chaotic good, or chaotic neutral? It doesn’t seem like you’re clear on this with the rest of your party. Murder (e.g., backstab in the middle of dialogue) is not a “good” action, any way you slice it, even if the spectator is an asshole, evil, or through RP, would have eventually led to combat resulting in death anyways. If you were playing true chaotic, it’s understandable, but it doesn’t sound like that is what was made clear.

    And if you’re trying to force an alignment shift, consider that you may be ruining the enjoyment of everyone else at the table; if I’m playing a lawful good cleric, I’m not sure my character would party with a true chaotic fey, which would essentially end the campaign.