Uber has no incentive to keep cars empty

After reading Eric Newcomer’s Bloomberg piece on Uber pricing, Marshall Steinbaum wrote a short tweetstorm about what it implies for Uber’s incentives, which I suspect is exactly wrong.

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The Spinning Wheels Edition

Slate Money on the auto industry, artificial intelligence, and Apple’s new headquarters.

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Give Non-Citizens the Vote!

Realistically, non-citizens will never be able to vote in federal elections. But that’s no reason why they shouldn’t be able to vote in immigrant-heavy cities like New York.

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A few notes about the Spotify stock-market listing

I really like the idea of direct listing, especially for companies which don’t need to raise additional capital (or who don’t mind doing so on the secondary market). It helps to marginalize Wall Street investment banks, for one thing, which is generally a good thing.

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Material World

My review of Pascal Bruckner’s “The Wisdom of Money”

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The Disappearing Edition

Slate Money on the mortgage interest deduction, the volatility index, and Snap’s first earnings report after going public.

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The Talking TED Talks Edition

Slate Money on Cathy O’Neil’s TED talk, what goes on at TED Talks conferences, and the industry of highly paid speeches.

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Facebook: We’re not just sexist, we’re also innumerate!

There’s a particularly dismal genre of arguments which basically say that “after accounting for the sexism in our company, we have found that there’s no sexism in our company”. And this one is a doozy.

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The Pointless Vanity Edition

Slate Money on Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s substantial payout, Sheryl Sandberg’s new book on grief, and former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s massive data project.

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Trump’s Tax Plan Is a Straight Up Multibillion-Dollar Gift to the Rich

It not only makes the rich richer, it also makes the plight of everybody else even more precarious, because it institutionalizes an incentive to not get a stable, full-time job.

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The Pet Cause Edition

Slate Money on PetSmart’s acquisition of Chewy, Arconic CEO Klaus Kleinfeld’s resignation, and Portland’s decision to divest from all corporations.

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Activist Jane Jacobs Won Historic Battles. How Did She Lose the War?

Jacobs shows us that the radius of grassroots activism can be very small, and that the real-world effects of compelling analysis can also be decidedly limited.

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The Liquidity Edition

Slate Money discusses South Africa’s credit rating downgrade and how markets are responding to recent economic events in unpredictable ways.

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Education, Health Care, Debt: Welcome to Our Crowdfunded Dystopia

Give if you wish, and if you can afford to. But when you do, you’re encouraging those who ultimately want to see such private actions replace the democratic norms upon which our society was built.

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The “You Say Beeta, I Say Beta” Edition

Slate Money discusses the popularity of smart beta investing and potential racial bias in auto insurance.

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How Not To Invest $1 Billion in Diversity and Inclusion

Let’s encourage the Ford Foundation to maximize the amount of good it can do in the world now.

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This Staggering Chart Reveals the Reality of Black-Owned Banks

If you really squint you can see the assets of black-owned banks in green.

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The Pour Decisions Edition

Slate Money gets tipsy talking to Bianca Bosker, author of Cork Dork, about the economics of wine.

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Be happy when your favorite restaurant raises its prices

Next time you see your favorite restaurant raise its prices, be happy for them: it’s a sign they’re succeeding in this toughest of industries.

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The Thinx Twice Edition

Slate Money discusses Thinx founder Miki Agrawal’s sexual harassment allegations and how venture capitalist J.D. Vance is looking to invest in startups—in Ohio.

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Hannah Black’s intervention against white supremacy is perfect for the Whitney Biennial

Schutz’s painting remains exhibited on the Whitney’s very expensive new walls. But that doesn’t mean that Black hasn’t successfully accomplished exactly what she wanted to achieve.

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Villains, antiheroes, and dystopia: How Hollywood’s blockbusters helped me understand Trump

There’s a manic millenarianism to much of Trump’s support, a revolutionary fever dream where the rich are overthrown, the working classes take over, and where enormous amounts of blood run in the streets.

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How to bribe Trump’s White House

In a Trump White House full of gazillionaires, there are lots of holdings that can’t easily be valued, and that give mysterious Chinese companies lots of ways to transfer wealth into the pockets of the powerful.

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Nota bene #7

Amal Clooney doesn’t need your Likes, or your clicks, or your support.

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The Soft Power Edition

Slate Money discusses State Street’s plan to place more women in executive roles, Swift’s banning of North Korean banks, and the eccentric billionaire owner of SoftBank.

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