Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Bring back the renter's credit

Renters have for years been subsidizing homeowners through the mortgage interest deduction. And now there's talk of the taxpayers bailing out homeowners who took on more mortgage than they could afford. Enough is enough, bring back the renter's credit. Responsible folks who lived within their means should be rewarded for their prudence and preventing an even worse disaster. Any government rescue plan should include tax relief for renters.

Friday, August 22, 2008

E*Trade sucks ass

My experience with E*Trade customer service is terrible.

Three times I called with a request for clarification of some fee or surcharge on my account. Each time, the representative said they would have to refer the matter to the margin department, and that I would receive an email or alert when it was resolved. Each time, I had to call back and inquire again a week later because I had received no such notification. And each time the representative said they didn't see any record of correspondence with the margin department and blithely "apologized for any inconvenience." Then promised to follow up and send me email or alert when it was resolved.

Any company that gives its customers this kind of runaround is surely clueless. I will be transferring my business to more capable hands.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

AT&T sucks ass

I used to have AT&T internet service. That is, until they surreptitiously increased rates without sending me any kind of communication. Then I asked for paper bills to be sent, instead of electronic ones. The company decided to just forgo sending me any bills whatsoever. I guess they saw this as another revenue stream, since they happily decided to sneak late fees into my bills instead. Shame on AT&T for taking advantage of customers like that.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Memo to Obama: Light Up

Dear Mr Obama, 

Here are three reasons why you should resume smoking. 

3. Change the subject.
For weeks now Hillary has been hogging the mic. All we've heard about is Rev. Jeremiah Wright and your various gaffes. The headlines and sound bites show you on the defensive, and your message is getting drowned out. Embrace your addiction! It will allow you to take back the microphone and go on the offence.
2. Remind us he's only human.
We all have our flaws, don't be afraid to admit yours. I'm sure the 30% of Americans who smoke would agree, but so would everybody else. Nobody's perfect. Let those without sins cast the first stone! And once you're elected you can lead by example and quit.
1. Get his mojo back.
Running for president is difficult enough, but having to battle your addiction at the same time is brutal. Hillary's scorched-earth assault will continue all the way to the convention floor, and its easy to be put on the defensive when you're distracted by your cravings. But fending it off would be a slam-dunk if you could focus on the message again! And in the general election it just may help win over Republicans too.

Update: great minds think alike!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Bandwidth should be metered

Bandwidth should be metered and sold like electricity. Folks should only be required to pay for what they use. That way, the market takes care of the congestion problems and network neutrality becomes a moot point. Consider for a moment if electricity was priced like internet access, at a flat monthly rate. Essentially those conserving electricity would be subsidizing the wasteful neighbor who leaves all their lights on all the time. That's whats happening today with bandwidth consumption.

While we're at it, highway and street usage should be transacted the same way. Let's start charging drivers by the mile (or kilometer). Right now the roads are essentially free and nobody has an incentive to ride a bicycle or take the train (or walk). Requiring folks to pay for what they use would not only reduce congestion but pollution as well.