Author Topic: Businesses That Act Like Leeches  (Read 3385 times)

JRM

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Re: Businesses That Act Like Leeches
« Reply #40 on: May 15, 2020, 11:44:47 AM »
Has anyone said realtors yet?  The National Association of Realtors is consistently one of the top two lobbying spenders every year.  I'm not saying they don't serve a purpose, but the incentives are very misaligned.


cherzeca

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Re: Businesses That Act Like Leeches
« Reply #41 on: May 15, 2020, 01:12:13 PM »
I would say that politicians are the only true leeches I can think of.

I know the question involves businesses, but government is a sort of non-profit business, taking in revenues and bearing costs.  the whole process of capitalism to my mind culls out leeches...which is why politicians survive.  Politicians are not subject to any culling mechanism other than the voting process, which is why politicians pander to voters, which actually increases their leeching behavior.

Government and organized crime.  They both leach off of the productive and provide "protection" (mostly from what they will do to you if you don't pay and obey).  Just parasites like viruses are to biological systems or different kinds of viruses are to computer networks.

"All Complex Ecosystems Have Parasites" --Cory Doctorow

YES! People should just govern themselves! We should all just do whatever we want to do! Don't ever trust professionals! Power to the common people!

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politicians would be less leech like if they were subject to term limits

Liberty

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Re: Businesses That Act Like Leeches
« Reply #42 on: May 15, 2020, 01:34:55 PM »
Has anyone said realtors yet?  The National Association of Realtors is consistently one of the top two lobbying spenders every year.  I'm not saying they don't serve a purpose, but the incentives are very misaligned.

Seconded! We recently bought a house, and didn't use realtors on both sides, and it was fine, and I'm glad we saved the money.

I'd pay a good realtor a flat fee or hourly rate for good advice and help, but I would never pay them a % of the transaction that amounts to tens of thousands of dollars, especially since many/most of them basically just unlock doors and do minimal hand-holding and are incentivized to get you to accept a worse deal than you might have gotten.
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cherzeca

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Re: Businesses That Act Like Leeches
« Reply #43 on: May 15, 2020, 02:16:02 PM »
funeral service.  customer is in a fog with grief and basically is in no position to negotiate.

rkbabang

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Re: Businesses That Act Like Leeches
« Reply #44 on: May 21, 2020, 08:47:48 AM »
politicians would be less leech like if they were subject to term limits

Yes.  As short a term as possible.  With the ideal, of course, being a term of 0.

DTEJD1997

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Re: Businesses That Act Like Leeches
« Reply #45 on: May 21, 2020, 09:40:03 AM »
hey all:

Most education in America acts like a leech on society.

Obviously, not all educators and schools...but a surprising amount.

"For profit" education is perhaps the worst...

followed by low level "professional" skools.  Best of example of this is Law Skools where their graduates come out with $250k+ of student loan debt and no chance of paying it off...with Admins paid many hundreds of thousands per year, profs paid well over $100k, all the while working part time.

Then you've got all the "regular" universities playing all sorts of games with tuition and scholarships.  They may be "non-profit" but the stakeholders are the admins & profs getting all the "profits".

Then you've also got blights such as the Detroit Public Skools.  DPS has a budget of about $770mm for the year...but they are getting sued because so many of their graduates are illiterate.  What is society getting for all that capital going into the skools?  Well paid administrators and teachers.  That is about it...society has been failed by the folks at DPS. 

Sadly, Detroit is not the only city in America with skool systems in shambles.

jamesmadison

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Re: Businesses That Act Like Leeches
« Reply #46 on: May 21, 2020, 02:55:06 PM »
I think a frequent commonality in what constitutes a "leech" is a business/profession in which the costs are not (fully) borne by the user or the cost is somehow "hidden" or incredibly diffused:

Seemless: User is the person ordering; restaurants pay

Real estate brokers: Seller ostensibly pays, so buyers may think it doesn't matter if a broker is involved.  Obviously the cost is borne by both parties

Government: All taxpayers pay, diffusing the cost

Healthcare: Massive disconnect between payers and users

JRM

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Re: Businesses That Act Like Leeches
« Reply #47 on: May 21, 2020, 05:08:30 PM »
I think a frequent commonality in what constitutes a "leech" is a business/profession in which the costs are not (fully) borne by the user or the cost is somehow "hidden" or incredibly diffused:

Seemless: User is the person ordering; restaurants pay

Real estate brokers: Seller ostensibly pays, so buyers may think it doesn't matter if a broker is involved.  Obviously the cost is borne by both parties

Government: All taxpayers pay, diffusing the cost

Healthcare: Massive disconnect between payers and users

I think you missed the mark on realtors.  The problems are:

1.  The higher the potential commission the greater the gap between commissions paid and value-add
2.  Misalignment of incentives for BOTH buyer and selling realtors
3.  System that is protected by massive lobbying and blackballing of outsiders

jamesmadison

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Re: Businesses That Act Like Leeches
« Reply #48 on: May 21, 2020, 05:34:49 PM »
I think a frequent commonality in what constitutes a "leech" is a business/profession in which the costs are not (fully) borne by the user or the cost is somehow "hidden" or incredibly diffused:

Seemless: User is the person ordering; restaurants pay

Real estate brokers: Seller ostensibly pays, so buyers may think it doesn't matter if a broker is involved.  Obviously the cost is borne by both parties

Government: All taxpayers pay, diffusing the cost

Healthcare: Massive disconnect between payers and users

I think you missed the mark on realtors.  The problems are:

1.  The higher the potential commission the greater the gap between commissions paid and value-add
2.  Misalignment of incentives for BOTH buyer and selling realtors
3.  System that is protected by massive lobbying and blackballing of outsiders

All three points you make are true but I believe that they are all "in addition to" my prior observation, not "instead of". 

JRM

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Re: Businesses That Act Like Leeches
« Reply #49 on: May 21, 2020, 05:43:06 PM »
I think a frequent commonality in what constitutes a "leech" is a business/profession in which the costs are not (fully) borne by the user or the cost is somehow "hidden" or incredibly diffused:

Seemless: User is the person ordering; restaurants pay

Real estate brokers: Seller ostensibly pays, so buyers may think it doesn't matter if a broker is involved.  Obviously the cost is borne by both parties

Government: All taxpayers pay, diffusing the cost

Healthcare: Massive disconnect between payers and users

I think you missed the mark on realtors.  The problems are:

1.  The higher the potential commission the greater the gap between commissions paid and value-add
2.  Misalignment of incentives for BOTH buyer and selling realtors
3.  System that is protected by massive lobbying and blackballing of outsiders

All three points you make are true but I believe that they are all "in addition to" my prior observation, not "instead of".

agreed.