The Upcoming Collapse of (Nearly) Every Streaming Service

In light of my recent dealings with Apple, Spotify and Pandora, as well as the stillbirth of Tidal, it’s clear to me that all existing music streaming services other than Apple are likely to collapse over the next couple of years. The technology and user bases will be taken over by content license holders. This will leave “record companies” and artists smart enough to own their own rights on top along with Apple, which has the base business to support streaming as a loss leader.  Bubble pop is in progress.

#EarthDay Is Not A Hippie Holiday

~~ If we don’t manage waste and our business assets responsibly, our business will fail.

~~ Same goes for humankind managing the earth’s resources. But the stakes are much higher – we only have one planet.

~~ Responsible waste disposal and resource management must not be partisan issues.

~~ Here is what some of our leaders have said about preservation of Earth’s environment over the years. Earth Day is not a hippy holiday, and concern over the environment is not a left wing cause.

“Conservation is a great moral issue, for it involves the patriotic duty of insuring the safety and continuance of the nation.” — Theodore Roosevelt

“As we peer into society’s future, we – you and I, and our government – must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering for, for our own ease and convenience, the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage.” — Dwight D. Eisenhower

“Restoring nature to its natural state is a cause beyond party and beyond factions. It has become a common cause of all the people of this country. It is a cause of particular concern to young Americans, because they more than we will reap the grim consequences of our failure to act on programs which are needed now if we are to prevent disaster later.” — Richard Nixon

“The preservation of parks, wilderness, and wildlife has also aided liberty by keeping alive the 19th century sense of adventure and awe with which our forefathers greeted the American West. Many laws protecting environmental quality have promoted liberty by securing property against the destrutctive trespass of pollution. In our own time, the nearly universal appreciation of these preserved landscapes, restored waters, and cleaner air through outdoor recreation is a modern expression of our freedom and leisure to enjoy the wonderful life that generations past have built for us.” — Ronald Reagan

“We need the tonic of wildness…At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.” — Henry David Thoreau

#TONIGHT: LIVE #NFL Schedule Release Party in Chicago

Join my friends and clients at Moretti’s Edison Park (Northwest Side of Chicago) TONIGHT for the Live NFL Schedule Release show, hosted by Albert Breer, National Reporter, NFL Network and Boston’s 98.5 The Sports Hub. Join us for fun, food, drinks, special guests and live football commentary. Chicago is getting ready for the NFL Draft and the excitement is building all over the city!

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How I Felt (A Little) Better On #TaxDay.

~~ How much does the average person have to pay in taxes to cover the services each person enjoys in the USA?  It’s a complex question and I could not find a straight answer online.  This would be a good masters thesis for a college student.

~~ I can’t construct a scenario where each person does not receive at least $20,000-$50,000 worth of tax paid services each year, just thinking about the roads, rails, airports, the military, the police, fire protection, libraries, street cleaning, elder and disabled care, programs to protect social order, and even health and safety inspectors (much as we fear them in the restaurant industry).  What’s the value of living in the world’s leading nation?  I don’t know exactly but it’s up there.

~~ A Heritage Foundation report demonstrates that you have to be in the top 40% of the population in income to pay more in taxes than you get back in benefits.  If you can read their entire impressive report you should be promoted to Professor.  From their graphs it looks like the tipping point is around $20,000 in annual taxes.   Pay less than that and you are getting more than you pay for.  More, and you are subsidizing others (on average).  Remember, that is total taxes, so it includes sales taxes, property taxes and local taxes not just Fed and State.  Taking this approach the rich are paying the way for the poor which seems to be a great deal for lower income people.

~~ But the question of fairness can also be viewed in another way: what percentage of income is paid in taxes?  By this standard the poor are more burdened than the wealthy, particularly in the area of state, local and sales taxes.   In fact, by some estimates the poorest 20% of Americans pay 2x as much of their income in taxes as the richest 20%

~~ Here’s some varied perspectives from Pew Research, CNBC and Warren Buffett on the fairness of our tax system.  And where our tax dollars go.  Clearly there’s a lot of room for argument, and for more research.  Cue that masters thesis candidate!

~~ I have a hunch that for all but the richest, we may be getting a lot more for our money than we like to think!  At least that will make me feel better when I write my checks to the IRS.

~~ To end on a positive note, check out these restaurant tax day discounts and even freebies from around the nation.

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On #EqualPayDay : There’s Gender Pay Gap Improvement to Celebrate

~~ Equal Pay Day is an important day for the hospitality business, as our industry has provided more management and ownership opportunity to women than most fields. Recent NRA research found more than 45 percent of today’s restaurant managers are women, compared with 38 percent in other industries. Further, the number of restaurants owned by women increased 50 percent between 1997 and 2007.

~~ Equal Pay Day is the day on which the average woman will make what the average man made in the previous year. So in all of 2014 plus every day of 2015 up to today the average woman’s earnings = the average man’s year 2014 earnings. There are many ways to calculate this and it is no where near an unassailable number or date. Yet the issues of why women lag in earning power are important and fair to debate. Here is a well-documented, balanced analysis from Pew Research Group, which shows improvements to be celebrated as the wage gap closes, yet still areas of opportunity for improvement.
~~ My take is that we have to be very careful not to choose “solutions” that will make things worse for women and the workforce as a whole, such as banning salary negotiation.

~~ To read more on the issue of diversity from the National Restaurant Association here.