Off Uber, and Gender Pay Gap

I know this is kinda late, and the story has become boring (but the issue isn’t).

So a few weeks ago, a few researchers made a study on how women were paid in the gig economy. In this case, Uber.

Spoiler: Men earned more than women, because they drive faster, they target trips, and more experienced from the women.

The whole paper is quite interesting actually. How uber pay their drivers is already based on a gender-blind algorithm. So there can’t be any discrimination based on gender from this point.

What they found was, men not only drive faster, but they also drive further, and they target trips (targeting, such as targeting trips going/leaving the airport, since the pay is more attractive). Also, men drive more during nightime (after hours, possibly due to safety reasons).

They found out (they didn’t say this in the paper, but based on their interview with Freakonomics), the only period of time where women drive more than men, is during Sunday afternoon (their hypothesis: men watch NFL football during this time period)

So beyond this point, is it fair to say that the access for women to enter employment is no longer an issue. But, the problem comes from once women are already employed? For example: family commitment?

I am really interested on the demographic of the women in their sampling.


My thought on Singapore’s Budget 2018

There was no surprise that the Singapore’s government decided to increase its GST rate by 2% to 9%. This is crucial for the government to fund its infrastructure projects (although Mr. Swee Keat did mention that the government needs to tone down its reliances on reserves and revenues), healthcare spending, education, and etc.

This is the common question I found, why don’t the government increase taxes on income and corporate instead?

That could work, but for a country that is heading towards an ageing society, how taxes are collected is tricky. But, at least Singapore had become rich before getting old. Singapore’s corporate income taxes is still the lowest in the region (Hong Kong is even lower) at 17%. If the government increases the tax even by 1%, it could dampen Singapore’s competitiveness in the region. If the government increases the personal income tax, that could erode private consumption.

I welcome the GST hike, but the timing for the increase a little bit…….odd.

Let me quote what the Finance Minister actually said:

The Government plans to raise GST by two percentage points, from 7% to 9%, sometime in the period from 2021 to 2025. The exact timing will depend on the state of the economy, how much our expenditures grow, and how buoyant our existing taxes are. But I expect that we will need to do so earlier rather than later in the period.

  1. Singapore ‘s next general election must be held on/before January 2021. Looking at the pasts GST hikes, they always had an average of 30 months cut-off point.
  2. I am still trying to figure out the actual meaning of the 2nd and 3rd paragraph of the statement.

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Source: Singapore’s MoF

PS: Take note Malaysia. This could be us 10 or 20 years from now. Ageing will be a national topic, and like it or not, tax rate has to increase.

What Modern Money Mechanics tells us about cryptocurrencies (or Bitcoin).

Modern Money Mechanics (MMM) is basically a 40-page guidebook on how a central bank operates. Basically it tells us how money is created; you deposit money, bank has to keep a certain amount, loan it out some of its portion, bla bla bla (you know how it works).

Nonetheless, the mechanism is very essential for a central bank on how it should really operates its money.

So, this is where crypotocurrencies comes in. Can we define crypotocurrencies as money? This is what MMM thinks:

“Many things – from stones to baseball cards -have served this monetary function through the ages. Today, in the United States, money used in transactions is mainly of three kinds-currency (paper money and coins in the pockets and purses of the public); demand deposits (non-interest-bearing checking accounts in banks); and other checkable deposits, such as negotiable order of withdrawal (NOW)accounts, at all depository institutions, including commercial and savings banks, savings and loan associations, and credit unions. Travelers checks also are included in the definition of transactions money.”

Hold on, it gets exciting. MMM discusses about what makes money valuable, and it perfectly defines why crypotocurrencies isn’t fit into the definition.

“Mainly, it is the confidence people have that they will be able to exchange such money for other financial assets and for real goods and services whenever they choose to do so. Money, like anything else, derives its value from its scarcity in relation to its usefulness. Commodities or services are more or less valuable because there are more or less of them relative to the amounts people want.”

What I am questioning is, does crypotocurrencies fits the definition on confidence, exchange, and scarcity as mentioned above? The way I see it, I’m not even sure if cryptocurrencies can be define as money, nor commodity.

Put it this way, for cyrptocurrencies to be accepted as cash, everyone must have confidence that in the end of the day, it can be used as cash for transactions in exchange for goods or services.

The one problem I have with how crypotocurrencies works, is doesn’t necessarily driven by supply and demand, and also (the major flaw), doesn’t backed by government (google fiat money).

Now, on to how cyroptocurrencies is being used in the dark web…………