Power grabs

August 30, 2018

I was talking to my friend about the scooter companies (Bird, Lime, Spin) and how they'll do in Chicago.

He said he'd hate to work somewhere "at risk if someone leaves a scooter in front of their alderman's house" on a day where the alderman isn't paying attention.

I think corruption is getting harder to pull off, though. It might not seem that way because you hear about it in the news—but that means it's being discussed and investigated, not going away quietly, as its perpetrators would prefer.

There's a lot of negativity on social media and the Internet currently, but we shouldn't lose sight of the longer-term trend toward openness and transparency. A great example is how people invest. 30 years ago, you might receive a cold call from a stockbroker on the phone, urging you to invest in a "hot new issue". Good luck trying to sort the wheat from the chaff, unless you like digging through microfiches or pulling corporate filings from the secretary of state. Who's got time for that for $500 of stock? Whereas today, a five-second Google search is all it takes.

That type of securities fraud went from being commonplace to impossible during my lifetime. The Internet opens many new avenues for crime and fraud, certainly, but on balance, I think we're better off with it than without it.

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