Skip To Content
No Mercy No Malice

Unlocks

January 7, 2022

The periods following crises have been some of the most prosperous in history, often catalyzing bold investments in science, former enemies, and the comity of man. So, with a 2021 cocktail that included a pandemic and an insurrection, I’m expecting Champagne and cocaine for a good decade.

#SquadGoals

A cornerstone of sustained prosperity is the unlock: unleashing a leap forward with a new approach. Thinking different, if you will. An external shock compels us to leverage existing resources in fresh ways. In these moments, it’s less about new or more than it is about rearranging the materials we have at hand.

Unlocks are often inspired by new technology. But 2021 may inspire unprecedented unlocks via billion-year old tech — a nucleic acid molecule in a protein coat, too small to be seen by light microscopy, able to multiply only within the living cells of a host. More commonly referred to as a virus. The “Pandemic Dividend” could be significant.

Prisons

In the U.S. we fetishize tech billionaires, elite universities, and incarceration. We’ve long been a global outlier, imprisoning far more of our citizens than any other country. The U.S. spends $88.5 billion a year on prisons — more than we spend on the Department of Justice, IRS, EPA, and NASA combined. What do we get for that money? Incarceration increases infant mortality by 40%, and a child with an incarcerated parent is five times more likely to go to prison themselves. The real expense of incarceration in America is closer to $1 trillion a year. And yet nearly two-thirds of federal prisoners are convicted again within two years of release, one of the highest rates in the world. It turns out that the U.S. prison system mirrors many of the “5-star” substance abuse rehabs in my hood (Delray Beach), which should be labeled recidivism centers: They seem to be aiming to create lifelong customers.

The virus may help us kick the habit. The inability to socially distance and poor sanitary conditions meant Covid spread four times faster in prisons than on cruise ships. In response, the U.S. Bureau of Prisons released 36,000-plus inmates to home confinement to reduce the spread — more than 20% of federal prisoners.

States have largely failed to follow suit, but they should. When states significantly reduce their prison populations, crime rates fall faster than the national average. Between 1999 and 2012, New York and New Jersey downsized their prisons by 26% — and violent crime dropped 31% and 30%, respectively. Diversion and rehabilitative support programs reduce recidivism.

Last month, the Justice Department said thousands of inmates released because of the pandemic would be allowed to remain in home confinement — a literal unlocking that could be the catalyst for serious progress. Among other things, it will put more desperately needed men back into lower-income homes.

Feed Me

Siloing in place meant we started getting everything delivered. Grocery aisles have been dispersed to our homes, saving us time and reducing traffic and emissions. And we’re likely just getting started.

Our current food delivery model is inadequate and inefficient. Perishable food transits from holding location to holding location, spoiling on shelves or in our homes and refrigerators. Millions in R&D has been spent on predicting how and when we’ll shop, so bananas will be luteous when we show up to the store. Delivery is greener: A University of Washington study found grocery delivery trucks produce up to 75% less carbon emissions per customer than driving to the store when they’re efficiently routed.

The “dark store” model could increase efficiency further. Here’s a strategy rapid-delivery companies including Jokr, Getir, and Gopuff are leveraging: They’ve decentralized the supermarket across a network of hyperlocal grocery stores, then e-pedal fresh produce to homes within a 1-mile radius in 15 minutes. Reducing the last mile to within a short pedal’s distance (vs. the average 6 to 9 miles with traditional delivery) conserves time and energy, while more groceries are packed into fewer trucks on the back end.

Grocery could also be the foundation for a more robust last-mile delivery infrastructure that could supplant the inefficient package-delivery model we have today, a relic of a time when overnight delivery was a high-margin service, not the price of entry.

Unlocking widespread grocery delivery will do more than save us trips and gasoline. It could improve the diets of the 19 million Americans who live in food deserts (places where the nearest grocery store is more than a mile away). Obesity rates are high in these areas, where fast food restaurants are cheap and ubiquitous. There are roughly 39,000 grocery stores in the U.S. vs. 247,000 fast food restaurants. But there are 300 million smartphones.

Rethinking the grocery supply chain could help address our obesity problem, something we frequently choose to ignore out of fear of cancellation and hurting other people’s feelings. Four in every 10 Americans are obese. For children, it’s 1 in 5. Obesity impairs immune function, increases risk of heart failure, and increases Covid fatality. Thirty percent of Covid hospitalizations are attributed to obesity.

Remote Work

It’s been well covered, but that’s because it’s a big deal. Remote work saves people and businesses time and money. Let’s do the math:

The average commute time in the U.S. is 26 minutes each way. It takes the average American around 20 minutes to get ready for work. Remote work removes that commute (52 mins), and with no suit or hairdryer to worry about likely cuts getting-ready time in half (10 mins): That’s 62 minutes saved per day. The National Bureau of Economic Research estimates the value of time to be 75% of the after-tax mean wage rate. For the typical American knowledge worker, that comes out to $30 per hour, thus saving:

  • $155 per week (5 hours 10 minutes)
  • $620 per month (20 hours 40 minutes)
  • $7,440 per year (10 days 8 hours)

Longer term, this trend will provide greater flexibility in housing, transportation, and workforce composition. There’s little rational basis for knowledge work to be structured like 19th century factory employment, and the remote work unlock will liberate us from that archetype. Many frontline jobs cannot be done remotely. But for those that can, the benefits are real. Remote work has unlocked time that can lead to a healthier and more prosperous life.

Simplicity

When the virus hit, we reduced bureaucratic complexity and sent a $1,200 check to every American citizen earning up to $75,000/year, no questions asked. You didn’t have to apply for eligibility or register your personal information with a government authority or wait in a line — the money just arrived. We also expanded child tax credits and food stamp programs. It transformed many of the lives of lower- and middle-class people and cut the number of Americans living in poverty in half.

We should continue to embrace simplicity in policy and apply it to other areas, specifically our tax code. Most Americans don’t have the time or means to navigate the complex administrative maze that is the U.S. tax system. The wealthy, on the other hand, pay lawyers, accountants, and advisers to navigate by starlight. Some of the brightest people in my professional circle do nothing but help me and other wealthy individuals avoid obstacles of our own making (the tax code). They should be doing something else. Simplicity unlocks human capital.

Artificial barriers benefit those with the resources to circumvent them, and the rest of the nation is then left to bear the burden: We lose $189 billion per year to tax avoidance. And complexity makes policing tax evasion harder as well. In 1960 the IRS audited 3.2% of U.S. tax returns. Today it audits 0.21%, despite increased spending. Adjusted for inflation, the IRS spent $34 for every tax return filed in 1960. Now that figure is $51.

We’ve also let corporate actors evade their responsibility to fund the infrastructure on which they build their empires. In the early 1900s corporations and individuals contributed an equal share of taxes to the economy. Today individuals pay 8% of U.S. GDP in taxes and corporations pay 1%. In 2016 more than half of U.S. multinational corporate profits were booked in tax havens abroad.


In sum, complexity is a tax on the poor. We need to close the loopholes in our tax system and implement a simpler mandate. A semi-flat tax of 10% (<100k), 20% (<$1m), and 40% (>$1m).  People would be shocked if we had the sack to ask everyone to pay taxes, and for exceptionally wealthy people to again pay what they paid through most of the 20th century. Simplicity could be an unlock that helps bring economic equity and amass the resources to restore any great nation’s ballast: its middle class.

The Iron Throne

The biggest potential unlock stems from the reshaping of a $4 trillion sector: health care.

Pre-Covid, less than 1% of doctor’s office visits were virtual; now that number is more than 30%. We used to sit in the waiting room for anywhere between 20 minutes and 2 hours for a doctor to confirm we were sick and then write us a note to enter a pharmacy and spread more disease. Now we put a Q-tip up our nose while watching Boba Fett and wait 15 minutes for a red line to appear.

The opportunity to disperse health care to our homes, smart speakers, and phones could not only save billions of hours, it could disperse preventive care to tens of millions of Americans who only access care once a problem has become more expensive/dangerous to treat. This warrants its own post — coupled with the vaccine research spillover — as they could be the silver lining that rivals the size of the cloud.

What’s Your Unlock?

What’s gotten you here today won’t get you where you need to be tomorrow. The ground beneath us has shifted. But there is opportunity everywhere … for each of us. We can look at the crisis, the changes in our economy and technology, and ask: What is the unlock? For me, it’s simple. In 2014, when my boys were 4 and 7, I spent 211 days on the road. Pre-Covid, the idea of charging someone to do a virtual talk, attend board meetings, or teach a university-level class remotely was nearly unthinkable.

So my unlock is an easy one and (admittedly) a function of privilege: Until they’re out of the house, I’ve decided I won’t spend more than 50 days a year away from my boys. They were born yesterday, and tomorrow they’ll be gone. All my bullshit virtue signalling about being a great dad will be just that — bullshit — unless I log the hours. Note: There’s no such thing as quality time with kids. Just time, as the moments of real engagement are elusive and unexpected.

As we register our losses, can we also find the courage to be more expressive and loving with the people who matter to us? Can we command a better sense of the finite nature of life and forgive ourselves and others for our mistakes? Can we no longer take our liberties for granted, and acknowledge that to enjoy these freedoms without contributing is infantile? Can we demonstrate more grace?

What is your unlock?

Life is so rich,

P.S. Looking for unfiltered insights into tech, business, politics, culture, and more? Apply to attend Pivot MIA today! Hosted by me and my co-host, Kara Swisher of New York magazine’s Pivot podcast, this brand-new, three-day conference will assemble the hottest names across various industries for cutting-edge conversations at two of Miami’s most stylish venues, the Faena and 1 Hotel. It’s happening February 14-16 — don’t miss it.

P.P.S. If it takes 10,000 hours to master something, I’m definitely an expert at Twitter feuds. Speaking of which, Malcolm Gladwell is guest lecturing on the Product Strategy Sprint with Adam Alter. Sign up now.

59 comments

  1. Michael says:

    Two things I’d like to see unlocked:
    1. Democracy – we had the biggest turnout in 2020 when we made it easier to vote. Simplifying the voting process, the counting process and the representation process, as well as access to power (zooming into meetings with elected leaders is way more efficient for everyone) would be hugely transformative.
    2. The trust industrial complex. S enough of our tax avoidance by the wealthy is enabled by various types of trusts that allow capital to be utilized without paying taxes on the gains. Each kind of trust has its own reason to exist, but eliminating them would go a long way to fairness and simplicity.

  2. Steven says:

    Scott, I had a similar moment. Working too hard, not enough time for the people who mattered most. Less is more and the returns are greater! I was able to spend 21 glorious years with my son before he passed away this year and watched him go through over 50 neurosurgeries all while trying to work! A parent clearly learns what is important, what is not, and what you should spend your time on when you spend at least a few months every year in a PICU. Keep going small!

  3. Antonius says:

    Simplicity in taxation is not about setting a rate, it’s deciding what qualifies as taxable revenue. Is this proposal for no deductions from the top line at all? Not necessarily criticizing, just trying to understand the proposal.

  4. Mark Choate says:

    My personal unlock is to proactively inject more Scott Galloway into my daily life, not just read it.

  5. J says:

    Could you post/pod about the Anti-Work movement?

  6. Tom says:

    I think the major factor that is likely to kill Joe Biden’s BBB is its complexity and multifaceted content. When first proposed, many (including me) thought it as revolutionary and necessary. Now we are stuck in the mud and fear this coming November. Simplicity is strongly advisable.

  7. Steve says:

    The article noted that 40% of Americans are obese, but only 30% of the covid hospitalizations are obese. I thought obesity increased the risk of hospitalization.

  8. Judge says:

    Well said. Prison release is audacious but has a lot of logic to it. Not a bad strategy. But then again, culture eats strategy for breakfast. Not sure my American neighbours are ready for it. Great article

  9. Yoav Michaely says:

    Something personal.
    You write that you will not be more than 50 days away from your family. Admirable.
    In a previous post you wrote that you are sending your son to a boarding school in the UK.
    1. Experience abroad is invaluable for kids growing up.
    2. UK boarding schools are the foundation of the bullying culture which is prevalent in higher society in Britain.
    3. If you want to achieve both goals : being with your kids while they grow up and giving them foreign exposure, without the the negative aspects of British private education boarding schools, consider “semester abroad”
    NZ, Austr, or even UK, but only for a semester.
    I am an expat, son of expats and father of expats. Seen it all , US. UK Europe, Middle East .
    Trust me on this one

    • Horváth Istvánné says:

      Mint tapasztalt nagymama, szeretnék hozzászólni, mivel a 16 éves kislány unokámat fiam elvitte Miamiba és ott érettségizett, majd jelentkezett Oxfordba tovább tanulni! Eredményei sikeresek lettek és utólag kiértékelve, a család szeretete és összetartó ereje, odafigyelése segítette erre a nagy önálló feladatra! Ha elkerül a családból a gtyermek, mindig érezze, hogy Őt nagyon szeretik és hazavárják! Nálunk nem az volt a cél, hogy nagy karier, hanem az önmegvalósítás! Sikerült!

    • Lewis says:

      Couldn’t agree more. Boarding school prepares you for a very particular kind of life and it’s not one I’d want for my children.

  10. Harrison says:

    Scott, disappointing that you regurgitate the pop media bromide that last Jan 6 was an insurrection. It was a riot. Disorganized and created by the unhinged Donald Trump.

    Examples of real insurrections, from Britannica.com: Significant insurrections of the 20th and 21st centuries are the March on Rome of 1922, which brought Benito Mussolini and his National Fascist Party to power in Italy; and the July Plot against Adolf Hitler in 1944.

    I’d say Jan 6 falls somewhat short of these standards . . . .

    • Lincoln says:

      You people regurgitate the same dribble the pop alt-right media spouts. While thinking you’re somehow more clever than the tools on the left that also take every word as sacrosanct. Are you really that stupid? (The answer is yes).

      You can call Jan 6 whatever you like. It won’t change the fact a radical, largely white supremacist mob breached The Capitol and interrupted the democratic transition of power. Oddly enough The Capitol was devoid of security forces (oops).

  11. Mike says:

    I can out-virtue you. I’m your age with 1/10th the net worth and I have retired and will spend no more than 10 days away from my (same cohort) kids every year. So yeah, basically I agree with you but had better parents.

  12. Vladimir Svetlov says:

    Indeed, smart people who are doing superfluous jobs (like tax evasion enabling) will find other jobs. Dimwits doing the same jobs will not be so lucky. If we unlock drug prescriptions by doing it through AI, that should make pharmaceutical sales reps jobs obsolete (theoretically). Now these uneducated hacks are making 158 K a year (2020), double that of PhD-level academic scientist. Where would this “unlocked” redundant workforce go?

    • c cook says:

      Uneducated hacks? Sales people making all the money without having to slog through a PhD program and into an under appreciated job. Who is smarter?

      • Mike says:

        Agreed. My career was working for enterprise software companies and I always said “Thank god for enterprise software because otherwise, all these guys would be managers at Wendy’s”. And I’m talking about $200k – $300k people.

      • Vladimir Svetlov says:

        Chipmunk, I said uneducated, not dumb. Obviously pharma sales reps are smarter than scientists. Getting handsome compensation for the job robotic garbage cans could be performing with minimal reprogramming – that takes real world smarts.

  13. Alexander Zwissler says:

    unlock the BS concert ticket monopoly…issues NFT’s rather than tickets that can then be traded, resold, etc, taking out the middle man, aka Ticketmaster, ..and while you are at it, GET OFF MY LAWN (sez the boomer)

  14. Perry Boyle says:

    Education. Public education is another overcomplicated tax on the poor, run by unions to benefit their members rather than educate kids. To wit: Chicago teachers union. So let’s give everyone the same opportunity that the rich have. Give the families the money and let them pick the school. On average, the US spends about $17k per pupil. In a city like NY, it’s over $25k. For what? The entire model is broken–agricultural calendar teaching industrial curriculum in an information age economy. We know the system is broken, so why try to fix it with more money? Why not fix it with more competition?

    • c cook says:

      But the Teachers Unions are the top campaign funder of the current party in power. Schools are run for the Unions, not the students. Follow the lead of Sweden and other progressive countries, universal school choice for the US. That sound? Woke heads exploding.

  15. Melvin says:

    Going back to an old saying: we have. A big bowl of lemons. Can we make lemonade out of all of those lemons?

  16. Craig Gordon says:

    Scott, been an loyal follower and referral to your stuff for many years…probably sold at least 25 plus The Algebra of Happiness books for you!LOL But like Seth Godin and somewhat myself when I was an entrepreneur and running a successful growing business, it seems to me your creative contents is getting less so…..maybe it is just your writing is not as good due to time deadlines or your not giving yourself enough free time to be creative but being an admirer, I think I have to be honest with you….it just doesn’t have the value it used with orginial creative ideas…..good luck and hope you can shed some of the grow grow grow a business in your mind and just get back to being the creative you who seems to me have shrunk. best, Craig Gordon

  17. Brad says:

    Really? An insurrection led by a guy wearing Viking horns, without heavy armour or weapons, storming a building for selfies. We all need to vary our news sources more.

  18. Andrea Johnson says:

    Childcare is the biggest unlock 🔓 no brainer. Despite that, we haven’t funded it properly in the US and we are doing it very inefficiently at great short and long-term cost to GDP.

    As part of the healthcare revolution, combine family services to be a one stop shop for wellness that includes personal care, education, healthcare, and rehabilitation services.

    Don’t make people beg for help or prove their needs. It’s a huge waste of time and energy. The corruption happens at much higher levels with the “dark” money and power that buys influence to manipulate the system.

    • c cook says:

      Better idea. Don’t have kids if you cannot afford, or will not make the sacrifices needed, to raise them. Don’t we have enough untethered kids destroying our cities now? Why is it the government’s job to raise children?

  19. Jenn says:

    Brilliant words and insights. Gives me hope, which I haven’t felt in a while. Thank you.

  20. Earl Smith says:

    Hmm. Why do you need men back into low-income homes? These prisoners who have been released are most likely drug pushers, users, Black, batterers and the last thing mothers, spouses, girlfriends & children need are these men back in their fragile lives.

  21. Mike Truman says:

    These are outstanding suggestions. I wish we could convince our leaders to try some of them.

    Would love to hear your thoughts on the NYTimes’ acquisition of the Athletic. Haven’t seen very good analysis as of yet, just summaries of the press release.

  22. Tony says:

    This piece was your best.

  23. Pierre Rasputin says:

    Since you prize simplicity, a couple of thoughts.
    1- Apply the same rules to the healthcare industry that the rest of us have to live with. If the lies, bait and switch and utter greed of the healthcare mafia were treated like the rest of us, half of the players would be in jail for fraud. Hopefully, big boy jail, not the country club jails your friend go to.
    2- A simple fix for robocallers. When a robocaller business is identified ( it CAN be done) , go into the business and drag every single person out to the street and hang them from the lamp posts. This includes “Jennifer”. It would end the scams real quick. And bonus, no jails involved!
    Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best.

  24. c cook says:

    Regarding taxes. The right answer is a flat/graduated tax, no deductions. No games. But that would mean a much smaller IRS (fewer Government Union members) and a cut in business for finance, accounting, and alt assets brokers on Wall St. Unions and finance industry provide a large part of campaign funding, don’t look for changes until both parties decides to. And, they will ghost you with reasons why a flat tax is unfair, racist, blah, blah.

    • Alexander Zwissler says:

      same issue with healthcare…millions of jobs would need to be eliminated to unlock the benefit/cost reduction to the end user

    • Michele says:

      In my opinion a progressive flat tax is not a flat tax. I think, especially in italy, that the solution is to adopt a Unique progressive tax with the cancellation of all the deduction. But the main point is the a rich person should pay more than a poor.

  25. JK says:

    Rich people love to be heroes and talk about releasing prisoners because they know they will live nowhere near them. Scott could lead by example and buy a house in his neighborhood and rent it to recently released convicts. In addition to life being rich so is Scott so go for it Scott! On another note, can we stop referring to 1/6 as an insurrection. It’s insulting to our military to pretend like a bunch of unarmed moronic, and probably drunk, trump supporters were going to overthrow our government.

    • c cook says:

      Strangely missing from 1/6 talk is the Insurrections in Portland, where rioters tried to FIREBOMB a US Federal Courthouse. Arsonists, rioters, and those assaulting police were ordered release by the Mayor. Oh, and our VP proudly contributed to the bail fund for people like those who were held. Imagine if Pence had paid for 1/6 arrestees bail…

  26. Mike says:

    Always enjoy these posts. On the tax unlock, an idea I have been boring my friends with for years – eliminate all preferences, deductions, even sacred cows like the mortgage deduction (which logically only reduced housing cost the first few years it existed – after that prices adjusted for sure). Then instead of almost flat, have very many (marginal) brackets. It would still be very simple, since without the loopholes you would just look up your tax in a simple table. Last piece: give everybody a choice between the new and old system for a few years to decrease the shock to the economy as all the incentives change. Once you switch though, you can’t go back.

  27. ian borel says:

    Thanks for your research and an A+ for your website design.
    In the 2018 Prison graph Japan appears twice. Do they have two sorts of carceral systems?

  28. Walter Sholund says:

    Daddy duty, the world’s best job.

  29. c cook says:

    On the food ‘unlock’, I have experience with fresh food chain. In the US, it is very efficient, and can provide to virtually any underserved neighborhood easily. Assuming two things – stores exist and people want to buy fresh veggies over cheap fried protein. The second point is clear, just visit any ‘underserved’ neighborhood. Look at the people and tell me they enjoy ‘healthy’ food. On the first point, how many stores have closed in poor neighborhoods due to blm riots or rampant looting. Walgreens bailing out of most SF stores due to lack of prosecution for shoplifting. Per store losses were 5 times other areas, and employees were endangered. How many Targets were looted during the ‘mostly peaceful’ blm riots? Why rebuild when your neighbors do not care? You need stores for fresh produce to be available. Not gutted, smoking building shells.

  30. MK says:

    There is probably an error in the chart. This might seem pedantic but Japan has been listed twice in the ranking for prisoners’ population. Do we know which one is right?

    • JR Stofberg says:

      Yeah, that one got me too. I ended up reading the graph a couple of times in my email, just to make sure I am not hallucinating, but I see it has been fixed on this article.

  31. c cook says:

    Points are well documented. And, in the abstract correct. Problem is in the specifics. Crime matters when it hurts you, or today, when it hurts someone ‘important’ eg Hollywood, music, or offspring of politician. San Franciso’s DA releases 84% of FELONY Domestic Violence arrest within 2 days on bail. Fits your thesis, clean out jails, well except the abusive boyfriend is back, and beating victim again for calling the cops. Unless the victim is ‘important’ left media will not bother to mention the previous arrests and releases in the news.

  32. Michael V Conley says:

    Love your thoughts, nice to read about a rich and powerful man who still loves his children enough to care about the world they will live in. Too bad congress cares so little for the predictable outcome of their reliable self centered stance.

  33. Sal Ram says:

    Excellent piece. Mr. Galloway, sounds like you’ve earned your “privilege”. Enjoy your boys. Good for you!! Thanks again for sharing.

  34. Bob Beckman says:

    As always, a solid read. One thought/suggesiton. I live in a food dessert. Our little town lost its grocer 2 years ago. Closest Wal-Mart is 15 miles. Closest grocery of any kind is 8 miles. My town and these three others have a total population of about 7000. The three-county area is about 17,000. I’m 59 there will not be delivery by anyone but the big guys in my lifetime. There is a corollary with electric cars and other tech solutions. Most assume a certain level of urban development which Southeastern Illinois will never have. I’m not sure what the answer is. Just saying that you should consider that the geography of the problem has impact on solutions.

  35. Jerry says:

    Releasing Prisoners has not been an unlock for IL led by State Attorney Kim Fox
    2012 – 2015 Chicago Average murder rate 501 95% minorities
    2016 (Kim Fox Starts her job) – 2020 average murder rate 663, 95% minorities. During her time in office extra 769 minorities were killed vs previous time period.
    Not an unlock and certainly not beneficial for families affected.

  36. Eric Hughes says:

    Love your content, Scott. And definitely agree that complexity in the tax code is there to provide cover to the rich, who game it for their benefit. But the problem isn’t really the existing brackets (which you suggest changes to), but all the other stuff that’s layered on top of that. Assuming we got rid of all that — tricky to do, given how popular some of it is, such as the mortgage interest deduction — I’d still suggest your proposed brackets include a 0% rate up to a certain amount, or even a negative tax bracket (an operationally simple way to provide unconditional financial support to the poor). A 10% tax rate on someone making $20K/year, while eliminating other rules that benefit low earners, would represent a significant tax increase on the poorest.

  37. Shan says:

    Hey, this was a GREAT link to share! I love it and signing my child up too! Thank you for this!

  38. Cole Inman says:

    Take the math on saved time/money you do in the Remote Work section and apply it to emissions. Now apply it to traffic fatalities. It seems CEOs and commercial real estate owners who want people back into the office hate the planet and want us to have a greater chance at injury/death (or sickness from being in close proximity to others).

  39. Bill Alrich says:

    Good (hopeful) insights. A big unlock for taxes would be to have the IRS do what several EU companies do, issue tax bills to everyone automatically. Those with complex financials would be free to hire accountants and dispute the bills. Most of us would verify the income and expenses and pay up. H&R Block and others will lobby heavily against it of course.

  40. JB says:

    Suggesting that releasing criminals back into society will be a “catalyst for serious progress” will eventually rank up there with “Macy’s will be the most successful retailer of the next five years, not Amazon” as the silliest comment made by a smart person. Good luck.

  41. Alex says:

    Lots of logical flaws here. Imprisoned parent results in infant mortality/children who are imprisoned themselves? Isn’t that ignoring a common cause — lower income? Taking someone out of prison does not eliminate the causes of criminal conduct, it just eliminates the incentive against criminality. And reduction of prison population associated with reduction in crime — maybe confusing cause and effect? The reduction in crime cause the reduced imprisonment, not vice versa. And I seriously doubt obesity is a grocery supply issue. There’s plenty of food at the grocery. This is fast food companies manipulating your evolutionary biology. There isn’t a free market solution here.

  42. Ronni Rosenberg says:

    Scott, great newsletter. Kill the Comic Sans puh-lease!