Friday, August 31, 2018

Stub 3.10: Motorcycles

Ideka Nuffin’s team presented their proposal to the entire Sedelia legislature. She had forty page, bound documents distributed to each legislator and then she was the Master of Ceremonies as she queued up her experts and they gave “summaries” of the various components of the proposal. In all, Nuffin’s presentation burned up three hours of clock time.

In contrast, Raymond Rojas’s proposal was printed on one page in 12 point font.

  • Money supply will be managed to stabilize the Labor-Bay composite LA day rate at $10 Sedelia per eight hour day. 
  • NOT a minimum wage but to use wages as the signal to use brake/accelerator for money supply
  • The head of the “Fed” is to report to the economics committee once a month and to the full legislature once every six months.
  • Employers who hire only day laborers were absolved from all records keeping and tax collection.
Raymond read the abstract and then said, “I only want to make one comment about the competing proposal. The comment involves the issue of “stickiness” and the deliberate, abrupt changes in the target metrics.”

“People often ask me about this scar.” he said, pointing to a scar on the left side of his face. The scar started beside his nose, just below the bridge, went down to the corner of his lips and then aft to the hinge of his jaw. Indeed, many of Raymond’s coworkers were curious about his scar.

“As a young man” Raymond said smiling, realizing the absurdity of a 24-year-old-man reminiscing about his youth “I owned a motorcycle. It was a Yamaha Ninja. For those of you who are not familiar with the Ninja, it was a very fast and powerful motorcycle.”

“One evening, after a party, my friend and I were riding north on 395 through the little town of Cartagl when it started to rain. You might not be familiar with the road but 395 sweeps gently to the right and the bend gets just a little bit tighter as you get into it. We were riding single file and I was behind my friend. I moved over to the right side of the lane so I would not be blinded by the spray he was starting to kick up.” Raymond said.

“Did I mention that I was young and that the bike was very powerful? We might have been exceeding the speed limit.” Raymond said, a bit sheepishly.

“My bike started to drift on the wet pavement.” Raymond said.

“The bike was slowly sliding in a very controlled way until I drifted into the middle of the lane where all of the trucks leak oil. Then the back tire of the bike fishtailed. Racing slicks!” Raymond said with a shrug.

“Then I hit the clean concrete on the other side of the oil leaks where tires from earlier cars made the pavement drier and the rear tire bit which just amplified the fishtailing. I was still going too fast.” Raymond said.

“I continued to drift and got into the region between the two lanes. That is where the tires push the loose sand, and gravel and dust. The rear tire kicked out even more violently.” Raymond said.

“And then it happened again as I drifted across the oncoming traffic lane. Each change in surface knocked the back tire in a different direction. Polished tire path, oil slick, polished tire path, loose gravel, shoulder...and every time the surface changed the fishtailing became that much more violent.” Raymond said ...pausing.

“I got this scar when the bike and I went sideways through the fence that separates 395 from the LA Aqueduct. The bike and I cartwheeled through the air before we splashed down. I made it to shore. The bike did not.” Raymond sounded sad. “I loved that bike.”

Fifteen miles away Raymond’s mother and father were sitting on the fourth floor balcony listening to Raymond via the live-stream. Raymond’s mother was reading the book of Judges. Raymond’s father was savoring his once-a-week cigar.

“I never knew Raymond had a motorcycle.” Raymond’s monther exclaimed.

“Sshh! Woman. Raymond is still talking.” his father silenced her.

“I asked my dad what I could have done because he was a noted motorcycle racer in his youth.” Raymond said. “I was hoping for some fatherly wisdom.

“My father shook his head sadly and told me that there is almost nothing you can do when you are going too fast. He said the best you could do was to push in the clutch, not touch the brakes and to steer into the skid. But then he said that nobody could have recovered from the rapid, unpredictable changes of the road surface.” Raymond said.

“Rapid, unpredictable changes ARE the problem..Rapid, unpredictable changes make systems go unstable and that is why you should vote for my proposal and not Nuffins. Otherwise we will all have scars.” Raymond said.

Raymond’s propose barely squeaked out Nuffins only to be rejected by Kenny’s Straw-vote court.  Since the proposal was considered "Conservative" the court was stacked with 5 progressives and 4 conservatives. The majority opinion objected to the unlimited duration of the proposal and to the fact that there were no restrictions on number of workers that could work without administrative burden.

Raymond held a quick huddle with his committee and offered a modified version that was good for five years and applied the “no records/taxes” for companies smaller than 100 employees. The court bounced that proposal.

Raymond counter offered one year and 60 employees. The court bounced that proposal.

Raymond countered with six months and 25 employees which the court accepted and Kenny signed into law.

Fifteen miles away, Raymond's mother looked over at her husband. "Wait a minute. Raymond got that scar in a bar when a drunk hit him in the head with a glass bottle. He was LYING!"

Raymond's father just shook his head. "Raymond is a politician now. That does not even count as a fib. He needed a story to tell a greater truth in a memorable way." Raymond's father said.

"And what truth would that be?" Raymond's mother asked, certain that the end never justified the means.

Raymond's father just shook his head.


The third day of the three day legislative session was dedicated to planning the topics for the next session. Raymond was depressed. Nuffin quickly sensed his funk and started picking at him.

Soon enough she deduced that Raymond was going to have to lay off more than half of his sixty employees if he wanted to remain profitable. There was no way he could make a profit at $27.50 Sedelia per 1000 sq-ft if he had to hire a bunch of office people to keep records.

Not only was he going to have to lay off more half of his employees but there was no way he could meet the terms of his contract and hit his tombstone dates with the much smaller crew.

Nuffin barked with glee “You really stepped on your dick this time didn’t you! You are a loser even when you win.”

“You just should have listened to Auntie Nuffin and gone with the flow.” she finished.

Next Installment


  1. So why doesn't Raymond sub contract his comittments to his shift leads so they each employ their own crew.


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