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The Unfair Business Practices of Chinese Barbers *

The first Chinatown in the Americas is in Mexico City and Chinese barbers have become a source of controversy due their unfair business practices compared to Spanish barbers. The Chinese work harder. They work longer hours and they have moved their barber shops downtown to be closer to their customers even though they must pay higher rents. How can anyone expect to compete with that? A special government official is appointed this year to regulate the Chinese. He begins by limiting the number of razors a barbershop can own. This is meant to limit the amount of business a barbershop can handle but ultimately it's not going to work with people who are willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done. [1]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
I lived in Southern California before the Rodney King riots and I remember the attitude toward Korean businesses in the ghetto areas. The news media focused on how Korean grocers were preying on the ghetto community by charging higher prices, expecting their employees to work harder and keeping track of their inventory like they might be robbed at any moment... probably because they might be robbed at any moment. They expected their children to be brilliant students and they sent a considerable amount of money back to South Korea. So when riots broke out, it was no surprise that they were the target of rioters. But the Koreans stood next to their stores while openly carrying guns. If anyone messed with them they were not afraid to shoot. Really. The Koreans didn't wait for the police to protect them. They protected themselves. If it seems like I love the Koreans, well... I find them admirable.

Harvard Incorporated

Harvard College (which is Harvard University in the modern day) legally incorporates as "The President and Fellows of Harvard College". The actual working of the college is incorporated into the constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Harvard is considered the oldest corporation North America. [2] [3] [4]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
One wonders why an educational institution needs to incorporate. In 1650 Harvard College is not very large and it seems doubtful that there are a lot of tax benefits from incorporation. Having the college placed into the state constitution has the benefit of endorsing the college's efforts, but ultimately the people in charge of Harvard are the President and the Fellows which presumably means the faculty. In the 17th century corporations are private dictatorships or guilds. The dictators are subject to the will of the shareholders, but ultimately, it is the President's way or the highway until the President is replaced. Guilds work to protect jobs, but more than that, they control competition by limiting the number of members of the guild. That keeps wages high. Corporations also protect the collective rights of the investors including names, logos, property and money, money, money. Colleges today are institutions of learning but not necessarily institutions of teaching. Grants from the government, patents and licensing fees for inventions by the professors makes up a considerable income for colleges these days.

A Few Significant Surprises

* Kolumbo Volcano breeches the surface of the Aegean Sea and explodes. [5]
* The 1st employment agency opens and closes shortly thereafter. [6]
* The Coldstream Guards is founded and is the oldest English regiment still in existence. [7]
* Anne Greene wakes up in the morgue after being hanged for murdering a baby. She is pardoned. [8] [9]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1650, Wikipedia.

See Also


* The asterisk in the section header indicates that it was read on the podcast.
  1. 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created (BOOK), Knopf. ISBN 9780307265722. “In 1650 the government created a barbershop czar, empowered to extract hefty fines from bootleg hair salons. The post was ineffective: Chinese barbers proliferated by the score.” 
  2. Massachusetts. The General statutes of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. William White. 
  3. Governance Review Culminates in Changes to Harvard Corporation. Harvard Gazette (December 6, 2010). Retrieved on 22 September 2015. “'The Corporation has been at the heart of Harvard’s evolution and progress ever since it was chartered in 1650, a century and a quarter before the American Revolution,' said (President Drew) Faust.”
  4. President and Fellows of Harvard College - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 22 September 2015. “In 1650, at the request of Harvard President Henry Dunster, the Great and General Court of Massachusetts issued the body's charter, making it now the oldest corporation in the Americas; detailed provisions for the Corporation's status and privileges were subsequently written into the charter of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as well. Although the institution it governs has grown into Harvard University (of which Harvard College is one of several components), the corporation's formal title remains the President and Fellows of Harvard College.”
  5. Kolumbo - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 22 September 2015. “The 1650 explosion, which occurred when the accumulating cone reached the surface, sent pyroclastic flows across the sea surface to the shores and slopes of Santorini, where about seventy people and many animals died.”
  6. Employment agency - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 22 September 2015. “One of the oldest references to a public employment agency was in 1650, when Henry Robinson proposed an 'Office of Addresses and Encounters' that would link employers to workers.”
  7. Coldstream Guards - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 22 September 2015. “It is the oldest regiment in the Regular Army in continuous active service, originating in Coldstream, Scotland in 1650 when General George Monck founded the regiment. It is one of two regiments of the Household Division that can trace its lineage to the New Model Army, the other being the Blues and Royals (Royal Horse Guards and 1st Dragoons).”
  8. 1650 - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 22 September 2015. “Ann Greene, who had been hanged for infanticide in Oxford wakes up on an autopsy table; she is pardoned.”
  9. Alex Shrugged notes: I'm not sure if I believe it. I can't find another reference to this event but it's just too good to pass by. So... I'm sorry.

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