Time for some good news

This time out, we’re going to have just good news. No conservative commentary. (Well, maybe just a little bit.)

Mentioned links:

We Just Got Proof That Uber Has Saved Thousands of Lives

Man speechless after letter he wrote to Santa in 1961 is found in his old chimney

Man surprises wife with long-lost wedding video after finding it 14 years later, in an unlikely place

Florida man in bubble-like vessel washes up on beach, sheriff says

Getting some shopping done? If you're going to shop at Amazon, please consider clicking on my affiliate link. Thanks!

On Apple devices, you can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes.

If you're on Android, listen with Google Podcasts.

Stitcher Radio is another possibility for both Apple and Android devices. If you do download Stitcher to your phone, please use the promo code “ConsiderThis” to let them know where you heard about it.

Browser-based options are the Blubrry Network and Player.fm.

And if you have some other podcatcher or RSS reader, click here to get the direct feed and paste it wherever you need it.

I would love it if you would spread the word about the podcast! Click the Facebook, Twitter, and other icons (or all of them!) at the bottom of this post to recommend "Consider This!" to your social media audience.

Show transcript

The rideshare company Uber has been the target of some politicians’ ire because of the way they run their business. Think about it; people voluntarily offer their time and vehicle in exchange for cash from a company that connects drivers with people who need a ride. That’s what the free market is all about.

But there’s a little something more to this company than merely disrupting the corrupt taxi service system. A study by two economists at the University of California, Berkeley examined the impact that Uber, specifically, has had on alcohol-related traffic deaths and total traffic deaths in the US. The study asked the question; by providing people with a safe, convenient, and relatively inexpensive alternative means of transportation, would Uber reduce drunk driving and traffic deaths?

The good news is Yup. Uber reduced drunk driving accidents by 6.1% and total road fatalities by 4%. How much is that in absolute terms? For drunk driving, it comes to 214 lives, and for all traffic deaths it comes to 494 lives. In absolute numbers, these may sound small, but consider that the major competitor Lyft was not included in this study and so those numbers could be double that. And consider these were just for the year 2019.

That’s good news, and because Uber can typically beat the rate for taxis, its disruption of the market translates into more lives saved than with just taxis because it’s an option.

Little Robert Crampton asked his father to write a letter to Santa with his Christmas list. Now, this was just 2 days before Christmas, so he made sure to have his dad write “URGENT” at the top of the page, along with the return address so he knew where to deliver the items, which were mostly cowboy-related. And so on December 23rd, 1961, Robert sent that letter off to Santa and went to bed.

And that was the last anyone saw of the letter. Until recently.

Just a little while ago, on July 20th, Cheryl Thorne found it while she was just doing her job. No, she’s not a postal worker; she’s a…chimney sweep. Cheryl found the letter up inside the home’s chimney. The Crampton’s had since moved, and Robert had grown up, so it took a little doing to reunite him with his letter 60 years later, but it happened.

Now I’m sure you’re either amazed and giddy or totally incredulous to hear that, yes, the letter was found in the chimney, at least if you, like me, are American. You see, Robert lived in Derbyshire, England, and it’s a tradition to write your letter to Santa and then burn it in the fireplace. I did not know this until I looked into this story. The ashes then go up the chimney and off to the North Pole. What’s interesting in this case is that the letter itself, remarkably intact, flew up the chimney and lodged itself somewhere so that it could remain safe until, 6 decades later, a chimney sweep could find it.

Let me leave you with a couple thoughts. Looking back, Robert noted that he did get some of what he asked for; a six-shooter cap gun and a sheriff’s badge. And also, I’m pretty sure that, if you ask one, a chimney sweep will tell you to not wait 60 years to get yours cleaned. Please consider this.

Some guy at the Life Bible Church in Harrisburg, Oregon was cleaning out some old video tapes. He’d watch a few minutes of each and then decide to keep it or chuck it. At one point, he recognized a friend on one of the tapes and sent him a message, “Look what I found!”

Let’s rewind a bit, so to speak. When Drew and Kayla Gottfried got married in 2007, they got the whole thing videoed, like pretty much everyone does. After their honeymoon, they sent the tape out to get digitized, but was told the tape was blank. Well I’m sure that was heartbreaking and a huge disappointment, but the Gottfrieds got on with their lives.

Fast forward 14 years, and the actual wedding video was sitting in a box at the church. Drew finally got the tape, but he had an idea. He didn’t tell Kayla about it just yet. Their 14th anniversary was approaching, so he decided to wait until then to show it to her…in a local movie theater that he had rented out just for them. If you would like to have been a fly on the wall for that event, you can be. Drew recorded it. Link is in the show notes. You’ll love it. 6.1 million other people already have.

And yes, Drew and Kayla Gottfried now have multiple digitized copies of their wedding video.

And finally, Reza Baluchi wanted to try to raise money for the homeless and for first responders by walking up the coast from Florida to New York. The problem was that he never made it out of Florida before being spotted on the shore. Now normally that’s not too big a deal depending on who owns that particular bit of shore. But Reza was rather conspicuous. See, he was in a large floating cylinder with paddles on the outside, and he was on the inside walking on water up the coast. Sadly, this particular “Florida Man” didn’t make it.

Filed under: CapitalismEconomics & TaxesInteresting