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Las Vegas pushes land swap to balance growth and conservation – St George News

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This file photo, Feb. 9, 2005, shows the suburbs of Las Vegas from the top of the Stratosphere Tower looking west on Sahara Avenue towards the Spring Mountains. Despite the drought, cities in the American West expect their populations to increase dramatically over the next several decades. From Phoenix to Boise, officials are working to ensure they have the resources, infrastructure and housing supply needed to meet growth projections. In parts of the region, their efforts are limited by the fact that sprawling metropolitan areas are surrounded by federally owned land. US Senator Catherine Cortez Masto Wants To Fix Las Vegas Problem By Tightening Protections Of Some Public Land While Approving The Sale Of Others To Commercial And Residential Developers | Associated Press File Photo by Joe Cavaretta, St. George News

CARSON CITY, Nevada (AP) – The record heat and historic drought in the western United States does little to discourage cities from planning to welcome millions of new residents in the decades to come.

In this October 11, 2016 file photo, a gypsum mine owned by developer Jim Rhodes, who wants to develop housing on the site, is seen in the foreground while the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is seen in the distance . Despite the drought, cities in the American West expect their populations to increase dramatically over the next several decades. | Photo courtesy of LE Baskow / Las Vegas Sun via AP, St. George News

From Phoenix to Boise, authorities are preparing for a future that is both more human and less water-intensive, seeking to balance growth and conservation. Development is constrained by the fact that 46% of the western region of 11 states is federal land, managed by agencies like the US Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management who are responsible for maintaining it for future generations.

This has led officials in states like Nevada and Utah to press the federal government to approve land transfers to allow developers to build homes and businesses on what was previously land. public. Supporters of both states have wowed environmentalists in the past with provisions that allocate revenue to conservation projects, preserve other federal lands, and prevent road construction, logging, or energy exploration.

A small group of opponents argue that the systematic endorsement of this type of “trade” to facilitate growth is not sustainable, especially in areas that depend on dwindling water supplies.

For the seven states that depend on the Colorado River – Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming – a regional drought is so severe that less water is flowing to Lake Mead and Lake Powell, the two artificial reservoirs where the river water is stored.

If the level of Lake Mead continues to decline throughout the summer as planned, the federal government will likely issue its very first official declaration of shortage, leading to reductions in the water share that Arizona and Nevada have. receive.

The situation is playing out in the Las Vegas area, where environmental groups, local officials and home builders have united behind a proposal from U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto that was heard in the Senate this week.

The Nevada Democrat is pushing what she calls the largest conservation bill in state history to designate more than 3,125 square miles of land for additional protections – roughly the size of Delaware and the United States. Rhode Island combined – and 48 square miles for commercial and residential development, which is about the size of San Francisco.

Some environmentalists support the proposal because it would add federal land to the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area for recreation and reclassify undeveloped parts of Clark County, where Las Vegas is located, and the Desert National Wildlife Refuge as Bureau of Land Management’s “wilderness areas”, which offer stronger protections than national parks.

Jocelyn Torres, field director for the Conservation Lands Foundation, said during the Senate hearing on Wednesday that the protections would restore the lands to capture carbon more effectively, which would help mitigate rising temperatures.

“Our public lands present our best chance to tackle climate change, our biodiversity crisis and invest in our local communities and economy,” she said.

FILE – In this August 13, 2020 file photo, a light mineral tub ring marks the high water mark of Lake Mead in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area near Boulder City, Nevada | Photo by John Locher / Associated Press, St. George News

The effort reflects land management efforts over the past decade in Washington and Emery counties in Utah to designate the wilderness and sell other plots to developers to meet growth projections. The US Census Bureau reported that St. George, in Washington County, was the fifth fastest growing metropolitan area in the country last year.

In both regions, affordable housing is one of the authorities’ main concerns. Soaring house prices in California have added to a flow of people leaving for neighboring states like Nevada, Arizona and Colorado, where open land, lower tax rates and jobs attract new residents.

The fast growing Las Vegas area lacks housing supply to meet projected population growth. A 2019 study from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, which found that references to Cortez Masto’s legislation predicted that the population of Clark County would increase by 35%, to 3.1 million, from by 2060. This peak will be difficult to manage without building in existing communities or public lands.

“As a result of this federal ownership, our planning and development options are very limited and require constant coordination with federal agencies,” said Marcie Henson, director of the Clark County Air Quality Department.

Growth can stretch an already limited water supply. Water officials back the proposal, which allocates funds for the maintenance of canals used to recycle sewage through Lake Mead. The region has adopted some of the most aggressive conservation measures in the American West, including an outright ban on decorative grass in some places, to prepare for growth.

Last year, water officials predicted a worst-case scenario in which consumption patterns and climate change could force them to find alternative supplies as early as 2056. Critics say the projections are concerning.

“This legislation has no sustainable water supply identified in 50 years,” said Kyle Roerink, executive director of the Nevada-based Great Basin Water Network conservation group. “When you combine that with everything we read about Lake Mead and the Colorado River, it is very precarious to introduce a bill that invites 825,000 more people into the Mojave Desert. “

Southern Nevada Water Authority chief executive John Entsminger said in a statement that the proposal “helps secure the water resources and facilities that SNWA needs to provide reliable and safe water to our customers for decades to come “.

When Cortez Masto’s proposal was brought forward, there was little question of how water accommodates future growth plans or whether the conservation elements of the bill might have an impact.

Roerink said the plan’s funding allocations for water infrastructure must be accompanied by additional “serious and realistic modeling” of the Colorado River.

“When an entity says, ‘Let’s go build houses in this area’, it implies that the water will be there in perpetuity,” he said.

Written by SAM METZ, Associated Press / Report for America.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Utah economy

Moderate Iranian candidate concedes victory for head of the judiciary Ebrahim Raisi

The only moderate in the Iranian presidential election conceded defeat on Saturday morning to the country’s head of radical justice. It signaled that Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s protégé won a vote he dominated after his stronger competitor was disqualified.

Former moderate head of the Central Bank Abdolnasser Hemmati and former Revolutionary Guard commander Mohsen Rezaei congratulated Ebrahim Raisi.

In the first results, Raisi won 17.8 million votes, compared to 3.3 million for Rezaei and 2.4 million for Hemmati, said Jamal Orf, head of the electoral headquarters of Iran’s interior ministry. The fourth candidate in the race, Amirhossein Ghazizadeh Hashemi, got around 1 million votes, Orf said.

The first results announced also appeared to show that the race had the lowest turnout in the country since the Islamic Revolution of 1979. However, the vote did not have international observers to monitor the election as in previous years.

This makes Raisi – who faces US sanctions for his role in the mass executions – the clear winner of the race. It was then that his candidacy sparked widespread apathy among eligible voters in the Islamic Republic, which has long retained participation as a sign of support for the theocracy since its 1979 Islamic revolution.

The swift concessions, while not unusual in previous Iranian elections, signaled what semi-official news agencies in Iran had hinted at for hours: that the carefully controlled vote had been a resounding victory for Raisi amid the calls from some for a boycott.

Hemmati offered his congratulations on Instagram to Raisi early on Saturday.

“I hope that your administration is a source of pride for the Islamic Republic of Iran, improves the economy and life with comfort and well-being for the great Iranian nation,” he wrote.

On Twitter, Rezaei congratulated Khamenei and the Iranian people for participating in the vote.

“God willing, the decisive election of my esteemed brother Ayatollah Dr Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi promises the establishment of a strong and popular government to solve the country’s problems,” Rezaei wrote.

As night fell on Friday, the turnout appeared to be much lower than in the last Iranian presidential election in 2017. At a polling station in a mosque in central Tehran, a Shiite cleric played football with a youth. boy while most of his employees were napping in a yard. In another, officials watched videos on their cellphones as state television screamed alongside them, offering only tight shots of locations across the country – as opposed to long election lines. past.

Voting ended at 2 a.m. on Saturday, after the government extended the vote to accommodate what it called “overcrowding” at several polling stations nationwide. The paper ballots, crammed into large plastic boxes, were to be counted by hand overnight, and authorities said they expected to have the first results and turnout numbers by Saturday morning at the most. early.

“My vote will not change anything in this election, the number of people voting for Raisi is huge and Hemmati does not have the skills to do this,” said Hediyeh, a 25-year-old woman who gave only her first name. . rushing to a taxi in Haft-e Tir Square after avoiding the ballot box. “I don’t have a candidate here.”

Iranian state television has sought to downplay participation, singling out the Arab sheikhs in the Gulf around it, led by hereditary rulers and low participation in Western democracies. After a day of escalating authorities’ attempts to get the vote out, state television overnight aired scenes from crowded voting booths in several provinces, seeking to portray a last-minute rush to the polls.

But since the 1979 revolution toppled the shah, the Iranian theocracy has cited voter turnout as a sign of its legitimacy, starting with its first referendum which won 98.2% support and which simply asked if people wanted or not an Islamic Republic.

The disqualifications affected reformists and supporters of Rouhani, whose administration both struck the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers and saw it disintegrate three years later with America’s unilateral withdrawal. of the deal by then-President Donald Trump. Former radical president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, also barred from running, said on social media that he would boycott the vote.

Voter apathy has also been fueled by the devastated state of the economy and a moderate campaign amid months of rising coronavirus cases. Poll workers wore gloves and masks, and some wiped the ballot boxes with disinfectants.

If elected, Raisi would be the first sitting Iranian president to be sanctioned by the US government even before taking office for his involvement in the mass execution of political prisoners in 1988, as well as for his tenure as head. of the internationally criticized Iranian justice system – one of the best executioners in the world.

It would also firmly put hard-line supporters in control across the government as negotiations in Vienna continue in an attempt to salvage a tattered deal meant to limit Iran’s nuclear program at a time when Tehran is enriching Iran. uranium at its highest level ever recorded, although it is still short. weapon quality levels. Tensions remain high with the United States and Israel, which reportedly carried out a series of attacks targeting Iranian nuclear sites and assassinated the scientist who created his military atomic program decades earlier.

Whoever wins will likely serve two four-year terms and therefore could lead what could be one of the most pivotal moments for the country in decades – the death of Khamenei, 82. Speculation has already started that Raisi could be a candidate for the post, along with Khamenei’s son, Mojtaba.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To learn more, visit https://www.npr.org.
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Utah economy

Nu Skin Enterprises to Present at the Jefferies Consumer Conference

Provo – Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE: NUS) announced today that President and CEO-elect Ryan Napierski and CFO Mark Lawrence will present at the Jefferies Virtual Consumer Conference on Tuesday, June 22, 2021. They will share their views on the emergence of social commerce and the odd-job economy and how they empower people.

The company presentation will be webcast live starting at 2:40 p.m. ET. Those wishing to access the event can visit the Nu Skin Investor Relations page on ir.nuskin.com. The archives of the webcast will be available at the same location until Tuesday, July 6, 2021.

About Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc.
Founded over 35 years ago, Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc. (NSE) provides innovative businesses with sustainable solutions, opportunities, technologies and values ​​that improve lives. The company is currently focusing its efforts on innovative consumer products, product manufacturing and agricultural technology in a controlled environment. The NSE family of companies includes Nu Skin, which develops and distributes a full line of premium beauty and wellness solutions through a global network of sales leaders in Asia, the Americas, Europe, Africa and The pacific ; and Rhyz, our strategic investment arm that includes a collection of sustainable manufacturing and technology innovation companies. Nu Skin Enterprises is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “NUS”. More information is available at nuskinenterprises.com.

SOURCE Nu Skin Enterprises

Related links

http://www.nuskinenterprises.com/

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Utah economy

Venmo Touch will help Chicago’s Braintree mobile transactions surpass $ 2 billion annually – TechCrunch

Venmo Touch will help Chicago’s Braintree mobile transactions surpass $ 2 billion annually – TechCrunch

Brain, a payment gateway backed by Accel Partners and NEA, appears to have effectively doubled the volume of mobile transactions it sees per year to $ 2 billion. He now boasts 40 million credit card accounts in his safe.

How does this compare to the competition? eBay, which operates Paypal, said he had 123 million registered accounts in his last earnings filing and that it expects to generate around $ 20 billion in mobile commerce and payments volume. So while Braintree is even smaller, it’s one of the few notable emerging companies in the space. The Combinator’s Stripe is the other with its formidable concentration of technical talent.

Braintree made waves last year when it bought Venmo, a New York-based mobile payment startup that has made it easy and frictionless to transfer money via SMS and email.

The company kept the Venmo brand name when it launched a series of products including Venmo Touch, making it easy for consumers to store their payment information on a network of Braintree-supported apps like HotelTonight, Airbnb, and Uber. The idea is to reduce friction when entering credit card information, so that customers don’t give up on potential purchases.

Instead of having to re-enter your credit card information every time you sign up for a new Braintree-supported mobile service, Venmo Touch will automatically remember your payment details with just one click. Venmo Touch was in beta, but it’s now fully released and available to all Braintree merchants.

On top of that, they’re releasing a new iOS SDK, which will make it easier for developers to create a native checkout flow with UI images and text suggestions. It has a payment form, which already has a lot of credit card entry UI elements and other features that help detect typos. They will bring both Venmo Touch and an improved SDK to Android in the near future.

Brain has raised $ 69 million in venture capital to date from New Enterprise Associates, Accel Partners, RRE Ventures and Greycroft Partners. Find out venmo limit here.

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Utah economy

Could Plaid be the next big IPO of 2021?

It has been a little over a year since Visa announced plans to acquire Plaid for $ 5.3 billion. Visa saw the fintech‘s in addition to its existing product line. He also liked how widely Plaid is used and how the company bridges the gap between financial institutions and financial application services.

However, those plans were halted in November when the Justice Department sued Visa to block the deal, citing antitrust concerns. Visa and Plaid canceled the acquisition in January, citing how long it would take to fight the lawsuit.

And just like that, Plaid found himself where he was before last year – all on his own, and considering his options.

I find this company intriguing, and the fallout from its deal with Visa makes me wonder: Could Plaid be the next big fintech to go public in 2021?

Image source: Getty Images.

Connect financial applications and banks

Plaid provides technology that allows customers to connect their bank accounts to apps. When you sign up for Venmo, Square, or Chime, for example, you can connect the app to your bank account just by logging in. The company has effectively created a bridge between consumer financial applications and more than 11,000 banking institutions, making these applications easier to use than ever.

The company earns money on the fees it charges applications that use its service. So if you connect your Square account to your bank account and transfer money, Square pays a fee to Plaid to facilitate the transaction.

What I find most intriguing about Plaid is the sheer number of its partners and the fact that many of them are huge names in fintech. It works with Robinhood, Square, Coinbase, Live Oak Bancshares, and Carvana, Just to name a few. These partnerships place Plaid in a privileged position for growth. As many of these big names go public and continue to grow, Plaid is expected to grow alongside them. In fact, Plaid’s last round of funding rated it three times higher than its rating just a year ago.

Caught in regulatory crosswinds

In January 2020, Visa and Plaid reached a deal valued at $ 5.3 billion. However, the US Department of Justice has Visa more and more scrutinized, claiming that its practices violate antitrust laws. The Justice Department alleged that Visa would block competition by acquiring Plaid, which the Department said was creating its own payments network that competed with Visa.

Visa and Plaid mutually agreed to drop the deal in January. For Plaid, that meant another fundraiser. Sources said recently Barron that Plaid was about to complete a fundraiser in the amount of $ 500-600 million. That would value the company at close to $ 10 billion to $ 15 billion.

The chances of a public offering in the near future are lower

With this funding soon secured, it seems less likely that Plaid will be made public in the near future. Some believed he was exploring a plan to go public via PSPC in January, but those rumors have cooled. A source said Barron that the company would not sell to a SAVS, and that “with $ 600 million, [Plaid] can be independent for a long time. “

The company doesn’t let the blocked acquisition deal deter it. In fact, the pandemic has done wonders for fintech as consumers increased their use of financial apps. John Pitts, policy manager at Plaid, said that “the number of consumer adoptions of fintech that we have seen during the pandemic is considerably higher than anything we have seen in the past five years. ‘previous existence’.

The company is optimistic about its future. Last May, he launched Plaid Exchange, a product that aims to help small financial institutions keep pace with the big players, in part by moving them away from models of credential sharing, thereby increasing privacy and privacy. transparency for consumers.

Not much is known about Plaid’s finances. Forbes reported that according to some estimates, the company’s revenue in 2019 was around $ 100-200 million. Considering the growing use of financial apps during the pandemic and the subsequent expansion of Plaid’s valuation, it’s safe to say that its sales are now much higher. While Plaid may not have plans to go public soon, I will be watching it closely.

This article represents the opinion of the author, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a premium Motley Fool consulting service. We are heterogeneous! Challenging an investment thesis – even one of our own – helps us all to think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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Utah economy

Lavrov: US does not want to abandon the “imperfect path” to world domination

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The United States persists in its desire to continue its world domination, but it is absolutely counterproductive in the multipolar world, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the IRNA news agency.

“The main problem, in our view, is Washington’s continued reluctance to abandon its imperfect path to maintain US world domination, which was adopted in the early 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Today it is evident to everyone that such a policy is totally counterproductive, especially as the objective process of forming a fairer, more democratic and therefore more sustainable multipolar world order is taking hold. ‘magnitude before our eyes,’ Lavrov said in an interview ahead of his visit to Iran.

Despite this, the United States, supported by its European allies, “has taken aggressive steps aimed at destroying the UN-centric international legal architecture and replacing it with what is called” the order-based on the United Nations. rules ”, he continued.

Russia, the minister noted, does not object to the idea of ​​everyone following rules.

“[Y]And these rules should not be developed in a narrow circle including Washington and its satellites and bypassing the United Nations, but in universal formats involving all major global players on the basis of universally recognized standards of international law, ”he said. He underlines.

Russia is actively working to switch to national currencies in trade

Russia is actively working with its trading partners to to abandon West-controlled payment systems, Lavrov also told IRNA news agency.

“It is equally important to redouble our efforts to reduce the risks associated with [US] punishments [on Iran] and the potential expenses for economic operators. In particular, progressive steps should be taken to move towards de-dollarization of national economies and the transition to payments in national or alternative currencies, as well as to stop using international payment systems controlled by the West. Russia has been actively working towards this end, ”Lavrov said in an interview ahead of his visit to Iran.

“We see great prospects for cooperation in this area with all interested international partners,” added the senior Russian diplomat.

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Utah economy

Rising Sea Levels Of The Islands Of Sicily – Once A Large Landmass?

The islands of Sicily were initially a landmass, according to a recent study published in the journal Scientists progress – which shows how, when sea levels rise, human populations generally adapt to changes rather than just abandon them, as common sense might suggest.

RELATED: WHAT 2019 TAKEN US ABOUT THE CLIMATE CRISIS

The islands of Sicily were once a single landmass before rising sea levels divided it

Average sea level is rising by about 0.14 inch / year (3.6 mm / year) – a rate of rise unprecedented in millennia, according to the study. But the distribution of this increase in volume is not the same around the world. This means that some areas will experience higher than average sea level rise, making them particularly vulnerable to the risk of submersion.

The climate crisis combined with continued sea level rise will mean that global flood outliers will be extreme, as some regions inevitably experience worse weather conditions than others.

Although projected sea level changes at global and regional levels become increasingly limited, no one can fully predict how cultural and behavioral norms might change. The future risks of coastal flooding to human populations – combined with projected migration patterns are generally based on environmental thresholds – those lacking a defined limit of adaptation based on the culture and perception of risk in human societies.

The climate crisis could lead to technological progress

During prehistoric sea level rise, catastrophic flooding is associated with a migration on a massive scale – but this common sense perception of natural disaster and societal response is oversimplified, according to the study’s authors.

In modern society, the possibility of catastrophic sea level rise will be more complex, involving interactions between climatic factors, subsequent changes in the local environment, and how humans ultimately respond. In the new study, the researchers focused on past changes and human responses that occurred amid the submersion of populated coasts as sea levels rose.

Over the past 11,700 years (also known as the Holocene), cultural transitions have generally spread across entire societies with substantial technological advancements. But these transitions are usually accompanied (and perhaps linked) with climate and environmental changes, including sea level rise, the study notes.

Rising sea levels pose many dangers to society

The rate of global sea level rise during the early Holocene was at or above current rates – and overlaps with the shift from Mesolithic hunter-gatherers to the agricultural way of life of the Neolithic time. This is due to the rapid disintegration of ice caps in Scandinavia and North America.

The subsequent migration of coastal communities amid rising sea levels may have created a need for society to move to a Neolithic standard across Europe. Additionally, rising sea levels may have offered new opportunities for humans to migrate across northwestern Europe via expanding sea lanes.

However, sea level rise is a double-edged sword. While there are benefits and incentives for technological advancement, many threats arise – including coastal erosion, habitat endangerment, land loss, flooding, and land loss. crucial resources – endanger coastal society.

Humans generally adapt rather than flee the effects of rising sea levels

Taken together, these threats make island communities particularly vulnerable to the effects of the climate crisis – due to the scale of the changes taking place in an isolated location.

Scientists in the recent study combined pollen and char data from 17 sediment cores using optically stimulated luminescence and radiocarbon – in addition to population dynamics collected and inferred from regional archeology. Overall, they showed how the prehistoric populations of the region of Sicily (especially during the Bronze Age) adapted – rather than abandoned – to new island distributions in the middle of a period of gradual rise in sea level and major cultural changes.

So while we trade climate crisis memes of Brooklyn and San Francisco sinking into the sea with apocalyptic undertones – this latest study shows how, despite the substantial chaos and danger of sea level changes, human populations are more likely to adapt than to simply running away from a region – a storyline reconstructed in a brilliant piece of speculative fiction titled “New York 2140” by author Kim Stanley Robinson – in which Manhattan has turned into a Venice-like sci-fi metropolis, with new impressive vehicles and technologies.

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Utah economy

Protesters target PayPal after founder backs Trump

It is now well documented that this election harms Donald Trump’s luxury brand, with charities to abandon its properties and new flagship hotel in Washington DC would have desperate for paying customers. Now the damage appears to extend beyond Trump’s name. It is also starting to stick to its supporters.

Recently, Peter Thiel, the internet billionaire who made his fortune by founding PayPal and investing in companies like Facebook, donate $ 1.25 million to the Trump campaign. His outspoken support for the deeply polarizing Republican candidate is rare among the generally young Silicon Valley ensemble, and the news of Thiel’s donation sparked a rapid reaction online, including numerous calls for consumers to boycott PayPal, in especially on social networks.

Spreading on Twitter, in particular, the hashtag #boycottpaypal quickly gained traction. The posts range from sarcastic memes-focused posts …

… to screenshots of the PayPal account cancellation confirmation:

For some, it’s as simple as a message saying “I just closed my PayPal”.

The catch is that Thiel no longer owns PayPal.

While Thiel co-founded the online payment company in 1998, he sold the company to eBay in 2002 for $ 1.5 billion. Last year PayPal officially split from eBay become his own business again… but always without Thiel’s involvement or investment.

For many protesters, current ownership is irrelevant. Thiel’s story as the founder of the company is enough to taint it with a brand they consider toxic. The backlash intensified enough, in fact, that some posters for #boycottpaypal began to target Venmo as well, an electronic payment service owned by PayPal.

Beyond the Twitterverse, Thiel’s colleagues in Silicon Valley have also responded to his decision to support Trump publicly and financially. In an article on Medium, Ellen Pao, former CEO of Reddit, ad that its Project Include will separate from Y Combinator, a business incubator that Thiel advises.

Pao wrote, in part:

“We are struggling to rationalize the power and influence of Peter Thiel as he travels further and further there… But we are completely outraged to read that Thiel has donated $ 1.25 million to Trump, apparently unfazed by the storm surrounding the candidate last week after obscene conversations aired. “

The backlash became intense enough to request the resignation of Y Combinator chairman Sam Altman for keeping the company away from Thiel.

A similar try boycott the Home Depot megastore, after founder Bernard Marcus endorsed Trump, failed to take root earlier this month, but was revived by PayPal’s boycott efforts.

Others have pointed out that while Thiel may no longer own PayPal, he currently sits on Facebook’s board and owns around $ 40 million in shares.

“Ironically,” writtenThe Huffington Post, “Peter Thiel owns a stake in several companies, including Facebook, one of the social media behind the boycott calls… Interestingly, there was no call to boycott Facebook.”

This is not PayPal’s first exposure to political controversy or boycott calls; however, in past news cycles it has drawn anger primarily from the right. Earlier this year, the company announced plans to cancel an expansion in North Carolina due to the state’s discriminatory treatment of LGBT citizens. In a public statement at the time, the company wrote this:

“[L]Legislation was abruptly enacted by the state of North Carolina that invalidates the rights protections of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens and denies these members of our community equal rights under the law. The new law perpetuates discrimination and violates the values ​​and principles that are at the heart of PayPal’s mission and culture. “

In response, conservative outlets such as Breitbart have articles with tips for launching boycotts, including advice on electronic payment alternatives for those who are angry with PayPal’s support for the LGBT community and its related decision to cancel a planned expansion.

Yet other conservatives have called for boycotts on PayPal’s refusal to process transactions involving firearms of any kind.

While Thiel will likely remain a deeply controversial figure, including not only his support for the Trump campaign but also his role in Gawker’s bankruptcy through litigation, severing ties with him is likely a difficult task for the average consumer. As recent Fast businessitem As pointed out, the Silicon Valley investor touched or owned elements of a huge number of now mainstream technology products and services, including:

  • Facebook
  • Airbnb
  • Spotify
  • Lyft
  • Twitter
  • NPR
  • And, in a way, the fbi

However, PayPal remains Thiel’s flagship creation, despite the years that have passed since its involvement. For now, this is where the demonstrators have decided to release their rage.

Do these boycotts even work?

Boycotts have long been a preferred way for consumers to protest against a company’s social or political decisions. From divestment moves across college campuses to Chik-Fil-A’s stalemate with social liberals, fear of lost sales is one of the main reasons many companies are trying to avoid controversy. .

This strategy can be very effective when it comes to forcing a business to change behavior, but the watchword is organized. As Professor Maurice Schweitzer of the Wharton School of Business explained, for a boycott to make a difference it has to have the kind of grip power that social media isn’t often known for.

“For boycotts to be effective, they must be supported,” Schweitzer said. “They need coordinated leadership and they need to have significant economic consequences, and the vast majority of cases never reach that.”

PayPal isn’t the first company in recent years to face organized resistance over social or political issues (indeed, as noted earlier in this article, it’s not even the first time this year that PayPal itself is the target of a boycott attempt). Other companies have included BP in the aftermath of its 2010 oil spill, Kentucky Fried Chicken on the treatment of animals, the 2003 rally to boycott French wines, and many more.

“The list goes on,” said Schweitzer. “There are a lot of boycotts and they tend not to be very effective. The few exceptions are where there has been a substantial and coordinated sustained movement, and I am quite sure that the PayPal boycott movement won’t be one of them. “

“Particularly,” he added, “because Thiel is no longer with PayPal.”

Part of the reason boycotts struggle is that they demand a lot of grassroots protesters. A successful boycott requires that a large number of consumers change their established habits, abandoning or suspending the brand loyalty often accumulated over the years and because a given product is the cheapest or most convenient option.

For a brief period, buyers may be willing to incur additional expense, but once the news gets over that initial outburst of anger often dies down … and with it the incentive to continue a boycott.

“Boycotting PayPal because of its connection to Thiel does not appear to be a textbook case of a successful boycott,” said Gregory Egorov, professor at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Business. “Typically, about half of organized boycotts are successful. Organization means resources and perseverance; there has to be a group – say, activists – that takes responsibility for raising awareness, [and] tell customers how to boycott. ”

“The reason they fail,” he added, “is either the inability to organize properly or the company’s determination to rebuild its reputation for being tough. This makes a lot of sense to high-level companies who know that otherwise they would always be a target of any self-respecting activist. “

While the sustainability of a Twitter campaign is a serious question, there is a more important reason why a PayPal boycott is unlikely to be successful: Boycotts depend on their ability to influence the results of a PayPal campaign. business, and that’s very difficult in a market where PayPal is the dominant force.

Although modern businesses are often very protective of their image, history shows that few boycotts succeed solely through damage to public relations. See, for example, the annual plight of Starbucks, which faces enormous pressure from the American right-wing to adopt a more explicit celebration of Christmas. While the issue could hardly be more widely publicized each December, it has little impact on company policy.

“Companies rarely notice it unless there is an impact on earnings or the share price, which is a signal for future earnings,” Egorov said. “Rarely does negative publicity in itself cause a company to change its behavior. “

In this case, while the PayPal boycott has garnered considerable media attention, it also remains focused on a small handful of users. Other consumers, even if they sympathize with the token cause, would likely be reluctant to cancel their PayPal accounts due to concerns about other options.

There aren’t that many.

According to an analysis, PayPal has an approximate value 80% digital payment market share.

With 184 million users and 14 million participating merchants, there are few viable alternatives to PayPal in today’s market.

It would be potentially impossible for consumers to find an alternative to PayPal without sacrificing ease of use and convenience.

For a boycott without articulated demands, and therefore without real
end date, it would be difficult to convince many consumers to ditch one of the few widely accepted electronic payment platforms.

“Paypal is a platform that has few good substitutes for such transactions,” Egorov said, “if at all. Social media activity would therefore likely come from a few dozen, maybe hundreds, of outraged individuals who are not particularly profitable for PayPal either. Unless there is a group of activists who are taking this matter up and trying to clarify the claims, then they may have some success. “

However, for now, in the absence of an organization, articulable goals, or a meaningful alternative, chances are the PayPal boycott is little more than a chance for consumers to express. their anger on social media.

After all, as Schweitzer noted, the protesters gathered more than 20,000
signatures on a boycott of BP gas stations after its oil spill in the Gulf. Today, their gas stations remain open and are doing very well.

“We have habits,” he said. “On the whole, most people try to get on with their lives. For people to change the way they shop in the long term, the way they refuel, it is difficult.”

“Like dieting, we can do it for a little while, but we have to be motivated enough to maintain sustained change,” he added.

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