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Sunday, March 31, 2013

OTP: April 2013: Daily Caller: Baseball and the GOP: To rebrand the party, think like a sports fan

This week’s GOP autopsy report, commissioned by RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, is a great start in the much-needed task of rebranding the Republican Party. As the chairman acknowledged, “the way we communicate our principles isn’t resonating widely enough” and “we have to be more inclusive.” The report contains 219 recommendations to “connect people to our principles.” To achieve that goal, the party will need a strategic vision of how voters think about politics, which is something that the report lacks. For that, the GOP can learn a lot from another American passion: baseball.

This year, about 75 million Americans will go to the baseball stadium to watch a ballgame, about the same number as those who will vote in next year’s election. We rarely think about why someone becomes a baseball fan, or why they root for a certain team. Nor do we usually think about why someone chooses to vote for a certain political party. But it’s actually a very useful exercise.

When it comes to baseball, fan loyalty has almost nothing to do with the brain, and almost everything to do with the heart. In all of history, there’s never been a baseball fan who rooted for his team because it had the lowest ticket prices, or because it had the most taxpayer-friendly stadium deal, or because its players did the most community service. For the vast majority of Americans, rooting for a baseball team — not to mention, voting for a political party — isn’t really a rational choice; it’s more of a statement of personal identity — a statement telling the world, “This is who I am.” And for most people, defining “who I am” starts with family and community, before branching out into areas like race, age, gender, and class.

Family is pretty straightforward. If your mom and dad are Yankee fans, you’re almost certainly a Yankee fan. The same is true in politics. If your mom and dad are Republicans, you’re almost certainly a Republican.

Community is also pretty straightforward. If you grew up in, say, Philadelphia, chances are pretty great you’re a Phillies fan. Likewise, someone who grew up in Republican territory like, say, suburban Dallas or rural Indiana is much more likely to become a Republican than a nearly identical person from Seattle or Santa Fe.

Cities with more than one baseball team, like New York or Chicago, show revealing breakdowns by race and gender. The racial split in Chicago between Cubs fans on the North Side and White Sox fans on the South Side is well-documented. In New York, there’s an intriguing gender gap between Mets and Yankee fans, with women gravitating a lot more to the Yanks. While there’s a few theories out there trying to explain that, one obvious answer leaps out: Yankees heartthrob Derek Jeter.

In sports, as in politics, people’s convictions can’t be conveniently reduced to who their parents are or what they look like. But those things are an important foundation, upon which more rational sentiments come into being. Once you’re attached to your team on an emotional level — seeing them as a personal reflection of who you are and what you care about most — a rational exterior comes into being through phrases like “the Red Sox are the best team because they have the most heart” or “the Republicans are the best party because they know how to create jobs.”

Tripon Posted: March 31, 2013 at 10:52 AM | 6544 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1501. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 09, 2013 at 10:36 AM (#4408317)
Thanks to all the well wishers! It feels great, and I have minimal revisions to make. The discussions here over the years have really helped me refine my ability to convey thoughts and information efficiently.
Congrats!
Now in just about a month, I'll be officially unemployed!
DAMMIT, OBAMA!
   1502. Rants Mulliniks Posted: April 09, 2013 at 10:37 AM (#4408319)
One piece of speculation I saw that I thought was potentially interesting was that the record number of defections from the labor force might have been driven in part by people near to retirement seeing improvement in their portfolios.


Please tell me you don't actually believe this. I take it you haven't seen any of the charts showing a marked increase in labour particpation rate amongst those ages 65+?

People are "defecting" from the labour force because their unemployment benefits have run out and there are no jobs. The US needs to create 125,000 new jobs a month just to keep pace with population growth, so even if you did see 88k new jobs created, the actual real unemployment rate (not the bullshit published rate) would go up without anyone "defecting" from the labour force.
   1503. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 09, 2013 at 10:40 AM (#4408321)
People are "defecting" from the labour force because their unemployment benefits have run out and there are no jobs.

Or they've gotten on SS Disability, and there are no jobs.
   1504. Rants Mulliniks Posted: April 09, 2013 at 10:41 AM (#4408322)
Here's the labour participation rate for old folks, just in case you don't want to believe the non-fairy tale version of reality:

Labour participation rate for 65+
   1505. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 09, 2013 at 10:42 AM (#4408325)
Everyone here should know I support radical steps to increase manufacturing employment, and blue collar wages. But, militant, socialist unions will not help that effort; they will doom it.

You keep talking about how you support private sector unions, but not "militant, socialist unions," of which there are few if any on this side of the Atlantic. It would be a big help if you maybe could make a list of (say) the ten biggest U.S. unions and tell us what categories you think they belong in. Be sure to include your thoughts on unions for the largely unorganized workers at the bottom of the pile, such as private sector maids, janitors and farm workers. We know you don't like public service unions, so you can stick to the private ones.
   1506. Rants Mulliniks Posted: April 09, 2013 at 10:45 AM (#4408328)
Here's some more evidence of the grand "recovery":
90 million not in labour force

From TFA:

Things just keep getting worse for the American worker, and by implication US economy, where as we have shown many times before, it pays just as well to sit back and collect disability and various welfare and entitlement checks, than to work .The best manifestation of this: the number of people not in the labor force which in March soared by a massive 663,000 to a record 90 million Americans who are no longer even looking for work. This was the biggest monthly increase in people dropping out of the labor force since January 2012, when the BLS did its census recast of the labor numbers. And even worse, the labor force participation rate plunged from an already abysmal 63.5% to 63.3% - the lowest since 1979! But at least it helped with the now painfully grotesque propaganda that the US unemployment rate is "improving."


   1507. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 09, 2013 at 10:45 AM (#4408329)
You keep talking about how you support private sector unions, but not "militant, socialist unions," of which there are few if any on this side of the Atlantic. It would be a big help if you maybe could make a list of (say) the ten biggest U.S. unions and tell us what categories you think they belong in. Be sure to include your thoughts on unions for the largely unorganized workers at the bottom of the pile, such as private sector maids, janitors and farm workers. We know you don't like public service unions, so you can stick to the private ones.

I was referring to the British unions of the 1970's. No current US unions are militant or socialist. The biggest issue with US unions is that the public sector ones are running the show (that's where the growth is), and the private sector ones don't have much clout. Back in the day, the AFL and the Teamsters did a lot to improve this country.

I neither support or oppose particular unions. I support the right of private sector workers to unionize, and bargain with employers. I don't support their use of violence, or coercion to further their goals.

In my personal consumption, if I see that goods are made in the US by union workers, I am far more likely to buy them. e.g. I buy only US made cars (US brands and assembled in the US), even if they cost more.

If everyone bought like I do, US manufacturing and unions would be string.

Of course Andy prefers to hire contractors that use illegal immigrants to do work around his house, so he doesn't have to pay those pesky union wages.
   1508. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 09, 2013 at 10:48 AM (#4408335)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16545898">Article on the wealth gap in the UK from last year. From the end of World War I to until 1979, the top 1% of the UK held nearly 20% of all income. That went down steadily over the course of the century. Then in 1979 — the beginning of the Maggie Thatcher era — there was a sharp reversal of the trend. By the end of the 1980s the wealth disparity was back to where it was in the 1950s, and it's almost back near WWI levels now. As someone for The Economist wrote yesterday, they still live in Thatcher's England.
   1509. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: April 09, 2013 at 10:51 AM (#4408340)
No, Bush definitely shares blame for pushing the "ownership society" thing, but he at least had the good sense to try to rein things in when the subprime loan practices were getting out of hand — an attempt that was immediately blocked by Dems.

Bush was good in the beginning, but then the Democrats went too far.
   1510. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 09, 2013 at 10:53 AM (#4408341)
People are "defecting" from the labour force because their unemployment benefits have run out and there are no jobs.


Or they've gotten on SS Disability, and there are no jobs.

I retired at 62** for two major reasons: A 67% rent increase that forced me to move to a far less visible foot traffic location, and the gradual shift of book buying from shops to online. Government policies had nothing to do with my decision, although I suppose if there had been commercial rent control in Bethesda I'd probably still have a shop today.

**Without taking Social Security until I was 65
   1511. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 09, 2013 at 10:54 AM (#4408344)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16545898">Article on the wealth gap in the UK from last year. From the end of World War I to until 1979, the top 1% of the UK held nearly 20% of all income. That went down steadily over the course of the century. Then in 1979 — the beginning of the Maggie Thatcher era — there was a sharp reversal of the trend. By the end of the 1980s the wealth disparity was back to where it was in the 1950s, and it's almost back near WWI levels now. As someone for The Economist wrote yesterday, they still live in Thatcher's England.

Yes. This is a very bad trend.

But the cause is globalization and free trade. As high wage countries trade with low wage countries, return on capital goes up, and return on labor goes down. Those that own lots of capital (physical, financial and human) get richer, those who own mainly labor get poorer.

The exact same trend has happened in the US, and has happened under Democrats and Republicans, under Labour and Tories.
   1512. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 09, 2013 at 10:57 AM (#4408347)
I retired at 62** for two major reasons: A 67% rent increase that forced me to move to a far less visible foot traffic location, and the gradual shift of book buying from shops to online. Government policies had nothing to do with my decision, although I suppose if there had been commercial rent control in Bethesda I'd probably still have a shop today.

**Without taking Social Security until I was 65


What does that have to do with the lack of jobs, and the marked increase in SS Disability roles?
   1513. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 09, 2013 at 10:59 AM (#4408349)
But the cause is globalization and free trade. As high wage countries trade with low wage countries, return on capital goes up, and return on labor goes down. Those that own lots of capital (physical, financial and human) get richer, those who own mainly labor get poorer.

But enabling that and cheering it on and applauding the changes in mores that ensued, is the very essence of Reaganism and Thatcherism. They started it, and presidents/PMs ever since have continued it -- because Reaganism and Thatcherism assured that there's more money and power in siding with capital than siding with labor.
   1514. spycake Posted: April 09, 2013 at 11:02 AM (#4408355)
One piece of speculation I saw that I thought was potentially interesting was that the record number of defections from the labor force might have been driven in part by people near to retirement seeing improvement in their portfolios.

Please tell me you don't actually believe this. I take it you haven't seen any of the charts showing a marked increase in labour particpation rate amongst those ages 65+?

I see the problem here -- he was talking about the "labor" force. You are talking about the "labour" force. World of difference.
   1515. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 09, 2013 at 11:07 AM (#4408362)
You keep talking about how you support private sector unions, but not "militant, socialist unions," of which there are few if any on this side of the Atlantic. It would be a big help if you maybe could make a list of (say) the ten biggest U.S. unions and tell us what categories you think they belong in. Be sure to include your thoughts on unions for the largely unorganized workers at the bottom of the pile, such as private sector maids, janitors and farm workers. We know you don't like public service unions, so you can stick to the private ones.

I was referring to the British unions of the 1970's. No current US unions are militant or socialist. The biggest issue with US unions is that the public sector ones are running the show (that's where the growth is), and the private sector ones don't have much clout. Back in the day, the AFL and the Teamsters did a lot to improve this country.

I neither support or oppose particular unions. I support the right of private sector workers to unionize, and bargain with employers. I don't support their use of violence, or coercion to further their goals.


And how do you react to union busting efforts that are endemic in private industry, efforts that prevent private sector workers from organizing?

In my personal consumption, if I see that goods are made in the US by union workers, I am far more likely to buy them. e.g. I buy only US made cars (US brands and assembled in the US), even if they cost more.

If everyone bought like I do, US manufacturing and unions would be string.


Every car I've bought since 1989 has been US-made. My current car is a 2006 Ford Focus that actually was the highest rated station wagon by CR, cost about half as much as a comparable Subaru, and runs as well today as it did the first day I drove it. Unfortunately the later models appear to have regressed in quality.

Of course Andy prefers to hire contractors that use illegal immigrants to do work around his house, so he doesn't have to pay those pesky union wages.

Since 99% of our work around the house is done by me or my wife, what you must mean by that is that I don't play Sheriff Arpaio and demand to see the papers of people I've hired to cut down trees, nor do I judge their citizenship by their accents. But I can pretty much guarantee you that the highest estimates I got for tree removal were from companies that were no more unionized than McDonald's or Wal-Mart. For work like that, the question of union labor is a moot point.
   1516. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 09, 2013 at 11:10 AM (#4408366)
What does that have to do with the lack of jobs, and the marked increase in SS Disability roles?

I was simply responding to the cartoonish idea that our current economic problems are in great part caused by slackers faking injuries, which seems to be a pet theme of yours. You have an absolute genius for trying to hammer round pegs into square holes in order to make every economic fact fit into your particular sociocultural template.
   1517. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 09, 2013 at 11:12 AM (#4408370)
And even worse, the labor force participation rate plunged from an already abysmal 63.5% to 63.3% - the lowest since 1979! But at least it helped with the now painfully grotesque propaganda that the US unemployment rate is "improving."


While that's bad, it's worth pointing out that the labor force participation rate has been falling for as long as it has been measured, in good times and bad, under Democratic and Republican administrations.

It's also worth pointing out that Germany -- which is usually held out as a strong economy, with good policies and a solid manufacturing base -- has a labor participation rate of 58%.

Is the German unemployment rate of 5.4% also painfully grotesque propaganda?
   1518. GregD Posted: April 09, 2013 at 11:17 AM (#4408376)
The challenge of bringing manufacturing here without unionization is that union become the only significant force to keep those jobs here, since the companies will understandably move factories around depending on wage rates, the value of different currencies, etc.

You could accomplish some of the social welfare gains that come from unionization by passing strong collective bargaining laws. Famously France has a lower union membership rate than the US but an extremely high rate of workers covered by collective bargaining.
   1519. The Good Face Posted: April 09, 2013 at 11:22 AM (#4408380)
I was simply responding to the cartoonish idea that our current economic problems are in great part caused by slackers faking injuries, which seems to be a pet theme of yours. You have an absolute genius for trying to hammer round pegs into square holes in order to make every economic fact fit into your particular sociocultural template.


They're not slackers; they're collateral damage from globalization/immigration/technological progress. Unskilled and low-skilled jobs are increasingly disappearing, leaving those workers with nothing to do and no means to make a living. So they go on "disability" with a wink and a nod from the elites who control our government and if they're so motivated, they try to make some extra cash on the side or under the table. I won't fault the poor people who do it; they're taking advantage of the best option open to them.
   1520. Rants Mulliniks Posted: April 09, 2013 at 11:28 AM (#4408385)
While that's bad, it's worth pointing out that the labor force participation rate has been falling for as long as it has been measured, in good times and bad, under Democratic and Republican administrations.


Your first point is not true, unless they just started measuring the rate in 1945. The influx of women into the labour force from the late 40's through the 60's more than offset what few people were added to disability and early-retirement rolls during that time.

This is why I always say there's no difference between the two parties (same goes for Canada - that's for Lassus). People seem to think of globalization and an expanding welfare state as some kind of introvertible march of civilization, rather than the desired outcome of deliberate socioeconomic policy.

Is the German unemployment rate of 5.4% also painfully grotesque propaganda?


I haven't studied anything in depth regarding the German unemployment rate, but given that their standard of living and economic performance are basically unmatched throughout the world I'd say their published rates are a much closer reflection of reality than those of the US.
   1521. Rants Mulliniks Posted: April 09, 2013 at 11:32 AM (#4408388)
They're not slackers; they're collateral damage from globalization/immigration/technological progress. Unskilled and low-skilled jobs are increasingly disappearing, leaving those workers with nothing to do and no means to make a living.


To add to that, many of them have been conned into higher education as a guaranteed payday, so not only are they unemployed, they are carrying unsustainable levels of student loan debt.
   1522. Morty Causa Posted: April 09, 2013 at 11:32 AM (#4408389)
You could accomplish some of the social welfare gains that come from unionization by passing strong collective bargaining laws. Famously France has a lower union membership rate than the US but an extremely high rate of workers covered by collective bargaining.

Yes, it's not necessarily about unions, nor should it be. It's about labor having some leverage. If there's another way to get that, fine.
   1523. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: April 09, 2013 at 11:37 AM (#4408399)
People seem to think of globalization and an expanding welfare state as some kind of introvertible march of civilization, rather than the desired outcome of deliberate socioeconomic policy.

I'd argue that the former most definitely is introvertible, due to tech. The latter is more debatable, but there's a reason I once named a cat Schumpeter.
(He went by Schumpy)
   1524. Rants Mulliniks Posted: April 09, 2013 at 11:41 AM (#4408402)
Yes, I agree that our interconnectedness is inevitable and a good thing. I was only referring to the trade/labour aspect of globalization.
   1525. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 09, 2013 at 11:51 AM (#4408411)
They're not slackers; they're collateral damage from globalization/immigration/technological progress. Unskilled and low-skilled jobs are increasingly disappearing, leaving those workers with nothing to do and no means to make a living. So they go on "disability" with a wink and a nod from the elites who control our government and if they're so motivated, they try to make some extra cash on the side or under the table. I won't fault the poor people who do it; they're taking advantage of the best option open to them.

Exactly.

But enabling that and cheering it on and applauding the changes in mores that ensued, is the very essence of Reaganism and Thatcherism. They started it, and presidents/PMs ever since have continued it -- because Reaganism and Thatcherism assured that there's more money and power in siding with capital than siding with labor.

A treatment that was necessary in the late 1970s has been pursued well past the point of positive returns, deep into the realm of negative returns.

I blame that on the leaders after Reagan and Thatcher, who didn't adjust to changing realities.
   1526. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 09, 2013 at 11:53 AM (#4408416)
I don't see how you can blame Reagan and Thatcher for changes that came after them, and that have been heartily supported by all major parties.
You can't blame Reagan or Thatcher for the institutionalization of philosophies that they actively sought to institutionalize?
   1527. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 09, 2013 at 11:53 AM (#4408417)
Yes, it's not necessarily about unions, nor should it be. It's about labor having some leverage. If there's another way to get that, fine.

There is. Tariffs. Put a 50% tariff on any good or service produced in a country with wage rates less than 75% of US levels.

If companies can't economically move jobs offshore, US labor has leverage.
   1528. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 09, 2013 at 11:55 AM (#4408420)
You can't blame Reagan or Thatcher for the institutionalization of philosophies that they actively sought to institutionalize?

Neither one was a theorist, neither create any new philosophies. They were practical people seeking to improve their countries. In 1979, both the US and UK needed less regulation, more competition, and more trade.

In 2013, the world is different.
   1529. Morty Causa Posted: April 09, 2013 at 11:57 AM (#4408423)
Yes, this Democrat/Republican demonization ala Kehoskie is almost misdirection. It's about a philosophy of government (or no government). The worse thing said by a politician in the last 30-odd years is Reagan's government is the problem. This gives some carte blanche to only work at frustrating policy and programs and actions, not at refining them and government's mechanisms.
   1530. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 09, 2013 at 11:57 AM (#4408424)
You could accomplish some of the social welfare gains that come from unionization by passing strong collective bargaining laws. Famously France has a lower union membership rate than the US but an extremely high rate of workers covered by collective bargaining.


Yes, it's not necessarily about unions, nor should it be. It's about labor having some leverage. If there's another way to get that, fine.

The problem is that labor's leverage, to the extent that it exists, comes from three main sources: Collective bargaining; a tight labor market; and demands for better working conditions from disinterested third parties (churches; the media; etc.). But the labor market is cyclical and 60 Minutes-style exposes tend to lose their punch by the time of the next news cycle. So what other alternative is there?
   1531. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 09, 2013 at 11:58 AM (#4408426)
Yes, I agree that our interconnectedness is inevitable and a good thing.

We can be interconnected without the free movement of goods, labor and capital.

I think the homoginizing effects of globalization are terrible. Who wants to go to Paris and eat in McDonald's, or got to Italy and find all the leather goods are made in China?
   1532. Rants Mulliniks Posted: April 09, 2013 at 11:59 AM (#4408427)
The worse thing said by a politician in the last 30-odd years is Reagan's government is the problem.


Well he was a great spokesmodel.
   1533. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 09, 2013 at 11:59 AM (#4408429)
The problem is that labor's leverage, to the extent that it exists, comes from three main sources: Collective bargaining; a tight labor market; and demands for better working conditions from disinterested third parties (churches; the media; etc.). But the labor market is cyclical and 60 Minutes-style exposes tend to lose their punch by the time of the next news cycle. So what other alternative is there?


Tariffs, tariffs, tariffs, tariffs.

If labor is scarce you don't need collective bargaining to get decent wages.
   1534. Rants Mulliniks Posted: April 09, 2013 at 12:01 PM (#4408431)
Who wants to go to Paris and eat in McDonald's


90% of North Americans? I know, I hate it too.
   1535. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 09, 2013 at 12:03 PM (#4408432)
Since 99% of our work around the house is done by me or my wife, what you must mean by that is that I don't play Sheriff Arpaio and demand to see the papers of people I've hired to cut down trees, nor do I judge their citizenship by their accents. But I can pretty much guarantee you that the highest estimates I got for tree removal were from companies that were no more unionized than McDonald's or Wal-Mart. For work like that, the question of union labor is a moot point.

Andy, you flat out told us that you choose a non-union contractor who very likely used illegals over a unionized contractor b/c it cost less. If your not willing to put your money where your mouth is, your hosannahs to organized labor are empty nonsense.
   1536. Morty Causa Posted: April 09, 2013 at 12:08 PM (#4408435)
Who wants to go to Paris and eat in McDonald's


90% of North Americans? I know, I hate it too.


Who wants to come to America to eat Der Wienerschnitzel? Or Italian. Or Mexican.

MacDonald's can't be the only restaurant in Paris.
   1537. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 09, 2013 at 12:08 PM (#4408436)
The worse thing said by a politician in the last 30-odd years is Reagan's government is the problem.

Badly misinterpreted and taken out of context by both sides.

The complete quote:

"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem."
   1538. Morty Causa Posted: April 09, 2013 at 12:09 PM (#4408437)
Who wants to go to Paris and eat in McDonald's


C'mon, don't tell me you've never had the slightest desire for the Big Mac with horse.
   1539. Morty Causa Posted: April 09, 2013 at 12:10 PM (#4408439)
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem."


And we have 30 years of instruction about how that ball was taken and run with.
   1540. Greg K Posted: April 09, 2013 at 12:14 PM (#4408443)
Who wants to go to Paris and eat in McDonald's

The only time I've eaten at McDonald's in the past 15 years was in Arras, France. Mostly because it was 2am, I was very hungry and the McDonald's appeared to be the only thing open. The kid behind the counter kind of looked like Joel Plaskett, but the food sucked.

EDIT: Check that, Lille, not Arras. Arras is actually really beautiful. I've been there twice...the first time there happened to be a Depeche Mode concert in the main square, and the second time Metallica. Must be nice having a house on the square, get VIP box seats to concerts for free! Also, there's an old Gestapo Office they've turned into a museum. You can pop into one of their holding cells. Plus, daily bus trips to Vimy Ridge, and if you're nice, the bus driver will point out the boyhood home of the guy who invented reinforced concrete on the way there. And speaking of politicians some people don't like for some reason, Robespierre is from Arras. All in all a fine town.
   1541. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 09, 2013 at 12:14 PM (#4408444)
Who wants to go to Paris and eat in McDonald's


The McDonalds in Spain are all packed with Spanish people. They find it cheap and family-friendly (you see large extended families eating in McDonalds pretty frequently). McDonalds tends to be the only restaurant open during the middle of the day and on Sundays (typical Spanish restaurant hours are 11 am-2pm and 10pm-1am, weekdays and Saturdays only).
   1542. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 09, 2013 at 12:18 PM (#4408448)
Since 99% of our work around the house is done by me or my wife, what you must mean by that is that I don't play Sheriff Arpaio and demand to see the papers of people I've hired to cut down trees, nor do I judge their citizenship by their accents. But I can pretty much guarantee you that the highest estimates I got for tree removal were from companies that were no more unionized than McDonald's or Wal-Mart. For work like that, the question of union labor is a moot point.

Andy, you flat out told us that you choose a non-union contractor who very likely used illegals over a unionized contractor b/c it cost less. If your not willing to put your money where your mouth is, your hosannahs to organized labor are empty nonsense.


Snapper, you try to find a unionized tree removal service in the Washington area, and before you find one the tree will have crashed onto your roof. Same thing with yard service, where the accents may be different among the price ranges but the lack of a union card is common to both. I did say that I didn't check the "papers" of the crew I hired**, but I never said anything about turning down an unionized alternative, because there simply aren't any to be found around here. The high end tree removal services are distinguished mainly by their price, not by the quality of their work or the organized nature of their work force. Once again, you're simply trying to pick an argument based on false assumptions.

**Do you? I'd like to see that little scenario in action. And what other certified union labor do you employ? If you're like us, you do your own housework.
   1543. Rants Mulliniks Posted: April 09, 2013 at 12:20 PM (#4408451)
When I was on my honeymoon in Andalusia a few years ago, I was pleasantly surprised that I only saw one American fast food joint (I believe it was Burger King) the whole time I was there. I was expecting they'd be ubiquitous.
   1544. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 09, 2013 at 12:21 PM (#4408454)
Who wants to come to America to eat Der Wienerschnitzel? Or Italian. Or Mexican.

MacDonald's can't be the only restaurant in Paris.


The issue isn't serving American-style burgers and fries in Paris, it's having an American, homogenized, global chain do it.

   1545. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: April 09, 2013 at 12:24 PM (#4408459)
That's a feature, not a bug. (And I've no desire to eat McDonalds in any nation.)
   1546. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 09, 2013 at 12:25 PM (#4408460)
And what other certified union labor do you employ? If you're like us, you do your own housework.

Pretty much all the tradesmen I hire (electrician, plumber, carpenter) are union; I like to patronize individuals who do the work themselves (not big companies), and they all are union members. Hell, even my father-in-law, who did our kitchen floor is a member of the construction unions.

I did say that I didn't check the "papers" of the crew I hired**

You can usually tell if the guy is using illegals by the lack of diversity. At least in the Northeast, the crew of a contractor using legal labor will have whites, blacks, American-born Hispanics, and immigrant Hispanics. And at least some of them will be union members. The boss certainly will be.

If the crew is 100% non-English speaking Hispanics, they're almost certainly illegal.
   1547. Greg K Posted: April 09, 2013 at 12:27 PM (#4408462)
When I was on my honeymoon in Andalusia a few years ago, I was pleasantly surprised that I only saw one American fast food joint (I believe it was Burger King) the whole time I was there. I was expecting they'd be ubiquitous.

Did you spend much time in Seville? Seville is actually the only part of Spain I've been to. I spent a weekend there, but never really left the older part of town. I'm thinking of meeting a friend in Barcelona this May, mostly because the little of Spain I've seen so far was pretty great. Though I met a Spanish woman this weekend, and when I mentioned I went to Seville in July she looked at me like I was an idiot (and rightly so...man that was hot).


In my experience the Americanization of Europe is not something I've really come across. It's probably just been my travel experience (either going to mid-size towns and staying in the city centre without the benefit of a car, or travelling around the countryside and small villages with my parents in a rented car), but I haven't spent much time in the suburban areas or large cities which I assume are quite Americanized.
   1548. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 09, 2013 at 12:28 PM (#4408463)
That's a feature, not a bug. (And I've no desire to eat McDonalds in any nation.)

Of globalization? No, it's a bug. Why would we want the world colonized in the image of America's least common denominator "brands"?
   1549. zonk Posted: April 09, 2013 at 12:33 PM (#4408464)
The worse thing said by a politician in the last 30-odd years is Reagan's government is the problem.

Badly misinterpreted and taken out of context by both sides.

The complete quote:

"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem."


Sorry, but this isn't a "both sides do it" where we can simply pox both houses and Broder ourselves into being above it all.... To the extent the Democrats misquote - they're doing it for political puppet theater purposes, not policy.

To the extent the Republicans misquote and take it out of context, they've adopted the very essence of that misquote/bad interpretation as their very foundation of policy.

What's more... just layer the irony on top -- in fact, the economic ills Reagan spoke of were largely bound up in inflation/the 70s stagflation crisis... and surprise, surprise -- it actually WAS government in the former of Paul Volcker and the Federal Reserve that actually DID turn out to be the solution.
   1550. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: April 09, 2013 at 12:35 PM (#4408468)
In the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, some antiwar mouthpiece said a reason the US shouldn't go through with it was the awful prospect of "McDonalds everywhere" in Baghdad.

It was pointed out to her that if McDonalds moved into Iraq, it was because the company found the situation safe and potentially profitable - which would be a good thing, right? No, she said, what about all the small businesses, health risks and cultural imperialism?

In retrospect, I can't decide which was more depressing about the 2002-3 debate: The lying of the pro-war side, or the incompetence of the anti-war side.
   1551. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 09, 2013 at 12:36 PM (#4408470)
Generally speaking, McDonald's overseas servers better quality food with much better quality service than McD's in America. But if you're a tourist, there's no excuse for eating there.
   1552. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 09, 2013 at 12:39 PM (#4408475)
Generally speaking, McDonald's overseas servers better quality food with much better quality service than McD's in America. But if you're a tourist, there's no excuse for eating there.

Concur. I'll make an exception if you're travelling for months, and get homesick. But, on a standard 10 day or 2 week trip, it's inexcusable.
   1553. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 09, 2013 at 12:41 PM (#4408477)
Of globalization? No, it's a bug. Why would we want the world colonized in the image of America's least common denominator "brands"?

Agree. It would be interesting to have a "progressive sales tax". The bigger the business, the higher rate you pay. Mom and pop restaurant, or independent book store, you pay 5% sales tax, McDonald's or Amazon, you pay 15%.

If there are really economies of scale, it won't hurt the big cos. much. If there aren't, the country is better off with fewer big cos.
   1554. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 09, 2013 at 12:41 PM (#4408478)
Andy, you flat out told us that you choose a non-union contractor who very likely used illegals over a unionized contractor b/c it cost less. If your not willing to put your money where your mouth is, your hosannahs to organized labor are empty nonsense.


Andy already responded, but I want to respond to the larger point, because you see this sort of argument all the time. Ray has used it repeatedly when asking about liberals paying for other peoples health care and liberals voluntarily paying more in taxes. You also saw it a bunch regarding Al Gore and his less than perfect environmental life style and other such things.

The idea seems to be anyone who espouses a policy to change "conditions on the ground" needs to live by the policy they suggest rather than by conditions as they are. I think that is ridiculous. There is nothing wrong with "playing by the rules" as they AND suggesting changing the rules for the betterment.

There are a variety of "moral hazards" that require a rules change, otherwise everyone behaves in an individually rational way and society as a whole suffers. For examples see the tragedy of the commons, another flavor is the prisoners dilemma, a third is around externalities of cost (like air pollution).

In any event the general class of complaints about "putting your money where your mouth is" are very annoying to me. Moving on now.
   1555. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 09, 2013 at 12:46 PM (#4408483)
Agree. It would be interesting to have a "progressive sales tax". The bigger the business, the higher rate you pay. Mom and pop restaurant, or independent book store, you pay 5% sales tax, McDonald's or Amazon, you pay 15%.


That is an interesting idea. The politics of it make it unlikely (to say the least), but the policy might be OK, so long as society is willing to live with the dead weight cost. I mean I hate Walmart as much as the next guy, but they are much more efficient in terms of delivering what they do, partly because they are so big (same for CostCo if you would rather use a more labor/progressive friendly company).

Some of that "efficiency" lines the pockets of big comapnies, but there is some real benefits to how efficient the supply chain and other parts of these large companies.
   1556. Rants Mulliniks Posted: April 09, 2013 at 12:49 PM (#4408486)
Did you spend much time in Seville?


We spent 4 nights in Seville, 2 in Grenada and 2 in Vejer de la Frontera, a lovely little walled town on a hilltop about 50 km west of Tarifa. We stayed in the older parts of town in all three, but even driving between them on the highways I didn't see any fast food joints.

We were there in early June, and it was hotter than the hubs of Hades in Seville - 37° C. And wearing shorts isn't all that socially acceptable. But, that's why they have siestas.

Spain's become a mess since then, but both my wife and I said we'd love to live in Andalusia. We loved the climate, the landscape (as long as you're close to the ocean) and the food.
   1557. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 09, 2013 at 12:49 PM (#4408487)
In any event the general class of complaints about "putting your money where your mouth is" are very annoying to me. Moving on now.

Practice what you preach is a very old standard. Why should anyone believe what you say is important if you don't do all you can personally to implement it?

Society rightly ridicules the Newt Gingriches and Mark Sanfords of the world who preach traditional values while engaging in serial adultery.

No one is saying Al Gore has to live in a tent and walk everywher, but if he's concerned about greenhouse gases, using a private plane is ridiculous. Is flying first class such a hardship?
   1558. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 09, 2013 at 12:52 PM (#4408488)

That is an interesting idea. The politics of it make it unlikely (to say the least), but the policy might be OK, so long as society is willing to live with the dead weight cost. I mean I hate Walmart as much as the next guy, but they are much more efficient in terms of delivering what they do, partly because they are so big (same for CostCo if you would rather use a more labor/progressive friendly company).

Some of that "efficiency" lines the pockets of big comapnies, but there is some real benefits to how efficient the supply chain and other parts of these large companies.


There is a good point in here.

If we want to improve income and wealth distribution, and lessen the power of big corporations (as I do) we have to accept there will be deadweight-loss. Our country as a whole will be poorer, but the loss should fall on the wealthy and the gains ascribe to the working class.

The US mad iPhone is going to cost $350 rather than $300, and Apple will make less profit. You big screen TV will cost $1200 instead of $900.
   1559. Publius Publicola Posted: April 09, 2013 at 12:54 PM (#4408489)
I can't let this one go without challenge:

1396. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 08, 2013 at 06:12 PM (#4407876)
I will raise no objection if you say four centuries of Irishmen had the right to kill english at will.

I will just say the 1970s and 80sthe version did not share that right.


Why? What changed between now and then? The discrimination was exactly the same. The injustice was exactly the same. The use of class warfare to unsettle the natives was exactly the same. And the greed of the Tories was exactly the same. So why does the morality of killing the invaders have to change?
   1560. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: April 09, 2013 at 12:54 PM (#4408490)
Why would we want the world colonized in the image of America's least common denominator "brands"?

Who says that it's to my benefit? If they want to eat McDonald's, for whatever dumb reason, we should let them - just like we just let people here eat McDonald's for whatever dumb reason that they want to.
(I'm not anti-fast food, just McDonald's.)

If we want to improve income and wealth distribution, and lessen the power of big corporations (as I do) we have to accept there will be deadweight-loss. Our country as a whole will be poorer, but the loss should fall on the wealthy and the gains ascribe to the working class.
Whereas I'd argue that it's more efficient to approach this through tax policy and redistributive spending.
   1561. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 09, 2013 at 01:01 PM (#4408496)
Whereas I'd argue that it's more efficient to approach this through tax policy and redistributive spending.

Unfortunately, there are huge efficiency costs to high income tax rates and huge socio-economic disruptions from having people not work and live on the dole. Those policies also make us poorer.

My proposals are tax policy, just tariffs and sales/corporate taxes rather than income taxes.

The key is that we have to create decent jobs for working class people. Having 25% of your population as permanent dependent class is terrible for the country, and for the people stuck on the dole.
   1562. Publius Publicola Posted: April 09, 2013 at 01:05 PM (#4408499)
Whereas I'd argue that it's more efficient to approach this through tax policy and redistributive spending.


This solution is actually more economically stimulating than laissez faire since purchasing power and, thus, demand would be greater than in an economy where the few advantaged got to keep everything.
   1563. McCoy Posted: April 09, 2013 at 01:06 PM (#4408502)
Generally speaking, McDonald's overseas servers better quality food with much better quality service than McD's in America. But if you're a tourist, there's no excuse for eating there.

Clearly someone has never been to Greece. The land of inedible local food.
   1564. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 09, 2013 at 01:07 PM (#4408503)
And what other certified union labor do you employ? If you're like us, you do your own housework.

Pretty much all the tradesmen I hire (electrician, plumber, carpenter) are union; I like to patronize individuals who do the work themselves (not big companies), and they all are union members. Hell, even my father-in-law, who did our kitchen floor is a member of the construction unions.

I did say that I didn't check the "papers" of the crew I hired**

You can usually tell if the guy is using illegals by the lack of diversity. At least in the Northeast, the crew of a contractor using legal labor will have whites, blacks, American-born Hispanics, and immigrant Hispanics. And at least some of them will be union members. The boss certainly will be.


By the "diversity" test you give below, everyone we've hired for inside work (including the crew that repaired the roof when the first tree fell on it from the far side of the yard) has been certifiably legal, with a white electrician who's a one-man business, a black stove repairman, and a white guy who installed our new furnace. And in fact the last few tree removals (we have a LOT of trees that are too close for comfort) have been done by a white woman with a mixed crew. Not that any of this mattered especially in any of those cases, and if they're unionized they never mentioned it either in their ads or anywhere else. Perhaps that's different in New York City.

If the crew is 100% non-English speaking Hispanics, they're almost certainly illegal.

Maybe or maybe not, but as I said, I'm not a border guard and I'm not about to become one.
   1565. Publius Publicola Posted: April 09, 2013 at 01:07 PM (#4408504)
Unfortunately, there are huge efficiency costs to high income tax rates and huge socio-economic disruptions from having people not work and live on the dole. Those policies also make us poorer.


No they don't. There's no evidence of that.
   1566. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 09, 2013 at 01:08 PM (#4408507)
Practice what you preach is a very old standard. Why should anyone believe what you say is important if you don't do all you can personally to implement it?

Society rightly ridicules the Newt Gingriches and Mark Sanfords of the world who preach traditional values while engaging in serial adultery.

No one is saying Al Gore has to live in a tent and walk everywhere, but if he's concerned about greenhouse gases, using a private plane is ridiculous. Is flying first class such a hardship?


I think there is a fine line here. Making fun of Newt for multiple marriages and leaving a woman with cancer, for having an affair while impeaching the President of the US for having an affair - all that is clearly more than a little hypocracy, but does that invalidate the message that infidelity is wrong? (Perhaps not impeachment worthy - blah blah "It was the lying...", but still basically wrong).

If Al Gore is not the perfect messenger because he has a private plane, well I flying commercial is not a problem for me, but I am tiny (fit in the seats fine, thanks) and no one knows me so no big deal. Al Gore is not me, and I have no idea how much hassle it is for him to fly commercial. But none of that invalidates his message around the environment.

Often both sides use the flaws of the messenger to poison the message and I think that is BS.
   1567. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 09, 2013 at 01:09 PM (#4408508)
If we want to improve income and wealth distribution, and lessen the power of big corporations (as I do) we have to accept there will be deadweight-loss.

There are massive deadweight losses now under the current system of corporate, crony capitalism. There was nearly $1T in deadweight loss just in the Wall St. bailouts.

No one should pretend that the economy is "efficient" now, and that doesn't even acocunt for externalities. Rent-seeking and rent-granting are everywhere, every day.
   1568. McCoy Posted: April 09, 2013 at 01:12 PM (#4408513)
Al Gore is not me, and I have no idea how much hassle it is for him to fly commercial. But none of that invalidates his message around the environment.

but it kind of does. He's asking the world to change and he can't be bothered to change himself so how realistic is his ideas?
   1569. McCoy Posted: April 09, 2013 at 01:14 PM (#4408515)
Newt slamming pols for infidelity his him trying to take the moral high ground so while cheating is wrong it is correct to point out that Newt is just as immoral or worse than the guy he is slamming.
   1570. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 09, 2013 at 01:15 PM (#4408517)
There are massive deadweight losses now under the current system of corporate, crony capitalism. There was nearly $1T in deadweight loss just in the Wall St. bailouts.

No one should pretend that the economy is "efficient" now, and that doesn't even acocunt for externalities. Rent-seeking and rent-granting are everywhere, every day.


Correct. I'm not saying we can't improve other areas.

I'm just admitting my plan will cost money. But, I'm willing to take $1.10 from the top 25% to give it to the working class.

The problem with the income tax and welfare solution is that it's more like taking $2 from the top-25%, to give $0.50 to the poor and $0.50 to the gov't workers.
   1571. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 09, 2013 at 01:17 PM (#4408520)
I think there is a fine line here. Making fun of Newt for multiple marriages and leaving a woman with cancer, for having an affair while impeaching the President of the US for having an affair - all that is clearly more than a little hypocracy, but does that invalidate the message that infidelity is wrong?

It invalidates his ability to convey the message effectively. Why should anyone believe him that traditional values are good, if he can't be bothered to live them?

but it kind of does. He's asking the world to change and he can't be bothered to change himself so how realistic is his ideas?

Exactly.
   1572. McCoy Posted: April 09, 2013 at 01:17 PM (#4408521)
Wouldn't government workers be rather poor if they weren't government workers?
   1573. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 09, 2013 at 01:20 PM (#4408522)
In any event the general class of complaints about "putting your money where your mouth is" are very annoying to me. Moving on now.

I don't have any problem having those kinds of questions posed to me by snapper, since they're posed about decisions over which I have direct control and (in some cases) real alternatives. The more pressing problem, however, is that in way too many segments of our economy today the choice of using unionized labor (or buying U.S.-made products) simply doesn't exist.
   1574. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: April 09, 2013 at 01:21 PM (#4408523)
Al Gore is not me, and I have no idea how much hassle it is for him to fly commercial.


How does he feel about reclining seats on airplanes?
   1575. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 09, 2013 at 01:21 PM (#4408524)
Wouldn't government workers be rather poor if they weren't government workers?

No, they'd be working in a more productive industry. Maybe they'd be building iPhones or big-screen TVs. Having a welfare bureaucracy is inherently non-productive; it's a necessity to convey the aid, but it detracts from the total resources available to aid.

Using tax mechanisms to subsidize jobs for the working class is much more efficient, and doesn't lead to the social ills prevalent among welfare recipients.
   1576. McCoy Posted: April 09, 2013 at 01:21 PM (#4408525)
Other than as a handout why would anyone want to use unionized labor in America?
   1577. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 09, 2013 at 01:22 PM (#4408526)
The more pressing problem, however, is that in way too many segments of our economy today the choice of using unionized labor (or buying U.S.-made products) simply doesn't exist.

Too true.

Other than as a handout why would anyone want to use unionized labor in America?

Because you know they're being paid a fair wage and given benefits?
   1578. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 09, 2013 at 01:22 PM (#4408527)
Neither one was a theorist, neither create any new philosophies. They were practical people seeking to improve their countries.
... by instituting governing philosophies that still govern us today.
   1579. McCoy Posted: April 09, 2013 at 01:23 PM (#4408529)
No, they'd be working in a more productive industry. Maybe they'd be building iPhones or big-screen TVs). Having a welfare bureaucracy is inherently non-productive; it's a necessity to convey the aid, but it detracts from the total resources available to aid.

But they'd be building iPhones and big screen TVs that nobody would buy. They'd basically be digging ditches and filling them back up again. How is that different?
   1580. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 09, 2013 at 01:24 PM (#4408530)
Newt slamming pols for infidelity his him trying to take the moral high ground so while cheating is wrong it is correct to point out that Newt is just as immoral or worse than the guy he is slamming.

Newt and his fellow phony "Christians" are to political discussions what Murray Chass is to Repoz. We'd probably be better off if they all could be retroactively aborted, but it wouldn't be as amusing a world without them.
   1581. Publius Publicola Posted: April 09, 2013 at 01:24 PM (#4408531)
but it kind of does. He's asking the world to change and he can't be bothered to change himself so how realistic is his ideas?


If his ideas were limited to fossil fuel conservation via decreased air travel, you might have a point. But the issue he's promoting is vastly bigger than that.
   1582. zonk Posted: April 09, 2013 at 01:25 PM (#4408532)

My proposals are tax policy, just tariffs and sales/corporate taxes rather than income taxes.


Sales taxes are inherently regressive... I suppose you tossed 'corporate taxes' in -- but Bobby Jindal just tanked in Louisiana with a proposal to eliminate income taxes and finance the state through sales taxes (he wanted to eliminate corporate taxes, too - which yes - is a key distinction). Jindal's now staring at an approval rating in Louisiana lower than Obama's LA approval rating and fully 2/3 of residents were opposed to his just-abandoned plan.
   1583. McCoy Posted: April 09, 2013 at 01:27 PM (#4408534)
If his ideas were limited to fossil fuel conservation via decreased air travel, you might have a point. But the issue he's promoting is vastly bigger than that.

And Gore wasn't just slammed becuase he wasted a lot of fossil fuel via air travel. He basically did virtually zero conservation of energy and sacrificed almost nothing while preaching to the world that we need to start conserving and sacrificing.
   1584. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 09, 2013 at 01:27 PM (#4408535)
But they'd be building iPhones and big screen TVs that nobody would buy. They'd basically be digging ditches and filling them back up again. How is that different?

They'd be building the only iPhones and big screens available in the U.S. if you set the tariffs properly.
   1585. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 09, 2013 at 01:29 PM (#4408536)
Sales taxes are inherently regressive... I suppose you tossed 'corporate taxes'

Make it a gross receipts tax on the corporation if you like. I was talking about graduating the sales tax, not raising it overall. If it's currently 8-9%, make it average out the same, but be 4% for the smallest businesses, and 15% for the largest.
   1586. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 09, 2013 at 01:29 PM (#4408537)
Other than as a handout why would anyone want to use unionized labor in America?


Because you know they're being paid a fair wage and given benefits?

Good enough for me, although I can't see why that same reasoning shouldn't apply to public workers, at least those in blue collar jobs. The corruption you find in some of those unions is no more reason for doing away with them than the existence of ubiquitous corporate corruption is a reason for doing away with capitalism.
   1587. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 09, 2013 at 01:34 PM (#4408538)
Good enough for me, although I can't see why that same reasoning shouldn't apply to public workers, at least those in blue collar jobs. The corruption you find in some of those unions is no more reason for doing away with them than the existence of ubiquitous corporate corruption is a reason for doing away with capitalism.

First of all, most public sector workers already have civil service protection, so the arguments for them needing unions to protect their rights, like private sector workers, isn't there.

The issue with public workers' unions is there is no counterbalancing force to keep their demands in check. Management wants more profits, so they'll resist unreasonable demands. Also, if a private sector union becomes unreasonable, it will bankrupt the company, and they'll lose their jobs. There's no such check on governments; at least not that happens over a reasonable time period.

The politicians who are supposed to negotiate with the unions have no profit motive, and such a short time horizon (only care about the next election) that they have every incentive to incur massive future liabilities for short term electoral help.
   1588. McCoy Posted: April 09, 2013 at 01:38 PM (#4408542)
They'd be building the only iPhones and big screens available in the U.S. if you set the tariffs properly.

A. How often do you think an American is going to need to buy an iPhone and how fast do you think we can build this stuff.
B. What do you think the rest of the world is going to do when America imposes such huge tariffs that the only affordable iPhone available in US markets has to be made in America?
C. Who do you think will be able to afford these expensive goods when half the US workforce is unemployed?
   1589. McCoy Posted: April 09, 2013 at 01:40 PM (#4408544)
Because you know they're being paid a fair wage and given benefits?

The idea of "fair" isn't absolute. How is paying someone $20 unfair and paying someone $40 is fair?
   1590. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: April 09, 2013 at 01:42 PM (#4408546)
Using tax mechanisms to subsidize jobs for the working class is much more efficient

So, the WPA?
   1591. Mefisto Posted: April 09, 2013 at 01:43 PM (#4408547)
No one is saying Al Gore has to live in a tent and walk everywher, but if he's concerned about greenhouse gases, using a private plane is ridiculous.


I'm skeptical of this. No matter what steps Gore might take to reduce his personal carbon footprint, somebody can always come up with another one. It's an infinite loop, up to the point where he dies. Had it not been a private plane, it would have been something else which made him "hypocritical".

The difference between Gore and, say, Newt on the hypocrisy issue is the nature of the problem. Climate change isn't effected by a single individual, nor can it be solved except by actions taken globally. Adultery, however, IS a problem on the individual scale, and it's not one which involves a spectrum of behavior which lends itself to infinite "gotchas". Newt's failure to abide by the values he espouses (pun intentional) is therefore directly relevant to his character and his values.
   1592. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 09, 2013 at 01:44 PM (#4408548)
A. How often do you think an American is going to need to buy an iPhone and how fast do you think we can build this stuff.
B. What do you think the rest of the world is going to do when America imposes such huge tariffs that the only affordable iPhone available in US markets has to be made in America?
C. Who do you think will be able to afford these expensive goods when half the US workforce is unemployed?


A. They seem to buy them every 18 months now. With the higher price, maybe that falls to every 21 months.

B. We import far more than we export. I would negotiate mutual free trade pacts with high wage countries (Japan, EU, Australia, etc.), so some of the iPhones might actually be made in Japan or Spain.

C. If we lost 100% of our exports to China, India and other low wage countries, the impact would be minor.
   1593. Rants Mulliniks Posted: April 09, 2013 at 01:45 PM (#4408550)
American is going to need to buy an iPhone


Uh, never?

   1594. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 09, 2013 at 01:45 PM (#4408551)
So, the WPA?

No. Not create public sector jobs, use taxes (tariffs, etc.) to subsidize the creation of private sector, blue collar jobs.
   1595. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 09, 2013 at 01:47 PM (#4408553)
The idea of "fair" isn't absolute. How is paying someone $20 unfair and paying someone $40 is fair?

It's not necessarily. But if you buy a union-made US product, you know it wasn't made by someone making $1/day in a Vietnamese sweatshop, or making $4 and hour in an American sweatshop.
   1596. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 09, 2013 at 01:49 PM (#4408555)
Why? What changed between now and then? The discrimination was exactly the same. The injustice was exactly the same. The use of class warfare to unsettle the natives was exactly the same. And the greed of the Tories was exactly the same. So why does the morality of killing the invaders have to change?


Someone Snapper liked was in charge of the English :-)

Serious answer, (I'm an Irish Catholic BTW), the discrimination was not being practiced by the "English," it was being conducted by the "Orangemen," protestant Irish (mostly Presbyterian) descendants of Scottish settlers from earlier centuries, who essentially saw Irish Catholics much the same way that white rednecks in the US south saw blacks. Like the US south, local law enforcement (i.e, Royal Ulster Constabulary) was basically in instrument to effectuate the majority group's subjugation of the minority.

The Orange side is approx 60% of Northern Ireland, but Catholics would be 72%+ of a Unified Ireland, bringing Northern Ireland into Union with the South would immediately have politically marginalized the Orangmen- which if you were an Irish Catholic in the North was the main goal.

In fact at the beginning of the "Troubles" the "english" returned and ended home rule in Belfast essentially to stop the Orange abuse of Catholics, but then the mission went sideways so to speak.

Anyway, the Thatcher regime almost certainly prolonged the "Troubles" since she and her administration clearly favored the Orange over the Catholics and tuned a blind eye to collusion between government forces and loyalist [protestant] paramilitaries (who were the real bad actors, far worse that the various IRA factions- who were no angels themselves.
   1597. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: April 09, 2013 at 01:51 PM (#4408556)
1594/snapper: I was yanking your chain a bit, as you know.

I don't think many people who are inclined toward a more redistributive income tax system want an environment where people are on the dole - there's a lot of ways to skin that cat. My argument is that this process distorts the economy less than a system of tariffs and weird graduated tax rates that are a function of corporate size + can take many forms. If what we want is an economy that is strong, policies that are "fair", and a workforce that's flexible, design your code accordingly. Subsidize vocational (re-)education. Don't get hung up on the fact that you might have a large service industry. Etc...
   1598. McCoy Posted: April 09, 2013 at 01:53 PM (#4408557)
A. They seem to buy them every 18 months now. With the higher price, maybe that falls to every 21 months.

B. We import far more than we export. I would negotiate mutual free trade pacts with high wage countries (Japan, EU, Australia, etc.), so some of the iPhones might actually be made in Japan or Spain.

C. If we lost 100% of our exports to China, India and other low wage countries, the impact would be minor.


Minor?

We would be losing virtually all of our exports since virtually everyone would be enacting their own tariffs and American goods would be prohibitively expensive as well. Why would Europeans buy an expensive American made iPhone when they can buy a much cheaper Chinese made iPHone? Not only that but since the cost of labor in America would skyrocket due to these tariffs (if they actually do what you think they will do) all the goods we currently export would jump in price as well.

Your vision would destroy America economically and create rampant corruption.
   1599. McCoy Posted: April 09, 2013 at 01:53 PM (#4408558)
It's not necessarily. But if you buy a union-made US product, you know it wasn't made by someone making $1/day in a Vietnamese sweatshop, or making $4 and hour in an American sweatshop.

So?
   1600. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 09, 2013 at 01:59 PM (#4408561)
We would be losing virtually all of our exports since virtually everyone would be enacting their own tariffs and American goods would be prohibitively expensive as well. Why would Europeans buy an expensive American made iPhone when they can buy a much cheaper Chinese made iPHone? Not only that but since the cost of labor in America would skyrocket due to these tariffs (if they actually do what you think they will do) all the goods we currently export would jump in price as well.

Your vision would destroy America economically and create rampant corruption.


I said I want bilateral free-trade pacts with Europe, Japan, UK, etc. The European iPhone can be made in Europe.

I believe your forecast is 100% wrong. The US had high tariffs all throughout our period of most rapid growth (Civil War through WWI). We attracted capital and labor like crazy, and had rapid income growth across the whole wage spectrum.
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