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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

OTP November 2012 - Moneypoll! The Pundits vs. The Election-Data Nerds

Come next Tuesday night, we’ll get a resolution (let’s hope) to a great ongoing battle of 2012: not just the Presidential election between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, but the one between the pundits trying to analyze that race with their guts and a new breed of statistics gurus trying to forecast it with data.

In Election 2012 as seen by the pundits–political journalists on the trail, commentators in cable-news studios–the campaign is a jump ball. There’s a slight lead for Mitt Romney in national polls and slight leads for Barack Obama in swing-state polls, and no good way of predicting next Tuesday’s outcome beyond flipping a coin. ...

Bonus link: Esquire - The Enemies of Nate Silver

Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 31, 2012 at 11:42 PM | 11298 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mr president, off-topic, politics, sabermetrics, usa

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   9601. Random Transaction Generator Posted: November 22, 2012 at 11:56 AM (#4308011)
Black Friday is for suckers.
Cyber Monday is the real deal.

Though, I should note that if you're a computer gamer like myself, the real joy comes from the Steam fall sale (on now until Nov 26th) and the Steam Winter sale (December 20th to January 4th). Those sales are usually called "wallet destroyers".
   9602. Lassus Posted: November 22, 2012 at 11:57 AM (#4308014)
I personally never get the pearl-clutching over Black Friday as a horrible, horrible ill to society, and I'm basically socialist/communist lite.
   9603. spike Posted: November 22, 2012 at 11:58 AM (#4308015)
Wow - never saw this coming. Saxby Chambliss - "I care more about the country than a 20 year old tax pledge"

If Norquist can't hold the Chambliss' of the world, he's finished.
   9604. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 22, 2012 at 11:58 AM (#4308016)
Brilliant new article in Jacobin (your new fave-rave radical mag) on the Hostess strike and "competitiveness".

First, Ackerman points out that in the real world as compared to the world of Intro to Micro textbooks, wage cuts are exceptionally rare:
But let’s ask for a moment what would have happened if Hostess had been a non-union company. Judging from the commentary, you would think that out there in the real world, 30% pay cuts are the norm and people just suck it up. In reality, nominal pay cuts are rare. This is a well-known phenomenon in economics: it’s called downward nominal wage rigidity. Companies rarely impose actual reductions in the dollar amounts of pay for existing workers. In the most reliable studies, using company payroll records, about 2%-3% of workers experience a pay cut each year. Data from national surveys are notoriously prone to measurement error, but after correcting for it, 4%-5% of workers are observed experiencing falling wages.

In 1999, the Yale economist Truman Bewley published a famous book called Why Wages Don’t Fall During a Recession, in which he took the revolutionary step, for an economist, of actually going out and interviewing people. It’s a fascinating book for many reasons, but the main thing Bewley was trying to learn was why, in flagrant defiance of economics textbooks, employers lay off workers in recessions, when the textbooks clearly state that they should simply cut their pay instead. He talked to hundreds of employers around Connecticut about how they decide on pay and staffing policies.

Bewley summarized what he found this way: “All employers thought cutting the pay of existing employees would cause problems. The main argument was that employee reactions would cost the firm more money than a pay cut would save, so that it would be profitable only if workers accepted it.”
And then he extrapolates, thinking about the Hostess wage cuts, the walkout, and the rhetoric surrounding it.
What we have here is a situation where a company offered a wage in the marketplace and couldn’t get any workers to accept it. Consequently, it went out of business. The word “competitive” gets thrown around a lot, often with the murkiest of meanings, but in this case there can be no doubt at all that a company, Hostess, was unable to pay a competitive wage. Ninety-two percent of its workers voted to walk out on their jobs rather than accept its wage, and they stayed out even after they were told it was the company’s final offer.

By all the canons of competitiveness, it was the company that was deluded. Hey, it’s a tough labor market out there. Hostess just couldn’t compete.

But the union got blamed instead, and that points to a fascinating aporia in neoliberalism. The competitiveness ideology keeps a double set of books. On the surface, it celebrates free individuals making voluntary agreements on a footing of formal equality. But look just a little deeper and it turns out to be a musty, medieval system of morality that venerates human hierarchy and inequality. If taken literally, an accusation of insufficient “competitiveness” would refer to a failure to buy or sell on the terms objectively demanded by the dispersed actors of the marketplace. But nine times out of ten, this literal meaning is just a facade for the real underlying meaning, which is all about policing the socially accepted rules concerning who is a worthy human being and who is not. Workers at an industrial bakery are losers. They need to take a pay cut — not so much to make the numbers add up (that’s a secondary consideration for all the commentators and columnists) but as a ritual affirmation of their debased social status. The refusal to take the cut was shocking and revolting — an act of lèse-majesté. It’s in that sense that the union was uncompetitive. The workers didn’t know their place.
This is a really good summary of Ray's position on the last page. Though dressed up in the modernist garb of hard-headed science, it's really about a pre-modern vision of the righteous inequality of humanity. The moral order that flows from the natural inequality of humans requires the lesser to know their place and not advocate against their betters. This doesn't actually have anything to do with economics, as in actual economics this isn't a moral issue, and workers who aren't paid a competitive wage are reasonably going to complain and organize and advocate for themselves.
   9605. DA Baracus Posted: November 22, 2012 at 12:16 PM (#4308020)
So are there really good deals or something on "Black Friday"?


There are good deals on small things to get you in the store to buy big things.

Wow - never saw this coming. Saxby Chambliss - "I care more about the country than a 20 year old tax pledge"


Saxby Chambliss has been saying things recently that make me like him. That disturbs me.
   9606. Dr. Vaux Posted: November 22, 2012 at 12:20 PM (#4308022)
Though dressed up in the modernist garb of hard-headed science, it's really about a pre-modern vision of the righteous inequality of humanity.


And this from a guy who slams the idea of rent control, if I recall correctly.
   9607. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: November 22, 2012 at 12:20 PM (#4308023)
This is a really good summary of Ray's position on the last page. Though dressed up in the modernist garb of hard-headed science, it's really about a pre-modern vision of the righteous inequality of humanity. The moral order that flows from the natural inequality of humans requires the lesser to know their place and not advocate against their betters.


The important thing to note, of course, are the criteria used to determine who is the better and who is the lesser. It's always money, influence, political power. Never strength, will, or jiu-jitsu, through which the sneering fancy-lad caucus that enjoys espousing the gospel of natural inequality would quickly find themselves begging for mercy. How convenient.
   9608. Random Transaction Generator Posted: November 22, 2012 at 12:22 PM (#4308024)
On your American Thanksgiving, as a Canadian I'm giving thanks that FOX News isn't being broadcast on my Canadian cable channels, so I don't have to worry about stumbling across this kind of thick-headed thinking:

Fox Pundit Jokes Food Stamps Could Be A Diet Plan
   9609. Ron J2 Posted: November 22, 2012 at 12:26 PM (#4308025)
#9363 While I appreciate the vote of confidence, I have to say that "Ron sez" is a lousy argument.

I haven't really been arguing statistics, just trying to prod the opponents to seriously look at places like Switzerland or Hong Kong or Singapore.

Late adapters (all 3 since 1993) who grade out highly in terms of economic freedom (#1, 2 and 4 in the Summary Economic Freedom Ratings for 2010)
   9610. Gotham Dave Posted: November 22, 2012 at 12:41 PM (#4308030)
This is very Gen X and before type thinking. Newer generations are starting to view work differently than Gen X'ers and before. ... [a whole bunch of stuff] ... We'll see what happens in 10 or so years when they start to have families whether or not they keep this up but right now is a great time to be a drone.

McCoy, what in God's name are you talking about? Your anecdotal experience bears absolutely no resemblance to, well, my anecdotal experience. As an actual post-Gen X person (born 1984) I can say that my peers are not enthusiastically thrusting themselves into low-paid vocational work. With some exceptions, job satisfaction isn't just low among people my age, it's non-existent. I really want to know if you're basing this whole view on one 22 year old you know, because frankly it's baffling.

"Something they had to do to earn cash so they could go out and do stuff" could not be a better description of how people I know look at work. I could count the young people I know who like their jobs on one hand.
   9611. BDC Posted: November 22, 2012 at 12:43 PM (#4308031)
I personally never get the pearl-clutching over Black Friday as a horrible, horrible ill to society, and I'm basically socialist/communist lite

I agree. I find it easy to stay out of Wal-Mart this weekend, and so it doesn't bother me personally; and as for the obscene consumption per se, in America we don't need a special day to start shopping :)

One thing that surely gets people a bit irritated is extended holiday fatigue. When I was a kid, not only did I stay off old men's lawns, but I went to school through the Wednesday of this week, and a lot of people went back to work on the Friday; but nothing was open on Thanksgiving, and the very exemption from ordinary life made it special. Now it's a week where schools close for the whole period (my university didn't, but I had almost nobody in class starting Tuesday), but people work, hard. I always greatly preferred Thanksgiving to Christmas because it was not associated with the stress of getting and giving presents, and was just a random free day with nice food and football. That ship (the Mayflower?) has long since sailed.
   9612. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 22, 2012 at 12:45 PM (#4308032)
I haven't really been arguing statistics, just trying to prod the opponents to seriously look at places like Switzerland or Hong Kong or Singapore.


I am an ACA fan and think it will drive more efficiency in the US healthcare system overall, but I don't know that any of the three mentioned are a good analogue for the US. They are so different from the US (I mean two of the are just cities) and so much smaller and more homogeneous that ... well I am not sure you can use them to compare.

However, there is a clear world wide trend for countries to move to a universal health insurance access model. I suspect even if they were not more efficient health care is such a large component of peoples lives that the people in those countries just plain want universal health care.

AT this point pretty much every first world nation has some form of it and no one has switched to it and then gone away from it. This is a clue. Libertarians and others can argue all they want, but I don't think the trend towards it is going to change any time soon.
   9613. BDC Posted: November 22, 2012 at 12:51 PM (#4308035)
there is a clear world wide trend for countries to move to a universal health insurance access model

I just started reading a novel by an American physician who grew up in Ghana (Kwei Quartey, Wife of the Gods); and learned there of the National Health Insurance Scheme instituted in that country about ten years ago. The US is not that far behind …
   9614. formerly dp Posted: November 22, 2012 at 12:53 PM (#4308036)
Black Friday is for suckers.
Cyber Monday is the real deal.
Cyber Monday's joke.
   9615. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 22, 2012 at 12:54 PM (#4308037)
I can never remember the dates for Generation X, Generation Y, etc., so I had to look it up. Here's what I found:

2000/2001-Present - New Silent Generation or Generation Z
1980-2000 - Millennials or Generation Y
1965-1979 - Generation X
1946-1964 - Baby Boom
1925-1945 - Silent Generation
1900-1924 - G.I. Generation


That "Silent generation" category is one of relatively recent vintage, since my mini-generation was formerly known as "war babies", and the one before it was called "Depression babies". In fact the first time I ever heard of that last term was in a Baseball Magazine article about Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays and Eddie Mathews.

But it's not surprising that "Baby Boomers" were the first generation with a name that stuck in the public's imagination. It's also not surprising that they were the original "Yuppies", even though that term first became used during the presidential campaign of a man born in 1936.
   9616. OCF Posted: November 22, 2012 at 12:54 PM (#4308038)
(my university didn't, but I had almost nobody in class starting Tuesday)

My university stayed open through Wednesday for the first time in several years. (Something about getting instructional days to balance out right. In the two classes I had on Wednesday ... well, I'll at least claim that I got a quorum.

And I never have gone shopping on that Friday and see no reason to start now.
   9617. Jim Wisinski Posted: November 22, 2012 at 12:55 PM (#4308039)
As I no longer work for Kmart I am off on Thanksgiving and Black Friday for the first time since 1999. One place I will definitely not be tomorrow is out shopping.

Black Friday is overrated anyway. There might be a few insane deals to be had (usually requiring lots of waiting in line or dealing with hell in the store) but for the most part you can get just as good deals on things later in the holiday season. I remember one year when our best TV deal (32" LCD TV for $300, excellent at the time) was the week before Christmas. Plus years ago when I was shopping for a computer monitor I ignored the Thanksgiving weekend insanity, waited a bit, then walked in and right out of a store with a good monitor for as low of a price as I saw anywhere on Black Friday. Anecdotes obviously but it's largely true for everything.
   9618. Gotham Dave Posted: November 22, 2012 at 12:57 PM (#4308040)
How is 2001 on "The New Silent Generation"? How can we speak confidently as to the eventual character of 0-11 year olds? Is there a connotation to "Silent Generation" that I'm missing?

E: Something to do with parallels between now and the depression?
   9619. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 22, 2012 at 12:58 PM (#4308041)
One thing that surely gets people a bit irritated is extended holiday fatigue. When I was a kid, not only did I stay off old men's lawns, but I went to school through the Wednesday of this week, and a lot of people went back to work on the Friday; but nothing was open on Thanksgiving, and the very exemption from ordinary life made it special. Now it's a week where schools close for the whole period (my university didn't, but I had almost nobody in class starting Tuesday), but people work, hard.

You're talking only about colleges, right? Because at least in the DC area, public schools were open regular hours yesterday. Our sixth grade goddaughter's one blessing was that for once she wasn't taking home three hours worth of homework.
   9620. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: November 22, 2012 at 01:06 PM (#4308045)
I never heard the term "Generation X" until about 1985 and then it was applied to fairly young kids so I am adamant that Generation X doesn't start until 1975 at the earliest so those of us born between 1965 and 1975 don't belong to any generation, so shove it, suckas.
   9621. BDC Posted: November 22, 2012 at 01:20 PM (#4308049)
at least in the DC area, public schools were open regular hours yesterday

Public schools near me in Texas were off Wednesday, at least; some districts take more.
   9622. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 22, 2012 at 01:28 PM (#4308051)
Sdeb -

A definition of generation X.which excludes both Ethan Hawke and Kurt Cobain (by several years) is ipso facto incorrect.
   9623. BDC Posted: November 22, 2012 at 01:41 PM (#4308055)
I've always been uncomfortable with generalized "Generation #" characteristics. People are born continuously, and people of different ages can share experiences while people of the same age can grow up quite differently.

Obviously there are big events that shape everyone who lives through them, but they do so across quite a range of ages; my great- and grand- and parents all lived through the Great Depression, and it left deep marks on all of them, that I couldn't help perceive as I grew up with them.
   9624. Swoboda is freedom Posted: November 22, 2012 at 01:43 PM (#4308057)
AT this point pretty much every first world nation has some form of it and no one has switched to it and then gone away from it. This is a clue

I am not sure that this is the stongest evidence. There is a bias towards the status quo. I am not saying that they are not better systems, but once a system is installed, it is hard to change. See the US trying to impliment health care reform.
   9625. Ron J2 Posted: November 22, 2012 at 01:56 PM (#4308061)
#9612 no country is a perfect comp for the US. Still, you can look at the late adapters (all of whom prize economic freedom highly) and look at how they've done. There's a great deal of fear of the unknown in the objections to ACA (from the right that is)

Things don't have to get worse for the people who are satisfied with the status quo either in terms of service or costs. Though with American exceptionalism in play ...
   9626. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 22, 2012 at 02:08 PM (#4308069)
#9612 no country is a perfect comp for the US. Still, you can look at the late adapters (all of whom prize economic freedom highly) and look at how they've done. There's a great deal of fear of the unknown in the objections to ACA (from the right that is)

There's also "American exceptionalism" in the amount of money that was poured into campaigns to defeat both Hillarycare and Obamacare. Those "Harry and Louise" ads in 1993-94 were as ubiquitous as Pepsi commercials, and equally as effective in maintaining the status quo. The irony is that the actress who played "Louise" in the anti-Hillarycare ad came out for Obamacare in 2010.
   9627. spike Posted: November 22, 2012 at 02:24 PM (#4308072)
Schools in Atlanta are off all week. One of the byproducts of the state reducing education budgets is that school systems increase days off to reduce operating expenses.

   9628. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 22, 2012 at 02:49 PM (#4308077)
This is a really good summary of Ray's position on the last page. Though dressed up in the modernist garb of hard-headed science, it's really about a pre-modern vision of the righteous inequality of humanity. The moral order that flows from the natural inequality of humans requires the lesser to know their place and not advocate against their betters.


WTF, Matt? This bears no resemblence to my position on the last page. The author says that the Hostess workers should - under this theory - just suck it up and accept a pay cut:

But nine times out of ten, this literal meaning is just a facade for the real underlying meaning, which is all about policing the socially accepted rules concerning who is a worthy human being and who is not. Workers at an industrial bakery are losers. They need to take a pay cut — not so much to make the numbers add up (that’s a secondary consideration for all the commentators and columnists) but as a ritual affirmation of their debased social status. The refusal to take the cut was shocking and revolting — an act of lèse-majesté. It’s in that sense that the union was uncompetitive. The workers didn’t know their place.


But that has never been close to anything I've argued, that workers should just take pay cuts. What I said on the last page was that if they don't like it, they can find a new job. And I think it's fine to complain internally; it's the protests and the public showings that are BS. But, then, I think that all public "protests" or demonstrations of recent decades in this country - basically since the end of the civil rights era when people actually had something legitimate to complain about - have been silly.

My position is that workers have free will. Slavery doesn't exist anymore, so pretending that workers don't have options, and that big bad employers hold all the cards, is deluded. If a worker ultimately doesn't like the job, he or she can quit.
   9629. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 22, 2012 at 02:50 PM (#4308078)
I'm curious as to compare then vs now in terms of school year length. BITD this was what our school year entailed:

Began the second Tuesday in September, anywhere from the 8th to the 14th.

Off on Columbus Day (Oct 12th) and Armistice Day (Nov. 11th)

Thanksgiving break Thurs-Sun

Christmas break 10 days, beginning the Friday before and ending the Sunday after. (With lots of Christmas and Hanukkah songs leading up to it, both sacred and secular. We agnostics just enjoyed the tunes and ignored the underlying messages.)

One day off for teachers' meetings between semesters, usually in late January. No other scheduled off days that didn't involve a formal holiday.

Washington's Birthday off, always Feb. 22nd. If the 22nd fell on a Saturday, then Friday was the holiday. If it fell on a Sunday, then it was on Monday. No day off for Lincoln's birthday, at least not in DC.

Easter break: Good Friday through the Sunday after Easter, no matter what date Easter fell on

End of classes: mid-June, with no "Summer reading assignments" to ruin our vacations
   9630. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 22, 2012 at 02:53 PM (#4308080)
What I said on the last page was that if they don't like it, they can find a new job. And I think it's fine to complain internally; it's the protests and the public showings that are BS.

Well, unless you think that public opinion is never a market factor in setting wages and working conditions, or unless you think that workers should unilaterally disarm themselves in trying to shape public opinion, then that position is itself BS.
   9631. Random Transaction Generator Posted: November 22, 2012 at 03:02 PM (#4308083)
If a worker ultimately doesn't like the job, he or she can quit.


When they do that and can't find another job (remember the 23million unemployed!) and are then on some form of government assistance to make sure they don't starve or lose their homes, someone starts trumpeting about how they are "takers" and are given "gifts" to vote for the guy that doesn't remind them of the evil CEO who ###### them over...
   9632. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: November 22, 2012 at 03:04 PM (#4308085)
Slavery doesn't exist anymore, so pretending that workers don't have options, and that big bad employers hold all the cards, is deluded. If a worker ultimately doesn't like the job, he or she can quit.


Workers have lots of options, including the option to form a union, go on strike, and flood the Internet with complaints of bad treatment. What restricts them to "take the deal or quit"?
   9633. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 22, 2012 at 03:06 PM (#4308086)
Well, unless you think that public opinion is never a market factor in setting wages and working conditions, or unless you think that workers should unilaterally disarm themselves in trying to shape public opinion, then that position is itself BS.


I think workers should be a factor in setting their own wages and working conditions. If they don't like what's being offered, say so internally, or quit. Find a new job; go into business for yourself; go to school or go back to school; move; change professions. All better options than publicly "agitating" because your employer wants you to... Rob banks? Hold customers up in the parking lot? Sell yourself into the sex trade? No. To work off hours on a holiday.
   9634. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: November 22, 2012 at 03:07 PM (#4308087)
All better options than publicly "agitating"


They're probably not better options if your metric is "likelihood to get what you want."
   9635. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 22, 2012 at 03:09 PM (#4308089)
When they do that and can't find another job (remember the 23million unemployed!)


Since 23 million unemployed leaves a gaggle of people employed, that means there are plenty of jobs out there. It is not impossible to become employed, as a great many people show.

and are then on some form of government assistance to make sure they don't starve or lose their homes, someone starts trumpeting about how they are "takers" and are given "gifts" to vote for the guy that doesn't remind them of the evil CEO who ###### them over...


Hmm. Sounds similar to how Obama and the leftists tell everyone to "live the American dream, you can make it here" - and then when the person becomes successful he is scorned and treated as a selfish prick who hasn't given his fair share.
   9636. tshipman Posted: November 22, 2012 at 03:14 PM (#4308090)
So, just to be clear here, Ray thinks that there should be no right to collectively bargain? Is that what I'm reading from this:

If they don't like what's being offered, say so internally, or quit. Find a new job; go into business for yourself; go to school or go back to school; move; change professions. All better options than publicly "agitating" because your employer wants you to... Rob banks? Hold customers up in the parking lot? Sell yourself into the sex trade? No. To work off hours on a holiday.


Is that an accurate statement of the position?
   9637. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: November 22, 2012 at 03:17 PM (#4308091)
Hmm. Sounds similar to how Obama and the leftists tell everyone to "live the American dream, you can make it here" - and then when the person becomes successful he is scorned and treated as a selfish prick who hasn't given his fair share.


Like Oprah!

You know who gets treated like a selfish prick? Selfish pricks.
   9638. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 22, 2012 at 03:19 PM (#4308092)
You know who treats successful people like selfish pricks? Selfish pricks.
   9639. Rusty Priske Posted: November 22, 2012 at 03:19 PM (#4308093)
Succssful people are not automatically selfish... it is just a common characteristic.
   9640. tshipman Posted: November 22, 2012 at 03:27 PM (#4308095)
Hmm. Sounds similar to how Obama and the leftists tell everyone to "live the American dream, you can make it here" - and then when the person becomes successful he is scorned and treated as a selfish prick who hasn't given his fair share.


Also, can you point to a statement that Obama made that scorned successful or wealthy people?

Saying that wealthy people should bear a higher proportionate tax burden is not scorning them. Saying that if we have to choose between lower taxes for rich people and medical care for seniors, we should choose medical care for seniors is not scorning successful people.
   9641. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 22, 2012 at 03:33 PM (#4308097)
Also, can you point to a statement that Obama made that scorned successful or wealthy people?


Sure:

Saying that wealthy people should bear a higher proportionate tax burden is not scorning them.


Done and done.

No, of course he's not going to say "These people deserve our scorn!" But his message is clear, and his followers aren't shy in saying it. Cite: the last several years of political discussions here on BTF.
   9642. zenbitz Posted: November 22, 2012 at 03:35 PM (#4308098)
All better options than publicly "agitating" because your employer wants you to work off-hours on a holiday


Better for whom? They can always quit. Obviously (like most people) they would prefer doing less work, or less annoying (Black Friday) work for the same or more pay. Isn't that just negotiation?

Walmart wants employees to work Black Friday because Walmart generates a ton of revenue on Black Friday. The rank-and-file can ask for more money to work holiday hours. Walmart can take it or leave it, or fire people who don't do what they say. But workers have the right (not Natural Right, which I don't believe in) to bargain collectively - they can say - No, if you fire Jimbo and Kelly for refusing to work Black Friday, then we will
a) take it to the newspapers (which is an empty threat if the public responds like Ray-Bots)
b) or they can quit/strike en mass. And they can picket stores.

If Walmart doesn't want disgruntled employees, they can pay them more. Or they can close up shop. If you are a Walmart employee who would rather quit than work holiday hours, why do you care if the business has to close down.
   9643. Random Transaction Generator Posted: November 22, 2012 at 03:40 PM (#4308099)
then when the person becomes successful he is scorned and treated as a selfish prick who hasn't given his fair share.


Really?

You believe every person who isn't "rich/successful" thinks every person who is "rich/successful" is a selfish prick?

   9644. I am going to be Frank Posted: November 22, 2012 at 03:45 PM (#4308102)
Just to add my personal experience with nationalized health care - I just came back from Taiwan. I went to a dermatologist clinic for a skin condition (duh). I am not a Taiwanese citizen, but got an appointment a couple days prior without a problem. Saw a dermatologist for about 15 minutes, got a weeks worth of two drugs and two tubes of topical drugs. Total cost was $24 (American) and was all accomplished in about an hour - this included registration, taking my weight and blood pressure, doctors consultation and all four prescriptions filled.

I have no idea how much this "really" cost and how sustainable it is but count me a fan.
   9645. Lassus Posted: November 22, 2012 at 03:52 PM (#4308105)
WTF, Matt? This bears no resemblence to my position on the last page.

You repeat endlessly that liberals are dishonest in their arguments, that they lie to themselves, to others while defending their points. I see no problem with you being whacked with the same stick.
   9646. BDC Posted: November 22, 2012 at 03:55 PM (#4308109)
Slavery doesn't exist anymore

Actually, in some American industries, it does.

Probably not at Hostess, though as zenbitz says, if Hostess can't produce Twinkies while paying a living wage, then #### Twinkies. No job at all is effectively equivalent to one you can't live on; better in some ways. The idea that unions are bad because they advocate living wages and thereby ruin industries is weird. Why should corporations have a right to keep workers in destitution? Such an industry has ruined itself, unless it resorts to measures like those taken in the Florida tomato fields.

   9647. tshipman Posted: November 22, 2012 at 03:55 PM (#4308110)
No, of course he's not going to say "These people deserve our scorn!" But his message is clear, and his followers aren't shy in saying it. Cite: the last several years of political discussions here on BTF.


So anyone who thinks that people who make more money than 250,000 should pay a higher rate than 35% is scorning the wealthy?

This is a bizarre worldview that you have.
   9648. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 22, 2012 at 04:12 PM (#4308119)
No, of course he's not going to say "These people deserve our scorn!" But his message is clear, and his followers aren't shy in saying it.


See kids when money is everything, is all important, then asking rich people to pay more is equal to scorn. For the rest of us, of course, it is not equal to scorn at all. It is simply asking rich people to pay more than they are, to pay what they were a few short years ago.
   9649. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 22, 2012 at 04:17 PM (#4308121)
I am not sure that this is the stongest evidence. There is a bias towards the status quo.


Well you are only addressing half of it. When pretty much every nation that can afford to do so is moving towards universal health insurance/health care in some form or another I think that is pretty strong evidence. It shows a tendency to move that way and a willingness for society to change things. When none of those nations that go that way, revert back to the old way I think that is also evidence.

Yes status quo is strong, but doesn't that lend strength to the first part, because that had to be overcome to get to the universal health care they now all have. Especially since there is no countervailing trend.

And no, the recent EuroCrisis has very little to do with the safety net and universal health care. Pretending it does is somewhat silly.
   9650. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 22, 2012 at 04:20 PM (#4308124)
The idea that unions are bad because they advocate living wages and thereby ruin industries is weird.


From what I have read (and I have not checked thoroughly I admit), it looks like the various management regimes sucked all the life out of hostess over the last few years and now the husk can't support itself anymore. It has very little to do with unions ruining the company(which is not what you were saying, I was expounding on, not rebutting what you were saying).
   9651. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 22, 2012 at 04:25 PM (#4308126)
So anyone who thinks that people who make more money than 250,000 should pay a higher rate than 35% is scorning the wealthy?


Never in history has any free society expected the makers to give to society so much and survived, to say nothing of prospering. The mere fact folks are talking about taking that much money from these people weakens the foundations of our great once free nation.

Or something, it is never clear to me why restoring a tax rate to what it was before is such a horror. Especially since the GOP had huge political capital and majorities in the House and Senate and could have tried to make the tax rate reductions permanent, but they decided it was best not to. So now that the rates are about to expire, just like they were written to do, now it is a crisis.
   9652. Dan The Mediocre Posted: November 22, 2012 at 06:14 PM (#4308152)
Saying that wealthy people should bear a higher proportionate tax burden is not scorning them.



Done and done.

No, of course he's not going to say "These people deserve our scorn!" But his message is clear, and his followers aren't shy in saying it. Cite: the last several years of political discussions here on BTF.


I now expect DMN to come here and tell Ray that such dogwhistle words and phrases don't actually exist.
   9653. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: November 22, 2012 at 07:08 PM (#4308160)
Done and done.


You were asked if you could point to a statement that Obama made that scorned successful or wealthy people. Instead, you pointed to a statement made by someone else. That's not "done" even once.
   9654. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: November 22, 2012 at 07:37 PM (#4308163)
i mentioned last week in the lounge and will share here that if you want a micro view into tea party congress folks watch for comments from congressman sean duffy

duffy is a box of rocks so he says what he is told to say. he is making noises about being willing to deal

   9655. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 22, 2012 at 07:52 PM (#4308164)
No, of course he's not going to say "These people deserve our scorn!" But his message is clear, and his followers aren't shy in saying it.


See kids when money is everything, is all important, then asking rich people to pay more is equal to scorn.

Hell, Ray might as well parrot his mentor directly and say that tax collectors are "stealing your life".

BTW I notice that Ray's mentor hasn't posted here since the day after the election. Hope he isn't taking it too hard that the Black Panthers stole the White House from Gary Johnson.
   9656. Rants Mulliniks Posted: November 22, 2012 at 08:26 PM (#4308167)
Since 23 million unemployed leaves a gaggle of people employed, that means there are plenty of jobs out there. It is not impossible to become employed, as a great many people show.


You really can't help yourself, can you? You would love New Brunswick, our Official Provincial Attitude during my life time and before, is You're Lucky to Have a Job. Most people will directly tell you this if you ever complain about your job or lack of advancement opportunity.
   9657. Rants Mulliniks Posted: November 22, 2012 at 08:27 PM (#4308169)
Nice 9642, zenbitz.
   9658. McCoy Posted: November 23, 2012 at 12:58 AM (#4308201)
McCoy, what in God's name are you talking about? Your anecdotal experience bears absolutely no resemblance to, well, my anecdotal experience. As an actual post-Gen X person (born 1984) I can say that my peers are not enthusiastically thrusting themselves into low-paid vocational work. With some exceptions, job satisfaction isn't just low among people my age, it's non-existent. I really want to know if you're basing this whole view on one 22 year old you know, because frankly it's baffling.

"Something they had to do to earn cash so they could go out and do stuff" could not be a better description of how people I know look at work. I could count the young people I know who like their jobs on one hand.


I'm basing it on the hundreds and hundreds of young people I have met in NYC, Philadelphia, and DC.
   9659. Dr. Vaux Posted: November 23, 2012 at 01:13 AM (#4308202)
Being a hairdresser or a butcher isn't the same thing as operating the coffee machine at Starbucks. The first two require actual skill and craft from which one could derive real satisfaction. They also probably pay at least somewhat more, because they require actual skill and craft.
   9660. McCoy Posted: November 23, 2012 at 01:15 AM (#4308203)
Probably not at Hostess, though as zenbitz says, if Hostess can't produce Twinkies while paying a living wage, then #### Twinkies. No job at all is effectively equivalent to one you can't live on; better in some ways. The idea that unions are bad because they advocate living wages and thereby ruin industries is weird. Why should corporations have a right to keep workers in destitution? Such an industry has ruined itself, unless it resorts to measures like those taken in the Florida tomato fields.

The whole living wage thing is a bit of a red herring though. Hostess can make twinkies and provide its workers a living wage. The problem is that in order to do that they need less workers and capital to invest in retooling. Unions tend to prohibit thus causing wages to go up while also having to pay for more employees. Also while Hostess has no inherent right to pay their employees peanuts and have their employees accept it no matter what employees don't have any inherent right to be employed by hostess for their entire life at a livable wage and again unions prohibit employment cycling. Hostess could get people to make Twinkies at costs less than what they are spending on union employees but the union prohibits that and by having a union it keeps employees anchored to the same job for many many years. That job stability also increases pressure on raising spending on employees as they demand more and more stuff. If Hostess could offer anyone who is willing to work for $12 an hour a job they could in fact get people to make Twinkies.

Hostess didn't go out of business because they weren't willing to pay market wages. Hostess wasn't willing to pay an artificial price and the unions most certainly bear part of the blame for that.
   9661. McCoy Posted: November 23, 2012 at 01:21 AM (#4308205)
Being a hairdresser or a butcher isn't the same thing as operating the coffee machine at Starbucks. The first two require actual skill and craft from which one could derive real satisfaction. They also probably pay at least somewhat more, because they require actual skill and craft.


I agree and I tended to stay away from bringing up places like Starbucks or McDonalds because those corporate chain monoliths tend not to be career builders for the young that they employ. If you want to find some 25 year old who is really gung ho about making coffee or espresso you don't go to Starbucks or Green Mountain or some chain like that. You go to some boutiquey coffee shop or little neighborhood coffee shop and that is where you'll find some 25 year old coffee guru who at the moment wishes only to know everything there is to know about the coffee bean. The same thing applies to burgers. You don't go to McDonalds to find some 24 year trying to create the perfect burger or trying to find the perfect condiments for a burger.

15 to 20 years ago there simply wasn't a lot of businesses that could be so "boutiquey".
   9662. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 23, 2012 at 01:22 AM (#4308206)
My favorite part of this is the newfangled concept of "working conditions," which used to relate to health and safety - things like chemical exposure, long hours operating heavy machinery, lack of safety procedures - and now relates to off hours on a holiday one unique day in a year.

Plenty of stores other than Walmart have these same hours, but since Walmart is a fetish of the left a controversy is manufactured.
   9663. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 23, 2012 at 01:52 AM (#4308215)

"Walmart has done more for poor people than any ten liberals, at least nine of whom are almost guaranteed to hate Walmart."

— Thomas Sowell
   9664. SteveF Posted: November 23, 2012 at 02:09 AM (#4308216)
...at least nine of whom are almost guaranteed to hate Walmart.


And at least six of whom shop there!

We hate the policies that lead to the low prices, but we cannot resist the lure of the low prices!
   9665. RollingWave Posted: November 23, 2012 at 02:15 AM (#4308218)
FWIW, most hair dressers in Taiwan are paid like absolute garbage, often comparable or worse than McDonalds or Star Bucks (though a small portion of well known once make a lot), but that is more of a supply issue with trade schools having stupid amount of (mostly girls) trained towards that profession.

Then again, you see the reverse for Nurses, hospital nurses are paid quite well but they simply can't find enough people... not that there isn't enough qualified once, there are, but the hospital tries to keep a bare minimum of them to save cost thus their work load is too heavy to even justify their relatively higher pay.

   9666. steagles Posted: November 23, 2012 at 02:48 AM (#4308221)
Wow - never saw this coming. Saxby Chambliss - "I care more about the country than a 20 year old tax pledge"

If Norquist can't hold the Chambliss' of the world, he's finished.

apparently, chambliss is being threatened by a potential challenge in the 2014 primaries. various members of georgia's legislature and one fairly prominent anti-abortion activist are lining up in consideration of it.

so, for all the talk about the democrats being on the defensive in two years, i think we might start to see signs of another cycle of self-immolation by batshit crazy wingnuts in the republican base.
   9667. Russ Posted: November 23, 2012 at 07:08 AM (#4308233)
Just to add my personal experience with nationalized health care - I just came back from Taiwan. I went to a dermatologist clinic for a skin condition (duh). I am not a Taiwanese citizen, but got an appointment a couple days prior without a problem. Saw a dermatologist for about 15 minutes, got a weeks worth of two drugs and two tubes of topical drugs. Total cost was $24 (American) and was all accomplished in about an hour - this included registration, taking my weight and blood pressure, doctors consultation and all four prescriptions filled.


In Quebec, there are issues with access to doctors, but that's because all doctor pay is fee-based-per-visit/procedure and they are all independent operators with a very, very strong association that restricts the number of doctors so that the working doctors can generate more money from takin more visits. Easy affordable access to care in Quebec means someone is sitting in their office not making money, so there's where the difficulty to access lies -- the fact that the physicians manipulate the access to maximize the income for those that are already practicing in Quebec. And this manifests itself in the elective, non-urgent procedures.
   9668. Lassus Posted: November 23, 2012 at 07:57 AM (#4308236)
"Walmart has done more for poor people than any ten liberals, at least nine of whom are almost guaranteed to hate Walmart." — Thomas Sowell

When I want reasonable, thoughtful thinking, I turn to a man who has compared Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler.
   9669. Rants Mulliniks Posted: November 23, 2012 at 08:32 AM (#4308238)

"Walmart has done more for to create poor people than any ten liberals, at least nine of whom are almost guaranteed to hate Walmart."

— Thomas Sowell


FTFY. Buying a POS Chinese lawnchair every two years for $7 is not cheaper than paying $20 for a good one that lasts for a decade. There is no argument that will convice me that Walmart (whose founding family is worth more than the lowest 41% of the US population, as someone pointed out upthread) is good for the US or the world. Which is why I NEVER shop there, despite the fact one is located direclty across the street from my office. Since I don't shop there, I can criticize it all I want.
   9670. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: November 23, 2012 at 08:42 AM (#4308241)
"Walmart has done more for poor people than any ten liberals,


Take that Jesus, you wuss.
   9671. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 23, 2012 at 08:56 AM (#4308243)
"Walmart has done more for poor people than any ten liberals, at least nine of whom are almost guaranteed to hate Walmart."

— Thomas Sowell


When I want reasonable, thoughtful thinking, I turn to a man who has compared Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler.

I can't think of a sadder example of the Obama Derangement Syndrome than Thomas Sowell. The same man who wrote first rate studies such as Black Education: Myths and Tragedies, Ethnic America, Knowledge and Decisions, and Affirmative Action Around the World is now going around comparing Obama to pretty much every Godwin in history, and comparing crowds at Obama rallies to the crowds at Godwin's Nuremburg rallies. The only explanation I can think of is that once he got picked up by the right wing think tanks, his opinions have become more and more narrowcast over the years, as he keeps himself firmly within their bubble. There are countless other examples of formerly sane and rational people becoming unhinged as they get older (Sowell is now 82), but given the relative dearth of serious African American conservative intellectuals with any name recognition beyond academia, IMO this is a particularly sad case.
   9672. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: November 23, 2012 at 09:33 AM (#4308251)
The only explanation I can think of is that once he got picked up by the right wing think tanks, his opinions have become more and more narrowcast over the years, as he keeps himself firmly within their bubble.


Maybe he just like the checks. I don't think there's one in ten Dittohead "pundits" who truly believe the bunkum they profess. The Ann Coulter in this clip from "The Boondocks" probably has more in common with the real off-screen Coulter than the harpy who appears on Fox News.
   9673. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 23, 2012 at 10:56 AM (#4308270)
Maybe he just like the checks. I don't think there's one in ten Dittohead "pundits" who truly believe the bunkum they profess. The Ann Coulter in this clip from "The Boondocks" probably has more in common with the real off-screen Coulter than the harpy who appears on Fox News.

I dunno, I'm almost as cynical as you are about these characters, but unlike a clown like Coulter, Sowell actually has written some worthwhile books, and didn't begin by being a schtick artist. The tone of his earlier writing, especially his books, has little or nothing in common with the bilge he's writing about Obama.

IMO the best rule of thumb is that 100% of the radio and TV wingnuts are a mixture of cynicism and theatrics, but that most of the right wing print columnists** are like Sowell, in that they weren't always as obsessed with Obama (and with that whole idiotic "socialism" line) as they are today, but that there's something about the water they're swimming in that makes them lose a bit more of it each year. OTOH unlike the cases of the O'Reillys and the Coulters and the Limbaughs, I think there's more to it than just the checks.

And it's not a universal pattern, either. Buckley and Goldwater got saner as they aged, others like Frum remain conservative but independent of faction, and writers like Brooks and Gerson don't engage in the sort of unhinged rhetoric that guys like Krauthammer and Will do. Much as it may seem from the outside sometimes, they're not really all alike.

**Not counting the ones who write for the Moonie paper, since their target audience has always been their fellow loons.
   9674. McCoy Posted: November 23, 2012 at 11:50 AM (#4308289)
FTFY. Buying a POS Chinese lawnchair every two years for $7 is not cheaper than paying $20 for a good one that lasts for a decade. There is no argument that will convice me that Walmart (whose founding family is worth more than the lowest 41% of the US population, as someone pointed out upthread) is good for the US or the world. Which is why I NEVER shop there, despite the fact one is located direclty across the street from my office. Since I don't shop there, I can criticize it all I want.

So let us say that theoretically you could buy a $20 lawnchair and have it last a decade. How many Americans do you think that would employ if you only had to buy a chair once every ten years? Furthermore if chairs that last a decade are the new in thing what makes you think that China can't come out with a chair that lasts a decade for $12?

Cheap Imported products are not as bad as a lot of people make them out to be. Trying to argue that cheap product manaufacturing should come back to America has been a losing argument for at least 70 years now.
   9675. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 23, 2012 at 12:21 PM (#4308304)
I dunno, I'm almost as cynical as you are about these characters, but unlike a clown like Coulter, Sowell actually has written some worthwhile books, and didn't begin by being a schtick artist.


She's a joke now, but Coulter actually had a serious legal career at the outset, and even at the beginning of her foray into legal commentary, she was a serious commentor on con law issues. Then she became a loon. (Which I'm convinced is an act to make money, like Rush Limbaugh or Al Gore, but whatever.) But she did not begin by being a schtick artist. That only happened within the last 15 years, believe it or not.
   9676. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 23, 2012 at 12:24 PM (#4308305)
And it's not a universal pattern, either. Buckley and Goldwater got saner as they aged, others like Frum remain conservative but independent of faction, and writers like Brooks and Gerson don't engage in the sort of unhinged rhetoric that guys like Krauthammer and Will do. Much as it may seem from the outside sometimes, they're not really all alike.


So as people agree with you, they become "saner" and more "hinged." Got it.
   9677. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 23, 2012 at 12:28 PM (#4308307)
So let us say that theoretically you could buy a $20 lawnchair and have it last a decade. How many Americans do you think that would employ if you only had to buy a chair once every ten years?

That's the $640,000,000,000 question about the future of the American economy. If only there were a simple answer to it.
   9678. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 23, 2012 at 12:42 PM (#4308314)
I dunno, I'm almost as cynical as you are about these characters, but unlike a clown like Coulter, Sowell actually has written some worthwhile books, and didn't begin by being a schtick artist.

She's a joke now, but Coulter actually had a serious legal career at the outset, and even at the beginning of her foray into legal commentary, she was a serious commentor on con law issues.


Maybe so, but what did she ever publish that was remotely comparable to the depth of Thomas Sowell's? The fact that I was only dimly aware of a few references to her past (sane) life doesn't mean anything, but a quick search on Amazon doesn't come up with anything beyond the stuff we all know too well. Whereas with Sowell you can come up with many titles that manage to express an empirically conservative POV quite nicely without comparing Democrats to mass murdering dictators.

And it's not a universal pattern, either. Buckley and Goldwater got saner as they aged, others like Frum remain conservative but independent of faction, and writers like Brooks and Gerson don't engage in the sort of unhinged rhetoric that guys like Krauthammer and Will do. Much as it may seem from the outside sometimes, they're not really all alike.

So as people agree with you, they become "saner" and more "hinged." Got it.


What, you think that I agree with three writers who supported Mitt Romney in an election that IMO provided one of the clearest choices in my lifetime? Get real.

The difference is that Frum, Brooks and Gerson make the case for conservatism without having to resort to an endless series of strawmen and boogeymen in order to do so. You might actually take the time to read some of the writings of the people I've referred to above before pressing your autopilot button.
   9679. BDC Posted: November 23, 2012 at 12:46 PM (#4308317)
That's the $640,000,000,000 question

It's an intriguing question about human economic behavior in general. I'm sure as hell not keeping anybody in Japan employed by driving my fabulously reliable 1999 Honda Civic. (Or to be more precise, anybody in Canada, where it was assembled.)

People who make and sell truly durable goods are choosing one strategy: they're banking on a population that grows and becomes better off, so that there will be a market for high-quality stuff for decades to come. Foisting some piece of crap on people requires different assumptions and shorter views.

Both strategies can coexist in the same economy, and I reckon they always have. ("These pyramids last 5,000 years." "These pyramids will save you 100,000 ephods.")

And it should be noted that this dynamic has very little to do with China per se. I've had my Chinese cellphone for four years of flipping, dropping, shaking, texting and otherwise every-moment use, and even the tiny little wisp of barely-attached plastic that you open to insert the charger plug still works like it did in 2008. Everybody has cheap Chinese products in their home and everybody has superbly-made, indestructible Chinese products. It depends on the strategy of the manufacturer, not where the factory is.
   9680. Morty Causa Posted: November 23, 2012 at 12:52 PM (#4308321)
That only happened within the last 15 years, believe it or not.


Only within the last 15 years? Like it was only yesterday that for one brief shining moment she showed she had a brain, and the continuing dumbassness of the last 15 years can be waved away like an insignificant gnat.

   9681. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 23, 2012 at 12:57 PM (#4308327)
Only within the last 15 years? Like it was only yesterday that for one brief shining moment she showed she had a brain, and the continuing dumbassness of the last 15 years can be waved away like an insignificant gnat.


This is where political discussions get silly. Cheap shots like this designed to marginalize the speaker. I was responding to Andy's comment that Coulter "didn't begin by being a schtick artist." Go scratch, Morty.
   9682. Mefisto Posted: November 23, 2012 at 01:03 PM (#4308329)
So let us say that theoretically you could buy a $20 lawnchair and have it last a decade. How many Americans do you think that would employ if you only had to buy a chair once every ten years?


Luddite.
   9683. Morty Causa Posted: November 23, 2012 at 01:16 PM (#4308336)
This is where political discussions get silly. Cheap shots like this designed to marginalize the speaker. I was responding to Andy's comment that Coulter "didn't begin by being a schtick artist." Go scratch, Morty.


No, they begin silly when someone attempts to defend the indefensible because of some extreme outlier moment that has no bearing as to the person in question's present standing. Who knows and who gives a #### whether Coutler was level-headed years ago for one ephemeral moment? Well, you do because you will go to absurd lengths to defend the indefensible irrelevantly.
   9684. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 23, 2012 at 01:24 PM (#4308341)
No, they begin silly when someone attempts to defend the indefensible because of some extreme outlier moment that has no bearing as to the person in question's present standing. Who knows and who gives a #### whether Coutler was level-headed years ago for one ephemeral moment? Well, you do because you will go to absurd lengths to defend the indefensible irrelevantly.


I was responding to a narrow point Andy made. In the same response, I called Coulter a joke and a loon. WTF?

Can someone help here?


   9685. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 23, 2012 at 01:34 PM (#4308348)
Can someone help here?


Ray it is a rare moment but yeah it was clear you were just saying Coulter did not start as a joke, but she is there now. You were not in any way defending her.

EDIT: To be clear the rare moment is me defending Ray.
   9686. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 23, 2012 at 02:03 PM (#4308371)
Ray it is a rare moment but yeah it was clear you were just saying Coulter did not start as a joke, but she is there now. You were not in any way defending her.

Yeah, Ray wasn't defending Coulter in any way beyond noting that she wasn't necessarily always a total loon.

But unlike Sowell, Krauthammer and Will, Coulter's derangement syndrome emerged from the moment she became a public figure. It didn't incubate within her for several decades before blossoming forth in full flower, the way it did for those other three. So despite whatever academic accomplishment she might be able to claim, she's still in the category of Limbaugh, Savage and Hannity rather than in a category with Sowell, Krauthammer and Will.
   9687. Lassus Posted: November 23, 2012 at 02:05 PM (#4308373)
I support Ray's position on Morty.
   9688. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 23, 2012 at 03:01 PM (#4308404)
I support Ray's position on Morty.


I like having Morty around. His posts often make me think, agree, disagree, or flat don't understand what he is getting at.
   9689. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 23, 2012 at 03:16 PM (#4308414)
I like having Morty around. His posts often make me think, agree, disagree, or flat don't understand what he is getting at.

Hell, I've been at Morty's throat too many times to count, but AFAIC in the end he's one of the more valuable posters we've got. Unlike some people, he doesn't duck questions, and he doesn't evade the points you're making even when he seems to have painted himself into a corner. And besides, what good is it just to be around people who always agree with you?

OTOH anyone who thinks screwball a la Lubitsch is the highest form of comedy has seriously got a screw loose somewhere. (smile)
   9690. zenbitz Posted: November 23, 2012 at 03:20 PM (#4308415)
@9659 what about barristas that put those little hearts and leaves in your espresso foam? Talentless hacks?
   9691. Gotham Dave Posted: November 23, 2012 at 03:30 PM (#4308422)
If you think intentionally shoddy, resource-wasting crap-goods are essential to the survival of capitalism, then maybe capitalism isn't working out so hot.

To clarify, I am not against capitalism (or not against free markets, anyway), but a line of thinking consisting of "if we bought nice chairs instead of #### ones (and nice lamps, and nice fans, and nice kitchenware, etc) things would come falling down because there wouldn't be enough busy work for people to earn the right to exist in society by drawing a pittance of a paycheck" is not really one that comes across as supportive of capitalism.
   9692. McCoy Posted: November 23, 2012 at 04:06 PM (#4308437)
If you think intentionally shoddy, resource-wasting crap-goods are essential to the survival of capitalism, then maybe capitalism isn't working out so hot.

To clarify, I am not against capitalism (or not against free markets, anyway), but a line of thinking consisting of "if we bought nice chairs instead of #### ones (and nice lamps, and nice fans, and nice kitchenware, etc) things would come falling down because there wouldn't be enough busy work for people to earn the right to exist in society by drawing a pittance of a paycheck" is not really one that comes across as supportive of capitalism.


Um, no. 2 points. One, is that the amount of jobs that would be created in America by manufacturing "quality" lawnchairs would be extremely minimal due to demand and two, the Chinese or some other foreign manufacturer could build a "quality" lawnchair at a lower price than an American made lawnchair thus making it futile to even bother trying to do it.

As I and others have said the notion that foreign cheap goods are shoddy and that somehow American made goods are superior is comically wrong.
   9693. Srul Itza At Home Posted: November 23, 2012 at 04:24 PM (#4308440)
As I and others have said the notion that foreign cheap goods are shoddy and that somehow American made goods are superior is comically wrong.


I remember in the 60's (and probably in the 50's, but I was too young then) when "Made in Japan" was a punchline for something being cheap and shoddy. Around the time that Sony and Honda were cleaning our clocks in manufacturing highly-demanded, well-made high-quality products, the joke turned around on itslef, a la Back to the Future III
   9694. Lassus Posted: November 23, 2012 at 04:26 PM (#4308442)
As I and others have said the notion that foreign cheap goods are shoddy and that somehow American made goods are superior is comically wrong.

The idea that many foreign cheap goods are not shoddy has nothing at all to do with the fact that there are still a lot of foreign cheap goods that are indeed shoddy.
   9695. Srul Itza At Home Posted: November 23, 2012 at 04:33 PM (#4308446)
Not to mention dangerous, as the numerous reports of toxic products coming out of China attest.
   9696. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: November 23, 2012 at 04:58 PM (#4308452)
frackingpalooza


http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/23/business/america-shale-gas-ferguson-stevens/index.html?c=homepage-t
   9697. McCoy Posted: November 23, 2012 at 05:29 PM (#4308460)
The idea that many foreign cheap goods are not shoddy has nothing at all to do with the fact that there are still a lot of foreign cheap goods that are indeed shoddy.

So? For some oddball reason it is believed that if they were made in America those shoddy items wouldn't be shoddy is wrong. The Chinese are not making cheap "shoddy" goods because they don't know how to make better items but because the market is demanding "shoddy" goods and if there was no China and all goods had to be made in America they would still be "shoddy" goods. The only difference is that they would cost more.
   9698. McCoy Posted: November 23, 2012 at 05:29 PM (#4308461)
Not to mention dangerous, as the numerous reports of toxic products coming out of China attest.

Yep, America the land of the safe products.
   9699. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 23, 2012 at 05:47 PM (#4308465)
Yep, America the land of the safe products.


Compared to China? Yes. The quality control and regulations around many of the Chinese factories is horrific. I have friends who do import and basically you have to really do a whole bunch of extra QC work around Chinese goods, especially from a factory you have not worked with before.

There are many good ones, but there are many fly-by-night make a quick buck places there and the distance and lack of good regulatory mechanisms make it very bad.
   9700. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: November 23, 2012 at 06:50 PM (#4308478)
bitter

that is old, old news. i have been working with asian plants since the early 90's. what you have in china is no different than other countries providing low cost manufacturing.

many chinese plants have extraordinary quality control relative to what you can find in many other places including the u.s.

your friends must be working in the promotional products industry. that's a hotbed of issues be it in china, vietnam or anywhere else where cheap cr9p is being made for no good purpose other than to be handed out a lame conference in las vegas or orlando
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