« The Fairness Doctrine Meets The Blogosphere | Main | Filibuster! »

July 16, 2007

Comments

"Drum's offhand snidery"

Again, I think you've made a simple misreading of a sloppy sentence. The context makes it clear he's talking about a limited set of very rich people of a particular sort as described in the article he's discussing.

"It's not class warfare until the poor start shooting back."

Why is "Class warfare" always described as something bad, anyway? I almost always see it invoked by conservatives, which makes it especially weird, since I thought conservatives were all for competition.

I mean, leaving aside the fact the rich have been carrying on undeclared class warfare against the poor (i.e. everybody else) for years now.

Why is "Class warfare" always described as something bad, anyway?

Well, my answer (re: why "class warfare" is bad) is reflected in the above post.

The context makes it clear he's talking about a limited set of very rich people of a particular sort as described in the article he's discussing.

Maybe that's what Drum intended, though it's not what he wrote. But the quick turn of phrase -- and the fact that so many folks are defending Drum even broadly understood -- makes the point worth discussing. Indeed, if, at the end of the day, Drum comes out and says "hey silly folks, that's not what I really meant," would it change much (if anything) regarding my point? I mean, I'm saying "that's class warfare" and a not-insubstantial number of commentators are responding "bring it on."

if i call you an "asshole", are we at war ? is that warfare ?

if i call you an "asshole", are we at war ? is that warfare ?

Possibly. Are you (1) killing the vonnites and/or (2) blockading the vonnite ports whilst doing so?

Okey dokey. I have tried to stay out of this one, except for apparently futile attempts to get back to the topic, and to tone down the vitriol, but what the heck.

First, on a tangential matter: this was von's blog before I was ever involved with it, and I would really appreciate not being enlisted in any argument that purports to show that he shouldn't have written any post he ever writes. Fwiw, I can't speak to Gary's traffic stats, not being familiar with them, but I do follow ours; and while our readership has gone up a lot since I joined, that's true of the blogosphere as a whole; and I think our position in it is roughly what it was when I joined. Maybe a bit higher, maybe not, but not much. It was von, Moe, Edward, and Katherine who did the hard work of getting into the upper middle tier, not me.

So everything I am about to say should be read with the caveat: this is my opinion, and it has, if anything, less weight than von's. At least, according to me.

Onwards: I thought that von's post made a mountain out of a molehill, and that if you read Drum's line in context, especially if you've already read the article he's commenting on, it's pretty clear that he's talking about the very very very rich, not the merely rich. I also am not wild about slamming commenters on the front page, or about the particular word von is making so much of.

But jeez: it in no way warranted the comment thread that followed. Honestly.

Personally, I suspect that a bunch of people share Jes' motivation: we know perfectly well that von can write stellar posts, and this wasn't one of them. Plus, a lot of us wish he'd post here more often. So when he turns up and posts something that's slight, -- well, you know the rest.

But this reaction, while understandable, is so completely not the way to fix any of the problems that lead to it that it makes me want to tear my hair out.

Likewise, von's reaction.

I think I'm going to run out and buy a wig now, while whistling "Kumbaya" through gritted teeth.

If your point is worth discussing, it ought to be worth discussing outside the controversial reading you've made of Drum's sentence. Perhaps you could give your view of the Gilded Age article, for example - it might be more useful than implying people in the conversation are opposed to "allowing folks to become very, very wealthy".

von, it's funny how it's always "class warfare" when the poor harp on the rich and laudable "business as usual" when the rich screw the poor.

Von, you seem to be defining class warfare as just as people attacking the rich. So I ask you, which is more fitting of the term "warfare", calling someone an asshole, or bribing and lobbying politicians to enrich yourself and your company at the expense of everybody else, and to make sure you don't have to pay taxes on it? Which is more like warfare, suggesting that the rich taxes of the same kind of percent of their income as everyone else, or having your company throw its pension promises on the government to make the profits for next quarter?

Somehow, a general agreement that yes, rich people are assholes seems much less like warfare than enriching yourself and your buddies at the expense of the public, or writing IP laws for Congress that let you sue kids and grandmothers for tens of thousands of dollars for every song they download, or moving your factory to China to avoid environmental laws and pay almost nothing, or constantly requiring your employees to change health care plans and pay more, or buying up a newspaper and cutting the budget so the local reporting goes down the tubes and the rest of the reporters are so busy they just reprint press releases, or...

No wonder the rich are winning the class war, calling them assholes is like taking a peashooter against a howitzer.

"The context makes it clear he's talking about a limited set of very rich people of a particular sort as described in the article he's discussing."

Maybe that's what Drum intended, though it's not what he wrote.

Oh, but he did, von, he did, which is clear to anyone who clicks through, and as I quoted in the other comment thread. You apparently think we are all too stupid to click through. So be it.

The rest of this is so chock full of dumb strawmen and misguided defensiveness that I begin to suspect that there are two people who post as "von." One is an intelligent, educated, successful attorney, and the other is . . . not.

Von - you are making the classic mistake of thinking class is about money - it's not. It's about privilege. Money is tied into the whole equation, in the US especially, but it's far from the whole story.

Class is why Scooter Libby gets a commutation, his client Frank Rich gets a pardon, and no-name regular guys get hard time for the exact same offenses. Class is why prosecutorial misconduct directed at members of a high status sports team at an elite university gets front page coverage and widespread appeals for help with legal fees, while vastly worse conduct directed at people with no connections to power won't even make the Metro section of the local paper.

Class is why there will never be a wind farm off the Hamptons. It's not a matter of money alone, and it's not a Democrat/Republican issue. It's a simple matter of one set of rules for those with connections to power and another set of rules for everyone else.

Possibly. Are you (1) killing the vonnites and/or (2) blockading the vonnite ports whilst doing so?

let's just call it Tough Sanctions .

"I think I'm going to run out and buy a wig now, while whistling 'Kumbaya' through gritted teeth."

I wrote a very long response to Von in this thread, which after some thought, I've chosen not to post.

But the gist was that Von can do much better, and I hope he will again. Elaboration of how and why he's not probably won't help.

"...I would really appreciate not being enlisted in any argument that purports to show that he shouldn't have written any post he ever writes."

I don't think anyone did that, but insofar as you seem to be responding to my tangential point that you, and to some degree Katherine, have pushed ObWi's visibility up very strongly in the liberal/left/Democratic blosophere in the past year or more in no way reflects anything in the least negative about any other blogger here, or all the hard work Moe and Edward and Von and Katherine, of course. That seems utterly unnecessary to say, since one thing has absolutely nothing to do with the other -- that Einstein did great work doesn't insult Isaac Newton's great work -- but since Hilzoy seems to be concerned, I'll redundantly restate the obvious that everyone knows.

Which is a poor way of saying that, despite my own perception of what I've said, to any degree that I expressed any such thought that bothered Hilzoy, as regards the contributions of other ObWi contributors, I apologize.

Perhaps you could give your view of the Gilded Age article, for example - it might be more useful than implying people in the conversation are opposed to "allowing folks to become very, very wealthy".

OK, I'll play: I thought that the Gilded Age article -- particularly the portion Drum focused on -- to be beyond stupid. Businessmen assign themselves a "heroic role"? Really? I didn't get that from Lew Frankfort's comment that "To be successful ... you now needed vision, lateral thinking, courage and an ability to see things, not the way they were but how they might be." Which seems, by the bye, to be a pretty accurate statement. Now, would it have been more complete -- and less egotistical -- for Lew to also acknowledge the role of luck? Sure. But, though luck might have been necessary, it wasn't sufficient.

Nor did I find the article particularly distressing. Or, aside from its poor reporting and editorilizing, distressing at all. As the article concedes, as a portion of GDP, the uber-rich have a much smaller share during this alleged "gilded age" than during the last. By order of magnitudes smaller. And most of these folks created real, massive value -- the same way that such value has always been created: by selling things that people want.

I'm also not impressed by Drum's reluctant concession that maybe it's OK to be wealthy if you're really innovative. A lot of what the folks in the article did was innovative -- and brought far more pleasure, and higher standards of living, to more of the world than anything Bill Gates did.


I've known some pretty decent very, very wealthy people - through various family connections, folks like the managing producer of what was at the time the #2 record company, a number of famous actors and their families, and so on. I've also met some very nice guys in big gangs. Just as gang members as a class are responsible for a lot of urban violence and drug abuse, despite some of them being fine folks individually, so the very, very wealthy as a class are responsible for a big chunk of the support for the class welfare policies of the conservative movement machine. Personally, I'd prefer to mostly ignore the rich, and I will be glad to do so when (for instance) wealth and income are again treated as equal in the eyes of the tax code, there's no more mass shifting of risk and misery down on the lower classes, our physical and social infrastructure are no longer being neglected or actively destroyed, and like that. When the rich are again more like the rest of us when it comes to burdens and rewards from government, much of my attention will go elsewhere, and I'm sure that many others who are currently feeling the class warfare bite would do likewise.

But it's hard to do when as a matter of simple fact the state is advancing a set of agendas that has been part of the society of the topmost in wealth since the late 19th century. These folks have spent the last three to five generations dreaming of undoing everything since the Gilded Age, and working to make it happen. It's not paranoid to note that, nor mean-spirited to deny them an unopposed triumph.

Well, the point is, people who become rich in our society do so in part as a result of their own efforts, but also because of the efforts of millions of other people who built a society in which it was possible to become rich that way. They wouldn't be billionaires today if they'd been born into a family of Nigerien goat herders. Microsoft
was the creation of millions of people, not just Bill Gates.

Rich people who forget this, who act as if they owe nothing back to the society that made them what they are, are aptly described as assholes.

I'd prefer Smart Sanctions. Tough sanctions are too clumsy and easy to game. Intelligently designed smart sanctions provide the poor with enhanced target behavior modification tools and improved rich re-education flexibility.

And for togolosh, it's "Marc Rich" (although for a moment it was fun wracking my brain trying to remember what NY Times columnist Frank Rich did to deserve a Presidential pardon).

Oh, but he did, von, he did, which is clear to anyone who clicks through, and as I quoted in the other comment thread. You apparently think we are all too stupid to click through. So be it.

Yes, Phil, I think you are all too stupid to click through. I mean, it can't be that I have a different opinion. I must regard you, and everyone else who reads this blog, to be stupid.

"Fwiw, I can't speak to Gary's traffic stats, not being familiar with them,"

Trivially, if you click on the SiteMeter icon on the bottom of my page, there they are: public. That they're way down in the past year is only my own fault, of course: I've been highly depressed, and up to only relatively little posting (chattering in comments on other blogs involves almost none of the blocks I have, for reasons I won't go into here).

I'll sign onto Nate's 2:29 PM, and togolosh's 2:32, save for this amusement: "his client Frank Rich gets a pardon"

Free Frank Rich! Pardon his columns!

Don't believe he's related to Marc Rich, though. (Who is not "Mark Rich," either.) :-)

"Possibly. Are you (1) killing the vonnites and/or (2) blockading the vonnite ports whilst doing so?"

I fail to understand this remark: are poor people killing rich people for being rich in the US these days? Did I miss some news stories?

More interesting, is, in fact, "class warfare" something that can only be waged (via speech) by the poor and middle class against the rich? Is it possible for the rich to wage class warfare? Could you give three examples of that, in your view, or is that not possible in your view, Von? I'd really like to know, and I bet I'm not the only one.

The actual words that Kevin actually wrote, and the subset of "rich people" he was clearly discussing, are not actually a matter of opinion, von.

although for a moment it was fun wracking my brain trying to remember what NY Times columnist Frank Rich did to deserve a Presidential pardon

Just wait.

Von - you are making the classic mistake of thinking class is about money - it's not. It's about privilege. Money is tied into the whole equation, in the US especially, but it's far from the whole story.

Class is why Scooter Libby gets a commutation, his client Frank Rich gets a pardon, and no-name regular guys get hard time for the exact same offenses.

No, no, no. Now you're talking connections, not class. There's overlap, but they are not the same thing.

And if the poor really wanted to make it difficult for the rich to continue their hegemony, they'd enact and enforce a strict No-Fly Zone for the rich across the entire continent.

The luxury rail and sea travel industries could probably be talked into supporting such a plan.

Snidery -- left, liberal, centrist, or right -- directed in the main post at commenters who have no equivalent forum in which to respond, is bad form.

Delivering such snidery and then bailing on the thread for the rest of the day and half the next is also bad form.

For the sake of ObWi's worksafeness and general reputation it would be best if post titles were 'asshole'-free zones. Although it's a somewhat offensive term, I have no problems with its use -- in moderation -- in posts or comments.

Von, many of us look forward to future posts from you on other subjects.

Rea makes the point I wanted to, but better than I can with the lost sleep I've had lately: yes, that's exactly it, the wealthiest don't get that way without a tremendous amount of support from others. The good ones acknowledge this and try to preserve the system that makes it possible. There aren't enough good ones.

"Really? I didn't get that from Lew Frankfort's comment that 'To be successful ... you now needed vision, lateral thinking, courage and an ability to see things, not the way they were but how they might be.' Which seems, by the bye, to be a pretty accurate statement."

No, no, nothing self-idolizing about that sort of self-characterization! How could anyone think that?

And, absolutely, in the U.S., wealth is generated by merit: privilege has nothing to do with it in our classless, non-European, society, that stands for freedom!

Jack Abramoff epitomizes how accurate it is to attribute being "successfull" only to vision, lateral thinking, courage and a lot of bribes.

Michael Ovitz getting $140 million he was paid for 14 months of work as president at Walt Disney? Complete deserved, since he sent Disney's stock and business into the tank! Merit!

Top honors go to Gary Smith at Ciena. His shareholders have been virtually wiped out -- losing 93% in the past four years. His compensation over that period: $41.2 million.
Merit!
Jure Sola, the CEO and chairman at Sanmina-SCI collected $26.4 million during the past four years while Sanmina shares fell 78%. The bulk of Sola's pay came in the form of a performance bonus of $19.9 million, paid for hitting one recent quarter's targets.
Merit! Vision!
Sun Microsystems paid Scott McNealy, its CEO, chairman and founder, $13.1 million a year over the past four years, even as Sun's shareholders lost 76% of their money.
Courage! Ability to see clearly!
Shares of supermarket chain Albertson's (ABS, news, msgs) fell 39% over the past four years. Despite this dismal record, Albertsons CEO and Chairman Larry Johnston collected a total of $76.2 million in that time.
Boldness! Success at losing billions!
Under CEO Peter Dolans watch at Bristol-Myers Squibb, shareholders have seen the stock decline by 48% over the past four years. Dolan took home $41 million.
Meritmeritmerit! Who can deny it?!

Looks like I'm having a busy day, so just dropping back to urge people to resist the meta.

Now you're talking connections, not class.

Just to note Scooter Libby is the son of an investment banker.

"Class warfare", I've always thought, is a term with a specific meaning that has been deployed by von to describe something else (ad hominem, sweeping generalization), in somewhat the same way as another front-page poster misuses "race-baiting" (a far more egregarious sin).

Now, would it have been more complete -- and less egotistical -- for Lew to also acknowledge the role of luck? Sure.

I think it would have been nice for Lew to acknowledge the massive government intervention in the economy -- organized by people like himself -- necessary to make him and the rest of the people in the article so incredibly rich.

This really isn't a difficult thing to understand. Adam Smith was writing about it in 1776.

@rilkefan: Good advice, discretion better part of valor, substance usually prefereable, etc. But this is an open thread in which von invited discussion on the questions I addressed.

"No, no, no. Now you're talking connections, not class. There's overlap, but they are not the same thing."

Connections and class pretty much are the same thing, actually. Nobody denies that there's some flexibility in being able to move from class to class in the US (although your odds of becoming one of the top 1% of the wealthy turn out to be 99 to 1, all other things being the same -- but the odds actually vary according to your status when born).

But having connections is precisely a key example of the privileges some have via family and birth -- or through having risen purely by merit -- into a position where you have opportunities and privileges not available to those in the classes now beneath you.

A bum with connections to billionaires is pretty much an oxymoron, absent perhaps relatives who are junkies, or successful people who fell into being junkies, maybe. And whether a billionaire has connections to bums doesn't matter.

Basically "connections" means "having the ability to use those connections to leverage yourself into greater success." That, in turn, tends to lead to rising in economic class.

Gary, that was great. I needed a laugh, and "Merit!" did it precisely.

I will say, seriously, that I would begrudge the uber bonuses to the successful very much less if there were genuine risks for failure.

This wasn't Drum's only sloppy post. To me, this one was much worse because he misleadingly focused on Iraqi troops at Level 1 status and said nothing about those at Level 2 (in the lead but with coalition logistical support). Cite.

far more egregarious sin

I like this new word. "Egregarious": denoting maliciousness disguised as chumminess, perhaps?

this just in : Dems grow a pair, threaten to restore traditional meaning of 'filibuster'.

"To me, this one was much worse because he misleadingly focused on Iraqi troops at Level 1 status and said nothing about those at Level 2 (in the lead but with coalition logistical support)."

Since that's apparently relevant, Charles, could you address your sloppy and misleading posts in which you go on and on about statistics of Iraqis killed, and Americans killed, and whatnot, while never ever ever focusing on the fact that that military stats are completely irrelevant to the actual political benchmarks the Iraqi government continually fails to meet?

This wouldn't seem relevant to this thread, but it's an open thread, and since you're a blog-owner and opened the topic, I assume you wanted responses about your topic of Iraq. I look forward to your post correcting your endless "sloppiness" (obviously not a word you'll find offensive when applied to a fine blogger).

OK, Charles, I'll bite: Why is it misleading to focus on units at Level 1 readiness, if one takes as given -- as is clear from the context -- that the goal is for us to be the hell out of there one day? I mean, he stipulates three different times what kind of readiness he's referring to, so what, exactly, is "misleading" here?

I feel like I woke up like Robert Klein in that Twilight Zone episode where all of a sudden words have completely different meanings.

I like this new word. "Egregarious": denoting maliciousness disguised as chumminess, perhaps?

I invented it! All royalties and movie rights belong to me.

Basically "connections" means "having the ability to use those connections to leverage yourself into greater success." That, in turn, tends to lead to rising in economic class.

But this feature of human behaviour is not unique to the ueber-rich, the upper class or even capitalist socities.

Marc, Frank - either way, they're Rich and I'm not :-)

As far as connections vs. class - They all tie together, and money can buy connections as well. There are also layers and levels of class, with hyperfine divisions that are only visible to people in the thick of it.

"But this feature of human behaviour is not unique to the ueber-rich, the upper class or even capitalist socities."

No, it isn't. But having connections to the uber-rich isn't typical of middle class or lower class people. Having such connections to a specific class of people -- at whatever level of wealth -- isn't unique to that class of people, but it is typical.

Observations about groups and classes of entities are, necessarily, generalities, with exceptions: they accurately describe tendencies, not individuals.

Gary's "merit" post captures a lot of my thoughts on this. I don't mind people making a lot of money, even giant gobs of it, the old-fashioned way. The incomes of top athletes and performers, for example, track pretty directly to their performance, and the willingness of fans to pay to watch it. Fine.

The income of many entrepreneurs comes from producing products people want. Fine. Even the income of some CEO's is earned by their work for a company. But for too many it isn't. It's just cronyism. And even when it's not, it often is attributable to factors outside their control.

Want a big bonus because your stock went up? Well, the whole market went up. Stock prices are strongly correlated. The company was exceptionally profitable all because of the CEO?

Bertolt Brecht had something to say about that.

Another point. Whatever the sources of wealth, the recent tax code changes do, in my opinion, tend to create an aristocracy. Combine reduced or nonexistent estate taxes with reduced taxes on capital income and you have a strong formula for entrenched wealth that has little to do with its holders having provided something valuable to society. Imagine tens of thousands of Paris Hiltons running around.

So there are indeed plenty of undeserving (as well as deserving) rich in the country.

I like this new word. "Egregarious": denoting maliciousness disguised as chumminess, perhaps?

I invented it! All royalties and movie rights belong to me.

Shouldn't "E-gregarious" mean "to be gregarious online"? And iGregarious is what Mac users are?

Complaining about class and connections in America always makes me want to say "Compared to???". So I will.

Compared to Communist societies where connections and party membership were almost everything?

Compared to France or Germany where class determines getting into one of the top high schools and then very few top universities and is much more linked to success in government than the parallel Ivy League system in the US? (And where success in government is much more important than the US).

Compared to the UK?

Compared to Saudi Arabia, where you are actually born into the royal family or not with enormous ramifications based soley on that?

Class and connections get you lots of things (many of them nt even money) in every society in the world. Complaining about that fact is fine, but has very little to do with the 'evils' of capitalism. You're reaching back to a much older complaint--human nature.

"Even the income of some CEO's is earned by their work for a company. But for too many it isn't. It's just cronyism. And even when it's not, it often is attributable to factors outside their control."

Exactly. To note this isn't to deny that plenty of people are "legitimately" rich, and it isn't to be against people getting or being rich, of course.

In case Von is unclear, I'm all for people getting rich! In fact, I'd like everyone to get rich. And I'd like government to help provide a level playing field for that to happen.

I'm all for actual merit being highly rewarded! I have nothing against people earning a few million dollars a year.

But the idea that most or all wealth is produced by merit, and merit alone, is absolute horsepucky. Complete garbage. Nonsense. Right-wing myth, which has nothing to do with the real world, save to be an argument against taxation or government spending on helping people in need.

It's plain fact that while plenty of people get to be successful through hard work and cleverness and being in the right place at the right time with the right skills, being in the right place at the right time with the right skills is utterly necessary.

If you're alone on a desert island, or in the Gobi Desert, you're not going to be earning any wealth, no matter how goldarned clever and bold and free-thinking you are.

It's the idolization of people as if they somehow personally generated wealth in vacuo, with no necessary context, that's objectionable, and it's the claim that wealth is almost always generated only by merit, that's objectionable (and a lie), but what's truly objectionable is the use of wealth in political power to gain further wealth for one's self or fellows while being indifferent to the poverty of others.

That is what "class warfare" is. Because people die of it.

Unlike mean widdle statements about the rich which hurt poor widdle rich-sympathizing people's feelings.

"Class warfare" is that which actually hurts people. It isn't, I daresay, free speech, which Von says "must go." (Was that "sloppy"? Who can say but Von?)

Sebastian Holsclaw: Complaining about class and connections in America always makes me want to say "Compared to???". So I will.

Fine, but in fact Lawrence Mishel, Jared Bernstein and John Schmitt (The State of Working America, 2005, said by the Financial Times to be "the most comprehensive independent analysis of the American labor market" already asked "Compared to?" much more exhaustively than you just did (comparing the mobility of American workers with the four biggest European economies and three Scandinavian economies). They found that:

the US has the lowest share of workers moving from the bottom fifth of workers into the second fifth, the lowest share moving into the top 60 per cent and the highest share of workers unable to sustain full-time employment. The most exhaustive study by the OECD confirms the poor rates of relative upward mobility for very low-paid American workers; it also found that full-time workers in Britain, Italy and Germany enjoy much more rapid growth in their earnings than those in the US, who rank roughly equal with the French. However, downward mobility was more marked in the US; American workers are more likely to suffer a reduction in their real earnings than workers in Europe - the log cabin to White House effect in reverse.

The cumulative evidence since the Second World War is that measured mobility in the US is little different from Europe's, despite all the propaganda. Lipset and Bendix in their groundbreaking study in 1959, Social Mobility in Industrial Society, could find no evidence that American men were moving any more rapidly from manual to non-manual labor than in other industrial societies. Later studies comparing the income mobility of the US with the Nordic countries and Germany either find no difference or that the US is worse. (cite)


(Britain was the other country with low levels of social mobility in the study: I'll growl as much as anyone how a bunch of Labour MPs who themselves got through university on full subsistence grants and all their fees paid, then got into power and calmly cut off the ladder behind them. Assholes.)

In the department of utterly trivial, what are the words "SNIDELY REFERENCE," all in caps, with a link to this blog, just after the start of your post, intended to mean? I keep trying to parse "WOW: SNIDELY REFERENCE Kevin Drum's snidery toward the rich -- i.e. [...] and catch it, well, in the ass" and can't get meaning out of that as English. What's it all mean, Mr. Natural?

(I got the gist, but not that sentence.)

Sebastian,

I largely agree with your 4:03 post, and would even go further to say that class warfare is less prevalent in this country than many across the globe. On the other hand, it is not absent, and, contra von, its most pressing manifestation is not using obscenities to describe members of other classes.

Now I'm embarrassed: I remembered The State of Working America in news references in 2005, and assumed it was a book that had come out that year. Which it is, kind of: but it's considerably more. Someday I will learn to check all references, even the ones I am most sure of, in Google. :-(

Seb: I don't think capitalism is evil. I don't think that no one should get rich. I do think, as I said in the earlier thread, that the super-duper rich have a certain set of experiences that most of us don't have, and that those produce effects. I also think that it is obnoxious when rich people whose riches derive in part from either the work of others or the structure of the society in which they live -- that is to say, all rich people -- act as though they alone are responsible for their success. It's sort of like the way I felt at my previous job, where there was a significant number of objectivists who were forever going on about he virtues of selfishness. One of my colleagues said, and I agreed: the thing is, here are these kids who have been given everything, whose parents have worked hard to get them where they are, who take it for granted, quite rightly, that they can come by our offices any time for help or advice, and now suddenly, when for the first time they are about to find themselves in a position to give something back, lo and behold! they discover that selfishness is a virtue!

I would quite happily compare the US today either to: the US in 1950, or to Norway or Sweden today. I have, as you may have gathered, no particular interest in the US becoming the USSR, but surely that's not the only option.

"Fine, but in fact Lawrence Mishel, Jared Bernstein and John Schmitt (The State of Working America, 2005, said by the Financial Times to be "the most comprehensive independent analysis of the American labor market" already asked "Compared to?" much more exhaustively than you just did (comparing the mobility of American workers with the four biggest European economies and three Scandinavian economies)."

And that is 'income' right? Not influence, not class, not connections? So....

"Complaining about class and connections in America always makes me want to say "Compared to???"."

I'm unclear if you actually meant "say," rather than "ask."

But if you're actually asking, rather than talking to yourself, I'd answer "compared to America."

HTH.

"...but has very little to do with the 'evils' of capitalism."

Of course, you're the first person here to claim there are "'evils' of capitalism," so you're introducing a classic straw man of your own choice.

Personally, I have no desire to get rid of capitalism. Anyone else? Anyone?

I do wish to see it have a humane edge and foundation, but I'm a New Deal sort of person, not a communist. When people here start actually saying they want to eliminate capitalism, refuting them might be relevant.

Meanwhile, I'll spare you, Sebastian, an exposition on how much better America is than Franco's Spain, which would be equally relevant.

Gary, I think he's using the construction "perform action X and receive consequences Y" ("make one little mistake and get kicked out of the club", said with a shrug, eyeroll, or similar gesture of disbelief); "reference" is being used as a verb, if that's not clear.

(My 4:27 is in response to Gary's 4:19; I didn't expect the burst of comments in between.)

Complaining about that fact is fine, but has very little to do with the 'evils' of capitalism.

What, which people here have argued that it does, or that capitalism qua capitalism has "evils"? By name, please.

Yes, but it's my way of thinking that class mobility IS IMPORTANT. For one thing, it lessens "class warfare" naturally and substantially, if people can easily move upward (AND downward); you're not going to take potshots at the rich if you know that someday you can be part of it.

I just think von's screed is treating the symptoms and not the cause.

Gary, I think he's using the construction "perform action X and receive consequences Y" ("make one little mistake and get kicked out of the club", said with a shrug, eyeroll, or similar gesture of disbelief); "reference" is being used as a verb, if that's not clear.
Thanks.

Weirdly, when I wrote that, I'd swear that the link Von used only went to the whole blog, but now it goes to his prior post. Assuming he didn't change it without note, I must have been in error and misread it, somehow, which was part of my puzzlement.

(Purely digressively, I hate hate hate use of "reference" as a verb when the word "refer" is a better verb, but people engage in all sorts of usages I find dreadful and poor.) (See also the near-extinction of "affect" for "impact": it's one thing to change a word's meaning, or adopt a new one, because it's more useful, or elegant, or efficient -- that's the natural evolution of language -- but it's another thing to switch to a worse choice of words, because it's trendy: that's also a natural evolution, but I don't have to applaud it.)

My reply:

Von,

Jesus, never said the rich were assholes, but...and it is pretty big but...he did make clear that the rich would spend eternity in hell [see below].

That's right Von, Jesus said most of the rich deserved damnation, that's pretty harsh stuff...huh? I think Kevin was being pretty mild by comparison don't you? Well, Kevin was always one to try to strike the middle pose.

Apparently, Jesus was one heck of a class warrior. It's clear, Jesus was pretty good at spreading the love, but he drew the line when it came to wealth.

Call me an asshole? Sure. Damn me to hell for eternity? Hmmm...could it be they're are some hidden clauses in the "free to choose" ideology?

So the way I see it Von, either you owe Drum an apology, or you need to go after Jesus with a cudgel for being a class warrior.

So which is it Von?

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
"...it is easier to pass a camel through the eye of a needle than for rich man to pass through the gates of heaven."
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

The anxiety that the privileged classes display about "class warfare" always makes me think that maybe it's a good idea, after all.

The only surprise is that "asshole" & its cognates falls within the posting rules.

Gray, true, but I think the only way to rectify the power and wealth concentration in the upper echelons is to radically change the law as it pertains to corporations, wealth and taxation. The GOP certainly won't do that, but the Democrats have never challenged the status of the upper upper class in any serious way either and never will. That is so because, say, 90% of Americans wouldn't want such a change and instead prefer to believe in the American dream and a society based on merit - if you want to change that, you have to change the beliefs of this vast majority, and I don't think you ever will. Meanwhile humna nature will stay the same.
Also, I think connections not based on merit are not very important in the upper echelons of business, as opposed to politics - there's simply too much money at stake.

Compared to France or Germany where class determines getting into one of the top high schools and then very few top universities and is much more linked to success in government than the parallel Ivy League system in the US?

You're most definitely wrong about Germany.

That's class warfare -- a dumbed down ad hominem, really.

No. That is your attempt at trivializing the real issues in income inequality and the rules that apply to the rich vs. the middle class and poor.

It has nothing to do with people being assholes (at least directly), but since Kevin's asinine post you seem to have grabbed it as a poser-child for attacking those who understand the injustices that exist between the rich and poor.

oops, I menat "Gary" of course ;)

I'm with Charles here.

Why isn't Kevin blogging about all the Iraqi Security Forces who aren't having gun battles with US troops?

"You're most definitely wrong about Germany."

It is possible, though it is one of the few things my 3 close German friends (only two of them university educated) agree on. They all name the same university too, though I can't for the life of me remember it.

Anderson: The anxiety that the privileged classes display about "class warfare" always makes me think that maybe it's a good idea, after all.

I've never noticed that the privileged classes mind class warfare: they only seem to think it's a bad thing when the other side start shooting back...

novakant: "Gray, true,"

(Being actually addressed to me.)

Sorry, which of my various comments is "true"? I assume you're not referring to my last comment, which was about personal preferences in word choice.

I've never noticed that the privileged classes mind class warfare: they only seem to think it's a bad thing when the other side start shooting back...

Good point.

Fear of the mob, historically, has been one of the main checks on the wealthy few. The American elite thinks that it's sufficiently drugged the mob with second-rate education, bread and circuses, and an 18th-century representative democracy that leaves no one accountable for anything.

But nothing lasts forever.

On the other hand, it is not absent, and, contra von, its most pressing manifestation is not using obscenities to describe members of other classes.

I don't think that was my actual point, Dan the Man.

Drugging the mob with good jobs, good benefits, and economic security, on the other hand, is an excellent strategy for eliminating class warfare.

When the poor and middle class stop feeling taken advantage of, and stop being taken advantage of, there won't be any class warfare any more. Or, as I wrote here yesterday:

"C'mon, though: the class warfare has got to go."

Well, yes, and as soon as the rich are no longer able to wield far greater political power via wealth than the non-wealthy, we'll be able to to prevent or ameliorate much of the warfare the rich as a class wage against the poor as a class.

I think it would be great if Von would actually make eliminating the grievances and economic problems of the poor and the middle class ("ending class warfare") one of his pet causes.

But it doesn't seem to be a particular concern of his yet, judging from his lack of blogging about it. However, the future may always bring hope.

things that are class warfare:

repealing the estate tax.
not addressing AMT.
stacking the NLRB with pro-management board members.
keeping the minimum wage at sub-poverty levels.
failing to raise and expand the EITC.
the Farm Bill (mostly).
failing to develop adequate worker retraining programs concurrent with free trade bills.
failing to mandate that compensation for senior corporate executives be set by truly independent compensation boards.
employer-based health care.

things that are not class warfare:

complaining about the foregoing.
market-based compensation.

Note: none of this is to suggest that America is in any way inferior to any other country in the world. (quelle horreur.) but we can always try to do better.

But the idea that most or all wealth is produced by merit, and merit alone, is absolute horsepucky. Complete garbage. Nonsense. Right-wing myth, which has nothing to do with the real world, save to be an argument against taxation or government spending on helping people in need.

Apparently my VRWC ass-kicking boots (TM) didn't give me deeded access to right-wing mythology, so: please show me where it's a right-wing myth? I mean, even Ayn Rand's books had people that possessed wealth obtained not by merit.

Gary, sorry, it's a bit hard to keep up with you, but I should have quoted:

But having connections to the uber-rich isn't typical of middle class or lower class people.

This is true and it certainly puts people who have such connections at an advantage.


Sebastian:

The German education system is awfully complex, but to cut a long story short:

German schools and universities are almost exclusively state owned, which cuts out a lot of the influence money and class might have. There is a tripartite school system and it is somewhat based on class, but in the end all that matters are your grades. The quality of universities differs a lot depending on the subject, there is to my knowledge not one that is in the top ten in every subject, so having been to a certain uni doesn't come with the aura of elite that certain Anglo-American schools will provide you with. Access to universities is only restricted for certain subjects and then mainly grade based. If you study a non-restricted subject, you can study where you want. Tuition has been free for a very long time and only now are they talking about fees and are met with a lot of resistance.

Obviously it's not a classless society, but compared to Prep Schools, the Ivy League and Oxbridge I think it's fair to say the system is rather egalitarian.

"I don't think that was my actual point, Dan the Man."

I agree that your actual point was not that "[class warfare's] most pressing manifestation is not using obscenities to describe members of other classes," but it was Dan's point, and a good one.

So far, all you've identified as "class warfare," that I've noticed, was that it's what Kevin Drum said, and that it's speech, and that such speech "has to go."

Your only other statement of clarification, such as it was, that I've seen, was this:

"More substantively, what do you define as 'engaging in class warfare'? And why do you feel it should 'go' or be avoided?"

A general comment that "the majority of the rich are complete assholes," as if this distinguishes them from the poor or middle class, followed by general assent that, yes, the rich are all assholes seems to be a pretty good example of class warfare -- even when presented in jest.

I've repeatedly asked you, and others have asked you, if you have any further or more expansive definition, but if you've explained this somewhere I've missed it. So, once again, rather than complaining that other people don't understand you, I invite you to give your definition of class warfare, Von.

Given how much it upsets you, this should be a simple task.

See also, again, my 2:46:

More interesting, is, in fact, "class warfare" something that can only be waged (via speech) by the poor and middle class against the rich? Is it possible for the rich to wage class warfare? Could you give three examples of that, in your view, or is that not possible in your view, Von? I'd really like to know, and I bet I'm not the only one.
Alternatively, if mine eye has skipped over some responsive or relevant comments of yours, please do, if you care to, direct my attention to what what I've missed from you on this.

I've never noticed that the privileged classes mind class warfare: they only seem to think it's a bad thing when the other side start shooting back...

The problem is that there really aren't two "sides." A heckava lot of folks in the "privileged classes" used to be not very privileged at all.

Hm. I've liked the (few) rich people I knew who inherited or married into their wealth, and disliked the (few) rich people I know who earned it. This doesn't prove anything, of course. I _do_ think Kevin Drum was out of line, and I say that as someone whose politics economically are pretty far left. Calling people assholes on the basis of no personal offense was an asshole thing to do.

But I use "earned" with hesitation. As far as I know, the most common way to get truly rich in this country involves being placed in charge of a company that is already large and successful. It doesn't necessarily involve running that company with any noticeable skill.

For that matter, I have a hard time with the assumption that lawyers, doctors, or baseball players "deserve" more money than child-care workers, plumbers, miners, or teachers. I have a degree in Economics; no one needs to explain to me why they _are_ paid better (and I certainly side with the baseball players against the baseball owners in salary disputes). But is a mediocre corporate lawyer doing more for the general good than a gifted environmental lawyer or, indeed, a gifted gardener? I don't see how. So the aspect of "class warfare" that involves pointing that out, I'm down with.

I've repeatedly asked you, and others have asked you, if you have any further or more expansive definition, but if you've explained this somewhere I've missed it. So, once again, rather than complaining that other people don't understand you, I invite you to give your definition of class warfare, Von.

Given it in the original post. Thanks.

More interesting, is, in fact, "class warfare" something that can only be waged (via speech) by the poor and middle class against the rich? Is it possible for the rich to wage class warfare? Could you give three examples of that, in your view, or is that not possible in your view, Von? I'd really like to know, and I bet I'm not the only one.

Sure, but how about one example since I'm pressed for time: If your assume that poor folks are assholes because they are poor, and you draw a policy conclusion based on that, you are engaging in class warfare.

"Apparently my VRWC ass-kicking boots (TM) didn't give me deeded access to right-wing mythology, so: please show me where it's a right-wing myth?"

I could point to Horatio Alger to start, but I'm content to point to this:

I didn't get that from Lew Frankfort's comment that "To be successful ... you now needed vision, lateral thinking, courage and an ability to see things, not the way they were but how they might be." Which seems, by the bye, to be a pretty accurate statement.
But, you know, it's not. Gary Smith at Ciena, Jure Sola, the CEO and chairman at Sanmina-SCI, Sun Microsystems's Scott McNealy, Albertsons' CEO and Chairman Larry Johnston, and CEO Peter Dolan at Bristol-Myers Squibb actually exist, and one could give dozens more such examples, and hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of lesser examples of people who wind up being paid vast amounts for doing terribly bad jobs, for reasons little connected to merit. (This is a separate topic from that of inherited wealth vs. uninherited wealth, mind.)

But the idea Von was trying to sell, that the quoted characterization of "successful people" is "a pretty accurate statement" is both false, and a highly popular notion that Republicans tend to love to believe. (This doesn't mean all Republicans love to believe it, if it's necessary to point that out.)

Generally speaking, believing that people deserve what they get ("I am successful because of my unusual vision, lateral thinking, courage and an ability to see things, not the way they were but how they might be!") is a most comforting belief for those who are well off, and less comforting for those who are not. Funny, that.

Interesting, Gary, but none of that, as far as I can see, appears to speak to right-wing mythology.

I can provide you with a datum, though, and note that it's not part of MY mythology, but what I'm looking for, here...well, it's not really clear at all that there is any particular right-wing mythologies at all that apply. One would be nice, though.

I mean, I'm not sure how you would begin to substantiate such a statement other than just admitting to that it fits with your preconceptions. Or polling data. Other than that, it seems mostly air to me.

A heckava lot of folks in the "privileged classes" used to be not very privileged at all.

And that proves ... what? Sorry?

A heckava lot of folks in the "privileged classes" used to be not very privileged at all.

What's "heckava lot"? 50%?...20%?...1%?

Quite a few people here have provided citations that show the concentration of extreme wealth in the hands of a very few is near historic levels in the United States, and that income mobility is not great currently either.

The problem is that there really aren't two "sides." A heckava lot of folks in the "privileged classes" used to be not very privileged at all.

OK, the what now? Can you quantify "a heckava lot" for us? Maybe some links, statistics, that sort of thing?

Apparently, von, you think that "class warfare" means . . . jesus heck, I can't figure it out. Something to do with some class-based version of the argument ad hominem, which . . . no. That's not what "class warfare" is. At all. I mean, it's just not even close.

novakant: "Access to universities is only restricted for certain subjects and then mainly grade based."

Could you expand on that slightly? As in, some examples of such subjects, and some words as to why they're "restricted"? Just general curiosity on my part. And thanks for the clarification.

Francis' 5:53 PM is entirely correct.

Von:

The problem is that there really aren't two "sides." A heckava lot of folks in the "privileged classes" used to be not very privileged at all.
How is that relevant to a question of whether you're, say, for or against a decent minimum wage, or for or against any political question, which is what, in my view and usage, defines whether or not someone is engaging in "class warfare"? Either they're, as I said, using their wealth to affect politics on a specific set of policies, or they're not -- that's what defines whether someone is engaging in "class warfare" or not, as I understand it.

What their own wealth used to be is as relevant as whether they like bananas or not: who gives an eff?

...I invite you to give your definition of class warfare, Von.

Given it in the original post. Thanks.

Perhaps you'd humor me by quoting the relevant passage? Thanks.
Sure, but how about one example since I'm pressed for time: If your assume that poor folks are assholes because they are poor, and you draw a policy conclusion based on that, you are engaging in class warfare.
I appreciate that you have far less free time than I do, and, of course, that you're responding to multiple people. I still greatly desire some kind of definition from you of "class warfare," not recognizing it in either this post or your previous one (does anyone else feel Von provided an adequate definition?) and in trying to understand this response, it seems to say that you believe that class warfare is engaged in when people make certain assumptions and conclusions.

Is that right or wrong?

Because putting it another way, it seems to say that you believe that engaging in "class warfare" is a matter of holding certain views.

Which goes back to my 1:50 p.m.:

So verbal criticism or insults are "class warfare," and thus what "has got to go": free speech. I won't be signing up for that.

"That's class warfare -- a dumbed down ad hominem, really -- and deserves to be mocked."

So your sole definition of "class warfare" which "has got to go" is speech. Interesting. Is there anything else to it, or should we take that as sufficient?

Because as it stands, it seems to be a rewording of "I disagree with your opinions about politics and economics, so disagreement with me has got to go!"

Since I'm sure you won't feel that's an accurate statement of your position, I do hope you can provide further information on what you regard as the "class warfare" that "has got to go," so we can better understand your actual position. Is there a non-speech component to this shockingly upsetting and destructive "warfare"?

Thanks for any substantive answers.

I mean, it's like Charles's use of "race card." The usage you're proposing here is apparently a solecism, or some highly idiosyncratic something-or-other, but it has nothing to do with the term "class warfare" as used by, well, most everyone.

von: I have to say: I can't see a definition of class warfare in your earlier post either. One example -- saying that most of a given socioeconomic group are a-holes -- but nothing like an actual view. And since you've already disclaimed the most obvious extrapolation -- that calling people names on the basis of class is class warfare -- I'm as stumped as Gary et al.

As far as I know, the most common way to get truly rich in this country involves being placed in charge of a company that is already large and successful.

No, that's not true.

Most common way is to either start your own company or to take over a moderately well off company and make it big. This has nothing to do with stocks or public trading or IPO. It's more the millionaire next door type of wealth.

Now that's more getting from the middle class to the upper middle and upper class. I'm still more concerned with getting from lower to lower middle/middle class. THAT's what's harder these days.

For what it's worth, the current Wikipedia entry for "class conflict" says:

Class conflict is both the friction that accompanies social relationships between members or groups of different social classes and the underlying tensions or antagonisms which exist in society due to conflicting interests that arise from different social positions. Class conflict is thought to play a pivotal role in history of class societies (such as capitalism and feudalism) by Marxists.[citation needed] and anarchists.[citation needed] who refer to its overt manifestations as class war, a struggle which today, in their view, is fought most relentlessly and secretly by the capitalist class.

Class conflict can take many different shapes, for example direct violence such as wars fought for resources and cheap labor, policemen beating poor blacks or the workers who try to democratically run their workplaces and economy; indirect violence such as deaths from poverty, starvation or unsafe working conditions; coercion, such as the threat of losing a job or pulling a much needed investment, or ideology, e.g. trying to convince people that the power should be in the hands of the working class or the capitalist class, or instilling passivity and consumerism with advertising

It can be open, as with a business lockout aimed at destroying a labour union, or it can be hidden, as with an informal slowdown in production that protests low wages or an excessively fast or dangerous work process.

Nothing about it being what people think, or what they say, but Wikipedia is always a work in progress.

There's also an entry for class envy. A portion of that:

[...] Criticism of excessive wealth and the wealthy has been a staple of political discourse for generations and many believe that societal imbalances in wealth should be reduced or done away with. The use of the term "class envy" is generally intended as a rebuttal to these arguments, based on the idea that the antagonism that the poor feel towards the wealthy is based upon envy rather than feelings of repression or unfairness. Proponents of this view argue that the poorer members of society attack the rich and their privileges because they are envious of the wealth and success the upper classes enjoy.

The simplest counter-argument is that "class envy" is an ad hominem fallacy. In other words, that even assuming class envy plays a significant part in social conflict, it does not necessarily detract from the validity of the ideas put forward by those who harbor this emotion (if one is envious, that has no bearing on whether one is right or wrong).

But that's just some people's view, of course.

Slarti, is this another of those "I've never even heard of this Grover Norquist fellow" things? Is it suddenly controversial that conservatives generally hold that the only real impediment to "making it" in this country is not working hard enough? That we don't need a minimum wage in this country because if the pay is too low people are welcome to start their own businesses or take more jobs or work more hours? That affirmative action is bad partly because any time a black person achieves something people will think he didn't do it on his own?

Seriously, I woke up in the Bearded Spock universe or something, right?

Still kind of wierded out by the suggestion that right-wing mythology was authored by Horatio Alger.

I've heard stranger suggestions, though; I'm still trying to decipher "eat the rich", and am still wondering if that is an expression of the utterer's inner Dahmer.

Seriously, I woke up in the Bearded Spock universe or something, right?

Possibly. I know of no such conservative orthodoxy, though, and if I'm having a Grover Norquist moment, there ought to be a Wikipedia entry handy to throw at me.

on the meta issue, I've come to think that those with posting privileges and the regular commenters enjoy a somewhat higher standard of debate than was demonstrated in this post, the prior post or the prior thread.

C'mon, it sounds like a boy's high school locker room -- you're an a*****e; no, you're the a*****e.

I respectfully request that we all try to elevate the tone. Earthier tones can be found just about anywhere else.

thanks.

"Still kind of wierded out by the suggestion that right-wing mythology was authored by Horatio Alger."

That wasn't the suggestion.

To phrase it as you might, and leave it there, as you might. Helpful, eh?

"I know of no such conservative orthodoxy, though, and if I'm having a Grover Norquist moment, there ought to be a Wikipedia entry handy to throw at me."

No offense, Slart, but there are limits to how much time some of us want to spend educating you about elementary Republican history and facts.

(I wrote a long comment on pretty much the same point about your general obliviousness to Republican history, including Grover, but deleted it as having an insufficient ratio of useful content to what might give offense I wouldn't intend to give.)

So, we're not substantiating. Ok, then.

Air it is.

Could you expand on that slightly? As in, some examples of such subjects, and some words as to why they're "restricted"?

I'm really not up to date on this, so don't quote me, but here goes:

Historically the need to restrict the number of places for certain subjects has to do with the implementation of the 'mass university' in the late sixties, '(free) education for all' was the battle cry. The number people of getting a high school certificate (not comparable with the US one because of the tripartite school system) which qualifies them to study at university has risen steadily since then. Studying at a German university also means going the whole nine yards, i.e. there's only a Master or equivalent at the end, no BA (even though there are efforts to change this for certain subjects). These two factors (large number of applicants, long study time), and also the no tuition policy, have led to restrictions. The subjects restricted seem to depend on the demand and the cost to the university for e.g. equipment in the natural sciences. The restrictions and allocations are handled centrally by a government department based on grades, but also in recent years to a certain degree by the states and universities themselves, I don't know who has what weight in that process. You apply and get allocated a place somewhere, if not, there is a waiting list. Generally high-demand and high-maintenance subjects like medicine, natural sciences, engineering, law and business are more prone to be restricted in this way, than the liberal arts.

Morning all,
Only two things to share, one, that an acknowledgement that it isn't right to pull commenters into the bright glare of ridicule on the front page might lower the temp on this thread and two, TiO is open for all your meta needs. There's also an excellent post by OCSteve about the HERO act. If you haven't read about it, please take a look, it is important.

That is a good post. 500k kids with deployed parents - yikes.

The meta - it's got me - I think von gets to fp comments of that tone - must run away

- the meta, it's

"So, we're not substantiating."

You declared your lack of interest in answering my polite queries, yesterday, in case you've forgotten. I see no reason to uninterest you further. If you return to being interested in what I have to say, I'll be much more interested in saying it to you.

Thanks for the expanded answer about the German education system (a topic I know extremely little aobut), novakant.

Is it suddenly controversial that conservatives generally hold that the only real impediment to "making it" in this country is not working hard enough?

Oh, my. You know, my entire family leans conservative to one extent or another, and not one of us holds that hard work per se is the key to wealth.

Anecdata, I know, but there are a lot of us. Hardly any of us are what you'd consider wealthy, on any reasonable scale of measure, but some of us have done ok. Hard work ain't ever enough. I've done some pretty tough work in my life, and none of is has paid more than 15% of what I make right now, driving a desk. Not saying that what I do isn't hard, necessarily, but it's not hard in any physical sense of the word. What I get paid for at present is knowing how to do something that relatively few people can do, but I don't get paid all that much.

In general, your aghastness and general outrage are as uncompelling as usual. But, hey, why provide a link when a couple of hundred words might serve?

You declared your lack of interest in answering my polite queries, yesterday

No, I declared my lack of interest, politely, in having you fully understand a discussion that I was having with Liberal Japonicus. Which misunderstanding was, apparently, due to your failing to understand that it was in fact a discussion between myself and LJ.

Once I'd made that clear, your continuing efforts to understand and admonish me for my poor netiquette (uninvited advisements, all) were uninteresting to me.

But, easier to dodge than to just answer the question.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Blog powered by Typepad