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January 26, 2021

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https://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/politics/elections/fl-ne-marjorie-taylor-greene-harass-david-hogg-20210127-wbgdvy4ydvdvzcyn6u4yzu3v7y-story.html

Greene's been on quite a roll in the last few years.

Greene trails Hogg, making comments and asking him questions as he walks down a sidewalk, demanding to know how he managed to see elected officials. “How’d you do that? How did you get major press coverage on this issue and how did you get kids? Why do you use kids why kids?”

(...)

“He has nothing to say because there really isn’t anything to say you guys. He has nothing to say because he’s paid to do this,” she said, complaining that he got to speak with senators and was covered by the news media while she didn’t get to talk to any senators and didn’t get any media coverage. “I had zero. Guess what, I’m a gun owner. I’m an American citizen and I have nothing. But this guy with his George Soros funding and his major liberal funding has got everything. I want you to think about that that’s where we are and he’s a coward he can’t say one word.”

Why kids? JHC on a popsicle stick...

she sounds like a perfectly average consumer of Fox News and talk radio.

used to be we'd try to elect people who were a notch above average. but i guess the GOP's going to try electing bar-stool pundits for a while.

nice job, Obama.

A diversion...

The year 2020 was bookended for me by the unexpected loss of two core members of the metal band, Cynic. Drummer Sean Reinert died, reportedly of a massive heart attack, at age 48 just over a year ago (and close on the heels of Neal Peart's passing). Cynic's bassist, Sean Malone passed away in December. There was mention in some of the tributes to Malone of his battles with depression and Malone himself had written about how hard Reinert's passing had been on him, so we can fill in the blanks here.

On the anniversary of Reinert's passing I watched a Drum Talk tribute documentary where musicians close to him talk about his contributions to the development of modern metal drumming. It's an interesting video (despite all the ads) with a lot of stories about the recording sessions for Death's Human album and how Reinert's drumming on it - at the tender age of 19 - altered the metal landscape.

https://youtu.be/iKJdCM-ngGE

The tribute mentions some drum and bass tracks that Reinert and Steve DiGiorgio did for the Human recordings that let you hear the nuances in Reinert's playing more clearly. I'll link one below if you are interested.

https://death.bandcamp.com/track/flattening-of-emotions-drum-bass-tracks

I first heard Cynic when they were opening for Meshuggah in 2010, first major tour after years of thinking that they had been forgotten and passed out of memory. It's a sweet redemption story. It was also a fantastic set. I've been a fan ever since.

One last note about the drum and bass track I linked to above. That's a single continuous playthrough from Reinert, direct to tape, no punching in and fixing. Not the first playthrough, but a single take nonetheless.

Tim Kaine? You can't be serious!

It's always the quiet ones that you have to watch out for...

I remember many years ago when Howard Stern was on terrestrial radio and was putting a band together for whatever purposes related to his show. I don't know how Sean Reinert came to be the proposed drummer, but I recall them mentioning that he was the drummer for Death, whom no one in the studio had ever heard of. They were all joking about what kind of nobody band Death must have been and were wondering if Reinert would be any good.

I never got to hear what the reaction was when they actually got to hear him play, but I remember thinking, "Holy sh*t! He's going to blow their ever-loving minds!" They must have been wide-eyed and slack-jawed.

Ooops! Never mind. That was Richard Christy, also from Death. The rest of the story holds, though, even if not particularly relevant.

Richard Christy had to be good. He had to play Reinert's and Gene Hoglan's parts live.

The four albums that Death put out from Human to Chuck Schuldiner's own death are all legendary performances.

It's a coup!

Despite my inclination to view the system of private property as a thinly disguised criminal enterprise...I applaud this.

Throw the fucking fascists out. Apologies for the dyspepsia.

I can sympathize with those who think that the disaster relief (aka "stimulus checks") ought to be means tested. But I suspect that the effort, and especially the time, required to do that kind of evaluation is simply not worth it.

If you are setting up some kind of long-term payments system (see previous mention of guaranteed basic income), then it makes sense to make the effort to do means testing. But for what is, God willing, a very temporary effort? No.

Despite my inclination to view the system of private property as a thinly disguised criminal enterprise

bobbyp, is there any kind of private enterprise that you don't regard as some kind of criminal enterprise? Just curious. ;-)

I can sympathize with those who think that the disaster relief (aka "stimulus checks") ought to be means tested.

i'd like to know the overlap between that group and the group of people who believe that money trickles-down.

A diversion...

I'm not a metal guy, and metal drumming is about as far from my own personal approach as you can get.

That said, the level of sheer virtuosic prowess those guys wield is basically astounding. Even at the entry level, the technical bar for that style is very very high, and the guys who are really good are just amazing, formidable drummers. Thorobred athletes of the instrument.

:respect:

wj,
I have nothing against enterprise and trade. The system of private property is another matter. It is essentially based on state sanctioned theft and squatting.

I blame watching Star Trek back in the late 60's. It ruined me forever.

But I am also a firm believer that you have to deal with the politics you have, not the politics of your dreams.

Have a good one. Thanks.

That said, the level of sheer virtuosic prowess those guys wield is basically astounding.

Reinert was a huge fan of Vinnie Colaiuta and was always trying to inject a bit of groove and feel into his playing.

While playing double bass at about 220 bpm.

His playing with Cynic really did find that balance point between metal and fusion. Just astounding stuff.

One study puts the tipping point, between spending the stimulus check and saving it, at about $75,000 annual income.

i'd like to know the overlap between that group and the group of people who believe that money trickles-down.

As I hope was obvious, I don't think means testing is worthwhile in this case. But as a general rule, I can see some value in it.

On the other hand, I think that the evidence is pretty overwhelming that the "trickle down" theory was flat wrong. We can argue about what portion of those who supported it 40 years ago were sincere vs those didn't believe but found proposing it to be a useful tool. But it's no longer possible to be attached to reality** and still believe it.

Not sure where that puts me in your overlap question.

** And how sad that it is necessary to put that caveat into every policy discussion these days!

I have nothing against enterprise and trade. The system of private property is another matter. It is essentially based on state sanctioned theft and squatting.

I'm guessing that I just don't understand what you mean by "private property." Because there's no way trade happens without private property as I understand the term. Care to help me out here?

Utopian Idealism(TM) is opposed to means testing for a variety of reasons. There's a lot of back and forth on the concept. A very brief exposition is found here.

On the other hand, I think that the evidence is pretty overwhelming that the "trickle down" theory was flat wrong.

About the only people to ever articulate the trickle-down theory are critics making a slur against supply-side economics.

It's kind of hard to sell 'trickle down,' so the supply-side formula was the only way to get a tax policy that was really 'trickle down.' Supply-side is 'trickle-down' theory.

Reagan's budget director, David Stockman

Care to help me out here?

Much too big a topic....but I did find this abstract of an article that strikes me as reasonable. Download it and give it a read. I plan to look it over as well. Perhaps it will help.

https://epublications.marquette.edu/dissertations/AAI8203767/

Welp, it's the woodshed for Charles.

In a related matter, Larry Kudlow will kick off his new lie fest on FOX Bullshit News by recounting his call in March 2020 that the Covid-19 pandemic was completely under control, a few cases was all, and if it wasn't under control, how come the all-knowing, all-seeing markets weren't indicating it wasn't ... wait, this just in ... CRASH!!

Excuse me, gentleman, he said, but I'm experiencing some trickle down my pantlegs, but, not to worry, it isn't for a lack of smug, whackjob chutzpah, but just my usual forecasting incontinence.

He added that he wasn't completely wrong; he had "hedged" his official opinions to the country by purchasing naked out of the money puts just the week before, illustrating an ability to have his head in two places at once, firmly up his ass, AND at the casino window cashing in his chips.

Nostradamus died of edema, a complication of goutis footinthemouth.

He had a premonition.

You say "guillotine" to Kudlow and he looks around innocently and asks: "Who me? The blade never falls; it can only rise, like the yeast in cake."

A lot of folks assume that means testing is in general worthwhile. When last I researched it, I came up with no really solid evidence that it ever pays for itself. I'm not talking about huge rewards here, just about breaking even on the costs of establishing means thresholds, designing a specific testing mechanism for the project at hand, and applying it. If anyone who knows the literature of policy cost analysis better can clue me up, I'll take it. But I advise against any assumption that it's usually a good idea, at a bare minimum.

I'd say the purpose of means testing never was money saving. It's about certain people NOT receiving benefits. If that costs more, even much more, or leads to some worthies also not getting them that's just regrettable but inevitable side effects.

For a certain set of people to stop listening to Kudlow, he will have to be wrong N + 1 times, where N equals the number of times he’s been wrong, including the current one.

I'd say the purpose of means testing never was money saving. It's about certain people NOT receiving benefits. If that costs more, even much more, or leads to some worthies also not getting them that's just regrettable but inevitable side effects.

A friend of mine once opined that the true mark of conservative/liberal was that the conservative is willing to let some people go needy in order to prevent people from cheating and the liberal is willing to let a few people cheat in order to reach a few more needy people.

The soon-to-be-executed conservative movement republican party is solidifying the Presidency as Trump's Pakistani reinforced hidey hole, safe from all rule of law, all justice, all personal responsibility, even as he's out walking the streets.

Unlike the 9/11 hijackers, the 9/6 violent insurrectionists are feeding on their three-week-old exploits to up the ante and kill Americans and government again.

Since we must always ask "principled" armed conservative snowflakes, the chaperones of the radical rightwing, what should be done to eliminate this danger to America, for fear that we in turn might take advantage and give someone subsidized healthcare, what say you, enablers?

What are your guns for?

If this isn't the time to use them in the service of your country, what has yet to happen besides all of us waiting for YOU to be terrified of these murderers, who despite murderous behavior remain in high national, state, and local government office and are merely reloading for their next assault.

Is there a white neck out there these killers will place their knee on that you will finally determine to be over the line.

Rich and poor alike are equally free in America to sleep under bridges.

McConnell filth are against infrastructure spending unless and until the bridges are built over their mansions and the poor must pay a t(r)oll to cross them.

Is there a white neck out there these killers will place their knee on that you will finally determine to be over the line.

Just speculating, of course. But while someone in their immediate family might not do it, perhpas if it was Trump's neck? Or would that just prove it was a false flag operation?

Sometimes, I actually like someone being called a RINO.
https://twitter.com/RepKinzinger/status/1354279353404813314

Couldn't happen to a nicer person. /sarcasm

Trump called RINOs "the lowest form of human life", which to my sensitive ears, sounds complimentary relative to where his fully-owned, butt-licking Republican Party stands on the evolutionary scale, before birds, down among the creepy, crawly, slithering, predatory things whose reptilian brain stems are good for little more than triggering whiplash tongues to snag and eat small prey from a safe distance.

It makes about as much sense as calling Marge a Green(e) Party member in name only, which at least sounds obvious, and I hope is how her family feels about the genocidal wannabe and their shared provenance.

The mealy-mouthed smarm expert Susan Collins is a lot of awful things, but RINO hardly makes the cut, but then some acronyms are too lengthy to remember, let alone type.

RINO, (again, let us thank Newt Gingrich et al, for their multi-decades-long injection of flesh-eating poison into the body politic) is on a par with Mao's demand to "sweep away all cow demons and snake spirits" as the Cultural Revolution gained its deadly momentum, cancel culture before cancel culture.

The term RINO has traveled well in the horrid and now murderous conservative movement, much as Stalinist ice picks found their way to Mexico to interdict Trotsky's more subtle brain stem.

Not three weeks ago, Pence became a RINO and was about to be hung by his fake rosary in the Nation's Capitol.

That happened. The leaders of the lynch mob still work INSIDE the Capitol and are kicking back in a tacky resort hotel in Florida, fashioning new nooses and fondling their semi-automatics.

The Black Panthers, those not executed, must be thinking the white on rice have such accommodating safe houses in America.

Yet again.

Remarkable that NOTHING has been done to them.

The search is on. Where, oh, where could they have gone to?

No doubt across the dinner table next Thanksgiving kvetching about the gravy.

Not a conservative knee has knelt on their necks.

unfuckingbelievable.

And unfuckingsustainable.

White RINOs are endangered, so I hear.

People keep shooting them.

Marge:

As a matter of fact, yes it is a qualification for the Republican Party. Hitler recruited half-assed chicken farmers, having contempt for the half-hearted Rubios and Collins' of his day, who preferred to sieg heil from the sidelines while keeping their day jobs, the scum.

https://digbysblog.net/2021/01/armed-and-unstable-is-not-a-disqualification/

She's merely a love child of McConnell's:

https://digbysblog.net/2021/01/here-comes-the-grim-reaper/

And like all love children, she resents the Daddy who abandoned her.

Sullivan (in your first Digby link) says

It is not illegal to write for a conspiracy website. Nor is it a disqualification for serving in public office. Nor is it illegal to be mentally unstable or to hold offbeat, racist or insane views.
Which is true. However, advocating violence against individual because they hold Federal office, which Greene has done, is illegal. And a disqualification.

I like bc, to thread weave.

It could be worse. He could be a hedge fund guy short Gamestop.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/game-stop-phenomena-is-about-the-poor-vs-rich-reddit-wsb-user-204822769.html

An interesting topic might be the "intersectionality" connecting the Trump debacle sociopathy of the past years to this current vengeful short-squeeze personality disorder, which could take the entire market down as its "mechanisms", especially in the options and derivatives markets, are shown to be a guy behind a curtain being depantsed as one big lollapalooza of our ongoing national psychosis.

There are not enough poxes to go around for both sides as they do it.

I mean:

https://www.cnbc.com/2015/05/22/hedge-fund-managers-stung-by-class-warfare-rhetoric.html

Remember when Cohen and his fellow hedge fund victims called Obama's rhetoric against the carried interest deductibility just like the Holocaust.

Now look as the insurrectionist victims, the deplorables, the NYT diner interviewees eat each other for a no-martini lunch.

I own shares in Tesla, but Elon Musk's recent one word tweet manipulative jukes on behalf of the short-squeezers earns him a shut-the-fuck-up, that latter of which by the way is protected speech.

Go build cars, which is what I'm paying you for and place your Henry Ford mouth in your pocket.

"It is not illegal to write for a conspiracy website. Nor is it a disqualification for serving in public office. Nor is it illegal to be mentally unstable or to hold offbeat, racist or insane views."

OK then.

The Constitution is a magnificent bulwark protecting assholes, so let's have at it then, Sullivan.

It's funny, the bar I hang at, not so much during the pandemic, doesn't seem to tolerate mentally unstable and offbeat, racist, insane views.

So sue us. Funny, that "offbeat" next to "racist". Makes you wonder what side of the Bell Curve tolls for Sullivan.

If it's legal, to paraphrase Carlin, then let's take the problem as far as it will go, just to see what happens.

See ya outside on the sidewalk, where America will be settled once and for all.


So, are the businesses that have survived the pandemic, but are hanging by their nails, being told that their expenses are going to be artificially raised?

Expenses are artificial. They are a human creation, not something coming from nature. Should struggling workers be told that their incomes will continue to be artificially suppressed? Or will businesses be told that their customers will artificially have more money to spend?

HSH, what do you mean by *expenses being artificial" and what are you saying here?

advocating violence against individual because they hold Federal office, which Greene has done, is illegal. And a disqualification.

it should, at least, be grounds for not letting her carry a firearm onto the House floor.

I'm a man of modest goals.

It (guns on the Floor) already being illegal in the first place makes that goal more (or would that be less?) than modest.

"(put the) Gun down or be gunned down" should be the new slogan over the doors of the chamber.

HSH, what do you mean by *expenses being artificial" and what are you saying here?

I'm taking issue with the notion that there's some default "natural" state for expenses (or wages or any other financial creation of human beings). The whole damned thing - markets, economies, money - is artificial, as in, it only exists because of human artifice.

So, when our political/economic system allows wages (which are initially an expense to businesses, yet find their way back to businesses as revenue) to be determined (at least above some paltry minimum) by "the market," it's somehow natural, as though ordained by God and as though there is no concerted, human, downward pressure on them - from those humans with greater political/economic power. Yet, when our political/economic system raises that paltry minimum to something less paltry, it's suddenly "artificial," in defiance of the economic God and economic nature.

We're upsetting some cosmic order - because the "Law of Supply and Demand" is perfect and all-knowing, rather than an abstraction of how things work, with varying degrees of applicability to the real world depending on the situation.

In physics, you ignore a bunch of stuff when you first learn the concepts and solve basic problems. Ignore wind resistance when calculating how far a projectile will go. Sometimes you can do that even in the real world because, in some situations, wind resistance in negligible and you don't need a terribly accurate result. Other times, ignoring wind resistance will render your result useless - far less accurate than is needed, and maybe someone gets killed.

There's a sh*t-ton of wind resistance (so to speak) in labor markets, all of which is ignored when wages are left to the market via the notion that supply and demand will sort it out in a way that broadly benefits actual humans. People aren't bags of rice, and living life according to Econ 101 sucks.

(It's a rhetorical peeve of mine.)

Other times, ignoring wind resistance will render your result useless - far less accurate than is needed, and maybe someone gets killed.

And a federal minimum wage assumes a certain level of wind resistance regardless of local conditions. A $15 an hour federal minimum wage will be another contributing factor, perhaps a large one, to the continuing depopulation of rural areas, small towns, and the hollowing out of inner cities. All the while wealthy suburbs may hardly notice an increase in the minimum wage.

On that, we agree, at least in part. The minimum wage in NYC-metro should be higher than the minimum wage in rural Mississippi.

and now RobinHood is stepping in to restrict what people can do with GME et al.

https://twitter.com/BullInvestPR/status/1354853566360539136

users are shocked to learn that a trading platform can control how you use it. stupid EULA.

tee hee

I'm taking issue with the notion that there's some default "natural" state for expenses (or wages or any other financial creation of human beings). The whole damned thing - markets, economies, money - is artificial, as in, it only exists because of human artifice.

Quantifying expenses is certainly a human creation. But expenses? Those are pretty clearly just as natural as wind resistance or anything else in physics. It takes effort and inputs (including time) to do something or create something. Those inputs are expenses. Whether it is worthwhile depends, in part, on how those inputs relate to the outputs.

To take the specific case of wages, that's just a matter of how much you have to give someone else in order to persuade them to put in the effort required to do or make something. Quantifying it makes in monetary wages. Giving them a share of the output (think sharecropping) doesn't change the fact that there is an expense.

users are shocked to learn that a trading platform can control how you use it. stupid EULA.

It's those terms and conditions that people just click OK on without reading. Maybe they should try reading what they are (virtually) signing up for. At least occasionally.

A $15 an hour federal minimum wage will be another contributing factor, perhaps a large one, to the continuing depopulation of rural areas, small towns, and the hollowing out of inner cities.

huh?

not arguing for or against a higher minimum wage here, just trying to understand how raising minimum wage empties out rural areas etc.

in your own words would be cool, but a Reason article is OK if that's what is handy. just trying to follow the logic of the premise.

Yet, when our political/economic system raises that paltry minimum to something less paltry, it's suddenly "artificial," in defiance of the economic God and economic nature.

You don't think supply and demand doesn't apply to the cost of labor or the end cost of a product or service? That Bob or Sally won't go next door for a dollar an hour more? Or a shorter driver to work? Or that smarter, harder working people generally earn more than less sharp or less hard working people?

Supply and demand isn't slide rule accurate, but that's true of all human interaction. Government diktat that ignores supply and demand produces the same thing year in and year out: less for everyone.

just trying to follow the logic of the premise.

raising minimum wage kills jobs. and rural areas, small towns and inner cities are all about minimum wage jobs.

also, keeping wages low is great and if people don't like it they should find higher-paying jobs. but they should keep in mind that higher-paying jobs should really pay less, so they should feel bad about taking money from innocent job-creators. maybe they should just go starve.

did i get it right?

did i get it right?

You left out the part about how higher wages would necessarily also raise the prices that innocent job creators have to pay for things that they buy in their personal capacity. Thus leaving them with less (relative) wealth to flaunt.

but if minimum wages workers had more money, there would be more money to spend - just like if rich people had more money there would be more money to spend!

a rising tide lifts all (the right) boats!

$15/hour wasn't picked out of thin air. This is from 2016, but it shows what increasing the minimum wage is intended to address.

https://www.epi.org/publication/the-federal-minimum-wage-has-been-eroded-by-decades-of-inaction/

The government diktat in 1968 that the minimum wage should be $1.60/hour does not seem to have been a crushing burden for businesses at the time. McDonalds and other similar franchises were flourishing and expanding.

Leave aside the fact that small businesses will pay people off the books to varying degrees.

just trying to follow the logic of the premise.

Ok, a couple of things. The cost of goods and services includes the cost of labor. You can't get away from this. Another immutable fact: People will not pay more for goods or services than they are willing or forced by circumstances to pay. If the expense is discretionary, they forego overpriced goods and services. If the issue is necessaries, then they forego other things to pay for what they need.

If Company A makes a non-necessary product that sells adequately at X, but not X times 1.5, and if the law suddenly requires Company A to increase its labor charges by .5 of the selling cost, then Company A is out of business and all of Company A's employees are out of work.

In rural areas with lower costs of living, lower wages mean lower cost of goods and services for the local citizens. For example: in Uvalde TX, a chalupa cost $2.98. In Houston, they are 1.5 to 2.5 times that. People in Uvalde can get great chalupas for half what people in Houston pay.

Another thing about supply and demand is that you can't sell something to people who can't afford to pay for it. When local labor costs are artificially jacked up, so are local prices. That's ok if you have a job. If you are retired or unemployed, you're screwed.

Eating out and monthly rent/mortgage costs are certainly lower in rural areas/small towns. Cars, gas, groceries, utilities, guns not so much.

If McT's logic is true, shouldn't housing then be based on need?

https://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2021/01/decolonizing-housing

"Demand a $15 minimum wage now!

When there's a $15 minimum wage, robots prosper! Supporting an increase in the minimum wage and is support for the robotic revolution and a glorious, mechanized future!"
Robots for a $15 Minimum Wage: Support a $15 minimum wage - Support the FUTURE!

Why do we need to speculate/argue about the impact of raising the minimum wage? We have, after all, had a minimum wage for quite a while, and raised it multiple times. If there are massive negative impacts (as argued) they should have been manifest.** Spoiler alert: the (economic) world didn't end.

** Actual, real life, examples demonstrating said negative impacts, preferably with some indication of the percentage increase, implementation time, and impact, will be welcome

I'm with hsh.

The "cost" in terms of monetary units is not the same as the actual unit. It is an artificial creation to oil the functioning of a social construct.

Government diktat: Patents are a government diktat. They act to restrict supply and raise prices. They act the same as a tax. Just about everybody who worships "free markets" is all ga-ga for this diktat. Discuss.

The poor rurals: I guess the idiocy of rural life is no longer a valid concept. Why do people leave rural areas? There are not enough jobs and/or opportunities. Why is that? Productivity (think tractors), patents (think Monsanto), and monopoly and/or oligopoly market power. If nobody lives in rural areas (think Wyoming) and they raise the labor wage to a $million/hr. what is the effect? Think hard...nobody lives there.

People who abstract from the actual existence of market power are either ignorant or pushing an agenda.

If everybody's wage goes up by the same percentage, what happens?

A firm is a price taker, not a price maker. If labor costs go up there are choices: Leave the market, substitute machinery for labor, live with something less than "maximum profit". Firms face these choices all the time with respect to all of their "inputs". Remember the oil crisis?

If there was a robot that, when turned on, could produce enough to meet all of our material needs, what would all those really smart people who think so highly of themselves do? Think CEO's.

Government diktat that ignores supply and demand produces the same thing year in and year out: less for everyone.

You mean like when the government dictates that one have to pass an exam in order to practice law? An exam that is controlled by those who are members in good standing in this guild?

Or are these good people "taking supply and demand into consideration"?

When the intricate interplay of supply and demand goes against the filthy rich, what do they do? they scream like stuck pigs and demand government diktat.

Patents are a government diktat. They act to restrict supply and raise prices.

A little history may be enlightening. Start with the word: patent: "open to public inspection".

Before patents, we had trade secrets. The idea of a patent was that the government would enforce a temporary monopoly. In exchange for which, the trade secret would be revealed, so that others could use the approach as the basis for further innovation going forward. In short, the intention was to increase innovation. Which, historically, it did.

As a monopoly, patents do act to support higher prices than would be seen if everyone could use the idea. But are they higher than would be seen if the idea was protected as a trade secret? Not likely.

The downside is that multiple people will sometimes come up with the same (or very similar) idea at nearly the same time. But only one gets the patent. It does happen. The upside is that the idea is protected for a limited period of time. It also happens that trade secrets can be maintained for far longer than the duration of a patent. It's a trade-off.

One other problem with the trade secret approach is that it incentivizes using extra-legal means to discover the secret. That, too, used to happen. Having your place of business burglarized, or your technical staff kidnapped, has obvious negative features.

If you think you have a third approach, which will address the issue with less downsides, by all means share. But so far, nobody has come up with something which has a better trade-off.

In rural areas with lower costs of living, lower wages mean lower cost of goods and services for the local citizens. For example: in Uvalde TX, a chalupa cost $2.98. In Houston, they are 1.5 to 2.5 times that. People in Uvalde can get great chalupas for half what people in Houston pay.

I understand the point you're making, but I'm skeptical that the difference in the price of chalupas in Uvalde relative to Houston is primarily, or even at all, down to the difference in entry level pay scale in those two places.

As a counter-example of sorts, during the run-up to Obamacare, John Schnatter of Papa John's Pizza ran the numbers on what it would cost to provide basic health insurance to all of his employees. IIRC it worked out to about 14 cents a pizza. He found that outrageous, of course.

The idea of a patent was that the government would enforce a temporary monopoly. In exchange for which, the trade secret would be revealed

As one who has the marvelous pleasure of reading OSHA (diktat!!!!!) SDS sheets, I can tell you, with 100% confidence, that "trade secrets" or "proprietary information" is alive and well.

So if "theft" of "secrets" is wrong, should we send reparations to the British from whom we stole the workings of the mechanical loom back in the early 19th century?

If that was "too long ago" when does "too long ago cease? Why is fantasia still subject to copyright? What social purpose is served thereby?

Please also flesh out "limited period of time". For just how long must we, as a society, endure MicroSoft copyright in order for MS shareholders and Bill Gates to get rich?

Patents also incentivise anti-social behavior. See drug patents (cf Dean Baker) for more on this.

wj,

In essence, you made my point. You came out swinging in defense of a "government diktat".

I do, however, realize that you are cognizant of the fact that "government diktat" is not necessarily a social evil and has its place....unlike those ideologues who make sweeping assertions about the terrible things arising from said "diktats".

But I still believe you should leave the GOP.

:)

DIKTAT!!!!

in your own words would be cool, but a Reason article is OK if that's what is handy. just trying to follow the logic of the premise.

All the sources I can find only touch lightly on the impact of minimum wage changes on populations in rural, small towns, and inner cities.

The idea is that these areas are populated by small businesses, mom & pop shops, etc. Some of the owners may not be making much more than some of their employees. Or even less. If they are forced to pay higher wages, they may reduce the number of employees or go out of business. In an effort to find work, the former employees may have to move to larger cities or out of state. This reduces the number of customers for the remaining business who, in turn, may have to reduce employment or go out of business. A vicious circle.

Isn’t a bigger threat to mom and pop stores huge chains like Walmart? That argument might apply when there weren’t a lot of big box stores, but that ship has sailed me boyo...

Most small towns now have those mom and pop businesses Family Dollar and Dollar General. Maybe a Dollar Tree to shake things up.

The idea is that these areas are populated by small businesses, mom & pop shops, etc. Some of the owners may not be making much more than some of their employees. Or even less.

without some actual data here, I'm skeptical of the claim that rural economies are skewed toward small businesses more than urban ones. or, that small business owners in urban areas are on net making more than those in rural areas.

nothing specifically rural about mom & pops, as far as I can tell.

you could, perhaps, make the case that cost of living in rural areas is lower, and therefore the need for a higher minimum wage is less urgent. I'd counter that there are lots of urban areas where the cost of living is relatively low - mostly cities that are not doing so well.

in any case, $15/hour for a full-time job is $30K a year. that is not a hell of a lot of money, anywhere you go.

here's the MIT living wage calculator, which has a good breakdown of liveable wage, poverty wage, and current minimum wage, for every county in the country. they break it down by family and employment structure (single, couple, how many kids, 1 or 2 people working). I haven't looked at it exhaustively, but I did check a variety of places.

Wayne County in MI, where Detroit is, not that different from Rankin County MS. Just a semi-random example.

It's cheaper to live in poor places, urban vs rural seems less relevant. Maybe that means a higher minimum wage is not as necessary in poor places. Conversely, maybe a higher minimum wage would mean they'd be less poor. Not just the lowest earning folks, either. If you give somebody who's making $10/hour a raise to $15/hour, they are definitely gonna spend the other $5, and that's gonna go in somebody else's pocket. In a good way.

Priest gets it. The "creative destruction" of industrial agriculture and the WalMartization/Amazonization of the retail realm has done more to gut the good things to be lived in the idealized small town American than any, any, raise in the government "diktat" regarding minimum wages.

Anybody who says different is simply blowing smoke.

Isn’t a bigger threat to mom and pop stores huge chains like Walmart?

But they provide something in exchange. Higher wages and more products and services at a low cost than the mom and pops can. And they can cross-subsidize marginal stores.

...at a lower cost...

Where there is smoke, there is Marge.

https://www.balloon-juice.com/2021/01/28/jews-in-space-laser-edition/

Curdled cream rising to the top. Crackers head for the polls.

You can't be this full of shit, and be a country unless you are exceptionally exceptional.

See ya, America. it was nice knowing ya.

There are cannibalistic pedophiles hanging out in the basements of GameStop showrooms across the country. They gather masklessly and have Covid measles=sharing parties while watching snuff flicks at AMC theaters.

That should be good for another 1000 points to the upside for both stocks.

Just trying to do my part as a common sense influencer in dumbo confederate racist America.


Need more staffers for the dedicated Onion-writers suicide hotline.

at a lower cost

Hence a higher minimum wage, right?

The idea is that these areas are populated by small businesses, mom & pop shops, etc. Some of the owners may not be making much more than some of their employees. Or even less. If they are forced to pay higher wages, they may reduce the number of employees or go out of business.

Charles, I understand the idea. I'm just asking for some evidence of it actually happening that way.

Given all the heat with which the idea is presented, it just seems like someone would have seized the opportunity of all those minimum wage increases to document the idea in real life. And splash it far and wide (to loud, and justified, cries of "We told you so!").

That it hasn't happened has to make one wonder why not.

WJ, what is mere empiricism in the face of a beautiful theory? Have you no soul?

:)

I was trained as an enginser. So no aesthetic appreciation at all. (If I'd been a physics major it might be different.)

Higher wages and more products and services at a low cost than the mom and pops can

higher wages? how can they provide higher wages? isn't that going to inflate the local economy and lead to a hollowing out of the population?

can i get a NULLIFY ?!

The Republican chair of Arizona's state House Ways and Means Committee introduced a bill Wednesday that would give the Legislature authority to override the secretary of state’s certification of its electoral votes.

GOP Rep. Shawnna Bolick introduced the bill, which rewrites parts of the state's election law, such as sections on election observers and securing and auditing ballots, among other measures.

One section grants the Legislature, which is currently under GOP control, the ability to revoke the secretary of state's certification "by majority vote at any time before the presidential inauguration."

"The legislature may take action pursuant to this subsection without regard to whether the legislature is in regular or special session or has held committee or other hearings on the matter."

yeahbutliberals

re Gamestop et al:

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/using-gamestop-to-occupy-wall-street/

Be aware that conservative movement populism is folding this entire debacle (regardless of both sidism) into their Trumpian arsenal of nihilist wrecking balls to demolish whatever it is standing in their way, regardless of any reasoned agreement any of US may find with either side's grievances.

And remember the same conservative gets dug their heels in years ago and to this day when reasonable "liberals" wanted to eliminate hedge funds' carried interest deductions.

The newfound "conservative" empathy for the 49% of the Romney's "takers" now buying their mothers some medical care and cars with the proceeds from their short squeezing screw-the elites stock trades is a breathlessly magnificent specimen of how the malign conservative movement gets its worm tongue around every grievance and makes it their own.

As when not so long ago FOX blondes and their Hannity boy toys began quoting Martin Luther King in a favorable light, when decades ago their predecessor Goldwater/Nixon fascist blondes were tracking King's every commie niggardly movement in supposed love trysts.

Keep the government out of my Medicare, both the cheating hedge fund elites and the seat of their pants deplorables will agree, as they both demand government regulate the other ... or, if not ... we'll bring it all down, government and markets.

Ya know who is going to presently emerge to take both sides?

Sure, Trump and his demons ....

But, I mean Grover Norquist, elite populist. leading both mobs.

After all, he needs to do something to thwart Elon Musk's* bid for the emperor of Elite Populism, getting out ahead of the mobs from on high.

Poxes all around.

Just saying.

I remember on these pages one of our former crank conservatives (Bellmore, I believe) highlighting (and stereotyping the entire movement therefrom, a patented conservative tactic) one alleged Occupy Wall Streeter years ago taking a dump on the fender of a car as nature called and facilities had been withdrawn by conservative authorities.

It wouldn't surprise me if human fecal material recovered from outside Pelosi's office in the U.S. Capitol could be traced back to a certain Cinderella's shoes.

And here we thought he'd be picking cotton in the fields he wanted emptied of real immigrant human beings making a living.

All of this shit fits the conservative populist movement footprint.

*I own some Tesla stock and have traded it for the past couple of years and have been mostly profitable. THAT is not a recommendation, because like every other lying (the lubricant that lets buy and sell happen) American, I won't be available for you to ask is it time to sell; %-), yeah, I will, but don't listen. What do I know?) I want Musk to laser his considerable genius on building cars, batteries, and SpaceX (I'm not gonna like it when his satellites black out the Milky Way, however) and otherwise shut his twatting mouth as he jukes whatever the daily juke is.

Where there is smoke, there is Marge.

On the other hand, Jews in space! What bliss! Thanks, JDT.

I was trained as an enginser. So no aesthetic appreciation at all. (If I'd been a physics major it might be different.)

Ok, anyone who wants can Google "impact of increasing minimum wage" and find a lot of pieces on it. The $15/hr proposal would be the highest ever imposed, even as phased in over 5 years. The CBO puts the job losses somewhere between 1.3 million and 4 million at the high end. That is *job losses*, not reduced hours or small businesses harmed etc. Here's a link that discusses the CBO.

https://www.factcheck.org/2021/01/paul-distorts-cbos-estimate-on-impact-of-15-minimum-wage/

As an engineer, you appreciate arithmetic (not my strong suit), so imagine your company bids a project. The bid includes labor and materials. If, after you bid the job, a gov't diktat says "increase your wage rate by one third", tell me how that is a positive benefit to your project.

To understand the impact on a labor-intensive, low skill enterprise, try viewing a one third mandatory wage increase as if there was a sudden tax hike on people that causes their housing and food costs to increase by one third overnight. The money to pay for that increase has to come from somewhere.

The difference between a family and a business is that, *maybe*, the business can cut other corners and juice prices a bit and make up the difference. But, that's a *maybe*. One thing that will get cut is employee benefits. Maybe someone has done a study. But, if people think they can waive some magic legislative wand and make things better for workers by requiring more of employers, good luck with that. Marginal businesses will go under, marginal employees will be laid off, hiring will slow, and costs will go up. It will be similar to a recession with the difference being that instead of revenues dropping, expenses will go up. Of course, when expenses go up, and prices go up to cover the expense increase, you well might see a revenue fall off.

Now, you may say, "Fine McKTex, but that isn't evidence." True, it's simply math and logic applied to what the economy does in recessions and how a business operates.

It is not a reach for folks here to equate higher medical costs with negative impacts on families and health insurance. I do not understand why applying similar logic to commerce is so difficult.

Also, as a matter of arithmetic, the increase is not $15/hr. It is $15 X 1.0765, which is the employer's FICA/Medicare/Medicaid match.

Also, as a matter of arithmetic, the increase is not $15/hr. It is $15 X 1.0765, which is the employer's FICA/Medicare/Medicaid match.

that has never been factored in when stating minumum wage.

from the mid 1950s until the mid-1980s, the minimum wage was ~$10 (in today's dollars). then it started slipping, and now it's at $7.25 (since 2009).

it needs to go up.

The CBO puts the job losses somewhere between 1.3 million and 4 million at the high end.

and, from your link, the low end of CBOs range is zero.

Now, you may say, "Fine McKTex, but that isn't evidence." True, it's simply math and logic applied to estimates and guesses of what the economy does in recessions and how a business operates.

Also, as a matter of arithmetic, the increase is not $15/hr. It is $15 X 1.0765, which is the employer's FICA/Medicare/Medicaid match.

to be strictly accurate, the *increase* is $7.75 x 1.0765, or about $8.35.

the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 was put in place in 2009, which makes this the longest period of time without a federal minimum wage increase since a federal minimum wage was instituted in 1938. so, $7.25 to $15 is a big jump, but it's been while.

maybe we should have been bumping this up little by little over the last 12 years. it wouldn't have been such a shock.

why didn't that happen?

try viewing a one third mandatory wage increase as if there was a sudden tax hike on people that causes their housing and food costs to increase by one third overnight.

FWIW, the cost of living has risen about 25%, in constant dollars, from 2009 to now. so, not overnight, but over the time from when the current minimum wage was set, until now, people's housing, food, etc - whatever goes into the cost of living - has gone up by a quarter.

if $15 doesn't float your boat, pick a number. $12? $10?

whatever number you pick, if we raise the minimum wage, there will be downsides. and, if we *don't* adjust the minimum wage, there will be downsides.

people need to eat, they need someplace to live, they need clothes and shoes, they need to go to the doctor, they need to get from one place to another.

$7.25 doesn't get that done.

FWIW, the CBO study.

Also FWIW, the CBO's median estimate on number of jobs lost if we moved minimum wage to $15 by 2025 is about 1.3 million, or about 0.8% of the workforce.

It's worth mentioning that, at $7.25/hour, a family unit typically needs to have multiple full-time jobs in play to keep their heads above water. Multiple jobs per person, multiple people working, or both. So "jobs lost" doesn't always mean "people unemployed".

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that some of those people would be quite happy to be able to live on one or two fewer jobs. A parent in a family with school-age kids could stay home, or a parent that currently never sees their kids would get some family time. Or a young adult still living at home could get some education or training, rather than jump right into the work force at the entry level, because the family needs the $$$$. Right?

Everybody's gotta eat.

if $15 doesn't float your boat, pick a number. $12? $10?

What do you do about people who don't qualify for those levels of pay? Most employers are not going to engage in charity by paying people more than their productivity. They will expect a new hire to hit the ground running. No handholding and babysitting until the employee gets up to speed.

What do you do about people who don't qualify for those levels of pay?

I don't know, Charles. What do we do about people who "don't qualify" for $7.25/hour?

Situations that require someone to "hit the ground running" with no expectation of "handholding or babysitting" - which is to say, training and education in the job - are normally jobs that most folks can do without a ton of training, or are jobs that command more than minimum wage.

All of the hypothetical "yeah, but what about.." stuff is interesting but $7.25 is not enough money to live on. In many places, it's already been superseded by higher local minimum wages.

A bump up to $15 over five years is basically an exercise in playing catch-up. If $15 is simply a bridge too far, suggest another number.

If your business model depends on paying people insufficient wages, maybe you need a new business model. People come up with new ways of doing things and new things to do all the time. If they all have to deal with the same minimum wage, they're on even footing to compete for revenue in whatever way they can come up with. I don't really give a sh*t either way if Mickey D's puts in kiosks. Taking people's fast-food orders isn't something humans need to do to thrive as a species. Put the effort elsewhere.

Maybe all this talk of minimum wage should just go away and be replaced with talk of a guaranteed minimum income and/or a jobs guarantee that would render the minimum wage moot. Pay people to plant some f**king trees instead to standing at a counter taking orders for sh*tty cheeseburgers.

Pre-COVID, so we don't have to tease those effects apart:

https://www.azcentral.com/story/money/business/jobs/2019/07/18/minimum-wage-increase-arizona-has-had-positive-effects-grand-canyon-institute-study-finds/1745202001/

Not yet $15, but increasing. My siblings in AZ thought this was going to be the end of the world. "Oh, noes! The economy is going to crash!" Not so much.

I don't know, Charles. What do we do about people who "don't qualify" for $7.25/hour?

Let them live in their mother's basement, mooch of family and friends, sell drugs, move to San Francisco to live on the streets...

The CBO puts the job losses somewhere between 1.3 million and 4 million at the high end.s

Apologies that I haven't gotten to read the CBO study yet. But my instant question would be: Is that job loss starting from now? Or starting from what we had a year ago (i.e. pre-covid)?

Let them live in their mother's basement, mooch of family and friends, sell drugs, move to San Francisco to live on the streets.

The libertarian paradise revealed.

economists who actually study this matter pretty much agree that raising the minimum wage does not have a big impact on employment. But data is for nebbishes I guess.

The libertarian paradise revealed.

Hardly. This is what people who support a minimum wage apparently want them to do.

economists who actually study this matter pretty much agree that raising the minimum wage does not have a big impact on employment.

Then raise it to $30 an hour.

What do you do about people who don't qualify for those levels of pay?

train them in how to handle a lifetime of imposter syndrome.

Then raise it to $30 an hour.

Exactly. And make health care coverage and 401K matching mandatory for all employers. Economics is fun and easy. Just like running a business. All you need is someone to force you to do stuff you can't afford and then watch how awesome you become.

We should also double all teacher and college professor salaries. The good news is, doing so will not affect education costs. Hell, it might bring them down.

I think I'm starting to get the hang of it.

likewise, set taxes to zero and make it a crime to be without a gun at all times.

the US won't turn into Somalia. not a chance.

Good to know how important getting the schools reopened really is.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2021/01/29/elberton-georgia-vaccine-teachers-suspended/?itid=lk_inline_manual_69

Summary: giving vaccinations to teachers, school bus dtivets, and cafeteria workers cost a Georgia county its supply going forward.

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