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29 October 2010

Unattainable pensions

Sometimes I wonder whether I should be using and promoting ClustrMaps, given that about 90% of their ad sponsorship is from far-right websites, but it's pretty useful for something free-as-in-beer.

The following ClustrMaps ad grabbed my attention:

Unsustainable Pensions Many government pensions are out of control. Learn more & take action!
www.TheFreeEnterpriseNation.org


I couldn't help but think: Is the real problem unsustainable pensions or unattainable pensions? One side-effect of the pervasive trend toward two-tier payrolls is that the tier with the actually livable jobs, the jobs with bennies, is getting smaller and smaller, soon to be completely phased out, I'm sure. Americans, to their disgrace, have largely been cowed into submission. Instead of mobilizing against the fact that private sector workers are underpaid, they have successfully been conned into griping about 'overpaid' civil servants.

28 October 2010

People transcend property and prices

The trouble with the idea of "free markets," including the idea of free markets, is that the market finds a price for everything, including people.

The trouble with the idea of "self ownership" is that it sets a precedent for the self as ownable. Particularly, if property rights include the right of transfer, and self ownership is the foundation on which property rights are built, the implications are staggering.

At the risk of being labeled a mystic, or worse, a religious person, I hold that personhood transcends commerce.

To quote (pdf) Republican State House candidate Marc Goodson:

What is the inherent value of a man? What should be the limit of public subsidy for each? According to Democrats, there is no limit, our inherent value is priceless. This belief is anti-social, inhumane, and unjust; we are not priceless.


The candor is certainly refreshing. It's always interesting when conservatism reveals its true colors. At least free market advocates, unlike "free market" advocates such as Goodson, understand that the path to a subsidy-free society must start by kicking away the supports at or near the top of the food chain, not the kick-em-when-they're-down variety of self-righteousness to which some are apparently addicted.

26 October 2010

Comment on post at 'My Aspergers Child'

The following is my comment on Best and Worst Jobs for Aspergers Adults at My Asptergers Child. As has become habitual for me, it resulted in a

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The requested URL /comment.g... is too large to process.

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It is of course debatable whether the incidence of Aspergers/autism is anywhere near 1:110, or whether the incidence is higher among current children than current adults, but let's assume for the sake of argument that it is true. In that case there will be 1% of the adult population plus their parents, let's say 3% of the adult population, plus an unknown number of allies and supporters, forming a voting bloc or whatever you want to call it, that will demand a more introvert-friendly labor market, which is to say, a world in which what you know is actually worth something; maybe even as much as who you know. Large numbers of the 'subclinical' element, say people suffering only 'social anxiety,' will also affiliate and identify with this growing movement. What should we demand? I propose the following:

What I think is needed is a return to a large or at least economically significant civil service, with provisions that the existence of job openings is part of the public record, signed applications and not resumes are used as documents of first contact, and interviews (i.e. introvert filters) are a late stage in the selection process, after application processing and competitive examinations. I’m not above advocating holding private sector human resources practices to similar standards. If that makes me a commie, so be it. I also advocate a database of public record for announcements of vacancies, public and private, or at least a proof-of-publication requirement when new employees are added to quarterly withholding tax returns. These reforms would still leave de facto employees who are de jure “independent contractors” as a loophole. Perhaps you can think of a policy strategy for de-gaming that aspect of it.

25 October 2010

Writer’s block --> quotations with links

“Who would have thought that it would be easier to produce by toil and skill all the most necessary or desirable commodities than it is to find consumers for them?”—Winston Churchill, quoted by Jack Saturday



“When you vote for a centre-right candidate to keep a right-wing candidate from getting in, you help move the centre further to the right. And every time the centre moves rightward, so does the right wing. And progressive thought becomes ever more marginalized, and more people say the progressive candidate has no chance of winning, and so they vote centre-right, and on it goes.”—laura k



“Can you keep calling for Freedom and yet tolerate control of your credit and other economic rights by hidden and arbitrary credit ratings and credit scores? What Freedom do you have when you have to sign industry-wide fine print one-sided ‘contracts’ with your banks, insurance companies, car dealers, and credit card companies? Many of these contracts even block your Constitutional access to the courthouse.”—Ralph Nader



“Rick Michigan’s belief that picking winners and losers is wrong is the same thing as saying that we shouldn’t apply vision to our collective future. A visionless future isn’t a future of prosperity. It’s a future where things happen because of luck, and if you aren’t gaming luck then most of what you get will be bad.”—Eric B.



“It would be cool to see Jared graduate from high school next year, but you know what? It would be a lot cooler to see Christ come back in five minutes.”—Clay Brown, quoted by Jen

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