Sunday, April 27, 2014

On Thought Crime Penalties

The big news is that the Los Angeles Clippers owner, Democratic donor,  and one percenter Donald Sterling was taped making racist comments. And everyone is calling for his head. Not that they shouldn't.

That said, I do wonder what the appropriate penalty should be for this and other thought crimes. And does it matter what group it is that you don't like?

A little thought experiment. Suppose instead of blacks, it was gays that Sterling didn't like. What then? How about Muslims? Suppose he just didn't like Christians? What about Democrats? Republicans?

Why is it that not liking blacks or gays is an unforgivable sin while disparaging Christians or Republicans would not likely even be newsworthy?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Obamacare Update

I could see the frustration on his face. Or maybe it was my imagination.

Someone I know well was scheduled for a medical procedure. And then the doctor arrived. He had been on the phone with the insurance company. They apparently have a new checklist of pre procedure requirements. At least one of those requirements was, in the estimation of the doctor, not medically advisable. He would never do that to any patient under any circumstances. So, with some requirements not met, and the insurance company not on board, the procedure was postponed. According to the doctor, in the past he would have been able to talk to a physician to explain the circumstances and the rationale for his medical decision. But now it was clerk with a checklist.

The doctor is a pioneer in his field. His method is less invasive, safer and I suspect cheaper, and is now standard procedure. Imagine the indignity of having his medical judgement usurped by a nameless clerk with a checklist. He is essentially semi-retired. I will not be the least bit surprised if he soon drops the "semi."

Note to Obamacare apologists. There is a difference between health insurance and health care.

Mission Accomplished in Racine

A month or so ago I wrote a letter to the Journal Times editor. Actually it was directed at one Todd Johnson, serial progressive diatribist. I asked just what should be done with the horrible conservatives. Reeducation camps, the guillotine, gulag?

His needlessly wordy response can be boiled down to "election routes" and his preferred solution, "self deportation."

Well then.... to borrow some phrases from an esteemed former president, mission accomplished! Heck of a job Johnsonny!

You see, Todd Johnson lives in Racine. Conservatives have been on the receiving end of electoral routes for years. Racine is a one party town run by liberals/progressives/Democrats and has been for years. Same with Racine Unified. And while all this was happening, Racine was gradually losing population as people "self deported" from Racine.

We should be living in a socialist paradise by now. But it never quite works out that way. Progressives like Todd Johnson can never be happy. This despite a plethora of his own "self deportation" options. Cuba, Detroit, North Korea etc... come to mind.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Observations on Gender and Pay

The big news lately is that we live in a horrible society where every employer apparently hates women and pays them 77 cents for every dollar paid to a man for the same job. This is of course complete b.s.

I own a business and have hired numerous people over the last twenty years. I need a job well done and I have no interest in overpaying for labor. Does anyone really believe that businesses (male and female owned) are really willing to pay 30% more (77 X 1.3 = roughly 1) for labor, just for the satisfaction of screwing over women?

Consider my business and the question of employee compensation. I own a retail jewelry, clothing, and accessory store and roughly 90% of my customers are female. One thing I have observed over the years is that when women are trying on clothes and looking for advice and candid observations on fit etc... that do not to want to hear that from a man. So a female is worth more to me than a man under such circumstances. So I should pay females more, right?

Not so fast. I also sell jewelry on the road sometimes. This requires filling a van full of stuff, getting up at 3 am, working until 6pm, staying in a crappy hotel to save expenses. Doing this job is far more physically demanding. Women can do it, have done it, and will continue to do it, but I find men to have a greater interest in this work than store work. They also save me money cause we tend to stay in the same crappy in room together, perhaps shaving $80 a day from my expenses. So I should pay men more for this, right?

The bottom line is that men and women are different. They bring different things to the table, they have different interests, abilities, tendencies, etc.... Additionally, on an individual level, some are more skilled, more reliable, more trustworthy, and so on. Pay decisions are a very complicated matter that requires in my business to know a person and determine their value to our business.

To suppose I or anyone else would purposely overpay for labor in a competitive marketplace is beyond absurd. The only thing more absurd is the arrogance of President Obama who believes that he has discovered a vast network of gender discrimination that he alone can fix.