Thursday’s Forum

FILED UNDER: Open Forum
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Californians on universal basic income paid off debt and got full-time jobs

    The central idea behind UBI is to lift people out of poverty with a guaranteed monthly income. Supporters say it gives people needed financial security to find good jobs and avoid debt. But critics have argued free money would eliminate the incentive to work, creating a society dependent on the state.
    ……………………………..
    A pair of independent researchers at the University of Tennessee and the University of Pennsylvania reviewed data from the first year of the study, which did not overlap with the pandemic. A second study looking at year two is scheduled to be released next year.

    When the program started in February 2019, 28% of the people slated to get the free money had full-time jobs. One year later, 40% of those people had full-time jobs. A control group of people who did not get the money saw a 5 percentage point increase in full-time employment over that same time period, from 32% to 37%.
    …………………………………………….
    After a year of getting the money, 62% of the people were paying off debt compared to 52% before the study. Researchers also said most people moved from being likely to have mild mental health disorders to “likely mental wellness”.

    The money was delivered once a month on a debit card, which let researchers track how most of the people spent it. The biggest category each month was food, followed by sales and merchandise, which included purchases at places like Walmart and Target, which also sell groceries. The next highest categories were utilities, auto and services. Less than 1% of the money went to tobacco and alcohol.

    More at the link.

    ReplyReply
    7
  2. OzarkHillbilly says:
  3. Tyrell says:

    The Pope is going to Iraq!
    “Pope Francis asks for prayers for his visit to Iraq” (Vatican News)
    “Pope Francis On A Historic Visit To Iraq” (Forbes)

    ReplyReply
    4
  4. Jen says:

    I’m always sort of fascinated by stories like this. I get the feeling the purchaser had some notion that the bowl was rare; I would have thought it was nice but would wonder about the $35 price tag…

    Yard-Sale Bowl Revealed To Be Rare Chinese Artifact Worth Up To $500,000

    ReplyReply
    3
  5. Scott says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I was just going to post about that. Here’s a similar article in the Atlantic.

    Stockton’s Basic-Income Experiment Pays Off

    Two years ago, the city of Stockton, California, did something remarkable: It brought back welfare.

    Using donated funds, the industrial city on the edge of the Bay Area tech economy launched a small demonstration program, sending payments of $500 a month to 125 randomly selected individuals living in neighborhoods with average incomes lower than the city median of $46,000 a year. The recipients were allowed to spend the money however they saw fit, and they were not obligated to complete any drug tests, interviews, means or asset tests, or work requirements. They just got the money, no strings attached.

    Stockton has now proved this false. An exclusive new analysis of data from the demonstration project shows that a lack of resources is its own miserable trap. The best way to get people out of poverty is just to get them out of poverty; the best way to offer families more resources is just to offer them more resources.

    This is what Andrew Yang ran on. I think UBI is going to be a bigger conversation in the future. With AI rolling in, the middle class paperpushers (me, maybe) will be pushed out of a job. The economy will be further bifurcated into service people/laborers and capital overlords. Not a recipe for a stable society. We are seeing the beginnings of that now.

    BTW, what is Social Security except UBI for seniors?

    ReplyReply
    11
  6. CSK says:

    @Jen:
    The tip-off is that the purchaser right away emailed a photo ot the bowl to Sotheby’s with a query. That’s not something one would ordinarily do for any old, pretty bowl.

    ReplyReply
    4
  7. CSK says:

    http://www.talingpointmemo.com/news/pence-op-ed-false-claims-election-fraud

    Too late, Mike. The Trumpkins hate your guts because you betrayed their dear leader on January 6. You will never be forgiven for that perfidy.

    ReplyReply
    6
  8. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Beyond that, how many people even know to ask Sotheby’s? For example, did it occur to the seller to?

    ReplyReply
  9. @OzarkHillbilly:

    I’d say outrageous but this is the modern Republican Party

    ReplyReply
    3
  10. @Tyrell:

    There is a small Christian community in Iraq that is tied to the larger Christian community in Lebanon

    ReplyReply
    4
  11. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Well, that’s the point. The purchaser of the bowl must have suspected right away that he was buying a valuable commodity.

    ReplyReply
    2
  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Paying $35 for a yard sale bowl is the first clue.

    ReplyReply
    3
  13. Jen says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: THAT is what caught my attention. I’m trying to figure out both sides of that…first, pricing something at a yard sale for $35? People will try and talk you down from $5 at a yard sale. Even that is strange. But then paying that much for a small, 6″ bowl…he absolutely must have suspected it was worth something.

    I’m fascinated by how a bowl from the Ming Dynasty, made in the 1400’s, ended up at a yard sale in Connecticut.

    ReplyReply
    1
  14. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    That, too. The guy was probably an antiques dealer, or collector–maybe even a specialist in old porcelains–and knew exactly what he’d just found.

    ReplyReply
    2
  15. grumpy realist says:

    @Scott: I’m grumpy enough to think that UBI as a way of lifting people up will unfortunately not work for all people. Remember that family member who never managed to hold down a job, immediately spent any money that came into his hands on booze or eating out, whined constantly about how the world was against him, and mooched off the rest of the family? Yeah, him. There’s no way that UBI will fix his life, because what’s wrong with it isn’t a lack of money–it’s a lack of work ethic and a lack of appreciation for what other people have already done for him. The self-proclaimed NEETs over at Reddit are equivalent–everything is supposed to get solved in their lives through receiving UBI at some point down the road, but they remain silent on their own responsibilities in improving the situation.

    I’ve spent enough of my life supporting someone who was a financial burden before I kicked him out of my life to know that some people just can’t be helped, UBI or not.

    ReplyReply
    4
  16. Jon says:

    @grumpy realist: Nothing fixes everything for everybody. That’s not the point. This seems to help a lot of people, though, and you can’t make policy based on edge cases.

    ReplyReply
    20
  17. Loviatar says:

    The day I found out the Hardy Boys were white.

    But here’s the thing: I understand why they can’t understand it. Who cares if Dr. Seuss was racist one time in that one book? Should he be canceled?

    They don’t realize that the ONLY time a Black child saw themselves in a Seuss book was in a racist illustration.

    .

    They can’t comprehend because, even if there’s 1 bad characterization of whiteness, there are ONE HUNDRED other characters in the book. Even when the villain in the TV show is white, so is the hero…And the hero’s sidekick…And the lawyer…And the cop…And judge…

    .

    And the anchor on the news…And the weatherman…And the QB…And the commentator…And everyone except the ONE Black person.

    The point is: THEY GET TO CHOOSE!

    The only way to stop a Black child from ingesting this inescapable harm is to LITERALLY insulate them from whiteness

    ReplyReply
    5
  18. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Jen:

    While my story is not as impressive as a $300,000 porcelain bowl, when my wife and I bought our first house we discovered that the kids of the homeowner (who had dementia and was in a home) didn’t clean out the house like what was specified in the terms of sale. Instead they removed anything they thought was valuable, leaving the rest. And indeed most of what was left was just trash, loads and loads of trash, held by almost-hoarders.

    But not all of it. A box full of unopened table ware revealed a set of 19th century silverware at the bottom. A near toppling pile of conspiracy books held a first edition Faulkner. And a box filled with white nationalist memorabilia and Wallace campaign merch (but I repeat myself) also had an antique voting machine. We took that to an appraiser who cleaned it up a bit and announced that it was from the 1932 elections, and that all the ballots were still inside. It now resides with the state museum.

    We also found a few caches of guns hidden in the walls. Nothing unique about those other than their location, but selling them did pay off my student loans.

    ReplyReply
    18
  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jen: pricing something at a yard sale for $35?

    Yep, it’s a rare item priced for more than $10, usually an old power tool or some such.

    ReplyReply
    2
  20. CSK says:

    @Neil Hudelson:
    Did you keep the Faulkner?

    ReplyReply
    3
  21. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @grumpy realist: In the United States–we often fail to make the distinction between people that are broke–and people that are poor. Money can fix problems for people that are broke. Poor people? They have problems money can’t directly solve–in fact it often will exacerbate their problems.

    ReplyReply
    9
  22. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Neil Hudelson: A fellow carpenter I once worked with found a matched pair of dueling pistols in the attic space of Lafayette Square rehab. He made the mistake of giving them to the home owner who upon receiving them said, “Thank you.” and never gave the guy so much as a thank you card.

    I was with another guy when he found a Double Eagle gold coin in the walls of another LS rehab. After I had admired it and told him of it’s probable value, I handed it back to him. As he turned it over in his hands it slipped thru his fingers and down into a black void between walls never to be seen again.

    The closest thing to a cool find I ever had was an old 1930s Post Dispatch newspaper buried in a wall by a lather I’d bet. It was kinda cool reading those old stories.

    ReplyReply
    4
  23. Kathy says:

    And now SpaceX unsuccessfully blew up a rocket.

    On related news, a Japanese millionaire wants to invite 8 artists to go circle the Moon with him in 2023.

    I’m sure he’s sincere and can afford it. I’m also sure SpaceX’s Starship, when it’s developed, could manage such a trip. And I’m certain it won’t be in 2023.

    ReplyReply
    2
  24. @grumpy realist: Not to be mean, but you pretty much just made the typical conservative argument against poverty relief in general, yes? 😉

    ReplyReply
    18
  25. CSK says:
  26. grumpy realist says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Yup. As I’ve gotten older I’m coming to the realisation that you can’t rescue everyone and for a lot of people–you’re not in fact helping them fix their situation. You’re just enabling them–they will continue to live off of you as long as you let them. What good is that? One of the attributes of being an adult is taking responsibility for yourself. Emergencies? OK, let’s help you get back on your feet. But when every single week produces a different goddamn emergency in your life, you’ve got a problem.

    ReplyReply
    3
  27. wr says:

    @CSK: “The guy was probably an antiques dealer, or collector–maybe even a specialist in old porcelains–and knew exactly what he’d just found.”

    Possibly, but sometimes people just know things. My wife, who has a great affection for decorative objects, was working at a charity sale when she spotted an old clock priced at fifty dollars. Even though she’s not a clock collector or expert, she was able to see that it was something special, so she pulled it off the floor and did a little Googling, discovering that it was actually worth about six grand. Because she is a much better person than I, she did not immediately shell out the fifty bucks and take it home, but told the people running the sale, who had it put up for auction…

    ReplyReply
    1
  28. wr says:

    @grumpy realist: “I’ve spent enough of my life supporting someone who was a financial burden before I kicked him out of my life to know that some people just can’t be helped, UBI or not.”

    Well, if you were a Republican, the fact that some people can’t be helped would be a grand reason for denying help to everyone.

    ReplyReply
    10
  29. CSK says:

    @Doug Mataconis:
    Well, the article goes a long way toward explaining Cawthorn’s infatuation with Trump, doesn’t it? He could be Trump’s son; he has all the characteristics of Trump.

    ReplyReply
    3
  30. Neil Hudelson says:

    @CSK:

    I did. In a previous life I spent many weeks a month on the road, and my hobby was first edition hunting. Small towns adjacent to university towns (where the professors lived, but not the students) held the second-best bookstores for finding gems. The best? Half-priced books. The sorting and appraising is done by whatever high school students are working when the books come in. They’ll helpfully place all the first editions in the “nice” section (mostly just faux leather covered Barnes and Noble editions of classics) and then charge all of $15 for them. And most customers are not there hunting for rare books. And most customers aren’t there to find rare books, so competition is light.

    My best 1st edition finds:
    T.E. Lawrence’s “Seven Pillars of Wisdom” found in a great store on the outskirts of San Antonio. That bookstore owner did a good job of preventing any valuable piece from being place on the general shelves, and was pretty pissed at whatever clerk had let that one slip through. But he honored the original price and didn’t try to stop the sale. That one doesn’t have the dust cover, significantly reducing it’s monetary value, but it’s a cool piece to have nonetheless.

    -W. Somerset Maugham’s “The Razor’s Edge” picked up at a yard sale. I grabbed a whole box after seeing a couple of Upton Sinclair’s “Lanny Budd” series, and found the Maugham while I was waiting to purchase. I did the right thing and let the owner know that these were potentially valuable books and that I understood if she wanted to raise the price. She said something to the effect of “Well, Larry always loved his books and it looks like you will too.”

    -My favorite find, though, came from a Half-Priced books in Lynnwood Washington. Earlier that day I had struck up a conversation with the owner of one of the bigger used stores in Bellingham–Eclipse Books, I think–who had showed off his considerable collection, including his First Edition, his First Book Club Edition, and his Second Printing of “To Kill a Mockingbird.” What stuck with me was his story on how all three of those editions had a picture of Harper Lee on the back taken by Capote, while later editions only featured blurb reviews. Stories say either Harper Lee didn’t ever want her photo on a book and threw a fit, or (more likely) they just decided to have blurbs instead on later printings. Then he walked me through the other signs of authenticity–having “First Edition” on the publishing page, of course, but also the lack of presence of a “W” in the upper corner of the publishing page, the green material covering the book boards, and bronze colored imprinting instead of silver, as later editions had.

    On the way home I stopped at that Lynwood Half Priced books. And there was a clearly old version of To Kill a Mockingbird in their “nice” section. I asked them to unlock the case, pulled it out, and there was a photo of Harper Lee on the back. Taking off the dust cover, the board material was green, and oh hey bronze colored imprinting. My heart started racing as I open the cover to the publisher’s page:

    “Copyright 1960 by Harper Lee.

    Printed in the United States of America. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 60-7847.

    First Edition.”

    ReplyReply
    8
  31. CSK says:

    @wr:
    Well, your wife knows more about clocks than I ever would, so clearly she had that knowledge at her disposal. It was extremely commendable of her to do what she did. A lot of people wouldn’t.

    ReplyReply
    1
  32. CSK says:

    @Neil Hudelson:
    These are great stories you’re telling us.

    ReplyReply
    4
  33. Paine says:

    @Neil Hudelson: Half-Priced Books in Lynnwood, WA? I’ve spent a ton of time there. Used to live just up the road from there.

    ReplyReply
    2
  34. Kathy says:

    @wr:

    We can turn it around. Poor people realize they cannot make all the money in the world, so they don’t make any. Republicans should admire that.

    ReplyReply
  35. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Its a valid argument when used in good faith. “Little c” Conservatives don’t have bad arguments–they misapply them and use them in bad faith.

    So it makes it hard to do complete analysis of policy because as soon as you ask hard questions–liberals come out with their Conservative bats to swing away.

    ReplyReply
    2
  36. Monala says:

    Last nights articles at both Balloon Juice and LGM about the tightened restrictions for stimulus payments (capped at $80k for singles, $120k for head of household, and $160k for marrieds) had a lot of commenters complaining that this was a terrible decision by Democrats and what about the 11 million poor upper middle class people who would no longer get a stimulus check. This despite other commenters pointing out that this was a compromise to prevent reducing the upper limit to $50/75/100k; that there are multiple other provisions to help people such as extended UI; and anyone whose income had declined from those upper limits can recoup the stimulus when they file their taxes.

    I arrived at the end of the party so probably only a few people saw me post that the new Covid recovery bill also expands the number of people eligible for stimulus payments who didn’t receive it in the earlier payouts, specifically:

    1. dependents ages 17 and up, who got nothing in the earlier payments. So if your family includes a high school senior, a college student, and grandma, you were screwed before. Well, no longer under this bill.

    2. The second group who were screwed before but no longer, are the US citizen spouses and children of undocumented immigrants. They got nothing in the earlier stimulus packages, but now will receive their payments under this bill.

    I guarantee you that many families with older dependents and those who are spouses/children of someone undocumented make a hell of a lot less than the upper income thresholds. They were completely iced out before and didn’t even get the partial payments of some higher income folks.

    I also wouldn’t be surprised if these two groups (particularly the first one) aren’t larger than the 11 million no longer eligible for the stimulus.

    ReplyReply
    4
  37. Jim Brown 32 says:

    BTW I don’t think UBI will become wide spread because I don’t believe it is sustainable for the economy to trade with an ever smaller amount of people with money. There is a point of diminishing returns somewhere. Of course, we can fix this with policy and regulation proactively, but since we won’t, it will get fixed after the social unrest.

    ReplyReply
    3
  38. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @Neil Hudelson: If you ever find yourself in Waco, you need to go to the Half-Price Books Outlet. It is the outlet location all of their Texas stores (roughly 1/3 of their total locations) feed into. And, of course, the flagship in Dallas, just for the experience.

    ReplyReply
    1
  39. Loviatar says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    Its a valid argument when used in good faith. “Little c” Conservatives don’t have bad arguments–they misapply them and use them in bad faith.

    So it makes it hard to do complete analysis of policy because as soon as you ask hard questions–liberals come out with their Conservative bats to swing away.

    Could you please explain what you mean by the bolded section? I’m not understanding.

    ReplyReply
    1
  40. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Jen:

    Life imitating fiction.

    ReplyReply
    1
  41. Neil Hudelson says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I’ve lost hammers down walls and felt angry. The double eagle would’ve made me nauseous.

    I’ve been lucky to have lived in old neighborhoods without historic designations to prevent easy remodeling. So many of my neighbors have found amazing things behind walls , under floor boards, etc. Pushed down into a crack between the brick hearth and the metal flu in my neighbor’s house was a crumpled up front page of the morning edition Indianapolis Star on November 12, 1918 announcing Armistice.

    My neighbor upon seeing it: “What the hell happened here? ‘Honey, it appears the boys will be coming home.’ ‘That’s nice dear. Why don’t you go ahead and burn that sh*t up.'”

    ReplyReply
    1
  42. @grumpy realist: I don’t disagree with the general assessment, I just question whether it is a good guide for making social policy.

    If anything, the cost of sorting the undeserving from the deserving is likely more than just accepting that some of the undeserving will get benefits that, well, don’t deserve.

    Do all senior citizens deserve Social Security and Medicare? (For example).

    Now, on a personal relationship level, I totally agree.

    ReplyReply
    5
  43. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Paine:

    Next to a Trader Joe’s I believe? During that whole campaign, the Pacific Northwest was always my worst performing district. I’d like to believe it was just because our infrastructure was poorly developed there, but it might have just been that Portland to Seattle to Bellingham to Vancouver is one of the most enjoyable drives in the world (Seattle rush hour notwithstanding) and a well-performing PNW would’ve removed my reason for being there.

    ReplyReply
    1
  44. @Gromitt Gunn: The flagship store in Dallas is definitely worth the trip (when my grandparents still lived in Dallas I would always make a pilgrimage to the flagship as they lived about 20 minutes away). I was unaware of the outlet in Waco (but, then again, I haven’t been in Waco for a long, long time).

    ReplyReply
    2
  45. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Do all senior citizens deserve Social Security and Medicare? (For example).

    The difference as I see it is that SS is (theoretically) based on what you put into it during your working life. Every paycheck, I’m putting money into SS–with the understanding that I’ll be getting paid based on that amount later.

    With UBI that money is coming from…. where? I did some quick napkin calculations a while ago, and the standard $1k/mo/adult would basically double the US budget.

    I believe we need a safety net, and assistance for those who truly need it, but I don’t like the idea of just handing out money to everyone. It doesn’t seem sustainable.

    ReplyReply
    3
  46. Kathy says:

    Any word on barbarians at the gates of the Capitol?

    ReplyReply
    1
  47. @Mu Yixiao:

    The difference as I see it is that SS is (theoretically) based on what you put into it during your working life. Every paycheck, I’m putting money into SS–with the understanding that I’ll be getting paid based on that amount later.

    Stipulating to this assessment for the sake of argument, this observation tells us nothing about whether people who receive SS are, in fact, deserving based on how they will spend the funds once provided (to Grumpy’s scenario above).

    And I am not arguing for UBI, per se.I am noting that any universal benefit is going to go to some number of people who don’t deserve it in some way.

    ReplyReply
    7
  48. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Do all senior citizens deserve Social Security and Medicare? (For example).

    Do you make a distinction between “deserve” and “need” ???

    ReplyReply
    1
  49. grumpy realist says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Unless you’ve paid into Social Security, you’re not going to get anything back, no? If you don’t register/pay the tax, you don’t show up in the system. Spouses and children get a carryover from any registered spouse who dies (survivor benefits), but otherwise if you’re on your lonesome you aren’t going to get anything.

    Medicare is more of a thing-available-for-everyone, but we have such a lousy mixed-up health care system that I’m willing for it to be available for everyone, at least for now.

    ReplyReply
  50. a country lawyer says:

    @Neil Hudelson: I love old book stores and I’ll always seek them out when I travel. My favorite is in Cincinnati, where I often go for court. It’s a four story building filled with old books. Many are shelved but they have some unopened boxes of old books. which they allow you to rummage through.
    In my travels I’ve managed to acquire a complete set of Faulkner first additions. All but two, Sanctuary and Mosquitos, are first printings.

    ReplyReply
  51. gVOR08 says:

    I wish I’d bookmarked a story I read a few years ago. Concerned a British philanthropist, must have been late 1800s. He supported soup kitchens that fed the poor. They strictly prohibited alcohol. He saw they were turning away a lot of people and opened up a new soup kitchen that allowed alcohol. Had to deal with a little bad behavior, but fed a whole lot more people.

    ReplyReply
    4
  52. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    …as I see it is that SS is (theoretically) based on what you put into it during your working life. Every paycheck, I’m putting money into SS–with the understanding that I’ll be getting paid based on that amount later.

    So your view is that that SS is a ‘government-operated’ savings account?
    Ever heard of OASDI (Old Age, Survivors, Disability Insurance) that is more commonly called Social Security.
    Every paycheck you are purchasing insurance, not making a savings deposit.

    ReplyReply
    4
  53. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    Not yet, but the Trump International Hotel raised its rates for March 3-5 to $1391 per night. On the other hand, the cheapest room there on Jan. 5-6 was $8000 per night, so $1391 may be a total bargain.

    ReplyReply
    1
  54. Gustopher says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    I believe we need a safety net, and assistance for those who truly need it, but I don’t like the idea of just handing out money to everyone. It doesn’t seem sustainable.

    Why separate the deserving from the underserving before the money is handed out?

    The alternative is to claw it back through the tax system after the fact. It also helps target it better — the “stimulus” checks (which should be called covid disaster recovery checks) should be targeted based on whether you need help this year, not whether you needed help last year.

    The undeserving then get an interest free loan. Assuming the program runs forever, you might also view that as writing off one year’s worth of payments to all the undeserving, as that loan will get rolled over year after year. Either way, sustainable, but with an initial outlay.

    Alas, to a certain segment of the population, the key determinant between the deserving and undeserving poor is skin color, and no one would accept a special tax on brown skin to claw back the benefits.

    ReplyReply
    6
  55. Paine says:

    @Neil Hudelson: Yep. It was right next to a Trader’s Joe at 99 and 196th. I haven’t been there in years but spent a lot of time in their history, poli-sci, DVD, and gaming sections.

    ReplyReply
    1
  56. Last spring I listened to a podcast about the 1918-1919 Spanish Flu pandemic. A medical expert and historian who was one of the guests said that genetic analysis of all of the most dangerous flu outbreaks we’ve been through in the past century can be genetically linked to the original virus that caused so much death 102 years. He also said that all the currently known flu variants we deal with on a seasonal basis have a genetic structure that has similarities to the Spanish Flu.

    This has real implications for the Covid-19 pandemic. Covid, of course, is not the same as the flu. It is not an Inflienza virus, it is a Corona Virus. Other examples of a Corona virus are SARS and the common cold.

    If I can find the podcast in question I will post a link.

    ReplyReply
    7
  57. Gustopher says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    I believe we need a safety net, and assistance for those who truly need it, but I don’t like the idea of just handing out money to everyone. It doesn’t seem sustainable.

    I would also add that the idea of means testing offends me.

    With means testing, any program simply becomes a transfer from the wealthy who pay for it, to the poor who receive it. I think the wealthy should get what they pay for — it may not be worth as much to them, but they should get it. It just seems fair.

    Everyone who can pays into a system that everyone benefits from. My health insurance should be an add-on to Medicaid, and I should get get food stamps, because I pay for that shit.

    Plus, last year’s wealthy might be this year’s poor. For certain reductivist definitions of wealthy and poor.

    ReplyReply
    4
  58. CSK says:

    According to a report in thehill.com, Jacob Chansley, the QAnon Shaman, told 60 Minutes Plus reporter Laurie Segall that he was “deeply wounded” Trump didn’t give him a pardon.

    ReplyReply
    8
  59. Mister Bluster says:

    @Bob@Youngstown:..Ever heard of OASDI (Old Age, Survivors, Disability Insurance) that is more commonly called Social Security.

    I have contributed to Social Security as established by the Federal Insurance Contributions Act* since the early ’60s. Mostly as an employee. I have been an employer so I paid that amount as well and when I was self employed I paid both amounts. I know that the money that I paid in was transferred to the accounts of retired citizens, my grandfather for instance. I think that is why it is called a transfer payment. And today the benefit I receive is paid for with the contributions of all the working stiffs and their employers across the Fruited Plain.
    Thanks y’all!

    *FICA or as I call it the Fixed Income Community Alliance.

    ReplyReply
    5
  60. Scott says:

    As for UBI, I’m trying to think ahead and envision the future. Seems like everyone here is viewing such as system as staying as it is today. Maybe I’ve read too many science fiction books about dystopian futures but I think the trendlines are not good.

    It won’t matter to me because I’ll most likely be long gone but my kids and grandkids are something I worry a lot about.

    Speaking of dystopian futures, I read a fiction book a couple weeks back titled “The Resisters” by Gish Jen. The American future was totally driven by AI and automation. I recommend it. The title, BTW, refers to a group of folks of have nots that form an unauthorized league of baseball teams and players.

    ReplyReply
    1
  61. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Loviatar: When arguments are posited about policy that are used by “Conservatives”–liberals often attack them out of hand because “That’s what Conservatives say”.

    From a systems perspective–these are often valid questions to be asked and analyzed. From a partisan, political operative perspective–they are arguments thrown around to be used as cover for predetermined courses of actions. (Usually to do nothing)

    For example–its a valid question the applications of UBI to achieve an objective and to recognize its not a magic bullet. We do this not in bad faith as “Conservatives” to justify doing nothing–but to come up with ways to help that bucket of UBI+ people that want to be helped.

    For the others–What do we do for people that use their UBI to engage in reckless behavior that harms themselves or even children in their care? Is UBI a right? A Privilege? Do we even care? These question WILL have to be reckoned with. If I’ve learned above all else with people is that with every good thing–fuckery will ensue.

    An analogy was made with SS and UBI which is good–but we can draw similar analogies from food stamps (which I’ve gratefully received in my youth), WIC, and Section 8. They can be though of as UBI as well. And I can tell you there are people that don’t capitalize off those benefits to handle their business. These are not edge cases–they are a minority but not an anomaly.

    Do people piss away their SS checks? Absolutely—but its an insurance program so they have a stake in it. As soon as 20/20 does stories on how little Johnnie is starving because mom is blowing the UBI on meth–their will be a problem because UBI isn’t an insurance program but a transfer. And the question pushed by the Top 5% or so taxed for UBI will be “WTF am I helping destroy little Johnnies life.” It may be a completely unfair question but that’s how the American wealthy think and that’s not going to change.

    Better to answer those questions yourself and have a plan rather than play catch up defense and stymie the concept before it can germinate.

    ReplyReply
    3
  62. Kylopod says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: @grumpy realist: Some progressives think UBI is a libertarian Trojan horse. Yang always like to mention that MLK supported the idea, which is true. What he doesn’t mention is that Milton Friedman also did. The libertarian idea is that there’d be virtually no social safety net as exists today except for a few very simple programs such as UBI, just to protect people from total economic oblivion.

    ReplyReply
    1
  63. Neil Hudelson says:
  64. CSK says:

    According to the AP, the Capitol police have asked the National Guard to continue providing security at the Capitol for the next two months.

    ReplyReply
  65. @Kylopod: Like I said, I am not arguing for UBI (which is one of those things I can think is a good idea or a bad idea at any given moment because, really, I haven’t given it deep thought).

    I am raising what I think is an important philosophical (as well as practical) point about any universal social welfare policy.

    ReplyReply
    4
  66. dazedandconfused says:

    @CSK:

    Credit where credit is due, Trump’s judgement of Mike Pence was right on the money. That Pence lacks the courage to do what should be done to save the country has been proven beyond all doubt. Who knew?

    ReplyReply
    2
  67. CSK says:

    Great news for all you single malt aficionados:

    The Biden administration is suspending (for four months, initially) the 25% tariff Trump imposed on the importation of Scotch whisky.

    ReplyReply
    5
  68. Mu Yixiao says:

    In seriously important news: Canadian butter isn’t getting soft.

    ReplyReply
    4
  69. grumpy realist says:

    @Kylopod: I’d accept UBI under the following conditions: 1) it’s provided to people who already have a job (albeit badly paid), are taking care of someone else, or are actively looking for work. 2) the government provides opportunities for jobs, pays for them, and facilitates transportation to the locale. Said job may be something like picking vegetables, cleaning streets, working on refurbishing decaying housing so it can be used again–whatever. It has to be something that shows you are giving something back to society in exchange for your access to UBI.

    For people who want to sit in front of a computer screen all day, play games etc. and never contribute anything back, nope. Live off your parents or other relatives–you’re on your own.

    ReplyReply
    1
  70. CSK says:

    @dazedandconfused:
    Well, I do think it’s ironic, given all the assiduous toadying Pence did, that now EVERYONE is throwing him under the bus. If he does attempt to run in 2024, Trump will be trashing him in every venue imaginable.

    ReplyReply
  71. Sleeping Dog says:

    MITCH MCCONNELL WORKING WITH KENTUCKY LEGISLATURE ON SENATE EXIT STRATEGY

    Interesting. Remember a few months ago, the pictures of Moscow’s bruised hands that he dismissed as nothing. Lately I’ve had some blood work done and I’m a notoriously difficult for nurses to find vein/arteries, much poking left my hands looking similar. Get’s you wondering about his health again.

    ReplyReply
    1
  72. Jen says:

    @CSK: YESSSS. Not that we were getting low or anything, but maybe time for me to buy a celebratory bottle or two. (Any excuse works in this house.)

    On a different note, filed under “play stupid games, win stupid prizes”:

    The man who put his feet up on a desk in Pelosi’s office during the Capitol riot throws a tantrum in court.

    ReplyReply
    4
  73. Mu Yixiao says:

    @grumpy realist:

    A local retail chain is advertising for “cool” workers.

    Are you going to punch in just to breathe the air?
    Are you going to show up late or not at all?
    That’s not cool.

    I know there’s a bit of “kids these days!” in my attitude, but when businesses start straight out saying “We’ve had too many slackers” in their commercials, I know it’s more than just me being grumpy.

    ReplyReply
  74. CSK says:

    @Jen:
    I was thinking of you when I posted the tariff news. I knew you’d see it and appreciate it.

    As for Richard Barnett, he’s probably outraged by his detention because he feels he did absolutely nothing wrong. After all, he’s a patriot who was merely exercising his God-given First Amendment rights. Right? MAGA!

    ReplyReply
    2
  75. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Sucker. Sap. Fool. Idiot.

    ReplyReply
  76. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: I think it’s not so much ironic as it is karmic.

    ReplyReply
  77. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: A Senate Exit strategy? Here’s one for Mitch: Open door. Walk out. Don’t let the door hit you in the ass.

    ReplyReply
    2
  78. Jen says:

    @Sleeping Dog: That *is* interesting.

    So, what we have is a red state with a sitting Democratic governor who would normally have the power to make the appointment. McConnell was just reelected to a 6-year term. Instead of waiting until 2023 when Gov. Beshear is up for reelection (well within McConnell’s 6-year term), he’s trying to have the Kentucky Legislature rewrite the rules so that they get to make the appointment.

    McConnell must be quite ill to be pushing this.

    ReplyReply
    3
  79. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Here’s a thought, just a thought for them: Try paying more, because as the old adage says, “You get what you pay for.”

    ReplyReply
    3
  80. KM says:

    @grumpy realist:

    For people who want to sit in front of a computer screen all day, play games etc. and never contribute anything back, nope. Live off your parents or other relatives–you’re on your own.

    Be careful with that kind of thinking – my elderly mother bitches about how I do “nothing but play games” all day while working from home and should be cleaning up after her instead. She thinks computer = video game and no one can explain otherwise. What constitutes “playing” or even a “game” to society? This is a valid question as more and more tech is becoming interactive. Is Youtuber a job like video game playtester is? Who gets to make that call – younger generations who are more tech-savvy or the olds who call everything Nintendoes regardless of brand or platform?

    Also, if everyone is getting money simply for being a citizen and existing, what does “deserving” even mean? We have to divorce the concepts of worthiness as human beings, social contributions and economic activity. If you aren’t earning it in the traditional way but qualify based on standards, you deserve it. If you chose not to play a rigged game and would rather enjoy the only life you will ever have than work 3 jobs just to squeak by, does that mean your economic activity is less valid or social actions meaningless? We can’t hold up social progress because we don’t have 100% compliance or success. I’d rather support an underserving and ungrateful 10% of the population who does nothing but drink, play Overwatch non-stop and hit up all the hookers completely wasting my hard-earned money if it means a better life for the other 90% of society.

    ReplyReply
    6
  81. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jen: Pobrecito… If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.

    ReplyReply
    1
  82. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Aren’t they all?
    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Could be both.

    ReplyReply
  83. Jon says:

    @KM:

    I’d rather support an underserving and ungrateful 10% of the population who does nothing but drink, play Overwatch non-stop and hit up all the hookers completely wasting my hard-earned money if it means a better life for the other 90% of society.

    Absolutely agree, and a simple thumbs enough didn’t seem enough.

    ReplyReply
    6
  84. KM says:

    @Mu Yixiao :
    What do they sell? Are they aware most workers actually don’t do work their entire shift; I think it’s something like 3hr of measurable work for an 8hr shift. Back when I was working in food service, some positions were non-stop move move move and some were stand around and wait aka punch in to breathe. There was only so much cleaning and prep you can do so standing around and talking is gonna happen; in fact, if the shift before you was super industrious, they could have already done all your tasks and you def had nothing to do but breathe till the next customer came.

    Businesses get offended when they don’t see people “visibly working” but pointless busy work is a great way to drive away good employees. “Go straighten the jean wall” when nobody’s touched in an hour is a fantastic way to foster resentment towards tasks and make them not want to do anything. Younger generations are rightfully becoming less tolerant of pointless work-for-appearance-sake but olds see it as goldbricking. If yer leanin’ you should be cleanin’ only works if it hasn’t already been cleaned!

    ReplyReply
    2
  85. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @CSK: Libations are in order this evening then! Im thinking something slightly smoky in flavor–if only had something on hand*

    *oddly enough–about 15 years ago I became a winter seasonal scotch (or any kind of liquor for that matter) drinker. I will occasionally drink (craft) beer in the summer (Jai Lai’s Florida Cracker is my fav). But as for Scotch, from around the time daylight savings time ends until about mid January, I drink a few shots per night until the bottle is finished and replace it. Once the first bottle in January is finished–that’s it. It doesn’t even occur to me to buy a new one. This November when DST ends–getting a new bottle will again become a priority.

    Im not even sure how to classify this strange bio-rhythm

    ReplyReply
    3
  86. Paine says:

    The LGM blog had a post a few days ago about Justice Breyer and why he hasn’t retired yet. There are seven or so Democratic senators who are quite old who would be replaced by a GOP governor should something bad happen. I think McConnell was the only similar case on the other side of the aisle.

    ReplyReply
  87. CSK says:

    @Jim Brown 32:
    It doesn’t seem at all strange to me. Some drinks are just more appropriate for cooler weather. An occasional brandy (or bourbon or Scotch) after dinner in the winter months is great. Less so in the summer. Likewise, I’d never have a vodka and tonic in January.

    I’ll drink a pre-dinner vodka martini any season of the year.

    ReplyReply
    2
  88. Gustopher says:

    @KM:

    the olds who call everything Nintendoes regardless of brand or platform?

    I feel called out. I don’t do this with video games, because I don’t know enough or care enough to discuss them.

    But I do refer to the BMW 3 series as the BMW Civic. If it fits into the niche of a Civic, it’s a Civic. All the auto manufacturers have a Civic, and an Accord.

    ReplyReply
    3
  89. JohnMcC says:

    @Jen: The Inspector General of the Transportation Dept had some rather unfortunate things to say about Sen McConnell’s Mrs tenure. At least the headlines of the story I didn’t read said that. Wonder if they are feeling that they’ve gotten what they are likely to get from their Washington service.

    ReplyReply
  90. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @KM: This is the key thing to start with. What is/should be the purpose of money is the 21st Century (and beyond). If that can be answered then sound policy can follow.

    Money obviously doesn’t have the same role it use to now that “money” is mostly virtual and the supply can be expanded/contracted on a whim. My thought has been that its primarily a license to engage in economic activity.

    Imbalances should be discouraged simply from the perspective that people like Bezos are sitting on mountains of idle economic activity. Frankly, we could engineer dynamic tax policy based on the ratio of idle to active licenses and individual possesses. Too much idle capital? Tax. Too little? UBI.

    There are lots of things we could do to have a well managed money system. However, “human factors” money as a status symbol–will work to confound those efforts. Humans are highly, highly motivated by status games–its really the driving force behind Big C “Conservatism?

    ReplyReply
    5
  91. CSK says:

    What has happened to our Brit friend, JohnSF? It seems he hasn’t been around here for a while.

    ReplyReply
    3
  92. Mu Yixiao says:

    @KM:

    They sell pet food and supplies. I’ve had to go in a couple times for work to pick up kitty litter (for disposing of large quantities of paint), and it was usually took a minute or two before someone was able to help me–because they’re busy helping people, restocking, facing, etc.

    Last year I was working at our local grocery store. I’d say about half the kids are lazy. There are always things they can be doing. Wander out into the parking lot and bring in carts, face the aisles, check for back stock on low/empty items, push the dust mop around, etc. They can talk to their friends while they’re doing it, that’s not a problem. But they look at you like you’re asking them to clean the sewers with their tongue when you mention that they do any of that.

    On the other hand, the ones that actually do good work… about half of those are in bad family situations and end up getting fired for not showing up (for reasons beyond their control).

    And then there are the ones who have parents that sit and watch them on their first day to make sure that they’re okay. SMH

    ReplyReply
    1
  93. Gustopher says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Are you going to punch in just to breathe the air?
    Are you going to show up late or not at all?
    That’s not cool.

    I don’t think these people understand what cool is.

    I wouldn’t want to work somewhere where the owners believed that following the rules was cool. Necessary, mature, etc, sure, but cool? I don’t want some asshole talking down to me.

    I suspect they are having problems finding people “cool” enough to work there because they’re shitty managers, and inspire nothing but loathing in their employees. It’s a job, it’s not cool, it’s just what you do when you’re paid to do it.

    ReplyReply
    2
  94. KM says:

    @Gustopher:
    Meh, that’s different – you’re not castigating its usage. There’s a big distinction between not knowing the details of someone else’s hobby or lifestyle because it’s not your thing and complaining about how someone “wastes their life” without grasping the basic details. One should know what one’s talking about, after all if the point is valid. Otherwise it’s all just Old Man Yelling at Clouds…. which incidentally is a meme from an episode from almost 20 years ago and is older than a chunk of Gen Z. Irony is ironical.

    ReplyReply
    3
  95. Jen says:

    @JohnMcC: Yes, I saw that too. (Via NPR, for anyone who hasn’t yet seen it: Elaine Chao Used DOT Resources For Personal Errands, Family Business, IG Report Says)

    McConnell is 79, and has had health problems for most of his life (he’s a childhood polio survivor). His wife has an inspector general report on her behavior while in office. They’re both multimillionaires. I can’t tell if they’ve just decided to cash in the chips now, or if he’s sick enough to be trying to manage his own succession for that reason.

    @Jim Brown 32: While my “window” is larger, I understand what you’re saying. I tend to prefer whisky (single malt Scotch) when it’s cooler, and gin and tonics when it’s hot out. In NH, that means whisky from ~October through April, and G&T May through September. Give or take. 😉

    ReplyReply
    3
  96. Gustopher says:

    @Jen:

    McConnell is 79, and has had health problems for most of his life (he’s a childhood polio survivor).

    Question to ponder: If childhood mortality was just a tiny bit higher, would we be living in a better country today? Or would someone else just step in to fill those shoes equally well?

    ReplyReply
  97. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I’d say about half the kids are lazy.

    The key word here is “kids” and they aren’t so much lazy as they are ignorant of what work is. Nobody has taught them how. If one hires kids, one has to expect to need to teach them.

    ReplyReply
    7
  98. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Jim Brown 32:
    I have a different bio-rhythm: when I’m dieting I drink Bourbon cuz it’s sweet, Four Roses single barrel generally. When not dieting I drink single malts, Talisker 10 being my go-to. Seasonality isn’t a big thing in LA – I’m sitting outside, albeit in a hoodie, but still it’s warm enough for me to work.

    ReplyReply
    2
  99. @Kathy:

    Nope

    ReplyReply
    1
  100. KM says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    Yes there are always things that need doing but that doesn’t mean they’re supposed to be the ones doing them. Fetching carts isn’t what the cashier does or they’re not waiting at the register. I don’t want the deli person bleaching the floors because of cross-contamination. Stocking shelves is done a specific way and you need to know how to price and set displays. Not everyone can use all equipment; if you’re underage you legally can’t do certain tasks. Not everyone knows how to cash or should be near money so seeing someone standing around while there’s a long line isn’t the failure customer automatically think it is.

    Grocery store workers are not interchangeable all-purpose people. I *hated* customers getting cranky when I wouldn’t go to the shelves to get something for them when I was waiting on the counter or do something outside my specific job of the day; you don’t expect the bank teller to mop up your spilled coffee or refill the TP because they’re not janitorial staff! In fact, I’d get in trouble if I tried to clean up a mess on my own because I (a) was neglecting my own job (b) left my department understaffed without permission and (c) possibly not doing it properly. Just because there’s a body nearby “not doing anything” doesn’t mean they’re not actually doing anything – they’re just not doing what you think they should be doing and customers telling them how to do their job is rather insulting. We don’t do this to other businesses but retail gets hit with folks thinking you’re there to do everything on command.

    ReplyReply
    5
  101. “I think it’s fair to say “conservatives” “canceled” the Dixie Chicks before canceling was cool.”

    Quote via Facebook

    ReplyReply
    9
  102. Loviatar says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    First, thanks for the considered response. I agree with you, there are valid conservative arguments to be made on many policy positions and our country would definitely benefit from policies that were considered and discussed from all points of view – liberal to conservative.

    A couple of questions:
    Who do liberals go to have those discussions?
    Who is the Republican policy equivalent of Senator Warren?

    ReplyReply
    3
  103. Mu Yixiao says:

    @KM:

    Yes there are always things that need doing but that doesn’t mean they’re supposed to be the ones doing them.

    They very much are the ones that are supposed to be doing them. These are tasks that they’ve been assigned to do when there aren’t lines at the register. We’re not talking about a major urban supermarket, it’s a mom & pop grocery store.

    The kids are trained to face, do basic stocking (package goods only, they don’t do meat or produce), and push the broom. If there’s nothing going on, one of the tasks is specifically to go get carts from the parking lot (and now wipe them down).

    Deli, meat, and produce stay in their sections (though we help each other out if need be), and unless specifically told to do something in those depts, the kids are told to stay out. But… Facing shelves? Pushing the dust mop? Those are listed on their job duties.

    and customers telling them how to do their job is rather insulting

    I think you missed the part where I was an employee–a manager, for the latter part of my stint there. Telling them how to do their job was my job. 🙂

    ReplyReply
    1
  104. CSK says:

    A Trumpkin has suggested that when Trump runs again in 2024, his running mate should be…Sarah Palin.

    There’s a ticket cursed by God.

    ReplyReply
    2
  105. KM says:

    @Mu Yixiao :

    We’re not talking about a major urban supermarket, it’s a mom & pop grocery store.

    Ahhh, my mistake. I was assuming there were designated inflexible roles and it was big enough that there would be enough bodies in play. Yeah, if there’s only like 5 people in the whole store and they’re slacking, it’s a problem.

    ReplyReply
    1
  106. @CSK

    LOL

    ReplyReply
    2
  107. Jax says:

    @CSK: I was just thinking the other day that I hadn’t seen JohnSF commenting in a while. I hope he’s well!

    ReplyReply
    2
  108. dazedandconfused says:

    @CSK:

    The bumper sticker: “You’re fired!” “I quit!”

    ReplyReply
    1
  109. Kylopod says:

    @CSK:

    A Trumpkin has suggested that when Trump runs again in 2024, his running mate should be…Sarah Palin.

    It won’t happen. He also would never choose Marjorie Taylor Greene. Not because they’re women (though that’s part of it), but because he doesn’t want anyone who threatens to steal the thunder from him. The reason he chose Pence (and the reason he strongly considered Chris Christie) is because they were good toadies. Pence may have outlived his usefulness to Trump by now, but I think he’d still follow the same pattern if he were to run again.

    ReplyReply
    1
  110. wr says:

    @Sleeping Dog: “Get’s you wondering about his health again.”

    Or maybe he’s hoping to spend more time with Elaine Chao’s lawyers.

    ReplyReply
    1
  111. CSK says:

    @Kylopod:
    Oh, I know it won’t happen, but a Trump/Palin ticket would clearly constitute a MAGA Dream Team.

    ReplyReply
    1
  112. Jen says:

    @CSK: Dear lord. Not a well-constructed sentence to be had between the two of them.

    Word salad for everyone!

    ReplyReply
    2
  113. CSK says:

    @Jen:
    I know! I was just thinking that we’d be introduced to new dimensions of gibberish.

    ReplyReply
  114. CSK says:

    @CSK:
    Or gibberish in stereo.

    ReplyReply
  115. Sleeping Dog says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    @Jen:

    Axios had a piece this AM on the senate and potential for it to flip due to death or resignation. Only KY has R senators and Dem governor with the power to name a replacement, even an interim. Many states require that the replacement be of the same party.

    ReplyReply
    1
  116. When you get right down to it the Catholic Church is an organization built around the covering up of child rape. And one of the people personally responsible for this is a supposed Saint.

    ReplyReply
    2
  117. Kylopod says:

    @Sleeping Dog: For the record, the other day I went and collected a list of the Democratic Senators in states with Republican governors. Here they are, by age:

    Jon Ossoff (GA, 34)
    Krysten Synema (AZ, 44)
    Raphael Warnock (GA, 51)
    Mark Kelly (AZ, 57)
    Chris Van Hollen (MD, 62)
    Maggie Hassan (NH, 63)
    Jon Tester (MT, 64)
    Sherrod Brown (OH, 68)
    Elizabeth Warren (MA, 71)
    Joe Manchin (WV, 73)
    Jeanne Shaheen (NH, 74)
    Ed Markey (MA, 74)
    Ben Cardin (MD, 77)
    Bernie Sanders (VT, 79)
    Patrick Leahy (VT, 80)

    Now here are the R Senators in states with D governors:

    Rand Paul (KY, 58)
    Pat Toomey (PA, 59)
    Roger Marshall (KS, 60)
    Thom Tillis (NC, 60)
    Bill Cassidy (LA, 63)
    Ron Johnson (WI, 65)
    Richard Burr (NC, 65)
    Jerry Moran (KS, 66)
    Susan Collins (ME, 68)
    John Kennedy (LA, 69)
    Mitch McConnell (KY, 79)

    I haven’t gotten into complexities like the laws governing vacancies in each states, or the ability of the legislature to change those laws before a replacement is made. (I did find out that VT lost its supermajority in 2020, which I think is quite relevant to this issue.)

    ReplyReply
  118. CSK says:

    The east coast of the north island of New Zealand is under a threat from a tsunami. Coastal residents are told to move to higher ground immediately. There had been an 8.1 quake offshore.

    ReplyReply
  119. Gustopher says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    When you get right down to it the Catholic Church is an organization built around the covering up of child rape.

    That’s not true at all. The Catholic Church evolved a rape culture, it wasn’t started for that purpose. It may have evolved that culture very quickly, though.

    ReplyReply
    2
  120. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jon: True, but the fact that some, or even most, people would benefit is no reason to stop making perfect the enemy of good for some of us.

    ReplyReply
    2
  121. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Kylopod:

    The Axios piece, quoted VT R governor as saying that in event of a vacancy, he would appoint a liberal independent.

    ReplyReply
  122. Neil Hudelson says:

    @a country lawyer:

    Pre-(and presumably post) pandemic I visited Cinci a few times a year, either for a soccer match or to visit jungle jim’s. Do you know the name of the bookstore? I’d love to visit it.

    ReplyReply
  123. Sleeping Dog says:

    @CSK:

    We have friends who have a son and his family living in NZ, they passed the info that the Auckland area is being evacuated. With a tsunami, 1 meter in height on the way.

    ReplyReply
    1
  124. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: That’s got to be about the saddest story that I’ve heard in the last… 35 or 40 seconds. Tears at my heart. Absolutely. ( 😉 )

    ReplyReply
    1
  125. CSK says:

    A few select Massachusetts Stop ‘n’ Shops are selling, exclusively, something called “The Cheetos Flamin’ Hot Sushi Roll.” It consists of a standard California roll enrobed with crushed Cheetos.

    I’ll pass.

    ReplyReply
  126. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    This has the makings of a real disaster.
    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    I know. I wept. Not.

    ReplyReply
  127. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    well, in one way these people are not idiots. Do you think they’d have committed a federal crime if they were not counting on a pardon?

    In another way, though, they are morons. I mean, would you count on a pardon from the Orange Egotist without having something to blackmail him for in exchange?

    ReplyReply
  128. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    See, I’m not sure they knew they were committing a federal crime. Trump encouraged them to do it, after all. And remember, they saw themselves as patriots preventing the loser of the election (Biden) from usurping power.

    I agree, however, that anyone who counts on anything from Trump–other than him being a malevolent churl, of course–is probably a moron.

    ReplyReply
  129. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @KM: When I was working retail the first summer I lived in Spokane, “go straighten the jean wall” was my go to for when I needed to look busy. I’d go over to the display, look around, go get a pair of jeans from the backroom, file it and then go back into the backroom. True, I’d worked in a place where “look busy” was the rule during the gaps in the day for 15 years before I got to Spokane. Developing that skill was essential to my reputation as an extraordinarily diligent worker for years after.

    ReplyReply
  130. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    There are always things they can be doing. Wander out into the parking lot and bring in carts, face the aisles, check for back stock on low/empty items, push the dust mop around, etc.

    My brother and I were talking about this a while ago. As I’ve been back from Korea and started working in the schools again, I’ve noticed something that has become exacerbated since I’ve come back that was a problem while I was teaching earlier in my career. In our area at least, the “best” students do exactly what they are told to do precisely the way that they have been told to do it. A fair number of grading rubrics here have a section for how accurately the students followed the instructions independent of the overall quality of the work. If we are training students to reward obedience over initiative, it’s not unreasonable for that they will wait for instructions.

    On the other side of your point, yeah, the whole work beneath me thing is annoying. On the other hand, the job at which I used to joke with my supervisor that there was no job there too demeaning for me to do paid $10.85 an hour when the minimum wage was about $3.25, too. We may need to find a balance point somewhere.

    ReplyReply
  131. DrDaveT says:

    @grumpy realist:

    I’m grumpy enough to think that UBI as a way of lifting people up will unfortunately not work for all people.

    I’m grumpy enough to think that free public education as a way of lifting people up will unfortunately not work for all people.

    I’m sensible enough to recognize that this is not an argument against free public education.

    ReplyReply
    5
  132. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Loviatar: “Who is the Republican policy equivalent of Senator Warren?”

    May not be a valid question. 1) Equivalent of Warren or equivalent on the other side of the continuum? 2) Are there “policies” available in the GOP in the same ways that Democrats have “policy?”

    ReplyReply
    1
  133. DrDaveT says:

    @Jen:

    Yard-Sale Bowl Revealed To Be Rare Chinese Artifact Worth Up To $500,000

    ObClassicSF: “–We Also Walk Dogs”, by Robert A. Heinlein.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E2%80%94We_Also_Walk_Dogs

    ReplyReply
    2
  134. DrDaveT says:

    @Jen:

    I’m fascinated by how a bowl from the Ming Dynasty, made in the 1400’s, ended up at a yard sale in Connecticut.

    I haven’t yet found a good description of the event that is being called a “yard sale”. I wouldn’t be surprised if it were not actually a “yard sale” in the sense of “just some private individual selling off some old personal stuff to get it out of the way and make a few bucks”.

    ReplyReply
    1
  135. DrDaveT says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I am raising what I think is an important philosophical (as well as practical) point about any universal social welfare policy.

    I have found that it works better to choose an example that is so well established and accepted that people don’t think of it as “welfare”. Free primary education seems to make the point, at least for any but die-hard libertarians. Free use of publicly-maintained streets is even better.

    ReplyReply
    1
  136. @DrDaveT: Good point. I usually go with K-12 (and often roads). I went with SS because it is, as someone noted, practically UBI with an age requirement.

    ReplyReply
  137. a country lawyer says:

    @Neil Hudelson: Ohio Bookstore, 726 Main Street.

    ReplyReply
  138. Mu Yixiao says:

    @DrDaveT:

    Free primary education seems to make the point, at least for any but die-hard libertarians.

    Despite the labelism that some leap to here, I think that k-12 education should definitely be free. But not for egalitarian reasons. That level of education is an investment that benefits all of society. “The market” needs people who are well educated in the basics (and “the basics” continually creeps forward as the job market requires more knowledge and skills).

    ReplyReply
    1
  139. Loviatar says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    1) Equivalent of Warren or equivalent on the other side of the continuum?

    Instead of the term other side, I’ll stipulate that liberal and conservative policies are at different points on the policy continuum. However, I’m not looking for conservative policies, per se, I’m looking for an equivalent to Warren, a conservative politician who can articulate those policies and how they assist the United States in solving our real world problems.

    —–

    2) Are there “policies” available in the GOP in the same ways that Democrats have “policy?”

    No, there aren’t equivalent GOP policies. Since Reagan, GOP policies have denigrated to basically the level of a cartoonish – lets own the liberals – meme. How do you debate policy from a conservative position when the Conservative policy shop is filled unserious, disingenuousness liars?

    —–
    —–
    @Jim Brown 32:

    This is why,

    liberals often attack them out of hand because “That’s what Conservatives say”

    ReplyReply
  140. Kylopod says:

    @Loviatar: Republicans actually have plenty of policies. It’s just that their electoral strategy absolutely depends on tricking a chunk of the public into thinking those policies are the literal opposite of what they are. If Republicans were honest about what they intend to do while in office, they’d never win an election again.

    ReplyReply
    3
  141. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mu Yixiao: These are tasks that they’ve been assigned to do when there aren’t lines at the register

    And when they aren’t at the register when somebody does want to check out? Who gets yelled at then???

    I’m just gonna call bullshit here.

    ReplyReply
    1
  142. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I’ve noticed something that has become exacerbated since I’ve come back that was a problem while I was teaching earlier in my career. In our area at least, the “best” students do exactly what they are told to do precisely the way that they have been told to do it. A fair number of grading rubrics here have a section for how accurately the students followed the instructions independent of the overall quality of the work. If we are training students to reward obedience over initiative, it’s not unreasonable for that they will wait for instructions.

    That’s something I’ve been bitching about for a couple decades. The obsession with standardized tests as a metric of success* has caused the US education system to move away from “asking questions” to “giving the right answer”. We no longer teach creative thinking or critical thinking.

    On the other side of your point, yeah, the whole work beneath me thing is annoying. On the other hand, the job at which I used to joke with my supervisor that there was no job there too demeaning for me to do paid $10.85 an hour when the minimum wage was about $3.25, too. We may need to find a balance point somewhere.

    When I was 17, I got hired as a bus boy at a bar & grill (I’d previously worked at a fine Victorian restaurant, and a popular local family restaurant; the stories from those could fill a novel). Everyone thought the boss was a hard-ass bitch. She would “shout” sharp orders at them.

    I always replied with “yes, ma’am”. After a couple weeks, I learned to pay attention to what was going on at the grill, and anticipate what she might need. So when she barked “Get me half a chicken!” I would say “Yes, ma’am. Is there anything else you need?” Or “Yes, ma’aam. It looks like you’re low on onions, should I grab some more?”

    After 2 months, she was politely asking me to get things for her.

    I worked for Alice (yes, I worked at “Alice’s Restaurant”) on and off for 13 years. I went from bus boy dishwasher to waiter to bartender to “everything”. My wages doubled after my first year, and I was getting tips (which were really good, and I earned them).

    I believe in a fair wage for fair work. I’ve busted my ass in F&B, construction, coding, and more–and I got paid well for the work I did. I earned that money. I made a customer happy, I built a thing, I helped people find what they want on a website.

    I have, for decades, supported a modernized version of the CCC program; The government pays good wages to people in exchange for things that need to be done. They won’t be glamorous, but they’re needed. And they can be integrally-supporting. All those parents who need someone to look after their children while they work? Child care is one of the jobs the CCC sponsors–so the parents get free child care, the people taking care of the children get job skills (and money), and society gets the product of whatever the parents are working on.

    If UBI required “you must do something that benefits society”–and I’m wide open on how that’s defined–I’d be behind it. If it’s a wage rather than a hand-out, I’m betting that would take care of most of the fraud. And once they’ve earned the money, I really don’t care what they spend it on.
    —-
    * Having taught in Asia, I’m sure you know what I mean when I talk about “teaching to the test”. Whenever people point to China as being #1 on the international test scores, I point out that a) it’s Shanghai, not China (e.g., Annapolis MD, not the entire US) and b) they were taught the answers–not how to get them.

    When I was teaching in China, I was asked to help a HS girl (Chinese, going to an international school) with interpreting a poem. I spent about 15 minutes asking her to read a line and tell me what she thought it meant. She couldn’t. She just kept saying “Tell me what it means”.

    ReplyReply
  143. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @KM: Bullshit. I shop at a small town mom and pop store. Somebody… has to be at the cash register, ALL the F’n time. And quite often, somebody else has to help out. Because if there isn’t somebody there to take the money, the owners don’t make no money.

    I’m just gonna call bullshit here.

    ReplyReply
  144. JohnMcC says:

    The “Loyalist Communities Council” in Ulster is apparently a group of militias that has some representation with the NI government. They represent the DUP and such charming assemblies as the Ulster Volunteer Force and Red Hand Commando.

    Anyhow, they have decided that having a ‘border’ somewhere in the Irish Sea is not for them. And they have denounced the peace deal there, threatening to ‘blow up’ the Good Friday Accord.

    They urge that demonstrations against peace be… ‘peaceful’.
    http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/mar/o4/brexit-northern-ireland-loyalist-armies-renounce-good-friday-agreement

    ReplyReply
  145. Mu Yixiao says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    And when they aren’t at the register when somebody does want to check out? Who gets yelled at then???

    “Sue to open, please. Sue to open.”
    “All available cashiers to open. All available cashiers to open.”

    It takes less than 30 seconds for them to get to the register and log in. And there is always one register that’s attended at all times (usually by the adult, since they can ring up the booze).

    ReplyReply
  146. Kathy says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    At my regular supermarket, I’ve noticed cashiers without a line at their register, often go looking for people standing in line at other registers and wave them over.

    ReplyReply
  147. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kylopod: Republicans actually have plenty of policies.

    Beyond tax cuts and Cleek’s law, name one.

    ReplyReply
  148. Kylopod says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Beyond tax cuts and Cleek’s law, name one.

    Slashing business regulations, cutting Medicaid and SNAP, dismantling Obamacare, privatizing Social Security, voucherizing Medicare, voucherizing public education, subsidizing corporations and farms….

    And that’s just the economic stuff.

    ReplyReply
    3
  149. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    “Sue to open, please. Sue to open.”
    “All available cashiers to open. All available cashiers to open.”

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA….

    Come to small town America. Sure they get there, eventually. 30 seconds? HA! Not only that, you had them out in the lot collecting grocery carts and leaving the cash register unattended. Make up your f’n mind.

    @Kathy: I’ve only seen that at a Walmart, never at the small local market, except for when they are the one lone designated cashier.

    ReplyReply
  150. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kylopod: In other words, Cleek’s Law.

    ReplyReply
  151. Kylopod says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    In other words, Cleek’s Law.

    It isn’t Cleek’s law, it’s acting in the interests of the wealthy and against the interests of everyone else.

    ReplyReply
    4
  152. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kylopod: To repeat myself:

    Cleek’s Law: today’s conservatism is the opposite of what liberals want today: updated daily.

    Or maybe I am just that very rare liberal who thinks f’n the rich is just the first step to a more egalitarian world.

    ReplyReply
  153. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Talisker is nice! I once played golf with a guy that brought a Talisker 18 along for the ride. Magnificent…Cheers!

    ReplyReply
  154. DrDaveT says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Despite the labelism that some leap to here, I think that k-12 education should definitely be free. But not for egalitarian reasons. That level of education is an investment that benefits all of society.

    Despite the labelism that some leap to here, that’s exactly the argument I’ve been making all along. Free streets, and free education, and universal health care and baseline income, are sensible investments of public funds in basic infrastructure. Everyone is better off in the resulting society. You don’t have to be egalitarian to want that… but you do have to be motivated by outcomes, and you do have to not care that Those People will also benefit.

    Eliminating other forms of discrimination against Those People is a separate problem.

    ReplyReply
    2
  155. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Loviatar: In the Republican Party? Bwahahahahahahah! They aren’t in the technocratic space anymore so certainly not there (although I will admit that they do have people that are capable of having those discussions).

    I would say Liberals have to assume better faith from the Conserva-Dem Blue Dogs instead of tearing them down at every turn. They are the folks asking these sort of questions now–some of that is because of demographic realities of their State(s). But I think its ridiculous to expect politicians to take policy vectors that will be unpopular with their constituents.

    You won’t find a copy of Warren in the Republican Party because they have a different brand they are selling to a different demographic. But you will find her complement–Ted Cruz. Different sides of the same coin. They can’t utter one sentence without framing it as a “fight”. On the surface they seem different because they are speaking to different audience–they are essentially running the same conceptual playbook. They both know how to shovel out the catnip to their base.

    ReplyReply
  156. DrDaveT says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    “The market” needs people who are well educated in the basics (and “the basics” continually creeps forward as the job market requires more knowledge and skills).

    Noted bleeding heart liberal Andrew Carnegie agreed with you about this. As do I.

    ReplyReply
    1
  157. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Loviatar: “. However, I’m not looking for conservative policies, per se, I’m looking for an equivalent to Warren, a conservative politician who can articulate those policies and how they assist the United States in solving our real world problems.”

    Your question must have been rhetorical. I see that now because “… there aren’t equivalent GOP policies. Since Reagan, GOP policies have denigrated to basically the level of a cartoonish – lets own the liberals – meme. How do you debate policy from a conservative position when the Conservative policy shop is filled unserious, disingenuousness liars?”

    There’s no conservative equivalent to Warren. Same conclusion, slightly different path than the one I was taking.

    ReplyReply
  158. Kylopod says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I think you’re misunderstanding what Cleek’s Law means. It refers to when conservatives observe what liberals are saying and then take the opposite view. The example given when the term was popularized was conservative’s criticism of Michelle Obama for bringing attention to kidnapped Nigerian girls.

    In other words, Cleek’s law means the quickest way for liberals to kill conservatives is to argue for the virtues of breathing.

    None of the examples I gave fall into that category. The reason conservatives favor the things I mention isn’t because liberals oppose them, it’s because they lead to outcomes conservatives value–namely, taking money out of the pockets of the poor and middle class and placing it into the pockets of the rich.

    Of course liberals oppose all that–by definition!–but that isn’t the reason conservatives favor them. If all liberals in the US disappeared tomorrow, conservatives would still favor those policies. It isn’t a reaction to what liberals are saying, it’s what conservatives actually want.

    ReplyReply
    2
  159. steve says:

    Not sure what you call mom and pop but up in coal country I have had multiple times over the last 25 years when I have gone into a gas station attached store there was no one at the register and it took an effort to find them so I could pay. A couple of times I just left money on the counter and left.Mostly happens early in the morning (0500-0630).

    Steve

    ReplyReply
  160. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mu Yixiao: “That’s something I’ve been bitching about for a couple decades.”

    That would fit my history line just about perfectly. Indeed.

    ReplyReply
  161. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mu Yixiao: My favorite story from EFL/ESL testing in Korea involves the interview that I read with a Korean University graduate who had just won a scholarship to graduate school from ETS for having the highest test score in Korea for that year. In addition to the boilerplate study hard and don’t pass up opportunities to practice language advice, she shared what she thought was the most important thing to remember–the test is a game; the more you play, the better you will become–at which point she reminded her readers that their friend the Internet offers literally thousands of opportunities to play English Language Testing at many different sites.

    ReplyReply
  162. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @dazedandconfused:

    Credit where credit is due, Trump’s judgement of Mike Pence was right on the money.

    Even a broken clock is right twice a day. Wondering what the 2nd thing Trump’s right about.

    ReplyReply

Speak Your Mind

*