Linky Friday #78

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Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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  1. Avatar Murali
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    [A1] If I had to apply for a job in the US, I would be screwed. I do have to say that I find the idea that immigrants are expected to Americanise (i.e. Christianise/Anglicise) their names as more than a little bigoted. Of course, I may be mistaken about the existence of anything so overt as a cultural expectation, but I do remember TVD vaguely referring to it some years backReport

  2. Avatar LeeEsq
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    A1-Would Americanizing names really work with current immigrants since most of them aren’t white? African and Eastern European immigrants might be able to pull it off but others, not much. What I find interesting is that immigrants from China usually give their American born kids American first names while other immigrants parents do not.

    C3-Considering that America will never fund a more equitable summer break for low income students, year round schooling might be the only solution. Good luck trying to get rid of the summer vacation though.Report

    • Avatar Murali in reply to LeeEsq
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      @leeesq

      What I find interesting is that immigrants from China usually give their American born kids American first names while other immigrants parents do not.

      This is largely because having an anglicised name has less significant religious implications for Chinese. Issues about cultural pride are usually assuaged by having a Chinese name as well. So, for example, Alan Chua is not just Alan Chua, he would also be something like Alan Chua Meng Hao or something. The latter two being his Chinese name while Chua being his surname and Alan being his English name.

      On the other hand, while a person called Swaminathan may, in America, decide to call himself Nathan or Sam because of cultural pressure, but indian names themselves have a religious significance or other historical, mythological or other semantic significance. Officially changing to an anglicised name usually signifies to the community that one has converted to Christianity. Meanwhile enjoy the following:

      Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Murali
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        The same applies to other non-Chinese immigrants. Kids of Russian immigrants are likely to receive the Russian version of a name than its English equivalent. Vladimir rather than William.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman in reply to LeeEsq
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      My stub was a tad misleading. According to the article, pronounceability is actually important, so presumably it would help (if you were Indian, though maybe not if you had a straightforward Chinese name).

      But in answer to your question, I bet that it would help at least somewhat if you tend to make a good impression during interviews. And won’t help you when a person is consciously discriminating, but it might help with people who are doing it subconsciously and don’t mean to be.Report

  3. Avatar LeeEsq
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    L3-If people are working more hours a day but fewer days a week than their should not a decrease in productivity, especially if the three work days do not occur consecutively. Ideally, nobody should work only two days consecutively. The days off should provide ample energy for the longer work days.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman in reply to LeeEsq
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      There’s probably some research on this, but I was under the impression that efficiency hits it’s peak and starts to fall after six hours or so. I can’t remember if that’s something I’ve noticed for myself or if I read it somewhere.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Will Truman
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        I’ve read that its about six to eight hours depending on the type of work being done. Obviously, the more mentally and physically tasking a job is than the fewer productive hours an average person can put into it. Its not like employers pay attention to the science of productivity in current condititions. Lots of people work ridiculously long hours that defy what we allegedly know about producitivity. Some more or less willingly like high-paid lawyers and finance types and others much less willingly.Report

      • Avatar Mo in reply to Will Truman
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        “Lots of people work ridiculously long hours that defy what we allegedly know about producitivity. Some more or less willingly like high-paid lawyers and finance types and others much less willingly.”

        @leeesq Having worked with those types, there is a massive underestimation of the sharp decline in productivity and time spent fixing crap that was done on little sleep.Report

    • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to LeeEsq
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      Back in my youth, I worked as a stone cutter (CNC saw). I worked 3, 12 hour shifts, got paid for 40 hours, and had a 4 day weekend. (I had to actually work 40 hours before I got over time).

      I enjoyed it, and the long weekends actually let me pick up the skills I needed to move into IT Management.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist
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        Back when I used to work at an oil company, each of the refineries had its own schedule for operators (the people that directly run the refinery plants.) The most popular was 12-hour shifts, averaging a bit more than 3 days a week to make 40 hours, each crew alternating between day and night shift. That’s probably an ideal job for a long shift, because the work is generally routine and not usually dangerous. (Though if there’s an emergency, it’s one hell of an emergency.)

        In my experience, people who think they’re productive programmers working 60 hours for along period are just fooling themselves.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist
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        Mike,
        I have known a few programmers who are effective at 60 hour work weeks (me included, although a good deal of that is off-work hours, recreational coding). Of course, a good third of that was spent hiking (amazing how much design you can get done while getting some exercise in).Report

  4. Avatar Michael Cain
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    W3: The Washington Post had an article the other day. Two more craters have been found. The WaPo article also points to a short piece at nature.com (I now live in fear of being dumped into comment purgatory for having too many links) that describes the current theory on formation being permafrost melting and release of methane from methane hydrates. Large-scale melting of methane hydrates in the Arctic is one of the global-warming positive-feedback disaster scenarios.Report

    • Avatar Glyph in reply to Michael Cain
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      Large-scale melting of methane hydrates in the Arctic is one of the global-warming positive-feedback disaster scenarios.

      So what you’re saying is, if we continue to fart around on global warming, it’s really going to stink?Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Glyph
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        One of the differences between moderate global-warming pessimists and extreme global-warming pessimists: the extreme folks think that the CO2 forcing that’s already baked in by past emissions is sufficient to guarantee that the methane hydrates melt; the moderates think there’s a chance the methane mess can still be avoided. This forces me to be a moderate, since if you concede the point to the extremists, the options seem to be “Eat, drink and be merry!” or mass suicide.Report

      • Avatar Hoosegow Flask in reply to Glyph
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        @michael-cain I tend heavily towards depression when I think about what the future may hold in store for my daughter.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Glyph
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        @hoosegow-flask
        I’m not nearly as pessimistic as I sometimes sound. A couple of reasons for that. One, I don’t believe the truly catastrophic climate predictions. Part of that may be delusional on my part; the extreme pessimists may have it right. Part of it is simply that there are lots of things that aren’t in the models yet that may be important. Eg, try finding models that predict changes in the North American Monsoon. Predictions about overall precipitation in the Southwest are worthless w/o those, but it’s an immensely complex problem. Two, I’m parochial in my outlook. I’m not trying to save the planet, or even the whole US. I happen to think that saving my (largish) part of the US is feasible, although politically messy. Of course, some people think that’s delusional too :^)Report

      • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to Glyph
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        I have got to find time to do my modeling post…Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Glyph
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        MRS,
        I’ll be looking forward to that.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Glyph
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        Seconded. We’re all looking forward to seeing you in a bikini.Report

      • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to Glyph
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        @michael-cain

        It’s about half done. I’m hoping it will be enlightening.

        @james-hanley

        Keep it up & I’ll post a pic of me in a Mankini. There won’t be enough eye-bleach in the world to clean that image off your retinas.Report

    • Avatar Pinky in reply to Michael Cain
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      I recognized the cast of Siberia immediately. That was a good show. I assume it was only one season?Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Pinky
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        @pinky Sadly, I think so.Report

      • Avatar Pinky in reply to Pinky
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        So, you watched it, then. Genius. It was sort of Survivor: LOST Island, as written by Alex Jones. Anyone who complains about network TV’s low quality should watch that show. Then again, it got cancelled.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Pinky
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        @pinky Notably, NBC did not develop the program. They simply purchased it from an independent production company. That is to their credit. To their discredit, they did a very poor job promoting it, gave up on it early, and cut the last two episodes in half (a single episode). That is to their discredit.

        Had SyFy or some other cable outfit with a greater investment in each product purchased it instead of NBC, there is a good chance it would be renewed. NBC has dropped it and the studio (which retained the rights) is shopping it around, but it’s unlikely to happen.Report

    • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to Michael Cain
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      This.

      The land locked methane is not so worrying, but the ocean locked stuff.

      That can be scary.Report

  5. Avatar LeeEsq
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    W5-There is a lot of hand-wringly and arguing back and forth about demographics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The more strident members of both sides believe that demographics are on their side. I think that demographics are kind of irrelevant. Demographics matter to an extent but assimilating Israeli Jews to a majority Arab Palestinian state or Palestinian Arabs, defined as those living in the West Bank and Gaza not Israel Proper, into a majority Jewish State is going to be nearly impossible. Neither side wants to give up its national identity to the other side. The best bet is a unilateral separation done by Israel. Leave the West Bank and let the Palestinians do as they please.Report

    • Avatar North in reply to LeeEsq
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      Agreed entirely. The thing about the demographics is that both sides can skew and blow smoke on the subject to confuse the issue but time will ultimately tell. If it goes the wrong way then by the time the Israeli’s realize it for sure it may be too late. Looking at the current utter fiasco in Gaza and watching Bibi throwing lifeline after lifeline to his arch enemies in Hamas one can sometimes wonder if the Israeli far right and the Arabic revanchists meet up at a secret club somewhere and throw back drinks.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to North
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        I’m not an expert; in fact, I’m paying less attention to the current mess than I should because it’s so depressing. But it does seem like Israel’s goal is to weaken Hamas, not destroy it, because what they really don’t want is a unified, globally popular leadership across both Gaza and the West Bank.Report

    • Avatar DavidTC in reply to LeeEsq
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      I don’t actually understand that article. The first part of the article is focused on *Israeli* Arabs, and Middle East Arabs in general, and their birth rate. I’m not an expert, but I’m pretty sure the ‘demographic time bomb’ issue is about the *Palestinian* Arabs. I guess Israeli Arabs are relevant also, but that’s never where people claim the demographic explosion is coming from. And Arabs in Syria? Not relevant at all.

      On top of that, when the stats are presented, they’re fairly dubious. ‘Births per Israeli Mulim women decreased from 4.7 to 3.5, while births per Israeli Jewish women are at 3.09!’. That’s…uh…still behind, dude. It’s *less* behind, but it’s still behind.

      When you dissect the entire thing, the author seems to believe that birthrates aren’t *quite* as imbalanced as before, and, while still slightly imbalanced, that Muslims have net immigation and Jews have net emigration, which will cancel that out. Also, some PCBS projections were behind, so that means what is being predicted can clearly *never happen*!

      But he seems to have no numbers that would actually back this up, despite having all sorts of numbers talking about irrelevant things. Not once do we get a comparison of Muslim vs. Jewish populations over time in Palestine+Israel, which seems pretty damn suspicious to leave out of an article explicitly talking about Muslim vs. Jewish populations over time in Palestine+Israel!

      This is a ‘dismiss the upcoming disaster’ piece, not a serious discussion.

      Also, on top of that, he insinuates that, due to a large amount of young people leaving, Palestine will be made up of the elderly.

      This is completely insane. Palestine is absurdly, unbelievably young. 33% are 14 or under in the West Bank. 45% are 14 or under in the Gaza Strip. (The US, for reference, is 20%.)

      You could remove 800,000 children from Palestine, which is 50% of all kids and 20% of the entire damn population, and then Palestine would have roughly the same percent of their population made up of kids as the US.

      Granted, he possibly means people in their 20s are leaving, not people from 0-14…but, there’s plenty of them also. And the whole thing about the demographic time bomb is that it is in the *future*. He references 2025 in another paragraph…yeah, guess who’s going to be voting in 2025?

      Meanwhile, the elderly? People over 65 are 4% of the population in both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. (In the US, they’re 12%.) If, tomorrow, they all died, Palestine would lose a grand total of 140,000 people. And as children age, they would would replace that entire missing population of voters in…about a year and three month.Report

  6. Avatar Saul Degraw
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    L2: I think I’ve seen one episode of Dirty Jobs. And I think I read an interview with him where he lambasted that America is starting to look down on dirty jobs. Probably in Reason, maybe you even linked to it. I think what is interesting pyschologically and sociologically is how there seems to be a class and culture war component into what is seen as “honest” labor and sometimes. There was another anthropological article on Tablet (on-line Jewish mag) recently theorizing about why Jews went away from agricultural labor and the answer the article gave was literacy moved them into more economically beneficial professions like banking and medicine. As I’ve said many times before I never quite got the idea about why working with your hands was supposed to be honorable and working in an office or white-collar profession is supposed to be a bit shady and wimpy and emotionally useless. There is a pastoral streak in the work with your hands movement that seemingly seeks to return to a sustenance and pre-Industrial economy.

    L3: An interesting idea but it is probably not going to happen. My observation of small sized law firms is that they have enough work to overburden a handful of lawyers. They could hire more lawyers but there is either not enough work for that or it would decrease profits too much. People seem to prefer being well-compensated but overworked over having less compensation and a healthier work-life balance. Or this is how the U.S. ended up for a variety of reasons. It doesn’t help that some areas like SF and NY do not lend themselves to less compensation because of real estate and rent prices and as people get older, they generally dislike having roommates except lovers and family members.

    C1: Concurred.

    C2. An Indian Casino opened up in Sonoma about 50-90 minutes north of San Francisco. There is a billboard in my neighborhood that advertises for it. The ads always feature middle-aged Black-Americans and Latino-Americans and say stuff like “Maryanne from Hollister won 11,800 dollars” I dislike these ads.

    C3: I have mixed feelings on this. First as I said, good luck at doing it. Middle and upper-middle class people would rebel because they are strong believers in the importance of summer camp and also unstructured play especially if they had overly structured childhoods. I friend of mine from middle and high school had parents who really pushed her academically. She was not allowed to be in the spring musical because that was AP test season. This worked because her education is Ivy-Ivy and she did her undergrad in 3 instead of 4 years. She has a son of her own now. She posts a lot of articles on facebook about the importance of unstructured play and how she is going to push for summer camp instead of some kind of academic enrichment program. From a neurological standpoint, I would middle and upper-middle class people are right here. Unstructured play is very important for childhood development. I might support some kind of inbetween measure that has a very light and largely play-heavy summer session though. Kids deserve a break too and I think that the get rid of summer break thing is too Michelle Rhee test all the time.

    C4: I think plenty of liberals call out Republicans on rural poverty. I admit that this is done as more of a thing because Republicans like to talk about the “culture of urban poverty” which liberals take as a dog-whistle while Ryan and other Republicans are too cowardly to say anything about the “culture of rural poverty.” There are plenty of things in rural culture that I consider to help self-perpetuate poverty including a distrust and disdain for education especially higher education and a proud anti-intellectualism. Remember when Rick Santorum called Obama a snob for suggesting that everyone should get some level of post-high school education. Obama included vocational training/apprenticeship but Santorum made it sound like college for all. My great-grandparents were immigrants from Europe and my grandparents largely grew up poor. Two of my grandparents have graduate degrees and one more has a certificate in architecture from Cooper Union. My parents and their siblings received advanced degrees as well. I kind of marvel that there are families that have been in the U.S. for much longer and they still have yet to send anyone to university (especially white families) and issue a proud sneer against the idea of going to college/university. That’s kind of fucked up.

    A4: Museums hold art in trust for the public. This is American law. Deaccessioning (museums selling their art) is controversial enough when it is not a situation like Detroit. I don’t think the art should be auctioned off to the wealthy just because of Detroits situation. That art belongs to the people of Detroit, the people of Michigan, the people of the United States, and the World. Art needs to be seen by the people and I am opposed to such wonders being sold to private collectors for their homes.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Saul Degraw
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      L2 – It’s my experience that people with college degrees denigrate people without more than vice-versa. Happens both ways. Of course, one is punching up and the other punching down. Rowe has never said that people shouldn’t go to college, to my knowledge. Merely that there are other paths.

      C3 – I support three months on, one month off. More or less. That might not help on the class front, though.

      C4 – Some do, but Democratic politicians don’t really spend all that much time talking about.

      M4 – It seems reasonable to request that the art go into some public collection than a private one. It just sure seems to me that Detroit could use the money a lot more than they could use the art.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Will Truman
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        L2:

        Punching up and punching down is relative and people tend to decide what is punching up and punching down relatively. If a sneer against college is done in terms that have vague to overt connotations of being sexist (because education is emasculating), homophobic, racist, or anti-Semitic is it punching up or down?

        I think the issue is more complicated than simple punch up v. punch down analysis.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Will Truman
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        There really isn’t much ambiguity in the hierarchy between those who have gone to college and those who have not. The former is a minority of the population that controls the vast majority of power, income, and wealth in this country. That some (though a disproportionately small) number of the last group is white doesn’t really change that.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to Will Truman
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        C4- yeah what the hell have Dem’s ever done for rural poor people in Kentucky
        Well except for the ACA which led to Kynect. Okay but except for that……Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Will Truman
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        “Yeah what the hell have Dem’s ever done for rural poor people in Kentucky”

        Of course. That’s exactly what I said.

        To be fair, I should have known better than to break the Ordinal Rule.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Will Truman
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        How is the ACA polling in Kentucky?

        If it polls poorly, the ACA may not be the best example.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Will Truman
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        How many people are using Kynect? Or don’t liberals get to use revealed preference arguments?Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Will Truman
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        Jay,
        people like kynect. The Republicans there are talking about getting rid of Obamacare but keeping kynect (how the HELL that works, I dunno). Many people don’t realize kynect is part of Obamacare — to the point of saying “Keep that obamacare away from our kynect!” [which, given the fed website issues, might be prudence as well as ignorance.]Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Will Truman
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        Wait, is dismissing feelings and going back to revealed preference as indicated by a Hobson’s Choice on the table?Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Will Truman
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        The fact that there are well-to-do, educated white liberals who feel persecuted by relatively powerless working class folks tells me that the internet distorts everything.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Will Truman
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        How is the ACA polling in Kentucky?

        The changes (Kentucky’s exchange and the Medicaid expansion) poll well as long as you don’t use “Obamacare” or “Medicaid” in the questions. Mentioning either appears to knock at least ten percentage points off of favorability scores. Anecdotes that have appeared in the press from the people doing outreach in the rural areas suggest the same thing: they have to be very careful to always describe it as the state has finally got its act together, not that it’s a federally-funded program, and particularly not that it’s a federal program passed by the Democrats.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Will Truman
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        @chris

        I never felt I said I felt persecuted.

        IIRC, we both grew up the children of professionals but in very different circumstances and areas and I think it is interesting how these differences changed our perceptions. I don’t deny that I have more sympathy and siding with urban minority groups over the rural and white poor. My bias is absolutely towards the urban. My ancestors have been urban for centuries before me. And Jews never really had a good experience with rural living and treatment in rural areas.

        In Paying for the Party: How College Promotes Inequality, the authors showed how a lot of this distrust and suspicion works in a feedback loop. Most of the rural first-generation college students got their first exposure to minorities at college. There was one women whose town had a Jewish teacher but he left very quickly because of anti-Semitic incidents and attacks. The young women studied would vent their frustrations at how college culture was inexplicable to them and often geared towards upper-middle class people with anti-Semitic and homophobic statements and sometimes vandalism and graffiti.

        While I have sympathy for their plight and think colleges and universities can do more to integrate first-generation college students and help them succeed in college, I admit that I am not too keen on being easily forgiving on how their frustrations were vented and it is not my responsibility to excuse or accept their anti-Semitic and homophobic actions.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Will Truman
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        I read a book about how the cities were used to segregate and even systematically oppress minorities.

        I wouldn’t be so quick to brag about being urban. You might as well brag about killing unarmed Palestinians.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Will Truman
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        @jaybird

        I never claimed that urban areas were perfect but it can’t be doubted that many Southern blacks fled North in the 1920s for better economic opportunities and theoretically less oppression.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Will Truman
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        Not-college-educated does not equal rural, rural does not equal not-college-educated, urban does not equal college educated, and college educated does not equal urban. The resentment towards the college educated does not equal rural. Rural does not equal resentment towards the college educated.

        Not even as rough approximations or vague stereotypes.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Will Truman
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        Chris,
        yeah, you try having your cabin be raided a few times by the local youngsters. Then we’ll see who says “persecuted” first. 😉
        [I’m not saying you would actually be being persecuted, but I’m wondering if you’d squeal.]Report

      • Avatar Pinky in reply to Will Truman
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        Rowe talks quite a bit about the value of education in general and college in particular. He doesn’t punch at all, up or down. As far as I can tell, he’s one of the good ones.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Will Truman
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        Saul, given how often you bring this up, and how you seem to take it personally, I was exaggerating a bit for effect, but I’m not sure it’s that much of an exaggeration.

        It’s true that I grew up the child of professionals (a doctor and a nurse), but perhaps because I didn’t grow up in a densely populated area where large neighborhoods were highly segregated along class lines, if not racial ones, I went to school with people whose parents were wealthy (a friend of mine’s father was the head of Anderson Consulting’s southeast region), and people who were dirt poor (quite literally; I know people who lived in shacks, and one of the kids I went to school with from 1st grade through high school lived in a beat up old school bus for several years). As I’ve said before, I’ve lived much of my life in both worlds, and from my position straddling the line between them, it looks to me like most of the grief goes in one direction.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Will Truman
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        If my cabin was raided several times by local youngsters, I’d do what I do anyway, and curse young people. “Damn teenagers and their rampant teenaging!”Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Will Truman
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        Chris,
        Policy wise, people often seem to feel like the rural/exurban folks are anti “anything that they can’t get” — public transit in particular.
        I’m not sure those folks have actually sat down and thought about what the rural folks opposition to Obamacare (where it exists) means to that line of thinking…

        Appalachia seems to have a unique culture of equality — I’d really beware making generalizations about rural areas, from a singular experience.

        Some rural areas seem just plain fabulous, others are Scary, Dangerous, and Bad To Know. Culture can be really different in some places — and this is if you aren’t being run out of town (which I suspect happened to a relative of mine, but you know southern gentlemen, if they say they aren’t gonna talk about something, they Aren’t Gonna Talk).Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Will Truman
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        Kim, oddly, here in Austin there have been 3, and there will in November a be a 4th, attempt at urban rail through ballot initiatives (’88, ’92 or ’93, and ’00). In each case, and particularly in the two that I’ve seen first hand, ’00 and the current one, the opposition hasn’t come from “rural” people, but from wealth, educated suburban ones. I suspect this is true elsewhere as well. This is likely because transit at worst doesn’t affect rural people at all, and at best makes it easier for them to get to the city (for work, for shopping, for culture, whatever).

        I wonder if you’re confusing suburban with rural.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Will Truman
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        Chris,
        Did the rural folks get a vote? In our state legislature, the rural folks are actively hostile to many things that the cities want (they are republican, mind).Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Will Truman
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        As I’ve said before, I’ve lived much of my life in both worlds, and from my position straddling the line between them, it looks to me like most of the grief goes in one direction.

        I honestly don’t know if this is true or not. What I do know is this: I feel ten times more self-conscious when I tell city-dwellers where I live than I am when I tell country-dwellers of the city I am from.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Will Truman
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        Kim, yeah, because parts of Travis County — Austin’s County — are still pretty rural, and it’s a county-wide vote.

        Also, my experience is that, at least in person, working class people are more accepting of white collar people than vice versa. I mean, they might rib people a bit, but they rib everyone, so the fact that they’re ribbing someone for their cityness or white collarness is not really that unique.

        I think back to when I was dating in high school. If I dated a girl whose parents were working class, and she brought me home, they’d have been damned glad — college-bound kid, son of a doctor. Things are looking up for daughter! If some kids I’d known with white collar parents had brought home a date who was in autobody (the auto shop class) and whose parents worked on one of the factory lines? It would have been a different story.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Will Truman
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        @chris

        I admit to being a strong non-riber unless I know and like someone very well and I also don’t always appreciate when people who don’t know me very well use ribbing as a form of warmth building. So there could be a communication issue here.

        And I concede some of your general points as being true.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Will Truman
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        @chris
        I suppose the counter-example to Austin is here around Denver. When you track the votes and the funding, the light rail system can be pretty accurately described as “The suburban counties around Denver decided to build a light rail system. The centrally-located hub is in Denver proper because that’s where it made sense to build it.” Revive the hub, actually, since it’s a large renovation of the old Union Station. Transit-oriented redevelopment of areas close to train stations — and in some cases, in anticipation of train stations — is starting to show up. Ridership will take a huge jump in 2016 when two more suburban lines open, as well as the line that drops you inside the terminal at Denver International. Salt Lake City’s light rail is, I believe, a similar story.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Will Truman
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        says:

        …yeah what the hell have Dem’s ever done for rural poor people in Kentucky…

        TVA. REA, now RUS. Urban-to-rural subsidies for telephone service starting in the 1930s, and for broadband these days. $3.8B in various crop subsidies 1995-2012. Higher payments for the same care for Medicare patients in a (long-term possibly futile) effort to keep hospitals open and doctors practicing there. Medicaid formulas that give Kentucky an FMAP multipler of 2.33 instead of California and New York’s 1.00.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Will Truman
        Ignored
        says:

        From the Sumner article: “What else could be done in Detroit for $185 million/year, forever?”

        Could, or would? Barring a major change in Detroit culture, it’s like asking what would happen to foreign aid in Burundi.

        I’m torn on this issue. On the one hand, the DIA is an asset in a bankrupt city, and why should it be protected? And it’s a bit rich to save this playground for the middle and upper classes of the Detroit suburbs while so many Detroit neighborhoods are in a state of fast motion collapse and bodies literally pile up at the morgue because people can’t afford to bury their loved ones (imagine your child being shot, and you have to leave his/her body at the morgue).

        On the other hand, the private contributions to save the art, although far below the assesed value, is a great example of public/private partnering. And I love the DIA. So I guess Detroiters should continue to watch their city crumble so I can enjoy my annual visit.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Will Truman
        Ignored
        says:

        @will-truman

        To be fair, I should have known better than to break the Ordinal Rule.

        You’re so privileged. If I’d said that…Report

      • Avatar gingergene in reply to Will Truman
        Ignored
        says:

        What do you do with the Diego Rivera mural? How the hell do you sell a whole (monsterously huge) room? To a private or public buyer?Report

    • Avatar j r in reply to Saul Degraw
      Ignored
      says:

      I don’t think the art should be auctioned off to the wealthy just because of Detroits situation. That art belongs to the people of Detroit, the people of Michigan, the people of the United States, and the World. Art needs to be seen by the people and I am opposed to such wonders being sold to private collectors for their homes.

      I don’t follow the logic here. Are you against the private ownership of art or is there something special about art that happens to be in a museum right now? Most art sold by artists is sold to individuals or private entities. There are relatively few artists whose work is prominent enough to be bought directly by a museum. And my guess is that most art that is presently in a museum was, at one point, owned by a private collector. Not to mention that private collectors often lend out individual works to be displayed as part of a larger show.

      If the government of Detroit sells a piece of art to raise money for its day job (ie providing goods and services for the people of Detroit), it is not like that art just disappears forever into some rich guys private study, lost to the world forever. A good portion of the art sold would probably be bough by other museums.Report

      • Avatar Pinky in reply to j r
        Ignored
        says:

        I’m having trouble with that too. To what extent should a city prioritize its art? I can think of two reasons for holding onto art during a fiscal crisis: either direct financial benefit (ticket sales) or indirect financial benefit (the externalities created by being a “world-class” town).

        I don’t think the social benefit is a strong enough reason. As you note, the art isn’t going to disappear. No city’s art collection is needed to preserve civilization as in the Dark Ages (and I hope we don’t have to test that theory). And the internet makes art available in a way that it didn’t used to be. The internet can provide access to art sufficient to inspire and instruct, except in the case of sculpture.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to j r
        Ignored
        says:

        Pinky and jr,
        I’m certain we can show that public art reduces crime, etc etc.

        But that’s why i’m for LED lighting for Detroit — the whole city!, not saving a museum.

        Ditto murals, particularly murals on “keep out” signs and decrepit old buildings the city can’t replace. Trust me, it makes the digs a hell of a lot more cheerful.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to j r
        Ignored
        says:

        I’m certain we can show that public art reduces crime, etc etc.

        We can?Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Saul Degraw
      Ignored
      says:

      There are plenty of things in rural culture that I consider to help self-perpetuate poverty including a distrust and disdain for education especially higher education and a proud anti-intellectualism.

      It’s more complicated than this, at least in some rural areas (my rural experience is all west of the Mississippi). There are multiple nasty feedback loops going on. Have been for more than a century in the US, ever since the high-quality free land ran out. The most obvious example is that as a general rule, higher education is a one-way ticket out. Four-year college is far away, and jobs that reward you for that education are overwhelmingly in urban/suburban areas. It’s not uncommon to hear the equivalent of “the urban areas are stealing our best and brightest” when rural officials talk about kids. Lots of smart people have spent large amounts of time, effort, and money trying to break those loops, with limited success at best.

      To pick an example, no one’s been able to figure out how to put more than a tiny number of $100K mechanical engineering jobs into any given rural area. The auto companies moved production into some more rural areas, but the R&D jobs just moved across the line from Detroit to Oakland County (one of the ten highest-income counties with a population over a million in the US).Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Michael Cain
        Ignored
        says:

        Cities have been accused of stealing young people away from the country forever. Its not just the best and the brightest. During World War I and II, you had a lot of Americans worried about how you could keep young people on the farm or in the small towns after they saw Paris.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Michael Cain
        Ignored
        says:

        I explained this to Chris above but I admit that my family has been urban/suburban for hundreds of years and all of our time in the United States. My connection with rural life is tenuous a best.

        I do have some sympathy for the idea that economic opportunity can and does take the “best and brightest” away from rural locations but “Once they see Paree, how do you expect them to stay on the farm” has been an issue for centuries if not thousands of years. This is hardly new. The Industrial Revolution drew people from rural villages to the cities for economic advancement. One solution I’ve seen and seen offered here is that culture should change and we should create a world where someone who is best and brightest is fine with being a Wal-Mart greeter and eventually manager instead of going to university and beyond. I can’t say I am fond of this as a solution and I honestly don’t have a problem with a person deciding for themselves where their future lies. I also know people who went in reverse and traded city life for small farms of their own. The import-export is not 1:1.

        A lot of the big mechanical engineering jobs might stay in or near cities but perhaps a better question to ask is what is it that makes someone succeed as a mechanical engineer and what do they like to do with their free time. Maybe there is a correlation between being liking certain recreational activities and also liking to be mechanical engineers. Maybe the best and brightest always felt bored and underutilized in their rural hometowns? Or bullied if they were gay or different otherwise than the majority? Perhaps their minds and being good readers already predisposed them to wanting to see more and experience more.

        Why should they be blamed or considered bad for doing so?Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Michael Cain
        Ignored
        says:

        Saul,
        how do you know your family was suburban/urban for that long? That’s a lot of people to follow back…
        My family hits rural “city” before we get out of stateside (someone was a cowboy, too — and we did some iterant peddling.)Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Michael Cain
        Ignored
        says:

        We are from Minsk. And anyway, we have been at least urban since coming to the U.S. at the end of the 19th/start of the 20th century and that is long enough for me because I have no relatives who can talk about country life.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Michael Cain
        Ignored
        says:

        We have cow colleges around here, and I met PSU grads in rural Puerto Rico, of all places (they did some grad research, too).

        (Of course, when you show up to penn state, drive through a subdivision and then into a cornfield to get to the winery…)Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Michael Cain
        Ignored
        says:

        Saul,
        Because I was curious:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minsk
        I don’t think Minsk counts as urban until somewhere in the 1800’s.

        What do you suppose my stories about “rural life” are like? Certainly they aren’t “folks who lived on farms” stories. small towns look like other small towns.Report

      • Avatar Mark Thompson in reply to Michael Cain
        Ignored
        says:

        Yeah, I’m failing to see how that quote is qualitatively any different from a Red State Republican accusing the urban poor of being lazy and unambitious and that “those people” need to change their culture if they ever want to make something of themselves.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Michael Cain
        Ignored
        says:

        Michael,
        I’m pretty sure Morgantown has some jobs for mechanical engineers. State College isn’t that bad either (but is a poor example because rich dudes are camping on land).

        What draw Creative Class folks into rural areas? Colleges, mostly. There’s a vibrancy, and a bunch of kids that they can pull into an “artsy scene.”

        Elkins, WV has a thriving art scene…Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Michael Cain
        Ignored
        says:

        Having been raised around a city, I had the good fortune of not having to choose between staying near family or pursuing economic opportunity. Likewise, my family never felt the conflict between having me pursue economic opportunity or staying near them. I left, of course, but my brother is still there. So are a lot of the kids I grew up with.

        I remember when I was in a small city. This wasn’t even rural in any actual definition of the word, with a population of 50k and another 50k or so in the region. Anyhow, when I was there, I remember thinking that most of the best and brightest people there needed to leave. I was actually rather emphatic about it. In retrospect, I was quite snotty.

        Remember how in the past we at this site have talked about moving for economic opportunity? When I advocate the Kansas City Plan I get a lot of disagreement. The symmetry is actually quite beautiful. I like it here, or else I like being around the people that are here, and I resent people encouraging me to do something else.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Michael Cain
        Ignored
        says:

        If Minsk received town privileges in the 15th century, it was definitely the town, not the country.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Michael Cain
        Ignored
        says:

        Chris,
        I consider “town” to be part of “country living” not urban living (particularly when it’s at around ~2,000 people — that’s small). That might be my upbringing — PA has plenty of small towns out in the middle of woods or cornfields.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Michael Cain
        Ignored
        says:

        You were brought up in the 20th/21st century. Evaluating 15th century population centers with 20th century standards is kinda silly.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Michael Cain
        Ignored
        says:

        Chris,
        Agreed.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographic_history_of_Poland
        Minsk is still pretty small at ~2,000. I do not want to call >500 people “urban” (though I’m sure James is lurking to correct me…)Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Michael Cain
        Ignored
        says:

        “If Minsk received town privileges in the 15th century, it was definitely the town, not the country.”

        Well, that WAS around the time that young women first established the “Rochelle Road” which connects it to Milan via a strange, erotic journey.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Saul Degraw
      Ignored
      says:

      There was another anthropological article on Tablet (on-line Jewish mag) recently theorizing about why Jews went away from agricultural labor

      Because if you’re going to be expelled from your city/province/country on a regular basis, you want portable wealth, not land.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Mike Schilling
        Ignored
        says:

        That isn’t the thesis. The thesis was that Jewish demographic and occupational patterns are a result of a decision of Jewish authorities that every Jewish male needs to know how to read Hebrew. In the early years of the Common Era, there were around six to eight million Jews in the world and most of those people were illiterate farmers regardless of where they lived. There were big communities spread across the Roman and Persian Empires. By the time Islam arrived in the world, there were about 1.25 million Jews in the world, most of them living in what we now call Iraq and Iran. Most of the Jewish communities elsewhere, especially in Europe, Asia Minor, and North Africa disappeared. According to the authors of the Chosen Few, war, plague, and natural disaster only costs for half of this loss. The rest came from Jews converting to Christianity because they didn’t want to deal with the literacy requirements imposed by Jewish authorities.

        Even when Islam appared, most Jews were still farmers. It wasn’t until the commercial expansion brought by the Arab Empire that Jews moved into urban professions. For most of the Medieval period, the majority of the world’s Jews, around 3/4ths still lived in Iraq and Iran. By the time of th expusion from Spain, the number of Jews was somewhere between 800,000 and one million and split basically evenly between the Ashkenazi and Sephardic/Mizrahi communities. The argument being that the economic collapse caused by the Mongol Invasion of the Middle East caused Jews to return to agriculture and those that didn’t want to deal with the literacy requirement to become Muslims.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Mike Schilling
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        says:

        I was under the impression that classical Islam also had a relatively strong literacy push (for men). Is that incorrect?Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Saul Degraw
      Ignored
      says:

      @j-r @pinky

      1. This is a matter of law. Museums are quasi-public entities that hold art in trust for the public. They are supervised by the attorney generals of the states in which they are located and also potentially the city attorney of their municipality.

      2. Viewing art in a textbook or on the internet is not the same as viewing it in person and it never will be. This is a non-starter as an argument. There is no way to compare viewing Picasso’s Guerenica or Rembrandt’s the Nightwatch on the net with viewing them in person.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Saul Degraw
        Ignored
        says:

        Likewise, there are some artworks that are impossible to see in a museum, without a quality full-color monitor (and sound system!).Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Saul Degraw
        Ignored
        says:

        @saul-degraw As a matter of law, the city isn’t saying that it cannot sell the artwork, which seems to be the sort of situation you’re describing. It’s saying that it doesn’t want to. In fact, they’re planning to give it away (to a non-profit) to prevent it from being sold (or leased).Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Saul Degraw
        Ignored
        says:

        @kim

        Museums can set those up and do.

        @will-truman

        As I said above, deaccessioning is a controversial part of the realm of art and museum law. Museums have limited space and resources. They obviously can’t display all their art pieces or keep them in storage and in good condition forever but the decisions about what to sell and when are fraught with all sort of political issues even in the best of times or circumstances. Who gets to decide which part of public property to sell? What if museum admin decides to sell a piece which is loved by the public but not help in esteem by the art world or the staff of that museum? Etc.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Saul Degraw
        Ignored
        says:

        Who gets to decide which part of public property to sell?

        In this case, a bankrupcy judge apparently. Typically, though, I’d assume elected officials.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Saul Degraw
        Ignored
        says:

        @will-truman

        As I understand it, usually museums decide for themselves. Museums are largely autonomous but every now and then the attorney general gets involved during a dispute when the museum is doing stuff that the public finds outrageous. The most famous example is the long history over the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia and making it open to the public and eventually moved to a different location.

        Barnes was a cranky cranky person who built a large art collection. When he died, he turned his estate into a museum. The only problem is that he wanted his museum to be one which the public had zero/very limited access to. Starting in the 1950s or 60s, various Pennsylvania Attorney General’s have waged campaigns and lawsuits to make the museum open for the public.

        There is a documentary about this called The Art of the Steal which is very much on the side of the Barnes Foundation but in my opinion ends up backfiring and makes the government actors look like the good guys.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barnes_FoundationReport

      • Avatar Pinky in reply to Saul Degraw
        Ignored
        says:

        “Viewing art in a textbook or on the internet is not the same as viewing it in person and it never will be.”

        True. But is (viewing art in a musem) / (viewing art online) > (not getting shot in the street) / (getting shot in the street)?Report

      • Avatar j r in reply to Saul Degraw
        Ignored
        says:

        @saul-degraw,

        You didn’t really address anything that I said in my comment. The art market includes private individuals as well as museums and other institutions and private individuals already own lots of art.

        I’m trying to figure out if you are opposed to all private ownership of art or just art that happens to presently be in a museum. And if it’s the latter, what exactly is the concern? Museum art often sits in storage only to be put on display for short periods of time. Private art owners often lend out pieces to be part of museum shows. How much of Detroit’s art collection is presently on display right now? And, if sold, how much would be bought by other museums? You gloss over all of this.Report

    • Avatar Mo in reply to Saul Degraw
      Ignored
      says:

      C3 – Summer camp as a big deal is a totally regional thing. It’s huge in the tri-state area, but it was not a thing in Southern California or in the Midwest where my wife is from (as we discovered when discussing if our son would ever end up going to summer camp).Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Mo
        Ignored
        says:

        Is this just sleepway camp not being a big thing or does it apply to day camps to? What do kids who aren’t old enough to work summer jobs do during the summers than?Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Mo
        Ignored
        says:

        Is this just sleepway camp not being a big thing or does it apply to day camps to? What do kids who aren’t old enough to work summer jobs do during the summers than?Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Mo
        Ignored
        says:

        @mo

        I would say it depends. Jewish-Americans from all over the United States largely seem to have some kind of summer camp/sleepaway camp experience and recall these fondly. IIRC the original sleepaway camps were developed by Jews as ways of getting their kids out of polio and scarlet fever prone areas during the summers. Soon these camps developed identities: Zionist, Socialist Labor, Arts, etc.

        Summer camp does seem to be a thing in the Northwest as well.Report

      • Avatar Mo in reply to Mo
        Ignored
        says:

        @leeesq I don’t know what kids today do, but in my day we mostly just played outside, rode bikes, played Little League and the like. There were some kids that went to camp, but they were assuredly the minority.
        @saul-degraw Your statement doesn’t seem to go against my comment that summer camp may be a relatively niche thing.Report

      • Avatar Gabriel Conroy in reply to Mo
        Ignored
        says:

        Jewish-Americans from all over the United States largely seem to have some kind of summer camp/sleepaway camp experience and recall these fondly.

        It probably depends. My wife has complicated feelings about it. They don’t strike me as “fond,” but I don’t want to speak for her.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Saul Degraw
      Ignored
      says:

      @saul-degraw

      “Middle and upper-middle class people would rebel because they are strong believers in the importance of summer camp and also unstructured play especially if they had overly structured childhoods.”

      First off, summer camp generally doesn’t qualified as “unstructured play”. Second off, where are you getting the idea that middle and upper-middle class people are strong believers in unstructured play? I can tell you this is not the case. Whose kids do you think are the ones playing in organized soccer leagues, taking horseback riding classes, and going to piano lessons all by the age of 6? It sure as hell ain’t poor folks.Report

  7. Avatar Mike Schilling
    Ignored
    says:

    A7:

    At any private business, such a record would result in massive firings and a stockholder revolt.

    Turley is obviously unfamiliar with large corporate software projects. Over budget, behind schedule, and adopted slowly if at all are in no way uncommon. Not that I’m defending the healthcare.gov debacle, but it’s not uniquely disastrous.Report

  8. Avatar Kim
    Ignored
    says:

    L2,
    Mike Rowe has never had a bad job. That doesnt’ mean they don’t exist. He should try getting a job breaking kneecaps before he says such stupid things. Dirty jobs are not bad jobs, soulsucking jobs are bad jobs.Report

  9. Avatar Kim
    Ignored
    says:

    11 hour work days are evil, full and stop. They’d lead to massively more deaths….
    wait, how long’s a nurses’ shift again?Report

  10. Avatar Kim
    Ignored
    says:

    Of course watson wins Jeopardy. that was in the design specs. Smarter computers don’t win Jeopardy, because they aren’t optimized for speed.Report

  11. Avatar Kim
    Ignored
    says:

    c1,
    Rich, to mean self sustaining, kicks in at around $6 million. The $200-$500,000 folks are pretty clearly lower upper class.Report

  12. Avatar Kim
    Ignored
    says:

    c5,
    Um, yeah, I’ll be laughing when the organic food trend goes away. It’s a stupid idea from the getgo, anyhow. Farming with one hand tied behind your back will Inevitably come with compromises. (Perdue, I still like you!)Report

  13. Avatar Roger
    Ignored
    says:

    On a7

    The Grumpy Economist was pretty disappointed in the quality of this report:

    http://johnhcochrane.blogspot.com/2014/08/s-economists-and-inequality.htmlReport

    • Avatar Kim in reply to Roger
      Ignored
      says:

      A toothy read, but he’s missing the ducks he should be shooting.
      Our “tokyo-style boom and bust” inequality simply means that the poor lack the funds to fuel our recovery, doesn’t it? In which case, inequality caused by poor regulations (and shortsighted banks) has downside risks.

      And his jumping at “More Taxes! More Taxes” seems like baiting the bear.Report

    • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to Roger
      Ignored
      says:

      I still think Hannauer is hitting a point. The way to grow wealth & economies is to get money moving. If the working class has more money to spend, they will spend it. I mean, the clear fault in trickle-down economics is the idea that the wealthy spend enough money every day to boost an economy. If the money stays moving around in high level investments all the time, it isn’t being used to buy meals & widgets & doodads, etc., which is how wealth grows.

      Not that I am for a minimum wage, but I am for companies thinking about wages in a different way.Report

  14. Avatar Tod Kelly
    Ignored
    says:

    L2 Oddly, Mike Rowe has become kind of a men’s rights and PUA mini-icon.

    Go figure.Report

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