Linky Friday #157: All Business


Will Truman

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

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55 Responses

  1. Avatar Kolohe says:

    US Virgin Islands GOP takes their virginity seriously, didn’t put out of any candidate.


    ‘Uncommitted’ won all the delegates up for grabs at the caucus yesterday. There’s also apparently some legal shenanigans regarding delegate eligibilty as some of them are long time national poltical operators that just moved to the USVI. Possibly for less time required to be eligible to vote, which then caucus rules required.Report

  2. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    E1: Sadly unsurprising. I was just reading about a charter school in Mass that issued over 300 suspensions a year. The school is for elementary school and middle school students in a very poor and minority heavy district. The school takes a “broken windows” approach.

    E5: I had some Friday classes because I thought they were really interesting but most students would probably skip. One semester I managed to have no Monday or Friday classes.

    L1: I have never seen a place with a nap room. Employee perks are a tough balance because how do you take them away when times are lean without also destroying morale. Most of the companies I see with perks tend to be in tech and tend to employee a majority of people in the 20s and 30s. I wonder what is going to happen to some companies as times get leaner and the perks need to go away. This won’t necessarily effect Google or Facebook but it can do damage to Linkedin, Twitter, Uber, Lyft, Washio, Munchery, Caviar, etc.

    L2: I think both things can be true. There can be a subset of millennials in the gig economy who wouldn’t have been in the past. The thing about the gig economy is not self-employment but jobs that used to be stable and secure are now more precarious. Officially adjunct professors are not self-employed but modern academics are having a rougher time than previous generations. Also the Boomers are not retiring. They generally bought and occupied the properties closest to commutes, etc.

    L3: My guess is that the lowest-paid lawyers are the true believers who also got into the non-profits where they really get to help people and feel like they are making a difference. Lawyers who get paid well tend to do so by working a ton of hours.Report

  3. Avatar Brandon Berg says:

    G3: It would be better to use it to reduce the ridiculously high state tax on investment income. Oregon has one of the most strongly anti-investment tax policies in the country. But better than using it to increase its already bloated budget.Report

  4. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    B3: The long hair thing is interesting when you compare it to the other great chain store success of the 1980s that was undone by the Internet, Tower Records. Tower Records was all about creating the independent record store feel in a chain. This meant that the clerks looked like the sort that would work in an independent record store, a bit on the scruffy side. Blockbuster went for a more clean cut middle America look.

    L1: In the legal industry, employee perks tend to revolve around food and bathrooms. The big firms tend to have some really nice cafeterias or have food brought to your office so employees do not waste time during lunch. Firms where late nights or even over nights are common will have showers, soap, razors, and shaving cream at hand so you can clean up easily. They might even have cots for naps. Small law firms will have none of these things. Finance industry perks might be similar but they also seem to include wild partying weekends at conventions if movies are correct. I’ve never heard of any business outside the tech have the weirder perks like puppy rooms, which is apparently a thing. I think that tech created perks as a way to reward employees because when computer skills were less common, it was easy to use money to snatch employees away. Non-monetary perks kept employees around longer.

    L3: What Saul said. The lowest paid lawyers really believe what they are doing and get a lot emotional satisfaction from it. They also might be working saner hours and have more time off. Catholic Charities does a lot pro-bono legal work but in addition to the usual federal holidays and weekends, you get more than a few Catholic holidays off even if you aren’t a Catholic. This adds to the sanity. The highest paid lawyers are dealing with some really demanding clients and have to do a lot minute work. One of the people in my apartment building used to be a patent lawyer and he told me that it wasn’t unusual for a client to request all the patent work be done within a few days or even over night.

    G4: Really effective anti-immigrant measures are going to be hideously expensive. I suspect Trump knows this because he said that he would get Mexico to pay for it. If the electorate of the United States or any other country wants little to no immigration than they are going to have to pay some rather high taxes for it or do some other unsettling things. The European Union is giving Endrogan of Turkey a lot of money to help keep Syrian refugees from entering Europe. Endrogan is using this money to become an autocratic dictator.

    L2: Makes sense for the sharing economy at least. Creating wealth is about generating your own assets in the form of savings, investments, property, and goods. Having to share things might give you access to things you lack but it also means that you aren’t creating your own wealth because other people have access to the property.Report

    • Firms where late nights or even over nights are common will have showers, soap, razors, and shaving cream at hand so you can clean up easily. They might even have cots for naps.

      Yet another benefit of not having gone to law school. Paralegals are non-exempt employees and rarely therefore have to put up with this crap.Report

  5. Avatar Brandon Berg says:

    E1: You mean whether the teacher is black or white?Report

  6. Avatar Michael Cain says:

    G3: At least this has the advantage of being relatively straightforward. Which beats the heck out of the plans that start with “We’ll use the dollars to fund an offsetting income tax exemption; oh, wait, poor people don’t pay income taxes so we’ll have a payroll tax refund; oh, wait, poor elderly people don’t pay payroll taxes…” I’d also like the organizers in Portland and its suburbs to admit up front that any carbon tax scheme falls disproportionately on agriculture and rural areas (see, eg, “red” diesel fuel in the UK).

    E5: The number that jumped out at me was the “98 percent of articles published in the arts and humanities are never cited by another researcher.” It’s one thing for me to do vanity research on my own dime; it’s another thing to spend student or taxpayer dollars on what is largely vanity research.Report

    • Avatar Fortytwo says:

      Here’s the problem with liberal arts. As a conservative I believe that the old knowledge should be passed along. We need history and literature professors to keep the old tradition of Shakespeare and Milton, for example, to be kept alive, along with history of every kind. Even though most people don’t care, we don’t want to lose the wisdom and beauty of what has come before us. How much we should spend is an open question, but it’s not much in the grand scheme.Report

  7. Avatar Marchmaine says:

    T5 – If that’s the best they can do starting from the ground-up, no wonder air travel kinda sucks (aside from the whole travel thousands of miles in a few hours thing).

    1. Carry-on luggage… This one was almost ok. Sure, you can ban it and people will hate you for exactly the reason we carry bags on in the first place – getting luggage after the flight is a huge timesink. The idea of luggage delivery is fine, as far as it goes as a pure concept – though I expect actual details of the cost and timeliness of this approach to make it difficult to implement. I’d rather see a much simpler redesign of the off-loading process where bags are distributed (and sorted) right at the plane (inside the terminal, of course). I have no problem checking bags on a Regional Jet flight because the checking process and pick-up process is decentralized and efficient. Look at scaling that model.

    2. Middle Seats… this idea really kinda sucked…and would only suck slightly less with idea #3 fully implemented and a full profile of what perqs I want for a middle seat. You know what would work universally? Make the middle seat slightly larger and/or somewhat private and/or possessing own armrests. Just make the middle seat slightly better. Ultimately, there’s no real incentive for the airline to do this… they’re not selling an experience, they are selling 500 mph… so meh. Until there are other viable options (I take the Acella *everytime* over flying, and that’s not even high-speed), you’ll take your seat and like it.

    3. Airline Prime… they kinda do this already airline by airline. United for example has their mileage club (with various perqs) but then they also have a credit-card that provides other and/or similar perqs. I travel enough to justify the United cc just for the guranteed #2 boarding priority (basically $95 per year for United prime free 2-day, er #2 boarding). Of course, doesn’t do shit when I have to fly Delta. Would I pay more for an all-airline Prime? Or would the airlines generate more total revenue by sharing $95 for a global prime? I don’t know.Report

    • Avatar dragonfrog says:

      Ninja airlines is the only way to go. The evening of your flight, ninjas sneak undetected into your home, tranquilize you with a blow dart, pack your bags, bundle you off to the airport, and load you on the plane.

      At your destination, other ninjas pick you and your bags up, take you to your hotel, and put you in your bed.

      In the morning you wake up in a nice hotel room at your destination city, with no idea how you got there.

      Failing that, at least replace the seats with capsule-hotel style bunks so you can lie down fully.Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

        Install sleeper cabs in the cargo hold. No drink or snack service, but a fully reclining seat & modest luggage storage for business class prices.Report

  8. L4 really is about ethics in game journalism.Report

  9. Avatar Roland Dodds says:

    G1 That is pretty terrifying, but in many respects, it is very similar to old community and societal norm control over the rearing of children. What is scary about this is the way it has gone from small communities with specific norms of operation to some bureaucrats in Edinburgh.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq says:

      G1 makes a certain amount of sense from a certain political standpoint. If you see children as autonomous beings with their own rights and needs rather than as strict dependents of their parents than you want to ensure that they aren’t getting mucked up by their parents by enforcing traditional gender norms or something like that. In a more right leaning direction, you want to ensure that kids are raised with the proper values and prevent liberal parenting.Report

    • Avatar Alan Scott says:

      Gut instinct: G1 is bullshit. This reads like a complaint about Obamacare Death Panels, or how Common Core is brainwashing our children into being Communists.Report

    • Avatar Vikram Bath says:

      Geesh, if this is true, I should stop complaining about the required follow-up studies for our adoption.Report

  10. Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

    I’m pretty amazed by the number of vape shops that popped up and how quickly they did. For a while it seemed like the only stores that outnumbered them around were Starbucks and pho restaurants. Looking at it more objectively, I think that perception was partially because they stick out as something entirely new and unusual, but it is still surprising to see such a flourishing ecosystem of shops focusing on just one (very new) product.Report

  11. Avatar Christopher Carr says:

    T4 – It’s already well established that trains, buses, ferries, and other driverless cars do produce tremendous emissions reductions.Report

  12. L1: This is unsurprising. Even if we stipulate that nap rooms aren’t just a fad, of course some employees are going to overdo it. It is like when business casual first became a thing. Most office workers understood, or quickly figured out, that “business casual” (male version) means a collared shirt and long pants. But there was always that guy who showed up in a Hawaiian shirt and shorts and flip flops, and didn’t understand why the boss complained. There was some talk for a while of putting everyone back in suits, but fortunately common sense prevailed and they instead cracked down on Hawaiian shirt guy. If nap rooms aren’t just a fad (though the smart money is that they are) they will have to work out how this operates in practice.Report

    • Avatar Vikram Bath says:

      It may be unsurprising to you, but I think it’s still interesting in light of the decade or more of think-pieces the media ran about how much more productive workplaces would be if they offered nap rooms. It’s almost as if they were writing about things they wished were true instead of what actually was true.Report

  13. Avatar Autolukos says:

    L1: I stopped at “70 hour workweek”. Cut that down and you’ll magically discover that employees need fewer naps.Report

  14. Avatar dragonfrog says:

    [G4] They’re relying on codes of ethics to stop the wall, for heaven’s sake?

    If the American electorate, constitution, environmental protection framework, and international treaties can’t stop it, the writer figures that the place it finally stops is at the engineers’ code of ethics. Those engineers who oversaw construction of the infrastructure of the US prison state, the nuclear arsenals of at least seven countries – they’re going to be aghast at the prospect of a big government contract for a wall?Report

  15. Avatar Dand says:

    So a riot broke out at tonight’s Trump rally in Chicago; none of the Chicago broadcast stations have preempted programming for coverage and I’m not sure if that’s good or bad.Report

    • Avatar Dand says:

      If Trump wants to keep hostile protesters out of his events he could require people make a $5 donation to his campaign in order to get a ticket. How many people opposed to him would be willing to do that?Report

      • Many, if they’re thinking things through. The $5 won’t do anything for Trump, and if you’ve travelled to get to the event, you’ve already spent significantly more than $5 already.Report

  16. Avatar Dand says:

    This 1971 piece by Jack Newfield might shed some light on the rise of TrumpReport

  17. Avatar Jaybird says:


    • It’s horrifying, but the offending students’ school took it seriously and did the right thing.

      At the conclusion of the game, [Catholic Memorial] students were reprimanded and each student personally apologized to the Principal of Newton North High School and shook his hand before leaving the arena.

      And I trust the apology was a lot better than “I’m sorry if anyone was offended.”Report

  18. Avatar Dand says:

    Last weekend people here told me I was crazy for thinking that high SES liberals hate low SES whites? Here’s Hillary boasting that she’s going to put blue collar workers out of work


    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      Amazingly that’s only the third worst thing I’ve heard from her today.Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

      Preach it, brother.

      You missed my Kevin Williamson quote?Report

    • Avatar Jesse Ewiak says:

      Did you miss the part where she wants to retrain for green energy jobs?Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:


      (Check out Dick Nixon’s take on what’s going on as well. Hillary is really, really, really bad at this.)Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        It’s not end of the world bad, but it is “I like being able to fire people” bad. An innocuous comment where the meaning should be clear but is fodder for the bad guys.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird says:

          I remember the dynamic that existed in the 2004 election.

          Bush would say something that would rile up everybody (e.g., “Bring. It. On.”). His followers started yelling “Yeah! YEAH! HELL YEAH!!!” and his opponents would yell “HAS BUSH NO DECENCY? HAVE HIS FOLLOWERS NO DECENCY?!?”

          Meanwhile, Kerry would say something like “I actually voted for it before I voted against it” which would get his followers explaining that the Senate has some arcane rules when it came to how bills got modified and hashed out and his opponents were saying “LOL! FLIP FLOPPER!”

          Which is a recipe for moralized support for Bush and demoralized support for Kerry.

          Trump is saying things that get the base to whistle and whoop and holler and Clinton is saying things that get the base to say “well, you have to understand…”Report

        • Is “I like being able to fire people” still bad? “You’re fired” is the front-runner’s catch-phrase.Report

      • Avatar Morat20 says:

        Indeed. She’s awful

        What I can’t understand is, given how self-evidently awful she is — is how she’s winning, and Sander’s isn’t. It’s crazy. Don’t the people voting for her realize how bad she is? Someone should tell them.

        The problem with “Clinton is awful at this” (especially with the 24 hour news cycle we political junkies like to use to forecast the next six months) is, you know, the fact that she’s winning. And Tuesday has a raft of delegates up and she’s ahead in all five states (only Missouri has her below 50% — and NC and Florida are 40 point blowouts right now. Also the biggest delegate hall).

        Seriously, if that’s “being bad at this”, WTF is Sander’s problem? He’s got a 225 delegate gap, and he’ll be lucky to keep it under 325 after this week. Which is, bluntly, not something he can come back from. Clinton could die and she might get enough absentee votes from the rest of the states to actually still win.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird says:

          “She’s winning, ain’t she?”

          Yes. Against a weird senator who wasn’t even a Democrat until very recently who is the Democratic Version of Ron Paul. A novelty candidate.Report

        • Avatar Jesse Ewiak says:

          We will be told Hillary is a terrible candidate all the way until she’s endorsing Kamala Harris or Amy Kloubacher or Cory Booker or Julian Castro at the 2024 DNC.Report