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AvatarComments by Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels*

On “The GM Strike is Going to Take a While

So if the reports are true that autoworkers are being paid about the same, wouldn’t it stand to reason that the marketplace is signalling their job skills are worth the same?

Yes and No.

Fast food lives with a yearly worker replacement rate of something like 100%. Autoworkers have to be a lot more reliable, dependable, functional, etc, but those are just quibbles.

So forget about the supercomputer in your pocket; what does the marketplace say about autoworker’s job skills?

They're overpaid. At GM to the tune of AT LEAST $13/hour.

A combo of technology and competition has lowered the level of their job in the overall rankings of society by a lot, i.e. from something like 60% (from the bottom) to something like 35% (this is a WAG).

Obviously the Union can't face that reality, thus there are serious problems and conflict, maybe to a level where the company goes bankrupt or whatever.

Thing is, why is any of this bad for the country as a whole?


Fast food workers need to be more educated now than in past years?

Are you claiming UAW jobs are the functional equiv of Fast Food?

Ignore that I've admitted these jobs may have been dumbed down over the last few decades and that I encourage people to be educated so they don't work fast food.

We are indeed more educated than before. Everyone knows how to operate the basics of our technology, litterancy is better than a hundred years ago (which matters at the bottom of the education ladder), etc. Everyone is a walking publishing press because everyone has smart phones. Ergo McDonalds can put touch screens behind the counter, or even in front of it, and expect there won't be a problem.

So if GM's jobs require you to know how to operate computerized equipment, well so do McDonalds.


Its almost like the whole point of technology is to reduce the level of human skill needed for a job.

I'd say it's done the reverse, i.e. we need more education now days, not less. Mostly a High School education isn't enough today.

Which doesn't mean I disagree about these jobs. Or maybe it's just that the general level of education for the society as a whole has gotten so high that Fast Food and Auto jobs are on the same level.


Of course when the strike is resolved, one has to wonder what happens to the scabs.

I assume nothing happens to them. They're temp workers, they move on. Presumably the union can't insist they be killed.

However it's interesting that this can happen with the economy at full employment. It's also interesting that people's assumption is that temp workers are paid less than perm, my experience as a temp was I'd be paid more.

There are already reports of scab temps being hired in behind the UAW workers at wages (at least in Texas) that are at or very slightly below local fast food workers...

The mind boggles. I'd always assumed these jobs required a lot more skill than a fast food worker.

On “Clown Show: Corey Lewandowski Amuses Himself at Jerry Nadler’s Circus

they are way more motivated in political spaces when by solid narratives that speak to the emotional needs they have that align with policy concerns.


That exactly.

On “The GM Strike is Going to Take a While

thanks to market forces – can’t afford to eat, get transport to and from work, keep a decent roof over their heads, obtain decent medical care when needed, and save money to retire so as not to be an economic burden on our society.

Joe has it right, but let's go into details.

"obtain decent medical care".

Only because the definition of "decent" means "state of the art" and we have vast bureaucracy at war with each other. This country has a "market forces only" market for medicine for pets and it's amazingly cheap.

keep a decent roof over their heads

My locality is fine because we don't have the gov restricting housing too much via rent control, zoning, etc.

save money to retire

This is a "human" thing, not a "market forces" thing. Absurd numbers of people can't save for the future and will spend every dollar they can get their hands on NOW, even to the point of spending future dollars. Double everyone's income (which we've done) and this will still be a problem.


96% are worse off. There's 195 countries.

And most of those top countries are extreme exceptions in terms of population, we're the only one of any size.


My main concern for my relation is if he doesn’t get asked to work for the actual company he is working for, and that provides some sort of stigma when he’s looking for other jobs.

Have him put "Worked at Company X as a contractor" on his resume. I think the situation is common and commonly understood.


People who are hired as temps and still working as temps 2, 3, or 4 years later.

I've been there. I did 13 years on a 3 month contract that was never renewed. I think I got paid more because of the "lack of security" so on the whole I was better off.


Include the micro-states (which is silly) and we're #8. Exclude them and we're #3 behind Switzerland and Norway.

On “Clown Show: Corey Lewandowski Amuses Himself at Jerry Nadler’s Circus

Considering his open corruption regarding using the government and lick spittle lackeys as profit maker for is properties...

Did I miss a scandal, are we assuming what should be proven, or are we assuming every rented hotel room in an international empire threatens the republic?

On “Joe Biden’s Right

I think because it is not viewed as a cost saving measure to the state, but a privilege for which the defendant should pay.

:Bang Head Here:

That seems generous with my money. If we're taking a vote I'm in favor of state funded ankle trackers.

It also seems like the sort of thing were we could run social experiments if we wanted to make sure this was a good idea budget-wise(*). Take a thousand people and randomly put half of them in the current program (i.e. they have to come up with the money) and the other half in the other.

(*) I like social experiments when it comes to prison reform and budget reform. Also it'd be great evidence to sell it in other states and so on.


Madoff on particular owes, as I understand it, about 10 or 20 billion dollars to his victims,


Generic fraudster should be rrady for work that doesn’t require authority over other people’s money – a trade maybe, or IT skills. Garnishing their income might even be helpful toward restitution at ordinary fraud levels.

There's no reason you can't code in prison. Which leads to the question on whether someone could be sent to prison until they pay their debt. Which leads to debtor's prisons.

An unrelated question is what to do about people who engage in fraud, aren't jailed, and then do it again. Yes, we could pass a law saying they shouldn't be in charge of other people's money, but the thing about criminals is they don't follow the law.


Was he ever actually any good, or was it all fraud all along?

In the 60's, 70's, 80's, and very early 90's he walked on water. He got started in 1960 and was one of the first (or maybe even the first) to go with computerization on Wall Street. His technology founded the NASDAQ. At one point, Madoff Securities was the largest market maker at the NASDAQ, and in 2008 was still the sixth-largest market maker on Wall Street.

In 1992 the WSJ said he was trading $740 million a day (9% of NY's exchanges). He could execute trades so quickly and cheaply that it paid other brokerage firms a penny a share to execute their customer's orders, profiting from the spread between the bid and ask prices.

So he had a license to print money... and but then the increase in technology got rid of that. Day traders undercut him and gave consumers a better deal. Market making wasn't a license to print money any more, the spread narrowed a LOT.

However all that was his brokerage firm, the fraud was in his investment firm. My impression is at some point he ran out of ideas and turned to fraud. Presumably his original ideas were "beat them with technology" but that became impossible in the 90's.

The weird part is the claims he was a fraud from the start with his investment arm, i.e. from the 70's. If true then he ran out of ideas really early, maybe lied about his returns one year, and then was stuck doing so forever.

How much value could we get out of putting Madoff back to work?

In the Stock Market? Zero. He's poisonous. Everything he touches is beyond scary dangerous. No one would risk giving him money or working with him. You'd always have the risk that the gov would step in and take "for restitution" the money involved. That's ignoring his extreme ethical issues, and that he hasn't had any trading ideas in 25-50 years.

In the celib circles? Possibly a lot... although him burning all his high level relationships might be an issue.

The thing is he wouldn't be working "for restitution", he's be working for himself. OJ is a good example, he's not interested in making movies if all the money will go into someone else's pocket, but he's very interested in signing cards for cash.

And let's assume some of Madoff's victims are homeless now. Madoff would probably get a lifestyle of the "almost rich and famous". Madoff is a finance guy, if OJ can structure things to avoid payment then Madoff certainly can.(*)

Are we good with him living in a penthouse somewhere while some of his victims are on the streets? With him not-technically-but-actually getting thousands a speech on the talk circuit?

(*) For starters he could live with his ex-wife and have her get paid for whatever he does. We're in "smart lawyer+accountant" territory, something could be done. He gives a speech for $100 and she, as the person who set it up, gets thousands.

On “Brett Kavanaugh Accusations, Again

I think just keeping alive the issue of “Kavanaugh The Rapey Creep” and “Trump Stifled The FBI Probe” is good for us.

I don't. I think every time the NYT comes out with fake news they hurt themselves way more than they hurt Trump. The press is (accidentally or deliberately) manufacturing this by ignoring even minimal journalistic standards. That's why these stories keep popping up and why they're shut down.

Further, MeToo was thrown under the bus here. Republishing an already-known-false accusation makes it harder to "believe the woman".

On “Joe Biden’s Right

The part I couldn't figure out was whether she was a prostitute who also did/sold drugs or whether she was a Pimp and further up the food chain. That article I linked implied the later but I don't trust "implied" from a single sentence which might have been misformatted.


On “Brett Kavanaugh Accusations, Again

Remember all the horrible slurs against Neil Gorsuch?

So because the Dems didn't play that specific card that time, they should get a pass on all the false allegations against Kavanaugh?

Keep in mind I'm still counting Ford as "technically unknown even if fact free", it's all the others where even the accuser admits it was false which I'm treating as "known false".


some of it rather heated and more rhetorically purple that some would like...

That's rather clever spin on accusations that Bork opposes Blacks voting and supports Segregation.

How dare anyone criticize the record and stated judicial philosophy of a Supreme Court candidate.

Translation: Bork wasn't a Democrat.

If memory serves even if it is normal now, at the time it wasn't.

However this approach wouldn't have worked against Kavanaugh (how many Supremes are to the Right of Bork?), which is why I was saying months before Ford that the Dems would try to paint him as a monster. "Nazi" was my suggested approach but "Rapist" works too.

And now we have somewhere between four and six false allegations against him, with people still insisting that the remaining allegation(s) (made by Dem activists and/or Dem players) should weigh against his character and not theirs.


Refusing to faithfully execute the duties of the office is precisely the sort of corruption “High Crimes and Misdemeanors” refers to.

Still not following you.

Trump's reflex would be to put his daughter on the court or some scumbag low functioning lawyer. His nominations are, AFAICT, him doing a good job, not him doing a bad job.

It's perfectly acceptable for the President to have advisors which tell him the right choice. It's even fine for him to claim the choice is actually his.


Someone should have warned Mitch McConnell that smashing the border walls of norms means that anyone can transgress them.

That was pointed out during/after Bork.


How is any of this Trump's fault? He took office with a very short leash on nominations, even to the point of needing to publish a list before hand.

My assumption is he had no clue who any of these nominees were before he took office and largely still doesn't. That's why they're of such high quality, they don't come from his circles.


Imagine if we applied this same standard to all workers, everywhere: Unless the charges against the applicant can be proven in a court of law, the employer must hire him.

Imagine that we openly said what his real crime is, i.e. that he's not a Democrat.

Imagine that the Dems did for him what the GOP did for Garland, i.e. tried to stop him without trying to smear his honor. Imagine that I didn't predict what the Dems tried months before they did.


Why do you insist on seeing this through the lens of sophistry, a battle where truth is irrelevant?

How many false allegations do we need before we can conclude the people making/promoting them don't care about the truth?

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