RationalWiki talk:What is going on in the blogosphere?

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What is going on?

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[edit] Liberals Need to Stop Writing Off Non–College Educated Workers — Before the White Working Class Writes Off Liberals

...what is this bullshit?
No, seriously, what is this bullshit?
I'd really like to clue the author in on something - the "white working class voters" don't want what the liberals have to offer. They don't want to have what the educated conservatives have to offer. Or the educated libertarians. Or, frankly, anyone living in modern society. They want yesterday, where a guy could go turn screws in a factory for 8 hours and live off of it.

[edit] "But a good first step would be to stop insinuating that non–college educated workers are destined to live miserable lives because their skills are obsolete."

Guess what? The truth is unkind. Their skills are obsolete. If they want to have better lives, they'll need to adapt. Otherwise, they're looking at shit wages and a shit life and considering how the white working-class has been fucking mollycoddled for decades, I have no time for them. Here's another - "But his basic premise — that the economic decline of America’s non–college educated workers is an inexorable fact of economics — is often implied in the rhetoric of Democratic politicians." Surprise! It's a premise that exists in any economics that deals with math. Human labor costs are ever-increasing. Capital costs generally are not. If you can spend $20,000 + $500/year in maintenance on a machine that will take the place of a human worker, why wouldn't you? The costs will be infinitely less! The human worker needs ever increasing salaries, benefits, CoL increases, sick days, vacation days - it makes no logical sense, no financial sense, no money sense to keep the human worker. At all. And yes, my parents are correct when they say that the 55-year-old factory worker who's job has vanished isn't suddenly going to learn to text on smartphones and program and retrain for higher technology. My parents are absolutely right. But here's the issue - there ain't nothin' for them to do. Unless we want to create jobs that are meaningless, like moving one grain of sand from one pile to another with a tweezer for 8 hours a day. I don't even need them to vacuum the floor; I've got a Roomba for that. They need to face it. They are the unnecessariat. You are superfluous to the corporations and we're the ones making the money. We keep the economy going.

[edit] "At the same time, these governments did little to compensate the “losers” of globalization; made it more difficult for workers to unionize; and further decreased their leverage over employers by cutting the social safety net."

No shit, really? What do you expect when the mantra since I was 4 fucking years old is "We need to reduce costs.", "We need to cut taxes.", "We need to reduce costs MOAR.", and so on? As far as I remember, that's what the "white working class" fucking voted for. They killed their own unions. They killed their own safety net. These Boomer fucks took all that away from Gen Xers like me. Now they're whining about it. I adapted; they can fucking adapt. Reap what you've fucking sowed. They're the ones who decided against maximizing value over profit. This is what happens when you maximize profit. Eat your fucking peas.

[edit] "And there’s little evidence that our economy has an overwhelming demand for college-educated workers"

No, there's no demand. But if you don't have one? My employer will not hire you. At all. No degree? Straight into the trash, even for meanest low-entry job. And that's becoming de riguer at all global, national, and mid-size companies. No degree? No room for you. And it's not about demand; it's about making sure “certain types” of people are kept away from certain job opportunities. I.E., low-rent knuckle-draggers lower the tone in the corporate office, thanks much. --Castaigne2 (talk) 20:43, 6 July 2016 (UTC)

I don't fully agree with the article but I felt that it was trying to say that liberals need to try and save these communities from extinction. I agree that Americans voted for this reality but we must reverse it. The two links on class you posted horrify me and I realize that they are all "obsolete" and couldn't adapt. I know that Gen Xers are fucked even if millenials turn the US into a social democracy since your wealth has already been extracracted so this trend will likely continue until it just stops.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 21:15, 8 July 2016 (UTC) 21:15, 8 July 2016 (UTC)
Some questions.
1) Why is it necessary to try and save these communities from extinction? Why not let them go the natural way out?
2) Why must we reverse the trend? What about the vast majority, like me, who are fine with that trend? --Castaigne2 (talk) 14:46, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
If their skills are genuinely obsolete, then why are corporations scouring the world for cheaper sources of them? I mean if I don't need something at $10 I'm not going to need it at $5. Cheap labour is one of the advantages of setting up manufacturing in third world nations, not necessarily access to a highly skilled workforce. You say human labour costs are 'ever increasing' - Pew say that real average wages have barely budged for decades. http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/10/09/for-most-workers-real-wages-have-barely-budged-for-decades/
You further expose your ignorance of basic labour conditions within the US by pointing to sick and vacation days. The US is the only advanced economy that doesn't have mandatory paid leave, and also has no paid sick leave. In other words, it appears you don't know what you're talking about. Tokeloshe (talk) 08:42, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
For the moment non-minimum-wage muscle labor is still cheaper than capital costs. That is changing; China and the rest of the "third world" factory countries have now begun automating and you are seeing a trend of factories returning to the USA - sans jobs, of course. See the recent reversal of textile factories coming back to the USA as a prime example. The "cheap labor" in those countries is now becoming more expensive than automation. This trend shows no signs of slowing; within the next 10 years, automation will be cheaper than a $2.00/hour worker. It's all about miniaturization and maturity of technology. (And is why technology is its own mathematics variable in economics.)
You also make the mistake of thinking that wages are the sole human labor cost. Wages are only a small part. Loss of production due to sickness is a labor cost. COLA increases are a cost. Benefits of any type are a cost - and a human will require more and more in health benefits as time goes on. Every single perk that an employee gets that does not involve production (be it service or manufacture) is a cost; these costs are ever-increasing. They are never amortized.
And yes, I'm aware that the USA does not require mandatory vacation or sick days. As evidenced by your English spelling usage, you are a non-American. Socialist elements in non-American government subsidize or by law require these mandatory items. The USA being more capitalistic in nature, we have over time decreased vacation/sick in order to reduce costs. That does not reduce costs enough, so we've started eliminating people. shrugs Welcome to the sociopath ethics of American corporate capitalism. --Castaigne2 (talk) 14:46, 15 July 2016 (UTC)

[edit] Shouldn't labor becoming obsolete be good news?

Work is by definition people don't do voluntarily (otherwise they wouldn't have to be paid). And the jobs that have been disappearing in the last century or so are mostly of the figuratively or literally backbreaking variety. Shouldn't that be good news? After all, we still get the stuff that people used to ruin their health for but now machines do that work for us. Surely we can spread around that wealth somehow? And if really everybody needs to be employed for some intrinsic reason, we can lower work hours to divide the work by more people. another Jewish conspiracy by (((Laurogeita Hamabost))) (talk) 21:19, 15 July 2016 (UTC)

Yeah, that sounds great to me too. Unfortunately you're fighting against centuries of social programming that work is inherently noble, everyone needs to work, if you don't work you're a lazy bum leeching off society, and my stuff is mine mine mine and you can't have any of it. Unfortunately I think it'll probably get worse before it gets better. The right is increasingly moving towards neo-feudalist ideas (for instance neoreaction), where the ultra-rich will own all the robots that make everything and you get to beg them for the right to live. This is a fairly good sci-fi look at where we might be headed. --Ymir (talk) 23:02, 27 July 2016 (UTC)

[edit] Indexing all fines to income

Why don't we just index all monetary fines to income? another Jewish conspiracy by (((Laurogeita Hamabost))) (talk) 23:15, 22 July 2016 (UTC)

Why do you hate the rich? CLASS WARFARE!!! --Ymir (talk) 23:22, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
What does that have to do with hating the rich? Obviously someone earning fifty thousand bucks a month will feel differently about a five hundred Euro fine than someone earning five hundred thousand bucks a month. another Jewish conspiracy by (((Laurogeita Hamabost))) (talk) 23:38, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
So you think people should be punished for being successful? --Ymir (talk) 23:40, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
I think people should be punished for breaking the law. And the punishment should hurt similar amounts no matter who you are. Having millionaires breaking laws that are a (to them) ridiculous fine if they get caught cannot be what this is all about. another Jewish conspiracy by (((Laurogeita Hamabost))) (talk) 23:55, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
The rich being able to break laws with impunity is a reward for their hard work. If it weren't for that no one would work hard and get rich, because the government would just take all your money and give it to leeches on welfare. Really, the poor should be made to pay more, to motivate them to work harder. --Ymir (talk) 02:33, 23 July 2016 (UTC)
Personally, I hate the idea, and it reeks of the kind of toxic statism that is wrong with so much of the policing in this country. Putting aside the fact that the police-industrial complex already has too much money, fines should be fixed. Crime doesn't become more wrong or expensive if you're rich or poor. It's philosophically abhorrent as it paints police work as nothing more than a way to generate revenue for the government, which partially leads to overpolicing and fatal encounters as police are pushed to pull over as many people as possible. Policing needs much more fundamental change, not just more money or incentives to go after those dastardly rich people speeding in their convertibles. Hentropy (talk) 23:03, 23 July 2016 (UTC)
But won't these fines continue to leave poor people who commit minor crimes in debt?--Owlman (talk) (mail) 23:18, 23 July 2016 (UTC) 23:18, 23 July 2016 (UTC)
I fail to see how fining rich people more will address that particular problem, poor people will still be in debt when they are fined regardless. When someone commits a crime or does something the law doesn't want them to do, you have to punish them somehow. If the idea of putting poor people in debt when they're caught committing minor traffic offenses offends someone, maybe we should look at loosening traffic laws. Fining poor 20 bucks so that it's not a burden to them is hardly a deterrent to them committing more offenses. Rich people are more likely to just bring their lawyer to court and get them out of the ticket rather than pay it anyway, because anyone who has had a ticket knows the ticket is not nearly as bad as the raise in insurance after you're convicted. Hentropy (talk) 23:33, 23 July 2016 (UTC)
The purpose of a fine is to hurt, not to generate revenue. Which is why they need to be indexed to income. If you want to have a slap on the wrist fine, you can't have it be 500€ for someone who earns USD750 a month. So indexing fines to income really means what it says. Poor people pay less, rich people pay more. In my opinion its the definition of common sense. And it is done (including for traffic offenses) in a couple of countries. See this another Jewish conspiracy by (((Laurogeita Hamabost))) (talk) 23:44, 23 July 2016 (UTC)
I live in the US and your average speeding ticket where I'm at is in the $100-150 range. The only fines that total more than that are for things like DUIs or if you actually hit someone or something. Maybe it's just the former anarchist in me, but the whole idea of fines for "minor offenses" is offensive itself, if you're not willing to remove someone from society (put in them in jail) for an offense, then you shouldn't be outlawing it. Everyone knows that the vast majority of people who get pulled over for "minor offenses" weren't really doing a whole lot wrong. And of course, it ALL has to do with revenue, whether you're American or Angolan. If we're just going by policing actual dangerous things on the roads, then you could probably take half the traffic cops off the street. Hentropy (talk) 00:03, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
Excessive velocity can actually kill people. As can drunk driving. A cavalier attitude to those offenses is exactly what lat rate fines produce. And of course a consequence of the racist and classist enforcement. another Jewish conspiracy by (((Laurogeita Hamabost))) (talk) 00:06, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
Again, if it is that dangerous, then put people in jail for it. Even if it's only for a day. That way everyone gets the same punishment and you don't have to scale up the punishment to someone's income. The money being collected from speeding tickets is not being reinvested into the community or given to cancer kids, it's going to fund the justice system and police departments. Which means police departments get more money the more people commit crimes. Don't see a problem there? In my view, if putting someone in jail even for a day seems too harsh a punishment, then it should not be criminalized. Dats jus me doe. I'm well aware most of my opinions are unpopular. Hentropy (talk) 01:38, 24 July 2016 (UTC)

I'm all for it. A few complications:

  • Unemployed people? Who pays?
  • Minors? Who pays?
  • Pre- or post-tax income?
  • What kinds of income?
  • What if your income has drastically changed within one tax-year -- but the only data to work with is based on last year's taxes? A rich man gets a $10 fine, a poor gets a $1,000,000?

FuzzyCatPotato!™ (talk/stalk) 23:47, 23 July 2016 (UTC)

Given that several countries do this (albeit more do it only for criminal fines and not minor traffic things) there are surely several good approaches. You can also offer some alternative: Either pay the fine or do X amount of community service. Or whatever. Surely better than making a fox an elephant and a fish jump to measure their competence. another Jewish conspiracy by (((Laurogeita Hamabost))) (talk) 00:02, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
Indeed. This section is yet again people who thnk anything that doesn't happen right near them is inconceivable - David Gerard (talk) 09:46, 24 July 2016 (UTC)

[edit] Clinton writes off the Left.

Bullshit article. Assumes that the left are only Sandalos. Clinton and Kaine ARE on the left.
I'm getting really tired of the Sandalo Progressive-Only Puritans. Next thing you know, they'll be kidnapping prominent Leftists and "trying" them in a kangaroo court on "crimes against Progressivism!", all Robespierre-style. --Castaigne2 (talk) 22:45, 29 July 2016 (UTC)

The reasons I would label him "not really left" are actually present in RW's own article about him. "He declared his opposition to same-sex marriage and abortion while supporting a ban on "partial birth abortion", defunding abortion clinics, and the death penalty. As a senator, Kaine voted in favour of fast-tracking the Trans-Pacific Partnership,[12] which some have suggested may dissuade populist swing voters;[13] indeed, many Sanders supporters at the 2016 Democratic National Convention held up signs against the TPP in protest of Clinton's support for the partnership.[14] Kaine strongly supported Virginia's "right to work" law and was against giving public employees collective bargaining rights.[15] He was one of 13 Senate Democrats who didn't sign a letter in support of strengthening regulations on payday loans.[16][17] He has voiced support for offshore oil drilling and voted in favour of fast-tracking the construction of natural gas pipelines" Arawn Emrys (talk)

[edit] "DOn't vote for Jill Stein"

I thought this was funny coming from The Guardian and so I put it in here. Should this go to the clogosphere? Evolution and Metamorphosis (talk) 02:47, 17 August 2016 (UTC)

It seems to be right where it belong already. Voting for Jill Stein is a terrible idea, period. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 02:54, 17 August 2016 (UTC)
How so? Her "questions" on vaccines? Evolution and Metamorphosis (talk) 05:12, 17 August 2016 (UTC)
Ehem.--Кřěĵ (ṫåɬк) 05:27, 17 August 2016 (UTC)
@Evolution Yeah, like this person is a sane option for any type of public office. Hah. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 11:14, 17 August 2016 (UTC)
Perfectly fine links, but arguments like the above are why WIGO:Elections was invented, and that's where I've just moved them - David Gerard (talk) 13:49, 17 August 2016 (UTC)

[edit] Stance on Gawker

I'm not sure if this has been covered elsewhere, we don't seem to have an article for them. Personally, it's really hard for me to conjure up sympathy for them as an organization. Sure, it's never happy when people who did nothing wrong lose their livelihoods. But I don't think we should be obligated to defend them just because they released a handful of decent articles per year, buried and sandwiched between mountains of trashy tabloid dreck. They basically exemplified the shitty side of new media and made the "clickbait" style of journalism into an art form. To try to put them on the same level as the NYT and Politico is really stupid. I have a feeling that if Pete Thiel had been a liberal and Gawker was right-wing, liberal news outlets would not be writing soliloquies about the state of journalism, but rather writing about the righteousness of and bravery of taking them on. Hentropy (talk) 20:14, 25 August 2016 (UTC)

Honestly, my distaste for the whole matter mostly comes down to the details of the implementation of the law and absolutely nothing about what Gawker did wrong(more than a little) or deserved(they weren't exactly a worthy cause). Laws that allow outrageous judgements to be "locked in" before the appeals process is fully followed strikes me as a violation of the 5th, 8th, and 14th amendments. If I've got an objection, it's to Florida's government and the judge of the case. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 20:53, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
That's really the main issue I take with the court proceedings as it is right now. ℕoir LeSable (talk) 21:34, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
I know I haven't posted here in a while, but I completely agree. And while there are certainly questions regarding free speech and the US legal system that can provide plenty of discussion material -- particularly Thiel's behavior, precedents with Trump, appeals, and the Legalist startup Thiel's funding (linked in the WIGO pages) -- the Boingboing article posted felt largely disingenuous overall. Like seriously? Trying to garner sympathy for AJ Daulerio, the guy who responded to a young woman wanting a video of her RAPE taken off the site by telling her that the video was staying up and "The best advice I can give you right now: do not make a big deal out of this"? Yeah. Sure. Guy has a right to an attorney, but because he hasn't filed for bankruptcy protections like Denton and Gawker, he's liable for 100% of the judgment, and somehow, I'm out of fucks to give. Blah, blah, blah.
This wasn't "one serious lapse in editorial judgement" that cost the writers their jobs, this was a series of serious lapses that kept them dancing on the edge. If it wasn't Hogan, it would've been Brett Favre. Or David Geithner. Or James Franco. Or Lenore Zann. Or Christina Hendricks. Or Chris Christie. Or one of dozens more people that they've smeared.
Frankly, I think that BoingBoing writer is reading a bit too much Niemöller.ℕoir LeSable (talk) 21:34, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, I think if one wants to make an argument about the legal process or about the influence and a billionaire can wield in said legal process, then there's valid discussions and debates to be had there, but those aren't exactly new issues. But the moment one starts trying to defend the content of Gawker as if they were some important member of the media and the world is better off with them in it... that's when you just start sounding like a paparazzo defending their "craft" as important and necessary. Hentropy (talk) 21:58, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
Technically, the Boing Boing article was a repost of an article written by Trevor Timm who works at the Freedom of the Press Foundation. I, personally, don't want to limit rights based on whether someone isn't important to the media or some such. I agree with Hentropy's statement at the top and I think that it sucks that those writers lose their jobs but a lot of the articles were pretty scummy. I think the legal aspect is a mess but Peter Thiel has every right to fund a lawsuit against Gawker for something they did wrong even; Hogan wouldn't have been able to sue them otherwise.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 22:40, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
My understanding is that gawker.com is shutting down but all the people associated with it are just being shuffled around to other sites/organisations within the group (which includes Jezebel, Gizmodo and Kotaku, which alone are probably enough to keep the Gawker guys writing, especially if they retool at least one of them to fill the void that Gawker left, which I have to assume they will). I find it hard to care too much about a brand name being gotten rid of because, effectively, it became too mired in its own sleaze to continue on. It was only a matter of time before it was taken down by something or other, and given the specifics of this case, I really don't buy the slippery slope "now billionaires will shut down any newspaper they don't like" argument either. The only controversy I'd accept from the whole affair is whether Thiel used his money to somehow undermine the legal process, but funding the best lawyers possible for the case is not undermining the legal process; although it is a bit sleazy (and personally I've always found the concept of "the best" lawyers to be an inherent flaw in the legal system to begin with), it's effectively just using the law really well. But I don't know enough about the legal side of things to know if there's anything dodgy about it; I did think the monetary amount was really high, but then again Gawker was openly defying a court order to remove the video in the first place (I think? I definitely remember that being something I read before the final judgement). X Stickman (talk) 23:38, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
Billionaires already have a much easier way of shutting down media they don't like: Buying them. Most of the US media are in the hands of a few conglomerates. That is to me more worrisome than some gossip site shutting down another Jewish conspiracy by (((Laurogeita Hamabost))) (talk) 20:07, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
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