Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Cruising the Web

I hope that everyone had a fantastic Fourth of July weekend. I'm going up to New York City for a short jaunt, but I wanted to leave you guys with a few quick links before I head out.

I love our annual celebration of our nation's founding. It is a fine thing that we pause once a year to remember the principles on which our nation was established. Though, as Michael Graham points out, the celebrations that John Adams predicted would be used to celebrate our nation's independence would not be possible today in his hometown.
In 1776, Massachusetts native son John Adams declared that Independence Day “ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.” If John Adams were to return to Massachusetts today to lead such a parade, he would find that the sale and possession of fireworks is now against the law in the Bay State; that he needed the permission of a local, unelected government employee in order to get a gun license; that outdoor fires are illegal unless they’re expressly for the purpose of preparing food; and that “games and sports” such as tag, dodge ball, and all “unauthorized chasing games” are currently prohibited by many Bay State public schools. He would also find himself under government order to buy health insurance for himself and Abigail, or face stiff penalties from the state.
Harold Holzer pays tribute to Abraham Lincoln's Fourth of July address to Congress in 1861.

John J. Miller pays tribute
to Joseph Addison's 18th century play "Cato." This was George Washington's favorite play; he had it performed at Valley Forge. And it is the source of many famous quotes such as the lines that Nathan Hale supposedly said before being executed by the British.

You know we're an overly litigious society when an inmate in prison for bank robbery is suing for the right to have pornography in prison. It must be one of those inalienable rights.

Some people are real killjoys. A local kid's museum had an "arm fart" contest and some people were so offended that the museum is going to cancel the contest. What a sad life someone must lead to bother to take the time to complain about a bunch of children competing in an arm fart contest.

A letter that Michael Jordan wrote during a high school chemistry class just garnered over $5,000 at auction. I hope that he learned better spelling and grammar at UNC.

Barbara Boxer earns three Pinocchios
for her claim that it was due only to the Democrats who balanced the budget in the 1990s. This is history that she lived through, but she still thinks she can get away with lying about what happened.

Heh, states that have right-to-work laws are not only doing better economically in today's economy, but they also make up 17 of 18 top states ranked in terms of "work force."

Colorado's new high-risk insurance pool
under Obamacare was predicted to have at least 4,000 patients join. Instead only 830 have signed up. But they have used up almost all of the federal money granted to cover those 4,000 members. This can't be good.

This statistic will show up in ads next year. Obama's own Council of Economic Advisors reports that each job "added or saved" by the stimulus has cost an average of $278,000 per job. And that's not all.
In other words, the government could simply have cut a $100,000 check to everyone whose employment was allegedly made possible by the “stimulus,” and taxpayers would have come out $427 billion ahead.

Furthermore, the council reports that, as of two quarters ago, the “stimulus” had added or saved just under 2.7 million jobs — or 288,000 more than it has now. In other words, over the past six months, the economy would have added or saved more jobs without the “stimulus” than it has with it. In comparison to how things would otherwise have been, the “stimulus” has been working in reverse over the past six months, causing the economy to shed jobs.
They'll have a hard time defending those numbers.

Ah, those Democrats and their culture of civility. Charming.

Cathy Young notes how the recent Wal-Mart Supreme Court case resurrects old arguments about women earning less than men. She has this interesting fact from the case demonstrating how part of the problem is that many women don't want jobs that will be so demanding that they don't have time with their families.
One answer comes from left-wing journalist Liza Featherstone, whose 2004 book about the case, "Selling Women Short: The Landmark Battle for Women's Rights at Wal-Mart," is strongly sympathetic to the plaintiffs. In an interview for the online magazine Stay Free! after the book's publication, Featherstone was asked about other suits against Wal-Mart, including one by the widow of a male manager who had died of a heart attack. Featherstone explained, "Her husband was incredibly overworked, as many Wal-Mart managers are ... assistant mangers are forced to work 70-80 hours a week. In some sense, they are more exploited than hourly workers, because they are salaried, so they don't get overtime."

In another interview, in Salon.com, Featherstone noted that Wal-Mart expects managers to be available to work at any time and that the chief plaintiff in the women's case, Betty Dukes, felt her career had suffered because she refused to work Sundays.
Yes, it's tough that being a manager at Wal-Mart is so demanding. Who knew? But such facts are evidence that something was going on other than discrimination to account for the discrepancies in employment at Wal-Mart.


lorraine_lanning said...

"Betty Dukes, felt her career had suffered because she refused to work Sundays."

That's the trade-off you make to be a salaried manager, or a salaried employee of any kind really.

Look, when you accept a salaried position, you do what it takes to get the job done, whether it takes 40 hours or 80 hours.

I work in IT and was a salaried employee of a consulting firm for a number of years. I spent several summers working 80-90 hours a week. Sometimes I got bonuses for the extra hours, sometimes I didn't, it comes with the territory, as does doing releases in the middle of the night.

Sometimes being an hourly contractor works out better, sometimes those people aren't getting paid because there are no projects while salaried people on the bench still get paid. It's a trade-off.

I decided long ago never to work at a higher level than manager because I didn't want the extra responsibility and liability that came with being a VP or director. The trade-off is that I have a lower salary but live a more normal life and don't have Enron-type officer liabilities hanging over my head.

If you don't like it, don't work there or don't work in that position.

CDR J said...

You said "They'll have a hard time defending those numbers."

I have three words: Deny, deny deny.

The Democrats will simply deny that the number of jobs lost was due to the stimulus.

pumping-irony said...

I was never a manager but I was a salaried employee for many years in the computer software industry. As salaried employees, we came and went as we pleased; there were no clocks to be punched and no one stood around timing our lunch hours. As long as project deadlines were met, it didn't much matter when or where we worked. But the trade-off was when overtime or weekend work was required, you were expected to be there. If an important customer's machine froze up because of our products, we were expected to be available until things were fixed. Yes, your career would likely have suffered if you didn't wish to accept those terms; I dare say it would have been ended at that company. As the prior commenter suggested, if you didn't like it, there were always other jobs.