You got used to Ayotte's "support—not endorse." Now meet Gohmert's "vote for—not support." https://t.co/Th6XB8DAoA pic.twitter.com/kf9z344bQ0
— Taniel (@Taniel) May 24, 2016
Only 11 of 246 House Republicans have categorically said they won't endorse Trump. https://t.co/S2x98pAXs8
— Philip Klein (@philipaklein) May 24, 2016
FINDING: It's easier to do a hostile takeover of the Republican Party than to launch a successful competitor to Omaha Steaks.
— Josh Barro (@jbarro) May 4, 2016
It’d be funnier if Deadbeat Donald didn’t have a minimum 40% (very) base vote for the taking…
The psychological quirk that explains why you love @realDonaldTrump https://t.co/EDXxbTIGfk via @POLITICOMag | Getty pic.twitter.com/UzTCZ3ldWb
— POLITICO (@politico) May 25, 2016
… Psychological research suggests that people, in general, suffer from what has become known as the Dunning-Kruger Effect. They have little insight about the cracks and holes in their expertise. In studies in my research lab, people with severe gaps in knowledge and expertise typically fail to recognize how little they know and how badly they perform. To sum it up, the knowledge and intelligence that are required to be good at a task are often the same qualities needed to recognize that one is not good at that task—and if one lacks such knowledge and intelligence, one remains ignorant that one is not good at that task. This includes political judgment…
This syndrome may well be the key to the Trump voter—and perhaps even to the man himself. Trump has served up numerous illustrative examples of the effect as he continues his confident audition to be leader of the free world even as he seems to lack crucial information about the job. In a December debate he appeared ignorant of what the nuclear triad is. Elsewhere, he has mused that Japan and South Korea should develop their own nuclear weapons—casually reversing decades of U.S. foreign policy.
Many commentators have pointed to these confident missteps as products of Trump’s alleged narcissism and egotism. My take would be that it’s the other way around. Not seeing the mistakes for what they are allows any potential narcissism and egotism to expand unchecked…
Apart from acknowledging that too many of our fellow citizens think Idiocracy was a documentary (or an instruction manual), what’s on the agenda for the evening?
I wish I had that level of confidence. I’m the polar opposite. I usually doubt what I can do, even if I can do it and assume whatever I know is super-easy and anyone can do it.
They’ll all fall in line for their new fascist standard bearer.
I would put forth that the movie “Idiocracy” was not viewed by most of the people supporting Trump. It’s not like it was “Jackass” or something.
Mingobat f/k/a Karen in GA
Party before country, as usual.
@gene108: I suffer from the same problem.
@gene108: That’s the flip side of Dunning-Kruger. You’re knowledgeable enough to know you don’t know everything. That’s a good thing.
@Cacti: I see a lot more hoocoodanode’s in their future.
The original Dunning-Kruger paper noted that effect, too. They found that the highest achievers had a good estimate of their own score in absolute terms, but they tended to underestimate where they fell on the curve because they overestimated the competence of the rest of the participants.
@Roger Moore: Yeah, I do that here all the time.
But you’ll be President one day and that’d show them :-)
@gene108: Me too.
@gene108: I think the Republicans have proven that any old fool can be president.
I really love old photos. I guess they’re the closest thing I have to a time machine, where I can see people and places that existed a century before my lifetime.
Here are some portraits from the 19th/early 20th century. The photographer F. Holland Day created images that look like they could have been taken five minutes ago:
@Germy Shoemangler: Wow. Day was a hipster before hipsters were cool.
@Baud: Are you sure you don’t mean Eden Ahbez?
@Germy Shoemangler: Those pics need some Photoshop work, I could fix em up in no time; maybe colorize em.
I’ve got a baby pic of my dad and aunt(they were twins) from 1920 that was professionally colorized(I think it was a thing then).
A Ghost To Most
Yup. As long as they got a big daddy giving them talking points, and somebody they can piss on,they are good to go.
Villago Delenda Est
@Roger Moore: I think about that in traffic all the time. “It makes no sense to do that…I wouldn’t do that”, yet idiots do really stupid things.
I have a very simple trick I use when I have to interview a job candidate. I ask the candidate to rate themselves 1-10 on a given topic and then I ask them a few questions on the topic. What I want is somebody that answers questions that are tougher than they rated themselves, I don’t want the ones that rate themselves higher than the questions they can answer. Its a very successful way to weed out the folks who don’t know but think they do, they make bad employees.
@Villago Delenda Est: I generally watch and say, “that was ‘creative'”.
Heard in news this morning and see on TPM blog that Trump campaign accidentally leaked its great, classy, top, terrific, idea for next attack on HRC: Whitewater.
Hope Trump continues along road to political bankruptcy. I had thought Trump would be hammering on the populist themes that really separated him from the other GOP goons, like support for real social insurance. But probably, now that he needs big money, and GOP support, he has to back track and go 100 percent Establishment GOP economic con game all the time, rather than campaign on a couple of the very few sensible, and popular with the GOP base, ideas he had.
So, we get retread attacks about phony scandals people were sick of ten years ago. Maybe the thinks they are new to the younger BernieBots, and they will be shocked shocked shocked! Into voting for a fat old racist xenophobic (maybe?) billionaire con man ready to shovel more tax cuts to rich folk.
Weed Out Bad Hires With This One Weird Trick!
Not when you couple it with perfectionist tendencies.
Anyway, I think people favor Trump for 2 reasons.
1. They want to make America white again
2. They think everything sucks, both-sides-do-it and want the biggest change agent possible.
@Schlemazel Khan: That’s brilliant.
Not that I’ll ever be in a position to interview a job candidate again, but thanks for that tip. Of course, it becomes a problem when I can’t ask anything harder than what a 5-rated prospect could answer. Well, I could ask it, but I’d have no idea whether the answer was right or rong.
@Germy Shoemangler: Those photos are remarkable — VERY haunting.
I think it’s “interesting” (in an ironic/lack-of-self-awareness kind of way) that Politico would publish something on Dunning-Kruger. Sort of like Sean Hannity or Jim Hoft talking about how stupid someone — anyone — else is.
Trump is ignorant and his followers don’t care. He is Sarah Palin with a penis and 1,000 times dumber.
And his supporters don’t care.
And the GOP Establishment is embracing him as their candidate. And as I quoted in an earlier thread, Charles “I Got Your Bell Curve Right Here” Murray even sucks high IQ GOP Koch while pleading with the Establishment in a recent National Review op ed piece.
The syndrome at work here seems to be Dumb Ass White Man Is desperate to prove that he is better than the Negro president who dissed him. And a chunk of dumb ass White America has signed on and will ride this shit into the Apocalypse if necessary.
@BillinGlendaleCA: i disagree that the photos need to be fixed. He wanted them to be faintly schmudy and not distinct and clear. That’s the effect he was going for, that’s why he used the platinum process.
@PurpleGirl: The photo of Kahlil Gibran is great.
Toledo men charged, accused of beating man because of race
25 MAY 2016 AT 10:45 ET
A black Ohio man says he had his eye socket fractured by two white men in a pick-up truck that called him a racial slur and a f*g, ABC13 reports.
Charles Edward Butler, 33, and Robert Allen Paschalis, 25, have been charged in the attack, Cleveland.com reports. The attack happened last week.
“Two guys pulled up in a pickup truck and called me a fag. Then they rode down this way like they were about to turn around,” the victim, Adrian Williams, told ABC. “The two guys jumped out of the truck and called me a racial slur. They called me the N word. When he jumped out I grabbed a bat out of my truck hoping that they would back up and go about their business.”
Instead, Williams ended up with a broken orbital bone and damage to his right eye.
Butler and Paschalis were charged with assault, and Butler was charged with “ethnic intimidation,” the website reports.
Williams told police he was loading tools into his truck when the two approached him. They called him the N word and the homophobic slur. Williams said he began to back away and grabbed a baseball bat from his truck for self-defense.
Butler grabbed a broom from William’s truck and began to beat him with it while Paschalis punched him.
“It just caught me totally off guard. I have never see these guys in my life,” Williams told ABC.
A nearby business caught the beating on surveillance camera, and men working nearby came to Williams’ aid.
“The guys at the rim shop came down,” he said. “A blessing from God. They came down and told them they had to leave him alone.”
@Betty Cracker: It’s garbage. I sincerely hope he’s not in charge of hiring anyone.
if they were Black, they’d be charged AS ADULTS…BET ON THAT.
White high school football players in Idaho charged in rape of black, disabled teammate with a coat hanger
By Michael E. Miller
May 25 at 3:31 AM
When a teammate held out his arms after football practice in their high school locker room, the student thought he was about to get a hug.
Instead, he got viciously raped, authorities say.
As the teammate restrained the victim, another football player allegedly thrust a coat hanger into the victim’s rectum, according to a criminal complaint. Then a third teammate kicked the coat hanger several times.
The Oct. 23, 2015, incident has rocked the tiny town of Dietrich, Idaho. This spring, after several months of investigation, the state attorney general’s office filed sexual assault charges against the three. Two of the teenagers are being charged as adults and could face life in prison, under Idaho law.
Earlier this month, the victim’s family filed a $10 million lawsuit against Dietrich High School. According to the lawsuit, the attack wasn’t a one-off, but rather the culmination of months of racist abuse by white students against the victim, who is black.
Gin & Tonic
Packing for a trip. I have to head a bit south to visit my daughter, who is having a surgical procedure tomorrow, and will need help with caring for her own not-quite-one-year-old daughter. The outcome of the procedure is likely to be good, but there’s a chance it will be complicated, so a good thought or two her way would not be amiss. I am, of course, concerned, because no matter how old a child is, it is one’s baby forever.
I do too. If you’re on FB, here’s a couple of groups you might like:
I neve thought Trump would make a strategy of anything remotely liberal. He gets attention when something that defies Republican dogma comes out of his mouth, but the opposite will come out of his mouth tomorrow and did yesterday. He just says what pops into his head at any moment. His only consistencies are asshole personal attacks and bigotry, which together ARE the populist right. Retreading Whitewater fits that mindset just fine.
@Gin & Tonic: Good luck to all.
this phuckery here!
Because, of course, the Former First Family should go live in THE HOOD.
The Obamas Are Moving to Kalorama After the President Leaves Office. Ugh.
By Hillary Kelly on May 24, 2016
Today National Journal reported that, after leaving the media hanging as to the nature of their plans, the Obamas have finally made their decision on which DC neighborhood to call home after they leave 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., and Kalorama is the winner. “The White House is staying mum on exactly which house,” they reported, “but the neighborhood is rich with possibilities.”
The neighborhood is also rich, period, a fact which has seemingly escaped most of the outlets that have reported the news. This isn’t exactly a surprise: the President earlier stated that the first family was choosing between Kalorama and Embassy Row, an equally tony neighborhood directly adjacent to it. Their home in Chicago, which they bought for $1.65 million in 2005 and is valued at just over $2 million, is a whopping 6,200 square feet and is set in chi-chi Hyde Park. And for the last eight years they’ve been roaming the hallowed halls of the most in-demand residence in the nation (aside from any of Martha Stewart’s houses, which, let’s face it, must be a delight). So the Obamas are no stranger to luxe living.
“Imagine the good it could do a struggling DC neighborhood if he moved in
and established himself as a figurehead of the community, showing his
face at local spots and bringing a sense of excitement”
I hope you’re kidding about the colorizing.
ETA: I’ve got a photo of my mom from around 1935. It was colorized. Her cheeks are far too peachy and the blues in her dress make her unretouched shoes, ribbons, etc. look very dingy. I think it’s kind of a sad picture.
@Germy Shoemangler: Amazing work. His Christ images are almost spooky.
@rikyrah: I think a ten million dollar lawsuit is too small.
@rikyrah: I remember when it was a big deal when Bill Clinton set up shop in Harlem. But that wasn’t his residence.
Some people just love to complain.
Oh, God. It looks like that in actuality Emo Martin, AKA the Tom Friedman of Balloon Juice, is not really in academia after all. The truth appears that he is actually the ex-CEO of McDonalds.
Ex-McDonald’s CEO says raising the minimum wage will help robots take jobs
@debbie: He’s kidding.
I’m imagining the way the Secret Service would treat the people in that struggling DC neighborhood. The big excitement when he went to a local spot would be the locals being rousted because the Secret Service would treat them all with suspicion. Doesn’t seem like the best idea to me.
@rikyrah: Jesus Christ. My dinner just made a determined attempt to expel itself.
Job Applicants Hate It! See Why!
Villago Delenda Est
@rikyrah: Well, there goes the neighborhood!
I’m inclined to be the same way, but I’ve had to overcome that. If I think it can be done, I convince myself that I can do it. I’ve learned that once you commit to doing it, you almost always find the way there. It might take 10x longer than you realized, but you’ll get there. That works for me because I am unusually patient and don’t like to give up so I tend to stick through things longer than most people would (or maybe should – it’s not always had positive results for my well-being), and because I’m not actually confident I can do it, I tend to invest very heavily in that thing, rather than procrastinate to take it lightly.
So I do think there is something behind willing something to completion that demands at least the illusion of overconfidence in order to commit to it, but requires doubting it the entire way in order to stay on top of getting it done. In my experience, most things that have never been done are simply because nobody tried. I’ve been shocked at how easy some things turned out to be (that I had expected would be extremely difficult) once I committed to doing them and forced myself through the process.
OMG! Hamilmaniacs need to check out #HamOfThrones on Twitter. It’s fantastic.
Got it. Thanks.
When I first moved to DC in the late 1980s I lived in a humble apartment building on the edge of Kalorama. It is a very nice neighborhood. It is also right next to Adams Morgan, parts of which are far from gentrified.
Being Idaho–$10 million plus All Their Guns sounds like a good amount.
@rikyrah: Small towns and football breeds heartland values, now don’t they just — no mixed up genders contaminating and endangering their bathrooms!
@PurpleGirl: Might want to get that snark-o-meter checked out. (I thought the colorize part was the tell.)
@Roger Moore: Kalorama has tons of Ambassador’s homes, as well as smaller embassies, homes for Senators, etc. The Secret Service knows it well. I suspect the Obama’s asked the Secret Service for advice on neighborhoods.
@debbie: Scan it and make it black and white again. It might be really charming and you could enjoy it more.
@debbie: I was kidding about colorizing the pics referred to in the comment, the pic of my dad and aunt is colorized. It’s was done quite well.
@Germy Shoemangler: I love old photographs, too. These are stunning. Thanks so much for sharing.
Hyde Park is hardly ‘chi-chi’ compared to let’s say the Gold Coast or Lincoln Park, not to mention the suburbs just north of Chicago.
@Gin & Tonic: Sending good vibes her (and your) way. I am the mother of a 43 year old daughter who will always be my baby, no matter how old she is, so I really understand. Have a safe trip and enjoy the time with your little little one. The grandkids grow up more quickly than the kids (speaking as a “Mee Maw” whose youngest grandson is graduating high school in two weeks in Tampa). Sniff.
Because all real ‘Merkins fall on the right side of the bell curve, of course.
I should write for Buzzfeed!
Curious as to why that quote put me in moderation. Couldn’t have been “Politico”, could it?
ETA: Nope! That’s not it. Hmmmm…..
Maybe he’s right. My Bernie-or-Bust friends are going nuts over Hillary’s email right now.
I have been to the Obama home in Chicago, it is no dump & the neighborhood is well out of my reach financially.
@rikyrah: On google, I saw the street view. Wait until the whackos notice that there is an Islamic Center on the same street. Nice house though.
Its amazing the kind of bizarre pretzels the GOP leadership will be twisting themselves into in their support/ not support Trump insanity.
@jl: I think we all knew that Trump and Republicans would have nothing new to say about the Clintons so it’s not surprising that they’re rehashing fights from the 90’s. This is what makes Secretary Clinton such a great candidate — her opposition has nothing new to say about her that will sway the electorate one way or the other. Plus her competitor is a fool which helps her immensely.
Major Major Major Major
Got a little courtesy note that they’re waiting on a reference or two (I think I know who) and they’re hoping to finish up “by next week” and will “update me asap with next steps.”
So he should be Jane Byrne?
(Apologies to any screens that got ruined by spit takes.)
WTF, PK? I thought we were pals.
I guess the secret to Trump’s appeal is that he is a celebrity and will govern along the lines of Ahnold and Jessie Ventura.
His policies will not be the contradictory gobbledygook he has said in the primary and the past, but orthodox GOP think tank policies.
He must have a core set of “new” policies though that will satisfy his angry constituency. Not sure yet what they are.
You can’t judge the Sanders people now. They still have hope, so any bad headline day for Clinton is a big deal for them. Apparently, innumeracy is the one real bipartisan part of American politics.
Crickets here on the State Department’s inspector generals report on Clinton’s emails. I guess there is a zero negative Clinton post decree on this blog. Wow, things have changed here mightily since 2008, when she was getting way more criticism from front pagers. Oh right, who am I kidding, lets demonize and alienate Sanders supporters more because, not sure, but its a winning election tactic for november! Oh yeah, email scandal is a republican cooked up scandal. Wait, the inspector general was appointed by Obama, Loretta Lynch also by Obama, soo, its a democratic party conspiracy to undermine their own presidential candidate! Right guys!?
Sigh. If you say so…
@Schlemazel Khan: There’s a mite of difference between “dump” and “not as chi-chi as the wonders on the North Side”. Not to mention meaningful differences and measurement scales on beyond out of personal reach.
Did you actually read the report ? It sure doesn’t seem like it.
It’s pretty critical of the Department of State’s IT infrastructure.
It says Clinton did pretty much what her two predecessors did, and explains why they all did that.
@joel hanes: Even Barbara Bush thinks reading is fundamental.
@Gin & Tonic: All the best to your daughter.
11 states are suing President Obama over his bathroom directive. Republicans have found another minority to oppress and they’re going for broke. Do Republicans really believe that transgender people haven’t been using the bathroom that fits their gender identity for all these years?
@joel hanes: Your not supposed to think more deeply than OMG EMAILS!!!!
@Partisancheese: There is no email “scandal”. She used the wrong email server. Whoopie doo. And now we’re supposed to vote for Trump, right?
@Baud: What is Baud doing to alleviate the tensions between the Bernie Bros and the Hillary Bots? I demand action from your campaign!
@Patricia Kayden: I stand as a shining beacon of what might have been.
@Partisancheese: Kiss my dick and eat some pie.
@Patricia Kayden: lol Vote for the unstable guy who worked with the mob, and is afraid to release his tax returns. Maybe Hillary should have followed precedent and deleted the emails, like the Bush appointees did.
@Baud: Your Highness, you are also like a stream of bat’s piss.
I am the Walrus
Clinton rules: anything that’s standard operating procedure for any other politician is OMG SCANDAL RELEASE THE HOUNDS!!1! if Hillary or Bill does it.
@joel hanes: Sorry, but that’s just a bridge too far for me. I simply can’t believe she did not know that having a different IT/email infrastructure was not acceptable. I am planning to move my voter registration from D to I, just as soon as possible.
@rikyrah: Chi chi Hyde Park?
@Corner Stone: Yes, apparently my ability to measure something means that I endorse it.
I’m not endorsing a lot of this stuff. I think some of it will fail because there is a misunderstanding of what people are actually paying for (few people want their barista to be automated, because it’s the social interaction that a lot of people actually look forward to). But regardless, I think it’s idiotic to think that we can social justice our way to a different future on this front, chucking our wooden shoes into the gears of progress, given that it’s been a guarantee of failure for at least 10,000 years now.
But you just keep on waving your fist at the robots. Eventually you’ll demoralize them and then we’ll all have awesome, life affirming jobs.
@JPL: Vote for the racist idiot who is unqualified to be President of the Free World because the Secretary of State used the wrong email server — just like her predecessors.
Because somehow her use of the wrong email server means that she is unqualified to be President and we should let the racist idiot win.
@Corner Stone: It’s worse than you think. She used an aol.com email address!
Major Major Major Major
@rikyrah: That’s stupid and I hate it.
Gee, it’s almost like the critical posts of 2008 were related to the then-current events of 2016 that the rest of us have moved past rather than indicative of the enduring, burning hatred of Hillary that you have.
As I’ve already said in other threads, what we’re hearing from now isn’t even the Berniebros. It’s the He-Man Hillary Haterz Club who are less pro-Bernie than anti-Hillary.
I promise I will do that very thing, if you will promise to continue misconstruing and flat out lying about what my argument is on this matter.
Major Major Major Major
@Corner Stone: That’s stupid and I hate you.
@dmsilev: Let’s agree to a tie-breaker. Did she use the free CD with the included minutes? Think carefully on this one as the fate of the free world may hinge on your response.
@Omnes Omnibus: “Shines out like a shaft of gold” should have been my slogan.
@Major Major Major Major: Why are you trying to deny me my 1st Amendment rights?
@Baud: “Shine bright like a diamond, Oh!”
To be fair, a dial up connection probably is much more secure than 24/7 broadband.
@Corner Stone: Confidential sources tell me she used a set as drink coasters.
I hardly can’t even watch Castle at this point. I want to, but Det Beckett is too god damn glorious to look at for more than a few minutes.
What happened in New Mexico?
Uh oh, looks like that running for president thing isn’t as lucrative a PR stunt as one might have thought.
@dmsilev: That’s just fucking Arkansas Gauche. Vote *DENIED*
@schrodinger’s cat: Trump.
Major Major Major Major
@Corner Stone: Just make sure not to flounce towards your 2nd amendment rights! Eek!
@schrodinger’s cat: I can tell you what didn’t happen in NM. A few years ago I was supposed to fly to Tucson, meet up with my dad and stepmom, hop in their monster RV and then go to Hot Air Balloon Fest in New Mexico. My son was totes into it and all in. But no, one of them had to get ill and we canceled. And to this god damned day I still have yet to see the green balloons in person.
When programmers get together, it’s fairly common to have a dick waving contest about who has shipped the most copies of their software. AOL CDs are always my trump card.
It’s less than that. It’s a total nothingburger of a story. There’s nothing–zilch–there that we haven’t known for more than two years, and it was nothing then. It’s like rehashing Whitewater.
@Major Major Major Major: I’m in TX. They are never farther than a table top surface, empty cowboy boot or under a bedroom pillow away.
@Baud: Goo goo g’ joob goo goo g’ joob!
Using specially formulated paints and inks (and mixing colors as an artist working in oils does) to color B&W photos was a part of the photography activity offered at the summer camp I once was a part of, and a lot of fun.
I would like to see Jerry Brown as the nominee if Hilz does flame out. Hes dealt with twits like Trumpster(see Whitman,Meg +KashnKarri,Neal), and I would enjoy him slapping Trumpster around like a Three Stooges scene.
@Corner Stone: sorry we couldn’t get our communications sorted in time, drop me a heads up the next time you’re out. We can share a beverage or something.
What’s with all this talking in the past tense?
Major Major Major Major
Husband and I got big fat letters from the IRS today, in case I wasn’t anxious enough with the job situation.
They want $7.01.
@Corner Stone: Shine on You Crazy Diamond, would have been better.
@Major Major Major Major: and how much is that in bitcoins?
Thanks for this ?
Major Major Major Major
@piratedan: I don’t know man I haven’t worked with bitcoins in a couple years.
I mean, erm, shhh.
Yeah, I had to go past that.
@debbie: I believe the Baud!2016! campaign is an ex-campaign.
I can math. I’m just waiting until after California to make it official.
I think most of it is outright trolls who are just on the Bernie bandwagon because Hillarybots are a likely target right now.
You might have missed it above, but you should definitely check out #HamOfThrones on Twitter.
James E Powell
This was a soliloquy, right?
@Major Major Major Major: That’s $7.01 more than Donald Trump pays.
Which, of course, Trump is trying to do.
The President in Idiocracy realized he had a problem he didn’t know how to solve, sought out (literally) the smartest guy on Earth and actually listened to his advice. I don’t see the modern GOP doing any of those things.
Given that I haven’t been able to make much sense out of your argument, let me offer this. In this thread, or another day when it is more suitable for you and you see me around, lay out that argument and I promise you an honest, non-snarky response so that I can understand it. This isn’t something I’m trying to ‘win’, I simply don’t see anyone trying to address the coming challenges in a serious way and that concerns me.
I follow LMM on Twitter, so I’ve seen a few of them. My problem is that I’m not caught up on GoT, so I’m missing some of the references.
Speaking of hostile takeovers, notice how Bernie supporters take every post not about them as hostile to them and take over the comment thread? :-D
The narcissism Force is strong with the Bernie.
just remember: if bernie were SOS instead he wouldn’t have gotten caught up in this sort of scandal. because he would have done all his business using an old rotary-dial telephone.
@James E Powell: Imagine William Shatner reading it with beatnik bongos in the background for maximum effect.
@? Martin: Why should we lay back and think of England? No one has said that protectionism or denying technological advances are the future for our developed workforce. And yet that is the entirety of the side of argument you continue to try to argue.
We here all (or at least what I have seen) recognize technological changes that are going to completely change the workforce in coming years.
We’re, or some of us, are just not willing to cede the field to the glibertarian capital holders. There’s absolutely no reason a Gig Economy has to happen. It does not have to be that way.
I think the recent termination of 60,000 workers by Foxconn for the replacement by robots puts the lie to all the excuses you have previously made about the imperatives of WHY Apple has had to outsource its supply chain and do what it has done. Bullshit. The lie has been completely exposed by Foxconn moving to automation. You made every excuse in the book from turn around times to economies of scale to refitting and all that other bullshit. Now we see that if Apple had actually wanted to, it could have sourced all those high tech jobs to Americans running high tech manufacturing facilities. There is a reason they did not invest in that outcome, and it’s exposed all your fallacies at this point.
Stand and be revealed as a liar!
Ha, ha, Trump himself is bad for his own businesses.
Major Major Major Major
@Terry chay: A thread about Dunning-Kruger, no less.
Major Major Major Major
…because it would have been more expensive? I’m not sure what you’re getting at here.
@Major Major Major Major: Wow. Sure you don’t have a business card under the name, “Wile E. Coyote, Sooper Genius” ?
Major Major Major Major
@Corner Stone: I didn’t know he’d claimed anything else as their reasons, is why I said that. I also hit publish too soon and tried to delete the comment because I didn’t feel like having this argument, thanks AL :P
@Major Major Major Major: He claimed everything else under the fucking sun as reasons for why Apple was using Foxconn et al.
Emo Martin has been consistently making the argument that dismantling society by denying it working funds and blowing up the working class because fucking reasons is a good thing.
If you don’t get what Emo Martin is all about maybe you should not be encouraging his stupid fucking snark when he’s actually on record trying to argue for damage to people who are in a tough spot. Ask him. Ask him what the actual remedy is for all his fucking robot/automation jokes re: real people in the US?
I know what his responses are, do you, smartiepants?
Major Major Major Major
@Corner Stone: Taxing dormant capital (or some other product of non-labor GDP gain) to redistribute as a guaranteed income, as I recall.
@Major Major Major Major: He explicitly says taxing corporate profits are not the right answer.
Major Major Major Major
@Corner Stone: I stand corrected. Perhaps I assumed that was the revenue source since it’s so bleedingly obvious.
J R in WV
Frankly, accusing the Secretary of State of not following State Department regs, when she could rewrite, cause an exception, whatever to those rules as the head of the Department, is stupid and heedless.
Those puppies will be working for a Secretary of State appointed by a President that they tried to cut off from her election.
Stupid, I said.
Iowa Old Lady
@Roger Moore: Awesome! Wow! :-)
That is great. I see Jill Biden posted one.
@Major Major Major Major:
IOW, never gonna get it, never gonna get it, never gonna get it, no not this time.
J R in WV
@Major Major Major Major:
Congratulations! Good news. Hang in there, regardless.
And remember, for the next time, the internet is a complex distributed network, with multiple servers pushing data through tubes, all powered by happy chipmunks in little rotary cages!!
Then you have time to think of all the different protocols used at different stages of that tubular process!
Iowa Old Lady
@Major Major Major Major: That sounds promising!
that doesn’t make sense. Apple didn’t move its production to china because of automation. robots work just as well in the U.S. as they do in mexico or china. they moved to China because of supply chain issues, basically the fact that China offered the massive centralization of production they needed.
On my agenda for this evening is reviewing some of my writing to submit for a writing sample. Oh, and having decided that none of the limited amount of home-crafted graphics I have will do for the graphics sample, putting the finishing touches on a poster design – the poster I *wish* I had made for the event. Torn between giving them something straight, like a cover letter for a grant application, or something a little more out there, like some of the author profiles I’ve done. Ah, decisions…
– Robert Benchley, “My Ten Years In A Quandary (And How They Grew)”
@germy: For some reason, this reminds me of the literary cocktail party scene in “Gaudy Night”…
No One You Know
@smith: I am in DC at the moment. There’s a YUUUGE New Trump hotel being made over from what looks like an old Catholic church (I hope that’s not what it was) within blocks of the White House. Promising to open this fall.
It would be irresponsible not to speculate on the meaning of this.
A gig economy is coming from both sides, however. There are a lot of workers that *prefer* a gig economy because there are benefit in terms of flexibility of schedule, the ability to work for multiple services simultaneously (difficult with a traditional job) and so on. It’s simply not true that gig workers are all demanding a traditional 40-hour job. I know quite a few stay-at-home moms that struggle to meet a traditional work schedule and still get their kids to/from work, deal with Dr apps, etc. but if they are driving for Uber or working for taskrabbit, they can choose to take jobs when they have time and skip them *without penalty* when they don’t. I lost an employee, making $20+/hr to gig work because she never wanted to work 40/wk and I couldn’t offer her the 20-25 that she wanted. The traditional full-time job/benefit/payroll tax model make this difficult to justify and I don’t have enough authority within my organization to bend that. She would have been happy to go without the health insurance (got that from her husband), but large state organizations don’t allow you to drop that piece, etc. But a gig job allowed her to set her schedule from day to day (even hour to hour), to easily change jobs (or mix/match) and so on. To her view, she’s simply self-employed while someone else takes the usual risks that come with being self-employed. She’s thrilled (and still thrilled, as I keep trying to hire her back).
Now, a solution to that would be to give employees (rather than employers) day-to-day flexibility on their schedules as a regular matter and to provide universal day care and other pre/post school programs, and the latter should happen, but I really have trouble seeing the former happen. The reason is that fundamental to the gig economy is the extremely efficient just-in-time nature of it, that almost no traditionally structured company can match. That’s a good model for a lot of consumer services, and a good model for certain kinds of employees. Maybe you just want to make a few grand for a vacation, and you want to drive for a few months and then stop. It’s just fundamentally better in a limited context. The idea of permissionless (or near permissionless) employment is not a bad idea.
That said, not everything applies there. There certainly are gig jobs that are mere placeholder for real jobs, and gig jobs tend to favor the middle class over lower classes because they typically require that the employee carry more capital burden – you basically are paying for your own office, and nobody is going to be a successful Uber driver in some beat-to-shit pickup truck. It favors people with nice cars, that can afford nice cars. It’s far from egalitarian.
But also understand that many of these gig business exist on the premise that they won’t be gig job providers. The company is fundamentally structured around the notion that in the long term they will be fully automated, and putting humans in those jobs is just a placeholder until the tech catches up. The business (even the industry in some cases) couldn’t possibly exist around a traditional employment model. Is that good/bad? I can’t evaluate it in that way. I think it’s good that new businesses and industries are developing, and I think it’s inevitable that they will develop in this way. The goodness/badness of them is really dependent on how we integrate them into the larger economy. I can’t say that I’m optimistic about the politics going well here, but I think that’s where the focus needs to be. I also think it’s unrealistic to expect the economy to be constrained by the incompetence of Congress.
Then you didn’t hear my argument because it still applies here. The move to China was not primarily concerned with wages. It was primarily concerned with supply chain speed. Almost every component that Apple buys is made in China – particularly in Shenzhen. Consumer electronics is extremely time-to-market sensitive. Products tend to only be market viable for about one year before consumers expect a new product. But it takes time to design these products almost always around new-to-market components, time to develop and ramp the production lines, and so on. For a 12-month product it takes Apple about 6 months from the start of component manufacturing to the first finished products coming off the line. Now, about 500 of Apple’s 600 suppliers are in China, Taiwan, or Japan. About 60 are in the US. Every component that goes into that product needs to be shipped from the supplier to the assembler, and that shipping is usually by ship – about 3 weeks. If something happens with your components – the ship sinks, the container falls off or is lost, there’s a defect that needs to be replaced, etc. then you either carry at least 3 weeks inventory (which is a lot when you make a quarter billion of something) or your manufacturing gets shut down for 3 weeks. But if the component is made in the next factory over, the latency goes down from weeks to hours or days. That’s a big deal for a large manufacturing operation, and Apple’s is one of the largest in the world. Until recently, selling a quarter billion of a single complex product was unheard of so there’s not a lot of history of other ways of doing this.
Now, it’s a LOT easier to pull 60 items from the US to China than to pull 500 items the other way. Apple doesn’t own the component manufacturers. They can get some of them to move to the US (as they convinced Samsung to do with their semi fab), but most won’t. And it’s difficult to organize the size of the labor force that Apple needs to do this. There’s nearly a million workers assembling Apple devices. Now, California has roughy a million unemployed workers. So Apple could perhaps scatter the factories across the state within commuting distance of major population centers, and train up and employ every last one of them (assuming they would even want to do the work) but more realistically they’d need to distribute them around the country. China, unlike the US, is able to mobilize a large workforce. People will move from the countryside to the cities – in the millions, live in a dormitory or nearby apartment, and take these jobs. People in the US do not relocate for even $15/hr jobs and the people interested in taking these jobs are therefore widely distributed around the US. Apple would need dozens or hundreds of factories all around the country, all with their own supply chain from China and Japan. Honestly, it’s unlikely they could ever get it working at the scale they need. It’s estimated that China has about 130 million workers that would take an assembly job, and there are roughly 20 million unemployed workers that are trained in some level of manufacturing. There are only 12 million manufacturing jobs in the US. How many unemployed workers? A lot, but Apple would probably need to find and employ nearly every one of them and train a lot of new ones.
The NYTimes went through this several years ago.
Regarding the ability to compress time-to-market:
Now, I’m not here to defend the treatment of Chinese workers in this case and Apple is to blame for their failure to plan, but the lesson here is that putting aside the middle-of-the-night get to work session, Chinese manufacturers are able to operate at a pace that US manufacturers cannot, and much of that has to do with the compactness of their industry. It’s why River Rouge and Detroit in general developed the way that it did, but it’s a model that we did not continue in the manufacturing sector outside of the TX/LA refining sector and a few others. We did continue it in the engineering sector, however, with Silicon Valley and the NC triangle, Boston and San Diego biotech clusters, and a number of others. Entertainment also clusters in NY and LA, and so on. But we pretty much blew it on manufacturing density and I blame a lot of that on the feds for insisting that it be distributed across 50 states such that no concentration of expertise and infrastructure could really develop.
Regarding the supply chain:
How do you replicate that in the US? Specifically, how does Apple alone replicate that? If the feds want to jumpstart such an operation, then perhaps, but which two Senators are going to claim that prize and which 98 others are going to gently give it up? One of the few benefits of China not being a democracy is that they can draw a circle on the map and dump a meaningful fraction of their GDP inside that circle and within two decades build a city larger than NYC whose sole purpose is to manufacture pretty much every fucking thing. Stick some universities there that focus on industrial engineering, training of manufacturing skills, etc.
Apple now employs 30,000 industrial engineers to oversee their operations in China. That’s 20% of the number the US has in all industries, and Apple can’t siphon off 20% of the trained US workforce – it would cripple countless other industries if it did. Forget 9 months, it would take us a decade to produce that many more because the US has no strategic initiatives for educating its workforce. None. If Obama came to me tomorrow and said to produce 500 industrial engineers, and I dropped everything to do it, it would take 5 years, minimum.
That the jobs are now being automated is orthogonal to these issues. It has to do with the fact that when you are trying to churn out a few hundred million identical, quality controlled products, that humans are just not very good at it compared to a machine. There’s no room for human imagination, there’s no service element, there’s no human touch needed, there’s no critical thinking. It’s just a fuckton of fine motor skills applied at a nearly unimaginable scale. The only reason it wasn’t automated before was that robots are only now getting good enough to do assembly work at small (iPhone) scales. Big stuff like cars no problem, very narrow tasks like pick and place, no problem, but fussy things like phones have been too difficult, but that’s finally falling just as the cotton gin eliminated part of the tedium of picking cotton.
But this is why I don’t think that Apple is a good representative of the future economy. It’s representative in a few ways but will likely fall a victim in others. On the representative side, Apple runs their retail operation in a way that people should pay closer attention to. Apple has 50,000 retail employees and they pay reasonably good wages (for retail) and provide benefits. What’s notable is that Apple doesn’t treat their employees like cashiers, for which they could probably get by with 1/5 as many. If you visit an Apple Store you will find a higher employee/customer ratio than you will at any retail establishment I can think of. They invest a massive amount in labor for a retail operation. My local stores typically have at least 25 employees on the floor, even at 9PM on a weeknight, with additional staff in the back. They’ve positioned the employees not as cashiers but as customer service reps that can answer questions and help with problems. Most retail employees don’t have that role. Nobody at the grocery store is there to help me with a recipe. Because they’ve positioned retail as a value-add for the customer – they provide something meaningful to the customer other than some administrative task – they carry value which customers do not avoid paying for, and which the employees benefit from. Unfortunately, in Apple’s case the engineers and retail, while being better jobs than the manufacturing ones, won’t come close to matching in terms of scale.
This is why I say the barista won’t be automated because for many people they provide that same kind of role. Many (but not all) service jobs are safe as a result. The person who assembles your phone provides no added value to the device – either they assemble it properly or they don’t. At worst they are a liability, and at best they are as good as a machine. If you are in that spot, your job will vanish, just as it did for countless accountants, textile workers, typists, calculators (yes, that was an occupation) and so on. The upside is that as a society we are shifting our dollars toward services. We take the savings from cheap manufacturing and invest it increasingly in human-powered services. That trend is at least 40 years old and looks to continue. If you are a nurse, or a fitness trainer, or any other kind of service job you’re in pretty good shape – and likely always will be. If you are a welder, not so good.
And here I promised a good-faith discussion. But there is another angle to this which doesn’t get nearly enough attention. This 4th wave of industrialization has been incredibly beneficial to the poorest people on earth. Global poverty is plummeting, because the kinds of ad-hoc virtual infrastructure that the gig economy and some of these manufacturing trends allow for means that people in nations that make almost no investment infrastructure are able to pull themselves out of poverty in ways never before possible. Uber may not be a great addition to the US economy, but they’re in 400 cities in Africa, providing a marketplace that in many cases never previously existed. The smartphone industry that Apple created, combined with the efficient manufacturing in China means that you can buy a smartphone for as little as $25. Nearly twice as many people now have smartphones as indoor plumbing because the smartphone, combined with widespread wireless and software services like Uber provides, allows a ton of new markets to develop.
(Friedman mode on)
When my dad visited Togo a few years ago, the family he was staying with commented on how quickly the economy there was changing and improving, and a great deal of it was around the ability of people there to build quick and cheap software infrastructure (often just a Facebook page) that could connect fishermen to fish markets, and so on. Fishermen could negotiate the sale of their fish while they were still on the beach without having to spend an hour running between markets, which let them fish more.
(Friedman mode off)
Now, these changes are disruptive to traditional markets. Uber fucks up the cab industry, but it also makes it better in many ways. You can fault Apple for their Chinese manufacturing, but its allowed 4 billion people to have a computer in their pocket, which turns out to be incredibly empowering.
I’m not saying to neglect the US workers, far from it. What I’m saying is that the strategies to protect the US workers are futile in the ways that many people are presenting them. I’m actually offering up a much more liberal solution to the problem rather than a bunch of stopgap promises and measures that I think will only serve to give people false hope and force them to jump through a decade or more of hoops only to get crushed at the end because people didn’t focus on the long-term.
There are two problems with taking corporate profits:
1) it’s super easy to game. There isn’t really even a universally agreed upon definition of profits. Gross or net, include capex and R&D or not? Include debt or not? Dividends and stock buybacks or not? Money that goes into reserves (for insurance companies, banks, etc) or not? You’ll just end up with every company proclaiming they make no money while handing a pile of money to the investors, as it is now in many cases. If you can find a formula that would work across industries, I’m open to it. But Apple is illustrative in this case. They are fantastically profitable but they return a ton of money to investors by spending on dividends and buybacks. Taxing profits would generally miss that shift of wealth, and I’m arguing to capture it. And you don’t want to screw up too badly the company’s ability to save money for meaningful things. Creating jobs may require building a factory, and you don’t want to tax away that factory.
2) By taxing investors you get the dollars during the handoff where it’s a lot harder to game. You tax every unearned dollar of every type and you tax at a relatively high rate. If you want jobs and less income inequality, why tax the corporation rather than the individual benefitting? The investor won’t ever create the job, the company will, and the investor is the source of the income inequality, not the company. Now you are directly impacting inequality, and you are getting more dollars, and you are getting them from a source where they have the least contribution to the economy. Walmart is not the leech on the economy, Mitt Romney is.
But I would prefer to tax productivity directly. Not sure exactly how, though. But that would mean taxing automation equal to labor. For one it slows the pace of automation coming online, and two it returns dollars back to workers through a minimum living wage. Companies will still chase productivity, but rather than investors taking all of those gains, a reasonable fraction of those gains get returned to the citizenry.