The Centers for Disease Control outlines first line public health measures to minimize COVID-19 dangers:
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
Avoid close contact with people who are sick. (my emphasis)
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Stay home when you are sick. (my emphasis)
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash….
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
All of these are good things to do. However there is a huge privilege and economic capacity gradient on the ability of people to really follow through on avoiding contact with sick or plausibly sick people and staying at home while sick.
I’m at work right now. My calendar is fairly open today. I have an e-mail to write about Silverloading. I’m meeting with a co-author to have lunch and discuss a conference where she presented some of our preliminary work. I have to make some slides for a meeting next week. I want to verify that a data crosswalk is actually doing what it says it is doing. Finally I need to read a few things for a project whose funding turns on this coming Sunday morning. Everything except for lunch can readily be done offsite. The lunch meeting could easily be converted to a Skype meeting.
If I was not feeling well today, I could go to my boss and tell her I’ll be back in the office on Monday. Her only comments would be well wishes and a reminder to cancel my lunch order for tomorrow’s seminar. I would either be able to work from home or take paid sick leave if I could not reasonably work. And if I needed to go to a doctor, I have a low deductible plan with a network that includes a really good hospital for weird, bizarre and deadly things as the anchor hospital.
If half a dozen people in the office aren’t feeling good and look visibly ill, I could readily work from home at no cost of complying with CDC recommendations. Hell, I might save a few bucks on coffee and lunches that I did not buy. I’m privileged.
However, the Early Bird Donuts worker who rung me up this morning for my coffee and cinnamon roll needs to be at a particular location in order to do her job. If she is sick, she can’t work from home. She can neither make nor serve donuts via Skype. She is unlikely to have many if any paid sick days. If she goes home to avoid being a potential infection vector, she is likely not getting paid much or for long. Her incentive is to hope that any case of the sniffles is merely that, a quick transitory non-flu, non-COVID-19 virus that can be drowned with hot tea and over the counter medication.
In this country, at least, being able to afford to follow recommended public health measures faces a massive privilege gradient.
Thank you, David. Maybe the coronavirus could do us some good, if it demonstrates the value of a National Health Service, and the importance of paid sick leave.
Early Bird Donuts probably runs with as few employees as possible, though. How do they function when their bakers and counter help are sick? A protracted coronavirus season could really stress some small (mom and pop) restaurants and businesses that have fixed costs to meet on small profit margins.
Amen. As a former Fed, I became aware of some advantages I had compared to previous jobs. I had paid leave. I had some insurance coverage. While my job couldn’t be done from home, some other co-workers had positions that could be done from home.
However, on the way to retirement I ran out of paid leave and had to pay back the unpaid leave using my allocations for paid leave. I had work weeks where I only had one paid day out of the two weeks. Even my disability insurance paid just $100, and of course didn’t really cover things like groceries for the week I stayed home recovering. And I was the luckier ones.
Let’s just cull the goddamned herd and get it over with.
[touches doorknobs, licks fingers…]
It’s not just service workers.
My dad was an Airframe & Powerplant Lead Inspector for a now defunct airline. There were only 4 of them on the day shift. When he had to miss work, his crew could continue with overhauls and repairs, his Inspectors (2 of them) could certify individual repairs or replacements, but planes would absolutely be delayed in return to service. There wasn’t enough redunancy in the overhaul base for 3 guys to cover a 4th’s work.
This is true throughout transportation and logistics work. It’s true in laboratories. It’s true in courtrooms, and classrooms, and hospitals.
Knowledge workers have the advantage of not having to be on-site for everything. Everyone else, not so much.
Separately from that worker where you got your coffee, there are plenty of employers too suspicious of working remotely who instead will assume employees will just abuse it and not earn their salaries. If not docked pay, workers will reap negative marks and will be penalized on their next evaluation.
My wife points this out to me. She is a veterinarian and I’m a programmer.
She has to go into work or she doesn’t get paid. If she is the solo practitioner (she was for about 18 months) then not only does she not get paid, then many of the staff are sent home and they don’t get paid.
She has to be on her death bed before she even considers calling in sick.
Me? I can sit at home in my skivvies and get as much or more done than if I went into work.
My youngest son and his wife wait tables at a popular NOLA restaurant. They can’t pick and choose their customers.
Same with teachers. That’s why they are always getting sick, sick, or recovering.
And one of the worst parts? One of the most common reactions you’ll see from people who are privileged enough to be able to work from home if they’re sick isn’t sympathy or pity for the workers who can’t. My wife has worked in the retail industry her entire life. As a low level employee all the way up to manager her experience, which she rants about frequently, is that “people get angry at you for being there sick, but they get even more angry if you’re gone and they can’t buy their crap”. This is equally true for the corporations she’s worked for. In anything but the short term having employees miss work without employment consequences would ensure a healthy workforce and minimize disease transfer between employees. It would be a net win for the company. So what do the companies do? They enforce their draconian absentee policies no matter what and find any excuse to fire employees if they miss work.
Said employees aren’t stupid so, of course, they come into work anyway. Is it selfish of them to do so? Also of course, but I’ll never fault them for it. If that’s what they have to do to keep their job and keep food in their own fridge it’s a failure of society, not them.
@debbie: My last job was like that. I could have performed 90% of my job from home and maybe driven in one or two days a week. Instead, I was there basically every day save for major blizzards. Why? Because my boss didn’t believe in remote work despite our corporate IT kitting the entire management team with laptops, corporate phones, and a secure VPN to do just that. It was ridiculous. And given that I had a 75 minute one way commute, I always got more work done on the days I was able to stay home anyway. Too often employers do things to maintain perceived control even if it’s not the smart thing to do.
Not to worry: once Amazon replaces all human workers of the world with their technology we won’t have problems like this anymore.
@debbie: Funny you should mention this. My employer is in the process of having us develop at ‘work from home’ process that users put in when they are working from home.
This is either for ‘I’ve got a plumber coming by’ or ‘I want to work from home every Friday’. In the past, the worker bees just worked it out with their managers and that was it. We all know that once they start tracking it, it will be used as a cudgel against the worker bees.
We also have HHS Sec. Azar, who refused to support a call for guaranteeing a low-cost vaccine (if and when one becomes available) because the market always know best. Just disgusting.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
When it happens it will be like the places I work, everyone will get sick because someone came in with a fever, the bosses with bitch and moan like twats at the lost and badly done work, otherwise won’t do shit because bitching and whining like a twat is why they got into management in the first place. Mostly it won’t be a huge disaster because most work done these days is ceremonial bullshit to make someone in upper management happy. A few reports that won’t be read won’t be generated, the horrors.
@FlyingToaster: Precisely — my dad was an electrician for 40 years. If he was not on site, nothing was getting wired that day.
@Enhanced Voting Techniques: Nailed it.
@MattF: And he’s doing that despite the fact that we have laws in place that give him the full right to nationalize, without any need to negotiate with the original developer, any vaccine production needed, give out the vaccine for free to the citizenry just like they did with polio, and offer a token remuneration to the patent holder, if needed.
I suspect that service workers are going to be in trouble due to lack of business. Although addiction-related businesses like coffee shops might still do okay. The thing that impressed me most last time I had jury duty was how many people there were losing money. Actually, I was too, hourly employee engineer. The guy sitting next to me got excited when it looked like we were getting out early, he wanted to go to his landscaping job. A couple of weeks of quarantine and this area is going to be suffering from armed robber gangs after the food banks run out.
I just made a vow not to comment here until Super Tuesday is over to concentrate on helping the Liz campaign, but you aren’t talking horse race so I have an excuse.
Enough about me. Thanks to you for showing a small part of the human side this crisis creates. Not only are you highlighting an economic injustice, but you are pointing out how much greater the epidemic threat is because so many folks must show up at work, symptomatic or not.
@Enhanced Voting Techniques: Thankfully here where I work, the first level of management is really good about sending people home if they are sick.
Most of the time we usually guilt the sick people into leaving. I use the ‘Do I get to use your PTO if I get that sick?’
@MattF: Azar suggesting that a not yet developed vaccine would be too expensive for many Americans — let the market set the price — is the Trump administration in a nutshell.
The exact quote, in his testimony:
I have never understood why the Democrats have never pushed for mandatory vacation and sick leave for all workers. Seems like a gimme.
And “what about part-time workers?” is easy: everybody earns two hours’ vacation and one hour of sick leave for every 40 hours on the clock. (Adjust the numbers as you see fit, but that’s the idea.)
@Elizabelle: What I like is his assumption that price controls are the only way to make it affordable for everyone.
So yesterday the radio told me that the current response is to cut interest rates (!) no one word about authorizing a massive unemployment insurance program to actually assist real people with the potential loss of work/earnings. Nope, just supply chain retail sales manufacturing at the ownership end. I’m am probably wrong, but can’t help to believe that direct cash injection via a robust unemployment insurance program would keep the economy from tanking because that money would be spent immediately.
This is particularly an issue for people with children in day care – I have family who’ve gone from one thing (norovirus) to another (flu) because those places are little hotspots of disease transmission. To a baby one pacifier is just as good as another, and the FMLA isn’t required if you work for a company with fewer than 50 employees.
@Hortense: Yeah, when my kids were in daycare, I tried to not think about what my epidemiologist friends think about that environment.
@Hortense: “This is particularly an issue for people with children in day care”
My wife is due with our second right around Easter and we have a ten year old who’s not in daycare but does attend public school. Needless to say, we’re both watching the news closely.
What Have The Romans Ever Done for Us
@PenAndKey: This is an issue for health care workers too. My wife works at Children’s National Medical Center in an outpatient clinic – Washington DC’s Children’s Hospital. You would not believe the massive sums they bring in in charitable donations, and then I’m sure they bill what the market will bear for services. Technically they’re a non-profit but are almost entirely revenue focussed.
In my wife’s clinic she only takes sick leave when she is seriously ill – so she winds up spreading things like common cold viruses around clinic. All the other providers do the same because they don’t have the bare minimum of redundant staffing, so if anyone is out sick, the healthy have to take on their patient load on top of their already full patient schedule, which means working extra hours. If they hired a few more practitioners, everyone could have a lighter patient load on a daily basis and then when someone is out sick, the rest of the clinic doesn’t get overburdened. Like, she had a co-worker whose 20 something never smoker son got lung cancer and her co-worker was out for a couple months to care for him, and everyone else had to suck it up and take on a larger patient load for two months…then when she came back someone else had an issue that took them out for a couple weeks, and it happens pretty much on a rolling basis.
So what is portrayed in each instance like a temporary suck it up guys and take one for the team unique short term scenario that will not recur, is actually a predictably recurring scenario. But they’ll never fix it by staffing up, because that would raise costs and despite all the charitable money flowing in, hitting revenue benchmarks is the main priority for the “non profit” hospital system. I suspect this situation is rampant throughout the health care system. Mostly I’m guessing its due to administrative bloat but maybe there are other explanations. Yes, they do take on charity cases but really most of those patients have Medicaid so they pay out something.
On the other hand, you would be harming your business if you allowed your employees to come to work sick. The real harm is that they don’t get paid and they should but if you’re a business with razor thin margins – this virus is a double header – no customers and if you had to pay your employees while they stayed home…
In the end, I guess it just means you don’t get a business. That would be unfortunate.
Here in San Antonio, there is a continuing big fight over paid sick leave. City passed an ordinance mandating it. Of course, the business community and state are fighting it in courts. Most people supported because they don’t want service employees snerching into their salads. Now it seems to be really needed.
Try being a service industry or any other worker (here in the NorthEast there are thousands) who uses public transportation (subway, bus, Metro North trains) and see how much you can avoid other people. NOT everyone has a car or access to a car. If you have to shop where you can get to and you can not afford Amazon or other delivery services you have to go to the story to get food, prescriptions, diapers, baby formula. And if it’s show up sick or stay home and get fired, you go to work.
OT. Dow down 600 points.
Join us on these threads and tell us what you’re up to. People are definitely not talking about the horse race there.
Absolutely. You’re really getting it, David: thank you.
I would say that most of the danger to us in the United States from coronavirus is class privilege and its opposite. We have built a hell-machine where people starve and work multiple jobs to barely survive, all to prop up billionaires and holders of capital, at which the hell-machine is exemplary: and in so doing, the whole thing becomes vulnerable to a natural phenomenon like a pandemic, because our working class CANNOT be allowed to be human. The market dictates, and the peasants are made to labor literally as hard as they can without dying, and we call that civilization.
Turns out bloody revolution is not the only way this can break down. Our people are weakened. They have no liberty to step away from the grindstone for a moment, and they’re physically compromised by stress and exhaustion, and they’re cut off from what support networks they have by a mandate for them to migrate to where the work is, making them a perfect petri dish for a serious pandemic.
It may be possible to stop the working class from rising and enacting a revolution by stressing and exhausting them and impoverishing them beyond their ability to do even feeble protest, and since revolution comes out of dissatisfied middle classes with time and money and communities (not the poors) it may be possible to prevent any sort of uprising by just making EVERYONE pressured and desperate, but there’s a catch. This is the catch.
I inherited money and still there is no chance that I can budget for coronavirus testing or responsible behavior, beyond what you outline. So I’ll be doing that, with discipline.
The Moar You Know
@FlyingToaster: No, it’s not. I’m government contractor IT. I don’t get to work from home and have no backup. They can do without me for a day. If I want or need a week off I have to give at least three months notice. If I’m sick, I’m still at work.
When I got appendicitis in 2008 and had to have emergency surgery, I was getting calls in the recovery room.
The way we deal with illness and work in this culture is insane.
Thanks for this.
If Steyer and Bloomberg and Bezos really wanted to do some immediate good with their billions, they would invest in rapid manufacture of cheap, robust, home test kits for the virus. And other common diseases (flu, etc.). It’s easy for people, especially on the edge financially, to say “oh, it’s just a cold, no big deal” and then go to work. A cheap home test kit (that gave results in 15 minutes, rather than sending it off to a lab) would let people know whether they were a danger to others or not.
I mentioned before that I got sick late last May in Nara, Japan. I only found out after I got home that I it was the flu (and by then it was too late to take Tamiflu so I had to tough it out).
Plus, paid sick leave should be mandatory. Endangering the population so a business is a tiny bit more profitable is nonsensical.
I’m old enough to remember when government paid for testing for communicable diseases because testing is an essential part of public health and preventing those diseases from spreading.
Making people pay for their own testing, even when they have insurance, seems like a way to guarantee an epidemic.
‘I’ve been in this movie’: Gwyneth Paltrow takes coronavirus precautions
Hell hath frozen over?
Dow is down ~800. CODX Co-Diagnostics Inc. (coronavirus test developer) stock is up 100.51%. The healthcare CEOs will be working from home and emailing each other, “Show me the money!”
Best healthcare in the world.
The Moar You Know
@Another Scott: Thinking back to the wretched days twenty years ago when I worked retail. Or food service (I did both, and both are utter shit jobs). I wouldn’t have bothered to take such a test, because the results wouldn’t have mattered; I had to go to work anyway, and I couldn’t afford to go to a doctor even if I had Ebola.
The bottom half of American society really has little choice; work or die. And that didn’t just happen, it’s designed that way.
Dr. Ronnie James, D.O.
Privilege is everywhere in medicine; the one example that drives me crazy is asthma management. Albuterol rescue inhalers do nothing to prevent attacks, actual medical management requires other inhaled meds like steroids and anticholinergic which actually prevent attacks, and which poorer patients can’t typically afford. So instead they have more frequent and more severe attacks, and rely on inhalers to save their lives (which often doesn’t work and then they need treatment at an ED). Not coincidentally there are well-known black markets in inhalers in poor neighborhoods. And this doesn’t even get into the fact poorer people are exposed to more environmental asthma triggers like diesel exhaust and mold.
Everytime I hear about some Billionaire’s vanity project I think of how many people’s controller meds could be bought with the money (looking at you Mr Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health…)
@OzarkHillbilly: She’s not dumb. And a pig just flew past my window.
There is also an issue of company culture. I used to work in food service they called it. No insurance, no paid time off or sick leave, decent management but the way things worked in that area is you came in unless you felt really dreadful, so everyone caught every cold and were out sick in turns, sometimes reinfecting the already had been sick.
Then I got a degree and work for a big state University with very good union leave policies and management that actually thought leave policies were a good idea and used our benefits instead of trying to sabotage them by poor reviews and such. Not every Department is actually run that way. Anyway, I had an adjustment learning period where I encountered fellow employees who got upset with me if I came in when I only had the sniffles. It was social pressure to stay home when I could get other people sick instead of social pressure that respectable hardworking people came to work until they were deathly ill. I can see that not all management staffs made the change in mindset even though they could.
I have also encountered a few hypochondriacs and a few grasshoppers that use every sick and vacation day they earn quickly. There aren’t that many though. I have hundreds of hours built up again. I had cancer about 6 ears ago and ran down my leave significantly. When I started I had over a 1000 hours unused sick and vacation time. I didn’t need to use FMLA but I did the paperwork and it excused from evaluations the erratic nature of my working/not working. My employer did NOT make things difficult. They aren’t supposed to, but we deal with petitions for student families and have documentation that laws or not, people get fired for being sick too long, so I was aware laws can lack effective enforcement. I was pretty confident they would be fine because other people had been sick before and the department had acted ethically. I probably wouldn’t have stuck to one job so long if not for seeing what I call safe behavior from management. Anyway, I am privileged and know it because of past jobs and the documentation of elsewhere that we see so often.
Its really costly and difficult for one business to behave significantly different than others in the same niche. That is why laws mandating something are needed. It can work out that nearly every one in a business wants to do something but can’t because they know a competitor will under price them immediately. Some laws are a relief.
@OzarkHillbilly: NO, it’s just she is probably MUCH less woo-y when it comes to her own or her children’s health. Shes just selling “wellness” crap to other people…
@MattF: Pretty much proof that her schtick is just marketing with which to fleece the rubes.
That pig, was it an Ozark Hairy Tree Pig? You gotta watch out for them, quite carnivorous. Keep small children and pets indoors at all times.
@EmbraceYourInnerCrone: Yep. I got there with my 2nd comment on it.
Far be it from me to accuse anyone of phoniness, but it may be that what Gwyneth peddles is one thing and what Gwyneth really believes is … not that thing.
@MattF: Regarding Azar, really, I hope everyone running to be the Dem nominee for president has captured this moment on film and uses it as part of an ad highlighting Trump’s refusal to deal with high drug prices. It just so perfectly encapsulates the Republican position on pharmaceutical pricing: wring my hands because my constituents are outraged but make sure anything we do has no actual impact on pharmaceutical pricing.
@Dr. Ronnie James, D.O.: I haven’t been involved recently, but my local children’s hospital started a clinic in which kids diagnosed with asthma get access to pro bono lawyers who fight their landlords over the issue of mold contamination.
You know what is funny/sad? I work for Kaiser in N. Cal. Our Union employees have both vacation PTO (paid time off) and sick PTO. Our non-union employees have all of it in one bundle of PTO. Consequently when our non-union folk get sick they come to work anyhow because they don’t want to use vacation time at home sick. In all honesty I’ve done it too. Yea, I’m in the non-union part.
@kindness: “Consequently when our non-union folk get sick they come to work anyhow because they don’t want to use vacation time at home sick. In all honesty I’ve done it too. Yea, I’m in the non-union part.”
My old employer has the same sort of “PTO policy”. They specifically named that to give the illusion that you can take off for any reason you want, so “yay, freedom!”, but the flipside is that when you’ve got a cold you’re burning vacation days to avoid getting the office sick. It’s no wonder people do that math and look out for their own interest first.
The kicker? By labeling it PTO and not vacation the company gets around pesky things like having to pay it out at the end of the year or after someone puts in their notice. They implemented it the last year I was there and when I quit I was out about 2.5 weeks of salary that I would have received before the policy change (we had a corporate culture of discouraging vacations. can you tell?). So… that was fun.
Ghost of Joe Lieblings Dog
@PenAndKey: My company does the same, and “strongly encourages” everyone to burn down their PTO so as to start each year with a zero balance. Why? Because “we want you to maintain a healthy work/life balance” and especially because (open secret) it’s better for the balance sheet – the company’s a publicly-traded giant.
If you repeately turn up on the list (yes, there’s a list) of people with more than a few days of unused PTO, you get “counseled” about hoarding.
Kaiser is better about the time you don’t use. We can roll over up to 500 hours of PTO. Anything over that disappears. I usually have a couple hundred hours banked but never more than that because I believe in taking time off for me.
Trump will do *anything* to avoid accountability. The buck has never been more slippery — it stops anywhere else than Trump’s desk. He cares more about getting “re-elected” than any other thing — the country can go to hell. He’s addicted to his own ego.
I feel very fortunate in that I work outdoors, on my own time, and don’t have to be around people. Really cuts down on disease transmission, though it can get lonely. But if I get sick, I don’t get paid.
Just want to remind everyone that it’s a good time to really get your immune system in tip top shape. Eat really well, get a bit of exercise, and plenty of sleep. I’m going to be cutting out all sugar and alcohol, and work harder at getting to bed at the exact same time every night (9:30 to 10).
@The Moar You Know: Yep…that is the situation at my PO right now… a lot of people, including me, quit in Dec./Jan (after 23 years of being a carrier) because of the impossible load from Amazon and the crap from management. Now supervisors are having to run routes, AND THEY are sick with flu, and there are no workers…oops! They never think ahead or hire extras…
To me, this is the really scary part. These kinds of low-level service jobs are practically designed to be ideal vectors. They come in contact with dozens or hundreds of people every day, so they’re constantly at risk of getting sick, and when they are sick they can infect every customer they come in contact with. From a public health standpoint, it’s much more important that cashiers and line cooks be healthy than for office workers to be, but they’re the people who are under the most pressure to work though sickness.
Given what’s driving the stock market sell-off, I’m not sure this is off topic.
Interesting thing: I just tried to order some individual packets of hand sanitizer, because my office uses them regularly and routinely. According to the supplier website, they’re all out of stock. Panic buying, I reckon.
@CaseyL: Buy isopropanol and some small spray bottles. It’s what we used in the lab all the time for a spot sanitizing. Not as convenient, but most plastic spritzer bottles won’t have issue with 70% iso as long as they’re tight sealing.
@CaseyL: eyeglasses cleaners might work in a pinch, they are basically just isopropyl alcohol in a disposable wipe.
@kindness: I can only roll over 40 hours. And when I have my surgery later this year I have to use my PTO for the first 5 days before short term dis kicks in…
@PenAndKey: We need the individual packets because folks go to other sites for some stuff, and like to be able to toss a handful into their purse or pocket.
@EmbraceYourInnerCrone: Excellent idea! – but I looked and all our supplier offers is anti-fog (?) wipes; doesn’t mention if the active ingredient is alcohol or something else.
@What Have The Romans Ever Done for Us: I”M gald you brought up redundant staffing. The whole “just in time” supply chain, and “smart staffing” so you only have just enough people and supplies or goods at a time means there’s no buffer or flexibility in the system, ever.
I’ve been thinking for a long time that the way our economy/society is set up is essentially inhumane and not sustainable.
@bluefoot: And the airlines. Aircraft flying almost full; no extra capacity for weather, computer malfunctions, mechanical delays, other causes of cancellations.
I won’t be sad at all if “just in time” takes a hit from the coronavirus. We should set up our societies for people, not just corporations and their shareholders’ profits.
Jeez, I remember when Just in Time was first embraced and adopted in the publishing industry. “Sure, we order paper ahead of time, and we’ll be able to order a 5,000 reprint and have it delivered lickety split.” /eyeroll/
It sure didn’t work out that way. They didn’t take into account relying too heavily on overseas printers, or weather, or whoever runs the ports in California not realizing how their shipment should receive top priority.
Even more stupidly, they applied JIT to all books, not just the hot sellers. We lost so many sales on backlist books because they were being reprinted when the orders came in. People will wait around (impatiently) for current bestsellers, but if one gardening book is out of stock, they’ll just move on to a different one.
As awful as this is going to be for hourly service workers, spare a thought, please, for the homeless population. How are they supposed to self quarantine? Or avoid contact with others? Or even wash their hands several times a day?
I hope state and local governments are already working on this. It’s pretty obvious that the federal government isn’t.
JAMA published a paper titled “Characteristics of and Important Lessons From the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Outbreak in China: Summary of a Report of 72 314 Cases From the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention”
@debbie: Interesting. Had no idea how it affected the publishing industry. Thank you.
I don’t know if you really meant “never” or if it’s just hyperbole meaning they should try harder, but Democrats do do that on a semi-regular basis on the national level, whereupon it gets shot down by Republicans screaming about how it’s communism that’ll destroy our economy. On a state and local level there have been some Democrat-led plans that have made more progress in the last few years. And it’s part of the platform of nearly all the Presidential primary candidates right now, so if we ever get the fucking Senate back…
@Elizabelle: Exactly. Right now our American capitalist society is set up for profits, not people. And the reason “just in time” etc “works is that people – human beings – pay the price. Like with airlines as you say: One bad storm and hundreds of people need to re-book flights, the soonest one is four days away, it’s the individual passenger and the individual airline employee who bear the burden in time, extra cost, lost wages, etc.
Privatize profits, socialize costs! It’s the American way!
Your point about control is crucial to seeing the point of a lot of the issues we face as a nation every day. It is the major issue for conservatives – control. The genius in the WH thinks that if he controls everything, life will be better. Like everything else he touches he is 180 degrees out of sync. But conservatives entire concept of government is that everyone else needs to be controlled in their personal lives and they will make more money.
a few hypochondriacs and a few grasshoppers that use every sick and vacation day they earn quickly
Just as not all that glitters is gold, not all absenteeism is malingering.
I personally am unusually susceptible to respiratory infections. I get every cold that comes around, and they hit me harder than they hit most other people. I’ve had pneumonia three times. Consequently, I have often used much of the sick time that my employer allowed, more than other employees. One of my bosses thought that showed insufficient passion for the job. He has never had pneumonia.
I know a woman in her fifties who struggles with chronic deep depression. She’s always right on the edge of overrunning her sick-time allotment, or over it; it’s been a significant career issue for her, but neither meds nor therapy seem effective. I’ve seen her when she’s deeply depressed — no way she could work. All this is nearly invisible to most of her co-workers.
J R in WV
We are retired, and so can kinda control when we go to town. I brought home an SUV full of 3 flavors of kibble for the puppies, dog and cats this afternoon. I unwisely thought I could also fit in a load of canned goods, dried beans and rice, etc for we people… nope, car was full after the PetSmart stop.
So I hit up Target for some glasses, and perhaps some masks? Nope, sold out. So I went to the lumber yard, asked the paint guy about spraying masks? Nope, sold out! So I came home. Will unload the half ton of kibble tomorrow, and perhaps then see about dried beans and rice and dried fruit and etc for we humans.
Already out of masks… I have a few in the basement from construction jobs around the house, but still, nationally out of masks before the pandemic even starts? We are so screwed!!!
@low-tech cyclist: You might want to do some research on the origins of the Democratic Leadership Council. I often recommend the book by Al From, The NEW Democrats and the Return to Power. He explains it so clearly you won’t have to wonder why any longer. It’s all about courting the big donors. He was proud of it, by the way. According to that whole bunch, the New Deal was outdated and supporting labor unions is foolish. Hire more cops, put more people in prison, abolish regulation, and the voters will rush to you. I think that’s why they’re so terrified of Bernie. Oh, Bill Clinton was chairman of the DLC for a couple of years before he ran for President.