Wednesday assorted links

by on September 6, 2017 at 11:19 am in Uncategorized | Permalink

1 Ted Craig September 6, 2017 at 11:37 am

4. Proving yet again what I have long believed: Everybody is a conservative in his own field.

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2 Ted Craig September 6, 2017 at 11:44 am

By the way, I love the utter lack of self-awareness in this comment: “Most tech entrepreneurs (I am one) have a very practical view of regulation shaped by what they have to go through to start their company and help it succeed.”

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3 The Anti-Gnostic September 6, 2017 at 12:29 pm

And in their own families. The elite do a great disservice by touting marginal lifestyles when their own personal affairs are often downright Victorian. Revealed preference, I think we call it.

rayward makes the point below: some amount of the Boy Wonders’ wealth is based on artificial scarcity from IP regulation. Of course, they would call it property rights.

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4 msgkings September 6, 2017 at 12:59 pm

What does “touting marginal lifestyles” mean?

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5 Cooper September 6, 2017 at 1:31 pm

marginal lifestyles:

Toleration of drug use, single motherhood, infidelity, petty law breaking, etc.

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6 Hazel Meade September 6, 2017 at 2:20 pm

What makes you think the elite don’t tolerate drug use, and infidelity, maybe even petty lawbreaking?
Timothy Leary was a member of the “elite”.

7 msgkings September 6, 2017 at 2:52 pm

@Cooper and A-G: so in what way do the elite ‘tout’ these marginal lifestyles? Especially as A-G claims they live their own lives differently, how is that ‘touting’ anything?

8 drug user September 6, 2017 at 3:18 pm

there’s drug use and then there’s drug use. LSD and crack are not in the same category despite the language conflation used by the DEA.

9 Hazel Meade September 6, 2017 at 3:46 pm

Yeah, that’s fair, but dropping LSD isn’t exactly victorian, either.

Well, unless you think Alice in Wonderland is a description of a mushroom trip, which some people think. I hear that pre-revolutionary French nobles were pretty hard partiers too.

10 The Cuck-Meister General September 6, 2017 at 3:29 pm

” when their own personal affairs are often downright Victorian”

You realize that a typical elite goes to at least 15 orgies a year right?

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11 The Anti-Gnostic September 6, 2017 at 5:54 pm

No, most of them don’t. Publicly, their media outlets and non-profits preach tolerance for everybody and anything. The very conventional Candice Bergen’s “Murphy Brown” character having a child out of wedlock is one of the more famous examples. Women without six-figure salaries and large patronage networks: don’t try this at home.

Privately of course, the elite have moderate lifestyles and get married and, more often than not, stay married and have children to whom they go to great lengths to place in non-diverse schools.

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12 Thiago Ribeiro September 6, 2017 at 6:06 pm

“Privately of course, the elite have moderate lifestyles and get married and, more often than not, stay married and have children to whom they go to great lengths to place in non-diverse schools.”
Without Blacks, you mean? Let’s be honest, America’s elite has always been hypocrite. Brazilian writer Oswald de Andrade wrote Washington was the man who freed the slaveowners.

As for being conservative in their field: you can call it if you want. Clasical liberals used to point out everyone things their field is expecial and deserves a bigger cut of the pie even if state intervention is necessarily for that. This so-called “Conservatism” is just the selfisheness of American wealthy.

13 Floccina September 6, 2017 at 2:26 pm

I agree. I had friend who was very much a democrat and pro regulation but he had worked for the railroads and would say how bad regulation ruined the railroads.

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14 y81 September 6, 2017 at 11:39 am

4. Malefactors of great wealth, from medieval barons to robber barons, commonly try to leverage their power by creating a class of dependents, who lack autonomy, self-sufficiency, and individual rights, but depend on a benevolent lord.

My political preference would be to see jail terms for those who conspire illegally to rob from mid-level employees in violation of antitrust laws, and from their shareholders by issuing backdated options in violation of securities laws.

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15 EverExtruder September 6, 2017 at 12:50 pm

This.

I am getting really really sick of this “Collaboration for thee, Zero Sum for We” attitude exhibited by these people where the “defection” option in the prisoner’s dilemma game is reserved for them and them alone. This expectation of imposing tolerance and “collaborative” attitudes on the middle-class while they get to change the rules of the game for their additional benefit and the continued servitude at the polls of the poor and marginalized for the price of a little jaw-boning. Screw them.

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16 Brian Donohue September 6, 2017 at 1:27 pm

Yeah, has there ever been a more put upon slice of humanity than the American middle class circa 2017?

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17 EverExtruder September 6, 2017 at 1:41 pm

Considering it’s declining culturally, demographically and economically I’d say it’s definitely in the running. There’s a not-so-veiled hatred for the middle class in this country that comes through in that comment. Where does that come from? Care to explain?

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18 Ricardo September 6, 2017 at 1:53 pm

Sorry, but there has never been a better time to be alive in America.

You think year X was better? You almost certainly have the ability to live the lifestyle of year X, if you really want to. But you’ll have to stop taking your statins, and there’s a one-in-twenty chance the Spanish Flu will kill you.

19 y81 September 6, 2017 at 2:03 pm

I don’t understand Ricardo’s claim. Median household income is lower now than it was in 2000, so how can someone claim that there has “never” been a better time? 2000 was better. Any more easy questions?

20 EverExtruder September 6, 2017 at 2:07 pm

@y81

Neither do I and that opinion is highly subjective and very transferable. Neither were my questions to Brian answered. Again, not-so-veiled disdain for the middle-class possibly by people who can’t see what the picture actually looks like on the ground.

21 Brian Donohue September 6, 2017 at 2:14 pm

I’m middle class. Almost everyone I know is middle class. Middle class is my people, my family, my friends.

IRL, the people I know spend very little time complaining about how they’re getting screwed by this, that, and the other. I have to come here to get that.

22 Brian Donohue September 6, 2017 at 2:17 pm

@y81, your statement of ‘fact’ is dubious at best. It relies on a contestable basis for adjusting dollars over time, it has no real way of accounting for things that did not exist in 2000, and it mistakes percentiles for people, for starters.

23 Hazel Meade September 6, 2017 at 2:35 pm

This is a tangential anecdote, but it seems the right thread to put it in.
I’m from Canada, and have always abhorred the kind of casual anti-Americanism that many Canadians exhibit. It probably fits neatly with what you believe is the hatred for the middle class in America. To Canadians, they are just “Americans”, but to other Americans, they are a particular slice of Americana.

But yesterday someone brought a picture into work that kind of puts the whole thing in context. The picture is of a billboard on a highway outside Buffalo NY, advertising a burger joint with a 30 lb hamburger – if you can eat it all in one sitting, you can get it free. And I just thought – this is the image Canadians get when they visit the US through Buffalo NY – probably the most popular port of entry for Canadian visitors. Giant hamburgers.

It kind of explains why so many Canadians think that Americans are fat morons. And just to generalize a bit, the entire surrounding are bordering Ontario – is the rustbelt midwest, epicenter of the decline of working class white labor, home of Middle America (TM), sports fans and football and beer and factory workers. That is the America that most Canadians have the most direct personal experience with.

Trouble is it isn’t the only America and it’s not even the only middle-class America. It’s a certain slice of America that is slowly being left behind culturally and economically.

24 EverExtruder September 6, 2017 at 2:53 pm

@Brian/@Hazel

The data regarding the economics of the middle-class is what I’m also referring to. Regardless of race or location the economic data regarding wage growth and income loss as well as employment opportunities for the entire middle-class has been universally bad. The data shows that regardless of location or perception. Obama, Hillary and Bernie made it a key campaign platform for pete’s sake.

The hollowing out of the middle-class is absolutely occurring and that is absolutely a bad thing and should be considered a bad thing by every American regardless of class, color or creed. It will be universally bad for the country and the world as well.

25 msgkings September 6, 2017 at 2:55 pm

+1 to Brian. Yes there are declining rust belt towns, but the overall middle class, which is about 70% of Americans, is doing fine, or at least as well as it has up to now. Most of them aren’t bitching about everything.

26 ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ September 6, 2017 at 3:13 pm

Ricardo: there has never been a better time to be alive in America

y81: I don’t understand Ricardo’s claim

Splitting the difference, we have never had it so good, except possibly compared to some better dreams.

What we’d want, ideally, would be iPhones and higher real income for everyone. Can we do that? Launch, say, an innovation renaissance?

27 ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ September 6, 2017 at 3:14 pm

Obviously “optimists” should want better income than “same” to prove that we are ripping right along.

28 MOFO September 6, 2017 at 3:37 pm

@Hazel Meade: “It kind of explains why so many Canadians think that Americans are fat morons.”

Its been said before but it bears repeating: And do you know what most Americans think of Canadians? Nothing, Nothing at all.

29 John Candy September 6, 2017 at 3:43 pm

Fuck you, MOFO!

30 Lothtrop Stoddard September 6, 2017 at 3:47 pm

The other day I looked up the definition of “inferiority complex” in my dictionary. Now I know why there was a picture of a Canadian.

31 Justin Trudeau September 6, 2017 at 4:29 pm

Say what you want but a I cucked Jared Kushner on my state visit.

32 Miguel Madeira September 6, 2017 at 11:49 am

4 – The politics of Silicon Valley are not so exotic at a world level – usually countries with larger redistribution have also lower regulation and vice-versa (look for the sub-scales of the index of the Heritage Fundation and you will see that “Fiscal Freedom” and “Government Size” sub-scales have a negative or almost null correlation with other sub-scales, who are more a measure of regulation)

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33 ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ September 6, 2017 at 1:38 pm

It would be nice if “regulation” was split between the social justice type and the environmental.

Speaking as someone who has done tech, businesses should be free to compete, but not to ruin the river.

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34 Tom T. September 6, 2017 at 12:00 pm

#2: If it’s pro-Trump, it’s not really a “protest,” is it? Shouldn’t that also be a “rally”?

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35 EverExtruder September 6, 2017 at 12:01 pm

#1 Is it just me or are models becoming less attractive? Is this on purpose?

#2 With stories like this, The Onion is an increasingly irrelevant publication.

#4 Less supportive of regulation but highly supportive or wealth redistribution. You know what technocrats? You first. Redistribute some of that bloated cash pile. Some? You know what. How about a lot. Un-effing believable.

#5 I would venture to guess they did some calculation on how much that litigious attitude was costing them in both dollars and public perception (going after a school? jesus…) and they figured it wasn’t worth it.

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36 Moelicious September 6, 2017 at 12:48 pm

The attractive and successful ones didn’t want to be quoted pooping on their industry

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37 EverExtruder September 6, 2017 at 1:14 pm

Maybe. Also, this is classic millennial, “Please look at me, STOP LOOKING AT ME NOW!” anxiety. Only models could sign up to be objectified and object to their objectification.

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38 Hazel Meade September 6, 2017 at 2:40 pm

I was noticing that the black women all seemed better looking than the white ones.
A couple of the white girls seemed a bit like lost waifs, while the black girls projected somewhat more poise and confidence and looked healthier and stronger.

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39 EverExtruder September 6, 2017 at 2:46 pm

Yes I noticed that too. Like I said, “on purpose?”

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40 Hazel Meade September 6, 2017 at 3:55 pm

I don’t know, maybe the waif look is in for white girls.

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41 EverExtruder September 6, 2017 at 4:54 pm

Maybe it’s the opioid epidemic. Heroin chic is in again!

42 Thomas Sewell September 6, 2017 at 5:24 pm

Half the models in the story are black, all complaining about there being very few black models.

A quarter or so from the story are “plus size” models.

One model is in a wheelchair.

None of them are what you’d call famous.

I’m thinking “What It’s Truly Like to Be a Fashion Model” as the title of this story isn’t quite representative of what segment of the fashion landscape these models represent. Maybe, “Outsiders in the fashion industry speak out against it” would have been a better title?

I’m sure you could write a story about the experiences of a representative sample of models and they perhaps have as many horror stories to tell, but this story wasn’t that one.

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43 precariat September 6, 2017 at 3:22 pm

they support redistribution because it means taxing middle class incomes and giving to the poor. they, of course, don’t have a cash income and wouldn’t be subject to those taxes. they’ll continue lobbying for lower capital gains taxes and a repatriation tax holiday.

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44 Stephen Gradijan September 6, 2017 at 12:11 pm

4) Too bad they have a straw man definition of libertarian:

Whether individuals agreed or disagreed with the statement: “I would like to live in a society where government does nothing except provide national defense and police protection, so that people could be left alone to earn whatever they could.”

I strongly suspect the number of self-identified libertarians would go up dramatically if that statement was modified as follows:

Whether individuals agreed or disagreed with the statement: “I would like to live in a society where government does nothing except provide environmental protection, national defense and police protection, so that people could be left alone to earn whatever they could.”

Please note that even that isn’t an ideal definition of libertarians, who come in a lot of “flavors”.

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45 adam September 6, 2017 at 6:29 pm

I saw this too. I consider myself a libertarian and would have answered no.

The shocking thing is that 63% of Republicans (and 69% of Republican donors) agreed with that statement. How do people agree with that statement, and then go out and elect/donate to people like Trump, Bush, McConnell, McCain, etc.? There is just a baffling disconnect between what people say they believe and how they vote and donate.

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46 Anon7 September 6, 2017 at 10:49 pm

If you give people a bumper sticker slogan as a political philosophy, why are you shocked when people say they agree with it (or more likely they mostly agree with the general sentiment) but don’t strictly follow it?

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47 rayward September 6, 2017 at 12:14 pm

4. Of course, the boy wonders like regulation”, the kind of regulation that protects their intellectual property rights, NIMBY rights, and tax avoidance and tax preference rights (including the use of tax havens, non-taxable perks, and tax preferred stock options), and I suspect they support Democrats because the overall policies supported by Democrats create an economic environment conducive to prosperity and stability in addition to specific policies supported by Democrats (regarding immigration, discrimination, and the environment).

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48 TMC September 6, 2017 at 2:54 pm

…they support Democrats because.. Democrats support crony capitalism the most.

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49 msgkings September 6, 2017 at 2:57 pm

Well, Democrats like Trump do for sure.

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50 precariat September 6, 2017 at 3:24 pm

Democrats are cronied up with tech money whereas Republicans are croneid up with oil money

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51 TMC September 6, 2017 at 3:55 pm

To see where the money is going check out who is regulating the most. I’ve seen where Trump has removed 16 regulations per 1 enacted. Both sides have their favorites, but you can’t call it even. Small businesses go Republican and large businesses, where there is regulatory capture, go Dem. Microsoft successfully ignored DC until Clinton sic’d the Justice Department on them. All was well once they hired the right lobbyists.

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52 Lothtrop Stoddard September 6, 2017 at 4:10 pm

Big businesses only recently started to go Dem. Policies didn’t appreciably change, I think it’s more about the increasingly wide elite conversion to the PC ideology.

53 David Pinto September 6, 2017 at 12:41 pm

To paraphrase Batmantis, “They’re not models. Kate Upton is a model.”

I’m hoping that Netflix does a show where super models go around saving regular models, then all the regular models start wondering if the super models are really dangerous rather than helpful, ban the super models, who go then go underground. It could be called, “Who Watches the Super Models?”

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54 Bob September 6, 2017 at 12:43 pm

4. They miss an interesting part of how SF style tech libertarianism diverges from traditional libertarianism. The idea of wanting to make government as local as possible, which is something I’ve heard self professed libertarians spout often enough, wouldn’t fly anywhere in the valley. Instead, they’d much rather have the regulations that need to be there, especially those that pertain to business, go at least to the federal level, if not to cross country treaties. It’s amazing how much effort is spent by global businesses on fulfilling state and local regulations, and applying to random permits that require similar, but never exactly the same documentation as each other.

Still, the approach of high tax, simple regulations sounds like classic Harvard negotiation theory: Argue less about how big a slice of the pie you get, and instead argue for a deal that creates a far bigger pie.

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55 Axa September 6, 2017 at 12:45 pm

#5: ” Most people on Etsy don’t go on to become super successful. Maybe you wait around for them, and if they do, then you start talking to them.”

That’s it. If one of those companies using Disney’s intellectual property sell above a yearly threshold, they get sued. Once they grow, they lose consumer’s empathy and Disney can do anything.

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56 Kris September 6, 2017 at 12:49 pm

The Silicon Valley oligarchs seem to love non-compete clauses though, so there’s one regulation they support.

On a more general note, regulations can mean different things to different people. Tech oligarchs would probably be on board with very strict regulations regarding environmental protection or carbon footprint, even if that hurt their companies’ bottom lines. But when it comes to labor, they see employer-employee relationships as contractual, among free agents, so they don’t see why governments should regulate that.

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57 John Thacker September 6, 2017 at 1:48 pm

The Silicon Valley oligarchs seem to love non-compete clauses though, so there’s one regulation they support.

If they really loved them so much, they’d relocated from Silicon Valley, since non-compete clauses are unenforceable in California. (Doesn’t stop companies from trying to get people to sign them.)

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58 Kris September 6, 2017 at 3:23 pm

I was not aware of that. Thanks for the correction.

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59 ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ September 6, 2017 at 1:49 pm

Perhaps the love them, but noncompetes being severely limited by California law, they are mostly unrequited.

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60 AnonFrogger September 6, 2017 at 2:04 pm

There’s a world outside California.

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61 ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ September 6, 2017 at 3:04 pm

How many of them are run by “Silicon Valley oligarchs?”

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62 Anon September 6, 2017 at 9:08 pm

How is contract law a “regulation”? This is common law dating back to the 1200’s or so.

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63 Chip September 6, 2017 at 1:05 pm

I listen to a lot of tech podcasts and if there’s one thing these guys obsess about, its company culture. But this obsession contains a glaring hypocrisy. For example, here’s Airbnb’s Brian Chesky on his company:

“The thing that will endure for 100 years, the way it has for most 100 year companies, is the culture. The culture is what creates the foundation for all future innovation. If you break the culture, you break the machine.”

And:

“A big part of culture is hiring - who are you going to be spending a lot of time with - and how do you remove people who don’t fit within your culture. … I decided early on to interview every single person. I personally interviewed every employee up till the first ~200 employees. Our team was begging me to stop interviewing everyone because it didn’t scale.”

Now here’s Chesky on the culture of a country:

“Our entire idea is predicated on the notion that you can go anywhere in the world and the minute walls go up between communities … that is a huge opposition to our mission,” Chesky tells Fortune. “The notion that you wouldn’t accept somebody from a country because of who they are is a complete violation of all the values that we believe.”

So, everyone walking through the company’s front door has face extreme vetting to ensure the company’s culture remains intact, but anyone from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe is free to cross the border because culture doesn’t matter.

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64 The Engineer September 6, 2017 at 1:24 pm

Very perceptive comment.

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65 Just Another MR Commentor September 6, 2017 at 1:24 pm

Someone needs to read his Brian Caplan.

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66 EverExtruder September 6, 2017 at 1:33 pm

+1

As I wrote in another reply, classic “Collaboration for thee, Zero Sum for We” attitude. I can’t figure out if it’s on purpose or legitimate cognitive dissonance.

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67 ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ September 6, 2017 at 1:50 pm

Gosh, it almost sounds like someone from Zimbabwe could fit the corporate culture.

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68 Anon September 6, 2017 at 9:09 pm

Sure, if they go through extreme vetting

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69 John Thacker September 6, 2017 at 1:53 pm

They want to hire exactly whom they want to hire, no more or less. National visa requirements get in the way

If you replaced the immigration system with a skill-based one where the high tech companies could be guaranteed of bringing anyone in to whom they made a job offer and in turn got rid of the lottery and low skilled immigration, the high tech companies would support that tradeoff. However, Trump and his supporters are too dumb and bad at negotiating to go for that bargain or even understand it.

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70 AnonFrogger September 6, 2017 at 2:03 pm

“If you replaced the immigration system with a skill-based one where the high tech companies could be guaranteed of bringing anyone in to whom they made a job offer and in turn got rid of the lottery and low skilled immigration, the high tech companies would support that tradeoff. However, Trump and his supporters are too dumb and bad at negotiating to go for that bargain or even understand it.”

The democrats would never be on board with that, as they have made clear time and time again, but apparently you’re too dumb to have noticed.

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71 EverExtruder September 6, 2017 at 2:14 pm

“If you replaced the immigration system with a skill-based one…”

OMG yes please please do this. To quote Inigo Montoya, “You keep thinking of this solution…I don’t think this solution is going to solve the problem you think it will.”

A skill-based immigration system is precisely what libs and democrats have been trying to avoid. Gets in the way of that whole “dissolve the electorate and select another/free us from the tyranny of the middle-class” thing they’ve got going.

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72 Hazel Meade September 6, 2017 at 3:42 pm

and in turn got rid of the lottery and low skilled immigration

You can’t get rid of low skilled immigration any more than you can get rid of drug trafficking. You will just create a black market. That’s what we have right now – illegal immigration is a black market in labor.
What we need is a guest worker program that allows unskilled labor to come here on a temporary basis.

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73 Lothtrop Stoddard September 6, 2017 at 3:51 pm

Calling it a “black market” would imply the laws are actually enforced. It’s more of a gray market. We know of countries with average wages as high as America with virtually no illegal immigration problem and no reason they should have dramatically less demand for low-skilled labor, so I doubt you’d have much of a “black market” if the laws were actually enforced.

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74 Hazel Meade September 6, 2017 at 3:56 pm

Riiight, and if the laws were actually enforced, there would be no black market for drugs.

75 Lothtrop Stoddard September 6, 2017 at 4:05 pm

Well, if you started to punish the user with more than a slap on the wrist in addition to the seller, you would have a lot less drug use, but it’s an apples to oranges comparison: businessmen aren’t addicted to low-paid scab labor. I noticed you completely ignored my point about other countries without illegal immigration problems: you’re typical tactic when reality doesn’t align to your fantasy.

76 Thomas Sewell September 6, 2017 at 5:31 pm

Trump and his supporters are too dumb and bad at negotiating to go for that bargain or even understand it.

You mean, something like the merit and skill-based system Trump has actually proposed already?

Yeah, he’s too stupid to come out in favor of his own proposal, right?

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77 kevin September 6, 2017 at 1:59 pm

I’m not sure I see the hypocrisy. If you view workers as complimentary goods, it makes sense to hire workers that work well together–ie same culture. That doesn’t mean you don’t see value in other goods or workers. From an immigration standpoint, you’d want to be open to all “good” people/workers since there’s countless different work and civil cultures in our country that can compliment their specific traits/culture

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78 Chip September 6, 2017 at 2:23 pm

The difference between being open to all workers and accepting all workers is the filter, which takes the shape of interviews or testing in a company, and vetting or screening in a country.

The tech CEOs are obsessed with the former and want to ignore the latter. Yet in some ways it’s more important to vet an immigrant than an employee, because whereas a company can fix their mistake by firing the worker, a country must live with its mistake. To cite an extreme example, about 40% of Muslims in the UK want sharia law to replace English law, not just for themselves, but for everyone in the country.

How would Chesky feel if 40% of his recent hires wanted to wear Roman togas to work and sacrifice a sheep in the cafeteria every Friday – and those hires had jobs for life.

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79 The Cuck-Meister General September 6, 2017 at 3:21 pm

I don’t know man Cheksy probably likes to take it up the ass so he probably wouldn’t mind a bunch of guys in togas prancing around.

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80 Chip September 6, 2017 at 3:22 pm

Hey I like gay Roman style banging as much as the next guy but even I have limits.

81 John Thacker September 6, 2017 at 4:19 pm

To cite an extreme example, about 40% of Muslims in the UK want sharia law to replace English law, not just for themselves, but for everyone in the country.

Presumably they feel that every type of ethnic group, including whites, have their own ways in which they want to legislate morality, but diversity makes it harder for any one of them to have success.

a country must live with its mistake.

Hmm, if you take this as such a matter of life-and-death for the country, why do you think that countries must live with their mistake? Sounds like you’re all in favor of revoking citizenship. And once you start there, why stop with immigrants? Surely your argument is one that even people with hundreds of years of ancestry here should be kicked out of the country if they dare support conservative social views, whether Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, or Orthodox Judaic. You’re one of those people scared of Reconstructionist Christians and Fundamentalist breakaway Mormon sects taking over, are you?

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82 Chip September 6, 2017 at 4:33 pm

What are your views of Roman gay bathhouse sex?

83 Lothrop Stoddard September 6, 2017 at 2:34 pm

+1

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84 John Thacker September 6, 2017 at 1:57 pm

5: Disney’s actions sound reasonably similar to what Japanese companies do. Over there the fan works (doujinshi) market is big enough to garner direct government attention. (They don’t have fair use protections, unlike the US, but copyright infringement requires a specific complaint by the copyright holder and cannot be prosecuted without consent.)

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85 AnonFrogger September 6, 2017 at 1:58 pm

4. ““You would think that people with enough money to influence the political system would obviously use that influence to increase social and economic inequality in ways that benefit them,” said David Broockman, an assistant professor of political economy at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and a co-author of the study.

“What’s surprising to us,” he continued, “is that you could find this group that says, ‘Actually, our taxes should go up and more money should go to things like universal health care, or that we should do more to protect the environment’ — but at the same time believes that regulations and labor unions are a problem.””

Not particularly surprising. If marginal tax rates are going to go up from X% to X+4%, it doesn’t really hurt them all that much, because what matters is their relative power and status. They understand that if taxes go up, they’ll still be on the top of the heap economically, in fact, since so much of what they buy is positional anyways, and everyone in their class is being taxed, their real standard of living is hardly affected. It is, in a way, a luxury good of its own, the same way giving to charities is. “I’m so rich, I can afford to pay 50,000$ in extra taxes or to some charity.”

But unions are a much bigger threat. If engineers unionized, they could take a much bigger share of the tech oligarch’s wealth away than a small increase in taxes could. Thus, unions must be kept out, which also explains their enthusiasm for immigration: there always needs to be more workers to do the jobs in case the existing workers decide they “don’t want to do them.”

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86 Kris September 6, 2017 at 3:19 pm

But unions are a much bigger threat. If engineers unionized, they could take a much bigger share of the tech oligarch’s wealth away than a small increase in taxes could.

I don’t think they care about the money that much, as they pay their tech workers quite well (janitors not so much, but that’s a different story.) Unions are a threat not because they’ll demand a higher salary but because they’ll interfere with the company’s ability to hire and fire at will.

which also explains their enthusiasm for immigration: there always needs to be more workers to do the jobs in case the existing workers decide they “don’t want to do them.”

Why would any employer be happy with a situation where their employees can decide when they want to do their jobs and when they don’t?

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87 Lothtrop Stoddard September 6, 2017 at 3:41 pm

“I don’t think they care about the money that much, as they pay their tech workers quite well (janitors not so much, but that’s a different story.)”

Relative to the average man, but not to the billionaire tech oligarchs, which is what the comparison should be.

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88 Just Another MR Commentor September 6, 2017 at 3:45 pm

“If engineers unionized”

Engineers are the dumbest “professionals” around. Lawyers, doctors, actuaries, etc. were smart enough to form guilds to protect their incomes and authority but your typical engineer has this moronic “lone wolf”, independence streak which is why engineers are perennially the lowest paid and lowest status “profession”.

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89 Lothtrop Stoddard September 6, 2017 at 3:57 pm

Engineers are the ideal worker. Rule followers by nature and with no social lives, you can pile a bunch of work on them and they’ll do it with little complaint. And since they were the kids who were shoved into lockers in high school they are very anxious about not appearing as losers. Whisper into their ears “unions are for losers” and they’ll interpret it as a very rational, convincing argument that they shouldn’t do it.

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90 Butler T. Reynolds September 6, 2017 at 2:20 pm

4. Redistribution – it’s like when Walmart supports an increase in the minimum wage. It’s mostly other people and the competition that get kicked in the nads by it.

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91 cg September 6, 2017 at 2:37 pm

4. It’s cheap and easy for a founder or elite drawing a token salary from his startup to signal virtue by calling for higher taxes for greater redistribution, as long as the government doesn’t regulate his 70% equity stake or screw up the opportunity for a flush exit.

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92 Warren Buffet September 6, 2017 at 3:48 pm

Im Warren Buffet and I endorse this message.

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93 Warren Buffett September 6, 2017 at 4:19 pm

I don’t know who you are, but as for me, the billionaire with two t’s in his name, I’ve never been opposed to taxing the rich.

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94 Hazel Meade September 6, 2017 at 3:35 pm

4. Over all, the study showed that tech entrepreneurs are very liberal — among some of the most left-leaning Democrats you can find. They are overwhelmingly in favor of economic policies that redistribute wealth, including higher taxes on rich people and lots of social services for the poor, including universal health care. Their outlook is cosmopolitan and globalist — they support free trade and more open immigration, and they score low on measures of “racial resentment.”

We have always been at war with Oceania.

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95 The Cuck-Meister General September 6, 2017 at 3:38 pm

This all sums up to say the Silicon Valley elite are all Cucks.

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96 Hazel Meade September 6, 2017 at 3:44 pm

Since the Democrats have quietly decided they love free trade, it seems like it’s more the working class labor which is being cuckolded.

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97 The Cuck-Meister General September 6, 2017 at 3:47 pm

Nah but these tech guys are literally cucks because they’re mostly white dudes or asian dudes with tiny penises and they’re inviting in the blacks with the big dicks to cuck them.

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98 Michael September 6, 2017 at 3:54 pm

#1 was a bizzare article. The first anecdote from Precious just didn’t ring true. Maybe it happened, it just seems such a non-sequetor.

Later in the article, they have stats: “Only 27.9 percent of the models who walked the spring 2017 runways were nonwhite, according to a report from The Fashion Spot. In an assessment of the fall 2017 ad campaigns, The Fashion Spot found that 30.4 percent of the models were nonwhite, and of the seven models who booked the most campaigns, just one was of a minority background.”. Well, the 2010 census puts 72.4% of the population as white, so it seems like those numbers are right on. Considering the number of comments about racism in the interviews, it doesn’t seem backed up.

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99 Lothtrop Stoddard September 6, 2017 at 4:01 pm

The Non-Hispanic White % is 62%. You can be sure they counted all the Hispanics as “minorities,” even if they were legitimately White.

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100 TMC September 7, 2017 at 4:44 pm

Adjust for income, those who will pay for a new fashion, and I’d guess minorities are overrepresented.

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101 Lothtrop Stoddard September 6, 2017 at 3:58 pm

4. If you want to know the tech oligarch’s dream for labor relations, read #1. That’s what it’s like when employees have no bargaining power.

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102 msgkings September 6, 2017 at 4:22 pm

You a big union guy, Lothrop? Bravo man, hardly anyone likes unions these days.

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103 Jonathan S September 6, 2017 at 4:32 pm

4. So they are capitalists who got peer-pressured onto the equality train

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104 A B September 6, 2017 at 5:17 pm

Silicon Valley CEOs stated social beliefs mimic what maximally helps their hiring and retention of engineers. Any beliefs that the off-company-property behavior of engineers should be restricted in any way might interfere with that hiring. I have no idea whether it’s conscious on their part or just natural selection.

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105 Zach September 6, 2017 at 6:00 pm

#4 — Summarizing: rabid Democrats, except no regulations, low wages, and high immigration.

So they like the unpopular parts of the Democratic platform, and don’t like the popular parts.

Is there any surprise that we have a Populist in the White House right now?

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