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Everything posted by ScienceNostalgia101

  1. Fair enough, then, I wasn't expecting them to charge differently for the same products. But even by swansont's own ratio, that still makes the case for at least $13/hr, which is significantly more than the $7.25 the US currently federally has. Of course, Biden campaigned on more than that. Either there is a net economic benefit to raising it further than that, or there is a net political detriment to opposing that, even when corporate donors to political campaigns have a vested interest in paying their employees less.
  2. Yes, it is. It really is. If the World Health Organization keeps making the same mistakes (at best) over and over again, that reflects poorly on their credibility, while reflecting relatively better on those with the more accurate predictions early on about what the World Health Organization was getting right or wrong.
  3. I made this analogy in the above thread, but I feel it hasn't adequately been addressed. I have since invoked the things social sciences have gotten wrong as a case against them, but such points have been dismissed out of hand. Quite frankly, I feel like it's a valid analogy. I'd like to add... if an undergraduate degree in sociology doesn't make you as employable as an undergraduate degree in engineering, doesn't that reflect poorly on either the service sociology is willing to offer, or on the customers' willingness to pay for "expert" opinions on it?
  4. You listen to the people who have a pattern of being right, and dismiss out of hand the people who have a pattern of being wrong.
  5. But the point wasn't about how high fast food wages "needed" to be, it was about how high they "could" be. If fast food companies, after all their other expenditures, can still afford to pay $15/hr and still turn a profit in Sweden, they can do so in the USA. Being on the other side of the Atlantic doesn't change the way the same fast food company's food is made.
  6. We will have a clearer picture of who tends to be right and who tends to be wrong. This doesn't tell us whether the latter was due to incompetence or malice, of course, but putting aside what they have different, what they have in common is that we know there's more where that came from and can extrapolate it into how they'll handle other matters. Also, sending in spies might buy us more time to determine where the next pandemic will come from so we'll have more time to implement our pandemic strategies next time. We did this for Iraq, least we could do is do the same f
  7. Ah, now we're getting somewhere. I thought your only qualm was with me generalizing about Scandinavia or extrapolating union pressure results to regulation. At least now we have something that could theoretically apply just as much to regulation as to unions. Anyway, if it raises the cost of living, so be it. I get paid more to sit on my ass at my job than these people are paid to cook on their feet. I'm not entitled to a lower cost of living at the expense of putting people who work harder than I do into poverty. But even if that is what this is about, the people objec
  8. I mentioned it as an example of a job for which rural settings, as opposed to urban ones, are a competitive advantage. Putting aside urban pollution and whether or not customers fear that might affect crop quality, there's also the aspect that high land values in major cities would make it pricier to buy large amounts of land to use for farming, hence the financial incentive to do it outside the major cities. (Regardless of whether or not "farmers" fit the archetypical 1950s stereotype; and by the way, I'm thinking more of farm employees than farm owners. My image of farmers comes from Food In
  9. As in, how much extra money the business makes from revenue after all their expenses are accounted for. I figured that would be obvious.
  10. I'm not referring solely to farming jobs, but also to jobs that relate to providing services to farmers. For instance, if a town's economy were associated with selling services to people from the surrounding fishing villages, the more fishing jobs there are, the more lucrative that small town's economy built on selling services to fishing villages would be. If the fishery were to collapse, that town's economy would be dealt a secondary blow. I get frustrated whenever rural types vote Republican, as it seems like mental gymnastics to say capitalism was wrong about this o
  11. The broad outline of my point applies almost as well to Sweden as it does to Denmark, just not quite as well. If Danes can make $20/hr providing fast food services, and Danes can make $15/hr, then it borders on slander to assume that the Americans paid less than that are being "paid what they're worth." Their employers can clearly pay more than that and still make a profit if forced to, just not as exorbitant a profit.
  12. I suppose it depends on how efficiently an assembly line could arrange the wires. Wire mesh is typically manufactured on a smaller scale, so I don't know where to start on how to determine how efficiently they could be done on a large scale while still being made rigid enough to withstand repeatedly being lifted on insulated support beams. Google search says 50 feet of 18-gauge aluminum wire would cost about 5 dollars; so depending on how narrow the spacing would be, materials cost alone could be overwhelming. Assuming a yard apart would be necessary... it would be, if,
  13. Bumping because I have since thought of an elaboration on the lightning idea. (Wow, it's been more than a year already?) Suppose you had built a gigantic wire mesh above the Intertropical Convergence Zone, so as to capture much (if not most) of the lightning occurring over it, with support beams made of some material that resists electricity, such that going through some electrolytic solution that captures the energy would be the path of least resistance... would a single flat layer of wire mesh at some particular altitude (eg. the tropopause, or immediately below it) be ade
  14. Increasing espionage, and/or enhancing the methods thereof, to the point where we can unmistakably prove for a fact that kind of pandemics the World Health Organization either failed to deduce or hesitated to confirm. I don't claim to know all the details on how it'd work. We had spies sent to Iraq to investigate WMDs, and some of them actually blew the whistle on the Bush administration overselling the likelihood that Hussein actually had them. If intelligence-gathering can be that precise even in the face of all those biases, surely with the right methods we can do better than th
  15. ...you know what I mean. Unionization discredits the "if we had to pay them that much money we'd just fire them" notion just as severely as a minimum wage would. Whether because of unionization or because of a minimum wage, employers are still forced to pay more than they would otherwise.
  16. You're the one putting faith in an institution that has failed us time and time again. The current extent of intelligence-gathering has either been inadequate to communicate to the western world the pandemic that was occurring in Wuhan, or was itself stifled on telling us. We need to step up our game.
  17. As opposed to continuing to put faith in an institution that made the exact absurdly similar mistakes (at best) over and over again? We don't need a World Health Organization, we need world health espionage. To hell with "national sovereignty," engage in some damn snooping. Record these facilities. Live stream it to the western world's spy agencies. We put soldiers at risk to defend the western world from the most vague of potential threats. I don't think putting spies at risk to defend the western world from pandemics that already have a history of killing people by the millions i
  18. For years, I assumed big-city rent was expensive because the bragging rights, and/or glamour, of urban areas were worth the money in the eyes of their residents. I don't know how sustainable such a situation is; I figure the menial jobs like janitor and grocery store clerk necessary to keep such a city going surely can't be compensated well enough to pay for their out of control rent; but I figure if they decide that it's worth it to go to such a major city, and those who have other priorities opt to live in small towns, so be it. If the rich take over the big cities, then that means that at l
  19. Can you blame them? The World Health Organization has a pattern of being wrong about new diseases coming out of China. Whether through gullibility or corruption, their credibility has been tarnished. The whole thing should have been abolished, everyone involved should have been fired, and we should've started the hell over with people who can either see through China's lies or are more willing to call them out.
  20. Is that as widespread, historically, as 12 yr old girls marrying 12 yr old boys, though? I usually hear mostly about the latter. According to the same social sciences that gave us "surveys" to which respondents could lie. How did that work out for us in 2016? It's too late. The critics of "deterrence-centric" reasoning pointed out that the deterrence value of harsh sentencing was unfalsifiable, but then ruined it all by making themselv
  21. So recently I've been hearing about various teenage criminals being tried as adults because of the seriousness of their crimes. But if the point of leniency for teenage criminals was to dismiss them as not knowing any better... doesn't that notion apply regardless of the seriousness of their crimes? If whether or not they know better depends on the individual... why have leniency for teenage criminals at all? Why not just draw from the same interval of sentencing options we have for adults, and if they're not wide enough for individuals of any age who didn't know better, widen the
  22. Har har. You know what I meant. Look, there is a legitimate tradeoff between using words and phrases the way they were originally intended and communicating in ways that everyone else is used to. Sometimes, rightly or wrongly, by force of habit, we will err on the side of the latter. But the number of people using a word or phrase wrong does not constitute blanket immunity from criticism. If you look, for instance, at the word "communism," many right-wingers and even some independents will blame it for the woes of modern China. By rights, this should cast do
  23. So if any number of people want to arbitrarily decade that almond means coffee cup, or that kettle means faucet, then all who used the terms the way they were previously meant to be used get to have the rug swept from beneath their feet? That sounds less like a language and more like mob rule where reason doesn't need to be on your side if popular opinion is; that popular opinion gets to redefine a word that wasn't theirs to redefine. So the ancients had the concept of freedom of speech, but that still doesn't specify when it entered into the English language. Without that, we are
  24. I see this webcomic linked to a lot. Quite frankly, I see it linked to far more often than I see people actually claiming their First Amendment rights are being violated by a private company denying them a platform. The other side of it, of course, is that I do see a lot of people calling it a violation of "freedom of speech" in a more general sense; in the idea that protecting people from getting thrown under the bus over their beliefs by their own employers despite otherwise doing their jobs. The only question is whether the phrase "freedom of speech" has a legitimate
  25. How has the fact that Scandinavia pays $20/hr for fast food workers not eliminated all hesitation at raising the minimum wage at least to 15? Surely, if nothing else, it has discredited the notion that hiring these employees wouldn't be profitable at those wages...
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