Morning Ed: United States {2017.08.14.M}

[US1] Those burning hot metal slides were one thing, but… sand?

[US2] And here’s some communism I can believe in.

[US3] Never shoot an armadillo.

[US4] An immigration raid tore the guts out of an Iowa town, landing employers in prison and causing an economic riptide.

[US5] Some Puerto Rican Millennials appear to be heading back to Puerto Rico (or staying there).

[US6] Is reality setting in on the $15/hr minimum wage?

[US7] A bootlegger’s map of the United States.

[US8] Street for sale! Sold! America. What a country…

[US9] Repealing the Jones Act could alleviate traffic jams. There must be something going around, because Mom was talking about doing so creating jobs. (Is the Jones Act that arcane?)

[US0]


Editor-in-Chief
Home Page Twitter Google+ Pinterest 

Will Truman is a former professional gearhead who is presently a stay-at-home father in the Mountain East. He has moved around frequently, having lived in six places since 2003, ranging from rural outposts to major metropolitan areas. He also writes fiction, when he finds the time. ...more →

Please do be so kind as to share this post.
TwitterFacebookRedditEmailPrintFriendlyMore options

68 thoughts on “Morning Ed: United States {2017.08.14.M}

  1. [US1] One must shelter the little ones. Give them a smart phone and put them in a room. Safe and sound. They won’t be worth a damn when the grow up, but they’ll be “safe”.

    [US2] Obviously Khosla should have spent all this time and money on changing the law. Then he could have his own private beach legally.

    [US3] Not with a .38 at least, ASSUMING they bullet actually hit the creature. It could have ricocheted off of something else. He should have tried a .357 or maybe a .223. After all, that’s what all those “modern sporting rifles” are for.

    [US4] All of which could have been prevented if people followed the law-from the employers to the employees, to the illegals. I have zero sympathy. You build that fire, you lit the match. Don’t complain that the match started the fire.

    [US6] Yeah, I really don’t understand this assumption that laws mandating higher payment to workers won’t have any effect other than workers being paid more.

    [US8] Yeah, I loved that. Love the complaining from the residents and the response from the City. Oh the fun I could have doing this.

    [US9] Word!

    Report

    • [US6] Well, duh. Business owners are all filthy-rich upper-class fat cats who just keep all their profits, just keep them so they can have their million-dollar houses and big fancy cars and trophy wives who wear Dersachi or whatever. Obviously these people have plenty of money to give to the poor, struggling workers.

      From the article: “[Council member] Elrich…said last week that the PFM study was “nonsense” because it is not possible to project the future impact of a wage increase.”

      uh…so you’re increasing the wage because it will make things better for people…even though it’s not possible to project the future impact of a wage increase…?

      Report

  2. US1: There does seem to be a certain type of liberal intent on sucking fun out of life. Despite what people in some quarters said, liberal political parties have attracted the moral, do gooders type since the early to mid-19th century. During the 19th century United Kingdom, the Liberal Party was the party of the moral, do gooders that believed in using the power of law to make people better with things like Sunday closings. It was the Conservative Party that was seen as the party of Sunday sports and pub drinking.

    US2: Good for the Court. People should have the right to access the coasts and beaches. Its possible to take private property too far and the wealthy should not be above the law.

    US4: As economists point, being opposed to immigration has some serious economic consequences.

    US8: This was an investment I might have been able to afford if I knew about. With a bit of luck, I could have made a profit of hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars.

    The Chicago Slut Walk ends up as a battle between Jewish feminists and Feminist anti-Semites. Israel and by extension Jews have become such a shibboleth to certain segments of the Left, incidentally this seems to be the one point of convergence between the Intersectional Left and the Bernie Bro Left, that they are willing to impose orthodoxy on Jews who want to participate in their causes by requiring them to denounce Israel because you can’t be a Zionist and Feminist or whatever else at the same time. Most Jews are just going to respond by flipping them off though.

    Report

    • Re US2, I’m going to disagree here. One of the things we want environmentalists to do is put their money weir their mouths are. If they care so much about deforestation, they should pool their money and buy up forested land and prevent others from using it. Similarly if you want to prevent people from overfishing or want certain habitats protected, buy that land. If you don’t want drilling in a particular area, buy that land. Its not like Al Gore and Green Day are poor. But the decision prevents them from doing this. Even if I buy the amazon rainforest, I won’t be able to keep out loggers.

      To be clear, it treats the beach as a thoroughfare, when it is not. Maybe the guy just wanted the beach for his own use. But he could have wanted to close it off in order to halt the environmental damage caused by the public.

      Let me add this. If beach goers want a beach that would be open to the public that badly one thing they could do is try to purchase a beach and open it to the public. Or they could negotiate with any beach owner some entry fee.

      Report

        • 1. Is it about having access to some beach or having access to this particular beach? Because I seriously doubt that people have a right to access every single beach anywhere in the world. There is nothing about beaches that make them such that closing off some beach to the public is somehow unacceptable while closing off some plot of land to the public isn’t. Especially when neither are important for people’s livelihoods in any fundamental way.

          2. If having public recreation areas was so important, then it shouldn’t have been sold to private individuals in the first place. Having sold it to private individuals, if the state then decided that it didn’t like how the guy was using it, the state should have bought it back at whatever price he was willing to sell. And if he was not willing to sell then tough luck.

          3. If Khosla had closed the beach because there was a coral reef that was being rapidly eroded by public use, everyone here would be singing a different tune. But, in a liberal society, the state cannot claim that the value of a coral reef is more than the value of a person’s solitude in the beach. (and it is not crazy to think that one person’s solitude matters more.)

          Report

            • And Oregon.

              And remember that the CCA says the public owns the sand that is below the mean high tide line, which means not all the sand is necessarily public, only the sand that gets wet almost daily. This was passed back in the mid-70’s (i.e. any takings issue was resolved long ago), so Khosla knew what the law was and decided to try and block access anyway.

              I’m not sure how a reef plays into beach access. Hawaii seems to manage reefs without closing off beach access.

              Report

  3. US9 – Alaska and Puerto Rico can work around the Jones Act comparitively easily because their proximity to foreign countries. It hits Hawaii by far the hardest.

    The angle that it would help highway traffic is a bit odd (and suspect substantially flawed) as the main long haul freight competition is between trucking and railroads – and railroads were not mentioned at all in that article. The competitive advantage of trucking is the last mile problem, which is even worse for waterborne freight. Railroads are what basically killed waterborne freight to begin with, which is why most city waterfronts are touristy type places instead of actual working ports.

    Report

    • I agree. The Jones Act should probably be repealed as zombie legislation but I can’t see it having much effect on trucking volumes. Big reason is the shift, mostly since the early eighties, to “Just-in-time” inventory management. Time is of the essence —
      merchandise doesn’t sit around in big warehouses like it used to — and trucks have a huge advantage on transit time. For example, Seattle to Long Beach is about 1200 miles. That’s about two days for a solo driver or one day for a team or relay. There’s no way in hell you could match that on a ship considering loading loading and off-loading, and you still have trucks doing the last mile.

      We even soundly beat the railroads in that regard. Back when I was pulling a flatbed I picked up a load of motor sets at the UP yard in Kansas City bound for their yard in Long Beach, CA. These are big motors attached to big steel wheels that bolt onto the bottom of locomotives. When I got there I asked, just out of curiosity, why they didn’t just ship the things out on rail cars. The answer was whereas I got it there in three days, shipping by rail would take at least a couple weeks. They’re just not set up very well for that sort of thing. Their systems are optimized for hauling a million tons of coal from Wyoming to a power plant somewhere or a zillion bushels of wheat from Kansas to a port on the coast.

      I can think of very little freight I haul that would disappear if the Jones Act were repealed.

      Report

    • Anecdata… When I lived in New Jersey, one stretch of the Garden State Parkway had a weight limit that kept everything bigger than a large car off the road. Even at rush hour peaks, the bumper-to-bumper traffic moved smoothly and at decent speed. One of the things I always noticed was the vastly improved visibility with all of the big vehicles gone. Far and away the smoothest functioning crowded roadway I’ve ever driven.

      Also, the road surface itself was, and stayed in, excellent condition. Surface wear is a fourth-power law: doubling the weight per axle does 16 times as much damage. On much of the US interstate highway system, essentially all surface wear is due to the big trucks.

      Report

  4. (us6) gee ask business owners what paying more would happen with higher wages and surprise surprise they say cut jobs. Same thing they say about unions, environmental regs, and any law that gives power to workers.

    The body of studies show minimal effect of job numbers because poor people spend every da*n dollar they get.

    Report

  5. Let’s look at a source other than Reason about why sand boxes are going away:

    http://sfist.com/2017/07/24/sf_parks_department_moves_to_ban_sa.php

    Sandboxes, which are currently featured at a number of city parks (the one at the Excelsior Playground is “perfect for small tots,” Rec and Parks says on their website) are reportedly living on borrowed time in SF. According to KRON 4, “Sandboxes will soon be thing of the past at parks around the city” as “San Francisco Recreation and Park said the decision to eliminate sandboxes was because sand requires frequent cleaning, which the department finds challenging.”

    You might recall, in fact, when vandals smashed dozens of bottles in the sandbox at Dolores Park in February of 2015, prompting a weeks-long closure as workers replaced 20 tons of compromised sand.

    So it seems to be more of a “this is why we can’t have nice things” story because presumably non-children keep on fucking up the sandboxes and this makes them costly in terms of time and money.

    Report

    • Vandals are the worse. Some people are just so anti-social that they can’t behave themselves in the most minimal fashion and not be an asshole to others. They simply want to have their good time and damn anybody else who might be inconvenienced.

      Report

      • There are four playgrounds close to our house – one has rubber mats, the other three have sand. I’m a LOT more comfortable with my daughter playing on the rubber mat playground.

        When she was playing on one of the sand ones a year or two ago (one of the cleaner ones – there’s one that’s typically much dirtier than that one. The two schools apparently put different amounts of effort toward cleaning their playgrounds), some older kids spotted a used hypodermic needle in the sand. They were super responsible about it – they evacuated all the kids from the playground, one of them stayed put to make sure the littles stayed out of the sand, the other one grabbed us adults to deal with the needle.

        Thing was – once we had that needle dealt with, how were we to know we had them all?

        On the rubber mats, just walk once around the area and you know you’re good.

        Report

    • “costly in terms of time and money” is the issue here. Rubber “play surfaces” require cleaning but it’s one dude with a mop and bucket who does the job in an hour and it’s easy to tell whether he’s done the job right, as opposed to three people with sifting rakes spending all afternoon (and maybe missing something that gets stuck in a kid’s foot and now there’s a lawsuit against the city).

      Report

    • Dangit, the reason pitchbot AI got [government nanny state] code mixed up with [tragedy of the commons with ‘public’ property] code.

      Where are those cats Felix and Sylvester when you need them?

      Report

  6. [US9] “[S]ome Hawaiian ranchers still fly cows to the mainland rather than having them loaded and shipped on boats. Those high costs not only make the goods Americans buy more expensive, they’ve pushed ever more freight on to trucks…”

    wait wait wait wait

    so the reason we have bad traffic is because of flying Hawaiian cows?

    Report

      • My first thought after reading the article was more on the folks that called on him to be fired in the first place not necessarily the owners. But if we are going to allow folks to fire folks for their political ideas then why not be free to fire them for their race or gender? Why not carry the idea out to its fullest extent?

        Report

        • So the hot dog stand owner just listened to the market the same way a football team’s owners might if a hypothetical player took a knee during the national anthem?

          Report

          • The analogy breaks down b/c the cook wasn’t in the hot dog co. uniform and didn’t make his statement on the company’s time. Besides we really don’t know why no other team has picked Keap’s option up. Maybe it’s his gf comparing team owners to slave owners.

            Report

            • Wait, wasn’t the original argument that all that mattered was his behavior’s affect on business?

              I mean, if he had taken a knee and the crowd had roared with approval, there’d be no problem, even though he was making a political statement in uniform.

              And if he was posting a bunch of anti-police, anti-America rhetoric to his Facebook page and losing fans, there’d have been a problem even though it was all on his own personal time.

              The long and the short of it seems to be, don’t embarrass your employer and put them in a position where the best business decision is to jettison you.

              Report

        • Playing Devil’s Advocate here…

          If it’s OK to fire a guy for going to a Nazi rally, is it OK to fire a woman for going to an anti-abortion rally? How about firing a person for attending a Trump rally, or a simple GOP/DNC rally?

          In the abstract, I’m OK with it, but a lot of people complain about The Big Sort, and isn’t being OK with political firing just furthering The Big Sort?

          Report

          • I think there are some ‘political’ issues where reasonable people can agree that advocating the positions makes you a pariah that a business would not want to employ.

            I mean, if he had been at a rally shouting that pedophilia should be legal, would anyone be objecting to the hot dog stand letting him go?

            But since it seems like there are disturbing number of people on this forum who regard Nazism as just another political opinion, maybe what I should be asking is: if an employer is Jewish, is it wrong for them to fire someone publicly promoting an ideology known for being violently antisemitic?

            Report

            • I agree with you, but as a standard that can be applied objectively, that feels a bit too much like pornography vs art or speech (the “I’ll know it when I see it” standard).

              I’m very wary of such ill-defined standards.

              Report

              • I agree it can be difficult to firmly define. Though ‘this person belongs to a group that poses a threat to my family’ seems like a no-brainer when it comes to standards.

                Beyond that, I think ‘association with this person would make customers and other employees want to leave so he’s bad for business’ is not an unreasonable standard for firing.

                Report

                • Being able to show that an employees political activity is currently, or has a strong potential to affect the business is something of a better standard.

                  So firing a kid because s/he’s drawing swastika’s in their notebook and they have Mein Kampf on their kindle is probably a bad idea (legal or not), but the employee who is very publicly at a Nazi rally that has become a media mess…

                  Report

              • This is right back to the D&D alignment discussion, about choosing between lawfulness and goodness. It goes without saying that an employer should be able to fire a Nazi, just like it’s obvious that an employee should never be fired for his ideology.

                Report

          • In most states, employers are free to fire for political activity. I would generally oppose firing a woman for attending an anti-abortion rally even though I am for legalized abortion.

            Going to a white supremacist Nazi rally where the Nazis engaged in violence and came prepared to do so via battle armor is very different than an anti-abortion rally.

            Report

            • This is why the Rawlsian veil of ignorance is important.

              To what extent is your employer allowed to care about what you do when you get off the clock?

              “Well, it depends on what you’re doing. You certainly shouldn’t be allowed to embarrass your company without getting fired.”

              That’s…
              Well, I suppose it’s neoliberalism in a nutshell.

              Report

              • I was trying to make a distinction between a lawful fact and a criminal act.

                Going to a swinger party or drinking too much and passing out might be embarrassing but they are legal activities.

                Throwing punches in a riot is not.

                Report

                • Get arrested, get fired? That’s a rule of thumb that you could probably get everybody to agree with beforehand.

                  I’m down.

                  Get arrested for something particularly bad and have to deal with it for the rest of your life, even after you get out of jail? Hell, we do that now.

                  I’ve no problem with employers firing people for going to rallies like the one that happened this weekend, for the record. It makes sense to do that. Hell, it’s downright *STUPID* to *NOT* do that.

                  Report

            • Going to a white supremacist Nazi rally where the Nazis engaged in violence and came prepared to do so via battle armor is very different than an anti-abortion rally.

              To you, sure. Some of those pro-lifers strongly equate abortion with murder, though…

              Anyway, my question is one of those, ‘just because you can, doesn’t mean you should’ kind of things. I’m just fine with the cook getting fired, I just wish it had happened quietly. Given our hyper-politicized climate, I’m fully expecting a rash of firings for political reasons across the board. At least until people get bored, or Trump tweets something distracting.

              Report

    • I had notme ignored but I saw this in the sidebar.

      Notme, of all of the victims from this weekend, the short order cook from Berkeley who decided to go to a rally where famous pre-WWII German chants were translated into English is not going to do a good job of holding center stage.

      Like, not even close. There are journalists who got hit by antifa who would be in line before this guy in the “feel sorry for this person” contest.

      “Freedom of Association” (not that that’s in the Constitution, of course, but run with it) includes the right of small batch artisanal hot dog shoppes to fire their line cooks.

      If the guy wanted to not get fired for becoming famous on the internet, he should have joined a union.

      Report

    • If we had universal basic income, these guys would be freed of the capitalist system of control & exploitation, thus able to devote themselves full time to their passion of being Nazis.

      Report

  7. US3 – I seen the whole thing. That man raised his gun but didn’t get a shot off afore that armadillo drew on him. That rascal pulled the trigger and hit him in the face quicker than lightnin’. Then he jes’ slipped out of town, calm as anything. Who knows where he’s headed to.

    Report

Comments are closed.