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Old 16th September 2019, 04:59 AM   #161
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Originally Posted by newyorkguy View Post
The problem with finding some of the owner-drivers are actually losing money is, these are individuals, not corporations. As individuals they have living costs. Housing, food etc. How would they manage to live if they have a negative income? I don't know of anyone who is losing money and continues to work for the service, living subsidized by their spouse of family. I have known people who started working for a service, found they weren't making enough money with them and left. I've also known people who drive for both Lyft and Uber. At the same time I mean. That is not prohibited.
The highlighted part answers the bolded.

In the cities where no money is being made, there's just going to be high turnover keeping the service operating.
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Old 16th September 2019, 05:54 AM   #162
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Originally Posted by newyorkguy View Post

But I still don't understand how these owner-operators could be transitioned to employees. It would seem to me this would be shifting some of the costs to the companies at a time neither Lyft or Uber make money.
Lyft and Uber charge fairly low fares for the quality of service they provide, likely as a gambit to takeover traditional yellow-cab business.

Having to pay their drivers a minimum wage would likely require them to raise fares. I don't see this as a bad thing, they are artificially low now. I'd pay more for Uber, because I have found Uber to be a better experience in pretty much every way compared to traditional taxis. It's a better service, it could easily cost more and people would pay.

But I'd quote FDR: “no business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country.” If they can't make their business work while still paying their employees, too bad for them.

As for why Uber is able to find drivers despite making such poor pay, these people may not be able to find better work. Uber allows them to work as many hours as they can on their own schedule. 70 hrs/week at poor rates is probably better than some unreliable 15 hr/week part time job making minimum wage.
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Old 16th September 2019, 06:43 AM   #163
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
If they can't make their business work while still paying their employees, too bad for them.

As for why Uber is able to find drivers despite making such poor pay, these people may not be able to find better work. Uber allows them to work as many hours as they can on their own schedule. 70 hrs/week at poor rates is probably better than some unreliable 15 hr/week part time job making minimum wage.
I really like this strategy of helping people by eliminating their best option.
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Old 16th September 2019, 06:47 AM   #164
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I think one of the problems is there is some utility in a society for jobs that aren't living wage level.

Part time jobs, secondary incomes, "I'm retired and don't really need a job but I'm board", jobs for young people who don't yet have actual marketable skills but sort of need practice just with the idea of holding down a job... these all do have legit places in a society.

Problem is we can't trust business to not try and make those rare exceptions the standard default "lowest level job." Combine that with the fact that we all know we're staring down the barrel of some sort of Post-"There's enough jobs for everyone" reality and are just too polite to be the first one to bring it up and that's a recipe for disaster.
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Old 16th September 2019, 06:53 AM   #165
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I really like this strategy of helping people by eliminating their best option.
Eliminating those jobs is only part 1 of a good public policy.

part 2 is arming the poor in mass. Eat the rich.
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Old 16th September 2019, 08:08 AM   #166
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Originally Posted by newyorkguy View Post
The problem with finding some of the owner-drivers are actually losing money is, these are individuals, not corporations. As individuals they have living costs. Housing, food etc. How would they manage to live if they have a negative income? I don't know of anyone who is losing money and continues to work for the service, living subsidized by their spouse of family. I have known people who started working for a service, found they weren't making enough money with them and left. I've also known people who drive for both Lyft and Uber. At the same time I mean. That is not prohibited.

But I still don't understand how these owner-operators could be transitioned to employees. It would seem to me this would be shifting some of the costs to the companies at a time neither Lyft or Uber make money.
Two relevant statistics from that link:

46.4% of drivers work less than a year before moving on.

Drivers self-report income that is 37.40% higher than they were able to show with screenshots of their earnings.

ETA: Uber's top five executives made a combined $145 million last year. Do you think they ultimately care if the business model is sustainable or not? Uber could collapse and go bankrupt tomorrow and they'd be just fine.

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Old 16th September 2019, 08:55 AM   #167
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Originally Posted by Delphic Oracle View Post
Two relevant statistics from that link:

46.4% of drivers work less than a year before moving on.

Drivers self-report income that is 37.40% higher than they were able to show with screenshots of their earnings.

ETA: Uber's top five executives made a combined $145 million last year. Do you think they ultimately care if the business model is sustainable or not? Uber could collapse and go bankrupt tomorrow and they'd be just fine.
Who cares if it's sustainable or not? I think there's probably a lot of business opportunities that are transient in nature. There was a period in time where it made excellent business sense to invest vast fortunes in whaling ships and crews. There was also a period in time where a wise businessman would see it was time to diversify and divest from his whaling business.

Personally I don't think this ride-sharing business is sustainable. It emerged from a confluence of: lots of surplus cars in households, economic downturn, and expanded information infrastructure.

It's similar to arbitrage. Uber, the drivers, and the riders are all exploiting a temporary supply/demand/information imbalance. After a while, it's going to stop working. The people who are trying to have their extra car do some profitable work will sell the car and move on to better paying jobs. The riders will go back to taxis or next-gen self-driving rideshare fleets (i.e., taxis). The people who saw the opportunity and made something of it will cash out and move on.

I don't think anybody really wants this kind of ridesharing to be sustainable. We shouldn't really have this many extra cars on the streets, and this many people with so much free time and so little useful work to do that they're willing to hire out their car just to try to make the payments.

Last edited by theprestige; 16th September 2019 at 08:57 AM.
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Old 16th September 2019, 09:01 AM   #168
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If we return to the roots of the service, that, hey, people have spare cars and spare time and can effectively rideshare and pick up some extra money, it would work a lot better. Where it fails is when people try to take that and turn it into a full time job. I wouldn't expect that to be sustainable.
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Old 16th September 2019, 09:02 AM   #169
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Originally Posted by pgwenthold View Post
If we return to the roots of the service, that, hey, people have spare cars and spare time and can effectively rideshare and pick up some extra money, it would work a lot better. Where it fails is when people try to take that and turn it into a full time job. I wouldn't expect that to be sustainable.
Uber can argue, probably with some degree of honesty, that it never presented itself as such.

Again that's what I was getting out in my previous post. If we allow any non-full time, non-"I can live off of this long term" job into the society how do we stop them from being poor substitutes for full time employment?
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Old 16th September 2019, 09:06 AM   #170
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Who cares if it's sustainable or not? I think there's probably a lot of business opportunities that are transient in nature. There was a period in time where it made excellent business sense to invest vast fortunes in whaling ships and crews. There was also a period in time where a wise businessman would see it was time to diversify and divest from his whaling business.

You're conflating two completely different phenomena, however. Whaling ended because of 1) technology marching on (petroleum-based lubricants being superior for nearly all applications), and 2) over-exploitation of resources, making whaling increasingly difficult and unprofitable for all but a tiny minority (much like modern commercial fishing has become).

Ride-share has neither the superseded technology nor the resource depletion issues. There's no reason for it to fail except mismanagement.

Quote:
I don't think anybody really wants this kind of ridesharing to be sustainable.

I think quite a lot of people want some form of ridesharing to be sustainable, especially those making millions from it. The problem is, it never was sustainable. The entire model was badly flawed and exploitative from the start. A more sustainable model would look far more like the taxi services it tried and failed to supplant. Had it succeeded in pushing taxis out of the market, then the model would have been modified to act more like the industry it tried to replace.

Quote:
We shouldn't really have this many extra cars on the streets, and this many people with so much free time and so little useful work to do that they're willing to hire out their car just to try to make the payments.

We can thank nearly four decades of Randroid Republican greed-heads for that.
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Old 16th September 2019, 09:06 AM   #171
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Uber can argue, probably with some degree of honesty, that it never presented itself as such.

Again that's what I was getting out in my previous post. If we allow any non-full time, non-"I can live off of this long term" job into the society how do we stop them from being poor substitutes for full time employment?
I don't know, what do fast food restaurants do about it?

It's like people who tried to make a business out of ebay. Ebay was great as an auction site where people could get rid of their stuff. And then it was taken over by those who tried to make a business out of selling on ebay.
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Old 16th September 2019, 09:08 AM   #172
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Uber can argue, probably with some degree of honesty, that it never presented itself as such.

Again that's what I was getting out in my previous post. If we allow any non-full time, non-"I can live off of this long term" job into the society how do we stop them from being poor substitutes for full time employment?
We don't. Unprofitable gigs wither and die on their own. Profitable full time employment takes care of itself.

There are probably some high-density markets where a few drivers can make full time money. Ironically, these are probably the same markets where urban planners are aggressively throttling the number of additional cars on the road through taxi medallion auctions and similar.

New York doesn't have enough taxis on the streets. But it also doesn't have anywhere to put more taxis. Putting in more ubers instead just causes the exact problem that the NY taxi medallion system is supposed to prevent.
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Old 16th September 2019, 09:12 AM   #173
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
We don't. Unprofitable gigs wither and die on their own. Profitable full time employment takes care of itself.

There are probably some high-density markets where a few drivers can make full time money. Ironically, these are probably the same markets where urban planners are aggressively throttling the number of additional cars on the road through taxi medallion auctions and similar.

New York doesn't have enough taxis on the streets. But it also doesn't have anywhere to put more taxis. Putting in more ubers instead just causes the exact problem that the NY taxi medallion system is supposed to prevent.
Sounds very "invisible hand" to me.

Which is to say, it sounds like rubbish.
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Old 16th September 2019, 09:33 AM   #174
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Try operating an unlicensed cab in New York City and see what happens. The IRS also has some notions about what constitutes employment and income. The penalties for disregarding the official definitions of these concepts can be considerable.
There were tons of them in the Bronx. Manhattan might be a bit harder. You will have to deal with the likes of Michael Cohen then.
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Old 16th September 2019, 09:35 AM   #175
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
And the irony is that I suspect something like 90% of Uber and Lyft drivers don't want to be an employee either. I have a friend who drives for Lyft and what he loves about it is that he can set his own hours.
And why would being an employee change that?
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Old 16th September 2019, 11:38 AM   #176
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
And why would being an employee change that?
If Uber has to pay for health insurance, it doesn't make sense to have 10 drivers driving one hour a month. They will make the employee work the legal limit.
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Old 16th September 2019, 12:25 PM   #177
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
If Uber has to pay for health insurance, it doesn't make sense to have 10 drivers driving one hour a month. They will make the employee work the legal limit.

Uber doesn't necessarily have to pay health insurance. In federal law and in many states, health insurance is only mandated for full-time employees. Even in states that do mandate it for part-time workers, it's only mandated after they hit a certain number of hours (typically around 20-30) per week. Many employers with part-time employees schedule their workers's hours just under the state limit to avoid having to offer health insurance and other benefits.

The only cost to Uber if their drivers become employees is payroll taxes and minimum wage.
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Old 17th September 2019, 04:52 AM   #178
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Originally Posted by Delphic Oracle View Post
Sounds very "invisible hand" to me.

Which is to say, it sounds like rubbish.
That's why all the worst labor practices in the US just ended on their own. Luckily the invisible hand of the free market corrected all these inequities, or we might have had a real nasty clash between the ownership class and organized labor that would only end after widespread legal reform to prevent the root cause of this conflict.

Thank goodness that didn't have to happen, people might have got hurt! /s

The invisible hand is only works in Econ 101 textbooks.
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Old 17th September 2019, 06:08 AM   #179
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
That's why all the worst labor practices in the US just ended on their own. Luckily the invisible hand of the free market corrected all these inequities, or we might have had a real nasty clash between the ownership class and organized labor that would only end after widespread legal reform to prevent the root cause of this conflict.

Thank goodness that didn't have to happen, people might have got hurt! /s

The invisible hand is only works in Econ 101 textbooks.
What is your evidence of the necessity of those laws? What was the trend in use of the activity you opposed before and after the law? What is the evidence the law worked?
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Old 17th September 2019, 06:40 AM   #180
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
What is your evidence of the necessity of those laws? What was the trend in use of the activity you opposed before and after the law? What is the evidence the law worked?
One of many many incidents : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triang...t_Factory_fire

You can start your education on the subject here : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labor_rights
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Old 17th September 2019, 06:41 AM   #181
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
What is your evidence of the necessity of those laws? What was the trend in use of the activity you opposed before and after the law? What is the evidence the law worked?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harlan_County_War

Not that I'm in the least bit convinced you don't understand how bad the labor situation was or want an honest discussion about it.
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Old 17th September 2019, 06:56 AM   #182
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Originally Posted by Wudang View Post
One of many many incidents : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triang...t_Factory_fire

You can start your education on the subject here : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labor_rights
People who don't want to burn to death at work should have negotiated better. Learn to code!

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Old 17th September 2019, 07:47 AM   #183
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Originally Posted by Wudang View Post
One of many many incidents : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triang...t_Factory_fire

You can start your education on the subject here : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labor_rights
Is it one of many incidents? I'm asking for actual data and analyses trying to isolate the effect of laws from other factors.

This is basic social science
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Old 17th September 2019, 08:59 AM   #184
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Is it one of many incidents? I'm asking for actual data and analyses trying to isolate the effect of laws from other factors.
Why? You aren't sway by data and analyses. You reject them as concepts.

Quote:
This is basic social science
Isn't that one of the things you reject?

Isn't everything something you reject?
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Old 17th September 2019, 09:56 AM   #185
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Why? You aren't sway by data and analyses. You reject them as concepts.
This is simply a BS assertion. I love a good social science white paper.
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Old 17th September 2019, 10:33 AM   #186
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
This is simply a BS assertion. I love a good social science white paper.

Does it make good toilet paper?
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Old 17th September 2019, 10:35 AM   #187
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http://eh.net/encyclopedia/history-o...tes-1880-1970/
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Old 17th September 2019, 01:10 PM   #188
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Hoping this was done to force companies like Uber to at least pay a minimum wage.
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Old 17th September 2019, 01:31 PM   #189
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California doesn't do things to help its citizens. The cynic in me thinks that Cali was losing tax revenue from contractors not paying their taxes, hence the added restrictions.
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Old 17th September 2019, 05:44 PM   #190
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Originally Posted by Delphic Oracle View Post
...how bad the labor situation was...
I just read "Greater Gotham," the history of New York City in the first two decades of the 20th century. The beginnings of the labor movement and worker rights was a big part of it.

In the 19th century there was no minimum wage. Courts held minimum wage laws were unnecessary; that if pay was too low people would simply refuse the jobs. Employers knew better. Many manufacturers preferred hiring women -- especially newly arrived immigrant women -- because they'd work long hours for whatever pay they could get. There was no workers compensation for injuries suffered at work. The 19th century courts held that workers implicitly "accepted the risks" when they hired on. That employers should not be forced to pay medical bills for people who were, essentially, unlucky. Courts also consistently held that workers were hired individually and thus employees had no right to bargain or negotiate with employers as a group. Disgruntled workers forming picket lines were interfering with a business's ability to do business and that was considered a violation of the employer's property rights.

In the fledgling labor movement, when workers began grassroots organizing, walking off jobs when conditions became unbearable and setting up ad hoc picket lines, New York City police would arrive "to break it up" and were notorious for doing it by clubbing picketers. A New York City police commissioner famously once said, when some group of workers planned to picket their employer, "If they do, my boys will be there -and they'll be bringing their night sticks!"

We've come such a long way, but nowadays many people take it all completely for granted. That wage laws, safety requirements and worker rights have always been there. Hope we're not doomed to repeat the history we've forgotten. Sadly, it seems that's already begun.
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Old 18th September 2019, 02:24 AM   #191
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Originally Posted by newyorkguy View Post
We've come such a long way, but nowadays many people take it all completely for granted. That wage laws, safety requirements and worker rights have always been there. Hope we're not doomed to repeat the history we've forgotten. Sadly, it seems that's already begun.
This is a point I've been raising a lot recently here in the UK, both with regard our standard of living, and our peace and security. I think complacency is the greatest danger facing us, there is an assumption that peace and security are the natural outcomes of our society, but history shows that isn't true. Go back about a century and Europe is at war and the standards of living for most people are pretty awful compared to today. It's not a long time and it's not irreversible.
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Old 18th September 2019, 05:45 AM   #192
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
Wow, you win the "reference went right over your head" award for the week.
Even if you have never read the novel (and I can undertint why) you should know from the general knowledge fund, that "Who Is John Galt" is the big catchphrase of the novel, one which has seeped into general culture.

Never, ever heard of it.
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Old 18th September 2019, 07:16 AM   #193
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Oh for pity's sake. Assigned reading in high school?

Where did you grow up? I don't know of any school where Rand was required reading.
And if you never heard of something, it doesn't exist.
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Old 18th September 2019, 07:38 AM   #194
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There's a term for the erroneous assumption that all people have that their general knowledge is representative of all people's general knowledge, I just can't recall it right now.
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Old 18th September 2019, 07:42 AM   #195
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
There's a term for the erroneous assumption that all people have that their general knowledge is representative of all people's general knowledge, I just can't recall it right now.
No, there isn't!
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Old 18th September 2019, 07:46 AM   #196
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Originally Posted by newyorkguy View Post
I just read "Greater Gotham," the history of New York City in the first two decades of the 20th century. The beginnings of the labor movement and worker rights was a big part of it.

In the 19th century there was no minimum wage. Courts held minimum wage laws were unnecessary; that if pay was too low people would simply refuse the jobs. Employers knew better. Many manufacturers preferred hiring women -- especially newly arrived immigrant women -- because they'd work long hours for whatever pay they could get. There was no workers compensation for injuries suffered at work. The 19th century courts held that workers implicitly "accepted the risks" when they hired on. That employers should not be forced to pay medical bills for people who were, essentially, unlucky. Courts also consistently held that workers were hired individually and thus employees had no right to bargain or negotiate with employers as a group. Disgruntled workers forming picket lines were interfering with a business's ability to do business and that was considered a violation of the employer's property rights.

In the fledgling labor movement, when workers began grassroots organizing, walking off jobs when conditions became unbearable and setting up ad hoc picket lines, New York City police would arrive "to break it up" and were notorious for doing it by clubbing picketers. A New York City police commissioner famously once said, when some group of workers planned to picket their employer, "If they do, my boys will be there -and they'll be bringing their night sticks!"

We've come such a long way, but nowadays many people take it all completely for granted. That wage laws, safety requirements and worker rights have always been there. Hope we're not doomed to repeat the history we've forgotten. Sadly, it seems that's already begun.
In Chicago they tried implementing blue laws to close the beer gardens on Sundays (the only day off at the time, by the way). It wasn't to stop people from getting drunk. It was because once they got drunk, they'd <gasp> talk about how ****** things were and that they should organize to do something about it.

So people marched over it. As they crossed one of the bridges over the canal, the bridge was spun to trap them.

Then police opened fire from the rooftops on both sides.

This should be added to the list of things that are not taught in schools that should be taught in schools.
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Old 18th September 2019, 12:49 PM   #197
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
Even if you have never read the novel (and I can undertint why) you should know from the general knowledge fund, that "Who Is John Galt" is the big catchphrase of the novel, one which has seeped into general culture.
Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
Never, ever heard of it.

That is really unfortunate. I'd say that a whole lot more people, including -- no especially -- left/liberal people, should be familiar with the writings and philosophies of Ayn Rand. She is quite possibly the single most influential figure in modern American right-wing politics and economics. The current state of American corporatism exists in large part due to her.

More interestingly, and disturbingly, much of Rand's philosophy can be traced back to her particular fascination with and idolizing of sociopathic serial killer William Edward Hickman. Rand herself displayed many of the same sociopathic traits.

Looking at the big American tycoons, and many prominent political figures, one can see the same disregard for anyone other than themselves, the same sociopathic tendencies.

Understanding Rand and her influences helps understand those who she influenced, and why American economics and politics are in the gawdawful state they are now, and why "empathy" has become a pejorative amongst those on the right side of the spectrum.
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Last edited by luchog; 18th September 2019 at 12:52 PM.
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Old 19th September 2019, 01:13 AM   #198
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Originally Posted by luchog View Post
That is really unfortunate. I'd say that a whole lot more people, including -- no especially -- left/liberal people, should be familiar with the writings and philosophies of Ayn Rand. [url=https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/apr/10/new-age-ayn-rand-conquered-trump-white-house-silicon-valley]
Yes but having to slog through that festering pile of [redacted] surely constitues cruel and unusual punishment. I recall the phrase from early in the book and I skimmed through it to extract the ideas but I've read more coherent stories in product assembly guides translated from chinese by google.
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Old 19th September 2019, 07:38 AM   #199
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Originally Posted by Wudang View Post
Yes but having to slog through that festering pile of [redacted] surely constitues cruel and unusual punishment. I recall the phrase from early in the book and I skimmed through it to extract the ideas but I've read more coherent stories in product assembly guides translated from chinese by google.
Indeed, it's the very first sentence, so I figured it was a gimme that the reference was common knowledge.
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Old 19th September 2019, 07:47 AM   #200
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Originally Posted by Wudang View Post
Yes but having to slog through that festering pile of [redacted] surely constitues cruel and unusual punishment. I recall the phrase from early in the book and I skimmed through it to extract the ideas but I've read more coherent stories in product assembly guides translated from chinese by google.

It's definitely a chore, but I managed it, and it's extremely enlightening in a disturbing sort of way. It's not necessary to read everything, however. The Virtue of Selfishness and Atlas Shrugged are sufficient to gain a painfully clear insight into what is wrong with American business and politics. Think of the latter more like a particularly poorly-written textbook than a novel.

The Fountainhead is only necessary if you want to understand why so many bit business tycoons are sociopaths.
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