95 thoughts on “Monday Message Board

  1. Alice – I did not raise the issue of child molestation. Chris did in comment #15 paragraph 3. Specifically he said:-

    But of course there is also the cultural problem of sex-molesting priests (of all types).

    I made no reference to the issue before that. And my references to it subsequently were to point out that it has nothing to do with whether there are cultural issues in the trade unions movement. Chris was trying to co-join these issues not me.

  2. Chris,
    I would agree that those who “…deliberately avoid a union workforce, and employ oppressed workers on cheap wages” deserve some censure. The idea of employing anyone on an “oppressive” basis I find repugnant. That said, on whom should the burden of proof be? If I advertise for someone to come and do same (say) bricklaying for me and offer to pay (say) $1 per brick laid then is it part of my responsibility to enquire about that person’s circumstance to see if they are a union member or that the terms could be considered “oppressive”?
    If it is not the employer’s role to do that then there is little philosophical difference between us on this.
    .
    Alice,
    Was that the previous comment where I said that bankers and others should be prosecuted for any criminal activity on the same basis as the rest of us – or some other comments?
    .
    Fran,
    On your first response: I would think that the development and maintenance of any such algorithm would be an enormous and complicated task. Given the algorithm would also be responsible for making one of the most important decisions for each and every one of us (where we get to live) I would think there would inevitably be a large amount of appeals against it output. I am not convinced that this would be as simple as putting some numbers into a system and then having the residence decisions for millions of people spat out the other end.
    On your second: Again, I would think that this would cause some real disputes. Trying to come to a simple decision on this I simply cannot see that it would be an easy, cut and dried case.
    On your third: As with the others this then involves what would need to be a long and complex argument, with appeals against decisions happening almost almost as a matter of course. While the current system sometimes ends up with appeals through the court system I cannot see this system as reducing complexity. Having been on the receiving end of these disputes in the past All I can see here is people arguing the point ad nauseum.
    The other major problem I could see in there is simple – corruption. The system you have proposed seems to rely heavily on the output of an algorithm, a fairly “black box” approach once you have millions of small inputs and millions of important outputs. Those writing the system would have a strong incentive to build things into it that favour either themselves or those close to them – or those that pay them. This then means that there would need to be a large supervisory body (a small one would just mean that they become easily open to corruption themselves), meaning more cost.
    Sorry, but I cannot see how this would be any of simple, efficient or cheap. While in theory this may make some sense all I can see is a bloated, expensive monster making seemingly arbitrary decisions not on behalf of the general welfare, but on behalf of those who run the system.

  3. @Andrew Reynolds

    Andrew, I think you are massively overstating the problem. The current system has its own “algorithm” based largely on stuff that is far harder to get at and specify and what it spits our is inequity and inefficiency.

    There’s no problem at all auditing these things and aside from purely technical appeals — where the onus should be on the plaintiff to show error — I see no scope. To qualify you’d have to waive most of your rights to litigate.

    Since people have no rights at all in housing allocation now, I don’t think many would be bothered.

  4. Fran,
    The “algorithm” at the moment is one that operates largely without any central authority telling us where we can, or cannot, live – this is down to our individual needs, wants and abilities (including financial capacity). Most people can see the logic that if they cannot afford something, even with debt, then they cannot have it. If there was a system that allowed them to afford something but still not to have it because of some mathematical equation then I would think that they would be much more likely to dispute it – even if they may appreciate that it gave good answers for everyone else.
    What would happen if a person did not waive their rights to litigate? Would they simply be excluded from the system?

  5. @Andrew Reynolds
    Andy – it totally escapes me where I have addressed a single comment to you in this thread…yet I have two responses from you, one where you accuse me of not living in the real world and some other response.

    I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

  6. @TerjeP (say tay-a)
    No apology Terje – see your post at 16 where you cojoined the idea that unions and child molestation were two forms of wrong. Dont deny it Terje and dont be flippant with your responses. The suggestion is there. You are clearly suggesting unions are some form of moral wrong.

  7. @TerjeP (say tay-a)

    Personal whinging anecdote.

    Study some labour history and come back to us and then a sensible discussion about trade unions may be possible.

    Otherwise you just insult everyone’s intelligence.

    Something “libertarians” do habitually. Funny about that.

  8. Alice – if you take my comment in the context of the discussion it ought to be more than clear that the wrong refered to corrupt cultural practices within some unions and not unions as a concept. Comprehension isn’t one of your strong points is it?

  9. @Alicia
    I agree with Alicia Terje – get over it. Subtle suggestions that unions are a moral evil is your strong point. Im not short on comprehension Terje – your anti union innuendos dont wash with me.
    Did you know Terje that one of the reasons that inequality has been on the rise for three decades has been researched and found to be the product of union bashing and dismantling by both sides of the political spectrum (including Hawke who made his way up through the unions and admits to instilling the priorities of the rich – what a cop out Hawke was). If you want to support and live in a world where elites, class and birthrights rule – move to Europe Terje. No loss to me, here in Australia, at all.

  10. “Libertarians” all – prove me wrong – are people (overwhelmingly male) who “once” were a member of – or had some vague but never to be forgotten dealings with – trade unions, but whose entire adult employment experience consists of being isolated small business or sole trader types typically working in IT/sales/finance.

    Not a very culturally representative or insightful segment of humanity. And invariably boring and ignorant as batshit.

  11. @Andrew Reynolds

    The “algorithm” at the moment is one that operates largely without any central authority telling us where we can, or cannot, live – this is down to our individual needs, wants and abilities (including financial capacity).

    Or, put another way, the algorithm you like operates to ensure access to quality housing is determined exclusively by wealth and social privilege. Mine makes these much less significant. Since the vast majority of the populace are on the wrong end of this algorithm, the class of potential beneficiaries is huge.

    I’ve never heard of anyone litigating the Lotto result, and if this lotto ensured that everyone got a fair chance at winning, I can’t imagine anyone litigating. The algorithm would be much like any other piece of public policy, and the implementation could be transparent — like the lotto draw.

    What would happen if a person did not waive their rights to litigate? Would they simply be excluded from the system?

    Of course. Participation would involved accepting that no correspondence would be entered into, save the claim of clear malfeasance, corruption or error, and then the only relief would be another draw. Since even the losers get an incremented chance at the next draw, they have an incentive to accept the result.

  12. Did you know Terje that one of the reasons that inequality has been on the rise for three decades has been researched and found to be the product of union bashing and dismantling by both sides of the political spectrum

    No I didn’t know that. Do you care to cite the research? Has it been peer reviewed?

    If you want to support and live in a world where elites, class and birthrights rule – move to Europe Terje.

    No I don’t and no I won’t. It’s too cold in Europe.

  13. Fran,
    It is not only wealth and social privilege. I am not from a wealthy background, nor from one that would be counted as socially privileged, yet I have access to quality housing. To be honest, compared to what housing was like a century ago then just about everyone has access to quality housing now.
    As for the “waiving” of rights, you are essentially saying that either you give up your rights to protest or you do not get a home. That, if I may suggest, is not a recipe for freedom, it is highly oppressive. If you attempted to allocate employment on the same basis then I think you would see the issue there.
    .
    Alice,
    Terje is right – comprehension does seem to be a weak point. Try the one you addressed to Iain above that was pointed at me.

  14. Actually Alice, it’s a reasonable request, when challenged on a fact, to provide your own linked evidence. You can’t wave that away by saying “I’m not your research assistant”, that’s very poor netiquette, it infers you really can’t prove what you were saying.

  15. @wilful
    says “Actually Alice, it’s a reasonable request, when challenged on a fact, to provide your own linked evidence.”

    Wilful – you obviously didnt notice the link in my post at 40. Would you like more linked evidence on the link between loss of union power and rising inequality over the past three or four decades?

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