Patterico's Pontifications

4/19/2012

Supporter: Obama Had to Take a Subway Just to Get Fresh Fruit

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:15 am

Ah, so this is the defense:

Barack Obama’s vision as president is shaped by the fact that he knows what “it’s like to take a subway or a bus just to find a fresh piece of fruit in a grocery store,” Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan said last week.

Donovan seemed to be suggesting that the president had once lived in what First Lady Michelle Obama now refers to as a “food desert”–a place without a nearby supermarket. The First Lady has launched an initiative to eliminate these places.

And why take a subway to get an apple or a banana when there’s a tasty schnauzer right there on the corner?

You can see, by the way, that the meme of Barack as Common Man is being trial-ballooned. Obama tried it himself yesterday, telling a crowd how he wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his mouth.

At the risk of seeming like I’m attacking his precious Michelle, is it OK yet to point out that she held a totally expendable $300,000 job at a hospital competing for graft from Senator Obama — a job that was eliminated as unnecessary after she left? Or how she lectured a group of women in near poverty about how tough it was to spend $10,000 a year on piano and dance lessons as she fingered her triple strand of pearls?

I mean, as long as we’re talking about their hard-scrabble, fresh-fruitless, silver spoon-less, dog-eating lives of poverty.

Finally, to paraphrase iowahawk on Twitter: what’s more important? That Romney made millions of his own money? Or that Obama has spent $5 trillion of ours?

306 Comments

  1. racist

    Comment by sickofrinos (44de53) — 4/19/2012 @ 7:18 am

  2. he’s obviously never heard of harry & david

    Comment by happyfeet (3c92a1) — 4/19/2012 @ 7:19 am

  3. I call BS on the story. Having said that, should it be true, that speaks to his choice of location to live, no? it is damn hard to keep fresh fruits and vegetables in the house for the children. Michelle told us that last time around. Complete elfin nonsense.

    Comment by JD (3f195c) — 4/19/2012 @ 7:30 am

  4. Barcky didn’t have a silver spoon? By a show of hands, how many people here attended private madrassa in Indonesia? Ate dog? Private school in Honolulu?

    Comment by JD (3f195c) — 4/19/2012 @ 7:32 am

  5. That’s what happens when you only worry about the quality of the arugula in the produce section when selecting your grocery store.

    Comment by max (131bc0) — 4/19/2012 @ 7:34 am

  6. Does being at Sharpton’s conference, make people more stupid by osmosis, Ogletree, Holder et al

    Comment by narciso (8d0f34) — 4/19/2012 @ 7:34 am

  7. When Barry wanted a snack, he didn’t need to take the subway for a piece of fruit, he just fixed himself some pup corn

    Comment by FR in SC (51928a) — 4/19/2012 @ 7:35 am

  8. Well, you don’t need a ouija board to discern what’s going on here.

    Obviously the Dems have been taking internal (i.e., not for public consumption) polls. Obviously Obama’s standing with the white working class demographic is disastrous, which only could be surprising to airheaded liberals, given 15-plus percent U-6 unemployment, high gas prices and the catastrophic housing market.

    Ergo the new meme of Obama as the hardscrabble, by the bootstraps working man vs. Romney as the spoiled-brat rich boy.

    Indeed this is a trial balloon. That’s how the media/Democrat machine operates. They conduct a focus group. They float the meme. They wait a week or two and then they conduct another round of internal polling.

    This dog won’t hunt. Put aside whether it’s fact or fiction. Obama is the incumbent. When the economy is bad the voting electorate doesn’t care whether or not the incumbent also has experienced hard times or whether or not the opponent hasn’t experienced hard times.

    By the end of Spring the Dems will begin to panic and then we’ll see the Mediscare meme kick into full gear. By middle summer, especially if the job market worsens and gas prices spike higher, the Dems will abandon all pretenses and will begin directly attacking Romney’s Mormonism.

    Comment by Tsar Nicholas II (89a442) — 4/19/2012 @ 7:37 am

  9. Ask the good secretary just where and when Obama lived that he had to take a subway or bus to get a piece of fresh fruit.

    (BTW, I lived in Washington Heights, NY, for several years. THere were plenty of bodegas on every block which had fresh fruit and vegetables, and there were even a couple of supermarkets within 5 minutes walking distance. So, to put it mildly, I think the good Secretary is full of dog poo-poo.)

    Comment by Bored Lawyer (c8f13b) — 4/19/2012 @ 7:38 am

  10. Clearly the Obamas are severely deficient in self awareness. They really have no clue about the hypocrisy with which they come across to many normal voters–nor do they recognize the snickering and eye-rolling that increasingly greets their pronouncements.

    Comment by elissa (c244e5) — 4/19/2012 @ 7:39 am

  11. Studies: The myth of the “food desert.”

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 4/19/2012 @ 7:40 am

  12. Or whupped himself up some collieflour.

    Comment by SarahW (b0e533) — 4/19/2012 @ 7:42 am

  13. It’s too foolish, he lived in Hyde Park, in Chicago;
    facepalm,

    Comment by narciso (8d0f34) — 4/19/2012 @ 7:43 am

  14. Heh–Drudge has a center page picture up of Obama ridin’ the subway (by himself) on his way to get his fresh fruit.

    Comment by elissa (c244e5) — 4/19/2012 @ 7:44 am

  15. Maybe it’s a bus.

    Comment by elissa (c244e5) — 4/19/2012 @ 7:45 am

  16. But how far did he have to travel to get fresh dog ?

    Comment by Elephant Stone (0ae97d) — 4/19/2012 @ 7:49 am

  17. That Romney made millions of his own money? Or that Obama has spent $5 trillion of ours?

    Not our money. Romney’s money, and others like him. Well, maybe half of it at least was.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (2972ba) — 4/19/2012 @ 7:52 am

  18. 4 Comment by JD — 4/19/2012

    No, he wasn’t born w/ a silver spoon in his mouth.

    It was a golden retriever.

    Comment by cnh (3b3713) — 4/19/2012 @ 7:53 am

  19. Oh, it might be that their local supermarket didn’t carry Barry’s favorite vegetable, arugula.

    Of course, it’s yet just another baloney story from The Barry & Me-chelle Show.

    Everything is a “poor little me” sob story from these two. They never would have made it as pioneers. Laura Ingalls didn’t have the option of “taking the subway or bus” to get a piece of fresh fruit. There was no “government program” to airlift fresh fruit into rural Walnut Grove, Minnesota.

    To very closely paraphrase what Governor Blago famously stated about Obama on his infamous taperecorded phone calls, “That mother****** is a taker, he just takes, he never gives.”

    Comment by Elephant Stone (0ae97d) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:02 am

  20. Comment by Bored Lawyer — 4/19/2012 @ 7:38 am

    #

    Ask the good secretary just where and when Obama lived that he had to take a subway or bus to get a piece of fresh fruit.

    The claim is that he had to take a bus or subway to a grocery store, as if anyway the best or the only place to buy fruit is a grocery store. Fruit costs the most in a supermarket. Baked goods and milk, on the other hand, are cheaper in a grocery or supermarket than in a bakery.

    All this anyway is anachronistic. They only dreamed up the idea of fruit deserts a few years ago.

    In very high crime areas, there is an absence of stores, of course.

    (BTW, I lived in Washington Heights, NY, for several years. THere were plenty of bodegas on every block which had fresh fruit and vegetables, and there were even a couple of supermarkets within 5 minutes walking distance. So, to put it mildly, I think the good Secretary is full of dog poo-poo.)

    Aside from burned out districts, you’d only be missing stores if you were a pioneering resident of a central business district. People who lived near the World Trade Center, or in Battery Park City, didn’t have stores near them for a long time.

    Obama lived near universities. Probably near Harvard Square and also in Hyde Park in Chicago.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (2972ba) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:04 am

  21. So if Malia and Sasha go into politics as adults, their father will mock their cushy childhood?

    Comment by Karl (f07e38) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:04 am

  22. DRJ – thanks for that link. Good Allah, those comments are remarkable.

    Comment by JD (3f195c) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:05 am

  23. Obama is just like the rest of us. If you want proof, you can pay a thousand bucks and shake his hand to see for yourself.

    Comment by bskb (7be5cf) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:06 am

  24. I would get banned from that comment section in les than 5 comments.

    Comment by JD (3f195c) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:08 am

  25. “it’s like to take a subway or a bus just to find a fresh piece of fruit in a grocery store,”

    So where did this take place? What we know of Barackula is that he has lived in the Hyde Park area of Chicago, an area that has plenty of food stores and small shops. (An area that is quite well off). Did he take the “El” Chicago’s version of the subway or a local bus while living there to just get food? Or was it when he lived in Hawaii or Indonesia? Or was it when he lived in NY whe going to college? Just wondering.

    Comment by Ipso Fatso (7434b9) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:10 am

  26. It looks more like a bus. And Drudge doesn’t say what it is. But the idea of taking a subway [!!] to get fruit is more intriguing.

    Anyway, doesn’t Chicago have more Els?

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (2972ba) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:11 am

  27. Ipso–Relax. The professional media will be asking those hard questions and will report back to us on it.

    Ha Ha ha ha

    Comment by elissa (c244e5) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:13 am

  28. Yes, the President was just a common man with a mother who had a PhD in anthropology, worked for USAID, the Ford Foundation, and Women’s World Banking, and now has an endowed scholarship fund in her name at the University of Hawai’i (http://www.uhfoundation.org/donor_resources/giving_opportunities/dunhamsoetoro_endowed_fund.aspx). Oh, and at age 10, Obama moved in with his grandparents, including his grandmother who was the vice president of a bank. A deprived childhood, no doubt.

    Comment by Bru (27968b) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:13 am

  29. Anyway, doesn’t Chicago have more Els

    Sammy, not sure what you mean. The “El” is the subway or commuter rail system for the entire city and has a number of different lines or branches: red, blue, brown, etc that cover various parts of the city.

    I am sure BO used the El when he was in Chicago but if he is referring to him having to use it just to get fruit while living in Chicago–that is an outright fabrication. There area plenty of places in his neighborhood where he could shop locally. That I swhy I am wondering where he was referring to. Now some enterprising reporter could ask him….oh sorry they are all Democrat operatives so that won’t happen!!!!!

    Comment by Ipso Fatso (7434b9) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:19 am

  30. “food desert” bunkum…

    ‘”Food deserts” is a term that’s become associated with Michelle Obama’s anti-obesity campaign, and the theory holds that children in poorer neighborhoods are more likely to be overweight because their parents don’t have access to fresh fruits and vegetables. It’s led to initiatives like Walmart’s plan to open 300 grocery stores in low-income, urban areas.

    But as the New York Times reports today, two new independent studies found no correlation between poor urban neighborhoods with high obesity rates and a lack of access to fresh produce:

    It has become an article of faith among some policy makers and advocates, including Michelle Obama, that poor urban neighborhoods are food deserts, bereft of fresh fruits and vegetables.

    But two new studies have found something unexpected. Such neighborhoods not only have more fast food restaurants and convenience stores than more affluent ones, but more grocery stores, supermarkets and full-service restaurants, too. And there is no relationship between the type of food being sold in a neighborhood and obesity among its children and adolescents.”

    http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2012/04/18/studies-find-no-evidence-of-food-deserts/

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (1878e8) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:20 am

  31. Hahvahd is a food desert. Honolulu too. Hyde Park too.

    Teh Narrative, it is strong with this one. Not true, just strong.

    Comment by JD (3f195c) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:20 am

  32. I propose that Obama changes his campaign theme song to that of Dusty Rhodes. “He’s just a common man.” He can even borrow Rhodes promo work “I’ve wined and dined with kings and queens I’ve slept in alleys and eaten pork and beans.”

    I really hope Obama tries this. Some people may resent the rich. But do you know who those folks really hate? People who are rich and pretend they aren’t. Multi Millionaire arugula eaters posing as a common man will not go over well.

    Comment by bskb (7be5cf) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:21 am

  33. 0bama admin’s
    clown cars coming home… to roost
    comb-over failure

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (1878e8) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:22 am

  34. Barcky is just a common man and when he or Michelle needed a “food dessert” they instructed their private chef to go out and get the ingredients, just like all other Americans. Heck, they even wanted to bring their private chef to the White House with them.

    Plus, I don’t understand this whole fuss over eating dog business. Everybody knows what choice any American kid would make when faced with the prospect of eating dog meat. It’s not like kids are ever fussy eaters or anything. It’s quite common.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:35 am

  35. _____________________________________________

    In very high crime areas, there is an absence of stores, of course.

    I admit I once was naive or ignorant (or, yep, liberal) enough to be puzzled why certain neighborhoods didn’t have more retail options. I vaguely recall wondering about that matter right after the LA riots in 1992. I toyed with the notion that maybe owners of big retail businesses in particular avoided certain areas because they couldn’t personally relate to the demographics.

    Yep, a “d’oh” moment for me. I’m now fully aware of how quite dumb I was to muse about that point in the way I did, since I should have known from the get-go that shrinkage rates (due to theft by both shoppers and employees) tend to be very high in certain neighborhoods. Moreover, I believe not too long after the riots there was an article about how an owner of some fast-food franchises in lower-income areas of LA was constantly having to go to court because she was regularly sued by devious customers. People who’d walk into her business and purposefully trip and fall — or things like that — and then sue for “whiplash!!”

    People in communities where a HUGE percentage of voters are dyed-in-the-wool liberals and nonsensically registered Democrats until the bitter end. Given that, I’m not surprised that a Barack and Michelle can play such people like cheap fiddles.

    Comment by Mark (411533) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:40 am

  36. I’d give this ploy five bow wows. What the heck a lot of people get on a bus or a subway to go to a favorite market. Everybody knows the arugula is better uptown.

    Comment by Mike Myers (dc4fc0) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:40 am

  37. No one knows how to open a store there? Surely they could convert one of the crack houses into a grocery store, or do they need whitey to do that for them?

    Comment by j curtis (816b7b) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:42 am

  38. Food deserts is at best a lefty appeal, no one else cares about that fake issue.

    But every time the discussion is about money, inevitably it becomes “see how rich and wall street Romney is!”…. The strategy so far has been to embrace it “yeah I’m rich, I earned it”. Which would probably work better if he’d gotten rich in something other than wall street.

    I guess what I’m saying is times like this I wish we were defending Rick Perry’s lifestory :-)

    Comment by Alex (31c567) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:45 am

  39. J Curtis – crack houses at Hahvahd? Hyde Park? Really?

    Comment by JD (3fc54b) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:47 am

  40. What is hard to defend about Romney’s life story?

    Comment by JD (3fc54b) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:49 am

  41. “Which would probably work better if he’d gotten rich in something other than wall street.”

    Alex – Private equity firms are scattered all over the country. What they do when evaluating acquisitions is no different than regular corporations and in fact they compete with them in the acquisition arena. After making an acquisition of a property there are also few differences, both entities are in the business to make money. There is one principal difference, but I have not seen commenters on this site focus on it.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:56 am

  42. filthy asian stores don’t count is my understanding Mr. curtis

    Comment by happyfeet (3c92a1) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:56 am

  43. Among this site’s posters the biggest problem we’ll have is people not voting for Romney, and this effectively giving Obama an assist.

    But among swing/indies it is different, these are people that could (and maybe did in 2008) vote for O. Reaching these folks is a totally different game.

    Comment by Alex (31c567) — 4/19/2012 @ 9:06 am

  44. During the Obama years, people can’t AFFORD to take the bus or subway to go buy a piece of fruit.

    Comment by Elephant Stone (0ae97d) — 4/19/2012 @ 9:08 am

  45. Jd,

    I’m more interested in the question of why there would be food islands, and how white people are to blame. I live in a crack island. Can’t find any crack in my neighborhood. Gotta take the subway to the food island.

    Comment by j curtis (816b7b) — 4/19/2012 @ 9:09 am

  46. “Among this site’s posters the biggest problem we’ll have is people not voting for Romney, and this effectively giving Obama an assist.”

    Alex – Unless you are supporting Obama, propagating distorted Obama supporting memes in not helpful to anybody is the point. Are you supporting Obama?

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 4/19/2012 @ 9:22 am

  47. Someone should ask Obama if they could grow vegetables on the 10 foot strip of land he bought from Tony Rezko.

    Comment by Noodles (3681c4) — 4/19/2012 @ 9:23 am

  48. Alex – The more likely alternative could be you just don’t know WTF you are talking about.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 4/19/2012 @ 9:24 am

  49. 47: lol
    46: GOP supporter, thus Romney supporter

    Comment by Alex (31c567) — 4/19/2012 @ 9:40 am

  50. just deserts is what you get when you represent the US and you make sex with colombian hookers

    Comment by happyfeet (a55ba0) — 4/19/2012 @ 9:40 am

  51. Alex,

    I think the reason that a number of allegedly “conservative” voters will refuse to hold their nose and vote for Romney over Obama is because they believe that staying home and assisting an Obama victory will “prove” to the world just how much they dislike Obama’s left wing policies…or whatever.

    Comment by Elephant Stone (0ae97d) — 4/19/2012 @ 9:43 am

  52. 51: I think some are venting now, and will come around by Nov

    Comment by Alex (31c567) — 4/19/2012 @ 9:47 am

  53. “47: lol
    46: GOP supporter, thus Romney supporter”

    Alex – I couldn’t tell if you were dodging my specific response to your blather with your nonresponsive nonsense at #43 or talking to somebody else.

    If you were addressing me, my comments stand.

    If you were not, my apologies, you still need to explain the misinformation you put out at #38.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 4/19/2012 @ 9:48 am

  54. 53: you can’t tell if I was addressing you when I specifically mentioned your comment number?

    Ok, I’ll play (briefly!) what specifically is “misinformation” I “put out”?

    And my ask one question? Are you a Paul supporter?

    Comment by Alex (31c567) — 4/19/2012 @ 9:52 am

  55. I just don’t understand why Obama has waited three and a half years to address the chronic problem of inner city people being systematically denied fresh fruits and vegetables.

    If the Obamas KNEW this was such a crisis, why didn’t they speak up earlier ? He’s been spending so much time on the golf course, and on vacation, when he could have actually invested that time in helping inner city folks acquire access to healthy food.

    Comment by Elephant Stone (0ae97d) — 4/19/2012 @ 9:52 am

  56. Alex,

    You’re alright, man, you just have to understand that some of our fellow “conservatives” fantasize about voting for the “perfect conservative” that exists inside their heads, rather than for the flawed candidate who exists on the actual ballot.

    I know some of them will blather on for the next several months against Romney, yet will actually vote for Romney in November. But there are some who will blather on for the next several months against Romeny and NOT vote for Romney in November.

    They think another disastrous four years of Obama will elicit a conservative revolution, resulting in the second coming of Reagan, in 2016.

    I’m of the mindset that there’s too many people hurting in this economy, and we have to elect Romney over Obama in order to stop the bleeding.

    Romney’s not perfect, but he’s light years better than Obama.

    The Supreme Court nominees are much too important to defer to Obama. Left wing Supreme Court justices do not get voted out of office after four years—they serve for life.

    Comment by Elephant Stone (0ae97d) — 4/19/2012 @ 10:06 am

  57. “53: you can’t tell if I was addressing you when I specifically mentioned your comment number?

    Ok, I’ll play (briefly!) what specifically is “misinformation” I “put out”?”

    Alex – Sure, more playing on your part, referencing irrelevant comment numbers.

    Was your #43 addressing my #41? Is that specific enough, cupcake?

    I do not support Dr. Demento.

    Why do you support Obama?

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 4/19/2012 @ 10:10 am

  58. “Finally, to paraphrase iowahawk on Twitter: what’s more important? That Romney made millions of his own money by firing the people whose votes he now seeks in a laughably tone-deaf feat of revisionist appeal? Or that Obama has spent $5 trillion of ours?”

    - Patterico

    FTFY.

    Comment by Leviticus (91e44c) — 4/19/2012 @ 10:10 am

  59. Daleyrocks: …and we’re done.

    58: obviously the later is more important. But the former is a problem electability-wise, but Romney is the nominee, so work with it, is my point

    Comment by Alex (31c567) — 4/19/2012 @ 10:20 am

  60. “No-show” jobs are usually pretty expendable. Someone ought to investigate her work product.

    Comment by Kevin M (bf8ad7) — 4/19/2012 @ 10:22 am

  61. didn’t have a silver spoon

    Neither did George Romney, but Barack’s kids do. So, once you remove the spin and racism, really all Obama is saying is that Romney’s family had the silver spoon a generation earlier. BFD.

    Comment by Kevin M (bf8ad7) — 4/19/2012 @ 10:27 am

  62. Did somebody bring up not voting for Romney in this thread? That whole business seems to be a non-sequitor to talk of food deserts and the stray dog eating joke.

    Comment by SarahW (b0e533) — 4/19/2012 @ 10:30 am

  63. Regarding leviticus at 58:

    I use to get upset at such comments; they are childish and annoying. But now I am so enjoying them: the left knows that Obama is a dismal failure, and they can only campaign on such nonsense.

    per lev, the get rich plan (stolen from ??)

    1. Fire people
    2.
    3. Profit!!!!

    Comment by kinlaw (e4be12) — 4/19/2012 @ 10:31 am

  64. “Daleyrocks: …and we’re done.”

    Alex – Exactly, because trolls won’t defend their comments. We’ve seen you play this game before.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 4/19/2012 @ 10:32 am

  65. daley, if he’s a troll stop prodding him. If he isn’t, stop prodding him.

    Comment by Kevin M (bf8ad7) — 4/19/2012 @ 10:33 am

  66. kinlaw–

    The actual Obama plan (stolen from South Park’s “Underpants Gnomes“) is:

    1. Bury the economy in lawyers and red tape
    2. ???
    3. Recovery!

    Comment by Kevin M (bf8ad7) — 4/19/2012 @ 10:36 am

  67. “That Romney made millions of his own money by firing the people whose votes he now seeks in a laughably tone-deaf feat of revisionist appeal?”

    Leviticus – That is EXACTLY what Romney is doing according to the propaganda of the left.

    Please tell me that corporations controlled by Bain are the ONLY ONES IN AMERICA to have ever laid off employees and I might give a thought to debating your point.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 4/19/2012 @ 10:37 am

  68. TEH CAPITALISM IS TEH DEBBLE!!!!!!!

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 4/19/2012 @ 10:38 am

  69. He might have bought them from me. I had a stand at the Logan Square station. I would close it after the morning rush hour and take the subway to UIC and reopen it in the afternoon.

    Comment by nk (875f57) — 4/19/2012 @ 10:44 am

  70. It is problematic when the Whole Foods is across town ya know!

    Comment by Bill (af584e) — 4/19/2012 @ 11:01 am

  71. I heard Michele once had to tax the groceries out of the back of a cab. Do you know how problematic that is?

    Comment by Bill (af584e) — 4/19/2012 @ 11:04 am

  72. tax = take

    Comment by Bill (af584e) — 4/19/2012 @ 11:04 am

  73. Kevin M – Heh. You’re not the boss of me!

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 4/19/2012 @ 11:05 am

  74. I see “Alex” and “elephant stoner” are doing an encore version of “agree with me or you support Obama/Paul/paleocons”

    Comment by JD (3fc54b) — 4/19/2012 @ 11:06 am

  75. Didn’t they have a private chef?!

    Comment by JD (3fc54b) — 4/19/2012 @ 11:07 am

  76. Leviticus – Union retirement funds have been among the biggest investors in private equity funds so I am very much looking forward to the double standards and hypocrisy emerging on that front should the left continue its attacks on capitalism.

    To the left it apparently acceptable for a rich Democrat to run for president, see Kennedy, Kerry, Edwards and it does not much matter how there made their money. What is unacceptable is for a wealthy Republican to run for president.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 4/19/2012 @ 11:10 am

  77. I can’t relate to this. I’ve lived in the suburbs my whole life. The closest piece of fruit is 1.5 miles from my house and the closest bus stop is 1.2 miles away. A car trip or a good hour of walking is required to get any food at all.

    So what is the “real” problem? Urban dwellers without cars, or what?

    Because walking a block to the subway for a trip to go 2 stations to get to a store doesn’t seem like that big of a deal to me. Kind of convenient actually to have public transport close by. I would use it if I had it.

    Comment by Claire (9c059a) — 4/19/2012 @ 11:10 am

  78. “Didn’t they have a private chef?!”

    JD – See #34 above.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 4/19/2012 @ 11:11 am

  79. Comment by Elephant Stone — 4/19/2012 @ 9:52 am

    I just don’t understand why Obama has waited three and a half years to address the chronic problem of inner city people being systematically denied fresh fruits and vegetables.

    It takes years to work out a plan for gradually improving the situation.

    And you’ve got to make sure that the incentives go to the proper politically connected people.

    Otherwise some totally independent businessman might read the applications and rules and snap the tax credits.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBIc8J6d49U

    The really non-connected person had been accused in a story in a newspaper of being politically connected.

    If the Obamas KNEW this was such a crisis, why didn’t they speak up earlier ?

    They didn’t know. They learned only after he became President. Of course that doesn’t fit well with having experienced it himself.

    He’s been spending so much time on the golf course, and on vacation, when he could have actually invested that time in helping inner city folks acquire access to healthy food.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (2972ba) — 4/19/2012 @ 11:13 am

  80. The last line is a quote.

    Anyway, this crisis of course exists mostly as a lever to extract money from the government, in one way or another, although it’s possible Michelle Obama thinks it’s sort of real because there’s a lot of lobbyists saying it. Maybe not the standard lobbyists, but lobbyists.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (2972ba) — 4/19/2012 @ 11:19 am

  81. #72, Bill you had it right the first time. “And if you walk, [they'll] tax your feet.”

    Comment by Kevin M (bf8ad7) — 4/19/2012 @ 11:45 am

  82. #81, I know.

    #79, They did then they threw out the Korean families for charging too much for loosies.

    Comment by Bill (af584e) — 4/19/2012 @ 11:49 am

  83. And then there are those of us who could vote for Romney until the cows come home, but since we live in California, the biggest liberal sinkhole in the USA, it doesn’t matter if we were able to die and vote 100 times for Romney, it wouldn’t make a dent against the likely 66-33 swing for Obama in this state.

    Comment by David, infamous sockpuppet (725724) — 4/19/2012 @ 12:05 pm

  84. I think the post office laid off a few (thousand)people. Those greedy profit driven meanies.

    Comment by elissa (c244e5) — 4/19/2012 @ 12:06 pm

  85. Complete misunderstanding of what Obama was talking about, probably bad note taking. Obama was talking about how whenever he went on the subway or a bus, there was always a fruit getting fresh with him. Not supposed to be made public though, might cost him some gay votes.

    Comment by max (131bc0) — 4/19/2012 @ 12:32 pm

  86. So Mitt Romney was born with a silver spoon in his mouth because his dad worked hard and made something of himself, and paid Mitt’s way through college and law school.

    But Barry Obama, whose “typical white woman” granny worked hard and made something of herself, was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth, even though granny paid Barry’s tuition at the very expensive Honolulu private school Punahou, and left Barry an inheritance of Bank of Hawaii stock worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. (There’s also the fact that Barry, unlike Mitt Romney, had the benefit of racial preferences and Aff. Action programs to help him get into schools like Harvard, even though he didn’t have the grades or test scores to qualify otherwise).

    We should all be so fortunate to have led as “deprived” a life as that poor, underprivileged “everyman” Barry Obama.

    Comment by Observer (80418d) — 4/19/2012 @ 1:13 pm

  87. he wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his mouth.

    Equine Ephing Excreta. His mother felt no concerns about marrying a black man and having his child in an era when that was not only generally unacceptable but something that could get you (or at least him) lynched in some areas.

    You don’t do that when you’re living hand-to-mouth. The effects of such things on your life’s social circumstances are factored in much more heavily.

    Comment by IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States (8e2a3d) — 4/19/2012 @ 1:22 pm

  88. “I think the post office laid off a few (thousand)people. Those greedy profit driven meanies.”

    elissa – Why oh why can’t private sector companies run themselves like bloated benevolent unaccountable public sector bureaucracies?????????

    Capitalism is inhuman! The profit motive either needs to be removed or government backstops provided to insulate against efficient management.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 4/19/2012 @ 2:00 pm

  89. Comment by elissa — 4/19/2012 @ 12:06 pm

    Their plan is to reduce the employee roles from 550K to 330K!

    Good Luck with that.

    Comment by AD-RtR-OS! (b8ab92) — 4/19/2012 @ 2:09 pm

  90. In Los Angeles county, all you have to do is drive down a freeway off-ramp, or be alongside a median at a red light at a busy intersection, and you can buy fresh oranges from an unlicensed vendor for $5 a bag !

    (And sometimes they sell strawberries.)

    Comment by Elephant Stone (0ae97d) — 4/19/2012 @ 2:12 pm

  91. If they don’t sell it at Fwy off-ramps, it isn’t grown.

    Comment by AD-RtR-OS! (b8ab92) — 4/19/2012 @ 2:14 pm

  92. No, it’s not ok. Nor is it ok to point out that said 300k/annum job involved booting poor people into other hospitals.

    Hater.

    Comment by mojo (8096f2) — 4/19/2012 @ 2:29 pm

  93. Comment by Ipso Fatso — 4/19/2012 @ 8:19 am

    SF: Anyway, doesn’t Chicago have more Els

    Sammy, not sure what you mean. The “El” is the subway or commuter rail system for the entire city and has a number of different lines or branches: red, blue, brown, etc that cover various parts of the city.

    In New York, we refer to an “El” as a purely elevated line. All of the old els were torn down . the last was the Third Avenue El. In 1954 exceot the part in the Bronx above 149 Street lasted until 1974 or 1975. It was part of the whole system, but an “El” is an entire line taht was elevated.

    Parts of the system actually are incorporated into the current lines, and a good portion of the subway system is elevated, or open cut, especially in the outlying areas.

    I am sure BO used the El when he was in Chicago but if he is referring to him having to use it just to get fruit while living in Chicago–that is an outright fabrication. There area plenty of places in his neighborhood where he could shop locally. That I swhy I am wondering where he was referring to. Now some enterprising reporter could ask him….oh sorry they are all Democrat operatives so that won’t happen!!!!!

    This didn’t come directly from BO. It’s from the Housing and Urban Development Secretary, Shaun Donovan.

    He said he knows what “it’s like to take a subway or a bus just to find a fresh piece of fruit in a grocery store,”

    Further deponent sayeth not.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 4/19/2012 @ 2:30 pm

  94. I think Obama wants to eliminate Saturday mail delivery. It’s part of his budget cutting ideas.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 4/19/2012 @ 2:32 pm

  95. “To the left it apparently acceptable for a rich Democrat to run for president, see Kennedy, Kerry, Edwards and it does not much matter how there made their money. What is unacceptable is for a wealthy Republican to run for president.”

    - daleyrocks

    Yeah, because to the right it was totally out of bounds to harp on the fact that Edwards made his fortune as an ambulance chaser, or that Kerry married into a massive fortune. Nobody on the right ever b*tched about that, right?

    Either way, it did bother a lot of people on the left that Kerry was a super-rich dude, and that Edwards whined about “Two Americas” from a 28,000 square foot mega-mansion. And that Bush walked into a family fortune tow which he made no (positive) contribution. Etc. A lot of people on the left don’t like the idea that so many of our presidents seem too rich to share the interests of the people they’re supposed to represent.

    Comment by Leviticus (870be5) — 4/19/2012 @ 3:04 pm

  96. our SCOAMF may have had to take the train to buy fresh fruit, but, lucky for him, fresh dog meat was running around the neighborhood just waiting to be caught.

    Comment by redc1c4 (403dff) — 4/19/2012 @ 3:05 pm

  97. Leviticus, Romney did not make money by firing people. People who have been fired are not shaken for spare change as they are tossed out the door. There is no profit in layoffs.

    Romney made money by taking failing businesses and improving their cash flow/structure/business model until they became profitable.

    By doing so, he ensured that the rest of the employees had jobs.

    Comment by SPQR (26be8b) — 4/19/2012 @ 3:16 pm

  98. The fact is, Edwards was a total hypocrite, in moral and fiscal terms, he had the largest house in the county, then he prattled on about poverty, and then went to work for a hedge fund that profited from distressed properties in the 9th Ward, and Kerry doesn’t even pay his own sales tax on his boat, while urging higher taxes for all.

    Comment by narciso (8d0f34) — 4/19/2012 @ 3:27 pm

  99. There is no profit in layoffs. Really.

    Is there profit in outsourcing? Does outsourcing entail layoffs? Is this a fairly standard “improved business model,” generally speaking?

    What do you mean by “the rest of the employees,” by the way?

    Comment by Leviticus (870be5) — 4/19/2012 @ 3:27 pm

  100. “Either way, it did bother a lot of people on the left that Kerry was a super-rich dude, and that Edwards whined about “Two Americas” from a 28,000 square foot mega-mansion.”

    Leviticus – Can you point to some of these people who were bothered please or people who were bothered by Kennedy’s wealth please?

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 4/19/2012 @ 3:48 pm

  101. “A lot of people on the left don’t like the idea that so many of our presidents seem too rich to share the interests of the people they’re supposed to represent.”

    Leviticus – You have any links to New York times editorials or op ed hit pieces about how out of touch Kerry, Edwards or Kennedy were because of their wealth?

    Just askin’.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 4/19/2012 @ 3:53 pm

  102. “There is no profit in layoffs. Really.”

    Leviticus – Maybe you lay out your understanding of how somebody makes money from layoffs and why you believe that is a bad thing?

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 4/19/2012 @ 3:59 pm

  103. “You have any links to New York times editorials or op ed hit pieces about how out of touch Kerry, Edwards or Kennedy were because of their wealth?”

    - daleyrocks

    Is that dispositive? Contrary to what you might think, the op-ed page of the New York Times doesn’t do all liberals’ thinking for them anymore than Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity do the thinking for all conservatives.

    There are a lot of liberals in my family. A lot of them view Kerry and Edwards as self-righteous hypocrites. I’ve ripping Kerry for years on this blog.

    Comment by Leviticus (870be5) — 4/19/2012 @ 4:06 pm

  104. “Maybe you lay out your understanding of how somebody makes money from layoffs and why you believe that is a bad thing?”

    - daleyrocks

    Big Bad Corporation Corp. is paying a union labor force X dollars a head do Job Y. Big Bad Corporation Corp. is losing money, or wants a better profit margin. This is achieved by decreasing labor costs. Big Bad Corporation Corp. outsources Job Y to Cambodia, where they can pay a decidedly non-union labor force 0.025X a head for Job Y. Big Bad Corporation Corp. turns lower labor costs into higher profits.

    It’s a bad thing because the poor Cambodian S.O.B. working for O.025X doesn’t have collective bargaining rights under the NLRA, and because the lack of a manufacturing base turns the U.S. economy into a shell game where the only way anyone makes any money is by gambling on contingencies or working in the service sector.

    Comment by Leviticus (870be5) — 4/19/2012 @ 4:16 pm

  105. Some did better, Staples, Dominos, Sealy Posturepedic, than others like Ampad, and GSI.
    what is the puzzler Leviticus, is how much worse does Obama have to be, before you give up on him.

    Comment by narciso (8d0f34) — 4/19/2012 @ 4:23 pm

  106. It seems rather obvious how you can buy a company, restructure it but not actually set it up for the long haul, and then liquidate it for tons of money.

    Do educated people seriously not understand this? You should have come across this information in high school.

    There’s a good argument that returning that money to the economy, to be invested again, is healthy. I agree with that in most cases. But it’s not the same thing as executing a turnaround.

    Romney’s problem is he sold himself as the jobs guy, taking credit for things like Staples that would have been fine without the minor involvement with Bain. So now any honest person will have to give Romney equal credit for the tangential downsides too.

    Which isn’t going to happen these days. Most folks are too partisan.

    Ill be delighted to vote against Obama anyway. I disagree too much with this admin’s direction. But I don’t think a politician who is bold and honest about our problems and what must be done to fix them has a chance of being nominated or elected in this country. That’s not Romney’s fault. We had a choice.

    Comment by Dustin (330eed) — 4/19/2012 @ 4:25 pm

  107. While I would hardly want either one to become a martyr, it would seem singularly appropo if some homeless, starving bag lady stabbed one or both of them to death with a sharpened silver spoon sometime in the next month or so…

    It would certainly go a long ways towards proving that there IS Justice in the universe.

    I mean, anytime anyone would shout “TANJ!!” you could sort of wave your hands in a pointing manner and go, “Hey…. Obama!!” and they’d do a double take, shrug, and sigh, “Yeah, you’re right. There is.”

    Jus’ sayin’…

    Comment by IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States (8e2a3d) — 4/19/2012 @ 4:35 pm

  108. “There are a lot of liberals in my family.”

    Leviticus – Is that dispositive?

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 4/19/2012 @ 4:46 pm

  109. Does being at Sharpton’s conference, make people more stupid by osmosis, Ogletree, Holder et al

    Nawww, I think that’s more a matter of stupidity by association. Some people just collect idiots like lint on a black silk blouse.

    I think the good Secretary is full of dog poo-poo

    Ahhh, horse or bull poo-poo I can see. But wouldn’t you have to be able to keep a dog around to have him poop?

    They only dreamed up the idea of fruit deserts a few years ago

    I believe it to be remarkably obvious that the issue with obesity is not too many food deserts, but too many food desserts.

    This seems amaaaaaazingly “DUH”.

    She used census tracts to define neighborhoods because they tend to have economically homogeneous populations. Poor neighborhoods, Dr. Lee found, had nearly twice as many fast food restaurants and convenience stores as wealthier ones, and they had more than three times as many corner stores per square mile. But they also had nearly twice as many supermarkets and large-scale grocers per square mile. Her study, financed by the institute, was published in the March issue of Social Science and Medicine.

    Gosh, where land prices are cheaper, and commercial zoning more common among poor areas as opposed to “rich” neighborhoods, one finds MORE stores and restaurants?

    =========================
    Freakin’ A WOW, Whoodathunkit?!?!?
    =========================

    Comment by IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States (8e2a3d) — 4/19/2012 @ 4:49 pm

  110. “Is it true that your son was out and about that night searching for a tasty and nutritious piece of fruit?”

    “No I think he was out for skittles.”

    “So he was craving the taste of fruit in candy form is that what you mean?”

    “Um. Sure.”

    “We’re so sorry for your loss.”

    Comment by happyfeet (a55ba0) — 4/19/2012 @ 4:55 pm

  111. Leviticus

    One at time:

    Big Bad Corporation Corp. turns lower labor costs into higher profits.

    Higher profits sounds like a good thing to me. It’s too bad our dumb tax policy has disincentives for U.S. companies which earn them overseas from bringing the money back to the U.S. Why do you see higher profits as a bad thing?

    It’s a bad thing because the poor Cambodian S.O.B. working for O.025X doesn’t have collective bargaining rights under the NLRA

    Wait, your argument is that U.S. companies are supposed to impose U.S. labor rules in foreign countries? How does that work? If the Cambodian employee does not want to work under the conditions offered aren’t they free to choose not to?

    the lack of a manufacturing base turns the U.S. economy into a shell game where the only way anyone makes any money is by gambling on contingencies or working in the service sector.

    Is this a serious argument? We need the government to force companies to lose money operating in the U.S. in order to maintain a manufacturing base? Are you suggesting nationalization? Subsidies? WTF?

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 4/19/2012 @ 4:58 pm

  112. It’s a bad thing because the poor Cambodian S.O.B. working for O.025X doesn’t have collective bargaining rights under the NLRA

    Leviticus,

    Have you read famed arch-conservative Nicholas Kristof on the benefits of sweatshops overseas? If not, it’s worth looking into. Here is a typical column, written in Cambodia. I will quote more extensively than I normally do because I think it’s important for you to see this:

    Before Barack Obama and his team act on their talk about “labor standards,” I’d like to offer them a tour of the vast garbage dump here in Phnom Penh.

    . . . .

    Mr. Obama and the Democrats who favor labor standards in trade agreements mean well, for they intend to fight back at oppressive sweatshops abroad. But while it shocks Americans to hear it, the central challenge in the poorest countries is not that sweatshops exploit too many people, but that they don’t exploit enough.

    Talk to these families in the dump, and a job in a sweatshop is a cherished dream, an escalator out of poverty, the kind of gauzy if probably unrealistic ambition that parents everywhere often have for their children.

    “I’d love to get a job in a factory,” said Pim Srey Rath, a 19-year-old woman scavenging for plastic. “At least that work is in the shade. Here is where it’s hot.”

    . . . .

    Cambodia has, in fact, pursued an interesting experiment by working with factories to establish decent labor standards and wages. It’s a worthwhile idea, but one result of paying above-market wages is that those in charge of hiring often demand bribes — sometimes a month’s salary — in exchange for a job. In addition, these standards add to production costs, so some factories have closed because of the global economic crisis and the difficulty of competing internationally.

    The best way to help people in the poorest countries isn’t to campaign against sweatshops but to promote manufacturing there.

    . . . .

    Look, I know that Americans have a hard time accepting that sweatshops can help people. But take it from 13-year-old Neuo Chanthou, who earns a bit less than $1 a day scavenging in the dump. She’s wearing a “Playboy” shirt and hat that she found amid the filth, and she worries about her sister, who lost part of her hand when a garbage truck ran over her.

    “It’s dirty, hot and smelly here,” she said wistfully. “A factory is better.”

    This is not a one-column fling for Kristof. He has written about how sweatshops have saved young girls from lives worse than scavenging in the dump — namely lives of prostitution.

    He bases his views on years of living in East Asia.

    You owe it to yourself to acquaint yourself with Kristof’s writings on this subject if you haven’t read them before.

    Comment by Patterico (feda6b) — 4/19/2012 @ 5:07 pm

  113. young prole bows to State
    what money for anyway
    long live Dear Leader!

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (1878e8) — 4/19/2012 @ 5:07 pm

  114. It seems rather obvious how you can buy a company, restructure it but not actually set it up for the long haul, and then liquidate it for tons of money.

    Do educated people seriously not understand this? You should have come across this information in high school.

    Yes, there are actually people who specialize in acquiring and liquidating companies, they are generally not called private equity firms. You see them called in by bankruptcy trustees all the time to liquidate the estates of debtor corporations.

    Earlier in the thread I pointed out that private equity firms evaluate acquisition opportunities essentially no differently than other corporations and in fact compete with those corporations for the opportunities. Continued uninformed stereotyping of the industry leads to unfortunate attacks on capitalism served up by the Gingrich campaign.

    Perhaps people can point out the one significant difference between the way private equity firms and other corporations manage acquisitions, since they are both in business to make a profit.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 4/19/2012 @ 5:07 pm

  115. sometimes funny how
    small gulf is between hardcore
    Left and some “real” Cons

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (1878e8) — 4/19/2012 @ 5:16 pm

  116. the lack of a manufacturing base turns the U.S. economy into a shell game where the only way anyone makes any money is by gambling on contingencies or working in the service sector.

    Leviticus – Are you suggesting there is a way to mandate U.S. workers accept lower pay and benefits in order to maintain a manufacturing base in the United States? I would be interested in hearing that proposal.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 4/19/2012 @ 5:17 pm

  117. Revolution® will
    provide all you need to live
    life to the fullest!

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (1878e8) — 4/19/2012 @ 5:22 pm

  118. Young pups ain’t seen steel industry disappear overseas from Lake Michigan shoreline in 1980s.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 4/19/2012 @ 5:23 pm

  119. Patterico,

    As a prosecutor, you understand how overwhelmingly important the question of intent is in any analysis of culpability. These companies aren’t doing what they’re doing to make a better life for the children they employ in their sweatshops. If they were, they wouldn’t be lowballing them to the extreme extent that they do. They could still increase their profit margins, without exploiting the deplorable standard of living and the kids who don’t know any better. Pay $2.50 an hour, instead of $0.25. It would make the kids lives ten times better, and would still cost you 1/4 of what the same work would cost you in the US. I think Kristol’s argument is a red herring. If we want to improve the lives of kids in Phnom Penh, there are far better ways to do it than offering them the opportunity to spend their childhood stitching Reeboks for a few cents an hour.

    daleyrocks,

    I think you’d be surprised at what US labor would be willing to give up to maintain a manufacturing sector in the US. They call it “givebacks.” It happens all the time.

    Comment by Leviticus (870be5) — 4/19/2012 @ 5:37 pm

  120. Comment by Patterico — 4/19/2012 @ 5:07 pm

    I think that is mostly correct. I do feel companies like Nike have a moral obligation to make sure that their staff is not being filled with children or being mistreated (which has been reported many times in the past).

    Comment by Noodles (3681c4) — 4/19/2012 @ 5:39 pm

  121. *Kristof. My bad.

    Comment by Leviticus (870be5) — 4/19/2012 @ 5:39 pm

  122. unions are to manufacturing what colombian hookers are to your secret service career

    Comment by happyfeet (3c92a1) — 4/19/2012 @ 5:40 pm

  123. As a prosecutor, you understand how overwhelmingly important the question of intent is in any analysis of culpability. These companies aren’t doing what they’re doing to make a better life for the children they employ in their sweatshops. If they were, they wouldn’t be lowballing them to the extreme extent that they do. They could still increase their profit margins, without exploiting the deplorable standard of living and the kids who don’t know any better. Pay $2.50 an hour, instead of $0.25.

    This argument is addressed in the column that I’m guessing you didn’t read, because, well, it’s addressed there.

    This is one of those times I’m not really looking to debate. I’m trying to educate you. I don’t mean to sound supercilious but the fact is that someone like Kristof has thought about this a LOT more than you have and you owe it to yourself and the topic to search out his work on this.

    Comment by Patterico (feda6b) — 4/19/2012 @ 5:42 pm

  124. “I think you’d be surprised at what US labor would be willing to give up to maintain a manufacturing sector in the US. They call it “givebacks.” It happens all the time.”

    Leviticus – Since U.S. labor has been content to sit idly by while jobs have flown the coop overseas, I eagerly await your proposal.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 4/19/2012 @ 5:44 pm

  125. I did read it. Do you expect me to take seriously the argument that US companies should mandate higher wages in their over-seas factories because a corrupt foreman might demand a bribe in order to allow access to such an appealing job? That’s a terrible argument.

    Also, it doesn’t strike me from that piece that Kristof is arguing that there’s any noble intention in US corporate outsourcing. He’s arguing that it might have a positive effect on some of these kids’ lives, but he’s not arguing that these manufacturers are interested in anything but the bottom line.

    Comment by Leviticus (870be5) — 4/19/2012 @ 5:50 pm

  126. *shouldn’t* mandate higher wages. dammit.

    Comment by Leviticus (870be5) — 4/19/2012 @ 5:51 pm

  127. What I’m arguing is, the intent behind outsourcing is increasing profit margins, full-stop. I didn’t know that that was such a controversial claim.

    Comment by Leviticus (870be5) — 4/19/2012 @ 5:53 pm

  128. I’m not really arguing anything, I just think that NIKE hasn’t always made sure the people running these factories are of the best character.

    Comment by Noodles (3681c4) — 4/19/2012 @ 5:57 pm

  129. Question: How many American companies began outsourcing production, customer service, and IT support work abroad (very reluctantly, I might add) because they could not rely on their unionized workers to be there to fulfill contracts and serve customer needs?

    Answer: Lots of American companies did that after years of rolling strikes, walk outs, and unreasonable intentional work slowdowns caused hardship to paying customers through the companies’ failure/inability to meet deadlines on deliverables.

    Question: Who is at fault for the outsourcing and the loss of American jobs?

    Comment by elissa (85e826) — 4/19/2012 @ 5:59 pm

  130. We are. Our desire for cheap Chinese plastic sh*t shouted down our intuitive understanding that work should have dignity.

    Comment by Leviticus (870be5) — 4/19/2012 @ 6:02 pm

  131. And increasing profit margins are bad?? Why exactly???

    Comment by shipwreckedcrew (4ae072) — 4/19/2012 @ 6:03 pm

  132. “Work should have dignity”??? Really???

    I thought work was valuable because it provided me a basis to sustain myself and my family, dignity or indignity.

    You crack me up.

    Comment by shipwreckedcrew (4ae072) — 4/19/2012 @ 6:04 pm

  133. “Our” intuitive understanding??

    You got a frog in your pocket?

    Comment by shipwreckedcrew (4ae072) — 4/19/2012 @ 6:05 pm

  134. “And increasing profit margins are bad?? Why exactly???”

    - shipwreckedcrew

    Because they’re built on the exploitation of child labor.

    Comment by Leviticus (870be5) — 4/19/2012 @ 6:13 pm

  135. Not always, obviously, but I never said that increasing profit margins are inherently bad; it’s a “last temptation is the greatest treason” type of thing.

    Comment by Leviticus (870be5) — 4/19/2012 @ 6:14 pm

  136. Leviticus,

    Do you think “lesser” of nations that allow for child labor ?

    For instance, do you perceive Cambodia to be a less moral society because they allow for child labor ?

    Comment by Elephant Stone (0ae97d) — 4/19/2012 @ 6:23 pm

  137. Leviticus, work always has dignity. Its just that Americans have rather ridiculous expectations for what is suitable work these days.

    Comment by SPQR (26be8b) — 4/19/2012 @ 6:25 pm

  138. if we want work to have dignity we should start with the colombian hookers I think

    Comment by happyfeet (3c92a1) — 4/19/2012 @ 6:26 pm

  139. It’s a bad thing because the poor Cambodian S.O.B. working for O.025X doesn’t have collective bargaining rights under the NLRA

    This is the one and only statement I am taking issue with.

    I don’t care about intent.

    I don’t care about your opinion that an argument is “terrible” if it contrasts with reality.

    I care about reality and what makes things better for people.

    And how lazy assumptions about what companies should do could lead to people’s actual lives being worse.

    Comment by Patterico (feda6b) — 4/19/2012 @ 6:28 pm

  140. seems the thread got hijacked a bit. Are we importing fresh fruit from China now?

    Comment by Kevin M (bf8ad7) — 4/19/2012 @ 6:28 pm

  141. Our desire for cheap Chinese plastic sh*t shouted down our intuitive understanding that work should have dignity.

    Work is just that. And because it’s work, there is worth and dignity by default.

    My Jewish grandmother started working in a button factory in the Bronx at age 10. When we asked her about it later in her life, and inquired whether she hated the job, was upset she had to do such a job, and whether she wished she could have just been a kid, we were given a very brusque lesson in survival. There wasn’t the luxury to consider those things: people were depending on her to bring home money to put food on the table. And if working in a button factory in the NY slums of the early part of the century was what it took, then everyone gratefully did their job.

    Dignity untold.

    Comment by Dana (4eca6e) — 4/19/2012 @ 6:31 pm

  142. One of my earliest memories is holding a burlap bag while my father cleaned out our horse barn. At age seven I was raising 30 lambs on a mountainside with my brother who was then five and half. Just the two of us, sometimes just me. At age fifteen, I had a forty-hour a week (after school and weekend) job at a gas station at $1.25 an hour. The boss lent me his .32 for when I was there alone at night.

    My mother used to say, “There is no shame in work”.

    Comment by nk (875f57) — 4/19/2012 @ 6:41 pm

  143. Tommy’s still clueless after all these years

    http://www.mediaite.com/online/mitt-romneys-obama-isnt-working-banner-evokes-racial-stereotypes/

    Comment by narciso (8d0f34) — 4/19/2012 @ 6:44 pm

  144. It’s a bad thing because the poor Cambodian S.O.B. working for O.025X doesn’t have collective bargaining rights under the NLRA

    This is such a limited view of the world at large, especially with regard to other cultures whose history of work and survival are almost diametrically opposed to our modern luxurious lives in the West. Perhaps that is the disconnect – lack of time spent outside of our country where labor unions hold states and taxpayers hostage, creating a different kind of poverty.

    Comment by Dana (4eca6e) — 4/19/2012 @ 6:48 pm

  145. “I care about reality and what makes things better for people.”

    - Patterico

    Good. I guess just we disagree on whether or not we have to internalize a false dichotomy to satisfy that objective.

    Comment by Leviticus (870be5) — 4/19/2012 @ 6:54 pm

  146. I’m very grateful to one union, the Teamsters, who tripled my parents’ wages, got them wonderful health benefits, and a decent pension. (It was the same local that raided the pension fund to fund that Casino in Vegas. The guy who did it was killed half a mile from my law office. The guy who killed him was buried alive. Karma.)

    Comment by nk (875f57) — 4/19/2012 @ 6:56 pm

  147. There is no shame in work. I understand that. I agree with that.

    There is (or at least ought to be) a great deal shame in the exploitation of desperation. That’s the point I’m trying to make – not that do-or-die sweatshop work is to the Cambodian kid’s shame, but to his employer’s.

    Comment by Leviticus (870be5) — 4/19/2012 @ 6:57 pm

  148. nk,

    My family comes from a similar background and philosophy. We think work is a good thing and leads to more fulfillment in life, not less. When he was 8 years old, my father began driving his younger siblings to school each day — because that’s when he grew tall enough to reach the pedals and (with a little help from the Sears Roebuck catalog) the steering wheel. In addition, my father and his brother cared for most of the family’s livestock from a young age and their sisters cared for the chickens and helped with the cooking and cleaning. Today, they’re all in their 80s and 90s and still take care of themselves and their homes without assistance.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 4/19/2012 @ 6:58 pm

  149. “internalize a false dichotomy”

    So that’s the polite way of describing that unmentionable act of self-abuse…

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (1878e8) — 4/19/2012 @ 6:59 pm

  150. Well, certainly there is so much dignity in removing employment from the third world so that they can return to utter impoverishment like the Progressives think they deserve.

    I’m sure glad that I’m the “racist” …

    Comment by SPQR (26be8b) — 4/19/2012 @ 7:04 pm

  151. Dorfman and Spilotro, or as it was in the film, Stone and Santoro, the union boss of the town where I grew up, was one of the last to see Hoffa alive, I didn’t know this till I read Moldea.

    Comment by narciso (8d0f34) — 4/19/2012 @ 7:05 pm

  152. Levi,
    Except that if you take away the sweat shops, those kids go to work in brothels. Maybe it’s just me, but I’d rather little boys sew sneakers than blowing European business men.

    They work in those shops because they need the money. Take away the sweat shops, and they’re blowing guys for money.

    Comment by Ghost (6f9de7) — 4/19/2012 @ 7:07 pm

  153. The way that you end child labor is that you make a society wealthy enough that they can afford to keep their children in education longer.

    You don’t do it by putting up barriers to that society finding ways to earn foreign exchange.

    Comment by SPQR (26be8b) — 4/19/2012 @ 7:15 pm

  154. Leviticus,

    Do you think “lesser” of nations for allowing for child labor ?

    Do you think less of Cambodia for allowing for child labor ?

    Comment by Elephant Stone (0ae97d) — 4/19/2012 @ 7:16 pm

  155. Teh Ant was biggest
    piece of crook excrement that
    fertilized corn field

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (1878e8) — 4/19/2012 @ 7:16 pm

  156. Isn’t it terrible how our economy crumbled after we passed the Fair Labor Standards Act? If only we’d been able to keep all those children in the workforce, maybe they wouldn’t have had to spend the ’40s and ’50s blowing European businessmen to feed their families.

    I stand by what I said before: if these companies paid these kids’ parents even a decent wage, these kids wouldn’t have to work at all. They could get that education that SPQR is talking about. And these companies would still be dealing with far lower labor costs than they’d be dealing with in the US.

    Comment by Leviticus (870be5) — 4/19/2012 @ 7:29 pm

  157. Why isn’t that feasible? Why can’t these companies pay $2.00 an hour instead of $0.20? It’s still way less than the $10.00 an hour they were paying in the US prior to outsourcing the work, and it would make a huge difference in these lives and economies.

    Comment by Leviticus (870be5) — 4/19/2012 @ 7:32 pm

  158. Leviticus,

    You appear to be avoiding answering the question, Sir.

    Do you think “lesser” of Cambodia for allowing for child labor in their own country ?

    It’s a polite question.

    Comment by Elephant Stone (0ae97d) — 4/19/2012 @ 7:35 pm

  159. they should pay $2 plus provide health insurance cause of it’s a human right and also they are not doing enough to fight childhood obesitah as M’chelle would say let’s move!

    Comment by happyfeet (3c92a1) — 4/19/2012 @ 7:38 pm

  160. It’s not a false dichotomy, Leviticus. We are not gods and we don’t watch sparrows fall and people are not our children who need us to cherish them.

    Tell me what you want. Pretend I am your personal genie and ask me to grant your wish that everybody in the world had eternal life, eternal youth, eternal health, and eternal happiness. Is that it?

    Life is pain, Leviticus. It is struggle and frustration. It is joy. In a kiss, a cup of coffee, a hug. It will end and the universe will not care because it knew that from the beginning.

    I want to live, too. I want to clothe my daughter. Should I mail a check to the Child Slave Labor Welfare Fund because I don’t think that Gap charged me enough?

    Comment by nk (875f57) — 4/19/2012 @ 7:38 pm

  161. It’s a hard question, Elephant Stone, and I’m sorry for skirting it.

    I suppose I do at an irrational level, just as a gut-reaction. At a more rational level, I would like to think that the only reason these countries haven’t banned child labor is that they think/realize that child labor is a necessity for familial survival under the current economic regime.

    Either way, I don’t blame these countries for implicitly acknowledging their desperate situation nearly as much as I blame outsourcing companies for exploiting it.

    Comment by Leviticus (870be5) — 4/19/2012 @ 7:42 pm

  162. He flew across the globe to eat dog.

    Comment by AZ Bob (1c9631) — 4/19/2012 @ 7:43 pm

  163. #157 Can’t afford to pay more than going wages. Corporations need to pay exorbitant endorsement fees to the oppressed black stars. To wit, I recall at one time time Michael Jordan’s endorsement deal with Nike paid HIM more than the combined slave wages to the people who actually made his POS shoes, which incidentally people go ape over.
    Of course you have morons like O’Reilly on the right upset because oil corporations have an 8% profit margin and who thinks price controls are the answer. Those American Oil Companies actually pay american workers a living wage and the feds and states get more in taxes than the businesses get in profits. Why not tax the hell out of very high profit margin Apple? I think they make 40% profit AND much of their work is done overseas. Meanwhile ten years ago the leftards in Congress complained it would take ten years to bring ANWAR oil to market. Also great that American companies cannot seek oil in Straits of Fla. but fine for Chinese and Cubans to do so. Or how about the Chosen One giving Brazil money to seek oil in Caribbean . Yes, Petrobas need to make a profit so Obama’s pal Soros can make even more money.
    And of course why can’t everyone be guaranteed say a stipend of $40k annually plus free health care, free education and maybe a free Escalade, which would be helpful to the UAW and Detroit City?….I am looking for the OWS crowd vote. Or better yet, have the FED print enough greenbacks to make us all millionaires?

    Comment by Calypso Louis Farrakhan (d32e4c) — 4/19/2012 @ 7:44 pm

  164. Leviticus,

    I think we need to distinguish between child labor in underdeveloped countries and countries like America. In today’s highly regulated environment, child labor laws may be counterproductive in developed countries because letting kids work isn’t a bad thing. However, raising wages by $2.00/hour will price kids out of the labor market.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 4/19/2012 @ 7:46 pm

  165. “Pretend I am your personal genie and ask me to grant your wish…”

    - nk

    Okay. I wish that these companies, having outsourced manufacturing jobs paying $8.00 – $10.00 an hour, would pay their new employees $1.60 – $2.00 an hour instead of $0.16 – $0.20 an hour, or whatever wage they would have to pay to keep kids from having to work in sweatshops so that their families wouldn’t starve.

    They could still increase their profits, even.

    Comment by Leviticus (870be5) — 4/19/2012 @ 7:46 pm

  166. Why isn’t that feasible? Why can’t these companies pay $2.00 an hour instead of $0.20? It’s still way less than the $10.00 an hour they were paying in the US prior to outsourcing the work, and it would make a huge difference in these lives and economies.

    Good Allah.

    Comment by JD (3fc54b) — 4/19/2012 @ 7:49 pm

  167. As for overseas manufacturing, can you see any problems if one manufacturer or one country priced themselves out of the market by unilaterally raising wages? Have you included transportation and distribution costs when you compare U.S. and overseas manufacturing?

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 4/19/2012 @ 7:50 pm

  168. DRJ,

    I think that’s a fine distinction and a fine point and I have no problem with the Wisconsin/Maine proposals in that article; of course, the countries I’m talking about are certainly not “highly regulated.”

    Comment by Leviticus (870be5) — 4/19/2012 @ 7:50 pm

  169. FWIW, I heard it claimed decades ago that people in inner city neighborhoods had poor nutrition because of a lack of appropriate foods in local stores. I guess I did not object to the idea too strongly back in the day, but neither did I think much about it, either.

    I think poor nutrition results from liking the taste of things with lots of sugar, fat, salt, or all of the above. I think childhood obesity is a problem because of…wait for it…a truly astounding insight… because of the manifold ways children of today can entertain themselves without getting up from a chair.

    If there is an answer for childhood obesity, it is probably in Wii and Kinect systems.

    Comment by MD in Philly (3d3f72) — 4/19/2012 @ 7:51 pm

  170. Camel hair anchor ropes and eyes of needles …?

    Comment by nk (875f57) — 4/19/2012 @ 7:52 pm

  171. “As for overseas manufacturing, can you see any problems if one manufacturer or one country priced themselves out of the market by unilaterally raising wages?”

    - DRJ

    I think that problem could be avoided by a Congressional requirement that any US company seeking to outsource manufacturing jobs had to respect certain minimum wage requirements abroad, maybe tied to local cost of living.

    Comment by Leviticus (870be5) — 4/19/2012 @ 7:52 pm

  172. And (DRJ) I have been keeping the issue of transportation/distribution costs in mind. I don’t think it changes the basic nature of the argument.

    Comment by Leviticus (870be5) — 4/19/2012 @ 7:54 pm

  173. I wonder if the impact of our starchy diets on insulin levels could play a role, too, MD.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 4/19/2012 @ 7:54 pm

  174. I think that problem could be avoided by a Congressional requirement that any US company seeking to outsource manufacturing jobs had to respect certain minimum wage requirements abroad, maybe tied to local cost of living.

    So instead of impacting individual manufacturers, you want to put all American companies at a disadvantage?

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 4/19/2012 @ 7:56 pm

  175. Narciso, NK, and others–It gives me the creeps to see how utterly romanticized and pure labor unions seem to be in the minds and writings of so many youngish liberals. “Collective bargaining” is sacrosanct to these people without many of them even understanding what it is. Unions are like gentle Rockwell paintings to them. They’ve learned in school about the good–about child labor laws and the 40 hour work week which was undeniably helped along by union activity decades ago. But they seem clueless about the embedded criminal and mob element in nearly every union hierarchy in every big city in America. They seem blind to the corruption that has been going on since the fifties and the terrible waste and misuse of the mandatory union dues that are taken from struggling workers’ paychecks– and then converted to cars, trips, houses, and other perks for the union bigs instead of into the workers’ pension funds. They refuse to see the violence on picket lines and the sabotage against both “scabs” and company property. They can’t grasp how much labor union demands and union malfeasance over the years have cumulatively contributed to the bankruptcy of companies, to entire industries moving abroad, and to the terrible loss of middle class American jobs.

    Comment by elissa (85e826) — 4/19/2012 @ 7:57 pm

  176. Where I’m at, MD, the most successful local stores are fresh markets. Poor people want value. And chocolate, so there is a sideline for packaged foods. But the vegetable, fresh bread, and meat counters are two thirds of the store.

    Comment by nk (875f57) — 4/19/2012 @ 7:57 pm

  177. “So instead of impacting individual manufacturers, you want to put all American companies at a disadvantage?”

    - DRJ

    Only an economic disadvantage. It would seem to be the right thing to do, given the alternatives we’ve discussed so far.

    Comment by Leviticus (870be5) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:01 pm

  178. Regulations R Us

    Comment by elissa (85e826) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:03 pm

  179. elissa,

    I see the good and the bad. There are union unfair labor practices for a reason – Taft-Hartley was a good thing, in that regard. I don’t support the Card Check provisions of the EFCA because I realize that union organizers can be just as coercive and corrupt as employers, if not more so.

    On the other hand, what I’ve been (mostly) been talking about on this thread is simple wage increases. I don’t think that issue is as complicated as people would like to make it.

    That could just be naivete talking.

    Comment by Leviticus (870be5) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:06 pm

  180. Things can be complicated. When we were in Costa Rica years ago for language school, we had a part-time maid. She was a lovely woman, a refugee from Nicaragua. She loved our 1 year old as if he was her own grandson. We were told that to pay her “too much” night not be kind in the long run, as she would probably not find another employer in the future that would be as generous as we were. In one way I wasn’t inclined to do my personal business dealing with the view toward some economic meta-narrative; but I could see the point that if our Empleada thought she was going to have a new long term increase in status of living because of our being generous for 3 months, our “kindness” might not be so kind. That is the complicating thing in lots of life. If you think you are being kind to a child by not disciplining too harshly, maybe you’re being kind, or maybe you’re contributing to a spoiled narcissist who will grow up with problems.

    So, we were on the higher end of the pay scale, but nothing exceptional. Then she gave us a parting gift of a Costa Rican landscape scene painted on a feather, made by either a son or son-in-law.

    Making kids work in the mines or factories where they risk serious injury for next to nothing is criminal. Kids working for low wages because that is what the market offers, well, don’t know how to fix it. My first job in high school was at $1.65/hr. Of course that is a heck of a lot more than we are talking about in other countries, and gas was $1/gallon, and you probably could eat lunch at McDonald’s for less than $3.00

    Comment by MD in Philly (3d3f72) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:08 pm

  181. I think that problem could be avoided by a Congressional requirement that any US company seeking to outsource manufacturing jobs had to respect certain minimum wage requirements abroad, maybe tied to local cost of living.

    Gibson Guitars groans at this idea.

    Comment by Noodles (3681c4) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:09 pm

  182. I think that Nike should pay 10-20 times the local wage. People sewing labels should be paid more than an electrical engineer. No way would that screw up their economy. Better Half’s uncle makes 12,000,000 dongers a month, as an EE, roughly 600 monthly US. At $3 per hour, Leviticus would pay $120 a week or roughly $500 a month to the label sewer. Brilliant.

    Comment by JD (3fc54b) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:09 pm

  183. I am at an “economic disadvantage”, Leviticus, when I get on the bus and the fare is $1.75 but I only have $1.50.

    May I ask you, have you ever reached in your pocket and not found money? Not me. It came from my parents’ work and mine. Yours?

    I know I’m attacking you, instead of challenging you. Forgive me.

    Comment by nk (875f57) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:10 pm

  184. I think the bottom line is, if Cambodia were America, I would be enjoying that Hanoi Gold instead of Jack Daniels.

    Comment by nk (875f57) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:13 pm

  185. Leviticus,

    Please allow me a follow up question, if you have the time, Sir.
    And please know I’m just trying to pick your brain, I’m not trying to set you up for a “gotcha” question or a Perry Mason moment, or anything.

    How do you feel about Thailand, with their prostitution (particularly, “under 18 yrs of age” prostitutes, both male & female) eliciting people from all over the world to visit, specifically to “shop” for sex workers, just as people may fly to Paris to go shopping for, say, clothes.

    Do you hold Thailand in contempt for that ? Or do you merely blame foreigners for “their demand” for sex workers ? The reason I ask, is because every human being is born with an inherent sex drive, whereas, there are merely a limited number of companies that drive the demand to have textiles produced via child labor.

    Many countries in the world do not allow for foreigners to fly into their country in order to do business with under-age prostitutes.

    So, as far as making a moral judgment about that, do you believe it is “fair” to hold Thailand in a shameful light for that ? Also, for all of the countries that DON’T allow for that, is that reason to say they might be of a little more moral standing than Thailand ?

    Thank you.

    Comment by Elephant Stone (0ae97d) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:15 pm

  186. Forgiven. I’m just not sure what point you’re trying to make.

    I’m talking about mandating an increase in the wages US employers pay for outsourced manufacturing work so that children in countries like Cambodia don’t have to work in sweatshops (instead of getting an education) or sell themselves into prostitution. I think that’s a not-too-complicated thing, even if it’s (apparently) a contentious one.

    Comment by Leviticus (870be5) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:17 pm

  187. I’ve said this before. “Pa”, paternal grandfather, was a coal miner in Harlan County, Kentucky. The narrative I heard growing up was that the owners were for the owners, and the union bosses were for the union bosses.

    I think claiming all “capitalists” are especially evil is an overstatement, and the idea that “public sector” workers, in govt, non-profits, unions are automatically noble is naive.

    Human nature is to do what one thinks is in one’s best interest. Some see that being fair, generous, and concerned with others is ultimately in one’s best interest, and do that, whether an owner, hired manager, employee, or regulating official. Others have a much shorter term view of what is in their own best interest to the point of abusing their position, again, no matter what it is.

    Comment by MD in Philly (3d3f72) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:18 pm

  188. i think we should ban it

    Comment by happyfeet (3c92a1) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:18 pm

  189. Elephant Stone,

    I think that’s a good point, if I’m understanding you correctly. So, yes, I think there’s certainly some moral blameworthiness in the child labor paradigm, just like there’s some moral blameworthiness in the Thai sex tourism paradigm.

    Comment by Leviticus (870be5) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:21 pm

  190. Well, ok then.

    Comment by nk (875f57) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:22 pm

  191. I think it would be a great idea to artificially jack up wages for a few local employers. Surely there would be no adverse effect on local economies.

    Comment by JD (3fc54b) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:22 pm

  192. Elissa,

    Nice post about the unions. It really is almost a fetish that the young lefties have for unions, and collective bargaining, and “striking,” and “picketing,” et al.

    By the way, Warner Bros should send you a little royalty check, because your post inspired me to just order a couple copies of “On the Waterfront” from Amazon, so I can send them to a couple of clueless liberal friends who believe that union bosses should be first in line for canonization. I wonder if they’ll think that after they see how nasty Lee J. Cobb’s character is !

    Comment by Elephant Stone (0ae97d) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:26 pm

  193. nk,

    I’ve never had money problems. I refereed soccer games on the weekends for spending money in middle school and high school. Then I dropped out and started at UNM and got a scholarship that covered my tuition and living expenses. I’ve got another scholarship for law school, but I’m also taking out some loans. My parents pay for my car insurance and health insurance. I cover the rest.

    I’m sorry if my other response was rude.

    Comment by Leviticus (870be5) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:28 pm

  194. I am not a fan of NIKE but I am totally against our government making up laws and pulling a “Gibson” on them.

    You know what you can do Leviticus? Don’t buy products from companies you don’t like.

    If Obama gets re-elected you might get your wish though. That’s the real game he is playing. 1st world vs. 3rd world (as racists would say) is what his redistribution game is about.

    Comment by Noodles (3681c4) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:29 pm

  195. I saw no rudeness. We jist be talkin’ heah. Want another swig from the jug?

    Comment by nk (875f57) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:30 pm

  196. “I wonder if they’ll think that after they see how nasty Lee J. Cobb’s character is!”

    - Elephant Stone

    The Elia Kazan thing will just be an added salt-in-the-wounds type bonus.

    You should send your friends Season 2 of “The Wire.”

    Comment by Leviticus (870be5) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:31 pm

  197. They should pay more because they can and/or because they should. Wunnerful.

    Comment by JD (3fc54b) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:36 pm

  198. There are a few who – like young Leviticus – travel to the beat of a different drum and leave it to some in the media to draw attention to them…

    http://ace.mu.nu/archives/328563.php

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (1878e8) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:37 pm

  199. Easy, Haiku. On attacks on Leviticus. He is respected and valued here. No offense to you, I apologize if I took you wrong.

    Comment by nk (875f57) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:40 pm

  200. Some of the same takes on wealth, economics and such… all I’m sayin’.

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (1878e8) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:41 pm

  201. two hunnerd and one!

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (1878e8) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:41 pm

  202. I am really good at boycotting products, companies, etc. except HBO. They give me a reason to just about every week and I still can’t get rid of it. lol

    Comment by Noodles (3681c4) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:43 pm

  203. And (DRJ) I have been keeping the issue of transportation/distribution costs in mind. I don’t think it changes the basic nature of the argument.

    Could you run down the numbers for me? I haven’t run them like you have.

    Comment by Patterico (87290b) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:44 pm

  204. ok we should boycott it first then ban it

    Comment by happyfeet (3c92a1) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:45 pm

  205. Also if you could list all of the unintended side effects of your proposal that would be great.

    Comment by Patterico (87290b) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:47 pm

  206. Nike can afford to pay 10,000,000 dongs a month, therefore they should.

    Comment by JD (3fc54b) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:50 pm

  207. A shipping container from China costs about $5,000 dollars. As much as you can fit in it.

    Comment by Noodles (3681c4) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:53 pm

  208. While some people are concerned about U.S. jobs moving offshore, the Obama Administration blatantly obstructs a large U.S. corporation like Boeing from expanding employment in a right to work state.

    I’m tired of hearing complete BS from the left about our labor markets and evil corporations.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:53 pm

  209. “Could you run down the numbers for me? I haven’t run them like you have.”

    - Patterico

    I’ll rephrase, counselor: I have considered the possibility that transportation and distribution costs would factor into this equation, but I don’t think it changes the basic conversation.

    Comment by Leviticus (870be5) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:55 pm

  210. On second glance, that’s basically what I said before. Hmm.

    Wouldn’t have figured you for a numbers guy, Patterico.

    Comment by Leviticus (870be5) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:57 pm

  211. Patterico – unintended consequences might not be the right phrase. The consequences are known, foreseeable, and predictable.

    Comment by JD (3fc54b) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:58 pm

  212. A shipping container from China costs about $5,000 dollars. As much as you can fit in it.

    that’s probably one of the top ten coolest things to know

    Comment by happyfeet (3c92a1) — 4/19/2012 @ 8:58 pm

  213. transportation and distribution costs would factor into this equation

    yes this is why the Chinesers are stealing valuable fruit and vegetable export markets from us all across Asia [object TextRange] is a graph

    plus America is lousy with unions and regulations and fascisms

    Comment by happyfeet (3c92a1) — 4/19/2012 @ 9:02 pm

  214. The basic conversation is market. What will people pay for your wool, lamb meat, and hides? And at what point is it worth your costs and while?

    Comment by nk (875f57) — 4/19/2012 @ 9:02 pm

  215. @ happyfeet

    They will hold about 130 children. You would think more, but the Chinese are not small people.

    **Note: I doubt those numbers are accurate as I was kidding.

    Comment by Noodles (3681c4) — 4/19/2012 @ 9:02 pm

  216. crap that’s a stupid IE thing… that was supposed to just say “here”

    Comment by happyfeet (3c92a1) — 4/19/2012 @ 9:02 pm

  217. that works out to $38 a kid Mr. Noodles! Plus food and whatnot.

    Comment by happyfeet (3c92a1) — 4/19/2012 @ 9:04 pm

  218. I’m working on a new business model for NIKE.

    Now, how does one go about buying an island?

    Comment by Noodles (3681c4) — 4/19/2012 @ 9:05 pm

  219. here you go Mr. Noodles

    Comment by happyfeet (3c92a1) — 4/19/2012 @ 9:08 pm

  220. That actually looks decent but I was thinking about buying the Vietnam part of the Dubai man made ones!

    **Note: As far as I know the container numbers ARE real.

    Comment by Noodles (3681c4) — 4/19/2012 @ 9:10 pm

  221. you better start saving your food stamps now

    Comment by happyfeet (3c92a1) — 4/19/2012 @ 9:12 pm

  222. Leviticus,

    Another follow up, if I may…

    Since you tend to assign blame with American corporations for having a demand for cheaper labor costs which countries such as Cambodia are happy to oblige, I’m wondering if you would apply that same standard to the topic of this thread—and that is the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables in “the inner city neighborhoods.”

    Now, most people can use Google to locate lots of supermarkets (and small markets, as well) in low-income inner city neighborhoods—so they actually do exist, contrary to the “I have to take the bus to find an apple” claim.

    But for argument’s sake, let’s accept the Obama premise that there aren’t a lot of markets that retail in fresh fruits and veggies in the inner city.

    In accordance with your child labor “supply-demand” paradigm that scolds the demand side of the equation for the Cambodian factories using chid labor, wouldn’t you inherently suggest that perhaps there just isn’t the demand for fresh fruits and veggies within low-income inner city neighborhoods, and so that might actually explain why Obama had to take the subway to find arugula ?

    See, lefties always accuse corporations and companies of being rabid in the mouth chasing the almighty dollar. So if there’s money to be made retailing fresh fruits and veggies in the inner city, why would these markets not want to make money doing so ?

    Comment by Elephant Stone (0ae97d) — 4/19/2012 @ 9:15 pm

  223. Dubai spent a lot of money on those islands. They should have gave the money to the Octomom’s kids instead.

    **I won an Ipod that I can sell for rice. An Ipod buys a lot of rice!!!

    Comment by Noodles (3681c4) — 4/19/2012 @ 9:15 pm

  224. I bet the fruit Obama bought was dorian. He is that weird.

    Comment by Noodles (3681c4) — 4/19/2012 @ 9:17 pm

  225. *durian

    Comment by Noodles (3681c4) — 4/19/2012 @ 9:19 pm

  226. They had Durian on Chopped once.

    Comment by JD (3fc54b) — 4/19/2012 @ 9:21 pm

  227. I’ll rephrase, counselor: I have considered the possibility that transportation and distribution costs would factor into this equation, but I don’t think it changes the basic conversation.

    Well then we’re engaged in two different conversations.

    The conversation I am engaged in is: what is going to make a better life for people in places like Cambodia?

    That’s a conversation that takes account of the transportation and distribution costs.

    The conservation you are engaged in, I’m not sure what it is. And I don’t much care. Because the way we got started was by my objecting to a specific statement that you made. I didn’t make it. You did.

    Big Bad Corporation Corp. outsources Job Y to Cambodia, where they can pay a decidedly non-union labor force 0.025X a head for Job Y. Big Bad Corporation Corp. turns lower labor costs into higher profits.

    It’s a bad thing because the poor Cambodian S.O.B. working for O.025X doesn’t have collective bargaining rights under the NLRA

    No. It’s a good thing. It’s not an IDEAL thing. But it’s a GOOD thing.

    You are not dealing in reality. Until you can tell me, using hard numbers, what these business can afford to pay given the transportation and distribution costs, and you weigh them against the unintended side effects like extortion of bribery payments, which you would like to wish away with an airy wave of your hand — but which exist in the real world, which you have been told by a leftist who has no reason to skew the facts but has one whole hell of a lot more life experience than you have — until you can tell me that? You’re giving me a lot of theory that, if implemented, will make real people’s lives worse.

    It’s not an abstract conversation. It’s reality.

    Try reading Thomas Sowell’s “Basic Economics” if you haven’t, or a similar book that explains unintended side effects of centralized government policies in a way that can sink in.

    I’m probably being less tactful than I should because my daughter wants to get on the computer and it’s late. But this is important stuff.

    Comment by Patterico (feda6b) — 4/19/2012 @ 9:24 pm

  228. My questions were even easier to address than what our host is asking ;-)

    Comment by JD (3fc54b) — 4/19/2012 @ 9:26 pm

  229. They had Durian on Chopped once.

    I only had it once and it was raw. It tasted like warm onion garbage. That is not an exaggeration.

    Comment by Noodles (3681c4) — 4/19/2012 @ 9:31 pm

  230. I did not get the impression that any of the people on Chopped would ever be consuming the Durian again. Voluntarily.

    Comment by JD (89e14d) — 4/19/2012 @ 9:33 pm

  231. I only ate it as to not be a wuss. When I say ate, I actually mean I swallowed a tiny piece of it.

    If you are ever around durian you will probably see a century egg at some point also. You can go ahead and skip that also. =]

    Comment by Noodles (3681c4) — 4/19/2012 @ 9:41 pm

  232. After deleting a comment that’s better not posted… I’m going to bed.

    Comment by Leviticus (870be5) — 4/19/2012 @ 10:03 pm

  233. Patterico – But what about our manufacturing base. Shouldn’t we make our corporations die on their swords to maintain a manufacturing base?

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 4/19/2012 @ 10:06 pm

  234. I’m a little impatient tonight because I think I see a victim getting led around by a charlatan who actually victimized the guy. Long story , nothing to do with what we’re talking about here. Somehow I am guessing Noodles understands.

    Comment by Patterico (feda6b) — 4/19/2012 @ 10:45 pm

  235. It was not all that bad of a conversation, Leviticus. I wish the same things you do, it’s just not the way of the world.

    Comment by nk (875f57) — 4/19/2012 @ 10:46 pm

  236. But I don’t care whether people in Cambodia have better lives or not. (I wish ‘em the best of course, but I literally don’t care.)

    What I care about is whether my fellow Americans have better lives or not, because a) I care about my fellow Americans and b) if things are bad for them, then it will affect me, too.

    And when I say “Americans” I mean actual Americans, not people who simply happen to be standing on a patch of ground someplace within America.

    Comment by d. in c. (cae88c) — 4/19/2012 @ 10:49 pm

  237. I agree with nk. Anyone who really reads Kristof in depth on this subject knows he is not thrilled with sweatshops. It’s just that having them is better than not having them.

    But those who try to wave a magic wand and decree that everything just be a certain way are declaring themselves smarter than the human race collectively. In matters of economics that usually ends badly.

    I am searching for a tactful way to say that reading some of the stuff I have suggested — reading it with an open mind –could really be a good idea.

    Comment by Patterico (feda6b) — 4/19/2012 @ 10:51 pm

  238. I think I know exactly what you are talking about Patterico. I am getting a little nervous about where this all could be heading.

    I don’t really know the angle though. Like who’s playing who. I’m hoping there is a big picture that I am missing, which would not be unusual for me.

    Comment by Noodles (3681c4) — 4/19/2012 @ 10:51 pm

  239. But I don’t care whether people in Cambodia have better lives or not. (I wish ‘em the best of course, but I literally don’t care.)

    I care, but I admit it’s an intellectual caring that would probably ripen into something deeper if I visited there.

    Comment by Patterico (feda6b) — 4/19/2012 @ 10:52 pm

  240. Noodles:

    I hope it’s not the bad guys playing the good guys but it sure looks that way. The bad guys and their friends are sure gloating like they have one of the good guys totally fooled.

    Comment by Patterico (feda6b) — 4/19/2012 @ 10:54 pm

  241. My major beef with companies like NIKE is I saw videos a long time ago where the managers were flat out abusive to their employees in these sweatshops.

    Maybe they fixed that. They do have enough money and say to stop that kind of thing (like hire good people to run the places).

    Comment by Noodles (3681c4) — 4/19/2012 @ 10:55 pm

  242. Don’t wash your fruit at the fire hydrant, mr. president.

    Comment by sickofrinos (44de53) — 4/19/2012 @ 10:58 pm

  243. Comment by Patterico — 4/19/2012 @ 10:54 pm

    The bad guys are pretty good at being bad. I hope that’s not the case.

    Comment by Noodles (3681c4) — 4/19/2012 @ 11:04 pm

  244. “I care, but I admit it’s an intellectual caring that would probably ripen into something deeper if I visited there.”

    Do you think that if you visited there, then your “caring” would “ripen” to the point that you would say, “Here, poor people of Cambodia, please take _my_ job, so that my own children will grow up weak and sick and hungry instead of yours”?

    Because that is what is effectively happening on a mass scale. But people are always “liberal” with somebody else’s children’s future. Funny, that.

    Comment by d. in c. (a421c3) — 4/19/2012 @ 11:29 pm

  245. Col. Haiku, surely you can do something with …

    The Hawaii-born boy who couldn’t find a pineapple in Hawaii …

    The college student in Los Angeles and New York City …

    Who couldn’t find an orange or an apple.

    The expat in Indonesia who could find snake and dog meat, but nowhere a mango or a banana.

    Sigh … too many places and fruit names for me to work into the requisite number of syllables per line. But I lack your knack.

    Comment by Beldar (51edd4) — 4/20/2012 @ 12:14 am

  246. “Finally, to paraphrase iowahawk on Twitter: what’s more important? That Romney made millions of his own money by firing the people whose votes he now seeks in a laughably tone-deaf feat of revisionist appeal? Or that Obama has spent $5 trillion of ours?”

    I don’t accept that characterization, Leviticus, but let’s assume for the sake of argument that it’s accurate.

    What’s your answer?

    Comment by Patterico (85d0e5) — 4/20/2012 @ 6:36 am

  247. I was living in Hawaii, see,
    But I couldn’t find a pineapple tree.

    Then I went to LA,
    There were no apples on my tray.

    I can’t get no satisfaction,
    I can’t get no fructose action.

    But I tried, and I tried, and I tried.

    Took the subway in Chicago,
    Just to find mmyself a mango.

    Yes, I tried and I tried and I tried.

    I can’t get no satisfaction, no satisfaction.

    Comment by nk (875f57) — 4/20/2012 @ 7:02 am

  248. it’s a curse, Beldar
    I’d probably mango it
    strike that, poorly phrased

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (1878e8) — 4/20/2012 @ 7:05 am

  249. Got a bag of apples at Jewel that’ll be around for two weeks. The five Hershey bars might make it through the day. ;)

    Comment by nk (875f57) — 4/20/2012 @ 7:11 am

  250. I see that you do not have a site, Haiku. Why don’t you get Blogger if only for your poems. It’s free. My Ballad of Kathryn Johnston has gotten over 30,000 hits and I can claim that I am a published poet.

    Comment by nk (875f57) — 4/20/2012 @ 7:18 am

  251. Oops, *over 6,000 hits*.

    Comment by nk (875f57) — 4/20/2012 @ 7:20 am

  252. That was pretty good, Mr. Jagger NK. We may have to call you Lieutenant Lyricist from now on !

    Colonel Haiku, may I politely suggest you (or NK, for that matter) put your skills to use by using Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Were Made for Walking” as a template for doing a Dr. Demento type take on Obama, fruits, subway, bus, and walking. I don’t know…

    “these boots weren’t made for walking,
    I have to take the bus,
    I can’t believe there’s no apples or mangoes in this part of town for any of us…”

    And I’ll just fall down laughing if you incorporate a line including “sidewalk,” “crack,” “breaking momma’s back.”

    Comment by Elephant Stone (0ae97d) — 4/20/2012 @ 7:22 am

  253. I’ve gotten more hits on my recipes for guncotton, lentil soup, partisan air-rifle, and Lucio Dala’s “Caruso”, from hungry, angry, anarchist, opera lovers. ;)

    Comment by nk (875f57) — 4/20/2012 @ 7:24 am

  254. Sorry, Elephant Stone,

    My Muse visits me only when She wants to.

    I wrote The Ballad of Kathryn Johnston in twelve minutes in the middle of preparing Thanksgiving dinner for 30 guests. Patterico and SayUncle were my Muses then.

    Comment by nk (875f57) — 4/20/2012 @ 7:31 am

  255. Patterico,

    Excellent questioning of the witness.

    The way that many liberals ignore realities of the world can be staggering at times. There are so many factors and facets involved in the cost of bringing a good or service to market, and many of those factors are “invisible” to the eye of the average consumer.

    It reminds me of the famous line that Don Rumsfeld said to the media about fighting Jihadists when he said (paraphrased here) “there are things we know we know, there are things we know we don’t know, and there are things we don’t yet know that we don’t know.”

    The lefties totally ignore that last part about not being conscious of things that aren’t even on their radar. The lefties think they are omniscient. That’s why a community organizer who’s never been exposed to Econ 101 still thinks he can walk into the room and wave that magic wand you referred to, and “Presto !” there’s hope and change ! And that’s why there’s so many quotes of The One being “surprised” about the economic numbers and how those numbers are “not what we expected,” “unexpected,” et al.
    That’s because his equations were faulty to begin with…in other words, he can’t entertain the notion that there are factors and facets that are “invisible” to him.

    And all of this applies to the overhead costs involved in manufacturing overseas, and bringing it here to market.

    And another thing to add…with the way that the lefties want to decimate our Navy’s budget, who in the hell do the lefties then expect to protect the open shipping lanes in international waters so that the wheels of international commerce can continue to turn ?

    Comment by Elephant Stone (0ae97d) — 4/20/2012 @ 7:45 am

  256. the lack of a manufacturing base turns the U.S. economy into a shell game where the only way anyone makes any money is by gambling on contingencies or working in the service sector.

    Lev, do you have ANY idea how MUCH wealth — and high-paying jobs — come from the creation of intellectual property in this nation?

    Do you grasp that you demonstrate with idiotic comments like yours quotes above that you are ignorant, bloviating numbskull without a jot or an iota of the vaguest sort of simple sense?

    America is the worlds first — and foremost — IP & Services economy. Not all services are “McJobs”. There are a LOT of service jobs that pay in the 30k-60k range.

    But in order to actually get paid for something better than a McJob, you need to have something more than McSkills.

    This is what hurts blacks in particular, since their own culture denigrates learning anything that would open doors to opportunities to have or develop anything better than “McSkills”. Add to that the wretched edumacational system foist off on them by liberal idiots fighting against every effort to reform the whole schooling process to instill any kind of accountability into it, and so it’s no surprise that a percentage of the populace is in a weak kind of true poverty trap (if someone seriously wants to escape so that their kids have a future even if they don’t, the USA is the most mobile nation in the world…. if things suck where you are, it’s not hard to go somewhere else where they don’t suck, for your kids at the least. Hint: LEAVE COMPTON)

    Manufacturing isn’t going to solve the problem. It’s old hat. Why aren’t you whining about farm jobs? Why are there so few farm jobs out there? The farmers are only 2-4% of the entire nation’s populace! Oh Noes!!

    Right. Mechanization killed the farm job, which caused a substantial dislocation as people shifted from farm labor to factory work, and, over time, reducing farm labor to that 2-4% range.

    NOW, we’re in the same process, as factory work is whittled down to within 2-4% of the population, and the remainder of the work force switches into IP & Services work — the vast majority of which is not “McJobs” but very specialized knowledge work. Knowing how to process information is a skill, and one tied to specific varieties of knowledge.

    So when you equate “services” with McJobs, you just sound like an utter and complete FOOL.

    Comment by IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States (8e2a3d) — 4/20/2012 @ 7:59 am

  257. P.S., missed putting this in there:

    Roboticization is going to do the same thing to factory work that mechanization did to agriculture. It’s going to require a fraction of the labor it did decades ago. You want to see the factory of the future, you can see an excellent depiction of one in the movie Minority Report as Tom Cruise escapes through one. Probably Spielberg’s best all-around movie work.

    Comment by IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States (8e2a3d) — 4/20/2012 @ 8:03 am

  258. “I don’t accept that characterization, Leviticus, but let’s assume for the sake of argument that it’s accurate.

    What’s your answer?”

    - Patterico

    Obama’s massive deficit. Easily more important.

    Comment by Leviticus (870be5) — 4/20/2012 @ 9:07 am

  259. The deficit is easy to fix, if any Congresscritter has the cojones to propose that we reduce the federal budget by 20% percent, now, by lowering the wages of federal employees, and sending some of them back to the unemployment office, say most of Homeland Security, particuarily TSA, and raising the effective tax rate above 25%?

    Comment by nk (875f57) — 4/20/2012 @ 9:24 am

  260. “Anyone who really reads Kristof in depth on this subject knows he is not thrilled with sweatshops. It’s just that having them is better than not having them.

    But those who try to wave a magic wand and decree that everything just be a certain way are declaring themselves smarter than the human race collectively. In matters of economics that usually ends badly.

    I am searching for a tactful way to say that reading some of the stuff I have suggested — reading it with an open mind –could really be a good idea.”

    - Patterico

    I don’t doubt Kristof’s genuine concern over this, or his bona fides, and of course he has far more expertise on this than I do and so what? I think that it’s accepting a false dichotomy to say that we have to choose between sweatshops and brothels. I’m not trying wave a magic wand; I’m trying to have a conversation about what you think is possible so that I can segue into a conversation about what you think is right. You know (or ought to know) that the numbers I’ve been pulling out of my ass over the course of this thread have no bearing whatsoever on the substance of my argument. So, we can either talk about the substance of that argument, or not.

    This would be a nice place to start (and here’s a case study and some financial data to give it context, so that we have a common foundation to work from):

    1. Do you think there was anything wrong with the labor practices detailed in that MIT case study?
    a. from a market perspective?
    b. from a moral perspective?

    2. Do you think that a company like Nike could afford to pay their workers more than they were paying them when they got reamed for those labor practices in the late ’90s?
    a. do you think there’s anything that can be done about those labor practices, if not increasing wages?

    3. If they could afford to pay more than they were paying, should they have?
    a. from a market perspective?
    b. from a moral perspective?

    4. Do you think that a company like Nike could afford to pay their workers more than they are paying them now?

    5. If they can afford to pay more than they are paying, should they?
    a. from a market perspective?
    b. from a moral perspective?

    We could start with that. I feel like I’ve answered enough questions in threads threads like these to justify asking a few of my own, and having them answered.

    Comment by Leviticus (870be5) — 4/20/2012 @ 9:29 am

  261. “Okay. I wish that these companies, having outsourced manufacturing jobs paying $8.00 – $10.00 an hour, would pay their new employees $1.60 – $2.00 an hour instead of $0.16 – $0.20 an hour,”

    Leviticus – Okay, let’s stop with the ridiculous stereotypes. It’s not $8.00-$10.00 per hour jobs and not just manufacturing jobs that are being offshored by U.S. companies and they are not all being sent overseas to be performed by child labor.

    If you start with a ridiculous set of premises you wind up with a ridiculous set of conclusions. Manufacturing and service jobs of all types have been offshored by U.S. corporations and you have seen the location of these jobs move as conditions in the labor markets changed. First Mexico and Taiwan, then Korea, then other locations in Southeast Asia and now China and even Eastern Europe. Jobs range from low tech manufacturing to high tech manufacturing and assembling, customer service, data processing, and computer programming. Obviously only a portion lend themselves to the use of child labor and it’s fine to have noble concern about such practices, but not fine to color the whole discussion of offshoring jobs about just one portion of it.

    If you feel like American economic imperialism should set the rules for the worlds nations, feel free to make that argument. I thought most of the left was against that type of thinking, though.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 4/20/2012 @ 9:33 am

  262. nation in tatters
    go ‘head bite Teh Big Apple
    don’t mind teh maggots

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (1878e8) — 4/20/2012 @ 9:35 am

  263. daley… my admiration for your clear thinking abides.

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (1878e8) — 4/20/2012 @ 9:38 am

  264. “Leviticus – Okay, let’s stop with the ridiculous stereotypes. It’s not $8.00-$10.00 per hour jobs and not just manufacturing jobs that are being offshored by U.S. companies and they are not all being sent overseas to be performed by child labor.”

    - daleyrocks

    I just admitted that those numbers were pulled out of my ass for illustrative purposes. Sure, they’re a little hyperbolic; doesn’t change the nature of the argument… but you already knew that. You’re a smart guy.

    Accepting responsibility for the immorality of certain behaviors isn’t imperialism.

    Comment by Leviticus (870be5) — 4/20/2012 @ 9:46 am

  265. Thank you Colonel.

    My principal complaint about people bitching about offshoring jobs or the private equity industry is that they generally have no actually experience with the responsibility of managing a company or segment of a company for profit or the subject about which they are speaking.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 4/20/2012 @ 9:46 am

  266. Colonel – Doesn’t mean they should not speak, but they may just look like fools.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 4/20/2012 @ 9:48 am

  267. “Sure, they’re a little hyperbolic; doesn’t change the nature of the argument… but you already knew that.”

    Leviticus – And while were admitting hyperbole, you’re admitting that you are focusing on just a portion of the U.S. offshore job market, right?

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 4/20/2012 @ 9:51 am

  268. orange you glad that
    we have good man who can plum
    teh economy?

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (1878e8) — 4/20/2012 @ 9:52 am

  269. Leviticus,

    Daleyrocks makes a good point about how you lefties normally throw a tantrum regarding pushing American standards upon the rest of the world.

    Lefties often assert that we Americans must recognize the validity of different cultural standards practiced in other parts of the world.

    Ok.
    Yet when it comes to child labor, you don’t really want to recognize child labor as an aspect of that “different cultural standard.” In that case, you lefties actually assert that we’re the “bad” guys for having a demand for cheaper labor, but that the third world country is not necessarily “bad” for PROVIDING the cheaper labor.(i.e., child labor)

    It’s almost as if lefties don’t believe certain parts of the world can even be expected to abide by elevated standards. And that’s a typical lefty ideal…that certain protected groups of people cannot be held accountable for their decisions and actions—it’s always someone else’s fault for “causing” them or “making” them behave a certain way.

    Well, Ireland doesn’t have child labor. Latvia doesn’t have child labor. Why can they say “no” to child labor, but Cambodia can’t ?

    I don’t blame poor people in places like Cambodia for taking low paying jobs in factories. They wouldn’t do it if they had a better option.
    But I do blame that society that is so dysfunctional that such an option is unavoidable. After all, forty years ago, Jane Fonda and the rest of the left wing kooks were insisting that the Communism infesting SE Asia was a POSITIVE thing for poor people in those countries.

    Now can the lefties admit they were perhaps “wrong” in that assertion ?

    Everyone has free will. It’s not merely an American abstract constructed by some dead white guys from the 18th century.

    If one is to assert that Cambodia can’t survive without child labor, then that might be an argument to support the notion that their society is not morally or functionally equivalent to our society, which does happen to function without child labor.

    There’s really a line of demarcation which divides those who believe that American values and ethics are better than those practiced in certain other corners of the world.

    Comment by Elephant Stone (0ae97d) — 4/20/2012 @ 10:11 am

  270. “And while were admitting hyperbole, you’re admitting that you are focusing on just a portion of the U.S. offshore job market, right?”

    - daleyrocks

    Yes.

    Comment by Leviticus (870be5) — 4/20/2012 @ 10:15 am

  271. “Lefties often assert that we Americans must recognize the validity of different cultural standards practiced in other parts of the world.

    Ok.
    Yet when it comes to child labor, you don’t really want to recognize child labor as an aspect of that “different cultural standard.” In that case, you lefties actually assert that we’re the “bad” guys for having a demand for cheaper labor, but that the third world country is not necessarily “bad” for PROVIDING the cheaper labor.(i.e., child labor)”

    - Elephant Stone

    I’ve never been big on that type of moral relativism (Google “Patterico, Leviticus, Columbus” and click the first thing that comes up); and I told you right off the bat that I did blame these countries (at an intuitive level) for allowing and facilitating child labor, even if I recognized that they might have legitimate reasons for it. So, with due respect, I think you’re barking up the wrong tree to some extent.

    Comment by Leviticus (870be5) — 4/20/2012 @ 10:24 am

  272. Leviticus,

    Well, you like to nibble around the edges with the way you blame these third world countries. You said you don’t blame the countries for providing the child labor as much as you blame the countries for seeking cheaper labor. Those are your words—not words I put in your mouth.

    And like I said, if the problem is their regime, then we have to admit that “their ways” do not function as well as “ours.”

    That’s part of the idea of “American Exceptionalism” that Obama likes to disparage.

    ——————————–

    161.It’s a hard question, Elephant Stone, and I’m sorry for skirting it.

    I suppose I do at an irrational level, just as a gut-reaction. At a more rational level, I would like to think that the only reason these countries haven’t banned child labor is that they think/realize that child labor is a necessity for familial survival under the current economic regime.

    Either way, I don’t blame these countries for implicitly acknowledging their desperate situation nearly as much as I blame outsourcing companies for exploiting it.

    Comment by Leviticus — 4/19/2012

    Comment by Elephant Stone (0ae97d) — 4/20/2012 @ 10:39 am

  273. Yeah. I stand by that.

    Comment by The Prez's Somelier (870be5) — 4/20/2012 @ 10:44 am

  274. Dammit. Sorry.

    Comment by Leviticus (870be5) — 4/20/2012 @ 10:45 am

  275. Ref: #273 & #274 gedanken of the day …

    Is outsourcing or outselfing worse ? Which is more exploitative of children ?

    Discuss …

    Comment by Alasdair (e7cb73) — 4/20/2012 @ 2:31 pm

  276. I’m changing the subject. If we really cared about children, we would impose a complete embargo on diamonds, as we have done with ivory and leopard furs.

    Comment by nk (875f57) — 4/20/2012 @ 2:34 pm

  277. From Best of the Web, qurting Obama’s book we can learn approximately where Obama lived at one point while he was in New York

    Here’s a passage from the second paragraph of the first chapter of “Dreams From My Father,” in which Obama describes his life on the Upper East Side of Manhattan at age 25 (circa 1986):

    This would be after graduating from Columbia University. He attended 1981-83.

    When the weather was good, my roommate and I might sit out on the fire escape to smoke cigarettes and study the dusk washing blue over the city, or watch white people from the better neighborhoods nearby walk their dogs down our block to let the animals [defecate] on our curbs–”Scoop the poop, you bastards!” my roommate would shout with impressive rage, and we’d laugh at the faces of both master and beast, grim and unapologetic as they hunkered down to do the deed.

    This places him at about 103rd Street or lower and Madison to Third Avenues.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 4/20/2012 @ 2:39 pm

  278. “I see that you do not have a site, Haiku. Why don’t you get Blogger if only for your poems.”

    I’ll have to check that out, nk. Thanks!

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (1878e8) — 4/20/2012 @ 3:09 pm

  279. he’s booed in Boston
    buffaloed in Buffalo
    bidness in teh street

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (1878e8) — 4/20/2012 @ 3:10 pm

  280. I have the 2005 Blogger template that I can core-access and make my site look any way I trouble to. The current version may be harder to customize but it may still give you a look you like.

    Comment by nk (875f57) — 4/20/2012 @ 3:39 pm

  281. I bought a laptop online from HP last month. It was made in Shanghai and shipped to the U.S.

    Leviticus – Do you believe my laptop was made by child labor?

    Do you believe that companies in industries with temporarily large profit margins, such as Microsoft, should shrink their profits by paying their workers more, just because they can, as determined by some indeterminate standard or for “teh fairness“?

    Do you believe in windfall profits taxes on oil companies when oil prices are high? Conversely, do you believe in lowering taxes on oil companies when oil prices are low?

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 4/20/2012 @ 3:45 pm

  282. Do you believe being able to buy a diamond ring for your girlfriend is worth an eight year old girl being a sex slave to an army of fourteen-year old boys in Central Africa?

    There’s a lot things more evil than giving somebody a job with the choice of doing Johnny Paycheck: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnhhjGavEq8 Not safe for work. ;)

    Comment by nk (875f57) — 4/20/2012 @ 3:52 pm

  283. if I’d started working at 7 I’d be a lot closer to retirement

    my misspent youth it’s just so sad

    Comment by happyfeet (a55ba0) — 4/20/2012 @ 4:02 pm

  284. No, happyfeet. Be happy you had your youth. I had earned my Social Security credits by age twenty-nine. I’m fifty-five now and I’ll give them all back for my left foot.

    Comment by SWM (875f57) — 4/20/2012 @ 4:06 pm

  285. I worked Summers at age of 9… baling hay at $1 an hour and all the A&W rootbeer I could drink and picking cherries at $1 per bucket. I was hard to be around with all teh belching and cherry farts…

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (1878e8) — 4/20/2012 @ 4:08 pm

  286. the Haiku reminded me, that Obama is known for seeking out other plants, that aren’t fruit bearing.

    Comment by narciso (8d0f34) — 4/20/2012 @ 4:14 pm

  287. daley,

    If we’re going to continue this conversation, how about you answer some of my questions before I answer more of yours?

    There are five of them @260. No one has addressed them yet.

    Comment by Leviticus (870be5) — 4/20/2012 @ 4:20 pm

  288. If it was Michigan, Colonel, I might have been one of your customers at the [real] farmers’ market. Worked at a fruit market and we would start out a 3:00 am in the four-ton not to need the middlemen on Halsted Street. We sang to stay awake.

    Young farm girls, younger than me, loading the crates on our truck, while we dickered with their daddies and the bosses telling us we need to keep the line moving.

    Comment by nk (875f57) — 4/20/2012 @ 4:27 pm

  289. if he had a God
    besides Teh State young whelp could
    have taught Him few things

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (1878e8) — 4/20/2012 @ 4:34 pm

  290. no it was Utah
    uncles had farms and ranches
    rode horses and worked

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (1878e8) — 4/20/2012 @ 4:37 pm

  291. teh fun just won’t stop…

    http://thepeoplescube.com/peoples_resource/image/thumb/12963

    http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/62/2012/04/18/110222_600.jpg

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (1878e8) — 4/20/2012 @ 4:40 pm

  292. “Young farm girls” [high school age] is the operative phrase. Downstate Illinois, the school year is scheduled so that the kids can help out on the farm. What DRJ wrote. They drive tractors and trucks as soon as they can reach the pedals.

    Comment by nk (875f57) — 4/20/2012 @ 4:45 pm

  293. yep… in the hay fields, my older (13) cousin and I would get the flatbed straight with the row of bales, put it in granny-gear, jump out and start throwing the bales up on the truck where an even older cousin (15) would be stacking them… jump back in the cab before we hit the end of the row and reverse back on the next row and so on and so on… blazing Sun and humidity as high as temp would allow and I can remember few things that tasted as good as that ice-cold A&W… closest car hop stand was about a mile away from my uncle’s pastures. We hit that sucker several times a 12 hour work day.

    Memories…

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (1878e8) — 4/20/2012 @ 5:10 pm

  294. Leviticus,

    It appears to me that your objection to the prices paid overseas by American companies is primarily moral because you’ve made no effort to address the economic issues. In essence, your argument is that morality requires American companies pay overseas workers a higher wage.

    If that is your argument, then I disagree. Imposing economic burdens on companies for moral reasons undermines how capitalism works, and that’s especially dangerous in global markets that are already subject to government tariffs and manipulation. It would be far better to organize a boycott or otherwise shine a light on why a particular company hurts specific people.

    I acknowledge your rule might do some good in specific situations, especially in the short term. However, it could just as easily do some harm. We don’t know what will happen, do we? The reason we don’t know is because you are making recommendations based on feelings rather than facts. (It reminds me of 1960′s legislation that was designed to help poor people, but I submit ended up making their lives a lot worse in the long run.)

    If we’re going to make decisions based on morality or what feels right, I think we’d be much better off working through voluntary, charitable and/or religious organizations than via government-mandated rules.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 4/20/2012 @ 5:37 pm

  295. Mr. SWM I would like to buy you a tasty adult beverage

    Comment by happyfeet (3c92a1) — 4/20/2012 @ 5:59 pm

  296. Where I’m at now, happyfeet, in civilized Chicago, there’s one of the best pan-asian restaurants, and the best thin crust pizza place which also makes steaks and chops. I don’t want to give you my new email, here, considering my last experience. Can you get it from Patterico or DRJ, in the event you want to hang out when you’re next in Chicago?

    Comment by nk (875f57) — 4/20/2012 @ 6:24 pm

  297. I will! Next Chicago trip should be fall, and I might linger over the weekend this time – I’ll for sure let you know!

    Comment by happyfeet (3c92a1) — 4/20/2012 @ 6:27 pm

  298. Maybe we can drag in JD (Cubs hater), daleyrocks, carlitos, Karl …?

    Comment by nk (875f57) — 4/20/2012 @ 6:42 pm

  299. “If we’re going to continue this conversation, how about you answer some of my questions before I answer more of yours?

    There are five of them @260. No one has addressed them yet.”

    Leviticus – I did not notice your study and question @260. I will take a look.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 4/20/2012 @ 6:43 pm

  300. that would be fun hale fellows well met all

    Comment by happyfeet (3c92a1) — 4/20/2012 @ 6:46 pm

  301. Opportunity and the will. While opportunity still exists here in the West, it does seem we are a bit in short supply of the will.

    She was called dirty, ugly, a “little packet of poison,” the offspring of donkeys. These days, Kalpana Saroj is called something else: a millionaire.

    Saroj, a dalit, or “untouchable,” epitomizes what was once unthinkable in India: upward mobility for someone whose caste long meant she would die as she was born: uneducated, dirt-poor, doomed to a life of dangerous and filthy work.

    Before, Indians thought the only way up was life after death, assuming they avoided hell,” said Chandra Bhan Prasad, a dalit researcher and activist. “Now, not having a mobile phone is hell. Dalits can’t become Brahmins, but they can become capitalists. Once you become rich, you become free.”

    Comment by Dana (4eca6e) — 4/20/2012 @ 7:39 pm

  302. Leviticus – With respect to your #260 I have several issues with the way you worded your questions.

    “2. Do you think that a company like Nike could afford to pay their workers more than they were paying them when they got reamed for those labor practices in the late ’90s?
    3. If they could afford to pay more than they were paying, should they have?”

    Prof. Locke makes it clear in his study that Nike was purchasing its shoes and apparel from suppliers rather than paying workers overseas directly.

    Is it right and moral for a U.S. corporation to seek bids from suppliers overseas for the goods it needs at a lower price than can be supplied by U.S. manufacturers? Absolutely. I hope you don’t disagree. I have some doubts based on your comments about our manufacturing base.

    Is a corporation responsible for the employees of its suppliers and subcontractors? You clearly believe the answer is yes. I believe the answer is, it depends.

    Look at the case Prof. Locke outlines. He describes the movement of Nike’s suppliers from Japan and Korea to cheaper places in Southeast Asia just as I described in one of my comments. He then describes a multi-year coordinated attack campaign by NGOs, activists and union supporters against Nike’s suppliers and by extension the consumer sensitive brand Nike itself, coincidentally much like the smear campaigns we have seen against many U.S. corporations in recent years.

    Nike attempts the standard and logical response, we don’t control our suppliers and the pressure ratchets up. They gradually implement Codes of Conduct for suppliers in excess of local labor market conditions to avoid losing brand equity in response to the blackmail attacks.

    Do I think that is a good thing? No.
    Do I think the blackmailers are moral? No.

    As usual I think they have chosen the vulnerable PR target when what they should have been doing is working on improving working conditions for everybody in a given labor market. It is a cowardly, piecemeal approach to an issue by NGOs an activists.

    In apparel, given short product
    cycles and volatile trends, the situation is completely different. Nike works with
    numerous suppliers, most of whom are also working for other (often competitor)
    companies.

    “One
    worker at Nagasakti Para Shoes, a Nike contractor, said that she and other Indonesians
    were ‘terrified’ of their South Korean managers:

    The plight of workers in these factories became publicized through the skillful use
    of media by several NGOs.

    Are corporations responsible only to their own employees and
    shareholders, or are they also responsible for the employees of their suppliers and
    subcontractors?

    Given that there are no universal standards and that not all companies
    are promoting labor and environmental standards as rigorously as Nike is, how does one
    promote greater coordination and collective action among major producers?

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 4/20/2012 @ 7:48 pm

  303. Forget all the cut and pasted quotes from the MIT study toward the bottom of my comment. I was intending to use them, but did not need to.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 4/20/2012 @ 7:49 pm

  304. JonahNRO “Clearly we need a national campaign where we tie ribbons to trees, praying for release of Bo.” #prayforbo

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (9461de) — 4/20/2012 @ 9:26 pm

  305. Somebody necessarily help to make significantly posts I would state. That is the very first time I frequented your web page and up to now? I amazed with the research you made to make this actual publish incredible. Excellent job!

    Comment by plr ebook (1a6615) — 4/22/2012 @ 1:12 pm

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    Comment by Colonel Haiku (f4b1c2) — 4/22/2012 @ 1:24 pm

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