Quick Roundup 551

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Legislating What's "Legitimate"

In the name of "fairness" to female employees, Joe Biden is urging the Senate to pass a bill that would:

...require employers to provide a legitimate reason for paying different salaries to men and women performing the same job.
Apparently, the acceptability of terms implied by an employee trading her work for a paycheck is not "legitimate" to Joe Biden. Not only is that arrogant on his part, it sweeps aside many well-known, legitimate reasons (some related to childbearing) for such apparent workplace disparities that are not always obvious.

While it is true that some employers might succumb to the temptation to use lame excuses to get out of paying some of their employees what the market will bear, this is a problem that a rational culture and a fully free labor market are quite capable of fixing.

How Obama Thinks

Speaking of the government gumming up the works in the labor market, here's Doug Reich on Obamanomics:
Say that an intruder breaks into your house and shoots you in the stomach. He then robs you, but at the last minute, as he scurries away, he forgets to cut your phone line. This misstep enables you to crawl to the phone and call an ambulance, which rushes you to the hospital where your life is saved. Would it be fair to conclude that the robber saved your life?
In a similar vein, one could just as easily ask regarding the Deepwater Horizon disaster, "Did Obama save the Gulf of Mexico?"

Why There's a "Need" to Jail-Break Smart Phones

Tom Bowden rightly notes that iPhone users unhappy with their carriers signed away their rights when they made their purchases:
They used their phones for the full two years. Then their contracts expired. Now they want to unlock their phones and use them on T-Mobile or some other network. There’s only one small problem with that -- their individual software license agreements with Apple forbid such tampering. That's not to mention violation of Apple's software copyrights. But none of that bothers the plaintiffs and their class action lawyers. [minor format edits]
I hate vendor lock-in, and for that reason will not purchase anything that comes with such an agreement with my own money so long as I have a viable alternative. In fact, I have speculated that in a more rational culture, such business models would be less common.

The fact that legal actions like the one Bowden discusses are so common helps explain why people are so willing to accept such terms in their contracts: Just as government bailouts make people complacent about financial risks, our legal system's disregard for contract law makes many people similarly lackadaisical about what they're getting themselves into when they enter contracts.

Quote of the Day

I think LB sums up very well one of the main points I made in Tuesday's post:
How much further can we remove ourselves from the principle of individual rights before we realize all talk of government fixes [is] anathema to the very purpose of our once rights-respecting government, and, as such, a contemptuous disregard for unique foundational success of our country?
Side note: I like her post title, "The Hairshirt of Blogs," since it reminds me of one of my CO's from my Navy days, who would frequently used the term "hairshirt" in a humorous way.

Budget Cuts Force City To Stop Buying Toilet Paper...

That's the headline at the Drudge Report, anyway. Even the most cursory reading will, however, reveal the lack of toilet paper to be vulgar grandstanding for continued government theft.
... Newark Mayor Cory Booker's belt-tightening plans ... include reducing most city workers to a 4-day work week and shuttering city pools.
Selling off (or even just permanently closing) the pools would, I am sure, go a long way towards the toilet paper supply. Incidentally, the amount of toilet paper in question wouldn't be so great were the mayor of that fair city to make other reductions towards the proper scope of its government as well.

I Want to Do This!

This article from the New York Times has me dreaming big!
Pig roasts often have as much to do with mechanical engineering as they do with the culinary arts. Serviceable roasters can be made from 250-gallon fuel-oil tanks. Brick ovens suitable to the task are often large enough to require municipal building permits. But there is a simpler option for the do-it-yourself cook who lacks welding supplies and masonry skills: start digging a hole.
Pig roasts aren't a tradition where I'm from, but I do have a friend who has tried a couple of times. I think he's just not cooking long enough.

I'll talk to him some time, and then, some time down the road, do some googling...

-- CAV


Kelly McNulty Valenzuela said...

I have been to a pig roast in which a hole was dug into the ground (by a front loader the guy owned), bricks and coals were placed into the ground, the pig was wrapped in leaves, then burlap and roasted for 12 hours. It was the most tender pork I've ever had! It was fun too.

Gus Van Horn said...

Blogger Gus Van Horn said...

The guy I mentioned used a front loader, too, but cooked for something like 8, I think. I wasn't there, but some of my family was, and they told me his did not turn out too well.

Whenever I try this, I intend to get it right: Tender pork is too worthy a goal to mess around!