Dec 25, 2014
commented on The Stranger's Staff Argues Over Whether You Should Wear a Bike Helmet
Eli Sanders seems to be the only person here whose opinion is shaped by actually riding a significant amount. It doesn't take much experience to know that the biggest risk from cars is not from the amount of space the drivers leave you but from them not seeing you at all. I've had cars coming towards me make left turns across my path. I've had cars going the same direction as me make right turns in front of me as they have passed-- in broad daylight. And no matter how much skill and awareness you ride with, it's always going to be about luck. I've ridden over a grate in the street and was unaware that it was damaged until the slats in the grate opened up and my entire front tire dropped in-- I was lying flat on my back in front of my bike in the middle of traffic in less than a second. I don't understand people who want to argue that in a more ideal setting (more riders, better bike amenities) it would be safer-- so they are not going to wear helmets now. That's not the world we live in. Personally, I don't really care if you wear a helmet or not, but you're kidding yourself if you think you are doing it because it's safer.
May 1, 2014
commented on Murray Announces Minimum Wage Plan So Complicated Reporters Can't Understand It
Will there be any safeguards against companies splitting up on paper to avoid hitting that 500 employee "small business" threshold? I mean, if I own a business that has twenty locations throughout the city, with over 500 employees total, what will stop me from incorporating half of them under one name and half under another so that I end up with two distinct parent companies each with under 300 employees? I guess that eventually all businesses will be paying the same wage under this plan, but until 2025 there could be a lot of room for employers to undermine the its intent. I am guessing that there will be companies using a lot of legal maneuvering to end up qualifying for schedule D.
Apr 4, 2014
commented on Your Favorite Indie Shop Is Out of Business if $15-an-Hour Happens
If the government has to supplement the wages you pay, then you are a lazy businessman at best, greedy at worst. If prices rise across the board due to a higher minimum wage then you will still be on an equal footing with your competition . If you are not creative enough to come up with a strategy to offset your higher prices-- e.g., offering better service or a better product, the owner working more hours, not spending $50-100k on your interior (which is the equivalent of the dot-com companies having offices with skateboard ramps)-- then why do you deserve to remain in business?
Right now we have a system where the market has been perverted such that prices are allowed to be artificially low because the government is willing to subsidize these businesses' costs or the employees themselves are subsidizing their own sad existences by making due with crappy lives. Worst of all we now have business owners who feel entitled to continue this exploitation to offset their own shortcomings as business people and customers who would rather pay an invisible surcharge through some of their taxes going to these employees than choosing which businesses they want to support more directly. I don't shop at Walmart but I still pay to support that company every time one of its employees qualifies for food stamps. I should have the right to opt out of that. Similarly, I should also be able to opt out if small business owners want to be dicks about this and insist that paying people shit wages is the only way they can manage to stay afloat. We are told that if minimum wage employees don't like what they are paid then they are free to find a new job. We are expected to apply this sentiment without sympathy-- it's their choice to work there, after all. But at the same time we are supposed to feel bad for businesses that might go under because they cannot adapt in ways that they expect of their employees-- innovating, learning new skills, expecting and accepting less, etc. Let the market sort out which businesses are efficient enough to survive paying the real costs of running a business, not by letting them pay less than a living wage while we make up the difference through our taxes.
And for those pretending that the minimum wage was never intended to be a living wage, when FDR signed it into law he said: “No business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country.” Amen to that!
Apr 12, 2011
commented on What Planned Parenthood Actually Does—Besides Prevent Nearly a Quarter of a Million Abortions Every Year
The people bitching (falsely) about "having to pay for abortions" through their tax money need to shut the fuck up. What makes you so special that only your concerns get to be addressed one by one? Since when does the government take an opinion poll on where people want their taxes spent? I never supported this war-- which today is widely regarded to have been unnecessary and which has cost a hell of a lot more than Planned Parenthood will ever see-- and no one asked me if I wanted to express my opposition by diverting my taxes somewhere else. The Hyde Amendment prevents any government money from being spent on a legal medical procedure-- abortion. As far as I am concerned, until that day comes when everyone gets to pick and choose where their taxes are spent, you should have to pay for abortions, like it or not, and get over yourselves. I'm not interested in your self-indulgent moral outrage.