Minimum or Maximum Wage

I was reading or watching something the other day (I can’t find it now) that mentioned having a maximum wage, and I thought the idea was interesting.

Why would this be an issue?

Well, the widening gap between the richest 1% and the rest of humanity has been a growing problem:

The combined wealth of the richest 1 percent will overtake that of the other 99 percent of people next year unless the current trend of rising inequality is checked, Oxfam warned today ahead of the annual World Economic Forum meeting in Davos.

So basically, instead of having a minimum wage, you would have a maximum wage. Either this would mean that people weren’t allowed to make over a certain number depending on their profession or (and I like this option better) depending on how much the highest paid person of that company makes, the lowest worker would be guaranteed a certain amount.

So for example (and these are hypothetical numbers) the CEO of company A makes $500,000 per year. This might mean that the lowest paid position in that company is guaranteed to make 10% of that amount, which would work out to $50,000 per year.

As wages for the highest paid positions go up, so to does the wages of the lowest paid positions.

The arguments I’ve heard against this position (or ones I could imagine) are that by capping wages, you take away the incentive to achieve more. This would especially be true in the first scenario that features a hard cap on wages, but the second scenario of scaling wages would still allow for wage increases but would simply mean that those wage increases would be across the board.

You could also argue that it will take a lot of bureaucracy to figure out a fair percentage between the highest paid positions and the lowest, but I don’t think that’s a great argument because it could be done given enough political will.

The most convincing argument against a maximum wage or scaled wage system is that it will chase companies away. They won’t want to operate within a system that doesn’t allow them to take advantage of…errr…increase their pay without also raising the pay of their employees.

Personally, I can see why that might raise concerns.

So what are your thoughts? Do you think either of these two ideas have merit or do you believe the way things run now is working better than either of these ever could?

Hell, I’m no economist. I’m surprised I’m even typing this because money and math both bore the shit out of me.

How did I get here? Where’s my teddy?

Anyhow, looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

 

Re: Tribalism or Identity Politics

So I was going to write a longer response to Mak’s post, which offers some food for thought about Tribalism and identity politics.

I arrived home from work, and decided to sit down and watch a few videos before I would type up some sort of reply.

Coincidence led me to a video that offered a better response than I could give here in writing.

Please watch it to the end when you’re done reading this.

But just before that I want to address one small point that Mak made to my statement. I said:

The reason why I’ve written so much about ideologies lately on this blog is because of identity politics and how dangerous I believe it to be. I think this is another direct result of that.

Mak’s response was:

And I disagree with his analysis. it is not identity politics that is the culprit, no, it is years of oppression based on perceived or real differences that finds expression in such acts of violence.

The person tortured in that video I was commenting on had nothing to do with that past oppression and neither do most of the people alive today. That is no excuse for mistreating people and it never will be.

(I’m not saying that Mak was saying it was by the way)

When people enslaved, segregated and tortured black people (for example) because of the color of their skin, they were doing so for power and they did so by using identity politics. It is the outcome of identity politics taken to its sickening conclusion.

Grouping people into categories and assigning attributes to them based on arbitrary traits is exactly how practices like slavery begin. Those people believed that all black people were inferior animals who deserved to be enslaved. They assigned attributes to them (brutish, less intelligent etc) based on the arbitrary trait of having a darker skin color than themselves.

It didn’t lead to humane treatment then and it doesn’t now. People are individuals and should be judged on what they do; on their personalities; by the merits of their actions. Not on things such as gender, skin color etc.

A ‘history of oppression’ doesn’t excuse wrongdoing. It doesn’t excuse violence, torture or racism in return.

As Martin Luther King once said:

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

Happy New Year – An Injury To Dexter and Is Arguing Online Worth It?

I hope everyone had a great New Year! My holidays are wrapping up and I go back to work tomorrow.

Bleh, bleh, blaaaaah!

No seriously, it’s not that bad. Sure, it will feel strange but I miss my clients and I’m looking forward to seeing them tomorrow.

My New Year was pretty uneventful. We planned on going out but I came down with a bit of a cold so we had to cancel. Instead we had a nice evening at home in front of the fireplace while sipping some wine.

One bad thing happened though…Dexter broke a tooth. My Lady noticed it when scratching his belly and told me that he had a black spot on the tooth beside his canine.

He gets his teeth brushed and at first I thought it must be a piece of food or something, but when I checked it out it turns out she was right.

Yes…she was right. I admit it.

A trip to the vet revealed he had broken his tooth – likely while chewing his antler.

A root canal would be in the vicinity of two to three thousand dollars. To have it removed is a thousand, but February is National dog dental month or something so my vet says he can get me 50% off.

Dexter is scheduled for tooth extraction in mid-February.

Dexter and Duke about to destroy a fort

Not that great in that department. Since Dexter is allergic to most foods, I had no alternative but to get him a Nylabone to chew.

If you have a strong chewer of a dog, perhaps stay away from the antler. I wouldn’t want to see them break their tooth.

I just finished a video about whether arguing online is worth it. I hope you’ll give it a watch and let me know how your New Years went.

 

 

Man Fights Off Cougar With Bare Hands To Save His Dogs

Pretty amazing story of a Canadian man who fought off a cougar with his bare hands to save his two pet Huskies.

I’m pretty sure I’d be doing the same thing if it had been Dexter who was being attacked by a cougar.

I think most dog owners would do the same, but what a crazy moment that must have been – to run over to save your dog only to be confronted by a cougar.

Anyhow, hope you enjoy the video I made about the incident. Let me know what you think in the comment section.

Would you have done the same? Do you think the cougar should have been killed afterward?

Is Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holiday Offensive?

A recent poll came out a few days ago, which took a look at whether people thought Merry Christmas or Happy Holiday were offensive:

 Interestingly, Christians are more likely to be okay with the use of “Happy Holidays” than the general population. Sixty percent of non-Christians supported the use of the term, compared to 62 percent of those who identified as Christian.

Additionally, 39 percent of respondents asserted that holiday-themed branding had no impact on their decision to shop at a particular store.

So yeah. I made a video about it. It saves on typing. *wink*

Do you find either Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays offensive?

Spoiler alert: I think this falls under the ‘live and let live category’. Say either and I’m good with it.

 

Re: Hate The Religion, Love The Believer

Today I read a religious post titled, Hate The Religion, Love The Believer. It’s a post basically exploring whether you can hate the religious belief and still love the person. So I thought I’d take a whack at it.

sinner

The post started off with that meme and asked whether that’s a reasonable position for an atheist or secularist to take.

Atheists have often argued that the Christian slogan to “hate the sin, but love the sinner” is tantamount to their claim to oppose religion but love religious people.  However, I think this would not sit well with me (and many people of faith) because we DEFINE ourselves by our faith, whereas sinners do not define themselves by their sin.

For many devout Christians, she’s right in that they tend to define themselves by their religion. I think that’s why many religious people get offended when an atheist mocks or questions that religion – to them it isn’t just an idea but a part of them.

However, people can define themselves by other ideologies.

For example, for some people their political identity is extremely important to them. Could you love an ardent socialist, communist, Democrat or Republican even if you disagree with their political stances?

I think it fairly obvious that you can.

Actually, I can think of only one type of sinner that defines themselves by their sin, being homosexuals.  So to hate their sin is (to them) equivalent to hating them, the same way Christians feel an attack on their Christian liberties is an attack on them as individuals (as citizens and as humans).

You are trying to conflate a belief with biology. It would be like me trying to equate religious belief with heterosexuality – one is a belief and one is my inherent sexual orientation.

I used to be religious but then I lost my faith. I’m never going to wake up in the morning and find myself sexually attracted to men.

Can you think of other sinners that define themselves by their sin?  Maybe Nazis or the KKK, who define themselves by their hatred and superior feelings against people of colour.  If we hate their sin, can we claim to still love them?

Of course you can and this is a more accurate comparison.

Do you really believe that Nazi’s, Neo-Nazi’s or ardent racists don’t have family members who hate that they think that way but love them nevertheless?

Prisons are full of murderers, rapists and criminals who have loving relationships with spouses or other family members. Some of them are racists and Nazi’s.

She basically confirms this is so in this sentence:

murder1

Yeah, and plenty of atheists love their parents, even though they tried to indoctrinate them with hateful religious ideologies, such as the hell doctrine or that homosexuals are abominations or that they are responsible for the sins of their ancestors etc.

She continues with:

murder2

You are more than just your religious beliefs. I am more than my political beliefs. People are complex beings and can disagree on a whole host of subjects and still agree on others. We can love and enjoy people we fundamentally disagree with because that isn’t the only thing that defines them.

In fact, I think you can find some of that being proven right here on this blog. There are comments by people on here who I would enthusiastically disagree with on religious matters, but I agree with on other subjects. I can enjoy conversing with them about everything, including their belief in a deity.

A Rabbi who I used to have spirited religious discussions with used to tell me that we should focus on what we have in common, rather than our differences, and that if we did, we’d likely find we have far more in common than we have differences.

I think there was a lot of truth in that.

But regardless, I think you can definitely hate or oppose the religious ideologies someone holds but still love the person.

Re: Let Me Set The Record Straight

Damn, I love this post. I just read a post titled Let me set the record straight and it’s pure gold.

Anyhow, this writer recently left the blog, The Coalition of the Brave, and she decided to write this post addressing her detractors on her own site.

As you might expect, it starts off by fostering an atmosphere of open and free discussion:

I’m really sick of dealing with other’s people’s shit. I’ve tried to be nice and clearly that’s not working.

Damn. Did anyone else feel the temperature drop?

Multiple times I’ve had people write passive aggressive blog posts about me because they didn’t like something that I said or because they didn’t “understand” my post.

Yes. I’m sure it never has anything to do with how you present your argument or about your subject matter or anything else that might have to do with you.

It’s always everyone else. Meanies.

Well, I’m going to clear every thing up right now. Apparently, the only way for me to do that is to stoop to their level and also write a post about them…so be it.

Okay…get on with it already!

Wait. Hold that thought.

My dog is eyeing me as I type this. I think he might force my dumb ass to stoop to picking up his dog shit in a few seconds. That should do wonders for my mood.

I’ll be right back.

First of all, if you are a white man you don’t get to tell me how to feel or respond to racism or sexism. Why? Because you don’t fucking know what it’s like.

Alright, I’m back and you have my full attention. I skipped the next paragraph because it was basically whining about how she left because no one understood her and so on. They’re assholes…blah, blah, blah.

But this bit just blows your mind.

How would you know whether a white man has suffered racism or sexism? You’ve talked to all of them? Are you saying there is no scenario where a white person could suffer from racism or a man from sexism?

Being a man and/or white doesn’t mean anything. No one chose to be born with their skin color or sex. It’s an arbitrary trait and says nothing about the person they are. Your opinion is just as valid as a man’s. Neither your sex or his says anything about your character or the validity of your opinion or argument.

If something bad happens to white people somewhere, I don’t care that they’re white. I care if they’re people being treated unjustly.

But to your point, no one can ‘tell’ someone else how to respond to legitimate racism or sexism, but they can hold an opinion on it, and last time I looked we still live in free countries where people can voice that opinion.

I don’t give a fuck if you think you have all the answers. You don’t.

But you do, right?

What you really need to do is shut the fuck up and check your goddamn privilege.

I think you need to check yours, because you’re the one who feels privileged enough to tell others to shut the fuck up.

The fact that you don’t understand this concept is why we keep coming back to this same place.

Speaking for myself, I understand the concept. What you don’t seem to fully grasp is that I disagree with it.

I might not have much, but I worked hard to get where I am. You don’t know me from a hole in the wall, yet you feel entitled enough to brand me as privileged because of my skin color.

Fuck that.

Yes, I brought up privilege. Oh I bet that’ll piss some people off. Are you tired of hearing about it because you don’t actually think it exists. Of course you are….I wonder why that is?

Of course it pisses people off. You’re diminishing their individual achievements.

Yet, somehow you still don’t understand anything that minorities tell you if it doesn’t “directly apply to you” *hint hint* that’s privilege.

You don’t seem to understand that we’re all individuals with different stories, backgrounds, socioeconomic backgrounds, life experiences, history etc.

The fact that you want to label anyone with a particular skin color as being privileged is *hint hint* your privilege speaking.

I’m all for discussions, even a good debate.

Yeah, you’re so warm and inviting.

If you don’t know what feminism is or what it’s about then educate yourself. Don’t start an argument with me just because you don’t like that word. I don’t care.

You seem to think that if someone disagrees with you, they just don’t understand the concept. That’s such a condescending stance to take.

Here’s a thought – maybe they do understand but disagree with it for various reasons.

And if you disagree with my feminism that basically tells me that you’re a shitty person because I believe in equality.

What the hell!?

You can believe in equality and not be a feminist. It’s not like feminism has a lock on the concept of equality.

And no, not being a feminist doesn’t make you a shitty person. The majority of people don’t identify as feminists, and by using your own logic, that means the majority of people are shitty.

If you actually knew me, then you would know that I’m not the kind of person that “creates echo chambers” I am very capable of having great discussions and helping people understand certain situations by explaining to them what they can’t see.

Look at the last bit of that sentence. Do you not realize that you’ve already made up your mind that you’re right, and any discussion you have is about getting people to see ‘what they can’t see’?

Oh, and as long as they aren’t white males. Those white males are so uppity with their idea that their opinions are just as valid as yours. They’re just dripping with privilege and should definitely shut the fuck up.

I’ve seen no sign of your willingness to have a good discussion. You berate people based on the color of their skin and sex, you say anyone who doesn’t agree with you on feminism is a shitty person, and you consistently talk down to people and tell them they just don’t understand.

That’s just in this one post alone. And you wonder why some people take exception to your posts?

None of those qualities contributes to an atmosphere of sharing ideas.

Your lack of maturity and inability to have a conversation isn’t my problem, so do not waste my time with your bullshit.

I rest my case.