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wasoxygen  ·  13 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: THESE TECH COMPANIES WILL NEED MORE WOMEN ON THEIR BOARDS

IMHO we are here for different purposes.

I invite anyone who wants to learn more about the subject to examine the paper you cited in support of the claim that "doubling female participation in board membership increases profits." It says "The results find no impact of board gender quotas on firm performance" in the abstract, and has details about Norway in footnote 9 on page 7.

The paper does not support the claim that increasing female participation in board membership increases profits, rather it describes some correlations, with many qualifications about the uncertainty inherent in this kind of study.

As you have reminded us more than once, correlation does not imply causation.

flagamuffin  ·  12 days ago  ·  link  ·  

for the record i think it's hilarious you still talk to him, keep it up, i love it

kleinbl00  ·  13 days ago  ·  link  ·  

What purpose are you here for? What purpose do you suppose I'm here for? Because I'll note you responded to my other point here, and have made no response to this one. You could even address my principle point: that female participation on boards is good for the general public. Because that "responsibility of one" vs "responsibility for 13,000" angle, which was my point made to you, is hangin' right there.

Unanswered.

Much like the majority of conversations you've ever had where you're directly contradicted.

wasoxygen  ·  14 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: THESE TECH COMPANIES WILL NEED MORE WOMEN ON THEIR BOARDS

The People's Republic of California seems not to have noticed that there are sectors with sex imbalance far more pronounced than the boardroom. The nation's electrical power-line installers and repairers, roofers, brickmasons, blockmasons, and stonemasons are more than 99% male.

Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey

Perhaps the good ol' boys club has practiced discrimination and kept willing and capable women out of these positions. Or perhaps many women recognize that these jobs entail long hours, time away from home, and stress, and they prefer jobs with more predictable schedules, less physical danger, and more human interaction. We might want to find out if the imbalance is due to bias or preference before we intervene and force people into different jobs.

Ask a friendly CEO (once he touches down from his latest flight) if life in the executive C-Suite is for everyone.

Of course, there are compensations for the hardships, and executive salaries tend to be high. Is there a pattern in the most sex-imbalanced jobs showing that women are relegated to lower-paying careers?

The BLS measures male/female job ratio, and median salaries for those job descriptions appear in May 2017 Occupation Profiles.

Here are the salaries for the most imbalanced job descriptions (top ten with 2% or fewer female, or 92% or more female):

   $68,710 Electrical power-line installers and repairers

$42,780 Roofers

$53,390 Brickmasons, blockmasons, and stonemasons

$45,490 Cement masons, concrete finishers, and terrazzo workers

$45,630 Automotive body and related repairers

$55,040 Mining machine operators

$51,890 Operating engineers and other construction equipment operators

$48,000 Bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists

$39,160 Miscellaneous vehicle and mobile equipment mechanics, installers, and repairers

$49,530 Heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers

   $49,962 AVERAGE 

   $42,820 Medical records and health information technicians

$107,480 Nurse practitioners

$30,490 Hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists

$23,760 Childcare workers

$60,150 Dietitians and nutritionists

$74,680 Dental hygienists

$41,062 Secretaries and administrative assistants

$38,690 Dental assistants

$39,601 Preschool and kindergarten teachers

$79,770 Speech-language pathologists

   $53,850 AVERAGE

(Where the job description is a category, I have calculated a weighted average of the subcategory salaries. For example, non-special-ed kindergarten teachers earn $57,110, but three times as many preschool teachers earn $33,590, so the weighted average is $39,601.)

oyster  ·  11 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I decided to take a few days to get together my response for this because in my opinion, well, you're all wrong or looking at this from the wrong angle.

The reason they do this isn't to get more women on boards now for any immediate reason even if that's how they sell it to you. The reason they do this is to start shifting societal norms. Corporations do this. I'm on a committee at work and they asked us about changing a bonus system, some people disagreed since it wouldn't benefit them while some people agreed since it would benefit them. I found out just how much of a natural born corporate shill I am that day by chiming in that it didn't matter what anybody thought, it mattered that in a year or two when all the staff were different anyways this would be the new normal and how would it benefit us then ? What kind of staff would we be attracting and would this effect our ability to retain the best staff in the long term ?

So, current opinions aside, what does this do in a year or in five years ? When everybody's moved on to talking about something else ? Keep in mind that Trudeau's gender neutral cabinet is old news, I actually straight up forgot about it. What did it do though ? It changed who we saw in power and that's important because it gets us more comfortable with the idea. Let's look at nurses, generally elderly patient don't like male nurses because it's weird for them. They aren't used to it. So we provide incentive to going into the profession or hiring male staff. It achieves basically nothing in the short term beyond some numbers. In the long term though people growing up now see male nurses more commonly and aren't as weird about it. We now have a larger pool of people who are likely to pick the profession and considering our aging population and nursing shortage that's not such a bad thing. Representation is generally what people are trying to change with these things, encouraging a wider variety of people to aim high has benefits across the country. You want to lower teen pregnancy and thereby the number of people relying on the welfare system ? Want to lower the number of people who fall through the cracks ? You've got to give them something to aim for. They don't even have to become a CEO, all they have to do is not get knocked up or get hooked on drugs before they're able to take care of themselves. In this case representation matters.

I strongly recommend any book by Bruce Hood, one of my favourites is called The Self Illusion which argues the self as we know it is likely entirely built of our experiences in the world. One study cited looked at how gender plays a part in how we interact with babies. The same baby was dressed in either blue or pink and introduced as either Nathan or Sarah. When introduced to the same baby as a girl the adults talked about how beautiful she was and when introduced to the baby as a boy they commented on what career they might have. This study was done in 1986, the women who young girls now look up to were raised in this type of environment. So the question isn't do women simply prefer different professions, it's not even have we socially influenced women to prefer different professions ( we know we have ), it is can we use this to our benefit. Corporations don't care about you, and neither does the government. Corporations care about the health of said corporation and the government cares about the health of the place they are governing. Some succeed and some fail, this is how one is attempting to succeed in the long run.

kleinbl00  ·  14 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Eighteen of your twenty professions are shift work. Twenty of your twenty professions have no hiring authority. Meanwhile, the average pay of a board member is between $100k and $250k, depending on the size... and "average" is a misnomer here in that it can easily extend to the millions.

For a part-time job.

That you can hold several of.

So. By all means, bring up "electrical power-line installers" (no roughnecks? I mean, there aren't a lot of women doing that either!) but let's not pretend there's anything approximating an equivalency here. After all, a dietician can directly affect the livelihood of - well, herself - while the thirteen board members of CBS are responsible for $21 billion in assets and 13,000 employees.

"Preschool and kindergarten teachers." ORLY.

wasoxygen  ·  13 days ago  ·  link  ·  

IMHO we are here for different purposes.

I invite anyone who wants to learn more about the subject to examine the paper you cited in support of the claim that "doubling female participation in board membership increases profits." It says "The results find no impact of board gender quotas on firm performance" in the abstract, and has details about Norway in footnote 9 on page 7.

The paper does not support the claim that increasing female participation in board membership increases profits, rather it describes some correlations, with many qualifications about the uncertainty inherent in this kind of study.

As you have reminded us more than once, correlation does not imply causation.

flagamuffin  ·  12 days ago  ·  link  ·  

for the record i think it's hilarious you still talk to him, keep it up, i love it

kleinbl00  ·  13 days ago  ·  link  ·  

What purpose are you here for? What purpose do you suppose I'm here for? Because I'll note you responded to my other point here, and have made no response to this one. You could even address my principle point: that female participation on boards is good for the general public. Because that "responsibility of one" vs "responsibility for 13,000" angle, which was my point made to you, is hangin' right there.

Unanswered.

Much like the majority of conversations you've ever had where you're directly contradicted.

wasoxygen  ·  20 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The fundamental lie at the base of American Conservatism

    If you are Evangelical and Pro-Life, you subscribe to two sets of beliefs that strictly curtail the behaviors of other people.

Beliefs alone do not curtail behavior; hence your next sentence mentions enforcement. To repeat my example, I may believe eating meat is unethical. This alone would not curtail anyone's behavior. I might advocate for some kind of enforcement, or I might try to peacefully persuade people that my position is correct, or I might quietly fret and wish the world were a better place.

It seems to me that you are assuming that people who oppose these behaviors must necessarily approve of exercising government power to dissuade or prevent people from the behaviors.

It is hard to have a discussion when you get to define the terms. Don't some pro-life people condone abortion when the life of the mother is in jeopardy?

I think I understand your big idea, and I don't discount your concerns about a slippery slope. I just find your language very absolute and self-righteous, the same characteristics that make it hard to discuss ideas with a religious ideologue. ("You cannot be evangelical and pro-life and support limited government" -- when, again, enforcement of morals would be a very small slice of government activity, and doesn't everyone support a limited government to some extent?)

goobster  ·  17 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I think you are reading things into my statement that aren't there.

There are Christians ike yourself, and of several different types, that believe in Christianity and practice it in their way.

Evangelical Christians are a specific subset that PUSH the beliefs onto other people. Imposing the belief system upon everyone is the definition of evangelical.

You are one of the more moderate Christian flavors that does not champion the imposition of Christianity upon all people.

I'm simply saying that a government based upon the idea of forcing all residents into a specific belief system is going to require an enormous security/surveillance apparatus to measure people's adherence to these beliefs. Therefore it is cognitively dissonant (or willfully ignorant) to believe that evangelism is compatible with the goal of "small government".

wasoxygen  ·  20 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Friday Fun (Fake?) Facts

Rope?! That's crazy. What about fire, rodents, rotting? I am always amazed when the state of the art in engineering is the least worst thing that works. When it's not a split washer.

I made up the bit about gold and platinum. Then I had to fact-check it because you never know.

wasoxygen  ·  20 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Friday Fun (Fake?) Facts

Yes, spoilers in the links are intended to save me the trouble of arbitrating.

I forgot about the tulips. The PDF is titled "Private Ordering at the World's First Futures Exchange" but maybe it should be qualified as the first semi-legally-recognized one.

    Despite the shogunate's relative laxity, Dojima participants nevertheless acted in the long shadow of latent governmental regulation. Licensing requirements determined the players of the game. The monopoly on futures contracts granted to Dojima likely increased the force of internal sanctions. The threat of license confiscation may have created additional incentives for proper behavior. The Dojima experience thus leaves open the possibility that the development of efficient rules in self-organized markets may require something less than complete governmental withdrawal.

    Regulatory developments at Dojima, especially before 1730, bear striking resemblance to those in early European and American markets. In the famous seventeenth-century Dutch tulip forwards market, trading persisted despite six government attempts to ban such trading. In England, the passage in 1734 of Sir John Barnard's Act, "[a]n act to prevent the infamous practice of stock-jobbing," effectively banned the trading of options. Yet despite fines for selling stock that one does not own, option transactions apparently continued. In New York, a 1792 law, the "watered-down equivalent of Barnard's Act," did not explicitly prohibit options transactions, but made options contracts void and thus unenforceable in court. In New York as in England, "time bargains went on as before, but were enforced privately, without the assistance of the legal system."

wasoxygen  ·  20 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The fundamental lie at the base of American Conservatism

So unless I want government to enforce my position, I must abandon that position? If I believe it's wrong for people to eat meat, but also wrong for me or the FDA to force others to eat veggies, I must be an idiot? Why such hostility toward people with different ideas?

Even if someone wants strict government control over people's sex and medical decisions, that is a minute fraction of what government does. (I didn't read the article.)

All the users I respected for being able to articulate non-mainstream views have quit Hubski, or at least quit putting much effort into it. I also find exploring issues increasingly unsatisfying.

At least we have #funfacts.

goobster  ·  20 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Well, no. You gotta dig a little bit.

If you are Evangelical and Pro-Life, you subscribe to two sets of beliefs that strictly curtail the behaviors of other people.

The only way to enforce a person's adherence to a specific set of behavioral standards, is through policing (in one of its many forms). Since both of these things involve both private practice and public actions, you now need a way to inspect how someone spends their private time, as well as their behaviour in public.

Now you need a system for monitoring the thoughts, conversations, and actions of every American, in public and private spaces.

I know you are going to reject this thinking, or write it off as "slippery slope", but these slopes have already been slid down in my relatively short lifetime. It's not difficult to picture them happening again.

Example: A doctor cannot help a woman save her own life, by advising her to abort a tubal pregnancy. She has to suffer and die from her pregnancy. How does the State know the doctor did not inform her about abortion? Because they recorded the exam and interactions between the doctor and patient.

Example: A school teacher informs students that dinosaurs lived 50 million years ago, and is fired because she is mis-informing the students that the world is more than 6,000 years old. (Or the teacher mistakenly brings up Egypt, which has a written record and physical artifacts dating back more than 6,000 years.)

Remember, Evangelical =/= Christian. Evangelical is a proselytizing Christian. A radical Christian, like a radical Muslim. Someone who wants to promote and enforce a specific flavor of Christianity.

Pro-Life is someone actively against the practice of abortion in every circumstance.

That's what these words actually mean. So while there are less-virulent forms of both beliefs, those terms are well-defined and well-understood by the people who wear them proudly in public. They are the Christian version of a burka or headscarf.

wasoxygen  ·  20 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    If you are Evangelical and Pro-Life, you subscribe to two sets of beliefs that strictly curtail the behaviors of other people.

Beliefs alone do not curtail behavior; hence your next sentence mentions enforcement. To repeat my example, I may believe eating meat is unethical. This alone would not curtail anyone's behavior. I might advocate for some kind of enforcement, or I might try to peacefully persuade people that my position is correct, or I might quietly fret and wish the world were a better place.

It seems to me that you are assuming that people who oppose these behaviors must necessarily approve of exercising government power to dissuade or prevent people from the behaviors.

It is hard to have a discussion when you get to define the terms. Don't some pro-life people condone abortion when the life of the mother is in jeopardy?

I think I understand your big idea, and I don't discount your concerns about a slippery slope. I just find your language very absolute and self-righteous, the same characteristics that make it hard to discuss ideas with a religious ideologue. ("You cannot be evangelical and pro-life and support limited government" -- when, again, enforcement of morals would be a very small slice of government activity, and doesn't everyone support a limited government to some extent?)

goobster  ·  17 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I think you are reading things into my statement that aren't there.

There are Christians ike yourself, and of several different types, that believe in Christianity and practice it in their way.

Evangelical Christians are a specific subset that PUSH the beliefs onto other people. Imposing the belief system upon everyone is the definition of evangelical.

You are one of the more moderate Christian flavors that does not champion the imposition of Christianity upon all people.

I'm simply saying that a government based upon the idea of forcing all residents into a specific belief system is going to require an enormous security/surveillance apparatus to measure people's adherence to these beliefs. Therefore it is cognitively dissonant (or willfully ignorant) to believe that evangelism is compatible with the goal of "small government".

bfv  ·  20 days ago  ·  link  ·  

We're all agonists now.

wasoxygen  ·  22 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Three Cheers for Price Gouging During Hurricane Florence

Stossel vs. WWF was classiness all around.

    Mr. Stossel interviewed the wrestler on Dec. 28 at Madison Square Garden. In a "20/20" segment that was broadcast Thursday night, Mr. Stossel attempted to show that professional wrestling was a monopoly and that bouts were, in the words of one former wrestler on the program, "predetermined."

    When Mr. Stossel interviewed Mr. Schultz, the dialogue went this way:

    STOSSEL: I'll ask you the standard question, you know: "I think this is fake."

    SCHULTZ: You think it's fake?

    At this point, he punched Mr. Stossel's right ear.

    SCHULTZ: What's that? Is that fake?

    At this point, he punched Mr. Stossel's left ear.

    STOSSEL: What the hell's wrong with you?

    SCHULTZ: That's an open-hand slap. You think it's fake? I'll fake you.

    Repeated telephone calls to Vince McMahon, the president of Titan Sports, went unreturned yesterday, but Marvin Kohn, a deputy commissioner at the New York State Athletic Commission, which issues licenses for professional wrestlers, said he had been on the premises during the assault.

    "I have been with the commission for 33 years," said Mr. Kohn. "In the 33 years, I have never known a wrestler to attack anyone outside the ring. I immediately suspended the wrestler, which I have the right to do."

    The commission, headed by Commissioner Jose Torres, directed Mr. Schultz to come to a hearing. Mr. Kohn said the wrestler wrote a letter to the commission in which he "acknowledged that he had acted improperly and apologized both to the commission and to Mr. Stossel."

    "I admit the allegations," Mr. Schultz's Jan. 23 letter to the commission read. "I intend the commission to know that I did not intend to hurt John Stossel. I apologize to the commission and to John Stossel."

    Mr. Stossel said that he was unaware of the apology and would pursue his action in court, unless the aftereffects of the assault disappeared, in which case, he said, he would be "less likely to sue."

I don't mean to vouch for Stossel's character, that discussion is much less interesting than the issues he raises. But fact-checking is always so rewarding.

    Although he has consistently maintained that World Wrestling Federation officials told him to hit Stossel, Schultz was fired. Many industry insiders believe that it was not because of his actions against Stossel, but rather because he [ring name: Dr. D] challenged Mr. T to a fight backstage at a WWF show at Madison Square Garden.
wasoxygen  ·  28 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Three Cheers for Price Gouging During Hurricane Florence

I am inclined to agree.

In my view, the non-libertarian philosophy is a grand scientific experiment, testing out systems of all kinds, discarding those which definitely end in mountains of skulls, tweaking and recombining ideas, trying to get the checks and balances just so, creating agencies to monitor agencies, sometimes ending with Sweden and sometimes with Venezuela, confident that if we can get the system right, and get people to love more and hate less, to work together and be fair and good to each other, we can lick all of society's problems.

I won't speak for others, but I advocate that we see reality as it is, and take human nature as it is, a complex mixture of self-interest, kin preference, and occasional random acts of kindness, assume that many people will do evil if they can get away with it, but most just want to get along and prosper, that market incentives are reliable because most people seek opportunities to improve their situation, that social incentives are essential because we are social creatures with herd instincts, that we look for arrangements that result in the best overall outcomes, focusing especially on reducing poverty, seeing that the increase in wealth following trade specialization and market exchange did more to improve worldwide health, peace and happiness than any grand plan, and stop worrying about inequality so much.

kleinbl00  ·  28 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The free market pundits love to slag on Piketty without acknowledging that his recommendation, after 500-odd pages of facts and statistics, was a free market economy regulated by socialists.

The question is not whether market incentives are reliable; the question is whether market incentives are more important than humans. The field of behavioral economics has demonstrated again and again and again that the more distance you put between an actor and the people he's acting on, the less humane he will be. Communism and libertarianism both work great so long as your society's population fits within Dunbar's number. As soon as there are strangers about, crime no longer has a victim. And nearly everyone can abide by the golden rule and the whole thing crumbles the minute someone steps out of line; call it prisoner's dilemma, call it tragedy of the commons, call it what you will libertarianism and communism presume a stable solution to an unstable problem.

wasoxygen  ·  28 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Three Cheers for Price Gouging During Hurricane Florence

If cost & transportation & reasonable profit provide sufficient incentive for sellers to meet the demand, gougers will not be able to sell and get "unreasonable" profit, whatever that might mean.

They might even dump their goods at a lower-than-intended price, if they are permitted to risk their own resources in bringing goods to the site of an emergency, hoping to sell for high prices.

Who gets to decide what price is unreasonable for every product in every context? If nobody buys, nobody gets gouged. If someone buys, will you tell them they are not allowed to get the generator at that price because in someone else's opinion it is too expensive?

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wasoxygen  ·  28 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Three Cheers for Price Gouging During Hurricane Florence

    they don't ship them and people continue to go without

This (along with a mistrust and distaste for meddling paternalism that often does more harm than good) is my main concern. If the generator supply is adequate, gougers have nothing to do. When demand spikes, gougers respond by increasing supply.

    Additionally, in that time maybe everyone runs out of generators. Gouging takes advantage of this.

I suggest that gougers discourage running out. If there's a hurricane coming and generators are priced as usual (the word "fair" is hard to pin down) I'll buy one for sure, and maybe two or three as backups. If batteries and milk are priced as usual, the shelves will be empty. If hotel rooms are at the regular rate, a large, affluent family will happily spread out into two rooms.

If prices reflect the spike in demand, I'll reconsider, and maybe buy the smallest generator that I can get by with rather than one large enough to supply two houses. Higher prices provide incentive to use emergency goods more efficiently (while making black markets irrelevant).

WanderingEng  ·  28 days ago  ·  link  ·  

My suggestion is that gouging takes advantage of the entire scenario, that it takes advantage of people's fear of not getting it.

I like to think existing profit margins should incentivize sellers to have enough. If they can't supply demand at the usual prices, who will fill the gap by gouging? If the battery and milk shelves are empty, they should be getting supply to fill them. If they're able to gouge, they're incentivized to create scarcity. While there can be arguments that other retailers will undercut attempts like that, I don't trust that they will. It doesn't take coordinated price fixing to see the dollars in making people afraid and in the store to buy generators, batteries, and milk. Have a healthy supply of them but only put a few out on display, triple the price, and keep restocking every fifteen minutes and they'd probably make out pretty good regardless of what other stores are doing.

snoodog  ·  27 days ago  ·  link  ·  

This is purely a resource allocation problem, do you allocate resources randomly or do you allocate them based on need/demand. A person that needs to run a sump pump to prevent flooding is going to be way more likely to pay 3-4x for a generator than some who wants to watch football and have cold beer. If you put a price ceiling than it’s going to be random luck on who gets the generator and it won’t be assigned to where it does the most good.

Some bleeding heart liberal will of course say that poor people live in lower areas, poor people are less likely to evacuate so poor people are being price gouged so it’s not fair. And yeah life’s not really fair but we don’t currently have a better way to distribute resources based on need. What will likely happen is that all the generators will either get bought by people that don’t need them or scalpers for the secondary market and the person that really needs one will either have to pay even more on the secondary market or not be able to get a generator at all and sustain huge avoidable losses. So instead of a shitty situation to the tune of $1000 for a overpriced generator someone might be out 50-100k in flood damage

wasoxygen  ·  28 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Three Cheers for Price Gouging During Hurricane Florence

Agree, the creepy charity is irrelevant.

    we're talking about leveraging someone's severe misfortune for profit

Trauma surgeons profit from severe misfortune. Relief workers take home a day's pay. I'm not sure what you mean by "leveraging" -- do you object that someone is making more profit than you approve of, or that they are benefiting from a misfortune, or the combination?

    Even Texas has anti-gouging laws

This seems irrelevant: the question is whether gouging is right or wrong. Laws do not make it so.

    So it seems like a relatively extremist argument to say "Hey, free market, amirite?" as an attempt to justify unbridled human greed.

Extreme, and ridiculous. We don't need to refute a silly, four-word argument. If you designate the purpose of the argument as "to justify a vice" it is much easier to dismiss than if the purpose is "to increase the supply of urgently needed supplies during a disaster." But we should not argue about intentions, we should argue about results.

    The only negative consequences that I can think of are the cost of enforcing anti-gouging laws

Perhaps confiscating the goods would defray these expenses. But the law should also provide a deterring, punitive effect. Do you agree that both buyer and seller are necessary to complete a gouging transaction? If so, both are participating in an illegal act. Would you support prosecuting the purchaser in a gouging sale? If not, what will you tell the guy who was about to pay double for a generator so he can keep the freezer running?

The negative consequence I first thought of was that 19 generators, trucked 600 miles into the disaster zone, didn't help the storm victims. Anti-gouging laws clearly limit the incentive to bring new supply where there is a shortage.

    and the cost of government assistance programs designed to boost the influx of resources into areas of suffering people. But the majority of Americans, including me, have decided that we'll foot that bill.

This is not a cost of prohibiting gouging. It's a cost of meeting the emergency demand with a public program. If, indeed, the majority of Americans support this program, and they successfully elect politicians who promise to provide this program, and the politicians try to keep their promises, and the bad party does not interfere, and the budget is allocated, and the agencies are created, and competent, honest leaders are appointed, and the funds come through, and any unintended consequences of government competing with honest businesspeople are avoided, and clever beneficiaries do not connive ways to capture and hoard and resell the handouts, and a gaggle of contracting companies do not squeeze the program for every nickel, so at last everyone who wants a generator gets one, then, at last, the gouger will have nothing to do.

ThurberMingus  ·  28 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Anti-gouging laws clearly limit the incentive to bring new supply where there is a shortage.

Limited, not removed. Selling a generator for cost&transportation&reasonable profit isn't gouging.

snoodog  ·  28 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It would never make sense to bring generators into the worst disaster areas. The optimal delivery point is just far enough to sell the generators on the outskirts of the storm damage. Instead of moving goods to the area of highest demand you would move them to an area of lowest barriers.

wasoxygen  ·  28 days ago  ·  link  ·  

If cost & transportation & reasonable profit provide sufficient incentive for sellers to meet the demand, gougers will not be able to sell and get "unreasonable" profit, whatever that might mean.

They might even dump their goods at a lower-than-intended price, if they are permitted to risk their own resources in bringing goods to the site of an emergency, hoping to sell for high prices.

Who gets to decide what price is unreasonable for every product in every context? If nobody buys, nobody gets gouged. If someone buys, will you tell them they are not allowed to get the generator at that price because in someone else's opinion it is too expensive?

wasoxygen  ·  28 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Three Cheers for Price Gouging During Hurricane Florence

I agree that the best way to meet urgent needs following a natural disaster is for humanity to band together as one, loving and supporting one another with generosity and sacrifice.

Many people do this. If enough of us followed the Golden Rule, the gouger will have nothing to do, for people who can get generators through compassion will not pay a premium for generators.

Prices do convey information, which we can also get from the Weather Channel. They also provide an incentive for people to respond to urgent demand, when the Golden Rule is not sufficient.

kleinbl00  ·  28 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    If enough of us followed the Golden Rule

That right there is the crux of the issue, and where the rubber hits the road on libertarian/not libertarian thinking.

    Prices...also provide an incentive for people to respond to urgent demand,

No, that is. To the libertarian mindset, a market incentive is every bit as good as a social incentive. To everyone else, it's clearly, obviously, and self-demonstrably not.

wasoxygen  ·  28 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I am inclined to agree.

In my view, the non-libertarian philosophy is a grand scientific experiment, testing out systems of all kinds, discarding those which definitely end in mountains of skulls, tweaking and recombining ideas, trying to get the checks and balances just so, creating agencies to monitor agencies, sometimes ending with Sweden and sometimes with Venezuela, confident that if we can get the system right, and get people to love more and hate less, to work together and be fair and good to each other, we can lick all of society's problems.

I won't speak for others, but I advocate that we see reality as it is, and take human nature as it is, a complex mixture of self-interest, kin preference, and occasional random acts of kindness, assume that many people will do evil if they can get away with it, but most just want to get along and prosper, that market incentives are reliable because most people seek opportunities to improve their situation, that social incentives are essential because we are social creatures with herd instincts, that we look for arrangements that result in the best overall outcomes, focusing especially on reducing poverty, seeing that the increase in wealth following trade specialization and market exchange did more to improve worldwide health, peace and happiness than any grand plan, and stop worrying about inequality so much.

kleinbl00  ·  28 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The free market pundits love to slag on Piketty without acknowledging that his recommendation, after 500-odd pages of facts and statistics, was a free market economy regulated by socialists.

The question is not whether market incentives are reliable; the question is whether market incentives are more important than humans. The field of behavioral economics has demonstrated again and again and again that the more distance you put between an actor and the people he's acting on, the less humane he will be. Communism and libertarianism both work great so long as your society's population fits within Dunbar's number. As soon as there are strangers about, crime no longer has a victim. And nearly everyone can abide by the golden rule and the whole thing crumbles the minute someone steps out of line; call it prisoner's dilemma, call it tragedy of the commons, call it what you will libertarianism and communism presume a stable solution to an unstable problem.

wasoxygen  ·  28 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Three Cheers for Price Gouging During Hurricane Florence

John Stossel: too wrong to refute!

  

We were able to discuss What's wrong with slavery? We had a lot of agreement, though I still await a definition of coercion from b_b.

  

So, what's wrong with gouging? Are there any negative consequences of prohibiting gouging?

kleinbl00  ·  28 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Natural disasters are pretty much the genesis of community. Humans band together to overcome challenges that would crush individuals. This is basic social contract shit: we pay taxes and abide by rules so that when we are at a disadvantage, the greater community will protect us as we protect the unfortunate when we are not harmed.

Gouging is a fundamental attack on the social contract. Yeah - maybe you need a generator so badly you'll pay double... but in a disaster you need everything badly. Gouging upends the typical distribution of resources to the advantage of the few and powerful; Stossel's generator hero is getting there on highways kept safe by DOT, using gas certified and regulated by the Department of Commerce and selling in an environment kept safe by the police department. It's not like he showed up like the Great Humungus with an army of gay bikers at his back.

Stossel's basic argument is something along the lines of a free market allows the revelation of scarcity through price discovery. Fucking duh. A place without power needs power generation. A place without running water needs water. You don't need "price discovery" to determine this. You need the logical extension of the social contract to speed relief to affected areas so that everyone in unaffected areas can prosper under the sense that their society will protect them from the greater hardship of Hobbes' nastybrutishandshort.

It's not that this shit can't be refuted. It's that it can be solved by inspection. This here is some real Golden Rule shit and it takes a libertarian to argue that they're 100% A-OK as the starving, in-the-dark instruments of "price discovery."

wasoxygen  ·  28 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I agree that the best way to meet urgent needs following a natural disaster is for humanity to band together as one, loving and supporting one another with generosity and sacrifice.

Many people do this. If enough of us followed the Golden Rule, the gouger will have nothing to do, for people who can get generators through compassion will not pay a premium for generators.

Prices do convey information, which we can also get from the Weather Channel. They also provide an incentive for people to respond to urgent demand, when the Golden Rule is not sufficient.

kleinbl00  ·  28 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    If enough of us followed the Golden Rule

That right there is the crux of the issue, and where the rubber hits the road on libertarian/not libertarian thinking.

    Prices...also provide an incentive for people to respond to urgent demand,

No, that is. To the libertarian mindset, a market incentive is every bit as good as a social incentive. To everyone else, it's clearly, obviously, and self-demonstrably not.

wasoxygen  ·  28 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I am inclined to agree.

In my view, the non-libertarian philosophy is a grand scientific experiment, testing out systems of all kinds, discarding those which definitely end in mountains of skulls, tweaking and recombining ideas, trying to get the checks and balances just so, creating agencies to monitor agencies, sometimes ending with Sweden and sometimes with Venezuela, confident that if we can get the system right, and get people to love more and hate less, to work together and be fair and good to each other, we can lick all of society's problems.

I won't speak for others, but I advocate that we see reality as it is, and take human nature as it is, a complex mixture of self-interest, kin preference, and occasional random acts of kindness, assume that many people will do evil if they can get away with it, but most just want to get along and prosper, that market incentives are reliable because most people seek opportunities to improve their situation, that social incentives are essential because we are social creatures with herd instincts, that we look for arrangements that result in the best overall outcomes, focusing especially on reducing poverty, seeing that the increase in wealth following trade specialization and market exchange did more to improve worldwide health, peace and happiness than any grand plan, and stop worrying about inequality so much.

kleinbl00  ·  28 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The free market pundits love to slag on Piketty without acknowledging that his recommendation, after 500-odd pages of facts and statistics, was a free market economy regulated by socialists.

The question is not whether market incentives are reliable; the question is whether market incentives are more important than humans. The field of behavioral economics has demonstrated again and again and again that the more distance you put between an actor and the people he's acting on, the less humane he will be. Communism and libertarianism both work great so long as your society's population fits within Dunbar's number. As soon as there are strangers about, crime no longer has a victim. And nearly everyone can abide by the golden rule and the whole thing crumbles the minute someone steps out of line; call it prisoner's dilemma, call it tragedy of the commons, call it what you will libertarianism and communism presume a stable solution to an unstable problem.

WanderingEng  ·  28 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    So, what's wrong with gouging?

I could go today to Home Depot and buy a generator. Doing no comparisons between different suppliers, I can be fairly sure I'm paying a fair price. With no emergencies going on, generators are essentially a commodity.

But during an emergency, supply becomes scarce in very specific areas. In such cases, I might go to Home Depot and pay triple what I'd pay at Lowe's, but without shopping around I don't know that. It's an emergency, and I don't have the time to shop around. Additionally, in that time maybe everyone runs out of generators. Gouging takes advantage of this.

    Are there any negative consequences of prohibiting gouging?

It sends the wrong price signals. A generator shortage in the Gulf Coast doesn't equate to a national shortage. But it might cost more to send a delivery truck off the normal schedule, and with the damaged infrastructure along the way there may be additional costs. Unable to raise the price, they don't ship them and people continue to go without.

wasoxygen  ·  28 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    they don't ship them and people continue to go without

This (along with a mistrust and distaste for meddling paternalism that often does more harm than good) is my main concern. If the generator supply is adequate, gougers have nothing to do. When demand spikes, gougers respond by increasing supply.

    Additionally, in that time maybe everyone runs out of generators. Gouging takes advantage of this.

I suggest that gougers discourage running out. If there's a hurricane coming and generators are priced as usual (the word "fair" is hard to pin down) I'll buy one for sure, and maybe two or three as backups. If batteries and milk are priced as usual, the shelves will be empty. If hotel rooms are at the regular rate, a large, affluent family will happily spread out into two rooms.

If prices reflect the spike in demand, I'll reconsider, and maybe buy the smallest generator that I can get by with rather than one large enough to supply two houses. Higher prices provide incentive to use emergency goods more efficiently (while making black markets irrelevant).

WanderingEng  ·  28 days ago  ·  link  ·  

My suggestion is that gouging takes advantage of the entire scenario, that it takes advantage of people's fear of not getting it.

I like to think existing profit margins should incentivize sellers to have enough. If they can't supply demand at the usual prices, who will fill the gap by gouging? If the battery and milk shelves are empty, they should be getting supply to fill them. If they're able to gouge, they're incentivized to create scarcity. While there can be arguments that other retailers will undercut attempts like that, I don't trust that they will. It doesn't take coordinated price fixing to see the dollars in making people afraid and in the store to buy generators, batteries, and milk. Have a healthy supply of them but only put a few out on display, triple the price, and keep restocking every fifteen minutes and they'd probably make out pretty good regardless of what other stores are doing.

snoodog  ·  27 days ago  ·  link  ·  

This is purely a resource allocation problem, do you allocate resources randomly or do you allocate them based on need/demand. A person that needs to run a sump pump to prevent flooding is going to be way more likely to pay 3-4x for a generator than some who wants to watch football and have cold beer. If you put a price ceiling than it’s going to be random luck on who gets the generator and it won’t be assigned to where it does the most good.

Some bleeding heart liberal will of course say that poor people live in lower areas, poor people are less likely to evacuate so poor people are being price gouged so it’s not fair. And yeah life’s not really fair but we don’t currently have a better way to distribute resources based on need. What will likely happen is that all the generators will either get bought by people that don’t need them or scalpers for the secondary market and the person that really needs one will either have to pay even more on the secondary market or not be able to get a generator at all and sustain huge avoidable losses. So instead of a shitty situation to the tune of $1000 for a overpriced generator someone might be out 50-100k in flood damage

am_Unition  ·  28 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Setting aside the audacity required to establish a namesake charity designed to teach children exclusively one brand of economic thought (ad hominem fallacy, as you say)...

At a fundamental level, we're talking about leveraging someone's severe misfortune for profit. Even Texas has anti-gouging laws that were fairly well enforced in the wake of Harvey. So it seems like a relatively extremist argument to say "Hey, free market, amirite?" as an attempt to justify unbridled human greed.

The only negative consequences that I can think of are the cost of enforcing anti-gouging laws and the cost of government assistance programs designed to boost the influx of resources into areas of suffering people. But the majority of Americans, including me, have decided that we'll foot that bill.

Now, FEMA flood insurance on the other hand, ehhhhhh, I'm not so sure that we should keep on writing those contracts so willy nilly, but that's effectively another can of worms.

wasoxygen  ·  28 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Agree, the creepy charity is irrelevant.

    we're talking about leveraging someone's severe misfortune for profit

Trauma surgeons profit from severe misfortune. Relief workers take home a day's pay. I'm not sure what you mean by "leveraging" -- do you object that someone is making more profit than you approve of, or that they are benefiting from a misfortune, or the combination?

    Even Texas has anti-gouging laws

This seems irrelevant: the question is whether gouging is right or wrong. Laws do not make it so.

    So it seems like a relatively extremist argument to say "Hey, free market, amirite?" as an attempt to justify unbridled human greed.

Extreme, and ridiculous. We don't need to refute a silly, four-word argument. If you designate the purpose of the argument as "to justify a vice" it is much easier to dismiss than if the purpose is "to increase the supply of urgently needed supplies during a disaster." But we should not argue about intentions, we should argue about results.

    The only negative consequences that I can think of are the cost of enforcing anti-gouging laws

Perhaps confiscating the goods would defray these expenses. But the law should also provide a deterring, punitive effect. Do you agree that both buyer and seller are necessary to complete a gouging transaction? If so, both are participating in an illegal act. Would you support prosecuting the purchaser in a gouging sale? If not, what will you tell the guy who was about to pay double for a generator so he can keep the freezer running?

The negative consequence I first thought of was that 19 generators, trucked 600 miles into the disaster zone, didn't help the storm victims. Anti-gouging laws clearly limit the incentive to bring new supply where there is a shortage.

    and the cost of government assistance programs designed to boost the influx of resources into areas of suffering people. But the majority of Americans, including me, have decided that we'll foot that bill.

This is not a cost of prohibiting gouging. It's a cost of meeting the emergency demand with a public program. If, indeed, the majority of Americans support this program, and they successfully elect politicians who promise to provide this program, and the politicians try to keep their promises, and the bad party does not interfere, and the budget is allocated, and the agencies are created, and competent, honest leaders are appointed, and the funds come through, and any unintended consequences of government competing with honest businesspeople are avoided, and clever beneficiaries do not connive ways to capture and hoard and resell the handouts, and a gaggle of contracting companies do not squeeze the program for every nickel, so at last everyone who wants a generator gets one, then, at last, the gouger will have nothing to do.

ThurberMingus  ·  28 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Anti-gouging laws clearly limit the incentive to bring new supply where there is a shortage.

Limited, not removed. Selling a generator for cost&transportation&reasonable profit isn't gouging.

snoodog  ·  28 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It would never make sense to bring generators into the worst disaster areas. The optimal delivery point is just far enough to sell the generators on the outskirts of the storm damage. Instead of moving goods to the area of highest demand you would move them to an area of lowest barriers.

wasoxygen  ·  28 days ago  ·  link  ·  

If cost & transportation & reasonable profit provide sufficient incentive for sellers to meet the demand, gougers will not be able to sell and get "unreasonable" profit, whatever that might mean.

They might even dump their goods at a lower-than-intended price, if they are permitted to risk their own resources in bringing goods to the site of an emergency, hoping to sell for high prices.

Who gets to decide what price is unreasonable for every product in every context? If nobody buys, nobody gets gouged. If someone buys, will you tell them they are not allowed to get the generator at that price because in someone else's opinion it is too expensive?