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Capital Mobility and the Death of Steady Work

[ 103 ] April 7, 2014 |

Once again, capital mobility is the biggest threat to modern labor.* Companies already outsourced much work from the United States, contributing to the decline of unions, the split between labor and environmentalists, the end of steady work, the corporate domination over American politics, Gilded Age levels of income inequality, and the rapid decline of working-class voices in American debates.

Well, it’s no better for Indian workers since companies will dump those workers to in order to fight ever cheaper labor, making the conditions necessary for a permanent middle class nigh well impossible.

NEW DELHI: Struggling to diversify the delivery footprint to take advantage of low-cost centres, India’s BPO industry is currently losing 70 per cent of all incremental voice and call centre business to competitors like Philippines and countries in Eastern Europe, says a report.

“It is estimated that in the ongoing decade India might lose $ 30 billion in terms of foreign exchange earnings to Philippines, which has become the top destination for Indian investors,” Assocham Secretary General D S Rawat said. Thus there is a need to reduce costs and make operations leaner across the BPO industry,” he added.

BPO companies could reduce the total operating costs by 20-30 per cent by moving to a low-cost city within India, with a cost differential of around 10-15 per cent for non-voice processes and upwards of 20 per cent for voice processes, the report pointed out.

Several Indian firms have set up substantial operations in Philippines which has a large pool of well-educated, English-speaking, talented and employable graduates. Almost 30 per cent graduates in Philippines are employable unlike 10 per cent in India where the training consumes considerable amount of time, according to the report.

David Atkins on the importance of this.

The labor arbitrage game continues worldwide as corporations shift from country to country looking for highly trained workers to sell their labor for next to nothing on the global marketplace. These corporations are like parasites, putting jobs in one country for a decade or two, only to destabilize them and move the jobs elsewhere the moment something cheaper and better trained comes along.

Combined with increased capital mobility, labor arbitrage is giving corporations the upper hand in the battle with governments worldwide. The fate of the world’s economy–and, given the realities of climate change perhaps even the human race itself–will depend largely on whether the governments of the world can cooperate to neutralize the parasitic, plutocratic threat of global corporations.

I agree entirely. Fighting capital mobility needs to be at the very highest level of the progressive agenda. It is not today.

*One can make an argument for automation here as well.

SEK made an experiment!

[ 110 ] April 7, 2014 |

SEK went to the grocery store this afternoon sporting a new hipster mustache to see how people reacted to it…

ONE GUY: Props, my brother, you’re brave. Mad love, man. Mad love.

But that’s to be expected, after all, SEK lives in Louisiana. However…

ANOTHER GUY: Dude, I think you missed a spot.

SEK: Did I?

ANOTHER GUY: An important one.

SEK: Shit, I always forget to shave there.

Lest you have any hope for humanity…

RANDOM TEENAGE GIRL: My friend over there thinks that’s hot.

SEK: Thinks what’s hot?

RANDOM TEENAGE GIRL: You know

Fine. Have a little hope…

OLD GUY: Son, do you know what that means?

SEK: It’s a hipster –

OLD GUY: You can’t bring that back, son.

SEK: What’s old is new, and –

OLD GUY: Some old is dead.

As SEK was leaving the supermarket, two large men covered in tattoos followed him out. SEK started goose-stepping to his car for fear his social experiment had gotten out of hand. Alas, it had not…

LARGE TATTOOED MAN: Can I just shake your hand, bro?

SEK: I don’t see why not.

LARGE TATTOOED MAN: If more of us were like you, bro, this country wouldn’t even be in this shit.

SEK: I imagine not.

LARGE TATTOOED MAN: Keep fucking the faith, bro.

SEK: I…will?

In case you haven’t figured it out…

Read more…

If We Start Enough Wars, Surely One Will Work Out

[ 87 ] April 7, 2014 |

Reihan Salam provides of somewhat less than compelling defense of why he is still a neo-con and why America needs his point of view. He fully admits that Iraq was a total disaster. But it’s justified because maybe, just maybe, involving the United States in regime change in countries where it has no vested interest might have worked some other times:

The neocon impulse proved badly misguided in Iraq, where it contributed to a moral calamity. But there are other cases, in South Asia in 1971 and in Bosnia in the early 1990s, to name two examples among many, where it might very well have prevented one.

Note he can’t name any cases where it actually did prevent one. But maybe these other times would have gone better. So let’s get the gang back together and do this all over again. I’m sure it’ll work great the next time. And if not then, one of the other times.

If You Haven’t Spotted the Sucker By December 2000, You Are The Sucker

[ 78 ] April 7, 2014 |

Ralph Nader has a new analysis of American politics forthcoming.  And it is, he assures is, persuasive:

Ralph Nader has fought for over fifty [sic] years on behalf of American citizens against the reckless influence of corporations and their government patrons on our society. Now he ramps up the fight and makes a persuasive case that Americans are not powerless. In Unstoppable, he explores the emerging political alignment of the Left and the Right against converging corporate-government tyranny.

Large segments from the progressive, conservative, and libertarian political camps find themselves aligned in opposition to the destruction of civil liberties, the economically draining corporate welfare state, the relentless perpetuation of America’s wars, sovereignty-shredding trade agreements, and the unpunished crimes of Wall Street against Main Street.

Sure – keep waiting!

Evidently, nominally progressive people who consider themselves too good for mere politics generally end up being excessively charitable to the worst elements in American politics.  Fortunately, very few such people end up in a position to act out this nutty belief in a way that leads to hundreds of thousands of dead people all over the world in exchange for nothing.  (And, in fairness, Nader has shown an ability work with virtually all actually existing American conservatives and libertarians to work towards a common goal, namely putting pro-insane-wars, pro-corporate-welfare state, anti-welfare state, anti-civil liberties, anti-Wall Street regulation Republicans into office.)

 

Updates and House Cleaning

[ 9 ] April 7, 2014 |

The good people at SunAnt (who I cannot recommend highly enough) are currently in the process of updating LGM to the latest versions of WordPress and of the various plugins that make the site functional.  This will hopefully eliminate the spam problems recently seen in the RSS feed and the mobile site. We’ve also been hit with an enormous increase in comment spam, most of which has been caught by our “pending” folder before reaching the comment section.  This matters if you’ve had trouble commenting over the past week or so, as you may have inadvertantly been dropped into the spam file.  Send me a note if you’re concerned.

Ex Patt Kickstarter

[ 1 ] April 7, 2014 |

Students at my school have founded a magazine (“Ex Patt”) and are looking for some help to jump-start the second issue.  Here’s the pitch:

Ex-Patt Magazine, a new foreign affairs journal published by the graduate students of the University of Kentucky’s Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce, is seeking your aid to help our publication grow into the Bluegrass State’s foremost publication on foreign affairs. As a registered student organization of the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky, we strive to provide meaningful foreign policy analysis of today’s most pressing issues in order to inform local opinion within the Lexington community and provide our fellow students an outlet for their work. Covering topics from international development to commerce to security and diplomacy, Ex-Patt Magazine is the place to get prudent analysis on all of today’s hot button issues. With your help we plan to more than double our print production from 400 copies to 1,000 copies!

Worthy effort. Pitch in a buck if you’ve got one handy.

Everything is Like the Gulag, Except Sending People To Remote Locations To Be Tortured

[ 369 ] April 7, 2014 |

Since the resignation of Brendan Eich has already been compared to McCarthyism, fascism, and Jacobinism, I suppose calling it the new Gulag was inevitable. This article was tabbed by Reynolds, which will be particularly amusing to those of you who remember the intense outrage at Instapundit over an Amnesty International report describing the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay as “the gulag of our times, entrenching the practice of arbitrary and indefinite detention in violation of international law.” Whether the term “gulag” is more plausibly applied to CEO who resigns in the wake of a very mild campaign of opposition to his discriminatory political actions or to a site where people are sent to be arbitrarily detained and sometimes tortured, I leave to the reader’s judgment.

Leaving aside the world-class levels of hypocrisy, Williamson’s argument is expectedly awful, constructing a fantasy of liberal CommieNazism out of a variety of random anecdotes, many of  fail to even bear relevance to the Eich case, which itself bears no resemblance to McCartyhism (let alone fascism or Stalinism.) In addition to the Eich case’s violation of ad hoc norms nobody really believes in, you have a legitimately dumb “provocative” argument about imprisoning climate change troofers, which would be relevant if Gawker bloggers spoke for anyone else. You have someone not permitted to attend a private meeting, assertions that anyone who interprets the First Amendment the way the Supreme Court did until last week with respect to aggregate political donations is opposed to the concept of free speech and therefore a fascist, and assertions that anyone who thinks that neutral rules should be applied uniformly rather than be subject to exemptions based on trivial burdens on religious practice is a fascist. (It’s not clear what disagreement with the Republican platform circa 2012 isn’t fascism.) But this is my favorite:

Charles Murray, one of the most important social scientists of his generation, was denounced as a “known white supremacist” by Texas Democrats for holding heterodox views about education policy…

First of all, note the classic Sarah Palin definition of free speech — free speech, apparently, means that it’s illegitimate to even criticize the political views of conservatives. (Oddly, calling liberals Stalinists and fascists for the crime of disagreeing with recent Republican innovations in campaign finance law and the freedom of secular, for-profit corporations to deny statutory rights to their employees based on trivial burdens on religious practices of extremely dubious sincerity is entirely consistent with free speech. You might say that Williamson’s thought process is muddled and self-refuting even by NRO standards.) And in addition, I’m going to guess that Murray was called a “white supremacist” not because of his “heterodox views about education policy” but because he wrote a whole book about how African-Americans are genetically inferior. I can’t wait to find out whether accurately describing Murray’s political views makes me more like Hitler, Robespierre, or Pol Pot.

UPDATE: I would have to agree that Williamson has pretty much achieved peak hack.

Again, On What Free Speech Means And What It Doesn’t

[ 238 ] April 7, 2014 |

We seem to have to go through this every year or two, and based on some of the commentary surrounding Brendan Eich apparently we have to again.  (Incidentally, what I said about Althouse back then applies to Glenn Reynolds as well — he thought that Shirley Sherrod being fired based on an unquestionably inaccurate presentation of her views was awesome, ending the question of whether he’s arguing in bad faith here.  And he’s still calling her a “racist” and “asshole” years later.)  Anyway, to reiterate what should be obvious:

  • Free speech rights go beyond what is protected by the First Amendment.  The free speech rights of employees should ideally be accorded more respect than the law requires.
  • It is equally clear that these rights cannot be absolute, starting with speech that is relevant to someone’s ability to do their job.
  • Power, supervisory authority, and the extent to which one’s views represent an organization to the public all matter.  It would obviously be unreasonable to fire someone charged with cleaning the restrooms solely because they gave financial support to Prop 8.  It would be perfectly reasonable to fire someone for such support if they want a job writing for The Advocate.  Between the obvious cases there’s a grey area, but not every case of someone being fired for expressing particular views is exhuming McCarthy.
  • Eich is obviously much more comparable here to the Advocate writer than to the custodian.  A CEO views inherently represent the organization he’s working for, and he has supervisory authority that makes him having bigoted views legitimately worrisome.
  • To state the obvious, if Eich had donated to an initiative campaign dedicated to the re-criminalization of interracial marriage, or to an anti-Semitic group, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation, because virtually nobody would be defending him.  Nobody really thinks that CEOs have some kind of unlimited right to free political speech, and the arguments being made in defense of Eich generally tend to minimize the importance of gay and lesbian rights.
  • There is a reasonable response to the previous point, which is that in 2008 opposition to same-sex marriage was regrettably a majority position; not everyone who held a bigoted position then can have it held it against them permanently.  Fair enough, but also irrelevant to Eich, who has never repudiated his donation to the odious Prop 8 campaign (which, as djw says, goes way beyond just nominal opposition to same-sex marriage.) Eich still holds these views in 2014; had he simply said he was wrong you’d almost certainly still have no idea who he is.
  • And, finally, once again Eich wasn’t fired.  He resigned.  If he doesn’t feel that he can stay on and continue to defend his bigoted views without reflecting badly on Mozilla, who am I to disagree?  And the questions being asked of him were perfectly fair, not some kind of McCarthyite smear campaign.

…First link fixed! Thanks to Roy in comments. He has the usual excellent discussion of the wingnut meltdown over this at the Voice.

LG&M podcast: Game of Thrones, Season 4, Episode 1: “Two Swords”

[ 28 ] April 6, 2014 |

Watch the podcast below, whenever YouTube starts behaving, which should be an hour after I post this, if last night is any indication:

Listen to it here.

As per the post below, you can read my re-cap of it, if you’d like.

Steven’s written two pieces at some little outlet called Esquire, which are available here and here.

A link to his book will be available in this post tomorrow morning, once Amazon gets its shit together. right now, actually.

(Also, we’ll resume Season One podcasts as soon as YouTube begins cooperating. We apologize for the delay.)

Sunday Book Review: Billy Mitchell’s War with the Navy

[ 33 ] April 6, 2014 |

Why, in the wake of World War I, did the relationship between the US Army Air Service and the US Navy go so bad so quickly? Thomas Wildenberg’s Billy Mitchell’s War with the Navy: The Interwar Rivalry Over Air Power chronicles the conflict between aviation enthusiasts (personified and led by William Mitchell) and the establishment Navy during the interwar period. With control over aviation assets at stake, the sides argued over the effectiveness of airpower against warships and shipping. Mitchell and his acolytes took a maximalist position, holding the air forces had effectively rendered surface navies obsolete, and that the United States government should redirect money away from battleships and aircraft carriers and towards heavy bombers. Fighting the Navy couldn’t win Mitchell organizational independence, but it did hold the opportunity for gaining control of the immense resources that an independent air force would require.

The Navy and the Air Service fought for high stakes.  In the United Kingdom, the Royal Air Force was stitched together from the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service, putting all military aviation assets under one banner.  The USN wanted to avoid this outcome at all costs, while Billy Mitchell wanted to create a similar arrangement in the US. In context of severe defense cuts at the end of the World War I, everything seemed to be on the table.

Wildenberg devotes considerable attention to the exercises that led to the sinking of the SMS Ostfriesland and several other old warships. With respect to the sinking of Ostfriesland, both sides had legitimate points to score.  Ostfriesland was older than most of the American battleships of the day, but not all, and not much older.  If bombers could sink her, then they could likely sink all but the most modern of the American standard type battleships. Three other issues made the exercise problematic, however.  First, Ostfriesland was stationary, considerably simplifying the problem of bombing.  In one of his more absurd moments, Mitchell explained this away in a passage that likely sets some sort of record for military dishonesty:

It does not make very much difference because we employ a massed attack.  A ship on the surface of the water in motion is much easier to hit than an object at rest because the relative speed between the airplane and the object being fired at is the thing that makes it difficult to secure hits.  If a water vessel could be moving at the same rate as an airplane there would be absolutely no trouble whatever hitting it because all you would have to do would be to get over the object and drop the bomb and as both the airplane and its taget would be going at the same speed you would be certain to get a hit.  Therefore the faster that a water vessel goes the easier it is to hit from the air.  This is not understood at all by people unfamiliar with bombing.  As to turning and zigzagging, the turns of surface vessels of any kind are so slow as to be almost negligible from the air.

Second, Ostfriesland was in poor shape, and lacked a crew. German battleships were well-known for their thorough compartmentalization and their watertight integrity, but looters and poor maintenance had made sealing Ostfriesland impossible.  The battleship was already taking on water before the bombing began. More importantly, with no damage control teams on board, even relatively minor damage could prove lethal. Finally (and in the only point that supports Mitchell) Ostfriesland had no munitions aboard.  This rendered the battleship effectively immune to loss through catastrophic explosion, although the ability of the bombs used by the Army Air Service to penetrate Ostfriesland’s magazines is in considerable question.

Mitchell did violate the rules of the exercise, but not to the extent that it made much of a difference to the outcome. The Army Air Service sank Ostfriesland and a variety of other old American and German vessels, helping both services to learn a great deal about targeting and bomb damage.  Mitchell’s interest was in propaganda, however; he used the sinking of the old battleship to argue that surface vessels of any kind were effectively obsolete in the face of determined air attack.  It bears note that Mitchell was not predicting that surface ships would become vulnerable at some point in the future; he made clear his belief that the USN was already obsolete as of the early 1920s.

It’s fair to say that Wildenberg is not impressed by Billy Mitchell, and that he generally tilts towards the Navy’s side of the conflict. Wildenberg lands clear punches, demonstrating that while Mitchell was an effective organizational commander and an excellent propagandist, he had severe shortcomings as a strategist.  The subject is complicated, because while planes can’t sink battleships as easily as Mitchell suggested, they surely can sink them. Mitchell’s claims for the capacity of aircraft to sink warships were wildly overstated, and were wrong in many of the particulars. But it’s less clear that they were so wrong as to be unproductive. The extent to which the battleship was obsolete prior to 1939 has been (in part because of Mitchell and his partisans) strongly overstated, but then most major powers either curtailed battleship construction or ended it entirely once World War II began.  It also bears note that Mitchell was quite right about the pointlessness of lighter-than-air aviation, and about many aspects of the interwar military aviation complex.

But then Mitchell’s advocacy was surely unproductive in terms of the details of how aircraft could be used for coastal defense. Heavy, level bombers were nearly useless in World War II for attacks against naval vessels, as warships proved far too fast, maneuverable, and heavily armed to succumb to high altitude level bombing. In a prediction that didn’t pan out, Mitchell suggested:

If the same method of battleship construction is continued, in the future no crew will stay on a battleship when aircraft come in sight.  The captain will have to stick at his post and will probably send for a bottle of torpedo fluid to help him, and everyone else will immediately jump overboard.  When the alarm of airplanes in sight is given, the crew will immediately put on gas masks, kapok coats in order to float in the water, asbestos shoes and gloves so as to be able to touch the hot metal, and parachutes so that they will be able to open them and come down alright when blown into the air.

Hyperbole yes, but not particularly helpful hyperbole. Dedicated dive and torpedo bombers, usually (although not always) developed by navies, would sink the vast majority of warships during the war.  Level bombers did better against civilian shipping, but this was not envisioned to be a serious operational task  in the early inter-war period.  And Mitchell was egregiously wrong about the effectiveness of carriers and carrier aircraft, which he believed would always be at a disadvantage against land-based air.  Granting that Mitchell had a point with respect to aircraft sinking warships also requires appreciating that he got the details entirely wrong, and that he advocated policies that would have produced tactical and organizational disaster.

But Wildenberg probably goes too far when he draws Mitchell’s personal history into the dispute.  He illustrates his narrative with passages from Mitchell’s life, stories that generally do not reflect well on the aviator. These passages  add color to the account (he probably shot his first wife, for example), but also tend to obscure the argument by portraying Mitchell more cartoonishly than is strictly necessary. There were undoubtedly a significant number of officers on each side of the three way argument between the Army, the Air Service, and the Navy who suffered from alcoholism, who liked the ponies a bit overmuch, and who wildly overspent their means. Detailing these characteristics primarily for Mitchell and not for the other antagonists leaves a lopsided story that is, if anything, unfair to Mitchell.

Wildenberg doesn’t present much in the way of a general theory of inter-service conflict, but it’s not hard to develop one.  Essentially, inter-service tension in the interwar period precluded the development not only of good cooperative procedures in areas of common interest, but also of the development of knowledge.  Mitchell had a sincere interest in the bombing exercises, but his goals were mainly political, rather than the development of tactics, techniques, and technologies for using air and naval assets together.  Mitchell wanted to prove that aircraft could kill specific battleships in order to kill the idea of battleships. The Navy appreciated that someone would try to sink its ships with aircraft, and even if it believed that Mitchell overstated the air threat, it did need a technical understanding of how bomb damage affected warships. The question was under what conditions, and what factors could either enhance the ability of friendly aircraft to sink enemy ships, or prevent the sinking of friendly ships by enemy aircraft. But faced with the political threat posed by Mitchell and his enthusiasts,  the Navy grew understandably reluctant to put even its older ships at the service of the Army.

In the long run, this dynamic would hurt the Army Air Corps more than the Navy.  Navy exercises and planning in the 1930s demonstrated the potential effectiveness of dive and torpedo bombers, even if it took some time in practice to develop effective anti-aircraft techniques.  The Air Corps entered the war with an excess of optimism about the role that B-17s could play in coastal defense, while simultaneously lacking any understanding of how heavy bombers might support the anti-submarine effort (although obviously the Navy hardly covered itself with glory on this score in the first year of the war). Threatening the Navy forced it to circle the (battle) wagons, which limited the extent to which the Air Service could prepare for the next war.  Everybody likes aggressive, enthusiastic activism than threatens entrenched interests, but those interests may respond in generally unproductive ways.

This is an interesting book, and if it had come out earlier I would have found it useful in my own work.  The research appears sound, and the argument is largely correct.  I can’t help feel, however, that the case could have been made more carefully. The book could also have been organized more clearly, as some of the early chapter are much longer than their later counterparts (this may be my own pet peeve). Nevertheless, it’s a good one volume account of how bitterly the Navy and the Air Service fought for prominence in the interwar period.

Don’t call it a re-cap, I’ve been here for years!

[ 3 ] April 6, 2014 |

A re-cap of the episode

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of Game of Thrones you just watched that was written by Yours Truly is available here.

The podcast about the episode by Steven and I will be available whenever YouTube stops jerking us around, which is, I hope, very soon.

Further thoughts on Eich’s resignation

[ 235 ] April 6, 2014 |

Scott posting while I was in the process of composing this post will make it shorter, because “What Scott said” covers some of what I was going to say, in particular with respect to the importance of Eich’s leadership position. I rarely hold a more expansive view of the rights of corporations than conservatives do, but I can’t begrudge them the right to manage their reputation in this manner.

A few further thoughts. First, making this about Eich exercising free speech in favor the passage of Proposition 8 minimizes his critics’ complaint in two important ways.

The initiative process takes legislation out of the hands of the legislature and into the hands of citizens. Material support for an initiative may be construed as speech, but it’s much much more than that: it’s a direct attempt to use the coercive power of the state to remove other people’s rights. This distinction matters, it seems to me, when determining how we think about the speech/action boundary.

Second, he gave material support to a campaign whose central strategy was to dishonestly and maliciously promote the idea that LGBT people living their lives openly and as full citizens constituted nothing less than a clear and present danger to the welfare of children. (See Mark Stern for a depressing reminder of that profoundly odious and illiberal campaign). If he doesn’t share the views advocated in those ads, but merely thought they were a useful means to an end, that doesn’t do him any favors. It’s very easy to be optimistic about LGBT rights in the current environment, and I am indeed optimistic that in the short and medium term, they are going to lose. But in the long run, rollback is not impossible. And from Russia to Uganda to Nigeria, we see this belief—that LGBT rights and freedoms pose a threat to the well-being of children—seems to be, if not a necessary or sufficient ingredient for rollback, certainly a feature that promotes it.  As long as the believe Eich was promoting is widespread, the rights of LGBT people, even when achieved, will not be secure. The toxic nature of the message he paid to promote shouldn’t be lost in the shorthand of how we discuss this.

Some of the other the top reactions to Eich’s resignation (usual suspects: Dreher, Sullivan, Friedersdorf) are treating this case as an example of society wading into new, unprecedented illiberal territory. This seems clearly wrong to me. It’s worth keeping two issues separate:

1) Should the political activity of CEOs and other prominent, “public face of”-type employees for major corporations, be associated with the companies they represent?

2) Should promoting the view, as Eich did, that permitting LGBT people to live openly as full and equal citizens constitutes a clear and present danger to the welfare of children be on the list of political activity which we ought to consider shameful and embarrassing?

Insofar as what happened to Eich is demonstrative of a recent social change, the change is about how our society answers question 2, not question 1. CEOs’ political views harming their company’s reputation is old news, going back to  public pressure on, and a boycott of Ford Motors in the 20′s over his public promotion of anti-semitic views (Ford wasn’t forced to resign, but he was pressured to issue a public apology and repudiation and cease publication of his anti-semitic newspaper, The Dearborn Independent). The only change we’re seeing here is a minor modification to the list of embarrassing political views. I’m broadly supportive of the argument that we’d be better off focusing our critical attention on corporate policies and behaviors, rather than the ideology of their CEO. But I’m also supportive of the argument appalling attacks on legally and socially vulnerable minorities, when made by powerful, wealthy, and highly respected figures, come with serious reputational consequences. So I’m somewhat conflicted about how to answer question #1. But however it should be answered, our society has been answering it in the same way for a century; the only thing new here is the inclusion of LGBT into the category of minorities for whom public attacks are no longer considered consequence-free.

 

In general, I do think this line of activism should be focused primarily, if not exclusively, on powerful public figures. In presumption that that our jobs should not be contingent on our politics should be stronger than the degree to which it is currently protected by law. In addition to the distinction between CEO and ordinary employee, I’d also suggest a distinction between CEOs of large companies and small business owners, who lie in a space between the two (assuming we’re only talking about public views, not political actions). So I don’t see much value in a boycott campaign of a farmer’s organic foods store (and a threatened secondary boycott of a pro-gay rights restaurant owner who spoke out against the proposed boycott is even more ridiculous). The injunction to fight actual discrimination, rather than words, seems important here: down the road there’s a college that just kicked a transgender student out of campus housing. And, of course, the state of Oregon is still practicing marriage discrimination! These seem like far more appropriate targets.

 

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