A Note on Our Coverage of the Republican National Convention

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Later today, we'll be cranking up our on-the-scene coverage of the Republican National Convention New York City.

Tim Blair, Matt Welch, and Julian Sanchez will be in the thick of things, and the rest of the Reason regulars will be piping in with convention-related commentary, too.

It'll all be happening here. Read early and read often.

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  1. hey joe, did your realize that:

    3) because the mill closed down just a couple years short of his vestment in the pension plan?

    is the same thing as:

    1) he/she hasn’t got the skills or intelligence to do anything that pays better, and it’s BEST work he/she’s going to find.

  2. Joe,

    “The more we buy foreign products, the more countries get rich enough to buy ours.”

    Good point. It’s not a zero sum game.

  3. Russ R, the parallel you draw misstates the situation of employment diplacement from deindustrialization, which the cause of the biggest unemployment problems facing the country right now. In a rural, one company town in which the one company shuts down (the sort of place – rural, downscale – that Wal Mart likes to target), where exactly are these people supposed to find that high paying job, regardless of their education and skills level?

    This is a common situation in places like the Carolinas and the managers and accountants find themselves in the same situation as the floor guys. I think you make a lot of assumptions about the people getting screwed by the structural changes caused by globalization.

  4. joe:

    “In a rural, one company town in which the one company shuts down”… Smart people leave and move to a different town. Smarter people see the surplus of labour available and employ them.

    “where exactly are these people supposed to find that high paying job, regardless of their education and skills level?”… One doesn’t find such a job regardless of one’s education and skills. Rather you find such jobs because of them. Face it… not everyone in the country is going to have a high paying job, and those who want them have to be competitive. Those who choose not to be competitive can shut the hell up and make the most of their minimum wage.

    “the managers and accountants find themselves in the same situation as the floor guys”… Hardly. There are still a good number of job postings for MBAs and CPAs. Yes, they may have to move to another state, but it’s a lot easier than having to move to another country to find a “hands-on” manufacturing job.

    “I think you make a lot of assumptions about the people getting screwed by the structural changes caused by globalization.”… I think you make a lot of assumptions about the causes of “globalization”… Just look back to the Clinton/Rubin/Greenspan “Strong Dollar Policy” and then try to figure out why firms prefer to close their factories in the States and manufacture things in China.

  5. “Those who choose not to be competitive can shut the hell up and make the most of their minimum wage.”

    You don’t seem to define “choose” the same way as the rest of the English-speaking world. Maybe that’s the problem.

    Bush’s effort to address this problem via the community college situation is the best thing his adminstration has ever done, in my opinion.

    Where did I discuss the causes of globalization? Assumptions, Russ.

  6. Highway –

    I ran into that same font snafu. I switched
    my browser to view in UNICODE and it cleared up.

    Kevin

  7. Choose: v. to elect or pick among alternatives.

    I’d argue that since we practice neither slavery nor conscription, everyone in the country has chosen their line of work and is equally free to leave said line of work. They have also chosen whether or not to pursue advanced education and marketable skills. They are free to choose which part of the country in which they’d like to reside.

    Hence, physical or mental defects aside, an individual’s state of employment, or lack thereof, is predominantly attributable to that individual’s past choices.

    Who else can one blame when his/her most productive contribution to the economy is barely worth $8/hour?

  8. Call Walmart at 1-800-966-6546 and demand they help extend unemployment benefits or you will not buy from them until they get the Republicans in
    Washington DC to extend unemployment benefits and increase the minimum wage to 9 dollars an hour.

  9. Call Walmart at 1-800-966-6546 and demand they help extend unemployment benefits or you will not buy from them until they get the Republicans in
    Washington DC to extend unemployment benefits and increase the minimum wage to 9 dollars an hour.

    Umm, but if they did that, wouldn’t the price of puppy treats be dramatically increased?

    My puppy deserves her treats. I deserve to pay the best price for them.

  10. Your puppy doesn’t deserve her treats — your puppy is a bitch.

  11. I just heard her cry out in her sleep.

    I hope you’re happy.

  12. God (or equivalent non-religious entity) be praised! If this is anything like the DemCon coverage, tedium be gone!
    More Thurston Howell III press conferences, please.

  13. So Zell Miller is all over the airwaves, claiming that he crossed the lines to the GOP because 1) the Democratic Party has moved too far to the left and 2) “September 11th changed everything.”

    It’s too bad that 1) he endorsed Walter Mondale, Jimmy Carter, and Mike Dukakis, and hit Old Bush for his irresponsible $200 billion deficit, and 2) he sponsored Bush’s tax cut and pushed for Ashcroft’s confirmation months before September 11th.

    I think Zellout just knows where the big bucks are going on K Street.

  14. …just as captains of industry know what’s better for working people than the workers themselves, eh Bart?

    “Really, you’ll be better off if we drive down wages and benefits across the industry, because it will be cheaper to replace your cheap plastic crap when it wears out.”

  15. You’re highly paid, and mostly work with your brain? Really? No kidding, I could have sworn you labored side by side with people earning $8/hour. Your understanding of the real-world circumstances faced by 50 year old Wal Mart shelf stockers is as deep as it is broad.

  16. Just like government-employed city planners have an intimate knowledge of the same?

  17. I would think someone stocking shelves in Walmart for 8 per hour in their fifties made some pretty poor decisions in their past, huh?

    Can’t we let their karma work itself out? What right do we have not to allow their bad decisions to come back to haunt them?

  18. They just don’t get it that the ability to buy decent items at a good price in a convenient location doesn’t happen because of government largesse . . .

    Of course, it’s never true that Wal-Mart — or any other retailer — conspires with local governments to get good land at preferred, with tax abataments, even when the citizens of the municipalities in question make it clear that they don’t want a Wal-Mart store in their community. Never happens. Ever.

    Or if it does, it doesn’t qualify as “government largesse.”

    I love capitalism. Crony capitalism, not so much.

  19. joe,

    ever wonder why someone in his/her 6th decade is stocking shelves at WalMart?

    Because:

    1) he/she hasn’t got the skills or intelligence to do anything that pays better, and it’s BEST work he/she’s going to find, or…

    2) She/he doesn’t care about the wages, and likes the work.

    Most importantly… it’s the employee’s choice to work there. They’re free to quit at any time. The fact that they don’t tells you that they don’t see any better alternatives. I suppose you’d like to blame WalMart for the lack of alternatives too.

    Give people some credit once in a while… they tend to do what’s best for themselves even when you’re not around to look out for what you believe their best interests to be.

  20. “Just like government-employed city planners have an intimate knowledge of the same?”

    I don’t know – does dealing with them on a daily basis, and working to make their voices are incorporated into public policy, count as “intimate?”

    Russ, how about 3) because the mill closed down just a couple years short of his vestment in the pension plan? I guess that’s his fault in a cosmic sense, eh Buddha?

  21. As long as we continue to purchase WalMart’s imported products, it matters little what the stockers are paid. Whatever happened to the buy American products revolution? Does anyone realize that the more we purchase foreign-made products, that more jobs are exported to other countries? If we supported American companies, the minimum wage and unemployment benefits would be moot.

  22. Hey, is there a font problem with the convention blog? I’m getting a lot of messed up characters (Euro signs, and codes where there should be things like ‘ and accents) and was wondering if it was your font or mine. Anyone else seeing this?

  23. Your scouts should come back for something more interesting like the West Indian Day Parade.

    Any event that advertises NYC as United Nations Capital deserves your attention. And it puts into perspective the size of the RNC protest which wasn’t all that much by NYC standards..

  24. Neil,

    The more we buy foreign products, the more countries get rich enough to buy ours.

    You seem to think there’s a set number of jobs in the world, and we’re competing with foreign countries for the biggest share.

  25. I think RudeBuddah may have just managed to sum up the spiritual/philosophical basis for freedom and liberty in one pithy little post. Bravo.

    The only thing I’d like to see some sort of discussion and ideas on is this: How can workers, especially the lower level types, find a way to negotiate their work rules, working conditions and under what conditions they can be changed. I’ve worked for 2 corporations that froze wages, cut workers, arbitrarily changed work hours and perks, without bothering to ask, or even inform the peons, meaning the hourly wage non-supervisory types.

    I’m not sure what the answer is. I know it is not traditional trade unionism. I also know, and realize, that my employer is making the job available because of his need, not mine. But somewhere in all this, I belive the employee (I refuse to use the phrase “worker”-too damn marxist) needs to be able to negotiate changes. Most employee contracts and work rules, and labor laws, allow the employer to change things at will.

    Not everyone is going to be an entreprenuer. Not everyone is going to be an independent contractor. But I do feel that a corporation that wants loyalty, defined as cheerful adherence to changing rules and conditions, without being obligated to do more than the absolute legal minimum, is counter-productive. This is especially true when you have a situation where the top-level of management is constantly changing, “moving on to pursue other opportunities”, while the lower level types are left to meet the new management groups desire to hit the quarterly earnings goals…

    A couple of final observations:
    The way the accountacy rules work, employees are treated as liabilites, not assets, even though they are often the ones doing the work that actually brings the money in. Consider this when you have a lousy customer service experience.

    “Productivity increases” too often mean “We found a way to make people work harder for no more, or even less money”. Mangement gets a bonus. Non-management might get a casual day.

    “Metrics”-measurments of employee productivity-too often fail to give enough weight to things like customer retention and satisfaction, reduction in resources available (I worked at one company that reduced it’s hourly wage workforce by a third, increased the expected output per hour….then complained about the increases in overtime, error rates and customer complaints about rushed and rude treatment!)

    I know this is a long, off-topic post. Thanks for reading it this far, and thanks in advance for any thoughtful comments.

    Chris W.
    Miami, Fl

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