Social Justice Education Facilitators

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Oberlin College is hiring Social Justice Education Facilitators via this web page:

Job Summary: The Social Justice Education Facilitators (SJEF) helps with the creation and implementation of the MRC’s social justice curriculum and education program.

Responsibilities: Be trained to facilitate Power, Privilege, and Oppression Training, Beyond the Binary Training, and Microaggressions Trainings; … Document and organize various resources on anti-oppression work

Qualifications: They must also have a working knowledge on the various forms of oppression, including but not limited to: race, gender, sexuality, ability, class, citizenship, etc.

Unfortunately, social justice doesn’t seem to pay a fair $15/hour wage (only $8.15/hour).

Related:

Review of Ellen Pao’s book

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“The Self-Styled Martyr of Silicon Valley: The odd tale of Ellen Pao” (Commentary) is a review of Ellen Pao’s Reset book (see Ellen Pao writes something kind of interesting). The review summarizes the facts:

Pao is a former corporate attorney and Silicon Valley entrepreneur who went to work for the venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins and then, in 2012, filed a $16 million gender-discrimination lawsuit against it. She alleged workplace retaliation by a partner at the firm with whom she had a brief affair. Then she alleged that she was fired in retaliation for the lawsuit. Potential damages could have run as high as $144 million.

Is it true that she was an “entrepreneur”? Wikipedia says that she worked for a couple of established companies, such as BEA Systems, prior to joining Kleiner Perkins. Is any non-government job in the U.S. now considered “entrepreneurship”? [And remember that she could have made a lot more than $144 million without risking an unfavorable jury verdict; see Litigious Minds Think Alike: Divorce litigators react to the Ellen Pao v. Kleiner Perkins lawsuit]

Apparently Pao is working her kid pretty hard for the book, having the sad little nine-year-old wonder about the gender balance of a “coding camp.” (Did this happen organically? I’ve seen a lot of gender-unbalanced groups of children and never heard one comment on the gender balance.)

We learn that Pao is a good example of The Son Also Rises and also regression to the mean. Her parents both have engineering PhDs; Pao earned a bachelor’s in engineering and then a law degree.

Based on my experience as a software expert witness, Pao’s description of big law firm life isn’t recognizable:

Pao goes to work for Cravath, Swaine & Moore, … one male partner would always lose his copy of the documents they were working on and would have to look over the shoulder of one of his female underlings. She saw him one day staring down the shirt of one of her female colleagues …. In another instance, “a senior partner would… plant himself just outside the doorway of my colleague’s office, licking an ice cream cone while staring at her.”

Perhaps due to the fact that law firms bill by the hour, I’ve never seen one lawyer simply stand in a hallway for any reason.

The reviewer is as skeptical as the jury regarding Pao’s stated reasons for her failure to make senior partner at Kleiner:

This is all perfectly believable [including the senior partner putting on a display of idleness for everyone else at Cravath to see?], but the problem is that things went downhill for Pao when she started sleeping with one of the other partners—one Ajit Nazre, who was married and had children. … how old do you have to be before you recognize yourself as a walking cliché? Sleeping with a married guy at the office who promises to leave his wife for you?

Apparently estimating the probability of your married sex partner suing his or her spouse is not a subject taught at Princeton or Harvard!

Pao’s conversion (as seen in Bruno) of Buddy Fletcher from homosexual to heterosexual is touched on only lightly in the review: “Fletcher had relationships with men before he married Pao.” This review is the first place that I’ve seen a description of Mr. Fletcher blazing a trail recently followed by some Hollywood celebrities:

It’s no surprise that Pao’s book doesn’t get into the fact that Fletcher himself has been accused of sexual harassment and discrimination by employees. In 2003, Fletcher was sued by a man he’d hired to manage his home in Connecticut. The man alleged that Fletcher made sexual advances toward him. A few years later, Fletcher was sued by another property manager, who claimed he had been fired after refusing Fletcher’s sexual advances. Both men reached confidential settlements with Fletcher.

Who else loves Ellen Pao as much as I do? “The case did make Pao a feminist talking point for a time. She notes that she earned praise from Hillary Clinton and Sheryl Sandberg for her brave stance.”

In some ways the most interesting part of the review is that proof by repetition succeeds. The author of the review is Naomi Schaefer Riley. Her Wikipedia page indicates no technical training and no experience ever working for a tech firm or even living in a part of the country with a significant tech industry presence. But she feels comfortable talking about the bad stuff that happens in Silicon Valley:

For all her faults, Pao is not wrong about the “brogrammer” atmosphere at these companies. … At many Silicon Valley firms, men really do act like they are in a college dorm. Their conversations and behavior are completely inappropriate for work,

How does Ms. Riley know that the 35-year-old programmers vesting-in-peace at Google are partying like fraternity brothers? What is the evidence that the typical Silicon Valley firm includes “conversations and behavior” that are more “inappropriate” than what might occur in a car dealership or an airline crew lounge?

Related:

Our robot overlords want to keep us addicted to opiates (Google Ads censorship)

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We decided to experiment with using Google AdWords to promote Medical School 2020, our book about what it is like to attend medical school.

Here are excerpts from an email that we received:

Ad Text:

Thinking about Medical School?
Learn what it is like.
Follow our anonymous hero through four years. One chapter every week.
 http://fifthchance.com/MedicalSchool2020

Ad Status: Disapproved
Ad Issue(s): Unapproved substances

====================
Disapproval Reason
====================
Unapproved substances: Ads aren’t allowed to promote certain unapproved substances, irrespective of any claims of legality. This includes promotion of products containing or related to ephedra.

The text does contain the names of some drugs, including “heroin” and “opioids” and “oxycodone.” But I hope that most human readers would consider this part of a discussion regarding opiates rather than a promotion of opiates!

Could it be that our robot overlords don’t want humans talking about these issues?

Related:

Apple’s new (lowercase) Jersey home

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“After a Tax Crackdown, Apple Found a New Shelter for Its Profits” (nytimes) is a interesting companion to our debate about corporate taxation (which some of us can sort of vote on today, depending on where we live). To me the most interesting part is the scale of the virtual offshoring:

Since the mid-1990s, multinationals based in the United States have increasingly shifted profits into offshore tax havens. Indeed, a tiny handful of jurisdictions — mostly Bermuda, Ireland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands — now account for 63 percent of all profits that American multinational companies claim to earn overseas, according to an analysis by Gabriel Zucman, an assistant professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley. Those destinations hold far less than 1 percent of the world’s population.

Apple is now generating huge profits in (old) Jersey.

Related:

How can young Americans adapt to a post-Weinstein world?

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The New York Times asks “Will Harvey Weinstein’s Fall Finally Reform Men?” and comes up with a weak “maybe”:

This reckoning is all to the good, even if it is far too late. It feels as though a real and lasting transformation may be afoot — until you remember that this isn’t the first time women have sounded the alarm.

Remember former President Bill Clinton, whose popularity endures despite a long string of allegations of sexual misconduct and, in one case, rape — all of which he has denied. Mr. Clinton did eventually admit to the affair with an intern, Monica Lewinsky, that nearly toppled his presidency, but he pointed out that it was not illegal.

Then, of course, there’s the current occupant of the Oval Office, who won the election only weeks after the public heard him brag about grabbing women’s genitalia [I interpreted Trump’s statement, “when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything,” as a hypothetical regarding what some American women were willing to do in order to be close to Hollywood stardom, not as a story about something he’d actually done]

The key is to foster work environments where women feel safe and men feel obliged to report sexual harassment. “People need to be afraid not just of doing these things, but also of not doing anything when someone around them does it,” Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook

This may turn out to be the year when the tide finally turned on sexual harassment. The elements for a permanent cultural shift are certainly in place. More women have entered the work force, and the pay gap with men is closing, though not fast enough. More women than men are graduating from college;

In the end, though, the most lasting change will have to come from men, who are doing virtually all the sexual harassing. Boys must be raised to understand why that behavior is wrong, teenagers need to be reminded of it and grown men need to pay for it until they get the message.

Although in theory women could be denounced by men and, in a transgender age it is tough to know what “women” or “men” in the workplace might refer to, the New York Times seems to think it is men who be denounced and then “pay for it.” So let’s look at what young American men might do. Some will be social justice warriors, of course, and seek to improve their fellow humans. Let’s be grateful that we have those altruistic souls among us. In a society of 325 million (and growing!), however, it is more realistic for most people to adapt to changes rather than to try to make changes.

Let’s consider the young American man. Depending on the state in which the encounter took place, if he has sex with a woman he risks losing, at her exclusive option, roughly one third of his after-tax income going forward (see “Child Support Litigation without a Marriage”). Depending on the state of residence, if he marries a woman and has kids he is exposed to losing, at any time of the woman’s choosing, his house, the kids, and roughly half of his income going forward (see Real World Divorce, but note that this is not true in states such as Nevada). These risks cannot be insured against, though they can be largely prevented by staying out of the workforce.

Onto this we add the new risks of career termination from sexual harassment allegations. In the old (not necessarily good) days, a woman could not start a complaint with “I went to this married guy’s hotel room and then…” or with “Twenty years ago, this guy tried to…” Either statement would have reflected negatively on the woman (why did she go to the hotel room? why did she wait 20 years?) and therefore wouldn’t have been uttered. Perhaps more importantly, the statement couldn’t have gotten media attention or an infinite life on the Internet. A woman might be able to spread rumors about a man in a small town, but he would be free to relocate and get a job in a distant city. A potential employer in California wouldn’t have any way to learn that the man had been denounced in Upstate New York. Consider the man who reads Medical School 2020, invests four years and $300,000 in medical school, invests another five years in training, and then works 70-hour weeks to build a practice. All of this investment can become worthless overnight in terms of employability.

Let’s consider more direct risks. A financially successful American can be sued at any time for sexual harassment or sex-related misdeeds. Unlike with criminal cases (which also can be consequential and costly to defend), there is no “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard. The defendant will lose if the plaintiff is slightly more believable. In the best case, the result of defending such a lawsuit will be a $1 million bill for legal fees and no payments to the plaintiff. The worst case, however, cannot be known in our Common law system. The only limit is a jury’s imagination. Consider Erin Andrews, for example. A jury found that that she had suffered $55 million in damages from being filmed naked by a guest in an adjacent hotel room. As that is typically more than a hotel would have to pay for negligently killing a guest, it would have been impossible to predict an award of this size and, again, likely impossible to insure against.

Older Americans tend to be stuck in a rut. We have to keep doing whatever we’re doing. But maybe a young person could avoid the above risks by making smart choices?

I posted a comment on the NYT article suggesting that perhaps American men were already adapting…

American men are already in the process of being reformed! Every year a smaller percentage of them expose themselves to accusations of sexual harassment because their labor force participation rate falls. If Joe Millennial is at home (means-tested public housing, please!) playing Xbox 24/7, who is going to bother to accuse him of saying or doing something inappropriate? I haven’t heard of anyone whose SSDI check was cut off because of misbehavior.

The best way to avoid litigation in the U.S. is to be asset-free and income-free (welfare payments don’t typically count as income that can be attacked by a plaintiff, though SSDI can be harvested by a child support or alimony plaintiff). The right to live in a $1 million city-owned or city-obtained-from-a-developer apartment is more secure than technical ownership of a $1 million apartment (can be attacked suddenly by a civil plaintiff or gradually by a city via higher property taxes to pay for retired government workers’ pensions and health care).

If the welfare system in an American’s preferred state of residence is not especially generous, he can look at being on the receiving end of child support, alimony, and property division profits. If he marries a high-income woman and quits his job after the first child is born he can set himself up to be the “dependent spouse” and “primary parent” (or at least a 50/50 parent) and thus be entitled to a free house, alimony, child support, etc. (see the example of a man married to a fund manager in Massachusetts Prenuptial Agreements)

If the man is unwilling to let go of 1950s ideas of masculinity and insists on working, how about a union job? An employer cannot simply fire a union worker, e.g., because of an anonymous denunciation about behavior 20 years earlier. Among union jobs, I vote for unionized airline pilot because most interactions with co-workers are recorded electronically (pilots with children should be careful about where they live, however, because in winner-take-all states that look to the “historical pattern of care” in deciding which parent will be the winner, the airline pilot is almost guaranteed to become the loser parent; this can be avoided by establishing residence in a state that defaults to 50/50 shared parenting).

What about the Big Hammer: emigration. The American man who emigrates at age 18 will save a fortune in college costs (universities anywhere else in the world are vastly cheaper, and sometimes entirely free). If he settles in a Civil law jurisdiction, his exposure to lawsuits of all types is greatly reduced and the outcome of any lawsuit is much more predictable because it is codified (e.g., Erin Andrews would have received a pre-specified amount, not an amount that could only be known by looking into the hearts and minds of the jury). A Dutch friend: “You’re a lot less likely to be sued because the plaintiff has to pay all of the court’s costs and, if she loses, the defendant’s legal costs. The legal fees are a percentage of the amount at stake and the amount at stake is written down in a law.” The American man who emigrates to a civil law jurisdiction also greatly reduces his exposure to divorce, alimony, child support, and custody lawsuits (see the International chapter of Real World Divorce). The profitability of children is capped in most civil law jurisdictions, thus reducing the financial incentives to plaintiffs. Alimony may be entirely unavailable, e.g., in Germany. Custody may be determined by statute, e.g., “woman always wins” or “always 50/50,” thus eliminating the possibility of a custody fight. The chance of children living without their two parents in many European civil law jurisdictions is only about half of what it is in the U.S.

Of course, I’m sure that many people in Common law jurisdictions will get through this era of denunciations and manage to (a) dodge lawsuits from a spouse, (b) dodge lawsuits from sexual harassment accusers, and (c) continue to be able to work in the careers that they’ve chosen and trained for. After all, most Russians were able to get through the Stalin era without being denounced by angry or jealous neighbors. That said, why take these risks at all when it is possible to move to a Civil law jurisdiction and live without fear?

Where can a young man seek to go? For long-term economic growth prospects it might be wise to look at the World Bank ease of doing business rankings and also the Tax Foundation’s International Tax Competitiveness Index. Countries that do well on both scales and that operate under Civil law: Estonia, Latvia, Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Norway, Korea (mostly civil law?).

Readers: What do you think? We can all agree, I hope, that it would be wonderful if Americans never mistreated each other and therefore there was no need for a system of career-ending public denunciations, wealth-draining civil lawsuits, etc. However, humans mistreating other humans is an old story. So how should a young American adapt to the new environment in which decades of work and savings are more likely to be wiped out by an accusation?

Bitcoin-mining space heater?

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I never run out of brilliant ideas for this blog… because I steal them from smarter people. Here’s one from Andrea Matranga: If you’re going to deploy an electric space heater in a cold bedroom, bathroom, or office, instead use a bitcoin-mining box so that the electricity isn’t simply wasted. If the capital cost is objectionable, use a previous generation of hardware (essentially worthless). The result won’t be a profit, but it will be less of a loss than if a regular space heater had been employed.

Readers: thoughts?

 

White Americans expressing hatred for Native Americans

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My white Facebook friends continue to express their outrage that a white woman was fired by Akima LLC for giving President Trump the finger (BBC). There are exhortations to call up Akima and demand answers (“#Resist”). Who are the targets of this hatred? The owners of Akima are “the Inupiat people of northwest Alaska”. So my virtuous Hillary-supporting friends are trying to set Native Americans on the path of righteousness.

Let’s hope this doesn’t turn Native Americans against the cause of immigration!

[Note that I have non-white Facebook friends as well, but they tend not to express outrage on Facebook (and seldom in real life either; I was around some Chinese immigrant physician-moms the other day and they were the opposite of outraged by media reports of sexual harassment, e.g., asking “What are all of these women doing in married guys’ hotel rooms?”).]

Icon A5 crash in which Roy Halladay died

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Friends have been asking about the crash of an Icon A5 seaplane in which former baseball star Roy Halladay died (USA Today).

From a quick Google search it seems that Mr. Halladay learned to fly in 2013 or 2014.

The FAA’s online Airmen Registry shows HARRY LEROY HALLADAY III holding a Private certificate (the lowest of three levels) with ratings for single-engine land (e.g., Cessna 172), multi-engine land (e.g., Beech Baron or King Air), and Instrument Airplane (“instrument rating,” enabling flight through clouds with assistance from Air Traffic Control). He also had a “sport endorsement” for “Airplane Single Engine Sea,” presumably related to flying the Icon A5. The certificate was issued on November 16, 2016, suggesting that he had been signed off to fly the Icon A5 on that date.

The certificate and ratings that Mr. Halladay held represent significant experience and achievements, so this was not a situation in which a raw novice was at the controls. That said, seaplanes and amphibians tend to require a higher level of skill to manage. For example, if you land an amphib with the gear down in water by mistake, for example, that’s a life-threatening accident. By contrast, a gear-up landing on an asphalt runway is life-threatening only if the flight school owner runs out and strangles you. The airport is a much more structured environment than a lake or bay. You’re not going to hit a submerged log on a paved runway.

The above-referenced USA Today story says that he’d owned the plane for less than a month. One of the biggest factors for safety is “time in type.” A pilot with 30,000 hours may not be safer than one with 3,000 hours total time, but a pilot with 500 hours in a type of airplane will be statistically much safer than a more-experienced pilot with just 10 hours in that airplane. On the third hand, articles indicate that Mr. Halladay had previously been a renter of the Icon A5, so his experience with the plane might have included 50 hours of training and rental over the preceding year.

The Icon A5 includes a flight data recorder, unlike most small planes, and therefore there should be some answers fairly soon about what happened. Seaplanes can be tough to land in glassy water due to the difficulty of perceiving height above the water. Thus it might be interesting to know if the water had been flat calm at the time of the crash.

Why do people vote to have the government make them do something that they would never do voluntarily?

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Another Election Day question…

“Marco Rubio: Tax Reform Should Help American Families” (nytimes) tries to sell the latest Republican tax proposal on the grounds that, compared to the current system, there will be more handouts for Americans with children under age 18. The discussion is framed by pointing out what money-sinks children can be:

According to federal data adjusted for inflation, from 1960 to 2015 the average annual cost of raising a child in a middle-income family rose by over $11,000. It’s now estimated that middle-class parents will spend more than $230,000 over the course of their son or daughter’s childhood — and that doesn’t even include college tuition.

[The Senator and the NYT Editors don’t explain the arithmetic here. The cost is $11,000 per year higher over 18 years. That’s a total of $198,000. If we subtract that from the current cost of $230,000 we find that the cost to parents back in 1960 was only about $32,000 in today’s mini-dollars. Does that make sense given that food and clothing are cheaper than ever? (and, of course, the paper does not have the bad taste to point out that an American who has sex with a dermatologist can get $230,000 per year in tax-free child support, depending on the state) Senator Rubio also claims that this $230,000 is more than it costs to buy a house, which sounds wrong to those of us living in on the sacred coasts of righteousness, but is close to being true nationwide according to realtor data (median existing single-family home sold for $246,800 in September 2017; used condos sold for a median price of $231,800).]

The article goes on to say that some Americans aren’t having as many babies as they would in a world where children were cost-free (i.e., paid for by someone else). This is a serious problem in a country with a population of 325 million that, apparently, seeks to overtake China and India.

My comment:

“Having kids is one of life’s greatest experiences.” [the article’s first sentence]

Hard to argue with this, but then why can’t we parents pay for our own kids instead of asking childless Americans to pay yet more for them? The childless already pay for a share of K-12, right? When we go to a restaurant with our kids ([a] mercifully infrequent [event]) we don’t say “This must be one of life’s greatest experiences for the childless people in this restaurant” and then go around asking other diners to chip in for our meal. Yet that is exactly what the government is doing via a tax code that makes the childless give up a higher percentage of their income.

Given that there are more voters (the childless and those with adult children) who will pay for this compared to the number who will enjoyed the reduced tax rates, I’m wondering why this is a selling point.

Childless Americans don’t voluntarily go around to those with children and offer money, do they? If not, why would a majority of childless Americans vote to have the government take money from them and give it to Americans with minor children?

Most of the top-rated comments on the piece demand yet more handouts or complain that others are richer:

So if you value families, Senator, how about paid family leave, quality prenatal care and healthcare throughout a child’s life, and universal childcare and preschool? And how about quality K-12 schools and educational opportunities, not just for the elites but for all Americans, investing in the future of our country?

The mom’s [sic] I talk to tell me that daycare runs about $15,000 a year per child. If we really want to help families, how about funding daycare like those awful freedom robbing socialist European countries do? We can’t do that here because that would entail federal spending and the federal government isn’t supposed to spend money on the little people. We give them paltry tax breaks which doesn’t cover the cost of daycare or health insurance and other socialist programs that all other modern industrialized nations provide.

For someone who is currently deciding on whether or not to have a second child this article really angers me. My husband and I make a good living, but we are both self employed. Our insurance is going up next year and premiums will be over 1k a month. We don’t quality for tax credits for health care and we would have an out of pocket cost of over 7k for having another baby. This is on a silver plan. After having a baby we would need extra childcare which would cost us at least 1200 a month on top of preschool cost for our son. We don’t need a measly $2k tax credit, we need affordable childcare, affordable healthcare and paid parental leave. Being from a Northern European country originally, my husband and I have decided to move to Europe in 2019. Unfortunately, the United States is not a good place to raise a family.

A $2,000 tax credit won’t do much. If you really want to help working families, provide them with affordable healthcare, childcare, and education. That will require a tax increase on the wealthy, not the huge tax breaks you’re giving them now.

If your party would do something about the problems you mention here, like a mandatory living wage, daycare as part of public education (thus free), paid family leave, free community college, a functioning healthcare insurance system as opposed to sabotaging it), perhaps things would be a lot better.

And kids over 18 going to college, while still dependents, don’t qualify for the child tax credit making the loss of the personal exemptions even more onerous to the family finances. [at least in Massachusetts the child support profits can continue to flow until age 23]

Keep the inheritance tax – families with that much money do not need our help.

You mention student loans in the very first para. Why not do something about the cost of college education as your Democratic colleagues want to do? Affordable college education can not only help parents but will make the country competitive in a global market.

As someone graduating college and looking to embark on my own “American Dream” the increasing pricetag of raising kids is a point of real concern for me. Because having children is a top priority in my life I want to do so without continual financial anxieties, yet with the new proposed tax plan and the current infrastructure, it seems to be increasingly difficult. It affects my career choice, place of residence, pregnancy timing and everyday spending.

The last one is my favorite. The author identifies him/herself as “Luke Yeager” from Boulder, Colorado and therefore the implication is that someone named “Luke” will be pregnant. He/she says “having children is a top priority in my life,” but not such a high priority that Luke wants to work to support the prospective brats: “I want to do so without continual financial anxieties.” Maybe Colorado doesn’t offer free housing to those with kids and zero income? Luke needs to come to Massachusetts and discover the miracle of means-tested public housing (sometimes in newly constructed luxury commercial apartment buildings), Masshealth (our Medicaid), food stamps, etc. We will be happy to pay for as many children as his pregnancies produce. If he and his adult partner have two children and don’t want to stay home all day playing Xbox they can earn up to $78,150 per year and remain in Boston public housing (chart).

There are a few NYT readers guilty of “maybe we don’t have infinite money” thoughtcrime:

Households of childless couples or single men and women already have their taxes used for public education and related expenses which are significant. Yes, I can see the collective good there. But to add further tax burdens/costs to those who, by great measure, choose not to have children out of being financially responsible and realistic of their earning powers to have to finance the raising of children by shouldering further tax breaks for those that choose (or recklessly) have children is starting to approach a point of grossly unfair. Add food assistance programs and healthcare….we’re talking real money. The single or childless household is being unfairly burdened.

In general, individuals and societies who can most easily afford more children tend to have fewer of them and vice versa. Thus, I question the proposed correlation between fertility rates and taxes. More importantly, we have an appalling rate of child poverty in this country (about 20%). Supporting the education and welfare of these children should be the top priority, not encouraging everyone to have more of them.

i’m all for helping to defray the cost of child-rearing, but as a happily single and childless fully self-employed adult, i need some help with payroll taxes, too. right now, i have zero confidence that i will ever live to collect social security. lifting the income cap on the payroll tax would save that program for all american workers, those with children and those without.

The article concludes with “Raising children is the most important job we will ever have.” (he does not cite Bill Burr on how it is also the toughest)

Readers: What do you think? Is it strange that people vote to have the government make everyone do something that practical nobody does voluntarily? (and Happy Election Day if you’re voting!)

Election Day Thought: Hollywood celebrity endorsements will become less common?

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Happy Election Day to readers who are in states with elections.

One feature of U.S. politics in the past few decades is endorsements of politicians, and media coverage of those endorsements, by Hollywood celebrities. For example, Kevin Spacey previously made the news for talking about the “greatness” of Barack Obama, for endorsing Hillary Clinton, and for righteously condemning Donald Trump. Today, however, he is in the news for allegedly having done some stuff that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton probably wouldn’t want to publicly support.

Now that celebrities are in the news as potential sexual harassers will we at least be freed from having to hear about their political beliefs?

[Foreign readers: what happens in parliamentary systems? Do people in Germany get excited when a German actor endorses a German political party? Does the media give a lot of coverage to the voting plans of German movie stars?]

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