Wednesday, May 27, 2009

To Ponder...

What does it mean when upon learning that some leading conservative commentators reached the same conclusion I did about Judge Sotomayor's comments (highlighted in another post), my gut reaction was to think "hey, maybe I reached a bad conclusion?"

Normally, finding out that someone else thinks the same thing as you is a sort of confirmation of your views. But there are some people in whom such convergent thinking serves more as an anti-confirmation of my views - a reason to doubt them, not to trust them.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Supreme Court Justice Nomination

Just a quick thought...

From the person the President has nominated to be our next Supreme Court Justice:

"Our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging. Justice O'Connor has often been cited as saying that a wise old man and wise old woman will reach the same conclusion in deciding cases. I am also not so sure that I agree with the statement. First, as Professor [Martha] Minnow has noted, there can never be a universal definition of wise. Second, I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life." [U.C. Berkeley School of Law, 10/26/2001]

Switch the phrases "white male" and "Latina woman" and tell me if a white man who makes such a statement has any hope of being nominated in today's society.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Views from Across the Aisle

I like to read the opinions of people with whom I normally would disagree. I think if you can't understand where the other side is coming from, you can't have any sort of productive conversation with them.

This is an interesting article about wages in the current economy.

Of note: "And soon we may be facing the paradox of wages: workers at any one company can help save their jobs by accepting lower wages, but when employers across the economy cut wages at the same time, the result is higher unemployment.

Here’s how the paradox works. Suppose that workers at the XYZ Corporation accept a pay cut. That lets XYZ management cut prices, making its products more competitive. Sales rise, and more workers can keep their jobs. So you might think that wage cuts raise employment — which they do at the level of the individual employer.

But if everyone takes a pay cut, nobody gains a competitive advantage. So there’s no benefit to the economy from lower wages. Meanwhile, the fall in wages can worsen the economy’s problems on other fronts."

My question would be... isn't the same thing true of the minimum wage, but in reverse? If everyone's wages are shifted upward, then we don't gain anything except inflation. It's why I don't care much for changing the minimum wage, but why I don't get too worked up over it either.