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Thursday, March 23, 2023

Links - 23rd March 2023 (2 - Feminism)

Singapore needs more female IT graduates. Here’s why and how to achieve this - "Even as the Government redoubles its current efforts to build a strong Singapore ICT core, the domestic supply of ICT graduates is unlikely to meet the economy’s needs.  This means that Singapore will need to supplement the ICT workforce with foreigners, a policy option that is practical but often unpopular among citizens.  Increasing the number of local women in the ICT field could mitigate this problem."
This sort of static analysis assumes that the new women who will go into ICT didn't use to be doing anything useful. Ironically, feminists' obsession with parity (in certain circumstances only, of course) just devalues women's work - which they then bitch about Of course, there's no mention about discrimination against men at all, even though that has been proven

Gender Discrimination in Hiring: Evidence from a Cross-National Harmonized Field Experiment - "Gender discrimination is often regarded as an important driver of women’s disadvantage in the labour market, yet earlier studies show mixed results. However, because different studies employ different research designs, the estimates of discrimination cannot be compared across countries. By utilizing data from the first harmonized comparative field experiment on gender discrimination in hiring in six countries, we can directly compare employers’ callbacks to fictitious male and female applicants. The countries included vary in a number of key institutional, economic, and cultural dimensions, yet we found no sign of discrimination against women. This cross-national finding constitutes an important and robust piece of evidence. Second, we found discrimination against men in Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, and the UK, and no discrimination against men in Norway and the United States. However, in the pooled data the gender gradient hardly differs across countries. Our findings suggest that although employers operate in quite different institutional contexts, they regard female applicants as more suitable for jobs in female-dominated occupations, ceteris paribus, while we find no evidence that they regard male applicants as more suitable anywhere."

Gender discrimination in hiring: An experimental reexamination of the Swedish case - "We estimated the degree of gender discrimination in Sweden across occupations using a correspondence study design. Our analysis of employer responses to more than 3,200 fictitious job applications across 15 occupations revealed that overall positive employer response rates were higher for women than men by almost 5 percentage points. We found that this gap was driven by employer responses in female-dominated occupations. Male applicants were about half as likely as female applicants to receive a positive employer response in female-dominated occupations. For male-dominated and mixed occupations we found no significant differences in positive employer responses between male and female applicants."

Uneven Patterns of Inequality: An Audit Analysis of Hiring-Related Practices by Gendered and Classed Contexts - "Despite women’s uneven entrances into male-dominated occupations, limited scholarship has examined whether and how employers in different occupational classes unevenly discriminate against women during early hiring practices. This article argues that intersecting gendered and classed features of occupations simultaneously shape hiring-related practices and generate uneven patterns of inequality. Using data derived from comparative white-collar (N = 3,044 résumés) and working-class (N = 3,258 résumés) correspondence audits and content-coded analyses of more than 3,000 job advertisements, the author analyzes early hiring practices among employers across two gendered occupational dimensions: (1) sex composition (male- or female-dominated jobs) and (2) gender stereotyping (masculinized or feminized jobs, based on the attributes that employers emphasize in job advertisements). Broadly, findings suggest a polarization of early sorting mechanisms in which discrimination against female applicants is concentrated in male-dominated and masculinized working-class jobs, whereas discrimination against male applicants at early job-access points is more widespread, occurring in female-dominated and feminized jobs in both white-collar and working-class contexts. Interestingly, discrimination further compounds for male and female applicants—depending on the classed context—when these occupational dimensions align in the same gendered direction (e.g., male-dominated jobs that also have masculinized job advertisements). These findings have implications for the study of gender and work inequality and indicate the importance of a multidimensional approach to hiring-related inequality."

cam on Twitter - "Women complaining about the pay gap in sports is like men complaining about the pay gap in Onlyfans."

Meme - I'm a Celt myself. Irish specifically. My ancestry is from Munster county."
"Munster isn't a county. Its a province."
"You're gonna mansplain Ireland to me when i'm Irish? A man with an unwashed ass has an opinion again"
"I'm Irish. You're American. I'm pretty confident I know my country better than you ya absolute gowl."
Once again, mansplaining is when a man says something a woman disagrees with
Given how often feminists use that tag group, they have some weird fascination with sniffing men's asses

Meme - "Fight the Patriarchy
ktkins @voldemortsbicep: my favorite game is to act like i can't understand something very simple when a man is explaining it to me to see how dumb he thinks i am"
Feminism is about women pretending to be dumb, then mocking men for thinking women are dumb

Meme - Saara-Elina Kaukiainen in Mansplain me harder, Daddy
My other half just accidentally splained me the microwave oven. H3 was wondering why the plate was burning hot but the food was still cold. I jokingly said that maybe the oven just like to heat up plates? And h3 went all; microwave heats up the water in food. I looked at h1m and asked if he really just splained me the microwave oven. There was a moment of silence before I heard the tiniest m4nly "oops." from the kitchen. Gotta love that hairy moron."

Meme - "I'm a transgender man. Ever since I've transitioned, I've found when someone doesn't like something I say, they'll shut me down saying I'm 'mansplaining'. I haven't changed the way I explain things since transitioning, and it's really getting to me."

Meme - Jamie @spacej_me: "A guy just tried to MANSPLAIN to me what a sawhorse is but I SHUT HIM DOWN bc am WELL AWARE that it's the past tense of seahorse, THANKS"

Meme - Women's Rights News: "Amen"
Tanzeela @ThatRebelLady: "Women can do anything men can do
Men are not the standard of greatness or righteousness that women should be expected to live up to. Women can do anything and everything THEY WANT TO"
Ironically, feminists always use men as the standard of greatness or righteousness that women should be expected to live up to, and any failure to live up to this standard is the fault of "misogyny" and "patriarchy". Also, I guess women can break physical laws if they want to because girl power

Meme - Al Jazeera English @AJEnglish: ""(We] reread the Quran with a focus on gender equality. Religious institutions are patriarchal, so we try and challenge the structure from within." The Mariam Mosque in Copenhagen is one of the first in Europe to be led by women"
Meme - @huzaaifah: "May Allah destroy feminism and all liberals"
Nauman Ali @Metal_falconn: "Mosque will be closed for few days because imam sahiba is on her periods."
Canadian SAUDI: ""We Re-read Canadian the Quran". No, You invented your own Religion. Islam is the same for 1400+ years and has not & will not change. People wonder why Islamic countries don't have religious freedom? To prevent whack jobs like this. Its not a Mosque. Its a cult room where murtads gather"
Abubakar @kademy_jr: "The most confused set of Muslims are followers of LGBT"
@youngtragedi: "Feminism is a disease"
Negrito @WhatinZaWarudo_: "Idk who's better at destabilizing and ruining things from within, white women, the CIA or zionists"
"This is an Innovation, there is no Sunna on Record where a women-led Salat with a room full of man I am not saying women can't lead women or give a Lecture but in the Mos. when there are men present a man can only lead Prayer This is AngloZionist Plot again undermine Real islam"
Imanie miss_imanie: "Inna Lillahi wa inna ilayhi raajiun. We should not change the teachings of Islam according to our Whims and Desires. Women in Islam are treated as Queens and have honorable roles in the We should not be blinded by the Western Idea of Gender Equality."
Meme - AHMAD @el_ahmadyy: "First of all... Where's her hijab"
Bello Adamu Usman @A_U_Bello...: "Even the US could not let a woman be president, why? Coz they are meant to follow."
Amara Baby @suumaraa: "tbt when I made a whole presentation about the downfall of Islam (without khilafat) and used this lady as my intro Imfaoooooo
"Master @Ahmadudu_: "Feminism will just lead you astray"
Abdullah @unoriginalting: "i bet western governments are the source for this degeneracy in order to spread fitna within the ummah" Talha A. @talhayranci: "Have kufr gone that far?"
Zaid Al Attas @ZaidAttas: "Women can't lead, if this was permissible companions would have prayed behind Aisha RA after Prophet PBUH, because she was mother of Believers."
ibn Al Ajuraan @ibnAjuraan: "Al-Bukhaari (4425) narrated that Abu Bakrah (r) said: The Messenger of Allaah (s) said: "No people will ever succeed who appoint a woman as their leader."
Meme - Asma (#StayHome): "Islam is NOT about EQUALITY its ABOUT JUSTICE. They both have or given equal share in this world in the name of justice not EQUALITY"
"Which woman would feel comfortable in kneeling down to Allah while being in front of men? Tbh, I am more than happy to be in the last row."
Abu Samira @nass8er: "Masjid dhiraran wakufran sponsored by non muslims in order to change Islam from within. O Allah make the believers in Kopenhagen hate that mosque of kufr"
Julde @Julde86443097: "Please tell them to Better stop it because Qur'an was revealed by Allah and translated by the prophet so tempering with it will cause nothing more than more #pandemics in the #world. There is #nothing like gender #equality in #islam"
Food for thought @Shovesta2: "Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth. So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband's] absence what Allah would have them guard. But those [wives] from whom you fear arrogance [first] advise them; [then if they persist], forsake them in bed; and [finally], strike them. But if they obey you [once more], seek no means against them. Indeed, Allah is ever Exalted and Grand"
"Oh, boy, people tried this before, it's not a good idea... do you know most women are more comfortable being in the back row istead of the front, as it is? Because we won't have to feel eyes staring at our behinds, okay. Frankly speaking."
Raihan Mahmud @DaccanMullah: "She seems confused. May Allah heal her intellect."
Ibrahim Akif @overdoinz: "I have no clue why brothers and sisters are arguing with nonbelievers? These are the same people that advocate homosexual marriages!! These people are evil and you should not waste your words or energy going back and forth with them!!!"
The most feminist religion strikes again

Meme - "Graphic Designer
Lives in ***
11 miles away
If you are a MAN trying to fuck women or people with vaginas on Tinder, what have YOU done to personally fight for a woman's right to her body autonomy today? I want the donation screenshots, the protest pics, the ballot selfie. the call log and the emails to policy makers. Or, fuck off"

Danielle Kubes: Universal daycare bad for women, children and the economy - "universal daycare is good for no one — not our economy, not our children and certainly not our women.  Advocates argue that universal daycare is ultimately good for the economy because the government can collect taxes from the now-working woman, plus the taxes of the daycare worker. But when economists Michael Baker, Jonathan Gruber and Kevin Milligan examined the Quebec program in the Journal of Political Economy in 2008 they concluded that the increased tax revenue only offset the cost of the $2.6 billion program by 40 per cent.  A 2015 study in the journal Labour Economics on Quebec’s program by Catherine Haeck, Pierre Lefebvre and Philip Merrigan states that “even in the best case scenario, the costs were larger than the benefits”. Only one study, by Pierre Fortin, Luc Godbout and Suzie St-Cerny claims the program “pays for itself” and they engage in a labyrinth of assumptions to arrive at their conclusions... Nor is there much evidence that universal daycare is good for children. Despite the budget lavishing praise on the Quebec system, two long-term studies on its childcare system, also by Baker, Gruber and Milligan, tell a dark tale. These scholars talk of consistent and robust evidence for negative effects on child outcomes, especially for boys. Think more hyperactivity, inattention, aggressiveness, issues with motor and social skills plus a reduction of the child-parent relationship. “Most strikingly,” they report, “We find a sharp and contemporaneous increase in criminal behaviour among the cohorts exposed to the Quebec program, relative to their peers in other provinces.”... when we actually bother asking mothers what they want instead of regurgitating the handbook of The Feminist Cause, we find that what they really want, the world over, is to work part-time. Astonishingly, mothers with young children don’t want to put work at the centre of their lives... Even advocacy group, the Working Mother Institute, found in a 2015 survey of employed mothers that 70 per cent of respondents would choose to work part-time if they could still have a meaningful and productive career. And if low-cost daycare was the only barrier preventing mothers from working full-time then we would expect to see closer to equal labour participation rates between the sexes in countries which have implemented it. But we don’t. Not even close... if we’re going to spend billions of dollars in public money to purportedly support women’s preferences should we not let her decide those preferences for herself?  We could, for example, send mothers a bigger CCB cheque so that the ones who want, or need, to work full-time can further offset the cost of private daycare, and others who want to use it to replace a lost wage or pay for in-house help can have more financial support to do so. We can also experiment with ways to reduce the high cost of private daycare, such as reducing red tape and regulations to increase supply.  But certainly the last thing we should do is impose a top-down, inefficient program driven by an ideology without hard evidence of the advantages."

The Not-So-Empowering Lies Women Have Been Sold About Happiness - "By almost every social, political, and economic metric, women in Western nations currently enjoy an unprecedented amount of freedom and equality. The past century's fights over suffrage, equal access to education, and acceptance in the workplace have, thankfully, allowed women to take control over their destinies in ways that would have been impossible for previous generations. And yet, despite these gains for women's rights, it doesn't seem like any of that progress has made us happier. In fact, if the numbers are to be believed, it's actually the opposite: women are more unhappy now than ever. Depression rates are growing steadily in the developed world, with women consistently exhibiting greater rates than men. And similarly, the self-reported happiness of females has been on the decline since the 1970s. In fact, one 2011 study of the American workforce found that the "profile" of the most unhappy person was a 42-year old woman who was unmarried, had no children, and was a professional (doctor, lawyer, etc.)... married people tend to be happier than singles, not just during newlywed bliss, but at every stage of their lives...  If marriage is indeed tied to happiness, perhaps it's not such a good thing that we, as a culture and as individuals, continue to push it aside... while the stability of marriage has been on the decline, hook-up culture, which promotes casual sex outside of long-term relationships, has conversely become normalized...   Another part of our lives that may be contributing to rates of unhappiness is - unfortunately, but not surprisingly - our frequent use of social media... the concept of self-promotion that much of the popularity on social media depends upon has, quite predictably, contributed to an increasingly narcissistic society. And though confidence is generally a good thing, "self-love" to the point of narcissism is tied to depression and, quite paradoxically, low self-esteem... Although women on average work fewer hours than men, they are statistically more likely to report work-related stress, anxiety, or depression. And when working more than 40 hours a week, women are also less likely than men to report that they're satisfied with their work-life balance."
The feminist cope is that feminism has made women realise how shitty their lives really are, so knowing reality makes them miserable. Of course, women without feminism are stupid and not qualified to understand their own happiness
The 2011 study was about those who work, so feminists can claim women who don't work are even unhappier, though we know from elsewhere that's not true
Feminism encourages narcissism, so it's no surprise it would make women unhappy

Meet the Least Happy People in America - "most successful women believe that they should be able to do it all. As Christine Hassler writes in The Myth of Having It All, "Somewhere along the path of the women's liberation movement, we began to buy into the belief that to be an empowered woman means we have to do everything that both men and women do. So instead of making choices, we have tried to fulfill both gender roles at the same time."  She adds, "Instead of giving us a tremendous amount of freedom and opportunity, this concept of having it all has morphed into something that excuses putting so much on our plates that we are stressed out, burned out, and running out of time for ourselves (and our loved ones) every single day."... If the pursuit of "having it all" causes you to be so tired and unhappy—or exhausted and miserable—then what's the point?"

Why Women Don’t Apply for Jobs Unless They’re 100% Qualified - "You’ve probably heard the following statistic: Men apply for a job when they meet only 60% of the qualifications, but women apply only if they meet 100% of them.  The finding comes from a Hewlett Packard internal report... Men and women also gave the same most common reason for not applying, and it was by far the most popular, twice as common as any of the others, with 41% of women and 46% of men indicating it was their top reason: “I didn’t think they would hire me since I didn’t meet the qualifications, and I didn’t want to waste my time and energy.”  In other words, people who weren’t applying believed they needed the qualifications not to do the job well, but to be hired in the first place. They thought that the required qualifications were…well, required qualifications. They didn’t see the hiring process as one where advocacy, relationships, or a creative approach to framing one’s expertise could overcome not having the skills and experiences outlined in the job qualifications.  What held them back from applying was not a mistaken perception about themselves, but a mistaken perception about the hiring process.  This is critical, because it suggests that if the HP finding speaks to a larger trend, women don’t need to try and find that elusive quality, “confidence,” they just need better information about how hiring processes really work... Another 22% of women indicated their top reason was, “I didn’t think they would hire me since I didn’t meet the qualifications and I didn’t want to put myself out there if I was likely to fail.” These women also believed the on-paper “rules” about who the job was for, but for them, the cost of applying was the risk of failure – rather than the wasted time and energy. Notably, only 13% of men cited not wanting to try and fail as their top reason."
Another explanation for the gender wage gap. Too bad the author doesn't talk about women's risk aversion as a reason for why they don't apply

"Vulva Spaceship" aims to counter prevalence of phallic spacecraft - "A German feminist art group has revealed a vulva-shaped spaceship concept, which it is encouraging the European Space Agency to help realise in order to better represent humanity in space and "restore gender equality to the cosmos."  The group Wer Braucht Feminismus? (WBF?), which translates to "Who Needs Feminism?", created the Vulva Spaceship concept to challenge the convention of phallic spacecraft design."

Meme - "Don't hate me if: I Tell you I'm a die hard feminist but still expect you to hold the door."

Thread by @AnechoicMedia_ on Thread Reader App – Thread Reader App - "What an incredible rabbit hole. Margaret Hamilton, awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for "[leading] the team that created the on-board flight software" for the Apollo missions, wasn't even hired until after the completed software had already flown to the moon in Apollo 8! A team of 400 men worked for years to create the software for the two Apollo AGCs. Sometime around the release date, Hamilton is hired and promoted *by her husband* from a beginner role to be in charge of command module software, on which her name does not appear until 1969. The exact date of Hamilton's '68 entry level hire, and hasty promotion to software lead (both times by the man she married in '69) I haven't seen, but we know the first revision with her name is March 1969, months after the delivered product had gone to the moon. Below is a contemporary source of Apollo computer hardware and software development personnel over the course of the program.  The software is finalized and delivered in 1968, and flies to the moon in Apollo 8. The first release with Margaret Hamilton in charge is at the end. What incredible "courage" of this guy to hand Apollo CM software leadership over to the junior programmer Margaret Hamilton, the only woman on the entire team of 400, whom he would completely coincidentally end up marrying the very next year! (Correction: Hamilton was probably first employed at entry level in 1965, then after the CM software delivery date, she was given control of it for the bug-fix phase sometime at the end of 68 or early 69. Sources often highly vague about exact dates.)...  The article completes the picture. 1968: Apollo software is done, transitions to bug fix mode, shrinks headcount, and is no longer a prestige project. The boss, Dan Likely, hires his soon-to-be wife, Margaret Hamilton, to take his place as he quits to start his own company. Not only did Hamilton not lead Apollo software as implied, but her entire tenure in the program is suspect because 100% of it was arranged by her husband, who hired her, mentored her as she was given a small team, then promoted her immediately before their marriage... Both LM and CM software were completed and flew to the moon before Hamilton was put in charge of them. There are no grounds to say that she lead the development (Obama admin), or that it was "her code" (Vox article, various tweets)."
stevemur on Twitter - "If true, wouldn’t actual team members who created v1.0 have spoken up earlier?"
AnechoicMedia on Twitter - "To follow up with you, at least one recent memoir has been written in which someone laments that Hamilton overstated her tenure as leadership, and cost the true architect an opportunity for recognition."
AnechoicMedia on Twitter - "The mythology of Hamilton's leadership doesn't really explode until the mid-2010s internet feminism and search to dig up women tech pioneers. By that point how many people are even still alive? Hamilton herself was one of the younger team members on the project, and is 86 now. How many old guys in their 70s and 80s are aware that myths about a job they had 50 years ago are being spread on Reddit and Twitter? History is rewritten all the time."
Akki the Messiah on Twitter - "At the cost of their careers and reputation? Doubtful."
Noble Red on Twitter - "Reminds me of when I saw two feminist academics arguing on Twitter. Gist of it was “Yes I know it’s ridiculous to say Ada Lovelace was ‘the world’s first computer programmer’, but there are so few famous women in science history, we need to big her up!”"
jayaram on Twitter - "Same with the woman who is credited with the blackhole photo. She was a team lead of the programming section, not the project director. Entire world was made to believe that she was the leader of the project."
Admiral Monke on Twitter - "This stuffs all over. A few years ago they tried to say that the REAL discoverer of DNA was some chick who ran the machines in a lab. You know, the machines that produced images that didn't even make sense until Crick deduced they were looking at a double helix."

Meme - "Nobody:
Suburban white women with multiple degrees, a $750,000 home, and an $80,000 SUV: *Handmaid's Tale*"

Male lions do help with the hunting after all - "Most nature documentaries depict male African lions as layabouts who prefer to let the females do all the hunting. But a new study using pioneering new tools shows that the king of beasts could be doing his share after all.  The bad rap of male lions comes from a lack of data on what the males are really up to in the habitats where most African lions live -- not on the open plains of the Serengeti, but in the bushier lands of Africa... They are solitary predators who leap out of thick vegetation to ambush their prey. That's in contrast to the well known social hunting behaviors of lionesses."
I remember when the feminists were mocking men as useless

All-male headliners at Glastonbury due to ‘lack of female artists’ - "The headliners Arctic Monkeys, Guns N’ Roses and Sir Elton John mean an all-male lineup of starring acts on the main stage, with organiser Emily Eavis saying that in future a 50:50 gender split was needed."
Music quality isn't important - just equity

Meme -"Sunglasses are a tool of the patriarchy. They're used to hide ogling eyes and sinister looks. They make women feel uncomfortable and they are not a necessity. Please stop wearing sunglasses, as a sign of respect and support for women, Thank you allies"

Titania McGrath on Twitter - "NOTE TO MOTHERS! On #InternationalWomensDay it is your responsibility to remind your daughters that no matter what they do in life, and no matter how much they achieve, they will *always* be oppressed. Understanding this is the key to their empowerment."

Christina Ricci threatened with lawsuit for refusing to do sex scene - "Elaborating on how boundaries were violated, Ricci revealed she was once threatened with legal action for refusing to film a sex scene. “I remember once on a movie saying I wasn’t comfortable with something and they threatened to sue me if I didn’t do it,” she said of the incident in an interview last year, per Variety. “That would never happen now. I didn’t do it anyway. And they didn’t sue me.”"
If she didn't read the script or notice the sex scene, she is still a victim
"Do your job or get fired" only applies when liberals are forcing you to do something

Oscars 2023: Wonder Woman director says 'I give up' after no female directors nominated - "Director Patty Jenkins is giving up after no female directors were nominated for best director at this year's Academy Awards."
2020 and 2021 were won by women, but sure. Clearly without grit and perseverance (i.e. giving up when one year has no women nominees despite the previous years), it is possible to achieve great things

Meme - Feminist Memes: "indyamoore: All white people are racist, all cis people have trans bias, all men are sexist. All thin people are fatphobic, all able bodied people are ableist all light skin people are colorist and are navigating some degree of anti blackness."
indyamoore: "And please for God sakes, before you comment please read up on WHITE FRAGILITY and not by white authors who profit from anti racist"
We'll still be told that feminists don't hate men. But of course like other liberals they also hate a lot of other groups. But criticise them and despite talk of "white fragility" or "male fragility"...

Kim Kardashian and Grooming / Not buying black products / Reddit vs 4chan

More blocked by ifunny:

"⭐️Kim Kardashian’s has her 9-year-old daughter, North West, wearing a padded bra, colored butt length boxed braids, makeup, stiletto nails, a choke chain and 2-3 inch heels? Am I dreaming? because if I’m seeing what I believe I’m seeing, it’s absolutely appalling! Down right disgusting!!!!!"
"Hill: there is something wrong with this
Side Hill: all the women and their simps who said it was not ok to take a 9yr old to hooters will all of a sudden be ok with this"

"The ones to blame"
"Lol I don't get this it's their fault for... buying the shoes? Y'all gatekeeplng shoes now?? They're shoes!!!"
"It's gentrification. white people buying a lot stuff black people normally wear and the price goes up so that black people can afford them anymore. The same with housing, resell culture, and shopping"

Of course, if the black merchants go bankrupt because of a lack of sales, white people will be to blame for not supporting them.

>Call someone a faggot
>At worst they call you a faggot back
>That's that

>Call someone a faggot
>"l thought that in this day and age we wouldn't have to deal with homophobia my grandfather was a leather daddy in the 50s and he had AIDS and that's ok and multiculturalism is great and I love black cock and... Etc
>You have been banned fro r/whatever please suck our dicks to come back

Redditors can't even handle entry-level banter, they're like the preschoolers of the internet."

Links - 23rd March 2023 (1)

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent Podcast, United States: Presidential transitions - "‘At a long trestle table in the poetry room. Shawn puts together parcels for delivery to the United States. Each book is carefully stamped with the shop’s coveted logo. A bookmark is added along with a poem typed by hand on an old manual typewriter. It's all finished with a spritz of perfume. Amazon it's not. It's a really interesting experiment, Silvia told me, because we're seeing that when you sell books online, people do expect to have them quickly. But at what cost? We're trying to do it at the human level, we've realized that we're not an online store. Lockdown has sharpened France’s already clear battle lines between local shops and digital giants with their rapid robot-heavy production. France has been late to online shopping, and many bookshops badly hit by this crisis didn't even have working websites. By contrast, Amazon's business rose by 40 to 50% during lockdown, politicians, including the culture minister and the mayor of Paris, have urged people not to buy from it. Online giants are the only winners from this crisis, the finance minister Bruno le Maire said. Under pressure from him Amazon agreed this week to postpone its Black Friday discounts until local shops could open again. France has already announced a new tax on the biggest online retailers like Amazon starting next month. But this is about more than revenues for the French economy. This is a cultural war as much as an economic one... Amazon is evil in a way, said Francois, but in another way, they're very efficient. You're sure to get your stuff very quickly. And if there's a problem they deal with it. With French companies, it's not really like that’"

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent Podcast, Facing defeat in Nagorno-Karabakh - "‘Dozens of people accused of blasphemy have been killed in vigilante attacks, while many others have spent years languishing in jail. What stood out to me about Khadim Rizvi, the cleric, Mumtaz Qadri the bodyguard and the killer in Glasgow was while all of them were clearly capable of or supportive of extreme violence, they came from a sect of Islam aligned to Sufism, a more spiritual reflective interpretation of religion full of saints and shrines. One that has in fact been targeted by puritanical jihadist groups like Al Qaeda, and IS. When I met Rizvi in the hall, I asked if he was distorting that tradition. Yes, Sufis are peace loving, he said, but when it comes to the honor of the Prophet, no one cares more than us. A real Sufi is not one who sits in meditation when the Prophet is insulted, he added. Blasphemy in Pakistan is a deeply emotive issue, even more so it seems than in the rest of the Muslim world. Why that is, is something I'm still trying to fathom. When I pointed out to Rizvi examples of the Prophet Muhammad forgiving those who had insulted him. Rizvi replied that was his right. But true lovers of the Prophet could not abide it. Activists here say blasphemy allegations are so powerful, they're often used to settle personal feuds or to target religious minorities. My theory is that Pakistan society is so hierarchical, that attacking an alleged blasphemer becomes a violent catharsis for all the everyday injustices people, especially from lower classes, have to endure. It also speaks to the confusion at the heart of Pakistan's identity. Is this country meant to be a theocracy or a secular homeland for Muslims? Rizvi of course believed the country should be governed by Islamic law and portrayed religion as somehow under threat from a supposedly powerful liberal clique. His message was populist, and appeal to those frustrated by a lack of opportunities was a small, often westernized elite prospers.’"
According to a PC kumbaya narrative that was promoted some time back, Sufism was supposed to be the cure to Islamic extremism

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent Podcast, American presidents and the Middle East - "‘One of the things you learn quickly after coming to live in Thailand is the importance of the wai, the typical greeting putting your palms together in front of your chest. It's an attractive custom and in a time of pandemic a lot more hygienic than shaking hands. Using the wai properly though, is an etiquette minefield. Depending on the status of the person in front of you, your wai should either be accompanied by a deep bow of the head for someone of superior status, or more of a perfunctory nod for someone younger or of lower status. But in that case, you should never wai first. It gets quite confusing if you can't ascertain either their age or status. Traditionally, Thai society has been bound by hierarchy, a strict social order where everyone knows their place and the king sits at the very top. There are at least 10 versions of the pronouns, you and I in the Thai language, some of which are very polite, others which are so informal, they could get you into a lot of trouble. The status of the palace is so exalted, it has its own language, and everyone, even the Prime Minister, is expected to prostrate themselves on the ground in front of the king. Thais refer to themselves as the dust under the soles of his feet. This constant concern about status helps explain the impeccable manners Thais show each other in public. It's at the heart of what conservatives in this country call Thainess: the set of values they see as the essence of national identity, and which they presume to be unfathomable to foreigners. But there's a younger generation of Thais now who are not following the official script, and who've been leading the street protests which have shaken up this country for the past five months… Some who've dared criticize the monarchy have simply disappeared. But these young protesters are openly mocking the king, parodying his outlandish dress sense, tearing into his private life. He's on his fourth wife, and has an official concubine, who was suddenly disgraced and disappeared last year, and then just as suddenly rehabilitated this year. And they've turned Thai etiquette upside down. At one protest, I saw a balloon carrying this demand to the king: I order you to be under the Constitution it said, written in Thai. Only the pronouns used for I and you were the most vulgar there are, an unpardonable breach of decorum with anyone you don't know intimately, let alone a king... He's so appalled by the language he's heard from the protests, he believes the students must have been brainwashed by foreign agents’"

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent Podcast, Egypt’s brief wind of change - "[On the Arab Spring in Egypt] ‘Working out what was really going on, was a much more difficult and uncertain process. Lots of Western reporters tended to give far too much weight to the views of a tiny elite bilingual in Arabic and English, using what were then the relatively new tools of Twitter, and Facebook. In truth, the real confrontation was between the two great forces of Egyptian society: the army and the Muslim Brotherhood... Egypt's army was not so much an instrument for fighting wars, as a kind of shadow society, operating its own network of petrol stations, banks and bakeries. One of them was going to emerge triumphant and the smart money always bets in the end on the guys with guns. But back then it didn't feel easy to predict... I knew Abdel Fattah El Sisi was the man to watch, not when I heard him speaking, but when I noticed bakeries producing cakes that carried his image in icing’"

Bradford announces support for Gardiner rebuild : toronto
This thread is revealing. Lots of the "fuck cars" crowd want to actively make driving a worse experience, to force people to take transit or cycle, and they don't care about the consequences (e.g. fewer people working and spending money in the city, which generates revenue, or massive traffic jams), and many imagine that the highway is only used by people from outside the city

Nurse Adopts Baby Who Had No Visitors For 5 Months - "Gisele is the light of Liz Smith's life"

Man found guilty of killing wife after being bailed out by nonprofit - "Samuel Lee Scott was found guilty of murdering his wife in 2019 after he was bailed out of jail by the St. Louis Bail Project.  The nonprofit posted Scott’s $5,000 bail in April of 2019 while he was being held on assault charges that alleged he hit his wife, Marcia Johnson, earlier that year. Scott was also served with an order of protection, which prohibited him from being within 300 feet of his wife or from entering her home. St. Louis Bail Project officials claimed the order of protection was issued after the bail was posted and that the organization did not know about the order."

Meme - Soyjak: "CNN - New Study Finds..."
Normal person: "But this makes no sense because..."
Soyjak: "Shut up idiot, you're not an expert. The Science has settled"
Soyjak: "Newer Study finds: ..."
Normal person: "But this is exactly what I told you"
Soyjak: "Shut up idiot, The Science changes"

Meme - Her: "What are we"
Him: "Still brothers, take that wig off"

YouTube video causes Pixel phones to instantly reboot - "Did you ever see that movie The Ring? People who watched a cursed, creepy video would all mysteriously die in seven days. Somehow Google seems to have re-created the tech version of that, where the creepy video is this clip of the 1979 movie Alien, and the thing that dies after watching it is a Google Pixel phone."

Meme - "Ces actes barbares seraient partis... d'un oignon mal coupé
Un homme torturé à mort par ses compagnons de soirée à Sevres"

Meme - "No more unknown chemicals in my food. I am growing my own vegetables and cooking them in my home. Finally taking charge of my health! *Cooking mushrooms growing in toilet*"

A Roomba photographed a woman on the toilet and it ended up on social media. Now A.I. experts have this warning about bringing tech into your home - "A  woman who signed up to help test a new version of a robotic vacuum cleaner did not expect pictures of her taken on the toilet to end up on social media. But through a third-party leak, that's what happened.  The trial in 2020 went sideways after iRobot—which produces Roomba autonomous robotic vacuum cleaners—asked employees and paid volunteers to help the company gather data to help improve a new model of the machines by using them in their homes. iRobot said it made participants aware of how the data would be used and even affixed the models with "recording in process" tabs.  But through a leak at an outside partner—which iRobot has since cut ties with and is investigating—private pictures ended up on social media."
The joys of outsourcing

World's best restaurant Noma is closing due to "unsustainable' fine dining model | Fortune - "the industry attempts to shed what Noma co-owner and head chef René Redzepi says has become a working model that tends to bleed employees dry. From long hours to extreme physical demands, working in the kitchen or on the restaurant floor can be one of the most demanding professions... the model that Noma’s success was based on has simply become impractical. The head chef said that maintaining meal prices that are high enough to provide competitive salaries to nearly 100 workers is untenable in the current market, echoing the affordability challenges many restaurant owners are facing due to rising food costs and pandemic-fueled changes in how diners eat. “It’s unsustainable,” Redzepi said of the industry in its current state. “Financially and emotionally, as an employer and as a human being, it just doesn’t work.”"

Meme - "Looking for recommendations any dog groomers doing 24hr emergency call outs, my dog got his head in the Sugar Puff box."

The Igon Value Effect - "[Malcolm] Gladwell uses "igon value" in an inessential way, to provide some local color in the chapter of What the Dog Saw called "Blowing Up: How Nassim Taleb Turned the Inevitability of Disaster into an Investment Strategy". But eigenvalue really is a very basic concept in linear algebra, and the analysis of the   eigenvectors and eigenvalues of matrices is not just some ephemeral bit of esoteric mathematical fluff... Thus this silly mis-hearing tells us (as Pinker notes) that Gladwell's understanding of the ideas he's writing about is limited, here as often, to a sort of metaphorical caricature.  And the resulting conceptual equivocation can be a critical part of the "insights" that he has to offer, which, as Pinker also tells us, often reflect his role as the anti-intellectual's intellectual (or the intellectual's anti-intellectual?)"

Meme - "Now hiring
Junkies, Felons, Prostitutes & Assholes
Join us!
Benefits include:
Get High At Work
Call Off Whenever
Ronal McDonlad

Meme - "At least once a month, I randomly remember that Dr Phil once invited the creator of the BumFights video series on his show to confront him about exploiting vulnerable people for financial gain-only for him to show up dressed up as Dr Phil & point out he does the same exact thing."

About Us | Ground News - "Ground News is a platform that makes it easy to compare news sources, read between the lines of media bias and break free from algorithms. Over the past decade, online news and ad-driven algorithms have made it profitable for news outlets to embrace a position on the bias spectrum to target specific consumers. Bias in the media affects everything from what events receive coverage, to how a news outlet frames those events in their reporting.  As media outlets narrow their perspective and range of coverage, it’s become impossible to consult a single news story for a well-rounded view on important issues."

Meme - "Work: Dress for the Job you want, not the job you have.
Me: *arrives at work*
*Glinda from the Wizard of Oz*"

Singaporean man breaks down after getting 'touched inappropriately' at JB massage parlour - "It was supposed to be a relaxing trip to a JB massage parlour for two Singaporean men.   But instead, they left the place traumatised after their masseuse allegedly sexually assaulted them... a female masseuse allegedly "touched their privates".   One of the men said he asked her to stop, but she did it again twice.  In fact, she even went as far as to ask him if he was gay as he was not getting aroused, according to that video.   Additionally, she allegedly pulled open his underwear to "peek" at his genitals... when confronted, the masseuse allegedly "denied everything" and only said she had asked the man if he liked men or women."

Skull Charcoal - Shut Up And Take My Money - "Skull Charcoal –  a unique piece of charcoal art that will give your fire’s atmosphere just a little more bad-ass than it would have otherwise."

Meme - "Financing a case of Mountain Dew
Mountain Dew Baja Blast (12 oz., 36 pk.)
NZ$ 9.95. 4 interest-free payments of $2.49 with afterpay"

Commercial - Mazda 2 - YouTube - "cruising along with your girl, but your car is a stick-shift?  hmm, that can be damaging to the transmission, but the mazda 2 has something to offer.  funny!"

Pub Mazda (Drague) - "Pub Mazda une femme blonde drague des hommes dans un bar et chaque homme montre les clefs de leur voiture pour savoir qui a la plus grosse, la femme choisit un homme pas très beau avec mazda b-series pour déménager un meuble on croirait qu'ils font l'amour sexe relation sexuelle"
Mazda B Series Commercial - YouTube
The YouTube version is poorer quality

Pub JBS (sous-vêtement) - "Une jolie femme avec une culotte pas sexy se comporte comme un homme en rotant pétant se grattant les fesses."
Men don't want to look at naked man. - YouTube
The YouTube version is poorer quality

Rachel Bilson’s Deleted Sex Scene - "Exclusive sex scene from Rachel Bilson's upcoming film “Hearts of Palm”…Is that a body double?"chat

King Charles dance video goes viral ahead of coronation - "The then Prince, now a king, can be seen breakdancing in the video from his 1985 visit to Middleton-on-Sea in West Sussex.  He joined the young people and at one point even volunteered to have a go at breakdancing.  Although, King Charles, then a 37-year-old young prince, didn't quite master the breakdancing moves, but royal fans were certainly impressed by his willingness to take part."

Education's Research Problem - "Educators and policymakers often ignore or distort scientific findings. Here's why—and what we can do about it.  The education field, these authors assert, often alternatively ignores, belittles, or "weaponizes" scientific findings and evidence relevant to education. They show examples of how education does a worse job than other fields at either rushing to apply approaches without enough evidence of effectiveness or "underdelivering"—not using approaches backed by evidence. Other reasons educators struggle to tap into evidence (such as a refusal to openly discuss values) are explored."

Netflix’s ‘Love Is Sharing a Password’ Tweet Comes Back to Haunt Streamer - "the streaming giant intended to updates its U.S. policy on password sharing in an effort to generate more profits. The company confirmed it was moving forward with those plans in a letter to shareholders earlier this month, stating it would crack down on password sharing by the end of March. ... “Love is sharing a password,” the company tweeted on March 10, 2017."

Indoor Plumbing Still a Pipe Dream for 20% of Russian Households, Reports Say - "Russia leads the developed world with the worst sanitation record... Of the 22.6 percent of households without a centralized sewage system, 16.8 percent use a system of pipes connected to pit toilets, RBC cited the State Statistics Service, Rosstat, as saying. The other 5.8 percent lack a sewage system altogether"

Meme - "when my dad was in college he had a friend who told a girl he'd take her on a date unlike any other she'd ever been on and so he took her to the supermarket to watch the lobsters fighting in the lobster tank. they're married now"

Chicago mayor tells residents to stop using cash if they don't want to keep getting mugged - "Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has proposed a solution to end rampant crime in her city: Stop using cash.  Lightfoot suggested those afraid of being mugged opt to use digital forms of payments instead... In other parts of the U.S. like Seattle’s King County, legislation has been introduced to ban the practice of refusing cash at local businesses. KOMO News in Seattle spoke with Jeanne Kohl-Welles, the King County Councilmember who introduced the legislation.  She insisted to KOMO that cashless businesses disproportionately affect low-income individuals who depend on cash to survive and called the move to extinguish paper currency “a gentrification accelerator”"
They aren't even capable of getting ID so they can vote - how will they get electronic money? How racist of her

Heartland tours drawing tourists and locals in Singapore - "Tour operator Tribe, a two-year- old company, organizes trips to the 28-year-old Jie Bakery and Confectionery as part of its Disappearing Trades tour. The tour, which runs for four hours, takes people to three stops for about $75 a person. The other two stops are a coffee-roasting factory and a paper-house maker catering to Chinese prayer rituals.  Tribe, this year's Singapore Tourism Awards recipient for best tour experience, started out with just two tours but now offers about a dozen. Co-founder Jason Loe said such tours fill a gap."

Meme - @LandsharkRides: "Friend I was hanging out with today told me a Tarot reading predicted that he will break up with his beloved girlfriend he plans to marry so I told him the story of the king and the astrologer
An astrologer predicts that the king will die in a month. The king is absolutely crushed and falls sick from despair. His most trusted knight calls the astrologer to come before the king and asks him "when will YOU die?" - the astrologer says in 20 years; the knight beheads him"
I can't find a source for this

Meme - Amanda @ms_emmalyon: "My parents are currently visiting Peru, and I feel I must share this picture mom sent from Lima. *Guinea pig in Inca outfit*"

Pádraig Belton on Twitter - "A digital billboard in Odessa malfunctioned, in the fog. Convincing unknown numbers of motorists not only were they living in the Matrix, but it was being run on Windows 98."
Windows Error Box Floating in the Air (5 pics) - Izismile.com

Meme - "This guy found a tattoo on his newly adopted dog and decided to get the same tattoo only to discover afterwards that it means "Been Neutered."
"Nothing to do now but to solidify that bond"

'Mortal Kombat' screenwriter reveals one iconic character almost got cut - "INVERSE: One of the best gags in the movie is a reference to players spamming the sweeping leg kick. Where did that joke come from?
Greg Russo: I have to give credit, it was the president of New Line who came up with the joke and pitched it to us. We were like, “Oh, that’s great.” That’s a fun Easter egg for the fans who played in the arcade, especially newbies who didn’t know the leg sweep. The trick with the bit was making sure it worked, that it didn’t come across too wink-wink and felt natural to the story.  I wrote the line, “Is that the only move you know?” which is the callback to the arcade. It’s what I would say before I destroy them. [Kano actor] Josh [Lawson] is a great improviser and added his own touch. The actors played off each other, they embody those characters so well."

Meme - "Barbie. I <3 Valentine's Day *Barbie-sized sex toys*"

Shit Jokes on Twitter - "I thought my vasectomy would keep my wife from getting pregnant. But apparently, it just changes the colour of the baby."

Meme - "I remember saying "no we can't" to the Bob the Builder theme song. That's where the darkness in me began. The malice, the hatred. It was all from that moment."

'Welcome to Perth' sign in Sydney: Rooftop prank gives passengers flying into Sydney a scare - "Heasman took inspiration from artist Mark Gubbins who has welcomed passengers flying into Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee with a confusing sign that reads "Welcome to Cleveland" atop his house since 1978."


Stop Attributing Everything to Confucianism - "even in the premodern era, Confucianism took on different forms in different parts of the historical Sinosphere: China, Korea, Japan and Vietnam. And with the dawn of modernity, so-called Confucianism has assumed a yet more complicated role and identity in these countries, as well as in other, more recently established states like Taiwan and Singapore.  To put it plainly, there is no one thing that we can call Confucianism; nor can we sum it up in a few words.   Ignoring the substantial differences among such Asian countries and grouping them together to offer a singular explanation for their collective successes and problems is absurd — and frankly Orientalist...   The man most often credited for spurring South Korea’s economic development is the notorious dictator Park Chung-hee. But he reportedly despised the C-word, attributing lack of entrepreneurship in South Korea to Confucianism and its focus on literary learning. His economic policy, characterized by state-dictated plans in close collaboration with select conglomerates, is widely seen as merging authoritarian control, cheap labor and big capital, in a way that eschewed any Confucian leanings or ideas... Confucianism, when reduced to a few key elements, can also be used to explain problems as well as successes, especially when tragedies strike.  A case in point: Malcolm Gladwell famously opined in Outliers that the 1997 Korean Air crash in Guam was attributable to a burdensome work schedule and a power structure “dictated by the heavy weight of [the] country’s cultural legacy.” According to Gladwell (who, to his credit, doesn’t use the C-word), a junior pilot wasn’t able to report an error to his superior, and that was the reason behind the deaths of over 200 passengers and crew...   A more recent tragedy — the 2014 Sewol ferry sinking — invited yet another round of Confucianism-bashing. The culture of obedience was blamed again — perhaps rightly — as most victims were high school students and they reportedly followed the crew’s instruction to stay where they were, sinking with the ferry. But is the streak of obedience due solely to Confucianism or something else entirely — perhaps ingrained militarism in South Korean society? (The country suffered nearly three decades of military dictatorship until 1987 and the conscription system in place today forces most young men to spend about two years performing military service.)... In modern China, Confucian values were demonized and nearly eradicated during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), and during the subsequent years of heady economic growth the vacuum was filled by another belief: materialism. But in recent years Confucianism has been making a comeback, as the Communist Party attempts to revive it as a tool for promoting social harmony and justifying oppression. Once attacked as being feudal and backward, Confucianism, rebranded as a distinctly Chinese system of ideas, is merging with capitalism on the one hand and ‘communism,’ defined as one-party rule, on the other to give rise to a new political ideology... Interestingly, South Koreans are increasingly subverting what might be called Confucian values: eating alone instead of with family, neglecting elders and forgoing dating and marriage. Within the country, some scholars have called Confucianism out for its ill effects on society (much as those intellectuals at the turn of the last century did), especially after the Asian Financial Crisis nearly decimated the South Korean economy twenty years ago.   Kim Kyeong-il, a Chinese studies professor, lambasted Confucianism in his book titled “The Nation Lives Once Confucius Dies,” arguing that the tradition is fundamentally incompatible with democracy. “Confucius’s idea of virtue was not for the sake of people but politics. It was virtue for the sake of men, elders, the establishment and even corpses,” Kim said in an interview.  Kim was sued for defamation by Confucian scholars who clearly disagreed, but was found not guilty in a court of law... no learned person would try to explain a certain country or region by invoking just one word, or define an intellectual tradition going back centuries with a few descriptives.     Rapid economic development in East Asia occurred for a combination of reasons, including foreign aid, restrictions on individual freedom and collusion between the state and business sectors. Certain principles of ‘Confucianism,’ like obedience or loyalty, may have played a role. But trying to explain multiple countries’ varyious trajectories with a single broad brushstroke is lazy journalism and sloppy scholarship.  So stop attributing everything in East Asia to Confucianism. At this rate, even the entire North Korean regime might be explained away with it.  Oh wait — it already has been."

Tiny Portions Of Pasta At Kourtney Kardashians Wedding Get Flak On Twitter - "the pasta portion size at kourtney kardashian's wedding is the one of the saddest things i've ever seen"

Bringing cake to work is like passive smoking, suggests food regulator - "The head of a food watchdog has suggested well intentioned workers should think twice before bringing sugary foods such as cakes into the workplace, in case they tempt colleagues who really shouldn't eat the food.  Professor Susan Jebb, chairwoman of Britain's Food Standards Agency, said it was an individual's choice to eat sweet treats, but people could help each other by providing a "supportive environment"... Professor Jebb also insisted restrictions on advertising junk food were "not about the nanny state" but would instead tackle what she described as a "complete market failure" where sweet goods take precedence over vegetables." First, they came for the smokers...

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Links - 22nd March 2023 (2 - Inflation)

Opinion: The Bank of Canada needs to end its fixation on inflation - The Globe and Mail - "At the end of 2021, the federal government added the goal of “maximum sustainable employment” to the Bank of Canada’s mandate. But over the past year, the central bank has undermined the job prospects of working, precariously employed and unemployed Canadians by hiking borrowing costs at every scheduled interest-rate announcement since March, 2022... To be sure, inflation is a serious problem for Canadians. But higher interest rates are not the only or best solution. For example, they directly increase important components of inflation such as mortgage interest costs and rents that include mortgage costs.  Higher rates also do not work on their own to tame inflation.  Previous rounds of central-bank rate hikes dampened inflation in the mid-1970s, early 1980s and early 1990s only by also curtailing output and employment, leading to recessions. There’s a risk of the same thing happening this time around as well. Just last week, Statistics Canada identified interest-rate hikes over the past year as a cause of flat gross domestic product in the fourth quarter of 2022... in practice, rate hikes to constrain domestic demand during the 1990s were offset by expanding export demand at the time... While inflation targeting proved benign or even positive when the figure was below 2 per cent – lower interest rates tend to boost the economy – such targeting when inflation is above 2 per cent carries a stark trade-off between squeezing it down and expanding employment.  The federal government wisely recognized this trade-off by adding employment to the central bank’s mandate in 2021. That moved the Bank of Canada a step closer to the U.S. Federal Reserve and the Reserve Banks of Australia and New Zealand, all of which have dual mandates to both control inflation and promote employment... Governments can protect the vulnerable from rising prices by ensuring that public pensions, social assistance and minimum wages are not only indexed to inflation annually but increase promptly with new price data. Policy makers should enable more workers to bargain collectively and negotiate pay increases that better reflect inflation or explicit cost-of-living adjustments.  While advocates for such moves attract criticism for potentially exacerbating the situation, the truth is that the factors behind the current bout of inflation are not on the demand side – it is not workers making too much money that is driving up prices."

Canada's Higher Interest Rates Cause Borrowers Pain in Inflation Fight - Bloomberg - "Canadian consumers suddenly must come up with more money for their abruptly higher monthly payments, either by tightening their belts or liquidating assets. How they fare could offer clues to whether the rapid-fire interest rate hikes by central banks globally have further to go, or if they’ve already gone too far. Last March, with inflation unexpectedly roaring to a four-decade high, the Bank of Canada became one of the first major central banks off the mark in a global campaign of interest rate hikes enacted at near unprecedented speed. It  raised its benchmark rate from the pandemic low of 0.25% all the way to 4.5% in less than 11 months. The Bank of Canada was also among the first to take a break from rate increases, signaling after January’s hike that a pause is warranted now that inflation seems to be easing. The US Federal Reserve and other central banks, meanwhile, say they’re still not done... Canadians for decades have been among the developed world’s most indebted people, and the low interest rates the central bank deployed to help the economy through the pandemic drove their borrowing to new heights. The country’s debt-to-income ratio reached a record 185% by the end of 2021, the highest in the Group of Seven countries. By comparison, the ratio is 101% in the US and 148% in the UK . Consumers are starting to show signs of stress. The latest insolvencies data shows a 33% jump in January filings from the year before. The share of indebted households behind on their interest payments also climbed to 2.07% in the quarter ending September 2022, the latest reading, from 1.86% in the 2021 quarter...  That’s already starting to appear in sales of discretionary purchases like luxury cars and all-terrain vehicles. But a main source of stress, and of economic weakness, could turn out to be the housing market... Adjustable mortgages now account for about 30% of all outstanding home loans, according to calculations from National Bank of Canada. That leaves Canadians more vulnerable than homeowners in the US, where only about 5% of mortgages have floating rates... “There is a risk that this might be the straw that breaks the camel's back,” Stefane Marion, an economist with National Bank, said of the latest interest rate hike in January. “This increase will have some impact on the economy.”  Already, there are early indications that some borrowers are in trouble... A Bloomberg survey of economists suggests Canada may already be near a recession."

Meme - "The Inflation Scare Doesn't Match Reality"
"Opinion: Republicans are scaremongering about inflation to derail the Democratic agenda"
"Why the inflation we're seeing now is a good thing"
"Should the government control the price of food and gas?"

Some used vehicles now cost more than when they were new - The Globe and Mail - "Welcome to the wacky world of U.S. car and truck sales, where the pandemic and a global shortage of computer chips have pushed prices to record levels... The lack of new vehicles and higher prices have sent more people into the used vehicle market, so demand is high there, too. Plus, rental car companies, normally a source of late-model used vehicles, are keeping their cars longer because they can’t get new ones"
From 2021

World food prices decline for 10th month running in January, says FAO
These are wholesale prices, but labour, energy, distribution and retail costs are still high

Opinion: We’ll never get back to low inflation, and we shouldn’t even try - The Globe and Mail - "The low prices of the past 30 years were effectively achieved on the backs of globalization and an increase of cheap labour. Now that both trends are reversing, we’ll never get back to the low inflation of the past no matter how hard we try. Headline inflation was always going to fall, since the factors causing it were temporary. The pandemic and its lockdowns snarled global supply chains, stopping shipping and closing factories, with the consequent shortages causing prices to spike. Once economies reopened, these disruptions were going to abate, with markets gradually finding their way back toward balance. That process is now well under way. As a result, inflation will steadily feel more bearable.  But it probably won’t reach 2 per cent, the Bank of Canada’s target rate. When you dig into the inflation numbers, what you find is that core inflation, which strips out the most volatile elements, such as food and energy, is also falling. But it’s doing so much more slowly than the headline figure. Understanding why reveals an Achilles heel of economic theory. Like most economists, central banks put their faith in the neoclassical model of inflation. This focuses on money supply and how it affects demand... With such ostensibly scientific management of the economy, believe the monetarists, central banks can engineer endless stability, a conviction enshrined in Milton Friedman’s oft-quoted adage that “inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon.”... In a recent study with some colleagues, I plotted core inflation over the past 40 years against a measure of worker power based on the wage-profit ratio – the weaker the bargaining power of workers, the more managers can beat down wages and boost profits. What we found is an almost perfect overlap of the two. After about 1990, as workers’ power fell, wages went down and company profits went up, inflation trended steadily downward. This was, of course, the era of globalization... In the past decade, the downward-sloping curve of workers’ power bottomed out. Due to changing demographic and migration patterns, the growth in the world’s labour supply has apparently peaked. The pandemic has further exacerbated the resulting tightness, with labour markets fragmenting as China and India turn inward and supply chains are “deglobalized” in favour of such things as “friend-shoring” – limiting trade relationships to like-minded countries. Taken all together, these developments have limited the labour pool available to Western firms. That, in turn, has raised the bargaining power of workers. That’s why, despite slowing economies, employment is holding up and wages are still rising in most Western countries. Yes, they lag inflation. But because these trends look set to continue, there’s a good chance real wages will turn positive as early as next year. Low inflation was an easy win for central bankers in the days when workers couldn’t demand much. So when the Bank of Canada flooded the economy with money, instead of raising prices in supermarkets, it filled the pockets of asset holders, with house prices and corporate profits rocketing even though the economy was weak. But as workers start to seize a bigger share of the pie, either profits will fall – bringing stock markets down with them – or inflation will persist, as employers make up their rising labour costs. In practice, it will probably be a combination of the two. That means inflation will eventually settle at a level that, while manageable for most people, is nonetheless higher than the target rates of central banks. Trying to wrestle inflation all the way back down to 2 per cent would be wrong. Workers have borne the brunt of cheap prices for too long. More importantly, it would be futile. The changes occurring in world labour markets lie beyond the control of any central bank or government, and monetary policy can’t affect that. Instead, economists need to wrap their minds around the new economy taking shape and search for ways to exploit the opportunities it presents. There will be many."

Jobs, economy will suffer under eighth rate hike, economists warn | The Star - "Another rate hike from the Bank of Canada this week risks pushing the Canadian economy into a deep recession that could cost hundreds of thousands of people their jobs, a growing number of economists worry... That increase, said economist Jim Stanford, would be a grievous mistake for a simple reason: The economy still hasn’t felt the full impact of the seven rate hikes in 2022, and is already struggling.  “I’m still convinced we’re likely facing a recession this year and it will be all the deeper if the Bank of Canada continues this single-minded crusade,” said Stanford, chief economist at the Centre for Future Work.  “Even if they don’t raise rates, we’re going to see increasing slowdown from the rate increases that are already in the pipeline. So adding more would obviously make that even worse,” said Stanford.  If there’s a mild “technical” recession — two straight quarters of shrinking GDP — there might not be many jobs lost. But a deeper recession could mean 300,000 people losing their jobs, and the unemployment rate hitting nine per cent, said Stanford... At National Bank Financial, economists Matthieu Arseneau and Taylor Schleich said the Bank of Canada has already hammered housing prices, and also caused a big dip in consumer confidence and business spending.  “The most aggressive policy rate increase in a generation is taking its toll on the economy,” Arseneau and Schleich wrote in a research note.  What might seem like a small additional hike could take an outsized toll given that the economy is already struggling, they added... Macklem has also expressed concern that the relatively low unemployment rate is pushing inflation. That means, said Stanford, that the Bank is actively pushing for people to lose their jobs"
When it's more important to look like you're doing something useful than to do something useful

Philip Cross: Higher profits are not driving inflation - "Over the past year when inflation took off, corporate profits rose a total of 7.5 per cent, less than the 10.6 increase in wages and salaries or the 15.8 per cent hike in indirect taxes"
The argument about companies being innovative ignores the factor that lack of competition leads to monopoly profits

Meme - Kate Hyde @KateHydeNY: "We passed the Free Soda For All Act!!!"
"Awesome! When do we get our free soda?"
"Free soda? The bill makes owning a dog illegal."
On the "inflation reduction act"

3 ways the Inflation Reduction Act would pay you to help fight climate change
Clearly this is about inflation (the page title is also different from the article title, tellingly)

Philip Cross: Welcome to our new economy of shortages, comrades - "Since the pandemic began, governments have focused almost exclusively on boosting aggregate demand — in the belief that understandably cautious spenders were the main threat to economic growth. But it is becoming increasingly clear that the pandemic’s more enduring impact is disruption of supply. The result is price increases exceeding forecasts and the prospect that persistent shortages will fuel inflation well beyond the three or four months that would qualify as transitory. As is often the case with crises, the pandemic has unleashed unexpected and unintended effects, bedeviling government planners everywhere. Few people foresaw shortages as a likely outcome. In summer 2020, the Bank of Canada predicted the “decline in supply is likely to be relatively short-lived” — even though shortages had been emerging in many regions and industries before the pandemic. With immigration plummeting as borders closed, it was predictable that COVID would trigger a drop in labour supply, yet policy-makers were fixated on propping up demand for fear slow growth would put downward pressure on prices. The most obvious manifestations of shortages are soaring prices for housing and commodities, notably oil and gas. Housing prices across Canada took off during the pandemic. But housing demand has outstripped housing supply since early 2015, when the Bank of Canada lowered interest rates, and the imbalance between the two has been slow to resolve itself, which is usually the case when governments interfere in the market’s normal adjustment to high prices. Government regulations, often at the local level, have prevented housing supply from rising quickly enough to dampen prices. As for oil and gas prices, firms are reluctant to invest after prices cratered in 2020, partly because some governments are blocking further development of fossil fuels. Compare these clogged markets with the market’s quick resolution of this spring’s spike in lumber prices. Pandemic shortages worsened when problems surfaced in the global supply chain... Shortages have spread this year to most sectors as many firms struggle to re-hire workers who either have left the labour force or moved to other jobs. The result is the unusual coexistence of both high rates of unemployment and job vacancies, a measure of the distortions introduced into our economy by the pandemic and government programs to support people... Shortages are de facto price increases. Higher prices, longer wait times, fewer product options and lower quality of service all represent an increased cost to consumers, yet only list prices are incorporated into the CPI... The Liberal government was quick to provide Statcan with funding to measure the pandemic’s unequal impact on various minorities in the Labour Force Survey, intentionally stoking woke feelings of victimhood. But money to improve the CPI, which affects everyone since the government’s entire tax-and-transfer system is indexed to it, was not forthcoming."
From 2021. Raising interest rates is such a great way of solving supply chain problems. But it's more important to be seen to be doing something useful than to do something useful

Meme - "High gas prices are not a big deal. Buy EV,or ride a bike"
"Why did greedy corporations double the price of oat milk?"

‘Does Biden Take Any Responsibility?’: Peter Doocy Grills Karine Jean-Pierre On Inflation - "After Jean-Pierre dodged the question again, Doocy tried a third time...   Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen was forced to admit on Tuesday that she “got it wrong on inflation.” As inflation began to rise, the Biden White House claimed that it was transitory and was not something to worry about.  Inflation hit 40-years highs this spring, which is absolutely something to “worry about.”"
"Trust the experts"

S'pore hawkers raising prices by 10%, 20%, 30% & more - "Many stalls in Singapore use cooking oil manufactured in Ukraine"

Inflation caused by corporate greed or not: a mystery - "corporate profits: They reached an all time high this year. Many companies saw profits hit record highs.  This, naturally, raises some eyebrows. If companies are struggling with costs and supply chains so much, where are all of these billions in profits coming from?  It begins to seem like all of this corporate crying about rising costs might be a case of crocodile tears, as companies jack up prices for all of us... Adding to the case against corporations is a lot of the consolidation we've seen in corporate America over the last 40 years.  Case in point: There are four companies in the U.S. that control about 80% of the beef and poultry market.  That kind of consolidation can mean companies don't have to compete as much for our business and there's less pressure to keep prices low.  Meat companies have settled lawsuits over price-fixing just this year and a proposed merger between grocery giants Kroger and Albertsons has raised concerns that it will mean higher prices for many consumers... companies really have seen their costs rising.  Prices of raw materials have been rising all year. They've been rising at about the same rate as the prices we've been paying in stores.  Actually a bit more. Wholesale prices (the cost of the raw materials companies buy to make the stuff they sell to us) are up more than 8% over last year, compared with consumer prices, which are up 7.7% over last year.  That is powerful evidence that a lot of the higher prices we are paying in the store are just the higher cost of raw materials being passed along by manufacturers and retailers. University of Michigan economist Justin Wolfers says corporate greed is a red herring and companies are not the source of inflation.  "My friend and economist Jason Furman says, 'Blaming inflation on greed is like blaming a plane crash on gravity,'" says Wolfers. "It is technically correct, but it entirely misses the point." Wolfers says companies are always trying to charge as much as they possibly can. In fact, the only reason we're not all paying $800 for a pair of socks or a cheeseburger is simply due to greed in another form: competition.  "That greed forces them to offer low prices because they're trying to muscle out their competitor."... most companies have two main expenses: raw materials and workers' wages. Raw materials have gotten a lot more expensive, as we saw.  Wages, though, are another story.  So far this year, wages have risen about 5% compared to prices, which have risen 7.7%.  Companies are not raising wages as fast as they're raising prices. Wolfers thinks that lag is where some of these corporate profits are coming from... workers have more power now than they have in decades. Why aren't they negotiating for more?...   For many workers, flexibility and other perks have been more valuable than money, so companies have been able to get away with offering lower wages, even at a moment when they are competing for workers.   Still, Wolfers thinks wages lagging behind prices won't last for long.  With prices rising at the same time unemployment is low and many companies competing to hire, workers are likely to push harder for higher pay. And companies will probably have to pay up to keep and attract talent.  As soon as companies start paying out more in wages, those record profits CEOs are bragging about will likely go into workers' paychecks... consumers might be the guilty party in the inflation mystery. We've at least been aiding and abetting. "Inflation is coming from demand"... We're not necessarily buying more because we have more money, though. Our collective savings has been shrinking and household debt has been on the rise. It's possible we're spending money we don't have to keep up with rising prices."

Corporate profits have contributed disproportionately to inflation. How should policymakers respond? - "It is unlikely that either the extent of corporate greed or even the power of corporations generally has increased during the past two years. Instead, the already-excessive power of corporations has been channeled into raising prices rather than the more traditional form it has taken in recent decades: suppressing wages. That said, one effective way to prevent corporate power from being channeled into higher prices in the coming year would be a temporary excess profits tax.
The historically high profit margins in the economic recovery from the pandemic sit very uneasily with explanations of recent inflation based purely on macroeconomic overheating. Evidence from the past 40 years suggests strongly that profit margins should shrink and the share of corporate sector income going to labor compensation (or the labor share of income) should rise as unemployment falls and the economy heats up. The fact that the exact opposite pattern has happened so far in the recovery should cast much doubt on inflation expectations rooted simply in claims of macroeconomic overheating...
the rapid rise in profit margins and the decline in labor shares of income during the first six quarters of the current recovery is not that different from the rise in the first few years following the Great Recession and financial crisis of 2008...   One reason to think the pandemic is the root cause of the recent inflationary surge is empirical. The inflationary shock has occurred in essentially all rich nations of the world—it’s very hard to find any country-specific policy that maps onto inflation.   Another reason is to look where this inflation started: the rapid run-up of prices in the goods sector (particularly durable goods). The pandemic directly shifted demand out of services and into goods (people quit their gym memberships and bought Pelotons, for example) just as it also caused a collapse of supply chains in durable goods (with rolling port shutdowns around the world).  In previous recoveries, domestic demand growth was slow and unemployment was high in the early phases of recovery...   This time around, the pandemic drove demand through the roof in durable sectors and employment has rebounded rapidly, but the bottleneck in meeting this demand on the supply side was largely not labor. Instead, it was shipping capacity and other nonlabor shortages. Firms that did happen to have supply on hand as the pandemic-driven demand surge hit had enormous pricing power vis-à-vis their customers... price spikes in many sectors over the past year are not useful market signals about where the economy’s resources should be redirected; instead, they are just an extreme but short-lived mismatch between sectoral demands and supplies that will naturally unwind as the global economy normalizes after the pandemic...   In short, the rise in inflation has not been driven by anything that looks like an overheating labor market—instead it has been driven by higher corporate profit margins and supply-chain bottlenecks. Policy efforts meant to cool off labor markets—like very rapid and sharp interest rate increases—are likely not necessary to restrain inflationary pressures in the medium term.   Other tools that would be less damaging to typical families—like care investments to boost expected growth in labor supply or a temporary excess profits tax—could be effective in tamping down inflation over the next year and should be a bigger part of the policy mix."

Why corporations are reaping record profits with inflation on the rise - "Paul Solman: Smith, a liberal, mocks the idea that newfound greed explains the inflation surge with a tongue-in-cheek greed index chart.
Noah Smith: And I labeled the rises in inflation as rising greed and the drops in inflation as falling greed.
Paul Solman: Which would imply rising corporate generosity.
Noah Smith: The reason this is a joke is because the big drop in inflation in the '80s would have to be caused by surges in corporate altruism, the altruism of Gordon Gekko and the '80s people...
  Robert Reich:  Antitrust used to be a real thing. But since the early 1980s, antitrust has taken a backseat. In fact, some would say it's been thrown out of the car altogether. And big companies now routinely have the power to raise prices.  Customers will note that there is almost an exact price matching among all major so-called competitors, because they're not really competing."

RNC Research on Twitter - "REPORTER: “230 economists wrote letters to Congress saying that [the Bidenflation Scam] would actually add to inflation. Penn Wharton’s Budget Model said the same thing.”
CHUCK SCHUMER: “They’re wrong.”"

Why U.S. Energy Stocks Are Gushing High Dividends - "Energy companies are facing the prospects of a long-term decline in demand for oil and gas, concerns about climate change, and the push to renewable energy. In response, they’re taking their profits and rather than using that money to drill new wells are sending cash back to investors. As a result, the energy sector’s dividends are growing faster than any other part of the U.S. equity market"
Damn greedy oil companies and their record profits causing inflation!

Netherlands to close up to 3,000 farms to comply with EU rules - "The Dutch government plans to buy and close down up to 3,000 farms near environmentally sensitive areas to comply with EU nature preservation rules.  The Netherlands is attempting to cut down its nitrogen pollution and will push ahead with compulsory purchases if not enough farms take up the offer voluntarily...   The Netherlands needs to reduce its emissions to comply with EU conservation rules and agriculture is responsible for almost half the nitrogen emitted in the proud farming nation...   In 2019 a ruling by the Dutch Council of State meant every new activity that emits nitrogen, including farming and building, needs a permit.  That has prevented the expansion of dairy, pig and poultry farms... an army of thousands of tractors took to the roads in protest and caused the worst rush hour in Dutch history with 700 miles of jams at its peak.   Farmers fear that the plan to slash emissions by 2030 will cost them their livelihoods, oppose any compulsory purchases and argue farming is unfairly targeted while other sectors such as aviation are not...   They are also looking at eventually taxing nitrogen emissions to encourage more sustainable practices"
Damn greedy companies driving up food prices!

Meme - Robert P. Murphy @BobMurphyEcon: "remember the next time you're filling up your car: evil rich people want gas prices to stay low, it's the progressive heroes of the underdog who want gas prices to be high"
sarah jeong @sarahjeong: "all the stuff you see about inflation in the news is driven by rich people flipping their shit because their parasitic assets aren't doing as well as they'd like and they're scared that unemployment benefits + stimmy checks + 15 minimum wage +..."

Note To Governors: Cutting Taxes Will Make Inflation Worse, Not Better - "Even as Republican governors blast President Biden and congressional Democrats for both causing inflation and failing to address it, they are promoting their own tax cuts that likely will add to consumer demand and raise prices... decrying federal fiscal policy for putting too much money in the hands of consumers while pushing aggressively for tax cuts is rank hypocrisy, even by today’s political standards...   If there is a role for policy, it should be to increase the supply of goods such as gasoline. That really would drive prices down and slow inflation. Cutting taxes, by contrast, will boost demand for products already in short supply. And that is likely to only increase prices—exactly the opposite effect of what these pols claim to want."
Of course, a lot of the crowd who claim that free money is what caused the current round of inflation get very upset when you point out that cutting taxes, which is their favourite demand, will increase it even more.

Meme - Tea Pain @TeaPainUSA: "The price of gas has risen 26% in the past year, thanks to Trump's bumiblin' foreign policies and allegiance to Putin. Trumpers are unfazed, chalkin' it up as the "cost of bein' racists.""
Tea Pain @TeaPainUSA: "Presidents don't control gas prices, lout you know who does? The Republican-smoochin' Fossil Fuel industry."

Food inflation forcing some Canadians to overhaul Thanksgiving menus - "With less overall room in their budgets, any future increases to interest rates or the prices of everyday items could push individuals closer to insolvency"

Elizabeth Warren Says the Solution to High Gas Prices Is Higher Taxes on Oil Companies - "What she calls "gouging" is actually demand adjusting to supply. She also forgets that higher profit margins strongly incentivize entrepreneurs to supply more of a good to the market thus eventually driving down prices through competition.  Leaving aside the fact that the senator has evidently never met a corporate tax she didn't want to hike, history shows that imposing a windfall profits tax on oil is particularly shortsighted. As part his administration's response to the Iran oil shock that tripled the price of petroleum in 1979, President Jimmy Carter championed the Crude Oil Windfall Profit Tax of 1980... the windfall profits tax (WPT) raised far less money than projected by the Carter administration while simultaneously reducing the amount of domestic oil that would have  otherwise been supplied...   The prospect of higher profit margins is already encouraging investment in domestic oil production."
When prices rise even further, this will be evidence of "corporate greed"

Meme - "Lockdowns!"
"Climate Crisis!"
"Why is everything so expensive?"

O’Rourke Says US Guest-Worker Program Would Help Slow Inflation - Bloomberg
Weird. We're told that it's a myth that immigration depresses wages

Meme - Robert Reich: "The Fed will keep interest rates low, no longer raising them to head off higher inflation. This means more money into the stock market. Big win for the richest 1 percent, who own half of it."
Robert Reich: "Understand this: Relying exclusively on the Fed to raise interest rates puts the burden of fighting inflation mostly on lower- wage workers. As the economy cools, working people will be first to be fired. Stop raising interest rates. Our target must be corporate profits."

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