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Saturday, December 17, 2022

Links - 17th December 2022 (2 - Healthcare in Canada)

Medicare Meltdown: The Canada Health Act is failing Canadians - "In theory, the provinces are under no obligation to adhere to the CHA, but Ottawa can cut funding if provincial health care fails to live up to the principles codified in the Act including accessibility and universality.  While the CHA has been a stable provider of health care, there’s a fundamental tension in a system where one party provides funding and another party spends it. This, as Flood points out, leads to “splintered accountability.”  “I think the basic problem in Canadian health care is that when we think about the issues it has, do we blame the federal government, or do we blame the provincial government?” Flood says. “This confusion allows both levels of government to get away with not doing a good job.”... As health care costs creep upwards, federal contributions aren’t keeping up.  “The provinces feel that the feds don’t live up to their side of the bargain. The federal share has dwindled significantly, while total health-care spending has gone up"... “The problem is that the federal government doesn’t really enforce those provisions of the CHA,” Flood says. “They don’t hold back money from the provinces who aren’t making sure there’s reasonable access. They’ve kind of lost their moral legitimacy to do this because they’re no longer contributing 50 percent. The provinces seem to think it’s fine that so many people wait too long for a surgery, they’ll always say ‘Well, we don’t have the federal funding.’ So you’ll always have this finger pointing.”... The CHA’s outdated conception of health-care services has led to a public insurance model that The Hub’s editor at large Sean Speer has described as a “mile deep and an inch wide.” There’s a policy case that it’s produced an inegalitarian system in which first-dollar public coverage is provided for hospital and physician services irrespective of one’s means and then there’s little public support for other services such as drugs, dental and long-term care which increasingly make up a major share of overall health-care expenditures in the country. The solution, according to Speer, isn’t to expand the single-payer model but rather to rationalize it based on need."

Ontario’s plan to clear its surgical backlog could be a crisis response, or a roadmap to our health care future - "“Every other developed country in the world has private clinics as a major part of their health system. And so as provinces struggle with the financial costs and the wait times for health care, private clinics are an option, for sure,” said Janice MacKinnon, who was a cabinet minister in Saskatchewan for a decade and has written extensively about the province’s experience with private delivery... When Saskatchewan launched its surgical initiative in 2010, it was accompanied by a goal to reduce wait times by 2014 and MacKinnon credits former premier Brad Wall’s ability to stay single-mindedly focused on that goal for its success.  And while the political landscape is stacked up against any government increasing private clinics, MacKinnon said the experience of visiting these clinics is the best argument in their favour. Especially in the latter stages of a pandemic, when people are keen to avoid hospitals, a quiet clinic with lots of parking spaces out front is particularly appealing... Ontario can rest easy knowing that it won’t be taking this leap alone. The situation across Canada has grown so dire that even progressive governments are willing to put their Medicare bonafides at risk with experiments in private delivery... about 600,000 fewer surgeries were performed across Canada in the first 22 months of the pandemic compared with pre-pandemic surgeries in 2019... “wait times cost Canadians an estimated $4.1 billion in lost wages and productivity—or $2,848 per queued patient.” This is their conservative estimate; the higher cost is $12.4 billion or $8,706 per patient. The health and economic costs of waiting for treatment have prompted Canadians to find alternative solutions, with many seeking treatments in other countries... In addition to expanding capacity, surgeries performed at private clinics cost taxpayers 26 percent less, on average, when compared to hospital surgeries. In fact, provincial guidelines stipulated that the cost of services provided by private clinics had to be equal to or less than what was offered by public hospitals. By engaging the private sector, the province was able to quickly expand its total surgical capacity and free up resources in public hospitals for more complex treatments.  Saskatchewan’s Surgical Initiative is generally viewed as a success. It helped the province lower its wait times from Canada’s longest (28.8 weeks in 2008) to the shortest by 2015 (13.6 weeks)."

Medicare Meltdown: Canada used to have one of the best doctor ratios in the world. What happened? - "A shortage of practitioners, and laborious wait times, are not new problems in Canada, but they are especially acute in Greater Victoria, where news reports of walk-in clinics closing down have become a frequent occurrence... Canada’s universal, taxpayer-funded, health-care system remains a pillar of national pride, but when compared to the country’s peers in Western Europe, it now ranks near the bottom of the pack. The favourite solution of the federal government and provincial premiers has been to boost funding, but it has created an expensive system that consistently underperforms in delivering quality health care when compared to similar countries.  The Commonwealth Fund’s 2021 report comparing the health-care systems of 11 developed countries, put Canada in 10th place, just ahead of the United States. Canada placed 10th in equity and health-care outcomes, 9th in access to care, 7th in administrative efficiency, and 4th in care processes... In 2019, B.C. doctors were described by the CBC as being paid the third least after their counterparts in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. Victoria is annually ranked as one of Canada’s most expensive cities in the country... Federal and provincial politicians in Canada often respond to surges of complaints regarding health care by promising to funnel millions or billions of dollars to the provinces to help alleviate the shortages. Currie says this does not solve the issue. “Our problem isn’t a federal funding issue, our problem is an effective use of health care funds,” says Currie. “Alberta has a similar health ministry budget as B.C., so how are they able to provide for all their citizens and we aren’t?”... many of the problems with Canadian health care can be traced back to the 1990s. Following the 1980s, Canada was racked with fiscal chaos, chronic budget deficits, and inflation. It prompted a major policy shift towards balanced budgets and getting government spending under control.  Tholl says the federal government prioritized costs over care as part of its program of austerity and fiscal rebalancing, resulting in a reduction of enrolments in medical and nursing schools, by respective rates of 15 percent and 50 percent... Even if changes were to be made, Tholl says it could take anywhere from six to 12 years for new professionals, such as cardiac surgeons, to enter the system. Tholl cites the “South African Solution” as a way to help alleviate health care shortages in the short term. It’s a policy developed by Saskatchewan’s government to enable the province to effectively lure South African doctors, who undergo similar training to their Canadian counterparts, and push them into the province’s medical workforce. In 2016, more than half of Saskatchewan’s doctors had been trained outside Canada, with most coming from South Africa, Nigeria, and India.  Immigrant doctors would be a welcome addition to Canada’s medical workforce in 2022, as many medical professionals across Canada are retiring due to burnout from the pandemic, lessening the already short supply... competition continues past medical school and affects how graduates can obtain residency training spots. The already-subsidized cost of medical school cost $17,000 CAD per year on average in 2021, and nearly $30,000 per year in Ontario.  Tholl says that once students graduate, often with significant debt, they go into specializations that pay more than a general practitioner, such as becoming a dermatologist... Esmail says the Canada Health Act is limiting policy innovation because it governs what provinces can and cannot do in terms of health-care policy in return for federal health transfer payments. He says that the provinces are dominated by government-run monopolistic hospitals and a health-care system that precludes any cost-sharing of user fees... Canadians want a comprehensive, affordable, and universal health-care system, but the way it has been structured ties the provinces to a system that monopolizes the delivery of both medical treatment and health-care insurance.  “This disallows cost-sharing for universally accessible services, which is unfortunate because those are the very policies employed by 100 percent of the developed world’s most effective, highest-performing universal access health-care systems”... Esmail advises understanding what countries like Australia, France, Germany, or Japan have done, all of whom deliver high quality but faster health care at lower costs than in Canada while allowing for cost-sharing between public and out-of-pocket spending"

Health care: Canadians not pleased with provinces, survey says - "In each province, at least two thirds of survey respondents thought their governments were doing a lousy job on health care. Those in New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador were the most critical, with 83 per cent believing their provincial governments were performing poorly."
Liberal Party of Newfoundland and Labrador - Wikipedia - "It has served as the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador since December 14, 2015. The NL Liberals were re-elected to a majority government in the 2021 provincial election."
British Columbia New Democratic Party - Wikipedia - "Following a hung parliament as a result of the 2017 election and the BC Liberal government's failure to win a confidence vote in the Legislature, the BC NDP secured a confidence and supply agreement with the BC Green Party to form a minority government. The party subsequently won a majority government after Premier John Horgan called a snap election in October 2020."
Damn conservatives destroying healthcare to privatise it!

Matt Gurney: We are witnessing the results of our neglected health system, and Canadians are paying with their lives - "the ERs are usually jammed because the hospital wards themselves are jammed. Whether it’s an ICU bed, a diagnostic machine or a lower-intensity care ward, they’re all often over capacity, so patients in genuine need of care remain in the ER until a spot opens up.  And those wards are often clogged, because patients who are ready to leave the hospital, but require ongoing support at a long-term-care facility or a rehab hospital, cannot be discharged until a bed at one of those facilities opens up. And those facilities are often clogged because there’s not enough staff available to provide community care, in order to keep people stable and comfortable in their homes and out of the system. When you add in patients arriving at ERs in very poor shape because they lack either a family doctor or access to mental health services or substance abuse treatment in their communities, it starts to seem amazing that anyone ever gets any care at all.  Actually, the really amazing thing is that the system worked as well as it did for as long as it did. Years of pan-partisan neglect left us all sitting ducks, utterly vulnerable to any unforeseen event. This was obvious even before COVID... The one bright spot in Canadian health care had typically been that the system was good at one thing: if you were in real danger, it would do all it could to save your life. Everyone who was in slightly better shape would be bumped down the priority list, but a critically ill or injured person would get the care they needed.  In many ways, that was sort of the unspoken deal: yeah, you’ll wait forever for an MRI or a knee replacement, but if you fall off a ladder and crack your head open, there will be a spot for you in a hospital

Cambie Surgery Case: Letting You Die Does Not Violate the Charter - "Canadians pay for government health care with our tax dollars. By some estimates that cost ranges between $726 and $41,916 per family annually. We also pay for “free” health care and its associated defects and failures with our time. Canada’s lengthy waiting times for specialists, surgeries, diagnostics and even basic family medicine have become notorious. The pandemic worsened the situation. In 2021, waiting times for surgical and other treatments increased for the third straight year... while the health care system and its government overseers apparently regard the time of individual Canadians as essentially worthless, time has real costs. These include the individual patient’s lost economic productivity, their missed opportunities to spend their own time as they see fit and, most of all, the reduced quality of life and actual shortening of life caused by waiting for medical treatment. Many patients forced onto government waiting lists suffer severe and disabling pain that only ends when they receive necessary but delayed medical treatment. Others suffer from conditions which render them functionally disabled, limiting their ability to earn a living, participate in family life and social activities, and otherwise lead normal lives while they wait... Patients with time-sensitive and life-threatening conditions also face increased risk of death. And such patients do die needlessly. Based on data compiled from freedom of information requests, the charitable think-tank Second Street estimates that over 10,000 patients died while waiting on a government list for a surgery, procedure, diagnostic or specialist appointment between April 2019 and December 2020... Multiple emergency rooms across the country have actually shut down over the past year, ostensibly due to staff shortages – sometimes all night and for entire weekends... What becomes of those who cannot wait? In many ways, they are trapped. Canada’s government health care monopoly is unique among developed countries. It is the only system that (through a combination of federal and provincial laws) prohibits patients from seeking health care outside the government medical system even when it fails to treat them. No other internationally respected democratic country has comparable restrictions – not even social-democratic countries like Sweden that are typically thought of as “to the left” of Canada. Citizens of all these countries are free to use their own resources to obtain the health care they need from private providers. How, then, can Canada’s prohibition be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society? This is the question a group of patients and surgical clinics are asking the Supreme Court of Canada to answer. On September 29 they filed for leave to appeal their case, Cambie v British Columbia, to the country’s highest court. Cambie v British Columbia directly challenges one provincial health care monopoly law, B.C.’s Medicare Protection Act. Substantively, however, the case represents a historic challenge to the entire country’s monopoly approach – a system that was disastrously overwhelmed during the Covid-19 pandemic, in turn fuelling rationalizations for disastrous pandemic-related shutdowns. Of course, this situation was not unique to the pandemic. Because of every province’s practice of rationing health care services, our hospitals are routinely said to be “at capacity” or even “over capacity” and the system regularly teeters on the edge of being overwhelmed. The evidence at trial in the Cambie case (see also this C2C article) demonstrated that B.C.’s public health care system chronically fails to provide patients with necessary medical care within the maximum medically acceptable waiting time. The B.C. Court of Appeal later acknowledged that as of March 31, 2018 more than 30,000 British Columbians were waiting for necessary medical care beyond the maximum medically acceptable time (see paragraph 189). (Some would argue that these “medically acceptable” waits are already far too long; patients with access to high-quality U.S. or European health care often endure little or no delay at all.)... this failure is largely deliberate – because government rationing of health care services is baked into the system... there is little doubt the current NDP government’s primary objective is not to improve the public system but simply to crush private health care delivery... The B.C. Court of Appeal’s majority found that while the Medicare Protection Act may hurt and even kill patients, this is done with the noble purpose of preserving the public health care system, i.e., is for the “greater good.” This, it found, meets the test of being in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice. There were no dissenting opinions...  the central issue in the appeal will be whether it is constitutional for the B.C. government to prevent patients from accessing necessary alternative health care when the public health care system does not provide care within medically acceptable times. More bluntly, whether it is acceptable in Canada for people to die waiting for government health care when private services could easily be provided that would keep them alive and, in many cases, healthy and living life to the full... 74.6 per cent of respondents... believe that patients who wait past the maximum medically accepted times for treatment in the government system should be allowed to use private insurance to access that medically necessary care."
Clearly all countries with two tier systems have American healthcare, even liberal paradises like Sweden
So much for the liberal conspiracy theory that conservatives in Ontario are deliberately destroying the healthcare system so it can be privatised

State of Emergency: Inside Canada’s ER Crisis - "The number-one issue today in Perth, as in most ERs in Canada, is overcrowding, and all the knock-on effects that follow from it. Overcrowding—loosely defined as being unable to care for patients within a maximum of four hours—was first identified as a problem in Ontario in the late 1980s. It became so severe in Toronto that in the 1990s, the Ontario Hospital Association launched a task force to tackle it. One major problem identified was a lack of beds. In the last half of the ’90s, the number of acute-care beds in the province fell by 22 per cent, even as demand rose thanks to a growing and aging population. In 1995, the occupancy rate for those beds was 85.6 per cent. That’s not bad—a safe hospital is defined as one with 85 per cent occupancy or less. By 2000 it had climbed to 96 per cent. Some hospitals in Canada now exceed 100 per cent, with patients spilling into any hallway or exam room or other corner that can accommodate them. One Wednesday evening this past July, the Lanaudière Hospital in Saint-Charles-Borromée, Quebec, peaked at 191 per cent capacity. In 2021, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development ranked Canada 31st among 34 countries for acute-care capacity, with 1.97 beds per 1,000 people. (Japan, at the top of the list, had 7.74.)...   In spite of it all, Canadians haven’t been deterred from visiting ERs. A 2016 analysis by the Canadian Institute for Health Information found that 41 per cent of the population had used an ER within the previous two years, more than citizens of other Western countries including the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany and Switzerland. Often this is because people can’t get appointments with their family doctor, or they don’t have one. And so the furious cycle continues."
Too bad he doesn't mention healthcare workers fired for not taking covid vaccines, and doesn't mention international comparisons on spending (of course more money is always the demand)

Current funding | Healthcare Funding - "The most common healthcare funding method in Canada is global budgets, where a fixed payment amount is allocated to a provider (such as a health authority or a hospital) to cover operating expenses for a period of time, usually one year... Global budgets can be an effective means to control healthcare expenditure growth through the use of spending “caps,” and they also provide financial predictability for administrators and policy-makers (Wolfe & Moran, 1993; Antioch & Walsh, 2004). One weakness of global budgets is that, under the impetus to meet budget targets, providers might restrict access to services or limit the number of admissions to facilities. Moreover, global budgets provide little incentive for innovation or to improve efficiency of care (Sutherland & Crump, 2011). Since global budgets do not provide opportunities for increased revenue if patient throughput increases, healthcare providers have no incentive to shorten patient lengths of stay or to discharge patients to lower cost healthcare settings (Sutherland et al., 2013). Global budgets do not promote coordination across service providers in acute and post-acute settings, creating a fragmented healthcare system that is often associated with inefficiencies and reduced quality of care (Sutherland & Crump, 2011; Sutherland & Repin, 2012).  Most of the countries that had previously used global budgets have since transitioned to other funding mechanisms, such as activity-based funding (ABF) (Sutherland & Repin, 2012; Sutherland, 2011). In recent years there has been a shift towards changing how healthcare in Canada is funded, and experimentation with various healthcare funding policies have been initiated in provinces such as British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec (Sutherland & Repin, 2012)."

Reforming our health system is an urgent necessity - The Hub - "here we find ourselves again…slowly and painfully emerging from the fourth round of mass closures in twenty months with not only no plan in sight but the absence of even a discussion of what we could do to prevent future shutdowns.  Who is to blame for the void of ideas and action on the single most important issue we face? It’s too easy to call out hyperreactive politicians and governments. Both are in survival mode caught up in case counts, hospitalizations, and polling numbers. The media sadly has shown itself to be largely uninterested in examining the hard choices required to pandemic proof our institutions. Instead, clickbait COVID headlines and “hot takes” from the country’s self-appointed COVID expert class clog our social feeds and desktops. The result is we are two years into this crisis and have yet to have any kind of coherent conversation about the steps and actions we need to take to avoid a fifth, sixth, or seventh lockdown.      The real culprit of our collective inaction and paralysis is us. It’s the broad public who are deeply uncomfortable with the difficult truths COVID-19 has revealed about our single most important and cherished public institution: health care. Public health care systems were in trouble before the pandemic. We knew we were rationing care through the silent suffering of lengthy wait times. We knew the opioid epidemic was, in part, a reflection of systems that lacked the resources to address chronic illness and debilitating pain. We knew that the delivery of health care had become overly bureaucratized. But despite all these failings we clung to our single-payer system because it represented one of the last vestiges of an older civic compact based on an ethos of mutual care and solidarity... With fewer intensive care units per 100,000 people than Mongolia and total bed capacity near the bottom of the OECD, our public health systems have become choke points that strangle any effective, long-term strategy to manage COVID-19.   How else do you explain a province like Ontario with almost 15,000,000 residents repeatedly shutting down when its COVID-related critical care admissions top four hundred, or a paltry one I.C.U. COVID patient for every 40,000 residents?... The rejoinder to such a clarion call is to increase government funding and build more hospitals, hire more doctors and nurses, expand not contract universality to pharma care, dental care, etc., etc., etc. We are in an emergency. The clock on the next shutdown is ticking. With most provincial budgets already allocating 40 percent or more of revenues to health care, there aren’t the resources to do what needs to be done at the speed with which a transformation has to happen. Ottawa is similarly financially constrained as our debt-addled federal government falls ever deeper into deficit spending in the tens of billions annually for years to come.  If we want to be honest with ourselves the traditional response of injecting more government funding into health care wasn’t working before COVID. Wait times were increasing. Bureaucratization was growing. Patient outcomes were worsening. Health care costs were growing faster than inflation and population.   The problems with the current system are structural"
Healthcare performance is still better than in the US, but it's below 8 other high-income countries

Health care’s iron triangle is hindering innovation - The Hub - "Medicare cannot change because it is locked in an iron triangle consisting of government, the medical profession, and public-sector unions. The health care triangle is stronger than any party inside it; each party holds de facto veto power over major decisions. Each party seeks to improve its standing and power within the triangle relative to the other parties. When a government attempts change from inside the triangle, it can manage only minor tweaks or redesign. For example, regionalizing services, then centralizing them, then regionalizing again.  Veto guarantees that modern Medicare shares more similarities to its 1960s design than any evidence of meaningful innovation since then... In the early 1980s, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher tackled a similar rigid coalition. John Gray, a political philosopher, described it as “the triangular relationship between government, business and the trade unions.”  Thatcher set to work smashing the relationship. However, she left the welfare state “comparatively intact… the political thrust of early Thatcherism was in the direction of the dismantlement of the corporatist policies of the 1960s and early 1970s."
Weird. We are told that private schools should be banned so rich people will force public schools to become better. Yet when private healthcare is essentially banned...

Canada's low ranking on health-care report reveals an unpleasant truth - The Hub - "A new report released by the Commonwealth Fund reveals the unpleasant truth about Canadian health care.  According to the authors, it’s better than the star-spangled system south of the border — but worse than just about every developed universal health-care system in the world.  Canada’s poor performance (ranking 10th out of 11 countries) is neither new nor surprising. In fact, Canada has secured a similar rank on every report released by the Commonwealth Fund since 2006 (when it ranked fifth out of six), the first time it offered an overall ranking... In some ways, this year’s performance is particularly galling given that the report is missing several key measures of wait times performance, where Canada routinely fails miserably... Clearly, however, every country included in the Commonwealth Fund’s report approaches universal health care very differently from Canada. Most expect patients to share the cost of treatment, and almost all of them fund hospitals based on activity and embrace the private sector as a either a partner (such as Australia and Switzerland) or an alternative (such as the United Kingdom and Germany) — policies either discouraged or effectively prohibited in Canada."

How can we improve Canada’s ailing health system? Economist Maria Lily Shaw highlights lessons from the UK and Sweden - The Hub - "The reason why we turned to the United Kingdom and Sweden is because these two countries managed to transform their health-care systems that were previously a lot like our own, meaning monopolistic and primarily government-run. So, with some constant reforms, their systems are now more flexible, capable of meeting the needs of their population in a timely manner, whose costs are similar to, or lower than, a lot of provincial health-care systems in Canada.  And most importantly, really, one of the main reasons why we actually chose these two countries is because, despite these major transformations, they managed to maintain the universality of their systems. Meaning the quality of access was maintained throughout all the reforms, and the reforms they introduced to achieve this transformation also promoted the participation of entrepreneurs in the provision of health care. They also increased the number of doctors on their territory and encouraged collaboration between government-run institutions and the independent sector... If you look at the number of physicians per 1000 population, they outnumber us, even the number of nurses which we are quite high up in the ranking usually, but they still outperform us in respect to the number of nurses per 1000 population. Even the wait times are less long, let’s say in Sweden and the UK. We do have benchmarks that we have to respect because if they surpass, let’s say, six months, it becomes a bit more dangerous medically. But even if Sweden and the UK also have those benchmarks, they manage to operate on these people sooner, which is just better overall for the wellbeing of the patients in the population... The first one being that Sweden did end up removing their prohibition on duplicate health insurance, meaning that their population could, starting in 2010, buy for themselves a health insurance that would cover the cost for care that would already be covered under the public system otherwise... While they’re waiting on the waitlist, they can’t work because they’re in too much pain, they’re waiting for the operation on their knee. But because they can’t prescribe to a duplicate health insurance policy, they can’t go seek this operation in an independent facility because they don’t necessarily have the means to pay the full cost out of pocket, which is actually the situation right now in a lot of Canadian provinces.   Another policy that was absolutely key to the transformation of their health-care systems was the fact that they do not prohibit the practice in both public and private institutions simultaneously... finally, one of the most important reforms that I can think of with their transformations is the fact that they transferred the funding of their hospitals from historic budgets to activity-based funding. And this is important because it actually makes it so that the funding follows the patient.   So, when a patient is treated in a hospital, that hospital receives a certain amount of money depending on the treatment that was given. They know exactly how much they will receive per patient. And they want to attract more patients, because this is their source of revenue, which is not the case in the hospitals and a lot of provinces here because they are still funded through historical budgets, meaning they will receive an amount of money that depends on the activity they had the year before... for those who are seeking services in those types of independent clinics, because there is no duplicate health insurance, it is limited to the people who can pay for all the full costs out of pocket, it’s not everyone who can actually do that. By allowing a duplicate health insurance policy to flourish in a province, you’re allowing more people to be able to access those services... in Sweden and the UK when they were doing these transformations, they had the same problem that we did, meaning they were also afraid of lacking doctors. They were wondering, “Where, with all these new institutions, these new clinics, you know, where are the doctors gonna come from? How are they going to keep treating patients?”   But they didn’t just stand there and be paralyzed by that problem. They searched elsewhere, they thought that there were solutions to this problem and that was by bringing in doctors from other countries, by increasing their medical school quota, and just overall, expanding the scope of work also of their other medical professionals, like nurses and pharmacists. We can always do the same again, there’s nothing keeping us from doing that. And just eliminating medical school quotas in general, it would be a great reform to increase the number of doctors on our territory... what really helped in both cases is when they gave greater autonomy to the medical institutions themselves.   So they introduced, actually, reforms that created a new type of hospital in the UK, called Foundation Trusts"

The uniquely Canadian fear of private health care: No other universal system bans it like we do - "Whenever the prospect of private health care is mentioned in Canada, the usual political reaction is to warn of an imminent descent into the inequitable hell of “U.S.-style privatization.”... An ingrained fear of privatization is even held by our high courts. Last month, the B.C. Court of Appeal upheld a Canadian ban on two-tier health care, even though the justices admitted the decision would impose “real hardship and suffering” on patients stuck in the government queue. But it’s a curiously Canadian conceit. In virtually every other developed nation that offers universal health care, private options are a common and uncontroversial part of the heath mix. While Canada may see private health care as a harbinger of American inequity, the likes of Australia, Germany and Norway see it as no different than a private school, a paid security guard or a toll road.  A 2003 profile in the New England Journal of Medicine wrote that the Canadian system was “unique in the world” in that it banned coverage of core services by private insurance companies... even Communist China allows core services to be covered by for-profit private health insurance...   Germany — the world’s first country to offer socialized health coverage — allows citizens to opt out of the public system and pay for “substitutive coverage.” There are tight government controls on who’s eligible for substitutive coverage; citizens must meet a minimum income threshold and they may be barred from returning to the government system. But as of 2017, roughly 10 per cent of Germans had gone the substitutive route. Private health care is even an institution in the United Kingdom, whose National Health Service is often held up as the poster child of universal care. In a 2017 New York Times ranking of the world’s best health-care system, the “truly socialized” British system won easily...   While a clear majority of Canadians support the existence of universal health coverage, polls show that the country may be warming to the existence of a German or British-style two-tier system. The right-leaning think tank Second Street, commissioned a Leger poll last year finding that 62 per cent of respondents believed that “Canadians should be allowed to spend their own money for the health care they want.” Another 67 per cent favoured “governments using private and non-profit health clinics to reduce surgical backlogs as a result of the pandemic.”  This is all occurring amidst an unprecedented shortage of care within the Canadian health-care system. Just last month — amid mounting wait times and surgical backlogs — a meeting of Canada’s 13 premiers unanimously declared that the country’s health system was “crumbling.”"
Of course, all the leftists claim that private healthcare must be banned so politicians cannot get rich (while quite how they would get rich is never explained). The equal misery principle must apply because no one can be allowed to benefit
According to liberals, all the premiers are "conservative" (even though two are Liberals and one is from the NDP) and are united in a conspiracy to destroy public healthcare so they can privatise it

How does Canada’s health spending compare? - "Canada is among the highest spenders on health care in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), at $6,666 per person in 2019."
Clearly the problem is conservatives underfunding healthcare

Postmodern Philosophy is a Debating Strategy

Postmodern Philosophy is a Debating Strategy

"What characterizes postmodern thought? In The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge, Jean Lyotard defines postmodernism as “incredulity towards metanarratives.” According to Lyotard, postmodernism is a critical response to the presumption of ultimate truth embodied in modernist doctrines as wide ranging as Enlightenment liberalism, Marxist Socialism, and Religious Fundamentalism. Postmodernists follow Friedrich Nietzsche in endorsing a radical epistemological skepticism embodied in what is often called a “hermeneutics of suspicion.”

While I think postmodern philosophy is interesting and even sometimes instructive, I am convinced that in practice it is often incoherent, not to mention politically self-refuting. But this raises the question: why, if postmodern philosophy has been shown to be so intellectually and politically confused (by observers on both the Left and Right), does it remain so popular?...

This speaker applied a hermeneutics of suspicion with great skill to these discourses, identifying how they were not only socially constructed, but also how they served the nefarious ends of their various proponents.

It was a well-argued paper that left me impressed but also puzzled. The speaker had deconstructed all of these accounts but supplied no alternative account. After the session ended I approached him to inquire about this. But he just stared at me blankly, as if I had just asked him how to tie my own shoelaces. This was not his job, he told me. He seemed to believe an alternative account to be unnecessary. I wanted to know what underlying values and beliefs were motivating his critique so I asked him to describe his worldview. He responded, “I have no worldview.”...

It seems to me that postmodernism is popular—especially among academics—not merely because of the social and cultural conditions of late modernity, but because it is immensely powerful as a tool or strategy of argument. For how can you possibly refute a person’s position when they deny even having one? In turn, arguing with someone who subscribes to postmodern thought is like fighting someone who has nothing to lose. There is no winning.

I have experienced this repeatedly in graduate seminars and at conferences. I will make a substantive judgment about history or some event, and some postmodern junkie will reply that I am merely reproducing a socially constructed discourse. In these moments, it’s hard to know what to do. I usually end up keeping quiet, but then I can’t help thinking the person who just deconstructed my truth claim doesn’t actually believe what they’re peddling. Because how could you possibly live a human life really believing that there is no ultimate truth?

Postmodern philosophy affords a position of power within the academy because it arms the scholar with tools to pick apart everyone else’s work, without leaving itself open to objections or refutations. By feigning a position of critical neutrality, the postmodern critic can stand back and deconstruct everyone else’s discourses, as if they occupy an archimedean point.

But the postmodern critic has entered into a Faustian bargain: they have traded in their humanity—rooted in the need for meaning and coherence—in order to win arguments. I realize this sounds a bit over the top, but I can’t think of a better way to put it. Postmodern philosophy gives you the power to crush any intellectual opponent because it allows you to make the case that everything they believe is socially constructed, corrupt, oppressive, or all of the above.

As a result, a commitment to postmodern thought is likely to breed one of two things: severe existential angst and disenchantment or hypocrisy. Based on my observations I have seen both of these play out in the lives of fellow grad students. Some take postmodern epistemology seriously and this leads to a life of ironic distancing (nothing matters, but whatever) or in some instances serious mental illness like crippling anxiety and depression. Whereas others only use it rhetorically, all the while living life like everyone else—as if truth does exist and also matters. Indeed, I think the most famous postmodern thinkers fall squarely in this second category and thereby produce what I want to call vigilante scholarship.

The vigilante scholar, in their quest for “justice” is a solitary figure; a byproduct of their perceived epistemic superiority. They need not reveal how they came to hold the views they do, nor justify them, for they know what is just. Their gift is their ability to see what no one else can, and their courage to speak “truth to power.”

We can see an example of this in Foucault (or at least the version of him which has been popularized)...

Foucault was offering an evaluation of modernity. But we might ask: how can one evaluate something without having some positive standard with which to compare it? Good question. My argument is that Foucault does have a standard, it’s just that he doesn’t admit it. This is also true of the speaker I met at Oxford. These postmodern thinkers therefore execute a very sly sleight of hand: in one breath they tell us all claims to truth are mere claims to power and therefore we ought to give up the quest for truth itself, while in another they claim to have some enlightened view of reality which allows them to critique what they see as unjust or oppressive."

Links - 17th December 2022 (1 - Big Tech Censorship)

Culture In Which All Truth Is Relative Suddenly Concerned About Fake News | The Babylon Bee - "Tech conglomerates such as Facebook and Google have vowed to meet the trend head-on, assuring the public that they are taking bold steps to filter out any news that contradicts the version of truth that they decide is acceptable."

Babylon Bee CEO posted this to Instagram and they're now threatening to ban him for "harmful false information" and "hate speech." WHAT?? - "They do not allow you to express the perfectly reasonable *opinion* that masks don't need to be worn outside. It is far more harmful to silence opinions than to walk around outside without a mask. Lebron James can say black men are "literally hunted" every time they leave their homes (false, harmful), but I can't express the opinion that masks aren't necessary outdoors (true, reasonable)."

Exclusive -- Poll: 97% of Independents and Republicans Believe Facebook and Instagram Should Not Have Banned Donald Trump - "The Internet Accountability Project conducted a poll in which 97 percent of independents and Republicans believe Facebook and Instagram should not have banned former President Donald Trump... The poll also asked if the U.S. government should “have permitted Facebook to buy its competitors Instagram and WhatsApp.” Eighty-four percent of respondents said no, and six percent said yes.  Respondents were additionally asked if Americans should “have more control over and own their online data.” Ninety-seven percent said yes, and nearly one percent did not know."

We need to stop the spread of Big Tech censorship - "Take Facebook, home to around 2.6 billion monthly active users. During this crisis it has moved the goalposts dramatically on what can be posted. At first, it said it would continue to remove ‘misinformation that could contribute to imminent physical harm’, while deploying its army of fact-checkers to flag certain posts, depress their distribution, and direct sharers of such material to ‘reliable’ information. Just a few weeks on and it is removing event posts for anti-lockdown protests in various US states, in tandem with state officials.   Last month it was revealed that Facebook had removed event pages for anti-lockdown protests in California, New Jersey and Nebraska. A spokesperson told Politico that Facebook ‘reached out to state officials to understand the scope of their orders’ and resolved to ‘remove the posts when gatherings do not follow the health parameters established by the government and are therefore unlawful’, such as when protests intend to flout social-distancing rules.  Facebook has stressed that state governments did not ask them to remove specific posts. But what seems to have happened is almost worse. Facebook moderators appear to be banning events posts on the basis of what they reckon the laws of a particular state constitute. As David Kaye, UN special rapporteur on free expression, told the Guardian: ‘If people show up to protest – and I think the vast majority of public-health officials think that’s really dangerous – it’s up to the government to clamp down on them. For Facebook to do it just seems suspect.’   What’s more, Kaye continued, this informal arrangement reached between Facebook and state governments will make it harder for citizens to challenge instances of censorship. If a state government were to issue a formal takedown notice to Facebook, asking it to remove a post for an illegal protest, then that government action would at least be subject to a challenge in court. But Facebook, a private company, is allowed to take down whatever it wants and is protected from legal liability.  This is, in effect, government outsourcing censorship to the private sector. Even if straightforward takedown requests aren’t being made, the increasingly cosy relationship between Big Tech, governments and intergovernmental organisations is leading to elite consensus effectively being enforced on social media. In a recent interview with CNN, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said her platform will remove ‘anything that is medically unsubstantiated’, as well as ‘anything that goes against WHO [World Health Organisation] recommendations’, essentially asserting this one UN agency as infallible and its critics as heretics. As many have pointed out, this standard is almost impossible to enforce consistently – not least because the WHO has got a fair bit wrong over the course of this pandemic, and in previous crises. But it seems YouTube’s guidelines are now sufficiently broad that it can take down any dissident post that sparks outrage. It recently banned a viral video of two doctors, Dan Erickson and Artin Massihi, who run a group of urgent care centres in Bakersfield, California, discussing the data they have drawn from Covid testing, and arguing that California should lift its lockdown.   Experts and commentators have questioned the doctors’ claims and conclusions, and even their motivations (apparently one of them is a Trump supporter). But these two are not snarling conspiracy theorists. They are experienced medics giving their opinions on the data as they see it. But this apparently cannot be hosted on YouTube because, in the words of a spokesperson, it ‘disputes the efficacy of local health authority recommended guidance on social distancing’. It seems you cannot question the wisdom of the authorities at all...   Facebook and YouTube now monopolise huge arenas of public discussion. Writers and thinkers unable to promote their work on Facebook, or videomakers unable to upload their work to YouTube, are effectively denied access to a significant portion of what now constitutes the public square. At a time when billions of people are under house arrest, and the literal public square is largely off-limits, this is an even more sinister development. As is the fact that governments and powerful organisations seem to be working hand in glove with tech firms to enforce conformity."

Meme - "Your comment has been removed It goes against our Community Guidelines on hate speech or symbols. Our guidelines encourage people to express themselves in a way that's respectful to everyone. If you think we made a mistake, you can ask us to review our decision."
"Your comment goes against our guidelines on hate speech or symbols
He dindu nuffin"

Facebook Replaces All Text Fields With Dropdown Menu Of Approved Things You Can Say | The Babylon Bee - "In the never-ending quest to end disinformation and encourage good vibes, Facebook has carefully curated dozens of canned phrases including, but not limited to:
Check out this selfie, fellow human.
The vaccine is safe and effective.
Black Lives Matter, friend.
Here are some baby pictures, friend.
My dog is my best friend, friend.
I'm just chilling at home. Here come the beverages!
We must seize the means of production for the proletariat.
A spokesperson for Meta confirmed this is step one of an innovative new plan to gradually get people tired of Facebook and push them into the Metaverse no one is excited about.  "The plan is that all Facebook users will be in the Metaverse. Human beings not on Facebook currently will be in the next phase of the plan when we dispatch our security team," said the Meta representative."

Ricky Gervais's cat has had its Twitter account suspended - "The award-winning British celebrity Ricky Gervais's beloved cat, Pickles, has somehow also ran afoul of Twitter's guidelines and managed to get his account suspended... past Twitter posts by the feline appear to not have supported US President Trump, much less have had anything to do with QAnon or similar groups."

The Silicon Valley inquisition gathers pace - "The past few weeks have seen another round of purging, by online platform or financial service providers, of content creators who rely on the internet for a living. The reasons for doing so are varied but usually default to some kind of transgression of their terms and conditions of use. However these Ts and Cs tend to be vaguely worded and appear to be selectively enforced, leading to fears that these decisions have been driven as much by subjective ideology as any exceptional misbehaviour on the part of creators...   We have previously written about the coordinated banning of InfoWars from pretty much all internet publication channels and a subsequent purge of ‘inauthentic activity’ from social media. Now we can add commentator Gavin McInnes to the list of people apparently banned from all public internet platforms and, most worryingly of all, the removal of popular YouTuber Sargon of Akkad from micro-funding platform Patreon."
From 2018

Perma Banned - Posts | Facebook - "Twitter: *bans moderates, centrists, and rights over jokes and wrongthink, call them all terries and racists*
Also Twitter: *leaves these tweets up till today, and allows certain stuff trending*
Elon snatching and cleaning it up can't come sooner"
Carlos Maza on Twitter - "Fascists literally do not care how hard you vote. They are not trying to win elections. Violence is the only language they understand, and it’s time we start speaking it."
Meme - Andrew Surabian: "Twitter allowing straight up racist attacks on Clarence Thomas to trend
Trending in United States
Uncle Clarence"
Carlos Maza: "In stardew valley Ballot *Molotov Cocktail* Box *Court building, target for Molotov Cocktail*"
Only left wing violence and racism are acceptable

Not the Bee on Twitter - "As you watch the Left call for widespread violence and destruction, with immunity from @Twitter, we would like to take this opportunity to remind you that @TheBabylonBee is still locked out of their account for a joke headline that referred to Rachel Levine as a man."

Exclusive: YouTube Censors Man Sharing Regrets About Transgenderism - "Heritage is fighting back with a new video, released first to The Federalist, in which Federalist contributor Walt Heyer doubles down"

YouTube removes Tucker Carlson interview with woman who detransitioned - "Helena Kerschner began taking testosterone at the age of 18. She was lured into the realm of trans ideology, and believing that she was not female, after delving into online fan fiction communities. She spoke to Tucker Carlson, and when a clip of her interview was posted to YouTube, it was taken down for "violating YouTube's policy on spam, deceptive practices and scams.""

Dave Cullen (Computing Forever) Banned from YouTube - "  With just over 500,000 subscribers, Cullen who originally started his life on the channel 14 years ago primarily as a technology reviewer, made a name for himself among rightist circles due to his drift into conservative and nationalist politics. More recently he has led the charge in the critique of the science behind state-mandated lockdowns and the emergence of what he believed to be a technocratic police state by means of a ‘Great Reset’."

Hot Takes Nobody Asked For - Posts | Facebook - "The intent of this page was to criticize any take that's hot, regardless of what the person's political affiliation is or lack thereof. I've criticized my heroes multiple times. A hot take is a hot take. But FB gave us strikes and suspensions for sharing bad right takes, even though we were sharing it to criticize it. They rarely do this with left takes, even when it's misinformation, not just a bad opinion. Because of this, we eventually got the point of sharing more left takes than right takes. There were some juicy takes we were dying to share here from the right, but we knew we would get suspended.  We just wanted to point this out for people who think we are like libs of TikTok or something. We aren't, no disrespect to them. We want to make fun of any bad take. Sometimes the takes are apolitical.  (Politics is more than left and right, but we're just using those terms to explain.)"

Rob Schneider on Twitter - "It’s extremely fitting that THIS tweet @Twitter found to have ‘sensitive content’ because it is the foundational statements of Freedom from the heroes of our republic!"
Of course, we are still told that conservatives are deluded about Big Tech having a bias against them

Facebook - "Black Japanese Generals celebrating their victory over Russia in 1907. They are of Ainu ancestry. The Ainu were of African descent who migrated and settled in ancient Japan. You may have read in history about Japan defeating Russia in a brilliant naval / military campaign at Port Arthur. Well, here they are."
Facebook never flags the we wuz kangz people for misinformation of course

Meme - "Fact checkers be like: He didn't say that, and if he did, he didn't mean it, and if he did you don't understand it, and if you did, it's not a big deal, and if it is, it's taken out of context, and if it wasn't, others have done it, and if they haven't, at least orange man gone."

Elon Musk jokes Twitter would have censored Paul Revere, criticizes for ‘squashing dissenting opinions’ - "World-famous industrialist billionaire and possible future owner of Twitter Elon Musk slammed the platform's current leadership with a humorous tweet on July 4, then agreed with another user bemoaning Jordan Peterson's suspension by saying the company's "going way too far in squashing dissenting opinions."  Musk appeared to get into the spirit of Independence Day by sharing a fake Tweet depicting "Twitter in 1775" where iconic American historical figure Paul Revere was fact-checked by Twitter for saying, "The British are coming, the British are coming!" The fake tweet depicted a misinformation label reading, "Learn how British taxes are beneficial for society."... Another Twitter user responded to Musk with a similar fake tweet from Greek philosopher Socrates, who was famously poisoned by the Greek government for criticizing the ruling elite of his own time. The tweet showed Socrates theorizing, "I dunno man, I’m beginning to think that maybe the Ruling Elite aren’t as wise as they claim to be," and featured a similar spoof of a Twitter fact-check alert, reading, "Learn more about how Socrates is corrupting the youth of Athens.""

Jackson Hinkle 🇺🇸 on Twitter - "YouTube has PERMANENTLY DEMONETIZED my channel because I am critical of Biden’s foreign policy decisions."

Caitlin Johnstone on Twitter - "Twitter consults with the US government when deciding what to censor, consults with US government-funded think tanks to determine what people see on the platform, conducts censorship in favor of US government narratives, and has the gall to label others "state-affiliated media"."

MSNBC on Twitter - "By now we should all be used to Greene’s transphobic antics. But this latest incident is an escalation in rhetoric, Katelyn Burns writes. 'Is Twitter's decision to allow Marjorie Taylor Greene's transphobic tw...' *trans flag covering mouth*"
Auron MacIntyre on Twitter - "That’s a very interesting photo for your pro-censorship article"

Blue Lives Matter - Posts | Facebook - "Facebook has started cutting our reach by 99% to all articles posted in the past 14 hours. We don't know what they're doing to our page now. We're on Twitter and LinkedIn, and have a newsletter on our website if you don't want FB to shut you out from seeing our content. Unfortunately, we can't give you the links to any of those things or FB will cut the reach on this post too."

Sargon of Akkad - Posts | Facebook - "I can't think of a better reason not to let Facebook be the arbiter of truth then the fact their bot thinks saying coronavirus came from china is false."

Facebook sparks controversy by naming Brotherhood figure to oversight board - "The name of Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Yemeni Nobel Prize winner Tawakkol Karman stood out as an odd addition to the list of Facebook's first 20 oversight board members...   Radicalisation experts believe that by choosing Karman for the influential role, Facebook failed to recognise the link between the Muslim Brotherhood's ideological advocacy and extremist activity.  A number of countries in the region have branded the Brotherhood a terrorist organisation. The terrorist links of the organisation are under investigation in several Western nations. A number of al-Qaeda leaders have initially been active with the Muslim Brotherhood... ironically, a clarification it issued last September seemed to discount the link between terrorism and extremist ideology."

Paul Joseph Watson on Twitter - "Joe Rogan has confirmed that YouTube censorship, particularly with regard to the platform deleting content by doctors challenging the official coronavirus narrative, is partly what prompted him to move his podcast to Spotify."

Why Facebook Would Have Demoted History's Most Remarkable Content - "Demoted: news articles lacking transparent authorship... Perhaps the most viral piece of content in American history was published anonymously. It was the polemical pamphlet Common Sense, with its plainspoken language, that animated the colonial commoner’s spirit with a fiery sense of independence and revolution. Soon after, a pseudonymous Publius argued voluminously in The Federalist Papers in favor of binding those colonies together in strong nationhood by ratifying the Constitution... The gender-insightful Pride and Prejudice was published anonymously in 1813...
Demoted: links to domains and pages with a high click gap... The idea being, if a publisher has experienced hyper-growth on Facebook but nowhere else, it is likely manipulating Facebook’s News Feed algorithm or its population of users in some unsavory way... Back in the 16th century, a German priest named Martin Luther produced a premium piece of content that attracted viewership overwhelmingly from one channel. In his day, religious media had been distributed exclusively through local bishops networked with the pope. That channel had been uniquely hostile to any content that undermined the established orthodoxy...
Demoted: fact-checked misinformation... You know, for a culture so deeply conflicted about the essence of truth, delegating this most foundational of tasks to robots seems a peculiar move. Like, has no one seen Ex-Machina or Terminator? Or 2001: A Space Odyssey or The Matrix? Or read Minority Report? There is an entire genre of storytelling devoted to this most timely piece of wisdom: beware placing too much trust in the robots. And yet here we are... Early in the 17th century, Galileo Galilei employed the telescope to produce evidence supporting Nicholas Copernicus’s argument that the sun, not the earth, was at the center of the solar system. Galileo’s content was flagged as misinformation by an institutional functionary, which led to a committee of experts being assigned to review the matter. Those experts concluded that heliocentrism was a scientific falsity. Any content that suggested otherwise was banned. Demoted: posts from broadly untrusted news publishers...   What about the trustworthiness of the Russian black market publications that sprang up behind the iron curtain and argued for free expression and individual rights at a time when coercive collectivism ruled the day? A community of communist comrades would have found state issued media more trustworthy, of course. And even those citizens who harbored dissenting points of view would be reluctant to respond to surveys honestly for fear of some form of party-sanctioned retaliation. In either case, non-fiction essays from the likes of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn would have been attributed as untrustworthy and algorithmically suppressed as a result.
It’s not about the quality of information or the shielding of democracy. It’s about preserving the established order of things"

YouTube investigates automatic deletion of comments criticising China Communist party - "YouTube is investigating the apparently automatic removal of comments critical of the Chinese Communist party amid complaints of censorship.  The company said the filtering appeared to be “an error” amid a greater reliance on automated systems during the coronavirus pandemic because its human reviewers have been sent home.  The inquiry was sparked by media reports on complaints from technology entrepreneur Palmer Luckey. Other Twitter users responded to Luckey’s tweet that they, too, believed comments about the Communist party had been removed.  Luckey, a founder of the virtual reality group Oculus who is now works for a defence tech firm, tweeted: “YouTube has deleted every comment I ever made about the Wumao, an internet propaganda division of the Chinese Communist party,” and suggested the filtering appeared to be a new policy of censorship."

YouTube automatically deletes comments criticising China's Communist Party - "Two other derogatory phrases translating to “communist bandit” and “50-cent party”, are also being deleted shortly after being posted in comments sections under YouTube videos. The "50-cent" reference comes from the allegation that online propagandists are paid ¥0.50 (£0.06) per post.   Google has faced criticism for plans to operate in China, as doing so would mean it would have to censor its search engine and other services to comply with the law.   It began testing a censored search engine, Project Dragonfly, to see if it could comply with state censorship. After its existence was reported by the Information, it was dismantled."

Facebook - "So I found out the last post that got “flagged” for me & took away my live-streams & possibly more. It was my BOOK REPORT video on the book “How To Lie With Statistics”. This book was even on Bill Gates’ reading list a few years ago as a must read. Facebook did not give me a reason, how long the ban is, their customer service won’t respond to me & they have made it impossible to get in touch with a human. Banning a BOOK REVIEW because the book isn’t ideal for their current agenda? They have to know that they have become the AUTHORITARIAN, ORWELLIAN TYRANTS of society. Shame on them. Do they have no soul? You can take my live-streams away. You can take 90% of my monetization. You can take it all. But it will never make you right. You are WRONG & you are CENSORING BOOKS."

Twitter’s purge of the anti-woke satirists - "Among those purged was Titiana McGrath, the woke caricature created by comedian and spiked columnist Andrew Doyle... Titania was not the only victim. The Babylon Bee, a US satire site, was also temporarily locked out, though it has since been restored. Other satirical accounts – Jarvis Dupont, Guy Verhoftwat, Tolerance Police, Liberal Larry and Sir Lefty Farr-Right QC – all remain suspended...   All the accounts did was make fun of wokeness. But it seems virtue-signalling Silicon Valley nerds can’t take a joke. Apparently, this kind of comedy needs to be silenced.  Ironically, Twitter’s purge of the anti-woke satirists is a complete vindication of their work. In banning those who make fun of wokeness and criticise its censoriousness, Twitter has made it even clearer how authoritarian that wokeness is."

Exclusive: Facebook targets harmful real networks, using playbook against fakes - ""A lot of the time problematic behavior will look very close to social movements," said Evelyn Douek, a Harvard Law lecturer who studies platform governance. "It's going to hinge on this definition of harm ... but obviously people's definitions of harm can be quite subjective and nebulous.""

Facebook - "Anyone who thinks Facebook "fact checking" is effective resides on the left side of the bell curve. For one, the system is completely unable to decipher context, and might even punish you for warning about fake news by pushing you out of others news feeds. (2nd screenshot shows where I was warning about Russian fake news. 1st screenshot shows Facebook's threat (see last para).)"

Federal court rules Big Tech has no 'freewheeling First Amendment right to censor' - "A federal appeals court upheld a Texas law on Friday that seeks to curb censorship by social media platforms. The ruling, a major victory for Republicans who charge companies like Twitter and Facebook are limiting free speech, is a step in a major legal battle that could end up at the Supreme Court.  The lawsuit is challenging HB 20, a Texas bill signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott that regulates social media platforms with more than 50 million monthly users, which includes Google, Facebook and Twitter, and says they cannot censor or limit users’ speech based on viewpoint expression. In his opinion, Federal Judge Andrew S. Oldham of the Fifth Circuit said the platforms argued for "a rather odd inversion of the First Amendment" that "buried somewhere in the person’s enumerated right to free speech lies a corporation’s unenumerated right to muzzle speech."  "Today we reject the idea that corporations have a freewheeling First Amendment right to censor what people say""
Freedom of speech means you are free to censor others, apparently

PayPal backs down | The Spectator - "PayPal told me it had permanently closed all three accounts and appeals in all three cases had been unsuccessful. It couldn’t quite decide why it had closed the accounts – it alternated between telling me I’d breached its policy about not promoting ‘hate, violence or racial intolerance’ and telling newspapers my accounts had been closed because I was spreading ‘Covid-19 misinformation’ – but it had definitely decided to close them. Now, apparently, I’m not guilty of any of these sins and my accounts were just under ‘review’. After ‘input’ from its ‘customers and stakeholders’ it has decided I’m kosher after all.  So what’s happened? I’ve received thousands of emails and messages from people telling me they’ve closed their PayPal accounts in solidarity, so that may be the ‘input’ the company is referring to. Another reason may be because the company’s efforts to cancel me have been universally condemned across the British media. Last week, Danny Kruger MP asked a question about it in parliament and on Sunday a letter was sent to Jacob Rees-Mogg by 42 peers and MPs urging the Business Secretary to hold PayPal to account. It now looks as though a Bill currently going through parliament will be amended to make it illegal for financial services to engage in this kind of political censorship in future. It goes without saying that I won’t be using PayPal’s services again. I made the mistake of trusting PayPal when I set up the Free Speech Union and the Daily Sceptic, embedding its software into our payment processing systems. Given what I know now – that it can demonetise you on a whim, seemingly without any proper justification – I’m not going to make that mistake twice. Maybe if PayPal restores the accounts of all the other people and organisations it has deplatformed for political reasons, and promises not to do anything like that again, I might reconsider. In the meantime, I will still be devoting all my energies to lobbying the government to pass a law reining in companies like PayPal so other people with non-woke political views don’t have to endure what I’ve been put through."

I Got Permanently Banned From Using PayPal For Having The Wrong Opinions - "I received notification from PayPal that I am permanently banned from using their services because I did not create a “safe community,” and my account was “inconsistent” with their User Agreement... I was never made aware that I had done anything wrong. I was surprised to find out that they would not be telling me specifically what I did that was inconsistent with their User Agreement, or how it made anyone unsafe... My Venmo account has also been closed since PayPal owns Venmo"

PayPal and ADL's plan to deplatform conservatives will not result in less 'hate' - "The news that PayPal will work with the Anti-Defamation League on a new project to “fight extremism and hate through the financial industry” is a genuinely terrifying indication that our political leaders have absolutely no grip on the reality of extremism, and are clueless to how the political persecution of perfectly normal Americans is dividing society and pushing people to extremes. With the ADL’s broad definition of “extremist” and PayPal’s clear willingness to deplatform right-wing activists who have committed no crimes, this program should be of concern to everybody—and not just because no person wants to lose access to easy online payments. The danger this project poses is much more serious than that, as it risks driving genuinely extreme groups further underground, and through its plan to share information with lawmakers in Washington, DC, reveals our political leaders’ dangerous “whack-a-mole” strategy of countering extremism without ever addressing the root causes of it. Should this “research effort” ultimately become a tool to financially deplatform people who fit the ADL’s definition of “extremist,” genuinely extreme groups will become increasingly difficult to track and the political persecution of law-abiding conservatives or anti-leftist groups will assist with the continued division of society along ideological lines. As somebody with a background in extreme politics, I know that this is precisely what drives the resentment that sits at the root of genuine far-right extremism... In both the US and the UK, genuine far right extremism is in large part a reaction to combination of factors: a negligent and vengeful political class, willing to either ignore or demonise working-class, white people, compounded by a complicit media that parrots the line that the people neglected by the politicians are in fact the oppressors, and a violent left-wing activism designed to coerce and terrify those who think the wrong way into either staying quiet or actively complying with their agenda. The intention of sharing information obtained through this project with other financial institutions is to cut off conservatives and non-leftists from online financial services. It is an effort to coerce or scare people into compliance, and to punish those who do not comply. Switching off somebody’s access to online financial services in 2021 is like denying someone access to a brick and mortar bank in 1980. It is not merely a minor inconvenience.  Given that this information will also be shared with lawmakers in Washington, DC, we must also be conscious of the very real possibility that it will be used to advance divisive political goals. If House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s hyper-partisan January 6 Committee is anything to go by, it’s clear at this point that the Democrats in Washington do not care about accurately portraying the nature of extremism in the United States. If they can ignore $2 billion in damage caused by left-wing activists in one year, but compare a right-wing riot to 9/11 the next year, how can we have faith in those politicians to use that information to counter extremism—or at least, to counter it effectively?... If PayPal, the ADL, or the Democrats genuinely want to create a society free of “hate,” where people don’t judge one another based on race, where community relations are positive and people have equal opportunities, then it is in their interest to stop stoking the fire and to understand that their actions are causing people to react, and sometimes in the worst ways."
OTOH, if your aims are nakedly political in the first place...

Friday, December 16, 2022

Links - 16th December 2022 (2 - Feminism: Emotional Labour)

Is ‘Weaponised Incompetence’ Actually Weaponised? - "Despite trying to maintain an open mind, anecdotes, claims and opinions from relevant professionals, without reference to any formal study or body of literature prompted me to remain sufficiently sceptical. Such information was at the lowest rung on the hierarchy of evidence, and so I decided to dig a bit deeper into the origins of the idea of weaponised incompetence... why is ‘mental load’ defined so narrowly in the context of a household? Doesn’t every person experience a form of mental load while performing activities of varying physical and cognitive intensities through a typical workday? Couldn’t a construction worker be risking his physical safety due to various mental pressures? It seemed apparent that ‘mental load’ had been specially appropriated by feminist scholars, possibly as a technical term to be used in explaining inequalities in performing household chores. But the problem with that seems fairly obvious – appropriating a phrase that ought to include many types of people in it is confusing, catastrophising, and deliberately exclusive... If ‘weaponised incompetence’ was built upon these problematic concepts, how strong was its conceptual validity in the very particular realm of household relationships? Like mental load, has it been improperly particularised to the realm of performing household chores? And wouldn’t that deliberately discount the mental load that men carry while at work, especially if theirs could possibly be more physically and mentally demanding? It doesn’t mean that there are no men failing to put in equal effort, but does priming people to think in such a narrow way in favour of women’s personal experiences and struggles (alone!) encourage a compassionate and collaborative dynamic between couples? Despite the attempt to appear balanced, the above imbalance is clearly baked into the comic. For example, one panel depicts a distraught mother executing several ‘micro-skills’ such as ‘organising’ and ‘planning’ and ‘cleaning’. In contrast, her partner donning a work suit simply ‘works for money’, while sardonically commenting that it ‘looks fair’. Anyone who is reasonably employed knows that ‘working for money’ involves a myriad of mentally exhausting micro-skills as well, such as ‘organising’, ‘planning’, ‘managing multiple stakeholders’, ‘achieving timely results’, ‘not failing high-value, high-risk tasks’, and many more. These tasks are no more or less valuable or challenging than household work and childcare. But it is an oversimplification to portray men as being completely put together and having no other responsibility other than generating income, which is supposedly an effortless task (especially if you’re an executive wearing a suit in an oppressive, capitalistic society)... I then advanced to an incredibly strange panel, claiming that men had been socialised from boyhood to not want to pick up ‘daily knowledge’ and ‘navigate society’. This sentence made absolutely no sense to me – anyone who has gone through adolescence and ‘adulting’ knows the challenge of having to navigate an increasingly bigger world, regardless of gender. But a glance at the war in the comments section suggested that all of that meant…doing housework? And picking up their socks from the floor?... How lame must a man be to attribute his failure to put his shoes away to an incompetence in picking things up? And if navigating a supposedly modern and egalitarian society meant tying ponytails, then do we also speak of women learning to do rough and tumble play with their sons as well?... the comic had the tendency to attribute character deficiencies to men, by raising questionable claims that strayed from a reasonable definition of ‘weaponised incompetence’. As with many other ideas in psychology, weaponised incompetence seemed to me just as susceptible to concept creep, especially within popular discourse... In certain cases, malicious actors may weaponise pseudoscientific psychological narratives to advance certain ideological agendas.  An example of this is described by Dr. Michael Scheeringa, who developed an interest in toxic stress theory, which posited that stresses in childhood can rewire one’s brains permanently in a negative way. It was used as the basis for enacting certain progressive policies in certain areas in the US. However, upon reviewing the scientific literature Dr Scheeringa found little support for the theory. Instead, he found out that the term was invented by a paediatrician, and then popularised and propagated via social justice activists and institutions. After publishing his findings in Psychology Today, Dr Scheeringa’s article was eventually censored for questioning something that had become scientific and public health dogma, and provided the false justification for political action."
A man doing something different from how a woman expects it to be done is "Weaponised Incompetence". Presumably when two women disagree on how to do it, it's "patriarchy"
When two women disagree on the proper way to do something, you realise that "incompetence" is whatever a woman doesn't like

When are fakers also drinkers? A self-control view of emotional labor and alcohol consumption among U.S. service workers - "Some employees tend to drink more alcohol than other employees, with costs to personal and organizational well-being. Based on a self-control framework, we propose that emotional labor with customers-effortfully amplifying, faking, and suppressing emotional expressions (i.e., surface acting)-predicts alcohol consumption, and that this relationship varies depending on job expectations for self-control (i.e., autonomy) and personal self-control traits (i.e., impulsivity). We test these predictions with data drawn from a national probability sample of U.S. workers, focusing on employees with daily contact with outsiders (N = 1,592). The alcohol outcomes included heavy drinking and drinking after work. Overall, surface acting was robustly related to heavy drinking, even after controlling for demographics, job demands, and negative affectivity, consistent with an explanation of impaired self-control. Surface acting predicted drinking after work only for employees with low self-control jobs or traits; this effect was exacerbated for those with service encounters (i.e., customers and the public) and buffered for those with service relationships (i.e., patients, students, and clients). We discuss what these results mean for emotional labor and propose directions for helping the large segment of U.S. employees in public facing occupations."
I wonder how much being in a tipped job (or other job where compensation has a strong link to personal performance) matters - the dataset lumped together "Baristas, cashiers, customer service representatives, sales associates, pharmacists, restaurant servers, bus driver, custodian, police officer, and security guard"

Socialists Need to Take Back the Term “Emotional Labor” - "The concept of “emotional labor” can help us better understand work and exploitation. But when it’s used to keep score between friends and family rather than examine our relationship as workers, it doesn’t bring us any closer to liberation... The term was coined in 1983 by sociologist Arlie Hochschild to describe the way workers must manage their emotions while on the job, and the kinds of jobs where that behavior is expected"

Emotional Labor Invoice : stupidpol
Comments: "I hate the scolding, condescending, passive-aggressive tone of the idpol Left so damn much. It so totally does have more to do with feeling superior to others and virtue signaling to one's peers than it does with actually helping anyone. It so completely kills any impulse I have to lift a finger in "allyship". I cannot imagine that prolonged exposure to it isn't pushing other prospective allies away as it did me. If a boss spoke to me like this, I'd be handing in my resignation before the day was out - thanks, but I know all that I need to know about what working here, for you, is going to be like. I mean, instead of addressing people in this form's tone, just be upfront and directly spit in people's faces, why don't you?"
"I find it hard to believe that the attitudes of correct idpol obsessed blacks is actually the product of decades of oppression. Oppressed people do not talk like this. Entitled, spoiled, letter people do."

Woman Up: I taught my husband about the 'mental load'. You should talk about it too - "I came across a whole body of research on what people call the “mental load” — all the "worry work" and intangible chores that women disproportionately bear, mostly related to household administration and logistics. I could relate wholeheartedly...   I recalled how in the beginning, my husband was quick to say things along the lines of: "Just tell me what you need me to do and I'll do it."  But you see, like most other women, I don't want to have to tell someone to take out the trash. That still requires the work of observing that the trash can is full and then delegating the task of clearing it. I want him to take the initiative of noticing when it needs to be done and then doing it without having to be told, so that I can completely offload the issue from my mind"
When one lives with one's wife and mother, one realises that it's not that men do things the wrong way - but that women have their own ideas about how to do them and get upset when they're not done their way

The Myth of the ‘Lazy’ Father - "You’ve probably heard a lot of complaints about dads over the past few years. We fathers are not pulling our weight around the house. Poor Mom is stuck working a “second shift,” doing more than her share of household chores even after a full day at the office. In fact, even “good dads” aren’t so good after all, and don’t deserve all the praise that is apparently heaped on them whenever they are seen in public within 50 feet of their kids... Among married couples living together with kids, if anything, it’s dads who do more work in total—adding up paid work, housework, child care, and even shopping. Moms do work more in some specific circumstances, but the data acquit fathers as a group of the slacking charges so frequently leveled against them. Further, the biggest complaint that is actually consistent with the numbers—that moms and dads do different blends of home work and paid work—is not necessarily a problem at all, and to insist otherwise is to devalue parents’ own preferences... Combining housework, child care, and paid work, dads put in just as much time as moms do—in fact, a little more. The Pew Research Center found this in the 2011 American Time Use Survey (though a gap of just 54 vs. 53 hours per week) and again in the 2016 round (61 vs. 57), and a joint panel of the Brookings Institution and the American Enterprise Institute confirmed the results using the 2015 data..   Some have also taken the approach of quantifying leisure rather than work, finding that dads get more of it—but, as also noted in All In, the additional leisure that dads get is canceled out by women spending more time on sleep and other personal-care activities...   It is absolutely true that women’s work time tends to be weighted more heavily toward home work... To someone committed to “gender equity,” the problem is obvious. But this neglects the desires of the men and women whose behavior creates the inequity. If men and women behave differently because they have different preferences, and if we won’t force them to behave the same way, we cannot expect “equity.” Just look at the gender disparities that remain in Sweden, which does much more through policy to encourage equal work arrangements... it's awfully hard to square two decades of declining female labor-force participation and rising social liberalism with the idea that women’s labor-force participation is to this day primarily a function of their oppression.   There’s additional insight in opinion polls asking women about their “ideal” work situation, which can tell us if the nation’s mothers do somehow have a repressed desire to do much more for GDP than they already do. In general, per a recent IFS/Wheatley Institution survey, just 28% of moms want to work full-time, 40% part-time, and 23% not at all (with the remainder saying they’re not sure). An earlier survey of the general public reached a fairly similar breakdown about the ideal situation for mothers and provided a contrast with fathers: Only 12% of the public thinks full-time work is ideal for moms, while 70% thinks it ideal for dads. A goal of pushing moms to do more at the office and less with the kids goes against the preferences of a lot of those very moms."

The Complexities of Interpreting Changing Household Patterns - "Despite substantial increases in married mothers’ employment and the expressed desire of the majority of women and men to share employment and caregiving responsibilities, gender remains the most influential determinant of who does the housework and child care today. Many observers have attributed the seeming unwillingness of men to increase their time in housework and child care as the linchpin of gender inequality, a manifestation of men’s patriarchal power to prioritize activities that provide economic rewards, such as paid work, or enjoyment, such as leisure... Women still did 1.7 times men’s housework in 2012, compared with 6.8 times in 1965. This is progress, but why haven’t we seen more change?  Comparisons of housework by marital, parental, and employment status offer some clues. One would think that single women and men without children would have similar levels of housework, because they aren’t living in the same household with a partner or children. This reduces the demand for cooking, cleaning, and laundry, meaning that individual standards of cleanliness may be a bigger determinant of housework then the more inflexible demands of family life.   Yet time diary data show that in 2012 single women with no children reported doing almost twice as much cooking, cleaning, and laundry as single men with no children... This is lower than the ratio in 1965, when single women with no children were doing about five times as much core housework. And single women and men have more similar patterns than with married parents, where mothers report doing almost four times as much core housework as married fathers. Nevertheless, there is still a substantial difference in household workloads between single, childless men and women, and it is not one that can plausibly be explained by men’s exercise of patriarchal power.   Closer inspection suggests that it is laundry and cleaning, more than cooking, that accounts for most of the differences in the amount of housework single men and women choose to do or not do. For example, in 2012, single women with no children report 13 minutes a day of laundry and 31 minutes cleaning. By contrast, single men report only seven and 17 minutes per day respectively in the same tasks.  Differences between single women and men with no children, and women and men who are married and/or parents follow similar lines...   Unlike the downward trend in women’s housework and the more modest uptick in men’s housework (which stalled in the mid-1980s), mothers and fathers have both steadily increased their time investments in daily and developmental child care since 1975... Mothers’ and fathers’ high levels of developmental child care time reflect new cultural norms of parenting that demand high investments of resources – time and money – in children. “Good” parents are those who prioritize children’s care and activities over their own needs and desires. Good parents are “experts” in children’s needs and developmental processes, and exercise intense, hands-on supervision of children’s whereabouts and activities. “Free range” children, meaning those who independently play outside or walk to activities, were relatively commonplace in the 1950s, but are remarkable enough today to result in visits from child protective services. Child care remains a highly gendered activity. Again, this does not seem to stem primarily from fathers’ intransigent exercise of patriarchal power. Mothers are held accountable to standards of intensive parenting to a greater extent than fathers, but qualitative data suggest fathers today feel that children are entitled to men’s close attention and time (Daly 1996; Daly 2001) and fathers and mothers both report feeling they spend too little time with children (Milkie et al. 2010). In fact, studies suggest that some mothers may limit fathers’ involvement with children to maintain control over childrearing, a phenomenon referred to as maternal gatekeeping (Allen and Hawkins 1999; Schoppe-Sullivan et al. 2008)."
This saves me the trouble of going into time use data to debunk the myth of the second shift - men and women just have different standards for necessary housework. And that's why women need to ask men to do stuff - men don't see what women think needs to be done
The fact that laundry and cleaning (which are more discretionary than cooking) show more variance between single men and single women shows that women have higher standards than men - which is why they do more housework
Of course, they need to blame "gender stereotypes" for the disparity still - but at least the study debunks the myth of direct oppression

Emotional Labor and Invisible Household Work - A Male Perspective - "Here are three household management principles Kia and I try to live by...
1. Ask for praise/get acknowledged (no work should be invisible).
We take this to ridiculous, farcical extremes. Every time one of us cleans the kitchen, it’s either “Hey, did you notice anything about the kitchen?” or even more directly “Come admire the kitchen.” The other person is then obligated to ooh and aah with much enthusiasm. Which we both do gladly, because it’s easier than cleaning the kitchen.
2. Surrender control/don’t micromanage.
If you want your partner to step up and start doing a larger share of work in a particular area, you need to resist the urge to say “You’re doing it wrong.” Even if they are. Children, especially, are resilient, and will likely survive your partner’s clumsy, wrong-headed, uninformed attempts to feed them dinner, get them ready for bed, or drop them off at piano practice. After awhile your partner will get better at whatever it is, and you may discover that “truths” about your offspring (they won’t eat spicy food, they need x y and z to fall asleep, etc.) are simply habits built into your personal routine with that child.
3.  Optimize for what you enjoy and care about...
Of course there are inevitably tasks that neither partner enjoys or is good at. For these, outsource? Or get rid of the job entirely? (Neither Kia or I enjoy car maintenance; we got rid of the car). Or divide up the work in a way that feels fair. Or put the kid(s) to work...
It turns out that the academic definition of emotional labor differs significantly from the way Hartley uses the term. Sociologists define emotional labor as the process of managing feelings and expressions to fulfill the emotional requirements of a job. In other words it’s the work of not punching someone in the face who probably deserves it... Hartley includes some things that fall into this this definition of emotional labor, like communicating with in-laws and doing the greater share of childcare, but she also lumps in a bunch of other things, like household scheduling, tidying up, adding items to the shopping list, and doing laundry. Has the popular definition of emotional labor morphed to include all housework?"

Opinion | What ‘Good’ Dads Get Away With - The New York Times - "“I do laundry when I need it. When it comes to the kids’ laundry, I could be more proactive, but instead I operate on my time scale. So my wife does most of their laundry. Let me do it my way and I’m happy to do it, but if you’re going to tell me how to do it, go ahead and do it yourself.”... “My husband is a participatory and willing partner. He’s not traditional in terms of ‘I don’t change diapers.’ But his attention is limited.” She added, “I can’t trust him to do anything, to actually remember.”  A dad in San Francisco said that many of the tasks of parenting weren’t important enough to remember: “I just don’t think these things are worth attending to. A certain percentage of parental involvement that my wife does, I would see as valuable but unnecessary. A lot of disparity in our participation is that.”  Finally, some men blamed their wives’ personalities. A San Diego dad said his wife did more because she was so uptight. “She wakes up on a Saturday morning and has a list. I don’t keep lists. I think there’s a belief that if she’s not going to do it, then it won’t get done.”... A father in Portland, Ore., confirmed that his wife takes on more but said: “It has to do with her personality. She always has to stay busy. No matter what day of the week it is, she has a need to be engaged, to be doing something.”... If anything is going to change, men have to stop resisting. Gendered parenting is kept alive by the unacknowledged power bestowed upon men in a world that values their needs, comforts and desires more than women’s. It’s up to fathers to cop to this, rather than to cop out."
Basically, feminists say that women's needs, comforts and desires matter more than men's, and that there should be no compromise and that the feminine standard is the one that should stand

Arlie Hochschild: Housework Isn't 'Emotional Labor' - The Atlantic - "It was first coined by the sociologist Arlie Hochschild in her 1983 book on the topic, The Managed Heart. Emotional labor, as she conceived it, referred to the work of managing one’s own emotions that was required by certain professions. Flight attendants, who are expected to smile and be friendly even in stressful situations, are the canonical example. In recent years, the term’s popularity has grown immensely—Google searches for it are up, and it’s being mentioned more and more in books and academic articles.  Many people who write about emotional labor do tip their hats to Hochschild, and acknowledge that they are expanding her original definition, but the umbrella of emotional labor has grown so large that it’s starting to cover things that make no sense at all, such as regular household chores, which are not emotional so much as they are labor, full stop. “Really, I’m horrified,” Hochschild said of the concept creep when I called her to set the record straight...
Arlie Hochschild: Emotional labor, as I introduced the term in The Managed Heart, is the work, for which you’re paid, which centrally involves trying to feel the right feeling for the job. This involves evoking and suppressing feelings. Some jobs require a lot of it, some a little of it. From the flight attendant whose job it is to be nicer than natural to the bill collector whose job it is to be, if necessary, harsher than natural, there are a variety of jobs that call for this. Teachers, nursing-home attendants, and child-care workers are examples. The point is that while you may also be doing physical labor and mental labor, you are crucially being hired and monitored for your capacity to manage and produce a feeling... It is being used to apply to a wider and wider range of experiences and acts... It’s very blurry and over-applied... There seems an alienation or a disenchantment of acts that normally we associate with the expression of connection, love, commitment. Like “Oh, what a burden it is to pick out gifts for the holiday for my children.” Or “Oh, it’s so hard to call a photographer to do family Christmas photos, and then to send it to my parents.” I feel a strong need to point out that this isn’t inherently an alienating act. And something’s gone haywire when it is. It’s okay to feel alienated from the task of making a magical experience for your very own children. I’m not just judging that. I’m saying let’s take it as a symptom that something’s wrong... One of the tragic effects of a stalled revolution is many women cannot afford the luxury of unambivalent love for their husbands.
Beck: Is it emotional labor if you are the person in the friend group who people keep turning to for advice or help solving their problems?
Hochschild: It can be emotional labor you love... If you have an important conversation using muddy ideas, you cannot accomplish your purpose. You won’t be understood by others. And you won’t be clear to yourself."

Emotional Labor: More Than Just a Feminist Buzzword - "I was more familiar with emotional labor as an excuse offered up by social justice warriors when they refuse to explain their points in online exchanges. The infamous 2014 HuffPost Live interview comes to mind, in which activist Suey Park told host Josh Zepps that she wouldn’t “enact [the] labor” of explaining why she took offence at his criticism of her ideas, when asked. A whole book about that entitled, huffy petulance? Sign me up for that dumpster fire, I thought...   Hartley details her heartache and reluctance over that method, espoused by Tiffany Dufu in her book, Drop the Ball: Achieving More By Doing Less. Dufu advocates simply not doing the jobs that your family and spouse refuse to help you with. She doesn’t instruct women to neglect their children—merely to let go of the things they do because no one else will do them. Things won’t go smoothly. Timmy may forget his jacket one day, hubby may go five years without visiting the dentist, but those you take care of will live with the consequences and learn responsibility...   I don’t call myself a feminist for the same reason Hartley thinks men should take on more emotional labor: a society in which women flourish but men suffer is just as unacceptable to me as the reverse...   It’s very important that men get up and go to work to support their families every day, but if that’s all they do—if it’s the wife doing the budgeting, arranging things like doctor’s appointments and writing the family’s Christmas newsletter—what happens down the road, when the wife dies? A Rochester Institute of Technology study found that recently widowed men experience a thirty percent increase in mortality; women don’t seem to have any increased chance of dying after the deaths of their husbands... “When a wife dies, men are often unprepared. They have often lost their caregiver, someone who cares for them physically and emotionally, and the loss directly impacts the husband’s health.” Even worse, the risk of death rises by sixty-six percent in the first three months after men are widowed. Without their wives, men are less likely to watch what they eat and take care of themselves physically. They’re more likely to become socially isolated, because the work of maintaining a couple’s social relationships mostly falls to the woman. Depression rates skyrocket."

Urban Dictionary: Emotional labour - "Emotional labour was originally a word for people who have to put a lot of uncompensated emotional effort into their job. Recently, however, it's more along the lines of "idk, it kinda sucks when I have to listen to my boyfriend" or "now that I've made my statement, I don't want to defend myself or back it up because it's emotionally laborious""
“I don’t owe you emotional labor,” is another way of saying, “I don’t have the sources to back up my opinions but demand you accept them anyway.”

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