A Blogger’s Miscellany

C. L. Hanson of Letters from a Broad has a good post about being an ex-Mormon, and how the emphasis turns out to be not just on the “ex-” but also on the “Mormon.”

Echidne reminds us all what the real Labor Day is about, while her weekend guestblogger, olvlzl, writes about the importance of empathy and delightfully bashes both the radical left and the radical right while he’s at it.

Alan Bellows at Damn Interesting tells the story of Fordlândia, Henry Ford’s failed foray into the rubber industry.

Ezra explains why Wal-Mart is a shitty corporate citizen and why exactly it needs to be forced to engage in fairer labor practices.

11 Responses to A Blogger’s Miscellany

  1. C. L. Hanson says:

    Funny coincidence — I was right in the middle of reading your blog when you linked to me (or more accurately I was in the middle of dinner but had your blog queued up for closer examination😉 ). I found you through your link to “Carnival of the Godless”.

    We seem to have a lot of topics in common. Notably I have a Ph.D, in Algebraic Number Theory, although I tend to be a little intimidated by real Mathematicians since I’ve gone on to become a Java programmer…

  2. parse says:

    Ezra explains why Wal-Mart is a shitty corporate citizen and why exactly it needs to be forced to engage in fairer labor practices.

    Can you direct me to where Klein specifically says Wal-Mart nees to be forced to do anything at all? His piece seemed bereft of any specific remendy. In fact, he seemed to specifically decline to suggest a remendy: Now, I’m not precisely sure what needs to be done about all this, if anything. I’m still poring through the data, puzzling over the options.

  3. gordo says:

    Parse–

    As long as we’re going to read text in an excruciatingly close manner, I’d point out that Alon didn’t say that Klein said that Wal-Mart should be forced to change.

    Alon said that Klein’s article demonstrates the shittiness of Wal-Mart’s citizenship. Alon seems to take as self-evident the notion that such a shitty corporate citizen should be forced to change.

  4. parse says:

    Gordo, Alon said Klein explained two things: why Wal Mart is a shitty corporate citizen and “why exactly it needs to be forced to engage in fairer labor practices.” There seems to me quite a gap between “explaining exactly why” and “take as self-evident.”

    A reasonable person reading Alon’s post would probably conclude something about Klein’s position regarding Wal-Mart that I don’t believe is true, and least not on the evidence presented. Since Klein went to the trouble of saying he wasn’t sure what “if anything” needs to be done about Wal-Mart, I don’t t hink it’s fair for Alon to suggest that Klein has suggested that Wal-Mart should be forced to change its practices.

  5. Alon Levy says:

    Parse, I took Ezra’s rhetoric of “we live in a society, not an economy” and of “what’s good for Wal-Mart is not necessarily good for America” as thinly veiled calls for regulation.

  6. Alon Levy says:

    Wow, C. L…. if I want to study the topic further on my own, do you have any book suggestions? I got a tip on Neukirch’s book, but it’s overdue at the math library.

  7. parse says:

    Parse, I took Ezra’s rhetoric of “we live in a society, not an economy” and of “what’s good for Wal-Mart is not necessarily good for America” as thinly veiled calls for regulation.

    I don’t know much about Klein’s writing in general, so It’s quite possible he’s part of the (extremely large) “there oughta be a law crowd” that concludes that the best–and probably only-solution for any perceived problem is government regulation. I hope that’s not the case, though. I believe we live in a society, not an economy, and I belive that what’s good for Wal-Mart is not necessarily good for America, but I don’t expect that state action offers a particularly obvious remedy for what Wal-Mart does wrong.

    And since Klein took the trouble to say that he wasn’t making any recommendations regarding what to do about Wal-Mart, I stand by my assertion that your description of what he wrote puts words in his mouth.

  8. Alon Levy says:

    Actually, I didn’t say he says there has to be a law. I said “forced to”; as far as I’m concerned, grassroots activism of the kind seen in many towns and cities where citizens forbade Wal-Mart to open a branch is just as effective. If the employees can force Wal-Mart to accept a union, then it’ll be even better than state action.

  9. parse says:

    Yes, you originally said “forced to,” and then, in explaining what you meant said you took his comments as “thinly veiled calls for regulation.”

    Also, I’m not sure what kind of grassroots activism can “forbid” Wal-Mart to open a branch. Short of state power, what sort of co-ercive be taken against Wal-Mart? I certainly agree with you that changes in labor policy that result for employees organizing and negotiating better working conditions are preferable to state action.

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