I’m in fucking tears after that 12:30pm chat on the 6th day of V’s route. Zen please… let’s start a gofundme to help support him for the rest of his life. LMAO. Like have an RFA party dedicated to Zen LOL.
I’m interested in your thoughts on a randomized study of industrial work in Ethiopia which I (and maybe you already) was directed to by an op-ed in the New York Times today (tried to link to the study but can't get it past the filter, sorry). Your writing has played a big role in convincing me to soften my assessment of the net effects of global sweatshop labor. Despite the silly headline, I think this is mostly caveats that you would already endorse, but I’m curious to know what you make of it.
1) Innovations for Poverty Action is a good organization that takes empiricism really seriously and I’m glad they’re doing things like this.
2) I am not remotely surprised that giving people money helps them more than giving them sweatshop jobs. If everyone who wanted to outlaw sweatshop jobs wanted to offset the negative effects by giving poor people money I’d be super in favor.
3) This is interesting:
One unexpected lesson is that companies need better middle management. The factory owners and investors told us that high turnover was their biggest concern and that finding good managers to reduce it was their biggest headache. We had the same impression of managers, especially when our study seemed to bring more organization to the hiring process than the companies had seen before. Collecting the names of all applicants, doing a basic screening, briefing people on the job and wages — these were all new to most of the managers we met.
History tells us to expect management practices and working conditions to improve over time. High employee turnover was certainly costly in the United States and Europe a century ago. In 1913, the Ford Motor Company recorded turnover rates of over 300 percent. Pay was poor and the work hard, and workers left in droves. Many of the modern management strategies we think are about factory efficiency started as attempts to lower this turnover. Eventually they helped make these companies better workplaces. “Better human resource management” is not the sexiest economic development strategy, but it is definitely an effective one.
4) It looks like the jobs offer pretty lousy conditions and therefore people frequently quit them and do jobs that suck less. And as a result, the companies are trying to make the working conditions more appealing because otherwise no one will stay working for them. I’m moderately optimistic about this process, though I have some reservations:
5) My current impression is that there are two kinds of concerns with working conditions. One is ‘working conditions are bad in ways that are hard for job-seekers to evaluate, monitor, or use to make decisions’. Things like accident risk, exposure to toxic chemicals, wage fraud, hours misleadingly counted or advertised, and repetitive stress injury are this kind of thing, and I think it makes sense to penalize companies for these things/prohibit them/outlaw them in trade deals/write angry letters to corporate about them/etc.
The other one is ‘working conditions are bad because poverty sucks’ - things like ‘hours are long, wages are poor, vacation time and maternity leave are not a thing’. I do worry that regulating these, especially in poor countries, amounts to making it illegal for poor people to have more choices’.
Basically, if it’s something where the job kind of sucks but straightforwardly so, people know exactly what’s up, they can go find something better if there is something better and if there’s nothing better we don’t do them a favor by banning it. If it’s something where it’s hard for workers to evaluate whether their alternatives are better, because they mostly only get hurt down the road or in rare disastrous workplace safety failures, then it looks like you need legal protection to improve conditions.
6) One thing that notably doesn’t seem to happen? Some people worry that if you give poor people money and abolish the minimum wage then McDonalds will happily only pay employees $3/hour and the money intended for poor people winds up subsidizing McDonalds in getting away with not paying a living wage. But instead, it looks like the people who were given money didn’t take sweatshop jobs. If we gave everyone money the sweatshops would have to pay better or no one would work there. If we gave poor people here enough money and didn’t have a minimum wage, McDonalds would likely have to pay better (or be a nicer place to work in some other way) or no one would work there.
Hey I was the anon who asked you to call out the ableism in the rj blogs, I only started following today, so I've never seen you use ableist, language but a lot of people have because they are slurs against a community that can't really speak up about it for themselves as well as other minorities. I've had them used against me as an autistic man, and it really hurts, but people don't take it seriously. . But anyways good job calling yourself out, and good response to being called out! Thanks!
[No, thank you, anon. I’m gonna try my best to call them, and myself, out on it whenever I see it. For people who claim to be for “real justice” and advocate being nice and polite to everyone, those people sure don’t seem to care about hurting people’s feelings when it’s inconvenient to them.]
URGENT: in school science we've started doing genetics an I love it, but everything is so cisnormative and its seriously triggering my dysphoria!! I don't know how to handle it. I can't take being reminded that I have and always will have xx chromosomes and will always be a girl medically. How do I cope?
There’s no such thing as a "girl medically"! Doctors are people, and doctors are often cis. However, pretty much any doctor worth their salt will tell you (even if it’s grudgingly) that chromosomes aren’t all there is to the little checkbox on their forms. That checkbox is meant to make their job easy, and in the process makes our lives as trans folks much harder…but of course that’s a “sacrifice” they’re “willing to make”.
Anyway, I can tell you what you are, medically speaking: you’re a patient!
You have XX chromosomes (as far as you know), which puts you at greater risk for some diseases and less risk for others (although those risks are often determined without regard for confirmation bias, and should be taken with a grain of salt).
You have genetic familial history that might help determine risks for certain diseases, like breast cancer, high blood pressure, or risk of heart disease.
If you’re not on HRT, you have an estrogen-dominant endocrine system, which puts you at greater risks for things like thrombosis (blood clots); if you are on HRT, you have a testosterone-dominant endocrine system, which certainly changes things.
You may take medication that changes these conclusions entirely.
You may have any number of medical conditions that change these conclusions entirely (like a thyroid disease, endometriosis, PCOS, a heart murmur…) that would be much more important than those two chromosomes.
You may be sexually active, which puts you at greater risk for certain diseases and cancers.
You may have certain organs (like a uterus) that have issues specific to owners of that kind of organ.
You may menstruate, which can be important when treating those with a menstrual cycle.
You may have environmental factors that pose greater risks for certain things.
I could go on literally forever!
In medicine, as in all things, there is no gender binary - it has absolutely nothing to do with your medical risks. The only reason you see that checkbox or must learn about XX vs XY is because doctors and scientists are humans who tend to subscribe to the gender binary, but it’s just not that simple.
You are not a girl in any sense of the word - medically or otherwise. <3
If you want to say all white people are all the same, always looking down on POC, then I guess it makes it easier for you to look down on white people. Spreading the racist ideas that people of one color are ALL a certain way doesn't help. Sorry, I'm white. So I'm full of privilege and look down on ALL POC? I'm also a woman, literally on food stamps and going to bed hungry as a child, and I'm gay. Instead of judging me, can't we just be allies? I'm more than the color of my skin. Aren't you?
White people are always looking down on POC. It’s in everyday life. Seriously, I walk into town and people stare at my because I’m indian and I might take too much milk for a dairy I don’t even own. We’ve been stereotyped into having dairies and being taxi drivers and said to be taking all the jobs. When so many people come to us for those services.
I fucking get told to go back to my country even though I was born in the country I live in. I get told not to eat butter chicken for lunch somewhere because my white friends don’t like it but I see them eating it and making it the wrong way, and when I tell them spices need to be added they say I’m wrong. Since when does a white person know about my culture more than me?
I’m sorry that you had to live that way but it doesn’t give you a free pass to getting people onto your side. Of course I’m more than my skin colour, I’m a person who fucking has had their own culture turned into a fashion statement because it’s so “hip” and “ethnic”. If you all could just simply accept other people’s cultures and not turn them into something for your own enjoyment then we maybe could be so called “allies”.
Am I hating every single white person out there? No. I’m hating those who have ignorance basically in their personality that you guys can’t figure out what’s right or wrong. And that basically seems to be the majority of you.
The day you experience even half of what POC experience then get back to me.