Thursday, September 20, 2007

Megastats & Goofy Language

Megastats for 19 September 2007:
# of items: 11
Items well distributed throughout the day.

Line count:
Strictly by eyeball today, but we give our muse an approx. 1:1 ratio for Copy & Paste vs. original typing. One complaint: the last item, in its entirety, is this:

Half of all French children under five have never brushed their teeth.
Dep't. of WTF?:
Either the government, or private insurers, are self-evidently willing to pay for couture medicine in a way that other countries are not.
"Couture medicine?" (Not to mention the use of "self-evidently.")
The EITC seems to function less as a wage boost than as a system of forced savings for the poor.
How libertarian. We'll just force the poor (Note that it's never "poor people," simply "the poor." Except when it's "marginal members of the labor force.") to save. After all, they're poor, they really don't deserve any of the personal liberty to decide for themselves what to do w/ their money that the wealthy have earned.
[P]oor people who were overpaid the credits in the beginning of the year are vanishingly unlikely to have the money to cover a shortage at year's end.

Entirely new use of the word "vanishingly." I might go out on a limb and think she meant something like, "Funny how the poor's money just vanishes, what w/ their quaint habits of paying utility bills & rent, & eating, & all the other things they do, instead of saving for a better car so it'll be easier for them to get to their soul-crushing, low-paying, dead-end job six days a week." And then she goes ahead & says it:
[M]oney that would otherwise trickle away on small sundries can instead be put towards a reliable car to get to work, a rental deposit, or something else that measurably improves their lives.
Thank goodness for libertarians, who want us to be free of interference in our lives. Unless they're "measurably improving" other peoples' lives.
[T]the vast majority of law-firm associates I know are actively looking for jobs that will require less work. Raising the tax on their extra income by ten percentage points might well make that decision much easier.

What? Looking for less work? But, but [sputters, makes cartoon noises of astonishment] isn't the whole point of lower taxes that more people will work harder, if they get to keep more of their ill-gotten gains? (Of course, never mentioning how much of the wealth you create is siphoned off by your parasite employer before taxes even enter the "you're getting screwed" equation.) Are you saying, Ms. McArdle, that perhaps people would like not to work 80-hour weeks, or might like to spend time w/, well, anything or anyone but their fellow wage-slaves in their cubicles? That they might give up a little money for some time of their own? That perhaps this Marxist economic determinism you libertarians subscribe to might not be the perfect way to solve the problem of not enough wealth creation? Or what?
Yet another reason that I think my European friends, if they know what's good for them, will stop extolling the virtues of a cheaper single-payer system to us, and start telling us how awful it is, nothing we'd ever want to try.

Well, if they know what's good for them (even if they are European) maybe they will start telling us. Where's that Euro groundswell for letting HMOs & insurance cos. run health care in Europe? My ears are cocked.
[S]preading the risk has also made it difficult for strapped borrowers to obtain workouts...

Please, please, Megan, you're writing for The Atlantic, you're not some ninny who has a B. A. in English from Podunk State Teachers College & was lucky to get a job writing for the HR Dep't. Newsletter @ Fly-By-Night Mortgage, Escrow & Real Estate ("Your One Stop Shop For All Your Property Needs"). "Obtaining a workout" is done by dragging your ass to the fitness club. If you fucking mean "re-negotiating the terms of your mortgage, so you won't default," or "getting some debt relief," say so, damn it!! I'm a hell of a lot more worried about Ivy League graduates not being able to write jargon-free & idiocy-free English than whether or not they can answer set up questions (Megan's crappy "web log" doesn't link directly to the comment I intend it to, it's the third one down, from Mike Earl) on a test (Now that's a site where when you link to a comment, you link to a comment!!) from a Right Wing classicist whiner organization.

Last one, all praise to Jah Ras Tafari:
And having forced the reform down everyone else's throats, the government may be in a better public position, since now other civil servants will resent the special privilege.
You'd have to read the whole thing, but the "everyone else's throats" who are having pension reform forced down them are civil servants (specifically, railroad & utility workers, who were exempted from a previous "pension reform") so what special privilege are the "other civil servants" going to resent? And I will add that one reason (in the United Snakes, at least, can't speak for the French situation) public employees have good pension plans is that public sector pay is generally less than in the private sector, keeping public sector employees from doing the responsible, moral, libertarian thing of saving for the future, therefore a pension plan that acknowledges the disparity is necessary to attract non-marginal wage-slaves members of the labor force to the public sector. So there!!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Who hasn't heard the phrase "vanishingly unlikely" before? It has > 11,000 google hits.