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Author Topic: The Truth about the Pay Gap  (Read 4776 times)

AlphaBusey

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Re: The Truth about the Pay Gap
« Reply #60 on: April 30, 2007, 07:54:09 PM »
Yeah yeah.

Answer my question and I'll condescend to you much more substantively and effectively than I have thus far, believe me.  In turn you might even learn a thing or two about how to think properly.  And you needn't bother with the talky, hipster asides: it doesn't impress me and the peanut gallery probably doesn't care.

oh snap :D

Talky hipster asides?  Funny, as being a hipster is pretty much what I pegged you for.  I've seen this walking stereotype all too many times.  You think that speaking in a wry tone, belittling arguments made by others on an internet message board, whilst making no real contribution to the argument yourself, somehow makes you intelligent.  Please don't teach me "how to think" because I'm not into shallow showmanship.  I actually like to be intelligent, rather than pretend to it.  But to answer your question, yes, your assumptions are correct.  And I can't wait for your response.  It will probably be the fifth most entertaining thing I've seen today.  Please, oh all-knowing-sage-of-the-Inter-Web, allow us poor peons to bask in your infinite wisdom.

By the way, read an interesting article today in the Economist about how these non-profit groups, like the one in your sig, are actually leading to market inefficiencies in microlending.  I'd be more than happy to lay the article out for you, but I already know the result: You are correct, and myself and the good folks at the Economist are a bunch of "talky hipsters" who don't know jack.  At least you make the argument predictable.  You get a little credit.
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My generation's for sale
Beats a steady job.
How much have you got?
My generation don't trust no one
Its hard to blame
Not even ourselves.
The thing that's real for us is: fortune and fame,
All the rest seems like work.
Its just like Diamonds
In *&^%.- Queens of the Stone Age

AlphaBusey

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Re: The Truth about the Pay Gap
« Reply #61 on: April 30, 2007, 08:09:59 PM »
I too am Jewish, well, my mother is, so while I don't identify myself as such religiously, I'm told it stills counts :P

Oh.  Then you're just biased.  ;)

Wait, wait.  You haven't heard the kicker.  The reason I do not religiously identify as Jewish is because I am Lutheran.  German Lutheran.  That's why I'm so interested in this topic, actually.

But as for the argument, for me the key is in the intent.  Slavery has occurred many times over the course of history, and generally the intent is the same: To gain increased economic activity by utilizing virtually free labor, with very little overhead.  That usually entails sub-standard conditions, but there's still an element of economic restraint.  A slave represents an investment.  Therefore, there's an incentive to feed them and keep them healthy up to a point, as work done is a return on the investment.

It's unclear to me that you're actually privileging intent (see incentive for feeding to reap a reward--aren't you making a consequentialist, "they kept them alive and in adequate health" argument?).  It's also interesting to me that you would define the intent of slavery merely as economic in nature, i.e., under a Marxian historical reading, slavery is exploiting workers to gain economic reward.  Under this intent reading, if it's truly the key to you, you can brush aside the actual murders, rapes, and abuses of slaves, as well as the dehumanizing effect (which also may couple as a motivation if you're willing to admit to a multiplicity of motivating factors, i.e. various intents).

You're right.  The Marxian interpretation was popular to use because it is just that, "clean".  It does allow me to bypass right over the slave ships, the rapes, the murders, the dissolution of families.  Clinical talk of "production" and "labor" does sound more antiseptic.  But the point remains, that there are a multiplicity of intents with regard to slavery.  Whereas there were sadists in the system, and criminals, and other sorts who did kill and initiate suffering for no real reason, there were also those who acted economically.  The Holocaust, from about 1942 onward, had one, all encompassing, unifying purpose.  Extermination.  Nothing but.  It's important to note that this was the goal pre-42 as well, however it was hoped this would be accomplished by sterilization and gradual dying out.  However, after the acquisition of Poland, the western USSR and 8 million more Jews, the Nazis discovered it to be untenable.  To quote Reinhard Heydrich, Himmler's deputy and originally Eichmann's superior in regards to the Final Solution, "Dead men don't hump, dead women don't have children."  But make no mistake, the goal was always total eradication.

In the Holocaust, of course, Jews, Roma and Sinti (or gypsies, as they're usually known), and various other "asocials" as they were termed, were put in slave labor camps, in addition to the death camps.  But the end result of this slave labor, as stated by several sources, most notably a draft paper issued by Himmler and approved by Hitler, was death.  Economic viability here was a secondary concern.  It was not economics governing the situation.  It was "Hey, these guys are doing heavy labor and we're feeding them 800 calories a day.  They're going to die within a year or so, but we might as well get something out of them".  With slavery, future generations were encouraged, in order to multiply the work force.  With the Holocaust, the whole root objective was the complete and utter annihilation of a people, under the loose ethnic defininition of "Jews" (and any American just needs to glance at their family tree to see how absurd notions of ethnicity are).

Recall the work conditions often presented in The Jungle, i.e. early industrialized America.  If American slavery--not to eliminate other slavery, but to ignore it for the moment--were truly motivated by solely economic concerns, why wouldn't the southern elite simply switched to industry and the so-called "wage slavery" we have seen in the industrialized north?  The labor supply was such that they could have paid them next to nothing, and indeed, without such an investment in their workers, it likely would have been cheaper to exploit labor and make vast sums of money that way.

Again, that was definitely a weakness of my Marxian analysis.  To be sure, there were other functions fulfilled by slavery.  One was social.  The vast majority of southerners, white or black, lived in abject poverty.  A very easy way for white landowners to remain in control politically and socially, is to give the disenfranchised whites an underclass, to distract them from the misery of their own situation.  Hence there were powerful social motivations to maintain slavery.  But again, the Jews weren't faced with other option.  They were intended to just, simply, "not exist".

Now that begs another question then, isn't the Holocaust just genocide?  I go with Yehuda Bauer's (Israeli Holocaust scholar) definition, which is more or less in line with the UN's.  Genocide is the particular targetting of violence and oppression towards a specific group (loosely defined as ethnic, religious, cultural, etc.).  A holocaust, however, is the rigorously planned and systematic extermination of a group in its entirety.  The only other historical example I can think of that comes close is this country's campaign against the Native Americans, but I'm not sure that fits the criterion of being "systematic".  But that's an area I know far less about.

My definition of genocide would be different, but that's really not important.

If we're going to talk intent, why not re-frame?  Slavery is about subjugating people, through sadism and degradation proving that we are more human and better humans than they are.  The Holocaust was about purifying the world to create a utopia.

Personally, I prefer consequences.  Slavery has existed... always?  The Holocaust is an isolated historical event.  Which has caused greater human suffering?  I should think the answer isn't even close.  Even if we limit this to antebellum slavery, then we'd have to look at numbers: you could argue that murder is categorically worse than bondage, and then if more people were murdered in the Holocaust than slaves murdered in the antebellum South, then we'd have an answer under your terms.  Though perhaps you'd also have to include all the people killed in the Civil War.  And all the post-Civil War lynchings?  And if we wanted to complicate things, we'd look at the persistent effects today of slavery on American society (and then we can look at the rest of the world, both today and in the past), and then compare that to the past and persistent effects of the Holocaust.

There's merit to that interpretation, to be sure, I just don't think I can agree.  For one, if we're going to include the Civil War dead, then why not include the total war dead of World War 2.  You at least "have" to include the dead on the Eastern Front, as Hitler termed this a "racial war", and it was at the core of this same Nazi ideology that would condemn the Jews to death.  As well, if you place the Holocaust strictly in its own category, then yes, the volume of suffering caused by slavery perhaps eclipses the Holocaust.   But if you add genocides to the mix, it becomes a murkier picture.  Especially because there very well might have been Holocausts in the past, had technology allowed (the Armenian genocide comes to mind).  In some ways, the Holocaust can just be looked at as the unfortunate congruence of a long line of racial ideologies and mass industry.  But I'd argue that the Holocaust, and its antecedents, have left just as many marks on the world.  Do you know how many Jews live on the European continent today?  Do you know how many lived there in 1933?  How about Israel?  Think that, and all the history that has sprung out of its creation of the last 70 years or so would have occured without the Holocaust?  I don't know, but these are things to think about.

In any event, I'll get back to this later, but 24 is on ;)

UVA '10

My generation's for sale
Beats a steady job.
How much have you got?
My generation don't trust no one
Its hard to blame
Not even ourselves.
The thing that's real for us is: fortune and fame,
All the rest seems like work.
Its just like Diamonds
In *&^%.- Queens of the Stone Age

Fourth Horseman

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Re: The Truth about the Pay Gap
« Reply #62 on: April 30, 2007, 08:31:29 PM »
::baffs thread, steadies horse::
You should think of yourself as the Four (the fourth being the dark horse poster)Horsemen...I don't think there has been a poster yet who hasn't buckled under the weight of your combined strength...

Johnny Stuffs His Mouth

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Re: The Truth about the Pay Gap
« Reply #63 on: April 30, 2007, 08:53:19 PM »
Just so I know, are we talking about slavery as all-time throughout history, or are we restricting it to just the post-Columbus pre-emancipation slavery?

Also, to say that the Holocaust hasn't caused as much human suffering is a bit unfair. The problem is that millions of people (and their potential descendants) were exterminated. If they had been allowed to survive, the human suffering would likely be MUCH greater.
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AlphaBusey

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Re: The Truth about the Pay Gap
« Reply #64 on: April 30, 2007, 08:58:22 PM »
But to answer your question, yes, your assumptions are correct.

I'll be back.  Lube up.

Nah, you should just stop there.  I've already got your argument, as I ran this by my little sister's bichon frise.

Thanks for playing, though ;)
UVA '10

My generation's for sale
Beats a steady job.
How much have you got?
My generation don't trust no one
Its hard to blame
Not even ourselves.
The thing that's real for us is: fortune and fame,
All the rest seems like work.
Its just like Diamonds
In *&^%.- Queens of the Stone Age

VTMercutio

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Re: The Truth about the Pay Gap
« Reply #65 on: April 30, 2007, 09:23:34 PM »
I suppose another thing to keep in mind, is that this supposed pay gap is a vicious cycle once again propagated by society as a whole, not just men.  To illustrate, my girlfriend is following me to law school for essentially two reasons:

1) She loves me  ;D
2) It makes more sense to move with me (becoming a lawyer) than to follow her (social worker)
So in itself, this constant moving for a significant others career negatively affects the womans career.  While the man of the house is moving for a better job, the woman will at best lateral somewhere else where she still loses all seniority she had in her first job.

So while this may be a bit different than most; the woman follows the man because the man has a higher earning potential, thereby hurting the womans earning potential even further.

Now I'm not making any of these arguments because I am a huge supporter of the feminist movement, but I also try my best to look at the situation and understand it as I can.

P.S.  Before anyone says I am a huge male private part for making her move...I did in fact offer to take a year off law school so that I could follow her where ever she did her dietetic internship, where then she would move after that where ever I went to law school.  She choose to follow me because she wasn't certain she wants to even become a dietitian.
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AlphaBusey

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Re: The Truth about the Pay Gap
« Reply #66 on: April 30, 2007, 09:28:42 PM »
I suppose another thing to keep in mind, is that this supposed pay gap is a vicious cycle once again propagated by society as a whole, not just men.  To illustrate, my girlfriend is following me to law school for essentially two reasons:

1) She loves me  ;D
2) It makes more sense to move with me (becoming a lawyer) than to follow her (social worker)
So in itself, this constant moving for a significant others career negatively affects the womans career.  While the man of the house is moving for a better job, the woman will at best lateral somewhere else where she still loses all seniority she had in her first job.

So while this may be a bit different than most; the woman follows the man because the man has a higher earning potential, thereby hurting the womans earning potential even further.

Now I'm not making any of these arguments because I am a huge supporter of the feminist movement, but I also try my best to look at the situation and understand it as I can.

P.S.  Before anyone says I am a huge male private part for making her move...I did in fact offer to take a year off law school so that I could follow her where ever she did her dietetic internship, where then she would move after that where ever I went to law school.  She choose to follow me because she wasn't certain she wants to even become a dietitian.

For what it's worth, I don't think you're a male private part ;)

It looks like the circumstances were pretty clear, you formed a logical conclusion, and she did too.  It looks like you two saw eye to eye on it, so congratulations.  I think, and I'm assuming, but I bet if the rolls were reversed, you'd have followed the same path.  It wasn't the genders that were important, but rather the professions.  Makes sense ;)  I hope my SO and I can make our big decisions with that kind of clarity.  Although she's going to law school too.  Our problem is she hates California, and I've wanted to live there since I was 12.  Oh boy. :P
UVA '10

My generation's for sale
Beats a steady job.
How much have you got?
My generation don't trust no one
Its hard to blame
Not even ourselves.
The thing that's real for us is: fortune and fame,
All the rest seems like work.
Its just like Diamonds
In *&^%.- Queens of the Stone Age

AlphaBusey

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Re: The Truth about the Pay Gap
« Reply #67 on: April 30, 2007, 10:13:23 PM »
Just so I know, are we talking about slavery as all-time throughout history, or are we restricting it to just the post-Columbus pre-emancipation slavery?

Also, to say that the Holocaust hasn't caused as much human suffering is a bit unfair. The problem is that millions of people (and their potential descendants) were exterminated. If they had been allowed to survive, the human suffering would likely be MUCH greater.

It appears that we're talking about all slavery, ever.  Thousands of years, and many people more than just the Africans taken to the U.S. and their descendents born in the U.S.

To say that the Holocaust hasn't caused as much human suffering as that is, I think, quite fair.

Why would the human suffering caused by the Holocaust be "MUCH greater" if the millions of people exterminated hadn't been exterminated?  And why introduce the counterfactual?

Well, that's why I opened it up.  In my mind I was thinking of American slavery, but in hindsight it does make a lot more sense to consider slavery all over the world.  But then, with regard to the Holocaust, you really need to consider the entire act of genocide.  So when you total it all up, well, we wouldn't need the army of actuaries that would take to tell us it'd be a sorry monument to man's inhumanity to man.
UVA '10

My generation's for sale
Beats a steady job.
How much have you got?
My generation don't trust no one
Its hard to blame
Not even ourselves.
The thing that's real for us is: fortune and fame,
All the rest seems like work.
Its just like Diamonds
In *&^%.- Queens of the Stone Age

Johnny Stuffs His Mouth

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Re: The Truth about the Pay Gap
« Reply #68 on: April 30, 2007, 10:14:34 PM »
Just so I know, are we talking about slavery as all-time throughout history, or are we restricting it to just the post-Columbus pre-emancipation slavery?

Also, to say that the Holocaust hasn't caused as much human suffering is a bit unfair. The problem is that millions of people (and their potential descendants) were exterminated. If they had been allowed to survive, the human suffering would likely be MUCH greater.

It appears that we're talking about all slavery, ever.  Thousands of years, and many people more than just the Africans taken to the U.S. and their descendents born in the U.S.

To say that the Holocaust hasn't caused as much human suffering as that is, I think, quite fair.

Why would the human suffering caused by the Holocaust be "MUCH greater" if the millions of people exterminated hadn't been exterminated?  And why introduce the counterfactual?

First of all, the idea is that suffering is experienced by the living. Since so many that were directly affected were killed, neither they nor any potential descendants they may have had could have continued experiencing suffering. Basically, my point is that comparatively there is less suffering because there are fewer survivors left to do the resultant continued suffering. Something along those lines.

I'm not introducing the counterfactual as an argument; just trying to explain why I think it's not really fair to say there's more suffering due to slavery. As I said, most of the suffering is experienced by the survivors. I'm not making the point clear, but I think you understand what I'm getting at, at least.

Finally, if we're talking about ALL slavery, then of course slavery is worse; there's not even a question about it. After all, we're talking about African slavery, slavery in the times of Moses... even the Holocaust counts as slavery. It's impossible to argue that the Holocaust is worse than the Holocaust plus everything else.

I rasied the question because I thought Alpha was referring to African slavery in America; if not, it's obviously an impossible argument.
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Boyce Baylor

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Re: The Truth about the Pay Gap
« Reply #69 on: April 30, 2007, 10:16:57 PM »
wow, people are passionate about this topic, huh?