Why don't bosses want us talking about our pay?

Why don't bosses want us talking about our pay?

Earlier this month, Senate Republicans unanimously blocked the Paycheck Fairness Act and upheld a boss's right to punish workers for talking about unfair pay practices. And, the corporate masters are happy that their “pay secrecy” rules are still in place. The Paycheck Fairness Act would have protected workers from discussing salaries, and make it easier for them to challenge wage discrimination in court. That legislation would have also shifted the burden of proof to employers, who would have had to “prove that pay disparities exist for legitimate, job-related reasons.” However, our current system requires a worker to prove that lower pay wasn't legitimate.

Many bosses claim that pay secrecy rules protect “trade secrets,” and prevent “jealousies and strife among employees.” But, keeping workers complacent and obedient is the real reason many corporate bosses love these policies. As Michelle Chen of In These Times Magazine writes, “if workers really knew what their bosses were doing, their anger would start to unravel the complacency.” In other words, when workers know they're being cheated, they are empowered to stand up and fight back.

Senate Republicans didn't block this legislation to protect jobs or deny the existence of a gender pay gap, they simply voted once again to put corporate interests ahead of the American people. If employees are being paid fairly, bosses should have nothing to fear about them discussing their salaries. The fact that these conversations are prohibited is just another attempt to keep power out of the hands of workers.


Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 1 year 13 weeks ago

HAH! It's unenforceable. These stupid control freaks can't control what's beyond their earshot. This is one dirty little secret they can't protect, no matter how hard they try. - Aliceinwonderland

ckrob's picture
ckrob 1 year 13 weeks ago

Just another example of the reich-wing's position that the wealthy have just a little more free speech than the poor and what's left of the middle class. (Can I still say that?)

anarchist cop out's picture
anarchist cop out 1 year 13 weeks ago

Hey everybody, I'd just like to let y'all know that I've posted a reply on the blog of the day before yesterday, when me and Pali were goin' at it.

Seems my username got blocked again. I hope it isn't because, after Pali spewed all kinds of venom at me and everybody who thinks like me, calling us all insane and what not, for having our beliefs, that he had his widda feelings hurt when I mildly suggested something similar about him - not for having his beliefs but for his obssesive, maniacal and belligerent intolerance and closed mindedness.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 1 year 13 weeks ago

Mark, I've posted my two cents' worth in that discussion and I've got your back, buddy. Palin and Jessel are more than a little overbearing, and it's irritating. If all my fellow atheists acted like that, it would make terrible PR for atheism! - AIW

Gator Girl 1 year 13 weeks ago

Worked in a job many years back where they tried to do this to us but it didn't work. One little lady told them that she wouldn't tell because she "was just as embarrassed to tell and they would be for anyone to find out" - which was funny - but then she told everyone she knew.

No one I know of keeps these things quiet and as Aliceinwonderland says - it IS unenforceable.

Kend's picture
Kend 1 year 13 weeks ago

I think it's true that most employers don't like employees talking about there wages because it does cause " jealousies and strife among employees" but I am with Alice of course they all talk. That is one of the reasons large companies have these massive lay offs when there is a slow down. They get rid of the dead weight. Bain Capital was famous for this. If you could pay harder workers more than less productive employees they would probaly keep them on. But it just doesn't work that way. Business can sure be cruel.

edwardkeker's picture
edwardkeker 1 year 13 weeks ago

Everyboy is equal..its just the rich are more equal...I am not sure this Capitalist system works for the Common Man...

historywriter's picture
historywriter 1 year 13 weeks ago

Of course they don't want their employees to know how they discriminate. Several years ago I worked for UPI in Chicago. After I left a manager and a friend told me that the newest hire (a male; I'm female) had been hired two grade levels above me. That was galling enough, but it turned out that I was rewriting all of his material because he was no good at it.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 1 year 13 weeks ago

Mark Saulys ~ I have to side with Aliceinwonderland on this one; although I really side mostly with you. Palin is just that way. I think he must have had a really bad experience with some religious types in his life to make him that way. Don't feel bad, whatever pounding you got (I didn't get a chance to check it out yet), I'm sure I got pounded much harder in the past for the same reason. Never with anything of substance. Just a bunch of "Go away, don't bother me! I don't want to think about it!" rhetoric. Don't get your fur into a ball.

Besides, like I said in the past--I don't know if you agree--I'd prefer a honest atheist to a devout hypocrite any day of the week. Lock me in a room with Palin for a day and no harm done. It would be a pleasant time and a well spent experience. Lock me in a room with a Jerry Falwell or a Pat Robinson and only one of us may leave alive--or in one piece (spiritually speaking of course.)

I would suggest avoiding the topic with him--as irresistible as that may be--instead direct the comment to whomever it may concern. Until Palin matures all you will run into is an infantile defence mechanism. He will never listen or give you a chance. He will always rail insults and criticisms from his own little box. Besides, who really cares what anyone else wants to believe. It is only what we chose to believe that is really important to ourselves. Respecting our differences is the example we really need to show Palin before he shows it to us. That way, we win!

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 1 year 13 weeks ago

Back to the main topic. It is wrong to keep wages a secret. Any secret held by anyone is done for the purpose of having power over others. The best way to approach this is through transparency. Publicly post the wages of all workers as a way to encourage and to establish trust and loyalty. Nothing is worse for morale than to learn after years of hard work and loyal service that you have been played a fool by someone who you thought you earned respect and trust from. The fact of the matter is that workers always learn one way or another where they stand. To pretend they don't is foolish. It is the characteristic of a disposable labor force, a slap in the face to laborers, and is a disgrace and a huge obstacle for good business.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 1 year 13 weeks ago

Because they don't want women to find out how underpaid they are!

Mark Saulys: In regard to comment #34 the other day. Isaac Newton was also an Alchemist as well as the head of King William's London mint. About a year ago I read a fun book about his days at the mint. It's entitled, " Newton and the Counterfeiter." It's by Thomas Levenson....check it out!

anarchist cop out's picture
anarchist cop out 1 year 13 weeks ago

Who do you think you're crapping, Kend? You and people like you, other business people, would never pay more to more productive workers, if you would pay more productive workers more they wouldn't be "more productive".

"Productivity" is a euphemism for exploitation, it literally means the amount of production per cost - something akin to the "per unit cost of production" only isolating the labor aspect of it. IOW, productivity of workers is the ratio of money you pay for their labor to the amount of production you get out of them, that's why undocumented immigrant workers are "more productive". They let you take advantage of them and abuse them at will because they have no rights in this country so they work their asses off because they know they damn well better since you don't have to be fair to them at all, and, of course, you don't have to pay them anything - or anything more than what would amount to feeding and housing slaves, i.e., just enough to make them able to show up the next day to work for you some more. The same principle is`applied by similar scum to Bain Capital's Chinese workers.

Kend's picture
Kend 1 year 13 weeks ago

Well said cop out you nailed it. Can you imagine as a business owner I want to make Maximum profit out of my employees. I am not none profit. So you know I am Canadian we don't have undocumented workers we deport illegals.

anarchist cop out's picture
anarchist cop out 1 year 13 weeks ago

Thanks Marc and Alice, I very much appreciate your support. I still gotta get my username unblocked. I think the volunteer moderator might be an evangelical atheist who's very insecure about their beliefs and would like to repress any challenge to them.

Palindromedary 1 year 13 weeks ago

anarchist cop out: You probably just got caught in the spam filter again by using a word or part of a word that sounded to the spam filter like an advertisement. That's what happened to you the last time..wasn't it?

By the way, if you just wanted to drop the subject, then why did you bring it up again in this one? Same question for you AIW and DAM as well? Why didn't you just go back to that blog, from the other day, and continue on with the discussion there if you wanted to keep this thing going. You must have thought that you had something really brilliant to say back there. ;-}

By the way, unlike you, I did not specifically call you anything. Like Hartmann's remark about flat earthers, my comments were all generalities not specific to the fellow bloggers.

BMetcalfe's picture
BMetcalfe 1 year 13 weeks ago

Yes, you're right; I can attest to that. I was a victim of this practice nearly 50 years ago. But my supervisor tipped me off when he couldn't get a raise for me. I'll always be grateful to him for that.

David in Vegas's picture
David in Vegas 1 year 13 weeks ago

Thom, as usual, you look at this 'problem' as somehow the business owner oppressing the worker. Its just not true.

In what way is employment NOT a contractual agreement between two private parties? (The employer and employee) The contract is both negotiable and re-negotiable. Have you never asked for a raise?

Have you never seen an incompetent worker spend time playing video games or steal supplies at work but still collect a paycheck? Have you never seen an individual produce excellent results and recieve bonuses, raises and other perks of reward? The interests of the business are best managed by the people who have a vested interest in its survival.

When you seek to get the Government involved to FORCE equality, you crush self-determinism in this cycle and the average wage goes DOWN. Not because of instant lowering of wages, but over time perks, benefits and raises will be denied until all are equally stuck in a lower range then they would have achieved through their own efforts. This is because there is a cost of doing business, and a significant factor in this is the Labor and in particular the Cost-Benefit ratio of labor. If labor does not produce more value to the business than it costs, then the business fails. It is management that sees to the viability of the organization by managing the operations of all aspects of the organization to produce its products (and sell them at profit).

Government intervention, by introducing arbitrary laws by force, upsets the balance and viability of those organizations. What your policies produce, ultimately, is Wal-Mart. Your policies create an environment wherfe only the biggest and most profitable survive as smaller independent businesses cannot absorb the new higher cost of labor thus go out of business. Or you get Detroit: whole communities devastated because the high cost of labor outpaces the value of the goods produced, creating a situation that over-priced products cannot compete in the marketplace, thus destroying the key businesses upon which the community economy is based.

Moreover by demanding Government take on a power that it has no right to, you further the march toward totalitarianism where all aspects of life are controlled by government. Yes, that point may be far down the road, but if you don't see that we are on the road and have been for 50+ years, then you are not as smart as you think you are. Or perhaps you want to be on this road and the thought of someone else making decisions for you is just fine.

So, while equal pay, sounds nice, there are far too many variables in determining what is 'equal work' to measure adequately who is equal to whom. No two workers, being human, will produce the same results or value for the company. So who are you, we or anyone not familiar with the operation of any business, to say how they should be FORCED to manage the costs of their business. The very notion of people who advocate against profitable (viable) business operation should make determinations here is absurd.

Again, I hope you will examine this information and re-evaluate your assumptions.

ML, Dave

Palindromedary 1 year 13 weeks ago
Quote David in Vegas:Government intervention, by introducing arbitrary laws by force, upsets the balance and viability of those organizations. What your policies produce, ultimately, is Wal-Mart. Your policies create an environment wherfe only the biggest and most profitable survive as smaller independent businesses cannot absorb the new higher cost of labor thus go out of business.
Boy, have you got that changed around! Wall Mart and other huge companies come to exist when there is no, or very little, government interference. There used to be anti monopoly laws and strict regulation on getting too big or cornering any particular market. Since Reagan, these companies have conglomerized and gotten away with huge tax breaks...and have become "too big to fail". Even the government representatives have become too cowardly to challenge or regulate these companies or they are getting paid off to look the other way. The lowly workers, except for the remnants of effete or crooked unions, have no say anymore.

You can't blame what happens to this country on the workers who are just struggling to survive. But we sure can blame the criminals and traitors in the top echelons of big business because they are the real reason this country is going down hill. The US was once a leader in many things and set a good example which is why so many people wanted to come here. But it is fast becoming just another 3rd world country. With just a few extremely wealthy people at the top, no middle class, and the majority of poor people struggling to survive. It deserves what it dishes out and all it dishes out is crap , death, and mayhem. The US dumps it's crap and poisoned foods and drugs in other countries even more so than here..there are still a few laws that protect us...but not for very long. China is starting to set a good example, believe it or not....they actually execute their crooked top executives when they get filthy rich off of the deaths of their victims. In the US, these top execs don't even get punished in any way most of the time.

The US wastes lots of money and lives in illegally invading other sovereign countries that present no threat to us. And more recently, it has been fomenting internal dissent and revolutions against other sovereign countries. And many US corporations are getting wealthy off the blood of innocent civilians, including children, that get killed in these externally encouraged and aided "revolutions".

Quote David in Vegas:Or you get Detroit: whole communities devastated because the high cost of labor outpaces the value of the goods produced, creating a situation that over-priced products cannot compete in the marketplace, thus destroying the key businesses upon which the community economy is based.
Oh, and I suppose the ridiculously high compensation of these company's top executives and the major stock holders have nothing to do with it? They live in exclusive gated communities in houses so large they could provide shelter for many families. And they commute in expensive luxury cars into the city where there are megalithic and very expensive office buildings where they have cushy offices and they don't waste company time on viewing porn or playing computer games in their comfy office chairs? I know of at least one company CEO that, when he went on business trips, he spent lots of company write off expenses on lap dancers and parties.

When companies, which are driven by profit, are unregulated they tend to maximize their profit at the expense of everyone except the top executives and the stock holders (who are nothing but casino gamblers betting that they will win and others will lose..after the initial IPO, which ostensibly raises capital for start ups, it serves no other useful purpose than to provide a gambler's mecca. Sure, they claim that "investing" in the companies (buying and selling these stocks) helps to provide an incentive for the company to do well...but when CEOs, and other top execs can get away with selling their ridiculously large amount of company stock using insider information (who better than the top execs know what goes on in that company?). They have an unfair advantage despite the SEC's limitations on when they can buy and sell their own companies stock. They network and they know what is going on with other companies far more than the lowly investor so they often buy each others stock with insider information. They usually get away with it. And they also use the unfair advantage of high frequency trading. And then, there is the matter of hiding their loot in overseas banks or dummy corporations. How many lowly laborers can do that? They are stuck with paying 39% tax rate while corporations pay much less if any at all.

We need higher tax rates on wealthy people, corporations, big privately owned businesses and we need stricter regulations including stiff penalties for sending our jobs over seas.

Palindromedary 1 year 13 weeks ago
Quote David in Vegas:So, while equal pay, sounds nice, there are far too many variables in determining what is 'equal work' to measure adequately who is equal to whom.
But that sure doesn't keep them from all kinds of profit taking variables does it? In that respect, to them, nothing is too complicated when it comes to coming up with schemes to accumulate all their wealth and squeezing any of it from their less fortunate (less devious) victims.

And, I remember back when I was still working at one corporation, how they would have this scheme of getting the workers to write their own reviews which were, ostensibly, meant to get us to believe that we had a chance of trying to convince the hatchet men, that eventually wrote our real reviews that we were worth not only remaining an employee but hopefully, a raise as well.
We had to sell ourselves to a supervisor or boss who was too ineffective in his job to notice each employee's worth by himself. I think it was more of a psychological ploy to keep the employee forever reminded that you were at the mercy of the corporation so that you didn't get the idea that the corporation wouldn't even exist were it not for the employees. The top heavy, worthless, upper echelon of corporate employees, ie: supervisors up to the CEOs and board chairmen, had to keep the lowly workers propagandized into believing that those exploiting them in unfair ways were actually benevolent, decent human beings with a sense of honest days pay for a honest days work. But there are some employee-owned businesses that show that these worthless pieces of arrogant twits, with their lofty positions in executive positions, should be the ones with smaller salaries and fewer company stocks and other perks.... with THEIR jobs on the line for not treating their underlings with more respect and fairness. Workers are not fooled by the shenanigans of these Machiavelian idolizers.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 1 year 13 weeks ago

Dave, this discussion isn't about workers who play video games on company time or how a company determines the value of an employee's output. It's about pay discrimination, often racist or gender-based, and it's about bosses firing employees merely for discussing their salaries. Long as employees are performing their duties, they can discuss whatever they please. - Alice I.W.

P.S. I've plenty more to say on this topic, but it'll have to wait 'til later when I've more time to spare.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 1 year 13 weeks ago

Republicans just love to argue that the price of labor has to stay low to keep products "affordable". Hey Mister Businessman, wanna keep operating costs down? A universal single-payer healthcare system would eliminate the burden of all those bloated premiums businesses now must cover for their employees. This would greatly improve the status of U.S. manufacturers in the world market, eliminating a competitive disadvantage they now are saddled with, unlike manufacturers from other countries with their shit more together. Despite this obvious fact, as a group, small business owners in the U.S. (largely Republican) are stupid enough to consistently reject single payer healthcare as part of the solution. (Ohhh no… evil socialism!! Can't have that now, can we?!) It really is pathetic, considering the unfair burden our current healthcare system places on small businesses.

If you want loyal, devoted employees who don't play video games on the job and carry their weight, ya gotta pay a livable wage. It's that simple. We don't do this stuff to amuse ourselves; we do it to put food in the fridge and have a roof, and have a life. Working fulltime for poverty wages is bullshit, and this is what has to stop. We work to live, so pay up or shut up. I've heard enough of you guys complaining about the cost of labor. Ya git what'cha pay for! And workers must have a seat at the negotiating table. After all, they're the ones doing the actual WORK. No workers, no company! Nothin' complicated about that, no sir Mister Businessman. - Aliceindrudgeland

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 1 year 13 weeks ago

Quote Palindromedary:By the way, if you just wanted to drop the subject, then why did you bring it up again in this one? Same question for you AIW and DAM as well?

Palindromedary ~ Good question! Here is my answer. Like you I hate proselytizing personal beliefs more than anything. It is annoying, intolerant, disrespectful, and arrogant. The Church teaches it's flock that the Gospel must be proselytize to all the nations before the Messiah returns. This is misleading. The Bible actually says that the Gospel must be published in all nations. Big difference! This is the main problem that gives most believers a bad rap. Furthermore, the church's stance is wrong, and ridiculous for two further simple logical reasons. First, a great investment--and that is all any belief system really is (ie the phrase, "I don't buy it.")--doesn't have to be peddled. People will walk 100 miles and stand in line for hours to participate in a really great thing. Second, it is blasphemy by it's own definition to assume you can do anything God can't. For those main reasons I hate proselytizing.

I can understand how such religious proselytizing can get on anyone's nerves. It still gets on my nerves. I don't have a commercial belief system and do not subscribe to any church. Nevertheless, people come to my door to save me all the time. They don't really care what I believe, they just want me to join their cult. I know that. I've taken the time to talk to them and read their literature. Even if you go to a church of your own they will push the fact that you are in danger because that isn't the right church. Even if you tell them you believe in God it isn't enough. Very, very annoying. It's like those old Tide commercials, it doesn't matter if you washed your shirt, you used the wrong soap and it isn't white enough to get you into heaven. I regret ever even opening the door. However, you do not have to believe in the supernatural to proselytize a belief system. Atheism is also a belief system. When insisting that it is the only true belief system is just as arrogant, self righteous, intolerant, disrespectful, and annoying as the proselytizing of any organized religion.

If someone wants to share their belief in the Flying Spaghetti Monster that is just fine. If you want to listen to it, that is just fine. Let's face the truth, such believes can no more be proved than they can be disproved. The minute they start to insist you believe it after you've decided not to, you have a problem. The same is true of Atheism and any other personal belief system. For all it's practicality Atheism is no more probable than any other belief system. The reason is because no one has ever returned from brain death to tell the tale. Chances are they never will. Therefore, personal belief of "living brains" should be honored and respected because we all share the need to embrace some belief. It is a human psychological need to know what to expect when we die because we as humans all know we are going to die some day. Hopefully, far far in the future. Nevertheless, the knowledge of it happening comes with unavoidable questions.

Quote Palindromedary:By the way, unlike you, I did not specifically call you anything. Like Hartmann's remark about flat earthers, my comments were all generalities not specific to the fellow bloggers.

Palindromedary ~ Talking in the third person right in front of the individual you are really addressing, using derogatory pronouns such as "gullible fools", and "believers in superstitious nonsense" and then using that tense as a excuse for no wrongdoing is a textbook example of the personality disorder psychologists call passive aggressiveness. This is just a natural part of human behavior not a mental disorder. Big difference. We all display this disorder from time to time to one extent or another as a result of anger. (Anger makes us act irrationally--which is why it is such a non productive emotion.) Thom's comments about "flat earthers," were specific to a certain groups and not to any fellow bloggers simply by the fact that the comment came before the blog started. Your comments on the other hand was specifically directed not only to fellow bloggers on this blog; but, also to specific bloggers whose name will remain unstated because their identity is so blatantly obvious. The proof--among other things--is the fact that your comments came after theirs while addressing the same topic.

Personally, I will sum up my view of the atheist belief system again the same way I have many times before--I would prefer an honest atheist to a devout religious hypocrite any day of the week.

The world is full of devout religious hypocrites and they get on my nerves even more than they get on yours. Now I hope you didn't take that the wrong way like you have so many times in the past. I am actually giving you a huge compliment; and, saying that I'm just fine with your beliefs. That is all I expect in return.

Have a great weekend!!

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 1 year 13 weeks ago

Dave -- You should really listen and respond to what the other bloggers are saying. Government has no power of its own. It is just a tool (laws) to decide what happens in the marketplace. Totalitarism is when the 1% is wielding that tool, Democracy is when the 99% are wielding that tool.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 1 year 13 weeks ago

Dave -- Have you ever had a course in economics?

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 1 year 13 weeks ago

Dave -- You should look at what has happened in history. For example in the last 50+ years. The US economy from 1930 to 1980 was doing better than any economy has ever done in course of human events. Reagan became president and started to remove regulations. The economy started downhill. For example, I think 2 years into the Reagan presidency we suffered the worst recession since the great depression. Incidentally, the number of people playing video games at work is not a measure of the economy. However, you would probably be right in saying that if too many people are playing video games at work the GDP would probably go down. One, however, should look at the GDP not the number of people playing video games at work.

Thom says with some regularity that free markets always fail.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 1 year 13 weeks ago

Dave -- I agree that the marketplace should decide wages and profit (just another version of supply and demand). I think the function of government is to ensure that the playing field is level. One measure of how level the playing field is the comparison of inflation and unemployment. I think US history has shown that each of these being in the vicinity of 4% has given us an optimal economy. Alan Greenspan has famously said he kept the unemployment above 5% to enable employers to demand more from their employees (I think his quote included something about making the workers insecure). Greenspan controlled both of these variables via the money supply. A fact which baffles me how the money supply can be that powerful.

Palindromedary 1 year 13 weeks ago

Dannemarc: Great! You have proven my case. Proselytizers are a pain in the .... and when they even bring up the subject in even glancing ways...like saying to someone when they sneeze: "God bless you!" That is a form of proselytizing. They either assume everyone believes they way they do and will appreciate the "blessing" or they are using a more subtle form of proselytization. If someone sneezed and I said to them: "Satan bless you!", what do you think people would think about me....a satanist trying to proselytize them into their religion?...someone looking for trouble? Would they punch me in the nose?

When someone even mentions something like reincarnation or the supernatural they are assuming that other people also believe in that stuff. Of course some do but many others don't.

I remember that even you, some time ago, frequently quoted scripture. Is that not also a form of proselytizing? For someone who sometimes tries to make people think that you are totally separate from the institutional religions you sure do seem to like quoting scripture. And the Bible is the main source from which the churches preach. You must assume that anyone reading your scriptural quotes will receive some kind of meaningful information from them...as if they were relevant. So, if in the future, you or anyone else thinks it is cute to proselytize us with those remarks, however slight, be prepared for proselytizing back from those who don't agree with your proselytizing.

My comments, on this blog, were directed to religious people and other people, in general, who believe in supernatural things that try to proselytize others into their belief systems. And if someone on this blog brings up a subject that I disagree with, am I not entitled to disagree with them? You seem to have no problem in disagreeing with others on this blog for their political, or otherwise, beliefs. Seems to me that you, and several others, have been very right-into Kend's face in your disagreements with him and others. Have you not used derogatory terms in referring to him and others you've strongly disagreed with? I think you have many times!

Why do you believe that religious beliefs, or beliefs in the supernatural, are any different than political or economic ones? Why do you think that people should just let go the proselytizations of religious and superstitious believers and not the beliefs of differing political or economic ones?

How many Christians would just let it pass... what the Muslims do in their Sharia laws...stoning women who were raped or who committed adultery while the aggressor or man lover often goes free? How about sexual mutilation of female children so that they remain chaste for when they marry? Or..having laws that condemn people to death for homosexuality or atheism? And many Muslims believe just what their Imams tell them that they have a duty to Allah to convert everyone on earth to Islam or if they don't convert they deserve to die. The Christian cult and all the other cults spawned from mother Catholic Church also has, as a basic tenet, to spread Christianity...convert everyone in the world to Christianity. But I don't think all those drones and helicopter guns ships are winning many over...just ticking them off to become future "terrorists".

There are many Christians who have not danced around the subject and have been very vocal about their hatred of the Muslim's beliefs. Do we condemn those Christians for daring to say what they believe in public forums about the Muslim religion? Yes, you can cherry pick and say that you have nothing against the Muslim religion...just the hard liner fundamentalist Imams who preach that stuff....but how many Muslim believers will deny, in public, that they disagree with those hard liner Imams?

And although the Christian religion doesn't overtly approve of those specific Muslim tenets...there are many Preachers, Priests, Rabbis and televangelists... very powerful ones, who can manipulate the beliefs of their massive flocks into doing bad things as well. They are not shy about confronting people who do not believe the way they do. So, why should we dance around, or just let go, any religious or supernatural subject that is mentioned on this blog?

I believe that if people do not have rational beliefs in the natural world and, instead, believe in supernatural things...things that have no valid evidence of their existence then they can be very dangerous and may act irrationally. Like the women who believed their children were possessed by demons and managed to murder them in exorcisms they conducted on them. This has happened quite a few times, actually. If you believe in such irrational things, it can lead you to do irrational things.

Palindromedary 1 year 13 weeks ago

Greenspan also later said something like he was wrong in his assumptions and deeply regretted his mistakes.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 1 year 13 weeks ago
Quote Palindromedary: If you believe in such irrational things, it can lead you to do irrational things.

Palindromedary ~ Oh, truer words were never spoken. It is for precisely that reason that I quote scripture. You see my friend a great many of the more successful religious organizations are nothing more than religious cults who use their podiums for no other reason than to direct political action for hidden agendas. These cults use the same method, they take scriptural quotes out of context and twist the meanings to fit their needs. That is how we get people voting against their best interests. That is how we get people to condemn innocents for nothing. That is how we get people to declare war on nations who have done nothing to them. That is why what you said is absolutely true.

I do the same thing. I listen to these people and then dig up their sources in an attempt to throw cold water on their theories. So far I've been most successful. So successful in fact I'm convinced scripture itself isn't the evil source, it is the cults who twist it.

If you've ever listened to Thom, you already know that he practically memorized the Bible. Why? Because he believes in it? Who knows? He has the wisdom to keep his personal beliefs private. Perhaps that is my main mistake.

Thom's knowledge of scripture comes in very handy when he deals with these brainwashed religious types who annoy the hell out of both of us. His technique is to throw scripture right back into their faces. When he does it becomes obvious that they really are brainwashed and have no idea what they are really talking about. The argument is over before it begins.

This is quite similar to my technique. However, mine is much simpler. I just quote the entire verse and it is obvious that the religious institutions and organizations are misrepresenting it for personal objectives and a hidden agenda. Argument over.

What you believe doesn't interest me. What people believe who are trying to influence our politicians and change agenda for purposes that are at odds with my wishes it does interest me. You have to know your enemy to defeat them. Anything else is a waste of time.

If I quote from the Magna Carta, am I trying to convert you to pre-colonial feudalism? If I quote from Mein Kampf am I trying to convert you to Nazism? If I quote from my recipe book am I trying to convert you to my diet? I am not, nor have I ever tried, to proselytize anyone. It is my belief that this is something you want to believe so you don't have to come in contact with anything that smells a certain way. If so, that is fine with me, just don't step on my toes when I share the fruit of my knowledge. To make this easier for you in the future I will try to keep my theological posts on a"Generally Speaking" tone rather than address them to you. Perhaps that will work for both of us?

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 1 year 13 weeks ago

Marc, regarding how Thom uses his knowledge of scripture, I've noticed that too. Makes for a powerful weapon in any debate involving the bible, or where Thom's opponent in a debate brings bible quotes into the discussion. Whatever Thom's personal beliefs, that in itself would be sufficient motivation for learning scripture, just so he can thwart the arguments of these scripture-twisting hacks.

By the way, I loved the perspective you've shared on this whole religion thing… like: "…personal belief[s] of 'living brains' should be honored and respected because we all share the need to embrace some belief. It is a human psychological need to know what to expect when we die because we as humans all know we are going to die some day." That is so true, my friend. And you're right; good investments (or ideas) don't have to be peddled. - Aliceinwonderland

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 1 year 13 weeks ago

Aliceinwonderland ~ Thank you!!

anarchist cop out's picture
anarchist cop out 1 year 13 weeks ago
Quote Kend:

Well said cop out you nailed it. Can you imagine as a business owner I want to make Maximum profit out of my employees. I am not none profit. So you know I am Canadian we don't have undocumented workers we deport illegals.

Oh, we don't have undocumented workers either, Kend. Oh, good heavens, no! That would be illegal! I'm sure our wonderful government deports them all. I was just being hypothetical, of course!

Actually, Kend, Canada is esimated to have 200,000 undocumented workers. The laws and/or enforcement of them are much more loose in Canada, people simply ignore them. I've had friends who snuck over the border and even worked for the government in Canada and nobody asked them a thing about their status.

Yeah Kend, maybe capitalism is without ethical provision and doesn't result in a just society, a least when left to its own device - if "making Maximum profit" is the only virtue in capitalism and is a euphemism for maximum exploitation of workers.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 1 year 13 weeks ago

Oh phooey! I clicked on the smiley face and got nothin', just a blank space.

anarchist cop out's picture
anarchist cop out 1 year 13 weeks ago

We get you Dave, you (business owners) should be allowed to do whatever they feel like - without regard for any ethical considerations - and those who work for someone else don't deserve any rights at all. It's all a free and fair contractual agreement - just like when the stick up man puts a gun to your head and you "freely choose" to give him your wallet in return for his not shooting you.

A legitimate function of government is to protect the weak from the strong and and it's patently absurd to think that an individual worker can enter into a free and fair contractual relationship with a large corporation or even a smaller business. The power imbalance in favor of the employer is too great. Workers have some of the necessary power to negotiate such a contract when they unite and combine with one another and bargain collectively. Absent that, government is necessary to oversee fairness in effectively contractual relationships. Even with worker combination, government is necessary to oversee fairness, to keep your power in check.

You all (business owners) want to eliminate government because you want to eliminate democracy, accountability of authority to the people, from society. You are not against government, you are against democratic government. You want to remove democratic government so that you, then, would effectively become the government, without any accountability.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 1 year 13 weeks ago

BRAVO, Mark!!! - You-know-who

Palindromedary 1 year 13 weeks ago

So, now John Kerry is calling RT (Russia Today) TV just propaganda. I think they are getting scared that their ruling elite owned major news propaganda mouth pieces like Fox, BBC, CNN, ABC(is that still in existence?), CBS, NBC, and all the others are not being believed by a large audience around the world..even in the US. John Kerry, and all the other US politicians who claim that Russia is behind anything in Ukraine are being hypocrites as it is well known, around the world, that the US and Europeans were behind the original coups in Ukraine. The people in power in the US are so afraid that if you watch RT you won't believe the US propaganda.

Palindromedary 1 year 13 weeks ago

"Brazil's Senate has unanimously adopted a bill which guarantees online privacy of Brazilian users and enshrines equal access to the global network."

But, while they claim "the bill promotes freedom of information, making service providers not liable for content published by their users"...but instead... "forces the companies to obey court orders to remove any offensive material".

So, really, they still won't have true freedom of information. True freedom of information means that you don't censor anything no matter how offensive it is to some.

"The principle of neutrality, calling on providers to grant equal access to service without charging higher rates for greater bandwidth use is also promoted. The legislation also limits the gathering and use of metadata on Internet users in Brazil."
I think that they are more concerned about protecting their business and politicians from being spied on by the US.
And the following are excerpts from an interview on RT of IT Pioneer- John McAfee and founder of the very well known McAfee Associates, anti-virus company. He's working on another project, called D-Central, which is a decentralized, encrypted wireless network that will help keep your privacy away from a government, and other hacker's, that are currently spying on us all.

"it’s not just the NSA by the way, that is spying on us, I mean the NSA was the one that was first to be outed by Edward Snowden, but I can guarantee that all other covert government agencies, of which there are more than 15, are doing the same things – the CIA, FBI, Military Intelligence."-John McAfee.
And even our local law enforcement agencies are spying on us all the time.
"[D-Central] can definitely be globally engaged, it’s a completely flexible and moving localized network, where every other unit within the quarter-mile is directly communicating with your unit. We have relays, we can relay things across the city, the state, the country or the entire planet. It will not replace the internet, certainly not at first, it is an augment to the internet, it’s a device without a screen, it’s an on\off switch, you can drop it in your pocket, it communicates with your smartphone. So, if you’re on the internet with the smartphone you can do whatever you’re doing. If you want to send someone a private message, something to your sweetheart, and you want to say something juicy, or to your business associate talking about a plan that you don’t want your competitors to know about, then you switch to the private network which is ours, and everything is absolutely secure. If you intercept the packet it has no name attached to it, or location either. There is no way to tell who was sending what to whom, and it is all encrypted, using an encryption technique that neither the NSA nor any other agency was involved in. It simply cannot be seen – if it can’t be seen then it can’t be hacked." -John McAfee.
By the way, did you know that our government has what is known as a "mobile network in a suitcase"? They've had it for a number of years and have used it in countries that tried to shut down the country's internet communications, especially during the US-assisted overthrow of those countries...like Libya and Egypt...and probably being used by the US-supported Al Qaeda in Syria and was probably used by the US supported Ukrainian Nazis in the overthrow of the legitimate government of Ukraine.
Brazil is also trying to create their own internet, not reliant upon the one dictated by the US. John McAfee doesn't think it will work very well especially if they expect to be connected to the world wide internet. Currently, the US and other key countries have the authority to assign IP (Internet Protocol) address numbers mostly to large entities like large companies like Microsoft and your ISP (Internet Service Provider),to people who buy them. And URLs or URIs can be bought from smaller brokers like GoDaddy. Whitehouse.gov has an IP address of for example. That's an IPV4 address. The IPV6 IP address for Whitehouse.gov is: 2600:1400:a::1743:fa93

We need to use these IP numbers and URLs (aka: URIs) in order for the routers to direct the traffic to the desired web site or person at the other end. And once assigned, they get periodically downloaded by all of the many millions of routers. Some people hack into these routers and, aside from other shenanigans, inject their own private IP/URL and IP address information in them which bypasses the control of those who are suppose to be controlling the internet. Sometimes, they can clash with other IP numbers if they are the same IP number, especially when using IPV4 which has a limited number of IP numbers which have already been exhausted. But now we are into the realm of IPV6 which has so many IP number possibilities that clashing would be far more difficult.

Brazil could make sure that all of their internal routers were all configured with it's own internal IP numbers..kind of like how we currently have delayed exhaustion of IPV4 numbers by using our own private internal IP numbers on our internal LANs (Local Area Networks) in our own home and business routers. But, I wonder if lots of other countries, that are ticked off with the US spying on them couldn't have their own private networks (WANs-wide area networks), the own border gateway interfaces to shut out the US altogether, or perhaps, just having special high security routes to connect to the US. Oh, well John McAfee will probably figure it all out.
By the way, as I understand it, John McAfee has detached himself from the company he founded because he claims that his original anti-virus software worked but "the current shareholders have bastardized it and turned it into bloatware." -from the first comment on that article.


Palindromedary 1 year 13 weeks ago

I suspect, that it won't be long before the US blacklists all RT connections to the US or they will put pressure on the common carriers to drop the show (in the interests of national insecurity, of course). I've noticed that often, when I watch RT programs, that the audio and sometimes the video (so we can't read their lips?) is interrupted during key discussions. I have never noticed this on any other Dish satellite network program...especially...never on regular US propaganda news shows.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 1 year 13 weeks ago

I am sooo bored with the Cold War! These guys (Kerry, Obomba) must be desperate for another war to keep us all distracted and the weapons manufacturers happy, while their Fourth Reichian muscles stay flexed just to be sure the rest of the world still knows who's boss. Doesn't the Ukraine have oil? If they do, I pity them. - Alice IW

Palindromedary 1 year 13 weeks ago

Try this smiley face (it's kinda small but it is a smiley face):

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 1 year 13 weeks ago
Quote Palindromedary:But, I wonder if lots of other countries, that are ticked off with the US spying on them couldn't have their own private networks (WANs-wide area networks), the own border gateway interfaces to shut out the US altogether, or perhaps, just having special high security routes to connect to the US.

Palindromedary ~ Other than you and I--and the NSA--do you really think anyone here understands what you are talking about? Personally, I think you are spot on. There will always be a new ways to divert or encrypt data to avoid detection. However, I also believe that any tactic is going to eventually be compromised. Any time data is transmitted there will always be a way to intercept and decode it. If nothing else, that is probably the reason hackers do what they do. They want to show the world that no digital system is completely infallible; and, any solution is only short lived. Oh well, what are you going to do? I guess that's just job security for John McAfee.

Palindromedary 1 year 13 weeks ago

I think that many people here may very well understand everything I said...and some may even be able to correct me on a few points or add a great deal to them....especially the NSA spies. Not that I'm paranoid, mind you! ;-} But, a number of fellow bloggers on this site have their own web sites...some several web sites. Although the NSA may be more interested in the conversations of younger and more reactive people than many of us here. Although, I heard that an 84 year old man in San Francisco went gunning for his doctor for not properly treating the old man for the great amount of pain he had been having since he got shingles. Maybe if more doctors believed that, unless they shape up and start treating people properly, that others might go gunning for them as well.

Anyway, I have to get back to my studies || die;

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 1 year 13 weeks ago

Palin -- Per Thom, greenspan retracted his regrets soon after expressing them

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 1 year 13 weeks ago

Okay PD, I copied Smiley off your post and now I'll try pasting it here, after putting it in Text Edit and enlarging it. Here goes:

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 1 year 13 weeks ago

Oh m'gosh it shrank down again! Geez... why bother?! At that size you need a magnifying glass. Oh well, thanks for trying PD.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 1 year 13 weeks ago

Aliceinwonderland ~ AAhhh it's so cute. Size isn't everything--as I'm sure my illustrious colleague Palindromedary would agree. It doesn't matter how big it is. Break out the magnifying glass and don't squint. It's where you put and how you use the little smiley face that matters. Keep on smiling :-)

Quote Aliceinwonderland:Oh m'gosh it shrank down again! Geez... why bother?! At that size you need a magnifying glass. Oh well, thanks for trying PD.

Sounds like my honeymoon.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 1 year 13 weeks ago

Marc, you are too funny.

gregcreal's picture
gregcreal 1 year 13 weeks ago

The right to discuss wages, benefits and working conditions is already protected by the First Ammendment (free speech) and by Section 7 (concerted activities) of the National Labor Relations Act. Of course those rights mean nothing as long as workers are willing to fight their way to the bottom.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 1 year 13 weeks ago

gregcreal -- That concept of "race to the bottom" is one of the harder concepts for me to internalize. The best I have come up with for me is the Walmart case. When Walmart moves into an area there is a significant increase in jobs. Prices are lower and everyone seems happy. Five years later there are fewer jobs and the GDP is down.

What’s the Difference Between Cancer and Donald Trump?

So-called “free market" or "unregulated capitalism” is really nothing more than the cancer-stage of capitalism. And that uninhibited cancerous growth has spread, so that now even our political system is infected with the cancer of corporatism.

Donald Trump’s candidacy is an example of how our political system is being eaten alive by the cancer-stage of capitalism.

From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Thom Hartmann is a creative thinker and committed small-d democrat. He has dealt with a wide range of topics throughout his life, and this book provides an excellent cross section. The Thom Hartmann Reader will make people both angry and motivated to act."
Dean Baker, economist and author of Plunder and Blunder, False Profits, and Taking Economics Seriously
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Thom Hartmann channels the best of the American Founders with voice and pen. His deep attachment to a democratic civil society is just the medicine America needs."
Tom Hayden, author of The Long Sixties and director, Peace and Justice Resource Center.
From Screwed:
"Once again, Thom Hartmann hits the bull’s eye with a much needed exposé of the so-called ‘free market.’ Anyone concerned about the future of our nation needs to read Screwed now."
Michael Toms, Founding President, New Dimensions World Broadcasting Network and author of A Time For Choices: Deep Dialogues for Deep Democracy