Carpe Diem

Saturday afternoon links


1. Chart of the Day: Since January 2007, oil and gas industry jobs (both extraction and support jobs) have increased by 58% through February 2014. During the same period, overall US payroll employment has increased by only 0.21% (1/5 of 1%).

2. Fascinating: Why UPS Trucks Don’t Turn Left.

3. My article with Andrew Biggs in Real Clear Markets: “One Size Doesn’t Fit All: The Long-Lasting Damage Of a National Minimum Wage

4. CHART: Average length of PhD dissertations by academic discipline.

5. Charles Murray: “The Huffington Post announces that I’m not only a white supremacist but a male supremacist.” Charles responds.

6. Andrew Sullivan responds to the firing of Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich, who was “scalped by some gay activists” for having “the gall to express his First Amendment rights and favor Prop 8 in California”:

The whole episode disgusts me – as it should disgust anyone interested in a tolerant and diverse society. If this is the gay rights movement today – hounding our opponents with a fanaticism more like the religious right than anyone else – then count me out. If we are about intimidating the free speech of others, we are no better than the anti-gay bullies who came before us.

Mozilla Update 1: From IBD, “In the Mozilla Case, The Left’s Intolerance Is Out Of The Closet

Mozilla Update 2: From Scott Johnson at Powerline, “The Rise of Totalitarian Liberalism“:

Jonah Goldberg wrote the book on Liberal Fascism. “It is my argument,” he writes, “that American liberalism is a totalitarian political religion.” Mozilla’s highly illuminating statement shows us liberals at prayer.

7. CHART: You can track the negative responses to Mozilla’s attack on free speech here.

8. Free Market Health Care: Oklahoma County’s employee health care plan is self-financed, making county officials price-sensitive. That’s why they just signed a contract with the industry leader in market-based, low-cost health care with transparent pricing – the Surgery Center of Oklahoma.  With surgery prices that are 85-90% lower than most hospitals, the county could save $1 million per year, according to this report.

9. Free Market Health Care II: Ocean Surgery Center in Torrance CA was inspired by, and now follows, the transparent pricing of the Surgery Center of Oklahoma and its “principles of free market to empower patients” and “re-centering value around the patient.” I say, “Let a thousand free-market based surgery centers with transparent pricing bloom across America” as an antidote to the Unaffordable Care Act.

10. Map of the Day: “I, Nutella” – the product’s global supply chain.  (Bonus: Watch “I, Pencil – The Movie” here.)


24 thoughts on “Saturday afternoon links

  1. Honestly, the resignation of Eich doesn’t bother me. In fact, I think it was handled well. Rather than try to force a change via legislation, a non-violent method (boycott) was used. To be honest, I’d rather this result than a group going to the government and demanding some kind of legislation or punishment or something. Shaming is nothing new. I am sorry the man lost his job, but he won’t be unemployed long.

    • If you ever lose a job or other liberties over your political contributions, I won’t shed a tear for you.

      It is amazing you don’t see dangerous and nefarious this is. Losing a job for a view most people support? Scary.

      • But there have never been any restrictions on why your employment could be terminated if you did not have them explicitly in a contract. In particular if they don’t like the color of your shoes employment at will means they could fire you. (For example you show up to work in purple shoes). Employment at will means that you could be fired for any reason, even one like the one cited above. (There are some reasons that are now illegal such as gender, race, etc, but political contributions are not on that list).
        In addition the freedom to boycott (except in labor situations, such as a secondary boycott, where you can’t stage a boycott of company b because it buys things from company A which you have a labor dispute with), is an essential in that people need to be free to buy from whom they wish for whatever reason they wish.

      • marque,

        There is something sinister about using the police state to prevent people with the “wrong” thought from getting a job. There is something sinister about using the police state to decide how people can contract to get a job or hire someone for a job.

        However creepy you may find it, though, private companies should have the freedom to hire and fire people for whatever reason they like, and people can work for whomever they want and quit for whatever reason they want. Similarly, it’s perfectly natural to use public shaming to put social pressure on people to conform to the norms of society. An employer should have the freedom to refuse to hire someone because they are a white male or a black female. Private citizens should also have the right to express disgust at such actions and choose not to patronize those establishments (they do by the way explicitly have both of those rights, as written in the first amendment).

        You may not like the actions of the left and that’s fine. You have the right to express your disapproval of mozilla’s bigoted attitudes (firing an employee for having the “wrong” thoughts) and you have the right to never use mozilla products ever again, as well as to organize a boycott.

        This is what’s known as a civil society. People associate with like minded people, as the bigots on the left have, to put pressure on people through publicity. You can associate with like minded people to put pressure on those lefties to back down. The market place of ideas is brutal. Don’t be a sore loser when the other side wins. They often lose. Look at how they lick their wounds at their failed bigotry against gun owners.

        The left in this case has a point. The problem is that conservatives have decided to partition the population based on whether or not you are married and officially treat these two groups differently. There is a good defense for traditionaly marriage and to deny the use of the word “marriage” to apply to gays, using social norms. There is also a good defense for social pressure to be applied as to discourage homosexuality. However, there is not a good defense to be made to use the police state to enforce these social norms.

        The main problem, as the left sees it, isn’t that the government is involved in defining and enforcing social norms. The problem, as the left sees it, is that the government is defining and enforcing the wrong norms. This is why the left’s messaging is disgusting. It’s as disgusting as the right using the government to define and enforce their preferred social norms. The left is at least as uninterested in liberty as the right on this front. If they were actually interested in liberty, as their rhetoric suggests (but not their actions), they would be fighting to get government out of defining marriage and treating married and unmarried people differently. The left is perfectly comfortable, though, with the government doing just that.

        But getting Eich fired through bad publicity isn’t the bad part. If they tried to use the police state to get Eich fired through the legal system, that would have been a problem.

        • The liberals have no point whatsoever. Your making excuses for poor behavior is abhorrent as well.

          Sure it is legal. One company decided to start a boycott against another for a political contribution of one of its officers. It isn’t government stifling free speech, but then if we are forced to be cowed by a small minority for fear of our livelihood, that is certainly not acceptable.

          For you too, I will shed no tear.

          • Question: I recently left a church because I found its politics and theology to be immoral and contrary to what I believe. Was my behavior abhorrent?

          • if we are forced to be cowed by a small minority

            First, you lose all credibility when employing the word “forced”. The reality is that social pressure is not force. No one “forced” anyone to fire Eich. Pull your head out.

            Second, if this is true, the you should have no problem getting the majority to back them down. After all a “small minority” is just that.

            Third, if embracing liberty, including free speech and free association, is only an “excuse” to you to, then maybe you don’t understand their importance. Poor behavior and poor groups representing bigots aren’t “excused” for having the basic human right to say bigoted things and associate with other bigots.

            Fourth, 48% of CA voters opposed prop 8. Maybe you’re not as good at math as you think if you think that 48% is a “small minority”.

            For you too, I will shed no tear.

            Who asked you to? You think too highly of yourself if you think anyone is asking this of you. All I’ve asked you to do is recognize the difference between force and social pressure (hint: one involves coercion, the other persuasion).

          • Let’s also remember that he wasn’t fired; he resigned (probably by the request of his BOD, but still).

          • it is often instructive to look at a case like this using a different issue as it tend to strip prejudices and personal convictions out of the equation.

            let’s say that, instead, eich had donated to and supported a group that supported the re-institution of slavery in the US.

            this is perfectly legal in precisely the same way, yet i suspect that most if not all of us would find it personally abhorrent.

            would i be inclined to avoid association with such a person?


            would i support groups that spoke out against him and the rights of their members to boycott association with him?


            i suspect that most of us would.

            if i were a board member at the company for which he was CEO would i have a problem with the figurehead of our company having and expounding such views?


            but here is where we get into tricky ground.

            was eich making a big deal out of it?

            to do something quietly in his private life is one thing. to make public speeches is another.

            at the end of the day, the question would be, does it affect the company and his ability to do his job?

            the data on that in this situation is unclear.

            but what if we flipped it around?

            if he had opposed prop 8 and the “marriage act” folks had boycotted, would the board have acted similarly even if the results were the same sort of boycotts?

            was this done not because of his ability to do his job and effects on the company but because he had different views than the board?

            they are still within their rights in such a circumstance to fire him, but it makes the ethics of it a great deal less clear and clean.

            or what if, for example, the issue was that eich was gay.

            if the anti gay crowd then initiated a boycott, could they fire him then? (in a world of true rights to association, sure, but legally in the US, i doubt it very much).

            issues where rights and ethics diverge tend to be the thorny ones.

            i support the board’s right to hire and fire a CEO for ANY reason.

            but i am not terribly happy with the way they used that right here even though i disagree with eich’s views on marriage.

            supporting a right does not imply supporting everything that is and can be done with it.

            i support free speech, but lots of people say things that i find to be abhorrent and or unethical. this is the hard part about rights: to have yours, you must accept that others may use the same rights in ways you do not like.

            my right to pen this missive allows a white supremacist the right to pen one that i would find deeply unethical and disgusting. but one cannot have it both ways.

            you either have a right to free association or you do not. if a company was willing to only hire mets fans, then i would think their policy stupid and likely to harm them, but i would aslo support their right to do so as, one day, one of my employees might wind up being a dodgers fan, and i would want the right to put him/her on the street immediately… :-p

          • i think it is also reasonable, in this situation, to point out the hypocrisy of many liberal groups on the topic of tolerance.

            they preach that we must be tolerant and accepting of everyone, but then, they themselves, become actively and aggressively intolerant of anyone who disagrees. it does smack of hypocrisy and of tyranny of the other side as opposed to actual tolerance and acceptance.

            to preach acceptance and practice bigotry seems and invalid position.

          • Morg,

            i think it is also reasonable, in this situation, to point out the hypocrisy of many liberal groups on the topic of tolerance.

            Which is the whole point. The left burned another witch, which means they will be needing another promptly. Maybe it will be you. This was thuggery, a message to the opposition that dissent will be crushed.

            And there’s no effort on the Left for consistency when individual rights works against someone in their coalition. Arizona bill SB1062, designed to give added protection from lawsuits to people who assert their religious beliefs in refusing service to gays and other groups, was recently vetoed by Gov Jan Brewer after the left’s howls reached a fever pitch. Pressure from business groups like the NFL(acting out of fear of the leftist mobs) was instrumental in getting the bill struck down. These are the same cretins who are now rejoicing over Eich’s head on a pike.

  2. Andrew Sullivan would have more credibility if he didn’t display the same incivility and awfulness while suffering from acute Bush Derangement Syndrome and his creepy obsession with Sarah Palin.

  3. From “Mozillz Update #2.” – an official statement:

    Our culture of openness extends to encouraging staff and community to share their beliefs and opinions in public.

    Really? Isn’t that exactly what Brandon Eich did, share his beliefs in public?

    • AS an article I read said the CEO job is a different job than the CTO job he held. When you are CEO you are the public face of the company in many respects, consider the Chik fila CEO and his position, in that case the board agreed with the CEO. So if you become a CEO due to your job need to be like Ceasars wife.

      • Lyle

        So if you become a CEO due to your job need to be like Ceasars wife.

        Thanks for the advice. I’ll keep that in mind when I’m offered that job. :)

  4. Meet the new gays – Same as the old gays:

    “The twisted truth is that gay men have been at the heart of every major fascist movement that ever was – including the gay-gassing, homo-cidal Third Reich. With the exception of Jean-Marie Le Pen, all the most high-profile fascists in Europe in the past thirty years have been gay. It’s time to admit something. Fascism isn’t something that happens out there, a nasty habit acquired by the straight boys. It is – in part, at least – a gay thing, and it’s time for non-fascist gay people to wake up and face the marching music. ” — Johann Hari, left-wing gay activist

    Gays and the Third Reich, Huffington Post

  5. “let’s say that, instead, eich had donated to and supported a group that supported the re-institution of slavery in the US.”

    Excuse me, but isn’t the “re-institution of slavery” at the very heart of the neo-socialist agenda? And isn’t it a fact that there are few groups who support the confiscate and redistribute program more fervently than gays?

    The truth is that no one is more responsible for the passage of Prop 8 than Barack Obama. His candidacy drew an historically large number of African-Americans to the polls and, following his leadership and their own personal beliefs, they voted overwhelmingly in support of traditional marriage.

    Black support for the institution of marriage earned them condemnation from Hollywood leftist. They were attacked by militant gays making liberal use of the n-word. I don’t think that you could have picked a more offensive analogy.

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