Though I saw it all around
Never thought I could be affected
Thought that we'd be the last to go
It is so strange the way things turn

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Linkee-poo returns for another helping

Had two blog articles planned in my head as I drove in, and they're both gone. Hopefully I'll remember them. Until then, some more links for today.

The Ferrett has some thoughts on American Exceptionalism. He doesn't use that word, but that's what he's talking about. I think I've pointed to the various data showing how we're being left in the dust by the investment other countries are making in new tech. Hell, the Germans have a larger installed solar power base than the entire US. And Germany is a higher latitude than most of the US, and it's a lot cloudier. And he doesn't even go near the investments in education. China is innovating now (they've made the leap past just duplicating). India is close on their heels (the myth than Indian engineers only have book learning is blinding us to the fact that some of their Universities have changed). We may scoff at Iran's "guided missile" (basically buzzbomb tech from WWII), but then we fear they almost have The Bomb.

Miranda Suri waxes philosophic on the sting of critique. I come from an art school background where we were critiqued every single class. Having someone critique my writing isn't stressful to me (although I'll admit sometimes going through Miranda's stages). As I've told people at work who have tippied-toed around telling me they don't like something I've done, "You don't have the tools to hurt me, just tell me what you think." My soft, vulnerable points are very deep, and just like Mal, I had that nerve plexus relocated during the war.

I find it funny how, with all this talk of "we need to cut government spending," there's not one proposal to cut the salaries of elected officials. Just cutting the federal Congress' pay to $150,000 would save our government almost $9 M (I don't have the time to work out what that would really mean over a decade, because there are multipliers and compounded this and that). Of course, it's easy to cut other people's wages and take away their benefits (notice the arguments in Wisconsin talk about how the government employees have it so good because they pay less than their private employee counterparts for their benefits, but no where do you see a comparison of what a government employee makes compared to their private employee counterparts, yeah, there's a reason the gov employee pays less).

2 comments:

Dr. Phil (Physics) said...

Ran across a comment recently where someone had ragged on government employees being paid more than "regular" workers -- and the commenter observed that so many government jobs require education and skills that end up raising salaries. Think about all the lawyers employed, for instance. Yet most good lawyers would make more at a good private firm.

So once again it's apples and bowling balls being compared.

Dr. Phil

Steve Buchheit said...

I think a lot of people miss that difference. Or they focus on the people who have been in those jobs for a majority of their lives and compare their pay to someone just starting out (the "teacher's salaries" argument). And, again, it just floors me that people are okay with someone else making a few million a year, but let someone make $5,000 more that reflects their experience, and they're all for taking that $5,000 back. Or that someone has good health insurance and instead of saying, "I should also get that, why don't I have it," they say, "I don't have it, neither should they. Who do they think they are?"