stevenpiziks: (Default)
The Census Bureau is only planning to ask about sexual orientation on their pre-survey which asks people what barriers exist that prevent them from taking part in the census (CBAMS).

This is a major problem.

Originally for the upcoming census, the department was going to include sexual orientation as part of the survey. This would have provided an enormous amount of data about the makeup of families and about the number of LGBT people in the United States, since the census is the most comprehensive survey of US citizens in existence. No other survey counts every single resident. It would address a number of questions: how many LGBT people we have in the country, exactly where they live, what their family structures are, racial and other demographic makeup of the LGBT community, financial status of LGBT people, and so on. But the Trump administration decided to pull that out.

They won't even be asking if a marriage is opposite-sex or same-sex. Putting this category down makes it feasible for researchers to gather information on the number of same-sex marriages. Without this category, the only way to find out is to look at each marriage individually--millions of them--and figure out by the gender data whether it's same-sex or opposite sex, an impossible task.  And no one would be able to do that anyway until the Census Bureau releases individual household data--IN 72 YEARS.

Darwin and I will be listed as "married" and as living with a minor child, but we won't be noted as an LGBT household--the only way to tell will be if a researcher looks at our particular household, looks up Darwin to see if he's a man and looks me up to see if I'm a man, and even then the researcher will have to assume, which researchers don't like doing--so our relationship as two gay men won't be counted. (If I were a transgender man, there would be no way to list that on the form--I would be listed as "female" if I'd undergone full transition and "male" if I hadn't, which doesn't give full or correct data.)

The same goes for all other same-sex or transgender-involved marriages in the country. Same-sex marriages won't be counted. They'll be lumped in with all marriages, and there won't be another chance to count this for ten more years.

This is a way to continue the erasure of LGBT people.  If you don't count them, they don't exist, and you can continue to ignore their rights.

stevenpiziks: (Outdoors)
Amazon is opening a new store:

They call it "grab and go."  You walk in, grab what you want off a shelf, and walk out.  Ta da!  No lines, no waiting.

No human beings.  No jobs.

It's not that simple, of course.  A chip in each item sends out a wifi signal that notices when an item is moved, which theoreticallhy prevents shoplifting.  The shopper stops at a subway-style exit area, scans a smartphone app which alerts the store to his or her credit card information, and a computer totals up the items the shopper is carrying.  The shopper's card is debited and a receipt comes by email.

So far it's one store, but you can see Wal-Mart hopping on this bandwagon, can't you just?  No cashiers or baggers to hire.  Just people stock shelves and be as unavailable as possible to customers who want to ask where the bananas are.

This spells the end of retail workers.  You can see this coming to store after store after store.  Retail jobs will be as dead as coal mining, and millions of jobs will vanish.

The conservatives I reluctantly follow are snarking that all the minimum wage workers who have been advocating for a $15 hourly wage are responsible for this.  Rather than pay a higher wage, you see, the stores have decided to develop technology that lets them avoid paying wages altogether.  So it's the fault of those bleeding-heart liberals.

No.  Not at all.

It's the fault of rapacious, unchecked capitalism and the lawmakers who allow it to continue.

Amazon (and McDonald's, which has put order kiosks in some restaurants) was working on this technology long before the $15 movement came to light.  And this would have happened with or without the $15 movement.  Ask a corporation this question: "Would you rather pay your workers A) $15 per hour, B) $7 per hour, or C) nothing?"  Which answer are you going to get every time?


This has nothing to do with raising the minimum wage and everything to do with CEOs wanting to increase their own salaries.

If you're in retail, get out now.  Unless you're the owner.  Then you're sitting fine.

Zero Taxes

Oct. 2nd, 2011 12:55 am
stevenpiziks: (Bad Ass)
I wish I could wave a magic wand and give everyone a zero-tax society for two weeks. Let everyone see what zero taxes would mean:

No police, no firefighters, no help at hospitals for anyone without cash or proof of insurance, no electricity in the streets, NO WATER (since the sewers are maintained with taxes), no schools, no public transit, no electricity, food prices skyrocket (no government subsidies to keep them low), no public universities, no streets or sidewalks maintained, no flights (no air traffic controllers), no drivers license, no license plates, no liquor licenses, no libraries, no food inspectors, no one to direct traffic on Great Lakes shipping, no government stocks of oil or food, no money printed, no museums open, no local, state, or national parks, no marriage licenses, no divorces, no birth certificates, no death certificates, no autopsies, no criminal prosecutions, no judges, no jails or prisons (all prisoners would be let free, since there would be no guards to keep them and no food to feed them), no armed forces (and no way to bring them home), no  government research into new medicines for cancer, AIDS, autism, Alzheimer's, or any other disease or disorder, no public universities, and of course, no food stamps, no social security, no Medicaire or Medicaid, no unemployment, no public health department for vaccines or disease tests, including HIV and West Nile, no cheap or free flu shots, no HIV/AIDS counseling.  And then, after everyone had gone without those services and more for two weeks, we'll see how much everyone begged to pay taxes again.


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