Wednesday, 10 October 2012

  • Avatar You posted in Newcastle's Muslim stars told: Don't play in new 'Wonga' tops · today
    Interesting problem. Do we foresee a day when different religions wear different logos? Or a day when players have a veto on sponsors because the Muslims object to the interest the sponsor charges, the Catholics object to the contraceptive company the sponsor owns, and the protestants object to the dancing that goes on at the sponsor's parties?
  • Avatar You posted  in Homeowners are given new rights to attack burglars · a day ago
    What an upside-down way of looking at the world! People are "given" the right to defend themselves in their own home? Given it by whom? The government does not give us rights; rights are inherent. Rights can be taken away by the government, but the idea that they can be "given" is an anathema.
  • Avatar You posted  in Osborne's new jobs offer: give up your workplace rights · 2 days ago
    Interesting use of language in this concept. By definition, rights are things that are basic, inherent and cannot be signed away. Benefits and privileges can be signed away, but not rights: one cannot "agree" to be assaulted or discriminated against. But leave that aside.
             To help think about the concept, just replace the idea of tax-free shares with cash: What level of compensation would we set for workers agreeing in advance to unfair dismissal or redundancy without pay or an increase in the notice period before returning to work after pregnancy? (We know they all have a cash value, because violation of these rights usually results in a cash award.)
          I have nothing against sweat-equity, where people take shares in lieu of cash, trading the hope of a larger reward in the future if their efforts are successful. In fact, sweat-equity is a great idea, but in this case it merely clouds the issue.
          Only if we know how much the "rights" in question are worth in cash money, can we determine whether the sweat-equity on offer is a good or a bad deal.
  • Avatar You posted in Electricity price-rise pain may be worse than expected · 5 days ago
    The biggest barriers to sufficient capacity are NIMBYs and BANANAs

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