March, 2020 archive
The Inky reports on the lack of protections–sick leave, worker’s comp, etc.–for those ensnared in the “gig” economy. Here’s a snippet (emphasis added):
But even as their work is deemed “essential” in the face of government-mandated business closures, the delivery workers who power these apps are in a precarious position. There is no law that requires companies such as Instacart or GoPuff to keep their workers safe on the job. And if they get sick or hurt on the job, they do not qualify for sick pay or worker’s compensation. That’s because most app-based gig workers are classified — or misclassified, depending on whom you ask — as independent contractors, who aren’t afforded the same legal protections as employees.
I was an independent contractor for several years, designing and delivering training for several clients. I paid quarterly estimated income tax installments and my own health insurance premiums.
Delivering pizza for a pittance (plus tips) because it’s the only work you can find is not the same thing.
conservative right-wing* law professor tried his hand at sciencing and failed miserably.
In related news, The Roanoke Times’s Dan Casey, who is decidedly not an apologist for the Epidemiologist-in-Chief, responds to those who complain that his coverage of Donald Trump has been–er–less than even-handed.
*He’s with the Hoover Institute.
A polite society is a clean society.
I always unloaded guns before disassembling and cleaning them. I guess I’m old school.
Bronson Pinchot, as George Burton:
Warning: Some language.
Via Mediaite, which has commentary.
Mike Littwin notes that Donald Trump wants the governors–particularly Democratic governors–of states fighting coronavirus to “do us a favor.” An excerpt:
And there it was, waiting for him — the ideal target. Not just governors, but Democratic governors, in plain view. And if you watched the latest Trump-led press briefing/campaign rally Friday, you saw Trump in full-blame mode, name-calling Washington Gov. Jay Inslee — who, Trump said, “leveled out at zero” in the polls when he ran for president — and “the woman” from Michigan, otherwise known as Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Of Whitmer, Trump said, “she has no idea of what’s going on.” When he used her name in a tweet later, he called her Gov. Gretchen “Half” Whitmer. Seriously. That’s the same president who kept saying that the coronavirus was under control when it wasn’t and who was — actually, still is — pushing unproven medications to treat it.
And here’s the kicker, the so-Trump-like kicker, the kicker that only Trump would proudly admit to: Trump said his problem with Inslee and Whitmer was that they weren’t showing him — and, to his credit, he actually included his team — proper appreciation.
Via All Things Amazing, an image site (some images NSFW).
At the Bangor Daily News, Mark Anderson suggests the rapid spread of coronavirus has been exacerbated by our embrace of Neoliberal economic theory. A snippet (emphasis added); follow the link for the rest:
The wholehearted embrace of neoliberal ideology over the past three years led to a smaller role for government, particularly in the area of health and safety. Nowhere is this intentional reduction in health and safety clearer than in the public health infrastructure that should be ready to deal with a global pandemic of a novel infectious disease. This “small government” policy is part and parcel of the broader distrust of scientists and other experts throughout the federal government. Even for positions in public health that have not been cut in the wake of the neoliberal small government movement, it is hard to attract and retain talented professionals, when their advice is ignored and their expertise is devalued. This is true from the Centers for Disease Control to the National Security Council to the Department of State. Cuts in their budgets and missions left them unprepared and the nation at risk.
Neoliberals and conservatives distrust expertise for a very simple reason. The facts lean left.