Re: On Income Inequality

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Also, it's kind of hard on someone with needy relatives and strong family ties. I know families where a significant lump sum handed to an eighteen-year old would very probably have been consumed by the money troubles of the preceding generation.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 11:28 AM
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1: When did you meet my mother and her side of the family?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 11:30 AM
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That idea would be a tremendous boon to automakers and, if my experience is common, autobody repair shops.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 11:30 AM
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Inequality leads to an excess of what Bowles calls "guard labor."

I really like this formulation. It's pithy, easy to understand, and describes a plausible systemic effect.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 11:40 AM
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How about a guaranteed annuity for everybody instead?


Posted by: mealworm | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 11:43 AM
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I find the 1 in 4 people doing guard labor to be much more interesting than the suggested fix. I'll have to look at that paper to see just how they define it. I think maybe the article has something wrong as the chart of % guard labor by inequality tops out at 3.5%.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 11:43 AM
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Geithner is plausibly involved in guard labor.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 11:45 AM
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a tremendous boon to automakers

That's exactly what happened to the (much smaller than a quarter-million, but still large for a teenager) lump sum I got upon my father's death when I was 18. I can't imagine many dumber policies than handing a teenager a wad of cash and then saying, "You're on your own from here on out. Best of luck."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 11:45 AM
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I find the 1 in 4 people doing guard labor to be much more interesting than the suggested fix.

I did, too.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 11:46 AM
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That is to say, a huge percentage of those 18-year-olds would hit rock bottom long before 30. Many of them would get there before 21.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 11:47 AM
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I wonder if what I did before my current job -- commercial litigation -- counted as guard labor. I was protecting rich people's assets, but mostly from other rich people.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 11:48 AM
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I know families like this too, and I do not get it. I would rather die in a hole than take money my kid needs, or even that he could productively use. While it is possible for there to be families in these circumstances due to bad luck, in both of the cases that I understand, it's a sustained lack of will on the part of the "needy" elders.

Actually, lack of will combined with an attention-grubbing insecure personality in both cases, needy in the unflattering Dr Phil sense rather than needy in the charity blurb sense.

Without having read the study, I claim BS-- 25% of GDP is implausible with any reasonable definition of guarding expenditure. I do not see the accountants and recordkeepers associated with accumulated capital as guards in any reasonable sense.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 11:48 AM
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12.last: That's why you'll be up against the wall, right after we get the ass who is trying to sell two people making-out in a museum as art.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 11:51 AM
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Also, it's kind of hard on someone with needy relatives and strong family ties. I know families where a significant lump sum handed to an eighteen-year old would very probably have been consumed by the money troubles of the preceding generation.

For example, virtually every NBA player.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 11:53 AM
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12: Where I've seen it, it's maddening, but I don't always judge the older generation harshly. The idea of either of my parents asking me for a dime (other than in extreme old age and impoverishment) is really psychologically implausible, but that's at least partially because neither of them's ever needed anything.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 11:53 AM
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Without having read the study, I claim BS-- 25% of GDP is implausible with any reasonable definition of guarding expenditure.

Have you seen the size of the U.S.'s defense budget?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 11:55 AM
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Possibly relevant: When China reinstituted private property beyond household goods around 1979, there were fewer than 1000 lawyers in the whole country. The very limited private enterprises initially allowed there required training a fairly large group of people who defined what property rights meant in a system where "law" meant very little beyond "what the prosecutor said." Spence's big book was my starting point for reading about the period.

Hu Yaoband was a central figure in the subsequent conflicts, an easy way to keep track of things is to look at who attacked him.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 11:56 AM
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16: Under 5% of GPD.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 11:58 AM
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Whoops, Hu Yaobang.

Yes, I have noticed the size of the US defense budget, less than 5% of GDP. Also the military's lack of interest in very expensive weapons systems made in key congressional districts.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 11:59 AM
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Since the purpose of the government of a capitalist nation is to protect private property and private capital, all government employees, fit into the category of guard labor. At least, that's the only way the 25% figure makes sense.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 12:00 PM
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Actually, lack of will combined with an attention-grubbing insecure personality in both cases, needy in the unflattering Dr Phil sense rather than needy in the charity blurb sense.

This is a painfully familiar type. One bitter thing about impending unemployment is that I won't have to wonder, whenever someone from that side of the family contacts me, whether I am going to have to explain to my superiors that the woman harassing them to get me fired is my estranged mother, who thinks that's a good way to gouge money out of me. I had to have this conversation with the professor for whom I worked in college; he was a saint about it, as he was about many other things, but it was the most uncomfortable conversation that I have ever had.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 12:11 PM
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Holy crap, Flippanter. That's horrible.

Guard labor includes all supervisors. But supervisors are inherent to processes with big economies of scale, that generate lots of wealth through cooperative effort and where individuals can slack off without necessarily stopping overall wealth creation. Just redistributing wealth won't align everyone's incentives. In fact, capitalists frequently argue that socialism requires more guard labor (supervision), because you can't contract on the profits to provide the right incentives. Of course, they underestimate what it takes to keep the capitalist contracting system running.

Bowles is a very sophisticted theorist about power and contracting, but the emprirical side on this "guard labor" stuff has always struck me as underdeveloped.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 12:20 PM
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22.1: I was trying to figure out how to say that, but PGD nailed it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 12:24 PM
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I had a college acquaintance who was due to inherit some startling sum; I don't know how much, but every birthday between 18 and 21 she got control of a million, to teach her how to not run through it all at once.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 12:25 PM
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Yes, good lucking with that and the next job hunt.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 12:25 PM
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22.2: if the profits are shared, you don't need supervisors for anti-slacking because your peers keep you to the grindstone. MSFT in the highwater days; I think Ostrom had other examples.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 12:27 PM
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I think it's more the exception than the rule, in the modern era of monstrous corporations, for an employee to care at all about what his or her employer's profits are.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 12:29 PM
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Hu Yaoband was a central figure in the subsequent conflicts, an easy way to keep track of things is to look at who attacked him.

This reminds me of a cartoon I once saw:

Three men are doing hard labor in a prison, and they ask each other how they ended up there.

Prisoner 1: I'm here because I criticized Hu Yaobang.

Prisoner 2: I'm here because I supported Hu Yaobang.

Prisoner 3: I'm Hu Yaobang.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 12:29 PM
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"monstrous" has unintended negative connotations. Please replace with "humongous corporations".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 12:30 PM
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28: Were you in China?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 12:38 PM
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21: Oh my God. That's terrible.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 12:44 PM
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"monstrous" has unintended negative connotations. Please replace with "humongous corporations".

This is where the shifting meaning of "enormity" comes in handy.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 1:00 PM
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In short, in a very unequal society, the people at the top have to spend a lot of time and energy keeping the lower classes obedient and productive.
Inequality leads to an excess of what Bowles calls "guard labor."

I haven't read any of the linked work, but the question whether it's 25% of people doing guard labor, or some lesser percentage, seems not to the point.

Aren't the sentiments expressed another version of that thing about how the person being carried in the coach needs a number of people to pull the coach, and the latter people must not be unduly antagonized -- unless, of course, they can be turned against one another.

The ruling classes make a very large mistake if they push their advantage too far. I'd thought that the Bush administration had finally made that mistake, but I've heard more than one argument that I'm wrong, that they were perfectly in control the entire time. Still I wonder; something like Katrina looks like a major misstep.

LB's previous job of course counts as guard labor.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 1:43 PM
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I haven't read any of the linked work, but the question whether it's 25% of people doing guard labor, or some lesser percentage, seems not to the point.

A large part of the point is that greater levels of inequality require greater efforts at guard labor and that for that reason inequality is economically inefficient at a societal level even if you use baldly monetary criteria for societal good.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 2:03 PM
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LB's previous job of course counts as guard labor.

I'm honestly unsure of that. Products liability defense, consumer litigation -- that's squarely 'guard labor,' protecting the assets of the haves against the have-nots. Commercial litigation is mostly protecting the assets of the haves against the other haves. It's certainly serving the ruling classes, but not directly protecting them from the mob.

I could probably be convinced the other way, but that's my initial sense of it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 2:05 PM
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Think back. Did you ever put "immiseration" on your time sheet?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 2:11 PM
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Only reflexively.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 2:14 PM
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Yeah, the lump sum at 18 is the worst possible way to do that. Maybe give an 18-year-old $LOTS worth of stock options in America, Inc. that vest over a 50-year timespan, so they have an incentive to not cash out. If you really needed the money sooner, you could sell your options to someone else for cash at some reasonable discount.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 2:15 PM
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35: I'd call protecting the assets of the haves "guard labor," regardless of who you're protecting them against.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 2:17 PM
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That's the claim, but the levels claimed for "guard labor" are ludicrous. The claim is contradicted by recent history, which does allow examination of income inequality ceteris paribus, and the consequence of introducing property rights into an undeveloped economy.

Even in exploitative economies controlled by foreign capital (say Ireland in the 1830s), where on might expect this set of labor categories to apply, 25% is an insane figure. The number matters because if the numbers obtained with a method are clearly wrong, the method is to be rejected or changed. I do not think that the idea of "guard labor" makes sense. It is a leftish equivalent of "microevolution," good for telling stories, but undefinable in any useful way, created for the explicit purpose of sowing confusion and exploring the lower bound of "least publishable unit."


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 2:19 PM
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39: It's not a form of guard labor predicated on inequality, which is what I thought we were talking about.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 2:20 PM
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25% is an insane figure

Yes, but I don't think the concept is useless. And, as I said above, I'm not certain 25% is the figure you'd find if you went back to the journal articles. There is a chart with a much lower numbers and the 25% could be an error introduced by a reporter.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 2:23 PM
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42.1 was supposed to be in italics.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 2:23 PM
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The job descriptions of guard labor range from "imposing work discipline"--think of the corporate IT spies who keep desk jockeys from slacking off online--to enforcing laws, like the officers in the Santa Fe Police Department paddy wagon parked outside of Walmart.
The greater the inequalities in a society, the more guard labor it requires, Bowles finds. This holds true among US states, with relatively unequal states like New Mexico employing a greater share of guard labor than relatively egalitarian states like Wisconsin.

25% for soldiers, landlords, agents, Coast Guard, and Church of England clergy in Ireland in the 1830s? That doesn't sound insane to me, and it isn't counting the efforts the crabs in the bucket expend trying to climb on each others' heads.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 2:24 PM
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41: You're right; based on the remarks quoted in the OP, "guard labor" is strictly that dedicated to protecting the assets of the haves from those who would take it away in some way or another.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 2:25 PM
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6 million managers
1.8 million social workers
1 million lawyers & judges etc.
8.4 million teachers
3.1 million protective service
14 million shop clerks

I guess the question to me is not "how many people have guard labor as their primary occupation" and more "how many people are expected to perform some kind of guard labor as part of their job"; you know, with like, Foucault and shit. The panopticon.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 2:37 PM
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Here's Sam and Jayadev talking about what they include in their estimate "guard labor" (in this paper):

supervisory labor, private guards, police, judicial and prison employees, military and civilian employees of the department of defense (and those producing military equipment), the unemployed, and prisoners. Some supervisors work in segments of the economy for which all employees are counted as guard labor — a supervisor of guards in a prison — and to avoid double counting we have accounted for these as supervisors rather than as employees in a "guard industry". Ideally we would also include those producing guns for private use, locks, security systems and the like, but we are not able to do so because of the lack of data.

This comes right after admitting that many jobs have elements of guard labor without being exclusively in that category, e.g., "Foremen monitor workers and also solve technical or coordination problems that are clearly productive".


Posted by: Cosma Shalizi | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 2:37 PM
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The job descriptions of guard labor range from "imposing work discipline"...

I'm not convinced that you need more of these in highly unequal societies. The economic exposure of the haves to shirking employees is much higher in high-wage economies. By contrast, in very unequal societies, unskilled labor is trivially cheap, so it's not worth it to fret too much over whether they're drinking and napping half the day. You simply hire twice as many people, or expect the job to take twice as long, or both.

Protecting the assets of the haves against theft -- now that's where it pays to devote money and attention. And indeed, if you spend time in a place like South Africa, you'll find elaborate systems in place to keep employees from stealing things, and next to no attention given to preventing slacking off.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 2:43 PM
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From 47:

the unemployed, and prisoners.

What's that, now?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 2:45 PM
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47: Thanks for looking-up the paper. I was curious, but not enough to drop everything just now.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 2:45 PM
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49: That would be the "reserve army of the unemployed", in Marxian terminology, who serve to discipline the work force by making employees dispensible.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 2:49 PM
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49: Not having read the paper, I'm guessing that "being guarded" is being folded into "guard labor". Seems reasonable to me. No criminals=no cops, after all.

Of course, as a fellow on the bus was remarking, locks are for honest people -- a burglar's just going to break in.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 2:49 PM
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locks are for honest people

"This is just to keep honest people honest," my father used to say when he put the flimsy padlock on the toolshed.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 2:52 PM
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51, 52: Huh. Okay.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 2:54 PM
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Sometimes I think this whole world
Is one big prison yard.
Some of us are prisoners
The rest of us are guards


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 2:56 PM
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Well it's all set up so you can't do it
No let up so you don't make it
All arranged so you can't have it
All enclosed so you won't take it


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 2:58 PM
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I've only heard the lump sum payment to 18 year olds idea paired with another idea: the 100% estate tax. When you die, all your wealth goes into a trust fund, which makes payments out to the next generation as they turn 18 (or 21 or whatever)

Basically, the idea would eliminate all inherited income discrepancies. It is hard to figure out how to handle things like small businesses, but basically it strikes me as a sound, all-American, liberty and equality kind of idea.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 3:01 PM
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Why do you hate America's family farms, helpy-chalk?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 3:03 PM
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"This is just to keep honest people honest," my father used to say when he put the flimsy padlock on the toolshed.

I wonder if the same reasoning went into the lock on the Katzenelnbogen cup.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 3:03 PM
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59: Don't know. What did your dad keep in the Katzenelnbogen Cup?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 3:12 PM
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I don't get what the reference to Hu Yaobang is supposed to prove. That the hardline Chinese communists are not to be admired? Ok, I'll make sure not to admire them.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 4:31 PM
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61: Right deviationist!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 4:38 PM
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More graphs and fewer equations in this paper on guard labor.

One of the interesting things to judge their definition of guard labor -- I'd include all the accountants who are there to check up on the other accountants, for instance -- is to look at the plots of guard-labor-percentage against other cultural measures between countries. It's obviously not just 'something you need when you're rich.'

(Wow! A journal that lays out its papers in wider-than-tall *screen proportions! That's really easy to read online! Will see how it prints.)


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 5:00 PM
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Oh hey, and on the population of pre-blight Ireland:

"From this it appears that while the addition to the population from 1821 to 1831 was about 14 1/4 per cent, the corresponding addition from 1831 to 1841 was but 5 1/4 per cent. [...]

It is, however, right to remark, as a cause for a small reduction in comparing the census of 1841 with those that preceded it, that in the latter the army serving in Ireland, together with their wives and families, have been omitted, as they do not strictly belong to the population of the country, "

from which I get a possible 9% of the population being the *foreign* army-and-train serving in Ireland alone, without any of the civilian enforcers. Good criminy.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 6:05 PM
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from

http://www.libraryireland.com/articles/CensusIrelandDUM23-137/index.php


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 6:06 PM
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64.last: I've always been a little proud that the British had to use more force to hold my ancestors than they used, at points, to hold an entire subcontinent.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 7:47 PM
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I do not see the accountants and recordkeepers associated with accumulated capital as guards in any reasonable sense.

Accountants, I don't know. Low-level staff is doing the records work, maybe not. But at higher levels, the people working on the records system can be closely involved in the policies that, say, keep certain things out of court, or otherwise fend off accountability to outside people and institutions, as well as to inside lower level employees too of course.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 8:32 PM
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After reading 47, I guess records people aren't in the categories defined as guards. Anyway, everyone has abandoned the blog for the night.

However, this thread is reminding me that I caught some of the Truffaut version of Fahrenheit 451 on tv over the break and I was surprised that the firemen organizations didn't have a more sophisticated system in place to prevent the theft of books by firemen. Probably if I re-read the novel, I'd notice the same thing.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 8:48 PM
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Anyway, everyone has abandoned the blog for the night.

It's garbage night, plus I'm trying to get to 2000 on the Wii Swordplay.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 4-10 9:05 PM
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Also, it's quite possible that "guard labour" could account for 25% of the workforce but significantly less than 25% of GDP. It is pretty much inherent in the concept that the productivity of the guards is less than what it would be in an ideal world without guarding. Rather than making stuff or providing services, or just enjoying leisure time, they're busy checking 27B/6 forms, counting beans, suing each other, making sure prisoner 756845 doesn't get two helpings in the canteen, etc.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 02- 5-10 5:45 AM
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re: 70

In the case of some high-school acquaintances of mine who worked as security guards, spending time in their guard office experimenting with new ways to employ solvents and pharmaceuticals as an aid to states of altered consciousness ...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02- 5-10 5:54 AM
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My town is transfixed by the Kitten Killer case. The guy who smashed, partly shaved, and tried to drown a 4 month old kitten ended up killing himself yesterday rather than face arrest.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02- 5-10 6:29 AM
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And here's a news story from earlier in the week:

A Missoula man who a judge convicted of felony sexual assault in September but spared from serving hard time now stands accused of violating his probation by driving drunk, and faces up to 100 years in prison.

Daniel G. Tu/dahl was arrested Jan. 12 in Bozeman on his third DUI charge, but denied the probation violation during a hearing in Missoula District Court on Tuesday.

The sex assault case dates back to July 2005, when Tu/dahl was arrested for allegedly raping a woman after she had fallen asleep at a party in the Blue Mountain area. A second rape case emerged eight months later, when another woman told detectives Tu/dahl had assaulted her in December 2004 under similar circumstances.

He disputed both rape cases and eventually pleaded no contest to a lesser offense of sexual assault, accepting a plea agreement after two mistrials failed to absolve him of the 2005 case. The plea bargain folded both cases into one, charged as a continuing course of conduct that covered both victims, and 4th Judicial District Judge Doug Harkin gave Tu/dahl a four-year deferred sentence. The judge credited him with a year of time served both in jail and on pretrial supervision.

A deferred imposition of sentence means the felony charge is stricken from Tu/dahl's record if he stays out of trouble until 2012; if he violates any of the conditions, however, Harkin can throw the book at him.

According to Deputy Missoula County Attorney Suzy Boylan, Tu/dahl violated a term of his probation when Bozeman police jailed him on a DUI charge. His blood alcohol concentration was 0.177, according to a report from probation officer Michelle Puerner, more than two times the legal limit of 0.08.

"He was well aware of the opportunity he was being afforded by the court," Puerner wrote in a petition to revoke Tu/dahl's deferred sentence. Puerner also makes note of the fact that Tudahl had only been on supervision for four months at the time of his DUI arrest.

"During this time he has completely disregarded the conditions set forth by the court," she wrote.

In her report, Puerner recommended that Tu/dahl be resentenced to the Department of Corrections for 10 years, with eight years suspended. Puerner also recommended that he be screened for the Corrections Department's Intensive Supervision Program and be required to register with Montana's sex offender database.

***

Even though Tu/dahl was convicted of a sex offense, he was not forced to register as a sexual offender at his sentencing in September. That's because of a recently amended and little-known Montana law that eliminates the registration requirement from sexual assault cases, except in cases where the victim is a minor. At sentencing, Judge Harkin called the 2007 statute "dumb," and emphasized the need for defendants like Tu/dahl to sign up with the registry.

Tu/dahl has no previous felony charges on his record, but he has three misdemeanor convictions for indecent exposure and another for surreptitious visual observation, or being a "Peeping Tom," according to Puerner's report. His Jan. 12 arrest also marked his third DUI charge, and he had two previous violations for alcohol use while on pretrial supervision, according to Puerner's report.

Puerner noted that both victims in the sex assault case were assaulted while Tu/dahl was under the influence of alcohol and pointed to a psycho-sexual evaluation in which Tu/dahl admits that he "definitely" has a problem with alcohol.

"The defendant's continued behavior and his past criminal history demonstrates to this officer that he is a risk to the community and the community needs to have the ability to access information about his sexual offending behavior," Puerner wrote.

Harkin scheduled a status conference in the petition to revoke case for Feb. 16.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02- 5-10 6:43 AM
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That's exactly what happened to the (much smaller than a quarter-million, but still large for a teenager) lump sum I got upon my father's death when I was 18. I can't imagine many dumber policies than handing a teenager a wad of cash and then saying, "You're on your own from here on out. Best of luck."

An Indian buddy of mine is from a Nor Cal tribe that gives a lump sum to kids when they turn 18. The results are exactly what you'd imagine.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02- 5-10 7:27 AM
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Tu/dahl has no previous felony charges on his record, but he has three misdemeanor convictions for indecent exposure and another for surreptitious visual observation, or being a "Peeping Tom,"

Gah, throw away the key on this guy. A couple of rapes plus the above means it's likely just a matter of time before they pull him over with a dead girl in his trunk.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02- 5-10 7:32 AM
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A couple of rapes plus the above means it's likely just a matter of time before they pull him over with a dead girl in his trunk.

You know that and I know that, but I don't see how you can in fact justify a disproportionate sentence, either legally or morally, on unverifiable expectations of future conduct.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 02- 5-10 7:47 AM
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76: At this point, though, any reasonable sentence for sexual assault isn't disproportionate. He's pleaded guilty to sexual assault, and has forfeited the benefit of the sentencing agreement by not abiding by the conditions of probation. I think the original agreement sounds as if it was misguided, and there's no reason now not to give him a sentence at the high end of sexual assault sentences.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 5-10 7:56 AM
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I won't be surprised if our next legislative session ends up increasing the penalty for a third DUI.

I wonder how it is that he had two mistrials in connection with the rape.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02- 5-10 7:59 AM
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Hung twice -- 8-4 for conviction. The fault of the victim apparently.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02- 5-10 8:11 AM
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The guy who smashed, partly shaved, and tried to drown a 4 month old kitten ended up killing himself yesterday rather than face arrest.

Sounds like a horrible horrible person, but how f*#king incompetent do you have to be to fail in an attempt to drown a 4 month old kitten?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 02- 5-10 8:47 AM
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How stupid do you have to be to try to shave anything feline?


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 02- 5-10 9:04 AM
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80 -- Tried to flush it down the toilet. He hadn't broken enough of its bones yet, though.

The poor guy had apparently had a long bout with depression, and seems to have just gone way out over the edge.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02- 5-10 9:07 AM
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Kind of nice that he offed himself though. I would think that a guy who had issues killing a kitten would screw it up, but hey, maybe he's not totally incompetent.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02- 5-10 9:11 AM
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There's a lot of it about, actually. Note that googling "kitten killer" is inadvisable.


White
, who denied causing unnecessary suffering, will be sentenced on 23 November. He said he used the kitten's owner, snipped, aged 42, for money, food and somewhere to live when he lost his house tenancy.

She described how on 6 November last year White started to throw Pepsi against the curtains. She said: "The claws were digging into the curtains. Then he put the kitten into the lampshade to see if it could do any tricks, then it fell down to the floor.

"There was hardly any movement. I thought his back was broken, he was crawling across the floor. Joel picked him up and I was crying my eyeballs out. Joel picked him up and wrapped him in a pillow case and took him out of the room and put him into the freezer."

Ms Bettridge said she was unable to stop White hurting the pet because she had breathing problems after he previously knelt on her chest.

The court also heard that White, who is bisexual, made Ms Bettridge jealous by visiting gay clubs and socialising with gay men. White denied he was in a relationship with her, saying they were just friends even though she put him under pressure to take the relationship further.

He said: "I felt bad for her but did everything I had to do to survive. I'm selfish. I didn't want to hurt her but I had no-one else. It was convenient for me at the time."

And again. A TEENAGER who received death threats after he microwaved a kitten at a party has had his sentence revoked after being diagnosed with a serious genetic disorder. Declan Baker, 19, stuck the ten-week-old kitten in the microwave for about 20 seconds as a drunken prank.

The community service order he received for the offence has now been revoked following his diagnosis...He was also forced to flee south after receiving death threats from animal rights' activitists. Last night it emerged that Baker's remaining community sentence order had been revoked after he was struck down by a rare genetic disorder.

He appeared at Forfar Sheriff Court on Thursday using a walking stick where it was revealed that the condition - which affects his heart, eyes and lungs - had killed his grandfather at 30.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 02- 5-10 9:12 AM
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Also.

Dog groomer Holly Crawford didn't think there was anything wrong with piercing her kittens and then marketing them on e-Bay as "Goth Kitties" for hundreds of dollars. She had no qualms about piercing the kittens' necks, ears, and tails with a 14-gauge needle, typically used to pierce the skin of cattle. In a not-surprising development, Crawford was charged with animal cruelty after her Pennsylvania premises were raided last month.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 5-10 9:22 AM
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82: Yeah, I finally found the story and it does sound like he had gone over the edge into real psychosis.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 02- 5-10 9:39 AM
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