Apparently Women don’t mind being Objectified as long as it is for Something Luxurious

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 7th, 2013

Week in Review

Sex sells.  And women sell sex.  Apparently (see Women Hate Sexually Explicit Ads, Unless They’re Selling Something Expensive by Katy Waldman posted 12/5/2013 on Slate).

According to researchers led by the University of Minnesota’s Kathleen Vohs, women find erotically charged ads less distasteful when they promote very expensive items. We like our objectification classed up, thank you…

The researchers explain their findings by way of sexual economics theory, which treats the heterosexual dating pool as a marketplace and sex as a commodity. The story goes that since women sell sex to men in exchange for resources—including hard-to-quantify ones like attention—they want the world to perceive their eroticized bodies as “rare and precious.” Ads that link female sexuality to exclusive, high-value goods help; ads that equate a woman’s erotic charms to a cheapo Casio timepiece obviously do not. “Using sexual images to promote an inexpensive product fosters undesirable associations between sex and cheapness, commonness, or low value, which is antithetical to women’s preferences about how sex should be understood,” the authors write.

There was an episode of Scrubs where Carla and Eliot (best gal pals) were talking about sex.  The conversation veered into a night of sex between Carla and her husband.  Eliot said something like, “You didn’t do that, did you?”  And Carla replied, “Of course not.  I’m saving that for something nice.  Like a tennis bracelet.”  Of course, the that they were talking about was anal sex.  Something a lot of men want.  But not their ladies.  Unless they can get something real nice in exchange, that is.  Like a tennis bracelet.

Apparently life imitates art.  Women do sell sex.  As long as it’s for something really nice.  Something as rare and precious as their sexual goods.  Perhaps this why Ted Night’s wife was so offended when Rodney Dangerfield said, “You’re a lot of woman, you know that? Yeah, wanna make 14 dollars the hard way?” in Caddyshack.  Perhaps if he had offered to buy her a villa in Tuscany she would have been flattered.

Maybe this is why the Democrats are such advocates of free birth control and access to abortion.  For the economics of it.  For a lady being with child must discount her sexual goods in the left’s eyes.  Making them less ‘rare and precious’ as, say, a lingerie model.  How the left like their women.  Based on how they’ve sexualized them (all that birth control and abortion helps keep them barren and sexual).  And an inconvenient/untimely pregnancy could be the difference between a cheapo Casio timepiece and a luxurious 18 carat gold Cartier chronometer.  The kind of gift rich men buy their lingerie model girlfriends who are young enough to be their daughters.  Which is the price these old men must pay to enjoy their sexual goods.

Of course this begs the question if their sexual goods are so ‘rare and precious’ why do they give then away so much that they need birth control and abortion?  The whole concept of ‘hooking up’ makes a woman’s sexual goods anything but rare.  If it’s a smorgasbord for men out there that makes these sexual goods cheapo Casio timepieces.  For when they meet at a party on campus no one is giving a woman a luxurious 18 carat gold Cartier chronometer for a roll on some stranger’s unmade bed.  Actually, it’s the monogamous married woman who has the rare and precious goods.  Because only one person has access to them.  Making them the ultimate ‘must have’ that no one can.  What some misogynist and hedonistic men prize above all others.  Bedding the elusive married women.  The ultimate forbidden fruit.  A prim and proper lady.

This is what the left prefers.  Less lady-like behavior and more overt sexuality.  Casual sex with multiple partners.  Reducing women to their sexual goods.  While Republicans prefer marriage and monogamy.  And yet it’s the Republicans that have a war on women.  Go figure.

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A ‘Living’ Wage would probably push Quiznos into Bankruptcy Court

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 7th, 2013

Week in Review

Minimum wage workers just picketed for a ‘living’ wage.  Wanting $15/ hour.  About twice what many are making now.  For they believe that the fast food restaurants they work at are getting rich off of their unskilled labor.  And they want a piece of the profits they’re making.  And they’ll cite the profits of, say, McDonald’s and say they can afford to pay their workers more.  But the thing is, most of those McDonald’s stores are independent franchises.  And the fact that McDonald’s may be making the big bucks it doesn’t mean their franchisees are.

Owning a franchise is a way to own a restaurant without having to spend money on marketing.  And you don’t have to create a menu.  In fact, when you buy a franchise it pretty much comes with an operating manual.  Something most other restaurants don’t come with.  Which is why restaurants are the number one business to fail.  Because running a restaurant is hard.  Even a franchise (see Crisis Quickens at Quiznos by Julie Jargon, The Wall Street Journal, posted 12/6/2013 on Yahoo! Finance).

The once-booming sandwich chain Quiznos is stumbling two years into a major turnaround effort, prompting the company to seek concessions from creditors owed nearly $600 million.

The Denver-based chain, known formally as QIP Holder LLC, has struggled with store closures and tension with franchisees. It recently missed a payment on a loan, and has been negotiating to restructure some or all of its debt load with creditors, who have hired bankers and lawyers, people familiar with the matter said…

Quiznos…shrank to about 3,000 stores world-wide two years ago, and to around 2,100 today, including roughly 1,500 stores in the U.S., people familiar with the matter said. Hundreds of the U.S. stores are underperforming and could close in the next year, some of these people said…

Franchisees long have complained that Quiznos requires them to buy food and other supplies from a Quiznos subsidiary, which they allege charges more than what they would pay to purchase those goods themselves.

To address franchisees’ concerns, current management decreased costs for food and supplies this summer, a person close to the company said. Quiznos reviews food and supply purchases annually to compare market prices, and shares results with franchisees, this person added.

Current and former franchisees said high costs ate into stores’ profitability, causing many to close. With fewer stores contributing to an advertising fund, the chain had fewer resources to promote new products, hurting sales, which resulted in more store closures, they said.

“It’s a vicious cycle,” said Brian Peticolas, who owns a Quiznos in Alton, Ill. “I almost closed my store five months ago, but I didn’t have any other prospects so I kept the doors open.”

Mr. Peticolas said his store averages $5,000 a week in sales, down from $7,000 a week three years ago. He estimates the restaurant is losing up to $300 a week.

Owning a franchise is a lot easier than trying to open and run your own restaurant.  Because it comes with the menu, the restaurant layout, a list of the equipment you’ll need, an ‘operating manual’ that tells you everything you need to do, etc.  New items are researched and developed.  Then marketed.  And everything you need to sell is shipped to your store.  But this comes at a price.  The franchise fee.  And in the case of Quiznos, owning a costly supply chain.

Pizzerias and sub shops are some of the most competitive businesses.  Most are forced to sell ‘a low price’ because of the great competition.  But when you lower your price you hurt your ability to introduce and market new items.  To get an advantage over your competition.  But if you raise your franchise fee or your food/supply costs to your franchisees you will make it impossible for them to operate at a profit.  Causing store closures.  Which makes it even harder to introduce and market new items.  As the one store owner said, it is a vicious cycle.  That usually ends in bankruptcy court.  Or in an out of court settlement with your creditors.

There is only one thing that can make all of this worse.  Higher wages.  Which will only accelerate franchise closings.  And the trip to bankruptcy court.  Of course the people picketing won’t believe this.  Until the store they work at closes.  Which will most likely happen if they raise the minimum wage to a ‘living’ wage.  Especially at these Quiznos franchises.  Which are struggling to stay out of bankruptcy court.  And will probably lose that struggle.  Even if the minimum wage isn’t raised to a ‘living’ wage.

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Eating Healthy is More Expensive than Eating Fast Food

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 7th, 2013

Week in Review

Fast food workers recently picketed to raise the minimum wage. To a ‘living’ wage.  Saying they can’t afford to live without a ‘living’ wage.  Even though they have been ‘living’ on the wages they have now.  For however low their wages may be they have been able to put food on the table.  In large part because of fast food.  Because of those low wages.  Making fast food a great value for the money.  Of course if they raised everyone’s wages they would have to raise the price of their food to cover the higher labor cost.  Making fast food less of a value for the money.  Raising the prices such that some families will have no choice but to buy less.  And go hungry more often.

It may not be the healthiest food out there.  But it is the most affordable food out there.  Allowing people to eat until they’re full and then some.  But there are some who want to raise the cost of fast food.  Such as those picketing minimum wage workers.  And Canadians concerned about healthy diets (see Eating healthy adds $2,000 a year to family grocery bill by CBC News posted 12/5/2013 on CBC).

A family on a healthy diet can expect to pay $2,000 more a year for food than one having less nutritious meals, say researchers who recommend that the cost gap be closed…

“Our results indicate that lowering the price of healthier diet patterns — on average about $1.50/day more expensive — should be a goal of public health and policy efforts, and some studies suggest that this intervention can indeed reduce consumption of unhealthy foods,” Dariush Mozaffarian, the study’s senior author and a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health and his co-authors concluded.

Eating a healthier diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fish, and nuts would increase food costs for one person by about $550 a year, the researchers said. Diets rich in processed foods, meats and refined grains were considered unhealthy…

Previously, Mozaffarian’s team suggested taxing less healthy foods together with subsidies for healthier foods would balance price differences.

Does anyone see the failed logic in this taxing scheme?  Poorer people tend to eat fast food and richer people tend to eat the healthier fruits, vegetables, fish, and nuts.  So they are advocating raising the taxes on the poorer to make the food of the richer less costly.  In hopes of getting the poorer to eat the food of the richer.  But if they do just who will pay the tax on the bad food to subsidize the good food?  On the one hand the poorest people will pay more for their food.  On the other hand if the taxing scheme works the source of the subsidies will vanish.  Either way this taxing scheme will force the poorer to pay more for their food.  Or it will simply require higher taxes to replace the lost subsidies.  Which is Canada’s problem in the first place.

Why are people struggling to buy food?  Because of high taxes.  And a weakened economy those higher taxes bring about.  For adding a ‘bad food’ tax on fast food will surely reduce sales.  As is the goal.  But with fewer sales you need fewer people.  So some people will lose their job.

If you want people to eat healthier just let them get a decent job so they can afford to.  Cut taxes and regulations to spur economic activity.  Let the demand for workers increase.  Which will increase wages.  And make it easier for everyone to put healthier fruits, vegetables, fish, and nuts on the table.

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Man arrested for Stealing Electricity for his Electric Car

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 7th, 2013

Week in Review

A bankruptcy judge just ruled Detroit can file bankruptcy.  Dealing a blow to the union workers and pensioners who will see their benefits cut.  A lot.  But in so doing Detroit may be able to do something it hasn’t been able to afford in a long time.  Turning the streetlights back on.

A lot of these streetlights have burnt out lamps.  Some are damaged.  While others have been shut off to cut costs.  Because the electric power to light these is a large cost item.  Even in Britain some cities are turning their streetlights off during parts of the night because they just can’t afford to keep them on all night long.  Which puts a silly incident like this into a new light (see Why Did This Man Get Arrested for Charging His Electric Car? by Tyler Lopez posted 12/5/2013 on Slate).

Early last month, a police officer approached Kaveh Kamooneh outside of Chamblee Middle School in Georgia. While his 11-year-old son played tennis, Kamooneh was charging his Nissan Leaf using an outdoor outlet. When the officer arrived, he opened the unlocked vehicle, took out a piece of mail to read the address, and let a puzzled Kamooneh know that he would be arrested for theft. Kamooneh brushed the entire incident off. Eleven days later, two deputies handcuffed and arrested him at his home. The charge? Theft of electrical power. According to a statement from the school, a “local citizen” had called the police to report the unauthorized power-up session.

The total cost of the 20 minutes of electricity Kamooneh reportedly used is about 5 cents…

Are political attitudes toward environmentally friendly electric vehicles to blame..?

Contrary to popular belief the ‘fuel’ for electric cars is not free.  It takes fuel (typically coal, natural gas, nuclear, etc.) to generate electric power.  Which is why we all have electric meters at our homes.  So we can pay for the cost of generating that electric power.  Therefore, this guy was stealing electric power.  Even if he lived in the city he stole from.  Because current taxes don’t pay for electric power.  People pay an electric bill based on their electric usage.  As shown on an electric meter.

This illustrates a great problem we will have if large numbers of people switch to electric cars.  This will place a huge burden on our electric generating capacity.  Have you ever placed your car battery (in a standard gasoline-powered car) on a charger when you had a dead battery?  If so you may have noticed the voltage meter on the charger barely move.  Because a dead battery places a ‘short-circuit’ across the charger.  Causing a surge of current to flow through the battery.  Recharging the plates.  As the charge builds up the current starts falling.  And the voltage starts rising.  Imagine great numbers of people plugging in their depleted batteries at the same time.  It will do to the electric grid what air conditioners do to it in the summer.  As a bunch of them turn on the lights dim because of that current surge going to the air conditioners.  Leaving less power available to power the lights (and other electric loads).

Air conditioning was such a problem that utilities placed a separate ‘interruptible’ meter at homes.  So that during the summer when the air conditioner load grew too great the utility could shut off some air conditioners.  To reduce the demand on the generating systems.  People lost their air conditioning for periods of time.  But they got a reduced electric rate because of it.

As more people add an electric car to the electric grid it will strain generating capacity.  And raise electric rates.  To get people to use less electric power.  If demand far exceeds supply electric rates will soar.  Perhaps causing a lot of people to look for a free ‘plug-in’ to escape the high cost of electric power.  Transferring that cost to others.  Like cash-strapped cities who can’t afford to leave the street lights on all night.

Few have thought this out well.  Getting more people to use electricity instead of gasoline at the same time we’re trying to replace reliable coal-fired power plants with intermittent wind and solar farms is a recipe for disaster.  In the form of higher electric bills and rolling blackouts.

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Michigan considering making Women pay Extra for Abortion Insurance

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 7th, 2013

Week in Review

If you buy a car you buy auto insurance.  And only after buying a car would you ever buy auto insurance.  Ditto for house insurance.  If you bought a boat or an airplane you would buy insurance for those things.  But you wouldn’t buy insurance for a boat or a plane if you didn’t own a boat or a plane.  For you only insure things that leave you exposed to a financial loss should something happen to those things.  Straight forward, yes?  And it’s the way insurance has worked since its inception.  Except for health insurance.

Today, thanks to the Affordable Care Act (i.e., Obamacare) people have to buy insurance for things they have no exposure to.  For example, a gay man has to include coverage for prenatal care in his health insurance policy even though a gay man will never be pregnant.  Nor is it likely he will ever be married to someone who can get pregnant.  Which somehow doesn’t seem to be fair.  Just like it doesn’t seem to be fair to make people pay for the morning-after ‘abortion’ pill who have no intention of getting an abortion.  Or who can’t even get pregnant.

Those on the left say too bad.  Everyone must pay for these because we can’t discriminate against those who need this coverage by charging them more.  So we must charge everyone more.  Making health insurance more expensive than it has ever been before.   Causing people who had insurance they liked and wanted to keep to lose that insurance.  And some people are even losing the doctors they wanted to keep, too.  When those on the left are forced to buy something against their will, though, it’s a whole different story (see Michigan Lawmakers To Consider Separate Insurance For Abortion by Courtney Subramanian posted 12/2/2013 on Time).

Michigan lawmakers are set to consider a controversial proposal that would require women to buy additional health insurance specifically to cover abortions…

The proposal prohibits all public and private health insurers from offering abortion coverage in policies. A separate rider would needed to be purchased, which means people would have to preemptively purchase the rider without knowing if they’ll ever need it. The rider could not be purchased after getting pregnant, including in cases of rape or incest.

Being forced to buy something that they don’t know if they will need?  Could be worse.  They could be forced to buy something that they will never need.  Like many are being forced to do.  As men everywhere have to pay for policies that cover women’s health issues.  Even though they are men and don’t have women’s health issues.  Raising their insurance costs so much that some can no longer afford to even have insurance.

If men have to pay for prenatal insurance coverage then why shouldn’t women pay for an abortion rider?  For unlike a man a woman can get pregnant.  And have an abortion.

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