Why are you still reading Skeptic magazine?


It’s trash. There’s no clearer indicator of where Shermer’s vanity magazine’s focus lies than this, A Review of Milo Yiannopoulos’s new book Dangerous by George Michael, which manages to go on and on and tell us very little about the book, but does regurgitate a massive bolus of alt-right talking points. The author seems to have very little interest in what Yiannopoulos actually says, or how he says it, but mainly wants to repeat every tired cliche of the alt-right/mens rights movement.

Like this:

It is Milo’s strident critique of this form of feminism that has gained him the most opprobrium. Although Milo does not characterize himself as part of men’s rights activism, arguably, he has emerged as the movement’s most noted spokesman. His track record displays a clear affinity for the movement. For example, he played a leading role in the 2014 “gamergate” controversy when he supported the online harassment campaign against women who decried the violence and misogyny in video games. Reminiscent of Warren Farrell’s The Myth of Male Power, Milo cites numerous indices—including disparities in life expectancy, sentencing, education, and health care—to illustrate that women have made substantial gains over the past several decades. In fact, according to these measures, women are arguably more privileged than men in America today. As Milo demonstrates, studies have found that the wage gap shrinks to nonexistence when relevant, non-sexist factors are taken into account, such as chosen career paths, chosen work hours, and chosen career discontinuity. As a group, women prefer to study people-oriented disciplines like psychology, sociology, and social work, which on average are less remuneratively rewarding than STEM fields. In medicine, females physicians are more likely to specialize in fields like pediatrics, which pay less than some other fields that male doctors gravitate toward, such as elective surgery.

Oh jebus. Not this crap again.

You cannot ignore the fact that the remuneration given for ‘women’s work’ is entirely socially constructed as well — why should sociology pay less than, say, biology? I can tell you which has more immediate impact on people’s lives, and sorry to say, it isn’t the field I’ve chosen for myself. Why should pediatrics pay less than working as a surgeon? Does one require that much more training? Is taking care of children’s health less important than cosmetic surgery? As usual, these bozos ignore the value-dependencies of the options.

I’ll also point out that one of the tactics I’ve often seen used to disparage my chosen field is that the percentage of women seeking occupations in biology is rising…therefore, biology must be less rigorous and scientific than fields that exclude women. It’s a wonderfully circular argument.

Of course, this ‘review’ cites all the usual crap: Christina Hoff Sommers, there is no such thing as rape culture, except that when there is it comes from Islam, the police are the greatest defenders of the black community, and of course, political correctness, identity politics, and cultural Marxism. It’s a totally mindless recitation of the nonsense you get on Reddit and in YouTube comments. Yes, “women have made substantial gains” — there is a steady improvement in equality since the days they were not allowed to own property or vote. It does not mean that there aren’t still serious inequalities left, and it doesn’t help that people like Yiannopoulos and Michael are desperate to end progress, all while labeling it “regressive”.

Just unsubscribe already.

Comments

  1. Khantron, the alien that only loves says

    “he supported the online harassment campaign against women who decried the violence and misogyny in video games.”

    “women are arguably more privileged than men in America today.”

    So the subtext here is that harassing women is fine, right?

  2. Siobhan says

    For example, he played a leading role in the 2014 “gamergate” controversy when he supported the online harassment campaign against women

    Oh, so they finally dropped the fig-leaf that it was all just “lively debate”? I suppose they won’t be penalized, legally or socially, for freely confessing they’ve been harassing people the entire time, but my contempt for the “debate” crowd is ceaseless and I’ll take my victories where I can find them.

  3. says

    I’ve never read the mag, so I’m good there.

    the police are the greatest defenders of the black community

    I have a post up about the 1917 Silent March, where it’s noted:

    In a petition to the White House, the marchers called on President Woodrow Wilson to take action, stating that in the “last thirty-one years 2,867 colored men and women have been lynched by mobs without trial.

    In recent years, every single year, cops kill over a thousand Indigenous, Black, and Hispanic people. They have replaced the free roaming lynch mobs, and are much better at committing murder and getting away with it.

  4. woozy says

    You cannot ignore the fact that the remuneration given for ‘women’s work’ is entirely socially constructed as well

    Nor can we ignore that it is probably a social construct that women and men gravitate toward femmy and mascy fields in significant numbers (if indeed they do) in the first place.

  5. anthrosciguy says

    The word “arguably” has become useless except as a preceder to bullshit. Anything can be argued. A couple years back we had several long threads with arguing about the fringe idea I critique; it wasn’t particularly useful except for info that one side put forth. But “arguably”… I’d say it’s a red flag word: if you’re using it, ask yourself why and probably choose another; if you see or hear it used, prepare for BS.

  6. brucegee1962 says

    Regarding pay, the most head-scratching stat I’ve come across relates to veterinarians.
    I can’t dig it out now, but the gist was that over the last 50 years, the ranks of veterinarians have gone from being overwhelmingly male to overwhelmingly female.
    And during the same time period, the pay of veterinarians as a percentage of human doctors has gone down substantially.
    Why is this? No one is entirely sure.

  7. dpavlov says

    “Why should pediatrics pay less than working as a surgeon? Does one require that much more training?”

    Why yes, yes in fact surgery requires a LOT more training. Besides the fact that the residency itself is an entire year longer overall, one of the years of pediatrics residency is devoted to research rather than training specifically to be a pediatrician, and the hours worked during each each of residency are significantly more for surgery than pediatrics. Then, during practice, the hours for surgeons are also significantly harder and longer than for pediatricians especially since most pediatricians are clinic based and work an average significantly less than surgeons do.

    In fact, one of the major deciding factors for medical students choosing a specialty is the difficulty of training and lifestyle which is why many – myself included, despite being quite capable in the OR – choose NOT to enter a surgical specialty.

    But hey, PZ never let silly things like facts get in the way of his ideological rants.

    And don’t worry, I won’t be back to read or respond to comments so feel free to virtue signal to your hearts’ content about whatever sort of bigot or misogynist or alt-right Nazi I must be. Hell, y’all did it for poor Laci Green because she failed your godless religion’s purity test and thus excommunicated her.

  8. Vivec says

    Ah, the classic troll-and-flounce, complete with preemptive self-crucifixion. At least we’ve gotten things down to a formula now.

  9. Raucous Indignation says

    Oh and as for “gravitating to different fields” thing in medicine? That is bullshit. Entry into the most competitive fields are controlled but old white men. Urology isn’t a 99% male specialty because they aren’t getting female applicants; it’s 99% because old men decide who is admitted to Urology residencies. I had stunningly intelligent and hard working female colleagues (one of whom took the Step 1 US Medical Licensure Exam while in labor) get blocked from challenging specialties because they were women. And once certain fields became predominantly female, reimbursement for that work was reduced. Can you please stop reporting on what that shit-stain is up to?

  10. Vivec says

    I personally never considered laci an ally in the first place, so I’m not really sure how I excommunicated her. People have been pointing out her cissexism and shes been crying “Witch Hunt!” for like half a decade now.

  11. Storms says

    I’ve never been a subscriber to Skeptic but have picked up a couple of issues over the past years. Always found it a mixed bag quality wise and a bit thin to support the subscription price. I will admit that, years ago, the Skeptic’s Manifesto was one of the bright lights on my way out of Christian conservatism, and for that I thank him. Long before his debut as a creep, I always got the vibe from Shermer as a kinda smarmy bastard, full of himself, which in my mind made him a poor spokesman for the brand. Obviously my opinion has not improved.

  12. says

    That information from dpavlov is very interesting. Average training for an MD is 4 years of medical school + 3-7 years of residency. Average training for a Ph.D. in biology is, using myself as a perfect example, 5 years of grad school, followed by half a dozen years in post-doctoral training. We’re equivalent! So, obviously, because this is an objective, fact-based discussion where the length of your training is an indicator of your worth and recompense, I should be getting paid as much as a doctor of medicine!

    I think I’m being ripped off.

    I notice also that, when we look at average doctor’s salaries, orthopodics gets paid a heck of a lot more than ob-gyn, but in dpavlov’s table, ob-gyns are putting in a lot more hours than orthopedic surgeons. Weird. It’s as if the pay scales aren’t tied strictly to amount of training or hours spent. Like maybe there are a whole bunch of complicating factors. There are a lot of imponderables here, and apparently, all we can be certain of is that gender is not one of them.

    By the way, that table I just linked to sort of says I’m being ripped off even more severely than I imagined.

  13. Siobhan says

    @Vivic

    People have been pointing out her cissexism and shes been crying “Witch Hunt!” for like half a decade now.

    I put on my robe and witch-hunting hat.

  14. militantagnostic says

    Raucus Indignation @10

    And once certain fields became predominantly female, reimbursement for that work was reduced. Can you please stop reporting on what that shit-stain is up to?

    Which creates an incentive to keep women out of that field, although I don’t think those creating barriers to women are always thinking things that far ahead.

  15. hotspurphd says

    The amount of money brought in by procedures has a lot to do with compensation. Hip replacements and by pass surgury brings more money to the department than lesser surgeries. When my wife was on a med school psychiatry faculty her bonus each year was dependent on how many patients she saw.

  16. militantagnostic says

    PZ

    You cannot ignore the fact that the remuneration given for ‘women’s work’ is entirely socially constructed as well.

    [Shermerbot]Remuneration is not socially constructed, it is a product of the the free market which always objectively and rationally determines the true value of everything.[/Shermerbot]

    Storms @13
    Yeah – Shermer’s smarm always grated on me too. I always got a strong smell “I am right because I am smart”. There was always the blind faith in the Free Market Fairy as well. The straw that broke the camel’s back for me was his insistence that deregulation have any role in causing the sub prime crisis.

  17. anthrosciguy says

    By the way, that table I just linked to sort of says I’m being ripped off even more severely than I imagined.

    Arguably.

  18. Alt-X says

    Shermer’s attitude and comments about race and gender has put me right off him and his friends. When Thomas interviewed him, twice, he back peddled on almost everything. And when challenged on his points, his responses and reasoning was amazingly weak and ill-considered, I actually felt embarrassed for him and the “skeptic” magazine he runs. He was astonishingly shallow on knowledge of the subjects he was trying to attack (at one point he admitted he didn’t bother to read articles he retweeted – retweeting just because the _headline_ seemed to promoted his view – regardless of what the article actually said, sometimes totally irrelevant to the point he thought it made. Which are acts more of twitter trolls, not an editor and science historian!). He’s most definitely not the great intellect he likes to think of himself or make other believe. He comes across as someone surrounded by Yes Men and is never actually challenged on _any_ of his thoughts before publicly proclaiming them. He was corrected on all points, agreed he was incorrect, then the next day went straight back to his old game. He has no interest in the truth, he just constantly pushes his agenda like a one trick pony. It’s all he has, it’s boring, out dated and blatantly ideologically driven. When he tweets about other people pushing identity politics, he’s just projecting, but he’s unable to realise and see it. Which seems like narcissism.

    If you’re in the need for good weekly Skeptic input, I highly recommend the Skeptoid podcast. It’s skepticism done right, Brain Dunning is awesome and deserves your money more than the “Skeptic” mag.

  19. emergence says

    Something dpavlov doesn’t seeem to get; If he has just come in and posted his reasoning as to why surgeons are paid more, we wouldn’t have assumed anything about him and we could have had a relatively civil discussion, at least until he let his motivations slip. This sort of preemptive self-martyrdom just tips his hand and shows that he really is an anti-social justice asshat.

  20. mynax says

    I let my subscription expire this year. I enjoyed going on the GeoTours they used to do with Don Prothero, but they do maybe one a year now, and it’s become a high-end big-ticket event, rather than driving around a few days in a bus. Plus you have to share space with Shermer….

  21. Jeremy Shaffer says

    Other than deleting-without-reading the e-mail notifications I’d get letting me know about the latest issue, I really hadn’t thought about Skeptic Magazine until earlier this year. I guess it might have been thanks to his then-recent appearance on Sam Harris’ podcast, SM decided to publish a pair of pro and con articles about Charles Murry. With him sort of being in the news- so to speak- I suppose curiosity got the better of me and I opened the e-mail and clicked the link. I went for the one arguing in favor of Murry’s claims since it was at the top as well as being the one to challenge my opinion, but only really read the first few paragraphs which pretty much rambled on about how liberals were the real racists instead of offering any actual reasons one should find Murry convincing. Skimming the rest of the article suggested the rest was more of the same. I didn’t even bother with the con article after that. In fact, the only thing it inspired me to do was cancel the notification and largely forget the publication exists.

  22. anbheal says

    @3 Caine — not arguing, but I believe local white cops always led lynch mobs, not trusting a judge and jury with certain rules imposed upon them (and, ya know, Jewish defense lawyers in play) to murder the black man quickly enough.

    As for Shermer, I just received my latest SciAm, and his “Skeptic” column is a hot mess of defensive gibberish, saying I took a poll that called me racist, but everyone’s a racist, and just because I associate the words “dark-skinned” and “rapist” simply means that the test is rigged and we shouldn’t believe that racism is a thing. Or at the very least, that I have racial prejudices culturally imbued in my noggin! He ends the essay by acknowledging that racism still exists (yet he shows no proof!!!), but everything is pretty wonderful now, in comparison with 50 years ago, and people should stop complaining and start congratulating themselves on all the things they’ve done right. Like….um….I dunno, electing one half-white Harvard grad to high office?

  23. militantagnostic says

    Alt-X @20

    He was corrected on all points, agreed he was incorrect, then the next day went straight back to his old game. He has no interest in the truth, he just constantly pushes his agenda like a one trick pony. It’s all he has, it’s boring, out dated and blatantly ideologically driven.

    Kind of like a creationist.

  24. unperson says

    The number of years of education required for something is a *terrible* way to compare “fair” remuneration for different disciplines. For instance, Bachelor’s degrees in civil engineering take the same four years as Bachelor’s degrees in art history. Similarly, one who wishes to spend 8-9 years in school could obtain a PhD in computer science or could become a Jesuit. Personally, I feel it absurd to claim that graduates of these programs should receive equal pay based solely on their level of education. When two fields are closely related, then there may be some validity in comparing their remuneration based on the education required. But economics is weird.

    Personally, I’m not too worried about gender equality in medicine — while we’re still far from perfect, it’s a lot better than it was a few decades ago, and there’s good reason to believe that it will continue to get better over the next few decades even without any new incentives or policy changes (as people trained in the 1970s age out of the system and are replaced by more recent graduates, more of whom are women). That alone might not be enough to reach an reasonable balance, and we may want to speed up the process somehow, but it did take us centuries to dig ourselves into this hole and there’s simply no way to fix it overnight. I’m *far* more worried about gender equality in engineering, where at least some studies suggest that the percentage of women is *decreasing* over time from its already pitifully-low levels. Of the ~25 people with (engineering-related) roles similar to mine in my office, only *one* is a woman (though she is the VP, so that’s something).

  25. Chuck Stanley says

    Hey can somebody here tell me how to pay my female veterinarians less? For some reason I have to pay what they charge. When I paid $2,500 + $125 per visit for office visits to get my blind dog’s cataracts operated on by the female eye surgeon (over a decade ago) I didn’t know I was paying less because I chose a woman. Jesus all the female vets around here charge out the butt for basic services. You all must be living on another planet than me. Now I don’t know how much goes to the vet’s income. I guess its entirely possible all these female vets are just selling pet owners like me a bunch of unneeded tests and procedures just like medical doctors and the equipment for that is all expensive and everything. But whatever the case in income, the damn vet bills are monstrous compared to what it *seems* like we spent way back in the dark ages of the eighties when men were more widespread in the field. It’s obvious pet owners like me are also willing to spend a butt crap more than our parents on pet care as well. My dad spent a cheap rifle bullet on our pets that had any significant disease.

  26. phein39 says

    “As a group, —– prefer to” is a dead giveaway that you’re dealing with short-circuited thinking.

    Individuals don’t act as a group. Never have, never will. What would be the mechanism by which they do so? What spooky action-at-a-distance would coordinate such action? Fish form bait balls in response to outside stimuli, not from some internal desire to be eaten together. Until you can show that there is something physical about being female that discourages hard science participation (try telling that to my neuroscientist sister!), you’re just Trumping in public.

  27. Rowan vet-tech says

    @ chuck stanley #28-

    Ahem. As the resident registered veterinary technician, let me clarify some of your blatant misconceptions.
    First, the price you pay for services does not directly go into the pockets of the veterinarian scott free. That fee pays for equipment, upkeep, rent, insurance, supplies and the time of the veterinary technicians WHO KEPT YOUR DOG ALIVE UNDER ANESTHESIA along with many other things.

    Second, the price you paid for that surgery was probably 10 times less what you’d be charged for a similar surgery for yourself if you had no insurance. My appendectomy was some like $25,000 if I remember correctly, almost all of which was covered by my insurance. A similar surgery in a dog or cat will cost you anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000 so you are actually getting an extremely cheap procedure. You just don’t have an insurance company buffering you from the costs.

    Third, human doctors don’t *want* to have you do all those unnecessary tests for the most part, but if they DON’T run those tests and then miss something that prevents a diagnoses, people can and do sue and malpractice insurance sucks. Third-part-A, vets recommend those tests because ANIMALS DON’T TALK. Those diagnostics are important to do because something like being lethargic could be caused by overheating or diabetes or kidney disease or hypothyroidism or anemia or cancer or parvo or pancreatitis or any number of other things and so by doing diagnostics they can rule out huge parts of a very large differential diagnostics list.

    Fourth, costs are higher now because we have better quality medicine, better diagnostic tools, and modern equipment. If you’d like to go back to the dark ages when many of the conditions we can now manage were death sentences then sure, complain away.
    But I’ll go to a modern doctor while you go to your leech and we’ll see who gets better.

    Also, fuck your last sentence.

  28. Rowan vet-tech says

    Oh, and regarding pay… You want to know the average starting salary for a new grad veterinarian? $50,000. With $250,000 in student loan debt. One of my friends who is a vet I used to work under finally paid off her student loans at age 43. And let it be known that when I was an RVT with 3 years licensed, and an additional 10 years experience under my belt and making a whopping $12.00/hr, a male new-grad vet tech was hired on at $14.00/hr, but yeah. It’s totally us women making shit expensive in vet med.

  29. Chuck Stanley says

    Pardon me Rowan. I thought I was deciding to pay female vets less income. Or me as part of society somehow was doing it. Apparently we are going through very complicated algorithms to decide that since us dumb-ass consumers don’t have a clue how much the female vet is making from our payments. Thank you for clearing that up for me.

  30. Chuck Stanley says

    And as far as my last sentence goes, my father also contributed enormous parts of his income to human charity. I guess he was a human bigot for making choices like that.

  31. Rowan vet-tech says

    No, what happened is that veterinary medicine became devalued when women became the majority. It’s seen as ‘easy’ and ‘fun’. “Oh, you must have such a good time every day”.
    I’ve been bit by many cats, and once in the face by a large dog. I had another large dog come within about 6 inches of grabbing me by the throat, and another that grabbed my arm but I managed to pull away before he finished biting down… and he was big enough that he’d have broken the bones, easy.
    I am a phlebotomist. I am an anesthetist. I am a pharmacist. I am an x-ray technician. I do dentistry, including extractions. But people tell me my job is easy and fun and I just play with puppies all day.
    People used to recognise that this was *work*, and dangerous work, when men did it. Then women did it and now it’s easy. Because society says everything in which the majority of the work is done by women is ‘easy’ and ‘simple’.

    You whining and moaning about costs just plays into this. Back when there were MEN we didn’t pay so much and things were straightforward and now there’s all these feeeeeeeemales and they want to do things like ACTUALLY FIGURE OUT WHATS WRONG whine whine piss moan.

  32. Rowan vet-tech says

    I will admit that I misread the last statement as you agreeing with that attitude. My eyes skipped past the previous sentence when I saw the word ‘bullet’. Because I’ve had people tell me that they’d rather shoot their dog than manage an easily managed condition. As if that’s more ‘humane’.

  33. Chuck Stanley says

    Yeah you misread it. You don’t know shit about me and the amount of vet services I consume. That $2,500 was more or less a drop in the bucket. And I don’t whine about it. I’m glad its available. In your outrage you actually completely missed my point. Or ignored it in your screaming at me.

  34. militantagnostic says

    Medical doctors treat only one species, vets have to know how to treat many and except for those who are able to specialize in horses or cattle will treat multiple species throughout their career.

  35. says

    Man, what a great sneer by Chucky boy. You sure put them uppity wimmens in their place, didn’tcha? Wot a hero.
    /s

  36. antigone10 says

    @Chuck Stanley
    I know you come on to blogs and act like an asshole, then accuse people correcting you screaming. So I do know that shot about you.

    I’m always curious what people coming in here and acting like sarcastic jerks is going to accomplish.

  37. Rowan vet-tech says

    What I read from you, Chuck, was basically a rant that I encountered nearly every day when I worked in private practice. So if you were trying entirely for sarcasm past your first sentence, you failed. If you were trying for satire, you failed because you wrote non-hyperbolic reality instead. If you were trying to claim that because veterinary medicine is expensive now that it means it’s impossible that women are getting paid less than men in this field, you’re just plain wrong.

    going through, sentence by sentence…

    Hey can somebody here tell me how to pay my female veterinarians less?

    I read this as sarcasm, and therefore ignored it. However, it also comes across as very snide and when men with less experience are offered starting salaries higher than your own, it’s simple reality.

    For some reason I have to pay what they charge.

    Which I can easily read as “they’re making so much money off of me” or “they’re CHOOSING to not make enough money”. Which is it? Also, complaints about pricing are a multiple-times-a-day occurrence. Private practices even give out estimates, that people agree to, and sign that they agree too, and then the contest it when it comes time to actually paying.

    When I paid $2,500 + $125 per visit for office visits to get my blind dog’s cataracts operated on by the female eye surgeon (over a decade ago) I didn’t know I was paying less because I chose a woman.

    You were probably trying for sarcasm here… but in reality, you actually probably *did* pay less because she was a woman.

    Jesus all the female vets around here charge out the butt for basic services.

    Super common complaint of how expensive everything is. Which I explained part of why that is in points 1, 2, and 4. Also implied is that costs shouldn’t be that high, that it’s pure profiteering, which is not the case. Common actual sentences to hear include “I’m paying for your yacht” or “I’m buying you a second house” or “I’ve probably covered half the cost of your third porsche.” The ridiculousness of that is explained in point 1 and my post @ #31 regarding student loan debt and actual starting salaries.

    You all must be living on another planet than me.

    Appears to be implying you think vets are rich, which for the vast majority is patently false.

    Now I don’t know how much goes to the vet’s income.

    This was explained in point 1. Also consider again that starting salary of $50,000 compared to the prices and you’ll see how much overhead there is to deal with.

    I guess its entirely possible all these female vets are just selling pet owners like me a bunch of unneeded tests and procedures just like medical doctors and the equipment for that is all expensive and everything.

    First, you are insinuating profiteering here again, which is wrong. The ‘unneeded’ tests is shown to be wrong, as I explained in point 3. But yes, the equipment is expensive, but it gives us a lot of very important information required to give you pet the highest quality of care that we can.

    But whatever the case in income, the damn vet bills are monstrous compared to what it *seems* like we spent way back in the dark ages of the eighties when men were more widespread in the field.

    Initial dismissal of the idea of income disparity to whine about how vet bills are expensive. Expense part is covered in points 2 and 4. Followed by insinuation that men don’t price gouge and that’s why things were cheaper back when there were more men. Nevermind that medicine back then was nowhere near as sophisticated as now and Dr. Pol is actually horrifying in the how he practices medicine and the general romanticizing of that standard of care is appalling.

    It’s obvious pet owners like me are also willing to spend a butt crap more than our parents on pet care as well.

    sentence I missed due to eyes catching on the word ‘bullet’ in the next sentence. Congratulations on the advancements of medicine that allow your pets to live longer, which also means they are going to incur more medical expenses because aging naturally brings medical issues. And while owners in general may be willing to spend more, then piss and moan about the costs, and demand the highest level of care but don’t want to pay for it and can even get violent about costs. Also, we are very frequently told that our prices show we don’t *actually* love animals, we’re just in it for the money, if we really loved animals we’d do it for free, etc. This is part of the verbal abuse vets deal with every day and is a portion of the emotional and physical burdens that results in veterinary medicine having one of the highest suicide rates of any profession.

    My dad spent a cheap rifle bullet on our pets that had any significant disease.

    People still do this. They still threaten to do this. And it’s part of why things use to be ‘cheaper’, because we weren’t able to treat or manage chronic conditions so well and didn’t have the advances we had now so things DIED instead of racking up vet bills.

    So, now that I’ve gone through sentence by sentence, what was this supposed to be? An entire thing of sarcasm, commiserating with the veterinary field and how its practitioners are seen and paid? A thing of satire that fell flat because it’s what I honestly heard in private practice all the time? A diatribe to show that low pay is entirely the feeeeeeemales’ faults since they’re ceeeeertainly bringing in enough money with drastically overpriced basics?

  38. militantagnostic says

    I would like to know how I HAD TO PAY VET $2500!! relates to an observation that as Veterinary Medicine has become a primarily female occupation, the salary difference between Vets and MDs has increased and how it refutes the hypothesis that is gender based discrimination. Chuck’s argument appears to be “it is cold today, therefore AGW isn’t real” level stupid.

    Chuck is hereby cordially incited to explore the autoerotic potential of a demolition hammer.

  39. says

    [Shermerbot]Remuneration is not socially constructed, it is a product of the the free market which always objectively and rationally determines the true value of everything.[/Shermerbot]

    It’s odd that the people who’re most gung-ho about the free market are also the people who seem to have thought the least about it. For crying out loud: the free market is composed of people! Just normal human beings, making their normal, everyday decisions. How could anyone possibly think the outcome would be rational?

    Obviously, people don’t make decisions on a strictly rational basis. They base their decisions on a slew of factors, including social pressures and personal biases. If you have two identical commodities, but people think one is inferior, then it will drop in price.

    If there’s a social cost to buying a product, then that cost must be figured into the decision. E.g. if there’s a widespread bias in the population against women, you might not want to hire a female CEO, because the people you do business with might not respect her as much.

    This then undermines the common argument that competent women will simply outcompete the men and rise to the top. They won’t, for the exact same reason they’re being paid less to begin with: People don’t value them as much.

    We can’t rely on the free market to sort anything out. That’s not what it does. The free market is basically just the sum total of all the decisions of the population. If the population in general denigrates something, the market will reflect that.

    As for this:

    the damn vet bills are monstrous compared to what it *seems* like we spent way back in the dark ages of the eighties when men were more widespread in the field. It’s obvious pet owners like me are also willing to spend a butt crap more than our parents on pet care as well.

    Speaking of the free market, do you think these two points might possibly be related?

  40. Chuck Stanley says

    Rowan, I read through my comment this morning at least trying from your perspective to see how it comes off as well has your additional comments. So let me say I can see how you might have perceived it different than I intended. And yes I was attempting to be mocking, sarcastic, and rhetorical. First of all I know a number of vets and consumed services of a great deal more over the years. My niece and two of my daughter’s high school circle are young female vets. An extremely close friend of mine is and has been a female vet for decades. A neighbor couple are vets. I think I’ve got a pretty good grasp of their economic situation and that they aren’t getting rich and sailing yachts. Secondly I don’t complain about vet bills. In fact I intentionally choose higher priced services. The example of my dog’s cataract surgery in the past was an intentionally selected more expensive vet over and above the one recommended by the family vet or whatever you call the general practitioner vet. As the latest example just this year I spent over $6,000 for knee surgeries for a 9 month old dog we adopted, knowing it was going to need the surgeries. We adopted this dog from the rescue that my wife volunteers for more than full time. The rescue uses another vet specialist for the exact same surgery when they have to pay for it themselves that is less than one half the cost. They have had very good experience with that vet and HE seems to be very caring and does an excellent job. However we chose the female specialist that was much more expensive because of the reviews and reputation of her being the best. (I live in a very large metropolis and have tons of choices). And I do not think she is charging twice as much or more because her costs are more than the total of the other vet but because she CAN. Because people like me are willing to pay a premium for her services. And I did not once complain bitch or moan about the cost. I happily paid it and now our dog is a bouncing happy dog with knees that work well. Numerous other examples of taking cats to the urgent care specialist in the middle of the night (3 times with one particular cat seeming to be on death’s door) and paying premium prices (exceeding $1,500) for tests and examinations each time have and probably will continue.

    Aside from my personal situation , from my sarcastic question about how can I pay less to this concluding part:

    But whatever the case in income, the damn vet bills are monstrous compared to what it *seems* like we spent way back in the dark ages of the eighties when men were more widespread in the field. It’s obvious pet owners like me are also willing to spend a butt crap more than our parents on pet care as well. My dad spent a cheap rifle bullet on our pets that had any significant disease.

    The whole point is I don’t know how much the vet is making in income from my payments vs. costs, most importantly I don’t control those things, but we obviously are choosing to spend way more on vet care than in the past. I know we are spending way more than in the past on more tests and more sophisticated tests. Not only are we not devaluing veterinary medicine more than when men were dominant we are obviously and prima facie valuing it more.

    Of course I know not everyone is like me, and you obviously have daily experience with people. I am commenting on a trend I believe nobody disputes we are willing to spend more for more care than in the past. I was emphasizing in my, I admit rather jerky way just how much more with the example of my father’s bullets. I don’t think mere assertion that society has decided to pay vets less because they are women is sufficient. Whether or not they are being paid more or less than in the past, the reasons are probably much more complex casual chains with many factors.. It seems to me absurd because of course we are willing to spend all this money but we somehow want to devalue the most important part and pay them less. We somehow don’t want to attract talented people and on and on.

    I will apologize for I obviously hit some nerves and pushed some buttons for you. It is on me for you misinterpreting what I was saying. However, the point is the same whatever the manner of delivery. I guess the few comments above about vets pushed a button with me which led to my comment. I think the overall situation is that people are caring more, they are paying more, and they want better care. That is my opinion.

  41. Chuck Stanley says

    I’m trying to post a comment and it is not working. I’ll try this one for starters.

  42. Chuck Stanley says

    Okay maybe something in it or too long so part 1:

    Rowan, I read through my comment this morning at least trying from your perspective to see how it comes off as well has your additional comments. So let me say I can see how you might have perceived it different than I intended. And yes I was attempting to be mocking, sarcastic, and rhetorical. First of all I know a number of vets and consumed services of a great deal more over the years. My niece and two of my daughter’s high school circle are young female vets. An extremely close friend of mine is and has been a female vet for decades. A neighbor couple are vets. I think I’ve got a pretty good grasp of their economic situation and that they aren’t getting rich and sailing yachts. Secondly I don’t complain about vet bills. In fact I intentionally choose higher priced services. The example of my dog’s cataract surgery in the past was an intentionally selected more expensive vet over and above the one recommended by the family vet or whatever you call the general practitioner vet.

  43. Chuck Stanley says

    Part 2:

    As the latest example just this year I spent over $6,000 for knee surgeries for a 9 month old dog we adopted, knowing it was going to need the surgeries. We adopted this dog from the rescue that my wife volunteers for more than full time. The rescue uses another vet specialist for the exact same surgery when they have to pay for it themselves that is less than one half the cost. They have had very good experience with that vet and *he* seems to be very caring and does an excellent job. However we chose the female specialist that was much more expensive because of the reviews and reputation of her being the best. (I live in a very large metropolis and have tons of choices). And I do not think she is charging twice as much or more because her costs are more than the total of the other vet but because she can. Because people like me are willing to pay a premium for her services. And I did not once complain bitch or moan about the cost. I happily paid it and now our dog is a bouncing happy dog with knees that work well. Numerous other examples of taking cats to the urgent care specialist in the middle of the night (3 times with one particular cat seeming to be on death’s door) and paying premium prices (exceeding $1,500) for tests and examinations each time have and probably will continue.

  44. Chuck Stanley says

    I’m having trouble with part 2, here is another attempt:

    As the latest example just this year I spent over $6,000 for knee surgeries for a 9 month old dog we adopted, knowing it was going to need the surgeries. We adopted this dog from the rescue that my wife volunteers for more than full time. The rescue uses another vet specialist for the exact same surgery when they have to pay for it themselves that is less than one half the cost. They have had very good experience with that vet and he seems to be very caring and does an excellent job. However we chose the female specialist that was much more expensive because of the reviews and reputation of her being the best. And I do not think she is charging twice as much or more because her costs are more than the total of the other vet but because she can. Because people like me are willing to pay a premium for her services. And I did not once complain or moan about the cost. I happily paid it and now our dog is a bouncing happy dog with knees that work well. Numerous other examples of taking cats to the urgent care specialist in the middle of the night (3 times with one particular cat seeming to be on death’s door) and paying premium prices (exceeding $1,500) for tests and examinations each time have and probably will continue.

  45. Chuck Stanley says

    Part 3:
    Aside from my personal situation , from my sarcastic question about how can I pay less to this concluding part:

    But whatever the case in income, the damn vet bills are monstrous compared to what it *seems* like we spent way back in the dark ages of the eighties when men were more widespread in the field. It’s obvious pet owners like me are also willing to spend a butt crap more than our parents on pet care as well. My dad spent a cheap rifle bullet on our pets that had any significant disease.

    The whole point is I don’t know how much the vet is making in income from my payments vs. costs, most importantly I don’t control those things, but we obviously are choosing to spend way more on vet care than in the past. I know we are spending way more than in the past on more tests and more sophisticated tests. Not only are we not devaluing veterinary medicine more than when men were dominant we are obviously and prima facie valuing it more.

    Of course I know not everyone is like me, and you obviously have daily experience with people. I am commenting on a trend I believe nobody disputes we are willing to spend more for more care than in the past. I was emphasizing in my, I admit rather jerky way just how much more with the example of my father’s bullets. I don’t think mere assertion that society has decided to pay vets less because they are women is sufficient. Whether or not they are being paid more or less than in the past, the reasons are probably much more complex casual chains with many factors.. It seems to me absurd because of course we are willing to spend all this money but we somehow want to devalue the most important part and pay them less. We somehow don’t want to attract talented people and on and on.

    I will apologize for I obviously hit some nerves and pushed some buttons for you. It is on me for you misinterpreting what I was saying. However, the point is the same whatever the manner of delivery. I guess the few comments above about vets pushed a button with me which led to my comment. I think the overall situation is that people are caring more, they are paying more, and they want better care. That is my opinion.

  46. Alt-X says

    @PZMyers oh damn, I tripple checked to make sure I didn’t make to many mistakes. Brian with the Brain :P In my defence, I did write that at 4am. Anywho, if you donate to him, he sends you a cool USB key!

    @militantagnostic Yes, exactly!

  47. Matt Cramp says

    I’m not reading the triple post, but generally if you’re triple posting you need to calm the fuck down and think instead of and-another-thinging all over the thread. Maybe start any new post with an apology first.

    But I stopped by to talk about a study I saw once which compared professions over 50 years, and showed that professions that go from majority male to majority female (e.g. camp counsellors) see, soon after, a substantial drop in average income, and vice versa (e.g. computer programmers). How we value a profession is partly driven, it appears, by whether men do it.

  48. ck, the Irate Lump says

    That entire article is a train wreck:

    Sometimes derided as ‘cultural Marxism,’ this orientation has gained great currency in the media, entertainment, academia, and politics. More and more, the political and media elite disparage the cultural values of the traditional working class.

    Cultural Bolshevism Marxism is apparently a thing that has to be worried about, instead of a ridiculous conspiracy theory and former Nazi propaganda. Those “cultural elites” (always said with a wink and a nudge) are supposedly softening up society with depravity for the greater good of Marxism, or something! I haven’t really seen any of those elites suggest that the workers should control the means of production, so I guess they’re really shitty Marxists, or perhaps not Marxists at all.

    […] although this segment of the electorate was once small, new voters could be imported by way of mass immigration from the third world.

    America apparently engages in “mass immigration”, despite the fact that the U.S. has one of the least welcoming immigration policies in the world. Even if they intended to talk about illegal immigration, only citizens are allowed to vote. Besides, weren’t libertarians supposed to be all about open borders

    And it goes on and on in the same vein. Every claim and talking point from the alt-right is accepted without criticism (or supporting data) in the article. Great “skepticism” there, Skeptic Magazine. Really living up to your name.

    dpavlov wrote:

    And don’t worry, I won’t be back to read or respond to comments so feel free to virtue signal to your hearts’ content about whatever sort of bigot or misogynist or alt-right Nazi I must be.

    Oh, I always love complaints of “virtue signalling”. Leaving alone the fact those complaints are a form of the very thing they pretend to stand against, there’s also the fact that unless you live as a hermit, we all deal in social capital. Expressing your values (even if it’s opposition to so-called “virtual signalling”) is an intrinsic part of that.

  49. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    If everyone present is a part of the free market, why does anyone bring up the free market?

    Because the “free market” is the way to minimize all costs, even health care, despite the what is seen in Europe, where the way to reduce costs is to keep the private insurers out of the market….

  50. David Dobson says

    Nerd @ 54:

    Because the “free market” is the way to minimize all costs, even health care, despite the what is seen in Europe, where the way to reduce costs is to keep the private insurers out of the market….

    Slight correction so others don’t misunderstand: there is health insurance available in Europe, private insurers are not “[kept] out of the market” (at least, by any direct legislative means; see below).

    The point is that having a tax-funded healthcare system has a dual action against private policies because 1) nobody absolutely has to carry insurance in order to access healthcare and 2) those who do choose to invest in a private policy end up paying twice (taxes and policy fees). So there you have one non-incentive, and one anti-incentive, to taking out private policies.

  51. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    So there you have one non-incentive, and one anti-incentive, to taking out private policies.

    Gee asshole, look at the evidence. Example: Here. Switzerland, with private versus totally public health care like Canada, GB, or France, has the highest per capita costs.
    Show YOUR links otherwise.

  52. David Dobson says

    Nerd @56:

    Gee asshole, look at the evidence. Example: Here. Switzerland, with private versus totally public health care like Canada, GB, or France, has the highest per capita costs.
    Show YOUR links otherwise.

    You again! With your fatuous demands for “links”.

    Listen up buddy, let me do this really slooooowly: I quoted the following words from you: “… in Europe, where the way to reduce costs is to keep the private insurers out of the market”.

    I then posted just to clarify this, so that non-EU folks would know that private insurers are NOT “[kept] out of the market”. Your single example of Switzerland is dumb, as we were discussing “Europe”. It is as though we were talking about the US system and you said “Ah, but in Rhode Island they do it this way…”.

    You had made your point with incorrect data, so I wanted to clear that mistake up quickly.

    The only words of mine that came close to talking about per capita costs were those which stated that tax-funded healthcare systems don’t have to legislate against private healthcare because the “tax plus premiums” costs are themselves a disincentive to private expansion.

    You have a damn shitty attitude to others for one who can’t understand simple sentences themselves.

    And if you’ve made it this far (you seem to scan comments looking for cod knows what keywords to excite your limbic system), then please know that YOU are the asshole.

  53. says

    On the subject of private vs. public health insurance:
    I live in Denmark, where most basic health needs are covered by the state. However, I also keep a private health insurance, which covers glasses (for some reason not covered by the state) and dental work (only partially covered).

    There is room for private insurance plans alongside public health care, but it will likely take the form of specialized plans for needs not covered by the state.

  54. Vivec says

    Yeah like, as someone who has studied international healthcare quite abit, very few developed countires have zero private health insurance providers. It’s blatantly false to claim that any meaningful proportion of Europe does so, at least.

  55. ck, the Irate Lump says

    LykeX wrote:

    I live in Denmark, where most basic health needs are covered by the state. However, I also keep a private health insurance, which covers glasses (for some reason not covered by the state) and dental work (only partially covered).

    Canada is similar. I still do not understand why eye care and dental care are the two big exclusions. Losing your teeth can cause all sorts of other health issues due to poor nutrition, and those of us with poor vision can’t really get along without corrective eye wear.

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