Ohio Government Asks Companies To Snitch On Employees, Gets Hit With Auto-Generated Bogus 'Tips' Instead

from the defeating-a-fraud-portal-with-fraudulent-submissions dept

Asking citizens to snitch on other citizens never seems to work out very well. The federal government has been doing it for years, maintaining "See Something, Say Something" hotlines that have mostly collected tips from people concerned about what their browner neighbors are doing. The same thing happens in the private sector. Ring's proprietary app -- Neighbors -- collects the same sort of garbage, empowering bigots to feel like they're acting on behalf of the common good.

With lockdown orders in effect and social distancing rules in place in several cities and states around the country, local governments are asking residents to pitch in with enforcement efforts by reporting those who are breaking the rules. New York City opened a tip line for reports of social distancing violators and collected a bunch of Hitler-related memes, videos of the mayor going to the gym, extended middle fingers, and dick pics instead.

The state of Ohio is asking for the same trouble. Its unemployment fraud portal is supposed to collect reports from businesses about employees of theirs that are collecting unemployment rather than coming into work. Some employees are opting out of potential infection when employers haven't shown the willingness to protect them by enforcing social distancing rules and/or providing them with personal protective equipment.

The state is now going to have to sift through a whole lot of algorithmically-generated crap to find genuine reports of work shirkers, thanks to the efforts of one anonymous coder.

The script, which began circulating on social media earlier this week, automatically fills out a “fraud reporting” form on the state of Ohio’s unemployment insurance website. State officials created the form to encourage companies to snitch on workers who are refusing to work under unsafe conditions, drawing outrage from workers and labor rights advocates. The script’s creator says the goal is to overwhelm the site with a flood of fake submissions, making it harder to process claims and thus deny people their benefits.

Flooding government websites with garbage data isn't the ideal solution but this will possibly make it more difficult for businesses to punish employees they're putting in harm's way by refusing to protect them from potential infection. The downside is this may also delay processing of legitimate claims from people who've been laid off. But if claims continue to be paid while investigations are still ongoing, it's probably a net win for employees who'd rather not roll the dice on dying while the pandemic runs its course.

The state is now aware of the scripted submissions and has deployed a new CAPTCHA that's a bit more difficult to defeat with a script. But the coder is already working on a way to bypass it so the flooding should resume momentarily. Unfortunately, there's no way to personalize submissions with dick pics or Hitler memes, but it should at least slow the roll of vindictive employers who'd rather see their employees punished than protected.

Filed Under: covid-19, lockdown, ohio, pandemic, safety, snitching, tipline, unemployment, workers


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  • icon
    PaulT (profile), 13 May 2020 @ 3:59am

    I admit that I'm confused by this. What seems to be implied here is that people are refusing to work due to safety concerns, somehow remain employed despite refusing to work, and have managed to claim unemployment while retaining their job? There's something wrong with that picture on both sides.

    The only thing I can think of is that these are casual workers on some kind of zero hour contract, and they've simply refused to accept shifts during the pandemic? In which case, I would say that the problem is with Ohio not requiring the correct paperwork to confirm unemployment status rather than being something they need to set up a snitching website for.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2020 @ 4:56am

      Re:

      This is regular workers in non-social-distanced workplaces. They will have spent the past few weeks unemployed, collecting unemployment because they've been laid off at the choice of their employer (at the direction of the State).

      Now, without requiring workplaces to be adapted for social distancing, Ohio is asking for workers to go back to potentially dangerous, un-social-distanced workplaces. The workers refusing to go back into work are doing so, in their opinion, because their employer is refusing to provide a safe workplace, and thus are unemployed at the behest of their employer until such time as the employer wishes to provide a safe workplace for them to return to. This is (perhaps) a valid reason to continue collecting unemployment.
      The lockdown certainly implied that workplaces that could not provide social distancing were unsafe, and thus that was a valid reason for their initial unemployment.

      Ohio are saying that it's not a valid reason and that by refusing to return to an unsafe workplace the employee has quit voluntarily.

      From there, I suppose it's really up to the reader whether they think it's an employer's duty to provide a reasonably SARS-CoV-2 workplace.

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      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 13 May 2020 @ 5:13am

        This is (perhaps) a valid reason to continue collecting unemployment.

        Ain’t no maybe about it, baby. If an employer says an employee must return to the job, but refuses to offer anything in the way of safety protocols/PPE that will reasonably protect the employee from COVID-19, that employee has a good goddamn reason to collect unemployment. Anyone who thinks otherwise should look at the current number of COVID-19 cases — and deaths — as the best justification for the paranoia around working during a global pandemic.

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      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 13 May 2020 @ 8:55am

        Re: Re:

        "They will have spent the past few weeks unemployed, collecting unemployment because they've been laid off"

        So... what's the issue with them getting the unemployment if they are unemployed?

        "The workers refusing to go back into work are doing so, in their opinion, because their employer is refusing to provide a safe workplace"

        If they have an employer, how are they unemployed? The above 2 points are directly in contradiction.

        Maybe being laid off means something different in the US, but here it literally means you don't have an employer.

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        • identicon
          Dan, 13 May 2020 @ 9:12am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Substitute "former and likely future employer" if that helps you understand. The situation under discussion sounds very similar (thankfully minus the unsafe working conditions on return) to what happened with my wife:

          • Her office shut down for about a month.
          • During that time, nobody got paid.
          • All employees were eligible for, filed for (actually, the company filed on their behalf), and received unemployment benefits. However, all understood that when the office reopened, they'd go back to work as before. They all had jobs, in a sense (assuming the company didn't go under), but they weren't working or getting paid, so they were treated as unemployed.
          • Last week, the office did reopen, albeit on a part-time basis. Everyone went back to work. Now that they're getting paid from the job, they aren't collecting unemployment any more.

          This is in Georgia, not Ohio, but it sounds like a similar situation in general.

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          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 13 May 2020 @ 10:05am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "During that time, nobody got paid... However, all understood that when the office reopened, they'd go back to work as before"

            Which is furloughing, not unemployment. If you're using the latter term interchangeably for very different situations, I hope you understand the confusion.

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            • icon
              R.H. (profile), 13 May 2020 @ 1:13pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              If I remember correctly, you aren't from the US so I'll help out a bit. Here in the US you are eligible for unemployment benefits for any week where you, for reasons outside of your control, aren't being paid. If you get fired (for a non-disciplinary reason), you get unemployment benefits. If you get temporarily laid off, you get unemployment benefits. If your hours are cut to less than full-time, you get benefits for the difference between your actual hours and full-time pay.

              However, as most programs here are, this is managed by the states. So, some states, (like my state of Michigan) specifically say that if you feel that your workplace is dangerous due to COVID-19 you can claim unemployment benefits. However other states, like our southern neighbor Ohio, literally set up a tip line for employers to snitch on people who are claiming unemployment because of unsafe conditions.

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              • icon
                Code Monkey (profile), 13 May 2020 @ 1:54pm

                And, to make it even shittier....

                ...Ohio allows employers first right of refusal for unemployment.

                Outside the pandemic, when you file for unemployment, Ohio Dept of Job and Family Services (who manage unemployment benefits) gives the company the right to refuse your unemployment claim.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2020 @ 11:21am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Maybe being laid off means something different in the US, but here it literally means you don't have an employer.

          In the US during the pandemic it means the employee has effectively been laid off due to the pandemic and is not working nor being paid by their employer, but the employer wants to keep getting their "payroll" loans from the government so they don't formerly lay off the employee. As such the employee now unable to pay their bills and attempting to get unemployment benefits is finding out they are still "employed" and / or "shirking work" and cannot get the benefits they need as a result.

          There are of course two problems with this:

          1. The employer taking benefits that they refuse to pay to their workers.
          2. The US's unhealthy and self-righteous obsession with slave labor working conditions being a merit badge to wear proudly.

          In the first case it's just plain greed. Nothing more to say as the employer doing it is most likely shameless and will likely over depend on the second case to justify it.

          In the second case it's just plain stupidity. The "richest nation in the world" needs to have unsafe working conditions all so that the workers have something to measure their suffering penises against. "I have to work in the hot sun all day long!" "I work excruciating long hours dealing with thousands of complaints!" "I have to do the work of complete fools that cannot even do the most basic aspects of the job in addition to my own!" "You think your job is bad? Pull yourself up by your bootstraps. You're not worthy of relief." They are so afraid of helping each other out in times of need that I'm surprised the is US still considered to be a "society." Worse, this feeds back into the problem as the law tends to be crafted to enforce this penis measuring. What with all of the "means testing" and poor shaming that one has to go through just to get needed benefits, and the massive campaigns to find anyone willing to complain about the needy so as to justify denying them help the slightest bit longer. "There's always someone who has it worse, so we shouldn't help anyone" is the US's maxim.

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        • identicon
          John, 16 May 2020 @ 8:40am

          Re: Re: Re:

          The govt. is saying that the unemployed person is refusing to take acceptable work. Say you are a waiter, and the restaurant closed b/c if covid. The owner laid you off and put you on unemployment - all well and good. Comes time to reopen and he offers you your job back, but isn’t putting any safety measures into place to protect you. The Ohio govt. is saying you’re no longer eligible to be paid unemployment for refusing work, especially since you can’t say the work was unacceptable for some reason - in their mind since it’s your old job it’s acceptable work. Counter argument being that it’s not acceptable work because of the dangerous situation - especially if you live with someone who is high risk, or are high risk yourself

          Many states have exceptions to the point that you can continue to claim if you yourself are high risk

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 17 May 2020 @ 7:41am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "acceptable work"
            Acceptable to whom?

            "isn’t putting any safety measures into place to protect you"
            Then it is not acceptable.

            "since you can’t say the work was unacceptable for some reason"
            Why not? You just said it was not a safe working environment.

            "The Ohio govt. is saying you’re no longer eligible to be paid unemployment for refusing work"
            The Ohio government is saying you are a slave and have no rights even though you are supposed to act like you do. Come on now - be a good team player.

            Shit jobs ... what a bright future

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    • icon
      Code Monkey (profile), 13 May 2020 @ 6:59am

      Re:

      The State of Ohio does provide a "checklist", which does require employers to provide PPE to their employees.

      https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/checklists/english-checklists/busine sses-employers-covid-19-checklist

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      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 13 May 2020 @ 8:55am

        Re: Re:

        But, again - if they have employers, how are they unemployed?

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2020 @ 10:24am

          Re: Re: Re:

          The definition of "unemployed" is very flexible in general; for example, most unemployed people are not counted within the unemployment rate (they have meet age requriements, be looking for work, have worked recently, etc.). Unemployment insurance programs tend to pay out to workers who are temporarily laid off, even if they still have an "employer" on paper. Some programs even pay benefits to seasonal workers when out of season.

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        • icon
          Thad (profile), 13 May 2020 @ 10:44am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Because they're not currently working and they're not currently getting paid.

          I worked a contract back in '11 where the work was intermittent; I'd have a couple of weeks on and a couple of weeks off. I collected unemployment during the weeks between jobs.

          That's all above-board and legal, because my lack of work during those gaps was the client's decision. I wasn't choosing not to work, they were choosing not to offer me any work.

          If they'd had work for me and I'd said "no thanks," then I wouldn't have been eligible for unemployment benefits. Which may seem reasonable under ordinary conditions, but is downright cruel when the reason people are choosing not to work is that they fear for their safety.

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          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 13 May 2020 @ 11:23am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "Because they're not currently working and they're not currently getting paid."

            But, they are employed, which is why it's confusing to use the term "unemployed" rather than "furloughed".

            I get the point, it's just that the language used seems bizarre from where I am.

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            • icon
              Thad (profile), 13 May 2020 @ 11:39am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I suppose "furlough" would be a fair description of my example where I went for weeks between jobs, but as a description of people choosing not to work when work is available, I don't see how it's any more accurate than "unemployed."

              (NB: I'm pretty uncomfortable even framing it as "choosing not to work when work is available"; I think that's a technically accurate description but one that really fails to capture the context of the position these workers are in.)

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              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 13 May 2020 @ 12:28pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Unemployed infers "does not have an employer". Furloughed infers "has an employer but not actively working". I'm not sure if there's an ideal term for what you're describing, I just found the use of "unemployed" in the original context a little confusing, but thanks for helping clear that up a bit.

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                • identicon
                  TFG, 13 May 2020 @ 12:33pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  I believe that part of the confusion, and part of the reason people are confused with your confusion, stems from the fact that, regardless of whether you're furloughed or unemployed, you still collect what the US system calls "unemployment benefits."

                  The exact correct descriptive term for whether a person is between employers or simply between periods of active employment at the same employer is moot, since the government benefits to get them through that period are sourced from the same place.

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                  • icon
                    Thad (profile), 13 May 2020 @ 1:51pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Right. "Unemployment" in this case refers to unemployment benefits. Which are, perhaps, imprecisely named, but most Americans understand, at least in broad strokes, what "collecting unemployment" entails.

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                • icon
                  Thad (profile), 13 May 2020 @ 1:52pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Since we're on semantics anyway, you mean implies, not infers.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2020 @ 5:25pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Having an employer does not indicate one is currently working and earning a wage from said employer. Full stop. "Unemployment benefits" covers this as well as no longer having a job at all. We don't call it "not currently earning wages" benefit.

          Also, "laid off" means "furloughed" in the States, to cover an ealrier point. This is particularly the case with unionized jobs. Laid-off workers return to their jobs when production demands increase / return to normal.

          While the reasons for the current job situation are different than the usual suspects, people are "unemployed" (in the vernacular), whether or not they actually have a job to which they might return, and whether or not that condition us currently even known.

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          • identicon
            Talmyr, 15 May 2020 @ 7:13am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Paul, it's much like when we could claim benefits even when working under 16 hours a week, so you could both be employed AND collecting the dole. No idea what it's like now, but it definitely sounds like a variant on our current furlough scheme, except that here people still count as in employment and not eligible for job-seeking elements of Universal Credit.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 15 May 2020 @ 8:57am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "collecting the dole."

              Hopefully the word dole here was not intended to be a pejorative term.

              If employers were to pay a livable wage then perhaps their employees could save a bit for the hard times.

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              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 15 May 2020 @ 9:11am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Dole is just slang for unemployment benefits in the UK, so I doubt anything bad was intended there. He was also directly referring to those working less than 16 hours a week, which isn't something most would demand give you a living wage on its own.

                I will admit, with it being 15 years since I worked in the UK and 25 since I was unfortunate enough to have to claim it for myself, I'm a little rusty on the current landscape there, but generally speaking the act of claiming benefits, at least short-term, doesn't carry the stigma it does in the US.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2020 @ 5:26pm

        Re: Re:

        But not a portal for reporting employers...

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    • icon
      Thad (profile), 13 May 2020 @ 10:38am

      Re:

      The only thing I can think of is that these are casual workers on some kind of zero hour contract, and they've simply refused to accept shifts during the pandemic?

      Yes.

      In which case, I would say that the problem is with Ohio not requiring the correct paperwork to confirm unemployment status rather than being something they need to set up a snitching website for.

      The problem is that if you're able to work but refusing to do so, then you're not eligible for unemployment benefits, and that the law doesn't make an exception for people who are choosing not to go to work because they're afraid of getting COVID-19. In the eyes of the law, collecting unemployment when you could be working but are choosing not to is fraud.

      The website appears to be down at the moment, but you can see the form at archive.org. The line at the top is:

      Employers may use the following form to report employees who quit or refuse work when it is available due to COVID-19.

      I find it pretty fucking horrifying that the government is making people choose which Horseman of the Apocalypse they'd rather be killed by, Pestilence or Famine, but not at all surprised. The idea that anyone who isn't working is lazy and morally deficient and deserves to suffer is pretty firmly ingrained in American culture.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2020 @ 11:19am

        Re: Re:

        The problem is that if you're able to work but refusing to do so, then you're not eligible for unemployment benefits, and that the law doesn't make an exception for people who are choosing not to go to work because they're afraid of getting COVID-19.

        Multiple laws may be in conflict here. It's illegal for an employer to provide an unsafe working environment, so is that really a "choice"?

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 17 May 2020 @ 7:44am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Employers do not seem very interested in what is or is not legal, they are interested in what they will be prosecuted for. Huge difference.

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  • identicon
    Jim, 13 May 2020 @ 4:13am

    Nope

    Also, I worked at a gym plant for several years with a payoff contract. During layoff, and model changes, we collected unemployment from the state. GM made up the difference to the normal wage. One of the benefits of a union contract, and, they, gm, paid the differences in healthcare then. But, I would bet they don't do that now.

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    icon
    tz1 (profile), 13 May 2020 @ 4:19am

    How do they "deserve" a job?

    Quote: "Some employees are opting out of potential infection when employers haven't shown the willingness to protect them by enforcing social distancing rules and/or providing them with personal protective equipment". I.e. they voluntarily quit their jobs. Note Unemployment insurance is paid by the employer (that doesn't apply to "PUA" which doesn't require even actively looking for work, but there is even some variability there). It is a wonder than TechDirt has any authors left as they could get more if they quit fearing comptuer viruses and start collecting unemployment, or does TechDirt only use Gig authors, not actual employees with things like paid benefits? There's OSHA and state versions for enforcing workers' safety. That is the right way to report actual safety violations, not paranoid fantasies. If they aren't immunocompromised, or are elderly (over 70!) or have other co-morbidities, there is little if any risk from the Coronavirus - less than that of a Flu. So maybe they are roofers and would be out in the disinfecting sun, far apart, and are free to wear the provide masks, but prefer making MORE on unemployment than working in the heat or cold or rain. Maybe they will just hire illegal aliens, or more H1-Bs who have to work or lose their visa status. If they can jam that page, someone else can jam the umemployment benefit application and certification systems so these same people don't get their checks because they can't get through. If you want to see things burn, remember that the fire may jump from the bonfire and destroy something you didn't want burned.

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    • identicon
      dubious, 13 May 2020 @ 4:48am

      Re: How do they "deserve" a job?

      Where to start. How about "Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness", or maybe, a Pareto analysis: how much is your life worth to you- if I offered you a million dollars, would you shoot yourself for the money?

      I have lived near the coal fields of Kentucky and watched as diligent employees filled their lungs with coal dust and then witnessed those who gleaned the wealth file bankruptcy while shoveling their dollars into safe havens, defaulting on their obligations to pay pensions or their federal dues for black lung.

      I don't have any reason to think that the US is free of businesses that will cheerfully slay their employees for dollars. Is that a good thing? We built a nation on the rule that the government helps assure us "life".

      That CV19 is just a flu- wow, if you choose to disbelieve all the evidence, why bother writing screeds for others to read? If we follow your lead, it's all bogus anyway, right? You undercut your own thesis by penning text for the public.

      Maybe you are right that bot driven abuse will spread to attack both sides of what could otherwise be a fact filled and rational dialog. While I am confident that it already has, what is your point about attacking the messenger? Techdirt did not compose nor first report on the Ohio Poison the Well bot. Threatening violence seems to be in vogue for some now. Does it make you feel big and strong to do that? It makes me think you feel frustrated and powerless.

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    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 13 May 2020 @ 5:00am

      Re: How do they "deserve" a job?

      "I.e. they voluntarily quit their jobs."
      "There's OSHA and state versions for enforcing workers' safety."

      Is this a good time to point out that if the general enforcement of worker's rights is so slack whether to protect whistleblowers or not has been a nation-wide debate for years then perhaps the problem exists on the side which has minimum working conditions which in europe would often fall under the legal category of "slave labor"?

      "If they aren't immunocompromised, or are elderly (over 70!) or have other co-morbidities, there is little if any risk from the Coronavirus - less than that of a Flu."

      Oh, hey, the Trump suicide cult decided to make an appearance.
      Here's a little tidbit for you - if the flu had a fatality rate measured in full percentages then that does NOT constitude "little to any" risk. Instead what I personally observe here is yet one more person thinking that it's a righteous thing to demand workers playing russian roulette with their lives on the line.

      "So maybe they are roofers and would be out in the disinfecting sun, far apart, and are free to wear the provide masks, but prefer making MORE on unemployment than working in the heat or cold or rain."

      Donald, is that you?
      Because the attempt to counter the implication that US corporations would be playing fast and loose with safety regulations with an oddly specific scenario, a song and a dance is classic contemporary White House Press briefing material.

      In your hypothetical I'll introduce the matching scenario; An Amazon warehouse making examples of workers who can't even appear at their workplace without getting crammed together like a nest of ants and "distancing" isn't really possible.

      Let me know when you have a genuine scenario proving that US job-dodgers are endemic enough to warrant a "Pleaze to tell uz all about your zuzpiciouz neighbor, ja?" snitch line so your hypothesis gets some factual backing as well.

      "...someone else can jam the umemployment benefit application and certification systems so these same people don't get their checks because they can't get through..."

      So in your somewhat odd little world sending spam mail to a webpage expressly built to encourage people to report on whatever they themselves felt to be suspicious behavior is equal to someone performing a bona fide cyberwarfare attack on a government server?

      "If you want to see things burn, remember that the fire may jump from the bonfire and destroy something you didn't want burned."

      Here in europe we remember snitch lines - they're what East Germany used to foster an atmosphere of generic suspicion and the lesson learned has been that they never work because all they ever accomplish is to encourage the entire citizenry to view themselves as keepers of their fellow men.

      That sort of thing deserves to burn. As does your implication that trashing a collectivist tool meant to foster suspicion and fear in the citizenry should be linked to trashing a vital part of government infrastructure.

      I shouldn't really be surprised at what passes for republicans today wholeheartedly embrace the values, means and rhetoric used by the soviet union. I somehow wish Reagan could have been alive to read some of the bullshit offered by the current GOP and it's defenders.

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    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 13 May 2020 @ 5:03am

      If they aren't immunocompromised, or are elderly (over 70!) or have other co-morbidities, there is little if any risk from the Coronavirus - less than that of a Flu.

      Tell that to all the families of the otherwise healthy people under 70 who have died of COVID-19. Start with the family of 5-year-old Skylar Herbert.

      By the by: The whole "COVID-19 is less of a risk than the flu” bullshit relies on the idea that the flu kills more people than the coronavirus. But COVID-19 has surpassed, in less than four months, the estimated amount of deaths attributed to the flu on an annual basis. Also, COVID-19 has killed a larger percentage of infected peoples than the flu does on an annual basis (“Globally, about 3.4% of reported COVID-19 cases have died. By comparison, seasonal flu generally kills far fewer than 1% of those infected.”).

      So maybe they are roofers and would be out in the disinfecting sun, far apart, and are free to wear the provide masks, but prefer making MORE on unemployment than working in the heat or cold or rain.

      Of course some roofers would prefer staying at home and collecting unemployment to working in extreme weather. But you generalize all roofers with an unfair image when you imply they would all take the same “out”. As someone whose father was a blue-collar worker, I can say with confidence that people who work like that would prefer work over sitting on their asses more often than not.

      If they can jam that page, someone else can jam the umemployment benefit application and certification systems so these same people don't get their checks because they can't get through.

      I can see a distinct difference between trying to keep people from losing unemployment benefits because of COVID-19 and trying to keep people from applying for or receiving unemployment benefits out of spite/greed. I pity anyone who can’t.

      If you want to see things burn, remember that the fire may jump from the bonfire and destroy something you didn't want burned.

      In the context of the rest of your post, this sentence says a lot about you.

      None of it makes you look good.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2020 @ 11:29am

        Re:

        Tell that to all the families of the otherwise healthy people under 70 who have died of COVID-19. Start with the family of 5-year-old Skylar Herbert.

        What does that prove? Deaths are almost always hard on families. It doesn't say anything about the probability of that happening, or whether a 5-year-old faces greater risk from COVID or the flu. 5-year-olds have little risk of dying in plane crashes too, which is no consolation when it happens.

        Your later link is closer to being relevant, but still says nothing about the relative mortality rates within the risk group being discussed (healthy people under 70). We know COVID has higher mortality outside that group, and overall.

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        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 13 May 2020 @ 12:23pm

          Re: Re:

          "It doesn't say anything about the probability of that happening, or whether a 5-year-old faces greater risk from COVID or the flu."

          It's my experience that anyone seriously comparing the disease to the flu at this point either doesn't understand the full picture or is deliberately ignoring numerous things to make their point.

          "5-year-olds have little risk of dying in plane crashes too, which is no consolation when it happens."

          Yes, but you also don't let the plane fly if it has serious known problems that will make it much more likely to crash.

          "still says nothing about the relative mortality rates within the risk group being discussed (healthy people under 70)"

          Apart from ignoring the needs of people with existing medical problems, you do understand that those people spread the disease to people who aren't in that group, right? Yes, the 30 year old construction worker might not be at great risk, but the neighbours' kid or the old guy on his train might not be so lucky.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2020 @ 2:34pm

            Re: Re: Re:

            Apart from ignoring the needs of people with existing medical problems, you do understand that those people spread the disease to people who aren't in that group, right?

            What do you mean "apart from ignoring"? The whole discussion thread is premised on ignoring it; as you quoted, "If they aren't immunocompromised, or are elderly (over 70!) or have other co-morbidities".

            Of course COVID is a big societal risk and we shouldn't ignore it, or say it's equivalent to flu overall. Doesn't change the fact that certain groups have low personal risk. Both these points are important, because people are going to figure out they're at low personal risk anyway, and we need them to sacrifice a little to avoid fucking things up for everyone else.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2020 @ 5:35pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Personal risk is fucking irrelevant. Those low-personal-risk people are still carriers even if they don't suffer much at all when contracting the virus.

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            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 13 May 2020 @ 10:51pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "The whole discussion thread is premised on ignoring it; as you quoted, "If they aren't immunocompromised, or are elderly (over 70!) or have other co-morbidities"."

              There are other groups not covered there, hence me noting that they're ignored.

              "Doesn't change the fact that certain groups have low personal risk."

              Nor does it change the fact that the issue goes way beyond personal risk. We wouldn't be doing any of this stuff if the only person you needed to care about was yourself. We're doing it because selfish idiots don't mind playing Typhoid Mary as long as they get their personal needs catered to.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 17 May 2020 @ 7:50am

              Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "certain groups have low personal risk."

              How do you know what future risk there may be with this new virus that no one has seen or dealt with in the past?

              Crystal Ball?

              Polio, for example, is know to cause complications later in life for some of those who thought they beat the damned thing at a young age. But that will not happen with this new virus that we know very little about .... why?

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        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 14 May 2020 @ 1:23am

          Re: Re:

          The mortality rate of covid-19 is, by this time, around 3-4% in the confirmed infected. That makes it many orders of magnitude more lethal than the flue - and the people who can't realize that the difference between 0.5% and 4% is, in fact, a LOT, simply have no business commenting at all until they re-learn what a decimal point means.

          Secondly, in every nation on earth if a train, car, plane, or kitchen appliance had even a 1% chance of causing a potentially fatal accident in operation then that application gets immediately stopped. And no one argues about that - not even the ones currently hollering that "unsafe working conditions" in pandemic times is somehow not a problem.

          "We know COVID has higher mortality outside that group, and overall."

          We also know that far more healthy young people die to covid than die to the flu. What, exactly, is your point?

          Lastly, covid-19 is not a restricted agency of harm the way so very many appear to think. A person inside or outside of a risk group may or may not develop symptoms or die - but simply by contracting the disease that person is now a loaded gun placing everyone else around him or her at risk.

          The argument that the "young and strong" can take higher risks is therefore flawed from the get-go. An argument can be made that the asymptomatic and less afflicted pose a greater threat to society as a whole than those who get infected and become bed-ridden and as a result do not move around.

          Every argument I've heard so far is nothing more than a desperate attempt made by people facing a faltering economy somehow trying to weigh a market crash against an unmitigated pandemic of a fatal disease while holding any finger they can find on the scales.

          Reality doesn't work that way. Start from THAT point and maybe some sensible arguments may emerge.

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        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 14 May 2020 @ 5:09am

          It doesn't say anything about the probability of that happening, or whether a 5-year-old faces greater risk from COVID or the flu.

          But it does say that, contrary to the original stated position of…

          If they aren't immunocompromised, or are elderly (over 70!) or have other co-morbidities, there is little if any risk from the Coronavirus

          …younger people still have a risk of dying from COVID-19. And that doesn’t even get into that recent discovery of a potentially fatal COVID-19–related inflammatory syndrome in children.

          Even if younger people have less risk of dying from COVID-19, they can still spread the disease to other people. That alone offers a good damned reason for wanting to prevent them from getting the virus. COVID-19 mortality rates for younger people have no relevance to that argument, other than to point out how healthier people can unknowingly spread the virus to more vulnerable people.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2020 @ 5:51am

      Re: How do they "deserve" a job?

      You shot yourself with bleach today bro?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 13 May 2020 @ 7:00am

        Re: Re: How do they "deserve" a job?

        His arguments might be better if he did, all according to the old adage that it's better to hold your mouth and be thought a fool than open it and remove all doubt.

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        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 13 May 2020 @ 10:38am

          Re: Re: Re: How do they "deserve" a job?

          Oh that train left the station long ago, at this point they have proven without a doubt that they are at best a dishonest troll, so all they can really do is remind people about what a terrible, horrible person they are.

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          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 14 May 2020 @ 1:33am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: How do they "deserve" a job?

            "...all they can really do is remind people about what a terrible, horrible person they are."

            It's not as if anyone here is going to simply forget that Bobmail/Blue/Jhon is a horrible smear of rancid feces going by the "quality" of the bil he regularly excretes on this forum. Even if his hateboner arguments don't represent his honest opinion - and by now I think we're all agreed that it's unlikely for someone in it for a laugh to persist for all those years - that would still make him a fairly horrible prick.

            I've never actually contemplated the state of a person so deprived that they've got nothing left but to ensure they are remembered for being utter shits.

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  • icon
    Code Monkey (profile), 13 May 2020 @ 4:23am

    Also, there is fraud......

    .....with employees who actually make MORE money being on unemployment than being at work.

    I've lived in Ohio forever, and I've talked to a few of my friends who have told me they just "claim" that the employer isn't protecting them, so they refuse to work, because of the extra $600 from Congress per week they get in addition to the state's unemployment.

    ....although, tbh, the unemployment portal is still a joke....

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2020 @ 4:57am

      Re: Also, there is fraud......

      Who cares? It just means that wages are so low that being unemployed is more beneficial.

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      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 13 May 2020 @ 5:05am

        Huh. People would prefer a living wage attached to unemployment over a less-than-living wage attached to menial labor. Imagine that~.

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        • identicon
          Kitsune106, 13 May 2020 @ 6:36am

          So, what people should do

          Is claim that their religion forbids them from working on a place that does not offer safety. I mean Republicans believe so strongly on religious exemptions they should be okay with that.... Right?

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    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 13 May 2020 @ 5:03am

      Re: Also, there is fraud......

      "...because of the extra $600 from Congress per week they get in addition to the state's unemployment."

      If unemployment benefits calculated to match subsistence level is that much more than the actual wages then perhaps it's time to review the minimum wage rules again.

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      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 13 May 2020 @ 5:06am

        perhaps it's time to review the minimum wage rules again

        We could always start with the idea of a maximum wage and go from there.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2020 @ 5:51am

          Re:

          A maximium wage was a dumb idea for fighting inflation and is a dumb idea now. While it may be the established norm the big money is made comingled with risk in contracts and sales of product line not wages. Capping either of those would be downright stupid.

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          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 13 May 2020 @ 8:49am

            Re: Re:

            At least start with golden parachutes being outlawed. There's too many examples of companies being driving into the ground by incompetent CEOs who get 6 figure compensation packages while their ex-employees starve.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2020 @ 11:37am

              Re: Re: Re:

              Yeah, that's a good idea. There's an incestuous relationship between CEOs and boards that benefits nobody outside that group, certainly not shareholders or the public. At least show me that you tried and couldn't find any good candidates when you were offering less salary. Hard to imagine that the second-to-top worker couldn't be promoted for, say, double their old salary instead of $10million or whatnot.

              I don't like "maximum wage", but the top marginal tax rate was 94% in 1944, so we might also consider whether the current ~40% is too low.

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              • identicon
                TFG, 13 May 2020 @ 12:17pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re:

                I'm a big fan of the idea of total allowed compensation (and I mean total. All remuneration, including bonuses, stocks, etc. etc. etc., not just income) being tied directly to the compensation of the lowest paid employee.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2020 @ 12:57pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  As ideas go, it's a decent one, but strikes me as overly prescriptive and a bit gimmicky. Companies have fiduciary responsibility to their sharesholders; one could argue it's already illegal to pay executives 10 times what other similarly-qualified people would be willing to take, unless there's strong evidence that the extra expenses will improve returns overall.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2020 @ 5:39pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Well, the stock market (and all other markets, and banking-style things) are bullshit anyway, so fuck shareholders.

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                  • icon
                    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 14 May 2020 @ 1:36am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    "Companies have fiduciary responsibility to their sharesholders..."

                    In the same way a politician in reality has a responsibility towards his voters, I'm thinking. With the same result - proving active malfeasance becomes nigh impossible.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 17 May 2020 @ 7:56am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    "Companies have fiduciary responsibility to their sharesholders"
                    . If this is true, companies are not taking it seriously.

                    "illegal to pay executives 10 times what other similarly-qualified people would be willing to take"
                    . Doubtful, what law in what state/country?
                    . The comparison I have seen in the past was to compare the increase in c-suite types to that of the common workers in same co. Big shots get the bucks, workers get the fucks.

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        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 13 May 2020 @ 5:55am

          Re:

          "We could always start with the idea of a maximum wage and go from there."

          Neither in principle nor practice a healthy idea. At some point you need to bring in the commissars to enforce the concept. If the consumer and the shareholder wants to pay a shady and inept sociopath a fortune to do the sort of job you could entrust any street-smart grifter with a fast mouth and an attitude then that's their business.

          Government should limit itself to ensuring that the playing field is level and that the guy with money can't abuse the guy who has none. A minimum wage which actually conforms to the subsistence standard, including the cost of health insurance and such, would be a good start.

          The fact that minimum wage is, unbelievably, often below the official calculation of subsistence goes a long way towards explaining why the US has a rough 12-14% living in actual poverty. Which gains statistical significance when you find that the US has a far lower monetary treshold on poverty than the EU - and that's not counting the health care gap. Yeah, we europeans are a bit more cushy about considering someone "poor". In the US when the fed says you're poor, you're poor.

          The situation may be better expressed through food insecurity which is, by statistics about five times as high in the US (roughly 11%) as in the EU.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2020 @ 7:37am

            Re: Re:

            Raising the minimum wage puts price pressure on the product of that labor. As prices climb in response to higher wage costs the benefit of the higher minimum wage is quickly wiped out. Calling for a higher minimum wage sounds altruistic but it's really very short-sighted.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              TFG, 13 May 2020 @ 8:14am

              Re: Re: Re:

              Raising the minimum wage puts price pressure on the product of that labor. As prices climb in response to higher wage costs the benefit of the higher minimum wage is quickly wiped out. Calling for a higher minimum wage sounds altruistic but it's really very short-sighted.

              Please provide data that backs up this assertion.

              Additionally, please provide data that supports the idea that raising minimum wage to at least meet the calculated subsistence level of income would have an adverse effect on the recipients of minimum wage that exceeds the beneficial effect of being able to meet basic needs.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2020 @ 8:38am

                Re: Re: Re: Re:

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  TFG, 13 May 2020 @ 9:08am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  That's a link to the charts only. Fortunately it has the following in related links:
                  https://www.cbo.gov/publication/55410

                  I don't have time to do a full read-through right now (I'm on break from work), but a skim does note the important takeaway that the projections are uncertain.

                  The summary notes that an increase to the full $15 is predicted to dramatically increase joblessness, while an increase to the $10 option is predicted to have basically no effect on joblessness.

                  So now there's that second sticky wicket:

                  Additionally, please provide data that supports the idea that raising minimum wage to at least meet the calculated subsistence level of income would have an adverse effect on the recipients of minimum wage that exceeds the beneficial effect of being able to meet basic needs.

                  Given that the data here shows basically no adverse affects to raising minimum wage to $10 an hour, what point is there in not doing so?

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2020 @ 10:27am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    The federal minimum wage is $7.25/hour or $15,080/yr. $10 per hour is $21,800 annually. The 2020 USA poverty level is $12,490/yr. Though the minimum wage is already above poverty level, clearly a $2.75 boost would make a big difference. On paper.

                    The problem is that having to pay workers a higher wage means having to charge more for the product of that labor to offset costs. If everything goes up in price then that $2.75 boost no longer buys as much and your spending power goes back down to $7.25/hr levels. This has the additional effect of lowering the standard of living for everyone across the board.

                    Increasing the minimum wage is putting a band-aid on the problem that will get ripped off in short order. If you want to address poverty in the US you have to look at the real causes and fix them rather than trying a "quick fix" that won't last and causes permanent economic damage.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2020 @ 10:48am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      By your logic, reducing the minimum wage would be great!

                      I remember Michelle Bachmann saying something like we could eliminate unemployment if we eliminated the minimum wage.

                      • lol -

                      What would that do the taxes we all pay to help those who do not have enough to live. Work 40+ hrs and still do not have enough for food and shelter ... sounds totally awesome.

                      Do you think the cost of living is the same everywhere? Why implement one minimum wage to rule them all?

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2020 @ 10:49am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      The problem is that having to pay workers a higher wage means having to charge more for the product of that labor to offset costs. If everything goes up in price then that $2.75 boost no longer buys as much and your spending power goes back down to $7.25/hr levels. This has the additional effect of lowering the standard of living for everyone across the board.

                      Since the CBO's data doesn't appear to have anything regarding this type of claim, we come around back to ...

                      Please provide data supporting this assertion.

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    • icon
                      PaulT (profile), 13 May 2020 @ 11:10am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      "The problem is that having to pay workers a higher wage means having to charge more for the product of that labor to offset costs"

                      Yes, but they don't go up enough to use 100% enough of the increase, as wages only make up a fraction of the overheads for most products and services you use.

                      "Increasing the minimum wage is putting a band-aid on the problem that will get ripped off in short order."

                      One of the major problems is wage stagnation, which means that the buying power of a minimum wage worker's dollar is actually less than it was 30 years ago.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2020 @ 12:55pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      "having to pay workers a higher wage means having to charge more for the product "

                      Like that five more cents per pizza due to Obamacare? Oh my! I can not afford that!

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2020 @ 2:04pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      Though the minimum wage is already above poverty level, clearly a $2.75 boost would make a big difference. On paper.

                      Even on paper, tax and benefit effects need to be considered. The programs are often stupidly designed such that a raise can produce a small or even negative difference (cf. "welfare trap");

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2020 @ 12:46pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re:

                raising minimum wage to at least meet the calculated subsistence level of income

                What does this mean? Full-time minimum wage is, as far as I know, well above subsistence level in all areas, excepting people with unusual medical expenses, very large families, etc. When minimum-wage employees can't make enough to live on, it's usually because they're not working enough hours. (Some employers intentionally prevent it, so as to avoid certain legal/contractual requirements.) But it's not realistic to say the minimum wage should be waged high enough that someone working 8 hours a week can live off it.

                (I mean politically realistic. Mathematically, humanity does actually do enough work in 1 or 2 days per week to sustain society.)

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2020 @ 1:01pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  " Full-time minimum wage is, as far as I know, well above subsistence level in all areas"

                  Well, I guess you do not know. It is not even close in major cities.

                  Minimum wage doesn't cover the rent anywhere in the U.S.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2020 @ 2:27pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Well, I guess you do not know. It is not even close in major cities.
                    Minimum wage doesn't cover the rent anywhere in the U.S.

                    If you read the report, you'll see that's a bullshit conclusion. The paper says that 30% of fulltime minimum wage doesn't cover the rent for an average 2-bedroom apartment. Yeah, minimum wage sucks, we all know that. You're probably gonna need to live in a smaller-than-average home, with (working) roommates or family members, and spend more than 30%.

                    Let's take Alabama as an example, because they listed it first. Minimum wage is $7.25/hr or $1160/month (160 hours). Rent is $776/month, or 67% of income. Figure taxes are low for people making minimum, maybe 10-15% percent or $170/month, leaving $210/month to cover food, utilities (which are often included in rent), etc. Doable for a single person with no debt, though not easy or luxurious. Get a roommate and you've each got $600/month to cover those shared housing expenses, while spending 33% of income on rent—almost meeting their arbitrary affordability requirement.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2020 @ 3:45pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      I challenge you to live in any major metropolitan area in the us and subsist upon minimum wage only, no SNAP, no welfare, no rent assistance and no begging.

                      If you did this and wrote a book, you could be famous.

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    • icon
                      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 14 May 2020 @ 2:07am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      "...doesn't cover the rent for an average 2-bedroom apartment."

                      And yet that's usually the most cost-effective use of apartment space which can still be considered full living conditions. Going down to a 1-room apartment doesn't usually drop the cost accordingly, meaning that you still pay more than you can afford, but now have to add the costs of not having a fully functioning kitchen or pentry and possibly bathroom as well.

                      There's a certain break point where, after you've spent the absolute minimum on housing you still need to make a choice. Between Dental, Medical, Transportation and Food, which one will not get covered? Knowing that picking the wrong one easily gets you in debt for life barring a miracle.

                      Minimum wage must be set at a point where it might suck but will still allow you to live. And that's an issue more prevalent in the US than in other countries where breaking a leg or taking a crack to the teeth won't land you with a 3k-5k USD bill you'll never have the realistic option of paying off.

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                      • icon
                        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 14 May 2020 @ 3:01pm

                        There's a certain break point where, after you've spent the absolute minimum on housing you still need to make a choice. Between Dental, Medical, Transportation and Food, which one will not get covered?

                        “Poverty in the developed world doesn’t look like a refugee child with flies on their face. It looks like a normal person in normal clothes, in a normal apartment, with their bills spread out on the kitchen table, crying.” — Tumblr user jumpingjacktrash

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                        • icon
                          PaulT (profile), 14 May 2020 @ 11:15pm

                          Re:

                          ...and then when they hit rock bottom and have to take last ditch handouts, or worse actually end up on the streets, they're told they're lazy and should get a job (even though they were working 2 of them before they ended up in that situation).

                          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                          • icon
                            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 15 May 2020 @ 3:27am

                            Re: Re:

                            Well, to be fair the US right after WW2 had such a massive advantage over the rest of the world, with a pristine, completely unbombed infrastructure and industrial complex, there was indeed a point in time where almost any job would put provide for the breadwinner and their family.

                            But trying to run a lifestyle vintage 1950 over the costs of living anno 2020 won't turn out well, and to an increasing degree americans have started realizing this, i think.

                            With the predictable response that some of them now call for "socialized" measures and industrial regulation to get themselves out of the stagnant swamp of neo-feudalism they've found themselves in, while an unfortunately far larger part think as long as they hold their noses for long enough that swamp will eventually dry out on its own.
                            I have the hypothesis that at some point that irreconcilable conflict will escalate into whatever you call it when you've started a civil war with both sides living in the same communities.

                            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 14 May 2020 @ 1:58am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "...as far as I know, well above subsistence level in all areas..."

                  Then your knowledge is in direct conflict with observable fact. If that were true you wouldn't have the direct correlation between the poor and the people food insecurity which US statistics display.

                  But it's a more complex equation in the US. A person working a 40 hour/week job at minimum wage with no health plan can make ends meet - until they hit an unplanned medical emergency of ANY kind after which they'll spend the rest of their lives paying off the interest of an emergency high-interest loan.

                  And medical insurance isn't a guarantee either since there's no guarantee the ambulance, hospital, or even attending doctor is part of the covered network. Being employed at all means no medicare or medicaid for you, so shit gets tricky.

                  And this only covers medical costs. Dental adds another fugly image to the equation. Rent is yet another exploitative cash cow - in many areas the only living area close enough to gainful work is well above the entry-level treshold of a low-class worker so once again there's a high-risk loan or mortgage in the offing.

                  After that add the number of shady businesses eager to "alleviate" the poor (and probably not very well educated) worker with the option to buy housing and/or transportation at "affordable" levels - the mobile home trap and used car business - and you've got an already disadvantaged and desperate worker trying to make ends meet on minimum wage often with no realistic choice but to indenture himself further. It's a vicious spiral, and one we've ironically seen before.

                  It beggars belief that in 2020 we still have the 18th century british system of indentured servitude running strong in what is, on paper, a first-world nation - but that's the only parallel we have to the US working class so there you go.

                  King George would be laughing his ass off, seeing this.

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            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 13 May 2020 @ 8:50am

              Re: Re: Re:

              "Raising the minimum wage puts price pressure on the product of that labor"

              Not really. Wages aren't the majority of the costs of most products, they're just the easiest to cut in a country that doesn't value worker rights.

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            • icon
              Toom1275 (profile), 13 May 2020 @ 9:22am

              Re: Re: Re:

              Do you happen to be that same moron from earlier too dense to get that businesses won't go bankrupt to higher wages because there's also the increased income they'll be getting that you're deliberately ignoring to make your stupid point?

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2020 @ 10:30am

                Re: Re: Re: Re:

                No, completely different moron. I don't believe businesses will go bankrupt as a result of a higher minimum wage because they'll pass those costs on to their customers. You're going to have to support your claim that those business will have a higher income as a result of increasing their costs though. That makes no sense.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2020 @ 10:53am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Interesting that increasing the workers pay is inflationary while increasing executive pay is not.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  PaulT (profile), 13 May 2020 @ 11:19am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "You're going to have to support your claim that those business will have a higher income as a result of increasing their costs though. That makes no sense."

                  It makes perfect sense. If a person's wages go up, they are more likely to have disposable income and buy more things, and/or be less dependent on things like social security to make ends meet (and thus be more likely to spend outside of bare necessities). So, if McDonalds are forced to pay their staff more money, this cost (which you've already admitted will be passed on to consumers) is likely to be offset by increased trade, as every other employer is also forced to pay more. It's not guaranteed, but it makes perfect sense if you look at society as a whole rather than a single company in isolation.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2020 @ 5:42pm

              Re: Re: Re:

              No. It's the profit margin and compensation of high-level employees which is the problem. Just like adjusting interest rates to insure a minimum amount of unemployment to artificially keep labor costs down.

              The whole system is designed to abuse most people (aka the pitential labor pool). The cake is a lie.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 14 May 2020 @ 1:42am

              Re: Re: Re:

              "Calling for a higher minimum wage sounds altruistic but it's really very short-sighted."

              Not really, no.

              Consider the facts of a worker who is paid less than is absolutely required for him/her to actually be considered a full citizen. That worker becomes a locked-in indentured serf.

              What is incredibly short-sighted is the failure to realize that no society built on the backs of effective slaves has ever managed to prosper in the long term. A minimum wage which doesn't put the worker above the poverty treshold or allows him/her to feed and clothe their children is the short-sighted view.

              I realize the US has this idea of how the worker is supposed to climb the ladder of success but that's not a possibility when that worker gets deadlocked into his position by the sheer lack of basic essentials.

              The american dream died the very second the US allowed the minimum wages to slip below the effective poverty level. You guys want that dream back you need to rebuild the crumbling foundation you built your economy on.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      teka, 13 May 2020 @ 5:22am

      Re: Also, there is fraud......

      "I heard it from a friend"
      Who could argue with that kind of evidence? Roll out the army! Start collecting all the freeloaders and forcing them to work at gunpoint, that will teach them!

      /s

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      TFG, 13 May 2020 @ 5:35am

      Re: Also, there is fraud......

      I heard it from a friend who heard it from a friend who heard it from a friend that you've been messin' around.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 13 May 2020 @ 8:48am

      Re: Also, there is fraud......

      "fraud.....with employees who actually make MORE money being on unemployment than being at work."

      No, that's called a shitty minimum wage, and/or a scam where employers pay them so little that they have to beg for tips to get a minimum wage.

      Also, unless I'm mistaken, people on unemployment are just claiming back from the fund they have paid into for their entire working life. I always fail to see why this is a stigma in the US, while having to beg for tips to survive is somehow just good sense.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Code Monkey (profile), 13 May 2020 @ 10:29am

        Re: Re: Also, there is fraud......

        In the United States, it's the employer, not the employee, who pays into the individual states' unemployment fund.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 13 May 2020 @ 11:21am

          Re: Re: Re: Also, there is fraud......

          ...in return for the work they've done. It's a benefit associated with the job, the same way as a healthcare package or other benefit would be, it's just that it's mandated in this case. I don't see why it's a problem for employees to claim the benefits they earned while working.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Coeard, 13 May 2020 @ 4:37am

    Or you could get rid of net neutrality...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Koby (profile), 13 May 2020 @ 6:35am

    Net Neutrality vs Ohio Portal

    Back when the FCC's comment period on Net Neutrality got flooded with bogus comments, we rightfully decried the fraud. But now that Ohio's tip line is getting flooded with bogus tips, we're celebrating the flood of fraud tips? I don't get it. Very inconsistent.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2020 @ 6:56am

      Re: Net Neutrality vs Ohio Portal

      Are these two things really comparable?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 13 May 2020 @ 7:11am

      Re: Net Neutrality vs Ohio Portal

      "I don't get it. Very inconsistent."

      Let me guess - you don't get why a law enforcement officer killing a school shooter should be applauded while another law enforcement officer shooting a black unarmed man eight times in the back should be condemned either, right? After all, both examples are about a police officer shooting someone.

      I think you need to admit to yourself that you have a problem with context if that is your takeaway from the OP here.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Koby (profile), 13 May 2020 @ 9:01am

        Re: Re: Net Neutrality vs Ohio Portal

        Oh, the ends justify the means. I get it now. So as long as we dont like the online form, spamming fraud inputs is okay. Gotcha.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          TFG, 13 May 2020 @ 9:11am

          Re: Re: Re: Net Neutrality vs Ohio Portal

          So as long as [the online form is being used to enforce an impossible choice between being able to eat/have shelter and risking death or permanent injury from a virulent disease], spamming fraud inputs is okay.

          Fixed that for you.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 14 May 2020 @ 2:17am

          Re: Re: Re: Net Neutrality vs Ohio Portal

          "Oh, the ends justify the means. I get it now. So as long as we dont like the online form, spamming fraud inputs is okay. Gotcha."

          Not really no. But your takeaway that astroturfers spamming a government page is the same as individual citizens protesting government overreach is interesting.

          I guess that if you view the democratic process with utter contempt you'd consider the means and ends identical.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 14 May 2020 @ 2:39am

          Re: Re: Re: Net Neutrality vs Ohio Portal

          "So as long as we dont like the online form, spamming fraud inputs is okay."

          Context is everything, and an action can be justifiable in one context but not the other. If I trip you up as you're walking down the street minding your own business, that's different to me tripping you up after I've just seen you try running away after snatching someone's purse.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 14 May 2020 @ 6:14am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Net Neutrality vs Ohio Portal

            "If I trip you up as you're walking down the street minding your own business, that's different to me tripping you up after I've just seen you try running away after snatching someone's purse."

            I think the point "Koby" is trying to make is that he doesn't see the difference.
            If that's the case we can't really argue with the poor man until someone's taught him that the two situations aren't identical.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 13 May 2020 @ 4:02pm

      Re: Net Neutrality vs Ohio Portal

      Um. We didn't celebrate it and explained why it's problematic.

      Do you always feel the need to lie to make your point?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2020 @ 5:51pm

        Re: Re: Net Neutrality vs Ohio Portal

        This, also, is a good point.

        While i and other might (somewhat) defend one action over another when oresented with false equivalences, techdirt in no way celebrated the fact.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2020 @ 5:49pm

      Re: Net Neutrality vs Ohio Portal

      It depends on which side the bullshite lies.

      One was putatively for gathering public opinion, and when the portal was gamed, it was played off as fine, even until today.

      The New York and Ohio snitch portals were very obviously spammed with bad data with no attempt to oerpetuate a fraud.

      Was it the bits-submitted-to-a-server which had you confused?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2020 @ 7:29am

    It's a difficult problem.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2020 @ 7:40am

    Where there's a will there's a way

    Unfortunately, there's no way to personalize submissions with dick pics or Hitler memes

    That's not necessarily true. Chances are that the submissions are reviewed in an online app using a browser. If that's the case then including bits of script in the submission data would cause the browser to execute that script and do whatever the submitter wants, including pulling up all kinds of content (read: porn).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 15 May 2020 @ 9:38am

      Re: Where there's a will there's a way

      If that's the case then including bits of script in the submission data would cause the browser to execute that script and do whatever the submitter wants, including pulling up all kinds of content (read: porn).

      Oh I'm sure they have everything thoroughly sanitized so it won't execute any code that HAHAHAHAHA sorry....

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    duane (profile), 13 May 2020 @ 7:41am

    Boo, Ohio on general principles, but...

    This is actually guidance from the Bureau of Labor. If the states aren't snitching on people who could be working and are not, they don't get that Federal unemployment money.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      R.H. (profile), 13 May 2020 @ 1:26pm

      Re: Boo, Ohio on general principles, but...

      Given your title, I'm guessing that you're a fellow Michigander. If so, I should tell you that our state's unemployment questionnaire asks if you're refusing work due to an unsafe work environment due to COVID-19 and accepts it as a valid reason for unemployment. The state of Ohio doesn't have to be an asshole about this, they just choose to be.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2020 @ 5:53pm

        Re: Re: Boo, Ohio on general principles, but...

        Indeed, and thanks for the Michigan comparison and info.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 14 May 2020 @ 2:20am

        Re: Re: Boo, Ohio on general principles, but...

        "The state of Ohio doesn't have to be an asshole about this, they just choose to be."

        Well, to be fair the state of Ohio has a reputation to defend.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 13 May 2020 @ 1:42pm

    These lazy people just want to stay home & get paid!

    We need to pass a law so employees can't sue employers if they get sick!

    It would be wrong to demand these employers have to provide PPE & other basic sanitation!

    We have to reopen Applebee's before all those gun nuts decide they aren't getting their favorite appetizers & its our fault.

    No one cares if we sacrifice the working poor, we demonized them enough that most people never think about them.

    Also the first round of CAPTCHA's they used failed...
    something something hardcoded the answers in the code of the webpage...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 May 2020 @ 5:23am

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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