Denialists’ Deck of Cards: The 7 of Hearts, “Jobs!”

i-3ec014b9a1864cca7ba330152c922de9-7h.jpg The trick to using the “Jobs” card is to totally over inflate the size of your industry and the number of employees it has. It’s quite a compelling argument, and sometimes it’s true. But I’ve seen many cases where a regulation creates new jobs and economic development.

A great recent example of the 7 of Hearts was occurred in the debate surrounding adoption of the federal Do-Not-Call Telemarketing Registry. The telemarketing industry claimed that they employed 6 million Americans, and had $668 billion in sales. But the economic census showed that telemarketing only accounted for 500,000 jobs and $8 billion in sales. A closer look at the numbers showed that the telemarketing industry’s figures were grossly inflated–they included both in-bound telemarketing (like when you call Delta to buy a $2k ticket), and telemarketing sales among huge businesses (like when Delta calls Boeing to order a plane) in the $668 billion figure. Neither of these types of sales are affected by Do-Not-Call legislation.


4 responses to “Denialists’ Deck of Cards: The 7 of Hearts, “Jobs!””

  1. Brian Thompson

    Ah, yes, the telemarketing industry. One of the elite class of industries that are loathed universally by individuals, but lauded by corporations.

  2. kagehi

    Hmm. Have you picked a “Joker” for the deck yet? I would suggest maybe the odd ball type that accepts science, more or less, but insists is a hugely flawed paradigm never the less, because, “Scientists insist that our perception and memory of an object *is* the object and that they are somehow inseparable.” Or, in other words, getting hit in the head with a brick only means you *think* you got hit in the head with a brick, not that it was actually a brick, or that you where actually hit by it. (-> quickly hides the blood stained brick he is holding…)

    Its “an unproven and untestable philosophical position about reality trumps what we presume is reality, therefore there *may* be some sort of other other way we can interpret reality, but **science’s** presumptions that only it can define what perception and reality are, “gets in the way” of finding that as yet undefined, and indescribable, *way* of looking at things that science it getting in the way of.

    And I keep getting this argument from a guy that fracking thinks religions have gotten it wrong, but that somehow we are being, in some vague way, unfair to religion and beliefs in general, because, presumably, one of their wacky, insane, hand waving, BS “ways of knowing” might hold the key to unlock this “higher order” understanding that science it getting in the way of.

    Umm… In the purely practical sense, he could be right. But so could some clown that insists that God starts the universe by right clicking “Start” on his computer, then never touched the source code ever again after it was running. Its meaningless without a) a real alternative and b) evidence that that alternative does anything but give scientists, and people with a clue, massive headaches.

  3. Kagehi

    Oh, and more to the point, its based *entirely* on the false premise that scientists either ignore or deny the purely philosophical issue about what constitutes “objects” and our “perceptions” of them. The claim is that *I* am in a dualistic world, presumably meaning that all I see is testable facts and made up bullshit. But the guy making this claim insists that he isn’t in a dualistic universe, despite the fact that the only way you can separate the “data” of memory and perception from the “cause”, is by making the data something special that exists *outside* of the universe that generated it. I.e., some sort of intangible “mind” has to “remember” its head being hit with a brick, but that can’t be used to derive an actual brick, no matter “how much” data you had available to define it. Its the whole “black holes destroy information” argument in normal space theory of what is wrong with science and scientists.

    I am sure you can find some nut arguing the same thing some place else on the net (or I hope), the guy arguing this is hardly famous, his ideas though are also not new in any way, and his only place of publication is on a news reader site for furries.

    And no, most of the others there are sane, in spite of liking anthropomorphic animals, well, except for one… And he is the left wing equivalent of the right wing Rush Limbaugh.

  4. Andrew Dodds

    I have a slightly different take on the whole ‘Jobs!’ argument..

    It is invariably taken for granted that more jobs=good, regardless of what these jobs actually are and how much they are paid.

    To take an extreme example – imagine a mother of a young (pre-school) child who is economically forced to take a job as a telemarketer on the minimum wage. In this case, it is clear the economic activity happens over the ‘stay-at-home’ scenario, but since telemarketing actively inconvieniences people and it is certainly unproven that the sales would not have happened anyway, the job itself appears to do nothing of actual value, and putting a child in the cheapest daycare – especially for long hours – seems to be actively harmful.

    To further this, there seem to be a lot of jobs in the service industry that exist only because other people are working long hours in the service industry. Yet many of the services (Fast food and call centers as examples) are considerably worse than what people could do themselves given the time (Cook for yourself or visit the bank in person).

    This is where I believe the ‘leisure revolution’ predicted in the 1970s went.. the problem being that in order to create a society with such a large amount of leisure time, and therefore small amount of working time, that working time has to be shared out either by strict working-hours legislation or high personal taxes (Especially, of course, on the wealthy).

    Yet since the early 1980s, both of these things have been strongly opposed by the right wing/industrialist lobby. This has changed leisure time into both mass unemployment and the service economy, neither of which could be described as wonderful..

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