5 Countries That Do It Better: How Sexual Prudery Makes America a Less Healthy and Happy Place | [alternet.org]

To extreme social conservatives of the far right, the word “prude” is not an insult — it’s a badge of honor. “Prudes,” they would argue, should be upheld as exemplary role models because a sexually repressive society is also a society with fewer unplanned pregnancies and fewer sexually transmitted diseases. But not only do the facts not bear that out, they also demonstrate that the exact opposite is true. Countries that embrace many of the things social conservatives detest comprehensive sex education, pro-gay legislation, nude or topless beaches, legal or decriminalized prostitution, adult entertainment tend to be countries that have less sexual dysfunction than the United States, not more. And when one compares sexual attitudes in the United States to sexual attitudes in Western Europe, it becomes evident that there is a strong correlation between social conservatism and higher rates of teen pregnancy, abortion and sexually transmitted diseases.

via 5 Countries That Do It Better: How Sexual Prudery Makes America a Less Healthy and Happy Place | Alternet.

A Simple Equation: More Education = More Income – NYTimes.com

Imagine if the United States government taxed the nation’s one-percenters so that their post-tax share of the nation’s income remained at 10 percent, roughly where it was in 1979. If the excess money were distributed equally among the rest of the population, in 2012 every family below that very top tier would have gotten a $7,105 check.

This is hardly trivial money. But it pales compared to the gap between the wages of a family of two college graduates and a family of high school graduates. Between 1979 and 2012, that gap grew by some $30,000, after inflation.

via A Simple Equation: More Education = More Income – NYTimes.com.

What Can We Learn From The Wealth of Virtual Nations? – [CityLab.com]

My friend is exasperated with her younger sister, who’s been crashing on her couch. Recently she asked her sibling to get up early to let the electrician in, but the sister slept through the appointed hour. She’d been up until dawn, playing World of Warcraft.

What was she doing for so long inside the game?, I wondered. She might have been counting out bloody coins for a nice new tabard, or sifting through Silverpines in search of spellbooks. Maybe she was extracting a gas cloud for raw motes a kind of raw resource, or taming sporewalkers a type of beast. Or maybe she’d been chatting with some other player, one encountered among the 6.8 million that inhabit the Warcraft universe. These are all things you can do to develop your character, build relationships, and make money there.

When will she learn?” my friend groaned. But some researchers are asking an inverse question: What can the real world learn from what’s happening in virtual ones?

Massively multi-player online games MMOs like Warcraft, EVE Online, or Everquest are synthetic environments, but they function in ways that parallel real ones, socially and economically.

via What Can We Learn From The Wealth of Virtual Nations? – CityLab.

I no longer have patience

Originally posted on Ioadicaeu's Blog:

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“I no longer have patience for certain things, not because I’ve become arrogant, but simply because I reached a point in my life where I do not want to waste more time with what displeases me or hurts me. I have no patience for cynicism, excessive criticism and demands of any nature. I lost the will to please those who do not like me, to love those who do not love me and to smile at those who do not want to smile at me. I no longer spend a single minute on those who lie or want to manipulate. I decided not to coexist anymore with pretense, hypocrisy, dishonesty and cheap praise. I do not tolerate selective erudition nor academic arrogance. I do not adjust either to popular gossiping. I hate conflict and comparisons. I believe in a world of opposites and that’s why I avoid people with…

View original 69 more words

25 Horrifying Images of the “Free” Market at Work – [alternet.org]

When economists talk about how a market “regulates itself,” what they mean is that markets reach an equilibrium between supply and demand.

This says nothing about whether or not this equilibrium will be a good thing for society. It simply states that if consumers choose what to buy and producers choose what to sell and how to produce it, the market settles on a product distribution and prices.

Lately, many people I know have argued that “free markets” mean something more. They see markets as ethically right or ethically moral, meaning pursuit of profit always somehow leads to a greater good.

Unfortunately, morality isn’t built into markets.

via 25 Horrifying Images of the “Free” Market at Work | Alternet.

Robert Reich: Just Imagine If People Were Paid What Their Work Is Really Worth to Society – [alternet.org]

What someone is paid has little or no relationship to what their work is worth to society. Does anyone seriously believe hedge-fund mogul Steven A. Cohen is worth the  $2.3 billion he raked in last year, despite being slapped with a $1.8 billion fine after his firm pleaded guilty to insider trading?

On the other hand, what’s the worth to society of social workers who put in long and difficult hours dealing with patients suffering from mental illness or substance abuse? Probably higher than their average pay of  $18.14 an hour, which translates into less than $38,000 a year.

How much does society gain from personal-care aides who assist the elderly, convalescents, and persons with disabilities? Likely more than their average pay of  $9.67 an hour, or just over $20,000 a year.

[...]

via Robert Reich: Just Imagine If People Were Paid What Their Work Is Really Worth to Society | Alternet.

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