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Posts posted by Krampus

  1. @@qwazse, it was great to meet you both. I am so glad you had a safe trip. We don't get a lot of rain in Texas, but when we do it is torrential. ;) Easy to see where your daughter gets her adventurous spirit. She will do well in her new job and I am sure she will like Texas a lot.


    For those who are native Texans there's a saying, "I wasn't born in Texas...but I got here as quick as I could."


    If you are dropping through Texas again let me know. Hopefully it is on a weekend where I can hook you up with my unit. They'd love to get a "Yankee's" take on Scouting. ;)


    Safe travels back to Mrs. Qwazse and hoping we meet again.

    • Upvote 1

  2. Yah, read what yeh wrote again, slowly. :)    "People to feed and clothe and take care of."   In other words, increased demand for food and clothing and housing and consumer products and and and...    Or, if yeh prefer a more supply-side approach, more people means more available workers producin' more goods and services.   In short, every reputable economist from every school of thought on economics would argue that economic growth depends on population and productivity.  They just might disagree on da mechanism. :unsure:

    Ah, no.


    They need to be trained, which you assume in your simple application of a growing population. If your population is unskilled, they are a burden to the economy. If they are skilled -- which requires infrastructure and education -- THEN they will be a benefit to the economy. But population growth in and of itself is not a benefit. If you assume the latter, then I agree with you. If you think just a growing population benefits the economy, then again, show me an economist who says that.


    Da upshot is that this Department of Labor move is just an inflation correction to an existing regulation.   We did just fine in da 1980s and 1990s with this regulation in place at this level.  Fixin' it for inflation just stops people who really have been cheating.  But yeh will see some whining and grousin' as they get forced to stop cheating. :p  Includin' some BSA councils, eh?  It's hard to argue that we've been treatin' da crop of young DEs fairly across the board.

    Again, no. You are WAY oversimplifying what happened in the past. But I am not going to get in to a debate about the economic effects of the marginal rise in the minimum wage law.


    You cannot "cheat" at something when the law in place is not being violated. These companies are following the law. To call them cheaters is pretty disingenuous.  


    Like I said, if this rule (not law by the way, it is a rule bypassing Congress) passes judicial challenges, it will only serve to have companies either 1) pass on the increased cost of doing business to the consumer, thus causing stress to the economy, or 2) they will forego this additional cost by lowering the number of hours and making one full time job, two part time jobs. So now we have TWO people not able to make ends meet with no benefits. Oh, and because such jobs lead to higher turn over there will be an increased cost for those two jobs anyway, leading to increased costs for the employer to re-hire every 3-4 months.


    So all you are doing is increasing the strain on the economy, nothing more.

  3. yeah, seems to me to be much the same train wreck of an idea as minimum wage....

    I figure it boils down to an increase in dues/costs AND/OR a reduction in services.  a loose/loose form my perspective....


    On the other hand, I have long been troubled with the question.... so just where did this magic "40" hour work week number come from anyway?  ditto the "5" day work week?  

    These numbers seem rather arbitrary, and in my thinking I'd much rather work a little less to have a little bit more time for what really matters in life....

    So this new thing anyway just seems to be throwing in more seemingly arbitrary numbers into the mix....


    Where else? Government. It was established by the Fair Labor Standards Act. It also classified who was exempt and non-exempt. It was one of many attempts to kick start the economy that was not catching fire as a result of all the previous reforms from the New Deal.

  4. Yah, I reckon yeh can choose to disagree with every economist in da known universe about a fundamental principle of macroeconomics, but odds are they're the ones who are right, eh? :rolleyes:


    You can roll your eyes all you want, but population in and of itself does not drive growth. More people only means more people. People to feed and clothe and take care of. It does not equate to economic growth. And no reputable economist would advocate that more people automatically equates to growth of the economy.



    Right now we have high unemployment, eh?  More than that, we have a lot of hidden unemployment in da form of the long-term jobless.   We're also automating jobs away like mad.  I don't reckon that preventin' employers from callin' a fellow who makes $23K a year a no-overtime "executive" will send us off into da realm of an inflationary spiral anytime soon.  Da economic risk right now continues to be in the other direction.  :eek:

    First, what the heck are you talking about "high unemployment"? It is currently at 5% and that is just a tick above it's lowest under this administration.


    Second, the jobs being created -- thanks to 8 years of over regulation and taxation by the government -- has caused a state of under employment.


    Third, the "automating jobs away" is the free market being allowed to work. Just like the cotton gin, the automating of certain services makes some goods/services cheaper. Industry needs to adapt and reinvest but that cannot happen when they have to worry about too many regulations and taxes.


    Lastly, if businesses are forced to pay overtime, where do you think they will get the money to pay those workers? They will have to take it from somewhere, Beavah. It is not like they can just print the money. They will have to take money away from investment in council camps, support programs or other areas to pay the overtime of those workers. OR they need to increase profits in order to cover those cost increases. This may mean increased prices for goods and services passed on to the consumer.


    So if you think companies having to pay overtime isn't going to have a substantial economic impact, then I am sorry to say you have a very simplistic view of macro and micro economics.


    Where do YOU think that money will come from? How will companies pay that overtime?

  5. The Constitution creates no rights.  To a greater or lesser extent, the Constitution protects rights from government.


    Rights have been found to exist that are not even mentioned in the Constitution ("right" to "privacy")


    This language seems to clearly recognize that citizens of the U.S. have a right to vote:  Amendment XV, Section 1: "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude."


    Or so the argument goes.


    Agreed. But that does not establish the right to vote, it is argued that it merely protects a right that is believed to exist already.


    This is beginning to sound like my Constitutional law class. ;) I really enjoyed that class a great deal.

  6. This death just sounds like a tragic accident.  Rafting is a high risk activity and even if you do everything right, there is a chance of injury or death.


    Normally you purposelessly raft on the rivers during scheduled releases in order to hit your desired flows.  To suggest that they were somehow caught off guard by unexpected high flows is silly.  I suspect that they knew exactly what the flows were going to be.


    Sadly I wish that were true. When you look at accident reports for S&R teams, in many instances the people on the river were beyond their level of expertise or the outfitter erred in some manner. It is not silly, it does happen...often. People may not be strong swimmers. They may be expert for Class II but not IV. All sorts of things can happen.


    To be clear, I am not saying that is the case here. What I said was that we as Scouters should do our own research, know what we are getting in to, know our options and plan according. Please don't read in to my post that I was in some way blaming the adults on this trek. Any accident will raise questions. That's how we learn the truth. Every police investigation begins with hard questions so things are ruled out. That was merely my point.

  7. I believe it is both, and I tell the boys that during our discussion of First Class requirement 5.


    If voting were mandatory (as in Australia) perhaps then it couldn't be considered a right.




    Being informed is a responsibility that ought to be a duty.  Voting is a right, often exercised in near-total ignorance.  Of course, no right is absolute (yelling "fire" in a crowded theater and all that).



    "The success of democracy presupposes an informed electorate."



    I guess my point is that voting is not a right spelled out anywhere in the Constitution. It seems more implied than anything.


    Agree with your comments though.

  8. And that's precisely why the Govt pays 2-3x more than it should cost for a given result.


    Well, now you are getting in to HOW the government prescribes stuff.


    If they left it to their hired prime contractors and use their processes, it could get done cheaper and still work onsite like employees. All the legal and regulatory stuff, not to mention government reporting and tracking requirements, are what weight down the cost of service delivery.


    Of course it doesn't drive growth or economic stability.  Not sure why it would, eh?  Growth is driven by population, productivity, and innovation.  Economic stability is driven by lots more than that. Yah, and of course growth and economic stability are opposite things, eh? :rolleyes:


    Population does not drive growth. If that were true China and India would have not taken so long to reach their current state. 


    You don't create growth and stability by creating lower paying or part time jobs UNLESS there are no jobs for those people to begin with. You end up under employing people which leads to more turn over in those positions. To compensate for higher turn over the company either needs to 1) raise wages (which means decreased profit or money to reinvest in the company), or 2) raise prices to recoup the costs of the increased wages. The other alternative -- which is often taken -- is to save money by splitting the one full time job with benefits in to two part-time jobs with no benefits. The company saves money but becomes less efficient. The money saved in avoiding higher salaries is used to compensate for the increased lack of quality or efficiency. That is hardly a recipe for helping business OR the worker.


    Letting the market decide what salaries should be, rather than the government, has been the recipe for economic growth (as well as the growth of the worker) for quite a while. When government gets involved it rarely ever works.

  9. Sounds like they have a case of negligence on the part of the guide and the Outfitters. If it was a "scheduled release" the outfitters should have known about it and canceled the trip.


    Prayers for the family of the Brother Scouter. He's with the Great Scoutmaster now.


    I can feel for the unit, especially given recent personal events.


    However, as Scouters we should do our own research and know what we are putting our unit in to. NOAA has a great site that allows you to find out the flow and predicted flow for most rivers in the US.


    We recently cancelled our canoe trip because the flow rate was well above what was suggested for novice canoeists. That increased flow rate turned Class I-II rapids to Class IV rapids; the max flow for that river was 2,000/cfs and went as high as 19,000/cfs.


    While I feel for those involved, one has to ask the question, "We're the people involved trained for Class IV rapids?" And yes, the outfitter bears responsibility for taking folks on that river that may not have been prepared for that level of difficulty.


    A sad, sad experience that I wouldn't wish on anyone.

  10. The difference is "independent contractors" i.e., free lancers. Your "statement of work" is with the Contractor with whom you have a contract. The people who "come and go" are employees of the Contractor. You don't get to tell the contractor HOW to achieve the statement of work, how many people to hire, what to pay them, etc.



    Absolutely you can. I have seen hundreds of government and non-government contracts the spell out exactly how the contractor will execute the work.

  11. So, you're saying the new regulations will create jobs?  Excellent! 


    Yes, employers need to decide if a task that takes 60 hours to complete should be done by one full-time, full-benefit employee making extra overtime who will be there for life, or by 2-3 no-benefit part-time employees working 20-30 hours each, who will jump at a full-time job when one comes by, requiring a rehire and retrain.  Or maybe they can automate administrative assistants, or offshore camp directors to Bangladesh.


    That's not what happens. 


    Now, you have someone working 50-60 hours a week and considered a full time employee. They get a salary and benefits.


    If this rule goes in to effect you now have two people doing the work but they become part time employees, will likely be treated as hourly and not salary employees, will NOT get benefits. The net is that the work still gets done, but that is not what any real economist would call "job creation". Politicians call that job creation, but you are creating burger-flipping jobs, not real career-oriented jobs.


    This does not drive growth. This does not drive economic stability. It increases the cost to delivery a service (constant retraining and rehiring) and it devalues the role of the worker. This does the opposite of what the government says it wants to do.

  12. I'm not a labor lawyer, however, in my short career running a consulting firm, I learned that you are either an "employee" or an "independent contractor". The difference is in who specifies the "means and methods" of getting a job done. And if you are a contractor, you have to pay your own AND the employer's share of SS and Workman's comp insurance. In my layman's opinion, camp staff would be employees, since they have a boss telling them where to go, when to be there, and how to do the job. If they are not free to do whatever they want, they are "on the clock".


    Aren't contractors also told when to work, etc? We use contractors all the time. We define the scope of the work, location, hours, etc. They come and go like employees.


    I think @@Sentinel947 was on camp staff. Maybe he knows how they are treated from a labor perspective. I think a few guys here were camp directors too, maybe they know?

  13. I could not work my keyboard, mouse, tablet, Dragon or Siri, so I had to wait until my teenager got home to respond.


    Welcome. Smiley Face


    [Dad, you don't write "smiley face" you use a ":" and ")" to denote a smiley face]

  14. Those extra hours needed won't go away. They never do. This will only cause companies to hire additional staff to fill the hours required. Companies would be better off doing that than paying overtime.


    It is the same thing that happened with health care benefits. Rather than extend benefits to full time workers they simply cut hours. So now instead of one DE that works 50-60 hours you will get two DEs that work 30 hours. Nothing is saved, more complexity introduced, less will get done.


    Not a solution.

  15. - We have started looking at other troops in our area. We attended a another troop's meeting Monday, and were impressed by the friendly way the boys interacted. But at our meeting with our current troop last night, a casual observer could have reached the same conclusion. So I think it will be very difficult to judge what another troop's culture is until we are deep into it.


    Where I live, parents flat out ask troops how they deal with the situations that you are describing. We are very honest with them and tell them what we would do: counsel them, probation, further counseling, denial of rank advancement, additional counseling and discussion with district,and finally suspension from the unit. We let parents know that we will not white wash such situations.


    I'd talk to the units you are visiting and be honest with them. Be specific and ask them how they would handle these issues. I am sure they will give you an honest response.

  16. Agreed.  Some boys in my Den may get their first lesson in winning and losing from me.


    Way way back in 1975 my first grade class had a turkey drawing contest for Thanksgiving.  Of course, my turkey was the best! I'll never forget him; a beautiful tom turkey on yellow construction paper. My turkey would win and that's what I told everybody in class who would listen.


    I don't remember who won, we had 1st 2nd & 3rd place, but it wasn't me.  I cried and cried!  Two young teacher's aides (they were high school girls & I think they judged the contest) came and sat beside me and explained that even when we do our best, we don't always win. I was over it by the end of the day.


    I owe it to them to pay the lesson forward. If Millennial Mom gets mad, chews me out and pulls her boy from the Pack, well, at least I did the right thing.  A Scout is brave, right? 




    And you didn't complete 50% of a turkey, or 25% or 75%. You did a COMPLETE turkey and tried your best.


    That's the lesson. Do a complete job and give your best. Well done!

  17. But if BSA IT ever gets their grubby hands on it......


    Scoutbook does not have an offsite back up yet. If the primary site goes down you have no access to your data.


    We find the TroopMaster/PackMaster environment easier to deal with. There is a copy on your local drive, a back-up that the administrator can make (which we keep in the cloud) and the TroopMaster cloud-based main database which has a secondary copy at a geographically separate location.


    Expect to lose your data if you don't have AT LEAST two good back up copies of the original data.

  18. With what?  That's SOP in our district as well. The references are sent to our SM, who gives them to the EBOR committee.  The references are destroyed after the EBOR.  All the Council needs is the Eagle Application signed by the relevant people. 


    Same here, except they go to the Eagle Advisor who collects them and gives them to the EBOR. They are read and then destroyed. The candidate can ask to have them read in his presence if he so desires.

  19. About 10 years ago the boys in our troop made the decision to have mixed age patrols because the boy leaders felt that when they were younger scouts they were ignored and looked down upon by the older scout patrol.  That dynamic of inclusion and friendship has become part of our troop's culture.




    Also, there is nothing wrong with having an outdoor program organized by the PLC at the Troop level.  With four patrols in our troop, that would require at least 8 adults camping out each month if each patrol did a different activity.  That just isn't feasible.  Just because the outdoor program is organized as a Troop, doesn't mean the boys don't function as patrols on outings.




    You can have the Patrol Method alive and well in a large troop, it just takes on an additional dynamic.

  20. We've had guys that LOOKED like they were great leaders. They SOUNDED like great leaders even.


    However, when compelled to give "the speech" about their vision and how they would lead, they fell completely on their face. The speech was the great equalizer. 


    And yes, we Scouters counsel those who may not be gifted speakers on how to deliver a message. And no, the best speakers are not always elected. In fact, the guys who normally get elected are the ones that speak from the heart.


    Occasionally one slips through like we had a year or so ago. Within 1 month my PLC wanted to "impeach" him. ;) He was a silver-tongued Devil. All flash, zero substance.