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Comments

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States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

BlueMonk Re: Local testing works? (778 comments)

All you said was that other evidence could be used to prove the crime and wouldn't be needed from the person accused. Well of course that gets around the 5th Amendment issue. What the hell is your point?

Almost -- I said that if other evidence proves the employer's guilt of hiring illegally, then the employer's evidence would serve only to exonerate them of charges of paying below minimum wage. ("[...] allow them to provide that evidence after their guilt [...] is determined from others' evidence as a way to reduce the consequences," I said.)

My point being that, by avoiding the potential for 5th amendment problems in this way, it looks like the idea still has merit: illegal immigrants could cry foul when they are being paid less than minimum wage because they wouldn't have to fear losing that income as part of being deported if the burden of proof of wages is on the employer and the burden of proof of employment is on the worker. And thanks to the clarification, the employer's burden of proof shouldn't incriminate them more than they already are. I don't doubt that there are other problems with the idea, but I think, with this clarification or adjustment, it can at least avoid the 5th amendment concerns you raised.

My reasons for continuing the conversation are not just about "winning" but about coming to an understanding, I can't do that without questioning your reasoning. I don't mean to sound adversarial, but that's very difficult when reacting to such agressive replies. I didn't immediately understand why you thought the employer providing evidence of wages was a 5th amendment issue, but with further discussion I came to an understanding that you thought the evidence provided by the employer would also incriminate them on their illegal employment. So that understanding helped the idea evolve.

Normally I would be up for working out other issues, but I think our styles of discourse clash violently and I don't think I'm up for much more of this, if you'll excuse me :).

about two weeks ago
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States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

BlueMonk Re: Local testing works? (778 comments)

No, I'm not letting you play such cheap tactical tricks. You can give up or accuse me of misunderstanding you, but don't pretend I'm the one playing tactical games and only interested in winning when I adjusted my plan per the issue you exposed and you're the one ending the discussion with unanswered questions. I finally understood why you thought there was a 5th amendment issue, and responded with a way around it by postponing the need for evidence. Why is it so hard to have an honest civil discussion without all these games?

about two weeks ago
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States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

BlueMonk Re:Local testing works? (778 comments)

It fixes the problem that started this thread: employers circumvent minimum wage laws by employing illegal immigrants. That was the whole point of the suggestion. Stop employers from paying less than minimum wage to anybody.

about two weeks ago
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States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

BlueMonk Re:Local testing works? (778 comments)

It's not clear to me that this problem is different under the proposed rules than it is now. Illegal immigrants would already be depressing wages on jobs that would pay above minimum wage in the current system. So maybe the plan doesn't fix *that* problem, but I don't see it making it any worse.

about two weeks ago
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States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

BlueMonk Re:Local testing works? (778 comments)

I don't imagine illegals would be flooding the market with cheap labor if, as originally suggested, the penalty for employing them below the minimum wage was indefinitely supporting that employee financially via an alimony-like arrangement. And if illegal labor is afforded all the rights of legal labor (plus $1/hour according to the more recent suggestion), what makes it cheaper? Keep in mind that any laborer, legal or illegal, would essentially gain the right to speak up if they thought they were being treated unfairly in any way, and would not risk suffering any negative consequences as a result. Deportation would be discontinued in exchange for illegal employers shouldering the financial responsibility for the immigrant labor they took on illegally.

about two weeks ago
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States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

BlueMonk Re:Local testing works? (778 comments)

The burden of proof for having payed an employee should be on the employer. The burden of proof for being in the employ of a particular employer should be on the employee making the claim. Proof could be a video of the employer giving an employee work instructions, possibly with some indication of the date (newspaper in the shot) so we know it took place after the law took effect.

And in my opinion, the employer should be held responsible for supporting the employee going forward, and not necessarily retroactively.

about two weeks ago
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States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

BlueMonk Re: Local testing works? (778 comments)

The only case I see where there are hints of a 5th amendment issue would assume #1 that we know that the employee is an illegal immigrant. So for now I'll grant that assumption. And it would also assume #2 that whatever evidence the employer has of having paid minimum wage also incriminates them as having known that the employee they were paying was illegal, which is a bigger assumption, but I'll also grant that assumption for the moment. Even under these circumstances, the employer has two choices: provide no evidence and accept the default/de facto consequences of hiring an illegal immigrant if that can be proven based on the evidence of others, or provide the evidence to reduce their responsibility to the employee, if it shows they were paying minimum wage (which I suspect would not often be the case anyway). If that's still a 5th amendment issue (having to make that choice before their guilt is determined), then split the case in 2 and allow them to provide that evidence after their guilt of knowingly hiring an illegal immigrant is determined from others' evidence as a way to reduce the consequences. And those consequences would be support the immigrant until they voluntarily leave or gain legal status if minimum wage was not being paid. If it was being paid, then the consequences would be negligible? I'm open to suggestions here, but curious to know what kind of incentives it would produce if the consequences in that case were nothing (no deportation, no alimony-like arrangement, nothing). One might think all sorts of arrangements might be made to get around immigration laws to let people legally work here, but if you have to pay minimum wage anyway, how many people would want to participate in that on our end?

If it starts out as purely a minimum wage issue I guess there's the possibility that the evidence the employer might provide could incriminate them not only as having employed the person, but indicate that the person they were employing is an illegal immigrant, but I'm not clear why that would ever be proof of that. Why does the employer's evidence of payment entail evidence of having knowingly paid an illegal immigrant? Keywords there being "knowingly" and "illegal".

about two weeks ago
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States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

BlueMonk Re: Local testing works? (778 comments)

I didn't have the patience to go 4+ more rounds on this topic under such a hostile tone from my cell phone, but since a civil tone has been resumed (in child posts), and I'm now at a desktop, I can maybe address the issues more appropriately, hoping we can retain a civil tone.

> The employer wouldn't be prosecuted based on their evidence so there would be no 5th amendment issues.

You are clearly talking out of your ass, so I'm not going to waste too much time here. Outside of explicit immunity for employing an illegal immigrant and defaulting on payroll taxes and other various responsibilities, it absolutely would be protected by the 5th amendment.

I confess I neglected to put my usual disclaimer of "this is not a statement of fact, but of my understanding extrapolating logically from what I do understand," and I let everything ride on my "fantasy land" comment (because typing long articles from a cell phone is a pain). But if you have a moment to enlighten me, hopefully I can extrapolate better in the future. I thought the 5th amendment protected you from providing self-incriminating evidence. And I thought I was talking here about the inability to provide supporting evidence (not incriminating evidence). If someone has evidence against you of illegal activity, isn't it your responsibility to provide evidence to the contrary, and if you have none, then the evidence against you that *does* exist is enough to incriminate you on its own? I do not see that as having anything to do with the 5th amendment.

> If you can't provide evidence of legal employment, then you suffer the consequences of illegal employment.

Are you a complete moron? If I go to the Feds and tell them I worked for you and you paid me less than min wage, can you prove I didn't? Is your failure to produce documentation proof that you paid me less than min wage? I never worked for you, so obviously you can't produce documents showing that you paid me more than min wage.

This is where I think you missed my comment "Surprise inspections may not be the only way or best way to prove that employees are there at the behest of the employer. But I think that's *all* that needs to be proven once the employer fails to provide evidence of legal employment." In other words, the employer is not guilty just because someone claims they were working for them and they had no records of payment. There's still the need to prove that the employer was in on the deal. Is there something I should have said to make that more clear, or am I still missing something? It seems that exactly answers the point you think I missed here.

about two weeks ago
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States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

BlueMonk Re: Local testing works? (778 comments)

I think we're not talking about destitute unemployed people here but about the working poor who can't take the risk of giving up their minimum wage job for a chance at something better. Pardon me if I misunderstand the nature of those who moved during the dust bowl, but that's my first impression.

about two weeks ago
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States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

BlueMonk Re: Local testing works? (778 comments)

Yes, this isn't a panacea to solve all the problems in this realm, but possibly an improvement in one targeted area, still needing other solutions to the other problems.

about two weeks ago
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States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

BlueMonk Re: Local testing works? (778 comments)

It's clear from your resorting to personal attacks that you no longer wish to participate in civil discourse on the topic, and that you didn't fully read and understand what I said. If anyone wishing to continue the discussion in a civil manner would like me to clarify the confusion (if it's not obvious) I will respond to more articulate disagreements.

about two weeks ago
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States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

BlueMonk Re: Local testing works? (778 comments)

Exactly, there are no simple solutions, but I suspect they're are *better* solutions than what we have, and those better solutions might start out with simple ideas that need some development.

about two weeks ago
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States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

BlueMonk Re: Local testing works? (778 comments)

The employer wouldn't be prosecuted based on their evidence so there would be no 5th amendment issues. They would be prosecuted based on their inability to provide evidence of legal employment. Isn't this already codified? It's like being audited by the IRS. If I can't produce evidence of the claims I made on my tax return then I'm in trouble. It wouldn't just be just about minimum wage but about legal employment and minimum wage. In other words the only requirement to be legally employed is that you be paid minimum wage. And heaven forbid you employ someone under the legal working age, you'll be on the hook to pay them minimum wage until they are of legal age whether they work or not. As for the comment, "Furthermore, there would be no documents; they're illegally working! They are being paid under the table." That's exactly my point. If you can't provide evidence of legal employment, then you suffer the consequences of illegal employment. And on the topic of surprise inspections, I admit there would be some challenges, but I don't think they're all new challenges or can't be worked out somehow. Unfortunately I don't have all the answers, just a thought. Surprise inspections may not be the only way or best way to prove that employees are there at the behest of the employer. But I think that's *all* that needs to be proven once the employer fails to provide evidence of legal employment. At least in my fantasy land :).

about two weeks ago
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States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

BlueMonk Re: Local testing works? (778 comments)

It's just an idea I thought up on the spot, so was wondering about. I welcome any ideas for improvement. But if authorities are tipped off to a bunch of immigrant labor somewhere, how hard would it be to prove that they are there at versus against the employer's request when they come for a surprise inspection? If the employer can't produce records of paying at least minimum wage, they're in trouble. The only thing left to prove is that the workers were there at the request of the employer. I think harder things have been proven.

about two weeks ago
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States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

BlueMonk Re:Local testing works? (778 comments)

I also wonder if some of our illegal labor problems could be solved if there were a law making an exception for illegal immigrant workers that required any employer caught hiring illegally to pay minimum wage to all such workers (with no option to lay them off or withhold payments until they found other work, returned home voluntarily, or the employer legitimately declared bankruptcy), and made those workers legal citizens to the extent that they would not fear reporting any employer paying them less than minimum wage. The goal would be not so much to improve or increase immigration (illegal or otherwise), but to deter illegal hiring by holding the employers participating in such practices responsible for the people they hire that way, if they haven't treated their employees fairly from the beginning (can't produce records of paying minimum wage for as long as evidence for employment exists).

about two weeks ago
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States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

BlueMonk Re:Local testing works? (778 comments)

It doesn't seem sensible to me that the answer to illegal behavior would be to forget about the laws that make those behaviors illegal, but rather to uproot the causes of that illegal behavior. In other words, can't we have a higher minimum wage *and* provide proper incentives, like those you describe, for the minimum wage to be higher in a workable way?

about two weeks ago
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States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

BlueMonk Re:Local testing works? (778 comments)

Moving to the state whose laws work best for you may work for people who can move, but I expect the people affected by these laws are pretty closely representative of the set of people who can't move.

about two weeks ago
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The Lovelace Test Is Better Than the Turing Test At Detecting AI

BlueMonk Try again? (285 comments)

Ok ok ok... so how about, to prove a system is intelligent, it must devise a test that can determine whether another system is intelligent.

about three weeks ago
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Scientists Race To Develop Livestock That Can Survive Climate Change

BlueMonk Food Chain (291 comments)

Aren't they starting at the wrong end of the food chain? Or have they already verified that all the organisms on which livestock depend will be able to survive?

about 3 months ago

Submissions

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2D Game Development Made Easy

BlueMonk BlueMonk writes  |  more than 6 years ago

BlueMonk writes "After 2 years of development and testing, version 2 of the Scrolling Game Development Kit, rewritten from the ground up in C#, has been released. The program is an IDE to assist newcomers and experienced developers to relatively easily create resources and assemble them into functional scrolling games based on DirectX. The new version is highly customizable in that almost all the runtime code is embedded in the project data file and can be edited and saved with the project. No runtime other than .NET and DirectX is required to play the compiled games."
Link to Original Source
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Scrolling Game Development Kit 2 in Beta

BlueMonk BlueMonk writes  |  more than 6 years ago

BlueMonk writes "Version 2.0 of this build-your-own-game IDE is a rewrite from the ground up in C# on the .NET 1.1 / DirectX 9.0 platform. Yesterday, the homepage posted an announcement of the initial beta release. SGDK2 has grown significantly in flexibility and features since the last 1.x release more than a year ago. One of the extra sample projects is a tetris game, demonstrating that SGDK2 is less confined to the notion of scrolling games, though that's where you'll still find it providing the most support. Although the initial release is based on .NET 1.1 and Managed DirectX 9.0, the intention is to upgrade to later versions of the .NET framework and possibly support alternate graphics platforms as soon as possible after the initial release. The project will remain in beta for a period of time to allow feedback before the 2.0 release; among other final refinements, hardware requirements are still being worked out. The beta is public and available for download to all."
Link to Original Source
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Duke Nukem Forever Solidifying?

BlueMonk BlueMonk writes  |  about 7 years ago

BlueMonk writes "Browsing Best Buy's web site today, one may be surprised to find an offer to pre-order something that a lot of people may be hesitant to place as a pre-order considering its past. It looks like they think Duke Nukem Forever will be coming out in December and are feeling good enough about it to start taking orders."

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