How free is your state?

by winemama

How free is your state?

Advertisements

236 thoughts on “How free is your state?

  1. There’s definitely a little something for everyone in the metrics, from guns with silencers to pot to homeschooling to kegs to raw milk.

    During my guys’ weekend, we were drinking on the porch when we started hearing loud explosions down the street. We hurried down there to find my neighbor launching his annual fireworks show for his cul de sac (and I do mean launching–these were rockets with electronically ignited fuses that exploded 50 feet above the ground). One of the other dads I know was watching with us and commented that a more uptight neighbor who lives behind me had just left in a huff promising to call the police because the fireworks were keeping their baby awake. I said “but fireworks are legal in Va.”

    He laughed and replied “Not this kind.”

    This guy drives out of state and spends several thousand dollars to put this illegal show on.

  2. Milo – you sure you’re not in RI? Since they legalized the small ground style ones people smuggle in the larger ones from out of state. And launch them in densely populated areas…

    Screw my kid being kept awake, I’m more afraid of a misfire ending up in or on my house…

  3. Milo,

    What’s included is just as interesting as what’s excluded – vaccine mandates, reproductive freedom, etc.

  4. Milo – we have a lot of buying of those explosive type fireworks in SC and driving back to NC with them. DH told me that this 4th, they were checking IDs in SC so definitely stricter than in past years. We could see and hear those exploding rockets from other neighborhoods but no one in ours was lighting those. DD hates the noisy ground fireworks and whined the whole time while DS loves them.

  5. There’s no perfect way to measure such things, obviously. But it is interesting that people typically use (highly) attenuated measures of freedom when they try to assess such things themselves.

  6. Fireworks? I grew up in a semi-rural area with folks shooting shotguns in the air during the Fourth of July (and New Year’s too). That probably helps explain my ideas about “freedom”.

    Although fireworks are highly illegal around here, many residents put on smaller versions of shows like that of Milo’s neighbor. Depending on whom you believe, the police can’t keep up with them or the police are the worst offenders.

  7. It is interesting what they chose and did not choose within a category. Many states would come out more or less “free” if the measures were changed. However, I think what you personally feel relates to how much behaviors or activities you want to engage in are regulated.

  8. I found it interesting that some states with less personal freedoms still came out has overall being more free. South Dakota is an example. New York has more personal freedom that SD but is dead last on the chart and SD is near the top. A reflection of values? Rural/urban split?

  9. people always seem to want to use the government for paternalistic purposes when it doesn’t impact them.

    Is that really true? On the list it seems that land use regulation is important. Most folks are more than happy to restrict what they can do with their property as long as their neighbors are similarly restricted.

  10. Relative to most of my neighbors, I’m a progressive liberal, but they’ve successfully tied up the approval for a new cell tower on nearby private property in court challenges. The developer, of whose real motives for opposition I’m highly suspicious, was writing legal opinions quoting Locke about why, in this particular case, the land use restriction is appropriate.

  11. If they’re willing to restrict, it’s usually because they didn’t plan to do those things anyway, right?

    Gentrification? They want to sell to the highest bidder but they are happy to get less money if they can keep the neighborhood from changing.

  12. but they’ve successfully tied up the approval for a new cell tower on nearby private property in court challenges.

    What is the objection? That they are unsightly?

  13. When I was on the board of our neighborhood swim club in VA, we were approached about putting a cell tower on the property. The reaction among members and especially the immediate neighbors was intensely negative. A majority of the board voted to entertain the proposal, which was rejected pretty quickly because the compensation was a pittance, but some were so opposed even to the idea that they wanted to reject it out of hand on ugliness and health grounds.

    Some of these same people, of course, routinely complained about poor cell service at the club.

  14. “What is the objection?”

    1) They are unsightly.

    2) The land has historical significance. (Not enough to keep us from building our houses there, of course, but nothing should go in beyond that.)

    3) My personal favorite: it will reduce all surrounding real estate values by 20%. “20%?!” you say? “That’s a lot!” Yes, 20%. Here’s how we know. The developer who’s led the opposition found a study showing that homes that border high voltage power transmission lines are typically worth about 20% less than they would otherwise be worth. And since a single cell tower a mile or two away is, for all intents and purposes, the same as backing to high voltage power lines, we should all be aware that our property values are going to drop 20%.

    4) The environmental impacts to the groundwater are unknown. Not enough information at this time. The existing survey is inadequate for all sorts of reasons.

    That’s not to say that the opposition is unanimous. Plenty of people on Nextdoor are very eager to point out how they desperately need this cell tower. For example, some of them are real estate professionals who need better cell connectivity in order to deliver their exceptional level of service to their clients (website link provided).

    Personally, I think the developer is jonesing to delay it long enough that he can tell Verizon “hey, you can build it on this other piece of land that I happen to own and there won’t be any of this organized opposition or challenges.”

  15. “There’s definitely a little something for everyone in the metrics”
    Not really. I don’t see freedom to walk down the street or into your office without your ID being checked, freedom from requirements to carry an ID, freedom from pollution in your water, freedom from environmentally-linked cancers, freedom to move away from an abusive spouse, freedom from crippling medical bills for maladies you did not bring upon yourself, freedom to worship as you choose…. It is a list of the concerns a very particular portion of the population could imagine affecting themselves. If they wanted to include “everyone”, they would have to overhaul their list.

  16. . I don’t see freedom to walk down the street or into your office without your ID being checked, freedom from requirements to carry an ID

    You sure about that?

    Employer verification of legal status: 0.2%
    Driver’s licenses without Social Security number: 0.3%

  17. Milo,

    Per #3. I bet poor cell reception will do more to hurt home values than the presence of the tower. I can imagine being at an open house and trying to google something or text someone and seeing no bars and saying to myself – f – no.

  18. Milo – here cell towers are badly disguised as very tall trees. They are usually located in the strands of trees bordering suburban developments and in the YMCA property. I am sure the churches must have cell towers in their steeples.

  19. “I bet poor cell reception will do more to hurt home values than the presence of the tower.”

    I’ve read and heard responses to that argument yelling “Then go back to Fairfax!!!” :)

  20. We live in a neighborhood with high power lines. Our home value keeps going up. One of the towers is home to about 25 to 30 vultures…road kill doesn’t last long here.

  21. “here cell towers are badly disguised as very tall trees”

    here, too. And I’ve seen them along the Hutchinson River Parkway and the Merritt Parkway I think the disguise is actually pretty darn good. It’s only the height that gives them away.

  22. Milo,

    The thing is a lot of it seems totally irrational. If it would impact their quality of life or home value I could maybe I could see it. But, in most of these cases, I think some people are just by nature ferociously opposed to any form of change.

  23. Rhett, I don’t see how
    Employer verification of legal status: 0.2%
    Driver’s licenses without Social Security number: 0.3%
    are related to showing an ID upon demand.

    Eric, you talkin to me? I made a similar comment when they posted this on their FB site. Their response, in a nutshell, was “those don’t matter”.

  24. “Depending on whom you believe, the police can’t keep up with them or the police are the worst offenders.”

    I would say here it is both. Fireworks are illegal in all forms, but you would never know it the weeks around the 4th. I almost think it would be better if they were legal because people wouldn’t feel the need to come back from Indiana with carloads and shoot them off for a week.

  25. “I almost think it would be better if they were legal because people wouldn’t feel the need to come back from Indiana with carloads and shoot them off for a week.”

    Ivy, I wish that were the case. RI tried that. Now we have firework shows from Memorial Day through, well, the following Memorial Day. And citizens are getting very brazen. They think of the restrictions as merely guidelines.

  26. Rhode, I did not. I get their FB feed and am aware of what’s on their radar. I couldn’t see how to point that out without coming across as trollish.

    Rhett, what you posted is about the types of ID used, not the times when it can be demanded.

  27. On fireworks: houses on the beach where my parents’ Fla neighborhood has their beach club can go for 8 digits. We were there for 4th of July or New Years (I forget which) a couple years ago. Like many others, we took bottle rockets and Roman candle-type things. The public displays of small cities 20 miles up and down the coast are visible, but they were nothing compared to what two private individuals set off. These guys are apparently in a bit of a long-running rivalry. It was fun to watch.

  28. S&M – please take this as genuine curiosity – do you personally want the freedom to walk around without ID, and when stopped and asked for your ID, you won’t get any negative repercussions?

    I may be sheltered, but I’ve never thought about not carrying ID, if only to be ID’d in a tragic situation. When I haven’t been able to produce ID, I haven’t gotten in trouble. But I understand I’m white and a girl.

    I guess I don’t see the “freedom” because it’s just a laminated piece of paper to me. It’s not like my fingerprints are being requested everywhere and my retina is being scanned. That’s another ball of wax.

    Again, this is genuine curiosity. Your career and life experiences are different from mine, so I want to see what you see in this case.

  29. Milo – when DH and I were looking for our prior house, we went to a suburb that had NO cell service and got lost – we were an hour late for our appt to look at the house! DH looked at me as we were going inside and said “there’s no way we can buy this house, no service!”. This was a long time ago, but we have the same issue when we take certain routes from the new house – no service on the road.

  30. Rhett, what you posted is about the types of ID used, not the times when it can be demanded.

    Trust me, the Cato Institute shares your concern about the government being able to demand IDs.

    They are libertarians not conservatives so they agree with you on a whole bunch of issues.

  31. List seems pretty meaningless to me, as what is “freedom” changes based on whose perspective you are looking through at the time. Your freedom to install a cell tower to provide better service to your customers is my freedom from [insert whiny argument here — ugliness, death rays, property value declines].

    Timely example: there is obviously a significant portion of the B’More population (primarily young black males) who have been disproportionately affected by the local “stop first, then find an excuse to justify it” approach to policing over the past @ 20 years. Post Freddie Gray, that approach stopped. Now there are a bunch of older residence of city neighborhoods who are asking for more “zero tolerance”-style policing to resume so they feel safer in their neighborhoods.

    In that particular example, “freedom” is a misnomer used to make a political point, depending on which side of the equation you are on. Both sides involve large numbers of innocent people with equal claims to freedom — it’s not an either/or, black/white [no bad pun intended] isssue. The issue is finding a solution somewhere in the center that maximizes each side’s right to their own freedoms. Innocent black men should be free from being hassled by the cops for walking down the street; innocent homeowners should have the freedom to walk down the street in front of their house; and even the not-innocent should have the freedom to be judged and punished by a jury of their peers instead of beat down or shot. Labeling one side or the other as “pro-freedom” just gets in the way of reaching that solution, because it is based on the assumption that the other side has no valid interest.

    What this list really focuses on is freedom “from” government involvement. But that’s a double-edged sword. If your highest goal is freedom from government interference, then your idealized governmental system is called anarchy. Which tends not to be very good at providing so many of the other freedoms “to” that we take for granted (walk down the street safely; own your own property that someone can’t just take from you; get an education; etc.). OTOH, the other end of the spectrum (dictatorship, whether that is Mussolini-style on the right or Stalin-style on the left) provides plenty of day-to-day unthinking security (until the bread runs out) but zero freedom to disagree/be different/improve your lot.

  32. I guess another question for me is how to control for situations where patrons aren’t allowed to do something based on age. How are bartenders and bouncers supposed to comply with rules if they can’t see IDs of patrons? I’ve been asked to leave a liquor store, even though I wasn’t purchasing anything, because I didn’t have ID.

  33. do you personally want the freedom to walk around without ID, and when stopped and asked for your ID, you won’t get any negative repercussions?

    Exactly. I’m about to go walk the dog, should I need to bring my wallet in case I’m stopped? At the supermarket, I see my neighbors buying alcohol with their passports as I assume many, living in the city, don’t have a drivers licence. Should it be mandatory that they obtain an ID and present it whenever they are asked?

  34. I guess another question for me is how to control for situations where patrons aren’t allowed to do something based on age.

    There is a significant difference between a car rental company, bar or hotel demanding ID and asking you to leave and the police demanding an ID and arresting you if you don’t present it.

  35. Rhett – in the answer to my first question, you included an example of the second question. So how would you handle the differences, as you wrote them?

    One is the government (police, federal buildings, etc.) and the other is a business trying to comply with the government.

  36. My kids had to show two forms of ID to open savings accounts. That’s a new federal requirement since I was a child.

  37. Asked to leave a liquor store for not having ID ? Was that stated at the door ? Our liquor stores say persons under 21 not allowed clearly at the door but don’t say anything about persons above 21 wandering in the store without ID.

    If I am not carrying my purse I don’t have my ID with me. This is when I am walking around for exercise. If I am stopped, no ID.

  38. Ivy – when I go to see the dr now they are supposed to ask for your ID and your insurance card every single time. Huge PITA esp if you are bringing nothing there on purpose, like when coming in for surgery.

  39. So how would you handle the differences, as you wrote them?

    Personally, I would have the drinking age be 16 and the driving age be 18 or 21.

  40. “My kids had to show two forms of ID to open savings accounts.”

    I have an Identa-Kid photo ID (http://identakid.com/) that, as best I can guess from the picture, was taken when I was 2-3 years old. It has my birthday, but no expiration date. When asked for photo ID, I often use it. You’d be amazed at how many people accept it, with or without comment. Most recently, I used it to buy a couple bottles of trendy, flavored moonshine in Gatlinburg.

  41. Rhode, LfB nailed it. There are many things I do for which an ID is required, so I usually carry one. But when I go for a walk in the evenings, I might not have one, or shoes. Like you, I have never been hassled for taking a walk. I’m not worried that I will be. I’d like everyone to be able to enjoy that same freedom.

    Btw, some places do have an ID law on the books. Shortly after moving to Berlin, I wanted to swim. I didn’t know if there were lockers, so I only took enough money to pay for admission, no wallet. I didn’t have my student ID yet, so I couldn’t buy a transit pass for the reduced student rate. They go by the calendar month, so I knew that my trip would eventually be paid for, and I got on the U-Babn without a ticket. Being new to Berlin, I didn’t get the hint when there was a mass exodus from the car just before the doors closed at a stop. The security guy didn’t seem so flummoxed about riding without a tkt, but not having an ID was a bigger deal. He took me to jail, where I was fingerprinted, photographed, and put in a holding cell while they checked me out somehow (this was 1995, so pre-Internet) They released me after a couple hours. When I told the friend I was staying with, he didn’t believe me until I told him where the jail was. Then he was shocked and said it was where the GDR took people to question them, so; respect.

    I don’t think ID-carrying requirements are a problem because I want people to get Fre public transit. It’s the excuse for hassling someone that’s the problem, a specially considering the extent to which “hassling” by police can go.

  42. “and the driving age be 18 or 21.”

    No way, that severely limits mobility to the vast majority of this country’s population. Certainly not 21!! You can’t expect legal adults to be able to hold down jobs, attend non-residential college or vocational training programs, vote, and serve in the military and not let them drive.

    Statistically, kids are pretty safe drivers when they don’t have similarly aged passengers with them.

  43. Saac – your case is kind of weakened by the fact that you jumped on the train without a ticket like some hobo.

  44. My kid has been looking at cars. He’ll be 16 in 14 months. That’s a good reason to move out of this country, imo.

  45. Louise – no sign on the door and I was well over 21 (probably nearer 30). DH had an ID and was doing the purchasing. But because I look young (is that a form of profiling?? ;) ) they asked us to both leave because DH could have been purchasing for a minor. Whatever. We left and went to a separate store and I waited in the car.

    I think it was the first time ever I was denied something I had a right to because I had no ID. But it didn’t bug me. RI has a massive underage drinking problem.

    I’m like you with exercise. I carry my Y card and that’s about it.

  46. Milo, read the last couple lines in that post.

    Once they established my identity, I wasn’t even required to buy a ticket, just go to a particular office and show a copy of the pass I was planning to get anyway.

  47. Rhett – people without drivers license can get State ID cards without having tote their passports everywhere. That is the ID we got for the seniors in our house.

  48. No way, that severely limits mobility to the vast majority of this country’s population

    The vast majority of the nations population is between 18-21? People must have been screwing hot and heavy back in the mid to late 90s.

  49. My college kids had to show ID constantly on campus for various things, and I don’t recall any storm of protest over violation of their privacy. Both working DSs have to show company ID to walk in the door every morning. Yes, these are private entities and not the government, but it’s still The Man demanding to see some proof that you are whom you say you are, and that you have a right to be where you want to go. Given the propensity of many millennials to share everything with everyone on social media, wondering whether the generations behind us care as much about privacy as their elders.

  50. They’re certainly down on Hawaii. Top policy suggestions include: stop wasting all that money on parks and recreation (it’s not like anyone ever wants to spend time outdoors here!), give up that silly distinction between agricultural and residential zoning (why would islands 2500 miles from the U.S. mainland need to maintain their own agricultural capacity anyway?), and completely change our (restrictive) approach to gun laws. Needless to say, these suggestions aren’t going to get political traction here anytime soon.

  51. Scarlett, you see no difference between a private company one chooses to associate with and officers of the state where you exist?

  52. Yes, these are private entities and not the government, but it’s still The Man demanding to see some proof that you are whom you say you are

    An interesting position for a conservative to take.

  53. (why would islands 2500 miles from the U.S. mainland need to maintain their own agricultural capacity anyway?)

    I’ll bite. Why would they?

  54. Wait, you aren’t allowed in liquor stores if you are under 21? I take my kids in the ABC store pretty regularly. I always reject the offered samples and feel very virtuous doing so. No one has ever said that my kids aren’t allowed in there. The employees of the wine shop that we frequent give my kids the stink eye, but they are always very well behaved in there because we have put the fear of God in them whilst around many glass bottles.

  55. Kate, as I recall, Total Wine in northern Virginia did not allow minors in the store, even with a parent or another legal adult.

  56. Saac – Do you have any reason to disagree with what is stated on this blog?

    Despite the questionable legal status of Arizona’s immigration laws, there is no place in the nation where simply being in public without ID is illegal. However, there are several states in which it is an arrestable offense if you refuse to identify yourself to police. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that these kinds of laws can be legal, as long as the officers had reasonable suspicion to detain you in the first place. In states with these laws, like Arizona and Nevada, you may be required to give police your full legal name. But you don’t have to answer any other questions, and you shouldn’t need any form of identification.

    http://blogs.findlaw.com/law_and_life/2014/02/do-you-have-to-carry-id-with-you-at-all-times.html

  57. “Total Wine in northern Virginia did not allow minors in the store, even with a parent or another legal adult.”

    And did you know that guy’s now running for Congress?

  58. Wait, you aren’t allowed in liquor stores if you are under 21?

    I think it depends on the state and on individual store policy. Not to mention how much the guy working the register cares to enforce the rules.

  59. Weird! I don’t think I have ever tried to take my kids to Total Wine, but they have definitely been in the ABC store next to the Giant in McLean and Arrowine in Arlington. And at least one of my boys went to Total Wine with my parents because he came back very excited about how tall they stacked everything there.

  60. saac,
    Not so much. The hassle and intrusion are pretty much the same, aren’t they? My point was that those who are in the habit of carrying ID and whipping it out for the TSA, the usher at the football stadium, their summer internship employer, the campus library, their dorm security person, the front desk person at the gym, the bartender, the cashier at the liquor store, the UPS store clerk holding a package for you, the odd checkout clerk who actually asks to see a photo ID when your credit card has no signature — are they really going to object when a police officer on the street wants to see some ID?

    I honestly don’t understand why it’s such an intrusion when the nice little ladies at the polling stations ask to see a photo ID before allowing you to VOTE, but apparently there are lots of potential voters who are otherwise completely untethered from society and don’t routinely carry a photo ID.

  61. potential voters who are otherwise completely untethered from society and don’t routinely carry a photo ID.

    Yes, they’re called “the elderly”. I’ve done my rant about Mom’s ID at least twice so I’ll skip it this time.

  62. Rhett, there have been instances in history where the free flow of goods across an ocean is considerably impeded. WWII, for instance, was kind of hard on the shipping lanes.

  63. Kate,
    I checked the Total Wine website (because I don’t want to do the things on my September DIN list) and kids are allowed with legal adults, but youthful-appearing legal adults may be asked to leave if they can’t show an ID.
    There is another liquor store, either back there or here, that does not allow minors on the premises at all, and I can remember the DS in question gleefully heading back to the car instead of being forced to act as sherpa in the store.

  64. but apparently there are lots of potential voters who are otherwise completely untethered from society andcidon’t routinely carry a photo ID.

    It’s not an undue burden for an 85 year old lady in assisted living to go down to the DMV to get a new state ID? It seems like a burden to me. Also, to channel WCE, what about places like rural Iowa where the nearest ID issues entity is many miles away?

  65. RMS,
    That is true for the elderly who do not drive, but lots of seniors are still driving. Are seniors the ones complaining about voter ID laws? I haven’t really been keeping track.

  66. Policy Recommendations for Indiana
    Fiscal: Reduce debt and sales and income taxes by cutting spending on public welfare, libraries, and housing and community development, areas where Indiana spends more than average.

    what?

  67. I think Total Wine’s rule makes sense. My kids obviously aren’t going to be attempting to buy alcohol at their age, but maybe when they are 20 they will.

  68. Cannabis freedom is virtually nonexistent, and alcohol freedom is only a bit better than average, as the state bans offsite, direct-to-consumer wine shipments and off-premises Sunday sales.

    and it says Indiana is #4 overall

  69. I remember taking my older two in with me to grab a growler from a microbrew place when they were maybe 2 and 4. We were waiting at the bar, and they had hopped up to sit on a couple of barstools. A guy came in, looked at the kids, looked at the bar, looked at me and said, “They must have amazing fake ids.”

  70. I have never been able to get past the front desk at any medical facility without showing a photo ID with my insurance card, at least at the first visit. RMS, how did that work with your mom?

  71. under 21 aren’t allowed in liquor stores here, but they can go in wineries and brew pubs with us

  72. “It’s not an undue burden for an 85 year old lady in assisted living to go down to the DMV to get a new state ID? It seems like a burden to me. Also, to channel WCE, what about places like rural Iowa where the nearest ID issues entity is many miles away?”

    You can probably renew online or by mail, at this point. But it seems like an easy solution to this issue would be to accept Medicare cards as ID.

  73. Kate – I can bring my son into the liquor store, but if I look under 21, and I don’t have my ID, I will be asked to leave.

  74. ID & age – Wegmans, and probably other grocery/places that sell beer, has a policy to ID everyone. Fine; if I don’t want to go thru that I can buy my beer someplace else. I get it.

    What’s more difficult is if e.g. WCE brought her 4 kids into Wegmans with her and included in her $150 of groceries (yeah, I realize she’ll try pretty much anything to avoid doing a real shopping with 4 kids) was a 12-pack of the adult WCEs’ favorite brew. The store will ask for her ID and quite literally assume that since all her kids are under 10 won’t hassle her for potentially purchasing on behalf of minors. But at some point during the teen years, Wegmans starts insisting (a la Rhode’s example) that everyone show ID. Not 21? No beer. (Now, mind you, it’s ok by NY law for my <21 kids to drink at my table in a restaurant with my permission). I've asked, nicely, genuinely, a couple of times how they draw the line an haven't gotten a good answer.

    Now, coincidentally, the liquor store I go to happens to be affiliated with Wegmans (not officially, legally, here in this state, but wink, wink, somehow my shoppers card works for discounts there, all the logos and type faces are the same etc). I've brought my kids in there plenty, and (1) I never get carded and (2) no issue selling to me with a minor along. I actually asked them about their policy on this and it's loose, but essentially if I had them along and was just buying a pint of sloe gin and/or the cheapest vodka/gin/tequila, a couple of bottles of 2 buck chuck, they'd probably want to see the kid's id if he looked 'close enough.' But if I were buying more expensive stuff or stuff kids typically wouldn't drink like scotch, then they'd figure it was for me and no issue.

  75. You know, Rhett, even if MA built over every square inch (which it doesn’t seem inclined to do anyway, you have twenty zillion farmstand places within an hour’s radius of Boston), you’d still have the agricultural capacity of neighboring states to draw on in the event of some sort of big disruption. We don’t have that.

  76. RI:
    Fiscal: Cut state and local governments’ abnormally high spending on public buildings, housing, public welfare, and employee retirement. The savings could be applied to reductions in selective sales and individual income taxes.
    Regulatory: Reform land-use regulations, perhaps through an Arizona-style regulatory taking compensation requirement combined with eminent domain reform.
    Personal: Legalize cultivation, sale, and possession of recreational cannabis.

    The Fiscal ain’t never gonna happen… I don’t quite get the regulatory one and will have to look that up later… and personal… well that would solve a lot of fiscal problems if it’s taxed like cigarettes…

  77. “The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that these kinds of laws can be legal, as long as the officers had reasonable suspicion to detain you in the first place. In states with these laws, like Arizona and Nevada, you may be required to give police your full legal name. But you don’t have to answer any other questions, and you shouldn’t need any form of identification.”

    I don’t think anyone would disagree with this characterization of the theory. I think many people would disagree that this is how things actually happen in practice.

    The reality is that I never have to worry about going out in public without my ID, because I am a nice little middle-aged white lady living in a nice little middle-aged white neighborhood. But if I were a young black man living downtown, I’d have to worry about it all. the. time. If I were hispanic living in Arizona, even moreso. And don’t even get me going on what constitutes probable cause — darker-skinned people get stopped and searched all the time for stuff that I do every day of my life. So it’s easy for me to say “what’s the harm” — it’s no skin off my nose, here in my nice little bubble. I’ve never have had to live with it every day, and there is almost no chance that I ever will.

  78. We don’t have that.

    We have giant airplanes and a vast and powerful Navy – that seems like enough.

  79. Rhett – To your Boeing commercial air freighters:

    “I also don’t think the possibility of a Chinese blockade is likely enough to be a factor is HI land use decisions.”

    You don’t think that there would be strategic interest in disrupting all shipping in and out of America’s largest naval installation in the Pacific?

  80. HM,

    I think you also have to weigh the likelihood of a Chinese blockage against your homeless problem and the ongoing and chronic issue of very low wages and a very high cost of living, much of cost of living issue having to do with needlessly restrictive land use regulations.

  81. Wine – the policy recommendations for NY:
    •Fiscal: Cut spending on hospitals, housing, libraries, public welfare, sanitation and sewerage, public transit, employee retirement, and “miscellaneous”; cut all taxes, and pay down debt.
    •Regulatory: Abolish rent control. This move could have raised New York to 47th, just behind Connecticut, on regulatory policy.
    •Personal: Slash tobacco taxes, which are so high as to be almost tantamount to prohibition.

    Their description of rent control laws: “economically devastating rent control law in New York City”

    I had the same reaction as you – What?

  82. ” I think many people would disagree that this is how things actually happen in practice.”

    I can accept your argument that a probable cause determination may be influenced by race, among other demographic factors. But if that blog statement is true, then nobody is going to be charged with a crime for not carrying an ID or providing his or her name when stopped and questioned. The issue that was raised was whether everyone had the right to go about in public without an ID card, and the answer seems to be yes.

  83. I spent most of my 20s not routinely carrying ID. Lazy and disorganized. I had a work badge that stayed clipped to my cleanest coat. If I went out drinking, I brought it. But then I woul leave it in my pocket and wash it and not find it for 3 weeks and have to take my passport to buy alcohol. Once or twice DH was unable to buy alcohol at the store (the Great W) because I was with him and all people at the register had to have ID, even if they weren’t paying. For many years we only had one car and I just get my drivers license in the car, because that was the only place that I thought I would really need it.

    I have three times flown without ID (more if you count the returns). Once because lost wallet (this is why I hate carrying a wallet, all eggs, one basket). Once because of a purse mixup. (Keeping track of small things not a great skill of mine). It turns out you don’t actually need ID to fly, TSA can let you fly as long as you’re willing to be subject extra security. They really like it if you have mail with you that has your name on it, or a Costco card. But neither is necessary.

    For a few years I’ve had a system where I have a phone case with a pocket that can hold a credit card, a drivers license, a $20 bill and a blank check. This is pretty much eliminated all my problems.

    A few of the ERs I have worked at have required the patients to show ID or get photographed if they are going to get narcotics. The nurses don’t believe that you could present to an emergency department for a legitimate reason and not have your ID with you. The people are marked as drug seekers as they walk in the door. I disagree, but I realize I’m on the tail end of the curve for personal ID responsibility.

  84. And they have these:
    http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/china/type-93.htm

    It’s better if we have fewer vulnerabilities to defend against, so if we can reduce the need to ship grain or SPAM, or whatever, 2500 miles across the Pacific, that frees up resources to do something more productive.

    But now I’m thinking the bigger vulnerability for HI is probably the diesel fuel that they import for their energy demand. Cue Finn to talk about PV.

  85. Ok, yes. At the doctor office and to buy sudafed as well. But that has a specific purpose too. I guess I have also had to show my ID to get resident discounts (but I would have just paid more if I didn’t have one), and to get an initial library card. Never just for the hell of it in a random situation.

  86. “I know you could sink that with one hand tied behind your back.”

    lol. bullsh1t. Those things are tough. And we’re not that good. My old job was to liaison with the South American sub crews whom we hired to practice against us. They’re diesel-electrics, so very quiet in submerged operation, and they’re deadly. There’s not a whole lot that anyone in your carrier strike group picture can do against that, even though it makes an imposing-looking screen saver. (I don’t know anything about that particular Chinese sub I linked, it’s just an example, and it’s nuclear-powered).

    Beginning with the Civil War, we seem to win all our major wars not through superior tactics but just by numbers and industrial output. It’s kind of depressing. My great-uncle in WWII was a lowly sailor on one of those Liberty ships bringing supplies over to Europe.

    There was no getting around the fact that U-boats were going to sink a considerable portion of them. All we could really do was make the denominator big enough.

  87. Are seniors the ones complaining about voter ID laws?

    It doesn’t matter who is doing the complaining. The denial of voter rights is the issue. Mom was eligible to vote right up til the day she died.

    I DID eventually get her a passport, which is how we got through life. The doctor was someone who visited everyone at the assisted living place, so they didn’t ID the residents.

  88. I was actually thinking about this the other day after our discussion on the family with 13 kids (we don’t need to sustain our population! think of the carbon!) and even the proposal from Neil DeGrasse Tyson that a nation’s Olympic medal count should be controlled for population, so that it becomes how man medals did we win per capita.

    We didn’t defeat fascism and become the dominant superpower by killing the highest number of Nazis *per capita*. Raw size does matter.

  89. We didn’t defeat fascism and become the dominant superpower by killing the highest number of Nazis *per capita*. Raw size does matter.

    Many things work better and more efficiently on a large national scale than on a small local scale.

  90. Medical fraud is a huge problem so I think most hospital systems and doctor’s office have gone to taking pictures and then matching a photo ID at each visit. HIPAA drives this as well since they don’t want to share information about a patient with someone who has a similar/same name. When MA first made health insurance mandatory one unexpected thing that Medical Record Departments had to deal with was people contacting them to “clean up” records from visits when their insurance was used by a sibling, relative or friend. It didn’t happen a lot but it was surprising when it did.

  91. “The denial of voter rights is the issue.”

    However, there’s a competing interest to ensure a fair election. One side is very eager to insist that voter fraud is not a significant problem, but that relies on the assumption that something that is undetected must not be occurring.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/368234/

  92. FWIW, the net damage of rent control is a standard topic in Principles of Micro– par for the course with price regulations and how “non-price” rationing works itself out.

  93. Hijack,

    Does anyone know a good way to remove vomit from mattress, box spring and carpet?

    I’ve already tried baking soda and febreze.

  94. cordelia – anti icky poo for all body fluid stains or odors. but I think nature’s miracle is essentially the same thing. Douse it.

  95. I remember reading a Joshua Kennon blog post about how rent control actually ends up being anti-poor and hurting the very people it intends to help and has led to NYC and San Fran becoming completely unaffordable to the middle class and below.

  96. I was just reminded (by a newspaper article on a restaurant’s happy hour) of another complaint the site had about Hawaii:

    there is a “happy hour” ban

    I have no idea where they got that from. Happy hour, where a bar or restaurant gives discounts on specified drinks and pupus in the late afternoon-early evening, right? We do that. It is a thing. If it is banned that is both news to me and widely unenforced.

  97. Just found out the hard way that the gov’t has outlawed 80 gal hot water tanks for residential purposes but for $1K more I can get a “Light commercial” 80 gal put in my home. Thanks Obama. Before you ask, no we can’t do the instant hot, we are electric.

  98. Cordelia I”m with Milo – what do you have to lose at this point? If it isn’t raining where you are I’d take it out and let it sit in the sun for a couple of days, that helps everything.

  99. Atlanta,

    What I never hear about, in terms of the rise of rent control, was the fact that the first condo wasn’t built in the US until 1961, as before that there was no legal framework for condos to exist. You had legal workarounds like co-ops but that’s not quite the same thing.

    When WWII broke out and rents in NYC soared, it effected the majority who were renting in mutli-unti housing. If there bad been a condo law in the late 19th or early 20th century, that dynamic wouldn’t have occurred.

    Anyway, just an interesting public policy aside.

  100. I don’t have to show ID to vote in NY state. they ask your name and address. It takes them ten minutes to find you in the book because they’re all over 85, but then I just sign my name on the line in the book next to the name I gave and my address. There is a copy of my signature there, but sometimes I am in a rush and I just do a scrawl like on the credit card machine. No one has ever stopped me, and said that it doesn’t match.

    I do show my ID a lot in the post 9/11 world in NY. Any time that I go to another office building for a meeting or lunch, I have to show a picture ID. it used to be enough to show a work ID, but most of the office buildings want a license now. Several of my colleagues got the non driver ID card in NY so that they wouldn’t have a problem since they don’t really drive.

    The one place that drove me CRAZY when I had to give my drivers license was a girls clothing store, Justice. DD doesn’t shop there any longer because she aged out, but to do a return there required ID even when you have a receipt. I tired to fight it in every different location, but then they wouldn’t refund my money. I’m so glad that she is tall enough to shop in regular stores now so I never have to go back there.

  101. My kids carry their passport cards when traveling. That and their student ID usually do the trick.

  102. L, it’s not banned in Hawaii, though, which is why it’s an odd thing for the site to ding Hawaii for. MA has those blue laws in its DNA still.

    The contrast was especially noticeable when I was in college — HI still had the drinking age at 18 (until its hand was forced by the feds) so at school in MA it was over 21 to buy, and only in certain types of stores, and only within certain hours, whereas back in HI it was over 18 to buy, your local drug store or supermarket carries a full range from beer to hard liquor, no restricted days or times.

  103. Lauren, Justice is trash. Just walking in there would give me a seizure with the colors and smells and music. So glad to be done with that!

  104. For medical things, I’m OK showing my ID. There are too many cases of mixed up records and procedures for my taste.

    My aunt (who has an unusual name) had her records mixed up with another woman with the same name. The doc was furious – as he should be. Now the new practice is to make sure everyone has to give their name and birthday if calling over the phone and IDs in person.

    Then there’s me, who is a stressful haze pre-surgery, gave my maiden name to the nurse. She just stared at me thinking the wrong person was in the room. She actually didn’t know how to handle the situation. My MIL, also a nurse and who was of sounder mind at the time, asked me to try again. I gave the correct name the second time.

  105. Moxie, I’ve entered a new world of trash at Forever 21 and H & M.
    My favorite place that i discovered since she start wearing real sizes is American Eagle. I can’t believe how nice their staff is in every location. I buy a lot of stuff on line and return it in a store. Even when I return loads of stuff – they are super helpful. The quality seems ok because all of the jean shorts and tees survived the camp laundry, and that is a huge accomplishment.

  106. About photo ID and buying things. Anything that can be an inhalent – sharpie markers, white out, spray paint – all require photo id to purchase at any store. Yep, DD (16.5) had to show ID to buy white out at Walmart. She was 16 plus, so she could buy it.

    My kids started flying unaccompanied at 14, so we got them state issued ID cards. Bank accepted school ID card, plus SS card, plus and adult to open bank accounts in their names under their SSN, vs in our name with them as signers.

    On the flipside, getting my 90 year old mother, who was blind, toting an oxygen bottle in her walker, a state ID after her drivers license expired was more of a PITA than you’d think.

  107. L, I just looked at your article and it has Hawaii in a list of states where happy hours are banned! I wonder if this is one of those fake facts where everyone is linking back to the same erroneous source? Google turns up other similar articles that (correctly) have Hawaii as a happy-hour-legal state, so obviously some of the writers did at least check before asserting that the listed states ban happy hours.

    It tells you how much fact-checking they did for those Cato ratings, though.

  108. Weird – must be the bad original source.

    Is everyone there making giant Costco runs ahead of the storm?

  109. Rhett, we also have well water which is apparently a thing.

    Lauren Forever 21 makes me want to die! I gave my daughter a lecture on fair pay and labor practices the last time she went there. I mean $8 for a dress? Come on!

    Our new favorite is Altar’d State. There aren’t a lot of them and they seem to have some religious ideology behind them – haven’t looked into it. But the clothes are adorable and it seems everything is $60.

  110. L, I think I may have found where it’s coming from, thanks to spending way too much time on this. There’s a National Center for State Courts issue brief making the happy-hour-ban claim. They have an attached spreadsheet documenting the legal basis state by state. For Hawaii, they’re basing it on this statutory language:

    (a) No person licensed to sell liquor for consumption on the premises shall engage in practices which promote excessive consumption of liquor. (b) The liquor commission shall adopt rules pursuant to chapter 91 to prohibit specific liquor promotion practices which promote excessive consumption of liquor. (c) Any person who violates this section or any rule adopted by the commission pursuant to this chapter shall be guilty of a violation for each separate offense. Each date of violation shall constitute a separate offense.

    So it looks to me like a case where the person doing the issue brief assumed that no-promotion-of-excessive-consumption-of-liquor meant no happy hours, but that is not how the local liquor commissions have interpreted or applied it. (Our local liquor commissions probably think that promotion-of-excess-consumption would mean sponsoring drinking contests with a free lap dance as the prize.) I’ve seen that happen in other areas where you have a national group doing a state-by-state ranking on some issue — they’ll look just at statute and make an assumption — like, no statute specifying X means there’s no state requirement for X — without looking at administrative rules that often do require X. I assume they do the same thing in looking at other states, for which reason I always take those survey-of-state-laws papers with a whole spoonful of salt.

  111. The DS used school IDs to fly before they were old enough for learners’ permits, but youngest was tall and looked older than his age, so one TSA guy was suspicious and asked if he were REALLY only 14. If I hadn’t been right behind him, not sure whether there would have been a problem, or how it would have been handled.

    I was in the TSA Pre line over the weekend, and the woman behind me did not have her photo ID, only credit cards. Some issue with lost/stolen purse, but the person at that checkpoint whisked her away somewhere and then everyone had to move to the other side, with much wailing and gnashing of teeth. We’ve had amazingly good experience with TSA Pre zipping us through, but last weekend there was only one scanner and the TSA Pre line was almost as long as the regular ones. People in those lines seem to put up with delays and unexpectedly long lines much better than the TSA Pre cohort. It was kind of interesting to watch the people behind me waltz up to the TSA Pre sign, look with disbelief at the line, and then insist to the TSA lady that there must be some mistake, “I HAVE TSA PRE!”

  112. Speaking of freedom, the 9th Circuit just said that California can make it illegal to buy a gun if you have a medical marijuana card. So all those stoners melting into the couch watching Cartoon Network will have to make do with switchblades or something. I have to say, stoners seem like kind of a low-risk group when it comes to gun ownership.

  113. It seems well water was an issue but that can now be remedied with a water pressure regulator valve:

    Some well water contains dissolved minerals that will destroy a tankless water heater fairly rapidly. A neighbor recently had to remove the tankless water heater system in her new house and replace it with water heater tanks because the mineral build up rendered the tankless system useless.

    Yes, mineral buildup is a problem with tanks, but unless you are really unlucky, not all the water heaters in the house go out at the same time.

  114. RMS,

    California is trying to effectively outlaw gun ownership and use. I think the latest is a ban on the amount of ammunition one can by. As usual, we are ruled by people who have never had to defend themselves from any sort of predators.

    I don’t think their bodyguards are subject to the same restrictions as the common people.

  115. Rhett, thanks for the help. We were kind of over a barrel – it was leaking on the bottom and bulging at the seams. Our handyman was like “it could be anytime” so we paid more just because we thought a basement full of water would cost more than the difference. That’s kind of how that always goes.

  116. Multiple water heaters are a pretty common thing when there are multiple bathrooms. Otherwise, with three or more people in a house taking showers in the morning there won’t be enough hot water to go around.

  117. We have three in our house.

    Is that a CA no basement thing*? Why would you only have one tankless if you have three tanks?

    * I find the idea of just a slab incomprehensible. You just build the house right on the ground?

  118. Otherwise, with three or more people in a house taking showers in the morning there won’t be enough hot water to go around.

    Can confirm that this happens. (We have a single water heater.)

  119. Moxie & Lauren, I just spent the whole afternoon trudging through the mall stores, looking for a rain jacket, because we seemed to be the only county in the state having school tomorrow. He didn’t like the one for $34 at Eddie Bauer, and the ones at Hollister, Dick’s, American Easgle were all $70-90. Once he seems to be nearly done with the growing, that might be OK, but not now! Anyway, I was feeling all glum that I couldn’t find him one. And then I found out they don’t have school tomorrow after all. I should be happy, but I’m mostly grumpy I didn’t know that a few hours earlier.

  120. Otherwise, with three or more people in a house taking showers in the morning there won’t be enough hot water to go around.

    That’s why tanks came in different sizes and tankless come with different flow rates.

  121. 1. Our water might destroy a tankless. The neighbors had that problem and I am quite willing to learn from their issues.
    2. We don’t have natural gas available, and you can’t have a propane heater in the basement. (yes we have one)
    3. We built our house in stages, originally we had two water heaters, when we put on the addition, we added another water heater to go with the additional bathroom.
    4. I like redundancy. One tankless water heater will go out, likely on a cold morning where we absolutely have to be somewhere, probably a major holiday or a funeral.
    5. No one has to worry about running out of hot water. Our house is a monument to DH and mine childhood traumas. As God is my witness, I will never take a cold shower again.

  122. Saac has not been allowed in liquor stores since he was ten years old. There are lots of studies saying that white people estimate black kids to be older than they are. Still, anyone on here who has met the ‘saacster or even seen his pic can attest that he looks like a sweet little kid.

    Great post at 2:24, LfB!

    “Beginning with the Civil War, we seem to win all our major wars not through superior tactics but just by numbers and industrial output. It’s kind of depressing.” That’s how we won the Olympics. Probably a bunch of other stuff too, but I’m brain dead after too much malling.

  123. Thanks Moxie! Now that he doesn’t have to go to school til Tues, the whole web is wide open for our purchasing pleasure. Probably should’ve just done that in the first place, but wanted him to have it tomorrow.

  124. Cordelia, #5 is hilarious.
    I’m off to Target now for non-perishable food (and maybe a rain jacket. Would be soooo ironic!)

  125. As God is my witness, I will never take a cold shower again.

    Oh! CofC, can we have a post about things we promised we do or not do as children? And maybe if we’ve either succeeded or failed to do them as adults?

  126. Oh! CofC, can we have a post about things we promised we do or not do as children when we grew up?

    Feel free to edit as needed :-)

  127. Oh! CofC, can we have a post about things we promised we do or not do as children? And maybe if we’ve either succeeded or failed to do them as adults?

    Yes yes yes let’s do this

  128. Here’s the update on DS (posted in the other thread as well but I don’t know if anyone is still reading there): What a difference a few days makes. At dinner tonight, we asked DS if he wanted to talk tonight since we still haven’t had a chance. He replied “No, I worked it out. I just needed some time to adjust.” Then we had a nice chat about what’s been going on in school, what he likes, what he doesn’t.

  129. DD, that is so awesome!! If I feel relief reading it (& I do), I can’t imagine how glad you and DW must be

    Btw, if anyone is considering getting a rain jacket at Target–don’t. $60. Nearly all of the price, but none of the style.

  130. Oh! CofC, can we have a post about things we promised we do or not do as children? And maybe if we’ve either succeeded or failed to do them as adults?

    All the Yesses!

  131. DD – So happy to hear it is better.

    Right now I have on practicing Tenor Sax music and the other practicing Flute. Not anywhere close to the same music. I might be going for a walk!

  132. HM, that rec room is awesome! You just need to swap the electronics for a big flat panel TV and surround sound system.

  133. Cheerful – I really can’t say more. I’m sure the target of my comment got it and if not, oh well. (it was not you.)

  134. The whole house (in L’s link) is just amazing, isn’t it? I’ve been wondering whether it’s actually an astonishingly good recreation of the period, in which case how did they find the right fabrics and wallpapers and so on, or just astonishingly well-preserved, in which case how did they keep everything so pristine and unfaded?

  135. HM – we saw several houses that were stuck in the 70s like that house in MA. Our own first house had that blue carpet and floral wallpaper and was stuck in the 80s. It wasn’t to our taste but the owners had cleaned and maintained their homes well. When we moved here, we were shocked at how new/updated homes were.

    DD – glad to know that all is well.

  136. You just need to swap the electronics for a big flat panel TV and surround sound system.

    I’d want to do a 70s steampunk version where you’d have a cabinet maker create a cabinet for a flat panel modeled after a big 70s console tv cabinet. Scale it up including the depth.

  137. “Oh! CofC, can we have a post about things we promised we do or not do as children? And maybe if we’ve either succeeded or failed to do them as adults?”

    Yes, yes!

  138. “Otherwise, with three or more people in a house taking showers in the morning there won’t be enough hot water to go around.”

    If there are no small children or elderly in the house, just jack up the water temperature. Assuming each showering person desires a given temperature, each will require a lower portion of hot water in his/her mix.

  139. “But now I’m thinking the bigger vulnerability for HI is probably the diesel fuel that they import for their energy demand. Cue Finn to talk about PV.”

    We’re well aware of many of our vulnerabilities, thanks to Iniki, and the dependence on imported energy is one of them.

    There is a reason the DoD has installed literally acres of PV panels here.

  140. “We were kind of over a barrel – it was leaking on the bottom and bulging at the seams. Our handyman was like “it could be anytime” so we paid more just because we thought a basement full of water would cost more than the difference.”

    Couldn’t you have mitigated against that possibility by turning off the input valve to the heater when not using it?

  141. “Just found out the hard way that the gov’t has outlawed 80 gal hot water tanks for residential purposes”

    That doesn’t seem to make much sense, given how easy it is to install two 40 gallon heaters, and that two such heaters will tend to radiate heat at a higher rate than a single 80 gallon heater.

    OTOH, two 40 gallon heaters can make more sense than a single 80 gallon heater, as Cordelia has pointed out. I know some people in CA who put in two 40 gal heaters, rather than a single 80 gal heater, not just because of Cordelia’s reason, or because they cost less, but also because they could be placed to minimize the amount of water wasted flushing out the cold water between the heater and the outlet.

    I wonder how that affects solar water heater systems. I think most of them come with 80 or 120 gallon tanks, to avoid running out of water like HM or Cordelia, while only heating the water during the day. We have a 120 gal tank.

  142. I just installed a lovely commercial 80 gal water heater in my home. Yes it costs more, but it has a steel interior rather than glass and it has a lifetime warranty. We have a finIshed utility room. It will never need replacement, no more installation costs and no worries about flooding.

    The law under which the DOE promulgated the latest standards was passed during the Reagan administration, by the way.

  143. Mémé, I’m a bit skeptical about a steel water tank never needing replacement, unless it comes with regular replacement of the sacrificial anode.

    My understanding, which of course may be flawed, is that the most common reason for water heaters failing is the tank rusting from the inside. There’s a sacrificial anode in the tank to rust first, and if that’s regularly replaced before the tank starts rusting, the tank can last a really long time; in fact, I’ve heard that the warranty duration of water heaters is largely driven the the expected life of the included anode.

    Perhaps your tank has glass interior rather than steel, thus avoiding this most common failure mode?

  144. “Couldn’t you have mitigated against that possibility by turning off the input valve to the heater when not using it?”

    If I knew anything about plumbing that might have been the case. I’m great at woodworking but don’t know jack about plumbing. Getting smarter every day.

    Meme – didn’t really blame Obama, just using that term kind of generally as a blame somebody else phrase.

  145. Ok, tangent advice check. Backstory: DD wants to get a job. Her desired expenses have increased (e.g., social life is daily after-school visits to pizza place), and my puritan streak (combined with her strong preference for leisure) has prevented me from providing sufficient allowance to fund her desired lifestyle. First effort fell through (she spent days getting the application just right, and by the time she went back to turn it in, they had filled the position).

    Last night, after finding out about the job, she did homework, went to her teen class, and then spent 2+ more hours of working with DH on precalc stuff (homework and prep for quiz on radicals). And I realized: I don’t want her to get a job. School is her job. She has tough classes, the work seems to have jumped up quite a bit since 9th grade, and she is a social kid who needs time with her friends. So the idea of her working 3-6 and then coming home for homework sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. (I originally planned to let her figure this out herself by taking on that job, but since that fell through, I am rethinking).

    So my current thought is to tell her that school is her job, and to offer to pay her to do the “extras” that she needs to do to really learn the stuff and build good study habits. It seems like all of her teachers have study sessions, after-school hours, test prep sessions, etc.; there’s even a writing clinic (and, of course, there’s always Khan Academy or spending an hour with mom/dad on something). My biggest frustration has been her social-butterfly-do-the-bare-minimum-on-the-work attitude, which usually leads to freaking the night before a test, until she sort-of-skates by but then retains none of it. So I am thinking something like we pay her $5 for each of those “extras” she does, so she has the incentive to put in the time to really get stuff (pretty sure she learned more with dad last night than she had in the first week and a half of school), but still has time for her friends.

    Totally nuts?

  146. I think you’re ignoring how much she wants to do this on her own for some independence, not just for pizza. But 3-6 five afternoons per week during the school year is probably a bit much. Is there an alternative with fewer hours?

  147. Why not babysitting on weekends?

    Also, I think paying a kid to study/meet with teachers, etc. takes it from something that’s under her control and puts it back on you. I wouldn’t go there.

  148. LfB – freaking the night before a test….

    To my mind if there is no job or even if there is a job with limited hours, reviewing the material should be happening, so that there is no last minute panic. That said, some of my friends did just as well by studying at the last minute (but they didn’t freak out – that was their preferred style). Your DD will need to figure out her preferred study style and time management of classes, social life, job and how much she can manage or not.

  149. LfB – She’ll be doing softball in the Spring, probably? So the job would be until then? Because on second thought, I’ll bet if she had said that she wants to do the Fall theatre production and it will be from 3-6 five days a week, every Totebagger would think great! But make it paid work, and suddenly it becomes “no, no, *school* is your job!” (My initial reaction was the same, as you can see, when I said that those hours were too much.)

    But we frequently talk on here about how paid work for teens is sooooo beneficial, and we still have this double standard when actually faced with it.

    Maybe 3-6 is too much for her right now, and maybe it’s not. But it doesn’t seem much different from a high school athletic or drama commitment. And often just because kids have a lot more time for studying doesn’t mean that they’re going to utilize it any more effectively. Often the opposite is true; get home at 6:30, you know you have just a limited amount of time…

  150. First effort fell through (she spent days getting the application just right, and by the time she went back to turn it in, they had filled the position).

    It seems like she already learned a valuable life lesson with just the application. Also, I get the impression that she’s not going to be doing a lot of calculus as an adult. She’s going to end up in a well paid social butterfly job not a well paid quirky nerd type job. That being the case, she may get more value out of working than she will with more academic effort.

    * I hope that doesn’t come across as offensive. I just wanted to point out that totebaggers tend to overweight pure academic prowess and underweight all the other skills that bring success as an adult.

  151. LfB,

    This is a tough one, and my first reaction was to say just give her the money, though ITA with your puritanical instincts. But Milo is right on the time thing — DS had swim practice every day after school until past 6, and he managed to keep up with schoolwork. (No social life, but the swim club WAS his social life, and that was his choice.) And are you sure that you really want to police all of the “extra” things your DD should be doing and getting into arguments over whether this or that “extra” thing is important? That could be a disaster too, as it sets YOU up to be your DD’s employer instead of letting an actual employer take on that role.

    I’d be inclined to let her get an appropriate job, with manageable hours. She already has a preference for leisure (as all of my kids did and do), and figuring out how to balance that preference with social life and professional work (school) and spending $$ is a lifelong task. She’ll have a huge head start, even if you both decide after a few months that the job isn’t working out.

    The applications I read this season revealed that most Totebag kids don’t have jobs during the school year, and, at least at our university, having a paid job definitely sets you apart from the other Totebaggers and is one of the factors on the checklist along with school leadership positions and sports participation. So it will help with the college application process, and might even give her a great essay topic.

  152. Yeah, you guys are all saying the things that I was thinking that caused me to write. I am not sure how much it is just cash vs. independence (but I do think the latter is a big part of it, and I want to encourage that). I have let her do stage crew in the past with no worries (although that was more like 1-2 hrs/day). A couple of days a week is better than 5 days/week, if she can find a place where that is an option. She totally does not have personality/skills to go the quirky nerd path DH and I know so well, so maybe she’d get more useful Adulting practice out of a part-time receptionist/file clerk job at the local PT place. Probably no softball this year — but last year was an awesome example (to me) of how hard it is to juggle that kind of extracurricular demand with schoolwork (she had one full month with 3-6 every day and some evenings, and 4th Q grades dropped probably half a letter grade on average). Zero desire to babysit or do something more flexible.

    Being a good totebagger mom, I thought of this as a way to sneak larger life lessons into what seems to be a purely practical decision. The thing that holds her back is her waterbug approach — skimming the surface to cover the basics, never diving deeply into anything the way you need to to really understand. And she responds really, really well to financial incentives for behavioral issues. I know I posted way back about her 45+-minute homework freakouts in 2nd grade (after the horrible experience in school the previous year), and how we started giving her an allowance bonus (25c) for every night she sat down to start her homework without a meltdown. Cured it within the week. So I am wondering whether I can use the enticement of $$ (her most important currency) to help her train herself out of a specific behavior that is going to hold her back in life in general (resistance to working through stuff when it gets hard, even more resistance to asking for help).

    I am also navel-gazing whether her relative poverty is appropriate or is artificial scarcity caused by my own puritanical streak — the feeling that kids *shouldn’t* just be given that much money, or that it’s stupid to spend $84 on makeup at 15, etc. She gets $50/mo to spend and $25/mo to save. I can afford to cover her damn pizza if I wanted to, but my puritan side says kids should work for extras. But she is working — she has an aide job every Sunday that nets her $60-80/mo, and she babysits for us when we go out (we haven’t discussed how to split that extra $ between spending/saving, because last year she saved almost all of it for her trip). So maybe she’s a damn good kid who is doing everything she should be doing and it’s my own half-a-cookie mentality that’s creating a problem that I am now struggling to solve. I don’t know.

  153. So maybe she’s a damn good kid who is doing everything she should be doing and it’s my own half-a-cookie mentality that’s creating a problem that I am now struggling to solve.

    This.

  154. LfB, how mad at you will she be if she doesn’t get into your alma mater? If that’s one of her big dreams, then paying her to do the schoolwork is a good plan. I think some of the objections others have offered can be overcome. I kind of believe in paying for A’s, though no one paid me for them and I never paid DSS, but we were both greasy grinds who freaked out at not getting A’s. And even a social butterfly job will be easier to get if she has a nice SLC degree (though she’d also be fine at Regional State U.)

    But how much “Why didn’t you make me work harder? Why didn’t you tell me it would be so hard to get in?” (yes, I know you’ve told her that 8,000 times) will you have to put up with if she gets rejected? “We did everything, up to and including paying you to do schoolwork, kiddo” is a decent response. And maybe she will get in if she buckles down.

  155. LFB: This is a tough one. I give my kids $100 per month, and don’t encourage them to work during the school year, other than the occasional babysitting engagement. On top of that, they sometimes get money for birthdays and holidays from relatives. If their wants outstripped their cash flow, I would tell them that the problem is their wants and that they need to tone down the spending.

  156. I would tell them that the problem is their wants and that they need to tone down the spending.

    The goal isn’t to spend less, the goal is to make more.

  157. Nothing wrong with doing both. : ) I will encourage our kids to pursue high paying jobs, but I truly believe the secret to happiness is being happy with what you have and not wanting a ton of stuff.

  158. I just wanted to point out that totebaggers tend to overweight pure academic prowess and underweight all the other skills that bring success as an adult.

    And definitely this.

  159. I truly believe the secret to happiness is being happy with what you have and not wanting a ton of stuff.

    Then why are you making them work so hard?

  160. I’m encouraging them to work hard because of the first part of my sentence–the high paying jobs part. I’m raising professionals who can make mature financial decisions–like not spending every dime that they make. Making more money is only one side of the equation.

  161. @Rocky — you nailed my fear. She still insists she wants to be a doctor. I will love her to death if she is or isn’t. But I want her to have the option. And that option requires managing a lot of schoolwork, some of which will be hard and/or deathly dull, so learning to stick with it until you get it is a necessary skill. I can’t nag her into it, and vague lectures don’t work (“it’s reallyreallyreally hard to get in” translates into “mom stop pressuring me”). But she does respond extremely well to positive incentives, where she feels like she is achieving things herself and being rewarded, and any Life Lessons are sort of snuck in where she doesn’t notice them. So I am trying to navigate her to be in a position to succeed at what she tells me she wants to succeed at, without her feeling navigated. And I don’t want her short-term desire for instant gratification (spending money) to get in the way of her long-term goals.

    This is the problem of learning to manage a child that is NotMe — I have no reliable instinctive response, because the things that worked for me are practically irrelevant to her, and vice-versa. If I knew she reallyreally was going to always want to be a doctor and had what it takes, I’d have no hesitation at all about this path forward. If I knew that she’d be happier in a social butterfly party planner role, or working stage crew for a Broadway production, or whatever, I’d have no hesitation about encouraging her to get an after-school job, or throw herself into the plays, or whatever. But I don’t know, and so all I can do is try to find ways to encourage the behavior that I think is going to keep the most doors open down the road.

  162. the high paying jobs part

    Why should they have a high paying job (with all that entails) if they just want a simple life of simple pleasures?

  163. Rhett, they can enjoy a simple life with simple pleasures in a home in a safe neighborhood with a short commute. There is a lot of daylight between obsessive materialism and comfort with homelessness.

  164. LFB – I will be following this with great interest. DS has some similarities to your DD. And like your DD, he responds much better to positive incentives. Unlike our daughter, DS is not intrinsically motivated to do well in school for the sake of doing well. Screen time is a huge motivator for him (much more so than $) so we switched to a system where he has to earn all his screen time – and can do so with homework, exercise. He starts middle school (6th grade) next week. I’m a little worried about his transition – but at least middle school grades don’t count.

  165. so all I can do is try to find ways to encourage the behavior that I think is going to keep the most doors open down the road.

    This is where I disagree most with the totebaggers philosophy. My experience is that the doors don’t close nearly as early or as firmly as totebaggers seem to think. I became a nurse practitioner, which is very similar to being a doctor, at 44. There are many different ways to get places. LfB has said her DD wants to work in an ER. You can do that as a PA or NP, which are both somewhat of second careers.

    Ada, I know it’s not the same as an MD, so I hope you didn’t take that the wrong way.

  166. LfB – everyone else has said it, but anyway, look at the pizza job 3-6 m-f as if it were spring/softball season again, since it’s roughly the same time commitment. If her grades suffered (too much in anyone’s opinion), then maybe 15hr/wk isn’t right yet. But maybe 3-4 months makes a difference in her ability to manage her time?

    Good Luck!

  167. To DD’s point, there are also many paths to becoming a doctor besides the Totebag one that begins with “major in chemistry at a top college with a good premed program” and ends with “finish residency at age 30.” The child of one of my doctor friends is finishing a nursing degree at a state flagship, and plans to work as a nurse before applying to medical school. My neighbor majored in business, played college and pro football, decided he wanted to become an orthopedic surgeon so went back to college for the science classes (while married with a child or two) and is now the ortho surgeon for his former college team.

    There are similar stories for lawyers and academics. No doors close in 10th grade. And few close even in college.

  168. @DD — Yep, I totally get that. I’m not saying that’s the only path for her — that’s just the path that she herself is fixated on for now. But there is a disconnect between what that path requires and (some of) her current behavior and habits (which, duh, she’s 15 and managing ADHD on her own; kinda goes with the territory). So my job is to help her either learn to align her behavior with those expectations so that path stays open, or adjust her expectations to other options. Right now we’re still on the first part of that.

  169. I would add two things to the helpful commentary above to LfB s query. Can she get to and from the job on her own power. It is not self directed if she has to be ferried about. And and an observation. If you have the financial means, it is important to let your kids have enough spending money, the right type of clothes, social activities, so that they fit in at least at the bottom tier with the milieu you’ve chosen for them. She already has a little job at Sunday school and a modest allowance. I’d bump the allowance up some and get flexible about your summer plans and her resume building so that she can work summers for her cash hoard.

    I hesitated to comment, after discovering last week that Totebag consensus is that *college* students should not br expected to work for pay during term time unless the money is somehow incidental to an academic or direct career prep goal. And also being told not for the first time that my and my kids intellectual gifts (ignoring our equally life shaping social inadequacies) discount any idea I might put forth, not to mention the belief that the middle class launch process has changed completely in the past 25 years.

    I had just enough more good luck to overcome the bad luck in my life to allow me a chance. But it is not the academic achievements that allowed me to triumph over my repeated missteps. It was determination, willingness to take risks and to make yet another bet on myself. Of all your kids, I most identify with Fred’s eldest, with his ups and downs and very different gifts than mine. I have probably never mentioned that I took off three semesters at Ivy because I flamed out. It is grit that brought me eventual life success, not passing milestones on a well defined path..

  170. LfB, here’s my take: you know what you want to do, and you’re asking for TB permission/blessing of your plan because of “pricnciples” it violates. Thing is, no one here knows your daughter and family like you do. You are not making a general policy for everyone to follow. You probably won’t even do the same thing with her brother in a few years. This plan is something you’ve come up with by looking at your kid and figuring out her motivations and needs. I get that you have mixed feelings about it, but look how you’ve explained and defended it against all comers here. If a certain mom whose daughter was raised in austerity, changing hotel beds on a work-study program before rising to be a pretty well-off lawyer should criticize it, you will be prepared.

    I have one small tweak to suggest: if she’s doing all those “extras”, grades shouldn’t be a problem, but you might want to come up with a minimum GPA while there isn’t a problem, and figure out what that will trigger. Not giving up those extras, but maybe restricting the pizza time?

  171. Meme, you apparently received a rebuke I missed, but “Totebag consensus is that *college* students should not br expected to work for pay during term time unless the money is somehow incidental to an academic or direct career prep goal” is directly opposite to the feeling I get around here. I think this board puts lots and lots and lots of value on bootstraps, even when ladders are available.

  172. LfB – I get where you are coming from. My take is that you have a kid who is taking initiative and trying to do something on her own. Thats a terrific and important thing. You could certainly say that the job is contingent upon maintaining her grades and keep on top of the online grade system. It may be that with more obligations she gets better at managing her time. They change a lot in a short time, so something she did last year may not reflect how she has matured over time. So in short, maybe she is trying to claim her independence which is a fantastic thing!

  173. Meme, please never hesitate to comment. I love hearing your perspective. My eldest is going into 3rd grade on Tuesday and is LikeMe – so, so far so good. DD starts kindergarten this year and is less LikeMe, so I’m interested in seeing how that goes.

  174. LfB, what part of doctoring does she think she will like? Saving the world? Delving into science? A small-town practice where she is greeted by patients wherever she goes? Teaching in a med school? She probably doesn’t even know all those positions are out there (and more–M’s friend’s story is very cool). If you can get her to describe her future day in the life of Anti-LfB, then maybe you can pick up on how that desire connects with the set-building and softball.

    MBT, lol, yes!

    Mini parenting victory: last night when I asked him again to treat me politely and use a reasonable tone of voice, DS again defended himself with “but I’m tired!” and insisted his tone and attitude are fine. I played a video close enough for him to hear, but didn’t make him watch. Took him a second to figure out that it was himself earlier that day. So far, we have had a happy; cooperative morning together.

  175. “It is grit that brought me eventual life success, not passing milestones on a well defined path.”

    Meme: You raise some good points. I look at DH’s success–he was a late bloomer and got where he is in life in a large part through grit and sheer will. How do I foster that grit and resilience in my kids, while at the same time, protect them from the sheer misery that parts of his life entailed? How can I have my cake and eat it, too?

    To TLC’s point–I, too, value your feedback and hope that you will not hesitate to comment.

  176. Meme, I can’t tell you how much I value your comments. I was someone who did follow the checklist, even when I didn’t want to, because of my deeply ingrained thoughts of How Things Are Done. That was my initial parenting model, but hasn’t stuck because my kids are not like me. It is clear that neither is/will be following the college path of my default assumption. It has taken a fair amount of mental work for me to shift from my expectations to reality and be okay with it. I am now confident they’ll both be successful on their paths, but it really helps me to hear your stories of carving your own way, and to hear it from a place in your life where you are clearly happy. I benefit from a lot of reminders that there is not, actually, one correct path.

  177. You guys are all assuming that LfB’s daughter wants independence. When I was her age, I just wanted more money. I bugged Mom to let me work because Mom was starving me on $15 a month clothing allowance (that also had to cover everything else) at a time when my friends had allowances in the $60 to $80 a month range, or else had parents who just handed them money every time they asked. I wanted to work because it was the only way to get more money. If Mom had just handed it over, I wouldn’t have cared about working at all.

  178. Update: DD came home from school this AM not feeling well. So I asked her: is the job because you want the independence of working for someone else outside of school? Or is it for the $ to hang out with your friends? Instant response: she wants cash. She doesn’t *really* want an outside job, because that means she has $ to hang out with friends but no time to do so. So I mentioned my idea, and she jumped all over it. Also threw out other useful things she can do to earn $ that would help me out, like making dinner (which she liked). I actually saw visible relief in her face and posture, so I am guessing she was more stressed about the job thing than she was letting on (typical). She also really puffed up at being asked and heard and my letting it be her decision (and I reiterated that if at some point she wants the independence and higher pay of a “real” job, I will support her in that choice, with certain expectations for grades etc.).

    @SM — yeah, it wasn’t so much permission as it was to test my hypothesis against different views. People here always approach things differently than I do, so I wanted to truth-test my thinking against those different perspectives. It helps me to see my own motivations and clarify my thought process. And awesome on the ‘Saacster this AM!

    So, thanks everybody — this has been tremendously helpful. I will let you know how it works out.

  179. Laura, that is awesome! When we find the right parenting combo, that click is unmistakable. A couple years of this might get her in the habit of doing all those extras, even when she’s tired or doesn’t feel like it. Over time, that habit can look an awful lot like grit.

  180. I mostly agree with what Scarlett said – the finish residency by 30 is not the only path. When I look around at my community hospital colleagues, it is not even the most common path. I went to a high-powered medical school, where the oldest student was mid-20s – so I know that path as well.

    A few (slightly conflicting) general principles:
    -very few people who want to be a doctor at the beginning of college go to medical school. Perhaps around 5-10%. This is not a challenge – many don’t go because they find something else that interests them, not because they are unable. Every major choice (college, major, study abroad, etc.) should be made with the caveat, “Would I still do this if I could never go to medical school?”. No matter what choice you make (majoring in Computer History Studies, small college, state flagship, gap year) there is a professional medical path associated with it. However, many choices to prepare for medical school (the pre-med major, worst idea in the world) do not have successful non-professional paths associated with them. To paraphrase some hokey country song, “I hope you have the chance to live like [you were never going to medical school].”
    -know the options, the costs inside and out. Scarlett’s friend who is a RN would be making a terrible mistake in going to medical school, in my opinion. RN –> practicing MD is a minimum of 7 year program (likely 8). RN – NP is usually 2 years. The ROI (especially if over 25) is terrible for the MD compared to the NP – debt is significantly higher, opportunity cost, with not significant difference in salaries.
    -You can do whatever you want, but you have to do it well. Success in college matters – much easier to get in with excellent grades in easy classes than average grades in very hard classes. Medical schools do not care at all about high school grades. (I was very, very happy that one school asked for my SAT scores – I really wanted to be able to put those on a t-shirt) It can be hard to overcome bad college grades on a medical school application (there are strict rules about including every grade, not being able to drop grades by retaking classes, etc). If a child needs to get overwhelmed and fall behind in school and figure out how to get his/her sh*t together, better now than later.

    This is not as organized as I would like, but I’m happy to speculate wildly some more later on.

  181. I have no idea why an RN would go to med school. Like Ada said, she should become an NP. Much less time and money and gets you to almost the same place. I do just about everything that the MDs at my practice do except pronounce deaths and sign VA forms.

  182. LfB,

    I was on a call with my boss the other day and the call started off with the head of another team asserting that he would never agree to what we wanted. My boss spoke to him for a bit and he eventually came around to doing what we wanted all the while thinking it was actually his idea. She’s very very good at her job. One of the best I’ve ever worked with.

    I think you’re daughter is going to do very well in the world seeing what an easy time she had playing you.

  183. “Speaking of freedom, the 9th Circuit just said that California can make it illegal to buy a gun if you have a medical marijuana card. So all those stoners melting into the couch watching Cartoon Network will have to make do with switchblades or something. I have to say, stoners seem like kind of a low-risk group when it comes to gun ownership.”

    just saw this, no way is this constitutional

    of all the groups to ban gun ownership from…

  184. Yeah, ok, I don’t *really* think it’s true. But if that’s my downside risk, I’m pretty much ok with it.

  185. One other thought – don’t discount working as a social outlet either though. Both DH & I made long-time friends through our high school jobs. Mostly kids from other nearby schools.

  186. Wine, supposedly it’s constitutional because you can deny gun ownership to people who use illegal drugs, and federally speaking marijuana is still illegal.

  187. RMS, okay then

    but like you said, this isn’t about reducing crime or gun related violence

    if we want to restrict gun ownership I would start somewhere else (but they didn’t ask me) :)
    instead of people using to control pain instead of using fentanyl etc

  188. I haven’t read about it, but could their spouse still buy a gun ? (still have one in the household)

  189. DH hopes KY will become a medical state, he had a spine surgery a few years back that made his pain worse

  190. “the problem of learning to manage a child that is NotMe”

    I can empathize.

    In many ways, DS is Finn 2.0 and has been pretty easy on me as a parent, but not so much for DW. DD, OTOH, is definitely NotMe, and much more of a challenge as a parent.

  191. “much easier to get in with excellent grades in easy classes than average grades in very hard classes.”

    Do you also believe it’s easier to get in with excellent grades from an average college than OK grades from a HSS?

    Lawyers, does this apply to law school admissions as well?

  192. @Finn — to a point. It’s a sliding scale. We hire people from say the top 10 law schools, a few other schools with great programs in our specific area, and local BigStateU. Generally, if you come out of HSY, you can get hired with a lower GPA than if you come from local BigStateU (maybe top 25% vs. top 10%). If you go to a lower-ranked school (e.g., “U of City), you either need to be really exceptional (right out of school) or get relevant experience somewhere else and come in as a lateral. We will absolutely take a top student from a poor school, but you need to prove that you’re there because of circumstances (e.g., going to school at night while working full-time job to support family) and not because it was the only school you could get into. So I think it’s like Ada (?) said about hitting your sweet spot: you need to go to the best school that you can do well at. (Of course, how you figure that out before you plop down $100K+ is beyond me)

  193. Remember the barrier to a long and lucrative career in medicine is getting into medical school. Essentially, everyone passes the boards, everybody gets a residency, everybody gets a license and a good job. Everybody doesn’t get to pick dermatology, but I do not know a single physician who wants to be employed and is not. The best and most competitive jobs (trauma surgeon at UCLA!) are not the most lucrative. I bet I make more than most of my friends (certainly on an hourly basis) who work in academics and have high profile jobs.

    In my understanding, that is not true in law.

  194. Ada, my guess is that’s in part because there is a shortage, or at least perceived and/or projected shortage, of MDs, while there is no such perception of a shortage of lawyers. Also, I believe there’s a limitation in the number of MDs that can enter the workforce in the form of limited resident positions, and no analogous limitation on lawyers.

Comments are closed.