South Dakota lawmaker blocks workplace protection for pregnant workers: "It's not prison. You can quit."

Because this isn’t your movie.



Anarcho-capitalism sounds like the very definition of hell on earth. Damn.


Thank God someone is thinking of the proprietors of old building and cave tours.

For too long people who run tours of old buildings and caves have been unfairly discriminated against. It is getting so it is damn near impossible to make a decent profit running tours of old buildings and caves, especially when those uppity pregnant women you have abseiling down the interior of the cave leading the tour group to the dive point in total darkness want to sit on a stool and drink a glass of water or take a piss.


Also, personal (and mostly unnecessary, but somehow relevant) note: I’ve known two Cathcarts in my time here on earth, both thoroughly disagreeable people who only ever brought joy to a room by leaving it. I’m sure there must be some pleasant people with that particular surname somewhere in this world, but this Shawn chap sure as hell isn’t helping the cause of his people. That said, were he to leave this room I’d once again find joy in the occasion. So there’s that.

Edit: corrected auto-correct error.


sorry there, quite right about that. It was an unneccesary diversion from my original point anyhow. Thanks!

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How can an employer exist?

I mean, if you have a lot of wealth, what prevents the untamed hordes from picking all your valuables clean away and leaving you with a commemorative t-shirt? I believe that’s laws imposed by the government.

Also, what prevents a CEO from just selling off the business and pocketing the profits and leaving the investors with nothing? I believe that’s laws imposed by the government.

What prevents the business down the street from using your name, logo, brand and basically claiming they are you even though they’re not and ruining your reputation and/or stealing your business? I believe that’s also laws imposed by the government.

Seems like laws imposed by the government creates the environment for businesses to exist and thrive, and businesses can’t operate without a governing body imposing rules lest unsavory people steal all value the business has in the first place.

So, then, it seems to me that workers, who are the people who vote for the government that creates the environment for business actually do have a say, don’t they?


What’s in the fourth bag? The one in the back there.

Are you reading what you are writing?


But if I hold a gun to your head and tell you to drink hydraulic fluid, the choice is yours to make. I’m pretty sure that’s the point here… I think… right?


Oh that’s interesti…no…no it’s dumb. Have a great time with that “logic”. I hear parts of Yemen don’t have any such tyrannical gov’t, maybe you should take a look?


You expanded my vocabulary.


I think that there is something else in that report. That lawmaker said that women should quit and find an employer with better workplace protection. Therefore, he believes that the employee is in a position to negotiate a working contract to her advantage.

In my experience, that is what the rich actually think. And it makes sense for them, because they are usually in that position themselves. They are in power and they can negotiate contracts to their advantage.

So it’s more a blindness to what the average worker actually feels than anything else. It is not an excuse, of course.

Interestingly, some workers are in that position. Silicon valley firms apparently make lots of efforts to attract and keep graduates and will provide benefits for pregnant women. The reason is market forces: there is a shortage of bright minds. It is possible that this south Dakota lawmaker may be thinking albout that particular scarce workforce. In any case, he is still completely insensitive to the needs of 90% of his voting base, who are not in that position.


He’s not engaging, which is interesting because I was reading about a recent study that showed that people of far-right views tended to make posts promoting their views but not reply to other people. I guess it’s stereotypical behaviour.


In a just world, it would be where you kept .bat files.



That is one of my favourite visual puns ever.



Shawn, I was wondering what your perspective on contracts might be?

The way you were describing the relationship between the employer and employee almost made it sound as if you believed that whilst negotiating a contract coercive force could be used by only the employer and not the employee.

I was wondering if you saw this as a disparity or if you thought perhaps there were extenuating circumstances that make it desirable to have such an unbalanced use of force predominate what should be good faith negotiations?

IMO this doesn’t really mean the employer is actually using violence, although you do seem to equate that kind of unfair application of forced coercion with violence, so I’ll use your terminology for the purpose of this question.


Laws are rarely enforced at the “point of a gun”. Laws are followed out of cooperation and mutual respect.


This is what pisses me off so much, it’s that the people advocating for changes that increase their personal wealth at the expense of more than half the population are so stupid. That’s the way to the guillotine. Making things better for everyone means that bigshot CEOs still get to live great lives and have nice homes and great vacations. It also means no murderous revolt in sight, no angry masses voting in Trump to take (misdirected) revenge, and far less everyday theft and violence.

Of course I’m not sure they are actually stupid. I think at least some of them are psychopaths who want exactly the world they are trying to create.