• 0 Posts
Joined 1 year ago
Cake day: June 23rd, 2023


  • They’re certainly working on it.

    The one thing we still have going for us today vs in the past is that debts used to be inheritable. So if/when a Company worker died (and they often did, as most Company Towns were formed around very dangerous jobs) then their wife and children were on the hook.

    That meant that if their surviving family had no job, or money to pay off the debt, the Company basically owned them at that point. And the Company could even sell the debt to a person who could pay it—and that got the payee a slave.

    (Yes, technically, the person who bought the debt had to pay their newly acquired person a wage, so that person could pay them back to earn their freedom. But as there were no laws as to what wage to set, all they had to do was pay their new indentured servant such a pittance and charge them such high fees for room & board that they would be stuck working for their new owner forever—and even pass the debt on to their heirs, if they ever had any.)

    Or, the family could simply be sent to debtor’s prison to rot.

    I expect to see these old laws make a comeback at some point, especially if they get Project 2025 rolling.

  • Oh dear. Education has really failed this country.

    Even in cases where companies may have the workers’ best interests at heart, company towns ultimately lead to a lack of personal freedom. If churches are selected for residents at the company’s whim, that means that other denominations and entire religions are left out in the cold. Choices—whether bad or good—are taken out of the residents’ hands. Recreation is dictated by companies, and anything that may be perceived as uncouth or immoral is no longer an option. Personal exploration is thinned to none, and a utopia quickly becomes a force of oppression.

    In the case of less well-intentioned towns, matters get only worse. In some locations, companies would compensate workers with a scrip—a monetary substitute that was valid only at stores owned by that same company. As there were no competitors for these monopolistic stores, buildings, and services, the price was fully at the discretion of the owner. Housing costs, groceries, and other necessities then became exorbitantly priced.

    Since the company that owned the town knew that all the residents had steady, reliable jobs, some of them allowed shoppers who were financially strapped to simply charge goods and services to a tab as needed. Of course, this meant that workers quickly racked up large debts—debts they were obligated to settle before they ever even thought about leaving the town.

    As for the actual living conditions in such towns, they were far from the idyllic neighborhoods many might have aspired to. Houses were built as close together as physically possible, so as to allow the greatest number of workers to reside there. Besides lacking privacy and being shabbily built, one could only hope a home in the neighborhood didn’t fall victim to a fire, or else the whole lot would go up in flames. Beyond that, company towns were also typically surrounded by fences or guards. This was allegedly for the workers’ protection. But in areas throughout the South, the truth was rather transparent: as free laborers and convict laborers were housed in the same areas, both groups fell victim to equally abhorrent treatment.

    Please, go and read up on Company Towns. They were never a good thing, and often a very, very bad thing.

  • The Boots theory is simple: rich people can buy better quality goods that last longer, so they spend less money in the long run. For modern audiences and situations, one can also add loans vs buying outright.

    It is more expensive to be poor.

    As far as Pratchett’s writing, if that’s what you got out of it, then you may have read his works, but you understood nothing in them. And for that I pity you, because he has many great lessons in them as well as great, very human stories, if you care to pay attention.

  • Seleni@lemmy.worldtomemes@lemmy.worldButter is serious business
    5 days ago

    Not the same. A more apt version using your comparison would be someone saying ‘I’ve been sober for a year!’ and the other person (who still drinks, but perhaps cheered them on now and again from the sidelines) says either ‘You mean we’ve been sober for a year!’ or ‘Yes, and it’s all thanks to me!’ - never mind they didn’t actively step in to help, or try to go dry themselves.

    What the complaint you quoted was objecting to are people claiming full part of something they had no control over and no (or not much) involvement in, just to make themselves feel more important.

    Yes we as a social species like to share in accomplishments, and that’s fine! But there is a line, that unfortunately gets crossed quite a lot, where people start to feel that they themselves were involved in the accomplishments of others, and that’s not so good. To paraphrase an above poster, we didn’t win the Super Bowl.

    And also, some things people take ‘group pride’ in aren’t accomplishments at all. Being born in a specific place, for instance, or having a specific skin color. Or even just trying to share credit with every inventor/creator/whatever of the same gender. It does all tie back to our instinctive tribalism, but that doesn’t make it a good thing.

  • What? No it doesn’t.

    The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money. Take boots, for example. … A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. … But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that’d still be keeping his feet dry in ten years’ time, while a poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.

    Where on the Disc did you get ‘god-given external conditions’ from that?

    And knowing how Sir Terry stood on social issues, it was indeed supposed to be taken seriously. He often used his books to speak out about problems in society.

  • Seleni@lemmy.worldto196@lemmy.blahaj.zoneRule
    14 days ago

    It depends in part on male vs female; male rats and mice mark territory (and sometimes even their favorite walking paths, so beware if you let them roam) with urine. Back when I kept rats and mice, the female cages would always smell better than the male cages, no matter what I did.

    Now I keep pythons, and both male and female cages don’t stink lol. I have to admit that the smell is the biggest thing I don’t miss about having pet rodents.