Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sour Apple? My deer wife?

First of all, brief but still nice (and relevant) mention in HuffPo today. Be sure to read the column if you're a woman and you're feeling...overextended.

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One of our regulars tipped me to the fact that in the new bio on Steve Jobs, which will debut Monday as Amazon's No. 1, his biographer, Walter Isaacson, reports that Jobs passed up early cancer intervention that "might have saved his life" in order to focus his healing energies on, well, healing energies: magical thinking and the rest of it. I guess Jobs was impressed by how well positive thinking worked for Lynn Redgrave and Randy Pausch.

I may have more to say on that score in time.

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Today I am mindful of that Cure Auto TV spot emphasizing that they base their rates on your driving history, not your credit score. I deem that a splendid idea, and though I realize there is probably some established actuarial reason for the widespread insurance-industry practice of linking credit scores and insurance rates (any actuaries out there who want to set the record straight?), I still think there's something inherently unfair about it. I mean, suppose some figures were to come to light suggesting
that a certain unusual percentage of people who'd died in house fires also had azaleas in their gardens... Would it be fair for insurance underwriters to canvass suburban neighborhoods, slyly snapping photos of homeowners bent over shovels and bags of mulch in order to reprice their homeowner's and life-insurance policies?

Getting down to cases, the reason I am mindful of the issue today is, I just discovered that my wife's so-called "insurability score" is a dozen-or-so points higher than mine. I can only assume that's because my wife's credit score is a dozen-or-so points higher than mine. Both of our respective credit scores are pretty solid; not absolutely A-1, but solid. (I don't know too many long-time freelance writers whose credit scores have remained pristine and blemish-free through, say, three decades of writing.) But here's the thing: Over the past five years, my wife has done varying degrees of damage to two inorganic objects (a bumper, a fender) as well as permanent and irrevocable damage to one decidedly organic object (a deer, in this incident). She also received a ticket for doing 84 in a 65 while on her way to Syracuse to visit an old friend.

In that same time period, I have had NO accidents and NO tickets.

How is this fair?

7 comments:

RevRon's Rants said...

Steve -
1) Her haircuts cost at least twice what yours do. Probably more.
2) Having a blouse laundered costs a lot more than having a dress shirt laundered.
3) Despite gains in the last decade or so, a woman typically earns less than a man for doing the same job.
4) Periods.
5) Childbirth. Imagine crapping a cantaloupe.
6) Menopause.
7) Husbands (and, to be fair, fiancées).

To quote the Bruce Willis character in The Kid, "Call a waaaahhhmbulance!"

Now, lighten the f8#k up about this fairness doctrine. :-)

Seriously, though... have a great weekend (and you're right about freelancers' credit scores taking hits)!

Steve Salerno said...

1. Who told her to pay for a haircut? I do my own. Sure, it looks it, but I can live with it. Why can't she?
2. If she was a bit more scrupulous about doing laundry, why would anything need to be drycleaned?
3. That is a fallacy based on statistical sleight-of-hand. Women do not earn less than men for doing--literally--the same work. Ask yourself this: In today's climate, how would employers get away with paying less based on gender? You're telling me nobody ratted the offending employers out? Besides, if employers could get women to do the same job for less money than a man is paid, why would any profit-minded employer ever consider hiring a man? Just hire all women and reduce your overhead!
4. Believe me, they more than even the score via PMS-based aggression, manipulation, etc.
5. I repeat a version of 1 above: Then why the overwhelming compulsion to have kids? I'm sure they'd have no trouble finding guys who'd be content with everlasting "practice."
6. See 4 above.
7. Wives.
And, as a special bonus,
8. ;-)

RevRon's Rants said...

1) Pride
2) You own any Armani suits? She's probably gonna wash them for you now. In hot water. With bleach. And I suspect that for your own safety, you might want to stay down in the basement for a few hours. Or a week.
3) Unless you've got better figures than the GAO, I'll call your "fallacy." How do employers get away with it? Would YOU go to your boss and complain about making 10% less than a co-worker? Especially in this job market? Besides, hire all women, and the SNAGs would be on you with a discrimination lawsuit quicker than you could say "Let's all go get pedicures."
4) I'd concede this point, but life around here would be hell, so I'm saying, "Nuh -uh!"
5) So... You wouldn't want any little Salernos running around to carry on your name and make your car insurance premiums skyrocket? Commie!
6) We have our tender moments too, you know. We just don't get to write them off to biology, and are forced to accept that we're insensitive assholes instead. So OK... I'll give you this one.
7) You obviously never watch any commercials. It's always the guy who is a dolt (and a white guy, to boot). Of course, I can only imagine the outcry if the guy (especially a white guy) was portrayed as the genius, and the woman (or ethnic guy) was the dolt.

As to your bonus,
8) :-)-: (Which is an anatomically correct male :-) ).

Steve Salerno said...

Ron: By the way, as to the myth of men outearning women for the same job (which is what the activists imply), here's some succinct reading:

http://tinyurl.com/3c9xsr3

It doesn't make the case nearly as well as Stossel does in his excellent book, Gimme A Break, but it's a worthy overview.

When I read assertions like "men make more than women, therefore women are underpaid," I am reminded of the automotive writer who found that an inordinate number of fatal accidents occur in Corvettes, and concluded, ipso facto, that Corvettes are unsafe cars. I mean...gimme a break!

A little critical thinking will take a person a long way. ;-----)

RevRon's Rants said...

Yeah, but you're still gonna be stuck in the basement for awhile. :-)

Steve Salerno said...

So what else is new? I realized I was in trouble when the spiders started making friends with me. (I told you about that, didn't I?)

RevRon's Rants said...

As long as they don't argue with you... and win!