Dredging Doesn’t Prevent Floods

Maas high water mark by larsjuh

Maas high water mark by larsjuh

The floods in the UK has triggered a storm of utter nonsense about what does and doesn’t help to prevent or reduce flooding. One of these claims is that dredging rivers will help with preventing flooding or at least will make them less severe. This is wrong.

I live in The Netherlands and we’re a country with a very long history fighting against the ocean and our rivers. It’s because of our constant battle with water that we have a vast network of defences, a lot of resources to help during a crisis, and contingency plans when things do go wrong. But despite all that nature still sometimes surprises us, it has learned us to never underestimate her. We got two such lessons in 1993 and 1995 courtesy of the river the Meuse.

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Equal Pay For Unequal Work

The past few months I haven’t been releasing any new content. This is due to me working on a big project, and a few other reasons. So I didn’t expect to see the following when I read “Equal Pay Should Be For Equal Work, Not Unequal Work” by Hans Bader on the Competitive Enterprise Institute blog:

Yesterday, I criticized the assumption that people should receive equal pay for unequal work, such as requiring the average woman to be paid exactly the same amount as the average man even though the average male employee works more hours than the average female employee. (I am talking here about averages, not generalizing about every individual case; there are obviously male part-time employees, just as there are women who work 80 hours a week.)

But apparently this point was too subtle for some people. Collin Maessen of Real Sceptic tweeted my blog post, with the preface, “apparently CEI is against regulations that allow women to earn the same wages for the same work as men do.” I didn’t write about such regulations at all. To me, it’s not “the same work” if it’s not the same number of hours. Why should a full-time employee be paid as little as a part-time employee? Why should an employee who works 60 hours per week be paid the same as an employee who works 40 hours per week?

Being mentioned on the CEI blog really surprised me. As I just tweeted my impression on the argument being presented without any context as to why I got that impression. Not strange considering a tweet can be a maximum of 140 characters long.

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The Not So Bad Department of Transportation Rules

Lee Doren actually gave a hat tip to me in the video “Bad Department of Transportation Rule With Good Intentions” for a link he included in the description. Although not really a meaningful reference or link to me, but still nice.

Now you might be wondering why I sent Lee a link, well technically I didn’t. I used the link in an exchange we had where I disagreed with his argument and conclusions. So I’m actually one of the critics he mentioned in the video. But lets start from the beginning.

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Consumer Protection Is Apparently A Bad Idea

The U.S. Department of Transportation put into effect new rules that makes flying more convenient and hassle-free for air travelers in the U.S. The new rules include requirements that airlines refund baggage fees if bags are lost, increase compensation provided to passengers bumped from oversold flights, and provide passengers greater protections from lengthy tarmac delays.

Rules like these have been in effect for years in Europe and has made flying a lot more enjoyable for everyone. And has giving consumers the tools that they can ensure that they get what they paid for, without being left at the mercy of an airliner on an airport far from home.

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Income inequality and human rights

Lee Doren’s comments (HowTheWorldWorks) about economic inequality not being a real human rights issue and that the United States is nothing like oppressive regimes warranted a response:

Here’s how the report is basically written. It states some sort of law that the United States passed like the American Disabilities Act, or other types of laws, that prevent “economic inequality” in the United States. They talk about title nine. And then it states that we still have steps in the United States to take to make human rights no longer a problem. Those are not human rights violations, OK.

Yes those are human rights violation, and I’ll explain why.

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Dutch Tourism Industry

Lee Doren who runs the YouTube channel HowTheWorldWorks said in his video “The Nashville Flood Happened” that passing a law that prevents foreign tourist buying soft drugs would destroy the Dutch tourist industry. Now as someone who lives in The Netherlands and enjoys taking vacations in his own country I knew this was nonsense. So with some digging on the…