Michael Snow wrote:
>... Paying market rate salaries is not what
> protects employees from being overwhelmed by medical expenses.
> The type of long-term or catastrophic medical event that generates
> a situation like this can outstrip even the most generous salary.
> What's actually relevant is the scope of medical coverage offered,
> including for dependents.

Even the best medical plans don't protect medical debtors the way that
the ability to finance long term personal debt with greater salary and
savings does. Three quarters of U.S. debtors entering bankruptcy for
medical reasons have insurance:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/documents/american_journal_of_medicine_09.pdf

Does anyone object to the idea of surveying donors to find their
opinions on whether the Foundation should pay market rate for labor?

Nine additional reviews have been added to
http://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/Wikimedia-Foundation-Reviews-E38331.htm
since Glassdoor was mentioned here last week. Glassdoor verifies email
addresses for those who claim to be current employees, and they
provide anonymity in the way an internal survey with detailed
responses can not. The Foundation's employee satisfaction and
recommendation scores there have improved very slightly, but still not
enough to exceed any of the other comparable firms and foundations.
It is great to hear personally from satisfied employees, but it seems
more reasonable to trust reasonably anonymous data rather than
anecdotes in this case.

Nathan wrote:
> "Does the Foundation have the will to protect volunteer editors from
> the deleterious effects of income inequality?"
> This is, I think, is the signal of where James is going with this. This is
> the recurrence of the argument from a few months ago of paying editors,
> something that I think virtually anyone who has thought about it would oppose.

I've never suggested paying editors, but I was hoping that something
like the Fellowship program could have been extended to established,
long-term contributors living in poverty. There are now Foundation
grants available for individuals which will be announced in a few
weeks: http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Individual_Engagement_Grants

When I wrote that, I was trying to suggest that it would be reasonable
for the Foundation to undertake an educational action campaign to help
people understand the implications of Arthur Okun's 1975 regression
mistake described in
http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/fandd/2011/09/berg.htm -- I think
it is absolutely correct to describe that as the worst mathematical
error in the history of human civilization, which has resulted in more
than two billion preventable premature deaths and more than $20
trillion in financial losses since 1975. Moreover, the error underlies
essentially all of the "left-right" economic debates taking place
worldwide today.

However, since I wrote that, it has become apparent that the IMF
itself, at its highest levels, is starting to come to terms with the
magnitude and implications of the error and address them directly on
the world stage, and the press has picked up on that:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/01/03/an-amazing-mea-culpa-from-the-imfs-chief-economist-on-austerity/
So it's probably best to take a wait-and-see attitude for a month or
so before I would continue to recommend such action.

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