Saturday, December 20, 2008

Retail Shrinkage and Ethics

Al Fin--an excellent website that everyone interested in science news, futurism, transhumanism, and the like should read--recently mentioned surveys of student cheating as evidence of declining ethics. I replied that retail shrinkage as a percent of sales over time would be a better measure. This inspired me to see if I could find any data.

I managed to find this document that gives shrinkage rates from 1991 to 2001. They were:

1991 1.79
1992 1.91
1993 1.88
1994 1.95
1995 1.83
1996 1.87
1997 1.77
1998 1.72
1999 no data
2000 1.69
2001 1.80

I then found the rest of the numbers by searching on "National Retail Security Survey" with the appropriate year.

2002 didn't find
2003 1.65
2004 1.54
2005 1.60
2006 1.57
2007 1.40

Take the numbers I searched for by hand with salt, for I found somewhat contradictory information at various sites. At any rate, there doesn't seem to be any strong upward trend in shrinkage over the last couple decades. Of course, shrinkage is going to vary with anti-theft technology and the economy.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Lesbianism, Steve Sailer, and NOW

On a Web forum (PW: Tim) where I spend too much time arguing with people on the Internet, I posted a link to this article by Steve Sailer. Those readers with some life experience can fill in for themselves the distress and consternation this caused among the usual suspects.

My curiosity got the best of me, and I decided to do at least a little research on the leaders of feminism to see for myself if lesbians make up a high percentage of them. I went to the NOW site and looked up their officers. It listed four:

Kim Gandy (president)
Olga Vives (vice president)
Melody Drnach (vice president)
Latifa Lyles (vice president)

As the national officers of a prominent organization, surprisingly little about these women turns up in a Google search; nevertheless, there is some evidence to be had.

Ms. Gandy's official biography (liked above) indicates that she is straight or primarily straight.

Ms. Vives' biography screams "lesbian" at me. Fortunately, I found confirmation of my intuition here. In case that link doesn't render properly:
Olga also brings many insights from her experiences as a mother of three, an immigrant, a lesbian and a Latina.

Ms. Drnach's official biography also gives off a lesbian vibe, but of a less strident sort. After all, she likes her dog and her nephews. As confirmation, I also found this biography. The money quote:
Melody also serves on the Board of RI Stonewall Democrats
If one then looks up Stonewall Democrats, one finds:
The National Stonewall Democrats is a grassroots network connecting LGBT Democratic activists from Seattle, Washington to Austin, Texas to Little Rock, Arkansas to Atlanta, Georgia.
The evidence is strong that Ms. Drnach also is a lesbian.

The Google search on Ms. Lyles yields lots of sites, but the ones I checked don't answer the question of interest. However, her official NOW biography states that she has a fiancée. If the person who wrote the biography spelled correctly, it indicates that Ms. Lyles, too, is either lesbian or primarily lesbian.

Therefore, out of the four national officers listed on the NOW site, three are probably lesbians. Perhaps this Sailer guy isn't as ignorant as many of his detractors seem to believe.

Note that I have no problem at all with the leadership of NOW being much more homosexual than the general population. I do think it is unjust to imply that one is bigoted for noting this fact, or for concluding that most other feminist organizations probably share this property.