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Comment: Re:Curious... (Score 1) 1065

by Alioth (#49734451) Attached to: Los Angeles Raises Minimum Wage To $15 an Hour

Raising minimum wage *past a certain point* won't help anyone. If you've ever done basic calculus you will have come across the concept of oprimization - in the abstract for instance, finding where the derivative of a function that's some sort of concave-down curve crosses zero.

The minimum wage will be like that. If you graphed the spending power of the minimum wage people (their income minus their expenses) it will probably be some kind of curve. Starting from zero, the graph will slope upwards, until you hit a peak, and then it will slope downwards as the increased labour cost exceeds the benefit of higher wages.

We are probably somewhere to the left of this optimal point. The increase LA is making probably will move people closer to the optimal point. Increasing the minimum wage to $100/hr will move you to a point far to the right of the point at which the first derivative of the graph crosses zero.

Comment: Re:Consumer Price Index (Score 1) 1065

by Alioth (#49734249) Attached to: Los Angeles Raises Minimum Wage To $15 an Hour

That assumes 100% of the cost of a product is labour costs.

In reality this is not true. In your example, the wage might go from $60/day to $120/day, but the product will go from $60 before to $80 after. Competition will mean many businesses take lower profits rather than pass on the entire price increase, and virtually no products are 100% labour cost. While wages cannot be raised infinitely, there will be an optimal point, and I suspect we are well below that optimal point as other cities have already demonstrated.

Comment: Re:Stupid reasoning. (Score 1) 1065

by Alioth (#49734233) Attached to: Los Angeles Raises Minimum Wage To $15 an Hour

Only if 100% of that product's cost is labour.

In reality this is rarely true, and competition means that businesses often can't pass on all of the cost increase - what it'll mean is businesses will make a little less profit, prices will increase by less than the increase in the minimum wage, and more people will have some sort of disposable income they can now spend on discretionary items. So sales increase.

Certainly you can't raise wages infinitely, and at some point you'll hit a peak, but I suspect we are a long way below that peak.

Comment: Re: Easy grammar (Score 1) 626

What is curious is that small children almost always regularise verbs. In English, I've heard children say "buyed" instead of "bought", for instance. The only other language I know is Spanish, and my Spanish friends have told me that the same thing happens there too - kids saying "sabo" instead of "sé" for example.

Comment: Re:I'm pretty sure Jesus said not to do this (Score 1) 1168

by Alioth (#49386969) Attached to: Apple's Tim Cook Calls Out "Religious Freedom" Laws As Discriminatory

The problem is that the holy rollers won't lose money. Gays are a tiny minority. It is estimated that at most 5% of the population is gay, and only a fraction of them are "out", the rest miserably pretending to be heterosexual to fit in.

It is entirely possible that there will be *no* photographers in your small town who will photograph a gay wedding.

Comment: Re:Death traps. (Score 1) 451

by Alioth (#49291863) Attached to: Lyft CEO: Self-Driving Cars Aren't the Future

You are somewhat the rarity with your vintage car. For most people, drive by wire is already a thing. The throttle has been drive by wire for years on most cars, and some of today's cars are steer by wire. (Yes, there is manual reversion if it fails, but in normal driving you have no mechanical connection between the steering wheel and the wheels of the car). Many cars can brake independently of the driver. Even my 2007 Civic has traction control and ABS fitted as standard.

Comment: Re:Buggy whip makers said automobiles aren't... (Score 1) 451

by Alioth (#49291749) Attached to: Lyft CEO: Self-Driving Cars Aren't the Future

Traffic would probably flow considerably better in a city full of self driving cars. A lot of the chaos of city driving is because of human error and human reaction delays.

You only have to fly over a traffic jam on a major highway to see problems that could be significantly alleviated by self driving cars that communicate with each other. Quite often you see traffic jams with no explanation - a mile of stationary traffic, but there's no obstacle in front and none behind. What happened is two hours earlier someone slammed on their brakes, someone following too close had to brake harder, and eventually the whole highway stops. As long as traffic is not leaving the stopped area faster than it is arriving, you get a self-sustaining traffic jam long after the original cause has gone away. The self driving car will reduce the instances in the first place of the cause, and if it does happen will be able to as a group moderate their speed in such a way that you don't end up with a mile of stopped cars. Instead of the next car only starting after it has seen the previous one begin to move + reaction delay, all cars will be able to start moving at once or nearly so.

Some of my readers ask me what a "Serial Port" is. The answer is: I don't know. Is it some kind of wine you have with breakfast?