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Comment: Re:Militia, then vs now (Score 1) 494

by mrchaotica (#46769583) Attached to: Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

When the constitution was ratified, the militia was the only defense that the United States had, and all able bodied men were expected to be ready to serve.

On April 16, 2014, the militia is still the last defense that the people of the United States have against tyranny perpetrated against them by their government.

Comment: Re:Simple problem, simple solution (Score 1) 285

by mrchaotica (#46769439) Attached to: San Francisco's Housing Crisis Explained

Your example is irrelevant because:

  1. 1. We're talking about a chronic, ongoing issue, not a special-event-one-day-per-year one.
  2. 2. If homeowners let people park on their laws every day, it would kill their grass
  3. 3. Such a thing can't happen anyway, because dense parts of San Francisco like we're talking about here don't have lawns big enough to park on.
  4. 4. Even if such a solution were physically possible, it would certainly violate San Francisco ordinances (zoning code etc.).

More to the point, the fundamental problem here is that street parking (which is what you end up with without forcing the developer to build more via regulation) is a commons, and no private actor (entrepreneur or otherwise) is capable of "fixing the problem."

Comment: Re:Simple problem, simple solution (Score 1) 285

by mrchaotica (#46766807) Attached to: San Francisco's Housing Crisis Explained

("Fiscally optimal" meaning the amount where the marginal cost of building another parking space (MC) equals the marginal revenue from building it (MR).)

Surely that calculation would include the externalized cost of more competition for on-street parking the developer would be imposing on the neighbors... right?

Yeah, I thought not.

Comment: Re:Gentrification? (Score 2) 285

by argStyopa (#46765835) Attached to: San Francisco's Housing Crisis Explained

I'll use Thomas Sowell's example: People like to live by water, on a shore.
There is only X shoreline.
There are two ways to apportion that shoreline.
1) money: let people buy and sell it, or
2) you can divide it up, and give a piece to everyone; of course, this results in uselessly small pieces (and you have to forbid transfers or you end up with #1), complications with inheritance (is it heritable? How do you deal with death? Marriage?)

The problem with #1 is that as the resource is finite, the prices will become very, very high.

San Francisco is a wonderful location but is extraordinarily geographically constrained. Which do you want: a dictatorship that controls everything and allocates places to people according to what they think is fair today, or a "free" market where prices skyrocket to their value and prevent any but the super-wealthy from living there?
You can't have both, as I suspect that the inefficiencies of trying to chart a middle course make it the worst possible choice.

Comment: Hypocrisy abounds (Score 1) 522

by argStyopa (#46765771) Attached to: Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

What's so hilarious is that to most of the commenters here, the Koch Brothers exemplify the absolute evil in the system whilst (and simultaneously) George Soros is merely 'doing the right thing' and 'helping people speak truth to power'.

One party is clearly the party of business, and business wields a lot of money. Hell, one whole tv network is dedicated to pushing their views.

The other party has draped themselves in the flag of victimhood, somehow managing to portray themselves as the oppressed when they a) are the majority, b) spent 57%(!) more in the last presidential election. They have a much smaller media network overtly supporting them, but 8-9/10 of general journalists sympathize and vote with this party.

In my view, BOTH parties are corrupt, nepotistic heads of the same beast. The idea that you support one side or the other is a Hobson's choice that keeps us running around the wheel, generating funds.

Next time someone from "the other party" pisses you off, think for a second if they weren't prompted to it by rabble rousers on their side SPECIFICALLY to make you angry. Ask any stage magician or pickpocket: controlling your attention is 90% of the trick.

Comment: Re:BS (Score 1) 285

by Ichijo (#46764309) Attached to: San Francisco's Housing Crisis Explained

All property owners pay based on their date of purchase, which is entirely fair.

I pay five times what my neighbor pays in property tax for the same model simply because my neighbor bought in 1977 and I bought in 2010. Prop 13 is good for older people who have been here a while but not so good for people trying to buy their first home.

I can understand the desire to prevent the government from raising property taxes too quickly, but there's really no good reason to set the annual assessment increase limit below the normal rate of inflation.

Comment: Re:Simple problem, simple solution (Score 1) 285

by Ichijo (#46764081) Attached to: San Francisco's Housing Crisis Explained

What would a truly level playing field for transportation look like to you? Would developers be forced, as they usually are today, to build more than the fiscally optimal amount of parking? ("Fiscally optimal" meaning the amount where the marginal cost of building another parking space (MC) equals the marginal revenue from building it (MR).)

Comment: Re:Simple problem, simple solution (Score 4, Informative) 285

by Ichijo (#46762835) Attached to: San Francisco's Housing Crisis Explained

The only way to fix the Bay Area housing crisis is to build more fucking housing.

This map (which shows the allowed building heights in San Francisco, where yellow is 4 stories. And Mountain View has forbidden Google from building more housing.

So as you can see, developers won't build more housing because they aren't being allowed to.

Comment: Re:Greedy bastards ... (Score 1) 382

by mrchaotica (#46761427) Attached to: Intuit, Maker of Turbotax, Lobbies Against Simplified Tax Filings

First: No, I don't think political parties should be protected by the First Amendment if they are organized as limited-liability corporations (C-corps, S-corps, LLCs, etc. -- unencorporated partnerships, on the other hand, are just fine).

Second: Political parties are, in general, a cancer and government recognition of them should be abolished. Closed primaries, faction-based voting and Gerrymandering are all violations of democratic principles caused by the existence of political parties, and the extremism & gridlock in Congress is an excellent example of the harm that results.

Third: Nothing I've said would in any way whatsoever harm like-minded people's ability to get together and advocate some political ideology. Said group neither needs nor deserves special recognition under the law that is not afforded to individuals, however!

Comment: Re:Not even much money (Score 1) 382

by jellomizer (#46760141) Attached to: Intuit, Maker of Turbotax, Lobbies Against Simplified Tax Filings

We all talk about simplifying the tax code but it won't happen, and not because of Intuit, or H&R Block.

The problem is are tax code is designed to help out the little guy... However it is so complex that the little guy cannot possibly take advantage of it.
But if you were to say, cut Interest deductions for your mortgage, or tax credit for charity, or even investment tasks. There are more then just the high income earners who are effected but the average Joe who is just trying to get ahead. So every tax detail will need to be debated and argued, and you will see stories from some parties super pack saying how horrible it will be for the average guy to get rid of it.

"Regardless of the legal speed limit, your Buick must be operated at speeds faster than 85 MPH (140kph)." -- 1987 Buick Grand National owners manual.

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