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Comment: Re:Overly broad? (Score 1) 420

by ChrisMaple (#48192443) Attached to: Soda Pop Damages Your Cells' Telomeres
There are a number of good reasons to care. One is that it adds a valuable bit to a person's general store of knowledge. Another is that it might suggest a way to make an equally tasty beverage that does less damage. Still another is that it may cause a person to choose a better drink from among already available alternatives.

Comment: Re:Overly broad? (Score 1) 420

by ChrisMaple (#48192373) Attached to: Soda Pop Damages Your Cells' Telomeres

HFCS is widely used because U.S. cane sugar lobbyists successfully pushed for high duties on imported sugar: this allowed U.S. producers to push up the price of cane sugar. Big users of sugar in processed foods then looked for cheaper ways to get the same sweetness, and HFCS became a practical substitute. If common sugars are all made more expensive, the search for practical alternatives will intensify. Perhaps someone will find a way to make the sugar alcohols like xylitol or other chemicals tasting very much like sugar such as inositol, cheap enough.

Actually, cane sugar (or the equivalent beet sugar) is quite cheap, and the price would probably have to more than double to cut down much on most people's intake.

Comment: Re:You keep using that word... "basically"... (Score 1) 420

by ChrisMaple (#48192177) Attached to: Soda Pop Damages Your Cells' Telomeres
Sugar is usually used to make foods "sweet enough", and according to Pearson and Shaw fructose is almost twice as sweet as cane sugar (in cold foods). If you're eating for taste rather than an energy boost or a sugar buzz, fructose has the advantage that less is needed - not that food buyers have much choice about sugar content of foods they don't prepare themselves.

Comment: Re:Let me get this right (Score 1) 832

by ChrisMaple (#48165059) Attached to: Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

Any high level of taxation is stupid; the higher the stupider. High levels of taxation mean that people will act in ways that minimize the tax they pay; instead of producing or enjoying themselves, they are living their lives to avoid government burdens. High taxes of any form distort the economy. Short term, high taxes make most people worse off, long term everybody is worse off (because of the loss of technological advances.)

If the tax burden is low, it's not worth the effort to avoid it, and most people can't be bothered when they have something better to do.

Comment: Re:Let me get this right (Score 1) 832

by ChrisMaple (#48164957) Attached to: Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right
According to a study cited by the Washington Post, 14.7% of the wealth of the top 1% was inherited or received as a gift. That's nowhere near a majority. Furthermore,

Wolff and Gittleman also find that because wealth transfers generally make up a bigger portion of the wealth of poor and middle-class people, they actually reduce wealth inequality, in aggregate. “Our simulations show that eliminating inheritances either in full or in part actually increases overall wealth inequality and, in particular, sharply reduces the share of the bottom 40 percent of the wealth distribution,” they write. So while there’s no doubting that the rich are inheriting a lot of money — 14.7 percent of the wealth of the top 1 percent isn’t nothing, after all — it remains the case that inheritance does not increase wealth inequality.

Think about it: if you're poor and inherit a tiny slum house, it's proportionally a greater portion of your wealth (which might previously have been negative) than a million dollar estate to someone who has already accumulated, e.g., $300,000.

Comment: Re:Let me get this right (Score 1) 832

by ChrisMaple (#48164793) Attached to: Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

A: the purpose of the zoning code is to keep the poor and minorities out of middle-class and wealthy neighborhoods,
B: and that in turn restricts economic mobility,
C: keeping the poor dependent on social programs for their livelihood.

It is completely absurd to claim that A implies either B or C.

Where I live, the zones are 1. Village 2. Rural 3. Industrial 4. Recreational (a ski center)
The divisions are based on existing business (no housing allowed in the industrial zone) and the necessity for a water and sewage system in the more densely populated village zone.
Would you like to explain how those zones "keep the poor and minorities out of middle-class and wealthy neighborhoods"?

Comment: Re:Let me get this right (Score 1) 832

by ChrisMaple (#48164637) Attached to: Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

One person can only buy so much.

There are far more things available for purchase than any one person's money can buy; he'll run out of money before he runs out of things to buy or time in which to buy them. Consider politicians, they're very expensive and don't even stay bought!

Money saved at a bank doesn't stay in Scrooge McDuck's money bin; banks need to loan it out so that they can offer interest, pay their employees, and make a profit. Most of the money in savings accounts is loaned out to allow housing construction.

The rule on staying alive as a program manager is to give 'em a number or give 'em a date, but never give 'em both at once.

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