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Comment Re:Skynet (Score 1) 368

Now, people who want to "sexually harass" a machine have their own set of issues, but as long as they keep it off the streets and don't scare the horses, that's their problem.

Consider that it is possible that if they DO have a machine to "sexually harass", then perhaps they won't have so much need to do it in real life?

There are people who kick puppies in real life too, I think they are mean crazy bastards, but if they could kick virtual puppies, then perhaps they'll leave the real ones alone.

Comment Re:Sanders 2016 (Score 1) 175

You didn't examine the real point, now did you? What does 3K$ mean to one person, versus the other?

That doesn't matter.

If you think it does, then that same logic would justify stealing, if only from "rich people", who don't need it as much.

Ok, then how much?

The same percentage.

Nope, that's not even remotely close to establishing something as actually fair.

Yes it is. Your inability to see it doesn't make it not so.

And I did give a number, but you clearly didn't bother to read anything I posted. 20%

Comment Re:Sanders 2016 (Score 1) 175

Have you tried?

Yes, I've been poor, I've been paycheck to paycheck... it sucks, no doubt about it...

Never again, but I worked my butt off to make that happen...

$20K +$3K = $23K

You said that 20% was too high for someone making $30K, which is $6K. So cut their tax rate to 10%, that reduces their taxes to $3K, but the other $3K has to come from somewhere, so "the rich", right? That would be me by that logic.

So raising my taxes to $23K *ONLY* raises my tax rate by 3%, but it cuts the poor's tax rate in HALF!

Sounds great, doesn't it? Sure, except it is exceptionally unfair to me and as you push more and more in that direction, sooner or later I might decide to take my marbles and play somewhere else (as thousands of French have done in the past two years, since the tax rates there were raised).

At any rate, income is not taxed below a certain level.

That is true, but it is wrong. Everyone benefits from the system, everyone should pay into it.

I *do* think that's fair, since it is more difficult for those with fewer means to make ends meet.

You can think it is fair all you like. It isn't. No amount of progressive or regressive taxes are remotely fair. The only fair tax is a flat tax, with no exceptions, no deductions, nothing.

And yes, I'm willing to give up my deductions if it means the poor give up theirs.

I might be okay with a flat tax rate if it were used to pay for other things such as single-payer health care, public education (including vo-tech and even public universities), and retirement benefits that allow seniors to live at something like the level they did in their working lives.

I would agree with all of that.

Comment Re:Authoritarians will always rule. (Score 1) 436

You *still* haven't grasped my position. My position is that there are only two positions that can be justified on moral grounds:

No, I heard you, I just don't agree with you.

Because I don't agree with you, there is no point in disputing your two options, since morals aren't limited to what you say they are.

Comment Re:Sanders 2016 (Score 1) 175

wenty percent is a lot bigger burden for someone making only $30,000 a year (say) than it would be to someone making (say) $100,000.

Ahh, the "you can afford it" argument.

I actually don't agree, if you're making $30K a year, 20% is $6K. If you're surviving on $30k, you'll make it work at $24k.

If I'm making $100K, I have to pay $20K, that is 2/3 of your entire income. Expecting me to pay $23K so you only have to pay $3K is rather... selfish, crappy, and frankly stupid.

Why not restore the rates that were in force in the 50s, 60s, and 70s? The economy was doing just fine then.

Correlation is not causation, the economy had nothing to do with the tax rates back then. The actual amount collected in percentage terms hasn't actually changed that much. Who it comes from has however.

Failing that, get rid of tax havens and exemptions for unearned income over a certain amount.

When I say 20%, I mean 20%, that includes business income, unearned income, investment income, hedge fund income, everything. No deductions for anything.

Comment Re:Weak reasoning. (Score 1) 436

I know of a woman who was using contraception methodically - and it turned out that that particular method had managed to get on the market despite being almost completely ineffective. She got an abortion.

Sure, but that doesn't mean I have to agree with it.

There are places where date rape is mostly allowed in practice, in that the guy isn't going to get into legal trouble.

Boy, that is a can of worms...

Is it "rape"? Did the man throw the woman to the ground, rip her clothes off, and force himself on her while she was screaming "stop!"? Or did she just change her mind the next day?

Because both of those things happen, but only one of them is rape. The latter is poor judgement on the woman's part.

Speaking of poor judgement, one of the things I'm going to point out to my own daughter when she is old enough is that if you date a man, flirt with him, kiss him, let him spend money on you, then go back to his place for "coffee", don't be shocked when he expects to end up in bed with you and doesn't take the first "no" as an answer. Better solution, don't go back to his place, drive yourself to the movies/place to eat/etc. and let me know where you are, you can call me 24/7, no judgement, I'll come get you without a lecture.

Some men don't take kindly to being led on, and frankly women think they can do the leading without repercussion. I'm not saying it makes it right, it doesn't, but the woman doesn't have to be without fault for the man to be to blame. We love picking "the victim" while saying the other person is the "bad guy", but often both sides have some fault. If you're going to turn down a man, do it in a safe place with people around you, don't do it while sitting on his couch, or him sitting on yours. If you DO end up there, that is when you call a male friend (maybe Dad, maybe someone else), to come over and get you. Even if you have a car, call for help before you turn him down, that is just being smart. Or don't be there in the first place.

There are a frighteningly large number of girls in the US who are forced to be sex slaves.

Define: "large number"...

The number is more than 1, I will grant you that. It isn't a million. How "frighteningly large" probably depends on your point of view.

Comment Re:Authoritarians will always rule. (Score 1) 436

I am not going to call a fetus human unless that fetus has human-type brain waves, and in fact most abortions are performed before that, and the ones after that tend to be for medical reasons, not as a method of birth control.

I suspect a number of people would agree with that position.

I don't personally agree, I think the child is a human long before then. But then no one really cares what I think. :)

The irony is that my position is not religious based, it is simply my personal viewpoint on things.

Comment Re:Sanders 2016 (Score 1) 175

How do I *keep* defending the current tax code? This is the first comment I have made on this story.

Fair enough, I don't always pay much attention to the names on comments, and your response was similar to many others.

Do you know why Buffet pays less than his staff? Because of people like Reagan and you who take marginal tax rates to mean absolute tax rates.

No, Buffet pays less than his staff because the tax code is written to favor him and not his staff.

When you talk about a marginal tax rate of 91%, it doesn't mean you are giving 91 percent of your total income to the government. It means you are giving 91% of your income *over a certain amount* to the government.

I think everyone here understands that, but it still isn't true, because most of Buffet's income falls into the top tax rate, and he STILL doesn't pay it. He makes enough that his total income over the top rate is the vast majority of his income.

If we were to follow your logic, a person making a million dollars would end up paying $910,000 in taxes

That isn't what I said, and no one should have taken that meaning, unless they wanted to argue.

A person making $1 million pays a lot of different tax rates. A person making $2 million pays the same as person 1 on the first million, but on the second million, pays ONLY the highest tax rate.

If that tax rate is 91%, then indeed, $910,000 in taxes on the second million goes to the government.

My point is that no one is going to bother to earn the second million, only to keep $90,000 of it, if they can't avoid the taxes some other way. That was Reagan's point as well. People just don't want to hear it.

I'm personally in the 33% tax bracket, but I don't pay 33% on ANY of my money, due to deductions. I could earn $2 million and I still wouldn't pay 33% (or 35% or more) on any of it, due to deductions.

I can afford good tax advice, and I plan my money so that I don't. I likely pay a lower total tax rate than people earning half as much.

It doesn't matter what you raise rates to, I won't pay them, no one else will either, it is a bad plan. Yet people keep bringing up "raise taxes on the rich" like it solves anything.

Flat 20% tax across the board, no deductions. (not even the house)

Comment Re:You create costs by existing (Score 1) 311

However, AC lives in this society and benefits by all sorts of things we do as a society, and really can't pick and choose what AC wants and what AC doesn't want.

That is true, to a point... You can move outside of a city and county school area and cut your housing tax obligations by a lot, just as an example.

I live in a major city, my property tax bill is substantial. While I don't *LIKE* it, I understand it and pay it without serious complaint, because it buys me civilization. If you came to me tomorrow and said "we want to raise your annual property tax bill by $1,000, but we will pass a law requiring class sizes be cut to 1 teacher per 10 students", I would pay it in a heartbeat, without complaint.

So there ARE things I'll pay for, but I also get that not everyone would agree. People who have no kids would probably not like the above very much.

As a homeowner in this city, I have the right to water, sewer, natural gas, electrical, telephone, garbage pickup, and education services to name some of them, since that's what the appropriate governments have decided.

It may just be a word choice, but I think it is worth pointing out that you actually don't have the *right* to those things, you have the privilege to pay for them. You don't have to buy your *rights*. If I don't pay my water bill, they turn off the water.

I don't have to buy my freedom of speech, for example.

Health care can work well under all of these systems. We do have to let practitioners make good money, or we aren't going to have enough, so we do have to allow something like for-profit doctors.

I don't consider a doctor's paycheck to be "for-profit", at least no more than the paycheck of anyone who works for the government. I'm more thinking of the billions of dollars insurance companies and large hospital systems make.

---

If the Government decided tomorrow that Blue Cross/Blue Shield was going to run national health care, fine. Then everyone gets it without having to fill out endless forms and pay a bunch of fees. It is just paid for by our taxes, and it could be like a regulated utility.

What I DO object to is being forced to shop for private products and services that I may not want, that come with a lot of expenses and conditions attached, that I didn't ask for.

If Bernie Sanders gets his way and raises taxes to provide Medicare for all, with no charge to have it, I'm ok with that actually.

Maybe that seems strange to some, but it works for me.

Comment Re:Authoritarians will always rule. (Score 1) 436

You of course bring up the reason why rape and incest are often carved out...

Because people love to find corner cases and try and attack the middle with them.

You'll always be able to find an edge case to beat up the general principle with, but you're ignoring the bulk of the cases to try and win an argument.

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