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Comment: Re:Ill gotten gains (Score 0) 728

by Mr_Insightful (#34148216) Attached to: Considering a Fair Penalty For Illegal File-sharing

Let the convicted turn over the proceeds from their crime to the victim. Problem solved.

Wellllll.... not really.

1.) it doesn't work for non-financial crimes (rape, murder, but you're not talking about those anyway) or financially-motivated crimes that failed (botched bank robbery, smash-and-grab on a car with nothing valuable inside, but we're talking piracy here, and that shit ALWAYS works).

2.) Most financial crimes have additional, non-financial impacts. Smash my car window and steal my GPS, and I'm out $400 for the window, an afternoon of time to fix it, and $200 for the GPS, while you only gain the $50 the stolen GPS is worth. I don't want back the $50 you made by selling my GPS so much as I want back the afternoon I took off from work to replace my window (and the $400+$200). And I feel violated that some creep was rummaging through my car.

3. If the penalty for being caught and convicted is simply to "undo" the gain of the crime, you actually encourage MORE crime, since criminals will need to factor in "losses." Drug traffickers already do this--send twice as much dope, since half might get caught.

Suppose I rob people at knife-point for a living. I can rob 10 people a day, and generally net $50 per person. If I never get caught, I make $500 a day. If I get caught 100% of the time, I make nothing and quit doing it. Suppose I get away with it 50% of the time. Now I need to rob 20 people a day to make $500, since half the time I need to return the money. If you catch me 33% of the time, I need only rob 15 people to net $500 (after losses due to being caught and returning money). The more you catch me, the more people I need to rob tomorrow to make the same money. Since robbing people scares the shit out them, you're "making" me scare the shit out of more people to make my $500.**

**of course, this is "your" fault, since nobody is ever responsible for their own actions anymore...

4.) the knife-point robber is highly "efficient" in that his ill-gotten proceeds are 100% of the victims financial loss. Most financial crimes are less efficient. Take credit card fraud for example. Not only do you steal my money (or my bank's), but you waste the time of me, my bank, and the merchant in sorting it all out. We'd all rather you just stole the cash (perhaps not at knife-point though).

If you still don't believe me, let me ransack your house and steal $10 from you. When I'm done, I'll gladly give you back the $10, and you can spend the rest of the weekend cleaning up the mess. Problem solved. Deal?

Comment: Re:How about reduce their hours by 20% instead... (Score 0) 284

by Mr_Insightful (#32412814) Attached to: Foxconn Workers Getting Raise With Apple Subsidies
Sheesh, if my job sucked badly enough I contemplated suicide, I doubt even a 20% raise would fix it.

Even a 20% raise and fewer hours may not turn this from living hell into a "nice job in the big city."

Raising the labor from 2.3% to 3.0% means what, $3.50 on the "cheap" iPad and $5.90 on the best one.

Maybe they can have an extra option at checkout, "would you like to pay a living wage, so nobody has to die over your new toy?"

Comment: Re:4G? (Score 0) 283

by Mr_Insightful (#32406930) Attached to: Cutting Through the 4G Hype

I'm in the US, in a somewhat outlying suburb but certainly not in the "country," and still waiting for 3G at home. Verizon seems to have 3G coverage here (I will not use them), AT&T's 3G is very spotty, while T-Mobile and Sprint have no 3G coverage here. How about bringing the networks up to date before hyping the crap out of the next technology?

Sorry brother, the grass here "in the big city" ain't much greener. It seems the MobiTelCos have figured out exactly what you lament, that marketing sells, and crap service and coverage doesn't un-sell enough to mitigate it.

Too few of us are willing to pay for superior quality... Hypothetically, if Sprint's new-fangled 4G network were actually way better, but cost three times as much, how many of us would jump over to them? Not many :( And making it as nice as you and I want would likely more than triple the price, so even fewer people would go for it.

Comment: Re:Well for starters (Score 0) 517

by Mr_Insightful (#32403678) Attached to: IRS Wants a Cut of Sales On eBay and Craigslist

You miss my point.

If it was illegal income then it would be confiscated completely under asset forfeiture.

Then again, that might be a good incentive for illegals not to come here, if we could confiscate their earnings in addition to deporting them.

Subject to forfeiture, maybe. But it's probably not much money, much of it was already spent or sent home, and there are thresholds below which it doesn't make sense to apply the law. I.e. it costs more to do the paperwork than it's worth.

It sounds as though you're arguing, "if it's a crime, it gets punished. Therefore if it doesn't get punished, it must not have been a crime." Sadly, most violations go unpunished, and sometimes that leads to folks mistaking "lack of enforcement" with "lack of crime."

Classic example is illegal downloading of copyrighted material. Just 'cuz you don't get caught, doesn't mean it isn't a crime. Or speeding (which isn't a "crime" per se, but it is a minimally-enforced violation).

Comment: Re:Well for starters (Score 0) 517

by Mr_Insightful (#32402800) Attached to: IRS Wants a Cut of Sales On eBay and Craigslist

And this tax is tracked how online? On ebay, for example, is ebay required to collect this tax? or the seller? or does the buyer just record all their purchases and pay up at the end of the year? I'm all for a national sales tax, but it still requires tracking of individuals.

It's not a sales tax, but an income tax. ebay and cl would just be required to report the earnings via 1099, just like your bank does with the interest you earn. It's up to you to pay the IRS.

If you fail to report it, and the amounts are large enough, the IRS will let you know. Even if the amounts are small, the IRS will subtract what you owe from you next refund or send a bill, or both.

Nothing to see here folks, this is how it works. $20,000 is a pretty generous limit. "Regular" businesses are on the hook for profits from dollar one. Ask anyone who's

Ask anyone who's won more than a grand or two at a casino. They often ask for your info before paying out from slots, and in some cases before cashing out chips.

Comment: Re:Well for starters (Score 0) 517

by Mr_Insightful (#32402754) Attached to: IRS Wants a Cut of Sales On eBay and Craigslist

Illegal immigrants can earn legal income, legal in the sense that they get to keep the money sans taxes.

Illegal income would be drug money and the like.

But if you're not here on a valid work visa, then you're not legally authorized to work, period. Any job you get would therefore be generating "illegal income." And they get to "keep" the money because 1.) they aren't filing tax returns, so the IRS has nothing to go on, and 2.) they probably aren't making much money, meaning the IRS probably wouldn't bother if they knew...

Comment: Re:2000 m^3 per person per year?!? That's a lot! (Score 0) 386

by Mr_Insightful (#32390872) Attached to: Intel Sucks Up Water Amid Drought In China

I just looked at my water usage for the past year, and it's about 32000 US gallons.

Your water bill is unlikely to include the water used to produce your paper water bill, or the electricity with which you illuminated said paper, etc. etc. While at the individual level, we don't really have an easy way to calculate this, at the nation/state level, we do. And apparently China is f-ed. As is California, and most of Africa. And, I know easy != accurate, so the debate rages on...

Comment: Re:Cencorship, etc (Score 0) 374

by Mr_Insightful (#32370924) Attached to: Japan Moves Toward Blocking Online Child Porn

2 copies of the same picture of the same abuse does not mean more abuse than 1 copy of the picture of that abuse.

or do we need to spell everything out using small words and simple sentence.

Not true. Having the same image or image available more than once increases its availability. For rare, quasi-hard-to-find contraband, increasing redundant supply increases likelihood that consumers will be able to find it. Conversely, decreasing redundant supply makes it harder to find. It is well documented that demand for child porn (from viewers) encourages production of new, fresh child porn (by child molesters). So yes, creating a wider audience by making it more available leads to "more" new abuse.

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