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Comment: Re:Simple problem, simple solution (Score 1) 347

by mrchaotica (#46774441) Attached to: San Francisco's Housing Crisis Explained

Parking meters still impose a cost on the preexisting residents and are not a wholly entrepreneurial solution since they require cooperation from the city.

Parking permits could work if they are granted in perpetuity to whoever currently resides in the preexisting residences, but a) somebody still has to pay for enforcement, b) I've never heard of a parking permit system that actually worked that way, and c) it is also a government, rather than entrepreneurial, solution.

Besides, why solve the problem in a way that must be managed in perpetuity when you can solve it once and for all by just making the developer build enough parking in the first place?

(By the way, I'd like you to know that I'm not making these arguments because I'm a fan of automobile-centric development -- quite the contrary! Rather, I merely take issue with the idea of letting the developer do whatever is "fiscally optimal" for himself without considering the rest of the community that would be impacted by the result.)

Comment: Re:Militia, then vs now (Score 2) 1431

by mrchaotica (#46769701) Attached to: Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

What nonsense. The Constitution does not legitimize sedition.

Bullshit. Laws which prohibit sedition are unconstitutional. Wikipedia quotes several Supreme Court cases:

In the seminal free speech case of New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, the Court declared, "Although the Sedition Act was never tested in this Court, the attack upon its validity has carried the day in the court of history." 376 U.S. 254, 276 (1964). In a concurring opinion in Watts v. United States, which involved an alleged threat against President Lyndon Johnson, William O. Douglas noted, "The Alien and Sedition Laws constituted one of our sorriest chapters; and I had thought we had done with them forever ... Suppression of speech as an effective police measure is an old, old device, outlawed by our Constitution."

Comment: Re:Militia, then vs now (Score 1) 1431

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) 347

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) 347

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:Greedy bastards ... (Score 1) 414

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:base it around my OS (Score 2) 382

by mrchaotica (#46757789) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

Now, missing a deduction or forgetting to include income is a completely different thing. However, you should print out your 1040 at the end anyway and check through it for just those kind of issues.

Exactly - and there's no real way to understand which deductions you might be eligible for without going through the instructions yourself. Otherwise you get to (for example) Line 50 and say "retirement savings credit? what's that?" and then have to go read the instructions anyway.

Not to mention H&R Block made me pick between married/joint or married/separate at the beginning of the process, whereas when I did the calculations with a spreadsheet I could just change that input and see my tax calculated both ways (because either could be better depending on circumstances). H&R Block was able to figure out whether I should take the standard deduction or not; it should have been able to do the same for filing status.

Comment: Re:Effective Tax Rate (Score 1) 382

by mrchaotica (#46757681) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

My effective tax rate was about 1%. It would have been more like 10%, but the Saver's Credit canceled out my entire liability except for the Self-Employment tax. But the best part is that means I got some Roth IRA contributions in that are completely tax-free instead of having only tax-free gains.

If I'm really lucky -- if all my (and my wife's) income is W-2 and and I'm able to keep the AGI low enough through retirement contributions -- then I might get to 0% in 2014!

Comment: Re:Paper and US Postal Service (Score 1) 382

by mrchaotica (#46757507) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

I had a (full) 1040, Schedule C-EZ, Schedule SE, Form 8880, and a Schedule A (that I ended up not using because the standard deduction ended up higher) and it wasn't that big a deal to do the calculations by spreadsheet. Granted, I'm not running a business that has employees or inventory and I don't have rental property (yet), but as long as I have experience doing my simpler taxes in previous years I see no reason why I can't learn to do the more complicated ones as the issues arise.

Comment: Re:base it around my OS (Score 3, Insightful) 382

by mrchaotica (#46757381) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

I don't trust tax software, so I did all my calculations using the 1040 instructions and a spreadsheet. Then I put the info back into H&R Block Online (so that I could e-file federal and state for free) and checked the PDF output against my calculations before submitting the return.

Maybe I'm paranoid, but I think that's the only safe way to use tax software.

Comment: Re:base it around my OS (Score 1) 382

by mrchaotica (#46757315) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

I actually prefer doing my taxes "by hand" (i.e., using Fillable Forms and e-filing) but it's unreasonable to do so because my state doesn't have a similar system and then I'd have to mail paper. Instead, I ended up using H&R block because it was free for both Federal and state (given my age and income).

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