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Comment After the Mozilla fiasco, they will be careful (Score 5, Insightful) 122

After the demonization of Brendan Eich for his personal donation in support of CA Proposition 8, the writing is on the wall. You can expect that most big tech donors of all stripes, regardless of party or political stance, will donate to political causes through the Super PAC of their choice.

Comment Re:Business model? (Score 3, Informative) 346

what evidence do you have that the politicians have been bought off?

I'm glad you asked, as that gives me a great reason to post a link to Simon Garber. As Wikipedia says, "While in Russia in 2001, Garber became friends with Patrick Daley, the son of long-time Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley. City officials tightly regulate all aspects of medallions ownership, granting permission to purchase medallions on an individual basis. Within a year of meeting Patrick, Garber quickly acquired over 300 Chicago taxi medallions. Garber also hired Mayor Daley's former chief of staff Gery Chico as a City Hall lobbyist. In 2003, Garber used this political capital to start the Chicago Carriage Cab Company and was granted permission to operate the taxi business in Chicago. Within six years, the Chicago Carriage Cab Company had amassed over 800 medallions, making it the largest taxi company in the city."

This is but one example, from one city. A little Googling will easily reveal many more examples.

Comment Re:Business model? (Score 1) 346

And yet, tens of millions of people around the world think it's safe enough that they use rideshare apps over and over, every day. And tens of millions more think that they make enough money doing it that they choose to keep driving for Uber, and Lyft, and the other rideshares. Why? Because to them, it's better, cheaper, and more convenient than regular taxis.

Call Uber all the names that you want, but the taxi companies better figure out that they've got to compete with the rideshare services or they'll soon be obsolete. You can't litigate away technological advances, nor can you prop up a dying business model forever. The rideshare genie is out of the bottle and he's not going back in.

Comment Re:Business model? (Score 4, Insightful) 346

Because medallions create an artificial scarcity of taxis. And in any market, artificial scarcity creates cartels, which reduce competition and benefit no one but a tiny, well-connected minority of owners (and their paid-off politicians) at the expense of pretty much everyone else, including the consumers as well as the labor. NY and Chicago taxi companies are doing the same thing that DeBeers does mining diamonds, or that OPEC does with oil -- and like DeBeers et al, they've protected their cartel and kept it perfectly legal by buying off elected officials. I have no problem with common-sense taxi regulation related to safety and insurance -- but medallions are the biggest scam on the planet.

Comment Be very, very when careful dating co-workers (Score 3, Insightful) 583

It's pretty much universally frowned upon by management, and if the relationship doesn't work out, both of you are stuck being around each other all day every day for the foreseeable future, which can be pretty horrible. OTOH, I met my wife at my first job out of school (but wisely, she refused to date me while we still worked together).

Comment Re:Hooray for experiments! (Score 1) 1094

Nope, my 10 person small business is based in deep blue MD, which is currently contemplating the same dramatic minimum wage increases that LA and others have implemented. We're not in fast food or janitorial work -- we pay about $3-6 above the state's current minimum wage -- and we directly compete with companies in states whose minimum wages are less than ours. So yeah, when state and local politicians do this stuff, it absolutely fucks with small business' ability to compete with other states and jurisdictions that don't do this arbitrary crap. It also increases our payroll taxes, work comp insurance payments, and a lot of other costs. If you want to increase the minimum wage, then do it at the national (Federal) level, or just give people a Scandinavian-style cost-of-living stipend and be done with it -- and / or quit putting in regressive tax increases like sales tax, payroll tax, gas tax, etc. that make the cost of living so unlivable for the working poor. But equating burger flippers with people with 4 year degrees making $13-16 / hour is fucking insulting, to me and to my employees.

Comment Re:So, when has this not been true? (Score 1, Insightful) 609

presently the younger generation is less vanilla than the older generation and the older generation isn't being very welcoming to people who aren't like them and never will be.

Ahhh, you youngsters. Do you seriously think that you're the first generation who thinks this? Aren't they teaching history anymore? EVERY generation grows up thinking THEY'RE the cool non-vanilla kids while resenting their elders and mocking everything about them. And then one day (if you're lucky), you wake up and look in the mirror, and you look like your Dad (or grandfather). And you won't even realize it, but you'll make a lot of the same decisions that Dad did too -- decisions that many would consider "safe" or even (gasp!) "conservative" (in a non-political way).

I know -- not you, 'cuz you're different, right?

Comment You realize that Democrats gerrymander too, right? (Score 2, Insightful) 609

Look no further than California, Maryland, and Illinois. The 3rd District of MD is an absolute abomination. Hell, the term "gerrymandering" itself is named after Governor Gerry of Massachusetts who was lampooned for signing odd-shaped state senate districts into law. But yeah, fuck all of the Republicans in those deep blue states -- as long as your team wins, right?

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