Of course nobody really expects to collect from common citizens when they are caught file sharing. But a court judgment of $50 million dollars looks like a substantial loss on paper and such tactics help companies claim massive tax deductions and even to use such figures to lobby legislatures to pass special laws, get special lower tax rates, and even get subsidies.
That's why I live in Texas. Unlimited homestead exemption, plus generous allowances for things like pets, sporting equipment, even boats and firearms. And there is no wage garnishment in Texas.
Mod parent up!
I think that sounds nice in theory, but wealthy donors will tend to donate to arts programs and prestigious universities that serve the propsperous and well-to-do areas they live in. The working class will donate to local jobs training programs and scholarship funds for working-class kids. Some nerd types might donate to NASA or DOD, but there would almost certainly not be enough support to continue the programs that exist today. Nobody would donate to hospitals since hospitals will over-bill the crap out of you whether they are for-profit or non-profit. Aid for the impoverished, hungry, disabled, or any other extremely needy individuals will fall short because there won't be enough money left after all the taxpayers have chosen to competitively fund the "charities" that serve their own best interests.
Aid to starving villagers in third world countries or refugees fleeing conflict? It will fall from everyone's mind as blind and lame beggars return to America's streets, while poor and orphaned American children drop out of school to return to grueling hours of manual labor. If you would like to fantasize about a world where free markets prevail and private charity is the only form of aid for the needy, go read some books by Charles Dickens.
Why is it that any time Republicans and Democrats get together the legislation is total crap? Republicans are supposed to support free market mechanisms and limited government, while Dems are supposed to support personal freedoms, like choice and privacy. But when they get together and agree on something, it usually runs the complete opposite of all of these purported beliefs.
That said, what's wrong with having a "silent" section on an airplane? In Europe they already have these on trains and it works fine. For once here is a problem that the free market really can resolve on its own - let it be! Just be glad that airlines don't have a "direct marketing" section on the plane where you have to endure a high pressure sales pitch for the entire length of the flight in order to secure a 10% discount.
Besides, when people near me are on the phone and talking too loud or in a manner that annoys me, I just making loud and obnoxious noises that should only be heard in a bathroom until the talkers decide to hang up. It works pretty well, especially against people talking in the bathroom.
If this happened in America, the police would send the legal bills (cost of paper, envelopes, hourly labor, etc.) to the owners of the IP for payment, due on receipt, just like with hospitals, ambulances, courts, and towing company. Right?
So we need energy efficient buildings so we can give away free wifi and burn more dino-juice to datamine every last nugget of info from each and every potential customer?
At least it is only on the internet, and not with boots on the ground. I'm sure the NSA would never do anything crazy, like stage a sexual assault case against a foreign activist that was publishing state secrets.
But hey - if I have a plan that costs $150 a month, only covers emergency room visits for immediate, life threatening injuries, does not cover pain medication or amputations, does not have any in-network providers, allows a maximum hospital visit of 24 hours (including the hours waiting in the ER waiting room), does not pay out-of-network benefits, has a $5,000.00 deductible, has a lifetime maximum benefit of $10,000.00, and audits show over 50% of valid claims are improperly denied
Republicans get elected to outlaw abortion, but all they try to do is repeal Obamacare. Is this how representative democracy supposed to work?
That, and the corporations that own both parties.
But the purpose of education is to produce more effective workers and consumers. We all know that today's students won't all be growing up to become artists for a living, but we (actually our professors who are trying to strike it big by producing their own creative works) need workers who also have a desire to pay for non-essentials, like art, concerts, novels, museums, etc. School sponsored athletic performances, mainly football and basketball, have been extremely popular for decades, drawing in huge crowds who pay for the privilege to watch a game, not to mention the extra revenue generated by the sale of cheese nachos and the licensing of team-labeled merchandise. The natural outcome of this phenomenon is that high schools are known to pay $100k salaries to football coaches who serve no other role, and top tier college coaches can rake in millions. You don't think that directors of music programs or the organizers of theatrical performances want to get their own piece of the action? Just imagine if school sponsored rock bands were a launch pad for joining professional bands just the way it works with college sports. Of course the tenured professors tend to be stuck in a world where they try to influence the personal tastes and interests of their captive audience (aka "students") rather than aiming to produce works that have the same natural appeal to people like the athletic programs have (again, namely football and basketball - college sports like swimming or wrestling don't draw the same fanatic crowds). The point I'm making is that while for decades schools have been trying to achieve the same financial success that sports have generated, they have failed miserably. But extra-curricular art programs in schools are still focused on performances and exhibitions, with the intent to draw in revenue and exploit the free labor of students rather than impart any of the natural sense of satisfaction that may come from expressing oneself through art. I say this though as a techie who is for the most part apathetic about artistic expression or following spectator sports, just pointing out once again that wherever there is an advocate for any agenda there is an underlying profit motive.
OK, so some went to the art museum and others didn't. So that makes art the answer to our problems? What about sending a bus load of kids to a museum of science and nature? When advocating for art, the studies tend to compare students engaged in art activities against kids spending the same amount of time staring at a blank wall. Surprise! Art makes you smarter!
I'm not sure if referencing Plato's Republic is really helping your cause here. Look at Greece today. Even if we just look at ancient Athens, the city-state didn't fall because its citizens abandoned art or cut back on concert attendance.
According to the International Tree Nut Council Nutrition Research & Education Foundation, peanuts make us smarter, not art. Which is it? How do I know who is right?
As for those of us who are smart anyway, in spite of avoiding both art and nuts (typically the later creates the first), shouldn't we be recognized for our great triumph in overcoming adversity? Or maybe for just overcoming absurdity?