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Comment: Re:Passwords should not exist (Score 1) 188

by ShanghaiBill (#48226909) Attached to: Passwords: Too Much and Not Enough

Smartcards. Please.

Smartcards alone are not a solution, because they can be lost or stolen. You want both a smartcard and a PIN/password. You smartcard may get stolen, or your password may get compromised, but it is less likely that both will happen at the same time. You might want to setup a threshold for PINless transactions for, say, purchases under $10, but you still want more security for important stuff.

Comment: Re:This is silly (Score 1) 631

I would love to see the facts that most minimum wage holders belong to middle class households.

Do you know how to use Google? There are plenty of sources. Last year, the average household income of families with minimum wage workers was $47,023, and just 4.7 percent of minimum wage earners were heads of households working full-time attempting to raise a family. If you want to fight poverty, it is better to use policies that do that directly, through policies such as EITC, rather than using what is basically a tax on employing low skilled people.

Comment: Re:This is silly (Score 1) 631

By not paying their employees enough, they'e effectively subsidizing their business via welfare.

Paying them what they are worth is "enough". The fact that that is not a livable wage, is not, and should not be, the employer's problem. By giving people jobs, they are reducing welfare costs.

If a commercial business can not pay a livable wage, that business should not exist.

Plenty of people don't need a livable wage. The majority of minimum wage employees are second or third earners in their household, and most of those households are not poor.

Comment: Re:What is critical thinking? (Score 3, Informative) 462

by ShanghaiBill (#48223771) Attached to: Employers Worried About Critical Thinking Skills

Actual critical thinking is trickier to define.

One nice thing about "critical thinking" is that there are SO MANY definitions to choose from. The Wikipedia Page contains nine different definitions, many of them mutually incompatible. My favorite is that critical thinking is "the commitment to the social and political practice of participatory democracy". What does that even mean? Is it really something that our schools should be teaching?

Whatever "critical thinking" is, it is clear that the people calling for more of it, without first figuring out what it is, probably aren't using it.

Comment: Re:Remember when WSJ had a modicrum of decency? (Score 1) 631

Am I missing something in your question?

Yes. Much of the cost of automation is in the development of the equipment, testing the user interface, and figuring out how to market it to the public in a way that makes it broadly accepted. But all those things only have to be done once. So if wages in SEATAC go up to $15/hour, it may be worth it, despite these one-time costs. Once you are over those hurdles, you have a turn-key system that can then be dropped into areas where the wages are $10/hour, $8/hour, etc. High wages will accelerate the process. But it is unlikely that low wages will stop it.

Comment: Re:WORSE! (Score 4, Insightful) 631

I'll have to stand behind said idiot while they try to figure out what buttons to push

Kiosks are cheaper than employees and are "always on". They don't take breaks, they don't call in sick, and their shift doesn't end at 8pm. So instead of standing in line waiting for one human order taker, you will have a choice of six or eight kiosks. If you are there in the middle of the lunch hour rush, when all the kiosks are busy, then you can order on your cellphone. Even better, you can order, and pay, on your cell before you arrive, so your order is ready for pickup when you arrive.

After auto-ordering is established, the fast food joints can change their drive-through-window policy to be pre-order only. So you pre-order, and pre-pay, on your cell, get a beep when your order is ready, then pull up, grab your bag, and go. The transaction time will be reduced from minutes to seconds, saving people time, and most likely boosting business for the restaurants.

Comment: Re:This is silly (Score 1) 631

she was revolted when she heard that and they never went there again.

Your friend is a moron. McDonalds is in the business of selling hamburgers. They are NOT in the business of alleviating poverty. The responsibility for that lies with ALL of us, and should not be shoved off on the very businesses that are providing much needed jobs to low income people. Food stamps are a taxpayer funded program designed to combat poverty, and McDonalds is doing a GOOD THING by educating their workforce about their eligibility.

Comment: Re:This is silly (Score 1, Informative) 631

states with higher minimum wage have higher job growth.

Correlation != Causation. It is likely that states with higher employment have more flexibility to raise wages without putting people out of work.
Raising the minimum wage is a blunt method of fighting poverty for a number of reasons:
1. Most people making minimum wage are not heads of household, and aren't poor. They are second or third earners in middle class households.
2. Many businesses that pay low wages, such as fast food, discount stores, etc. disproportionately serve lower income people. So price increases hit the poor the hardest.
3. Most people are not poor because of low wages, but because they are not in the workforce at all. Households in the top quintile have on average 2.2 people employed full time. Households in the bottom quintile have 0.4.
So most of the benefits of higher minimum wages go to people that are NOT poor, and most of the costs, in higher prices and fewer jobs, fall on those that ARE poor. There are better ways to fight poverty, such as the earned income tax credit, that tops up low wages only for people in low income households. The benefits are targeted, and the costs are both lower, and spread through society rather than paid solely by the companies that we need to be creating more jobs.

Comment: Re:my thoughts (Score 3, Informative) 340

by ShanghaiBill (#48218561) Attached to: NY Doctor Recently Back From West Africa Tests Positive For Ebola

... get it under control in Liberia/Sierra Leone/Ghana ...

Guinea, not Ghana. Ghana has been unaffected by the outbreak. It is as different as night and day from Guinea. Ghana has four times the GDP, a far higher literacy rate, functional institutions, and a democratic government that answers to the people.

Comment: Re:Wake up America ... (Score 1) 94

Apparently, you missed that the quintile is annual wages, not population.

Wrong. Households are divided into quintiles according to their gross income. Each quintile represents 20%, or one fifth, of all households. It is mathematically impossible for an "ever increasing share of the population" to be pushed into the bottom 20%, which is, by definition, limited to only 20%.

In order to dial out, it is necessary to broaden one's dimension.