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Comment Re:What's the best value for inflation? (Score 1) 335 335

OK, here it is:

1) High inflation is unstable inflation. Instability is bad for all humans (controllers and workers), as it means only every other generation gets to retire and the other have to be euthanized. So, high inflation (meaning roughly 10% and up) is extremely bad, and the closer you get to that the more unstable it is - so you would preferably be farther away from it.

2) Low (or negative) inflation is bad for typical worker humans. It is superficially the best for banks (controller humans), as the assets they are holding get more valuable. Long term, this is not true though - the controller humans are dependent on the worker humans, and so long term they have to allow them to get a good deal or no one will let them control anything. The most obvious downside to low or negative inflation is that debts become harder to pay off. A less obvious, but arguably more important downside is that instead of giving everyone constant raises (which make everyone feel good), any worker only performing "average" (as in half of all workers) has to have their pay cut each year (which makes them feel bad). Not that the silly humans would actually be making the same amount either way (in hamburger buying power, for example), but for whatever reason humans feel bad when you take something away from them even if it increases their value position.

So, you want to stay above 0%. You want to be far from 10%. For a long time, the Fed said that we didn't know more than that, and refused to give a hard number. Recently, the Fed have given a "soft" number of 2% as the ideal, base on history and simulations. You could argue the details, but you will almost certainly come up with a number that is materially the same as 2% - remembering, of course, that this is not a directly controllable (or even perfectly measurable) number anyway.

That's why everyone fights about how much inflation really happened - it is basically impossible to measure, so you have to take any particular measurement and only apply it when the situation is "normal" for that measurement. (The classic example being including the price of oil in inflation, and then predicting starvation or the poor because of high inflation)

Comment Re:'Death' Star was just a terraforming laser (Score 3, Interesting) 65 65

Another Star Wars reader: it actually explains this in one of the books by Stackpole - The Emperor created the so-called "death stars" for rapid mineral extraction from planet sized objects. It was only meant for peaceful uses, until Rebel Terrorists took the first one and blew up Alderaan; the Emperor then had that one destroyed. The second one was almost taken over by the Rebel Terrorists and the Emperor ordered it destroyed, at the cost of his own life.

It must be true, it was in a museum on Coruscant.

Comment Re:The IRS could shut down??? (Score 2, Insightful) 253 253

I don't think anyone can make a serious argument that problems with their ability to function are desirable.

OK, here is the argument:

1) The IRS audits certain classes of people a LOT. (I've been audited almost every year for the last 5 years)
2) Normally, they don't find anything worth mentioning. But the taxpayer still had to pay for the audit.
3) So the taxpayer is out several thousand dollars, the "people" gained nothing
4) Repeated across 10 million audits, on average the "people" are gaining FAR less than is being spent by taxpayers on audits

This is a dead-weight loss to our society caused by the IRS auditing too many people. If this was a corporation, they would only audit enough to find most of the cheats - IE, to the cost effective point. But since this is government, instead they hire auditors until they run out of budget money, and audit as many people as possible regardless of actual culpability.

If the IRS lost the ability to do 90% of it's current efforts, it would be better for society.

Comment Re:One has to wonder (Score 2, Insightful) 253 253

I'm sorry - if you (as the head of the IRS) allow the IRS to be politicized on your watch, then you will not be funded by the next Congress. It doesn't matter if you think it hasn't been politicized if enough people disagree with you. If the IRS wanted to continue as an organization, they needed to avoid even a hint of partisanship.

It doesn't take a genius here...

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