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Comment: Re:Perhaps the answer is taxes (Score 2) 161

by danheskett (#48338931) Attached to: Florida-Based Magic Leap Builds Its Team With Bay Area Hires

Silicon Valley does a lot going for it, in that it's a nexus with a critical mass of people with money, employees, and business people. But it's not the center of the world.

I do think it's funny that Florida is considered such a redstate. It's not. The major metro areas are demographically similar to many places on the west coast. Highly skilled, younger crowd, and ethnically diverse. Several of the metro areas have a lower average age than the Bay, even. Tampa area average age is 3 years younger than the bay area, for example, at 29.5 years. Both California and Florida have passed gay marriage bands that were later overturned in Federal court.

One thing to watch out for in Silicon Valley is that it is highly susceptible to bubbles. There is almost certainly a tech bubble going on right now - it's not much of a secret. This has fueled an almost insane real-estate bubble. When the jobs start to dry up, which will dry up around the time that the stock market starts to pull back and VC money is hard to find, the situation may be different. Florida has it's own bubbles, but they are primarily in construction and other fields.

Finally, the list of reasons why it's great to be an employee in California are probably the reason why there are some experiments to to place some jobs in other states. In the end, people and talent will go where the jobs are.

Comment: Re:Perhaps the answer is taxes (Score 2) 161

by danheskett (#48338909) Attached to: Florida-Based Magic Leap Builds Its Team With Bay Area Hires

It is very difficult to compare states evenly, but it is worth trying at some points. California (actually, like Texas and Florida) is adding a lot of new jobs because it lost so many in the recession. It has a lot of damage to undo. This is a good and bad thing.

Companies don't really move, you go that right. Sometimes, occasionally, they do, but it's not a real thing. But business does come and go, and at least part of that is the result of the business environment.

California population growth is still strong, but both Texas and Florida are growing faster. In all three cases, population growth and a few key industries are doing a lot of the heavy lifting economically.

Comment: Re:And you get to live in Florida!!! (Score 4, Informative) 161

by danheskett (#48338887) Attached to: Florida-Based Magic Leap Builds Its Team With Bay Area Hires

You have a lot packed into that post. It's a sort of typical Silicon Valley is the center of the Universe attitude. A few interesting things I would just point out:

Florida, like California, is a big state. It's approximately 20 million people, only about 55% of California, but economically, pretty diverse. There is a bubble in Silicon Valley, it's fairly well recognized, and it's going to pop. It's a matter of timing as to when, and luck as to how bad it will be. Many local real estate markets in California are also once again over-valued, and if/when the jobs and inflated stock market deflate, even slowly, the real estate market will be in bad shape (again). California and Florida both had big shocks with foreclosures in the great recession, however, Florida has not put the brakes on new development, which have kept new home prices relatively low.

Weather wise - I mean - you can have your pick. If you live near the west coast, like say Tampa or Bradenton - you are looking at daily average highs from about 70 in the winter to 90 in the summer. If you head down to the islands, it's a narrower band and more comfortable from the ocean winds.

Recreationally, Florida has an amazing network of state parks, and you get a nice variety of beaches - you can have white-sand beaches that are similiar to California, or you can have some amazing active beaches. Yes, there is Disneyworld, and Universal, and Busch Gardens, and SeaWorld. There's a lot to do around those things for adults - Universal for example has a pretty interesting Halloween event if you are into that type of thing.

Politics wise, is obviously in the eye of the beholder, but it's a bit weird to claim Florida is some weird political universe when you've got San Fransico in your backyard, protesting buses. Like California, Florida has a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, which have been reversed by Federal courts. The best comparison between California and Florida government, however, is that in Florida, the State government is basically not part of your life as an individual citizen. I moved to Florida a few years back, and I am fairly convinced that the State of Florida, except for a line item in a motor vehicle database somewhere, has no clue I live here. There is no State Income tax, nothing to file, no refund to beg for. I bought a new car, and there are no trips to city hall, or the DMV. You get a real license plate at the dealer that renews automatically by mail. And that's it. If you live in any of the rural areas, you won't have the state government in your way, and you probably have a town government either. Millions of people live in unincorporated areas, which effectively mean, you own a piece of land and pay some tax to the county, but there is no sub-division of government that makes municipal laws or regulation over you. Yes, that caters to weirdos, but it also caters to people who just want to be left alone, to live a peaceful life.

There are a lot of other positive aspects to living in Florida. We have a robust and dynamic healthcare market in most metro areas, with several large hospital groups fighting for patients. There are a many doctors who compete for patients, and keep prices low. When I shopped for health insurance last year, on the ACA marketplace, I had over 60 plans to choose from, and almost all of them were well below the national average.

Industry wise, we are more diverse in most cities than you'll find in Silicon Valley. The next wave of carnage, like the first bubble, will be epic. In Florida, we have a strong tourism sector, and companies like Mariott and Disney provide many excellent, middle class and professional job, along with roughly 250k lower-wage unskilled jobs. Educationally, Florida has an excellent University system. UF, USF, UCF are all fine universities. On top of that, there is an extensive community college network. For high schoolers, students graduating at the top of their class get free college tuition. And, it''s rather affordable. If you have a child today, you can pre-pay their 4-year university tuition for $178/month, till their 18th birthday. That will cover tuition, fees and some living expenses for any state university. There are good technology jobs in finance, banking, education, R&D, pharma, aviation, manufacturing, tourism, construction and other segments.

Cost wise, almost all areas of Florida beat California hands down. Depending on which formula's you use, Florida is 20-30% less expensive to live in than California, and depending on the area, can be quite a bit more than that as well. Utilities, food, real estate and/or rent are all less on average.

I am all for Silicon Valley, but it's not the center of the world. Florida is doing pretty well - like California there is a lot of immigration, a lot of cultural diversity (and in fact, Florida is growing population wise at twice the rate of California).

Comment: Re: I thought the lower receiver is the weapon.. (Score 1) 353

by danheskett (#48322925) Attached to: Online Payment Firm Stripe Boots 3D Gun Designer Cody Wilson's Companies

Yes, your wet dream of an armed revolt is worth thousands of dead every year from guns.

Yes, exactly, it is. It is trivial to reduce your chance of dying in gun violence to barely above noise. Avoid large cities. There you go. Problem solved.

And, in return, we get a government terrified of it's citizens revolting. Look at Pennsylvania. One person completely disrupted the State police by staging a suicide attack against the state government. Weeks and weeks and weeks of complete abject panick inside the State police. They took one dead, two wounded as causulities.

The State cannot handle any significant armed revolt. One small cult in Texas paralyzed the entire Federal government's Department of Justice. A small number of thousands of armed citizens could easily depose the Federal government, and take physical custody of Congress an the White House. Consider that in Texas, 20% of all citizens own more than five pistols or rifles. It would take barely 1% of those to completely overwhelm the Federal government.

Comment: Re:Contingent liability (Score 1) 353

by danheskett (#48322909) Attached to: Online Payment Firm Stripe Boots 3D Gun Designer Cody Wilson's Companies

In countries without the government co-ercion and market controls in place, there is no equivalent of Visa or Mastercard. Instead, people pay via electronic bank drafts more commonly and only use credit cards for, you know, credit purchases. Germany is a good example.

Visa and MC have massive in-built government subsidies.

Comment: Re:Now we get to hear (Score 1) 353

by danheskett (#48322899) Attached to: Online Payment Firm Stripe Boots 3D Gun Designer Cody Wilson's Companies

Because they don't have enough of them. Had that policy been in place for the last 200 years, and there were 5 weapons in the hand of every citizen, it might be different.

Also, the AK47 is a terrible weapon. Really, terrible. It's main characteristic is that it's inexpensive and plentiful. But as a fighting weapon, it's main usefulness is suppression fire, and making a lot of noise.

Comment: Re:Not cool, Stripe (Score 1) 353

A credit card processor would fire a customer for a few reasons: they are generating a lot of chargebacks, which are expensive, or they are generating a lot of bad charges, which are expensive, or they put the processor at financial risk from an upstream. All of things have mitigation that you can do before firing the customer - namely, higher fees. There comes a point where higher fees no longer suffice, and the risk is too great, and the customer has to be fired.

There really isn't any other business reason to fire a customer in this business. The rest of the reasons are PR or otherwise not-business reasons related.

Comment: Re:Now we get to hear (Score 1) 353

I don't think your examples are sound:

> For the former, look at Iraq, which is loaded with weapons and had abuse by the government in Baghdad, and for the latter,

The citizens of Ba'athist Iraq were not loaded with weapons. The military was, militias were, the secret police where. After the invasion, weapons became a very powerful form of underground currency, and they play huge role in the re-alignment of post-Ba'athist power. For decades, the Ba'athists were able to use their firepower to enable a minority to rule viciously over a numerical majority. The Kurds, to the degree they were quazi-automous, secured that higher level of treatment, because of their own force multiplier, which was small and personal arms. Even still they still suffered mightily.

> look at the fall of the Berlin Wall, where the East German Communists didn't have the stomach for shooting tens of thousands of their own people when they
> interpreted an off-the-cuff comment about easing border controls as freedom to cross now.

This may have been true at the time of the fall, the literal time, however, the imbalance of firepower is exactly what allowed the East German state to exist for so long. It's the same thing has prevent an uprising in North Korea.

Comment: Re:Contingent liability (Score 1) 353

And we have no idea, what if any, pressure or threats that stripe has been subjected to by the government. And we have no reasonable hope of finding out.

This is the hallmark of fascist government. Large business - namely VISA and Mastercard, which cannot exist without government protectionism, lean on suppliers all the way down to keep the government happy. There doesn't even have to be any direct pressure from the government to stripe, because that pressure flows down from the highest levels, till eventually it hits the bottom of the stack, and individuals and smaller entities are left without options.

The Universe is populated by stable things. -- Richard Dawkins