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Comment: Re:San Francisco is just an extreme example... (Score 1) 334

by Temkin (#46764257) Attached to: San Francisco's Housing Crisis Explained

THE reason California's personal income taxes are so high is that nothing can be collected through property taxes. Property taxes in California are in a perverse way the same as rent control. The property tax pricing has gotten so far out of whack due to Prop 13 formulas that the only way the state can get any revenue is on personal income tax. Of course where people always own home, personal income tax is cyclical so a lot of the boom - bust cycle plays out in California's budgets because the state is levered up on the economy. Economy does well, everything is great. Economy does poorly, whole thing fall down.

Dig a little deeper:

Prop 13 sets municipalities AGAINST housing. Since they can't get their money in property taxes, they take a chunk up front in planning and permit fee's. Last time I checked, many bay area cities are charging upwards of $140k in planning and permit fee's to build a single family home. That means that the barest wreck of a house with a valid occupancy permit is worth $140k. So that jacks up the prices of all houses, and gives them one way to get around prop 13.

The next way is to encourage you to move every few years. If you stay in your house, they never get to reset the property valuation. My parents are paying tax rates that last saw a major adjustment in 1978. I work in tech, making good money, and I can't afford to buy the house across the street from them in the east bay neighborhood I grew up in. So I commute in from a horrible distance, and hope I can make enough coin to move back in closer. When I do, the cities get to reassess the value of the house I sell and the new one I buy. The result of this is the transit problems never get entirely fixed. Most of the bay area freeways were built in the 20 years following WWII. Now days they have simple bypasses and rail extensions that have 20 year planning timeframes, and 10+ year construction times.

On the whole, California has rigged its economy to blow bubbles. That's how the cities and municipalities get by with the wreckage left behind by 40 years of NIMBY, tax and spend on free everything vs. proto-TEA Party types, all with the ability to amend the state constitution with 50% + 1 vote... The rich banker types have it down.... Let the system blow a bubble, cash out & crash, reshuffle, repeat. The people are just pawns.

Comment: Re:Get rid of income Tax (Score 2) 401

by Temkin (#46760927) Attached to: Intuit, Maker of Turbotax, Lobbies Against Simplified Tax Filings

"If you take productive money and piss it away on boondoggle projects instead of useful purposes then it's a complete loss for the economy."

What about the most massive boondoggle project in history: World War II?

Massive increase in government spending, massing increase in government debt and massive increase in taxes all to build highly specialized equipment, ship it over seas and where it gets blown up.

The result: decades of economic growth and prosperity ending only with the rise of neo-Liberalism.

Stop it. You are making too much sense.

You forgot the bit about only certain countries having any factories left at the end of WWII...

Comment: Re:This'll take awhile for people to accept (Score 5, Interesting) 600

by Temkin (#44175319) Attached to: Obamacare Employer Mandate Delayed Until After Congressional Elections

Yea, we'll get used to having beurecrats make decisions regarding our famililies heathcare. I mean, having the IRS target the businesses of political opponents is nothing compared to denying Grandma her hip replacement because you voted for the wrong candidate.

Comment: Re:Different networks (Score 1) 90

by Temkin (#40267477) Attached to: IPMI: Hack a Server That Is Turned Off

How does this help? On all systems you can connect to the IPMI if you have root on the box. Then some have a built in telnet/ssh client. So not so hard to get into another IPMI instance on another box.

On shared chassis servers (blades, etc...) you may have common I2C sensor busses, and IPMB... This often includes the ability to send commands to the other blades in the chassis. You can do this even if there's no management networking configured.

Comment: Re:Failure on our part. (Score 1) 439

by Temkin (#38548732) Attached to: Doctorow: the Coming War On General-Purpose Computing

Again, you must be running with a different crowd than I am. Even my technically-minded friends, while not incensed when discussing this subject, don't feel it's a big problem. They usually want the faster processor or better graphics in a few years anyway. I do have a couple of friends who like to make their tech buys last as long as possible, and it's that type of personality that cares about this, by and large. It's been my experience that the general population gets it, but has bigger things to worry about.

Those of us with mortgages & kids have to keep budgets, etc... Apple maintains a 5 year cycle on supporting products. Let's put a figure on it:

Apple laptop $1500
Apple Desktop $1200
iPad $600
iPhone $130 (contract) *2 (3yr cycle)

I freely admit I pulled these numbers out of my head. The desktop & laptops figures are amalgams of the product lines, and the iPad & iPhone include some accessories you ALWAYS end up walking out of the store with. Screen protectors, cases, etc...

Total: $3560 / 5 years... $712/yr to live the Apple life. Those 5 year update/support cycles and the corresponding lack of freedom they include become remarkably sharply defined after you've lived thru a few of them. My wife and I love Apple products, and they do tend to last, but we're getting ready to leave the orchard, at least for desktop/laptops. The coupling between expensive closed phones/tablets and "partially closed and getting worse rapidly" desktops/laptops is simply too expensive. I can sync my phone/pad to Windows running in a VBox VM on Linux.

Comment: Re:Suicide boats is not Iran's primary weapon (Score 1) 969

by Temkin (#38548716) Attached to: Tensions Over Hormuz Raise Ugly Possibilities For War

Cluster munitions are remarkably effective against small wooden and fiberglass boats, as are 20mm CWIS / F-18 gun rounds. But as someone mentioned... the USS Stark provides a pretty good look at the survivability of the US Navy's smaller ships. The bigger ones are even more formidable. You're not going to put a hole in a cruiser or capital ship with something carried by a Donzi. You need a 500lb shaped warhead just to scratch the paint, and then all you're going to do is make the crew really really mad.

Comment: Re:Uhm... (Score 4, Informative) 202

by Temkin (#37809712) Attached to: Using Fuel Depots Instead of Giant Rockets

The Apollo J-2 was designed to restarted way back in 1967, as was the Aerojet AJ-10 from the late 1950's.

AJ-10 variants were used for both the Apollo SM engine, and the Shuttle OMS pods. They were designed to remain fueled for long periods of time and be re-ignightable. This is a solvable problem.

1 Billion dollars of budget deficit = 1 Gramm-Rudman