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Comment: Gaps between Public and Economists (Score 1) 265 265

Indeed, there also is a large gap between the viewpoint of the public and economists.

For example, few economists (11%) agree with the statement "'Buy American' has a positive impact on manufacturing employment", whereas 75% of the public feel that way.

94% of economists feel that NAFTA was a good idea, only 46% of the public agree.

Comment: Re:More than $100 (Score 4, Interesting) 515 515

I marvel at the idiocy of our citizens, it's not the government's fault, in not having insisted on keeping and improving rail since the 40's.

Actually the US has the world's best rail system. But that system is for freight, not for passengers. You can't have HSR and freight on the same tracks, so the US railways chose freight.

Comment: Data point (Score 1) 515 515

LAX to SJC via air: $330 roundtrip, $165 one way
~90 minutes in the air each way, ~30 minutes boarding, ~30 minutes TSA (but you generally give ~60 minutes in case of emergency).

So 3 hours each way by air (the Uber/Taxi at the end would be about the same for the train).

Comment: NRAO shields its microwave oven (Score 1) 227 227

This article claims that the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, WV, has the "cafeteria's microwave oven is kept in a shielded cage" and "Large chambers designed to absorb radio waves - including a 5,000-square-foot conference room - have been built to make sure that, as Sizemore tells it, "radiation generated in the building stays in the building."

I visited NRAO once and got to drive a diesel '69 Checker cab (no spark plugs).

Comment: Re:Lack of understanding of capitalism (Score 1) 634 634

. Working to provide access to clean water leads to healthier people with a little more free time to think about starting a business or overthrowing a dictator.

I don't see any evidence that aid-based efforts have ever been effective at enhancing levels of economic freedom in developing countries.

The great successes of Asian Tigers, China, and Chile do not seem to line up with aid-based efforts. In fact these all depended on new dictators coming to power, with perfection only after a peaceful transition to democracy (China is still working on it).

Comment: Lack of understanding of capitalism (Score 1) 634 634

I believe that this is a lack of understanding of the global benefits of free market capitalism among students.

While all of these "engineers without borders" and "development engineering" things are nice, they are pretty insignificant in terms of actually enhancing the wealth and well-being of poor people in developing countries versus good old capitalism - where those poor people have the opportunities to make things and perform services of value to other people.

Deng opening up China to the global market has brought hundreds of millions of Chinese out of absolute poverty (making under $1 per day) through market exchanges. China did not have large amounts of foreign aid. They just made it OK to carry on capitalist trade.

Instead of setting up Wi-Fi in a poor village, it would be far better to teach the local people about the importance of secure property rights, the needs to reduce regulation to reasonable levels for a poor country which both enhances commerce and reduces the level of corruption, the needs to allow for free trade for imports and exports. And hopefully they can change their democratic government to enhance economic freedom, and if their government is not democratic, other solutions may be required.

If you want to know why a country is still poor, go read its entry in the Index of Economic Freedom.

Comment: Re:If it's up to the U.S. and their allies, never. (Score 1) 494 494

How does your "personal belief" explain the millionaire Osama bin Laden, the computer programmer "Jihadi John", the hijackers with Ph.D.s who flew jets into the World Trade Center, the millions upon millions of dollars funneled into building rockets and tunnels in Gaza, etc. ?

It is true that many terrorists are highly educated by the socialist college systems, but unable to be employed because of the lack of industry in the socialist Arab countries.

But you also allude to the large amount of government money spent on AQ/ISIS by Arab socialist governments and of course Hamas by Iran.

Comment: Re:If it's up to the U.S. and their allies, never. (Score 1) 494 494

Well 18 people were killed (10 burned to death) during the 3-14 riots in Tibet.

My personal belief in the cause of middle east terrorism is the extreme lack of economic freedom. Those countries are all extremely socialist. This includes the lack of secure private property in the occupied Palestinian lands as well.

Comment: Re:Maybe investors are just wising up (Score 1) 99 99

Even if you assume greater profits from increased monopoly abuse by a combined Comcast/TWC,

Comcast Profit Margin (Quarterly):10.86% for Dec. 31, 2014.

Apple Profit Margin (Quarterly):24.16% for Dec. 31, 2014

Google Profit Margin (Quarterly):26.28% for Dec. 31, 2014

Comment: Re:Smart vs. stupid (Score 1) 182 182

Stupid people tend to have a lot more kids than smart people. Citation: Idiocracy

Also smart people now tend to only meet other smart people on Match.com, etc. In 1960 25% of men with university degrees married women with degrees; in 2005, 48% did. As a result, the Gini rose from 0.34 in 1960 to 0.43 in 2005.

Assortative mating means we diverge into really smart and really dumb people.

VMS must die!