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Comment: Re:Completly Blindsided. (Score 1) 216

by TheSync (#47503629) Attached to: How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

From the article, it sounds like CVUSD isn't an independent organization.

CVUSD is an independent organization. It put "Measure X" on the ballot in 2012 to raise $41 million for iPads. 66% voted "Yes".

CVUSD board members are elected, including Juanita Duarte, a three-term board member who is facing trial on charges of embezzlement, and Anna Lisa Vargas, a soft-spoken freshman board member who was targeted by a recall effort last year.

CVUSD is also laying off 147 workers including pre-school teachers to avoid bankruptcy.

Comment: Re:Wow. Terrble Turn. (Score 1) 750

by TheSync (#47477271) Attached to: Malaysian Passenger Plane Reportedly Shot Down Over Ukraine

The majority of those on board were Chinese... Basically Russia's only ally in this whole mess. Things are about to get very interesting.

In the era before Sina Weibo, the Chinese Communist Party had no problem sacrificing Chinese people for political objectives. Keep in mind that the Chinese have their own potential breakaway areas, and are loath to agree that the global world should have any say in domestic affairs. We'll have to see whether that has changed with the Interwebzors...

Comment: Re:What Kim Stanley Robinson said of libertarianis (Score 1) 525

by TheSync (#47471773) Attached to: Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

The "People's Republic of Austin" as it is derisively called here is the most "progressive" city in Texas

Yeah, the state income tax rate in Texas is 0.0%. Oh my, quite progressive.

In Silicon Valley, for earnings between $49,774.00 and $254,250, you'll pay 9.3% income tax, and highest earners pay 12.3%.

You can carry an unregistered, concealed firearm in Austin. You can't in San Jose, and you'll need to register your handgun there as well (so it can be confiscated later :)


Comment: Re:This is the problem with having a two party sys (Score 1) 525

by TheSync (#47467461) Attached to: Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

In most of Europe, the "economically conservative but socially liberal" parties have economic policies to he left of the Democrats

Switzerland, Ireland, Estonia, and Denmark are now ranked more "Economically Free" than the US by the Heritage Index of Economic Freedom.

For example, government spending accounts for 33.8% of the economy of Switzerland, 40% for the US.

Comment: Re:What Kim Stanley Robinson said of libertarianis (Score 1) 525

by TheSync (#47467415) Attached to: Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

given the overwhelming historical association between "liber"tarian ideology and slavery

That is complete BS. The libertarian ideology and associated economic-centric thought has always been against slavery.

Indeed, the term "the dismal science" in reference to economics first occurs in Thomas Carlyle's 1849 tract entitled "Occasional Discourse on the Negro Question", where he found it was "dismal" in "find[ing] the secret of this Universe in 'supply and demand,' and reducing the duty of human governors to that of letting men alone." Instead, Carlyle felt that the "idle Black man in the West Indies" should be "compelled to work as he was fit, and to do the Maker's will who had constructed him." Carlyle's view was attacked by early libertarians such as John Stuart Mill (whose "On Liberty" addresses the nature and limits of the power that can be legitimately exercised by society over the individual.)

But the philosophical core of the region and the tech industry remains fundamentally progressive. That's why it remains the king despite decades of conservative "small government" states desperately trying and failing to replicate it on any remotely competitive scale.

San Jose became a tech hub because of Stanford (a private university) and Moffett Field (military spending on radio and later aerospace technology). It is unclear to me that "progressive" economic policies had much to do with it. If anything, the annoying level of government control over building (i.e. artificially inflated house prices) and horrific public schools of Silicon Valley are a huge negative (I would never work there without a pay rise to afford private school for my kids, for example), not to mention the high level of taxation on high income workers for California state income tax.

There are of course other tech hubs in the country, including Austin, TX (home of Dell), where "normal" workers can afford housing. And every major company that may have been founded or has headquarters in Silicon Valley tend to have operations in other parts of the US or the world.

Comment: Re:Greed (Score 1) 525

by TheSync (#47467243) Attached to: Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

Greed is a disease more deadly than heroin, hardening your heart and turning you into a right-wing monster, driven to amassing ever more power and lucre until you feel absolutely justified in bending society itself to your warped, dystopian world view. Rockefeller, Walton, Koch, Ellison, Zuckerberg; all the same fuckers.

On the other hand, using "hate of greed" as a political weapon actually kills tens of millions of people, Mao (Great Leap Forward, Cultural Revolution) , Pol Pot (Killing Fields), Stalin (Holodomor).

As opposed to bringing you cheaper oil (Rockefeller), cheaper retail products (Walton), better mechanisms for oil refining (Koch), better databases (Ellison), and better ways to staying in contact with your friends for free if you are willing to watch some ads (Zuckerberg).

Moreover, it should be remembered that it is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.

Comment: Re:more leisure time for humans! (Score 1) 530

by TheSync (#47413207) Attached to: Foxconn Replacing Workers With Robots

We don't even have to get to monopoly levels to see private industry engaging in politics to limit and hamper new entrants to the market.

You are correct about that. Government should have as little power as possible to regulate trade so that private industry can not use government power to hamper new entrants into the market.

The only time your investment in the stock market is going to a company seeking funding to do anything like create jobs, is when you buy stock directly from the company.

And people only buy stock directly from a company because...they believe they will profit from selling it to someone else later. The secondary market drives the primary one.

Comment: Re:more leisure time for humans! (Score 1) 530

by TheSync (#47409191) Attached to: Foxconn Replacing Workers With Robots

Capitalism can achieve all of those things but it does lead to monopolies. There is plenty of historical examples including our own robber baron periods here in the USA

Unfortunately the "robber baron" concept is a myth.

Take Standard Oil for example. It had 4% of the market in 1870. Its output and market share grew as its superior efficiency dramatically lowered its refining costs (by 1897, they were less than one-tenth of their level in 1869), and it passed on the efficiency savings in sharply reduced prices for refined oil (which fell from over 30 cents per gallon in 1869, to 10 cents in 1874, to 8 cents in 1885, and to 5.9 cents in 1897). Although Standard Oil's efficiencies did allow it to dominate the oil industry (85% market share), it never achieved a total monopoly (in 1911, the year of the Supreme Court decision against it, Standard Oil had roughly 150 competitors, including Texaco and Gulf).

One of Rockefeller's harshest critics was journalist Ida Tarbell, whose brother was the treasurer of the Pure Oil Company, which could not compete with Standard Oil's low prices. She published a series of hypercritical articles in McClure's magazine in 1902 and 1903, which were turned into a book entitled The History of the Standard Oil Company, a classic of antibusiness propaganda.

Or take the Union Pacific (UP) and the Central Pacific (CP) railroads. These were not created by capitalist processes, but were state socialist creations by The Pacific Railroad Act of 1862. For each mile of track built Congress gave these companies a section of land - most of which would be sold - as well as a sizable loan: $16,000 per mile for track built on flat prairie land; $32,000 for hilly terrain; and $48,000 in the mountains. Compare with the privately built Great Northern transcontinental railroad.

Or take Cornelius Vanderbilt, who invented ways to make travel and shipping cheaper. He used bigger ships, faster ships, served food onboard. He cut the New York-Hartford fare from $8 to $1.

if you hadn't noticed there has been a jobs problem of late, capitalism isn't exactly a panacea.

Nothing in the world is perfect (including government), however you may want to compare the US unemployment rate of 6.1% with the French unemployment rate of 10.1% or the Spanish unemployment rate of 26% (France and Spain are ranked only "Moderately Free" by the Index of Economic Freedom).

And capitalism frequesntly just leads to fewer jobs because it is more profitable to do more with less workers involved.

Where is your data on this? The number of employed people in the US has always tended upwards with only a blip during the most recent financial crisis.

Of course you are correct that US employee productivity per hour rises all the time due to investment in productive capital.

There are only three countries in the world with higher productivity per employee hour than the US. One is Norway, which gets 20% of GDP from oil, and none of those countries have more than 3 million workers. Ireland is one, and it is currently rated "Mostly Free" by the Index of Economic Freedom, as is Luxembourg.

one person with $1,000,000 doesn't spend as much money in the same way that 20 people with $50,000 each would.

One person with $1 million would invest that money into capital, producing new jobs and technology. That capital would be spent on business goods, salaries, etc. All of my savings are in stocks, for example. The "paradox of thrift" is also a myth.

For example, Manufacturers' New Orders: Nondefense Capital Goods Excluding Aircraft which was $70 billion dollars last month.

In fact a number of companies rely on those welfare programs in order to supply a very cheap work force.

I believe you have things backwards. Wages tend to be set by the competitive market for employees, not by availability of welfare programs. If those welfare programs went away, it is unlikely those workers would be paid more by their employees. Now some of the workers, more highly impoverished, may become more incentivized to find ways to accumulate human capital to improve their incomes (or to finish school, etc.) or perhaps to engage in entrepreneurism (I know plenty of recent immigrants without a high school education and without access to welfare programs who make enough to survive doing gardening, building, babysitting, and other odd jobs). Moreover if welfare programs were reduced to those not currently working, they may be incentivized to re-enter the labor force.

Comment: Re:If everyone loses their jobs... (Score 1) 530

by TheSync (#47408787) Attached to: Foxconn Replacing Workers With Robots

The animation studios are all in Bangalore.

There certainly are Indian and South Korean animation studios.

Transformers 4 was mostly done by Industrial Lights & Magic, although now that I take a close look it was actually co-produced by Paramount and China Movie Channel. It was also mostly shot with Canadian IMAX cameras.

Regarding Bollywood, Dhoom 3 did $8 million and Chennai Express did $5 million in US box-office. I think that Bollywood movies are still a bit too cheesy for US audiences, although clearly Indian producers could make US-targetted movies if they wanted to.

Comment: Re:more leisure time for humans! (Score 2) 530

by TheSync (#47407075) Attached to: Foxconn Replacing Workers With Robots

Capitalism is a system designed to reward capitalists.

Capitalism is a system designed to assure private property rights. Through assuring protection of private property from appropriation form the state, the risk of investment is lowered, thus encouraging investment. Investment provides the capital that allows new types of jobs to be created and technology to be improved.

Thus capitalism rewards capitalist investors with enhanced returns on capital, rewards laborers with better and more well paying jobs because of improvements in their productivity due to higher levels of capital investment, and rewards consumers with improved products and technologies.

Monopoly is the natural end state of Capitalism. The big fish eat all the smaller fish, until there's only one big fish left.

Where is the evidence for this? Private property protection encourages competition because it incentivizes investment in new companies and technologies. We see this for example in accelerating Fortune 500 turnover and the turnover of the DJIA. For example, today we barely recognize the former DJIA companies Owens-Illinois Glass or Central Leather. The economic term for this is creative destruction.

Many large companies exist today created from scratch that did not exist 50 years ago (Starbucks, Best Buy, FedEx, Dell, Cisco, Sysco, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, eBay, Facebook, ARM, AMD, Intel, Nvidia).

It is particularly difficult for a large organization to remain competitive over a long period of time. They build up too many entrenched internal power centers and often become blind to market change and technological change. See IBM for a company that started as mainly a hardware company, but has totally lost that market and is mainly a software consulting company today.

On the other hand, when the commanding heights of the economy are in the hands of the state, it is easy for the government to enforce monopolies of state-owned enterprises through regulation.

while the poor starve to death

Most actual deaths of people due to starvation occur in countries with low levels of economic freedom, not in countries that embrace private property rights and capitalism. Recent famines in Senegal, Gambia, Niger, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, DRC, Ethiopia, and North Korea are occurring in states ranked in the Index of Economic Freedom as being "Mostly Unfree" or "Repressed", with many having a long recent history or even still being ruled by governments that claim allegiance to Marxist socialism (for example, Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, or the Workers' Party of Korea).

Real programs don't eat cache.