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Comment: Chemistry (Score 1) 323

by TheSync (#48144981) Attached to: How English Beat German As the Language of Science

In the late 1950's, my father had to take German as part of his chemistry grad school (think Adolf von Baeyer, Fritz Haber, Otto Wallach, Richard WillstÃtter).

Now as far as I see, the highest SJR ranking German-language titled journal is Journal fur die Reine und Angewandte Mathematik founded in 1826, but most articles in it are English language.

Also ironically Springer Science+Business Media, a leading scientific journal publisher mainly of English language journals, is based in Germany.

Comment: Re:Fine! (Score 1) 365

by TheSync (#47994553) Attached to: Microsoft On US Immigration: It's Our Way Or the Canadian Highway

but that doesn't change the fact that they are robber barons.

Or "robber barons" concept is a socialist myth. In fact the companies founded by these people generally pushed forward technological or business solutions that revolutionized the economy and made people's lives better. For instance, Standard Oil dramatically decreased the price of oil products (not what you'd expect from a "monopoly").

"Robber barons" is a concept invented by their inefficient competitors to try to hassle them with useless anti-trust laws.

My reading of generosity of "robber barons" is that they considered themselves very lucky, were sitting on a ton of cash, and wanted to do something beneficial to society with that money.

At the same time, many also wanted to have lasting monuments to themselves because they were megalomaniacs. But the truth is that many CEOs tend to be that way. If you believe in yourself enough, other people tend to follow you. That's one of the reasons you pay multinational CEOs so much is because it takes a rare person crazy/megalomaniacal enough while also being reasonably intelligent and socially capable to get tends of thousands of people to take orders from you. And also if you are rich, people tend to kowtow to you as well. It is a bit like...government! Only instead of voting them out of office, you can choose not to buy from them if you don't like the product.

Comment: Re:Fine! (Score 2) 365

by TheSync (#47994379) Attached to: Microsoft On US Immigration: It's Our Way Or the Canadian Highway

Companies like Nike have been steadily moving their labor to the next cheapest place whenever people start asking for fair wages and working conditions.

Actually the evidence indicates that multinational firms routinely provide higher wages and better working conditions in poor countries than their local counterparts, and they are typically not attracted preferentially to countries with weak labor standards.

On the other hand, if manufacturers are forced to stay in high labor cost countries, they will simply use more automation and employ fewer people. US real manufacturing output is near an all-time high, yet US manufacturing jobs are down 35% from the peak in 1979. This is not just a US trend, but typical of all advanced economies.

Comment: Re:"stashes its cash" (Score 1) 365

by TheSync (#47994255) Attached to: Microsoft On US Immigration: It's Our Way Or the Canadian Highway

Whenever we tax rich people, we're disincentivizing them from being rich, which discourages them from spending their money.

I'm going to tell you that if my family's tax rate goes up any more, my wife is leaving the technical labor force and staying home with the kids because we won't be able to afford the child care. So there will be one less productive technical worker, and less business for the child care workers. That is reality.

We're not "super rich", but we're not bad off at all, although we live in a high-cost area where our jobs are.

Comment: Re:Cake and eat it too (Score 1) 365

by TheSync (#47994189) Attached to: Microsoft On US Immigration: It's Our Way Or the Canadian Highway

Under NAFTA any Canadian with a college degree can get a 'no questions asked' work visa at the border.

I've personally been screwed when we had a Canadian vendor try to send someone across the border to go fix a technical system in Detroit, and he got sent back at the border.

Comment: Re:Cake and eat it too (Score 1) 365

by TheSync (#47994129) Attached to: Microsoft On US Immigration: It's Our Way Or the Canadian Highway

If you incorrectly believe that _everyone_ pays the US 35% corporate tax sure, the US has the highest corporate tax rate.

Microsoft in 2013 paid $5.1 billion in total US federal/state/local and international taxes. This is on $21.8 billion in net income. So they are paying about 23% on a global basis.

Microsoft paid out about $3.1 billion in US federal taxes, and $1.7 billion in foreign taxes, so despite making more profits oversees, Microsoft is paying more in US taxes than foreign taxes.

Comment: Re:Geographic matching (Score 1) 365

by TheSync (#47994027) Attached to: Microsoft On US Immigration: It's Our Way Or the Canadian Highway

There is value in having developers who are from the countries where you sell your products because their understanding of the local culture and context

I am often dealing with technical product developers in Europe, Japan, or Israel, and it is a bit of a pain to schedule conference calls or get them to travel to meet with us. Much easier if they are in the US, unfortunately the smartest people in the planet do not all live in the US...

Comment: Re:Too bad (Score 1) 474

by TheSync (#47948139) Attached to: Scotland Votes No To Independence

After seeing what lack of control of your own currency did to Greece, Italy, and Spain I've come to the conclusion the tight economic binding which is the EU is a bad idea.

Yeah, because insane regulation and widespread corruption can be easily solved with inflation.

Italy: Despite repeated reform attempts, short-term legislative reforms have not been implemented effectively, and the economy remains burdened by political interference, corruption, high levels of taxation, and a rigid labor market. Due to the complexity of the regulatory framework and the high cost of conducting business, a considerable amount of economic activity remains in the informal sector.

Spain: Spain continues to score below the world averages in fiscal freedom, government spending, and labor freedom.

Greece: Over the 20-year history of the Index, Greece's economic freedom score has declined by over 5 points. Despite improvements in five of the 10 economic freedoms, large declines in property rights, freedom from corruption, government spending, and investment freedom have more than offset any gains.

Form 2014 Index of Economic Freedom.

Meanwhile, the Netherlands has 5.3% unemployment, and GDP per capita of $42,194. Open to global commerce, the Netherlands has long benefited from a high degree of regulatory efficiency that facilitates entrepreneurial activity. The judicial system provides strong protection for property rights.

What this country needs is a good five dollar plasma weapon.

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