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Comment: Re:more leisure time for humans! (Score 1) 526

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) 526

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) 526

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) 526

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).

Comment: Re:$15 minimum wage (Score 1) 61

by TheSync (#47335757) Attached to: Seattle Gets Takeout By Amazon

Since Amazon is probably well aware of the law in Seattle and they are going forward with it, apparently the numbers work OK.

I think the point is that restaurants that already have delivery drivers (such as pizza parlors) may be more willing to outsource delivery to Amazon in order to not have to pay the higher minimum wage to the delivery people on their payroll.

[BTW, why should I worry about the minimum wage rise? I'm not a young, low-skill worker. If they loose their job, it is not my problem...until they decide to become self-employed entrepreneurs and rob me at gun point]

Comment: Data point (Score 1) 561

by TheSync (#47325385) Attached to:, Mensa Create Dating Site For Geniuses

I went to some "young Mensan" meetings back in the 1980's. I ended up dating a very nice (and smart) girl and had a good time.

In the 2010's, I'm not sure there is much point in joining Mensa to meet people for romantic reasons, especially given the large number of "meetup" style events available, plus online dating sites allow one to signal intelligence pretty easily if not explicitly.

There are many signals that people look for in romantic engagements that people prefer to not receive explicitly, including money, intelligence, and power. For example, women on average may like rich men, but if you show up at a date and give a woman a $100 bill to signal your wealth, it is not likely to be received well.

Comment: Dependencies suck (Score 1) 279

by TheSync (#47318559) Attached to: Why Software Builds Fail

"Similarly, almost 53% of all C++ build errors were classified as dependency-related. The most common such errors were using an undeclared identifier and missing class variables."

OK, why can't a compiler just Google for the dependency?

Identify everything with a unique ID. When you need to reference it, your system searches all your code (and any other code repositories) for the unique ID.

Why hasn't this been solved?

Comment: Re:"The Internet" (Score 1) 209

by TheSync (#47285027) Attached to: Steve Wozniak Endorses Lessig's Mayday Super PAC

If power is removed from government, some other entities will gain that power and become the new evil that must be fought.

I believe there are occasional market externalities that need to be dealt with via government. However the problem is that most people feel everything is a market externality that needs to be dealt with via government, thus government has too much power.

What is keeping YOU from competing with your local cable provider on higher-quality Internet connectivity? If you could prove to investors that your offering would be profitable, and they would invest in you because rich people like making money.

But then you would have to go to your local cable franchise board (set up because people feel that cable service is a "natural monopoly" that is not amenable to market forces, which is BS), and then you would have to fight against government power to be able to legally offer a service that people want.

Comment: Re:"The Internet" (Score 4, Insightful) 209

by TheSync (#47282679) Attached to: Steve Wozniak Endorses Lessig's Mayday Super PAC

starting with removing the corrupting influence of money

I have news for you, the corrupting influence of money will remain AS LONG AS POLITICIANS HAVE POWER. Money will "route around" such "campaign finance reforms". That is why all the campaign finance reforms put in place since the 1970's have consistently achieved nothing (except for allowing incumbents to hold on to power more strongly).

Politicians are always answerable at the ballot box. If you vote for politicians who promise to REMOVE POWER FROM GOVERNMENT, you will REMOVE THE POTENTIAL FOR CORRUPTION.

Most of our "Internet problems" are last mile problems. These are not national problems. You need to show up to your local government meetings and work on last mile access. I suggest local government reduce barriers to entries for new local ISPs (my suggestion). Or perhaps local governments should build open FTTH (which of course would be open to corruption to the contractors who build it, but perhaps that is better). But local is where to deal with this issue.

Comment: Re:Japan is already a nuclear power. (Score 1) 398

by TheSync (#47269709) Attached to: Why China Is Worried About Japan's Plutonium Stocks

Neither country has ever carried out a test

You don't need a test for a U-235 gun-type fission weapon. It is too simple to make. "Little Boy" was never tested. But purifying U-235 is a huge industrial undertaking.

And it probably isn't too hard to work out the implosion mechanisms for a plutonium fission weapon either.

Getting fusion-boosted weapons to work might be a tad bit harder to do without practical experience.

"The geeks shall inherit the earth." -- Karl Lehenbauer