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Comment: Re:Well done! (Score 1) 505

by Zordak (#49515319) Attached to: George Lucas Building Low-Income Housing Next Door To Millionaires

I dunno, I read it as George doing a "jar jar binks" [1] on his neighbors. You don't like the idea of a studio on my ranch? Ok, how about LOW INCOME HOUSING? How do you like THEM apples?

[1] Referencing reports that Lucas specifically retaliated against fans' dislike of Jar Jar in the first film by giving him increased time in the subsequent films.

That's a cool theory and all, except reality. How do a couple of cameos count as "increased time"? I think the more plausible theory is that Lucas pandered to the audience by making Jar Jar responsible for the rise of the empire.

Comment: Re:And this is different to.... (Score 1) 131

by Zordak (#49441697) Attached to: Why Some Developers Are Live-Streaming Their Coding Sessions

Sounds like hell.

No, it sounds like hell on the Internet. I'm sure you could get a patent for that.

Prior art for "hell on the internet" goes back to at least Geocities and Hampster[sic] Dance. The best you can do now is patent your own particular variation of hell on the internet.

Comment: Re:Not bad (Score 3, Funny) 74

Wow, just imagine a Beowulf cluster of these! / Dating myself // Hurry up, Rosie, or we'll miss the movie!

So behind the times! The hip new kids ask if it runs Crysis. (Alternative: Yo, dawg! We clustered your cluster so you can cluster while you cluster! Also, all your petaflops are belong to us. In Soviet Natalie Portman, Beowulf clusters you! Did I miss anything?)

Comment: Re:I'm all for abolishing the IRS (Score 1) 349

by Zordak (#49387721) Attached to: Sign Up At Before Crooks Do It For You

Money is power, and without a way to siphon off and redistribute excessive wealth

And here we get to the real point, and why you and I will never agree. You see taxes as a weapon to punish the wealthy and successful. But I have no faith in your socialistic gospel of envy and class warfare. Government should not be concerned with redistributing wealth (which is almost wholly unrelated to the legitimate social responsibility of caring for the poor and needy). Nor should it be concerned with protecting and enhancing the wealth of the already wealthy. Since our current government, like a madman, seeks both of these contradictory ends, it is ridiculous and ineffective. Until government ceases to seek these two ends, it will continue to burden us with perpetual debt, regardless of our tax system.

Comment: Re:A Corollary for Code (Score 1) 232

by Zordak (#49380219) Attached to: Why You Should Choose Boring Technology

I've found that programmers often get themselves in trouble by trying to be "clever", which often makes for horribly unintuitive or unnecessarily complex systems.

Unless you're Mel, in which case you make awesomely unintuitive and necessarily complex systems to save one or two clock cycles in the inner loop, and become a legend.

Comment: Re:I'm all for abolishing the IRS (Score 1) 349

by Zordak (#49380091) Attached to: Sign Up At Before Crooks Do It For You

You're mixing income tax with consumption tax. If you want to tax income, tax income. But if we're taxing consumption, then those who consume more pay more than those who consume less, and those who consume least because they have the least to spend pay the least in taxes because of the baseline exemption. The upper middle class guy who's busting his butt to pay off his student loans, and who saves as much as he can, is not going to pay a disproportionate amount in taxes. (Or are we going to tax his student loan payments as consumption, even though he paid consumption tax while living on those loans? What about deposits in a savings account, or stock purchases? If we're going to do that, we may as well just call it an income tax, because that's what it is.)

If he pays off his student loans and still chooses to live modestly, he continues to pay a low tax rate. If he instead decides to start living large, then he'll start paying more in taxes. Either way, he essentially chooses his tax bracket, because he chooses every day what to buy, and how much to spend on it. This is especially true if we're giving him a front-loaded exemption on expected costs for rent and groceries. In other words, we're not taxing him for living, eating, and having shelter, and we're not taxing him for working and earning money. We're taxing whatever life style he chooses above and beyond the baseline. This tax is progressive in that people who choose to live modestly or who cannot afford to live extravagantly pay very little in taxes. Those who are able and choose to live extravagantly pay much more in taxes. Yes, you could have a billionaire who pays no taxes because he chooses to live in an efficiency and drive an '86 Yugo. That's only a problem if you believe that the government owns all income, and is naturally entitled to its "fair share," because class warfare or whatever. I prefer the tax theory of take from people the very least necessary for government to function. And I suspect there would be very few billionaires living tax free under this system, because it has an actual lifestyle cost to them. The only cost now for billionaires to live tax-free is they pay their accountants and lawyers $900/hour to get creative with shell entities.

Comment: Re:I'm all for abolishing the IRS (Score 1) 349

by Zordak (#49377197) Attached to: Sign Up At Before Crooks Do It For You

1. You misunderstood me. I was saying you could come up with a really long list of exceptions to consumption tax without being more complicated than our current labyrinthine tax code.

2. I'm not arguing in favor of progressive taxes. Again, I was just pointing out that there is plenty of room for a consumption tax to get really complicated without being more complicated than the mess we have now.

And no, if you want to make a consumption tax regressive, you don't have to make it complicated. You can exempt the first $X of purchases, where $X is some "living wage" line according to some politician's favored theory. You now have a progressive tax. Perhaps not progressive enough to wage effective class warfare, which means the Democrats will hate it. But the good news is, Republicans will hate that it doesn't have enough loopholes for their monied cronies to avoid paying any taxes at all. So maybe I'm in favor of it after all. I'm in favor of almost anything that those clowns in Washington are all unified in hating. And since everybody would be helping to carry the load of the government they ask for, the big winners in this system are the upper middle class, who are currently getting screwed from both ends of the income spectrum.

Comment: Re:I'm all for abolishing the IRS (Score 1) 349

by Zordak (#49375103) Attached to: Sign Up At Before Crooks Do It For You

I dislike the IRS as much as anyone, but I think taxing income is a lot simpler to make progressive than trying to categorize all the different kinds of products available would be.

Have you seen our tax code? When I took Federal Income Taxation in law school, I had to get a copy of the tax code, and it was about six inches thick. (I don't remember, or care, if or how much it was annotated.) That's a mighty long list of exceptions to consumption tax.

But consumption taxes will never take on, because the tax code is really about control. If I grant tax favors for certain preferred behaviors, I can exercise a phenomenal amount of control over what you do. If I'm a power-grubbing statist anywhere on the purple spectrum, that's much better than merely influencing what you buy.

"When it comes to humility, I'm the greatest." -- Bullwinkle Moose