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Comment: Re:Gotta pay the government bills somehow (Score 1) 630

by _Sharp'r_ (#46762047) Attached to: IRS Can Now Seize Your Tax Refund To Pay a Relative's Debt

Tax revenues are at inflation-adjusted record highs. http://cnsnews.com/news/articl...
and have been climbing overall for a while:
http://comeletusreasontogether...

What we have is a serious spending problem. Most of the "cutting taxes" over time is an illusion and doesn't amount to much.

Comment: Re: But.. but, socialism! (Score 1) 870

by _Sharp'r_ (#46583399) Attached to: Job Automation and the Minimum Wage Debate

Factory work during the industrial revolution was much preferred to the agriculture work that preceded it. That's one major reason lots of people left the farms to head for the city and a factory job. The people doing the work were much better off in the horrible conditions you decry than they were trying to eke an existence out of the dirt. Now we've replaced most of the worst factory jobs with robots and people are even better off in soft service and office jobs. There's been a lot of progress made in wealth and productivity and that progress will continue unless misguided individuals manage to use the government to continue to slow down or stop it.

If you just want people to have a job, any job, then give them spoons and set them to digging and filling in ditches. It not about have "work" available, it's about the best use of people's time to produce the most overall wealth. Anything we can do to further mechanize things and use capital goods to make labor more efficient makes us all wealthier in the mid to long run.

Comment: Re:and then we will need some kind of basic income (Score 1) 387

by _Sharp'r_ (#46401097) Attached to: Girl's Facebook Post Costs Her Dad $80,000

They are there because the employers can get away with it because there's not a shortage of unskilled employees.

And when you require their employer to increase the wage for their position, the employer will now hire a more qualified individual instead, since they have to pay for that anyway, leaving the less skilled employee (who is supposedly being helped) eventually out in the cold.

If your employer was suddenly required to pay 50% more in salary for your current position, do you think you'd keep your job long-term against other, more qualified people who would suddenly want that position as opposed to their old one? It all shakes out similarly in the end for those who used to make under the new minimum wage, typically the most needy among us who already have some of the fewest options.

Comment: Re:Sarah Palin (Score 1) 479

I suppose I'd have mentally picked St. Laurence Island as a more representative example, as it's part of Alaska and only 36 miles from Russia. You'd have to have a mountain in the distance to see Russia from there, but it's feasible.

But more accurately, Little Diomede Island, is only 2.4 miles from Big Diomede Island, so you can easily see Russia from there and even walk between the two countries during the parts of the year it's frozen over.

Comment: Re:and then we will need some kind of basic income (Score 1) 387

by _Sharp'r_ (#46391897) Attached to: Girl's Facebook Post Costs Her Dad $80,000

I'll admit that I'm more familiar with the minimum wage history and practice in the U.S. than in the UK. Just happened to read that article the same day and it seems very topical.

However, the theory isn't that minimum wage causes unemployment for everyone. The vast majority already make more than the minimum wage, so other than increasing their costs for minimum-wage supplied products and services (which is a real wage decrease, come to think of it). Economic theory states that the impact on people who currently make the new minimum wage or lower is that they find it more difficult to get and/or keep employment, because at the margin, some of them become no longer worth employing for what they cost.

Comment: Re: and then we will need some kind of basic incom (Score 1) 387

by _Sharp'r_ (#46385271) Attached to: Girl's Facebook Post Costs Her Dad $80,000

Perhaps try some simple wikipedia reading? I mean, I know that's almost like actually researching something, but really, you could just read the first paragraph and learn more than you appear to know.

The Jim Crow laws literally required businesses to segregate facilities. It was no longer a choice by the business. It was a legal requirement by Southern Democratic lawmakers to keep their different colored customers separate.

Comment: Re:and then we will need some kind of basic income (Score 2) 387

by _Sharp'r_ (#46385247) Attached to: Girl's Facebook Post Costs Her Dad $80,000

Your facts seem to be less than accurate. For example, in the UK, the minimum wage for 16-17 year olds was set in 2004 and started increasing in 2006. Mysteriously, the unemployment rate for 16-17 year olds in the UK started heading up right at the same time until it almost doubled. Probably just a coincidence, right?

Increases in the minimum wage cause unemployment among those who are less valuable to an employer than the minimum wage. They work the same way as every other law setting a price floor. Price floors doesn't exactly have controversial effects.

Comment: Re:Here's some quotes (Score 1) 233

by _Sharp'r_ (#46204521) Attached to: 25% of Charter Schools Owe Their Soul To the Walmart Store

Unless, of course, that's what the government was going to use it for.

Then, what, 20% of it ends up going for that same purpose, after the politicians, lobbyists, bureaucracies and waste take their cuts?

Of course, that's only when they don't manage to create a worse problem altogether with their "program" by subsidizing the problem they were supposedly attempting to cure.

Comment: Re:Love the quotes (Score 1) 233

by _Sharp'r_ (#46204467) Attached to: 25% of Charter Schools Owe Their Soul To the Walmart Store

Name a single charter school that accepts *every* applicant. When that happens, then we can talk.

Ok, Gateway Preparatory Academy (GPA). True, they only accept students who live in the State that chartered them, because otherwise the State doesn't pay, but they've accepted every student who has ever applied. That's because they haven't hit their State mandated cap on enrollment yet.

Any other Charter school in the same State that hasn't hit the cap the State Board of Education is willing to pay for also accepts every student that applies. The only time they have a lottery is when they are no longer legally allowed to accept more students, because the State has set a limit on enrollment. The only preference allowed when they have a lottery is that the children of the people who founded the school may get a preference if that's written into the Charter. Typically that might affect a handful of kids, as the number of founders is usually half a dozen or less and their kids were all enrolled before the school filled up years later.

Also, the Charter schools in the same State have the same rules for expulsion, special ed, etc... as the other public schools in the State. GPA has 2x the "average" special education enrollment and 2X the "average" gifted and talented enrollment.That's because personalized education attracts both ends of the spectrum.

There may be other States where the rules are different, but I didn't found a Charter school in those States, so I wasn't required to become an expert on their school-related law. I do know the way things work in a few States, though, and non of them work they way you state.

Comment: Re:How do we get more women involved in tech? (Score 1) 545

by _Sharp'r_ (#46169257) Attached to: Getting Young Women Interested In Open Source

Thank you for your considered reply.

I don't know all the details (just from what you've stated), but I agree that if the change was rejected with the comment "women suck", that's obviously a pretty big statement about the lack of maturity of the person rejecting the change. A big enough statement that it pretty much creates an obligation for the higher level maintainer to accept the change at that point because to do otherwise would cast them as agreeing with the immature kid that rejected it.

Inconsiderate behavior like that isn't justified towards anyone in the context of maintaining an open source code repository, or anywhere else in life, for that matter. Sure, the owner of the code (which this specific case wasn't about an owner, just someone with privileges) has the right to behave however they like short of causing actual harm to someone else, but I'd hope it wouldn't take much of that sort of behavior toward anyone before folks with a sense of justice and propriety would create a fork and go on their merry way.

In this specific case, based on their reaction to the incident, it sounds like the actual owners of the repository agree that they needed to step in to limit the damage this particular individual was doing.

Comment: Re:How do we get more women involved in tech? (Score 1) 545

by _Sharp'r_ (#46157853) Attached to: Getting Young Women Interested In Open Source

I know there is a fashion lately to try and force people to be "gender neutral" in their writing, but "he" has for a very long time been a standard reference that you use in English when the sex of the person being referred to is unspecified. It's perfectly acceptable and anyone who is offended by it is either incapable of critical thinking, uneducated or simply looking for something to be offended by. It's not any more insulting to a female reader to refer to "he" in the generic when writing something generic than referring to a ship as "her" is insulting to males who happen to work on "her".

Should all men in the United States be insulted that America is referred to as "her" in the song God Bless America? No, because we understand that in the English language, one personal pronoun doesn't _always_ mean a specific human sex. We have traditions of usage that add poetry to the language and customs that work fine for communication, which is supposed to be the intent of speech and writing.

So yeah, you can signal your feminism group-think all you want by writing or saying something stupid like "him/her" or "s/he", but depending on your audience, you're likely saying more about the influence of your modern teachers and your personal inability to discern importance than you are about anything of significance.

Comment: Re:It's called perspective (Score 1) 683

by _Sharp'r_ (#46088529) Attached to: VC Likens Google Bus Backlash To Nazi Rampage

The world death rate is about .85%/year, or over 5 years, ~4.25%. The world birth rate is about 2%/year, or over 5 years, about 10%.

Now factor in how much people's wealth changes, which is relatively consistent as they get older.

So yeah, add all that up and I'd call it pretty significant for only 5 years later.

The trouble with opportunity is that it always comes disguised as hard work. -- Herbert V. Prochnow

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