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Comment Re:Or they're just proxying their connections (Score 1) 224 224

Except that by extending the duration of copyright to absurd lengths, it starts to invalidate the whole concept of copyright. If copyright was just 5 years, rights owners would have a much stronger moral case about doing something about infringement. I don't infringe copyrights anymore (did it when I was in university, but now I have too little time to watch TV anyway and more than enough money to pay for the few things I do still watch), but on a fundamental level I have zero respect for copyright, simply because how far it has strayed from its original, quite noble origins under the influence of money-grabbing companies and the politicians they have bought to do their bidding. Now if copyright were 5 years long, I'd say that would be a reasonable amount of time that a creator can claim protection for its creation. 10 years? Bit long but acceptable. You could even cut copyright in two: commercial copyright and non-commercial copyright. Make non-commercial copyright last 10 years, make commercial copyright last 50 years. With the difference being that after 10 years people are allowed to copy your stuff, but not try to make money with it until commercial copyright ends. But the current system? I'd rather see zero copyright than the idiocy we have today.

Comment Re:Since there's no downside, why not go all out? (Score 1) 1094 1094

If its all negative, why not abolish the minimum wage? Now to answer your question. Simply put, because there are trade-offs. Now we can argue until we are blue in the face at what level of minimum wage the outcome is best, but I think its safe to say that a level of $500 dollars an hour is sub-optimal. Also please note that even the most ardent unionist, at least as far as I know, ever argued for a $500 an hour minimum wage or even a $50 an hour minimum wage, so clearly they too are aware that there are trade-offs.

Comment Re:Econ 101? (Score 1) 1094 1094

As an economist, I could not agree more. If the minimumwage is higher than the equilibrium price, that will cause unemployment. However, have you considered the possibility that the equilibrium price rises if wages rise? If I have a shop in LA, yes I will have to pay a higher wage to the guy helping me stock the shelves. But if at the same time, the people who frequent my shop buy more stuff, I may still need him to prevent my customers from seeing empty shelves and moving to a competitor down the street. So in effect, raising the minimum wage has increased the equilibrium price of having a guy help me stock shelves as I stand to lose more if customers go elsewhere in that circumstance. Now that still doesn't tell me whether THIS increase in the minimum wage increases unemployment or not. For example because what we also don't know is what the current equilibrium price is. You seem to assume that is lies somewhere near the current minimumwage. Why? If I look at profits for corporations, I might assume that the equilibrium wage is considerably higher than the current minimumwage. What if the equilibrium price for most labor in LA is already 14 dollars an hour or more? And the fact that millions are paid less than 14 dollars an hour just means more money in the pocket for a few business owners 2000 miles away? In that case I would expect the increase of the minimumwage to have a beneficial effect on employment. After all, it would mean a huge increase in wages for many people who live and spend locally, at the detriment of some business-owners who may live thousands of miles away, and even if they live in the area certainly will not consume every bit of their earnings locally. The increase in wages could even very well push the equilibrium price to a level higher than 15$ an hour.

Comment Re:Detection window? (Score 1) 576 576

I wasn't really referring to the detection thingy. I have no clue what we can or cannot detect. Mirrors would be in the invasion scenario. Considering that if they wanna invade us, there is no need to be subtle, just efficient. After all, we can discuss for ages what their advantage would be technologically, but there is one advantage which is undeniable if they are hovering over us in big-ass ships, and that is that gravity is on their side. If they can destroy us without even setting foot on the planet or ever entering our atmosphere, our near complete inability to send anything into space would doom us from the start.

Comment Re:Detection window? (Score 1) 576 576

Why would you want to harvest biomatter? Personally, I would be more worried about them liking the location of the planet relative to the sun. The biomatter just complicates things, it has stuff like diseases and bacteria, why would you want it? An invasion would also be illogical in my mind, wouldn't it be far cheaper to for example, install a large mirror, either between earth and the sun, reflecting all the sunlight away from earth to cool us down and kill all the microbes, or alternatively, somewhat off to a side to cook earth to kill all the pesky biomatter infecting 'their' planet. Then once all biomatter is killed off, land and install your own eco-system.

Comment Re:I like this one. (Score 1) 894 894

I don't hate the pope, but I do think his position here is poorly thought through. Any religion could (and in the past often has) interpret ANY criticism as blasphemy. Point out that the Catholic Church has ignored and even protected child molesters? Blasphemy! Point out that the earth revolves around the sun instead of the other way around? Blasphemy! Secondly, it is aggravating that an intelligent man is apparently still so brainwashed by his own beliefs that he actively promotes the idea that religion is in any way more important than other opinions. Religion is just an opinion. If I am allowed to criticize an opinion, I should be allowed to criticize religion, because down at the core it is nothing more than an opinion. It may be thousands of years old, it may have billions of people sharing it, but it is still just an opinion.

Comment Galileo (Score 1) 894 894

Someone should ask the Pope if what Galileo said about the earth revolving around the sun was covered by free speech? After all, if we interpret mr. Franciscus' words a bit strictly, one could very well argue that Mr Galileo's 'proof' was indeed blasphemous and should never have been uttered or written down if we apply the Pope's standards.

Comment Re:Well duh (Score 3, Insightful) 420 420

Who says they're looking for a good open plan? Where I work it was proposed, but strictly for cost-cutting measures (more people on the same area of floor). Fortunately, after a protest from at least 70% of staff, they reconsidered. Now we got flexible workstations (and enough computers just for 70% of staff). We think its ok, but our highest boss sometimes is found wandering the halls, looking for a specific employee, grumbling to himself that this is idiotic...

Comment Re:Doesn't matter even if the publishers win... (Score 1) 699 699

I disagree. If I had a bar and hired a bouncer, I could give him instructions as to who to let into the bar and who not (some discrimination restrictions of course would apply). The way I see AdBlock is that it is a bouncer with a hardwired set of ads it will allow, and what it will not allow in terms of ads. As long as I, as a consumer/customer, am aware of what restrictions AdBlock places and how it profits from what it does, I am 100% fine with it. It's my choice to use the program or not.

Comment Re:Great (Score 2) 602 602

True, but does the combined level of taxes on capital add up to the same level of taxation as someone earning the same amount through labor? In my opinion it should add up to the same amount. If I as a citizen make 100k a year through dividends and capital gains, I profit about as much from the government as another guy making 100k a year through working a job. We should pay roughly the same level of taxes, as we gain roughly the same amount of benefits from living in an orderly, governed society and we make roughly the same amount of money. Corporate income taxes are a valid way to ensure that all sources of income can in the end be taxed at roughly the same percentage. There may be alternatives, but corporate income tax is no more or less valid than a personal income tax or a capital gains tax. How the government achieves that same level of taxation is less relevant to me. My problem lies with corporations that evade taxes. Not only does that problably lead in some cases to a situation where someone making 100k in capital income pays less tax than someone making 100k in labor income, it is also unfair compared to for example smaller companies that don't operate internationally and therefore can't use dodgy tax evasion measures. Why would it be fair if the mom-n-pop store on the corner pays a higher percentage of corporate income tax than Walmart, just because the latter can shift its taxes to whereever it wants? Is that fair competition?

Comment Re:Great (Score 1) 602 602

That corporation relies on the government for much of its ability to make a profit. Without a government, who would protect the corporation from thugs who rob and steal? Without a government, who ensures that the roads are there to allow the corporation to move its goods? Citizens have to pay for these government services, why shouldn't corporations pay a share as well? (Alternatively, you could of course just remove the corporate income tax, and raise the capital gains tax to the same level as the regular income tax, then you just shift the moment of taxation, but not the level). But the principle remains that corporations make profits because the government pays for the police and the roads and it is no more than fair that everybody chips in to pay for the government services they use. Whether you do that at the corporate level of the personal income tax is irrelevant, but looking at it from the perspective of tax rates in the US, the capital gains tax alone is not enough to ensure that everybody pays a fair share in my opinion.

Comment Re:Algorithm (Score 1) 602 602

If that is the case, Apple would soon learn to slice their business into different units, and have the unit incorporated in country X to pay taxes there over their 15% profit margin, and have the more profitable business unit incorporated in country Y pay corporate income tax there over just the more profitable business.

You will lose an important tape file.