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Comment: Re:Fukushima proved nuclear cannot be made safe (Score 1) 324

by buzzn (#38168660) Attached to: Worldwide Support For Nuclear Power Drops
In some sense the public pays either way. It's a question of whether the cost is explicit, and included in the rate paid for the electricity, or hidden and deferred, in which case the public ends up paying in the form of higher taxes -- and does not get a choice about whether it was a good idea in the first place.

Should the public pay for cleaning up an oil spill, or should the oil company (and its investors and insurers) responsible for the problem bear the cost? Hint: if there are no consequences to a spill, the industry will operate unsafely, as it increases profit.

Comment: Re:Question should be about reactor design ... (Score 1) 324

by buzzn (#38168578) Attached to: Worldwide Support For Nuclear Power Drops
Oh, please. Coal and natural gas are widely used because they are low tech and relatively plentiful, and very profitable for the megacorporation lucky enough to own the lease. The downsides to using coal are well known. What are you going to do when coal and uranium run out? I'm sure you don't care, but the rest of humanity does. You lack imagination. California now generates 1GW from rooftop solar. There's no magical fairies involved. That's without trying very hard, and we're at the beginning of the solar boom. Transitioning to renewable is not a wishful alternative. Actually, it's absolutely necessary for our survival.

Comment: Re:Question should be about reactor design ... (Score 1) 324

by buzzn (#38167546) Attached to: Worldwide Support For Nuclear Power Drops
The question should also be broadened to include cost effectiveness. When you consider the incredibly high capital cost and long time to plan and build plants, the environmental impact of mining and long term spent fuel storage, large scale centralized industrial operations (which increases cost of transmission), and need for heightened security, nuclear starts to look a whole lot less attractive.

Comment: Re:Fukushima proved nuclear cannot be made safe (Score 0) 324

by buzzn (#38167356) Attached to: Worldwide Support For Nuclear Power Drops
You make an incorrect inference. Past non-failure does not predict future failure. Past reasons for nuclear failure were unanticipated, or considered low risk; yet they happened.

As far as Fukushima, it also proved that humans often fail to understand what makes a good or a bad idea. You, however, have not shown that a similar error in judgement has not been made at other power plants.

In fact, the industry is well known for construction problems, cutting corners to save a few bucks, lax self-policing, insufficient training, and foisting the cost of cleanup and spent fuel storage on the public.

Comment: Re:A trillion dollars in student loan debts (Score 1) 1797

by buzzn (#37819212) Attached to: Ron Paul Wants To End the Federal Student Loan Program
Um, you do benefit from the schooling for others that your taxes pay for, indirectly, in the form of a generally better economy. In fact those people your taxes helped educate will have higher income, which means they will pay more taxes than if they did not have that education, which means that they will (disproportionately to your contribution), help pay for roads you drive on, your retirement, your children's education (should you have any), and your common defense.

The same principle applies to elementary through high school education. You wouldn't seriously suggest that we the People shouldn't have a public education system? Maybe you would, if you're hard core libertarian, or religious conservative... in which case you're squarely and completely in the minority, which is as it should be.

Comment: Re:Subsidies inflate pricing. (Score 1) 1797

by buzzn (#37819006) Attached to: Ron Paul Wants To End the Federal Student Loan Program

Have you even been to collage? What idiot makes the implication that tuition is the expensive part? Thats the smallest part!

Ad hominem much? I have not been to collage [sic].

However, I went to, and graduated from, UC. And over in the fact based part of reality, tuition is indeed the most expensive part of education. Let's review the evidence...

- Stanford tuition at ~43K/year is much more than the $6K you'd pay for housing, the next highest cost.

- At UC Berkeley, versus the $13,200 resident tuition, you might pay $9,500 off campus, or ~7K/year for room AND board with the co-op.

Of course you can spend much more on housing, if you so choose.

Comment: Re:Subsidies inflate pricing. (Score 1) 1797

by buzzn (#37817404) Attached to: Ron Paul Wants To End the Federal Student Loan Program
[EDIT]: This should have read:

Subsidies inflate pricing. I agree.

Because companies change what they can, rather than a fair cost. The answer to that is simple - let the government run the universities too. That's a much better fix than denying most of the young people a higher education as Ron Paul's proposal does.

Let's do an actual comparison: UC versus Stanford.... Undergrad tuition UC $13,200 for residents, $36,078 out of state, vs $13,350 quarterly for Stanford = $42,270 yearly. So the out-of-state tuition for UC is fairly comparable to Stanford. I don't see how Stanford is profiting heavily... although they are charging 9% more, we'd have to compare whether they provide a better education for the money, etc. However this does not demonstrate that government subsidies for student loans/pell grants inflate Stanford's pricing, nor that government is more efficient at providing a university education. You might then argue that state subsidy of the resident tuition causes out-of-state tuition to inflate, but you'd be hard pressed to actually prove that. The unfortunate actual issue is that UC tuition has risen quickly over recent years as the state has been unwilling to fully fund it.

Comment: Re:Subsidies inflate pricing. (Score 2) 1797

by buzzn (#37817242) Attached to: Ron Paul Wants To End the Federal Student Loan Program

Subsidies inflate pricing. I agree.

Because companies change what they can, rather than a fair cost. The answer to that is simple - let the government run the universities too. That's a much better fix than denying most of the young people a higher education as Ron Paul's proposal does.

Let's do an actual comparison: UC versus Stanford.... Undergrad tuition UC $13,200 for residents, $36,078 out of state, vs $13,350 quarterly for Stanford = $42,270 yearly. So the out-of-state tuition for UC is fairly comparable to Stanford. I don't see how Stanford is profiting heavily... although they are charging 9% more, we'd have to compare whether they provide a better education for the money, etc. However this does not demonstrate that government subsidies for student loans/pell grants inflate Stanford's pricing, nor that government is more efficient at providing a university education. You might then argue that state subsidy of the resident tuition causes out-of-state tuition to inflate, but you'd be hard pressed to actually prove that.

The unfortunate actual issue is that UC tuition has risen quickly over recent years as the state has been unwilling to fully fund it.

Comment: Re:Cap Gains vs. Income (Score 1) 2115

by buzzn (#37444106) Attached to: White House Proposes "Wealthy Tax"
Bollocks. You are implying that the same dollar that the corporation made in profit is taxed twice. It is not. The corporation's dollar in profit stays in the corporation. The individual's capital gains dollar comes from whoever paid a dollar more for the stock once it is sold.

There is only an indirect relationship between corporate profits and individual capital gains. I can for example own stock in a corporation that made billions in profit yet paid $0 in corporate taxes, that stock may have gone up several hundred percent.

Some companies pay dividends, which are taxed as capital gains. But that is only a portion of the market. And there is actually no requirement that a dividend be paid on profits; a company could lose money and yet choose to pay a dividend in order to prop up its stock price.

Comment: Re:Actually... (Score 1) 639

by buzzn (#37344304) Attached to: Amazon Folds In California Sales Tax Deal

Sales tax is the most regressive form of taxation in the United States. If sales tax is 30%, that means the poorest of the poor are paying an effective tax rate of 30%, because they need to spend every penny they make in order to survive.

You are forgetting that not every item sold is taxable. Food, drugs, and items purchased with food stamps can be a large part of a poor person's budget, and they are not subject to sales tax.

Heuristics are bug ridden by definition. If they didn't have bugs, then they'd be algorithms.

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