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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

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Comment: Re:I'm all for abolishing the IRS (Score 1) 315

by jcr (#49374655) Attached to: Sign Up At irs.gov Before Crooks Do It For You

I'm trying to come up with a good argument that taxing production is more easily made progressive than taxing consumption, but now I'm not sure that's right.

That's because it isn't right. If someone's spending a million bucks a year, they get taxed on a million bucks a year. If they're earning a million bucks a year and living like a monk, then the funds they've earned aren't out there competing with yours for goods and services. A miser is an ideal neighbor.

-jcr

Comment: Re:Wrong Focus (Score 4, Informative) 123

by jcr (#49365325) Attached to: SpaceX's New Combustion Technologies

As it happens, back in the '80s I worked at a company (Commonwealth Scientific) that built ion-beam guns based on the Kaufman duoplasmatron, which was the basis of the mercury-vapor thrusters that NASA had developed in the 1960s. The company was trying to make the aperture of the guns as wide as possible, and the difficulties included neutralizing the ion beam on the way out, keeping the plasma inside the gun stable, and keeping the beam density even. Basically, the bigger the gun, the harder it was to make it run steadily. When I was there, they had 8" apertures and were working on scaling them up to 12" apertures.

-jcr

... though his invention worked superbly -- his theory was a crock of sewage from beginning to end. -- Vernor Vinge, "The Peace War"

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