Tell me again how crypto-currencies being "future government-protected monetary systems" is good news?
Actually, I want to know why bitcoin wouldn't be government protected. Trading bitcoins for some good or service would just be a type of barter exchange. So unless what is being purchased is illegal, then the law, police and courts would still apply to handle situations like fraud and theft.
I have to think the courts are only going to follow the letter of the law in this case, since the spirit of the law is to screw over consumers arbitrarily increasing costs by unnecessarily introducing a middleman.
Setting up a separate dealership/showroom company and then making that company its own separate company with a different board of directors and different management which simply has some sort of exclusive contract with Tesla conforming to whichever state that it is in and then giving Tesla's current investors ownership stakes does seem like it would solve the problem and put a degree of separation between the two entities.
So for instance they could spin off a new company Tesla NJ LLC which simply has a franchise agreement to show Tesla cars in NJ with some sort of contract for doing so. Make the company directly owned by Tesla's existing investors by spinning the company off rather than by Tesla and that should be enough of an arms length for regulators or else it should be upheld by the courts on appeal.
It is more expensive because of the overhead of paying for a completely separate management, but I do recall some old Supreme Court precedents that uphold this state control over licensing requirements for dealerships so directly challenging these laws without new Federal laws to back them up might be problematic.
But that doesn't mean that courts are going to uphold anything more than the letter of the law for a something that clearly negatively effect consumers by arbitrarily increasing costs.
They can surely make Nuclear Devices fairly rapidly. I doubt they will be able to weaponize them within a reasonable time-frame. (reasonable being: the time it takes Russia to steamroller the whole country and seize any facilities).
Assuming (hopefully) that the current situation on the ground is going to be static for a while and doesn't become a shooting war, then yes the Ukrainians can and probably should build a few dozen nukes with some delivery capability as a deterrent.
Not because we are bored. Because the war has already started on the Russian side, and all the Ukraine is doing now is losing. There is no way to avoid the war any longer. The invasion has happened. The only question is when Ukraine is going to fight -- when it can be confined to Crimea and the east, or when they are fighting an existential fight in the west?
If Ukrainian forces attack Crimea it will likely bring the Russians in force and they will probably take over half the country unless the whole of NATO goes to war with Russia at which point yes we are talking about at the very least a world wide economic disaster the likes of which we haven't seen since the Great Depression and World War II.
A few weeks ago the Ukrainians were ruled by a Russian puppet president. Putin's reaction to the overthrow of that Kiev government has been fairly limited to just Crimea. If the price of freedom from Russian domination in the rest of Ukraine is giving the people of Crimea a referendum on Independence or joining the Russian Federation, then the West should focus on making sure that it is a free and fair election and keeping the peace in the rest of Ukraine.
Oh and then the US should just go after Assad hard in Syria with a tenfold increase in arming all rebels that can be vetted. Because if Putin wants to keep Crimea, ain't now way he should be allowed to keep his man in Syria.
I agree with a much larger tax rate on very very high incomes. Except the downside is that it just shifts the problem of societal corruption even more so to government.
I believe in Free Market Capitalism and the collective wisdom of as many people as possible making investment decisions and that people should be able to accumulate some amount of wealth as quickly as they are able. So some amount of wealth accumulation makes sense from the standpoint of societal good. So, if there was a 95% tax rate on income that didn't somehow account for win falls of income or allow people to build up wealth for some additional capital investment, then that would also distort society in a way that protected vested family wealth at the expense of newly wealthy that are presumably or more merit.
But there should be limits to new wealth accumulation also. No one person can efficiently manage billions or even hundreds of millions of dollars. Just not possible. Given that it costs tens of millions of dollars to even just build a moderately sized office building or warehouse, then I think some tens of millions or even a hundred million dollars would be a good cut off in terms of wealth accumulation before taxation kicks in to provide some asymptotic upper bound. And if you need to spend a billion dollars on something then you just need to convince more people to go in on it with you.
For Free Market Capitalism to work as a social good it must encourage the equitable distribution of capital rather than the concentration of capital in very few hands.
Yes, in some ways it does make sense for individuals who demonstrate exceptional talent, contributions or even dumb luck to be rewarded with exceptional rewards. But for the most part we should be aiming for a society where meaningful capital investment decisions are made through the collective wisdom of hundreds of millions of people not just thousands of people.
If not then Capitalism will fail for the exact same reason that communism fails, because centralized control leads to corruption. Whether it be a king, or other dictatorship, business leader or elected leader with too much power. Self interests and incompetency will always lead to inefficiencies that are laid bare during times of natural disaster or other natural scarcity.
The beauty of the American model was that prosperity was not only shared by many based on merit, but that the merit was decided by our peers and not some oligarchs deciding from on high what people were worth. With much of our economy now stratified with various expensive credentialing legal or de facto requirements we are very much becoming the type of rigidly corrupt society which we tried to counter over two hundred years ago.
Capitalism is all too quickly devolving into a neo-fascist feudalism with just a few well connected, well bred, well educated people collecting the vast majority of the wealth, spending it foolishly to invest in their friends stupid "tech" or other start-ups which are often no more than fly by night flim-flam outfits with no lasting value or even profitability. People without even the merit that the elite define for themselves are getting rich in this way and it sets up a clear moral hazard where the elite do not suffer the consequences for the decisions they impose on others.
Governments are also in direct control of a vast portion of the economy with the same sorts of centralized pyramid style decision making being dominant. I support the Audit the Fed initiative, not because I think we can afford to put an end to loose monetary policy, but because we now have trillions of new dollars flowing into the economy through public policy, but that is creating another imbalance in society where the new money is trickling down from the top through banks and government rather than being distributed more equitably.
Much better would it be to distribute that trillion dollars in new money to every many woman and child in the US with each getting a check for $3,000 rather than funnel it through a few select banks and government programs with billionaires and millionaires taking cuts at each level as it trickles down into the real economy. Individuals themselves are usually the best decision makers about what their specific needs are.
With a very expensive education system funded with loans and other debt here in the US, increasing immigration will help some few lucky people at the expense of devaluing labor here in the US and undermining the education investments that people here have made in themselves to better their own lives. It will further social and economic displacements, but yet on paper will grow the economy, but not to the betterment of most Americans who will see their lives increasingly disrupted by forced (and expensive) migrations to find work.
"Better" Education is another false promise as the costs in the US for more and more education are being born by individuals and the result is that those with more wealth are able to better themselves and education becomes a barrier to entry for families without wealth rather than an enabler. Universities will always trumpet the few that they give special access to and enable, but as gate keepers to income growth they are doing as much harm as they are good while leaving millions of equally meritorious students behind. Education must be reformed to be more affordable and more applicable to the skills needed to enable people to do a variety of jobs in the future and not just tossed out as some sort of way to keep people busy spinning their wheels.
Wealthy people are the last people who should be asked what it takes to make the economy better for everyone. Their experience is usually in making the world work for themselves above others.
What we need is an honest government that limits individual wealth except as a means for capital investment. But we also need to put some outside limits on capital so that no individual can control more than say $50 or $100 million in capital except in concert with other investors. Combine with better controls and prioritization of government spending through more direct democratic reforms and maybe someday we can live in the type of society that we were told we live in.
The only thing that I take from all this discussion is that the price is ridiculous.
If it wasn't already part of the standard install (and it should be), then I would consider a nominal $3 or something similar to be reasonable for someone to press the button and install the image with firefox versus the image without firefox. The one thing that Dell does still have going for it is their ability to cobble together computers with a variety of hardware and software customizations at relatively low cost.
Charging an extra $30 for a variation of their image with free software on it seems like a misplaced decimal. And like I said, there is no reason that it shouldn't already be part of the default install.
Ideally they could design a probe or series of probes that could melt or dig their way through the ice, but that is a lot of energy that would be required. And then all that ice is going to make it very hard to relay any data back to Earth.
I would say until they can demonstrate a probe that can melt or dig its way through the ice on Europa that we are better off sending a probe to the edge of the ice cap on Mars.
There are also procedures for surplussing government property. And other ways that someone at NASA could spend a few hours, put together an RFP for some University, non-profit or other outside entity to put together a mission plan to reestablish communications, control and make some use of the space craft. Maybe it is really just redundant given much better instruments on other probes, but there is still likely some value that some University researchers could utilize. Heck sounds like it could be a pretty cool project to unleash team of University students and mostly volunteers on.
As much as I agree with the idea of open sourcing it...NASA would need to limit this to just one team and one mission. Otherwise you get multiple different teams sending commands to a satellite which would confuse the heck out of it.
If NASA can't do something with the satellite, then it should just hand the keys off to a University or other non-profit that has a shot to pull something together by August.