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Comment: Re:Yes. What do you lose? But talk to lawyer first (Score 1) 734

by cornjones (#49195919) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should I Let My Kids Become American Citizens?

^This. The first few years I lived abroad I had a company sponsored tax accountant file for me. I was being paid in dollars, living in another country, ok I figured it was complex because of that. Now i have a local job and tried to file my taxes myself. Nothing fancy, no day trading or self employment. Just a middling tech job. When I tried to fill teh forms based on the older returrns, while I could follow what numbers went into which forms, figuring out which forms I would need was non trivial. I could not find any level of assurance that I was complying w/ the relevant statutes. So, back to 500$+ for a tax attorney. Even my 'simplified' returns are 80 pages. I call bullshit or non compliance on anybody who says this is easy.

tl;dr, US citizenship = 500$/year tax.

I did get my children US citizenship. The world will be a very uncertain place in the coming years. The US may get its shit together or it may not but I certainly see a subset of outcomes for this planet where hiding in the country w/ big guns will be advantageous.

Comment: Re:2015: Still using Facebook (Score 1) 80

That's an interesting take on it. I often thought it was somewhat the other way around. ie, it would be very comforting to think of a paternal god figure watching and guiding events. If I were less disciplined, it would be 'nice' to forget my doubts and the (seemingly logical) conclusions of the lack of existence or at least lake of interest of the divine. imho, it takes courage to accept that we are not special souls that will live through eternity.

that said, I wasn't being facetious above, i hadn't considered the weight of responsibility of actions that last for eternity... doesn't change my mind but I do like the orientation...B)

Comment: Re:Unless it has support for Bitcoin... (Score 1) 156

by cornjones (#48616225) Attached to: Small Bank In Kansas Creates the Bank Account of the Future

They have less savings and lower incomes and fewer social services.

It isn't quite that simple. I would give you less savings but they consume much more. The size of cars/houses and consumption of resources is simply higher in America than most other places I have travelled (admittedly, mainly Europe.) It is an open argument which is better.

Comment: Re:Great (Score 2) 602

by cornjones (#48517881) Attached to: UK Announces 'Google Tax'

You are having two different discussions. One is that you want to minimize what the gov't offers to curb that bill. THere is a vast area to explore there but it is not the point of this discussion.

The people, as a block, have determined that this is the set of services the gov't is going to offer. they need to pay for it through tax policy. Running a deficit, while sometimes necessary, makes as much economic sense as credit card spending.

Besides, over the last few years, there has been a significant amount of 'austerity' cuts to gov't spending in the UK. For the most part, the economic markers seem to show that it is working better for the UK than the rest of the EU. That said, there is still a shortfall. You need to adjust both dials, cutting spending and raising revenue.

All this is about is attempting to address the shady loopholes where corporate accountants have figured out how to avoid national taxes, by the letter but against the spirit of the law.

Comment: Re:Great (Score 2) 602

by cornjones (#48515335) Attached to: UK Announces 'Google Tax'

Ok, fine, do it as efficiently as possible. But there was around 100MM GBP shortfall in the UK budget last year. This isn't about take as much as they can get, this is about we need to bring in X to provide all the things we have decided to spend on.

Note that arguing about the validity of the things we spend on is a separate (but related) discussion.

Comment: Re:Cities: an obsolete solution (Score 1) 276

by cornjones (#47720911) Attached to: Helsinki Aims To Obviate Private Cars

I would much rather more people live in cities, anything else just hastens the loss of all natural areas.

Population is only going to grow and we are left w/ two predominant modes of housing people. Build up or build out. Heavy urbanization offers all sorts of great benefits of economies of scale and hotbeds of activity. The suburban sprawl is soul killing, imho. actual rural living, where you can't see your neighbors, is beautifully serene. But everything has its trade offs.

If we were to try to house all americans in their own homes w/ enough land to not feel like cattle, we would a) destroy all national parks and completely rural areas replacing them w/ suburban sprawl or well, with phoenix and b) we would have to expend massive amounts for real infrastructure (those internet lines are not going to be commercially viable @ low population densities) and energy to physically move people through that much space.

the only way to preserve some semblance of nature is to pack people tightly. And, for the most part, energy costs are going to drive us down that path.

Comment: Re:Sounds like the future (Score 1) 276

by cornjones (#47720759) Attached to: Helsinki Aims To Obviate Private Cars

Yes, driving can be fun. A Sunday cruise in nice country can be just what the doctor ordered. The thing you miss is most driving isn't fun. Running back and forth to work, probably in traffic... not fun. Getting in the car to drive for groceries, not fun. And instead of concentrating on other things (sleep, media, games) you are forced to give your attention to the dreary but potentially hazardous navigation.

Also, what most people mean when they say how fun driving is, is barreling down windy roads @ 2x the speed limit. And yes, that is really fun. But it is really anti social and dangerous. Few people go to private tracks where you are more or less just playing w/ your own life/property, that is completely fine.. More often they are either weaving in and out of traffic or praying that somebody else driving like them doesn't come from the opposite direction on that 'abandoned' rd. That is selfish.

And none of this even touches on the drunk driving aspect. Which anybody who drinks socially is more or less forced to do in car only areas.

There was nothing like the freedom of getting my first car. But there was another level of freedom in moving somewhere I didn't need it anymore.

Comment: Re:All good until someone simulates biometrics... (Score 1) 383

by cornjones (#47647803) Attached to: DARPA Wants To Kill the Password

I thought the answer to this was to use the biometric indirectly. I would like a key fob (or app) that I would authenticate to biometrically (or other) that would then be my magic key to the what ever I am entitled to. I would sign up my fob to any service I needed to auth to, say work, subway, etc. If the fob is ever compromised, I can disable it and issue a new one. Possibly even move auto move my old services to my new fob.

Ideally, we would have different levels of auth needed. To enter my work, I would just wave the fob (or the door would realize it as I near). To access money, I would give it my thumbprint. To transfer my house title, i would have a few more factors required.

Comment: Re:Cheaper beer (Score 1) 264

I don't follow these lines at all:
> it is an excellent deal for people in the 1st world as it is a drain of resources.
> confusing the interests of a a few unionized groups of people with the interests of the country.

That said, I think you misunderstand me. Lets make up a scale. say the average standard of living around the globe is 100. Basically everybody living in the US (w/ a few exceptions) already enjoys a standard of living far above the mean, say 150. Now, as trade becomes global and we can chose talent from a much wider pool, the flood gates are open and much of the wealth of the 1st spreads to the rest of the world, the world as a whole (should) benefit. More innovators, etc. But we end up all balancing out at 125. overall, a great deal for the world. A bitter pill for the 1st world.

Comment: Re:Cheaper beer (Score 1) 264

> Spreading the work around increases the wealth of the human race as a whole

This is true, the economics are pretty straightforward. And it is working very well for the 2nd and somewhat 3rd world. the problem is the disproportionate wealth accumulated in teh first world will 'leak' into the wider pool. Eventually, that pool may rise enough to bring everybody to the standards of the 1st world, but, imho, not for a long time, if ever. This isn't such a good deal for the people in the 1st world who will lose access to the standard of living that they have been enjoying.

To think of it another way, this is similar to having the 1% spread their wealth to everybody in America. Or even just the poorest half. that would, likely, jumpstart the economy , people invest in education and more people have the chance to innovate. In aggregate, everybody is wealthier. But the 1%s will be poorer and won't attain the same levels of wealth accumulation in the foreseeable future.

It is hard to sell people on such an altruistic ideal at their own expense. It is likely what will happen (worldwide, not the 1% analogy) but, imho, standard of life in the first world is going to drop considerably.

Comment: Re:Higher SAT scores, etc (Score 1) 529

by cornjones (#46511511) Attached to: The Poor Neglected Gifted Child

A better solution is to not force such students to attend the schools

while i don't disagree with your point about high school kids taking care of them selves, the differentiation (may) happen much further up the line, at a time when you might not want the kid to be home alone. Hence the need for the schools to cater to the gifted. And, ideally, to push each kid to their potential.

Also, it is the rare person that wouldn't benefit from quality instruction.

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