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Comment: Re:Comparable? Not really. (Score 1) 91

by tlambert (#47958755) Attached to: Is Alibaba Comparable To a US Company?

When someone buys a share in Apple, they actually get an ownership share in Apple.

Apple, yes. Google or Facebook, no. Google and Facebook have two classes of stock. The class with all the voting rights is in both cases controlled by the founders. The publicly traded shares cannot outvote them, even if someone bought all of them.

Until recently, multiple classes of stock were prohibited for NYSE-listed companies, which tended to discourage doing this. (The classic exception was Ford, which has two classes of stock, the voting shares controlled by the Ford family. This predates that NYSE rule.)

This matters when the insiders make a big mistake and the stock starts going down. There's no way to kick them out.

It also matters when someone has built something of value, and then becomes publicly traded, since it keeps the financial vampires from descending on the company and sucking the blood out of it, leaving a husk which dies in 6 months. That's what's currently going on with the OliveGarden proxy fight, where a funds group has acquired a large position in the company, and now wants to spin off the real estate holdings to a separate company (taking about $1B in the $2.5B value portfolio as a one time dividend, and putting in their own sock puppets on the board to short-term pump the stock by changing employee mix, etc.).

The problem with Google and Facebook maintaining one class of stock is ISOs/RSUs. Stock given as incentives to employees, after the vesting period, can be sold on the open market, and if that stock position becomes larger than the founders, then the people who made the decisions that created the large value in the first place are no longer in control, and Gordon Gecko (or Carl Icahn) can come in and do what's best short term for the shareholders, rather than what's best long term for the shareholders, company, employees, and customers.

Who do I trust more to make the best decisions not totally motivated by short term profit, Carl Icahn, or Larry, Sergey, and Eric?

Yeah, there's long term downside risk to the stock as a straight financial instrument (along with significant historical upside), but you know what? I don't really feel the need to destroy things just because that's they path to my highest ROI over time.

For better or worse, I'd rather have the founders, not Wall Street, making the decisions that guide the future of the thing they built.

Comment: Re:What has changed? (Score 1) 88

by ScentCone (#47958609) Attached to: Secret Service Critics Pounce After White House Breach

There was a time that a citizen could walk right up to the white house. What has changed with our society that our president needs to live in a castle with a moat and defense force?

A lot more people willing and often eager to die for the [insert crazy, often religion-based or partisan cause here] movement.

Regardless, you're making it sound like this is a recent development. This has been the case going back well over a hundred years.

Comment: Re:Please describe exactly (Score 1) 291

He said "[T]he people on the Healthcare.gov hotline are very helpful. I would call them up and ask about private insurance plans are in your area.

And I pointed out that nobody on the hotline is going to be able to point out an insurance plan that doesn't exist. The state regulators don't allow for magic hidden policies that are cheaper than what's been priced for the exchanges. In other words, it was a BS, fantasy suggestion.

Comment: Re:Please describe exactly (Score 1) 291

Who says I have meager skills or don't make a good living? I said that I make more than the amount under which the subsides kick in, and so I am in the group that has had their rates jacked up hugely in order to collect the money that is being given to the people who get the subsidies. Many many more millions of people would also be in that boat right now, but Obama unilaterally chose to break the law and push back the date at which the ACA's changes would also impact the rates paid by people who are on employer-provided insurance. He's waiting until after the upcoming election, to help struggling Democrats trying to retain legislative seats. As soon as that's past, and the illegally delayed employer program changes kick in, you'll find (at least) tens of millions more people describing exactly the scenario I have.

It's simple math: if they want to give billions of dollars of new federally mandated entitlements to one group, they have to take it from somebody else. It's the people like me who DO make a good living that are being handed that bill. Rather in contrast to Obama's promises that no such thing would happen, remember? Remember the assurance that rates would go down, and that having health insurance would be about like paying for a mobile phone account every month? Yeah. If your mobile phone costs you several hundred dollars a month, and never mind the huge new deductibles.

Comment: Re:Please describe exactly (Score 1) 291

I can't resist but to feed the troll. This guy claims to pay '$12,000/year in deductibles'

You really have no idea how individual states handle this, do you? Please go educate yourself. States that chose to set up their own markets and which regulate their own rates have nothing to do with what you're saying. All they have is the ACA forcing certain new features into the plans sold in that state, and the states set new rules in order to pay for those new federally mandated features. In this state, the ACA-mandated Bronze plan leaves you with a $6,000 deductible per person. Married? $12k.

Sorry to take the fun out of it for you.

Comment: Re:Not surprising (Score 1) 291

So, just to be clear, you have nothing of substance to say, because if you were to address the actual topic at hand, you'd have to actually answer the question:

Was the administration to incompetent that it thought the ACA web site was secure and functional before it launched, or were they simply willing to lie about it, since they knew it wasn't? It's one of those two. You just can't bring yourself around to admitting it because you're exactly the partisan whiner that you're accusing someone else of being. Typical response, though, from Obama's apologists on this: pretend everything was fine, and that the people who point out the incompetence of the administration's project (we don't even have to get into the law itself) are lying. Here's the problem with that tactic: millions of people know the web site didn't work and all sorts of third party security reviews show that it was and still is a security nightmare.

Nice attempt to change the subject, though. Probably worked really well on fellow twelve year olds.

Comment: Re:I'm fine with it (Score 1) 118

by Firethorn (#47957991) Attached to: NY Magistrate: Legal Papers Can Be Served Via Facebook

It was explicit in the summary that the account was active and that was part of the decision. As was that the ex was hiding by not leaving a forwarding address to be traditionally served.

Today facebook can be more reliable than physical mail. Plenty of people move, after all, more than those that simply abandon their facebook accounts. I think, at least.

Comment: Re:Place of Business. (Score 3, Insightful) 91

by tlambert (#47957359) Attached to: Is Alibaba Comparable To a US Company?

If a US company listed in the US decided to screw its shareholders, it and the board can be held accountable in US courts.

LOL, when has that ever happened

It's happened many times; it's called "malfeasance" or "misconduct", and it's punishable as criminal fraud.

This is why corporate board members these days are all about "fiduciary responsibility", even if they have to club baby seals to death in the shallow waters where they are coated in oil from the Exxon Valdez.

Comment: Re:Old technology (Score 1) 141

by Firethorn (#47957239) Attached to: Washington DC To Return To Automatic Metro Trains

I'm picturing it like driving a car designed for power steering and brakes, with both out. Its even harder than for a car designed without those features to begin with because the car without was designed to work well woithout the systwm. With it they only expect it to be operated that way in an emergency, thus 'close enough' is seen as acceptable.

Comment: Re:Please describe exactly (Score 1) 291

If you are having trouble with your current premiums, the people on the Healthcare.gov hotline are very helpful.

They're not going to help here, because our situation is exactly what the law calls for. If you're making more than $60k, you don't GET subsidies, you have to GIVE subsidies to other people (like you). The premiums and high deductibles I mentioned are set up exactly as the ACA calls for. No hotline worker is going to wave their hands and make insurance regulators in a state lower the rates to the point where the insurance companies are forced to lose money on selling an account without a subsidy taken from someone else to pay for it. And they're not going to give subsidies to someone who makes lower-middle-income money (which in our area is anyone under $75k, since things like tiny 1100 square foot townhouses in bad neighborhoods cost $300,000+.

So unless we deliberately earn less money so we can get subsidies (which still is a net loss in overall cash), we are walking financial organ donors for ... you. And there's nothing to complain to a hotline about, because that's exactly what Pelosi and Reid and Obama wanted. They said as much, they wrote the law that way, and they got one party (and only one) to ram it through congress.

Let's work toward fixing the ACA's problems for EVERYONE (you and me included) instead of just propagating negativity.

Who are you proposing to tax, instead of me, to fix it? And we haven't even SEEN the results on employer programs yet, because Obama broke the law and chose to put off actually enforcing that part of the law (he chose to ignore the law's statutory date requirements). When all of THOSE rates and deductibles go through the roof, you'll hear a lot of negativity from more than just people like me - you'll hear it from tens of millions of people whose insurance will suddenly no longer be viable, according to the ACA.

The fixes for this (cross-state shopping, tort reform, etc) were utterly rejected by the Democrats because their constituents (say, the trial lawyers) didn't want to give up their gravy train.

Comment: Re:Please describe exactly (Score 3) 291

Please read the original plan and then follow the idiotic path of compromises that Republicans forced onto it rendering it into the watered down ridiculous mess that it is.

The Republicans forced no such thing. Not a single one of them voted for it. The Democrats were the only people who wanted, and who rammed through, the law they put together.

democrats didn't help things either since they were so desperate to get SOMETHING through that they were willing to do just about anything without really thinking through the consequences of their actions

What are you talking about? Everything that's happened was predicted in plain language for everyone involved before they "deemed" it passed in a 100% partisan maneuver. Larger deficits? Playing out exactly as predicted. Huge jump in premiums and deductibles for those that don't get entitlement subsidies? Playing out exactly as predicted. That's what the Democrats WANTED: get insurance for more people by taking more money from one group and giving to another. It's a transfer tax that reduces benefits for those that actually pay in order to give SOME benefits to those that don't, or who pay only part of the way.

Comment: Re:Please describe exactly (Score 1) 291

Right. So when any of the normal annual changes take place (the way they handle certain experimental drugs or therapies, the way they handle certain hospital scenarios, etc), the insurer can no longer provide the plan - the ACA shuts it down because it doesn't provide post-menopausal women maternity care, etc.

Comment: Re:Please describe exactly (Score 2) 291

repeatedly by publicizing Obamacare horror stories that completely fall apart when verified

But this isn't a horror story. This is just the ACA, doing exactly what it's designed to do. Obviously it's not doing what Obama repeatedly promised it would do, but that was all lies in advance of them ramming the law through. There's nothing shocking (from the point of view of the law) about our situation, it's exactly what was intended - use the higher rates as a new tax to fund a huge entitlement expansion for people who make less money. Self employed middle class people are the beasts of burden in this scenario.

P.S. You say "Were forced to go to a new plan," if you didn't go through the exchange, your insurance company may be the one shafting you.

There is no exchange. Our state spend hundreds of millions of dollars, but couldn't get it to work, have decided to scrap the entire thing, and buy a copy of the exchange that another state built. Regardless, by law in our state, you don't get anything by going through the exchange except discounts when you qualify for subsidies. The subsidies aren't meant for people who make >$60k, so the exchange (if they ever get it working) won't apply. Insurers offering ANY plan in the state have to do so at the exchange rates. Essentially, the numbers I mentioned ARE the exchange rates. That's the cheapest plan you can buy. If we choose a lower deductible (say, $5,000 instead of $12,000) our monthly rate would have jumped from our earlier
The only "shafting" that's going on is by way of the ACA itself and the requirements it places on new policies. And since we work hard to make more than $60k (in an area where that's essentially poverty-level income, given the local cost of living), we get none of the candy they're taking from other people. We're the ones they're taking the candy from. New outlets didn't need special cases like us, because we're not a special case. There's a whole state full of people like us, unless you're in the huge group who have opted to pay the no-insurance-tax/fine and save the money.

Comment: Re:Please describe exactly (Score 3, Insightful) 291

Obama correctly outlawed them. He did them a favor.

What? Obama's new wonder-plan is what TOOK AWAY our low deductible plan and forced us, for more money, to buy one that will cost us thousands more each year in premiums, and ten thousand more a year in deductibles. The people you're defending - Obama, Pelosi, Reid - forced us to buy a high deductible plan with fewer benefits, minus the doctor we'd used for years, and more. Obama didn't "outlaw" bad, expensive coverage, he just forced us into that exact situation. Thanks for shilling for him, though - it's nice to see that BS so transparently on display for all to see.

Numeric stability is probably not all that important when you're guessing.

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