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Comment Re:A Rover? (Score 1) 50

America isn't poorer than it was before, the funding could be had.. but I don't think most folks would want to make any sacrifices in order to free up money to fund truly large space programs.

As I mentioned, people making those sacrifices would do the opposite of what you're trying to achieve. If they did, that would mean that consumer spending goes down, and if consumer spending goes down, less people are making money, and if less people are making money, the government has reduced tax revenue. Remember, what people produce in America counts as GDP, and people don't produce if nobody buys.

Having said that, while it's true that the government today is taking in slightly less as a percentage of GDP, you've got to consider that the GDP is much greater now than it was in the late 60's, even after you adjust for inflation. In fact if you just adjust government revenue for inflation, then in terms of real dollars the government has twice the revenue today than it had in 1968, as you can see here:

And also if you look here, the government makes by far the most amount of its money from personal income taxes, which are heavily influenced by consumer spending:

And you know the biggest reason why we have a bigger GDP (and thus more government revenue) than we did back then? It's because we have better technology that makes us better producers. And before somebody argues anything about our population growing, I've got you covered there too:

Notice the GDP per capita (that is, GDP per person) has only risen since the 60's, and boy has it risen by a LOT. And again, that's due to individual people having better technology, which includes little things such as smartphones and other creature comforts that the OP was lamenting.

Comment Re:What they really need (Score 1) 296

Con-Agra was going to get tax abatement anywhere they went, and in fact, even with the tax abatement, they're going to be paying more taxes than they did in Omaha after the move to Chicago.

Boeing's tax bill also went up after the move to Chicago. However, the Federal subsidies were enormous. And again, those subsidies had nothing to do with the City of Chicago. Every state in the US offers companies sweeteners to move. It's why we have a race to the bottom in this country.

So really, you're the one who's wrong.

Comment Re:Enforce against the feds? (Score 2) 30

Of course a state can enforce its laws against the Feds.

Local police can issue parking tickets to or tow Federal vehicles, even those with Federal plates.

Federal vehicles must be registered to some state, and must meet the safety/emissions inspections laws of that state (e.g. Federal agencies can't buy non-California certified models to be registered in California). Similarly, states have sued and won Federal agency compliance/cleanup of environmental hazards per state, not Federal, standards law (federal laws may have an impact when it is "federal/military property" such as a state park or military base, but not, say, an FBI Bureau office in a commercial building)

Note: the above apply to Federal agencies (legitimately called "the Feds"), but the same general principle applies to Federal agents ("a Fed")

While a homicide committed by a Federal agent in the commission of his/her duties has Federal implications, it is also a local crime; local police can detain/arrest and interrogate a Federal officer, pending further disposition. Other felonies, short of murder, are more clearly handled by state law, without any question of jurisdiction: drunk driving, theft, etc.

Comment Re:What they really need (Score 1, Insightful) 296

Yea, I've been in Chicago (last week actually) and I'm chuckling too, mostly at you. Yea the "EL" is there and folks do ride the thing, but to get around the windy city and the suburbs, the bulk of people take the extensive number of toll ways in their cars. There is a reason the number of I-Pass holders exceeds the number of public transit riders by an order of magnitude or two.

First of all, it's not the "EL" it's the "L". Second, there are exactly ZERO tollways within the Chicago city limits. Nobody pays tolls getting around Chicago. If you want to come in from Milwaukee or fucking Indiana, yes there are toll roads that start in Indiana and that's only because nobody wants anyone from Milwaukee or Indiana coming into the city because they don't know how to behave.

There is a reason the number of I-Pass holders exceeds the number of public transit riders by an order of magnitude or two.

Yes, it's because the I-PASS is for the entire state of Illinois and public transit customers tend to live in the Chicago area.

Personally, I chose to drive myself while I was there...

May I ask where you're from? I'm really curious. Plus, I want to write a letter to city government asking to build a wall.

Comment Re:What they really need (Score 0, Flamebait) 296

I'm not sure the city/government is who I want in charge of making sure of my quality of life is good enough

Really? Do you have your own well for water? Who picks up your garbage? If you get into an accident, or are the victim of a crime, you gonna call the police, or Ayn fucking Rand?

This is what I mean about libertarians being stupid. They expect their streets plowed, and potholes fixed, but don't want city government.

The city government that picks up your goddamn garbage and plows your streets in the winter is the same one that builds mass transit.

Comment Re:What they really need (Score -1, Flamebait) 296

Which is my general point about light rail. It never pays for itself though fares, but ALWAYS requires substantial subsidies from local governments to survive.

It's also a huge economic engine. One of the reasons Boeing and Con-Agra moved to Chicago was because of the transit and the reasonable traffic (because of the good public transit).

I know Libertarians hate public transportation, but for the most part, they are kind of stupid.

Comment Re:What they really need (Score 2) 296

Which is EXACTLY the problem with public transit, It's almost never convenient for anybody using it, takes longer than driving yourself, and always requires financial support from tax payers because you never can charge the riders enough.

Public transport is great for what it is, but let's not fool ourselves into thinking it is a solution for traffic congestion or that we can make it convenient and cheap enough to get people who have other options to ride it...

People in Chicago are laughing at you.

Comment Re:Oh, bullshit (Score 5, Informative) 408

That article explains a lot.

So, VW hired a top engineer away from Daimler to revamp the VW line. He brought in clean-diesel technology ("BlueTec") licensed from Daimler, but the engineers at VW hated the idea of licensing technology from a rival, because they said they could do just as good with the turbocharged direct injection designs that they'd been working on for years. Nevertheless, VW went through with an engine design with the licensed BlueTec, made a prototype engine... and then the CEO got pushed out, the chief engineer got pushed out a month later, and the new CEO put the engineers who'd opposed licensing outside technology in charge of making a new VW clean-diesel engine and cancelled the license from Daimler. So, they had essentially doubled down on the bet that they could do just as good on efficiency and NOx emissions without licensing the Daimler BlueTec, And right as they did that, the new CEO announced ambitious targets for selling clean diesels in the US.

The story is beginning to make a bit more sense now.

Comment Re:Cultural? (Score 1) 408

You may be able to use a process in place to either stop the boss' request cold, or alternately, to have a defense if the process did not exist.

Of course, Germany has some relatively strong worker protections, so I can't believe that an illegal order like that could not be challenged.

Feel disillusioned? I've got some great new illusions, right here!