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Comment: Do pigs make sties, or do sties make pigs? (Score 5, Interesting) 121

by demonlapin (#49754677) Attached to: 'Prisonized' Neighborhoods Make Recidivism More Likely
The experience of Memphis, Tennessee, as reported in The Atlantic, with breaking up high-crime neighborhoods and redistributing their inhabitants to other places: the bad guys quickly find their feet and begin preying on a broader class of victims, while the decent-but-poor find their social networks shattered.

Comment: Re:Razr v3 (Score 1) 251

by demonlapin (#49754271) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What's the Best Dumb Phone?
The port's no longer standard, but still readily available, and it's not like regular USB (the other end of the cable) as a charging standard is going to disappear any time soon. I agree - the RAZR is an easy choice here: cheap, readily available, still an aesthetically attractive phone, good battery life. The only possible knock against it as a dumbphone is that it has a camera, which will keep you from taking it into a federal office building.

Comment: Re:Mixed reaction (Score 1) 317

by demonlapin (#49730885) Attached to: Battle To Regulate Ridesharing Moves Through States
  1. 1. Uber gives clearly posted rates and I've never had a bill higher than the expected maximum for the ride. Get a taxi to quote you the same thing.
  2. 2. It's insanely trivial to identify who an Uber driver is - it's tied to their smartphone. Not so much with traditional taxis.
  3. 3. A valid concern, one that Uber claims to have dealt with by having insurance themselves. However, it's not like you ask your taxi driver to show you an up-to-date, online verification of his insurance before you hop in, right? I mean, liability insurance is mandatory in my state... but I still have uninsured motorist coverage. So this is a general problem.
  4. 4. Have you ever ridden in a cab? Jankiest things on the road.
  5. 5. Uh, no, that's not how it works. If a company starts to abuse their position as a market leader, maybe you do that. But there's absolutely nothing illegal about being so damned good that you compete everyone else into bankruptcy. A monopoly is not inherently illegal, or even wrong.

Comment: Re:Mixed reaction (Score 3, Informative) 317

by demonlapin (#49730377) Attached to: Battle To Regulate Ridesharing Moves Through States
As an aside, I have found that showing a taxi driver your destination on Google Maps on your phone is a very reliable way to insure that they take you via the quickest route. And Uber Black is well worth the small premium for the ride experience if you're not depending on it for day-to-day transportation.

Comment: Re:Only Two Futures? (Score 1) 605

by demonlapin (#49730341) Attached to: The Demographic Future of America's Political Parties
And yet a lot more stuff was considered tax-deductible at the time, to the point that they instituted the alternative minimum tax because 155 high-income households had paid zero federal income tax. The AMT now routinely reaches into the upper middle class, but we don't have the deductions any more.

Comment: Re: Privacy? (Score 1) 776

Zillow has many listings down below $58K, none of them for trailers - check out, say, ZIP code 39212. I suggested four people could easily live on a median salary, not minimum wage. And as far as livability goes, it's highly undesirable, but that is more or less orthogonal to the issue of whether or not you can live there.

The average rental cost you can find is - I'm guessing here, correct me if I'm wrong - derived from online sources like Craigslist? That's not the average place on the market, which has a lot of Section 8. As for used trailers, look at something like this to get an idea of what's out there. And remember that Jackson is one of the most expensive places in the state... if you really get out in the boonies and know how to fix your own stuff (a $1500 car can last a lot more than a year if you know how to fix it yourself), it can be insanely cheap.

Comment: Re: Privacy? (Score 1) 776

The effective result is that society decides that people shouldn't starve just because they're not economically productive enough to feed themselves and their progeny, and society should own up to its duties and pay them the difference. Otherwise, what's the difference between you and your supposed conservative archenemy? You accuse them of lacking community spirit, but you want business owners to pay people lots of money just because you say they should, instead of contributing a non-negotiable part of your own paycheck (aka taxes) to pay for the social outcomes you want. Yeah, Walmart and McD's and a bunch of other business get cheap workers. But the alternative to that is that they adopt a different business model that involves a lot less people - Walmart vs Costco. Sure, it's a lot better to be a Costco employee than a Walmart one, but there are a hell of a lot less of them.

Comment: Re: Privacy? (Score 1) 776

Hahaha, how funny. It just so happens that I grew up in Jackson, Mississippi, and having family there still, I'm quite conversant with the local economics. I'm assuming that you got a median house price, or a median mortgage, of $58k from somewhere. That's not an entirely unreasonable number, but the distribution is anything but normal - it's at least biphasic, probably triphasic (large underclass, modest middle class, small upper middle class, tiny sprinkling of really wealthy people). In much of the city, a large number of properties that have been repossessed for taxes can't be sold because the simple requirement to pay up to three years' back taxes in order to take possession of the property completely eliminates the potential profit.

You can buy a habitable home in a not-so-great neighborhood for under $50k, or a used trailer for something like $10k. You can easily rent a 2BR apartment in a bad neighborhood for $200/mo. The people I knew didn't drive new cars, and if one died in a way they didn't know how to fix, they'd buy something for $1500, max. They also didn't pay anything like Jackson prices for housing.

Incidentally, since when is a minimum wage job supposed to support a family of four on one income? I said you could do that on a median income, or yourself pretty easily at poverty line.

Never buy what you do not want because it is cheap; it will be dear to you. -- Thomas Jefferson