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Comment: Re:Ahhhh.... (Score 1) 426

by digsbo (#48186907) Attached to: In UK, Internet Trolls Could Face Two Years In Jail

I know libertarians would say we should wait until the threat is carried out and someone is actually raped and killed, but in the real world most of us would prefer to stop it happening in the first place.

Some libertarians might say that, but many libertarians including Rothbardians describe coercive behavior as "force or the threat of force." What constitutes a threat is subjective in many cases because people have different sensitivities. I am reasonably certain that the US Government is realistically threatening force against me if I don't pay my taxes, because I know they've used force against others. A guy in a bar who threatens to kick my ass is a lot less clear as to follow-through, and I'd probably have to take it on a case-by-case basis. A guy on /. who threatens me is probably full of shit, but if he and his buddies are starting to consistently harass me online so as to interfere with my reasonable use of my online person, they're probably over the line.

Comment: Re:Why Cold Fusion (or something like it) Is Real (Score 4, Interesting) 340

by digsbo (#48174429) Attached to: The Physics of Why Cold Fusion Isn't Real
It's not so much a natural law as the fact that palladium especially tends to soak up hydrogen. People, including, apparently, some scientists, seem to ignore that there's a lot of chemical energy in hydrogen, and so keep falling for cold fusion. Pretty much every cold fusion experiment has eventually been shown to involve palladium's natural sponginess towards hydrogen to act as a natural chemical battery, if you will.

Comment: Re:The Middle Class is the Bedrock of Society (Score 1) 821

by digsbo (#48173795) Attached to: Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

I wasn't exactly disagreeing with you. I was nodding to your mention of demand (or lack thereof) which, as I think you largely agree, is weak against supply right now. But...

I would severely contest that statement...

I'm from the USA. My statement about excess reserves is based on the published information from the Fed itself:

Now, unless you think the banks are outright lying about their capitalization, and the Fed and other regulators are looking the other way, clearly banks are not lending money they could choose to lend. I would definitely agree that at least to some extent the banks continue to deleverage because these numbers are based on book-value, not market value, of assets, and the central bank continues to quietly acquire $400 billion USD in mortgage backed securities last year to bail out the banks. Sooo, back to demand...why exchange dollar denominated assets for digital dollars (the Fed *IS* giving banks new dollars as reserve deposits in exchange for MBS and treasuries)? Because those assets are soon going to become worth a lot less. And I don't just think the MBSs, but also the treasuries. And the banks will be sitting on excess reserves, "high powered money", that after a write-down of US debt, will be worth enough to consist of a wealth transfer to the ultra-rich the likes of which the world has never seen.

I bring this up, because it's not a free-market operation, and it dwarfs any concept of income inequality Piketty can dream up.

The big fish are playing an entirely different game while "left" and "right" bicker over marginal tax rates...

Comment: Re:The Middle Class is the Bedrock of Society (Score 1) 821

by digsbo (#48171149) Attached to: Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right
I find it interesting to hear you talk of the demand side of capital. Right now, banks are sitting on unprecedented levels of excess reserves, yet the central bank continues to purchase treasuries to keep interest rates near zero, and the central bank is now paying 25 basis points for banks to continue to sit on the excess reserves. Demand isn't really in the equation right now. People and firms aren't looking to borrow because they're concerned about risk.

Comment: Re:The Middle Class is the Bedrock of Society (Score 2) 821

by digsbo (#48162891) Attached to: Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right
The problem is not the 2% growth rate he speaks of, it's the unsubstantiated claim he makes that the historical return on capital was 4.5%. That's the basis of his claim that the growth at 2% causes inequity, and that claim about the return on capital is in question at best.

Comment: Re:Three things you can tax, and consumption is ba (Score 1) 821

by digsbo (#48162103) Attached to: Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

There's a math problem here. These numbers cannot be correct. 320 million people, 6.7 trillion total government spending, 3.7 trillion just for the federal government:

That's $20,937 total spending per capita, and 11,562 federal spending per capita. I dont' trust that site - the numbers do not match. What's the disconnect between my numbers and yours from the same site?

Comment: Re:It's just an academic exercise (Score 1) 821

by digsbo (#48161981) Attached to: Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right
2014 spending was 3.75 trillion (roughly) and we have about 320 million citizens. That puts US government federal spending alone at $11,718 per capita. I looked at your sources and got the 3.75 trillion number from there. The math doesn't work - there's no way the local spending is only $400/year. Am I dividing wrong?

Comment: Apply the same standard to socialism and absolutes (Score 1) 821

by digsbo (#48161367) Attached to: Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

I see people claim income inequality is an inherent quality of capitalism. Perhaps this is true, perhaps not. But why isn't such a criticism leveled in terms of communism, socialism, and social democracies? And extend the analysis to power as well as income. You'd see quickly that capitalism and free markets do quite well in comparison.

Further, look at the overall absolute quality of life. If I'm better off in a free market economy than an egalitarian social democracy, even though I'm relatively poorer than another guy who's WAY better off, I'm still better off overall. Zero-sum-game thinking from socialists can't begin to crack that nut.

Comment: Re:Victim Blaming vs Common Sense (Score 2) 622

by digsbo (#48133109) Attached to: The Correct Response To Photo Hack Victim-Blamers
That's because there's a stronger monoculture in Japan, and you can actually blame individuals for making bad choices since they're part of the same monoculture. In the USA and UK, there is not a monoculture, and it's not permissible if you're in the majority to blame someone from a minority when they commit a crime. Or something like that, I feel...

Comment: Re:Don't over generalize (Score 1) 716

by digsbo (#48111501) Attached to: Why the Trolls Will Always Win
That's an interesting point. I was thinking that the internet, especially when anonymous, has the effect of multiplying the perceived/apparent impact of a small number of actors. It's kind of like terrorism, in that it's asymmetric. For this reason, I can kind of understand the concerns over the apparent threat, but I find the people claiming it's a "cultural problem" aren't understanding that a big part of the reason the crowd isn't reacting the way the critics want is because the crowd intuitively knows what a small number of people there are purveying this antisocial behavior, and thus feel the claim of "cultural problem" is at best improper, and at worst slanderous.

It is impossible to enjoy idling thoroughly unless one has plenty of work to do. -- Jerome Klapka Jerome