If you buy for fuel efficiency, you can put a smug Prius driver to shame. At a very reasonable price. Simple physics explains why: bike+rider is about 700 pounds, car+driver is about 3500 pounds, so you need much less force to move the bike, which more than offsets the less efficient engines and aerodynamics possible on bikes.
And Al Gore wants a huge mansion, because he wants one
I would be, if I were talking to him. Him being a hypocrite has nothing to do with whether it's moral to own a big truck when you don't really need one.
For what it's worth, my standard on what sized vehicle is in any way justified is the amount of stuff it carries on a regular basis: Landscaper owns a pickup so he can stick all his tools, mowers, leaf blowers, etc in the back? Fine. Software developer owns a pickup so he can feel manly when driving to work? Luxury. Soccer mom owns an SUV to haul around 4 kids all day? Fine. College girl owns SUV because mom and dad think that will make her safer than driving a sedan? Again, luxury. And actually the most virtuous thing for an office worker going to work alone would be a motorcycle, since they can put a Prius to shame in the fuel efficiency department.
So it's not a class thing. What is actually going on is that without carbon taxes, the free market doesn't price the cost of CO2 emissions into pricing, so you don't end up making economic decisions based on it. Of course, if you don't think CO2 emissions matter at all, than nothing I can write about this will move you in any way whatsoever.
They have taken themselves far too seriously.
This is typically due to eating too much starch and junk food. The problem isn't caused by being poor, but rather is correlated with the same bad financial habits
Being poor certainly has something to do with it. The cheapest foods by weight that you can typically find in a grocery are rice, pasta, oatmeal, dry beans, and potatoes. So if you're poor enough that you really have to watch your food budget, you will be eating basically starches with a bit of protein mixed in and maybe a couple of carrots a week. Sure, you're going to be eating less of it, but that may not be enough to offset the sheer carb load.
The case of people ending up penniless after winning the lottery is hardly uncommon, and often referred to as the Sudden Wealth Effect. Pro athletes are also frequently victims of it, and not infrequently lose everything they've earned by the time they're 40 years old. The biggest problem is this: As soon as you're rich, everybody who's ever known you, or kinda known somebody who's known you, or is working for a good cause comes knocking to ask for a handout. Imagine, for instance, that you are sitting on $20 million and your mother comes by and wants your help to buy a nice house: How easy would it be for you to say no? So you say yes to your mother. But now your brother wants the same thing. And your sister. And your cousin. And your best buddy Vinnie from high school. And so on. Former NFL quarterback Bernie Kosar mentioned that a lot of people who knew him had his payday circled on their calendars, because that was their payday.
And for the record, I've experienced both being dirt poor and wealthy enough that people regularly try to hit me up for cash.
The Brits aren't skinny because they eat shit, they are skinny because given the option of eating British food and starving, they starve.
When Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress took power, they were in a position where they could well have taken revenge for a couple of centuries of repression by the English and Afrikaners. He led the effort to do something else (the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions), so that his country would not tear itself apart the way so many of its neighbors had done, repeatedly.
I'm not saying South Africa is a paradise compared to, say, the UK, but it's doing a heck of a lot better than Zimbabwe or Lesotho, and his decisions had a lot to do with that.
BLUE-COLLAR MAN: Excuse me. I don't mean to interrupt, but what were you talking about?
RANDAL: The ending of Return of the Jedi.
DANTE: My friend is trying to convince me that any contractors working on the uncompleted Death Star were innocent victims when the space station was destroyed by the rebels.
BLUE-COLLAR MAN: Well, I'm a contractor myself. I'm a roofer... (digs into pocket and produces business card) Dunn and Reddy Home Improvements. And speaking as a roofer, I can say that a roofer's personal politics come heavily into play when choosing jobs.
RANDAL: Like when?
BLUE-COLLAR MAN: Three months ago I was offered a job up in the hills. A beautiful house with tons of property. It was a simple reshingling job, but I was told that if it was finished within a day, my price would be doubled. Then I realized whose house it was.
DANTE: Whose house was it?
BLUE-COLLAR MAN: Dominick Bambino's.
RANDAL: "Babyface" Bambino? The gangster?
BLUE-COLLAR MAN: The same. The money was right, but the risk was too big. I knew who he was, and based on that, I passed the job on to a friend of mine.
DANTE: Based on personal politics.
BLUE-COLLAR MAN: Right. And that week, the Foresci family put a hit on Babyface's house. My friend was shot and killed. He wasn't even finished shingling.
RANDAL: No way!
BLUE-COLLAR MAN: (paying for coffee) I'm alive because I knew there were risks involved taking on that particular client. My friend wasn't so lucky. (pauses to reflect) You know, any contractor willing to work on that Death Star knew the risks. If they were killed, it was their own fault. A roofer listens to this... (taps his heart) not his wallet.
Imagine this sequence of events:
1. A perfectly legal subpoena is issued for someone to appear as a witness, while they're a plane's flight away from home.
2. Put witness on no-fly list.
3. Cite witness for contempt of court for failing to appear.
Boom, you now have a tool for the intelligence community, with the help of a friendly (or blackmailed) judge to put anyone away they like, for any reason they like, at least for a little while. And sure, the contempt citation would eventually be reversed on appeal due to the obvious entrapment issue (the government caused the witness to fail to appear due to its own actions), but by then whoever was targeted has already had their life thoroughly screwed up.
Recall the fallacy of appeal to authority.
An appeal to authority is not fallacious if:
- The authority being cited is operating within their area of expertise.
- The authority is well-qualified to answer the question.
An appeal to authority is strongest if the authority's response to the question is the same as other authorities have to the same question e.g. a physicist explaining why the sky is blue (well-understood at this point) is a stronger argument than a physicist explaining why string theory is true (possibly right, but possibly wrong).
Another thing that would be happening if demand for developers is really that high: Routinely offering developers $250K a year, plus benefits, plus a nice office, plus no on-call or after-hours support duties, plus paid overtime, plus free catered lunch and possibly breakfast and dinner too. That's textbook economics, where the economy responds to a shortgage by raising the price until either the demand drops or the supply increases to meet the demand. But I think a lot of managers have a philosophical problem with managing people who get paid more than they do, so it will never ever happen.
Changing the pricing around might convince them to consider hiring somebody other than the person they're typically after, who is 25-27-year-old, with 3-5 years of experience, a B.A. in computer science or something similar from a top tech school such as MIT or Stanford, with detailed knowledge of the exact technology stack their company uses, currently employed by somebody else, not married and not a parent, with no life beyond work, who will be comfortable being available 24x7x365, and sincerely believes that working 80-90 hours a week will reap financial and career rewards. Unless there are affirmative action rules in place, this mythical person they're after is probably also male, white or Asian or Indian racial background, and speaks Standard American English as his first language.
Ok, name me a system that isn't an oligarchy with an oppressive tiny elite at the top.
Athenian democracy. There was class stratification, no question, but there were thousands of relatively ordinary men with real political power, and any elites who got too oppressive would be promptly voted out of office and not infrequently ostracized (kicked out of the city for a decade). A couple of factors that probably helped create this environment was that much of it was run by direct democracy, and a lot of the rest of it was run by picking names out of a jar. Think of the election day coverage being more like watching the lottery ("Mark D Smith of West Waynesboro, KY is the new Congressman for Kentucky's Fourth District") than the current Silly Party-Slightly Silly Party battles.
That's not to say Athens was perfect: If you were a slave, a woman, a child, or a foreigner all those political rights didn't exist.
Or 1947, in Roswell, NM. Something involving a microwave oven and a supernova.
Origins of Indo-Europeans within Europe, or introduction of Indo-Europeans to Europe? Last I checked, the current reigning hypothesis was that Indo-Europeans originated near the Caucuses, and spread remarkably rapidly in several directions, probably aided by their successful domestication of the horse and the development of horse-drawn wheeled vehicles such as chariots.
You missed the point: The goods in the bank were valuable primarily because they were currency. So in fact, the only value the bank-issued currency had was social value, rather than a real value. Ergo, the paper money issued by banks had no more real value than money issued by the Federal Reserve.
Yes, it's possible to have a world where everything is privately owned and managed, including money. Here's why we don't do that:
1. I buy 100 Quatloos worth of goods from you, and pay my debt with a 100 Quatloo note from what appears to be a perfectly sound Smith Bank, which you accept.
2. Smith Bank, for reasons that have nothing to do with either of us, goes out of business, and its assets no longer exist.
3. Because everyone knows Smith Bank doesn't exist, no one will exchange your 100 Quatloo note for anything else, so your note is now a worthless piece of paper, and I just walked away with 100 Quatloos worth of your stuff without paying you anything of value.
4. You, being a smart businessman, decide to hedge against the risk I just demonstrated exists by selling me only, say, 95 Quatloos. In order to judge that risk and price correctly, you have to have an accurate picture of the financial soundness of any bank who's paper I offer, which is plainly impossible - even if you knew all the area banks, you would have to be omniscient to know what their risk of failure actually is.
5. Even if you did have that understanding of each bank's soundness or lack thereof, now I don't know what your pricing is until I actually go to pay it. Any concept of fixed pricing (which enables you to go to a store knowing how much a can of beans will cost you) goes out the window.
6. It gets even worse: If the other banks in the area served by Smith Bank want to drive Smith out of business, all they have to do is collectively refuse to accept Smith Bank's notes. Smith Bank doesn't typically have enough bullion to pay for all the notes it has in circulation plus all the deposits in its accounts, and because all the nearby banks are questioning Smith Bank, all Smith's noteholders and depositors will notice and trigger a bank run.
These objections aren't purely theoretical: All of this happened as a result of the Panic of 1837.