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Comment: Re:Don't complain... (Score 1) 212

by drsmithy (#48001601) Attached to: Australian Senate Introduces Laws To Allow Total Internet Surveillance

They do not have the same equal opportunity TO SUCCEED, nobody does.

The point is to set a reasonable baseline.

They have the same equal opportunity TO TRY to succeed and not be discriminated against by the government, be treated equally under law.

No, they don't.

Your society destroyed that concept.

Bullshit. "My" society _created_ the fucking concept.

You have left-wing, progressive politics to thank for everything you cherish, from property rights through freedom of speech to the ability to vote.

Comment: Re:Australia voted... for a kick in the nuts. (Score 1) 212

by drsmithy (#48000659) Attached to: Australian Senate Introduces Laws To Allow Total Internet Surveillance

We have been watching these sorts of things come out of Australia for years. The labor government was at least as bad about it with their black lists and various censorship schemes. In the article also notice that the bill has the support of both the conservative government and the labor establishment. So blaming this on the conservatives seems questionable.

New Labor have been just another conservative party for over a decade now.

As for as I can see there is no party, other than the greens, who are really against this stuff in Australia.

That is because the Greens are the only left-wing party of any size.

We have the same problem in the US.

In fact, the whole Anglosphere has the same problem. The steady march of selfish, greedy, narcissistic right-wing politics that has been taking over since Thatcher and Reagan kicked it off, has all but eliminated left-wing politics and brought with it the destru

Comment: Re:Don't complain... (Score 4, Insightful) 212

by drsmithy (#47992281) Attached to: Australian Senate Introduces Laws To Allow Total Internet Surveillance

Yes, well the devil's in the details. My definition of 'fair' is not the same as the left's. Mine is keep what you earn (or at least 90% of it or so), and allow the meritocracy to operate more naturally.

Right. So you favour increasingly concentrated wealth, the power it wields, and the inevitable corruption it breeds.

Theirs boils down to insistence on equal outcome, everywhere, even at the cost of liberty and bonafide justice.

Completely false.

The "insistence" is on equal opportunities.

The comical fantasy promulgated by the Right, however, is that everyone born into a western democracy inherently has equal opportunities. That the black child born to a drug addicted single mother has the same opportunities in life as the white child born to two high-earning professionals, because both were born in America. Undoubtedly, they will be able to trot out a couple of cherry-picked examples of such disadvantaged children who have, against all odds, escaped their demographic destiny. They might even produce some similar cherry-picked examples of rich white kids whose parents abandoned them after one too many low-level drug charges or car crashes and have sunk into desperate poverty.

But it's just ideological bullshit. Statistics, data and history show the truth. Wealth breeds increasingly more wealth and poverty more poverty, in feedback loops. The best society springs from both of those ends of the scale being curtailed to build a strong middle class. The period of human history with the greatest increase in wealth, productivity and living standards were the few decades post-WW2 - with its high taxes, strong regulations and comprehensive welfare systems - before Thatcher, Reagan and their acolytes' neoliberal cancer started destroying western democracies from within in the name of greed, selfishness, and free-market fundamentalism.

Comment: Re:Don't complain... (Score 1) 212

by drsmithy (#47992119) Attached to: Australian Senate Introduces Laws To Allow Total Internet Surveillance

Historically, leftists (of any flavor) want to centralize power in the state under the guise of doing 'The Peoples'' bidding, and rightists prefer smaller governments and traditional values.

You sound like the people who say "historically, marriage was one man and one woman".

Ie: You're cherry-picking a very specific point in time to call "historically".

In reality, "historically" - that is to say, where the terms originated - the Right is the side of concentrated, inherited power - monarchies and serfs - and the Left is the side of democracy, individual rights, equality, freedom of speech, and the like.

Every "freedom" you cherish today, you need to thank progressive politics for.

Comment: Re:Can we please cann these companies what they ar (Score 1) 288

by drsmithy (#47901755) Attached to: California Declares Carpooling Via Ride-Share Services Illegal

Again, how does that justify limiting the number of cabs? That's what licensing does.

No, it doesn't.

As implemented, thanks to crony capitalism and lobbying, the number of taxis is limited. However, this artificial limitation is in no way an inherent feature of an accreditation system.

Comment: Re: Can we please cann these companies what they (Score 1) 288

by drsmithy (#47896135) Attached to: California Declares Carpooling Via Ride-Share Services Illegal

What does "... for profit" mean? If you consume $6 in gas and you friend gives you $5, paying $2 more than their share, is that "for profit"?

If you have someone over for dinner and they pay more than their share or the groceries that go into the meal, are you running a restaurant for profit?


Next question ?

Comment: Re:Crazy (Score 1) 778

by drsmithy (#47506251) Attached to: States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

Not necessarily (think about it!), but in any event, it is far from clear that minimum wage actually gives more people more money.

Counter examples (actual, real-life, counter-examples supported by data) would be interesting to read.

You can, of course, add the money received by those people who benefit from the minimum wage laws to the total money available to spend. However, businesses pass increased costs on to consumers, or go out of business.

Or they could, shock, horror, take less in profit.

In effect, people's net purchasing power goes down. Instead of helping the people you want to help, you end up hurting them.

Purchasing power isn't going down because labour is getting more expensive, it's going down because labour is steadily getting paid less and less because capital is taking more and more.

The only place the continual downward pressure on wages ends is a tiny proportion of wealthy people who own everything and a huge proportion of people of subsistence incomes. When hardly anyone has any disposable income, where do you think economic activity is going to happen ?

Thus, merely "increasing" economic activity is not a valid goal: to be beneficial to society the economic activity has to be healthy activity, not the production of shoddy products. This can only be the case if we don't cause a net reduction in people's buying power (which is what minimum wage laws tend to do).

Again, evidence to support this claim would be useful.

In reality, countries with higher incomes at the lower-end, rather than the rock-bottom incomes you are advocating, are the countries that have the higher quality goods you are insisting they will not.

No this is done by welfare laws (of which there are a plethora).

No, welfare is there as a safety net for people who are unable to work. Since neoliberalism took over the western world and maintaining a certain level of unemployment became a policy goal (to reduce worker bargaining power and suppress their wages), it has become a necessity for millions of people ready, able and willing to work but who cannot find anyone to work for.

What you are talking about is a universal basic income, which would need to be set at a similar level to minimum wage to meet that objective.

Somebody ought to cross ball point pens with coat hangers so that the pens will multiply instead of disappear.