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Comment: Re:Can't get worse (Score 4, Insightful) 309

by i_b_don (#38586680) Attached to: Compared to 2011, I expect that 2012 will be:

Bah. It's the luck of the draw.

My wife and I were both college educated and graduated in 98. In late 2001 we bought a house. At the time it was at the limit of our expenses and we became "house poor". (This is a conservative measure. We both maxing out 401k's and stock purchase, and after that we didn't have too much left over. But by my calculations at the time if one of us lost our job we could barely scrape by.) However, in a few years, we both had improved our income through raises and advancements and both agreed we made the right choice to stretch and buy a nicer house.

This is the way it works in many normal circumstances.

In addition, the housing value curve is wonky. People get priced out of the market so what you get for what you spend is often way off. Spend a little more and get a much nicer house. If you're shopping at the bottom of the market you can pay 75% of what you'd pay at the middle of the market but get a much shittier house in a much shittier school district. This is mainly true in places where the housing is saturated in big cities and the like. I'm sure it's much less true in the middle of nowhere, but I'm only familiar with buying houses in big cities in California.

Additionally a house has much to do with your quality of living. Your neighbors will be different, who your kids hang out with will be different, what school your kids will go to will be different, etc. Buy a dump of a car as long as it gets you from point A to point B because who cares? But a house... a house will affect your sanity and quality of life 10x more.

The 2001 house is still worth about 50% more than we paid for it because we got lucky. We didn't have anymore insight into the market in 2001 than other people here did in 2006. Yes, buy within your means when you can, but there are also times in life when you should stretch and accept the risk that comes along with that.

d

Comment: Re:so (Score 1) 547

by i_b_don (#38575786) Attached to: Iran Tests Naval Cruise Missile During War Games

Are you kidding? The REAL intention is to drive up oil prices for the simple reason of making more money. Throw a little bluster in the mix and bam 10% more profits on all oil exports. They have good PR at home and make more money. Where's the downside???

Iran has no intention of doing any of these things it's talking about. The lies are so blatant. Let's quit pretending like this is a real pissing contest and just see it for what it is.

d

Comment: Re:First (past the) Post (Score 1) 639

by i_b_don (#38464954) Attached to: In the simplistic left/right divide, I'd call myself

hardcore capitalism = anarchy

softcore capitalism = capitalism plus government regulations

What were you expecting here? The GP was right. See, it's only in softcore capitalism where one side negotiating an arrangement doesn't have to worry about getting shot if his offer is insultingly low or high. Police officers don't exist in hardcore capitalism.

d

Comment: Re:First (past the) Post (Score 2, Funny) 639

by i_b_don (#38464872) Attached to: In the simplistic left/right divide, I'd call myself

Here's the way it works

Step 1: Politicians become politicians. For whatever reason. Idealistic or whatever, doesn't matter.
Step 2: 93% of all Politicians who spent MORE money got elected or re-elected this past election.
Step 3: Politician realizes that their sole job is to raise more money for next campaign. (not run the country or other silly shit like that because none of that matters.) More money = re-elected.
Step 4: Realize easiest way to get more money is from corporations and rich folks.
Step 5: Do what rich folks and corporations want, thus ensuring re-election.
Step 6: Spend more money that the next guy thus giving you a 93% chance of getting re-elected.
Step 7: repeat

There you go. The system is set up to encourage certain behaviors. This is a corporation owned system. Anyone who doesn't kowtow to the corporations is quickly removed because corporations will then back the other guy giving them more money.

Now, while I agree with the GP that the real problem is that the public is too stupid to see things "correctly" and are bought off by advertisements, etc, however that doesn't really matter. It is what it is. "You go the [elections] with the [country] you have, not the [country] you wish you had."

This is the system we have and it seriously depresses me.

d
(far left)

Comment: Re:Why Small Modular Reactors? (Score 1) 230

by i_b_don (#38374218) Attached to: In Nuclear Power, Size Matters

I don't get why you think building 100 smaller plants is standardizing but building 10 large ones isn't. None of these are going to be done on a mass manufacturing scale where parts are "tooled up for high volume manufacturing". In both cases a large engineering company like Parsons or GE will come in do a design that must be approved. Scale won't change things too much in that whole process. You won't save much money either way from an engineering or building perspective, but if you look at it from a site to site perspective, getting 100 smaller nuclear plants sites picked out an approved it'll be 10 times harder than getting 10 large ones approved. These days, that's where all the stress and headache is so I don't see why anyone would think smaller is better.

d

Comment: Why Small Modular Reactors? (Score 1) 230

by i_b_don (#38373160) Attached to: In Nuclear Power, Size Matters

I looked all through out the article and I couldn't find any arguments for "small modular" vs "massive". With all the permitting problems and the like, small and modular seems much harder to pull off. I'd rather have more eyes on a single large facility making sure nothing goes wrong and that security is foolproof than 100 sites scattered around hoping none of them have a Homer Simpson running them.

d

Comment: Re:Keep the wreckage! (Score 1) 631

by i_b_don (#38295290) Attached to: <em>MythBusters</em> Bust House

They'll give you the money... weather or not you choose to fix your minivan is up to you. Seriously, if you are a good sport about this they'll easily throw in extra. You can always claim all sorts of crap like emotional destress and try to squeeze more money out of them... but if it were me, I'd take the money, plus a little, and get some extra perks on the show. Meet the hosts, that type of thing.

d

Comment: Re:Money... (Score 1) 1880

by i_b_don (#38080460) Attached to: What's Keeping You On Windows?

Ah... thank you for admitting to conspiracy to commit fraud. The black helicopters will be there shortly. If you don't wish to be tasered and "fall down" a few times on your way to booking you must go out in your front yard, lie down on your stomach with your hands and legs spread. Stay like that until we arrive.

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