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Comment Voters - not money - nare the problem (Score 0) 165 165

Voters, not money, are the problem with democracy. Voters are empowered only to select whether their existing representatives ought to continue, or be replaced. Government exists to provide security, order, justice, protection of rights and property, essential legal physical and social infrastructure that benefits the entire community, and a safety net for social peace and individual dignity. When voters add other things, that's whemn the whole society starts sliding towards collapse.

Comment Agree on London (Score 0) 410 410

I'd think it would be obvious: London is the closest thing we have to a planetary capital, and has been such for 250 years. Here in one spot: a major government with world wide connections; one of the three and sometimes the foremost finance center on the planet; a huge and diverse population; access to some of the oldest best and most advanced centers of education, research, and technology on the planet; in relative terms, quite close to all significant places save those around the Pacific; equidistance from the west and east sides of the Pacific; and by far the largest city in one of the three world super-powers, Europe. London also has a cultural life and a history as rich/long as most any inhabited spot.

Besides, I love it there. Parks plays museums great transit great shopping marvelous neighborhoods to explore, to walk, places to eat to drink to socialize. The real food of all the planet's peoples. And wild and solitary places within a travel time of a few hours.

The weather...let's not talk about the English weather lol. But then the central valleys of California actually would be uninhabitable at least most of the year, but for vast amounts of imported water and energy, the weather there is imho world class awful, and so is the air.

Comment Copy Wrong? (Score 0) 210 210

How can a language of any sort be "copyrighted"? If it can be, it ain't a language...but a recipe. Languages evolve. Users could in general agree that an Oracle o9r a Websters would be the yardstick for standards or for spelling, but those uses not wishing to don't have to. Or its not va language at all..

Comment Utter Baloney (Score 0) 336 336

I suppose we COULD decide to grant some other less capable life form status as a legal person, but I doubt we ever will. Only crazy people support putting anything other than the interests of human beings, over the interest of even a single human being. Let's experiment on and vivisect the animal rights lunatics, that judge included.

Comment Remove the Public (Score 0) 514 514

Democracy is NOT about people getting government to do stuff, regardless of what. It is about using the people's collective diversity and stability as one of the CHECKS on the government over-extending its power in any direction, i.e. throwing the bastards out.

It ought not therefore to matter if people in general were 100% wrong or 100% right on anything besides their judgement of the over-all state of affairs as affects they themselves (which is the only thing most of us can be trusted to grasp accurately at all).

Leave arguments about harm to lawsuits for damages. Let those who think they can mobilize capital, workers, ideas, and organization to produce goods and services that will provide an attractive investment attempt to do so, whether they frack, nuke, gene splice, rocket, Uber, burn coal, or whatever. Those opposed need not buy. Those damaged can sue. Those providing allegedly more attractive alternatives can try their luck too.

Comment traditional and for good reason (Score 1) 206 206

Megaprojects tend to be viewed as impressive or as to impress; as useful or not; as profitable or not. Chinese megaprojects are ALSO, perhaps MOSTLY, about creating and sustaining China as a nation, a people, a unified and long lasting thing. The Great Wall and the Grand Canal both had predecessors, going back to the earliest days of unified China. no megaprojects, no China.

Comment Action matters facts do not (Score 0) 839 839

How much to tax from whom by what means: these are matters of opinion, as Gates says. Tax labor less, consumption more, and eliminate subsidy granted by silly tax breaks (such as 'carried interest') for the earnings of capital, especially finance capital.

What to do is the core of these kinds of discussions, just as it is with pollution impacts on climate. Exactly what is going on is not relevant.

Piketty is clueless about capital, except as to the point Mr. Gates restates: inequality is a NECESSARY part of capital and of progress by any means, inescapably so. But social cohesion is also, and at some point, inequality can undermine social cohesion, just as boneheaded support for cohesion can suppress progress.

Nothing is rich but the inexhaustible wealth of nature. She shows us only surfaces, but she is a million fathoms deep. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson