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Comment: Re:1st: Who Owns the 25% least well-tuned autos? (Score 1) 395

by jratcliffe (#49647235) Attached to: 25 Percent of Cars Cause 90 Percent of Air Pollution

The quick data I could find on this is a couple of years old, but as of 2011, 93% of people who made less than $16k/year paid zero federal income tax. Heck, 60% of people making $17-33k pay zero income tax. So it's definitely not true that "everyone" making over $14k pays federal income tax.

http://economix.blogs.nytimes....

Comment: Re:Do not want (Score 1) 192

by jratcliffe (#49488559) Attached to: The Car That Knows When You'll Get In an Accident Before You Do

Car companies are incredibly cheap so any extra complexity adds to the unreliability faster than the convenience.

Which explains why today's wildly more complex cars are also wildly more reliable than the much simpler cars of yesteryear.

Oh, wait, it doesn't.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03...

Comment: Re:Disbarring (Score 1) 118

by jratcliffe (#49480299) Attached to: Jack Thompson Will Be Featured In BBC Film 'Grand Theft Auto'

"There's no license to be a teacher, or a banker, or a police officer."

Teacher licensing is required in every state that I know of. https://www.teach.org/teaching...

Bankers definitely require licenses, at least those who deal with client money in any significant way (look up FINRA, for example).

For police officers, you have to be vetted and hired by a government agency (which is essentially getting a license) and typically take a an exam, you can't just declare yourself a police officer.

"If the bar was effective at keeping bad lawyers out, then we wouldn't have bad lawyers (ha)"

So, because the bar isn't perfect at keeping bad lawyers out, it's worthless? That's like saying that since seatbelts won't save you in all accidents, it's not worth wearing them.

"and if we believe in a free market (which, the last time I checked, lawyers charge money), then the market should be able to sort it out on its own"

We can believe in a free market but also believe in a regulated market, particularly for things where it's typically difficult for an ordinary consumer to judge value (hiring an attorney isn't like buying an apple), and where the implications of a bad "product" can be very very serious.

Regulatory capture is a real issue, and there are lots of areas where it's a major problem (Institute for Justice has done a lot of work on this), i.e. interior decorators, to take one example, but lawyers (like doctors) are something where a state licensing process does make a lot of sense.*

*It's worth noting that, even in those professions, I disagree in some cases with the degree of regulation involved, i.e. doctors limiting what nurses and physician's assistants can do, or lawyers trying to prevent "document preparers" from handling very typical, standardized situations. If you have a house, life insurance, and $50k in the bank, your spouse is dead, your two kids are grown, and you want to leave everything to those two kids equally, you don't need a lawyer to do your will.

Neutrinos are into physicists.

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