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Comment: Re:Citizen of Belgium here (Score 1) 1213 1213

I thought it was the promise of pensions to all and retirement at 50. Hint: you need to balance your books, whether you're a mom-and-pop store or a nation.

On a different note, I'm voting NO on my next CC bill. That will work, right?

Man - people without any inherent understanding of economics need to shut the fuck up about these things. A country is not a household, and there is no rationale which makes it so. A country, unlike an entity that doesn't tax itself for revenue or have a currency, is ok as long as it grows fast enough to service its debt. The problem now, quite simply, is that unlike every other country this has happened to, Greek creditors are insisting on not taking a haircut an making this about morality.

The banks (from France and Germany) were repaid in full by the EMU in 2010, instead of telling them that they need to take a haircut, which was idiocy #1. Now they're trying to force Greece into agreeing to cut down their growth even further, after a 25% reduction in GDP already, which means the country is under extreme stress, negative growth and huge social unrest. Which actually stops Greece from actually repaying its debts. It's asinine to think this is smart, even more asinine to think this is some kind of a morality play of bad loans and screwed bankers.

This is fairly straightforward, and mostly political with a veneer of morality and debt being used as negotiating tactics. And in the end, this has fuck-all to do with your credit card, so stop bringing this up !

Comment: Re:Well, if they wanted to make it more realistic. (Score 1) 133 133

Because the supermassive black hole is spinning, and when it spins the force it exerts isn't equal everywhere.

Oh and even in the giant tidal wave planet, the humans walked around okay without getting ripped apart.

Comment: Re:$30,000 per year (Score 2) 1040 1040

What if you weren't educated enough because your parents were drunk douchebags? That your fault too? What about if the rents in your area went up 200% because IT idiots moved in, and you have to move to a place that requires a 3 hour commute?

Blaming everything on the individual assumes that everything that happens in an individual's life is under their control. It's the biggest fucking mistake on the planet to assume this ...

Comment: Re:Sounds like a problem... (Score 1) 507 507

Prices aren't set in a vacuum. Nobody prices things so high that people stop buying. What WILL happen in "full capitalist model" is that the price will be so high that people will buy it instead of other goods. Which already happens, resulting in medical bankruptcies.

Comment: Categorical imperative on supporting assholes (Score 1) 1448 1448

You cannot legitimately be aware of the sellers intentions with the proceeds of the sale prior to a purchase. Whether your baker is selling crack cocaine on the side, or Orson is a bigoted gay-bashing asshole who supports anti-gay parades, it should be divorced from content. Otherwise, normatively, we are placing an insurmountable burden on ourselves of ascertaining people's intentions and morality prior to any commercial transaction. Question is, once you know their intentions, should you re-evaluate the purchase. And the answer is, obviously yes! If you're talking about economic sanctions, and that's what a boycott is, it needs to be directed against the core of this bigotry. If you legitimately believe that your contribution to Card via the movie is primarily going to lead to increased anti-gay activity, and that is reprehensible enough to you, then screw it. However if you think that out of your ticket cost, the tiny portion that goes to Card, and the tinier portion that goes towards his activism, is a worthwhile price to pay for the pleasure of watching the movie adaptation of a truly awesome book, the answer is less clear cut. Therefore, my position: YMMV. I personally will watch the movie - because the short sum that goes from my ticket to Card is easily offset. Doesn't work from a categorical imperative perspective, but as I often say, fuck Kant!

Comment: Re:Oy. (Score 1) 408 408

What industry offers consumers a perfect combination of freedom of choice and customer service?

Pretty much any that doesn't involve government-enforced monopolies. Just imagine how much worse buying gasoline would be if certain companies purchased rights to supply all gasoline to individual cities, locking out competition.

Usually any industry which requires a massive investment upfront has some component of regulation attached to it, because otherwise the self-interested private companies don't feel the incentive to go ahead and put in that kind of money. Laying down fiber across a country is one of those. As is, by the way, the ability to drill for oil, where your freedom of choice and customer service have combined to give you the BP spill, amongst others.

Some monopolies are useful, some aren't. Has very little to do with government, as can be seen by any cross-sectional analysis across industries and other countries.

Comment: Re:Can't America get its acts together ? (Score 1) 1059 1059

I think you're missing the forest for the trees. Are people abusing the system? Absolutely. Where we differ is in understanding how big a problem this actually is, in $$ values if need be, compared with benefits of increasing social safety nets. There are two arguments here - a philosophical one, and an economic one. Philosophically you have a perfect right to your argument that abusers of the system need to be punished. However, pragmatically, perfectionism should not be the reason to not do things that make society incrementally better. You need to look at the rate of change of things (d/dx in other words) and not X itself. It feels like the Republicans argue on a philosophical basis (I'm assuming the best here), and Democrats argue in pragmatic terms. It's a never ending debate unless they're both at least on the same frickin page.

Comment: Re:Here it comes... (Score 1) 540 540

In contrast, some of the other religions (Judaism, Christendom, Hinduim, Buddhism) seem to have started out as attempts to understand the world and fill out holes of their knowledge... and then it grew from there.

Should be mentioned here that Buddha was fairly insistent on people thinking for themselves and not worshipping anyone, including him. Didn't quite work out that way though. As soon as he was gone, up came the laughing buddha statues and a whole lotta hymn-ing.

Comment: You are not special! (Score 1) 716 716

For most jobs, there are plenty of people who can capably perform it in the world. 99% of the world fall into this category. Looking at outliers such as Zuckerberg and Gates is idiotic. Even though individual hiring decisions often don't go to the person who might be best qualified, it often goes to the person who is qualified enough - which they judge through an arbitrary bar such as a college degree. Blunt as though this method might be, it still is quite efficient consideirng the computational complexity of the problem. Anecdotal example: I work at an ostensibly prestigious consulting firm, and the work I do is simple and generic enough that almost anyone could do it. The hiring policy however revolves around best talent from best schools. Is it needed? No. It probably works well as a marketing tool for the firm's services, but even so it's not a great system. Question to ask is if this was an optimisation problem, would it be better to create a system with massive overhead that matches people to jobs with 100% accuracy, or one with 95% accuracy and some wastage?

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