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Comment Re: Eh? (Score 2) 154

Great theory. But in practice what parent said is correct: uber drivers have about 100x better service than taxi drivers. By the way, many taxi drivers are independent contractors and pay the taxi company for use of the car and medallion. The difference is decades of monopoly has slowly turned normal human behavior where the customer might actually matter into a game of purely maxing profit per mile, considering the chance of picking up a fare for the taxi's return trip, as if they are uship drivers moving cargo.

Comment Re:That was before the tea party (Score 1) 494

> but it can be safely assumed that the those working extreme scenarios of improbably short work weeks are probably going to be similar between countries

Uh, that is a really silly assumption.

As for the rest of your reply, I was just a reader in the thread and I found your choice of metric perplexing.

Comment Re: Wow (Score 1) 320

you have no idea if it was the right call. all we know is that we risked taxpayer dollars. there is zero information about whether the outcome is better than the alternative history where these green energy loans/grants were never given. there are too many variables at play and it is nowhere near as simple as "did solar technology evolve faster than it would have otherwise?". this is why central planning ends up failing: it's the questions you aren't asking (e.g., did a genius in 2008 not receive seed money to develop her entirely new alternative energy idea because investments were flowing into the solar/wind/algae govt gravy train?).

Comment Re: Wow (Score 1) 320

you are correct, but you took the analogy in a direction that is not analogous to this situation. the analogy in this situation is that investing $100m in one company that has a 20% chance of failing is less risky than investing $500m in five companies that each have a 20% chance of failing. the chance of failure is the same (assuming independence, which is actually quite questionable here) but the risk is much higher.

Comment Re: Wow (Score 1) 320

Bud, you are just talking out of your ass. Diversification does not apply here. Investing in 5 shitty stocks that each have a 1 in 5 chance of bombing is exactly the same is putting the same total amount of money in a single stock that has a 1 in 5 chance of bombing. The point of diversification is to make sure you don't lose everything if you happen to hit that 1 in 5 chance.

This has no applicability to the scenario we are discussing. There is no total amount that we are attempting to invest. Grants/loans were determined on a per-application basis, and they could decide to award one company or a hundred companies, up to a maximum total appropriated amount. In the scenario we are discussing, you are arguing that there is less risk investing $500 million in 5 companies than there is investing $100 million in 1 company. That does not make any sense.

I thank you for wasting my time.

Comment Re: Wow (Score 1) 320

Do you understand risk? At all? If you play Russian roulette with 5 out of 6 chambers full, and if you love you get $100... And then it turns out you actually hit the empty chamber and end up making money, does that mean it was a good idea for you to play? Does the fact that it worked out change the correctness of the decision at all? And by I don't accept your premise that it worked out, but rather than fight that battle I have decided to explain that it doesn't matter if it worked out.

Comment Re:Surge Pricing - Why The Hate? (Score 1) 250

I can't speak to your experience, and I take you for your word. There aren't many cases where I can book a taxi an hour in advance, and I don't really consider that a very good service offering. Maybe the market will evolve where you get a discount if you plan that far in advance.

All I know is that before Uber, here in Austin, TX we would alter our behavior based on taxi issues. We knew, for example, that being out after 1:30am meant you weren't going to get home until 3:30am, because the demand for taxis as the bars close is enormous, and taxis would not take me where I live because it meant it was their last fare of the night. I literally would have taxis stop, ask where I'm going, and tell me forget it. Time and time again. So we simply would tell our friends goodbye around 1am and leave early to get a taxi. It was fine and we were used to it. It actually didn't bother us that much. But that's kind of how it is with market distortions; the world doesn't end and frankly you're not often even aware of how it could be better, but as soon as it is better, you don't want to go back.

We now arrive and leave whenever we want, unless we decide we don't want to pay the surge pricing. And that's pretty much the point: the surge pricing allows self-selection based on value of the transportation to the individual, rather than a lottery or, worse, a company-controlled decision.

Comment Re: buh, bye (Score 1) 494

saying the extreme of anything is bad is arbitrary thinking. the extreme right is just as likely to be "correct" as the dead center middle. and in the real world, most moderates are generally people who form their opinions based on social pressures rather than thought, resulting in an internally inconsistent ideology. the explosion of "no labels", "moderate", "center", "not a democrat nor republican", "independent", and even "libertarian" is the result of people attempting to disassociate themselves from damaged brands (republican and democrat, conservative and liberal). the brands are damaged each election cycle, and the move to no labels is purely to avoid association with them.

people are as different as they have always been. 100 years ago they were just as unlikely to fit into two political buckets. the difference now and the reason for the rapid rise in "independents" is simply brand related.

Comment Re:That was before the tea party (Score 1) 494

Your selected metric is seriously flawed. It treats all employment the same. Working 1 hour per week is the same as working 40 hours per week. That's pretty dumb. Why wouldn't you use hours worked / total potential labor hours? It's weird to me that you would identify the problem with fudging with "those not in the labor force", but then pick the metric you picked, which has pretty much the same problem (the metric you mock arbitrarily doesn't count 1 FTE that isn't working, and your metric arbitrarily doesn't count 0.75 FTE that isn't working).

Example from David Stockman:

At the present time, there are 210 million adult Americans between the ages of 16 and 68â"to take a plausible measure of the potential work force. That amounts to 420 billion potential labor hours, if we accept the convention that all adults are at least theoretically capable of holding a full-time job (2,000 hours/year) and pulling their share of societyâ(TM)s need for production and work effort.

By contrast, during 2014 only 240 billion hours were actually supplied to the US economy, according to the BLS estimates. Technically, therefore, there were 180 billion unemployed labor hours

Comment Re:That was before the tea party (Score 1) 494

as usual, you clowns are all oversimplifying. the debt was taken on voluntarily, mostly because membership in the euro drove greece's borrowing costs down below market for greece's risk profile. greece took advantage of the cheap money, and when borrowing costs increased, they were in serious trouble. they have now been teetering on the edge of a death spiral where they could end up unable to service their debt, thus spiking interest rates, thus making it even harder to service their debt, thus spiking interest rates, etc.

other euro countries have been bailing greece out in various forms, mostly to avoid setting the precedent that moving to the euro is reversible (because, if not bailed out, greece would need to exit the euro, issue its own currency, then devalue it in order to pay off its debt, at least nominally). tacked on to each bailout were demands of specific reform milestones for greece to fix is structurally problematic public sector and welfare/disability programs, as well as sell off assets (like islands, art, etc.) to raise funds. greece did none of this, and then just to top it off, its voters elected a part into power that ran on reneging on the bailout terms.

incidentally, since the "bailouts" are really the IMF giving money to greece so greece can make its payment to the IMF for the last bailout (for example), none of this helps out greece's citizens. they need to exit the euro and default, take the pain, and hopefully be smarter next time.

If I have not seen so far it is because I stood in giant's footsteps.