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Comment Re: Getting a car repair (Score 1) 251

You sound like you've never heard of the independent mechanic that as far as I can tell

You sound even worse. An independent has to specialize in a topic, like transmissions. Would you trust him to work on the cars computer system? A dealership say Ford, has to be able to work on all aspects of fords, same with gm, chyrsler and Toyota. And stand behind their repair.

You absolutely proved him correct when you claim an independent has to specialize in a topic as narrow as transmissions. Most independent mechanics I have used have been able to work on a wide range of automobiles. There has been some very specialized work, such as with more rare hybrids like the 05-07 accord hybrid, where I have had to use a dealer in the past. But I have only had one car repair in 20 years that needed a dealer. And if dealers did not exist, the market would compensate for those rare cases in their absence.

It is funny you stand up for dealers because of their repair services, when generally that is the department people like the least at dealerships. I thought it was general knowledge to never go to a dealership for service unless your car was under warranty. They are overpriced and refuse to use after market parts.

Comment Re:That doesn't work (Score 4, Interesting) 359

Tax rates can be negative if the money comes somewhere else.

And there you have your answer. Tax something that cannot leave the country, like land. Tax the income of employees and management who physically live in your country. Tax sales of products that occur in your country. There are plenty of things to tax which make far more sense than corporate taxes.

Comment Re:Look at the bean counters for your answer (Score 3, Insightful) 166

After spending time as both a full time employee (FTE) and consultant, I find the dynamic can quite often be the opposite of what you describe.

To an employee, you are a paycheck / insurance / vacation-time /etc. If they do a great job they will get the same paycheck as if they do a mediocre job. Maybe they will get an extra 1% raise. As long as they don't royally fuck up, they will not get fired. As Peter Gibbons put it, an employee relationship will "only make someone work just hard enough not to get fired."

To a contractor, you are a gold mine. They can make enough in 4-5 months to match what an FTE gets in a year, even counting benefits. And their ability to get more of these gigs in the future is mostly dependent on making each client happy. If they do a great job, instead of a 1% raise they get another 1000 billable hours at $225 each. This is quite the motivation to do a great job.

Both your scenario and my scenario happen. Finding a great employee and a great consultant are both rare and incredibly valuable.

Comment Re:I sent my comment (Score 2) 55

When a judge rules against you though you just ignore it and carry on business as usually.

What are you talking about? From what I read in the links, the judge ruled that the government did not properly provide a public notice and comment period before enacting the extension. The judge gave the government six months to apply the extension again, but with a public notice and comment period. The government has now done that, the comments were overwhelmingly in favor of the extension, and now the extension will be applied again.

No one is bypassing any rules. A mistake in process was made, and it has now been fixed. This is our judicial system and lawmaking system working well together to enact important changes.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 107

Shmoozing with other execs, both within their company and outside it, is a very large part of the job description.

Yes. From a sane viewpoint this is called cronyism, but in the current business environment this is called "networking".

I remember the moment in my 30's when I matured from someone who thought he was above politics to someone who realized no one is. I had been in the corporate world long enough to know that being capable of creating the best technical solution to a problem is not nearly as important as being able to persuade a company to enact those solutions. Not even close to as important.

Since then I have made sure that my career growth is as much on the business side as it is on the technical side of my industry. If I really felt my goal was to provide the most positive impact on companies I worked for, I needed to stop stubbornly thinking that being technically competent was my primary skill set. It is perfectly fine for an employee to decide they just don't want to venture from the technical aspect of their career, but that is a conscious decision to not be a significant decision maker.

Technically competent people do not enact change (or at least very rarely do). Those with the business acumen to shape policy within their organization enact change. Those people may or may not also be technically competent, but that is of secondary importance.

Comment Re:Everyone has to learn about it. (Score 1) 191

It's irresponsible to continue to do this. With stored procedures, ORMs (there are some good ones out there, I use Linq a lot), and parameterized queries available in all the major languages I can't help but wonder if people are just incompetent.

While I agree there is no excuse to allow SQL injection attacks, some frameworks have some really horrendous parameterized query syntax. I recently had to use the node-postgres client for the first time a few weeks ago, and I was running into some tough situations that took far too long to figure out. There were times I was tempted to not use parameterized queries, but ultimately I knew the dangers of doing it the easy way.

As long as the easy way to do things is not the same thing as the right way, these vulnerabilities will continue. Its still primarily the fault of every programmer who writes the bad SQL client code, but some blame is also shared by framework writers who either make parameterized syntax too obscure and/or don't document it well enough. And that includes documenting the edge cases, not just one or two basic use cases.

Comment Re: Why is this news? (Score 1) 162

And what percentage of the workforce is employed by that 15% of employers? For example, the US Gov't would count as ONE employer, yet they employ some 4 million workers...

I couldn't find the stats for fathers, but overall only 11% of workers are covered by paid family leave policies (source). Since paid maternity leave is more common than paid paternity leave, the numbers for fathers would be less than 11%.

[...] why must your employer provide healthcare, paternity leave, and retirement planning? Are US Citizens incapable of taking care of their own needs?

With income inequality growing at an alarming rate, yes most citizens are incapable of taking care of their own needs. That is why safety net programs exist. Highly skilled and paid workers like myself, and probably yourself given your lack of sympathy, have careers where we are able to either demand better benefits or simply provide them for ourselves. That is not the world the vast majority of people in any country live in.

If you can't afford to put some money aside during your pregnancy, how are you going to be able to provide for the added expenses when the child is born?

You could add whatever spin you want to on this topic. How about, if you have to dip into your savings to cover for lost wages in the immediate months after birth, how are you going to be able to provide for the added expenses in the first few years of the child's life?

If we lived in a world where CEOs made 10x what their janitors make, there wouldn't be much need for safety net programs. We don't live in that world.

Comment Re:Why is this news? (Score 4, Informative) 162

Why is this news? Don't most parents take (m|p)aternity leave when they have newborns?

I guess this is why this really is news that matters. Because paternity leave is a very rare thing in the US. You may live in Europe where this being news sounds like nonsense, which more Americans need to realize. Less than 15% of US employers offer paternity leave, and that is almost entirely exclusive to white collar professions. Paternity leave tends to be about two weeks here, as opposed to months in more progressive European countries.

Comment Re:Though spoiled is a likely side effect... (Score 1) 162

In related research, children born to billionaire parents are statistically likely to experience better outcomes

Um, not necessarily. That's why Bill Gates and Warren Buffett talk about giving away all their money to charity before they die.

I think you are grossly overestimating the average outcome of a child born into a family below the poverty line.

Comment Re:It's actually cheaper (Score 1) 242

The question is, if you have 14 days, fixed, each time you feel bad (mentally or physically), you have to think: Will I feel worse again this year?

The only time people worry about taking PTO days for fear of not having them in the future is when they aren't given enough PTO days. For instance, if these 14 days are vacation and sick and personal days combined, I can understand why people are stressed about using them. That is not a sufficient amount of total days off per year for an employee to comfortably stay home when sick, take a few days off per year when stressed out, and take a decent amount of vacation days.

When Kickstarter got rid of its unlimited PTO day policy in 2015 it was because their employees started taking less days off. Not because the company was losing money. They instead instituted an across the board 25 days of total days off. This to me is a very reasonable amount of days, and no one with that amount of total PTO is going to worry about if their current illness is too bad to stay home. And if they really do get some incredibly serious health problem, like cancer, they would likely work something out with their employer.

"Fuck, I'm throwing up all over the place and I'm out of sick days! What do I do!?"

No, you go into the negative. I have yet to work at a place that didn't allow people to go at least negative 40 hours of PTO / sick time. No one is forced to come into work sick. Worse case scenario is they lose some actual vacation time if they are seriously chronically sick.

An open policy leads to healthier decisions and a lack of regret.

No, it leads to an office where workers take less time off because they feel guilty. This isn't conjecture, this is what really happens. And that is a very bad thing.

Comment Re:It's actually cheaper (Score 5, Insightful) 242

The old policy, which, IIRC, was a fixed 14 days, had employees keeping track of them and just using them for no reason at all, thus increasing absence for no benefit.

There is the problem in a nutshell. People thinking that taking a day off for no reason at all provides no benefit. There is plenty of benefit from taking a mental health day and simply playing with your kids or doing whatever hobby you enjoy.

Comment Re:32 percent is a low? (Score 1) 393

It's 25% more, whereas it would have been hoped that it would be 25% less as things evolve.

Some may hope that but it would be fairly silly to expect the value of a degree to go up when more people are getting them. I would think it is obvious that the value of anything goes down the more common it becomes.

2 out of 5 graduates not being able to find jobs that their education was supposed to prepare them for is a huge waste of human potential.

Its only a waste compared to a fictional world where 100% of them find jobs that use their potential to its fullest. When compared to the more likely alternative, where they don't get a degree and simply have less total potential, it doesn't seem like a waste. I know I have been able to do a far above average job at the positions where I was overqualified for in the past. College may not be as good a deal as it was a couple decades ago, but it is still far better than the alternative for the vast majority of those who obtain them.

Comment Re:Another example (Score 1) 728

Have you forgotten we were forced out of Iraq because their 'government' would not sign an agreement that gave American troops immunity from prosecution. and our War department would not stay without that agreement?

No, but the realities of diplomatic negotiations are not limited to the soundbites that eventually make it into the news. If the US wanted to stay in Iraq, we would have stayed. If we wanted to redeploy troops the moment ISIS started taking cities, we would have.

Comment Re:Another example (Score 4, Insightful) 728

It's tempting to try to see history in these discrete 4 or 8 year chunks, but what's going on in the Middle East has been cooking for a long time.

Yes the Middle East is a quagmire and it has been for decades. But you can still identify specific executive decisions as being the cause of specific problems. The decision to invade Iraq had specific consequences. The political climate created over the past few decades impacted those consequences, but nevertheless it was the invasion that created a destabilization that did not exist before the invasion. It can be argued that the region is better or worse because of this, but the invasion did have its own specific consequences.

Just like pulling US forces out of Iraq had its own consequences. From what I can tell, the recent growth of ISIS was directly caused by pulling those troops out of Iraq. It is irresponsible to place any of the blame on the political climate created over the past few decades, because it takes blame away from the single decision that caused the problem. It would be no different than taking blame away from the Bush administration because its wars were made more difficult because of the political climate at that time.

If you try to blame past administrations for specific problems that have occurred in the past 6 years (like ISIS), you ignore all lessons that can be learned from the actions of the current administration. It doesn't really matter what happened over 10 years ago if actions could have been taken more recently to prevent the rise of ISIS. If you don't recognize that removing a policing force from a destabilized region was the primary cause of the problem, you lose the ability to learn from those decisions to prevent it from happening again. Talking about bad decisions made 10-30 years ago is mostly irrelevant.

Comment Re:Reality acceptance issues... (Score 5, Insightful) 728

It's pretty obvious the world would be far better off without religion.

The greatest tragedies of the 20th century were not committed in the name of religion.
Maybe you should learn history before spounting such nonsense about religion.

What does that have to do with his point? If I said "I would be better off if I don't drink sulfiric acid", would your response be "but that isn't even a major cause of death in the US"? Because that is exactly the type of irrelevant argument you just made above.

Someone can claim something is bad even if it isn't the only or even worst thing in the world.

You can make claims that religion does more good than harm, but referencing other evils of the world is very irrelevant.

"Let's show this prehistoric bitch how we do things downtown!" -- The Ghostbusters