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Comment: Re:Good! (Score 3, Informative) 619

by roninmagus (#47275837) Attached to: 2 US Senators Propose 12-Cent Gas Tax Increase
I used to be like you. "Read my lips, no new taxes!" Taxes are bad, taxes are the devil, they get so much and waste so much already. Until I became treasurer on my homeowner's board. We are required by our master deed (which is approved and registered with the city, therefore is legally binding) to provide certain services. A new regulation from Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac states that we must take on a certain expense or they will not back loans issued in our neighborhood. If they do not back the loan, then 95% of mortgage companies will not issue it because they can't sell the liability. Therefore, no one in our neighborhood can sell their home unless the buyer pays 100% cash.

This expense represents a 35% increase in our budget. We cannot legally cut services. So we have to issue a "tax" (dues increase to the HOA) to cover the cost. The benefit to the community is that they will be able to sell their homes again--we've already seen a 20% loss in value.

So yes, taxes are sometimes necessary. In my case it's forced from the outside. In the government's case, it could be due to waste and inefficiency but I'm willing to bet that is a very small percentage (and a study I've read of welfare waste backs this up). It could also be due to increasing population, increased infrastructure regulatory requirements, dwindling resources, etc, etc, etc.

Comment: Re:Media fail (Score 1) 90

by roninmagus (#47009987) Attached to: Watch the FCC Vote On Net Neutrality Live At 10:30am Eastern
This is status quo as to what I've seen so far about this. People who don't know what they're talking about are actually describing both sides with the wrong terms. This happens to be a topic I know a lot about, and I see how they get it wrong; it scares me to think about their reporting of stuff that I don't know a lot about.

Comment: Re:How to sound deep (Score 2) 187

by roninmagus (#46997657) Attached to: Do Embedded Systems Need a Time To Die?
There's also what I refer to as the "lone voice in the wilderness" effect. Whereby, whatever the issue, if someone simply states that they have an "inexpressible doubt" in something then they will seem to be the smartest person in the room. This is used quite often in political debates. It's also quite effective for opening up "I told you so" options later, when they never really told anyone anything.

Comment: Self defeating comment (Score 1) 214

My favorite bit of this is the "rest of the world moves on to take the lead..." (emphasis mine). Who are they taking it from? Oh... I see.

BTW I feel perfectly fine posting this from an American perspective as the poster decided to deride Americans. I personally feel all nations are alike and we are all citizens of the world. But you awakened an inner nationalism.

Comment: Re:not really sales, just the first sale (Score 1) 490

by roninmagus (#46586141) Attached to: Are DVDs Inconvenient On Purpose?
After reading that whole blurb, I think this is the more plausible explanation. It isn't the movie companies limiting netflix, it's netflix limiting itself. They pay a certain price for those DVDs which become theirs to rent as they wish, but streaming (with no physical media to own) costs a license fee per stream.

Comment: Bitcoin (Score 5, Insightful) 263

by roninmagus (#46476033) Attached to: Mt. Gox Knew It Was Selling Phantom Bitcoin 2 Weeks Before Collapse
I'm all for what bitcoin is trying to achieve. But this is just a news story about an exchange which didn't know what it was doing, trading in a currency that hasn't been fully proven, operating in an unknown capacity from somewhere in Japan, and without any oversight at all. That's like millions of people asking my buddy Joe who lives in a trailer to hang onto their money for them. Oh no, bad decisions were made?

If it smells it's chemistry, if it crawls it's biology, if it doesn't work it's physics.

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