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Comment Re:I don't actually have a problem with this.... (Score 1) 214

I wonder if it might start with false associations. Idiot boss calls during a funeral demanding numbers for the TPS report, feel a bit nauseous Idiot school principal calls complaining that 6 year old is acting like a child, feel a bit nauseous. Subconscious decides the cell phone is the problem.

Comment Re:When The Lunatics Take Over The Asylum (Score 4, Informative) 214

Do you remember a few years ago when stomach ulcers were "known" to be caused by excessive anxiety?

"Non-24" is stupid marketing around a problem that is entirely non-controversial. You'd have to be a complete moron to not suspect that blind people might not synchronize well to a light cue. By far, the more remarkable observation is that some totally blind people do synchronize to light cues.

SAD is non-controversial. The disorder is documented as is the treatment. The treatment isn't a drug, BTW, it's a bright light. Alternatively, you can make an effort to get more sunlight in the day (unless you're above the arctic circle, of course).

RLS and PBA are also non-controversial.

ADD is real but most of the kids diagnosed don't actually have it.

You've been confused by the disease mongering over-simplified commercials. They are real conditions that people actually have. The quick fix they offer may or may not be helpful and may or may not kill you with side effects.

Comment Re: 4/5 in favor (Score 1) 750

This isn't SNAP, it's the basic income. Food, clothes, rent, fuel, school supplies, etc etc. It's pretty much every store.

Grocery stores handle it now by only selling SNAP eligible goods when the SNAP EBT is used. If you want anything else, it is rung up in a second transaction and you use a separate card. But your suggestion means they have to somehow signal to the system that I bought $28 in eligible food items, $15 in eligible school supplies, and $5 in ineligible items. But because there was only $27 worth of food items left on the card, it has to notify me that the actual total out of my other account will be $6. The back end would have to know what category each item is and charge it against a separate but linked account appropriate to that category, but as one complex transaction, so it will have to add a whole separate stage where it kicks back when one of the accounts is short and the general account is to be charged the difference.

And it's not just up to the merchants. The networks and clearing houses they connect to would all have to change as well, every single one of them. The changes would go all the way down to COBOL on dusty old decks written in the '70s. They're all designed on the principle that money is money and the charge is the charge.

I'm pushing because you're trying so hard to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory (hypothetically speaking).. And actually, you're the one pushing back, I'm fully on board with the basic income, you''re the one who isn't willing to go that far and wants to turn it into welfare 2.0 even if it costs an extra trillion. And if you don't think the tea party would use all those costs and all the hassles and all the confusion from perfectly responsible people confused and frustrated with all the extra complexity added to a simple transaction and use it as a bludgeon to get it dismantled, you are truly naive. (It would be hard enough to get anything like this done in the U.S. anyway).

I am willing to believe that the vast majority of adults in this country will spend the money in a reasonably responsible manner out of simple self preservation and love for their children. It would be an insult to those millions to treat them like children and it will do nothing to advance the goals of the program. I'm not sure why you expect otherwise.

Comment Re: 4/5 in favor (Score 1) 750

You do realize you've just mandated that every store that sells anything the EBT card might buy will have to re-write their POS software, right? Not to mention the entire back end of several transaction systems. And zeroed out any sort of transaction privacy. Normally, charges are not itemized when a charge is being authorized. There's not even a mechanism for it. All there is is an amount, account number being charged, timestamp, account to be credited and a BRIEF description of the transaction that appears ion the itemized bill.

Then there's the question of presenting totals and balances. It's pretty easy when there's just one total to present for the customer to approve. It gets complicated when you have multiple totals in multiple categories AND those totals are affected by the current balances on the card. I'm guessing those little 2 or 3 line displays at the POS will no longer be adequate to the task.

It gets complicated fast when you want to micro-manage the financial lives of 300 million people. It also gets expensive.

Comment Re:There are good reasons for gvt bureaucracy, rem (Score 1) 273

What does 1907 have to do with the flush toilet, the telegraph, airlines, and the railroad network?

The government was all over regulating all of those but the flush toilet. You don't think the railroads and Western Union negotiated right of way with each individual land owner, do you? A special government agency was formed specifically to deal with aviation. Does that really sound like laissez-fair to you?

Of course, the flush toilet pre-dated the U.S. by a fair amount anyway, so I'm not sure what that had to do with anything.

Comment Re: 4/5 in favor (Score 1) 750

Here you go making things up again. I never said it was punitive in any way.

You proposed to use it as a stick to drive people to get a job. That would be what if not punitive? This as opposed to my proposal of something good that you get if you go to work, that is, more money to spend.

That's nice in theory. In reality, not all people will spend their entitlement on the things that society is funding. According to you, these people have mental health issues that "must be addressed", so you need to add the overhead of measuring how everyone uses their allotment and policing those who do not use it as designed. That's quite a bit more overhead than my plan would have.

Nope, none of that. They got an adequate amount of money, job done. What they do or do not do with it is now their problem.

At that point, they can either recognize that they have a problem and request appropriate mental health care (or even just financial counseling), or they can learn from their error and do better next month. If they end up on the streets, we would know they have the means not to be there (because every citizen would have those means) so it must be something else. If their kids are deprived, inability to do better would no longer be an excuse because we would know they have the ability to provide at least adequately.

It may even be that the person has some sort of long-term disability that requires a form of guardianship to make sure their money is properly allocated (and for that matter that the allocated money is actually spent). The difference is that I prefer to treat people as mentally competent until they prove otherwise.

Comment Re:The cars can detect gestures. (Score 1) 234

Sure, cops all too often forget their place and assume they have some sort of supreme power even when their own department says otherwise. I'm guessing that might be counter-balanced by automated cars having a variety of cameras and other sensors that might be recording the scene.

Comment Re: 4/5 in favor (Score 1) 750

I was more leaning toward providing them with an additional unrestricted cash fund, simply because the incentive to work created by keeping entitlements on the low side and restricted would not make a difference for those people.

In some places you claim the restrictions are simply meant to make sure others spend the money as society believes they should, but here you suggest that the restrictions are supposed to have a punitive element to them to spur a desired behavior. Which is it, punitive or not?

In my system, the stimulus for going to work is an employer offering a fair market payment for work and the natural human desire to better our own situation. Overhead and potential for political manipulation are kept low by keeping the rules extremely simple. Every citizen gets a card and every card gets the allotted monthly credit, adequate for a decent if minimalist life. Done.

In a real sense, it brings back a balance of power that hasn't existed since the commons were enclosed.

"The fundamental principle of science, the definition almost, is this: the sole test of the validity of any idea is experiment." -- Richard P. Feynman