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Comment: Re:Here's a better idea (Score 1) 639

by toadlife (#49512855) Attached to: William Shatner Proposes $30 Billion Water Pipeline To California

Our agricultural economy makes up barely 2% of the state's GDP. It's only a problem for the plantation owners and their quasi slave labor in the middle of the state. Unfortunately, those plantation owners give a shitload of money to state politicians in order to make sure production trumps sustainability.

Comment: Re:Well done! (Score 5, Informative) 523

by toadlife (#49512641) Attached to: George Lucas Building Low-Income Housing Next Door To Millionaires

In CA, the disparity in property taxes is not why some public schools have more money than other public schools. While there are some problems with how it is implemented, in CA, school funding is mandated to be equal, regardless of the local property tax revenues.

The inequity comes in when you factor in private fundraising.

Comment: Re:Also what kind of idiot buys at retail price? (Score 1) 325

by toadlife (#49494931) Attached to: LA Schools Seeking Refund Over Botched iPad Plan

I don't think Apple plays that game. The discounts they give for volume purchases are close to zero.

The community college district I work for did a big ipad rollout with zero input from IT. The bulk discount we got on ipads was trivial; something like $10 per unit.

Our district is small compared to LAUSD and the kind of rollout was a little different, but the story sounds eerily similar.

Apple wines and dines administrators on their campus, promises them the world in order to get them to buy into the Apple ecosystem, which makes Microsoft's lock-in strategy from the late 1990s look tame by comparison.

Comment: Re:But not to Nestle. (Score 1) 332

by toadlife (#49459489) Attached to: California Looks To the Sea For a Drink of Water

Thank you.

I live down in Kings County, which affectionately call "Mississippi, CA."

Recently, the state passed the first groundwater regulation in CA's history, only to fuck it up by placing the job of regulation in the hands of local municipalities.

The problem with that?

Farmers hold the vast majority of political offices here.

Comment: Re:But not to Nestle. (Score 5, Interesting) 332

by toadlife (#49459415) Attached to: California Looks To the Sea For a Drink of Water

You're not counting groundwater. Nut crops are so profitable that farmers can afford to drill million dollar wells to make up for their lack of surface water allocations and still make money.

California's groundwater is completely unregulated and at this moment, and our aquifers, which take thousands of years to build up, are being irreparably damaged.

Comment: Re:And the almond trees die. (Score 1) 417

by toadlife (#49315025) Attached to: How 'Virtual Water' Can Help Ease California's Drought

1) Absolutely correct. There is nothing wrong with greywater. It's used where I live. But it's not nearly enough.

2) Too much. People here is the valley always bring up desalination as some magic bullet, not understanding how expensive desalinated water actually is.

Desalinated water costs about $1000 per acre foot (325,000 gallons) at the source. I don't know what the price would climb to given the energy required to move the volume of water farmers use, but I'm pretty sure it would be substantial.

Meanwhile, farmers are used to buying surface water sourced from the aqueducts and reservoirs at $150.00 per acre-foot.

There could be a hypothetical scenario where farmers would shell out the enormous price for desalinated water, but as soon as the rains returned and the inland surface water resources became available again, the desalination plants would have to be shuttered due to lack of demand.

Comment: Re:And the almond trees die. (Score 2) 417

by toadlife (#49314949) Attached to: How 'Virtual Water' Can Help Ease California's Drought

Not sure where you're from, but I grew up in and live in the Central valley, and I'm not exactly a big fan of the Ag industry.

The water problem is mostly a nut (Almost, Pistachios, Walnuts) problem, which are cash crops. If the price of nuts spike, nobody is going to go hungry and nobody's grocery bill is going to skyrocket. Farmers are already fallowing almost all row crops due to the higher price of pumping water over surface water and the lower profit margins. Row crops are what people actually eat, yet prices are not spiking out of control. This is because, contrary to what people here in the valley actually think, the world and nation does not depend on California to eat. Our food markets are world markets. For a few months out of the year here, things like lettuce and tomatoes are very cheap, because they are in season. For the rest of the year, the prices are higher, but not unaffordable. We're talking $0.99/lb vs $1.99/lb for tomatoes two months out of the year.

There already are many large portions congressional districts with 50% unemployment. Normal unemployment for these districts is 25%, so this is only a recession for these areas. Most of the unemployed are exploited undocumented immigrants who are intentionally hired by crooked labor contractors who know exactly who they are hiring but pretend not to.

Ag makes up, at best, 2% of California's GDP, yet this relatively small industry spends big time money of politicians. As a result, Ag is severely under regulated and in my opinion, their volume/profit driven business models are doing more harm than good to our state.

Comment: Re:Double Irish (Score 1) 825

by toadlife (#48962883) Attached to: Obama Proposes One-Time Tax On $2 Trillion US Companies Hold Overseas

What do you think those companies will do if you increase their taxes? Roll over and just fork it over even if it puts them in the red?

I'll say this in the nicest way possible.

You're a fucking idiot.

Corporate taxes cannot, by definition, put a business "in the red" as they are levied only on net profits after expenses. Personal taxes on the other hand are on all revenue minus whatever small deductions (usual only the standard deduction) are available. Until we tax corporations on their gross revenue, or only tax individuals on money left over after expenses, comparing them directly is disingenuous.

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