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Comment: Re:Why not? (Score 2, Interesting) 670

Los Angeles gets enough water to be self-sufficient. The problem is that Los Angeles spent their money building infrastructure based on getting too much water in the form of rain and they very efficiently send their fresh water directly into the Pacific. California has spent more money in the past few decades on flood control projects that send fresh water directly into the ocean rather than in new water treatment plants.

Comment: Fix the current problems (Score 4, Informative) 124

by tranquilidad (#49497721) Attached to: Drought and Desertification: How Robots Might Help

Perhaps, instead of robots, they should look at fixing their leaky pipes (Bay Area loses billions of gallons to leaky pipes) or sending, so efficiently, most of their rainwater back into the ocean (How to fix California's drought problem) before they spend billions building desalination plants (Drinking the Pacific).

Comment: Re:get rid of the H-1B job lock and set a higher m (Score 1) 294

by tranquilidad (#49489395) Attached to: IT Worker's Lawsuit Accuses Tata of Discrimination

Now we've gone from the low-information voter to the ignore-information voter.

This isn't a minimum wage study, it's an analysis of the minimum wage studies that were published. They list the studies they analyzed at the end of the paper.

The first 12 studies listed are federal and state.

Most of the studies appear to implicate state studies and there are some that are city-level studies.

The second-to-last listed was for Oregon and Washington. They studied want-ads for eating and drinking workers and hotel and lodging workers. They found that the change in want-ads were negative and significant for all restaurant jobs except cooks (an arguably skilled work set) and for hotel housekeepers. I'm guessing that looking at want-ads is similar to counting help wanted signs.

Comment: Re:get rid of the H-1B job lock and set a higher m (Score 2) 294

by tranquilidad (#49488545) Attached to: IT Worker's Lawsuit Accuses Tata of Discrimination

I suggest you give this paper (http://www.nber.org/papers/w12663.pdf) a read.

This was published by the National Bureau of Economic Research and it was an analysis of the studies on the employment effects of minimum wages.

From the abstract:

A sizable majority of the studies surveyed in this monograph give a relatively consistent (although not always statistically
significant) indication of negative employment effects of minimum wages. In addition, among the
papers we view as providing the most credible evidence, almost all point to negative employment
effects, both for the United States as well as for many other countries. Two other important conclusions
emerge from our review. First, we see very few - if any - studies that provide convincing evidence
of positive employment effects of minimum wages, especially from those studies that focus on the
broader groups (rather than a narrow industry) for which the competitive model predicts disemployment
effects. Second, the studies that focus on the least-skilled groups provide relatively overwhelming
evidence of stronger disemployment effects for these groups.

Comment: Re:How would you promote job growth (Score 1) 238

The fundamental question remains: why would a "larger" company be required to pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes?

This isn't asking why an entity with more income should pay more in taxes. Why should they have to pay a higher percentage?

There's a completely different argument on why there are corporate taxes at all given that corporations don't pay the taxes out of thin air, it's the consumers of the corporate products who pay those taxes in higher prices.

The original point I argued against was the concept that the rich benefit more from US taxes than the poor or middle class. I cited a study that shows the opposite. I still await the argument that counters the study.

Comment: Re:How would you promote job growth (Score 1) 238

Amazon contracts out their delivery services. But let's assume you mean UPS, USPS or even if Amazon were itself making the deliveries.

Don't those trucks pay registration fees, tolls and fuel taxes already? Aren't those taxes and fees designed to maintain the roads?

Are you suggesting that there's some other tax Amazon should be paying in addition to the fees they already pay?

This concept that corporations somehow benefit from the roads more than the consumers who purchase their products and individual drivers who utilize those roads is incomprehensible to me. Everyone who uses the roads benefits. Those roads are supposed to be paid for by the various fees (fuel taxes, tolls, excise taxes, licensing taxes, etc.) extracted.

Further, your argument that a road in Iowa is not very beneficial to a person in Florida has no meaning outside an interstate highway. The non-interstate highways in Iowa are paid for by Iowans and those non-Iowans who drive through Iowa, likewise for Florida.

You should also look at the study and what they considered a benefit - they looked well beyond income and looked at all government services.

Comment: Re:How would you promote job growth (Score 1) 238

Here's a pretty comprehensive study from 2008 that shows the benefits and services received per one dollar in taxes paid (http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2008/11/how-wealth-is-spread-distribution-of-government-benefits-services-taxes-by-income-quintile-in-us).

It shows the first quintile in income receiving $6.82 in benefits and services received per one dollar in taxes paid and $0.31 for those in the top quintile.

The conclusion of the study states, "Economic redistribution can occur as a result of the direct transfer of benefits as well as the provision of services funded by other taxpayers. The present analysis suggests that one trillion dollars in resources is transferred from the two highest income household quintiles to the rest of the population. Roughly speaking, this sum would represent about 15 percent of income the higher income households. Further, public good expenditures 9such as national defense and scientific research) and interest payments on the debt are financed solely by the two highest income quintiles."

It would be hard to argue that the poor do not gain more value from the US taxes than the rich given this study.

Comment: Re:What a wonderful unit! (Score 1) 332

by tranquilidad (#49457767) Attached to: California Looks To the Sea For a Drink of Water

According to this site (http://www.home-water-works.org/indoor-use/showers), you use less water per day than the average American uses while taking a shower.

The site claims that the average American shower uses 65.1 liters, lasts for 8.2 minutes with an average flow rate of 7.9 liters per minute. There is currently a standards mandate that shower heads manufactured in the U.S. have a maximum flow rate of 9.5 liters per minute, but there are some shower heads available with a flow rate as low as 2.8 liters per minute.

Comment: Re:My two cents... (Score 1) 183

by tranquilidad (#49102845) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Can Technology Improve the Judicial System?

Here's the proposed law as voted on by California voters in 1994. You can go to page 64 to read it yourself.

From the law, "...if a defendant has been convicted of a felony and it has been pled and proved that the defendant has one or more prior felony convictions, as defined in subdivision(b), the court shall adhere to each of the following:..."

To be pled and proved means the district attorney has to present evidence to the jury that the defendant has committed the prior felonies that would impose the harsher sentences and the jury would have to agree; the jury would have to convict the defendant of violation of the three strikes law.

My "opinion" is based on the text of the law and having first-hand knowledge of the jury instructions that go with a three-strikes trial.

If those references aren't good enough for you then you can look at the following link to California Penal Code 1025(b) which reads:

...the question of whether or not the defendant has suffered the prior conviction shall be tried by the jury that tries the issue upon the plea of not guilty...

I'll take the actual text of the law over your vaunted article in Rolling Stone. Didn't you notice a slightly biased position in the article you read?

Comment: Re:My two cents... (Score 1) 183

by tranquilidad (#49101337) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Can Technology Improve the Judicial System?

Bullshit - he was sentenced to life for being a 3 strike criminal under the California penal code.

Regardless of whether you like the general concept or not, no one was sentenced to life for a "minor" crime. The juries in all these cases had to decide additional questions beyond the initial crime for which he was arrested and charged.

After voting for a conviction for the crime that caused an arrest the jury then had to come to another independent and unanimous decision on a second conviction for the crime of being a habitual criminal subject to life in prison.

It was the jury's choice, given the information they were provided, to convict this person as a habitual criminal and that was what resulted in a 25-to-life sentence. The jury could have just as easily decided to acquit on that second charge.

Comment: Re:Soudns half sensible.. (Score 1) 577

If you consider 12% to be major then, yes, a major source of Mexican cartel's weapons come from the U.S.

"...out of approximately 30,000 weapons seized in drug cases in Mexico in 2004-2008. 7,200 appeared to be of U.S. origin, approximately 4,000 were found in ATF manufacturer and importer records, and 87 percent of those - 3,480 - originated in the United States." 3,480 of 30,000 is 11.6%.


Of course, another major source of guns used in Mexican crimes came directly from the ATF. The Mexican government states that as of September 2011, ATF supplied guns have been found at about 170 crime scenes.


Comment: Re:The sad part? (Score 1) 577

How is an unimplemented suggestion confirmation of anything? .

The fact that someone in the government would think it's OK to even suggest such an outlandish infringement of individual liberty is pretty scary.

Yes, it would be scarier if they had actually carried out the suggestion but it's disconcerting enough that people who suggest operations such as these are employed in positions where they can wield authority.

Comment: Re:Short sighted (Score 4, Informative) 230

by tranquilidad (#48595461) Attached to: Forbes Blasts Latests Windows 7 Patch as Malware

Though I agree with your sentiment there was an additional patch in the group (KB2553154) that was a security update that conveniently broke ActiveX controls and macros in Excel 2013. It wasn't just one incredibly bad patch.

I pity the poor vendors and their even poorer customers whose spreadsheets suddenly stopped working on December 10th.

We don't really understand it, so we'll give it to the programmers.