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Comment: Re:Not Surprising (Score 0) 724

by ScentCone (#49767307) Attached to: Greece Is Running Out of Money, Cannot Make June IMF Repayment
Yeah. Except, it's the EU countries that went the austerity route that are now in the best shape, financially. And their people see that, and vote to reinforce the politicians that made that wise choice. Government largess can't make the economy grow when the government is too corrupt, and the people too indifferent (or too used to getting away with) to pay the taxes that will let the government throw around huge sums of money. "Stimulus" spending with borrowed money is right up there with sacrificing chickens or doing a magical dance when it comes to fixing what's actually wrong with places like Greece. The problem is cultural, and has been that way for decades. The Nanny State mentality is bad enough, but trying to keep it going when at the same time the entire nation plays games with tax collection so they can all lie to themselves about it is a recipe for ... contemporary Greece.

Comment: Re:Oversimplification ... (Score 1) 241

by ScentCone (#49764461) Attached to: Amazon Decides To Start Paying Tax In the UK

Does the average worker have a retirement investment account?

I suppose that depends on how you define "average." In the US, over 52 million people participate in 401k plans. That's in addition to those who have other retirement vehicles (like IRAs, etc). Almost all of those funds are tied up at least in part in mutual funds. Probably most people who aren't working aren't contributing to such a plan, though many who are out of work still have money sitting in them. Alas, we have over 90 million people who aren't participating in the labor force - the highest number since the 1970's. In more recent times, when more people had jobs, there was a much more common interest in how one's mutual funds were performing, because more people were actively slicing off a piece of each paycheck to invest therein. That tended to make more people aware of, and interested in how it all works.

Comment: Re:Fear of Driving (Score 2) 176

by ScentCone (#49764435) Attached to: <em>A Beautiful Mind</em> Mathematician John F. Nash Jr. Dies

It amazes me how nutty people get over "terrorists" when the roads are like a civilized version of Mad Max. People constantly die every day. Tens of thousands of lives unnecessarily lost every year just to automobile accidents. I feel like I'm the only rational person when I experience a certain apprehension every time I get behind a wheel, knowing that while racing through space in a multi ton coffin, even a small mistake could send me careening to my death.

The difference is that while you are indeed taking a small risk every time you get on the road, you have the luke-warm comfort of knowing that just like, you the vast majority of other people on the road don't want to die themselves, or see you die. Doesn't mean they're all as careful as they should be, and some are indeed belligerent and dangerous on the road, though they are the minuscule exceptions. Most accidents are the result of inattentiveness in one form or another, or poor judgment.

People, on the other hand, who do things like blow up train loads of passengers in London or Madrid, or who try to blow up an aircraft on final approach over Detroit, or who park a car bomb in Time Square ... they're trying to kill you. It feels different because it is different. We all internalize certain risks, but bristle - very reasonably - when we learn of someone who, out of malice, wants to kill you and everyone else nearby. A dead kid is awful. But there's something substantially different between a kid on a sidewalk getting killed by an out of control car, and a kid like the one in Boston, who had his guts blown out by someone who stood there, looked right at him, and decided to set his IED down on the sidewalk right next to him.

Comment: Re:Wouldn't the new cells have the same diseases? (Score 1) 39

by ScentCone (#49763059) Attached to: Nerve Cells Made From Blood Cells

which perhaps others would do if grants were fairly distributed

Translation: everybody who wants grant money should get it. There should be an infinite supply of other people's money so that everyone engaged in their own pet field of research should be able to do whatever they want, indefinitely, without worrying about demonstrating to anyone else that what they're working on is more interesting, more useful, or even sane, compared to the next guy's project. That would be truly fair. The guy looking to synthesize unicorn DNA from horses and narwhals should definitely get some funds diverted his way from that jerk across the hall in the other lab who's working on that stupid HIV vaccine. Because otherwise it's NOT FAIR.

Comment: Re:America needs to change as well (Score 1) 241

by ScentCone (#49762765) Attached to: Amazon Decides To Start Paying Tax In the UK

And it is LONG past time for America to tax delivered items.

You mean, increase the taxes on delivered items, right? Because most states already have sales and use taxes, some of them quite high. We'll ignore for the moment those states that have decided they'd rather cover their overhead through things like property taxes or other income taxes, forgoing sales taxes.

If you order a new computer display from an out-of-state vendor, your state's taxes are still owed. Think that just because a business located in some other tax jurisdiction isn't working on behalf of your state to collect and remit your state's taxes on your purchase that somehow you're off the hook? Just wait until you're audited by your state, and you'll find yourself paying those taxes and substantial penalties.

It's not "long past time" for a change, because the situation you want is already in place. If you have a complaint, it should be about your fellow local state citizens who are cheating on their sales and use tax obligations. That's between them and their state government, not between your state government and a business that's located and chartered (and paying taxes) in another state entirely.

Comment: Re:Oversimplification ... (Score 1) 241

by ScentCone (#49762735) Attached to: Amazon Decides To Start Paying Tax In the UK

This is simply because an increase in profits will certainly not result in an increase in wealth for individuals that make up the "labour" part of society

Which is exactly why your average worker with a retirement plan investing in mutual funds and other investments might want to wake up and realize that they, too, own parts of large profit-making companies - and they, too, will have the return on those investments impacted by the taxes the invested-in companies bear.

Comment: Re:To be more precise, Amazon will collect on taxe (Score 1) 241

by ScentCone (#49762727) Attached to: Amazon Decides To Start Paying Tax In the UK

If a business could deal with a 10% increase in tax by raising prices to make higher profits than why are those prices not already being charged and those higher profits already being made?

Because they have competition, which puts pressure on them to keep prices low enough to attract, rather than repel customers. How is this not obvious to you? Everyone should run a retail business for a year or two so they can learn some basic facts, thus making them a far more constructive person for the rest of their lives.

A change in the tax law impacts every business that operates under that law. The way a business structures its pricing has to take into account cost pressures that impact the entire market of retailers (their competition) so they can make judgments about what will leave them in a competitive position on prices. Business owners wrestle with that topic every single day, and are acutely aware of what factors put pressure on them (and only them) and on their entire market segment. Overhead they take onto themselves, for their own convenience (say, operating in a slightly more expensive part of town) is something they may decide not to reflect in their pricing, knowing that the better location will increase volume. Overhead costs (like a bump in taxes) that impacts everyone in their market will result in higher prices across the board. This isn't just a theoretical, you can watch it happen every day.

Comment: Re:just what we all love (Score 2) 241

by ScentCone (#49762685) Attached to: Amazon Decides To Start Paying Tax In the UK

SAVINGS, on the other hand, are seldom passed on to the consumer.

What are you talking about? We've never been in a more competitive environment. You have at your fingertips more information about price and availability and the quality of various retailers' services than ever before in human history. Retailers who don't react to that bright light of consumer comparison shopping lose sales to those that do. It's exactly because Amazon (and Costco, and everyone else) use their well-oiled operations and buying power to keep prices down that brings in long-term, repeat customers. Modern retail shoppers are notoriously well-informed and fickle - retailers who aren't competitive are serving a quickly vanishing audience.

so they are going to stop cheating the UK out of taxes owed

Cheating? Are you saying they were actually operating outside of the tax law?

You know they weren't. The law has now changed, and they're changing their operations and accounting to reflect that change. Their competition has to do the same thing.

Comment: Re:just what we all love (Score 1) 241

by ScentCone (#49762669) Attached to: Amazon Decides To Start Paying Tax In the UK

bribes changed hands before the immoral laws were passed

Please provide specific examples of this illegal activity. Don't you think that prosecutors would like to have your evidence?

Or are you referring to documented campaign donations, just like millions of people and organizations make to support those with whom they align themselves? If you like a candidate or cause that says they're going to do [X] to Teh Eeeeevil Businesses, do you consider providing that candidate with your support as they try to get elected to office ... a bribe? No? I see.

Comment: Re:If the rich carried their fair share... (Score 1) 182

by ScentCone (#49761115) Attached to: DNA On Pizza Crust Leads To Quadruple Murder Suspect
And, as expected, this wasn't a mental health issue. This was a pre-planned extortion exercise involving more than one person in holding the victims captive, torturing their son, and arranging for a pile of cash to be delivered. Accomplices, helping out this trained welder who new the family in question would be good targets because he used to work for the victim's company.

Comment: Re:If the rich carried their fair share... (Score 1) 182

by ScentCone (#49761093) Attached to: DNA On Pizza Crust Leads To Quadruple Murder Suspect
What are you talking about? The police say this was a planned event carried about by more than one person. He didn't "snap," he set up a captivity/torture scenario in order to try to extort $40K in cash from a former employer, and had help from accomplices. You're going to have to find another way to feel sorry for the crew that did this.

Comment: Re:Not news, not for nerds, doesn't matter (Score 1) 231

by ScentCone (#49761013) Attached to: WSJ Crowdsources Investigation of Hillary Clinton Emails

so you are saying that republicans were lying in their report about Benghazi?

No, I'm saying that the Obama administration, with the direct involvement of Hillary Clinton, was lying - deliberately, repeatedly, for weeks - about what happened. In order to influence the imminent election.

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it." - Bert Lantz