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Comment Re:This is so bad. (Score 2) 151

Much, much simpler to just give everyone a simple cash payment (call it a tax credit, make tax payments due and refunds distributed monthly instead of annual, and you need no additional administration overhead), funded by a flat tax (of that credit amount over the mean income, so the math automatically balances out and it is revenue-neutral).

No. Flat taxes are inherently regressive because people with less money spend more of their income on taxes on necessities, and you are taxing them twice; once when they get paid, and again when they buy the things they need. Graduated tax scales are inherently fairer because those who derive the most benefit pay the most taxes.

If you want to fix taxes, start taking out exemptions. The best one is social security, which we call a contribution but is really just a kind of tax anyway. Remove the salary cap on social security and bang, you fix its funding problems immediately. Of course, that will drive people towards hiding more of their money in corporate tax dodges so that we have to crack down on those more, but that's not impossible either. Remember when the USA was just ignoring all the tax havens?

Comment Re:This is so bad. (Score 0) 151

No one holds a fucking gun to your head to work 1099.

This is a shitty argument only made by shitty people. It's a crime to be broke in America and people are desperate to make money lest they wind criminals.

The reason why the minimum wage was outright intended to be a living wage is that allowing people to hire people for less than a living wage is just kinder, gentler slavery.

Comment Re:Hmmmmmmm (Score 2, Interesting) 146

That kind of happened in the 1960s and 1970s and was called "the green revolution".

The green revolution was a great handout to chemical companies but it is not clear that it actually reduced deaths by starvation, it only postponed them slightly. Meanwhile it is selling out our future by destroying topsoil upon which we depend for growing crops. It leads to a future in which all food is grown hydroponically in an inert dirt medium, which is basically the present for many crops — indeed, it is the current state of affairs for any field not fertilized with shit.

Using synthetic fertilizers and pesticides outright destroys beneficial organisms like nematodes in the soil which plants depend upon for health in various ways, and thus destroys topsoil. That is the legacy of your so-called "Green Revolution". Even if Borlaug's goal was laudable, the reality of the situation is the exact opposite. It is actually harming our long-term ability to produce food.

Comment Re:Hmmmmmmm (Score 2) 146

The point is to find a use for large amounts of CO2 that doesn't involve releasing it into the atmosphere (to meet the zero emission goal). If you use it in a non-airtight greenhouse I'm sure it will help the plants, but it will also leak out into the atmosphere and contribute to climate change.

It's going to do that anyway. Not all the CO2 will be used. Instead of figuring out ways to capture CO2 while burning fuel, we need to be finding ways to capture CO2 while making fuel, instead of releasing trapped carbon. Then it doesn't matter if we release the carbon when we burn it. With carbon-neutral fuels, we could all but ignore the CO2 emissions, and focus on HC, NOx, SOx, and PPM which are plenty to deal with — and all more immediately life-threatening than CO2. I like to bang on about Butanol and Green Diesel because they will work with our existing vehicles and we could have them now if not for government interference, but there are of course other solutions.

On this subject, what's driving me nuts right now is that Toyota is building a Class 8 truck which runs on hydrogen... and they're planning to use it for port drayage, where batteries work great. Who gives a shit if you have to lug around heavy batteries, you have a lot of time where you're just sitting around because it's a port and ports are usually grossly inefficient. But hydrogen is grossly inefficient, too. They added an inefficiency for no reason whatsoever! The only reason to use hydrogen in heavy trucks is if you're going farther than is practical for batteries.

Comment Re:Hmmmmmmm (Score 5, Interesting) 146

Only problem is that you need an airtight greenhouse, complete with airlocks. Compared to modern greenhouses made out of plastic, it is unlikely to be economical.

No, no you do not. I don't know who told you that, but they were full of shit, and I cannot understand why you are repeating it. There are people all over the place doing CO2 enrichment without airtight grow spaces, and it works. The down side is that humans shouldn't be in the room while it is active. Elevated CO2 levels affect mood and health. They are actively bad for you.

The thing is, we actually don't have a problem growing enough food. Modern farming is already more than efficient enough. What we need is to make it more sustainable.

This part is true. There's more than enough food for everyone to eat. The problem isn't there being enough food. The problem is having the will to feed them.

Comment Re:Wonder why the postal system is ranked so low? (Score 1) 98

Perhaps in a couple of generations when all the grandmas are genx / millenials and are happy to use email instead of writing, and all the banks have (maybe) caught up and those mail-in rebates you get can be punched in via the internet and so on.. perhaps then USPS can finally be left to die. But that's still a couple decades off at least (especially the grandmas -- we still have two or three generations of pre-internet elderly who are unwilling to learn how to do things digitally.)

Well, I agree with you. Hell, last I checked my mother was refusing to get internet access. She's really not old enough to opt out of society, but that's where she was. She had a substantially older boyfriend who had internet access so she wasn't completely cut off from reality, but he died.

Or of course FedEx could see an opportunity for letter delivery service and start charging reasonable rates for USPS-level delivery. Which of course would mean the spammers would just start sending things with FedEx cause lets face it, FedEx isn't going to say no to however many thousands of dollars the spammers pay to get their junk mail to your doorstep.

Well, what's a "reasonable rate"? If they were allowed to just stuff it into your mailbox, they could probably deliver a letter from grandma (or a bank statement to her) for around a dollar. The bank might choose to send out statements only bi-monthly, and grandma can probably afford to send you about the same number of letters even if the postage doubles.

Comment Re:Bury the lede much? It's a SAMBA problem (Score 1) 107

To my mind that is where the likely danger lies today, because people may be bridging a while block of routeable addresses into their home. But maybe I'm way off-base here. Besides, one can't just dismiss the problem by saying that they're firewalled. If someone brings in a USB stick and sticks it in the Windows machine that one is using samba to support in the first place, then who knows what will happen on your network. It's not like you can trust the local net.

Comment Re:Bury the lede much? It's a SAMBA problem (Score 1) 107

When I got DSL the first time, Pac Bell gave me a DSL router and five IP addresses. Naked, unfiltered IP addresses, because the DSL router did not do any firewalling (I'm not sure if it even could or not) and all internet-routable. The way I used this environment was to put one router on one IP and only use that one IP, but you can assume that most people who had more than one machine just got a hub or switch and plugged their machines into it.

Today, this is probably fairly unusual. Most of us only get one IP due to shortages. IPv6, on the other hand, may bring that state of affairs back.

Can this vuln be exploited via IPv6?

Comment Re: Steps from Fascism (Score 0) 307

Are you an idiot? The US Government couldn't without removing the 1st Amendment, not only that Germany and Japan were under military control, where there is no such thing as freedom of speech.

Are you an idiot? There are numerous examples of government infringement on free speech. Hate speech is illegal today, without any changes to the first amendment.

Comment Re:But President Trump goes (Score 2) 372

I think there's another interpretation of these facts which you have neglected to consider. Many people might make substantial changes to their lifestyle if they believed that it would do any good. But do you know what happens when individuals make changes to lifestyle? Fuck-all. The majority of people can't or won't make substantial changes, so those people's efforts is just pissing in the wind.

The majority of environmental damage benefits not the poor, but the ultra-wealthy. Most of those people don't give one tenth of one fuck about you or me, and are utterly unwilling to make substantive changes in their lifestyles. The few that are willing to make changes have the economic power to have substantial environmental impact, but they are overwhelmed by the rest. The poor aren't shopping at Wal-Mart because they think it's fancy. They're not buying imported Chinese foodstuffs because they think they're of high quality. They're buying what they can afford.

TL;DR: You're not going to get poor people to make changes while rich people are flying past in their own private jets. And since most people in the world are poor, there's only one direction in which to look for where the changes need to occur.

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