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Comment Re:Wait wait wait CHINA?! (Score 1) 51

Pointing out that religious objections to stem cell research, higher education, and a general attitude of anti-intellectualism is not bigotry. It's fact.

No, it's broad and bigoted generalization. Same as saying all atheists are amoral sociopaths that want an authoritarian dictatorship. There are no groups without bad people in them.


Comment Re: The Industy of Decimation (Score 1) 79

Now imagine that you can't afford a $5 shirt because only one in one-hundred are employed to babysit a machine to manufacture the shirt.

Exactly! Now people can buy the things they want to buy, because they spend 1/3 as much on the things they need to buy!

Now imagine overall pay drops down to $5 along with the production costs

Actually, the production cost is the cost of labor. Machines are built with labor. Metals are mined with labor. Textiles are grown, refined, woven, dyed, all with labor. We use machines (and just smarter techniques--"technology") to reduce the labor.

Remember: tools don't get paid; humans do. Human work commodity is time.

There simply isn't enough work to keep money circulating to afford the goods being sold

Actually, with the cost going down, the same hours worked at wage means more produced, same paid. That means less time worked, same wage, lower cost per thing. If people can't afford the thing produced, then you can make a profit by making the same thing but selling it at a lower profit margin, filling the gap the next producer left. Really, in a big market with a commodity good (one where the market is basically everyone, instead of a few wealthy, because it's cheap enough to make a profit selling it to everyone), you have competitors who try to steal each others's customers and maximize profits by a race to the bottom in terms of price.

Imagine if one clothing producer figured out how to produce better clothing than every other producer in the world, but at 1/3 the cost. Do you think they'd keep prices the same, or drop them below the price of other producers until the volume of existing sales times the unit price drop per unit exceeded the volume of new sales times the new unit gross profit? Of course they'd drop prices until it was no longer profitable to do so.

Now imagine if the other producers got the same tech and brought their prices in line. That's a lot of gap. Without a price-fixing agreement, producers keep going lower; with a price-fixing agreement, a new producer enters the game and sells those $11.99 shirts for $4.50 because dorkuses keep doing that instead of reaping huge profits at $9; with the FTA, the price fixers get a boot in their ass, and somebody ceases to be a business as a warning to others. The FTA doesn't like hoping someone can get a $40 million loan to start up a cheap t-shirt factory on the theory that they can take over the whole global market and make billions.

A well-regulated free enterprise market works great because of this. An unregulated free market just gets you a megacorporation that owns everything, and then you have a bad time.

Comment Re:The writing's on the wall... (Score 1) 275

They also recognize that we're going to repeal the TCJA in 2021 when the new Democratic president replaces Trump. I've got a damned good idea of what I'd like to replace it with--and the tax program I designed can't be repealed, unless you want to see what France looked like in the early 1800s.

Comment Re:Yet another example of rural leaching (Score 1) 262

10% income tax for all citizens. (If you really want to wangle, then maybe make a second, higher, bracket for the 1%).

It'd be more like 30%. Direct income taxes are like 19%, then you have a bunch of other revenue.

No corporate income tax (because that's just an inefficient, indirect, individual tax). (There's some wangle room here for me, but you'd have to make your case)

It is a poor revenue source. I tag it with the Dividend tax because that's the only way to keep the benefit tied to productivity; eliminating the general fund part of the corporate income tax isn't unreasonable, but needs to happen in a fiscally- and socially-responsible manner.

Citizens making less than a certain amount (poor people) don't pay taxes. (Much more straight forward than government hand-outs)

You lose out on job-creating impacts. Likewise, there aren't enough jobs to carry all job-seekers, so you have people who are willing to work but can't. You also have things like people living in Baltimore City's poorer neighborhoods with two full-time jobs, pulling $54k, still unable to afford healthcare for their two kids, mortgage, food, car insurance, etc.

Obviously such a simplistic plan would fall apart once it hits reality. But isn't it sort of the right direction? Where am I going wrong here?

The same place the current system is going wrong: no automatic self-healing function. The Dividend is, in part, designed to repair localized and non-localized economic damage: poor families, collapsed industry cities, and recessions.

Baltimore is a good case study: the city was a major trade hub, had corporate headquarters for things like the Tide Detergent Company, and had major industry to build ships and planes and even just make steel and brick. Trade went away, many of those corporate HQs merged with Proctor and Gamble out of state, and the major industry flat out collapsed. A city that supported over a million jobs now can't handle a population of half a million, more than half of whom are children or secondary householders who don't have jobs.

Baltimore creates an enormous draw for housing assistance, food stamps, small business administration loans (another Federal function to drive economic growth by injecting tax-source money into poor economies), State and Federal aid, and so forth. Over a billion in Federal spending goes there, and it's not enough.

With the Dividend, the Federal taxes actually come down. At the same time, $2Bn extra get shoved into Baltimore in the year 2016 model (Maryland gets $30bn--over 8% of its GDP). Two-adult households get $15k if they're unemployed; at the $50k level it's $10k. That money isn't taxed as income, but registers as unearned income for computing welfare eligibility: HUD and SNAP spending are spread out, and even reduced. At the same time, these struggling households now have money to spend, and spend it on needs--and then on wants. Middle-class households get a boost, too, and spend that on additional luxury.

That spending creates a need for local trucking, retail, and other service and supporting jobs. Jobs mean these poor households can work and become less-poor; and their income, representing productive labor, is taxable, and feeds (thus increasing) the Dividend, the Federal revenue ledger, and the State and Local revenue ledgers. With more income from working, these households also spend more. It hits equilibrium eventually, probably around a 5% GDP boost, although I don't have sufficient data to calculate it out fully.

So the burned-out, collapsed industry city that has been unable to recover in over 50 years experiences a sudden renaissance. It recovers in a few months, and is booming in a year or three. Less-poor cities across America won't see such a dramatic effect: if they're at about the national average income-per-capita, they'll see only a relatively-small boost. The poor inner city, however, is going away forever.

In recession, you'll see that benefit drop by around 5%, maybe 8% (2008 Great Recession). $376/year or $31/month, in 2016 dollars. Remember when we went from 5.2% unemployment to 10.1% in under two years? Imagine the above hitting the entire nation during that.

It's a machine. It's fancy engineering. It's not just an anti-poverty program; it's technology. Odd to think about policy as technology, isn't it?

Comment Re: The Industy of Decimation (Score 1) 79

What you are saying is what once put $3,500 into the economy, now only puts $500 into the economy.

Imagine if your food arbitrarily cost 3x as much, a shirt cost $150 instead of $15, and no wages increased.

Technical progress does the opposite of that.

But this ignores the question I asked, which is what are we doing to increase paid labor. Not what are we doing to reduce paid labor to make products more affordable for the few still employed.

People will buy more when they can buy more with the money they have. That's how it's always been. Do you buy everything you want to buy now? How many people would pass up a pay raise doubling their income? Why would they want more money?

Comment Re: Wait wait wait CHINA?! (Score 2, Insightful) 51

To be honest he is right tho - having moral and ethical standards and a conscience has screwed us in many sciences (remember embryonic stem cell science, sex education).


Science without a moral framework and ethical standards gets you Dr. Mengele's, the "Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male", etc etc etc.

Not all is up for sacrifice at the altar of Science!(TM).


Comment Re:Wait wait wait CHINA?! (Score 5, Insightful) 51

You mean China is ahead of us in medical research?

I guess that's par for the course since we live in a country controlled by anti-science Bible thumping morons.

Yeah, I'm sure it has nothing to do with researchers in China not having any inconvenient laws and regulations against doing medical testing on prisoners, criminals, requiring years of testing before human trials would be allowed, etc etc.

It's nice though that you got to air your religious bigotry in the public square, and so brave doing it as AC, too.


Comment Re: Toys for Thugs (Score 1) 134

Better police training won't fix the badlaws and the kangaroo courts.

By the same token, fixing "badlaws" and kangaroo courts won't necessarily fix policing. Besides, one does not preclude the other. There's no reason both can't be tackled simultaneously.

Gotta start somewhere. Starting where the government force meets the people is a pretty good place to my opinion, if the goal is to improve relations and reduce crime and violence (both by criminals and bad cops) in our neighborhoods.


Comment Re:Who cares? (Score 2) 105

Don't use Facebook, Twitter etc and your Information attack surface gets a whole lot smaller.

Not as much as you might think. FB, Twitter, Google, etc have their little snooping presence on a huge number of sites across the internet. They have such a dense web presence that even if you block all their domains, they can still uniquely track you through timing and other methods not requiring any connection to or data transferred to or from the target. Make no mistake, these guys rival (and probably surpass in some areas) TLAs in the sophistication of their tracking methods. It's their bread & butter, after all, and they have a LOT of capital and manpower to throw at improving it.

There's a distinct danger here, as a previous /. article earlier quoted a FB guy talking about molding and shaping public opinion. With the advent of AI on our doorstep, this could be very, very frightening. FB, Twitter, Google, and possibly other social media will literally know you and what you think better than you do and be able to predict your actions and reactions quite accurately to any particular stimulus or information, and that opens the door to insanely powerful tools of mass manipulation.

We'd better get a handle on this now, or it will have a handle on us!


Comment Re:Anyone... (Score -1, Troll) 105

Jokes on them, I hooked up mine to listen to YouTube videos all day long.

If you want to *really* tie Amazon's Echo algorithms into a Gordian knot, let it listen to an endless loop of soundbites from Nancy Pelosi, Diane Feinstein, and Maxine Waters.

"Meltdown" will take on yet another new meaning in the modern world!


Comment Re: The Plan. (Score 1) 262

Ah, believing in a vast conspiracy...

My point you quoted there does not require any "vast conspiracy". Nice strawman though, and you slayed it so well!

There are simply a number of opponents to nuclear power in the US and abroad ranging from various ecological groups, political/ideological groups, groups of investors in competing industries, and hostile foreign states that don't want the US having cheap, low-pollution, and plentiful energy as that helps drive a robust economy that can afford a large, modern military.


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