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Comment Re:Yes. Yes it is. (Score 2) 534

>Taxes, some of which will hopefully be paid by these people, reduced benefits from other programs, and reduced administration in running the program.

This tired argument again?

1. These people are getting barely enough money to live on in the first place. They will not be paying taxes.

One of the reasons they don't work is working means they lose benefits. But they don't lose the UBI by working, therefore more will enter the labour force (to get extra money) and pay more taxes.

2. Just _reduced_ benefits? What happened to eliminating those altogether? Reducing won't eliminate overhead.

I don't know all the details of this implementation. But I'd assume that some would be eliminated entirely and others remain, overall a reduction in benefits paid and administration.

3. Reduced administration will not pay for the difference. Shall we do some math?

No it will not. The bulk will come from taxes. The reduced administration just makes things more efficient.

Apparently minimum cost of living is something like $15000/year in the US, so let's set UB to that level. There are 308 million people living in the US. Simple multiplication tells us we need $4.6 trillion/year to pay for UBI.

The total US federal income for 2016 was $3.3 trillion.

Remember coupled with that massive tax hike is a massive rebate in the form of the UBI.

When it all balances out it's not that different from making the tax code more progressive and giving everyone who's unemployed EI benefits. The fact these people are surviving right now suggests we're giving the necessary resources to live, the UBI just changes how we direct those resources.

And if the UBI does bring more people back into the labour force you make the country wealthier.

Comment Re:Warren is right and wrong.... (Score 1) 326

Bitcoin will be like diamonds in the regard that it will carry a constantly changing value. Bitcoin although called a crypto-"currency" should be considered a crypto-"stock".

That's good way to think about it. After all, Bitcoin can't be considered a substitute for currency before it becomes so stable that you can pay salaries or make other reasonable contracts based on it. And before that link to economic output is established, it has only speculative value, or no value at all (to put my neighbor's Marxist hat on).

I'm not sure how Bitcoin gets there.

If people are going to use a currency as cash they need to be paid in it, which means it needs to be a national currency. Even if it's easily convertible you want to be paid in the same dollars as the surrounding goods so you don't get hurt by the volatility.

But no country is going to adopt an existing crypto-currency as their dollar since acquiring the necessary currency would jack up the value and bankrupt them.

Comment Re:DNC Hates middle class (Score 4, Insightful) 534

So, the reason the individual income tax cut is not permanent is because the DNC voted against it? Had they gotten 9 DNC Senators on board the tax cut for workers would be perm?

Sounds like we need to boot out DNC that hates middle class workers and get the GOP another 9 seats at the least so we can make it perm for us.

Yea, its the GOP that did something for the workers that is evil, while the DNC that shit on us is our friends?
Fuck off.

So your plan is a massive corporate tax cut (without removing any of the corporate deductions) AND an individual tax cut when your country is already running a huge deficit?

When do you plan on paying down that deficit?

(and it's fun how you manage to blame the Democrats for the GOP's awful tax bill)

Comment Re:Yes. Yes it is. (Score 5, Insightful) 534

This program is neither universal or basic.

No, it's testing a specific aspect of a universal basic income, exactly what you'd want a responsible government to do.

It's simply another welfare program.

No, a welfare program is designed to maintain the well-being of citizens, this is an experiment to see if a universal basic income will reduce unemployment.

And the money has to come from SOMEWHERE.

Taxes, some of which will hopefully be paid by these people, reduced benefits from other programs, and reduced administration in running the program.

We also know that a segment of the population, given the option to do nothing WILL DO NOTHING.

But we don't know how big that segment is, or exactly how they are distributed, this will shed light on that question.

So, all that's been created is an incentive not to achieve anything.

They already had an incentive not to achieve anything, traditional welfare programs.

What this does do is reduce some pressure to find work, but it also removes some incentives for not entering the workforce (such as losing benefits).

Comment Re: If the title is in the form of a question... (Score 1) 534

Take note that race is essentially the top reason the parent lists for people not leaving Finland. It's white people with blonde hair. There is little difference between that and Trump's racist comment about wanting more immigrants from Norway.

There's more than a little difference.

Extolling the positive virtues of a race is a type of stereotyping, but it's often done in the way of finding positives for each race that's stereotyped so it's not that harmful.

But Trump asking for fewer people from a black country and more people from one of the whitest countries is almost explicitly indicating a preferred race.

Comment Re:Trump takes our money. What's the difference? (Score 5, Interesting) 534

Raised our taxes?

I dunno about YOU, but I'm going to see MORE back on my tax returns.

And I'm not some billionaire.

Wait 10 years.

The bill made permanent tax cuts for corporations and temporary ones for individuals. The reason is that reconciliation (the rule that let them pass the bill with only 51 votes) says the bill can't raise the deficit after 10 years. So at the 10 year mark the corporate tax cut is partially paid for by a tax hike on individuals.

Of course this is fake math since the GOP doesn't actually expect the individual cuts to expire. In 10 years they expect a Democratic administration to be in power, an administration who will be faced with either letting the cuts expire (and getting blamed for raising taxes on the middle class) or renewing the cuts and finding a way to pay for them.

Comment Re:Smells like a political coverup (Score 1) 185

Age can be determined by teeth.

The Swedes tried to do that. Most refugees destroy their documents so they can't be deported and Sweden gives preference to children. It turned out that most of the 'child refugees' they were admitting were over 18.

https://www.thelocal.se/201712...

The Migration Agency has so far made 5,700 decisions on the basis of assessments carried out by Rättsmedicinalverket. In 79 percent of those cases the agency decided to formally consider the applicant as older than they had initially claimed in their asylum application, reports Svenska Dagbladet (SvD).

Between mid-March and late October, Rättsmedicinalverket carried out a total of 7,858 age assessments. Of those, it found that their examination suggested 6,628 were 18 or older, and 112 "possibly" 18 or older.

The left - who wanted to let in the refugees - claimed that doing tests were a violation of human rights of course and fought the introduction of them to the bitter end. You can expect something similar to happen in Germany.

Wrong, most of the claimed child refugees submitted for testing were adults. But they only tested a refuge when they thought they were lying. No one is going to bother doing an assessment of a 10 year old.

Further down in the same article:
As a result, in September last year the government asked for medical age assessments to be carried out on a large scale.

More than 80,000 minors (of whom 37,000 arrived in the country without a parent or guardian) applied for asylum in Sweden in 2015 and 2016. Medical age assessments are carried out only in cases where the Migration Agency believes there is reason to doubt their age.

There's every reason to believe that a substantial majority of the child refugees are actually children.

Comment Re:Interesting idea.. (Score 1) 433

That's garbage talk there... The oil companies suppressed nothing, they produced energy at the lowest possible cost is all.

What happened is fossil fuels remained cheaper than the alternative so the ROI wasn't there to justify alternate sources of energy. The market chooses the cheapest viable alternative. That was fossil fuels. The oil companies just delivered us what we where willing to pay for.

So, in your parlance and using your logic, the problem was regulation that didn't make fossil fuels more expensive... So government is the problem, if we use your logic.

Not that I agree, I think fossil fuels are a fine thing myself and has contributed mightily to the creation of wealth and increased standards of living world wide.

They're cheaper only if you don't count the externalized costs of the environment damage, costs that they deliberately hid.

There's two ways to deal with that.

The standard liberal approach is government regulation.

The standard libertarian approach is a lawsuit, which is exactly what NYC is doing.

Comment Re:Interesting idea.. (Score 2) 433

And if they hadn't "covered it up" (going back to the 70's/80's, if I remember the claims correctly), what action would the cities have taken to mitigate the release of CO2?

Possibly nothing.

The point isn't that cities specifically would have done X if Oil Companies hadn't deceived them about climate change.

The point is the product produced by Oil Companies harms cities, and the Oil Companies covered up that harm.

IANAL and IANAJ, but I should think a logical requirement for the cities to prevail should be for the cities to demonstrate there is some reasonable action that they would have taken had this "fraud" not been committed.

IANAL either but the cities should only need to show that if not for the fraud then someone would have taken action to reduce the damages.

And that's a trivial bar to clear. Non-carbon energy sources were around for this entire period and would have received much more investment and development. The Kyoto protocol which would have reduced CO2 emissions, and damages, failed in large part because of the disinformation campaign from the Oil Industry.

Without the cover up we'd have much less CO2 in the atmosphere and thus fewer damages, both now and especially in the future, from global warming.

Comment Re:Interesting idea.. (Score 1, Insightful) 433

York City's five pension funds have about $5 billion in fossil fuel investments.

So if NYC wins, do they also have to take responsibility for being a a co-conspirator? They did help the oil companies by financing what they were doing with $5 billion in just the pension funds alone. What other investments do/did they have with oil and coal I wonder? How much fossil fuel was, and still is used by NYC? Are they going to shut down all of the ports that oil burning ships dock at? What about all of the freight by diesel truck and trains? How about all of the stock brokers on Wall Street that deal with investments in oil and coal? They should go after them too.

I'm all for being responsible for the environment, but this is just stupid.

I actually think it has a shot.

Not because the Oil Companies emitted fossil fuels in the past, or because they continue to emit them now, but because of the cover up.

I think the central claims would be:
1) Exxon Mobil, BP, etc all knew that global warming was real and that their product could incur major costs on coastal cities like NYC.
2) They conspired to cover up and mislead the public about #1.

If those two facts are true I think they do deserve to pay damages.

The only awkward bit is the fact that a class action lawsuit involving a major portion of the planet makes a lot more sense.

Note, I don't think smaller producers or manufactures would bear the same legal liability since even if they knowingly mislead the public their individual contributions would be too small to incur distinct damages.

Comment Re:Pass or Fail, it'll have an impact (Score 2) 106

If this passes a vote, then Net Neutrality lives to see another day.

If it doesn't pass, then those who voted against it will have declared themselves on the issue.

Either way it's time for them all to get off the fence.

If this passes a vote in the Senate then Paul Ryan can simply ignore it and it will never come up for a vote in the house (and congressional GOP members won't be on record as voting against it).

If Paul Ryan does schedule a vote, and it does pass congress, then Trump still has the option of vetoing it.

In fact, if they were being really devious, the Senate could pass the bill unanimously and the House could never schedule a vote. So NN is still dead and no one is on record as opposing it.

Comment Re:How convenient (Score 1) 188

It certainly wouldn't be the most suspicious death by someone who ran afoul of the US Intelligence Community.

That being said I wouldn't assume there was foul play in this case, people do regularly kill themselves, even people whom other people have a good motive to kill.

And from the sounds of it he was no longer involved with the project, if you were going to try pressure someone in the hopes of uncovering a source, and then kill said someone to shut them up, he wouldn't really be the logical target.

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