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Comment Re:FB tax avoidance (Score 1) 592

Wasn't the whole point of the American Revolution tax avoidance? Like, you know, "No taxation, without representation"? Take a look at Congress, do you feel represented?

Me? Oh hell no. But large corporations? They are certainly well represented! Where I only have one Representative (currently of the batshit teaparty variety), many corporations have dozens. And unlike me, they can actually get a face-to-face meeting whenever they want.

Corporations and the wealthy pay such low tax rates precisely because they are well represented. In reply to some other arguments in this thread, this isn't "see! the government is so stupid it writes shitty laws." Instead, it's, "the government is so corrupt that these loopholes are intentional".

Comment Re:30 posts (Score 1) 303

This is akin to someone writing into Car & Driver asking,


Sadly, it's not even that good. It's more like someone publishing an article in Car & Driver that says: "I just got a motorized vehicle. It has a steering wheel and some pedal things. It moves in a jerky motion. It needs some sort of transmission system, but all I see is a stick with a bunch of letters and 'R' on it."

Comment Re:Yawn (Score 1) 327

I agree with you on the goal, but I think fiber-to-the-home is the best way to make it happen. POTS is ridiculously expensive to deploy, maintain, and provide to rural customers. Cable is expensive to maintain and deploy, has limited coverage, and price gouges everywhere it can. Broadband over POTS, wireless, or cable is a pain in the overpriced ass.

Fiber has "high" installation costs but can also provide much more. Fiber can provide affordable broadband to nearly everyone while also modernizing the phone system and providing a new platform for content providers to actually compete. Why spend $60B extending DSL/cable/wireless a little bit instead of $120B to do fiber right?

Comment Re:I've redone the math (Score 1) 327

In other words, Google is highly oversubscribed? They're an incredible company with some ingenious infrastructure, but there's no way they can push those levels of data. Or that the rest of the net could handle it.

However, I would absolutely love to be a P2P user in the KC area right now ;)... I really missing having uncapped fiber at home, and I only had 100 mbps when I had it.

Comment Re:You idiots (Score 1) 308

developers get 70% on Android too.

From what I've read elsewhere, profits are much lower on Android due to piracy. iOS has fairly low piracy rates, but Android is ridiculous. There might be more issues that impact Android developers (market fragmentation, different demographics, development costs, etc.) as well.

If I was an iOS developer considering a port to Android, I'd reconsider my prices as well.

Comment Re:Pull a few Billion... (Score 1) 191

I really don't know why this got modded insightful. You're right that manufacturing capacity is a factor in military strength, but it's far from being the only (or overriding) metric. First, I'll address the logical failures in your post, then I'll respond to the rest:

They are here one day and blow to bits the next...All of these high-tech weapons are nothing but a flash in the pan if they cannot be replaced at the pace at which they are consumed, or faster.

Just like thermite's nothing but a flash in the pan. But if you have enough thermite you can still melt the fucking pan. Weapons do *not* need to be replaced at the pace they are consumed. They need to be available in sufficient quantities for the duration of the conflict. Come January 2005, the USAF was running low on several types of munitions. Did that help Saddam? No.

Bleeding edge, billion dollar bombers are worthless if there's no fuel to get them into the air. (and other irrelevancies)

Who are you implying lacks sufficient quantities of bullets or jet fuel? Certainly not the US... few countries can match the United States' ability to supply itself with petroleum and related products. In a truly massive conflict, strategic reserves might be depleted and the US might be forced to drastically ration... but remember that the US has the ability to take down one of the world's most feared militaries without mobilizing significant additional assets.

Now tell me, who has the largest and most rapidly expanding manufacturing and logistics capability in the world? It sure as hell isn't the US. Take a random sample of the objects presently surrounding you and look at their "made in" label. Notice a theme? What oil field does your fuel come from? There are strong odds against it being Texas.

China is great at producing consumer goods, but their military production is still second rate. They have poor quality control, numerous production issues, and, to put it mildly, their designs lack ingenuity. If they can overcome all other challenges, they might become a global military power someday. At the moment, however, they're struggling to keep up. And not just in technology.

Their expanding manufacturing and logistics are impressive, but they don't currently have significant global force projection. They lack the logistics to deploy a 200k+ man military, forward deploy large numbers of bombers, fighters, transports, refuelers, etc. Their navy is largely brown water and would be unable to deliver their army. They don't have a global network of bases that can be used to project force, and are unlikely to be permitted one. They are catching up in satellites and anti-space, but they have a ways to go.

Economics: Militaries stop being competitive when their countries can no longer sustain sufficient funding. While the US will undoubtedly be forced to reduce military spending, intelligent cuts (and revenue increases) could allow it to maintain global force projection and dominance for decades with a balanced budget. China is facing much more severe economic challenges and faces a real possibility of collapse should it fail. China has not begun to pay the much higher costs associated with a global military. They have modernized some, but they don't appear able or willing to pay what they would need to to compete globally. They are, however, a regional concern... with many other strong regional powers already acting to counter them.

In short: China makes nice phones, but they can't wage a war on a different continent. The US still has enormous capacity and can easily fight multiple wars on multiple continents. Barring a US civil war, this is likely to continue for at least another two decades.

Comment Re:No contradiction. (Score 1) 506

IM not-so-H O, the whole money in politics thing is a symptom of a larger problem. Politicians and lobbyists will always be looking for new ways to get money involved because money helps candidates win. If you want to fix the problem, you have to remove that incentive.

Broadcasters should be required to give candidates a certain (low) percentage of air time. Public financing of campaign ads is absurd. We grant broadcasters licenses to use our airwaves then pay them billions to run ads about our elections? No thanks. We could simply restrict political ads beyond set allocations. Issue ads for initiatives may be different, but I think we can fix most of the problem right here. Yard signs and bumper stickers are cheap, and volunteers aren't terribly expensive... so fixing the broadcasting should make public/party campaign financing affordable.

Many other electoral reforms need to occur, including a switch from single member plurality districts, restructuring the voter registration system(s), expanding voting options, making it easier (if not compulsory) to vote, etc.. but you get the idea. And ftr, other countries have adopted all of these systems with remarkable success. It's not a cure-all, but it would likely be an improvement for the US. Just some legal and political hurdles to overcome :).

Comment Re:He Should Be (Score 2) 506

Eh, I think I have enjoyed Genda's posts in the past, but AC is right here. There hasn't big a rift this wide between the two dominant American parties since the Civil War. Arguing that they are both the same because the parties still agree on a couple of issues? That really is moronic.

Here's a 30-second list of issues we can all agree the parties have significantly divergent policy approaches toward:

  • Gay rights
  • Immigration
  • Role of Federal govt vs. States' Rights (in various aspects)
  • Tax policy
  • Relative tax burdens
  • Social services (medicare, SS, medicaid, etc.)
  • The age of the earth
  • Evolution
  • Abortion / Womens' reproductive rights

But, y'know... leaders of both parties wear suits. So they're really all the same, right?

Comment Re:Yelp should idemnify her (Score 1) 424

While I don't entirely disagree, it's unclear whether he represented himself as licensed/bonded and whether or not he actually is (haven't seen any commenters here check). I suspect there are many situations where, if only for liability purposes, a person will only want to hire licensed and bonded contractors. So this is something that can be mentioned in reviews either way.

That said, you're right. Licensing is no guarantee of competence or ethics. You should see the shit work, performance by a licensed electrician, I've been repairing lately... huge chandelier hanging from drywall toggles, Romex strewn loosely throughout an attic (in, under, on, and around insulation), etc. I'll be sure to include pictures if I write a review on Yelp >_>

Comment Re:Tax Hedge? (Score 1) 266

Pure protectionism is likely to run into all sorts of issues with trade law, treaties, etc. and can lead to a lot of issues.

Instead, I would like to see "protectionism" based on humanitarian and environmental issues. It really levels the playing field (and incentivizes good treatment of workers) if you slap a tariff on any product manufactured/assembled* by workers earning poverty-level wages, working more than x hours/week under substandard conditions, etc. Environmental issues would likely have to be tackled on country-by-country compliance, but this could be done in a non-arbitrary, transparent, and predictable way.

Raising the selling prices of sweatshop goods will hurt the consumer a little bit, but this seems like a much better way to right the economy while still allowing industries to move with the market.

*Products with numerous subcomponents manufactured in different locations creates obvious challenges. As do some other issues, including fraud. However, these can be worked out... and enforcement and PR mechanisms can have very sharp teeth.

Comment Re:Thank Goodness (Score 1) 184

I appreciate a good lie as much as the next guy, but I would have just modded you "Troll" if I hadn't just posted. Since I had, a quick refutation of your opiate-induced rant:

FTC Complying with Made in USA:

What is the standard for a product to be called Made in USA without qualification?

For a product to be called Made in USA, or claimed to be of domestic origin without qualifications or limits on the claim, the product must be "all or virtually all" made in the U.S. The term "United States," as referred to in the Enforcement Policy Statement, includes the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories and possessions.

What does "all or virtually all" mean?

"All or virtually all" means that all significant parts and processing that go into the product must be of U.S. origin. That is, the product should contain no — or negligible — foreign content.

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