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Comment Re:Unhappy about static share price? (Score 4, Insightful) 521

That makes Microsoft a blue-chip stock, like GM or IBM. They are not a bubble rally pump and dump stock. The ultimate value of a company is not what a wall street casino game of money chicken assigns to it, and listening to the gamblers is hardly the course that will find improvement.

A stock is supposed to deliver value to its shareholders by either paying dividends or appreciating in price. If a company doesn't pay a dividend and doesn't appreciate in price (through growth in projected earnings), then they're essentially just dicking around with shareholder money.

Looking back at the past ten years, I would have to say that Microsoft has largely been dicking around with shareholder money. They've expanded into some new markets and failed to break into a number of others. They could have been paying a steady dividend instead. They've started paying a modest dividend now which may mean that they're starting to own up to the fact that they don't have any more huge growth prospects and admit that they might as well pay out some of the cash their earning.

Comment Re:Strangely inspirational (Score 1) 373

I'm of the opinion that if you've so thoroughly codified your beliefs that you preemptively have an answer to any question, then you're not really living any more. All of the decisions he will ever make are in the past now. Isn't that a sort of living death?

Comment Re:Nobel Peace Prize to the Science Editorial Boar (Score 1) 154

Is there a neutral way to handle this? Won't showing either purported boundary result in advancing one side's cause?

There's no concept of consensus in this issue. My understanding is that neighboring geographical regions are expected to sort out political boundaries among themselves and if they can't the only fact in the matter is that the border is disputed.

Comment Re:Protests (Score 1) 1799

You need to be careful with your rhetoric because, at times, he's an idiot and he assumes that you're specifically attacking him even if you aren't. He's generally amenable to middle of the road suggestions but retreats to the right when the left get militant. What we ultimately want is something that reasonable people can agree on rather than something dictated by either extreme, and to do that you have to be mindful of the fact that some people on both sides read too much into the other side's rhetoric.

Comment Re:Uh... (Score 2) 202

I have a job, and I'm successful at it, but it's clear that a number of things we're doing right now aren't working and I'm frustrated that no one is proposing anything other than things that will advance their party platform. So here's MY proposal:

We push for a constitutional amendment to require a national confidence vote every 50 years, starting now. The ballot will consist of a list of American institutions (e.g. congress, the executive branch, the judicial branch, the RNC and DNC, and any other institution you want to hear the voice of the American people on) and those institutions which fail to meet a certain vote threshold will have their headquarters bulldozed. Following this, a Constitutional Convention will be held, without any delegates from the failed institutions, to attempt to establish what we're going to do to move forward. Their goal is to establish new compromises and to make a new direction that hopefully will hopefully put us back on the right track. If their new proposal is not ratified, they will be subject to charges of treason, which is the fate the founding father's would have met if they had proposed a new government which was not ratified.

Comment Re:Protests (Score 1) 1799

I'd join the protest if I wasn't taking care of my Mother after my Father died. I think it's a crock how things are but I also feel the top 1% aren't fully to blame. The 99% needs to learn to not be asleep at the wheel half the time and learn to say no together in order to get things done like boycotting things and not just go for "I got mine, too bad about yours" deals.

I blame the politicians who claim that 1% are sacred cows. Something rather sick about the way they keep protecting them and demanding they get tax cuts (which have proven not to help the economy or encourage investment.)

Here's the deal: the top 1% includes some people who amassed a multimillion net worth through decades of hard work. My father is one of them. He spent decades reinvesting his share of his small business in the business and cashed out a multimillionaire. When he tried to retire they begged him to stay because they needed to hire three new people to cover the work he did.

1% isn't really a great threshold because it includes a lot of Main Street employers, many of whom might side with the 99% against the .01% (which are the truly scary wealth holders) if people were more careful with their rhetoric.

Comment Re:Symbols != Identity (Score 2) 21

Web of trust is a fairly good model (and there probably aren't any models that are better than fairly good). I have an account with the phone company, a checking account, and half a dozen other accounts all with the same name and address. If (and only if) I want to prove who I am online, I ought to be able to have the companies I associate with vouch for me.

Comment Re:Why pay them? (Score 1) 261

When unions demand that their members' financial security not be tied to job performance, they're rightly criticized.

I have trouble believing that the only corporate leaders we can find in this country ate people who will only take the job if they can be guaranteed that there will never be any personal financial implications to their job performance.

On second thought, I guess it is consistent with the chickenshit cowardice that pervades today's leadership, both public and private. Almost no one is willing to step away from textbook and party line solutions to try to achieve something better.

Comment Allegory (Score 2) 1014

There was no historical Adam and Eve, no serpent, no apple, no fall that toppled man from a state of innocence."

Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater. If there's any meaning in this story it's allegorical. It's just a framework which was contrived to carry an idea.

The story goes that man is created in a perfectly ordered universe, but has no active role except to assign labels to things. Adam and Eve decide to seize the means to take on decisions of greater consequence. As a result, they're cast out into the place where shit gets real and things have real consequences. If you want to make real decisions then those decisions have to have real consequences. Having free will means living in a world where you at times when you have to deal with suffering. That's the whole point of the story.

Comment Re:Could Someone Help Me Out With This? (Score 1) 844

The deal is that the government can borrow more cheaply than anyone else(by virtue of being traditionally regarded as the entity least likely to default). This means that if a project can result in economic returns greater than the rate the government borrows at, then borrowing to fund the project is a net win.

With that said, public debt still needs to be managed. The growth of the debt should not be allowed to exceed the growth of the economy. Also, even though the government's low rate for borrowing sets a low hurdle for determining if a project is worthwhile, many projects may not meet that hurdle and should be up for cutting.

Entitlements are a separate issue and should be regarded as a separate deficit. They're supposed to be managed out of their own funds with their own revenue stream independent of income taxes. The entitlements need to have their benefits balanced against their FICA income streams. A relatively painless fix, would be to invest a modest portion of the entitlements money in the stock market like Canada does, but this approach is controversial (largely due to ignorance of the measures that can be taken to make this approach safe).

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