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Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 326

So then there needs to be a nationwide sales tax.

Why?

You seem awfully focused on the idea that sales tax is meant to compensate an area for the resources a business uses, but this generally isn't the case. Applying it at the purchase location spreads the money around more or less evenly, rather than concentrating it in Delaware or wherever Amazon is incorporated.

Also, you claim that Amazon "doesn't share your roads and utilities" like Wal-Mart does... but how do you think Amazon gets a package to your doorstep? They're using your city's roads, and the local last-mile UPS center uses the utilities. If you live in one of the 20-something states where Amazon has a fulfillment center, they or their subsidiary's warehouses are also using the roads and facilities. Why would you want to lock that sales tax to the one state where Amazon is legally headquartered? Frankly, that seems even worse than the current situation (where individuals are SUPPOSED to report sales tax for their online purchases, and most people are just breaking the law).

Comment Re:like it or not... (Score 3, Insightful) 223

This particular upgraded equipment is security theater because numerous experiments have shown that it's easy to smuggle very nasty things past it without detection, and with fairly little effort. Knives, molded plastic explosives (simulated, if I recall correctly), handguns, etc. have all been successfully concealed from this technology. There are plenty of articles on-line detailing how it was done.

The purpose of these machines is to prevent those with malicious intent from getting dangerous materials onto a plane which they could use to hijack it and repeat the 9/11 approach. But since these machines have been shown to be remarkably bad at actually achieving this goal, going forward with the ludicrously expensive purchase and the continued privacy-invading operation of said machines is clearly not ACTUALLY making air travel more secure. However, it looks shiny, and to the average person who doesn't work with security and isn't used to thinking in "black hat" mode it can seem effective. Which is basically the definition of security theater.

Comment Re:doctors are overpaid (Score 1) 659

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/prescriptions/2009/09/lets_pay_doctor.html
I call BS. Median salaries for family care are under 150k. Median for even highly specialized fields like anesthesiology are around 250k. That starts in your mid 30s, and comes with a large amount of debt (unless your family dropped half a million on your education). Meanwhile, a good software engineer can clear 200k by the time they hit 30 without much trouble, and they'll have been making over 100k for nearly 10 years by that point rather than going further into debt. If you're smart with your investments, there's no reason you can't do just about as well as the average doctor in the long term.

Now, there are people who use their earning power to go deep into debt to afford all the fancy things you mentioned, but that's not exclusive to doctors except maybe the "old money" wanabe contingent who feel entitled to live that way (which I suspect may be slightly more attracted to that field). But going into more debt to support a lavish lifestyle isn't "rich". And there are the outliers... physical therapists to nationally known sports franchises, etc. who make millions of dollars, but you also have outliers like early employees at Facebook and Google on the other side.

Short answer, I just don't see where doctors are significantly overpaid on average. It doesn't fit the facts.

Comment Re:Might not be popular around here (Score 1) 524

It appears you're equating "likes to optimize their time to not spend it in traffic or being disrupted in over-crowded cube farm offices" with "gotten lazy". And frankly, I have no idea what would make you do that, because it's flat-out wrong.

You think it's "acting like spoiled brats" to want to work in the environment where you're most productive? Or hey, maybe you think the guy whose child has terminal cancer and doesn't want to spend the last year of their life moving across the country to satisfy a job that KNEW he was going to work remotely when he was hired has a case of "I'm a special flower" and deserves to be dick-slapped with some reality.

Holy hell, you must be a manager, and a terrible one at that.

Comment Re:Live free or DIE (Score 1) 687

3. Regulatory control of demand. The water quota.

By FAR the largest use of the water supply is farming, followed by industrial use. Personal use is a distant 3rd.

Which is not to say we won't try to ration there... we impose fuel efficiency metrics on automobiles, even though 2 of the 30ish supertankers currently ferrying freight around the world produce more pollution than the entire automobile fleet. It just wouldn't do much good.

Comment Re:There is nothing special about programming (Score 1) 767

To put out code as fast as possible. It's often very boring, too. 99% of programming is just putting together function calls and libraries others have already coded. There hardly is any "challenge" as so many programmers on Slashdot like to put it. In reality it's boring as hell.

I've seen devs who worked that way. I've worked on the same systems as them. In our case, they ended up shipping code that increased system latency by 2x because they didn't understand how thread pools can impact system performance, and their first 4 attempts to fix it were all laughable, focusing on optimizing things that were already extremely optimized. They would have floundered for months if we'd left them to fix it on their own.

So yes, some programmers work that way. Good luck actually shipping a quality product unless you have some real engineers, though. The extent to which pre-built tools will solve all your problems is inversely related to the complexity of your problems. And even then, putting pre-built solutions together in a way that has no side effects still takes someone who understands the potential side effects.

Comment Re:How is cutting anything being a Democrat? (Score 1) 519

(1) Aggressively promote domestic energy development, especially fossil fuels (Obama has delayed this at every turn, instead propping up failed green energy companies run by big donors).

Fossil fuels are a dead end. They're climate-negative, limited in availability, and don't do anything more than delay the problem. Funding research for alternative energy is critical. Frankly we need to be doing more of it than Obama is, but at least he's doing some.

(2) Expand the market for U.S. goods overseas by negotiating new trade agreements and standing up to China on intellectual-property and currency issues.

What leverage does Romney plan to bring to the negotiation that Obama hasn't? This is incredibly vague, and doesn't discuss the ACTUAL amount of opportunity. Platitudes don't boost the economy.

(3) Improve workforce skills by transferring job-training programs to the states and going after teachers' unions, which, he says, stand in the way of school choice and better instruction. (When has Obama gone after ANY union?)

He SAYS teacher's unions stand in the way of better instruction. He hasn't proved it. Why WOULD Obama go after unions? They're not the mafia. It's not a foregone conclusion to a majority if the populace that they're evil, like you seem to be blindly accepting.

(4) Attack the deficit through budget cuts, not tax increases. (Obama clearly has the opposite idea here).

Obama has given specific plans that favor budget cuts over tax increases by more than 2:1. So no, Obama does not "clearly" have the opposite idea.

(5), reshape the regulatory climate to "encourage and promote small business" rather than swamp it. (We have a metric ton more regulations now than when Obama entered office).

Really? What new regulations do we have? Most of the new ones that were heavily publicized the last 4 years have specific exemptions for small business, or actively contribute to them (ObamaCare, for example). The problem is, when Romney says "less regulation for small businesses", he really means "less regulation for large businesses." The USA is already fairly under-regulated in terms of what you can get away with compared to most of the 1st world. De-regulation in the way the Republicans want to do it generally means negative economic and environmental impacts for all but a select few.

You may not like some of Romney's plans but at least HE HAS ONE. At this point I'll be happy to vote for someone who just picks a direction and goes there. Democrats had four years, two of which they could have clearly driven direction with zero intervention by anyone and instead they just sat, apparently befuddled. Well screw that, the debt is too high to keep playing around.

This is the most asinine thing I've heard in a long time. A plan to screw things up is absolutely not better than no plan, and even that's a straw-man. Obama has clearly had a direction, and he's been fought by Republicans at literally every turn. Do you remember the health care debates in 2009? Despite being in minority control, they were invited to the discussion because Obama wanted to be inclusive. They chose to drag the process out as long as possible, kicking and screaming like spoiled children, and using every dirty trick in the book to try to derail the process. This was back around the time that Mitch McConnell was saying openly in press conferences that their top priority was to deny Obama a second term. Despite that, they passed a sweeping health care reform bill, and a number of other items. He absolutely executed on a plan. To claim otherwise is just thickheaded.

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