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Comment Re:Telecoms are not Regulated nor Free Market (Score 1) 252

The natural refferee is The Free Market

However if you actually read "Wealth of Nations" by Adam Smith, the book that essentially defined modern capitalism, you will find that the free market ONLY works with small organisations. This is actually true regardless of the economic system you use.

Socialism works, facisim works, capitalism works, feudalism works, true democracy works and anarchy even works... they all work, so long as the number of people is less than about 1000. Above 1000 each and every system breaks down very quickly and requieres outside influences, like government, to keep things working smoothly. Take away government and capitalism will break within 48 hours. Within a year we will all be effective slaves to our CEO Lords.

There is actual a real and measuable psycological reason for this which I won't go into.

There is one reason why in general a US style federal government is "more trustworthy" than a mega corp. Elections. Every 2-6 years people can be replaced. They know this and while they may not listen to me, I can often get a conversation with my Rep or Senator. Plus my single vote is worth the same as the single vote of anyone else, regardless of how much money they have.

Yes I know that corporations have board elections. However there is typically no way for to select an indvidual board member (no primaries) and it is usually a single vote for the boards recomendations. Plus, votes are based off of shares, not individuals. Therefore my vote does NOT count as much as someone else. Plus I may be a customer but own no shares and I have no vote. All this means that it is almost impossible to contact the C-level executives or even the director level at any large company.

Fundamentally it comes down to "wWho do you feel Screws you the Most?"

For me personally, I have never really felt screwed by the government. Other than a single local cop I have never run into a capricious government worker. I know a great many and the general rule is that government works work very hard for not much money.

However I feel screwed by large companies Every Single Day.

I have had a large dental company lie to my insuance company and when the insuance called them on it they decided to try to extract it from me. I have had banks (plural) try to change the credit rules in a way that would eliminate my ability to decline...and did so in a very under handed way.

My profession is in Pharma, I write drug applications so I know the regs. I get Gout and the primary treatment is a drug called Colchicine. It has been on the market for 60+ years as a generic. Since it is so old there wasn't any formal safety studies done. The FDA solicited volunter companies, paid them to do the studies and then gave them 3 years market exclusivity. URL Pharma took the money to do the studies, which were very simple, then bumped the price from $0.09 per pill to $4.85 per pill and had all generics banned from the market...

Don't get me started on telecom, FedEx, UPS, Agra Business etc.

When possible I move to small companies or co-ops. Like I now bank through a credit union not a bank. These organizations are typically MUCH smaller. But often, like with food, it is impossible to do so. The mega corps, in one name or another, have taken over.

Government is the ONLY weapon we have against the Mega Corps, and in the US the government is actually extremly responsive and virtually coruption free.

Comment Re:Insilvent? So what? (Score 1) 252

Not true on either account...

Put your letter in a UPS ground envelope and it will get delivered. If you don't like UPS's policy of requiering small documents to be placed in standardized envelopes than you should complain...but it is the UPS policy NOT any sort of legal requierment.

My mailbox is routinly used to deliver lots of things besides mail... Like FedEx, DHS, UPS, the local paper, community advertisments etc. The only regulation around mailboxes is that no one can obstruct thier use. This means that no one can fill them to the brim AND you have to empty it before it gets too full to use.

Now it IS true that you can't deliver a letter for $0.44 (unless they changed it recently) anywhere BUT the USPS. But the USPS does not receive any direct federal support and only receives indirect support that is also available to FedEx and the rest. It is just the the USPS is EXTREMLY good at delivering small letters cheaply.

Are you complaining about good service?

Comment Telecoms are not Regulated nor Free Market (Score 1) 252

And neither has it been really regulated for the last 30 years.

Look at the FCC ruling yesterday. They barley passed weak Net Neutrality rules which are not likely to last more than 6 months when the new Republicans come into ofice.

Technically, the Teleco/Cableco system we have is NOT free market and it is NOT regulated. It is callen an Oligopy. There are about 6 large companies with very well established and stable geographic regions. These companies cooperate to maintain the status quo while marginally competing on the technical services offered at the perimeter.

Telecom companies are a power to themselves because the last 30 years moved to fast for government (and almost everyone else) to keep up and we also starved the regulators of the resources needed to actually regulate the giants.

Comment Re:He kinda has a point... depends. (Score 1) 473

Who says we are staying afloat?

The number of peer-reviewed papers we publish is dropping fast compared to the rest of the world. We have very little manufacturing, our science and math eductions are abysmal (as proved by the original article of this discussion), and the prices we pay for high-tech services (like health care) are spiraling out of control compared to the rest of the world.

It looks to me that we are sinking not floating...

Comment How to retire in comfort... (Score 1) 409

Simple, buy no-load index funds and hold them. Historically managed funds do not perform any better and index funds have extremly low fees.

I personally use Sharebuilder. $4 to execute a purchase, $15 to execute a sale and no other fees. Since the Stock Market averages about 11 percent, I buy a few hundred dollars worth of Dow and S&P index funds every month and keep all the earining with no fees except for a $8 a month regardless of how much I buy and one $15 fee when I retire.

I keep my 11%. I know some years will be bad, like last years when I lost 30%. But some years are great, like this year where I have made almost 40% so far.

I know I will retire in comfort. I am 30, I save 10%, I have worked for about 10 years and my wife and I have about 90K in retierment. My personal goal is 8.5 mill as of 2045 with no debt and owning my home out right. This will let us live on $150K a year in todays dollars. To do this we must save 1,433 a month.

Just to put it in perspective. You can take home $2K a month if you deliver Pizza a few mights a week.

No person in America has an excuse NOT to retire a millionaire. All it takes is will power to NOT spend the extra money instead of saving it.

And no, I am not immune from the economy. I was trapped in 4 mortgages because extra houses wouldn't sell after I got married. I recently sold one at a loss of $10K and another will lose $50K (original purchase price was $125) and will have to do a short sale. We also owed almost $100K in other debt, mostly student loans. But through it all we still saved for retirement. It was uncomfortable for the last three years but I still know we will retire in comfort and during the next downturn it will be even easier.

Comment Re:Even weirder idea!!! (Score 1) 432

So why not add a 4th layer between the reactor and containment? (Yes I know retrofit is not likely but I am just talking theory)

I remember reading that nuclear waste is often cast into glass rods for long term storage. Why not create a second walled container outside the reactor but before the containment wall. Fill it with nuclear waste glass pellets and fill the air space with water or some other appropriate fluid to allow for heat extraction. If you need to do maintenance than you essentially open a drain and flush all the glass pellets into a shielded storage container. When you are done with maintenance you pump them back into the chamber.

Now you have a system that allows you to reduce the risk of the waste escaping into the ground water, you can easily replace the converted pellets, you shouldn't have much additional radiation risk and you don't need to worry about the chemistry.

Comment Neanderthals are not a different species! (Score 1) 496

Our formal species name is Homo sapiens sapiens.

Neanderthals formal species name is Homo sapiens neanderthalis

Modern man and Neanderthals are exactly the same species and there is actually genetic evidence that says we could interbreed.

The difference between moder man and neanderthals is equivalent to the difference between Great Danes and a Labrador Retriever.

They are capable of interbreeding but have some distinct traits. They are sub-species under the same species.

There is actually a lot of evidence that the Gallic tribes merged with Neanderthals through interbreeding rather than killing them off.

It is EXTREMLY unlikley that two tool using animals capable of symbolic communication would happen to evolve at the same time. If they evolved near each other from the same ancestors then they would likely compete for resources and one or both would die out before they expanded. If they evolved seperatly from different ancestors then they would ahve to do so within 50,000 years of each other since that is about how long it took Man to completly colonize the planet. Once a tool using animal takes over the planet we change the environment too quickly for another intelligent species to get a foothold.

This is the Fermi paradox but on earth. We are here therefore it is unlikly that any other tool using animal has evolved since the dinosaurs died out.

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