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Comment Re:Quick find all the people that care (Score 1) 600

No, if you can't afford to pay someone on retainer, then you sell part of your contract rights to someone else who can enforce them.

It's not like a similar system didn't keep the peace and work fine in Iceland for hundreds of years until the Catholic church moved in, took over and started creating taxes based on property locations, after which the old system started fading away.

Comment Re:Quick find all the people that care (Score 1) 600

Maybe this is too obvious for you... but we're talking about a voluntary contract. If you don't have a mutually agreed enforcement provision, then you don't have a contract and you can both go your separate ways.

No one is forcing you to make the contract. It's called freedom.... you agree to what you agree to and don't agree to what you don't.

Comment Re:Quick find all the people that care (Score 1) 600

You add an enforcement mechanism to the contract. Something along the lines of, if you don't do your part, my criminal insurance firm Sharper Security get to come collect and your buddies at Gila River agree to let them collect.

Then, as long as Sharper Security and Gila River value their reputation for honoring contracts more than their desire for going to war against each other, our contract is enforced, even though we don't have a central authority to enforce it.

If you make a public bet with a buddy at work, why would you enter that contract if there isn't anyone who would ever enforce it? At least in part, it's because if one of you welshes, no one will want to deal with you in a similar manner in the future.

Comment Re:Socialize Costs, Privatize Profits (Score 1) 231

In other words, the private profits of Walmart are being subsidized by the public funds from American taxpayers.

Why don't you advocate removing those public fund subsidies, then, as opposed to trying to get those workers fired from what may be the only job they're able to get?

It boggles my mind that people's solution to their perception that workers are underpaid is to make it so that the company that pays them either has to pay them less or fire some of them in order to stay afloat.

Anyway, let's try some basic economics. For the sake of argument, let's say Walmart were to triple the pay of every non-management worker position and also pay for 100% of their health care and other similar benefits. Let's say they went even farther and decided employees got a food allowance that they could use in the grocery department to totally feed their immediate family.

I assume that would satisfy you in terms of pay levels?

Now let's look at the economic effect of those policies on the actual current employees of Walmart. Within a year, virtually none of them would be working for Walmart and virtually none of them would be getting any of those pay increases and benefits.

  How is that possible? A better question would be, why is that a certainty?

Let's explore two paths:
1. Perhaps despite more than tripling their labor costs Walmart makes enough money that they can cutout all but one penny of profit and still be competitive with other stores, including new competitors that would spring up if they raised their prices. I'm guessing this would be your position, although it's pretty unlikely. But if they did, then what would happen is that all the current workers would be replaced by people who are better qualified and have more experience, but that are currently working jobs that pay just a little more than current Walmart jobs. So all the current Walmart employees get laid off or fired when their manager realizes that for what you've required him to pay workers, he can get a much better class of worker. People more responsible, who always show up on time, who pick up tasks quickly, who don't have to be micromanaged, who used to work at more demanding jobs, but are now attracted by the higher pay and awesome benefits Walmart is offering. Teenagers, senior citizens and the just-off-welfare need no longer apply to work at Walmart. They're only hiring people who are worth employing at the higher wages and benefits and that doesn't include any of the "current" Walmart workforce.
2. Walmart can't compete anymore because you just more than tripled their labor costs. They go out of business. All their employees no longer have a job. All their customers (including the laid off workers) now have to pay more for the basic products they buy every week. In the short term, some businesses that charge a little more (and generally pay their employees LESS than Walmart does, because they have lower profit margins) get more customers and hire a few more workers. Then "Walmart 2.0" following the same model as the old one gets established and drives things back to the current economic equilibrium.

Either way you slice it, the people you are supposedly advocating for lose in the short and in the long term. It's like advocating closing down factories in other countries because they're "sweat shops" that happen to be the best place to work in their area, where people in the area are practically willing to kill to get a job there, because it's so much better than anywhere else they could work. You're not exactly doing those people a favor with your advocating.

Won't someone think of the children of these poor workers you want to put out of work? Isn't the unemployment rate high enough already? Or is it more important to pretend like you care?

Comment Re:"Gender biased" may be oversimplification (Score 1) 165

The submitter doesn't seem to get that maybe his daughter will prefer Barbie, Hello kitty, pink stuff and baking apps. There's a reason that stuff is marketed to little girls and it's not because someone made up a magical bias. Someone's been listening a bit too much to his "studies" professor and not enough to the reality around him. Just because he's lost in the pink stuff, doesn't mean she will be. Perhaps consider presenting her with some options and asking her what she's interested in?

One of my daughters loves pink, won't hardly wear any other color, loves dolls, loves fashion, but also plays games her slightly older brothers like with guns and bad guys because they're her main playmates. I say, "Quit trying to enforce your view of what your daughter _should_ like on her and let her pick her own interests!"

Anyway, Crayon Physics is a great game for kids learning science. My younger kids will sometimes take regular paper and do crayon physics on it now when they have to sit and wait somewhere.

Comment Re:financial cliff, but US has 11 aircraft carrier (Score 1) 421

ok, 2005 dollars per capita.... federal government revenue has almost doubled. Has it ever been higher? Sure. Over time, has it been increasing, not decreasing? Yeah.

Here's 2005 dollars per capita in government spending, from $4 Trillion to now over $10 Trillion. It's still very obvious that while revenue has gone up over time, spending has just gone up even more.

Still clearly shows that the problem isn't less revenue, it's way, way too much spending. In 2000 we spent 30% less than in 2011 in per capita 2005 dollars. You can't explain that away by anything other than we're experiencing massive spending increases that have no relation to anything but that the feds just want to spend more money.

Comment Re:financial cliff, but US has 11 aircraft carrier (Score 1) 421

Let's do a simple test to see if tax cuts are primarily responsible for the deficit. If they are, then the deficits must be a result of revenue decreasing over the years while spending stays the same, right?

Compare US Federal Revenue over time, which has gone from 22% of GDP to 34% of GDP with US Federal Spending over time which has gone steadily upward.

Hmmm, seems pretty obvious that the issue is that spending has gone way up over time. While revenue hasn't quite kept up with the massive spending increases, it's also gone way up over time. So how can you blame tax cuts with a straight face? The fact is that federal government revenue went up after Reagan and Bush's "tax cuts". Congress just managed to spend even more money than they had before.

The people in D.C. think that if you plan to spend way more and then change your plan to increase spending not quite as much, that's a drastic cut.

Here's a modest proposal, how about we cut spending levels to what it was 10 or 20 years ago in the bad old days and then watch as the deficit magically turns into a massive surplus?

One problem with letting D.C. take more of our money is that they just spend it. They have an essentially unlimited list of things people would like them to spend our money on. At some point we have to put our foot down and say they're going to have to prioritize some of it.

Sadly, that doesn't seem to be going to happen anytime soon, since people are just arguing about how much of a spending increase we're going to have and where the extra money's going to be especially increased this year.

Comment Re:GOP Needs to Understand (Score 1) 421

Obama said "elections have consequences, I won" after the 2008 elections while explaining to the House Republicans why he wasn't going to compromise with them nor consider any of their ideas.

The Democrats had control of the House and the Presidency and enough control of the Senate to pass any budget they wanted. (Only a majority vote needed for budget related matters.)

In 2010, the Democrats lost the House in a landslide and then forgot all about that "elections have consequences" idea while essentially refusing to do anything about the budget in the Senate anymore. The House at least passed budget bills, etc... The Democrats in the Senate didn't even want to attempt to negotiate and didn't want to even consider passing a budget, not even anything modeled on Obama's suggestions.

The Democrats have shown a zero willingness for "REAL compromise". They don't even want to have a discussion in the Senate at all about the budget, let alone actually pass a budget and then go into a conference debate with the House to reconcile the two competing budgets. Instead, they just ignore the law about being required to pass a budget every year.

At least the House Republicans have been willing to put their ideas on the table and send them to the Senate as bills. Can you show us any concrete proposal from the Senate Democrats in return? Any start at all to negotiating to fix the record deficit spending?

The 2012 voters decided to leave the House in the control of the Republicans and the Senate and Presidency in control of the Democrats. The House was put in the position of originating budgets and tax bills by the Constitution. They've done that many times and the Senate and the President have just ignored them.

At what point do you stop blaming the only branch of government actually actively sending the other folks proposals and notice that the other folks are completely unwilling to even come to the table to suggest or debate anything?

Comment Re:Libertarianism Is A Dream (Score 1) 503

Funded how tho? Present fire victims with a bill after the fire?

Hmm... let's see..... how could that possibly work?

Maybe start a co-op? Or a subscription service? Or a company that sells insurance to cover fires?

All of the above have been used countless times in the past to fund fire departments.

Maybe if you own your property outright, you can pick if you want to risk it or pay for fire services, but if you have a bank loan or homeowners insurance, the bank is probably going to require you to have a fire department ready to respond.

The simplest method is probably a subscription service. You know, like how you pay for a local government fire department. You send them an amount of money based on your property's pre-fire value on a regular basis and it get's used to pay for the services you might need.... is any of this type of process starting to ring a bell?

The nice thing about a private market in something is that people who want to buy and sell a particular service are capable of figuring out on there own the most effective way to arrange for that transaction to take place. You should try freedom sometime, it's very nice.

Comment Re:Amazons 70%.. (Score 1) 128

Their cut is that they give away your book to their customers, which makes their customers a little more likely to buy stuff from them in the future.

It becomes a loss leader for them. Sure, it costs them a tiny bit of hosting/bandwidth, but that's a rounding error compared to their customer acquisition/retention costs when people find out they can get an ebook free (or cheap) that Amazon sells for $X higher.

Comment Re:Amazons 70%.. (Score 1) 128

From their pricing page in the KDP license, section E:

35% Royalty: From time to time your book may be made available through other sales channels as part of a free promotion. It is important that Digital Books made available through the Program have promotions that are on par with free promotions of the same book in another sales channel. Therefore, if your Digital Book is available through another sales channel for free, we may also make it available for free. If we match a free promotion of your Digital Book somewhere else, your Royalty during that promotion will be zero. (Unlike under the 70% Royalty Option, if we match a price for your Digital Book that is above zero, it won't change the calculation of your Royalties indicated in C. above.)

70% Royalty:
If we price-match your Digital Book, your Royalty will be:

The Royalty Rate indicated above, multiplied by the price at which we sell the Digital Book, less taxes and Delivery Costs, for sales to customers in the Available Sales Territories.

Royalty Rate x (Amazon price - taxes and Delivery Costs) = Royalty

By "price-match" we mean where we sell the Digital Book in one or more of the Available Sales Territories at a price (net of taxes) that is below the List Price to match a third party's sales price for any digital or physical edition of the Digital Book, or to match our sales price for any physical edition of the Digital Book, in any one of the Available Sales Territories.

So you get nothing when they price match to free, because 0 times anything is 0.

Comment Re:Amazons 70%.. (Score 2) 128

If Amazon discovers your ebook is available for cheaper (say, free...) they have the right under your contract with them to mark down your ebook to that price... and they will.

So not sure how the author's proposed model works, once Amazon discovers the free version, the paid version is going to be listed as free as well.

Comment Re:Libertarianism Is A Dream (Score 3, Insightful) 503

When I asked how would things like fire departments and libraries run in a liberatiran country they could never tell me

Really? Not a single one of them was able to point out to you that early U.S. fire departments and libraries were privately organized and funded? That there are still private fire departments and libraries in existence in the U.S. right now?
I agree, you apparently don't talk to many actual libertarians.

Comment Re:three words, one hyphen: (Score 1) 549

You are exactly correct.

I could add lots more comments on this issue, but instead I'll just point readers to the same discussion from a year ago on slashdot, Is-There-a-Hearing-Aid-Price-Bubble, as there are plenty more comments there relating to government regulation and insurance 3rd party payers, etc...

I'll just toss in my own counter-example, contrasting price changes in elective surgery, like corrective vision surgery, seem to imply that the biggest part of the cost cause is the third party payers.

Comment Re:Hydrogen? (Score 1) 271

If you actually believe that, then you stand to make a huge profit on Helium in a decade, right? Just store up some helium, or buy some on the futures market and you can be rich!!!!

You'll show those evil capitalists who think the person who is willing to pay the highest price for something is the one who should get to use it how they want!

Or, you might note that the reason "75% of all Helium comes from a handful of gas wells in the US, where the helium content in natural gas is the highest." is because it's currently the cheapest to extract there, but that pretty much all the other natural gas wells are currently just wasting their Helium because it's not worth extracting, but if those "75%" ever fall off in production enough to make it worthwhile, they'll just pickup the slack and start capturing it at a slightly higher cost.

Have you ever considered WHY helium recycling isn't really economically profitable?

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