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Comment Re:It's a Loan. (Score 1) 505

The good thing about economics is you don't have to do a poll to see if banks were lending or not before TARP. There's financial data that shows they weren't; inter-bank lending had frozen.

Google "TED spread" and "LIBOR." Then go read Calculated Risk, Krugman, and Mankiw for center, left, and right takes on the subject.

While you're at it, I recommend googling "Dunning-Kruger effect." Not only are you patronizing, you think you're smarter than the experts when you don't actually know what you're talking about.

Comment Re:It seems obvious from this (Score 4, Insightful) 925

Health care isn't going to be Democrats negotiating with Republicans. I doubt the Republicans are going to contribute anything constructive to health reform, and so far they haven't put anything useful on the table. I wouldn't mind being proven wrong.

The current system is great for Republican politicians -- lots of fundraising to be done among rich healthcare CEOs and rich doctors, lots of noble rhetoric about the glories of the free market, the risks of "socialism" and sober warnings about the risks of change (...to the system that every other developed country in the world currently has).

Also, if the government started providing health care as good as the VA or Medicaid, people might realize that the government can be more competent than the market (again, as it is in every other country) and Republicans would be forced to change. Instead, I expect they will try to scuttle the bill and leave us with the status quo, the world's most inefficient health care system by a factor of 2.

It'll be a negotiation like you say, but between Democrats and right-wing/corporate Democrats, or between the more populist Democrats in the House and richer corporate Democrats in the Senate.

Comment Re:Duh... (Score 5, Insightful) 439

Yup. The Roberts court's infinite pity for poor beleaguered corporations such as Exxon and BMW will be replaced by complete concern for the victims of crimes committed by individuals.

Objectively, one would think that corporations would need more and clearer punishment, not leniency. The only thing preventing corporations from behaving amorally is the risk of financial punishment -- CEOs have almost no personal liability. Individual citizens risk criminal punishment, and have to answer to society's moral standards.

Comment Re:useful energy is not free (Score 1) 404

If you were driving on a road made of the things, without braking or bouncing, it would indeed be stealing energy, and all the "perpetual motion" type arguments would apply.

In a parking lot, it's very different. When you slow down, your kinetic energy either goes to this electric generator, your brakes as heat, or your shocks as heat.

Comment Just converting kinetic energy into electrical (Score 3, Insightful) 404

Probably 2/3 of the comments so far seem to think this is some kind of perpetual motion machine con. Those people should be embarrassed.

It's not. It's simple. It's just slowing cars by converting kinetic energy into electrical, instead of dissipating it as heat in the brakes or converting it to potential energy like a speed bump.

There was a discussion a while back, I think here on Slashdot, about a device that used a revolving door to generate energy. It prompted exactly the same comments. What these people didn't seem to realize is, revolving doors have brakes, and that device replaces the brakes. Same damn thing.

Do you really think the engineers who designed this device didn't think it through? This reminds me why it's never a good idea to discuss physics on Slashdot. I leave it to psychologists to explain why there are so many kneejerk contrarians.

Comment Re:93/100... (Score 1) 202

Bad measurables are worse than no measurables. Counting enemy combatants killed didn't get McNamara or the army results in Vietnam.

ACID 3 sure came along at a convenient time for Google's browser marketing strategy. And it was designed so every browser would start from around the same score, not to test the most useful standards or the real-world web, so it wasn't very hard for Google and Apple to get to 100 when they focused on it.

The author of the test works for Google, of course...clearly it's a conspiracy, and frankly one I'm sick of hearing about.

Comment Re:Yay (Score 4, Informative) 429

Lend-lease during WWII was free for the British.

Postwar reconstruction, however, was not.

Britain was nearly bankrupt for the next decade -- there was still rationing five years after the war. And the US made out extremely well -- the British even had to devalue their currency while they were borrowing money. They were less able to invest in infrastructure than the French and Germans, and the long term consequences for British industry (the world's most advanced from about 1850-1930) were severe.

The point stands -- international lending can be quite powerful.

Comment Re:Equilibrium dynamics (Score 1) 1186

1. In a mature market such as autos, the Jevons paradox doesn't apply. 19th century coal was something of a growth industry.

2. For oil specifically, the OPEC cartel will regulate supply to prevent the price decrease that would trigger a demand increase. So the Jevons paradox won't apply either.

3. Economic theories are 95% BS. Economic theories recycled through columnists are 99% BS. "Light on the math" is an understatement. kdawson links to handwavy third-hand economics from an unqualified caveman columnist writing for a daily newspaper. Thanks for the service, Slashdot editors!

Comment Re:Raise taxes - but who will pay? (Score 2, Insightful) 1505

which companies does Obama think could afford to pay those taxes?

Chevron made $1.84 billion in profit in this year's first quarter.

Exxon Mobil Corp. $4.55 billion.

Royal Dutch Shell $3.49 billion

BP $2.56 billion.

First two are American; last two aren't American but have substantial American operations.

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