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Comment Sorry.... (Score 1) 304

Just because the questions are assigned those values doesn't mean that the final result is the sum of the points. For example, somewhere here someone linked to a test where the total possible points was 110. So it's pretty obvious that final test score is NOT just the sum of the points earned on the questions, since no one gets a score higher than 100.

Comment More importantly... (Score 5, Insightful) 171

You don't set your price based on what it costs you to make/provide something. You set your price to maximize profits.

So it doesn't matter that eBooks are cheaper to make/distribute than hard copies. What matters is whether people are willing to pay the same price for an eBook as they are for a hard copy. eBooks are arguably better than hard copy books, so it stands to reason people will pay at least as much, if not more, for them.

Now, in a free market, you would expect a competitor to enter the market at lower pricing - but books are copywritten, so it's not exactly a free market. Even then, the justice department is examining whether competitors in the market illegally colluded to force the agency model on eBook retailers.

Comment The Author is an Idiot (Score 5, Insightful) 304

Possibilities:

- There is a national cheating conspiracy ...or....

- The test score is not based on assigning a value to each question and adding up those values.

For example, the test could simply be scored as such:

All answers correct: Score 100
Miss one question: Score 99
Miss two questions: 98
Three questions: 97
Four: 96
Five: 94
Six: 92
etc etc
Miss 20 questions: 35
Miss 21 questions: 31
etc etc.

The author makes the ASSUMPTION that the score of the test must be the sum of the value of the questions answered correctly. There is no basis for that assumption. The fact that certain values are not present, and the values 34, 33 and 32 are not present, are likely by design (i.e. don't make people feel like they just missed passing.)

All the author has shown is that India is apparently doing a very poor job teaching critical thinking skills (as evidenced by the author's inability to exercise critical thinking skills.)

Comment Re:Sequestration is a gimmick (Score 1) 720

That's because when most people suggest a flat tax, they only mean replacing the income tax with a flat tax and not including the payroll tax. A flat tax PLUS a payroll tax is tremendously unfair to the poor.

If your flat tax replaces both the federal income and federal payroll tax, and applies to all income, and maybe has an exemption for the first $X of income per adult, then you have an actual fair tax.

Comment Re:Sequestration is a gimmick (Score 1) 720

The Republicans love the rich, that's why they try to make it easier to become rich.

Except that's not true. Republicans make it easier to *STAY* rich. They make it quite difficult to become rich, because if you're not already rich, you have to pay the federal government 43% of your income in taxes on the way to becoming rich, while the people who are already rich pay 15%.

If Republicans really wanted to make it easier to become rich, they would replace the income and payroll taxes with a flat 25% tax on all income. Maybe let everyone have their first $10k tax free.

Comment You're making a common error. (Score 1) 720

and see that the higher income groups do, in fact, pay more in income taxes.

Except they don't. The problem here is that politicians are very sneaky, and it appears you've fallen for the trick: There is the Income Tax, and then there are taxes on income. They are not the same, but people (especially republican politicians) like to use them interchangeably. Most of the time, when a politician says "income tax", they are excluding the payroll tax, which is a big federal tax on all income... from wages, i.e. actually working.

To get an idea of the net effect of federal taxes, below are marginal tax rates for different types of income:

Income from wages: 25.6 to 43.6% (income tax plus payroll tax)
Interest: 10% to 35%
Short term capital gains: Same as interest.
Dividends and Long Term Capital Gains: 15%
Carried Interest: 15%
Tax-exempt municipal bonds: 0%

So while SOME of the "rich" (like doctors) pay a pretty high tax rate, most of the filthy rich ("investors") pay a very low 15% rate on their income. That's why Romney's rate is so low.

Again, many of the rich pay a much, much lower federal tax rate on their income than most of the middle class.

Comment Re:Just so you know what you're in for... (Score 1) 290

I'm not talking 4G coverage. I'm talking any coverage at all.

I do a LOT of traveling, and have both Verizon and T-Mobile plans. In urban areas, T-Mobile is fine. But it doesn't work many places, including my parent's house in the Chicago suburbs, and several spots along I-94 from Hudson to Madison, and even where there is coverage, it'll regularly drop calls while driving.

In rural areas, it won't work at all.

I'm aware that T-mobile has a coverage map. So does Verizon, and it's far, far larger.

Again, if you spend all your time in urban areas, not an issue for you, but if not, T-Mobile can be quite annoying. (There's a technical reason for this - due to the frequency T-Mobile has a license for in the US, they need more towers to cover the same area.)

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