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Comment Re:this is a good thing (Score 1) 230

The amount of arable land in the world is fixed.

In America, the arable land is owned by less than 3% of the people. In Ethiopia, it is 80%. So Ethiopia should be richer, right?

Concentrated wealth does not create jobs, distributed wealth does.

America has 492 billionaires, while Ethiopia has none. So Ethiopia wins again.

If people cannot afford to buy new shoes every year then there will NOT be a shoe factory

Yet in America, where people buy plenty of shoes, there are almost no shoe factories. In Vietnam, where most people cannot afford to buy new shoes every year, there are plenty of shoe factories, more than any other country.

Comment Re:this is a good thing (Score 1) 230

It takes two people to create a job: one to offer the position, and one to accept it.

Unless they are the same person. Billions of people are self-employed. Employing yourself is by far the most common way to get rich. People that seek out, or create, opportunity tend to do much better than people that sit around and whine about nobody handing it to them.

those who offer the positions are greedy ... I wouldn't consider them to be any more virtuous ...

Indeed. This is why economic systems that harness greed (e.g. capitalism) are far better at generating prosperity than economic systems based on virtue (e.g. socialism).

Comment Re:this is a good thing (Score 1) 230

With an economic model based on the exploitation of scarcity of resources ...

Except that our economy is mostly NOT based on the exploitation of scare resources. Someone writing code is not "stealing" from anyone else. They are creating value from nothing. The raw materials (petroleum and metal ore) in an iPhone is worth about 5 cents. The main commodities that our economy needs (oil, coal, iron ore, silica sand) are not "scarce", and it is absurd to claim that poor people would be better off somehow if they were left in the ground.

they don't care as long as its some homeless 'bum'

So if we close all the diamond mines, we will no longer have homeless bums? Sure. Whatever.

Comment Re:this is a good thing (Score 1, Insightful) 230

can we really quit bitching about people who make something of themselves???

Many people have a "zero-sum" mental model of economics. They believe that there is a fixed amount of wealth in the world, and therefore, if some become richer, others must become poorer. Although some people become rich through corruption and rent-seeking, most get there by creating wealth rather than just concentrating what was already there. Rather than pushing others down, they pull others up by creating jobs and demand. But there are plenty of people that don't see it that way. Enough to support political parties and governing majorities based on their misguided beliefs.

Comment Re:Creepy (Score 4, Insightful) 188

No one is going to waste a $250 smart bullet attached to a $5000 weapon system on some kid.

The Iraq war has killed an estimated 300,000, and we have spent about $500 BILLION to do it. That comes out to about $1.7 million per kill, and MANY of them were kids. $250, or even $5000, is an infinitesimal sliver of a rounding error when it comes to the cost of a war.

Comment Re:Provide money and guidance (Score 1) 54

Too often, school funding comes with so many flipping strings attached it's sickening.

An obvious solution would be to consolidate all federal education spending in a single department (maybe this would be a good job for The Department of Education). Then all the other departments can go back to doing their jobs. Why the hell is the FCC sticking its nose into school spending? Nonsense like this is why we have a $17 trillion national debt.

Comment Re:Creepy (Score 2) 188

It would probably be easier to have a couple cameras capable of seeing infrared and ultraviolet. You will see the laser on target and can just remove yourself from the area before the trigger is pulled.

An obvious countermeasure would be to have the laser turn on only when the trigger is pulled. With a velocity of about a km per sec, the bullet won't give you much time to "remove yourself from the area".

But all these silly scenarios about "always on" spoofing, and arrays of cameras, are not realistic. Most of America's likely adversaries are not sophisticated. The likely target of this weapon is going to be some impoverished kid wiring up a dud mortar round as an IED by the side of the road.

Comment Re:Creepy (Score 1) 188

I think the point is that important figures could have several "dummy" lasers present at all times to fool the bullet into going elsewhere.

Then target the "dummy" lasers with an area weapon, such as a cluster bomb.

It would act similar to any other frequency jammer.

"Always on" jammers tend to have very short lifetimes on the modern battlefield.

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The trouble with opportunity is that it always comes disguised as hard work. -- Herbert V. Prochnow