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Comment Re:No (Score 1) 339

Yeah, he said Microsoft is making money from their monopoly So of course he meant they're not using the money for research and development. Just blow and hookers

It's refreshing to see another person who can handle basic reading comprehension. Not twisting the words of another to make them look wrong when they have in fact spoken the truth, well, that's a sign of adulthood. It's something I respect anywhere I see it. Thank you.

Comment Re:No (Score 1) 339

You were contesting the truth of Microsoft's Windows monopoly on desktop PCs. You wrote "I'm sure that'd help if it were true, sure." Well, it is true. This has been recognized in various courts around the world, as well as market share figures.

I made no claim about Microsoft resting on its laurels. For someone so quick to accuse another of childishness, perhaps you could learn not to put words in the mouths of others. I merely implied that Microsoft's "survival" (your word) was all but certain, given its entrenchment. Therefore it is nothing to be impressed about.

I would be much more impressed with a startup that had to rise above multiple competitors.

That's all I was saying. No more, no less. If you want to have a dick-waving contest, I am sure many others here will oblige you.

Comment Re:No (Score 4, Informative) 339

Or a strangehold monopoly on an entire market. That helps too. I'm sure that'd help if it were true, sure. I don't think what you're saying applies in this particular situation, though.

So you cannot fathom how the Windows monopoly on 90+% of all PCs sold for the last couple of decades may have provided them a steady revenue source? Interesting.

Comment Re:Unintended Consequences (Score 1) 427

The people who spend like you describe don't stay rich long. Most rich folks are only spending a small percentage of their annual income.

If by "rich" you mean slightly upper middle-class, sure. If by "rich" you mean the commonly-understood definition of multi-millionaires and above, no.

You have to report illegal income. To not report is how they get you. That is how they got Capone.

... who was already well-known to be a major criminal and was under a ton of scrutiny. Are you pretending that had nothing to do with it? That the government didn't try as hard as it could to nail him for anything they could prove and had to settle for tax evasion? That would be a denial of reality.

Even worse, this scheme encourages hoarding and discourages spending. Killing demand sure will be great for the economy.

Yes, just like state sales taxes have done. Oh, wait...

Comment Re:Unintended Consequences (Score 1) 427

Why does everyone stop reading at the words "consumption tax" and ignore the actual facts related to the proposal?

Because the media is a very powerful force and that is what it has programmed them to do.

When you see these behaviors, you are not dealing with people who think for themselves, do their own research, and form their own conclusions. You are dealing with people who see that a bunch of vocal people dislike something and then assume it must be inherently bad. All while maintaining the illusion that they have made their own decision, which they proceed to defend passionately.

It's one of the very sickest tendencies human beings have. It is the root of many other forms of evil.

Comment Re:We also have crazy checks (Score 1) 427

That your education was poor doesn't mean that all public educations are similarly poor.

I'll never comprehend this tendency to take a subject applicable to many millions of people, and make it personal. I'll never comprehend it because it makes no sense.

You see, my own education _was_ pretty good. I still didn't trust anything so important to random strangers like the school system, so I also made a serious effort to educate myself. It's what I did with time that others spent chasing after footballs and things like that which I found to be meaningless.

Precisely because I know that my personal experience is only anecdotal and not universal, I did not mention my own education in any way. Re-read my prior post and you will see that yourself.

Then take a hard look at the world around you, the kind of politicians who get elected and why, the kind of decisions that are made at the highest levels, the way most people are too busy conforming or running themselves ragged with their burn-out lifestyles to seriously question how things got to be this way, the way this nation is beginning to collapse not because of a foreign enemy, but because of simple mismanagement. You will then see that the general public does not understand the principles you were talking about. That is a problem that the public school system is nominally supposed to have prevented. That is what I was talking about.

The media is simply too powerful and benefits too much from the status quo for this to readily change. The average person is not going to review the methodology of a survey, or try to independently confirm what the talking heads tell them, or assume that advertisements are the most biased source of information imaginable, or assume that people with power are inherently untrustworthy. They'd rather believe that the guy they elect is their buddy who wants to make their life better. It's a sad state of affairs.

Comment Re:Not really true. (Score 1) 427

Poor people typically consume more of their money because their income and their "minimum spending necessary to survive" are closer together.

What is this modern obsession with how much of one's total income is spent? I certainly spend a higher percentage of my income to survive and make ends meet than anyone remotely "rich". And I don't care -- or rather, I feel no reason to charge them more in taxes as a response to it. That wouldn't put more money in my pocket because federal tax policy has had little to do with funding government for a very long time now.

What I want is to balance the federal budget, stop enforcing victimless-crime laws such as those concerning drug use, stop trying to be the world's police, stop enforcing at the federal level laws that did not involve crossing state boundaries and laws that otherwise local and state governments are able to handle, and to dissolve the Federal Reserve so we can issue interest-free currency. That would make everyone's burden easier, particularly in non-material terms of freedom.

And if, after all of that, a rich person gets to save more money than I do, good for them. I personally value time with loved ones more than 80-hour workweeks. I get what I want. If rich people value material possessions more than time with loved ones, well, to me they're getting the short end of the stick, but it's not my job to decide that for them. This idea that someone must be punished for being more fortunate (inheritance) or more successful (hard work) than I am is so fucking childish. Even if we somehow could make life perfectly fair for everyone, and we cannot, government is the very least trustworthy entity to bring this about.

This obsession with what somebody else makes and how much more than you they can save up tells me something. It tells me that you have more in common with rich people than you might care to admit. Both of you have an extremely materialistic point of view. You're like two denominations of the same basic faith.

Comment Re:Unintended Consequences (Score 1) 427

It may be a mathematical solution, but it's antithetical to the American system.

Can you tell me how that would be worse than the current income tax system, with all the information the government must collect to implement it, and all the carrot-and-stick methods it enables? That's the part I am missing. "It's un-American" is rather nebulous.

If you think the federal government involved in commerce is bad, consider how much the IRS knows about your personal life. How much I spent making a transaction at a department store is small fry, especially when you consider that my name need not be recorded at all to implement a sales tax.

Comment Re:We also have crazy checks (Score 1) 427

The bit you left out of your cherry-picked view is that the reason these programs are necessary is that the jobs that are available aren't able to support the people.

That's cute, I mentioned cherry-picking so you will show your superiority by using my term against me. With this you self-identify as one of the lemmings.

Now then, my comment was about how and why those programs are run and who benefits the most by keeping them the way they are. How you would construe that as an argument against the existence of such programs is mind-boggling, but I suppose you'd have less to rail against if you didn't.

Comment Re:We also have crazy checks (Score 4, Insightful) 427

But by gaming the system a person can do pretty well. A single mother with two kids making $29,000/year receives net income and benefits of over $57,000. Earning more income actually results in a net decrease in total income+benefits -- this is the "welfare cliff [aei-ideas.org]".

Make no mistake, this is by design. The politicians who designed it and refuse to change it benefit, because the recipients overwhelmingly tend to vote for those who promise more of the same (that's the carrot). When a family comes to depend on these benefits and wouldn't be able to make ends meet without them, they fear the possibility that they might be taken away (that's the stick).

With dependency comes power. You can be absolutely certain of one thing: politicians understand this. They have every incentive to keep people in the system.

I really wish the "mechanics" of power were universally taught in the public schools, along with propaganda techniques, particularly the myriad ways you can mislead someone by carefully crafting your message, all without ever making a single false statement. Framing, cherry-picking your facts, characterization, emotional appeals, bandwagon appeals, just to name a few, should be universally taught and understood. Of course, this is unrealistic. The government funds and operates those schools, and there is no way the government is going to sponsor that. It would be like asking Microsoft to recommend OSX.

Comment Re:I am in no way defending Oracle for anything, b (Score 3, Insightful) 427

Whether or not Oracle deserves a tax-deferred-savings account like mine, the fix of pushing the money back overseas, seems worse than the illness.

Yes but this calm, rational, mature, objective point of view doesn't provide the visceral "satisfaction" of punishing people who are easily demonized and easy (often with reason) to hate. So politically, it doesn't sell very well. It doesn't appeal at a base level to the masses who vote emotionally instead of taking the time to recognize certain cause-and-effect relationships.

Politics should be about how to best manage a nation, not what it's become now, which is how to ineffectively resolve one's discontentment with life by trusting liars who don't give a damn about you.

Comment Re:Unintended Consequences (Score 2) 427

They are not a goal in itself. I repeat, a company is not a goal in itself.

How then do you explain someone like Bill Gates, who for some strange reason continued to work for a long time after having acquired enough wealth to secure the financial future of his great-great-great-great-etc grandchildren?

For some, it's a way of life. I think it's a shallow, hollow, materialistic, empty, and ultimately unsatisfying way of life that can appear glamorous for a while. But it is a way of life. Some people do live to work instead of working in order to live.

Comment Re:Unintended Consequences (Score 2, Informative) 427

So then we should have no taxes at all?

If you want to benefit from our civilization you should expect to have to pay for it as well.

You avoid all these problems by taxing consumption instead of income. Not to mention, rich people consume quite a bit more than poor people so this nebulously-defined "fair share" would be achieved. The Fair Tax Act would take care of all of this neatly without burdening the poor, since those at or below the poverty level would pay no net taxes.

Of course, like any proposal that would drastically reduce the government's control over us, the Fair Tax Act gets demagogued left and right by two major groups of people: political forces that love the carrot-and-stick methods of behavior control that an income tax provides, and those who have never seriously researched it and have no knowledge of it beyond hearsay.

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