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Comment Best fix for poverty is removing regulation (Score 1) 1

One of the worst aspects of the regulatory state is how it gets in the way of people helping themselves. Occupational licensing, state-sponsored cartels like taxis, land zoning, regulations which prevent people planting vegetable gardens, all these things hit the self-supporting the most. Minimum wage laws hurt the unskilled by cutting back the opportunity to learn skills from entry level jobs. Too many places even make it illegal to feed the poor without restaurant-level food prep, or for groceries to give away food on its sell-by date, or fruit and veggies which are too ugly for commercial sale.

US local, state, and federal governments spend $7-8 trillion every year, which is around $50,000 for every household in this country. It's amazing that people have anything left for themselves, and since income taxes don't come close to matching this, it must come from sales taxes (10%), property taxes, business taxes (35%, I think, which is just passed on to consumers), and all the other taxes that are hidden away and people aren't aware of. This is an incredible drag on the economy -- 40% of GDP. Estimates are that somewhere around 15% of the work force get their pay from taxpayers -- whether directly (employees, military) or indirectly (military and other contractors).

Certainly a lot of this would be spent anyway (roads, schools), but competition would make it cheaper, better, and more innovative.

If welfare were cut way back to the essentials of people who cannot take care of themselves, if unemployment insurance were obtained privately like car and home insurance and related directly to work record, if health care were privately obtained and insurance was strictly for catastrophes, and if the poor and unskilled could help themselves by cutting hair for friends and neighbors without six months or a year of full time schooling, if neighbors could baby sit for neighbors without government regulators setting standards that parents are better able to judge -- if, if if the government would just stop making it so hard for people to help themselves --- the need for government welfare would drop like a rock. /rant

Comment Re:I can see it now... (Score 1) 610

Apparently that is the government's main request, that Apple somehow disable that auto-wipe feature so they can brute force it.

These are not like PGP passphrases which are entire sentences; most people only use a couple of words.

I thought of creating a passphrase in a different language, but (at least then) that input screen has to come so early in the boot process that no alternate keyboards were available.

Comment Re:Black Teeth Is The New Fad (Score 1) 75

I have both gold and ceramic caps; dentist said gold is better in general since ceramic is so hard that it wears the opposite tooth, but most people don't want a gold front tooth.

I'd worry about not only the difficulty of putting in a super hard filling material, but how hard it would wear down the opposite tooth.

Comment Way incomplete, and one-sied sourcing (Score 1) 3

No compensation at all? Or is several months severance pay contingent on providing said support?

Almost certainly the latter, because no matter how much the anti-capitalists try to phrase it, companies have no right to enslave former employees (or even current employees) for two years after they quit. All they cn do is offer some inducement to be on call, such as ... pay! Whether that pay is sufficient is entirely a matter between (former) employer and employer. Whether former employee's prospective new employers would want to hire someone under such a contract is a different matter too.

Comment You don't understand much (Score 1) 3

Laser guns are fine for shooting down missiles, but on the ground? This isn't Star Wars; lasers don't stop after a short distance, and you evidently are ignorant of the maxim to know your target and what is behind it.

You also don't understand the first thing about self-defense, as evidenced by "legitimate hunter". The Second Amendment is all about self-defense, not sport, not hunting, and that self-defense includes not just bears and wolves, but also criminals and governments.

You seem completely ignorant about the changes 3D printers are making. Pretty soon, it will be utterly irrelevant what governments want to do about guns; anyone will be able to make guns and ammo from raw materials which are used for vacuum cleaners, pots and pans, cars, houses, and everything else people want. Government will only be able to confiscate guns when they are used, and considering how many criminals, even in hoplophobe-friendly places like Britain, Japan, Russia, and elsewhere, have access to guns, this prohibition won;t be very effective either.

Which brings up the last ignorance -- history. History shows that prohibitions don't work. Prisoners make knives. Alcohol prohibition didn't work 90 years ago and doesn't work now. Drug prohibition has never worked. Some 25% of California drivers don't have insurance. All prohibition does is turn everybody into a criminal, which decreases respect for law.

Comment Is that a misstatement? (Score 1) 2

I remembered the rule being that adding programmers (or any other workers in any field) to a late project slows it down even more because the new workers require training from the old workers, which lowers the productivity of the old workers. It also increases the bureaucracy, adding layers of management and further dividing the work, which requires more managers to handle the increased communication load, making coordination harder.

In short, it's a very intuitive rule, and only about adding workers to a late project.

Comment Re:And how much does the rest of the world owe us? (Score 1) 528

I see the quibblers came out in force, sweating the fine distinction between socialism and socialism. Yes, my joke about USSR and NAZI went over their heads, and they brought out the predictable (but not by me, alas) rejoinder abut those same communist countries calling themselves democratic republics. People who quibble about things like that are blind to any kind of big picture, so this is addressed to them: you have a lousy grasp of reality if you think quibbling about the definition of socialism changes anything.

You probably think raising business taxes socks it to evil businesses and makes them pay their fair share. Here's some news to think about (but you won't): business pass on taxes to consumers, just like they pass on all costs. People pay taxes, you minwits, not businesses. Every single tax comes down to individual people paying them.

You probably think businesses are evil incarnate because they seek profits. Here's something else to think about: profits are to businesses as wages are to people. Just as you wouldn't want to work for free or for some socially responsible wage, neither would you invest your money for free or start a business with friends and expect no income from it. Oh wait, you think paying yourself while the business itself shows no profit makes it a nice business? Talk to any tax accountant for a dose of reality.

Non-profits seek a profit too, but it is diverted to different legal categories that the tax bureaucrats have created to maintain the fiction of being a non-profit, with the express purpose of fooling useful idiots like you. If you don't believe me, go look up the legislative history.

Look up the legislative history of minimum wage laws while you're at it. The US federal minimum wage law began during the Great Depression by FDR's brain trust with the express purpose of preventing northeast textile mills from relocating to the south for labor which was far cheaper, something like 1/4 the rate, because blacks were so discriminated against, by US and state governments. Look up the speeches by beloved FDR backers expressing their contempt for blacks and support of whites.

For that matter, racism was government-mandated. Railroads (yes, evil businesses) in Louisiana were ordered, against their wishes, to have separate cars and trains for blacks and whites. They did not want to because it added expense and reduced profits, but the government ordered it, and it went all the way to the Supreme Court before "separate but equal" was officially approved as government policy. Before government stepped in, blacks and whites rode together and got along. Hell, slavery itself was government-mandated, which you probably do know, but refuse to see as one of the evil consequences of the tyranny of the majority with a coercive government. You'd rather blame it on evil white males, just as you'd rather blame Eric Garner's death on racism than police unaccountability.

Your beloved Democrat President, Woodrow Wilson, was perhaps the most bigoted US President ever. He segregated the post office and other government jobs.

Speaking of Woodrow Wilson, if you look at this chart, or google for "inflation since 1800" if it is invalid. Notice how inflation was consistent up until the 1920s: it rose during war and settled back down after. A dollar in 1900 was very nearly the same value as one from 1800. What happened after? Well, the Fed and income tax were begun in 1913. WW I ran up inflation as usual, and after the war there was the usual depression and deflation -- or would have been, but the new Fed stepped in to prevent deflation back to normality. They wanted to do a lot more damage, but they had no leader, as Woodrow Wilson had had a stroke and was pretty much out of it. The 1920 depression started as bad as the 1929 one, but was over and done with in 18 months precisely because the government did nothing but shrink the budget back to pre-war levels.

If you quibblers were the slightest bit interested in what actually happened, and would open your minds to let history show you a reality which goes against everything your quibbling supports, you could wander all over the place and find all sorts of things which would upset your pre-conceived quibbly notions.

You probably think Standard Oil and Rockefeller were evil incarnate and the government did right by breaking up Standard Oil. You would be wrong. Rockefeller innovated like nobody's business and brought the price of heating and lighting oil down so low that it drove the old stick-in-the-mud companies out of business. He probably single-handedly saved whales from extinction. One of the companies that failed to keep up with his innovations was run by a man whose (wife, daugheter, I forget now) wrote a scathing muckraker expose of him, full of lies and nonsense, which inflamed the public, which goaded the government into a long legal case. Fun fact: Rockefeller himself failed to see how much cheaper Texas and Oklahoma oil was compared to his Pennsylvania oil, and had been losing market share for years by the time the government started its legal case. Yes, look it up: markets broke up his monopoly, not the government, which merely wasted money and disrupted the efficient market for no gain.

On and on the list goes. You clowns who think socialism is so great (if you could ever agree on its definition and whether it has even existed) could learn a lot from history, but it's so much easier to rant and rave and stomp you feet than to actually dig in and do anything useful. You do nothing useful, but luckily for the world, innovators like Uber and Cody WIlson come up with new ideas far faster than governments can knock them down. Socialism is only good for perfecting distribution of a closed static system, and there it would probably excel. Of course you are all right, that there has never been a true socialist system, but that's only because the world is populated with people who can dream up new things and better ways to do old things, upsetting the socialist cart time after time. You may think markets are evil and only socialism can tame them, but trying to prevent markets is like trying to prevent water flowing downhill. Too much rainfall one year, not enough the next, predictable silt buildup, unpredictable earthquakes and fires and landslide, and next thing you know, your clever gravity-defying dam is just a pile of rubble. The analogy with market-defying socialism is beyond your comprehension, but that's ok too, because markets always exist with minds of their own, no matter how much a few social cowards might think otherwise.

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