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Comment Re:Price discovery make distribution efficient (Score 1) 282

The idea that need can be determined by bid price assumes everyone has equal resources with which to bid.

If someone is auctioning off a steak, and you are starving and have no money and I am wealthy and not hungry, the fact that I can bid $5 for the steak and you can bid $1 does not mean I need it five times more than you.

Quite the opposite, in fact.

Comment Re:Ignorance of net neutrality (Score 1) 72

Replace "France" with "Mexico", and "Drunk driving" with "shooting a DEA agent", and you have, in fact, got something the US has done at least once or twice in the past.

Or, perhaps, replace "France" with "Pakistan", and "Drunk driving" with "Organizing terrorist plots", and you've got something the US did fairly recently and made a big show of...

Comment Re:You're kidding, right? (Score 1) 2058

The comparison to national health care doesn't quite fit though, because the question there is whether the US federal government has lawful authority under the Constitution to order people to buy things. It definitely does not, if the Constitution is still a meaningful limit on federal power.

Er, according to whom? Why wouldn't the constitution give the federal government the right to demand specific performance?

Comment Re:Sounds like some kind of liberal! (Score 2, Insightful) 438

That sounds logical at first blush, it's a dramatically oversimplified (and thus, effectively wrong) explanation of what's happening.

The United States (consisting of the federal government and states) is a single sovereign entity. The constitution is a creation of, and subservient to, that sovereign entity- it is a self-imposed restriction on the exercise of that sovereign power and a description of the split of that sovereignty.

The 9th and 10th Amendments are therefore by definition meaningless. Of course all powers that are not granted to the federal government flow to the states; there is nowhere else for them to possibly flow. They are simply restatements of what it means to have a federated government.

Of course, the issue is even more complicated than THAT; because ultimately the federal judiciary (specifically the Supreme Court) is the embodiment of the constitution as a document and the ultimate arbiter as to its meaning; in that respect, the split of sovereignty is not so much defined in the constitution as it is described in broad strokes in the constitution and then assigned to the Supreme Court for specification. In that respect, the issue of the 'federal government usurping those powers' is a meaningless statement in the broad scheme; it cannot by definition usurp what it is legally entitled to, and the Supreme Court defines what it is legally entitled to. The only way the federal government could usurp powers it was not legally entitled to would be to disobey a ruling of the Supreme Court that an exercise of its power was ultra vires

Comment Re:Last byte? (Score 1) 514

That would only be true if the action of moving between carriers carries no cost to the consumer, and that therefore they are only bound by the cost of the plan which they are obtaining.

The problem is that that isn't true. There are a variety of factors in play that make the equation not as simple- service areas, phone selection, contract periods, early termination fees. The consumer telephony marketplace is relatively 'sticky'. Any one carrier raising rates is not likely to see an immediate and significant outflow of customers; therefore, why wouldn't all carriers do it?

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Logic doesn't apply to the real world. -- Marvin Minsky