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Comment Re: Basic income (Score 1) 561

I can guarantee you that if you guaranteed everyone, say, $20k/year, that landlords will get as close to that $20k/year as they can because they know that everyone will get at least that much.

This is why the minimum wage should be eliminated at the same time. When people are getting only $1/hour for their labor, they will have a HUGE incentive to find a cheap place to live, because living cheaply will bring a far greater ROI compared to working than it does now.

Comment Not quite (Score 1) 78

There's no voice, only text and data. Reason voice is excluded has to do with archaic regulations as best as I can tell. Things are changing in that regard so it'll probalby change at some point. However right now you get talk to and from the US, Canada, and Mexico. Everywhere else voice is extra charge. Text and data are available in most countries and are included with no extra charge.

Comment Cheaper than Shipping? Hardly. (Score 4, Informative) 252

In case anyone was wondering, shipping costs have NEARLY NOTHING to do with this.

The Ocean Freight industry - particularly Trans-Pacific East-Bound (ie China to US) has had long term overcapacity issues for a decade, Depending on who you're talking to, essentially for every $100 they make, the industry has been spending $105-$110 for more than a handful of years.
It got to a point that last year, you could ship a truckload of cargo from Hong Kong to Brazil port to port for $50.


They're not quite that bad anymore but still, you can ship a truckload from China to Los Angeles cheaper than the cost of delivering that load from the port to a point in Metro Los Angeles.

Comment Because voice apps are, by & large, stupid. (Score 4, Interesting) 167

There, I said it.

It doesn't mean they're totally USELESS; no. For the majority of situations, they're more trouble than they're worth.

First, you have to be in exactly the right situation - there cannot be background noise or crosstalk - so essentially, a nearly SILENT room. How many of us spend a substantial amount of time in silence? I'm certainly not going to use a voice app on a bus, plane, or in public even if it was quiet, because anyone who does that is an obnoxious asshole.

Second, you have to know exactly the syntax the system is looking for. On my stupid car (BMX x5) it has voice activation but I'll be damned if I can ever remember what phrases it wants. "CALL HOME" (doesn't work, oh yeah, have to kick it to the phone menu) "PHONE" phone connected "CALL HOME" many results pick one.
Sigh. Oh, and my wife's name is Dawn, so fuck me if I don't have to sort through every damn "DON" in my phone book, distracting me away from the road while I do that - what am I *saving* using a voice app, again?

Third, you have to inevitably put up with a substantial failure rate. If I try to use a voice app for the simplest thing, dictating a slowly, clearly spoken text, I have to expect to spend the next few moments re-reading, editing, and correcting the text. If I'm trying to use it to come up with harder info - like names, in the example above - it's just a crapton easier to dial the number myself.

And I'm a Minnesotan (a region reputed to have a relatively clear style of speaking). I can't imagine how hard it must be for people with less intellgible accents.

Comment Re: Basic income (Score 5, Insightful) 561

With a basic income, the consequence of failure will no longer be debt and homelessness, but there will always be an economic incentive to succeed.

And you're correct that a basic income will reward stupid decisions, which means it will also eliminate a big part of the risk of starting a new business, and that would be a very good thing for the economy.

Comment Re:Basic income (Score 1) 561

I'm a conservative, and you might be surprised but I'm all for your proposed basic income.*

*as long as it is what it purports to be: a basic, living amount of $. ALL OTHER BENEFIT PROGRAMS END. There is no need for AFDC if people are getting a basic income. No need for welfare, no need for social security, no need for food shelves, no need for homeless shelters, no need for subsidized medical care. No subsidized student loans. We can stop subsidized public transport.
If people then starve, freeze, whatever - then they die. They had the money to avoid it, if they were stupid or wasted it, then they suffer the complete consequences of those choices.

It's far simpler, and I suspect economically positive for the country and taxpayers.

Of course, I know that's not what you meant. Because if you advocate a basic income - which purportedly would eliminate extreme economic hardship - WITHOUT in turn eliminating all the programs that are in place specifically to do the same thing? Then you're just looking for another free-money handout.

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