Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:Retirement is unreealistic, period (Score 1) 531

If the jobs you can get in an area won't cover your minimum living expenses and savings simultaneously, then you need to change the equation. Either look for employment somewhere where you can live cheaper or learn a skill or trade that can command higher pay.

That is exactly why people move to the city. More jobs, better jobs, better pay. People living beyond the suburbs are being replaced by machines and other mechanisms that result in sub-livable wages at rates faster than those in the cities. At any location on this planet though there is a cost of living, and when people can't meet that, they have to make a decision. And if people are only meeting that cost of living, they aren't going to be able to save any money.

This isn't about art history majors graduating college and wondering why they can't find jobs. There are plenty of people who pursued education and training in more marketable fields who then find there is still adequate competition for the path they prepared for that they aren't able to bring in enough money to put anything into retirement until they are at least into their mid-30s. It's also about the fact that "get up and move" isn't as straightforward as it sounds for many people. Even young people with zero dependents still need transportation to get to wherever they are going to move to, and if they are moving across national boundaries they need the proper documentation to do so.

Have some people failed the economy for various crap choices of their own? Certainly. However an even larger number of people have been failed by the economy. Every day more people wake up and realize "holy shit, I'm in my 40s and I have zero dollars saved for retirement - my best hope is to die at work now". Many of these people never had a chance, in spite of what they were told in high school.

Comment Re:Retirement is unreealistic, period (Score 1) 531

My number for median income came from a different wikidpedia page: Personal_income_in_the_United_States. But $28k is close enough that the difference isn't really relevant.

A difference of $2k is huge in that realm of income; we're talking about roughly 8% of the total pre-tax income. You also have not addressed the fact that people in that income bracket tend to pay ~30-35% in taxes between federal and state, so if they are puling in $30k pre-tax they are closer to $20k after taxes. If they are spending $1k per month on housing that leaves them with less than $8k for everything else for the year.

Even sprawling metropolitan areas like Los Angeles have them within ~60 miles from the city center and that's ignoring low cost areas within the city.

A 60 mile commute is not reasonable for most people, especially those of limited income. If you are making $30k or less, the odds of you having reliable transportation that can do 120 miles / day is very low. On top of that most jobs that pay that little have little to no stability or worker support, so if the employee's car breaks down once on their way to work now they likely have a car needing repair and they are out of a job.

And yes, compound interest favors saving when you're younger. That's a damn good reason to start saving as soon as you have income, not an excuse for delaying retirement.

Again, you are making a huge sweeping assumption that people are pulling in enough money to be able to saving money when they are younger. Very few people are actually in that situation right out of college or high school, for the reasons I just laid out above.

Comment Re:Retirement is unreealistic, period (Score 1) 531

The cost of basic needs (food, water, basic shelter) are a fraction of the median personal income (~$30,000/yr)

First of all, the median personal income is below $30k for the country, and some places it is below that by quite a bit. The national median is closer to $28k per person. However there are many many different costs of living distributed throughout the country, and within any given community your own cost of living is influenced by who you live with, how far you travel to work, the transportation infrastructure, etc. There are plenty of places in this country where an individual cannot save money if they are living alone on $30k, in fact they are likely accumulating substantial debt at that wage - particularly once you deduct the taxes they pay on their income.

You are also overlooking the fact that compound interest favors those who can save money at at earlier time in their lives. Few workers can save money towards retirement before their mid-late 30s any more, and at that point it is almost too late unless they plan to work until they are 80.

Comment Re:Vigorous debate? Surely you jest (Score 1) 513

If you actually read the comments here on this site you would know that what you have said is simply not true. For every comment from a liberal - or "collectivist" as you call them - there are 5 comments from a free market fascist such as yourself. Ever stop to think about why your karma is in the shitter? I can see your comment history, and it's all right there in front of us. You have shit karma not because of what you say - which would generally be moderated up on this site - but because of how you say it. When you expend more energy into attacking other people personally than on actually expressing an opinion (or even better yet putting out facts to support an opinion) you will see your karma here take a corresponding nose-dive.

But if this site is not conservative enough for you, I'm sure the folks over at townhall, breitbart, powerline, foxnews, and pajamas would love to hear from you. You could go whine to them about how "oppressed" you are here and they'll offer you sympathy.

Comment Leeches are already back. (Score 1) 467

When will Trump bring back leeching?

They're already back. They're used in limb reattachment surgery post-operative treatment.

When limbs are reattached the arteries work well right away but the veins not so much. So they have poor circulation and inadequate oxygenation, especially at the finger and toe tips. This can lead to further cell death, infection, and transplant failure.

Leeches applied to the extremities of the limbs can pull out enough blood and bring in fresh to keep more cells alive and bring more infection-fighting white cells to the area. And leeches do little damage other than draining blood, and provide their own surgical tools and anaesthetic. (It's in their evolutionary interest to not bother the victim into pulling them off while they're feeding, and not leaving wounds that would make him tend to avoid the location later.) So raised-sterile leeches are used, with substantial improvement in reattachment success rates.

Comment Re:Storage? (Score 1) 467

To pick up where renewables leave off, you want natural gas (or even petroleum) turbines that can quickly be brought on and off line.

Also: If you really are concerned about carbon dioxide, they produce a lot less of it per unit of energy.

In fossil fuels most of the energy comes from burning the hydrogen to water. Burning the carbon to carbon dioxide provides some, but it's mostly useful for packaging the hydrogen. Oil and gas is essentially long-chain-of-carbon molecules with two hydrogens per carbon and two more to cap the ends of the chain (with occasional tree-structures with the same carbon/hydrogen counts, and the odd ring-shaped or multiply-bonded impurity that''s short one or two pairs of hydrogens.)

So oil is a little over two hydrogens per carbon, gas goes from about 2.5 (butane) to 4 (methane). But coal is essentially just carbon. So gas is best, liquid oil fractions are not as good (though convenient for mobile engines), and coal is worst, on the energy/CO2 production ratio.

Comment If coal is dead, killing its bueaucracy won't hurt (Score 1) 467

Coal is dead. ... trying to resurrect something ... dying [from] market forces ... is [perjorative].

This isn't about trying to resuscitate the coal industry (though if it lets it run a little longer and die more smoothly - rather than being suddenly assassinated in a fit of political vitrual-signaling - it will let the miners and their offspring migrate to other jobs, rather than to government assistance.)

It's about killing off the massive, expensive, and intrusive regulatory infrastructure that no longer serves any purpose.
If Big Coal IS being killed by market forces, the government needn't bother killing it off.

It also gives Trump the opportunity to keep a promise to some of his voting base, make political appearances claiming credit for it, and engage in some virtual-signaling of his own (conservative style).

Remember: He didn't promise to bring their jobs back (though if some of the jobs do come back, or existing ones not be ended as soon, it is a bonus). He promised to dismantle the regulations that had already killed jobs - and give a dose of job-killing medicine to the regulators.

I suspect schadenfreud will please his coal-state voters, and the prospect of voter revolts and sweeping reforms may make at least a few future regulators think twice before stomping jackbooted on the faces of those they regulate.

Slashdot Top Deals

When the bosses talk about improving productivity, they are never talking about themselves.