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Comment Re:Roads Should be Private (Score 1) 136

Private roads are a great way to make over half the country uninhabitable and unreachable as the tolls necessary to make roads profitable in rural areas would be too high to be practical, thus the roads would never get built which then means these areas will never attain the populations to support roads profitably.

Your link is garbage too. Siting a book summary that doesnt lay out any of the author's evidence does not support your claim at all. But hey, maybe the author has it right and every affluent country in the world has it wrong!

Did you just dismiss a book on the subject and then offer your own off-the-cuff opinion as fact?

It turns out most of the private rural roads in the US were originally private toll roads. I have a friend who pays $250 a year dues to a road association that maintains (contracts to maintain) the roads in her area. That's 7% of the Town's taxes on the same property and they don't maintain those rural roads.

A bit of history and a bit of awareness of the reality of rural living both contradict your guess. Maybe you should read the book - if only it were available for free at the top of the page the GP linked! /s

Comment Re:USPS (Score 3, Insightful) 136

That sounds great in theory, but so does Marxism. Centralization very very rarely beats a competitive market for efficiency.

Marxism has sounded terrible in theory ever since Game Theory and Information Theory became serious subjects (what, about 50+ years now?)

Same for central planning of anything - it's an information theoretical problem - the central planners always lack sufficient information and sufficient information processing capacity to make good decisions. The information and capacity are distributed in markets.

It's kinda like getting rid of packet-switched networks and having one computer do all of the Internet traffic flow. That would be an unmitigated disaster. Let's name it after Chavez, tho.

Comment Re:Suing over other people's criminal actions? (Score 2) 55

Would you also consider it unreasonable to sue the makers of a "high security lock" that would unlock if you jiggled the door knob?

It works the other way around. There's a guy with a YouTube channel about lock picking who says the Big Name in "secure" padlocks has sued him over some of his videos showing how easy they are to defeat.

Courts are empirically rigged in favor of the corporate interests, against the People, so this isn't terribly surprising.

Comment Marketing Opportunity (Score 1) 123

That should drive ad prices lower for brands that are less susceptible to bullying by special interest groups, right?

Is Google actually allowing market elasticity on ad prices? The biggest problem I see with being randomly assigned to whatever video is that it might be a sign of very poor targeting. I mean, white supremacists aren't likely to go out for Chinese food tonight, right? But they probably still need to buy laundry detergent .

Nobody really thinks that Tide is refusing to sell detergent to these boorish idiots. I wonder who actually spends time watching their videos and thinks "well, Tide obviously supports their views." I find "reality TV" offensive to my sensibilities but the only connection I make there is that the advertisers want the audience's money.

And there's the rub - thinking that attacking supply will eliminate demand is folly, but attacking demand is hard and the bullies are ultimately lazy.

Comment Re:Americans no longer want to pick fruit. (Score 5, Interesting) 126

I'm in a "weird" part of the country without much in the way of migrant workers and Americans do all "the jobs Americans won't do".

A friend of mine has a teenage son who's worked at a nearby orchard for a couple years, after school and summers. I know, he can't exist according to labor economists who don't get that bottom-wage jobs are for kids with no experience. He's off to college next year, and I doubt a robot will be taking his job.

Comment Re:Myth: Mayer didn't do well for Yahoo! (Score 3, Insightful) 156

The bottom line is that CEOs are supposed to generate value for shareholders

Reports say that Meyer ordered underlings to not buy the resources to prevent and then not report the security breaches at Yahoo! That cost shareholders more than $1B in valuation on the Verizon deal.

That's one heck of a negative RoI. She had the wrong instincts, she did the wrong thing, and her owners paid dearly for it.

speculation about what someone else might have done is unproductive

No, all her competitors invest in security and are not punished by the market for doing so. This is comparing her to the field, not some ubermensch ideal.

Comment Re:BrickerBot (Score 0) 113

Yeah .. there's nothing like a vigilante of whom you approve.

That Batman is the #1 superhero indicates that a very large majority of the public recognizes that the State is limited in ability, resources, effectiveness, and competence.

Imagine you're at a shopping mall, some nut comes in and starts throwing knives at passersby, taking out one shopper every five to ten seconds. There's a grandpa there packing a 9mm under his coat. Do you:
a) want the grandpa to take out the knife-attacker
b) call 911 and wait for the police to arrive

Statists will generally sacrifice all the people's lives in scenario b) because they value group power over individual life, liberty, and property. Non-statists believe in self-defense and third-party defense as a right and even a societal obligation and will go with a) and save all those lives. The Statists will then show up to call grandpa a 'vigilante'.

Fortunately, the Internet is inherently Stateless so the third-party defense doctrine applies. As far as motive - we just heard a couple days ago about the teens on moral crusades, and then there's the possibility that people (at Dyn?) lost their jobs over the recent high-profile Mirai attacks and would want to see that botnet brought down.

Comment Price Elasticity (Score 1) 250

the one that will extract the most profit from consumers' wallets

Oh, dear, an article by a Marxist still living in 1860. They love them class warfare vocabulary.

The online shopping sites are not trying to get the highest price they can for every product. They are trying to get the optimal price for every product.

Often times the optimal price can be the lowest price, or close to it. One only needs to look at Walmart's position at #1 on the Fortune 500 to understand this is true.

The optimal price is one that enables the highest overall profit for the company. Keeping customers coming back is absolutely one requirement for maximizing profit. Low prices directly benefit consumers and producers in many markets.

What Marxists fail to understand is that profit is the information signal that is sent through the economy from consumers to producers to indicate that they approve of what they are doing. A 'Like button' in the parlance of our times.
  Profit is a very good thing, and it benefits consumers by constantly refining the goods available on the market and the prices of those goods.

Granted, Marx didn't have the benefit of game theory or information theory to work with, but modern writers have no excuse for ignoring modern learning (that's already 60-80 years old). Here's a recent Freakonomics episode on price elasticity that might help some aspiring writers (or even economists) who don't even want to take the time to read.

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