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Comment Re:He is an idiot... (Score 3, Insightful) 307

Eight years? LOL

They aren't going to maintain their majority for 4. They'll be LUCKY if they don't lose the house in 2018 and Trump is a one term president. They've got two years at best to fuck everything up they can.

Really? You are underestimating the complete and utter cowardice, apathy, incompetence and spinelessness of the Democrats. Plus, I forgot to add that the Reps. are also in control of the supreme court (none of the conservative judges are likely to die or retire for a generation). This gives the Reps. carte blanche on gerrymandering and voter discrimination on a hitherto unprecedented scale since with the appointment of that soulless corporate rent-boy Gorsuch the supreme court is now a mindless rubber-stamping office that twill validate everything the Reps. want it to without a single critical thought. If the Dems. fuck up in the 2018 (and the Democrat's set of corporate prostitutes looks looks hellbent on taking the party there) this, combined with the Reps. control of the house, the senate, the presidency and the supreme court might just give them control of enough states to call a constitutional convention which would allow them to modify the constitution at will so expect some really interesting constitutional amendments. Every single one of America's founding fathers is rolling in his grave.

Comment Re:He is an idiot... (Score 4, Insightful) 307

In the USA, if you wish to actually be a part of modern society, yes you really do have to use the Internet.

Just like not having a phone number became a liability many years ago, not being online cuts you off from modern life.

This guy is living in the past...

No, he's not, he's living in the new reality that US voters created in the last general election. The corporate prostitutes in the Republican party are now in control of the house, the senate and the presidency and they will use that situation liberally to shaft the American people for the next eight years because there seems to be no chance the Democrats will ever grow a spine. The Dems may be corrupt to but they would have opposed this, or at least been easier to turn against it if they had a majority which they don't. The Rep's friends in the advertising business want to buy and sell the most intimate details of your online life? No problem, they'll pass a law. The American people don't like that? Let me paraphrase Antonin Scalia: 'Get over it! ...bitches...' If anybody wants to chew me out for saying this feel free but in the end I'm only repeating what Wisconsin congressman F. James Sensenbrenner Jr is saying on behalf of more or less the entire Republican party in a slightly more colloquial way. You get what you vote for...

Comment Re:Dumb (Score 1) 230

Why not, I dunno, sell government approved vape pens in the commissary? From what I've read, most of the incidents with vaping are from people trying to "soup up" their vape machines. This amounts to banning Honda Civics on base because a few ill informed morons cause them to ignite by modifying them in ways they don't really understand.

No, it's more like banning Ford Pinto's on a facility full of powerful conventional ordinance and nuclear weapons.

Comment Re:Dumb (Score 1) 230

No, they are just holding them wrong.

Don't try to blame this on Apple. Those vape pen are running Samsung firmware, those sailors must have accidentally activated 'incendiary grenade mode'.

Comment Re:So you exclude half the taxes and what you get? (Score 1) 903

Wow, learn to read, I'll bold the relevant part of the original quote for you:

TBH that's probably not worth it. Hard to be sure because obviously the 40% + 25% goes to other things as well. You've probably spent a lot extra in taxes than you would have if you'd just paid for college.

Methinks it's you who have to learn to read, or rather have your selective memory looked at. Free university education is not the only thing I get for the higher taxes I pay by a long shot. This is the second time I've tried to explain that to you.

Comment Re:So you exclude half the taxes and what you get? (Score 3, Interesting) 903

free university education for my 40% income tax and 25% sales tax

TBH that's probably not worth it. Hard to be sure because obviously the 40% + 25% goes to other things as well. You've probably spent a lot extra in taxes than you would have if you'd just paid for college.

Probably true if those were the only two perks but I notice you did not include universal healthcare in your quote which means I don't pay a dime even for extremely expensive treatments that often ruin US households. You also cut out the low crime rate which I consider to be a major plus of life in this country. There are also many other things like free daycare for everybody, no toll roads, a well maintained infrastructure, 100% internet coverage at speeds that most Americans can only dream of, ... the list goes on. I can see how some people might be interested in a minimal state with low taxes where most of the things that are public services or utilities in my country are privatised and where you are shit out of luck if you are too poor to afford health insurance but I still do not feel like I'm being shortchanged or robbed and I'm not so annoyed by the universal health insurance also covering very poor people that I'd abolish the system. Funnily enough I know a number of people who were pretty annoyed with things like mandatory health insurance and mandatory pensions that they fled the 'socialism' over here and moved to the US so they could skip that stuff and have a bigger disposable income. Interestingly a number of them came back here years later to make use of the 'socialism' over here that so disgusted them to get expensive operations and cancer treatments because they had not bothered to save for such eventualities. That ended when the parliament passed a law stating you have to have lived in country for over a year before you are eligible for treatment through national universal health insurance system.

Comment Re:So you exclude half the taxes and what you get? (Score 5, Interesting) 903

Sales tax is often above 6%, even here in Utah. There are state, county and city components to it. The federal gas tax is the low part. State more than doubles that. We pay an additional 29 cents a gallon on that. Given the cost of gas that is an effective 25%ish tax rate. Social security tax is very significant amount, varying by income. Then again remember the second half of the equation. We are required to by health insurance and nothing is covered. We have to pay out of pocket on top of that to use the health insurance. We have to save for our own retirement as we do not get government pensions back out of our money, and in fact can't even really start collecting social security (our own money) until later and later years. Now approaching the average age that a male dies. We basically get very little for our tax money, and have to make up that difference ourselves, costing us more. This means that the real effective tax rate is higher, and actual cost of living can be quite high do to the lack of services provided for your taxes. The corporations get cheap tax rates, the extremely rich pay very little, and the middle class carries a significant portion of the tax burden. Look at the effective rate the middle class pays and what they get.

I live in a European country. I pay 25% sales tax, a 40% income tax and a monthly charge for my pension plan but that's not a tax to my mind, it's an investment. Additionally I pay tons of all kinds of fees every time I want to use a public service, my car is subject to fuel taxes and road taxes but I expect this 'taxing by a thousand tiny cuts' phenomenon also exists in the states so let's stick with the big taxes. If I was an American I'd be paying 25% income tax and 0-10% sales tax depending on where I lived. On the face of it I'd say the American has it significantly better than I do especially because the average pay in my industry is about 30% higher in the US. However, I do get universal healthcare and free university education for my 40% income tax and 25% sales tax and the crime rate is ridiculously low here compared to the US so it's not all bad.

Comment Re:Sure, until they actually start talking about i (Score 1) 113

Being wary of the government is a hallmark of republicans.

No it isn't, being wary of government is supposed to be the hallmark of Republicans, but they have shown a great fondness for big government. This is especially true when it allows them to use public funds to buy votes, pokbarrel large defense contracts, shield their friends' businesses from unwanted competition, gerrymandering districts to keep themselves in power, ... , the list goes on. Now, I'm not suggesting Democrats are any better. Just thought I'd get that out there eventhough we are not discussing Dems. and their failings just to preempt the inevitable snowflakes who'd otherwise fill in the gap and accuse me of claiming Dems. are angels of virtue.

Comment Re:No kidding (Score 1) 113

If Republicans would stop preventing broadband competition we'd be far better off. And before anyone wants to whine about being partisan, go take a look at the places which have outlawed municipal broadband. See the pattern?

Mitch McConnell, preventer of broadband services.... doesn't quite have the same ring to it as 'Grand Moff' does it?

Comment Re:TSLA is a sentiment stock (Score 1) 289

Compared to a competition which only survived due to a loan from the government?

Yes.

Take Ford (F) right now. Paying out healthy dividends, has a positive earnings per share (around two bucks for last year), and it costs around $12.

Then there's Tesla (TSLA). Stock price is $300. Lost $4 per share last year.

Tesla is being valued as if it wildly succeeded, becoming equivalent to one of the "Bíg Three". Now I'm not saying it won't, but there's an element of risk - will Tesla be able to scale up production, will Tesla lose it's early advantage, etc.

Tesla is overvalued.

I've never been a fan of the Tesla product line, it's to luxury oriented, so I can see how they may look overvalued from that point of view. However, the technology Tesla represents is the future and even if Tesla's product line of sports cars and luxury sedans has a limited market, it's the technologies Tesla has developed and the associated patent portfolio that makes the company valuable. This is especially true of patents on battery technology patents, and early investments in battery production capacity. Fossil fuel cars are going to become an anachronism with in the next twenty years or so, like film cameras or buggy whips and whoever owns the patents and has the tech ready when the tipping point comes is going to cash in big time. If I was to invest in Tesla today it would not be because I think Tesla has wildly succeeded, I'd invest because I'd be willing to risk some serious venture capital on the hypothesis that Tesla is going to wildly succeed, down the line. Everybody thought Apple, the iPod and iTunes was a huge mistake that was doomed to failure, well that analysis turned out to be wrong in a whole shitload of ways. Some people play the long game.

Comment Re:Buy smart (Score 5, Informative) 316

Except that if you buy Chinese you will have to buy a new tractor each time it breaks down. But maybe that's cheaper - you may get two Chinese tractors for the price of one American.

That's not necessarily a bad thing although I'd go for E-European or Ukrainian before Chinese but that requires you to be a bit more hands-on (like farmers used to be) and fix stuff yourself unlike when you use western equipment where you typically call in a service person. If Americans can use AK-47s without being worried about catching communism from them why not Ukrainian trucks or tractors? I came across a bunch of civilianized Ukrainian KrAZ army trucks in a farming village in western Europe and we're not talking some former communist nation, this was deep inside bedrock NATO territory. So I'm walking around these things taking a very close look, largely because I'd seen these beasts in news footage from war zones except painted green instead of red and with rocket artillery or AAA guns in place of the hydraulic open-box bed, when this guy shows up. He asks if he can help me so I just told him the truth, that I was pretty amazed to see these things in that particular corner of the world, which made him quite a lot more friendly and we got talking. He told me that him and several farmers in the area had decided to set up a truck pool and found it was an expensive proposition until somebody discovered that several of these Soviet/Ukrainian cold war army trucks could be had brand spanking new for the price of a much smaller number of MAN,Mercedes,Volvo,... trucks, so they just bought a couple of dozen of these things. There was little that could break down, when it did the parts were cheap, electronics were minimal and they had hired a Ukrainian mechanic to maintain them who knew these things better than his own trouser pockets.

Comment Re:How long (Score 5, Insightful) 316

Try, just TRY to get around John Deere. It's not like you have a lot of options.

John Deere, ~67% market share followed by Case IH at ~17% and New Holland at ~9%, that's perilously close to a monopoly. You could try to give big old JD some hard competition by importing tractors from places where they don't try to rape you over software updates but if you do 'The Donald' will slap a 30% import tariff on you so farmers are now literally fucked in every possible way.

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