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Comment Re:$3500 fine? (Score 1) 286

Up until 1972 we had a few things happening. We had increasing GDP - per worker - per hour, we had increasing real wages, and we had the minimum wage pegged by law to a percentage of the productivity per worker per hour (thanks to those filthy Unions). The percentage escapes me currently. Then, in their (Legislature) infinite wisdom minimum wage was decoupled.

  The minimum wage has become a very small percentage of what it would have been (Almost $30 an hour in today's dollars, more than our median wage of around $20) because increases in productivity were no longer shared with workers and businesses. Business profits have expanded, however. As the automation process advanced and wages continued to be depressed the distribution of income became far less uniform. In simplified terms, those with the least income are your pure consumers. These folks have to spend every cent they earn, and many are negative savers because of this. So while wages have increased nominally and in real terms (for middle-class, but not the poor), the amount of productivity retained by the employer for each hour of labor has increased, about 75% (I’m going to call that a Corporate Greed Tax, because calling non-tax things a tax seems to be a cool thing to do) is retained by the employer now.

This could provide some optimal equilibrium I imagine, if there was some complex shared ownership scenario, but in our situation we have consumers with less money locally to purchase their own production back. The vast majority (about 90%) are worse off in this situation. Now by using, as you put it, an inflationary tax (what Randian craziness is that?) in the form of a minimum wage that is scaled to productivity you can shape your GINI curve, and get more of your consumers consuming. If, all things being equal, I can leverage 50% of my productivity (after Corporate Greed Tax) instead of only 25% I am strictly better off.

Now we certainly couldn’t go directly to $30 an hour for minimum wage overnight, and the issue is a bit more complex than this simplified version. We should properly be leveraging productivity enhancing technologies, driving wages up, driving work hours down and sharing in the Information Age boom in productivity, the same way we (via Unions) finally got our piece of the Industrial Revolution.

Comment Re:Compelling, but a mix still better... (Score 1) 399

If the conclusion of a study was that sending women to space was inefficient, there would be plenty of people screaming that it was sexist. This study, like all mono-culture solutions involving human endeavor says more about the opinions of those writing the conclusion then what the optimal solution would be. In all of my years, I have never been involved in any mission, plan or project that couldn't receive the benefits of more diverse viewpoints and experience In my experience, this is true for warfare, public service, private service, charity work; anything that requires people to work together to solve problems. People of different backgrounds, cultures, genders, ect. provide very large intangible benefits that contribute to success. Saying that one class of people should be excluded from a difficult endeavor because they eat more is very short sighted.

Comment Re:Score one for the other team (Score 1) 173

Whether such phenomena are "truly random" or not (a bit of a paradox for a supposedly generally-deterministic physics), or, say, a perfect back-door to controlling all of physical reality that an insightful engineer might put in, or, say a God, is a metaphysical question. But that it can happen is clear, as a matter of science.

One of these, vaccum fluctuations, has the ability to predict something and is theoretically testable thus science, the other is god. The problem with your myth of choice is that it is a myth of the gaps. It can only exist where we don't yet know the answer. When we find the answer it will retreat further. There isn't any sort of rational experiment we can preform to prove it's existance, and it has absolutely no predictive power whatsoever. It is faith in that it is a useless expendeture of intelectual power to try and defend.

All that being said, if it makes you a better person, or makes you feel good, or whatever, by all means god it up. Please, however don't insist that other's pretend it is valid or rational.

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