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Comment Re:Dilemma Solution (Score 1) 252

I think there's an argument to be made that corporate interests saying "We shouldn't pay any taxes" is sufficiently self-serving that if it were to be carried out, there should be replacement of government revenue. I'd happily tax any executive on all remunerations at a massive rate of tax, if not at $500,000, then I'd say any remuneration as well as capital gains and the like. Quite frankly, the idea that a corporate "person" somehow gets to evade the taxes that a real "person" has to pay to me suggests that the notion of corporate personhood should be completely eliminated should corporations no longer have to pay taxes, and that shareholders should now be witness to fiduciary risks as parties to criminal acts.

Either that or corporations pay their fucking taxes and quit having their proxies go around trying to argue away their obligations to the wider society. That's exactly how I'd frame it, "Don't want to pay taxes, your shareholders will no longer have the protections of limited liability", because what's really being argued here is a "having their cake and eating it too" proposition.

Comment Re:Robots, robots everywhere! (Score 1) 252

Oh so your ultimate answer is taxation on the AI/robotic overlords in order to feed the masses?

Again, your ignorance blinds you.

Dude, tone down the rhetoric. It really doesn't facilitate rational discussion. Unless your goal isn't to have a rational discussion but just to make yourself feel good by spewing doom. In that case, I guess you're succeeding, but I have no motivation to participate further.

You assume that taxation has been the ultimate answer today, as trillions sit in offshore tax havens, driven by billionaire-funded lobbyists who manipulate governments into funding this kind of Greed. I fail to see how this shit situation will ever change in the future. The end result will be UBI being funded at the lowest legal level, which will essentially mean Welfare 2.0 for the planet.

The problem with money sitting offshore is caused entirely by the foolish decision to tax corporate income. Drop the corporate taxes -- or even reduce the rate significantly -- and that money will come flooding back, because it's not actually doing its owners any good offshore. Instead tax the shareholders on their gains. They can't so easily hide offshore because they actually want to live here.

Comment Re:Robots, robots everywhere! (Score 1) 252

paid for by taxing the owners of the capital infrastructure (i.e. the robots) that do all of the production

You're making a crazy assumption that the owners of the infrastructure will agree to voluntarily pay taxes in order to support useless masses.

As long as the masses have the vote, and therefore the ability to command police and military forces, there's no "voluntary" about it. That said, as long as there's still room for making more money, even with the taxes, they'll do it.

Comment Re:Dilemma Solution (Score 1) 252

Fine, a massive capital gains tax on dividends, on resource extraction licenses, and a massive tax on any income over $500,000, including any "interest-free loans", shares, and any other financial instrument.

Rather than a flat "over $500K", the scale should be graduated, up to very high rates at the top end. Also, it's worth noting that interest-free loans, etc., are already treated as income by the IRS.

If you think taxing corporations is bad, then tax the living fuck out of those that are making the money.

You make it sound punitive. No need for that. In fact, you want to be careful not to remove the incentive for generating even high

Oh, and repeal all corporate personhood. All shareholders will be liable for the misdeeds of the corporation, up to and including imprisonment for death and injury a corporation causes, and seizure of shareholders' assets in the case of insolvency or financial penalty beyond current cash and asset reserves.

Oh, hell no. I'm a shareholder and so are you if you have any kind of retirement investments. There are very good reasons for limiting shareholder liability. If you want to hold someone criminally liable for severe misdeeds, the target you want is the executives who ordered the misdeeds, not the shareholders.

Comment Re:Exactly that (Score 1) 318

I didn't mean to make it sound that bleak. The first 8 hours are ok. They're productive. I don't sit here tearing my hair out doing nothing waiting for everyone to leave so I can type. I actually don't mind the open office plan very much. A private office would be *much* better, but this is ok.

But when I do work over for an hour or two I like it a whole lot more. I'm not terribly social (yeah I know, a computer programmer that's not terribly social go figure). I like to code in the dark and with a perfect quiet around me. It's much more pleasant and I seem to get a lot more done. Or maybe not - maybe I just enjoy it so much it feels like I get more done.

Comment Re:It doesn't take 7 billion people (Score 1) 252

But keep in mind that not all civilizations are technological. Humanity existed for 250K years without computers.

Not in any lifestyle that I would want to live. Nor that I'd call "civilization", at least not for any but the top 0.01%. The GP mentioned millenia of dark ages... but the dark ages were actually significantly better for the average human than earlier ages -- including the peaks of the earlier great civilizations, all of which were built on the backs of vast numbers of slave laborers. Serfdom sucked, but it was better than slavery. Serfs had more rights, were better fed, etc.

I don't disagree with your basic argument, just the part that pre-technological civilization wasn't so bad. It was bad. But there's absolutely no reason to think we're going back to it. The robots are going to dramatically improve productivity yet again and, combined with ongoing technological advancement, usher in an age of abundance in which there aren't enough jobs because there's simply no need for everyone to work. I'm confident humanity will be able to find other ways to keep itself occupied.

Comment Re:Dilemma Solution (Score 1) 252

Fine, a massive capital gains tax on dividends, on resource extraction licenses, and a massive tax on any income over $500,000, including any "interest-free loans", shares, and any other financial instrument. If you think taxing corporations is bad, then tax the living fuck out of those that are making the money. Oh, and repeal all corporate personhood. All shareholders will be liable for the misdeeds of the corporation, up to and including imprisonment for death and injury a corporation causes, and seizure of shareholders' assets in the case of insolvency or financial penalty beyond current cash and asset reserves.

Is that what you meant?

Comment Re:Dilemma Solution (Score 1) 252

There are a few Roman Emperors that assumed the Army would save them. It's pretty much been a universal truth for a few thousand years that it isn't the popular revolts that lead to a government's fall, it's what the army decides to do that counts. If the generals still feel the regime is worth saving, they'll back it. If the generals are noncommittal or want the government to fall, but want to play no overt role, then the soldiers stay in their barracks. Sometimes, the army, or enough of it, will join the revolution, and then it's all over. But very rarely, particularly since the invention of heavy artillery, does a popular revolt get very far on its own.

Comment Re:Robots, robots everywhere! (Score 1) 252

Your ignorance blinds you. The fact is damn near every fucking example you've brought forth here is at risk within the next 15 - 20 years.

Think about that before you rant again, because much like the rest of society, you have no solution for it.

Solution for what? What is the problem?

The coming wave of automation is going to create an unparalleled era of abundance. The reason many jobs will disappear is because there will be no need for humans to labor. This isn't a problem, this is awesome!

We do have to figure out a way to transition from our current scarcity-based economic structure, with incentives that are focused on making sure as many people as possible work, to a post-scarcity economy that has no need of such stark and powerful labor incentives (e.g. work or starve). My guess is that this will take the form of a universal basic income, paid for by taxing the owners of the capital infrastructure (i.e. the robots) that do all of the production. But because automation will dramatically lower the cost of goods and services, this should be easy to do. The only real obstacles are getting everyone to understand the need to make the transition, and handling the timing so that the need to work is phased out in step with the reduced demand for work.

Comment Re:Dilemma Solution (Score 1) 252

yes, it's going to be funded by taxing the robots, or more likely the commercial entities that employ the robot

That's a bad idea. Corporations never actually pay taxes, they pass the cost to employees, suppliers, customers and investors, in some mix that seems good to them. What you really want to tax is the owners of the capital, the investors. Not only do they not have an easy way to shift the cost onto someone else, they also have a much more difficult time shopping tax jurisdictions to get the best deal... because that requires them to actually live in those other jurisdictions. Well, okay, so the super rich can probably skate around that a little bit by living officially in one place while actually spending their time in others, but not as easily as corporations can, and the super rich don't own the bulk of the capital. Most of it is owned by the upper middle class and lower upper class, largely in their retirement savings accounts.

Taxing people, rather than corporations, allows lawmakers to target the taxes where they want them, rather than letting the corporations figure out who to pass it to. Because at the end of the day it will always be people who pay them anyway.

Comment Re:Dilemma Solution (Score 4, Insightful) 252

Sooner or later a universal income is going to become a real thing, and yes, it's going to be funded by taxing the robots, or more likely the commercial entities that employ the robots. We'll hear lots of corporate-funded interests crying up a storm, and for a time they may even stave it off, but it's going to happen sooner or later, because the alternative is an essentially unfed underclass which will lead to massive social disorder. Besides, the companies that produce goods still need people to buy them, so in the end it only makes sense to make sure that people have some basic level of income to be able to fuel some sort of consumer economy.

Comment Re:It's just smart business. (Score 5, Insightful) 252

Well, the reason this is about Trump is because he has created what is clearly a set of unachievable expectations. Health care is only the first of many failures; where his flights of rhetorical fancy hit cold hard reality. When it comes to manufacturing, even a repatriation of manufacturing capacity is simply not going to deliver the expected significant uptick in employment. In fact, I'd go further as to argue that with increased automation, it makes less sense to locate manufacturing thousands of miles over an ocean from the market, and I imagine what will eventually happen is a good deal of manufacturing happening closer to major markets to bring down distribution costs, but you're not really going to see any significant increase in jobs.

Trump promised a lot of uneasy Rust Belters that the the good times would return, that China and Mexico would be forced to hand back all those jobs, when in fact the only reason many of the jobs ended up in places like China and Mexico was simply due to costs, and as automation increases, not even the lower wages in these countries will be enough to keep manufacturing there. In five or ten years, you'll see a lot of angry and frightened workers in the rust belts of India, China, Mexico and other countries who had been able to supply cheap labor.

Comment Re:Burn it up??? WTF?? (Score 1) 227

Interesting. Is the issue just passing through the Van Allen belts around the Earth, or would more shielding be needed in a lunar orbit, too? If it's good enough for lunar orbit as-is, I wonder if it would be okay to execute the (years-long, I'm sure) transfer maneuver uncrewed, and then resume crewing it once it's beyond the danger zone.

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