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Comment Re:Er...so it was about greed? (Score 1) 126

To say that "there can be no free market in the absence of regulation" is equivalent to saying that there can be no free market, period. A regulated market, by definition, is not free.

Despite all his insights, Adam Smith contradicted himself on many points, including on the subject of regulation. Fortunately, we are not bound by his mistakes. The early pioneers in any field tend to get many things wrong, and it's nothing to be ashamed of. Those who come after will naturally keep the best parts and discard the mistakes. The idea that the market requires regulation is simply one of those areas that Smith got wrong. He couldn't see how certain problems could be solved while keeping the market free. However, others who later built on his work were able to find better solutions and do away with those inconsistencies.

Comment Re:prediction... more good comments... not (Score 1) 313

tl;dr

(And here I thought that *I* got kinda long-winded in some/many? of my old posts, LOL!)

Raising minimum wage results in price inflation as the market will better tolerate higher prices when incomes go up. Do you propose nationwide government price controls on all products/services/property/etc?

Raising minimum wages also reduces the number of low-skilled and "first jobs" (whose value as an employee to a small business employer is typically already just barely enough to justify the cost of employing them), as small businesses who supply the overwhelming majority will increasingly forego hiring new employees and eventually lay off current ones if the amount is increased sufficiently. This effect is only exacerbated by the rise of relatively affordable sophisticated automation systems able to replace many low-skill jobs. Do you propose mandatory hiring quotas?

Strat

Comment Re:Update: Testing EnergyStar by GAO resulted in: (Score 1) 197

GAO submitted a few non-existant products to test the EnergyStar program. Some notable results:

Gas-Powered Alarm Clock: Product description indicated the clock is the size of a small generator and is powered by gasoline.

Product was approved by Energy Star without a review of the company Web site or questions of the claimed efficiencies.

I'd buy one of these. :D

Comment Re:It's pretty simple (Score 1) 197

I happen to like cold water, at least in the summertime.

However, I really don't like icemakers in freezers. 1) They take up a lot of space, and 2) they use tap water, which is nasty. There doesn't seem to be a way to easily plumb them to use the RO water I buy, so the icemaker in my freezer just sits unused, wasting space. And no, those crappy filters they put in fridges these days are not a proper substitute. 1) They're not reverse osmosis, they're just shitty charcoal filters, and 2) they're horribly expensive to replace.

They should make icemakers easily removable. I'm perfectly capable of making ice myself with trays, which lets me use the water I prefer and not the nasty tap crap.

Comment Re: God no (Score 2) 173

Um, I don't know about you, but while I do admittedly charge my phone on the bedside table, the phone is sitting usually face-up. That means the main camera is pointed at the table surface directly below it so it's useless, and the front-view camera is pointed at the ceiling. The only thing that front-view camera is ever going to see in that position is the belly of one of my cats when they decide to walk over it. (Sometimes the phone is face-down, but this isn't really any different, except that hackers will now have a higher-resolution view of my cat's underside.) The mic is definitely an issue though.

The devices that come to mind immediately as a real danger in this way are these new "smart TVs", since on these any camera is pointing directly at the users in their normal TV-viewing positions. If the TV is in a bedroom, that means it's probably pointed at the bed and has an excellent view of whatever activity happens there. And why a TV could possibly need a camera and microphone, I have no idea. If we ever get to the point where we're Skyping people over TV screens, I can see the use, but we've had Skype-like technology for ages now and it's only rarely used for video chat it seems, and never on a TV that I've ever seen or heard of.

Comment Re:This needs to stay (Score 1, Informative) 197

It's one of the few things the EPA does that's useful and efficient. Setting a national standard is well within the things that government should do. Compared to all the really wasteful things they do this should certainly be kept.

Except it's the manufacturers that self-report their own idea of efficiency, essentially self-awarding themselves this meaningless label. You'll recall the famous experiment where someone sent in an Energy Star application featuring their design for a gasoline powered alarm clock. Which was of course granted Energy Star status, not only sight-unseen, but obviously without even a moment's critical thinking on the part of whatever bureaucratic clerk is holding the exact job that Trump very reasonably considers a waste of your taxes. If consumers want a real standard, they should embrace something the Underwriters Laboratories standard for safety. Privately run, and rigorous.

Comment Re:Coal is a campaign punchline (Score 2) 313

Only reason why it's an issue at all is because it sounded good on the campaign trail for Trump's supporters.

More specifically, it appealed to people in one of the regional subcultures (Appalachia) who are often a swing vote. They mostly vote Republican these days, but they've never been closely tied to either of the two major parties, and Trump had to lock them down in order to shore up the fact that his support was weak in other traditionally-Republican subcultures (though he was helped by the fact that his opponent's support was weak in important traditionally-Democrat subcultures).

Comment Re:Cry me a river (Score 1) 244

I know two people, the specific relationships are not anyone's business.

One tried to kill them self. The other experienced suicide idealization while in middle school.

Both are now on small does of Risperidone. The Psychiatrist stated that this was a result of a chemical malfunction in the brain. He further stated that the brain is an organ just like anything else. "Mental Illness" is an artificial moniker given to a set of conditions that physicians are just now beginning to fully understand. It is no different than any other medical condition.

And sure, you can develop medical conditions as the result of work conditions...lack of sleep and stress can give you high blood pressure which can lead to strokes, kidney failure, etc. Should Uber or any other company be held liable for that too?

With respect to depression, it can also be brought on by lack of sleep. Sleeping is a required function of the brain. You sleep for a reason...physiological reasons. That's why people with sleep disorder diseases can die without sleep.

Comment Re:Cry me a river (Score 1) 244

You don't have to be friends with someone to see the behavioral changes that come with serious depression. Though, personally, I do like to make friends at work. I still regularly see people I worked with decades ago, because we built enduring friendships. Actually, that reminds me, it's time to organize another lunch or two...

Comment Re:Medieval Guild Structure (Score 1) 653

It's not really that imbecile's fault - indeed they might not even agree with the law but still feel they have a duty to enforce it.

If their job would require them to enforce a law they believe to be unjust then they should resign rather than contribute to harming others through the enforcement of that law. The excuse that they were "just doing their job" does not shield them from responsibility for the consequences of their actions.

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