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Comment Re: Why invest so much money in this... (Score 1) 78

I have found most people regurgitating this phrase haven't actually *used* the competition. Try using Bing for every search for a month, and you may find what I've found: Bing is better for obscure information, which is likely due to the fact that it's actually superior technology but doesn't have the advantage of a billion people combing through the results to find the best ones. It also seems to be better at juggling results. Searching on a technical issue that may be similar to another issue in the same software in 2005 in Google will give results from 2005, where Bing will give results based on the current year. Seems a simple thing to throw into an algorithm, but Google just doesn't want to let go of those obsolete results.

Comment Re:It's incredibly frustrating... (Score 1) 535

Net Neutrality is not "anti-discrimation" - it is the government takeover of the Internet. They will set pricing, determine who is being 'fair', and punish all others. They will determine the winners and the losers. Markets will naturally resist discrimination because the company with the most customers gets the most money.

Comment Re:It's incredibly frustrating... (Score 1) 535

You may want to read up on representation in the U.S. The founding generation considered it important enough to draft an amendment that would prevent Congressional districts from ever exceeding a population of 50,000. Democracy is not the sole cause of increases in prosperity. China and India are democracies, as are other countries that have not prospered as the U.S. has. When the factors are all weighed, what tends to be most prevalent is the freer the market, the more prosperity. We can find the same to be true with representation: the smaller the districts, the more economic freedoms and justice will prevail.

You're right, I misread your statement. What you're actually stating is worse: regardless of how much better bridges would be if they were all private, it wouldn't be worth it. I really don't understand this.

Clearly you have never looked at crime stats (originally I was able to find this data on the FBI website, but I can only find data there going back to 1992 now). Violent crime rates in the U.S. are up dramatically from when the USG first began keeping statistics around 1960. The trend was a steep rise until 1990 or so and a dramatic fall since then. However, rates are still up considerably from where they were in 1960. Why, I don't know, but there is one peculiar exception: the murder rate is lower. How can this be? There is no way to know, but my hypothesis is that missing persons are essentially no longer being investigated, which would result in lowered crime statistics since a reported missing person is not a report of a crime, but investigatng missing persons less will result in fewer reported crimes, and being that murder is already very low (.005%), it will have a real impact on the statistic. So when you are talking about murder, you are talking about something that is so infinitesimal that it has very little bearing when comparing to arguments on things that affect 100% of the population, which is why I consider the argument absurd.

A book I have not read, but have seen quoted many times, is The Not So Wild, Wild West, where the authors demonstrate that by every measure, the "wild west" was one of the most peaceful, least violent places in the history of the U.S., and it was mostly anarchy. However, even with that, I am not an anarchist, but my issues regarding this nation and democracy are that it doesn't work - reading about the history of the U.S. Constitution and what it was supposed to do is a miserable exercise that reveals how all sides (philosophically speaking) want to use the central government and bend the law to carry out their idea of how things should be, while the only group that really wins is special interests, the 'sides' both lose while the republic is transformed into a centrally controlled plutocracy.

The United States, through direct murder through wars of aggression and indirect murder through violently enforced policies such as at the 'drug war' make the United States Government one of the, if not the, biggest killer in the world. The point is not to be content that modern-day life in the U.S. is better than life in Spain during the Inquisition, but that we can always improve and make things better, and doing such will require casting aside those things which make life worse, and the U.S. Government is a single package that we should be weighing the total costs and total benefits of.

Comment Re:It's incredibly frustrating... (Score 1) 535

Since I am in the minority, I am never to have any representation? You consider this a just system?

Laws against murder are always brought up, but I must point out that we still have murder, and the police pretty much never prevent it from happening (and do it themselves with impunity). What prevents high prevalence of murder is that most people do not desire to murder others. Isn't that the reason you are not a murderer? If a law is the only thing preventing someone from being a murderer, then that person falls into an incredibly tiny percentage of the population, as most people would fall into the non murderer category and those in the murderer category probably aren't terribly concerned with laws.

What is worse about the murderer argument is that it is no argument at all. It appears to dismiss concerns of the minority, but doesn't, and is an absurd argument.

Dismissing a claim because it is not perfect is to dismiss it for no reason. I did not claim that private roads would create perfection. You are trying to insert something into my argument that doesn't exist.

Where is the evidence that lobbying Congress results and measurable improvements for society at large? Please, provide me with some evidence.

The lobbyists do not argue for a free market because a free market is not in the interests of existing firms. It has nothing to do with success rates. They pay lobbyists and politicians to do their bidding. This is why during the debates on TARP, Congress was openly admitting to having ratios of 1000:1 constituents calling opposing the bill to those supporting the bill. What happened? The first bill was voted down and then replaced by a bill so horrifyingly full of pork, crony hookups, and fascist laws that it passed, revealing the real reason the first bill failed: it didn't benefit the patrons of Congress.

I never stated that I am an anarchist and it is very presumptuous of you to claim such.

Comment Re:It's incredibly frustrating... (Score 1) 535

Really? Nobody I ever voted for has been elected. How is it they are representing my interests? How are they we? How come the only thing I ever get back from 'my' representatives is a form letter telling me that they are concerned about my concerns but will be voting otherwise? You state that if, overall, bridges would be in better shape under private control, you still don't think it is a good tradeoff for society? This seems a good example of cognitive dissonance. You also seem unwilling to consider the argument for private roads, as I don't imagine you read the book I linked to - one of the few scholarly works on privatizing roads. Your reasoning seems to be "since a few bridges might be managed irresponsibly, we should default to a system where nearly all bridges are managed irresponsibly." And if privatizing roads were a way for greedy corporations to make a quick buck, how come none of them are lobbying Congress to pass a law forbidding government intrusion in the transportation infrastructure?

Comment Re:It's incredibly frustrating... (Score 1) 535

Again, a competitor will arise that will offer lower prices. If the infrastructure provider is trying to get information coming and going, then when the information is routed through their network, the supplier of the information can charge their customers for access. Competitors to the coming-and-going ISP can advertise that YouTube is FREE! on their service, thus providing a large benefit over the competing service. I fail to see why this is a reason to justify bringing cronies into the mix to extort everyone and most likely only make things worse for everyone (except the cronies).

Comment Re:It's incredibly frustrating... (Score 1) 535

The broken window fallacy demonstrates how when existing capital is destroyed and then replaced we do not see that new capital was not created. It has nothing to do with creating new products or services.

Do you remember dial-up ISPs? There were a lot of them everywhere in the 90s. Anyone with a little bit of capital could start up their very own dial-up ISP, and there were a lot of them servicing each market, really beneficial given the cost of regional long-distance back in those days. Then, AOL began offering all-you-can-eat pricing, putting the small ISPs out of business. Was that bad for the ISPs? Yes. Was it good for customers? Yes, they got a lower price. And, eventually, the capital from the failed ISPs ended up in AOL's infrastructure.

Similarly, building of bridges would end up with a company allowing anyone to cross their bridge. This company would get the highest volume because of their anti-discrimination policies, giving them more cash to invest in improving their capital assets. They could create more lanes, lower prices, improve safety, reduce congestion, i.e. offer a superior service in comparison to the discriminatory bridges. The owners of the discriminatory bridges would eventually be forced to discontinue their services or change their policies.

A huge cost for a business is a lawsuit. Lawsuits, even with 'positive' outcomes, are hugely expensive, and lawsuits with negative outcomes can put businesses out of business, and remove the asset of the business (the shares) from the shareholders. It will be important for bridge owners to carry insurance to protect against a very costly lawsuit. The insurance companies will require the asset be maintained in a certain way for the insurance policy to be valid, and they will hire their own auditors to inspect the bridge and make sure that bridge owner is maintaining the bridge in accordance with their contract. Additionally, competitors and consumer watchdogs will be on the lookout for poorly maintained bridges, keeping the public apprised of companies not guarding the safety of their customers. Companies not maintaining their bridges will be identified as such and will likely not be owning the bridge for very much longer.

Comment Re:It's incredibly frustrating... (Score 2) 535

Yes, TW would discriminate against Netflix, and why not? Because if they are using their ISP model as a conduit for their content, then the ISP model will suffer when competition offers superior access to the sites consumers desire to use. So what? Why do we all have to be buttinskis? Let it be sorted out locally. Whatever gets enacted on a Federal level will just screw everyone over who isn't in with the cronies.

Comment Re:It's incredibly frustrating... (Score 1) 535

The vast majority of government bridges not in disrepair are just new or one of the few recently repaired, though typically only repaired after catastrophe, such as the bridge in the MacArthur Maze that collapsed and the bridge in Minneapolis that collapsed. The government has no solid plan to repair bridges. If the bridges were owned by private companies, then they would likely be maintaining the bridges to keep their insurance policies valid and their source of revenue secure.

I would encourage you to read The Privatization of Roads and Highways by Walter Block. Electronic versions of the book are offered free of charge.

Comment Re:It's incredibly frustrating... (Score 1) 535

What is the significance of who owns the land that the cables are buried in? These are agreements that all firms must deal with - it is (relatively speaking) a level playing field. The Government is not us. They extort taxes, build debt, force us from our land, destroy family-owned businesses (private traditions), increase the money supply, wage wars, spy on us, arrest us by violating the laws established by us, then retire at an early age with large pensions. This is not 'us'; this is a separate entity from us.

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