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Comment I understand your argument (Score 1) 500

You're saying that the value of a job isn't as important of the purchasing power created from its wages. And as I said, I generally agree that we have more purchasing power. You don't need to justify that point any further or defend it with an Economics 101 lesson. (While I'm not an economist, I am a mathematician, who, as such, is inclined to tell you that "you and ten people" is eleven people total, though your math indicates a labor pool of ten. Try not to fail mathematics when you argue mathematics.) Arguing about purchasing power being up when median income isn't is like a patient telling his doctor that he's not worried about his cholesterol levels because he exercises everyday and feels fit. In both cases, there are indications that things aren't as healthy as they seem.

I disagree that purchasing power alone, apart from job value, is the only metric worth evaluating. And you already gave the reason why: The existence of capital induces demand for products, which induces a demand for labor. Median income measures the strength salaries have to pay for products and services, which induces job creation. It matters significantly. So when lower-wage jobs replace higher-pay jobs*, when existing jobs producing the same product pay less to laborers, and when jobs move to overseas markets where labor is cheaper, less demand for labor is induced. Less demand for labor creates less demand for work, restricting access to capital among laborers, which restricts their access to goods and services, decreasing quality of life. All this happens, even if our purchasing power has risen relative to median income.

Also, I found your labor force statistics fascinating. Honestly. Though I'd like to know their source.

Finally, I don't disagree people want security, but they want it through a job. People find value in work. If you don't believe me, visit with some blue-collar workers, and listen to Mike Rowe's take on it.

* For example, manufacturing jobs are down, while Leisure and Hospitality jobs are up. It doesn't take an economist to tell you that they don't pay the same. And this is happening in labor pools across the country.

Comment Had been enjoying your perspective... (Score 1) 500

I was enjoying your perspective and your argument, up to the insult at the end. Too bad you had to discredit yourself with it.

Yes, many goods and services have gotten cheaper, though you omit the fact that others, including post-secondary education and health care costs, have risen sharply relative to inflation. And I generally accept your argument that purchasing power has steadily increased. Your summary of my argument was partially incorrect; I never said purchasing power has gone down.

I also don't understand why you think the clause "Someone else has told me" is important enough to bold it. These are economic figures from established agencies for which I have reasoned a valid point: If the value of production goes up this country, why doesn't median income? What people are able to do with the money they earn is irrelevant to the discussion, and only distracts from it.

You are just one drop of water in the ocean of our economy, and using yourself as an example to assert the strength of our national economy is not a valid metric. While you and I* may be doing well enough financially, many people aren't. It's those people that elected Trump to the presidency, and it's those people that currently have the strongest and most determined voice in our country. They're not earning $75,000. They're begging for jobs that would earn them even half that, but those jobs are disappearing. They don't want handouts. They just want a good day's salary for a hard day's labor. There are many reasons for why that's unobtainable, though one of them is that consumers like you and me have demanded with our dollars that prices for goods and services get cheaper, which have driven many of these production jobs overseas to cheaper labor markers.

* Congratulations on your good fortune. I'm earning $65,000 a year and also diverting a lot of money to debt elimination, including student loans, hospital bills for a child, and car payments. No "hot tubs and hookers", as you put it. I don't actually recall complaining in my post that I'm spending all my money and wishing I had more. I'm rather comfortable where I'm at; more would allow me to pay debts faster, save more, and enjoy more, but it's nothing that I envy.

Comment Re:I dont get it (Score 4, Informative) 97

Roku and Apple send Facebook, and anyone else that cares the pay, the information on what you are streaming, along with your IP and whatever else they care to send. Facebook then uses that information to send an ad to you.

Exactly wrong. It's not the device-side that's selling out your privacy at all.

  • --User points his media player (e.g. Roku) at some streaming service (e.g. A&E). As a result, A&E knows the IP address that is requesting streaming video.
  • --Streaming service shares data with some other party (e.g. Facebook, Twitter) using this IP as an identifier
  • --Other party correlates those IPs with the IPs making requests against its services and makes decisions (e.g. ads) based on that.

It is a fundamental part of the design of the internet (as it exists today) that two different service providers can cross-correlate requests based on a semi-stable* identifier (IP) if they chose to share data. There's literally nothing the client application can do to remedy this, it's in the network-layer. You can try to fix this at the network layer with some multi-VPN setup (not just a VPN, one that assigns a different external IP to each outgoing request) but that's sort of not how the internet was designed to work. The internet was designed to be sort-of pseudonymous, but it was not designed with true anonymity (in the sense of having no identifiers) in mind.

If you want a meatspace analogy, this is like two different dead-tree newspapers comparing their subscribers for home addresses. You want the newspapers to end up on your driveway in the morning, so you either have to give them your home address or use a different PO Box for each newspaper (which seems expensive).

[*] Yes, IPs are not really stable identifiers. But within the timespan of a few hours/days, it's good enough to get a few extra ad views. In other words, the downside of using a stale/incorrect identifier here (multiple parties on the same IP, router rebooted and got a new DHCP) is pretty low -- they show an irrelevant ad to those folks.

Comment I appreciate using the correct Unemployment metric (Score 1) 500

But I also think it's important to include the value of the jobs that have been created. And for that, I turn to these metrics:

Median household income, which tells us that Americans have not been earning any more money than they had been earning a decade ago.

GDP per capita, which tells us that the value of what the average American has been producing has been rising steadily (adjusted for inflation) since 2009.

So, unemployment is nearly half what it was when Obama took office, but people aren't earning any more, despite them producing more. Begs the question...who's pocketing all that extra money?

Comment Re:Yes? So? (Score 0) 549

And Obama had this power too. Don't remember quite how far back this goes, but pretty sure Bush was able to do it too.
And EVERY president going back to the start of the Emergency Broadcast System, since 1963, has had the ability to commandeer all airwaves as well. It was accidentally set off once, in 1971.

Stop pointing out the facts, you're foiling the F.U.D. apparatchiks!

Comment Re:That's nice (Score 1) 142

Six years is a pretty good run an all. That said, I do wish they would actually update the 2011 17" MBP with the nifty matte screen and the upgradable memory and hard drive bays.

This is my current MacBook Pro. I'd replace it in a heartbeat if they released a new 17" matte screen. I don't really care about the upgradable memory or Hard Drive, as I usually order mine maxed out when I do.

Comment yes (Score 1) 332

I work for a company that makes apps. We rushed to release an Apple Watch extension as quickly as possible after the Watch's release, for the sole reason that we wanted to be able to issue press releases about how we support Apple Watch and are super-innovative while our competitors are not. Nobody thought it would drive sales from a feature perspective, except insofar as it could create the perception that we're "cutting edge" and "innovative". Never mind the fact that our Watch implementation was extremely crappy; we got mentioned in a NYT article for being "first".

Comment 100% Correct (Score 4, Informative) 278

And to add to the money side, there's banking, human resources (many farms use hired hands), filing and redeeming crop insurance...

The parent post best describes what farms currently are. My mom and dad can both talk about what it used to be like growing up on a farm; waking up at 5am, feeding livestock, cleaning pens, milking cows, their dads fixing the tractor and equipment, tilling, plowing, seeding, fertilizing, spraying, harvesting...and lots and lots of praying for good weather and a good harvest. But most of all, it was always a roller-coaster ride of two or three really good years, maybe including a boom year, followed by some break-even years, maybe including a few bust years, with never a guarantee that any year could make them money.

Those "family farm" days are disappearing. Farm sizes are growing, and the number of farmers are shrinking. But that's not to say that families still don't own their farms. Crops aren't rotated nearly as frequently. Livestock aren't kept on the side and graze the fields. Machines and automation have evolved, and farms now focus on one or two crops (or livestock) with greater efficiency. Farms have changed from labor-intensive diversified endeavors to an efficient, business-intensive farm.

My grandpa managed a 120-acre farm. Farmers around where I live talk about how they manage their 1,000+ acre farms. Automated machinery will just make these farms grow even larger and make it easier for farmers to own and farm more land.

Comment Yes, we do need regulation (Score 1) 333

Criminal litigation or civil lawsuits alone don't solve the problem. There are lots of criminals looking to capitalize on short-term opportunity, then close up shop before Lady Justice brings the pain. We need regulators who can actively sniff out fraudulent activity.

Otherwise, any fly-by-night company looking to make a quick profit will be happy to sell counterfeit Copper Clad Aluminum data cables, which can easily catch and spread fire, or cheap batteries that are also more fire prone, or toys with lead paint, or counterfeit medicines, and so on. It's like the snake oil salesmen of yore...by the time the townsmen realize they were sold an empty promise, the salesman has already packed the wagon and moved onto the next town.

Lawsuits only work on the Walmarts, business who aren't going away anytime soon.

Comment Wow (Score 3, Insightful) 50

I'm genuinely disappointed.

I've seen numerous internet articles showing the wide array and quality of Samsung campuses in South Korea, and I've always told my friends and coworkers to buy Samsung, because you're buying Korean, and you're voting for a company with a good track record of clean production facilities and high wages for workers.

I guess Samsung is just as bad as Apple. Or Nike. Or that company that built the Burj Khalifa. I wonder who built it...

Wikipedia.org...Burj Khalifa...

Oh, wait...

Well, that just ruined my day.

Comment Re:Rule the waves? (Score 2) 432

Brexit prevents most EU military cooperation so this supply failure seriously weakens British power.

Spot on for the rest of the comment, but I think NATO is still alive and well (OK, maybe Trump something, for now I haven't the foggiest what he'll do with NATO and I'm betting he doesn't either) and is the primary conduit for military cooperation amongst the European states.

In any event, Brexit,Natexit or otherwise, EADS isn't going to be split apart.

Comment Re:Rule the waves? (Score 4, Interesting) 432

y thought on it is that if the nation went to war in which naval battles were a possibility (or actually happening), the budget would be instantaneously available to them to do whatever necessary to protect their seas. I'm sure they also have a rather large stockpile they could draw on in the meantime as well

Where is this stockpile going to come from if you don't develop, test, build and train with it in advance?

And how is the budget going to help when you've got a lead time in years to get something through the pipeline? I know PHBs are fond of the idea they can have 9 women make a baby in a month by throwing money at her, but that's just not how it works.

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