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Comment Re:Where's the beef? (Score 1) 375

When news about an oppressive and unfair practice in a far away country is shown in Slashdot, it seems that there are a number of posters who would rush to claim that US is also oppressive and unfair in some way. While maybe their purpose is to bash and criticize the US, their words also has the effect of trivializing the oppression and unfairness in the far away country, and thus defending the continuation of the oppression and unfairness in the far away country. If you honestly do not know the difference between Iran and US in this case, in Iran women cannot decide not to wear headscarves and cannot decide to be topless, while in US women can decide not to wear headscarves.

Comment Did he study history of government of Stalin? (Score 1) 110

If Mr. Snowden had studied history in addition to studying technologies, he should have known that governments who wanted to "reduce our dignity to something like that of tagged animals" is not something new. In fact, in the country where he is staying now, namely Russia, the government of Joseph Stalin was one of the most oppressive government who worked hard to reduce the dignity of its people. Joseph Stalin did all these things before the invention of telecommunication technologies. Perhaps if Mr. Snowden would learn more about the country he is staying, he would learn the difference between governments who wanted to "reduce our dignity to something like that of tagged animals", and governments who are just doing their jobs in providing security to its people. While some of the things done by the more democratic governments deserve debates and perhaps reviews in courts, it should be noted that in world war 2, the oppressive governments' plan for world domination are stopped by organized efforts of the more democratic governments, not by anarchists who say governments can do no good.

Comment Re:Businesses don't really pay taxes (Score 1) 240

I have seen the theory that all taxes are paid by individuals, either directly or indirectly, several times before. But an example would show the fault of such theory. Imagine a corporation which is run poorly so it has zero profit. In this case, the corporation would not have to pay any profit tax, so none of money paid by individuals to obtain goods or services from this company would become tax paid to the government. On the other hand, if the money is paid to a corporation run with good profit, then some of the money paid by individuals do become tax paid. This situation can be explained by the realization that profit tax is a tax on wealth creation. A profit tax has to be paid only if a corporation is able to create wealth or add value.

If one feel the need to ask why someone creating wealth should be taxed, the simple answer is that someone not creating wealth would have no money, thus unable to pay tax.

Comment UrBackup can do both files backup and image backup (Score 1) 118

Highly recommend UrBackup. It can do both files backup and system image backup. The backup server can run in either Linux or Windows. Clients softwares for PC to be backup are also available for both Linux and Windows. For Windows clients, system image backup is made using Volume Shadow Copy function of Windows. Not sure if system image backup is available for Linux client or not. Overall it is a very powerful, yet easy to use, backup system, avaialble at

Comment Re:I can't help but wonder (Score 1) 342

Fire is something to be feared, and some people may have a valid reason to hate fire. But while fire can be very destructive, it can also be very useful if used correctly. In some way, a government is also like fire. It can be highly useful if run correctly, but can be destructive if run incorrectly. People should spend their effort to make the government works for the interests of the public, not to fear or hate a government.

Comment Re:People still don't know? (Score 1) 342

Many government projects are done to satisify real need of society, and resources allocated in these projects are not result of politically based decision. On the other hand, in private business it is also not uncommon to have resources allocated politically, for example, to hire a subcontractor who is a good friend of the CEO. Hence, snch wastes can be found in both government and private businesses.

If you really believe that all government projects are unproductive activity, perhaps you can migrate to places like Somalia, where the government is very weak and doing very little. However, so far history suggests that places without a functioning government always fall into chaos and have very poor economics development.

Comment Re: Weep for humanity. (Score 1) 375

To claim that well established economics theory is bullshit require strong evidence, but your example failed to supply the evidence for disproving the theory. If you have studied economics, you must have known the concept of elasticity of demand. To highlight the fault in your example, replace the word "electronics" with the word "food ". Certainly, even if everyone know the price of food would become lower one month later, no one can refuse to buy food for one month, since no one can stop eating for one month. This example only shows that the demand of food is mostly inelastic, and your original example only shows that demand of electronics is relatively inelastic. Very few people in developed nations can accept not carrying a mobile phone or not watching TV for a month or longer. But many goods and services in the economy have higher demand elasticity, so the effect of delaying purchase and holding on to the money is very real if there is an expectation of decrease in price.

Your opinion about who can benefit from inflation and who can benefit from deflation is also highly inaccurate. The use of the word "profligate" is especially misleading. The fact is, inflation benefits all borrowers, regardless of whether they borrow the money for building roads or for buying luxury. On the other hand, savers are not the group of people most benefited by deflation. Deflation is most beneficial to people who already have a lot of money, that is, the rich and the wealthy.

Your belief that central bankers want to "rob" people by diluting money is completely groundless, and this view sound like those flavoured by conspiracy theorists. History has shown that no central bank in modern industrial nations want to have high rate of inflation, and policies are enacted to control inflation rate if it becomes too high. Central banks prefer a small inflation rate because according to mainsteam economics theory, a small inflation rate facilitate lending and borrowing, which in turns encourage economics development. In rare histroical cases where there was a very high rate or hyperinflation, for example in Germany during early 1930s, the hyperinflation were always caused by failure of political leadership, not by central bankers.

Comment Re:No Clinton No Bush (Score 1) 315

By itself, fiscal responsibility is certainly not "nutty". However, those who oppose any tax increase are. Any sane person running a business would realize that both decreasing expenditure and increasing income are essential for financial health, and using only one method would only lead to ruin. Nevertheless, there are merits to the view that the tax rate is already high enough, but the problem is that the multinational corporations and the wealthy, with the help of politicians, devised various nefarious schemes to decrease the tax they paid, thereby shifting the burden of taxation to the working class.

Comment Re:Hashes not useful (Score 1) 324

The vendors may need to move operations outside of five-eyes to remain commercially viable.

Do you really believe that only the "five-eyes" countries are capable of doing this? Countries like Russia certainly have the technology and money to do something similar. Countries like Somalia would not be capable of doing this, but then you would have great difficulties in actually building a factory, or developing any technology there.

Comment Re:Consumer feedback removes need for certificatio (Score 1) 139

You have strong faith in an ideal free market. As one can see from the "Perfect Competition" entry in wikipedia, an imporant assumption of ideal free market is perfect information - All consumers and producers are assumed to have perfect knowledge of price, utility, quality and production methods of products. However, perfect information is never possible in the real world. While improvement in consumers' ability to share information would improve spreading of some information, many kind of information remain asymmetric. Some information are asymmetric because a producer or supplier always has more information than a consumer. For relatively simple jobs like taxi driving, the information advantage of the supplier is not very big. But for more specialize job that requires years of training, a supplier have much more information than a customer. Without certification from a professional body, it would be very difficult for consumers to judge if a supplier is competent or not, unless the consumers themselves undergo years of training to become experts themselves.

Comment Re:Crusade against capitalism (Score 1) 398

Sure it can, but it cannot corner any market for long without the power of coercion government adds. I defy you to find monopolies that resisted for more than a few years without government protection, in the form of barriers, subsidies or regulations.

Since this is Slashdot, it is surprising that you does not seem to aware of the monopoly position held by Microsoft on PC operating system. Microsoft's monopoly is certainly not a result of government regulation or control. There are a number of causes of monopoly besides government interference, for example, high barrier to entry, network effect, predatory business practices, etc. Actually, good government regulation is supposed to suppress predatory business practices. A few years ago, an antitrust investigation against Intel (the CPU maker) revealed that, in the past they were giving a number of CPU to Dell effectively free of charge (price zero) if Dell would not buy CPU from AMD. Do you think anyone can stay in or enter the CPU business if such practices is not prohibited by the government?

Comment Re:Crusade against capitalism (Score 1) 398

A cynic might point out that the only three things you think the government should do could be easily turned against you. The Coyote said "A libertarian is an anarchist who wants the government to police his slaves". I wonder if you understand what that means.

Anything, if it is useful, can either be used for a good cause, or be used for an evil cause. For example, a knife can be used for you for cooking, or it can be used against you for causing bodily harm. The important thing to do is not to view knife as evil, but to make sure that knife are only used for good purpose as much as possible.

Comment Re:Crusade against capitalism (Score 1) 398

Rich people are not "harming" anybody. Much on the contrary. Someone with employees is providing the employees jobs that otherwise wouldn't exist. He can "screw them over" and they can decide to go elsewhere. That is how a free society works.

The Rich may cause harm to people in the same way a corrupted government do. By abuse and mis-use of their power. The Rich are not interested at providing employee jobs. They are only interested at making profits, any jobs provided are a side effect. While in theory, employees can go to another company if their employer treat them badly, nowadays coporate merger and monopoly means there are only a very small number of companies in a given industry, making it difficult for employees to change company, unless they abandon their accumulated skills and swtich to work in a different industry. A "free" society cannot be really free if the Rich has vastly more power than the average people.

On the other hand if you increase government powers, those same employees can be "screwed over" without any chance to defend themselves under the threat of force. And even worse this force can be bought by those rich guys.

Without the laws and regulation imposed by a government, the Rich will have no problems finding ways to "screw over" employees. In this case, the Rich does not even have to buy any favour or power from the government, since the government will not be able to stop them when they use their financial power for corecion of the employees. Your own worry that some of the government power can be bought by the Rich, actually shows the danger of not having sufficient checks against the great financial power of the Rich.

So if you want to prevent damage from being done you should defend that governments should be as small as possible and that violence and coercion, which are the tools of any government, should be kept at a minimum.

It is best to keep a balance of power between the Rich and the government. If any one side become too powerful than the others, it would be bad news for the people. Actually, what is needed is a balance of power between the Rich and the average people, but the latter is not sufficient organized or powerful enough to face the Rich alone, so the use of the institution of government is necessary. While a corrupted government is certainly more harmful than the Rich, the democratic form of government is so far the best form of government to prevent corruption, as it allow the public to keep a check on the power of the government.

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