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Comment Re: Extremely ignorant (Score 1) 523

I'm a pretty average slashdotter. I recognize the North Korean leader's name when I see it, but I couldn't quote it off the top of my head. At this point, KJU simply isn't on the list of leaders of countries that are relevant to me and as fast as they go through leaders - may well never be. His policies don't seem any different from his predecessor(s), so I tend to think about N. Korea - the country - as opposed to who is currently running it.

That doesn't mean that I don't know anything about what is going on in N. Korea or what they have been doing. It doesn't mean I don't care about how deplorably they treat their own people. It doesn't mean I don't worry for nearby countries that we do a lot of business with that are directly threatened by North Korea and its nuclear ambitions. It doesn't mean I don't think China should be doing more to reign him in. I just don't happen to be great with names.

From what I've seen, Mr. Johnson is similar. He gives good opinions on what is going on in particular parts of the world - he just doesn't seem to associate names very well. Of all the things to worry about with the candidates this year, a command of names of leaders (and particularly the ability to name your favorite leader) seems way down on the list of things to worry about. That's why the White House has a staff and why we have a State Department.

Comment Re:Extremely ignorant (Score 1) 523

Facts can be learned. Mr. Johnson is a reasonably smart guy and if he finds the need to learn specifics about transient world leaders, I'm sure he can do so.

Character is what you bring with you over a lifetime. You can't fake it for long. From what the press has actually produced on this front compared to the two mainstream candidates, Mr. Johnson wins hands down.

Comment Re:Well (Score 1) 375

Don't vote for a random third party. Over 25 of them will appear on various ballots across the country. The Libertarian Party is on all 50 ballots + DC. If you don't like R or D, vote Libertarian. I would normally vote for a Constitution Party candidate as my first choice and Libertarian second if neither R or D was acceptable, but this time it really does matter. For there to be any hope of derailing either the R or D train and having the train wreck happen before the election instead of after, the third party vote must be concentrated. If it is split up into 25 pieces, we will all get to watch the train wreck after.

Comment Re:No difference (Score 1) 375

Those couple of possible gaffes are getting him a lot of free press and name recognition which he was denied by the debates. His lapses were probably real, but it is possible they weren't.

If I was asked to name my favorite foreign leader I would have difficulty as well - possibly Merkel, but few other candidates leap to mind. It would be equally difficult for me to name a favorite foreign government in general even without naming a specific leader. There are many I like - but a favorite? Why risk alienating some other government if they weren't first on the tip of my tongue?

Now, it would be much easier to name foreign leaders that I didn't like - there are many to choose from.

Comment Re:HQ Redo (Score 1) 579

I would presume the same legislation that eliminated the corporate tax rate in the first place - limitations on the assets such companies could own which were unrelated to their services rendered.

This murky area keeps the IRS busy with the existing corporate structures individuals set up. I don't expect the IRS to be less busy under a corporate 0 tax rate structure and once all existing audits for pre corporate 0 tax rate were done, all their resources used there could redirected to examination of personal tax returns.

Comment Re:HQ Redo (Score 1) 579

As has been noted by others with prices going the other way, if a company gets a lower tax bill because they are headquartered in a 0 tax jurisdiction, then they can reduce their prices to increase market share. I'm not saying they do this out of the goodness of their "hearts". It is just good business practice.

Companies can and do sell at a loss frequently. Their reasons vary - obviously they think that the net result will be beneficial for some corporate definition of beneficial. Red Hat, for example, chooses to provide all the infrastructure for the Fedora free home version of its product. It has hired the CentOS group. While there are license reasons why they cannot charge for RHEL and instead rely on support contracts, their is no reason they have to give away the infrastructure support for Fedora or CentOS. But they do because the feedback they get on those products help them with their main product - RHEL.

My assumption is that the legislation authorizing the removal of the taxes on corporations would also include incentives such that your corporate tax rate couldn't go to 0 unless certain conditions were fulfilled, one of which could be a reduction of prices by your average corporate tax rate over some period of time with some flexibility for existing inventories of goods.

This is Congress after all. Nothing happens without legislation and any move to 0 the corporate tax rate permanently would probably take a long time to move through Congress because they would know that once the legislation was passed there would be a huge drop in campaign contributions. They wouldn't go to 0, because there are other ways our Congress can "help" companies. But be assured that going to 0 with no strings attached would require a totally hypothetical universe.

Comment Re:HQ Redo (Score 1) 579

One company may have little room to raise prices. If all sellers and manufacturers find their taxes raised, then they can all raise their prices together without any risk of someone saying they're colluding.

It may not be exactly the same percent for each seller because of all of the variables going into producing a product. Have no doubt though that increasing taxes on all businesses will raise prices. Since each company wants the same profit margin, the actual increase in prices is likely to be higher for long product chain companies than it would be if personal taxes were just raised instead by an equivalent dollar amount.

Comment Re:HQ Redo (Score 3, Interesting) 579

Or perhaps we should eliminate the fiction that companies pay taxes in the first place and just tax the people directly, thereby cutting out the middlemen. Any tax dollar a company pays to a government taxing authority is one that at some point in time will come from the price paid by a person for an end product. Everything else is just accounting games.

It is delusional to think that if every government extracted all the money they want from corporations, personal free cash flow would improve aggregated over a large enough sample of people. Every company would simply raise their prices and cut labor costs more to keep their desired profit margin and you'd end up spending your "tax savings" on every purchase you make. Maybe you don't buy Apple equipment - but you'd pay the higher prices on groceries, clothes, and other things.

Make America great? Eliminate corporate taxation completely! That would have the benefit of cutting out a big chunk of legal, accounting, and legislative burden in one fell swoop. Increase the income tax rates on the people to compensate. As Heinlen said TANSTAAFL - There ain't no such thing as a free lunch. While we're at it, eliminate sales taxes, lodging taxes and all the other B.S. taxes we pay in bits and drabs and increase property taxes to compensate. Reduce the variety of all these garbage taxes to just two (income and property) and pay them once per year and you'd see a lot better accountability from the people passing legislation.

Comment Re:Just get out of education (Score 1) 420

Or, Econ 101 could actually be used. If there isn't anyone able to pay the cost of housing and tuition and books and lab fees and miscellaneous fees because there isn't any lender of last resort, they'd also have to reduce their administrative overhead, close or just - you know - fire their overpaid sports coaches and close the athletics departments and have IM teams for exercise. Wow - I must still be dreaming and not awake yet. The thought that schools would put teaching ahead of building new training facilities for athletes - that's crazy talk.

The other big expense at colleges has been in buildings and particularly dorms. When I went back to visit the college I attended, I couldn't believe the changes in the dorms. My old dorm was still there and in use (and I know it was - well - aged would probably be polite compared to when I was there). It was still in use but it and its companion were slated for destruction soon and may have been by now. There wasn't anything wrong with the dorms I was in in my opinion, but in the attempts to attract new students all of the big colleges have been building new facilities to try to look attractive and provide all the amenities.

I agree that having people who want a broad education receive one is great. I completely agree that such an education is good for many careers. I also believe engineers, doctors, and scientists should be able to write well and spell and should know something of history and perhaps be familiar with some economic theory and a foreign language. I also believe that high school English, History, Foreign Language and the rest should be sufficient training for most everyone in those disciplines. Only economics and basic law are probably not taught in high school.

If they didn't go to a high school that taught anything, or they partied and didn't choose to learn anything in high school, then they probably aren't going to be in the school of engineering or in the science department anyway because they're tough majors. There are many other requirements at most colleges that are not useful for many degrees but are still requirements for graduation because colleges feel everyone should be well rounded and the big liberal arts programs need money. But it's not a two way street. The liberal degrees don't generally have to do much hard science or basic engineering. I'm not painting all degrees at public / private colleges as worthless, but there are certainly a great many courses being taught that are.

Comment Re:Just get out of education (Score 1) 420

My comment wasn't directed at ITT or Corinthian or any other now defunct business and absolving them of any wrongs that they may or may not have done - I'm not their judge.

A private college can be structured to provide training in particular fields with faster certifications and without the broad spectrum of courses that you would have to take to get the same training that you are after at a public school. Whether they are or not is an exercise left to the potential students. Whether they succeed or not is almost always harder to judge, because the people who select these schools frequently have strikes against them at the outset, either from lack of time or resources or additional responsibilities that are making them look at a focused program rather than a longer term broader spectrum education you would get at a public or private college. They may have already had a host of problems that make them a poor candidate for public or private colleges, but might have a chance on a focused curriculum.

I was trying to say that the federal government's paying for education (grants, research dollars, loans that are forgivable if you do favored things) just allows the colleges to increase tuition till they are still getting the same money from students and parents. The costs of all higher education has - like medical care- risen much higher than inflation (3x or more in some cases). As long as there is an infinite pocket available, this will continue. All degrees have worth, but the comparison between tech colleges and community/public is not much different than the supposed benefits of top ranked colleges and their humble cc and state competitors. The hype isn't much different.

I guess part of the frustration I have is I like the principle of the tech education - get the degree you are interested in without supporting the broad based garbage you have to take to get a science or engineering degree at most schools. I read War and Peace (unabridged) on my own because I wanted to. I didn't need a college class to broaden my experience. Likewise, people interested in teaching English (or Russian) aren't expected to take Calculus. Probably just a gear head's perception at the existing inequalities in what people have to take, but anyway..

Comment Just get out of education (Score 1, Insightful) 420

How much money goes to the favored public and private institutions from the federal government? There are plenty of worthless degrees you can get at any institution. None of their promises of employment or employment at a particular wage are worth anything.

Why is it all right to go after the technical schools and not go after everybody else?

They should just stop the funding and let all the colleges adapt. The more they've subsidized students costs of attending, the higher the tuition has been priced. Just stop already.

Comment Re:no, they can't (Score 1) 990

Mass transit is more efficient big cities where you actually have a "mass" to move to a particular spot regularly.

If you live in a city that is smaller, mass transit will never be more efficient. There are simply too few people needing to go to or even near any one spot at any one time.

Comment Re:A wasted vote... (Score 1) 993

Um - I don't know how to gently break this to you, but no presidential candidate in recent history - and perhaps not so recent history - has ever had the power to do the things they promised when running for office. The closest was probably Ron Paul - and see how he ended up...

Sadly, the moderators don't ask questions about what a President is actually empowered to do either. They are hung up on the vast vision things that Congress has to deal with first. If that ever actually happened, then the questions might give some insight as to whether or not there would be a Presidential veto or signing of the bill, but otherwise it is just blather. If the candidates and moderators would stick to worrying about what Presidents can actually do, there would be a much faster electoral process and far fewer lies told.

If you get down to just what each candidate says that they actually are empowered to do, then all the candidates are back on the same footing - regardless of Republican, Democrat, or 3rd party affiliation.

What is their character and temperament? Do they show evidence of wisdom and maturity? Do they fear God or think they are God? Are they charitable and fair? How do they treat the poor and downtrodden? How do they treat those who are struggling? Do they want to ship them all off someplace where they will never be seen again? How do they handle their words and message? After all, communicating is a primary function of a president both nationally and internationally. How much baggage from their past are they going to be dragging into the White House that other governments can use against us?

Are they likely to lead us into a war nobody wants? Will they lead us into a war if needed? Will they negotiate treaties that help or hurt the majority of the American people or will the rich get richer and the poor poorer? Will our relations with other countries be better or worse in four years if they are president? How beholden are they to the existing government, military, and commercial entities? How beholden are they to the people providing the funds to get them elected?

Will they defend all the rights guaranteed to us by the Constitution and leave everything else not specified in the constitution to the states like the BOR says or will they let the latest "danger buzzword" chip away at a few more? Will they work to pull the country together or will they fracture it further? Since the President does control - to a point - the executive departments, these are real concerns. What will they choose to regulate if legislation fails? Will our freedoms, security, and privacy be better with this candidate in office?

Will they work with Congress or better yet, actually get Congress to work? Will government be bigger and more intrusive in four years with them in office or will it be smaller? Will our debt be bigger or smaller in four years with them in office? Most of these things come down to exercising their veto power over bad bills and budgets from Congress. A 3rd party candidate has a better shot at being willing to do that since they are unlikely to be beholden to their peers in the major parties.

To me, those are the things that matter in selecting a president.

There are a few swing states. If you live in a state where your vote really will make a difference, then by all means vote for a major party. If you are in a state that will go R or D without fail, then vote your conscience and pick who you think will be the best president, even if that is a 3rd party. We may not have true preferential voting, but in most states we effectively do. If you live in one of them, vote for the best person and feel good about yourself for a change. If you think that the R or D candidate is a good fit for the questions I have asked, by all means pick R or D. If you read those questions and consider the primary party candidates and blanch or retch, then choose a 3rd party. It probably won't make any difference, but you'll feel better for the next four years and it may help to provide ballot access and debate access in the future. At the state and local level, do the same thing. Vote in the primary that is likely to fill the most elected positions. Then vote for the best person in the election - regardless of party. Remember that Congress must be fixed before the President matters much and both main parties are responsible for its disfunctional state.

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