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Comment Re: Dunno if (Score 1) 112

And like I said, this limitation of liability applies to nearly everyone in the modern world. Debt slavery is gone. Debts are not passed to others. So we are all being subsidized by your logic, which is illogical.

Hey a homeless guy could start a fire in a big city and cause millions of dollars of damage. And he wouldn't have to pay a dime. So the government is subsidizing homeless guys to start fires!!! That's the equivalent of your logic. It's nonsense.

If there is money that you DO have to pay, and the government allows you to not pay it, then that could be considered a subsidy. But if it's money that you DO NOT have to pay, such as a $250 billion charge for Chernobyl, then it's nonsense to call that a subsidy. It was never owed or expected to be paid.

I totally agree with you.. this should not be hard to understand.

Comment Re: Dunno if (Score 1) 112

The limitation on liabilities isn't even "money that you don't have to pay." It's money that some groups (like Energy Fair) *wish* you had to pay. Otherwise, the maximum liability would be capped at the assets of the company anyway.

I mean I guess you consider that a subsidy, so actually everybody is being subsidized due to bankruptcy laws. That doesn't seem like a useful definition. It's worthless in fact.

Comment Re: Dunno if (Score 1) 112

Whoa, what? So you reject everything I said because I said "anti-nuclear"? Did you think I just applied that label because I assume they're anti-nuclear due to their use in the article? No, here's the wikipedia page about them: "Energy Fair in the United Kingdom is a group of six people leading a campaign that claims that the nuclear power industry receives unfair subsidies"

That's just what they do. They have tried to come up with every conceivable point to use against nuclear power, whether they are rational or not.

Either it was a poor assumption on your part, or you know better in which case you're just the type of person who enjoys living in their bubble. I mean really that's shocking, anybody interested in talking about pro OR anti nuclear power should not dismiss others for saying "pro" or "anti" -- it's like a joke.

Comment Re:you mean capitalism works? (Score 1) 372

I've always assumed it's some kind of tax scam. To take another example like medical costs.. an ER might have a negotiated rate with an insurance company that is 75% lower than what they charge an uninsured individual. My question is, does that mean if the uninsured person doesn't pay, the ER gets to write off the inflated price as bad debt? So in that case, boosting the price by 4x actually results in the write-off being profitable, assuming say 35% tax. In other words, hey we get to deduct $1000 against the profits we made on patients who paid, that's worth $350 to us, rather than hey we get to deduct $250 against the profits we made, that's worth $87.50 to us. But I don't know.

Comment Re: Dunno if (Score 1) 112

I've seen that list so there's an easy example to give you.

One of the largest subsidies is the cap on liabilities for nuclear accidents which the nuclear power industry has negotiated with governments. “Like car drivers, the operators of nuclear plants should be properly insured,” said Gerry Wolff, coordinator of the Energy Fair group. The group calculates that, "if nuclear operators were fully insured against the cost of nuclear disasters like those at Chernobyl and Fukushima, the price of nuclear electricity would rise by at least €0.14 per kWh and perhaps as much as €2.36, depending on assumptions made".

So an anti-nuclear group came up with some assumptions that make nuclear energy look bad. News at 11.

This is an example of what I'm talking about... this "subsidy" is actually not a payment to any fossil fuel producer or user.

Another one...

The three largest fossil fuel subsidies were:

1. Foreign tax credit ($15.3 billion)

Now I don't know if you know anything about taxes, but foreign tax credits are not a subsidy to fossil fuels. They are part of the tax treaties we have with many many countries. I get a foreign tax credit every year (about $2... but hey...) for withheld taxes on dividends from foreign corporations that I hold in some mutual funds.

So yes, I'm sure that if Exxon is producing oil from Canada, and must pay a royalty to the Canadian province where it's happening and also to the Canadian federal government, they get an equivalent tax credit here... that's to prevent double taxation because otherwise they'd be paying taxes on the full price of a barrel of oil, when in reality up to half of it is directly given to Canada.

Comment Re: Dunno if (Score 1) 112

But if oil and gas can have the huge subsidies they've gotten

What huge subsidies are you referring to? All of the articles I've seen about fossil fuel subsidies are mostly bullshit. They'll include intangibles like "not having to pay for cancer or climate change caused by coal... that's worth $89 trillion!!!" as a subsidy. Or they'll include as a subsidy the full cost of the highway system, because "that's just for gas burning cars man! that's worth trillions!!!" (I guess they'll have to give up that line now that there are viable electric cars in mass production.) Or some percentage of the defense budget because "muh middle east wars are obviously 100% for oil."

Comment Re:They are looking at it all wrong (Score 1) 121

If corporate makes something clear to employees, and trains employees on it, and enforces it, and then an employee does it anyway, then corporate is only accountable to prove that the employee was trained appropriately, and then to fire the employee.

Right, so the employee gets fired. But let me note that it's not like it's required by law that the employee gets fired. That's the company's choice.

But with a contractor, corporate is accountable at all. It doesn't need to train contractors. It doesn't need to prove that contractors understood anything. It doesn't even need to fire the contractors.

I don't understand... if the contractor misbehaves, that will likely breach the contract, and the company is probably not going to enter a new agreement with that person. Why do you think nothing would happen? Wouldn't the broker lose a lot of credibility?

Brokers don't set policies, they simply decide whom to broker. Recruiting agencies don't set hiring requirements either.

They can decide whom to broker based on a set policy though. For instance it's common to have a service like a nanny finding service that does screening for you, background checks, reference checks, etc. There are 2 contracts involved... my contract with the nanny finding service, and the service's contract with nannies. But there is interaction.. my contract with the agency will definitely include things like doing criminal background checks, and that means the agency's contract with the nanny will also include that.

Comment Re:They are looking at it all wrong (Score 1) 121

the key question appears to be: who controls the relationship? Under rules 1 and 2, it seems pretty clear that it's Uber, not the driver. Yes, the driver supplies the car and fuel. But that's because Uber says so.

I'm not sure how you determined that. If we look at a more clear cut case like a plumber, it seems like the same things hold. I've never been asked by a plumber to provide his tools or other supplies, and I would find it highly inappropriate and unprofessional if that came up. I don't think that makes me his employer or gives me more or less power in the relationship.

For #3 you're right, but how do you square that with concepts like subcontracting? A subcontract is obviously part of the primary business of the overall contract. If I win a contract to build a new tank, and I subcontract development of the tank engine to some other company, obviously I haven't taken over that company and "employ" them exclusively.

Comment Re:So when can Uber start scheduling shifts? (Score 1) 121

But when you start to meddle with the individual transactions (creating uniform pricing, dictating standards for worker behavior, etc)

Sounds like what Amazon is doing with their new service options. I bought a kitchen faucet last month on Amazon and they gave me the option of adding installation. Uniform pricing, at least some standards (they claim they handpick the businesses involved, require screening, and set standards on scheduling and cancellation).

I wonder if they are considered Amazon employees? I would think not.

Comment Re:They are looking at it all wrong (Score 1) 121

You could simply stop driving for Uber any time, but in an at-will state you could walk out at any time. That alone doesn't make you a contractor.

An Uber driver can stop driving at any time, and then start again at any time. That's a huge difference. I can't walk out of my job with no notice or approval and then come back in 8 weeks and say "Well that was a nice vacation!" You can't do that at any job that I know of. Full freedom of setting your own schedule is practically the definition of "being your own boss."

Comment Re:They are looking at it all wrong (Score 1) 121

That's not a thing that a client can do to contractors. Can certainly fire contractors for it, but can't promise passengers that contractors will do or not do anything.

What are you trying to say? If the threat of being fired doesn't keep a contractor honest, neither will the the threat of being fired keep the same person honest if you call him an employee instead. So that has no bearing on whether someone is a contractor or an employee.

Comment Re:They are looking at it all wrong (Score 1) 121

Maybe I'm misunderstanding what Uber drivers do, but I'd say they are clearly not employees under #1. Isn't driving for Uber completely up to the driver on a moment by moment basis? Like I can say, oh I don't feel like working from 9am-11am, so I wont. You can't do that at a real job and keep your employment. Likewise you choose your car and you choose where you drive every day. I don't see how that's anything like a normal job in terms of controlling employee behavior.

Comment Re:In the end... (Score 1) 121

You might be thinking of "natural resource" which is a specific type of resource. General use of "resource" would actually include labor, intellectual property, usage rights to your physical property, etc.

Also I find it very hard to believe that we went 100k years without the idea of territory. We're territorial animals. Even during our nomadic phases, we had the concept of personal space and territory that we defended from others.

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