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Comment what's the next plan? (Score 2) 114

The overarching goal is simple: globally, we must halve carbon dioxide emissions every decade.

And if we don't do that, say because developing world countries have better things to do than turn their economies upside down for First World causes? What's plan B? Sooner or later we're going to have to deal with the real world strategy of adaptation not the imaginary ones of radical greenhouse gases emission reduction.

Comment Re: Don't worry we won't miss it (Score 1) 297

Funny how, when the CBO contained a clause you could spin as a bad thing - republicans loved it, now they pretend it's meaningless because it's dissing trumpkill.

The CBO is an adversarial source. You can only take seriously the things that they admit which harm their side - the congresscritters who requested the CBO study and placed the operating assumptions that the CBO is required to operate under..

And yet EVERY SINGLE ONE of those corruption cases I cited happened in a state with a private prison to pay the bribes. In fact you're just plain wrong - a public prison has every incentive to make their fixed budget stretch as far as possible, that means as few people inside as possible.

Ok, I looked through every post you made in this discussion. What was the number of corruption cases you cited? ZERO. It's very easy for EVERY SINGLE ONE of your ZERO cited cases to be whatever you want them to be. But even if you had cited a few cases, it's still trivial to cherry pick.

Corruption goes beyond your, ehem, limited selection. For example, we have this public jail example of corruption (and more, here) from New York City. And some of the supposed private corporation bribery was actually done by prison guard labor unions.

The growth of Californiaâ(TM)s incarceration system, and the decline of its quality, tracks the accession to power of the stateâ(TM)s prison guards union, the California Correctional Peace Officers Association (âoeCCPOAâ). The CCPOA has played a significant role in advocating pro-incarceration policies and opposing pro-rehabilitative policies in California. In 1980, CCPOAâ(TM)s 5,600 members earned about $21,000 a year and paid dues of about $35 a month. After the rapid expansion of the prison population beginning in the 1980s, CCPOAâ(TM)s 33,000 members today earn approximately $73,000 and pay monthly dues of about $80. These dues raise approximately $23 million each year, of which the CCPOA allocates approximately $8 million to lobbying. As Ms. Petersilia explains, âoeThe formula is simple: more prisoners lead to more prisons; more prisons require more guards; more guards means more dues-paying members and fund-raising capability; and fund-raising, of course, translates into political influence.â

And you simply don't understand the conflicts of interest that face jails private or public. They only get funded, if there is a need for the jail and the funding tends to be proportional to the number of prisoners either way.

Comment Re:VAT (Score 1) 448

NZers paid GST (VAT) of 15% on top of the price that Apple charged.

Exactly. Did I not say that New Zealanders paid taxes?

Sounds like you're not prepared to understand what that means, so I'm probably wasting the max keystroke my keyboard can perform here...

Back at you on that. Apple's profits will be reduced due to this VAT (else they could just charge more in the first place). Thus, it is irrelevant that the tax is treated as being paid solely by customers for this tax is also paid for by Apple.

Comment Re: Don't worry we won't miss it (Score 1) 297

Firstly basic research is practically non-existent in the private sector and always has been

Not true. For example, about a quarter of US college students go to a private sector college. And any listing of top research universities will have a heavy private sector presence (such as here, here, and here).

Similarly, let's see who actually is funding R&D in the US:

In 2006 the total expenditure for R&D conducted in the U.S. was about $340B in current dollars. Of this total, basic research accounts for about 18% ($62B), applied research about 22% ($75B), and development about 60% ($204B).[8] Over the past decades the U.S. institutions contributing to the output of basic research have shifted dramatically.[9] Although industrial contributions to national R&D now far outpace Federal R&D support, only about 3.8% of industry-performed R&D can be classified as 'basic', with the remainder devoted to applied R&D. For industry-funded and performed R&D, the basic percentage is about the same for 2006, 3.7%. This percentage of basic research performed by industry has hovered slightly below 4% of all industry-performed R&D for most years since the late 1990s.[10] In 2006, industry funded 17% of U.S. basic research, and performed 15% of it.

The Federal Government is the second largest source of R&D funding (28%) following industry. Federal expenditures vary greatly from agency to agency in terms of amounts, directions, and objectives, depending upon the mission of the particular agency.[11] Federal funding is the primary source of basic research support in the U.S. (over 59% in 2006[12]), of which about 56% is carried out by academic institutions. U.S. basic research is also funded by foundations (about 10%), universities and colleges (about 10%), and state and local governments (about 3.5% through funding of academic basic research).[13] Federal obligations for academic research (both basic and applied) and especially in the current support for National Institutes of Health (NIH) (whose budget had previously doubled between the years 1998 to 2003) declined in real terms between 2004 and 2005 and are expected to decline further in 2006 and 2007. This is the first multiyear decline in Federal obligations for academic research since 1982.[14] The intent of Federal policy is to increase support for physical sciences research in future years.[15]

Right there, we see that 17% of basic science funding in 2006 was paid directly by private industry with additional amounts by foundations and private universities and colleges. So claiming that the private sector in basic science research is non-existent is outright wrong. Even when you narrowly consider only the funding from private businesses!

We then need to consider that public funding has crowded out private funding - after all, what's the point, for example, of a billionaire donating money to a new particle accelerator, or a body of researchers to solicit private funds when public funding can easily outspend the private funding by an order of magnitude or more? Before that happened, private funding was a huge source of basic research. For example, most US professional astronomical telescopes from before the Second World War were privately funded. So private funding has been artificially suppressed by the plentiful public funding.

Finally, there's the matter of efficiency. Private research efforts tend to be a lot more productive for the money spent than public ones (which are often more about where the money is spent and by who, that was is done with it).

Now, let's consider your other assertions.

Same goes for pretty much any public service. At BEST the outcome is that a lot fewer people have access to the service - after all private industry has no reason to make it available to people who cannot pay. This can, by itself, lead to disastrous outcomes - one house without water means a whole city is at risk of a cholera outbreak. One person without access to adequate healthcare puts EVERYBODY at risk of pandemic outbreaks. And that's the BEST case scenario. The more likely scenario is that companies use access to the service to extort and control people and force them to do other things they do NOT want to do.

So we have numerous claims made in this small patch. First, let us note that pandemics aren't relevant to health care spending. You aren't going to be a significantly lesser Ebola or influenza threat just because you're getting more plush end of life care (which to my understanding is where most such money goes).

And nobody gives out free water, sewer, electricity. Someone always pays for that.

Then of course, there's the problem of ignoring the effectiveness of the service. A huge factor in the development of cell phones, for example, was the break up of the AT&T monopoly in the US (which led to aggressive competition in the cell phone market) with similar regulatory break ups in Europe. If those hadn't happened, then what would be the incentive for state-sanctioned monopolies to roll out a cell phone network? How many decades would we be behind? In the US, most people didn't even own a phone till the mid 80s.

I see once again the emphasis on universal coverage at the expense of the quality of coverage.

The republcans made a big deal about a clause in the CBO report on Obamacare which said it would lead to a million lost jobs. "Proof" they said that "Obamacare kills jobs". Except they were lying to you about what the report actually said. That million lost jobs were all VOLUNTARY. What that report ACTUALLY predicted was that lots of people who are held hostage in a job they don't want ONLY for healthcare access would be free to QUIT that job to go get a job that pays more, to go study so they can get better qualifications, to go start a small business - because employers would no longer be able to use healthcare access to blackmail people into staying in shitty jobs. In other words - a pure good thing. Just a slight decrease in how privatised healthcare was made people, over-all, far more free than they were before.

The CBO has published a lot of terrible shit with respect to Obamacare. Its role is throw out propaganda studies at a time when no one else has studied the problem.

A job you cannot quit without dying is not a job at all - it's slavery with better disguised chains.

Not even remotely a problem.

Public prisons have every incentive to rehabilitate and reduce recidivism. But private prisons have every incentive to maximise the prison population - and so the very goal of having prisons is not part of their incentives. More-over, since the advent of private prisons there have been numerous scandals where private prison companies were found bribing judges to impose excessively harsh sentences for minor infractions - because it's to their advantage to get as many people in there as possible and the less deserving the inmates are the cheaper they are to manage.

I saved the best for last. You clearly don't understand the conflicts of interest here. Public jails have most of the same conflicts of interest as private jails. Politicians have incentive to look "tough on crime". The staff at jails have the profit motive, even those at public jails. A prison guards labor union has very similar conflicts of interest as owners of a prison.

That's why we don't see significant differences IMHO between states with private prisons and those without. It's not just the private businesses that profit from a high incarceration rate.

Comment Re: Don't worry we won't miss it (Score 1) 297

Whether the federal budget is 5-trillion dollars or 5 dollars, what you DO with it will STILL matter more.

I disagree. Not redirecting $5 trillion in funds away from competent organizations like businesses allows for a lot of privately funded basic research. That tends to be better value for the money spent too.

Comment Re:Don't worry we won't miss it (Score 1) 297

It's all the same thing. But to me... that link is so integral it didn't need saying - I guess I had to spell it out for you to see it.

That is absurd. Complaining about the budget because a trivial bit of cut funding allegedly starves granny is nothing like complaining about the budget because it doesn't reduce spending.

Comment Re:Don't worry we won't miss it (Score 1) 297

A program started by Eisenhower 70 years ago is hardly a 'whim of the moment' now is it ?

But you aren't Eisenhower and his program doesn't need Federal support.

More-over - Trump is making ZERO effort to reduce the budget anyway, that's not at all on the cards: he is merely redirecting funds from programs that save lives to programs that kill people (he is pushing every saving int further o increasing a military budget that was massively overbudgeted 40 years ago already). Why do that ? So he can give cushy no-bid contracts to his friends to sell the army even MORE tanks they neither need nor want.

There you go. You found something concrete to complain about.

Comment Re:Don't worry we won't miss it (Score 1) 297

For more information on just how little these programs are funded at the federal level:

But does Meals on Wheels rely on government grants to do its good work? There are hundreds of Meals on Wheels organizations around the country, so it's hard to generalize, but overwhelmingly, the groups get the majority of revenue from charitable giving, not government funds. In 2015, for instance, the national Meals on Wheels reported that government grants accounted for just 3 percent of its annual revenues of $7.5 million. Meals on Wheels for San Diego County in California says that government grants made up just 1.5 percent ($68,534) of its revenues of $4.4 million. Not all branches are so independent. Atlanta's group gets 48 percent of its revenue from government grants (none of the annual reports I looked at broke down exactly what level of government or specific program supplied the money). Many of the annual reports don't even break down revenues by source (see here) and others aren't even posted online.

The source article has links to the numbers mentioned.

Once again, we see a Trump Derangement Syndrome sufferer crying wolf. Could you at least do that when he does things wrong? It dilutes the message.

And the federal government shouldn't be funding charities unless it's a direct exchange of money for direct services to the government like any other would-be private contractor. The federal budget isn't an endless stream of money to be spent on whatever whim of the moment you have.

Comment Re:good grief (Score 1) 297

It's funny how some of the same people who decry immigration and H1-B visas think their lives will be made better when robots take their jobs.

No mention of the fact that automation creates jobs too? My view on this is that a lot of people are conflating labor competition with the developing world (which has as a result held down labor pricing power for past 40 years or so in the US) as a phase change in how automation interacts with human labor, while ignoring that automation is still creating jobs, just as it has for the past few centuries.

Just because jobs aren't being created as rapidly as one would like in the developed world, doesn't mean that things have changed. The jobs are just being created elsewhere with better conditions for employers.

Comment Re:percentages (Score 1) 279

Globally almost 100% man-made is accurate because natural climate variations simply aren't that fast enough to be a big contributor.

I disagree. If one looks at recent global temperature, one sees significant variation. For example, the five year temperature anomaly average for 1954 is less than a tenth of a degree higher than the start of the graph at 1880. (about -0.13 C versus -0.2 C). But there was a low of -0.4 C and a high of 0.1 C in that same period separated by a little more than three decades.

That indicates to me significant variation in an important climate parameter.

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