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Comment Re:There are only four programs that matter (Score 1) 249

If tax revenue is a continuous function of tax rate, then according to the mean value theorem there is a certain percentage between 0% and 100% at which tax revenue is maximized. Call it m%.

  • I hear this argument a lot. However, you (and Laffer) assume a specific shape for the graph implicitly when you make the argument, which isn't supported anywhere except right close to the 0% and 100% mark. It also assumes extremely simplistic single-good and single labor supply economy, which isn't real. The relationship of revenue to tax rate isn't linear. None of this is nearly neat enough to fit any U-shaped graph. And since it isn't a simple equation, you can't use the "m% theory" to argue whether we're ahead of or below the optimum tax rate in any practical sense.

Comment Re:So... (Score 1) 177

To add to this, one way to look at this is as a recurring prisoner's dilemma game. If it's a one-time only game, then making workers work harder might be ok because of potential net positive marginal utility. i.e., 40 hours of good work, and then successively reducing marginal productivity. But in any recurring scenario it creates cascading negative effects.

Comment Re:NSA has moderate confidence (Score 1) 734

Doesn't that just break down to - "Let me believe the clandestine agency whose actions at one point in time suits my belief system."

Or, and more likely, "I will trust the NSA over the CIA/FBI." is the best bit of trolling I've ever seen on slashdot.

Comment Re:'Developed a Clear Preference' For Trump (Score 1) 734

I dont think you get that California is the 6th largest economy in the WORLD. If they did secede, which i dont think will happen by the way, I think they'll have enough money to pay for water, food and those delicious texmex burritos.

Comment Scientists find that all events have effects (Score 1) 295

Less people dying will have impacts also on roadside clean-up crew, and mortuaries, and hospitals who'll have less business, and on motorcycle shops, and so on and on.

But you know what it will do? Save more lives. Which is unquestionably good. Even if one of the people who would have died while driving a car in 2020 were to be Ted Bundy. Because if we start being utilitarian with questions like this, the end result can never be good - because we can never foresee every eventuality, and therefore are forced to live with local maxima rather than any global optimum.

Sometimes I wonder at the headline writers and think whether they're genius trolls to elicit these reactions, or absolute morons. I thought the article was from the Onion. I guess I placed too high a value on it ...

Comment Re:I don't think so (Score 1) 456

The problem is that you can't prove conclusively that the task was difficult enough that nobody else *could* have done a great/better job. But the fact that she did a fantastic job is enough to say that she was right for the part and did a brilliant job in what turned out to be one of the most influential and iconic movies of all time.

Surely it's better than trying to prove the counterfactual!

Comment Re:Such as? (Score 2) 442

I feel like this response has been posted from an alternate universe, where Trump didn't insult Mexicans, Women, Veterans, War Heroes, Blacks, Hispanics, Gays, Liberals and ran an entirely emotion based campaign. In this universe, he moved back, forth and sideways on every single issue that he spoke on. Every single one. While Clinton tried her hardest to talk about policies, albeit in a political way, which isnt all that surprising since she's a politician, Trump basically ran the entire campaign on half-baked promises and with negligible policy proposals, interspersed with midnight tweets aimed at every random target he could think of, including the cast of fucking Hamilton and SNL *after* his election.

Christ, what a wonderful alternate universe it must be where none of this happened, and Clinton got out campaigned through rational arguments and depth of policy proposals. I'd like to live in this universe. It seems far nicer than this one.

Comment Re:Evidence, please. (Score 1) 531

You don't. Ban all contributions to electoral campaigns except by individuals, with an annual limit of $3,000.00 total per year. Remove all tax breaks for total donations over $100.00. Remove anonymous contributions.

The problem then, funnily enough, would be that you can only have self-funded megalomaniacs that can run - point in case, Trump.

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