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Comment Re:Medicate (Score 1) 175

Actually, UBI has been proposed many times by many high profile economists, you should be able to find these yourself. Yes, there are economists and economic thinkers from a long time back that advocate wealth taxes, or similar, or partial implementations of it. You should be able to find these too. I'm not going to help you because you come across as rude and ignorant.

No amount of income tax, no matter how progressive, or capital gains tax (also a tax on deltas), etc, can act as a wealth cap. Simple logic should prove this to you. A multi-billionaire dies, his son inherits 10 billion dollars, you apply 99% tax to anything over $1 income or capital gains made on everyone, and your guy is still a multi-billionaire for life. It just makes sure that the poorest, no matter how much skill or value they ever bring to society, can never make more than a small amount of savings. Is this your aim? If not, you haven't thought through the problem.

Estate taxes are somewhat similar to wealth taxes though, except they apply only once, when a rich person dies. So, the rich person will be rich forever, no matter how little he brings to society. His children will be rich too, but some tax goes to the state, to make up for their 'unearned' income.

A wealth tax is more like a continuous version of an estate tax, that happens throughout the person's life. However, an estate tax does not encourage behaviour of making wealth productive on the individual. Mostly it encourages the creation of trust funds and such to avoid the tax for the benefit of their offspring. A wealth tax means that a person must invest their wealth (on average) in a productive (and therefore beneficial, under the assumptions of a free market) manner, at all times. The idea is not to disallow, but to discourage, large amounts of wealth to only be a benefit to the holder of the wealth and not society in general. A wealth tax makes it a benefit to society in general.

Let's say you have a $2B luxury mansion property. You live very well on it, and make a tiny bit of money so you cover all your spending, but only the minimum. You die, and your child inherits it, but has to pay tax, we give half of it to the state, leaving the with a $1B luxury mansion property, and that person can make a tiny bit of money off of it to cover their spending, but only the minimum. Pretty much that $1B worth of WEALTH, is locked up by one person to the exclusion of everyone else for their entire lifetime. For that one person it is great, but for everyone else, it provides nothing.

In a 1% wealth tax scenario, that $2B mansion better be making at least $20M/year to cover it's taxes, which benefit society directly, or it is a losing proposition and should be sold to someone who can make productive use of it. Also, over the average lifetime of a human being, they will pay the equivalent of an estate tax for that wealth, but the difference being, wealth would have been (more likely) to be used productively, and more efficiently, over that time, rather than simply hoarded.

Now, you see if you can find the economists who have proposed these ideas before. Okay?

Comment Re:Stay off the slippery slope (Score 1) 175

I don't need an economist, because you prove you don't know what you are talking about.

That's not a wealth cap, it's an income tax. The high rate makes it an "effective" INCOME cap, but that has nothing to do with wealth.

Wealth is your total value (holdings minus debts), while income is a delta to wealth.

Income caps aren't fantastic ideas either, (note it was a high but progressive tax, and not an actual cap), but you shouldn't confuse income with wealth.

Comment Re:Stay off the slippery slope (Score 2) 175

(Ignoring your views on windows for a moment here). Let's say we capped Bill's net wealth at $1B, once he got that $1B, he could have dismantled MS and stopped development of Windows entirely. There's no incentive to continue with a wealth cap, so why not?

No, wealth is the incentive capitalism uses to provide value to society. Every trade provides a benefit to both the consumer and the producer, or otherwise, they would not participate in that trade.

However, there do exist economic rents, monopolies form, and wealth trickles up in reality. A wealth tax stops wealth from being hoarded in unproductive ways, and addresses these unfortunate facts of the real market. Productive wealth provides goods and services to the rest of the population.

Now, I'm sure you're a socialist or something who has never actually studied economics. I recommend you take an online course in the fundamentals of microeconomics. Once you can mathematically prove the first and second fundamental welfare theorems, then I will look forward to any arguments you have with my statements. Until then, I think you are following feels over facts, and as good as your intentions may be, that road leads to dark places, starvation, poverty and death.

A wealth tax, UBI and some adjustments to income and capital gains taxes can provide both the required incentives for those who chose to chase wealth, while making that pursuit a benefit to all, especially in a future where almost all jobs become redundant in world dominated by AI and robots.

Comment Re:Reminds me of a crazy, hot girlfriend (Score 3, Informative) 319

> still far safer, cleaner, more efficient and better than coal, gas, wind, solar etc etc.

This got voted -1, but statistically, nuclear actually does cause the lowest number of deaths per MWh energy produced.

http://www.nextbigfuture.com/2...

There really is nothing safer than nuclear, and the facts back this up. Still, when did /. moderation ever have anything to do with reality?

Comment Re:Stay off the slippery slope (Score 2) 175

Instead of a wealth cap, which removes the incentive to provide value to society, perhaps a wealth tax should be levied on wealth beyond a certain level.

A 1%/year tax on net wealth would encourage productive use of wealth, so that wealth then necessarily benefits society.

There are good justifications for this, because wealth is protected by the state and the people, and so those whose wealth we are protecting, should pay for that protection, and about 1% flat wealth tax beyond a reasonable amount (maybe $2M, or whatever puts you in the top 1%) makes sense.

Furthermore, a wealth tax, along with a small UBI, means that the a wealthy few can support a large population, providing for their desires in accordance with the free market, as the AGI revolution replaces almost all jobs with capital.

I propose that a wealth tax and a UBI are the closest practical implementation of lump sum transfers specified in the second fundamental theorem of welfare economics.

Comment Re:The targets aren't fixed points. (Score 1) 191

> it has philosophical incompatibilities between it and the concept of democracy because of the loss of free will due to addiction, which need to be resolved

I'll resolve this for you now, the best I can, which is that philosophical free will simply does not exist. There is nothing in physics that gives rise to free will, we are deterministic (though chaotic and unpredictable) bioelectrochemical machines. Free will is merely an illusion. We have no more free choice than a planet does to orbit the sun, or a rock dropped from height to fall to the ground.

In microeconomics, we study economic agents AS IF they were following an unknown utility function. Not that they have a utility function, but they behave as if they were always maximising a utility function. In this sense economic agents have a WILL, or a desire. The free market, maximises all agents ability to follow their WILL FREELY, in so much as they don't harm other agent's ability to follow their free will.

In this sense, a drug addict maximally follows their free will when they are allowed to consume the drug they are addicted to. That maximises their free will, completely independent of whether or not philisophical free will exists, which I propose it does not.

So, drug addiction then has no philosophical incompatibility with democracy or the free market and free will at all.

For further philosophical examination of this problem you can read Jon Stuart Mill's On Liberty, or study an online course in fundamentals of microeconomics.

Comment Re:It's optional (Score 1) 57

I have no idea why T-Mobile has so many fanboys hearing only what they want to hear, but their press release isn't exactly ambiguous:

With T-Mobile ONE, even video is unlimited at standard definition [...] For customers who want higher definition video, T-Mobile ONE has you covered too with an HD add-on for $25 a month per line.

Ars has the same take on T-Mobile charging $25 extra for "HD."

Comment Re:How are they doing this? (Score 2) 57

According to this anon, they do string matching on host, content-type, and SNI fields, which is how they throttled HTTPS YouTube. If you wrote a proxy that rewrote those fields, you could escape Binge-On. Or apparently make Binge-On detect random shit as an approved streaming partner and zero-rate it for you.

Comment Re:how many people (Score 1) 57

I want 1080p YouTube videos on my phone. My phone has a 1080p screen, and even at native resolution it's already a pain in the ass to make out any text, captions, or fine details (mouse cursors, HP bars, wires and gauges, whathaveyou). Downscaling the video to <1.5Mbps 480p and blowing it back up again doesn't help legibility any.

If you nerds want to relive the 90s, nothing's stopping you from transcoding everything you watch to 64Kbps RealMedia(tm) first. I certainly wouldn't pay anyone to run a Minecraft filter on all my video, though, and I doubly wouldn't pay them again to unfuck it.

Comment Re:How are they doing this? (Score 1) 57

how can T-Mobile stop people from getting full HD streams from that provider without paying the extra $25 charge

They use some form of DPI to detect video content, and throttle everything that matches--even non-streaming downloads of video files--to 1.5 Mbps. If your video provider of choice feels like sucking T-Mobile's cock, there's an API approved providers can implement to serve <1.5Mbps streams to the "Binge-On" customer instead.

If your video provider of choice has not written any T-Mobile-specific code, they better be able to dynamically degrade to a <1.5Mbps stream, or the video will buffer or not load at all. A VPN might be able to evade that, except a VPN would probably be detected as "hotspot" or "tethering" usage, which is throttled to 128Kbps on the new "unlimited" plans.

Anyone claiming the video throttling ("Binge-On") is optional or can be turned off hasn't read TFA or TFS. That used to be the case, and still is on the old plans, but it's mandatory on the new "unlimited" plans in order to prevent you from actually using any data.

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