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Comment Re:Both numbers are correct, I would say. Older mo (Score 1) 138

The useful numbers for decision making are "how many people could be helped by addressing this issue?"

No, the first and primary useful number consideration is, "Now that we're 20 TRILLION dollars in debt and most new jobs are low-paying junk that barely creates any tax revenue, and we have an exploding entitlement spending problem the mere interest on the debt for which will soon displace nearly all discretionary spending ... what can we afford to research?"

You want to address the X in Y cases of Z disease in given populations? Return to producing the sort of economic health and largess that allows us to spend that kind of money in the first place. Otherwise, it's like a bankrupt person trying to decide whether to buy a new raincoat or an umbrella so they don't get their nice to outfit wet, because, you know, priorities. A house in fiscal order can spend vastly more money on everything from pure medical research to Mars missions without crushing the very economy that underwrites such things.

Comment Re:Basic income (Score 1) 632

Even if I do make more than that, why would I work 40 hour weeks for 48+ weeks a year for a mere few thousand dollars extra? I sure wouldn't.

But others might. Just because you are a cat doesn't mean horses don't exist (go read Animal Farm, if you don't get the reference). WWII time, income tax was 90%+. Simply lump all income together (no capital gains tax separated out at a lower rate), eliminate deductions, and add more tiers in the income tax, and we'd be able to fund UBI in the US without great changes. Cut the military by 50%+, back to a defensive force, and move to single payer medical care, and we'd end up with a net tax cut, with a huge increase in benefits.

The problem is that cutting taxes pisses off the Big Government Republicans, and cutting military pisses off Warmonger Democrats, so we get no progress.

Comment Re:I don't even like Uber but (Score 1) 632

What happens if everybody has an education and is competing on the same level for "skilled" jobs and nobody wants to do the "unskilled" jobs? What happens if we don't have anyone to man the register or pick your food from a field? Wouldn't you say those jobs are necessary?

If the job is "necessary" then the employer will pay market rates for that job. In some places, unskilled work is paid higher than skilled work. This is done for some things like construction, where people don't want the job, so to get a person willing to stand for 8 hours in the hot sun directing traffic in a construction zone gets paid about the same as someone 3-years after getting an engineering degree. If you have to have someone there, you pay them more until there is someone willing to take the job. Even if it's unskilled.

It's mainly the US that asserts "unskilled" and "necessary" jobs be paid at slave wages. Outside the US, "trades" are not seen as "unskilled" and unskilled jobs are paid higher (comparatively, even if not absolutely).

Comment Re:I don't even like Uber but (Score 1) 632

Jobs are meant to fill a need of the employer.

Sounds like slavery. The employer gets 100%, and the employee is valueless, less than human.

I'd say the reality is somewhere in the middle. The job has some "value", but the employers don't pay based solely on value to them, as then we'd see higher wages for things like engineering. Instead, the employer claims "market value" when it benefits them, and "value" when it benefits them. Whatever harms the employee most. If employers weren't unethical evil machines, we wouldn't have (or need) unions.

Comment Older gear. (Score 1) 194

Older gear (probably not going to get updated, either. Because we have a good viewing and listening experience already.) Discrete components; pre-pro, amps, speakers, etc. The pre-pro could be remoted, perhaps, but it's very early on the curve of network control, and I've found it's not even reliable to tell to turn on and off. Denon bought Marantz, and they have been pretty sad about proper updates to nominally update-capable components.

OTOH, if a proper STT interface ever hits the streets (and no, I don't count the Echo - the number of negative developer and privacy issues there are ridiculous) I might be motivated to undertake such a setup. Mainly change the pre-pro to one that's smart enough to reliably remote and dedicate a computer with lots of storage to the theater as an AV source. But I'm 60, and every year that passes, I'm more satisfied with what I already have, so... perhaps not.

Already pretty much ignoring the 4K thing. Aside from very low media availability at this point in time, 1080p looks great on a big screen (and your average movie director still thinks it's "artsy" to soft focus and/or use a lens with horrific DOF, either/both of which completely waste all that fine resolution goodness anyway.)

Comment Re:The problem is what you consider useful (Score 1) 194

It was -40 degrees here just a few days ago, and it's not very nice now. And it's icy. And windy. Outside = awful.

Also -- you know why it's really nice to talk to an exercise measuring device? Because you can do it while you're exercising.

So how about you take your presumptions and re-evaluate.

Comment lol (Score 2) 194

Found the 1%-er.

No, you most certainly didn't. You found the guy who doesn't spend even a tiny fraction of what others do on children, booze, drugs, bars, travel, going out to eat, long trips, interest, hotels, sports events, video games, software, "apps", new cars, parties, education, or junkfood — and hasn't for quite a few decades now.

Which left me way more than enough to build a very nice theater into my home, the entire interior of which I built and wired by hand, after buying the property. Even with a modest income. Also, I bought the property with the specific intent of putting a theater into it - it was an abandoned church, a classic tabula rasa. Just a huge, empty room. And I had mucho help - my SO is awesome, and very much like-minded.

We each have our priorities. Home entertainment and at-home convenience are some of mine, that's all. In fact, almost every optional expenditure I make is in pursuit of a concrete, lasting improvement to my physical circumstance. If you don't have enough left over to do what you dream of by the time you're my age (I started this particular undertaking when I was 50, I'm 60 now), then you're Doing It Wrong.

Up till now, anyway. I don't know what's going to happen to the younger people going forward. Looking a good deal more bleak than it did for me.

Comment Re:Welcome to the future of capitalism (Score 1) 632

False. Those statistics are counting "millionaires" not 1%. The 1% is relatively static (among the 5%, the 1% have ups and downs as well). The numbers done were about saving wealth, not making it. Someone making $20k a year in 1980 could retire a millionaire. It isn't hard (on paper). Just hard (in practice). Most of those millionaires may not come from millionaires, but they also never make it into the 1%. It's about the ability for a determined lower middle class person being able to retire upper middle class.

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