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Comment Re:Obama care is the reason (Score 2) 251

We did it without telling anyone. About half of all healthcare spending comes from Governments. Another 20% is from businesses, and that is overwhelmingly regulated and required by Governments (meaning - they aren't directly spending it but forcing it to be spent). So about 30% is left for consumers. Meaning - the vast majority of healthcare spending is driven by Government. That's a socialized system.

Comment Re:How is this different from arbitrage on the NYS (Score 1) 172

It can sometimes work that way, but there's no guarantee. If the buyer meets the sellers price, there's no one in between - the deal is done. But the moment that happens, the market is back to normal, with a gap between buyer and seller.

If the highest current outstanding bid (WTB) is $100, and the highest current outstanding ask (WTS) is $104, how's the bot going to make money - buy at 104 and sell at 100? No. The bot makes money when someone wants to sell "at market" the bot buys at 101, and the seller makes $1 more. Later, if the price hasn't moved, and someone is buying "at market", the bot may sell at 103, and the buyer saves $1.

Do you understand how this works? And why it's risky? If there's only 1 bot, it is reasonably safe, but it benefits both buyer and seller, so why complain. But there's usually more than one bot racing each other, so it's more like buy at 101.95 and sell at 102.05, which is great for the casual, small-time guy like me. I remember how it was last century, and it sucked.

Comment Re:defense versus health and human services. (Score 1) 251

The only problem (compared to other countries) with US healthcare is its outrageous cost. There is zero evidence that healthcare quality is to blame for the slightly lower life expectancy.

I only have a few anecdotal stories to go by, but I know at least one with back problems and one with heart problems stuck where they got on-and-off health problems that lead to problems paying insurance that lead to the being effectively outside the system and any insurance that will take them on now excludes everything related to the their pre-existing condition. All they get is emergency care, when they should have had surgery. So I definitively think distribution of care is still some part of the lower life expectancy, those with lots of money get overtreated leading to good quality at excessive cost but those with no money get undertreated too.

Comment Re:For the love of God no (Score 2) 69

Let's be honest, what's really killing you is the lack of social antennas. I've been next to a baby that was on full wailing for quite some time, despite the mother's best efforts and that was considerably worse than any idiot yapping on the phone. Didn't really want to make me throw myself or the baby off the plane, but I was quite happy I didn't have to deal with that every other hour of the day. Most people keep it short, most people keep a normal conversation volume and most of those who don't will take a hint.

And a few are the kind you want to strangle. But long before the flight was up I'd make a really loud "call" like "YES HELLO... OVER THE ATLANTIC NOW, DOING FINE. EXCEPT THERE'S THIS GUY WHO KEEPS TALKING REALLY, REALLY LOUND ON HIS CELL PHONE FOR AGES NOW, DOESN'T HAVE ANY SOCIAL ANTENNAS AT ALL. I HOPE HE HANGS UP SOON. SEE YOU SOON, LOVE YA" Fighting fire with fire usually works, if he goes psycho with luck they'll cuff him and throw him off the plane. Win-win either way.

Comment Re:How is this different from arbitrage on the NYS (Score 2) 172

If the bot goes overboard it will get stuck with an overpriced stock. That's always been the risk market makers take.

Front-running is illegal, bot or not. Without illegal front-running, bots just increase liquidity through competition with each other. Providing liquidity is the way that market makers make a profit - they buy when no one else is willing to, then later sell when no one else is willing to, and make a profit off the sporadic timing in thinner markets - but the result is a better price for "real" buyers and sellers.

Comment Re:Quit taxing EVs (Score 1) 225

Really? Only rich ppl drive cars?
Last time I was in Europe, I saw PLENTY of regular ppl driving cars.
However, unless you get those ICE off the road, nothing will change. And making public transportation free will NOT change things. The reason why they are not taken is that they are no convenient and were poorly designed.

Comment More likely medical practice, not evolution (Score 4, Interesting) 258

Well 0.36/0.30 = 20% growth and it's only been ~2 generations, if you consider that most of the 3% in one generation will have kids with the other 97% in the next generation it seems unlikely to happen this fast. It's probable that it's more routine and we're more cautious today, so borderline cases get the surgery now where they wouldn't in the past.

Comment Re:Why notSimultaneous release toTheaters and iTun (Score 1) 51

It's a protection racket by the cinemas, most chains will refuse to show any movie that doesn't have an exclusivity period. As long as they stay united on this and only B-movies can survive on a direct to TV/DVD budget, nothing will change. It's pretty obvious they'd all lose business if they let competitors enter the market, so they don't.

Comment Re:More holes than swiss cheese (Score 2) 72

OK, so I'm an amateur, and I don't know squat, but even I know you don't ever run Adobe Flash for any reason on your browser. And if you really really feel the need to run Adobe Flash, you do it in a throwaway browser that you only use to run Adobe Flash. So is this really news.

You don't know squat about knowing squat. People who don't know squat aren't even able to tell that "you are infected click here to fix" is just a web banner and not an actual dialog box, much less what a browser or a plug-in or flash is. I'll also give you the Star Trek universal translation matrix, whenever people like that are asked "Do you want to flubber the gavot on the pinoshi? [Yes][No]" or anything else incomprehensible it translates to "You want this to work? [Yes][No]" and they click yes yes yes. They've given up trying to understand, much less figure out if the dialog is actually genuine.

Comment Re:Inflation is tax on savings (Score 1) 251

If you prefer a different term for "assets that increase in value over time: the means of production", well, that's fine, but inflation is not a tax on that stuff, and that stuff is what "wealthy people" mostly own. Inflation is not a transfer of wealth from "wealthy people" to whomever the government sends money to, because "assets that increase in value over time: the means of production" hold value.

Even if you want to claim that savings accounts are wealth, the rate of inflation doesn't change the rate at which savings accounts lose value, except at the extremes. You pay for safety (you pay disproportionately to the actual risk). Higher inflation, in the 1-5% range where stable economies lie, is not a higher tax on savings accounts. Even if there were no inflation, savings accounts would have some fee structure (or negative interest rates), because people will pay for safety.

As far as money failing as a store of value, yep, what else is new? The only thing that holds value remains "assets that increase in value over time: the means of production".

Comment Re:Wrong even if correct (Score 1) 251

If you're trying to make a point, or explain an argument, it's lost in your noise. If you're talking about "demand for money" in the usual economic sense, that of demand for borrowed money, then that directly affects interest rates, but affects inflation only indirectly. (If you're talking about demand for physical currency to stuff in a mattress, that's something different.) Obviously, money supply can affect inflation but it's elastic - inflation really isn't the time derivative of the money supply, unless the currency has already collapsed.

Comment Re:Inflation is tax on savings (Score 1) 251

That's an interesting definition, could you cite, where you got it from?

It's the old-school definition, the definition one uses to become or remain wealthy. The means of production are really the only thing that has value by something other than convention.

it totally ignores non-productive wealth, such as precious metals, Bitcoins, intellectual property, and currency. By your definition, an owner of, say, a shoe-repair shop is richer than a guy with a $10 mln bank-account...

Many things have value, but not all valuable things are wealth. Roughly speaking, you have:
* "bling" - stuff that costs significant money to maintain, like a fancy car
* parked money - non-productive land, gold, safe loans, etc
* speculative gambling
* wealth - ownership of the means of production

Wealth is the thing that (long-term average) grows over time. Everything else is a (risk- and inflation-adjusted) loss on average. For centuries, wealth was "assets that produce income", which was basically only farmland. Land was valued not by it's purchase price (a newer notion than you'd think) but by its annual income. As economy theory grew up, "the means of production" became the more clear concept.

Note that there's a useful notion of wealth that includes your labor - you have a sort of inherent wealth because you can be productive. Sometimes that's a very useful notion of wealth.

Which means, that whoever earned those dollars lost some of their value. Where did it go

They had value only by convention and that convention changed.

Now, it is not tax on all forms of wealth, merely on savings held in dollars.

Assuming you shop around for savings accounts (instead of just getting taken by the place you happen to have a checking account with), you can consistently get a bit less interest than inflation. When inflation rises, the interest rate for the best savings accounts will rise as well (ditto new CDs). Rising inflation shouldn't really be a tax on savings, except people are too lazy to move their savings if needed when rates rise and banks take great advantage of this.

Of course, all that's out the windows when US savings interest rates hit the legal maximum of 5.25%, but that's how euro-dollars came to be (dollar savings accounts at a European bank - all the rage in the Carter years).

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