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Comment He claimed to be better than you (Score 1) 374

If had merely sent his petition to the government a a citizen like you and me, that would be exercising First Amendment rights. However, he claimed authority in stating he was making his petition as an engineer, i.e. that his pleading should carry more weight than a regular citizen, as opposed to being considered on the merits of the argument he made.

Comment Re:Yes but (Score 2) 374

"Why didn't he ever register as an engineer"

For certain kinds of work that fall under "electrical engineer", there is no certification because it cannot be marketed to the public. For example, I do integrated circuit design in processes which require a $10 billion fab to manufacture. No individual is going to have a $10 billion fab laying around looking for electrical engineers to feed it designs. There's is no point to advertising these skill to the public as engineering, so no one bothered to come up with a certification for it.

Comment Re:Perhaps its time to reign in CEO pay (Score 1) 152

It's not that the directors are other CEOs, it's that they are people who derive most of their income from very diverse portfolios. They are interested in much more risk from each investment than the individual wage earner can tolerate. They have to pay CEOs that much to get the CEOs to take risks that may in turn put the CEOs out of work.

Comment Re: Louisiana is one big sinkhole (Score 1) 307

Pollution of a given type is locally fungible. If two factories next to each other are emitting the same pollutant, you can't really tell the difference in origin. However, if the factories create that pollutant as an output of different processes, the costs of reducing the pollutants can be wildly different. As reduction of the total pollutants is the actual public policy goal, that public policy should focus on maximizing that total without overspecifying what the components are.

This method also includes several other good economic ideas, such as: prices are a means to compare dissimilar things; and absent a natural market, e.g. when dealing with external costs, you can create an artificial market via tradeable credits or taxes to take advantage of the optimization powers of markets.

Also, it allows you to say "market" a lot when selling a government policy, and say "public policy" a lot when selling a market. ;-)

Comment Re: Louisiana is one big sinkhole (Score 1) 307

"those corporations will raise their prices"

You have assumed that the amount of pollutants emitted is immutable.

If a corporation merely raises prices to exactly cover the taxation, they sell fewer units and have lower earnings without reducing pollution.

If they reduce the pollution at a lower cost than the tax rate for the pollution, this creates a smaller shift in the supply curve, creates a market incentive for advancement in pollution reduction for their specific processes, and reduces their specific pollution.

If pollution credits can be traded, this creates a smaller shift in the supply curve, creates a market incentive for advancement in pollution reduction for every process, and reduces pollution broadly.

Meanwhile you present no method for dealing with external costs at all.

Comment Re:Well there's your problem (Score 1) 106

I had a mechanical parking brake break on me when my father was trying to teach me how to drive a car. So the next lesson was how to replace the mechanical parking brake.

Also, "a small gear that might fracture, which would prevent the parking brake from releasing" so it's a mechanical failure anyway.

Comment Re:Anyone surprised? (Score 1) 338

"there is nothing to "investigate" there"

If there was nothing to investigate, the why did Devin Nunes as chair of the House Intelligence committee call a hearing on the subject? If he wanted to talk about leaks, he could have called hearings on leaks. If he didn't want to talk about Russians, he could have just not scheduled a hearing on Russians.

Comment Re:Perhaps smoke and mirrors? (Score 1) 338

"the election is declared null-and-void"

There is no provision in law to declare the election null and void. The House certified the results of the Electoral College, therefore Trump is the actual president. There must be an impeachment and a conviction to remove him. Then the Presidency passes down the order of succession as defined in The 25th Amendment and the Presidential Succession Act.

"The last thing we need in this country right now, considering the socio-political climate of the entire planet, is a power-vacuum."

That is why the law already defines the order of succession. You may not like who is in that lineup, but you can know for sure who is in it, since it more important to achieve consensus in the results than to satisfy anyone's desire for a particular result. This is not only because it ensures peaceful transfers of power, but also because it devalues future attempts to game the system.

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