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Comment Uber is a Taxi Cab service (Score 1) 493

and Taxi cab driving is a full time job for adults. Always was, always is.

Burger flipping became a 'real' job when globalism eroded the job market for folks who couldn't make it to college. There's millions of 'em, and last I checked neither you or anyone else in this country has the brass balls to put a slug between their eyes and end their misery. Maybe you do. Either do something about their awful lives or admit you don't care. But enough already with the B.S. about how these jobs aren't jobs for adults. You're saying it to make yourself feel better by looking down on the folks doing them. I'm sure that's working for you. For them? Not so much.

Comment Venezuela is a 1 commodity market (Score 1) 493

whose commodity (oil) just plummeted in price. Ideally what should be happening right now is the rest of the world should help them pick up their slack until oil prices rise. What's instead happening is the rest of the world is using their crisis to take advantage of them. Sorta like how Pay Day Lenders operate but on a national scale. There's things their government could have done to mitigate or prevent the crisis before it happened but, well, like I said, Socialism is hard because we're solving very hard problems.

Remember, anyone can promise to solve all your problems with their 10 step program plus some principles and beliefs. It's actually _doing_ it that's hard. I'd argue that Obama/Hilary were on the right path until Hilary screwed up by not campaigning in the swing states. But, well, here we are.

Comment We force people all the time (Score 3, Interesting) 493

if you don't pay your taxes you go to jail. If you speed in your car you get a ticket. If I shoot somebody I go to jail. We're just arguing over where to draw the line, not whether it should be drawn.

You're going got get forced to do things one way or another. If you leave a power vacuum by trying to live with a weak central government then somebody will step in and take the reigns. Central Governments are just too valuable. Somebody sooner or later will create one for their own purposes. The question is never, "Will we have a strong Central Government?" but whether _you_ will participate in it?

Comment Through democracy, careful planning (Score 1, Insightful) 493

and constant adjustments. Here's what makes it so hard for folks to accept real socialism: It's not a system of beliefs it's a system of government. It's a means, not an end. The practical consequences are that a socialist admits when they're wrong and makes constant adjustments and improvements. It's basically the scientific method applied to politics with a bit of Socrates "I know that I know nothing" philosophy mixed in. The short version of all that is Progresivism. Always making progress (and twirling, twirling towards freedom!).

The trouble with all that is branding. When the right wing start a debate they've got simple answers to complex problems. They're always the wrong answers, because if a problem has a simple answer then, well, by definition it's not complex. But those simple answers feel good, sound good, and just got a Demagogue elected President of the United States...

Comment Sure it can (Score 2) 493

look at India, South America and large parts of China. And that's just the places we pay attention to. This is nothing new and nothing surprising. For most of the world's 6 billion inhabitants this is they way things are and always have been. The best thing you can do it get over the surprise that it's like this while keeping that feeling of disgust. Don't let the fact that these situations are so far outside the norm for you let you turn away from the truth in disbelief. It's like that old quote: The greatest trick the devil ever did was convincing the world he didn't exists.

Comment "They" don't have to understand anything (Score 3, Insightful) 493

I'm always amazed when I hear stuff like this. People really believe that other people will treat them right when a) it's not in their interests and b) they're not being forced.

When I tell people I'm a socialist one of the responses is: "Well, are you gonna force people?". Yes. Yes I am. This is civilization. You don't get to say 'no' to civilization. Just like you don't get to say no to the polio vaccine. That's because your actions do not happen in a vacuum. They don't just hurt you, they hurt me too.

So yeah, I'm gonna force Uber to pay a living wage or go out of business. I'm gonna force everyone to give everyone else health care (aka "single payer"). Because that's civilization. We're all humans. We're all valuable. Yes, everybody gets an ever-loving Gold Star. We all earned the right to a good life simply by being born human.

Comment My public school system is great (Score 2) 368

because I live in a well to do part of town with high property values (and therefor taxes). If the public school system sucks in San Francisco with their property values being what they are then something is very, very wrong.

Those zoning decisions are anything but stupid. They're carefully thought out to achieve a certain goal. The question that's being asked in TFS is: is that goal forcing families and lower income people out of San Fransisco? A corollary to that is: is that an accident or on purpose?

Remember, the young rich people there need poor and lower middle class people to cook food, clean, fix toilets, etc, etc. They're gonna get those people one way or the other. Abusing them (in the form of 4 hour commutes or tent cities) is one option. Hell, it's the option most cities in second world countries pick. Is America going to go that route?

Comment AI investment will be interesting (Score 1) 156

since most stock "advisors" are actually salesmen who get commissioned for pushing certain stocks (and IIRC they'll even tell you that, albeit with the weaselistly words possible).

What worries me is that this is another case of increased efficiency in our economy. Inefficiency is a huge part of what keeps it all going. Now, it's certainly true that it's ridiculous to pay people to break windows to employ window makers; but I'm not convinced we're going to have anything for those window makers to do if tomorrow the number of broken windows drops 90%. We either need a solution to keep the money and resources flowing or it'll collect at the top like it always has.

Comment I coulda used this (Score 1) 165

when I got creamed out on my road bike, assuming it can detect pedestrians. I was carrying the damn thing across a cross walk (with the little green walky man no less) and somebody ran the light. They clipped the wheel of my bike or I wouldn't be here right now. The lady stopped. It as broad daylight but somehow she didn't "see" me. Folks tune out when driving. That light almost never turns red so it didn't occur to her to stop. Put another way they're driving with their lizard brains. I'd rather they do it with an electronic brain instead.

Comment They're just bumping their stock price (Score 3, Informative) 168

with layoffs. Believe it or not this is the result of deregulation of stock trading. It used to be companies couldn't buy their own stock (what with it being stock manipulation and all).That got changed during Reagan and when it did it started the trend to compensate executives with stocks; which in turn created all these perverse incentives for short term stock gains so the CEOs could boost their salaries. This is one effect of that. The constant mergers & acquisitions are another. It's one of those things like repealing Glass-Steagall that pretty much warped our entire economy.

The lesson? If you find that the behavior the regulation was meant to stop has stopped; well, maybe, just maybe the reason is there was a regulation to stop it.

Comment I'm not so sure they will (Score 1) 1538

After the shit show of the last election. Sure, Hilary had baggage. And the right wing press spent the last 20 years vilifying her to the point that a simple insecure email server of the type everybody in Washington ran (see:Colin Powell) helped sink her campaign. But she still shoulda beat Trump senseless. I'm guessing her and her supporters will get tossed out on their asses after a failure of this magnitude. This is defeat from the jaws of victory.

Comment He won because Hilary didn't campaign (Score 1, Informative) 1538

In the rust belt. Full stop. Young people, blacks and Latinos stayed home. If you doubt me 538 had a meticulously sourced article on the subject. Hilary was arrogant. She assumed no sane country would elect Trump. She was wrong, and we're all gonna pay for it. For God's sake people, vote in your mid terms.

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