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Comment Re:How about 18 minutes without the tunnel? (Score 1) 131

"What would upper management do if nobody can afford to commute to work at the current wage? Clean the toilets themselves?"

I'd expect them to Lobby government to lower the tolls, give them an exception to the tolls, demand local taxpayer subsidized housing for imported mexican indentured servants, or threaten to move their "job creating" "tax revenue" business somewhere else.

Comment Re:How about 18 minutes without the tunnel? (Score 1) 131

(1) commuting (versus telecommuting)

-- yeah, most jobs in the real world do actually require going to work. you know to meet customers and/or build/install/repair/sell/ship/ a thing.

Telecommuting is only applicable for a small number of people, and even of those people that could do it, most of them are not given the choice. You think upper management cares what your tolls are to get to work?

(2) during rush hour

Most people work business hours because they need to do business. They need to interact with customers and vendors etc. Most people do not choose the hours they work. See (1) above.

Besides, the people who CAN easily choose avoid rush hour traffic times or work from probably ALREADY have chosen to. Nobody chooses being stuck in gridlock for 2 hours a day.

(3) in a car, (4) solo,

Yeah, this fair. Car pooling and so forth for the win right? Or public transit.

But why do people choose cars? Usually because the alternatives aren't any better. Transit usually takes even longer is crowsed, smells, and the schedules can be punishing and in-flexible. Car pooling isn't much better... you can spend an hour in the car going to and from work straight... or you load up the car, take the HOV lane, but end up spending the same amount of time due to the milk run picking the other people up.

Cranking a toll up on cars IS going to make car pooling and public transit suck slightly less by comparison, but its still going to suck unless there is real investment improving it.

, (5) on that congested freeway

Nobody takes a congested route when better routes exist. Your 'hint' proposes no alternatives. If there is more than one route, and you are spending an hour on THAT congested freeway... its probably because the other one is just as bad or worse.

(6) work at one end of that traffic jam, and (7) live at the other end of it.

This is another single argument despite numbering it twice. Again, think about it, the shitty long congested commute to work is ARLEADY a deterrent; nobody wants to sit in gridlock for 2 hours a day, every day ... so if people are putting up with it there must be a reason.

a) The cost of housing on the 'side of work' is probably far too high.
b) Or the size of housing on the 'side of work' is much to small.
c) Or it is a family and one spouse found work close to home, while the other has to commute.
d) Or there are other compelling reasons to live where they live. They are close to freinds, family, the kids are attending a good school, they enjoy the parks. It's absurd to think that everyone who works in the factory district next to the train tracks just because the corporate lease on that space was cheap wants to live in the shithole ghetto next to it.

Adding punishing tolls on the commuters will make housing close to work that much more valuable, driving prices UP.

So, yes you can raise the tolls to rebalance the equation, but that's not going to get them to move their family of four into a studio apartment that they still can't afford. Nor is the husband or wife going to separate from his family to each live closer to work in a separate home they can't afford. Nor should everyone uproot their entire family every time the company can save 2% on their lease and moves 20 miles in a random direction.

Tolls can realistically nudge things a bit, but they are not a solution. There is no solution. Nothing quick anyway. But long term city planning can make improvements over time measured in generations. Creating communities people can afford to live in and want to live in near employers works. But that's not something you can just decide to do; especially in a relatively free market. It takes time, and planning.

Comment Re:How about 18 minutes without the tunnel? (Score 1) 131

If the price is set correctly, this would permanently eliminate traffic congestion on the 405 without overcharging anyone

Because everyone going home after work would... what... exactly? Not go home after work?

Rush hour here is already 3+ hours long... so your plan is for me to finish at 5pm and then sit around at the office until 8:30pm or so to save how much in tolls exactly?? And do I come in at 5:30am to avoid rush hour starting at 6? So Now the middle class spends 15 hours a day 'at the office'? But getting paid for 8? While the executives pay $250 each way in tolls and get to and from work in 20 minutes during rush hour?

Comment They're still people (Score 2) 359

The expectation is that the salaried position is a 40 hr/wk position.

If you treat your employees only as a measurable commodity, entering into no acknowledgment of their worth, individuality, and personal potential, while attempting to mine every second of their time like a greedy, annoying crow, or worse, if you attempt to sit on those things and repress who they are, then your employees will not be loyal. This is inevitable.

When the first even nominally better opportunity (which might not even be better on grounds of pay, since everything else at your place sucks so bad) and they'll be gone. Because you made them hate you.

Which you deserved.

Sane employment is pleasant, goal seeking and reward-rich. For everyone. Not based on counting drops of sweat and screaming when the count is short. Balance liberty against compassion in tension as you encourage your employees to chase your goals and their goals. Otherwise you run the risk of just turning out to be considered another reviled prick.

I've run several very successful businesses. I'm not guessing here. Happy people do better work. Period.

Comment What *could* happen? (Score 1, Interesting) 197

Yep. Hey, you know what's great? Talking to people. Sex. Building models. Organizing one's rock/stamp/severedhead collections. Writing code. Playing with the cat/dog/cockatrice. Martial arts. Photography. Reading. Taking courses. Exercising. Working out a sane budget. Listening to music. Playing music. Sewing. Legos. Fooling with hardware. Home improvements. Giving the domicile a good once-over at the ultra-picky level, just for the fun of it. Putting the yard in tip-top order. Walking the canine or the cat. Visiting Rome, Paris or Venice (while pretending to be Canadian, of course.) Or just going to see a friend. You know, in person, not with that phone-tumor. Taking a walk, preferably somewhere you haven't been or really love. Etc. Lots and lots of etc.

Television... I just can't bring myself to call that "great." The couch, it really does make for potato generation.

Comment This is not the outrage you're looking for (Score 5, Insightful) 76

So $80M over the course of about 6 years is $13.3M/year. Out of an annual budget of $18.4B. That's 0.07% of the annual NASA budget. Okay, so somebody made a bad decision. Reprimand them, do what you have to internally to avoid such decisions in the future, and let's move on. It's not enough that anyone outside of NASA needs to get their undies in a bunch over. If you're looking for government waste to be outraged about I'm sure you can find something orders of magnitude higher than a failed R&D project.

Comment Que? (Score 1) 35

you maintain that anyone from any other country in the world has a right to live in the U.S., but U.S. citizens have no right to live in any other country?

No. However, I maintain that Trump's wall is one of his stupidest ideas.

That's English for "Trump's wall is one of his stupidest ideas", BTW.

Which is not to say that most of his other ideas aren't stupid, because they really, really are. But the wall is special. Like Trump. Short-bus special. Profoundly without merit while at the same time comprising a financial boondoggle of titanic proportions, at the very same time when the country's actual useful infrastructure (not in any way to be confused with border "walls") needs money and effort.

So without regard to political party

Oh, yes. Completely without regard to political party. Just in regard to Trump and any bewildered sycophant who thinks building that wall is anything but a complete waste of time, effort and money.

Also, I like vegetables. So I'm rather appreciative of the workers who pick them. No matter where they come from. I like tacos, too. I would not be in the least bit offended by a taco truck on every corner. Especially if they offered a nice selection of vegetables, but, you know, either way, really.

U.S. citizens have no right to live in any other country

Hmmm. That's a very... interesting... postulate. Let me guess: you live in one of the states that has legalized pot, and you just got back from a test run of every heavy-hitting variety offered, is that it? Did you know that at some taco stands, I've been able to buy Fritos? FRITOS! Lovely, crispy corn chips! And Soda! MMMMMM! Don't Bogart that joint, my friend. Pass it over to Juan.

Comment Re:The mic was bad enough. (Score 2) 207

When the echo first came out, I thought the last thing I wanted in my house was an always-on microphone. I stand corrected.

Took me a few reads to realize you stand corrected because this is the new last thing you want. I originally read that as you changed your mind and like the amazon mic now.

Frankly these are all abominations, but the bedroom fashion camera still comes in second to the trivially hacked camera equipped vibrator...


Comment It is true (Score 2) 477

However, like everything, if a technology comes along to supplant it, in this case, the cost of greener alternatives is lower than coal, it'll simply dwindle and fade over time, with absolutely no need for liberals trying to regulate the crap out of it.

This flawed argument ignores the incontrovertible fact that allowing coal to continue to provide energy on equal terms with other energy supplies rather than pressuring the market to switch to less environmentally damaging sources of energy would do real and substantial harm to us all. The bottom line is: the less energy produced from burning coal and supplied instead from less polluting resources, the better off the world is.

So in fact, there is a need for it to have the crap regulated out of it in a context where it can be replaced with (considerably) less polluting energy sources, which is exactly where we are today.

Comment Re:(sigh) You people still think you're engineers (Score 1) 726

Instead of identifying himself as an engineer, he should have said, "You are dicks." They clearly would not have been able to argue that.

Response probably would have been somewhat along the lines of "You are fined $500 for falsely representing yourself as an anatomist."

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