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Comment Re:So you exclude half the taxes and what you get? (Score 1) 903

They are high. They're just not as high as other countries who get these things even more wrong than the United States. Of course, the OECD, which just spends all their time and money (tax-funded, by the way) talking about how much better life would be if taxes were higher, published the report. Heck, they want to create a global tax cartel to eliminate tax competition. I don't question the report's accuracy. It's just irrelevant. Some people, including myself, believe taxes in the US are too high. 32% percent of my income (according to the report) is way too much to fund an institution whose only legitimate job is protection of its citizens from violent confrontations with each other and foreign aggressors. What other countries do is irrelevant.

Comment Re:Not a surprise for those who sell 3P on Amazon (Score 2) 32

How exactly is any startup, small business owner or individual supposed to compete without strict regulation?

Well, they just provide a better product or a better price on their own. If they can't do that, then there's no need for a "small business owner or individual" to be attempting to enter that market, as Amazon must be doing a better job. If you're worried about a natural monopoly, then take a look at the two monopoly chapters in The Machinery of Freedom, and that will put your fears to rest. In short, any attempt to abuse market power will lead to Amazon being uncompetitive in the market -- which will eventually lead to its downfall. In the meantime, let's enjoy cheap products.

Comment Re:This is absolutely sickening... (Score 1) 547

So, what's your point?

Is it that we should have a more educated populace? Public schools in the United States have been failures, even though Since World War II, inflation-adjusted spending per student in American public schools has increased by 663 percent. Obviously, more money isn't going to help, and that's all I hear from people who make claims like "It's the dummies."

Here's the real issue: we have people who don't have any interest in actually learning about the policies politicians support (of either party), and they have the reigns on power in a democracy. The likelihood that anyone will affect the outcome of an election is minuscule, so people vote for "civic duty" or the entertainment value of the event. No one is making a list of policies each politician is expected to support and calculating cost/benefit for each. Heck, most people know that politicians are bad at keeping their campaign promises, much less their "values."

The problem is not education. The problem is a system that allows people who have no interest in making a calculated choice to make a choice that is foisted everyone. You can't even claim that outcomes would be much better if everyone who voted was required to have a Master's degree.

Comment Re:They should go solar (Score 2) 270

It might have something to do with "Kansas adopted the Renewable Energy Standards Act in 2009, which required the state’s utility companies to generate or purchase 20 percent of their energy from renewable sources – like wind and solar – by 2020." That is, they forced themselves to do it -- regardless of the price. Not saying it wasn't cheaper, but that they would have switched regardless of whether it were cheaper or not in the end.

The thing is that different energy sources are going to have different prices and efficacy depending on where you are. I'm sure that fossil fuels are still cheaper per kilowatt hour in northern Canada than solar is, and that wind power in San Francisco is going to be more expensive than in Texas.

Comment Re:Growth Mania (Score 1) 28

I believe that's the point-- that "there's plenty of wealth and resources on this planet for everyone." If you're not working to create more wealth through growth then you're being left behind. When you get complacent and fail to grow (i.e. innovate), your competitors will eventually cut into your market and you lose. See A&P, IBM, etc. Fortune 500 1955 (Hint-- many of those no longer exist).

Comment Re:Theoretically (Score 1) 172

I never claimed that the USA has a free market. It's been falling on economic freedom rankings for the past 15 years. Heck, Chile has more economic freedom than the US. My point was that regulations create barriers to entry by favoring established companies. These barriers to entry result in worse service for higher prices. You proved my point: the "lobbyists for the scumbag telecos" use the government to stop people from "pay[ing] for their area to have fiber and towers." That's pretty much the definition of crony capitalism. However, you seem to conflate crony capitalism with "unfettered capitalism" (which, by the definition of unfettered, much mean without government intervention). You can't have corruption if the market is "unfettered." When the government is not involved, how can you claim crony capitalism? I obviously support a free market, not the corporatism we currently have the United States. We agree there. Either way, I'll read the FEE article, but as that's a site I read daily, I'm pretty sure we're already on the same page.

Comment Re:give them green cards (Score 1) 271

That's a pretty interesting way to look at it. I have always viewed every discussion about H-1B on Slashdot with the assumption that the only reason people complained about them is because they're salty about the competition. However, it seems I misjudged the H-1B program specifically-- the truth is that I thought it was an alternative path for immigration (which, based on your comment, it seems not to be). Of course, real immigration improves life overall. The immigrant definitely wins, plus the employer (who has to pay less) wins and his customer wins. The few who lose their jobs will just have to go for the next best job they can find. Sometimes, it even forces people to go out and find work they're better fitted for. It's called specialization of labor.

Comment Re:Theoretically (Score 1, Insightful) 172

You see, the free market fixes that too. Not having cell phone service would be a possible minus for people deciding to move out into the middle of nowhere; they might instead decide, "I want to live in civilization. Maybe I should pay slightly more to get a home somewhere a little more urban." Regulating cell phone companies to serve places with low population density is like telling restaurants, "If you're going to have a location in the city, we're going to require you to also build a location in every rural area within 50 miles." What do you think would happen? Your choice of restaurants would become very limited. Some would say "oligopolistic." That's what has happened to cell service. The government has created artificial barriers to entry and everyone (except those who are in rural areas and companies that can afford to comply) loses.

Comment Regulations (Score 2, Insightful) 62

Companies such as Airbnb and Uber serve to show just how regulated most industries are. When they waltz into an existing industry with services just different enough to escape regulations, the suffocating nature of special interest-driven regulation becomes apparent. Entrenched taxi companies demand licensing restrictions. Hotels demand regulation and taxes. Unions demand classification of contractors as employees (and people realize they aren't so different from each other -- employees are just special contractors with government-mandated benefits). The New York decision is a classic example of special interests aiming to limit competition and creative destruction.

Comment Re:is 2020 lbs. a ton (Score 1) 56

Looks like they're talking about metric tons. This page says that it'll take a total of 1,999,200 grams of metal (9,996 g Gold; 1,232,840 g Silver; 736,372 g Copper; 16,660 g Zinc; 3,332 g Tin), which is about 2 metric tons. At market prices, that's 114,781,936 yen or $1,019,462. Guess they're saying it'll take four times that weight of actual phones to get that much metal ("The production process will reduce this eight tonnes down to around two").

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