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Comment Re:Subsidies (Score 2) 827

The entire tuition bill is essentially doing what you point out. They set a sticker price they expect only a few % that can afford it to pay; to the rest they give it based on the color of your skin and other factors.

Comment Re:College Expenses != Tuitition (Score 1) 827

>> Even if colleges hold their total expenditures to the rate of inflation, state support has been declining dramatically over the past decades. As a consequences students are picking up a greater share of the total expenditures through tuition. Clearly that will result in tuition rising at a rate faster than inflation.

It isn't necessarily clear that this must result in tuition rising faster than inflation. The rise in tuition happens for the same fundamental reason the rise in any price does -- supply and demand. Too many subsidies on the demand side in the form of loans and whatnot result in schools being able to charge higher prices So the more dollars out there chasing diplomas, the more prices will rise. Cut back on loans (or otherwise curtail the flow of dollars to colleges) and the prices will go down.

Comment Re:It is very simple ... (Score 5, Insightful) 827

It is indeed very simple. If the government gave a subsidy of $100 to buy a car, guess now much the cost of a car would rise. There are always unintended consequences when Gov't starts meddeling. Home price bubble was from making loan interest tax deductible and keeping interest rates very low; similar thing going on in student loan arena -- stop throwing money at the colleges and the price will then stabilize and go down. *wherever* government meddles to stimulate the demand side, the prices rise. This is econ 101.

Comment Re:You see! (Score 1) 78

Seems it should be pretty simple to just quote where Socrates says "profits are bad"... you're the one asserting it; you carry the burden of proof. The fact is he's never said such a silly thing, and if it takes him 900 pages to say what you think he's saying, you're over-simplifying what he's saying by several orders of magnitude.

Whether the patent system is a net detriment or benefit to society is an interesting debate -- hard to prove either way. At best anybody that looks at it should admit the question is complicated. Anybody that talks in such sweeping terms as you is not thinking.

FYI, Friedman, you know, the guy you are name dropping, supported the idea of patents, but thought they diverted R&D to the realm of the practical machines and away from other types of inventions that could be just as beneficial to mankind. In "Capitalism and Freedom" he references the notion of the supermarket -- no protection for that innovation, but a great service to man. You really should read him if you're going to name drop!

Comment Re:You see! (Score 1) 78

You're the one that's saying Socrates says profits are bad -- if he says it "very clearly" certainly you can easily provide such text to back up your assertion. Please provide.

Do you think any pharma company would develop a new drug without a patent system in place? There are obviously downsides to the patent system, but anybody who just critiques it's downsides without appreciating its upsides is just whining and short-sighted.

You aren't seeing the enormous benefit *your* life has had based on the systems you now seem to be advocating for dismantling of.

Comment Re:You see! (Score 1) 78

Socrates never says profits are bad, that is you saying that. If you actually read the passage above that you quote, you'd see Socrates is arguing for an incentives system to encourage the artisan to produce... one such incentives system is the pursuit of profits and all of its benefits. In econ 101 you learn that it is competition that drives down profits, and monopolies are discouraged because they harm competition (they are not going after profits... they are going after anti-compeititive activity). There are companies that make money hand over fist because they innovate and you pay for their goods what you think they're worth -- think Apple right now. In the computer biz, there is a ton of competition, yet they make money, and that spurs further investment, and thus further innovation. It is a system that's given us more progress and innovation *in our lifetimes* than all of human history combined. Think about that before you just rattle off silliness. There would be no "Senior System Engineer/Architect" position that you hold without the lure of profit driving innovation.

Comment Re:You see! (Score 1) 78

Your perspective strikes me as deeply naive -- almost to the point that it isn't worth responding to, but I guess I've already started typing. What kind of a fool would say "profits are bad"? Profits are neither good nor bad, obviously.......... You do know that just about every pharmaceutical / computer / technology you rely on has been pursued for the sake of profit. You should read Wealth of Nations.

Comment What's a "business method" patent? (Score 1) 78

the vast majority of patents that "trolls" use to sue companies are not "business methods" -- I know everybody loves to hate business methods but the fact is nobody knows what a business method is, except in the most extreme cases (and such cases are very rare). Recent legislation did away with some kinds of things that might be called business methods (tax strategies being one). This is a fundamental problem -- most that bitch about business methods never define what they're talking about.

Comment Why Bitcoins will Fail (and not what you think) (Score 1) 140

Bitcoins won't fail due to a bubble. Maybe not even a hack. They will fail for basically the same reason any fledgling currency of any new country fails: instability. And you're seeing it now -- a pizza that cost once 10k bitcoins now costs 1/15th of one. These are MASSIVE stability swings. There is no stability. The buying power of a bitcoin is, and as far as I can tell, will always be, subject to huge swings. Why? Because there is no mechanism by which supply can ever be calibrated to demand. There are a max of 21MM coins -- that's it, can't expand, ever. Bitcoins will always be a type of speculation / bet -- which is interesting, to be sure, but fails the test for a good digital currency because a fundamental tenant of a good currency, a desirable currency, is it has relatively stable buying power.

But it is fascinating to watch. Bitcoin 1.0 just fundamentally lacks any design considration for price stability, that coupled with an artificially set 21MM total bitcoins, and it is like instability is actually baked into the design.

Bitcoin 2.0 should have a mechanism to improve price stability -- this is no trivial task, however, and if there are any econ folks out there I'd love to hear any ideas on this point. Would require approx equaling supply and demand, but evening knowing when you've done this is tricky.

Comment Re:Will increased exposure make the market rationa (Score 1) 140

>> The problem is that Bitcoins have very little intrinsic value. The value of national currencies is based on the stability ogf the government backing it, ultimately reflecting the currency's use for paying taxes and other government charges.

There is no intrinsic value to any fiat currency (except maybe as a fuel to burn). The value of national currencies is NOT based on the stability of the government, it is based on supply and demand for the unit of currency. People want dollars because they are rare, simple as that. Gov't reputation can screw with the stability of the currency by not being dependable on the supply side of the currency, but that is different.

Comment Re:Will increased exposure make the market rationa (Score 1) 140

According to your view of the world Picasso's paintings should all cost, oh, about $500 bucks. All 1983 Bordeauxs should cost about $7. All circa 2006 mansions in las vegas built for $1MM (now selling for $500k), should always sell for $1MM. You need to take econ 101. Actually, just about everything in your post is incorrect.

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