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Comment Re:Bigoted much? (Score 1) 404

Expelling diplomats and seizing property is outrageous behavior if it's believed that it was done for no reason.

Not really. What the administration did was actually pretty much the least retaliation they can do. On MSNBC, they asked an analyst what the actions were on a 1-to-10 scale and it was called a 1, maybe a 2.

There's not much else less severe that could have been done.

Comment Retaliation..again (Score 3, Insightful) 821

This is like groundhog day. Putin very likely struck out at Sec. Clinton because of the damage her claim that the 2011 elections in Russia were illegitimate. That claim from the United States, by the way, is effectively like what Russia is accused of doing in 2016 - interfering in national elections of a rival.

This is a fools game. Retaliating by interfering in Russian politics will simply invite more of the same. There is no sense of balance or proportionality here.

It would have been nice for the Obama administration to have done a policy change here at the end, that put some teeth into a rule that prohibits the United States from interferring in the elections or politics of any foreign nation. But of course that's not in the cards.

Comment Re: Finland (Score 1) 441

How so? Take someone that's being paid, let's say, $5000/month at the moment, and let's take a UBI of $1000/month to have a neat number to work with. With the UBI they'll be getting $6000/mo, but paying back $1000/mo for a net of $5000/mo. That's exactly what they were already getting, so where's the subsidy for the employer?

The $1000 less they have to pay the person to do that job because that component of their worth in the market is being met by the UBI not the employer.

The minimum wage is not the same thing. It is a required minimum amount the employer must pay, not a minimum amount paid by the public.

It's a good point. I quite like the general idea. None of this is going to be viable long term though, because we can automate all of these things too.

Yes. But there needs to be a transitionary step so the people who can't handle the idea of "getting something for nothing" can get their head around it (or die).

Comment Re: Finland (Score 1) 441

They can't just pay $X less and hope to still have people working for them though, unless the resulting wage is high enough that the employee will be paying most or all of their UBI back in taxes, in which case the $X reduction is mostly or completely just a regular pay cut.

That doesn't really address the point ? Even if someone is being paid relatively a lot, the UBI still represents a subsidy to their employer who will be paying them roughly the equivalent of the UBI less than they would be if it didn't exist.

A job guarantee relies on there being jobs available, which as we've established is kind of the problem. I guess you could invent some pointless work for someone to do, but forcing them to spend a significant chunk of their time doing meaningless busy work doesn't strike me as being better than not forcing them to do it.

There is arguably plenty of work that is not so much "pointless" as not particularly profitable. Someone to help little old ladies on and off buses, for example. Or more teachers. Or take back all the jobs around publicly funded services that have been privatised and improve it (eg: cleaning staff).

Comment Re:I predict a lot of misunderstandings about BI (Score 1) 441

That is an incredibly convoluted way of saying "reduce the cost to business for employing people". :)

But it doesn't really explain what you're trying to achieve. The last few decades show that reduced costs to business go primarily into CxO bonuses and - maybe - shareholder dividends.

Businesses aren't charities. They won't employ more people without unmet demand. Supply-side economics is bunk.

In that context what really matters is this:

[...] while receiving an extra $269.08 deposit from Social Security every 2 weeks.

Not the reduction in taxes to business (though I agree payroll taxes are bad taxes).

As I said elsewhere, a jobs guarantee is a better and fairer option than a UBI (or similar), at least until we really do have robots that can do anything and current attitudes towards welfare have matured.

Comment Re: Finland (Score 1) 441

Let me put it another way, a UBI of $X is a subsidy of $X to employers who can pay their employees $X less and pocket the difference themselves.

A jobs guarantee (paid employment by Government for anyone who wants it) is a better and fairer solution than a UBI, at least until we really do have robots that can do anything and everything.

Comment Re: Finland (Score 1) 441

And if you don't pay your employees enough, they'll stop working for you[...]

That's OK, there's zillions more employees out there. We already have a massive surplus in workers (hence high unemployment and low wages) and that surplus is only going to keep increasing.

But since people who are working will essentially be giving their UBI back in taxes anyway, I find it hard to see it as a subsidy to businesses.

Employer pays someone a dollar an hour to work 20 hours a week. Worker needs UBI to live.

What scenario are you envisaging where a worker will be paying back their entire UBI in taxes ?

Comment Re: Don't forget (Score 2) 351

Yes, it is.

The only free market is one without any rules. So no property rights, no contracts, no money, no fraud, no standards, nothing.

Anything else and all you're doing is arguing about the extent of regulation you want in your market.

It shouldn't take long with a history book to conclude where "no rules" inevitably ends up.

Comment Re:Finland (Score 1) 441

The ironic thing is that this is basic investing, that businesses should be glad to be doing. I don't get why this is not done more often.

Socialise the costs, privatise the profits.

Why would businesses pay for something when they can get everyone else to pay for it instead and take the money they would have spent in CxO bonuses ?

Comment Re:Would it be positive for your customers? (Score 4, Informative) 158

Yes, more sponsored free data transfer and optimization from content providers. It's a grey area now. But "Stream Game of Thrones now without using your data, exclusively on AT&T" is something that carriers and content providers really want to do.

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