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Comment Re:Just blame man (Score 1) 173

I'm one of those liberals who has found it very interesting to question what people say everybody knows now and then. I hear a lot of things said about Clinton, and when I go to check up on them I find that there's really no good evidence behind them. It's gotten so bad that my automatic response to people saying seriously bad things about Clinton is to disbelieve it, because from experience that's probably the right move.

I've found that some people are willing to talk about the mountain of evidence against her, but aren't willing to point me at a pebble that supports their argument. Some people completely believe in the authenticity of documents that have a good chance of having gone through Russian hands. Some people talk about some CEOs favoring Clinton as if that's evidence of something bad. Some people just dispense with this whole evidence and rationality thing because writing "brainwashed libtards" is easier than thinking.

Comment Re:I'm confused... (Score 1) 300

You can't have one set of renting laws (which cost money to implement) for commercial apartments and have none for people renting out a room in their home.

Actually, you can, if the operations are sufficiently distinct. Laws are often different for commercial and private operations. Uber provides a taxi service without making sure the drivers have commercial licenses and insurance, so they can operate less expensively than conventional taxis that have to obey the law. AirBnB provides a hotel service that doesn't have to follow hotel laws. Each builds on private operations: nobody's going to get after me for taking a twenty to drive someone I know somewhere, or for letting someone I know stay in my house while paying me money.

One thing the Internet does is blur the lines between personal activity and commercial activity.

Comment Re:Capitalism? (Score 1) 300

Sure. Trying to equalize outcomes is stupid. Trying to equalize opportunity isn't. Given equal opportunity, someone will do better than the others, for whatever reason. We do want to compensate for lack of wealth in providing opportunity, if only because we're better off when people can realize their potential.

Comment Re:Capitalism? (Score 1) 300

The market is perfectly compatible with slavery. For example, I have assets. I have a car that takes me to work and back, for example, and allows me to do other things. The car doesn't need free will. Similarly, if I have a slave, I can do more things. I've got the free will for market purposes, and the slave will obey me. (Or else.)

The fact that slavery is illegal doesn't mean it doesn't exist. It means that there have to be measures to prevent the slave from complaining to the police, since a police officer is supposed to make sure the slave gets free as opposed to returning him or her.

Also, for a market to work, there have to be limits on free will and self-determination. It doesn't work if someone, of his or her own free will, uses self-determination to kill you and take your stuff.

Comment Re:Hotel CEO Openly Does His Job (Score 1) 300

Monopolies are only temporary. They eventually die under their own weight.

Monopolies are results of high barriers to entry, which can be all sorts of things. If the barriers are lower, we get a limited number of companies providing a good or service, and it's to their advantage to collude to get monopoly pricing. If the barriers are low enough (and that can happen from technological advances) other people will move into the market and break the cartel.

On desktops and laptops, Microsoft Windows has something over a 90% market share, and it has massive network advantages. Linux has something over 1% market share. What iOS and Android devices have done is reduce the number of people who need desktops and laptops, making Microsoft's monopoly less lucrative, but it's still there. There's a large number of applications that are not suited for a phone or tablet, and they aren't taking over in the foreseeable future. PC sales have dipped, but seem to be stabilizing.

Comment Re:except it wasn't people renting out their rooms (Score 1) 300

Hotel owners had a legitimate interest in that, since they were held to higher legal standards than AirBnB, and couldn't operate as cheaply. They provide a service and deserve the same chance to make a profit as any other business owners. They probably didn't care about affordable housing, but their actions do make housing more affordable.

Doubtless some of the laws hotel operators must abide by are there to create artificial barriers to entry, but some have useful purposes, and in any case it's unfair for AirBnB to move in and offer hotel service without abiding by the appropriate laws.

Comment Re:except it wasn't people renting out their rooms (Score 1) 300

So, why should we subsidize the rest of the world? Right now, drug companies can negotiate more leniently with other countries because they know they can sell for ridiculous prices in the US. If the US started using negotiating power in buying drugs, either the drug companies would have to raise costs in other places or they'd need some alternate way of financing new drugs, which would be a lot more fair than what they're doing now.

Comment Re:except it wasn't people renting out their rooms (Score 1) 300

For example, flood insurance only exists because the government created it.

This suggests that (a) nobody wants flood insurance, which is empirically false, or (b) there's a profit opportunity here that for some stupid reason nobody is interested in, or (c) it would be unaffordable if a private company did it, and the government makes it affordable. GPS is similar: it's very useful, and is only affordable because it's a government program.

The post office used to be absolutely vital, and made communications affordable. It was always possible to hire someone to go from New York to Philadelphia to deliver a letter, but the post office made it a lot cheaper.

Comment Re:Care about people (Score 1) 249

Lying? If the experimental category is self-reported, you can't lie. Whatever answer you give is the truth for that experiment. The study didn't find that higher class people tend to pay less attention to others, it found that people who self-report a higher class do.

It would be interesting to do some studies on characteristics of people who self-report as different classes, but that would be for other studies.

Comment Re:lousy study (Score 1) 249

Should they have kicked the two people identifying as upper class out of the study? They didn't have all that much statistical influence anyway. I can't get to the paper, but I'd imagine they got a more or less random sample of first-year psychology students, like most other psychological studies, and went with that.

The fact that the researchers went with the subjects they had doesn't indicate any agenda or bias, and only one ignorant of how science works would say such a thing.

Class is complicated, depending on a whole lot of things. Self-reported class isn't. You ask someone which class they fall into, write it down, and go with it. The scientific conclusion they came to is that people who self-report higher social classes tend to pay less attention to other people. That's it. Nothing more. That's how science works: people do a study and come up with a conclusion like that that may not mean all that much in isolation. Somebody might look at a lot of studies and come up with a more general hypothesis that makes testable predictions.

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