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Comment Re:COBOL isn't hard to learn (Score 2) 371

Indeed. If there is a market for COBOL programmers (and it's clear there is), then the obvious solution is for unis and colleges to spit out more COBOL-literate CS graduates. Honestly, if I was ten years younger, I'd probably delve into it myself. It is, after all, just a programming language, and hardly on the same level of trying to learn Sanskrit.

Comment Re:This is retarded conservatism to help 'coal' (Score 4, Informative) 478

The problem is that even if coal is completely deregulated, it's not miners who are going to be doing the extraction. The future of mining is automated. At best this will just give the coal barons a few more years of profit and do dick for the miners.

But it's not even going to be that good. Natural gas is killing coal, so there isn't even going to be a coal industry by the time renewables dominate. This is a classic "buggy whip" problem, in that there ain't gonna be no more horse-drawn carriages, so there ain't gonna be no more buggy whips. Whatever you think of Clinton, she was telling the miners the truth, their jobs are quickly becoming obsolete.

And the same goes for lots of other industries. Manufacturing is rapidly automating, so that even mass repatriation of US industrial capacity is not going to deliver the same level of employment that was there even thirty years ago. There's nothing the US government can do about it, short of outlawing automation and renewables, which would be sheer madness.

Christ, no less than Rick Perry himself has admitted the US needs to stay in the Paris Accord. Even the most pro-oil of pro-oil politicians know full well the jig is up. Oil isn't coming back, and as the price falls away it's impact on the economy diminishes. Coal was the first because it's the most expensive and most obviously harmful, but it applies to all the fossil fuels.

Comment Re:Incorrect (Score 1) 478

Do you have any actual evidence that wind farms have this effect? This strikes me as arguing that NASA shouldn't use gravity assist because it robs a planet of some of its momentum.

In other words, while you're technically correct, the effect is so small as to be irrelevant. But tell you what, if you have evidence that wind farms actually have this large an effect, then provide citations. And no, some blog is not a citation. I mean peer reviewed or primary literature.

Comment Re:Unintended consequences (Score 1) 521

The problem still remains that "over-abundance" will only apply to labor. It won't apply to capacity nor to raw resources. We'll have lots of humans with not enough to do, whereas Marxism remains a "classical" economic system which still thinks in terms of scarcity of labor.

I don't think the future is Communist, but neither do I think it is strictly capitalist. I think we're still going to have a fundamentally consumer society, still at its core free market, it's just that labor will no longer be an issue. It will mean adjusting precisely how it is that society as a whole profits from the means of production. And remember that Marxism was always more than merely an economic theory, but was fundamentally a socio-political theory. It was innovative in that it viewed economics as the very core, but it proposed a good deal more than simply "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs", and involved revolution, dictatorship and what really does amount to a sort of single party state (because, after all, who needs more than one political movement when Marxism is perfect).

In the end, I expect we'll probably see a shift towards capital gains taxes, higher resource rents, transactional taxes (ie. taxes on the purchase or sale of bonds and shares) and other such mechanisms, and while lots of corporate interests will kick up a mighty storm, but there's little choice in the matter. At some point, robots will do a great deal of the work.

Comment Re: where does all this money come from? (Score 1, Insightful) 521

Just because people pay you for your services doesn't mean you create more than you consume. Perhaps you have some sort of serious illness, which means your health insurance provider may be paying you more than you are paying them. Perhaps you have enough write offs to heavily reduce your actual taxable income, meaning others are actually paying more tax than you.

But do you really pay enough money in taxes that it covers the building of the road past your house, pay for the wages and equipment of the firefighters who may have to put out your fire? There's an entire infrastructure out there that is paid for by the economic output of an entire society, and the idea that somehow anyone, even a billionaire, can claim responsibility for a significant fraction of it is absurd.

Comment Re: Ontario, largest subnational debtor on the pla (Score 1) 521

It's called taxes. We can debate which taxes would be best, but presumably if someone is making something, whether it be with human beings, robots or some combination, they also have sales, which means there are any number of financial transactions which can be taxed. Pick your poison; corporate taxes, capital gains taxes, excise taxes, etc. etc. etc. In the end, money is just a means of counting value.

Comment Re:People hate each other more (Score 4, Insightful) 312

I think that this cheerleading of hate from the establishment and overall atmosphere of divisiveness is very deliberate.

It looks like a classic "divide and rule" strategy to keep the people at each others' throats and continually blaming each other for the state of affairs instead of having everybody looking toward their governments, politicians, and "thought leaders". Those in power are making a killing on the current state of affairs and are getting wealthier every day. They don't want this gravy train to stop rolling.

Comment Re:Email tie-in (Score 2) 72

If you can't handle running your own mailserver, point your domain MX records to a hosted service and let them handle it. Hosted mail for a single account is not expensive and if they hike the prices or start acting janky, then you just move to another service. You'll have all of the benefits of hosted email and the opportunity to keep your email address forever, typically for less than $10/month.

My non-technical mother-in-law does this and if she ever needs to switch mail providers, she can ask me for help. She's done it once before by herself and it's not hard (there are tutorials on both the registrar's and the email providers' sites).

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