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AT&T's Gigabit Smokescreen

bigpat Google doesn't need tax breaks (121 comments)

Google doesn't need tax breaks, they just need municipalities to cut through the red tape that has the habit of ending up in brown paper bags full of cash to regulators. The big telecoms need those tax breaks to fill brown paper bags full of cash that are sent right back to the army of "consultants" that grease the wheels of government and of politicians.

yesterday
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Tech People Making $100k a Year On the Rise, Again

bigpat Re:$100k today the equivalent of $80k in 2004 (166 comments)

Given the trillion dollar or more per year injections of new money into the economy, the fact that there isn't more inflation is a cause of concern. The money injections seem to be happening primarily at the top and only partly trickling down into the wider economy which is showing up as income inequality and growth starting at the very top rather than being spread around which would show up in consumer inflation. I think the real threat in the trickle down way the Federal Reserve and the US government are distributing new money is that it is getting concentrated even more at the top and that is further undermining and diluting democracy and freedom.

Certainly the new money does help to capitalize businesses and that has stabilized jobs, but the real long term sustainability of that "debt" will be premised on using Federal Reserve "profits" to balance the federal debt out over time rather than actually taking money out of the economy to pay it back later.

Bottom line is that with all this new money being concentrated at the top because of the actions of the Federal Reserve and the stimulus, then we are going to need a set of public policies to try and restore the political and economic power of the middle income earners that has been eroding steadily for decades. Which I am arguing has happened as a direct result from the way that new money creation is distributed by the Federal Reserve and US Government.

We need more ways to save income that are tax free combined with lower taxes on both the poor and middle class. And lower taxes or no taxes on job creating businesses. But higher taxes on very high individual incomes.

Deficits and new money creation to support economic reforms to broaden the middle class and strengthen our democracy and freedom are a worthwhile investment in the future.

yesterday
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Tech People Making $100k a Year On the Rise, Again

bigpat Re:$100K is not "living the life" (166 comments)

Yes, $100k used to mean you had made it... not just to the middle class, but to the upper middle class and maybe with some additional savings you could save up enough to start your own business. Now, especially in many of the more expensive metropolitan areas, $100k simply means you are in the middle of the middle class. $150k or even $200k is closer to the old $100k threshold in terms of a threshold to the upper middle class. And a lot depends on how much wealth you have already and which area you live in. Because $100k in salary if you have $500k in savings or a fully paid off house is like having a $2k to $3k per month increase in salary.

yesterday
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Tech People Making $100k a Year On the Rise, Again

bigpat $100k today the equivalent of $80k in 2004 (166 comments)

Making $100k today is about the equivalent of making $80k in 2004 or $72k in 2000. A decent salary... but making "six figures" ain't what it used to be.

yesterday
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David Auerbach Explains the Inside Baseball of MSN Messenger vs. AIM

bigpat Re:Another reason not to use nonstandard software (80 comments)

I still use email after 30 years, but I'll be damned if I remember any of my AOL screen names. Facebook is a trend on the down slope in a long line of trendy online communities and not a distinct communications platform. AOL is a lesson for Facebook in that if a company tries too hard to keep control of a proprietary communications system then it will loose out to another company that will be less controlling.

yesterday
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David Auerbach Explains the Inside Baseball of MSN Messenger vs. AIM

bigpat Re:So the take away is... (80 comments)

Let's face it, the stock market is a big Ponzi scheme which is often completely detached from reality..

That implies that the money comes from the bottom up and feeds into a pyramid. Actually it is in very large part the opposite with the Federal Reserve creating new money, feeding it into the banks and Federal Government and all that new money trickling down through Wall Street and Federal contractors then eventually a little bit eventually gets through to the real production oriented economy where food gets grown and transportation and energy get produced. At each level very unproductive people are spinning their wheels and calling that work and taking a bigger and bigger cut just because they can.

The problem isn't that it is a ponzi scheme, for the most part the problem is that the capital isn't flowing up from individuals but rather the capital is trickling down from the top with the top being determined in a false meritocracy which is thinly veiling a more insidious form of entrenched elitism.

And it isn't a huge problem that people are getting paid to spin their wheels like this, with a lack of truly necessary jobs for people to do suck wheel spinning is a good way to keep people occupied doing something challenging yet meaningless, the problem is when the system becomes so overtly corrupt that the real producers get fed up with producing something of necessity and being rewarded with worthless trinkets while unworthy people are living lavishly wasteful lives while others go without necessities. It really is undermining freedom and democracy to be perpetuating this system of economics where capital is trickling down and concentrated in fewer and fewer hands at the top.

yesterday
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In the US, Rich Now Work Longer Hours Than the Poor

bigpat Re:Middle Class != Rich (282 comments)

Heck it isn't even true anymore that getting a bachelor's degree guarantee's that you will receive a middle income salary. At least not a salary that will allow you to live a middle class lifestyle unless your parents were already rich.

yesterday
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MIT Designs Tsunami Proof Floating Nuclear Reactor

bigpat Re:Waste? (217 comments)

And there is a good solution for storage, but the allies of the fossil fuel industry have combined with the anti nuclear folks to block Yucca mountain from opening. Bury the nuclear waste deep in the earth, because that is where it came from in the first place.

It is very sad for the thousands of people that lost their homes because of radiation around Fukushima. But compare that evacuation to the effects of the earthquake and tsunami itself, which claimed the lives of 15,885 people and injured 6,148 with 2623 people still missing, the response to the radiation leak is just one after effect of the tsunami, but it hasn't caused any deaths.

As for "Such a fire will render the U.S "virtually" uninhabitable.".... a hundred nuclear weapons were detonated on the US mainland as part of above ground nuclear weapons tests. While I think that was incredibly stupid and irresponsible and there have certainly been health effects and increased cancer deaths in the decades afterwards, the radiation leaks at nuclear power plants pale in comparison to the radiation released by those above ground tests and as far as I can tell the US is still inhabitable.

4 days ago
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MIT Designs Tsunami Proof Floating Nuclear Reactor

bigpat Re:Waste? (217 comments)

And it is still a non-issue. When it is 30 years later and you can still store it on-site then it is not a lot of waste. Compare that to any other energy source, the amount of toxic waste, even solar panel manufacturing and you have your answer.

5 days ago
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Will This Flying Car Get Crowdfunded?

bigpat Re:Not getting funded. (157 comments)

I would love to do some recreational flying, but I can't afford to with a family and a mortgage and many expenses. And I couldn't justify it as an expensive hobby before then.

The point was simply that people don't fly because it isn't economically viable to do so. The number of pilot's licenses isn't an indication of people's ability to fly or their inclination to do so. It is an indication of the expense of flying which is partly the result of FAA regulations and the lack of efficient mass production of light aircraft.

about a week ago
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Will This Flying Car Get Crowdfunded?

bigpat Re:Not getting funded. (157 comments)

Personally I don't have a pilots license because I don't have the money to waste on something that is of no economic benefit. If I could fly from point A to point B and get their in half the time and avoid traffic for similar costs to a car, then I would learn and adapt. And so would a lot of other people.

Even if not everyone is suited to flying, as you suggest, then getting a portion of the population off the roads would still make a huge impact on traffic and ultimately allow us to grow our economy without needing to make diminishing return type of investments in transportation infrastructure.

about a week ago
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Will This Flying Car Get Crowdfunded?

bigpat Re:Not getting funded. (157 comments)

Why does a small jet engine have to cost too much? A quick search of jet turbines for model aircraft shows that the 52lbs max thrust P200-SX from JetCat costs $5,495. Sure you would need 6 or 7 of these to get an average sized adult off the ground vertically with some minimal airframe, but we aren't talking about millions of dollars we are talking about something under $100k to put together some sort of ultralight VTOL.

I think the best flying car hope right now is actually in the small autonomous UAV space, but we need the FAA to start allowing more commercial development of UAVs in certain areas away from heavily populated areas.

All the other technical hurdles seem pretty manageable for at least moving us along the cost/performance curve to make small VTOL aircraft more affordable for more people.

about a week ago
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Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?

bigpat Re:Fuck Obamacare (722 comments)

Yes, I think you are right on the constitutionality issue. People get tax refunds for all sorts of things... "Cash for clunkers" comes to mind. And nothing in the Constitution prevents a regressive income tax. Which is what a tax penalty mostly applied to middle class families that feel they can't afford Obamacare or employer provided plans really is. I warned people ahead of the Supreme Court case that it wasn't likely to be overruled because the mandate was just a tax based on some criteria that wasn't constitutionally protected.

But I think there is probably a constitutional line someplace, I mean if the health insurance mandate was a criminal or civil penalty instead of a tax penalty based on income then it would be considered unconstitutional or if the money was spent towards supporting some particular speech or religion, like giving people a tax credit for buying just the books on Oprah Winfrey's book club list or a tax penalty if a person doesn't buy a cross, or mandating dues payments to the Party.

Funny enough I think the Massachusetts RomneyCare model is actually unconstitutional, under the state constitution. Because Massachusetts constitution specifies a flat income tax and only allows deductions under the income tax and not extra taxes ... like a penalty. But as far as I know there has been no legal challenge.

about two weeks ago
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Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?

bigpat Re:7.1 million is pathetically low, so ya I believ (722 comments)

In 2-3 years the number uninsured will drop much farther.

Ya, no shit. Because the fine will go up more people will be compelled to buy the insurance. Still doesn't mean it is "affordable" or sustainable. This is a band-aid solution to prop up the health insurance system with more unwilling participants.

about two weeks ago
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Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?

bigpat Re:"Obamacare Enrollment"? (722 comments)

Yes, it is propaganda. We are now back to the level of uninsured in the last years of the Bush administration.... Yippie?

about two weeks ago
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Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?

bigpat Re:Fuck Obamacare (722 comments)

Or how about if the pro-gun lobby decided that anyone who did not buy a gun that year would get taxed an extra $5,000?

about two weeks ago
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Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?

bigpat Re:7.1 million is pathetically low, so ya I believ (722 comments)

Now that Obamacare IS the system and it IS the problem, then maybe on one side of the isle we can talk about fixing Obamacare and on the other we can talk about replacing.... and mean the same thing.

But seriously, on the left I think we/they should be happy with a compromise that sees an expansion of medicaid and some sort of very basic universal healthcare paid for with a broad base progressive tax. Not single payer for everything, just emergency medicine for all and a few sick visits. Figure another 2% on top of the medicare tax.

And for conservatives, introduce an option to opt out of the insurance market and not get fined under the individual mandate. Instead of an Insurance mandate, give people an option for a savings mandate. So you have to save up to 5% of your income every year until you have saved a certain amount of money, say $50k or $100k (indexed to inflation).

Treat the savings option like a Traditional/Roth IRA where you can invest the savings however you like, but only take it out tax free for medical expenses until retirement age. But then at retirement make it tax free up to a certain amount. Encouraging more savings and investment should also help with a retirement savings problem that we have in this country.

about two weeks ago
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Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?

bigpat Re:7.1 million is pathetically low, so ya I believ (722 comments)

They're talking about the 40 million or so Americans who cannot get affordable coverage due to preexisting conditions, income restraints, and the like.

The problem is that they are talking about them and not actually offering people affordable insurance.

about two weeks ago

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