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Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

drsmithy Re:illogical captain (887 comments)

Let's assume God does not exist. Therefore heaven does not exist. Therefore things like morals don't matter because you don't go to heaven or hell or are not judged regardless of what acts you commit.

For those who have ever wondered what a non-sequitur is, this is a prime example.

3 days ago
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California Declares Carpooling Via Ride-Share Services Illegal

drsmithy Re:Can we please cann these companies what they ar (288 comments)

Again, how does that justify limiting the number of cabs? That's what licensing does.

No, it doesn't.

As implemented, thanks to crony capitalism and lobbying, the number of taxis is limited. However, this artificial limitation is in no way an inherent feature of an accreditation system.

3 days ago
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California Declares Carpooling Via Ride-Share Services Illegal

drsmithy Re:Carpooling should be as free as speech (288 comments)

No higher authority should be able to make it illegal for consenting adults to interact with one another.

Indeed. That's why laws dealing with fraud, workplace safety and food standards are just Government oppression.

4 days ago
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California Declares Carpooling Via Ride-Share Services Illegal

drsmithy Re:Can we please cann these companies what they ar (288 comments)

It takes a special license in order to inspect your vehicle?

No.

You are required to have your vehicle inspected to hold the special license.

4 days ago
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California Declares Carpooling Via Ride-Share Services Illegal

drsmithy Re:Can we please cann these companies what they ar (288 comments)

Are there really taxi unions? Around here taxi drivers are lucky to make minimum wage.

Taxi *owner* "unions". Though I doubt they're "unions" in the traditional sense. More likely "associations" like doctors or lawyers.

4 days ago
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California Declares Carpooling Via Ride-Share Services Illegal

drsmithy Re:Can we please cann these companies what they ar (288 comments)

What moral authority does the state have to stop consenting adults from forming their own contracts and doing business with each other?

Should people be able to sell themselves into slavery ?

4 days ago
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California Declares Carpooling Via Ride-Share Services Illegal

drsmithy Re: Can we please cann these companies what they (288 comments)

What does "... for profit" mean? If you consume $6 in gas and you friend gives you $5, paying $2 more than their share, is that "for profit"?


If you have someone over for dinner and they pay more than their share or the groceries that go into the meal, are you running a restaurant for profit?

No.

Next question ?

4 days ago
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Google Spots Explicit Images of a Child In Man's Email, Tips Off Police

drsmithy Re:Well at least they saved the children! (790 comments)

But I think you will have a hard time convincing most reasonable people that pornographic films of actual children should be legal.

He didn't say the films should be legal, he said looking at them shouldn't be illegal.

about a month and a half ago
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States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

drsmithy Re:Crazy (778 comments)

Not necessarily (think about it!), but in any event, it is far from clear that minimum wage actually gives more people more money.

Counter examples (actual, real-life, counter-examples supported by data) would be interesting to read.

You can, of course, add the money received by those people who benefit from the minimum wage laws to the total money available to spend. However, businesses pass increased costs on to consumers, or go out of business.

Or they could, shock, horror, take less in profit.

In effect, people's net purchasing power goes down. Instead of helping the people you want to help, you end up hurting them.

Purchasing power isn't going down because labour is getting more expensive, it's going down because labour is steadily getting paid less and less because capital is taking more and more.

The only place the continual downward pressure on wages ends is a tiny proportion of wealthy people who own everything and a huge proportion of people of subsistence incomes. When hardly anyone has any disposable income, where do you think economic activity is going to happen ?

Thus, merely "increasing" economic activity is not a valid goal: to be beneficial to society the economic activity has to be healthy activity, not the production of shoddy products. This can only be the case if we don't cause a net reduction in people's buying power (which is what minimum wage laws tend to do).

Again, evidence to support this claim would be useful.

In reality, countries with higher incomes at the lower-end, rather than the rock-bottom incomes you are advocating, are the countries that have the higher quality goods you are insisting they will not.

No this is done by welfare laws (of which there are a plethora).

No, welfare is there as a safety net for people who are unable to work. Since neoliberalism took over the western world and maintaining a certain level of unemployment became a policy goal (to reduce worker bargaining power and suppress their wages), it has become a necessity for millions of people ready, able and willing to work but who cannot find anyone to work for.

What you are talking about is a universal basic income, which would need to be set at a similar level to minimum wage to meet that objective.

about 2 months ago
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States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

drsmithy Re:Crazy (778 comments)

I never gave my opinion on the matter.

Yes, you did. Your opinion was:

"So lets pass a law that says every person should be paid $50,000 per hour. Economic activity ought to be AMAZING then!"

Which, while obvious hyperbole, is meant to somehow refute the original point by taking it to an extreme never suggested or implied.

Your ignorant political stereotypes led you to make assumptions about what things I never even commented on.

I didn't make an assumption about anything. Your following comment called people who couldn't find work "parasites".

about 2 months ago
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States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

drsmithy Re:Crazy (778 comments)

just because you are economically illiterate doesn't make something "a lie".

You argue the service "can no longer be provided".

That is a lie. It *can* be provided. It's just that customers clearly don't value it enough to make providing it worth the cost.

if it could and it were economically advantageous for companies to provide it, they would have done it.

Yes. I believe that was my point. It's not sufficiently "economically advantageous" to cover its cost.

Nobody had to force the gas stations in the past to provide the service, it was in their best interest to do it because it attracted more customers and there was a competitive pressure to do it.

I'm not quite sure what your point is with this straw man. No-one said anything about anyone being forced to provide full service in the past.

that's the propaganda line, sure. The reality is of-course completely different. The wages of the workers have been destroyed by inflation, not by 'corporate profits'.

Ratio of labour to capital share of GDP says otherwise. Nearly all the benefits of productivity increases over the last few decades have been siphoned to the top 10%, and especially the top 1%. Workers have been getting shafted as their bargaining power has been progressively destroyed by removal of their legal protections and the sadistic philosophy of NAIRU (to say nothing of the ever-increasing "rights" of corporate entities). Meanwhile, the taxes that are supposed to discourage the inevitable greed, selfishness and hoarding of the wealthy and recover some of their waste into productive endeavour, have been completely gutted.

That's before even talking about the mind-boggling explosion in private debt that has been taken up by households in an effort to maintain increasing living standards in the face of stagnant or declining incomes. Encouraged by banks and the wealthy, of course, because people madly paddling the canoe rarely have time to rock it.

It is a pattern that has repeated across the entire Anglo world for decades, it is the aftermath of Thatcherism, Reaganism, and whoever-your-local-neoliberal-psychopath-copying-them-was-ism. Every country has had one, and the outcomes have been the same in all of them - reduced unionism, reduced workers rights, increasing unemployment (because of the previous two events), dramatically decreasing taxes (primarily for the wealth), privatisation of public assets, decaying public infrastructure, decreasing public services, decreasing welfare, decreasing social mobility, increasing income inequality, etc, etc.

What's astounding (well, not really) is that after 30 years of this disaster, most politicians and a sizeable chunk of economists argue the problem is we're not doing it enough !

The world is heading towards a new fuedalism, where the serfs are kept in their place not by threat of arms, but by barely adequate incomes and oppressive debt. It's a Libertarian wet dream - all the slave labour they want to make the rich richer, while maintaining a facade of voluntary participation from the victims since no (overt) physical coercion is involved.

The inflation is created by the Federal reserve bank of America buying up bad USA debt from the Treasury (and the rest of the market) for decades following Nixon's default on the US dollar in 1971.

The core problem in the money supply isn't inflation, it's usury.

about 2 months ago
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States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

drsmithy Re:Crazy (778 comments)

I don't think you know what that fallacy actually means. Nothing I wrote is even close to an excluded middle fallacy.

Really ? You don't think there's any possibilities between no minimum wage and a $50k/hr minimum wage ?

Call it a slippery slope fallacy if it makes you feel any better, it doesn't make your argument any less wrong.

Hurr, durr, ad-hominem fallacy!

You clearly believe the absurd rhetoric that people choose to be unemployed "because welfare!", then you launch off onto another straw man fallacy.

Like I said, mindless tripe. Unthinking regurgitation of conservative articles of faith.

about 2 months ago
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States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

drsmithy Re:Crazy (778 comments)

Sure. So lets pass a law that says every person should be paid $50,000 per hour. Economic activity ought to be AMAZING then!

Excluded middle fallacy.

The rest of your mindless tripe is no better.

about 2 months ago
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States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

drsmithy Re:Crazy (778 comments)

What you want is more people working, and those working to be more productive.

And to receive enough benefit from their productivity to be able to live and prosper.

Or, as most people would refer to it, be paid money.

about 2 months ago
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States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

drsmithy Re:Crazy (778 comments)

Minimum wage is an arbitrary price control, a wage is just a price on labour.

To an economist or a mathematician, maybe.

In reality, a wage is what people use to live. It is in no way the same thing as something like the cost of a beer.

If somebody is willing to buy a service at 5 bucks but not at 10 for example, then your statement reads like so: because of politics you should have to pay 10 bucks for the service and if you cannot afford it - tough.

Actually it reads: "you have to pay 10 bucks for this service so it can be delivered while meeting the basic requirements for civilised society".

You could make the same argument about anything that increases costs, from worker safety standards to regulations against lead paint.

Though as a Libertarian I'm sure you think employers should be able to endanger their employees and customers at will so long as it increases their profits.

about 2 months ago
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States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

drsmithy Re:Crazy (778 comments)

Free market capitalist system does not reward companies for maiming people, [...]

It does if there's money in it. Or, at least, it would if it wasn't already illegal.

[...] governments on the other hand force you to participate, if you do not like it, you can always opt out to go to jail for tax evasion.

Or not earn enough to be taxed. Or leave the country.

Setting up minimum wage destroys opportunities for people with no skill sets, that's all it does, it doesn't provide anybody with "decent living" and it shouldn't.

Yes, it should. That's the whole reason it exists.

A minimum wage job shouldn't require any skills. It should be the going rate for unskilled, inexperienced, basic labour.

If it's not, it's not because the minimum wage is too low, it's because the business model is broken.

Decent living is provided by better jobs, but you have to find those better jobs in the first place and if you can never get a job to improve your skills, a low wage paying job, you are much less likely to find the next job that actually pays much more than a minimum wage does anyway.

What skills will someone learn in an unskilled below-minimum wage job, that will help them get a similarly unskilled, but marginally better paid, slightly-above-minimum wage job ?

about 2 months ago
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States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

drsmithy Re:Crazy (778 comments)

Yeah, let's print some and give it away to people. That will sure boost the economy, at least according to your idiotic theory.

It would if it were going to real people and not banks and (by proxy) businesses and the wealthy.

(Which is not, of course, either condoning or advocating unlimited money printing.)

The economy is depressed because everyone who isn't rich, is unemployed, broke and/or weighed down by debt. And the rich don't spend proportionally as much as they own and earn, and certainly not across as much of the economy.

about 2 months ago
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States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

drsmithy Re:Crazy (778 comments)

No it doesn't. If you're unemployed, or not employed full-time, you will be living below the "standard" of people on the minimum wage, all other factors being equal.

Well, in an ideal world there wouldn't be any unemployment (other than people transitioning between jobs, genuinely disabled/incapable of working (who should be supported by welfare), etc), but Governments influenced by big business have long since abrogated their responsibility to implement full-employment policies and decent welfare support.

You could say the minimum wage sets a floor on living standards for full-time workers with no dependents, but that's not as catchy.

I would argue the minimum wage should set a floor on living standards for the typical family, not individual. It should be possible for a typical family to live on a single minimum wage.

But, yes, it's not as catchy to give the full breakdown and all caveats. But this is a discussion on Slashdot, and the broad *point* is the same, regardless of the minor incidental details.

about 2 months ago
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States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

drsmithy Re:Crazy (778 comments)

Nither side is really that effective, or hazardous. Until you get a significant increase in wages. Say $20 minimum wage, where it would be enough for the low end workers to have a significant improvement in quality of life, however at the same time, making many jobs much to expensive to maintain, and force companies to find ways to improve efficiency or outsource.

Or, horrific as the idea might sound to some, reducing profit margins.

about 2 months ago
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States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

drsmithy Re:Crazy (778 comments)

Wealthy people don't keep their money in bank accounts, you big dummy. They buy stocks which provides capital for companies to get started and to operate, creating and maintaining jobs.

If no-one can afford to buy their products and services, why would companies create jobs ?

Learn something about economics, please.

Learn something about reality, please.

Wealth and job creation is driven from the bottom up, not the top down.

about 2 months ago

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