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Gas Wants To Kill the Wind

tacocat Competition without subsidy (479 comments)

I do hope that people have enough sense to understand that if Wind can compete without Subsidy it should be permitted to do with encouragement. But if it requires handouts and subsidy then all you are doing is promoting an industry that should be for the simple reason that it can't support itself.

more than 4 years ago
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Lessons of a $618,616 Death

tacocat Re:Mixing up advice (651 comments)

Car insurance covers something different, but the normalized increase of car insurance against what it's covering, when compared to health insurance, is much lower

I never said the client was involved but procedures like cosmetic surgery, which is never covered, has consistently fallen year over year while procedures which are covered by most insurance has risen year over year. And I do not believe what you describe in the operating rooms is rare. But the point of the costs are not all realized on the table. Rather than debating on where that cost is and what to do about it, it's far simpler for competition to sort it out rather than trying to regulate it. More effective, more efficient, and no risk of regulators getting it wrong. If a business can't manage their costs correctly they lose at the bottom line. Regulators don't lose.

more than 4 years ago
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Lessons of a $618,616 Death

tacocat Re:Mixing up advice (651 comments)

The way it's presented as a single concept that We (meaning the Federal Government and not yourself) have to Do Something (meaning pay for all of this and never let people die) or make life & death a financial decision which people don't want to equate. I do not agree with this.

First, the question of life & death being expressed in financial terms is actually quite accurate. Money is the result of your productive activity and allows you to employ others to be productive on your behalf. There's always a limit to how much you can pay.

The moral aspect of this is understanding at what point you are spending money not for a cure, but for extension of life and at what quality. If you have ever had to put a pet to sleep you understand the question. If you have ever been a client of Doctor Kivorkian you also understand the question. If you have done neither then you have no perspective on this very personal matter. And not everyone who is going to die would elect to leave their successors with $600,000 of unpaid bills. That's a tragedy in itself.

Healthcare is expensive because we allow it to be expensive. We bury the costs behind corporate write-offs, subsidies, shelters. Only when you are purchasing services without insurance do you understand how expensive it has become. The system is broken. But the solution is not to have more people pay for my insurance but for me to pay for my insurance and you for yours.

Car insurance is much less than health insurance. And I'm much more likely to have a payout from car insurance than health insurance. Why? Because if car insurance is too much you can switch. But when the company pays for 80% of your insurance as part of a tax write-off incentive, you won't walk. You remain in their system because the immediate effect is that it's cheaper for you.

There is no scam here. The economics allow everyone to do this because there is no free market competition between doctors and insurance companies when most everyone gets their insurance through their work. This is where the system is broken.

Remove the tax incentive from companies and they will stop providing you health insurance. You will have to compete freely for the best price for insurance and healthcare. And only this will drive the prices back down to a reasonable level. Initially it will look pretty bad, but markets will correct themselves in a few years.

You want proof? Uninsured medical procedures fall in price while insured medical procedures climb in price. Free Market versus Socialist Market.

Is it affordable for everyone to have unlimited cancer treatment? No. Never will be. It's very possible that it shouldn't be. People don't make good decisions with other peoples money.

more than 4 years ago
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Did the US Take the Back Seat In Science In 2009?

tacocat Re:I expect so... (502 comments)

You have an excellent point.

Do you think the US is the same as it was 50 years ago in providing an environment to promote innovation, invention, research, engineering?

more than 4 years ago
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Did the US Take the Back Seat In Science In 2009?

tacocat Re:not news (502 comments)

This is what happens when you start to politicize science.

We spending money proving Global Warming but change it to Climate Change. Still not a lot of scientifically sound evidence that we are in a man-made cycle with irreversible conditions. Ironically, we are only releasing carbon from fossil fuels that was once in plants, which was once in the air, which is where we are putting it. Not sure that, given the planet earth is a closed system in terms of matter conservation, we are doing anything never seen in the history of this planet.

But we spend more money on social engineering than we do on real engineering or research. I think if the government gave up on all research it would be beneficial. Virgin is doing more with space technology than NASA is. And making money at it.

All government funded research does is take money away from people who want to spend it in some other manner and apply it towards projects that may not have any realizable benefit that's being run by people who are better at pitching funding proposals than delivering results.

Here's food for thought. Polywell fusion has amazing potential as a viable energy source. Government funding consists of $500,000 from the US Navy and run by a private company. The researchers are not Government employees. With some Venture Capital they could be running this project with billions of capital investments.

UAV technology is at a complete standstill in this country -- unless you work for the USAF. FAA regulations are so retarded you can't consider ever deploying UAV on US territories. But Australia and Korea are kicking butt on this research outside of military applications because they have commercially viable potential.

We don't do commercial R&D because we can't afford it. All our money is going to Federal programs.

more than 4 years ago
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TSA Wants You To Keep Your Seat, and Your Hands In Sight

tacocat Re:NO! (888 comments)

I find the term Anarcho-Socialism a contradiction of terms and therefore irrelevant to the facts. But it's an interesting link. It's rather alarming how it is possible to link what is normally considered contradictory terms together. Sorry, but I'm going to just discount this link as someone elses (not yours) drivel.

Austrians have the annoying feature of actually predicting these economic downturns with much greater accuracy than anyone else. While the US Government claimed that no one saw this coming, all the Austrians had moved their resources out of the way and let things fall.

As for "exploitation", it's pretty easy to find this term in the media in the context of finances and economics. And it's targeting those people who fit the definition of proletariat. You are right, they don't use the communist terms, but they use similar definitions. That's politically correcting up the terms so no one notices it as much.

Every time you enter the Farmers Market you are in a Free Market without government interference. Every time you buy something used from another person you are in the Free Market. Free Market exists everywhere.

Until the union of Scotland and England (not peaceful event) the Scottish banks were working pretty neatly without a federal reserve or government interference. USA didn't have government intervention until the First Bank of the United States. Up to that point, they had a functional economy with no government interference. Previous attempts by the states to initiate fiat money practices failed.

1780's England experienced something of a free market force overcoming the government mandate for the Royal Mint to coin money being effectively replaced by the Birmingham Button Makers because the Government couldn't make a coin that was worth it's weight or sufficiently difficult to counterfeit. Read "Good Money".

We won't get anywhere here because fundamentally you believe in government collectivism and I do not. I lean in the direction that each person should be rewarded based on their productivity rather than each according to his need.

more than 4 years ago
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TSA Wants You To Keep Your Seat, and Your Hands In Sight

tacocat Re:NO! (888 comments)

Epic fail... that's cute, you thought of that all by yourself or did you get that from Wikipedia too?

I'm just going by the writing of Marxist doctrine (Yeah, the guy with the beard) and what I'm hearing in today's Liberal Democratic speeches (Yeah, the US Government and Liberal Media). I know enough to know I don't need to study all the various facets of socialism to know that all facets of socialism are worse then some of the alternatives.

We could spend hours complaining about variations on the definition and practice of socialism but there's not point. They all have a common interference of government in free market which is inefficient and a misdirection of resources in every possible case. And therefore, Socialism, by any definition, is worse than the alternative of Free Market.

Problem is, we haven't had a really Free Market since the 1800's in this country.

more than 4 years ago
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NY Times, LA Times Want Amazon To Collect More State Taxes

tacocat Re:Amazon == Borg (507 comments)

On Monopolies. You are right.

But with the ability of the Monopoly Company to influence Government to interfere with the Free Market via Lobbying and Special Interest Groups it becomes possible for a Monopoly to extend their influence far beyond what a Free Market would allow.

Without a Government that bends to the will of the corporations the Free Market would be doing much better. There would be a LOT of bank failures, but some might argue that isn't a bad thing.

more than 4 years ago
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NY Times, LA Times Want Amazon To Collect More State Taxes

tacocat Re:Only amazon? (507 comments)

Not full circle. Only half the circle. If you kept the Corporations out of the Government then you would be full circle and we might actually have unfettered free-market capitalism.

But we have not had a Free Market since the early 1800's.

  • Bailing out the banks was a mistake the Government made.
  • But the banks got into trouble because the banks could offload loans into Government managed Freddie/Fanny.
  • And the Federal Reserve allowed interest rates to run unnaturally low rather than rising as they should have starting in the 1990's.
  • The Federal Reserve was created by the Government as a lender of last resort for the banks in the 1910's. At the time interest rates for the Fed were kept unnaturally high as a punitive measure for borrowing money from the Fed. Since then, Banks have convinced the Fed that they need the have lending rates managed unnaturally low by the Fed to manage stimulus.
  • Since the 1920's we have been a banking system of fractional reserve banking. This is a sure fire recipe for Boom/Bust cycles as has been witnessed time and again.
  • Since 1970's we have been a fiat currency nation without any real hard money. With this the government can monetize debt, direct inflation at will, and create money out of thin air for their own uses. And the rest of us wonder why food is so much more expensive today with all the efficiency improvements in the last 100 years.

The interference of the Government upon Free Market is the cause of these economic problems, not the solution. If you doubt this then consider the success of the communist experiment of the USSR. How's that working for them? Similarly Zimbabwe might have a few lessons as well as the Weimer Republic

You sound like a socialist.

more than 4 years ago
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NY Times, LA Times Want Amazon To Collect More State Taxes

tacocat Re:Only amazon? (507 comments)

Morally Liable?

Since when is paying taxes an issue of Morality?

Paying taxes is an issue of not going to prison by mandate of the state. There's no morality there. Morality is not stealing from them. But the Government seems to be the only ones who are free to do this, much freer than you or I.

The government does a fine job stealing from people. Using Morality as an argument for supporting state run theft is an oxymoron.

The decision to force the minority of this nations population to pay the majority of taxes for projects and programs that they, this minority, will never see amounts to theft on a grand scale. If you want to talk about Morality then think about how moral it is to require different minorities in this nation to suffer at the hands of the majority.

If they were of a different color it would be called racism. And that has some moral backing to it. But paying taxes...

more than 4 years ago
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NY Times, LA Times Want Amazon To Collect More State Taxes

tacocat Re:darn taxes (507 comments)

Maybe they could just drop the sales tax entirely since they already have taxes on the money I make and the property I own. With Sales tax I'm taxed on money coming and going. Sounds almost like double taxation.

I suspect this is largely because NY and CA have no money because they spent all their money on stupid programs of no discernible value and now that the economy has fallen apart they lost their income, just like everyone else. But they aren't willing to do what is normal, cut expenses.

They've been making a stink like this for 10 years and it's always failed. Now the approach is to single out one company, make them look like the bad guy and put in a law that affects us all. Amazon isn't bad, they're just smart. They make money because they are smart, not evil. Evil doesn't gain repeat customers.

The issue here isn't about taxation of internet companies. It's why the Liberal Media is trying to shape American policy. But I don't see anyone asking that question here. Which means even slashdotters can be sheeple.

more than 4 years ago
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NY Times, LA Times Want Amazon To Collect More State Taxes

tacocat What's the News Media doing? (507 comments)

This doesn't sound like News Media reporting the news. It sounds like News Media trying to shape national policy. And at who's bidding?

I think the bigger question isn't if Amazon should or should not be allowed to conduct business without sales tax but why are the NY Times and LA Times making a political issue of one company when they (LA & NY) present themselves as mere reporters of the news. This doesn't look like news, it looks like coercion.

more than 4 years ago
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TSA Wants You To Keep Your Seat, and Your Hands In Sight

tacocat Re:Oh, look! (888 comments)

Government loves a crisis. It allows them to declare War. And that allows them to remove from the populace freedoms for their own good.

War on Drugs -- how's that working out for them? I don't know about you, but in Detroit I can score anything I want in 30 minutes or less. Most of the dealers are heavily armed. Some better than the police.

War on Poverty -- Been to Detroit lately? Handing out money to dead beats doesn't make productive people. It makes dead beats who have a mortgage. How's that working out?

War on Terrorism -- I'm not a terrorist but the Government is considering people with anti-government bumper stickers (eg: End the Fed, TEA Party) as potential terrorists. Can't hardly fly anymore. And who's losing? Pretty clear on that one.

Every Crisis is an excuse for government seizure of basic civil freedoms. Economic Crisis means massive regulation, debt, inflation, taxation, CONTROL.

more than 4 years ago
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TSA Wants You To Keep Your Seat, and Your Hands In Sight

tacocat Re:NO! (888 comments)

Perhaps if we didn't have such an imperialistic international policy we wouldn't have this problem. How many international terrorist attacks have there been in Canada, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland?

Perhaps if we didn't feel compelled to try and tell people how they are supposed to live their lives and beholden to us they wouldn't be so pissed off all the time.

Many years ago this nation was based on what was termed Liberal Ideology where all men are free to choose how to live their lives. This meant freedom to fail as well as freedom to succeed. We have lost that ideology on several fronts.

The term Liberal has been turned around. Yesterdays Liberal is now Libertarian and Yesterdays Marxism is now Liberal Democracy. Republicans are pretty much out to lunch. Dispersion of resources through the government (tax the rich, subsidize the poor) is a corner stone of Marxist Doctrine.

If I fail, the government feels compelled to bail me out from my bad decisions. In effect, this encourages bad decisions because there is no real risk realized. If I succeed, the government feels compelled to tax me for my good decisions. This deters me from taking the risks necessary to succeed because the reward is not realized. The government encourages bad behavior.

As I fail, regulations are put into effect to prevent me from failing again. This also hinders my ability to succeed. Instead of using resources for building a successful company which makes money, hires people, and sells goods. My money is burned on worthless paper to show compliance to regulations that don't improve profit, employment, goods.

Overseas we assume we are the great protector of the world and are ever vigilant against the next Hitler of the world. Noble ideals, but who are we to decide what is right and wrong in this world? We claim the Chinese have poor human rights practices but there's no mention of that anymore. We are selective on whom we assault. Darfur can go to hell and we don't care. But we invade Iraq based on alleged photos that add up to nothing. We have an exit plan for Afghanistan, but when are we leaving Iraq?

more than 4 years ago
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TSA Wants You To Keep Your Seat, and Your Hands In Sight

tacocat Re:NO! (888 comments)

Doesn't really matter. TSA is missing the point on what will be happening next.

First, please note that this attempted terrorist attach was foiled not by TSA or Air Marshalls but by that famous Joe Six Pack that is the icon of America. There will no longer be terrorist attacks on planes because we are aware of this and will take it upon ourselves to beat them into submission even if it costs us our lives. Unless everyone on the plane is a pussy.

TSA wants everyone in submission at all times because then they are in control of you and everything you do. Once you give them responsibility for helping you, you will never get it back. TSA makes you into a pussy. How many terrorists would succeed if you could openly carry handguns onto a plane?

The airlines industry will fail because of the TSA. Travel is so cumbersome and difficult that Amtrak has been gaining customers steadily for years. And Obama loves the idea of spending trillions for high speed rail across the country.

Ironically, Amtrak is starting to come up with strange rules on what you can have on a train. I'm still trying to understand what a terrorist is going to do on a train. We know were you are headed.

more than 4 years ago
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White House Plans Open Access For Research

tacocat Re:Really? (74 comments)

Glad someone else could say it. Too bad you have to hide behind AC.

about 5 years ago
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White House Plans Open Access For Research

tacocat Re:Unintended consequences: in astrophysics ... (74 comments)

And what would be the consequences if the government just got out of the way?

Might be nice if we were allowed to actually keep some of our money to use in the free market -- like stimulating the economy by purchasing stuff we could use.

about 5 years ago
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Sci-Fi Author Peter Watts Beaten, Charged During Border Crossing

tacocat Re:Google: Jingoism (1079 comments)

Problem is that your neighbor is just dumb enough to think the government is doing the right thing. A solution would be to educate people as to the toxic nature of our governments intentions.

Our original government was designed as a Republic, not a Democracy. Democracies are inherently flawed because they will degrade themselves into a mob-rule mentality where society is pillaged by democratic decree.

about 5 years ago
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Sci-Fi Author Peter Watts Beaten, Charged During Border Crossing

tacocat Re:Wow, (1079 comments)

I like the comment about how it's ok to take away rights at the request of the public.

Take a democratic society where everyone is supposed to have one vote representation. If there are enough people who are convinced that they should have something, then you can legally vote in a process to take away from one segment of society and hand it over to another, larger group. The easiest and most prominent example of this is the taxation of everyone who actually has money to give it to people who do not work or make as much money. Used to be banks would fail, not live on life support from our income.

You might say that there is some argument that these people who have money are stealing it from the poor and down trodden. You might find a few who are not ethical about it. But most are just smarter and more productive. Doesn't the guy who invented mutella deserve something? Did Google actually create something of value? Do you have a right to take it away? Based on what? You have done nothing to earn it.

The same thinking allows a room of 10 men and 2 women to democratically vote to gang rape the women. The only thing holding them back is moral fiber. But that can always change. It used to be that we were expected to be responsible for our own lives and not expect handouts or a Right to everything.

Ancient Greece had Democracy. They collapsed because the had mob-rule through democratic voting and the entire upper half of the society was destroyed. And at every election, the upper half was a lower standard than the last cycle. Divide by two and repeat until you hit a point where you can no longer sustain the civilization.

about 5 years ago
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Sci-Fi Author Peter Watts Beaten, Charged During Border Crossing

tacocat Re:Google: Jingoism (1079 comments)

Civilization is a game targeted at world conquest by military means. There is no form of economic cooperation, trade, or anything but military conquest. It's not the real world.

We would all do far better if we chose not to spend trillions on war and instead allowed those trillions to remain in the hands of the people and used as they saw fit for free market exchange and production.

Many might say we would be better off if we were not trying to run am empirical international policy and instead tried working on market exchange as a means of getting along with others. It's more effective.

But by writing this I'm probably getting marked as a potential internal-terrorist by the government for not spewing nationalistic rhetoric about Hope, Change, Coercion, Theft, Extortion, and (lame & imaginary) Rights.

Looters and Moochers!

about 5 years ago

Submissions

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Prelude to Caves of Steel

tacocat tacocat writes  |  more than 5 years ago

tacocat writes "The NY Times has an article today that reminded me of the Caves of Steel described in the Isaac Asimov's booke about Danieel Olivaw.

The city plans to close several blocks of Broadway to vehicle traffic through Times Square and Herald Square, an experiment that would turn swaths of the Great White Way into pedestrian malls and continue Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's effort to reduce traffic congestion in Midtown.

Eventually, according to Isaac, we will be removing all the vehicles and replacing them with those airport conveyor strips and wrapping the city in a giant dome to control the weather. Just how much insight did this man have?"

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China closes the internet...

tacocat tacocat writes  |  more than 7 years ago

tacocat writes "This just in. China has closed access to a growing list of companies outside of the country — redirecting search engines to Baidu. It seems this is retribution for giving the Dali Llama recognition for his efforts.

Now that the hottest economy has demonstrated is fragile relationship with the government — what affect will this have on the investments made in China? After all, if they can do this on a whim, they can just as easily nationalize any assets."

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