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Comment Re:Yeah, with a fucking asterisk (Score 1) 136

Relax dude, most human beings understand that if the company they get insurance from stops existing, they no longer have insurance from that company.

Ummm, no!

In most civilized countries, you can't sell insurance without being regulated. Govt regulations require that insurers have adequate reserves to pay out their insurance claims. Insurers have to reasonably invest the premiums to get an adequate return.

Otherwise people will buy insurance and the companies will quickly go out of business leaving customers high & dry.

Yeah, just like AIG, which was regulated so well they needed the largest government bailout in US history.

Comment Re:scare mongering getting old (Score 1) 77

Not sure what you want me to look at on the Wikipedia article was it this?
However, there have been instances where multiple individuals have been inadvertently assigned the same Social Security number

The reference actually only mentions a single instance of this happening, not multiple as the Wikipedia article says. Yes, that was a case of two people being assigned the same number. However, they also had the same name and same birthday, so your assertion that the federal government uses a combination of SSN and birthdate wouldn't do anything in that instance.

The second and third citation you provided are just the hysterical news stories brought on by the ID Analytics (LifeLock) study that I already mentioned. That study found nothing about people being issued duplicate numbers or that SSNs are not unique. None of the citations show any support for what you said:

SSNs are not unique. Many people share SSNs with other people that they have never met, and may not even be aware of. What is unique is the SSN+DOB combination. That is why any government form that asks for your SSN, will also ask for your DOB.

You've shown that there is at least one instance where two people were issued the same number (which was fixed), but shown no evidence that SSNs are not unique or that the purpose of the government asking for your DOB is that they use a DOB+SSN combination. The government doesn't (knowingly) issue the same number to multiple people. You claim "many people share SSNs" but that's not the case. That's like saying "many people share credit card numbers" because sometimes people use other people's credit card numbers for fraud. It's just not accurate.

Comment Re:shared knowledge (Score 1) 77

Then congress should quit trying to do their social engineering through the tax code and remove all those deductions, the only thing I can see there that would require any input from the taxpayer is "received money from a friend/relative" and I'll guarantee 99% of such transactions go unreported anyway. If congress wants to encourage having children, or home ownership, or having solar panels, or being a blind railroad worker, let them make a direct appropriation and send checks to the people who they decide instead of lumping everything into the tax code. Of course, they don't want to do this as their handouts to their cronies will be more apparent.

Comment Re:scare mongering getting old (Score 1) 77

Actually, it is not. SSNs are not unique. Many people share SSNs with other people that they have never met, and may not even be aware of. What is unique is the SSN+DOB combination. That is why any government form that asks for your SSN, will also ask for your DOB.

Citation needed. The SSA does not re-issue numbers. So far, it has issued 450 million out of about 1 billion numbers, but it hasn't issued any duplicates (although some people have been issued more than one). There were some news reports a while ago about a company that did analysis on databases they had access to and found that some numbers were associated with more than one name, but those were just examples of identity theft or clerical errors. Of course, the media immediately trumpeted "ZOMG other people share your SSN!" and did the usual scaremongering. Is that what you were remembering?

Comment Re:We need anti-aging research (Score 1) 138

That's like saying, "I have this lump of charcoal, it's the exact same as this diamond because they are made of the same kind of atoms". When you are talking about structured matter, the arrangement of atoms matter. In humans you get cell aging, which makes genetic errors more likely as well as more macroscopic stuff like cartilage and ligaments wearing out. The human body doesn't regenerate certain kinds of tissue and often creates tissue that doesn't do the job as good as the original tissue where damage has occurred (scar tissue). There are a ton of different effects under the "aging" classification but they add up to a body that just doesn't work as well as when it was younger, just like an old car that has aged.

Comment Re: Yup (Score 3, Insightful) 477

Did you even read the articles you linked? Some of the "facts" you state are directly refuted in the article. For example you wrote:

3. Anthony Johnson's first slave, John Casor, and most of the others he ended up owning, were white.

But the article you linked says:

In 1653, John Casor, a black indentured servant

Anthony Johnson himself was an indentured servant, just like John Casor, the only difference was that Casor was determined to have a lifetime indenture rather than a limited time like Johnson. A huge number of early colonists were in the US as indentured servants, they just didn't have the capital to move across an ocean and set themselves up without indenturing themselves.

5. Jefferson could not free his slaves as under the laws of the time, he would have been hanged.

Citation needed. You are claiming manumission in Virginia was a capital crime? Sounds like massive bullshit. Reading the Wikipedia article on manumission it specifically mentions laws being passed in Virginia to explicitly allow manumission, exactly what timeframe are you claiming it was a capital crime? Virginia did pass a law requiring a person to get the permission of the government to free a slave in 1723, but that was repealed in 1782:

The new government of Virginia repealed these laws in 1782 and declared freedom for slaves who had fought for the Colonies in the American Revolutionary War. The 1782 laws also permitted masters to free their slaves on their own accord

Heck, he could have freed them even earlier than that, since the 1723 law required permission from the Governor and from 1779-1780 he was the Governor.

4. Thomas Jefferson, the most-oft cited slave-owning Founder, never bought nor sold a single slave. He inherited them from his in-laws

Not completely true, he first inherited 52 slaves from his father, in 1767. He didn't inherit slaves from his in-laws until 1773. Also, Jefferson did free some of his slaves in his lifetime, from this page

In 1794 and 1796, Jefferson manumitted by deed two of his male slaves; they had been trained and were qualified to hold employment.

I'm not even going to bother with the rest of your claims, are you just making this shit up or do you have an actual source for any of your assertions?

Comment Re: Great idea... But there is a problem... (Score 1) 303

Work in LEO is expensive because everything requires consumables that must be launched (humans in particular). Work on the moon is vastly moreso because it requires vastly more delta-V to get there.

This is incorrect, going to the moon does not require vastly more delta-V than getting to LEO. Once you are in earth orbit it's not that much more delta-V to get to the moon. Here is a chart with the Apollo fuel budget, it looks like trans-lunar injection is about 3000 m/s. Getting to LEO is generally 9000-10000 m/s. Even with injection, lunar orbit insertion, and landing you still are only looking at about 6000 m/s. Your point is still totally valid, it's a lot cheaper to launch an interplanetary ship from the ground and assemble it in LEO than it would be to try to make the moon capable of supplying fuel or parts, I just wanted to pick a nit at that statement.

Comment Re:How is that supposed to happen? (Score 3, Interesting) 387

But the problem is that with the current economic system a small number of people take most of the cake and put it in their cake vault, the workers get enough cake to survive on and some people get no cake at all. If robots can replace all the current workers then why would the owners of the robots give away any of their large stash of cake when they don't have to?

If the cake is large enough to feed everyone why are we making more cake? Just so the cake hoarders can put even more cake in their vaults?

Comment Re:WOW! (Score 1) 102

How much engineering do you really think the space pen took? From this page

"A common urban legend states that, faced with the fact that ball-point pens would not write in zero-gravity, NASA spent a large amount of money to develop a pen that would write in the conditions experienced during spaceflight (the result purportedly being the Fisher Space Pen), while the Soviet Union took the simpler and cheaper route of just using pencils. The Fisher Space Pen was actually developed independently and privately in the 1960s, NASA later purchasing 400 of the pens at $6 each. The Soviets followed as well."

At any rate, if a company wants to spend the money to develop a space pen or a new straw, why the fuck do you care? How does it harm you?

Comment Re:Why not go the whole nine yards? (Score 4, Insightful) 167

Really? There have been instances of almost intact mammoths being found in receding glaciers, how bad does DNA get degraded from freezing? Heck, in this find blood was actually flowing out of the carcass as it thawed. If we can sequence the neanderthal genome using much older samples I don't see a reason we couldn't sequence the much more recent mammoth genome.

Comment Re:Conversations before Appointment (Score 2) 895

The Republicans took over using the same fear and tactics Democrats are using now with their tea party early in Obama's tenure and still own both houses today.

My prediction is Democrats will swing both houses back if Trump is a divider and will hold him in check and roadblock until a liberal is president again.

Great prediction, care to lay some money on it? It will be a huge hill for the democrats to climb to gain any seats in the Senate in the 2018 midterms, there are 25 democratic seats up for grabs but only 8 republican. Sure, the democrats might hold on to all 25 and gain some of the 8 but it's not very likely.

Comment Re:Less favorable lending rates? (Score 3, Informative) 490

It was determined during the late 1980's and early 1990's that an artificially lowered prime rate would spur the economy better than a "normal" or "fair" prime rate.

What? Rates were pretty high in the late 80s and early 90s, in 1990 the average prime rate was over 10%. (source) It's hard to pay off the mortgage on your $300,000 house when the first $30k goes to interest each year.

1) Lowered mortgage interest. People who are in debt can afford to stay in debt. Banks love this because they basically own you if you're in debt to them.

On the other hand, people can afford to pay off their mortgage because they aren't paying so much in interest. Banks don't own you just because you decided to take their money. Nobody forces you to take a mortgage, if you want to save up or get private loans to finance your home nobody is stopping you.

2) Lowered savings interest. People who aren't in debt are getting screwed. Banks love this because it encourages everyone else to spend themselves into slavery to the banks.

Spend themselves into slavery? Why would they spend themselves into slavery (and why would they be slaves to the bank if they aren't in debt?) just because fixed-income instruments aren't giving a good return? Wouldn't prudent people just reallocate their savings to other investments, like real estate or stocks?

Look, most of the large banks are pretty evil and do some incredibly shady shit but for the most part lending money to consumers isn't on that list. If you want to rail against the banks, at least educate yourself on the more egregious shenanigans they have pulled instead of whining about having to pay back money that YOU chose to borrow or claim to be a slave to the bank because you have no debt.

Comment Re: It's houses, dummy (Score 2) 490

In 1977, the median income for a 30-year-old man was about $10,000, or $41,500 adjusted for inflation. Today, the median income for a 30-year-old man is about $35,000

What is the median years of experience for both years? In 1977, a larger percentage of the workforce did not attend college so they would have have had more years to build up experience and pay raises. Going to college will increase your overall lifetime compensation but that is weighted more heavily in the later years, your overall compensation in your 20's will often be lower than someone who went to work directly out of high school. The median age for graduating with a bachelor's degree has also gone up, so that will affect your statistics as well. If someone went to college until they were 26 then it is highly likely that they wouldn't make as much as their peers by age 30, particularly if they studied a major that isn't very marketable. Overall, wages have risen in the last 40 years, although not at the rate of productivity increases.

The median home sale price in 1977 was about $49,000, or $203,000 inflation-adjusted. The median home sale price today is about $325,000

I don't have numbers for 1977, but this article says that the median square footage of homes has gone up over 1000 square feet between 1973 and 2013 and with the lower median household size the living space per person has doubled. The median price per square foot has stayed pretty stable in the last 40 years. If you want the price they were paying in 1977, simply buy the size of house they were buying in 1977.

In 1977, a 4-year college degree at an in-state, public institution cost less than $4,000, or about $16,000 inflation-adjusted for tuition and fees. Today, that's $38,600.

This is the only expense you cited that appears to actually have changed much and it's primarily changed for 3 reasons: easier availability of money (student loans), cutbacks in budgets for state universities and greater demand. I think it's silly for an 18 year old to borrow that kind of money, but it is even more silly to loan that kind of money to 18 year olds. I think the solution to this problem is pretty clear, make student loans dischargable in bankruptcy. This would force lenders to actually evaluate the loan and the likelyhood of repayment instead of just approving anyone who says they need money. The people who are not able to get loans can go to college the old-fashioned way: grants (for the truly needy), scholarships, and work.

Overall, millennials are not as disadvantaged as they think they are. Yes, there are some obstacles to overcome but every generation has had its obstacles.

Comment Re:Not what he said. (Score 1) 594

It's very clear what he's saying there. He also doesn't deny anything else, such as mandatory overtime. That's the classic way companies worldwide are now getting around minimum wages and cutting corners - by making you work more than your 'official' hours for the same money. H1B visas work on exactly that principal, so wait until Trump gets around to them ;-).

Huh? The worker says they were forced to work overtime, not that they weren't paid for it. California has relatively generous overtime laws, guaranteeing 1.5x time for over 8 hours in a day or 40 in a week and double time for over 12 hours in a day or over 8 hours if you have worked more than 6 days in a row. H1b visas have nothing to do with it, those are usually salaried positions and auto workers are hourly.

Comment Re:But can they teach them to insider trade (Score 2) 185

And when that business dries up they will just go back to selling securities it knows are toxic to its customers and then selling those securities short so they profit when their customer loses. Now with the new fiduciary rule (which would require financial advisors for your retirement accounts to put your interests ahead of their profit) being "reviewed" before it can even go into effect and many former Goldman Sachs employees in senior cabinet positions expect more of the same, investment banks fleecing their customers, other investors and taxpayers for every cent they can.

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