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Comment Re:Globalization vs. Protectionism (Score 5, Insightful) 201

If you care about what's going on beyond your borders, why would you support so-called "free trade"?

Agreements like GATT, NAFTA and the WTO treaty simply give corporations a way to avoid all of the health, safety, labor and environmental protections that apply in the USA while maintaining their access to USA markets.

When you're importing those cheap foreign-made goods, you're exporting pollution and sweat shops. Some "protectionism" (a disparaging globalist term for a sensible policy) to prevent corporations from cutting costs through regulatory arbitrage would be a good thing for America and the world.

Comment Re:Unless on the interstate system (Score 1) 240

Explain exactly how the problem with infrastructure is "small, limited government"? I see government at all levels growing every single year.

The only states that are really cutting things right now are the Dakotas, but that's only because they cranked up spending like crazy with the extra revenue from the oil boom(government couldn't just keep budgets stable and have a surplus, they had to spend every last f***ing penny) and are now having to scale back as those revenues have dried up.

Yeah, we sure have "small limited government" when government at all levels sucks more than 40% of GDP out of the economy every year. Do you think maybe the problem is with their spending priorities and not their overall size?

Comment Re:Stop apologizing (Score 1) 291

" by any reasonable definition of the term."

Oh, come on. You know exactly what "genetic modification" means in the parlance of our times. Whether it's reasonable or not, the FDA uses the same definition. Despite the fact that selective breeding is technically "genetic modification", people(& the FDA) interpret that term to mean something produced with genetic engineering techniques. Techniques that produce traits which would not have occurred in nature and would be almost impossible to create with selective breeding.

Take glyphosate resistance in plants. The so-called "Roundup Ready" strains. You wouldn't produce that trait by selective breeding unless you could breed a soy plant with a petunia and then make the offspring cross-pollinate with bacteria.

We could certainly find a more accurate term, but the current definition is entrenched in the common vernacular AND enshrined in regulation, so I'm afraid we're stuck with it. Maybe the GMO-conscious consumers are ignorant halfwits, but they're still consumers & you don't want them avoiding your quinoa because you use an expansive definition of "GMO". Logical or not, they have a right to know how their food is produced.

Comment "trading" isn't "economic activity" (Score 1) 185

Unless you count sucking the lifeblood out of the real economy and depriving small traders of the margins to which they would be entitled in a fair stock market.

Think about it. What does Goldman Sachs or any other big investment bank provide to economy in terms of actual goods and services? Are their multi-billion dollar annual profits really commensurate with the actual value of the services that they provide? Why does everyone out in the real economy, producing the real value struggle under perpetual debt while the people who shuffle money around accumulate(not "earn") massive profits?
These people are nothing but parasites who are endowed by the federal government with special legal privileges to rip off everyone else. This isn't "economic activity" or "industry" or "capitalism" it's leeching. "The Vampire Squid" is a perfectly appropriate label for GS.

Comment Re:a Silicon Valley engineer (Score 2) 126

Did you know that the average career of an NFL player is only 3.3 years? Crazy, isn't it? For every multi-millon dollar superstar with a long successful career, there are many anonymous athletes who experience a career-ending injury in their first or second season. They must also be counting only what the football player made while playing football.
I can easily believe that the "average" engineer earns more over the course of an entire career.

Comment Re:Phbbbbt. (Score 4, Insightful) 229

Using an unqualified "anyone" is indeed too broad because the statement can be disproved by a single counterexample. How about we say that mathematics is accessible to "Anyone that has the intellectual facilities to master a spoken language" and who really tries?

We're not identical, but we have similar mental circuitry. Understanding a language indicates a capacity for abstract thinking. When you think of times, places and events outside the scope of your immediate environment, you're exercising much of the same mental circuitry that you use when you're working on a math problem.

"Accessible" doesn't mean that everyone is capable of being a prodigy through sheer effort, but when an English major claims a mathematical disability, it's almost certainly a software issue(probably bad early experiences) not some genetic impairment.

Comment Re:Automatically fired (Score 1) 106

Check out the Fair Tax It's a consumption tax, but overcomes the regressive nature of a general sales tax by providing a tax "prebate" up to a certain income threshold.

Under the fair tax, the government would send everyone a check at the beginning of the year in the amount that a person with $X of income would pay in consumption taxes over the course of the year. If the tax was 8%, and the income threshold was $20k, every household would get a $1,600 check. Thus, a household at that exact income level would pay $0 in tax.

The fair tax also has the benefit of making domestic goods more competitive because taxes would not be baked in to the prices. Something like the fair tax is really the best way to go. Unfortunately, the voluminous income tax code is the politicians' favorite method of handing out favors to wealthy special interests, so we'll probably never see it happen.

Comment Re:So much bullshit (Score 1) 899

It's not the OP's definition, it's the federal government's.

(28 C.F.R. Section 0.85)
"the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives."

The attack on Richard Spencer certainly seems to qualify. Swinging a fist is obviously "force and violence". The attack was clearly the furtherance of a social objective. i.e. intimidating Spencer to prevent him from expressing his views & opinions. Therefore, under the government definition, it could easily be argued that this assault was "terrorism".

I concur that the term is ridiculously broad, but that's "by design" so that the government can apply penalties to people(especially political dissidents) that would otherwise be disproportionate to the actual crime.
Remember the environmentalists who set fire to those SUVs in Oregon? In addition to arson, they were charged with "terrorism" because of the political/social motive.

Comment Re:Sure, MS! What Risks? (Score 1) 437

"chance an American will be killed by a foreign-born refugee is 1 in 3.64 billion."

I realize that the odds are extremely low, but that statement is ridiculous. They can't possibly have the data to make that calculation. In order to determine the odds of an American being killed by a foreign born refugee(1975 -2016), they would need a list of every single refugee that has entered the country since ... say ... 1900 (any refugee that could have been living in 1975). Does that data even exist? Then, they would need to be able to match that list of names with 40 years of crime records to find every single murder committed by every single refugee.

I think the study was focused exclusively on Americans being killed by refugees in "terrorist attacks", i.e. disregarding murder, manslaughter, negligent homicide, etc.

Comment Re:Protection from SELF-STUPIDITY results in TYRAN (Score 1) 532

If you don't believe laws are enforced at gunpoint, try not paying your taxes this year.
You'll probably get a few polite letters and phone calls, but eventually, gun-toting government employees will come around to drag you off and throw you in a cage. Resist being thrown in a cage and you will be shot.

Comment Re:Great! (Score 1) 191

I don't know whether you'd call it "AI" but the stock market has already been "destroyed" by HFT and other algorithms. The market no longer serves its real purpose as a price discovery mechanism and investment vehicle. It's now a game of the big guys with the fastest computers skimming razor thin margins on billions of small transactions. The little guy is totally being robbed.

Two reasons it hasn't "ended" already:
1. The U.S. federal government offers tax incentives to the little people if they put their money into the Wall St. casino.
2. The private Federal Reserve bank deliberately destroys the ROI on "safe" investments like CDs and money market accounts, and engages in inflationary monetary policy so that people lose wealth by holding cash.
(Totally not AI-related is rampant insider trading that is never investigated or punished.)

You know it's a total scam because the big investment banks manage to extract (not "earn") billions of dollars from trading every single year. Their "profits" are an obvious reflection of their ability to steal from the majority of small investors. They certainly can't all be profiting by trades with each other. Without a continuous flow of new money into the market, trading would basically be a zero-sum circle jerk for them.

(I'm sure some brilliant slashdotters have gotten rich by their skillful trading, but they're the exceptions)

Comment Corruption = f(power) (Score 2) 277

"Power corrupts" isn't just an adage, it's a genuine psychological phenomenon. The corruption is exacerbated when it's wielded in an institutional environment like a government. Look no further than the Stanford Prison Experiments. In the course of only six days, a group of healthy, psychologically stable people who were elevated to a position of power became so abusive that the experiment had to be stopped.

Big government is corrupt at an institutional level that transcends the people who happen to be in charge at any one time. The communists and socialists argue that their systems would work if only the "right people" were in charge. The framers of The U.S. Constitution understood that there are no "right people" and the only way to keep corruption and abuse under control is to limit and decentralize the power of government. It was good while it lasted. In the current USA government, where 535 people control a $4 TRILLION annual budget, corruption is 100% guaranteed.

Comment Re:Who's Going to Break This To All The Rich Peopl (Score 1) 119

Creating value is the only path to economic prosperity. Like it or not, extracting oil from the ground and refining it creates value. Making iron ore into steel and then turning that steel into an automobile creates value. We definitely need to do things better and smarter and with fewer consequences than we did in the 1950s(protecting our water resources is critical), but it's also imperative that we(USAians) transition our economy toward value-add production.

Our smoke and mirrors "consumer spending" and "services" economy is a giant failure. In the past 30 years, we've had only 1 or 2 quarters where GDP growth exceeded debt accumulation In other words, the U.S. economy is totally dependent on continued expansion of credit. When it's not mortgage loans, it's student debt or borrowing done by the government. The depression of 2008 occurred precisely when the credit temporarily dried up.

If we don't actually start producing things, the only future we have is a catastrophic economic collapse that will make The Great Depression look mild.

Comment Re:1984 (Score 1) 659

Changed their vote to whom? Gary Johnson?

Yes, Trump definitely struck authoritarian tones in his campaign, but Clinton offered nothing in the way of restoring the civil liberties that have been eroded under Obama & Bush. Issues like NSA spying, The Patriot Act, police militarization, etc. never came up as topics in the debates. Furthermore, Clinton wanted to consider Australia-style weapons confiscation, thus destroying the one inalienable Right that survived Bush and Obama relatively unscathed.

If the worst predictions come true, the people of the USA are armed to the teeth and will implement change by force.

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