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It's the freedom fighter / terrorist thing. Imagine if the tactics employed by the Ferguson police had been used at the Bundy Ranch. Perhaps the key is making sure that discontented citizens don't have horses?
How can a market be rational where all the players exhibit irrational behavior in varying degrees? How can we expect irrational humans to create "fully designed" rational markets? P.S.: don't assume computer-designed markets - the programmers make subjective value-judgements in setting up the algorithms followed by the computer.
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So, fewer jobs for butlers and other domestic servants? Also, didn't Grover Norquist supply the data used to verify the new app's predictions?
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That's part of the truth - the actual truth is that anyone earning more than a million dollars per year simply doesn't notice the effect of any incremental tax bracket changes. The common misconception anti-tax marketers push is that moving into the next tax bracket increases taxes on all reportable income. In fact, only that portion of one's income in excess of the bracket gets the additional tax. Thus, if you make $999,999.99 in taxable income as of December 30, and earn $0.01 on December 31, the 3% additional tax only applies to the additional penny - your tax bill would increase by a whopping three-one-hundredths of a penny ($0.0003). Hardly enough to make it worth the trouble to flee the state - especially as one's tax planner can find easier ways of avoiding the tax increase.
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I suggest ads telling Republican men that they shouldn't have sex with women any more unless they're trying to get her pregnant. Good bumper sticker material: "Republican Men just say no to sex" Republican Family Planning: the permanent headache."
Toggle Commented Jul 9, 2014 on Well, Yeah... at Whiskey Fire
Back in the day, the males writing the laws decided that making it illegal for children conceived out of wedlock (bastards) to inherit anything from their fathers would deter women from having sex with men. Notice, please, that the idea was to make sexual activity consequence-free for men, yet highly burdensome for women. (They also made it very difficult for women to establish that they'd been raped.) The boys on the Supreme Court seem to want to bring the bad old days back again.
Toggle Commented Jul 5, 2014 on The Lords of Permissible Fucking at Whiskey Fire
Jennifer Rubin is more than welcome to promote Governor Goodhair as the best that the Republican party has to offer. Given the pure evil that is Ted Cruz and the rest of the gang, another Texas Governor with little intellect and no morals or scruples may indeed fit that role. @ Montag: Remember the Halloween episode where Homer was captured by the brain-eating zombies, who examined Homer's head and then dropped him in disgust?
Here's an idea - encrypt it, and store the encrypted files somewhere on the Internet with a decryption key set to allow decryption in, say, 50 years. Someone should be able write that type of app.
Toggle Commented May 28, 2014 on Crimes against Memory at Whiskey Fire
Mr. Gowdy does indeed seem to have been chosen based on his ability to give pleasure to the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party. Besides, perhaps Mr. Gowdy will discover that Hillary Clinton hired Barack Obama to make Vince Foster's death look like a suicide.
I'm actually thinking Dr. Who has a soft spot for Islamo-communist-fascist-Kenyan usurpers. Without time travel, it seems unlikely that so many of President Obama's alleged plots could succeed. (P.S.: Here's a conspiracy theory you won't hear on Fox - the IRS folks suspected of targeting the Tea Party organizations were appointed by a mainstream Republican friend of Karl Rove. Karl Rove doesn't like Tea Party organizations that compete with him for donations. Now, suppose what was really going on was the Country Club Republicans targeting Tea Party activists that were pulling a Bundy and failing to use code words when stating their views? I could see Karl Rove trying to both suppress competitors for donation money and also trying to blame Democrats for Karl Rove's own iniquity. REPUBLICANS BLAST NEVADA RANCHER FOR FAILING TO USE COMMONLY ACCEPTED RACIAL CODE WORDS
Toggle Commented Apr 25, 2014 on Let's Talk Taxes! at Whiskey Fire
Perhaps somebody should point out that Lois Lerner was appointed to this post - in 2005: Lois G. Lerner Selected as Director of IRS Exempt Organizations Division IR-2005-148, Dec. 22, 2005 WASHINGTON — Lois G. Lerner has been selected as the director of the Exempt Organizations Division of the Internal Revenue Service. In this position, she will be responsible for administering and enforcing the tax laws that apply to more than 1.8 million organizations recognized by the IRS as exempt from tax. In other words, a George W Bush legacy employee...
Toggle Commented Apr 25, 2014 on Let's Talk Taxes! at Whiskey Fire
Funny how someone's views about "minority rights" shift dramatically - once they view themselves as the minority in question. I'll bet these same folks have no qualms about forcing their particular flavor of Christianity on others because "the majority has spoken."
Toggle Commented Apr 19, 2014 on When You Add up the Numbers at Whiskey Fire
Funny how wonderful it is to be a "disruptive" industry, but not a "disruptive" activist. Of course, the real reason people opposed to such ideas oppose strident activism is because it is so often productive. Consider, say, the effect of Operation Rescue on the debate over abortion.
Toggle Commented Apr 12, 2014 on Wrinkled Ghosts at Whiskey Fire
We could build fully-automated fast-food restaurants today - but minimum wage workers are still cheaper. Little by little, automation will eat away at jobs ranging from bus and taxi drivers to newspaper reporters. (They've already got automated sports writing software.) As the technology gets cheaper, more humans will lose their jobs to the robots. True, robots won't eliminate all jobs - but they'll eliminate enough of them to hurt - badly. I'm not sure whom would patronize robot fast-food places, though. Those without jobs won't be able to buy food at all, and those with jobs will want better quality food (probably at robo-Sizzler).
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Who knew that Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, and the rest of the right-wing radio stars were collectivists? I mean, they typically attempt to discredit and intimidate their opponents, and routinely engage in character assassination - and as only collectivists do this according to Mr. Koch, this must mean that they are collectivists. Right? Oh, the Birthers too? Who knew? Then, too, there's the litigator that Chris Christie hired to "investigate" the bridge scandal. He "has a reputation as a brutal cross examiner who does “crisis management,” shutting down public criticism – often with aggressive attacks on the sources of that criticism." Who knew that Chris Christie hired a "collectivist" to perform the investigation? Of course, when someone the Koch Brothers like and/or support engage in such tactics, they're merely crafting an effective public relations campaign. Could this be what is really troubling the Koch Brothers - that attacking them directly might prove effective in countering the Koch Brothers' own campaign of discrediting and intimidating their opponents through character assassination?
We don't need to hold them for a day - merely eliminating the various ways to game the system is enough. This is what they did when building the new IEX Stock Exchange: "All three predatory strategies depended on speed. It was Katsuyama who had the crude first idea to counter them: Everyone was fighting to get in as close to the exchange as possible — why not push them as far away as possible? Put ourselves at a distance, but don’t let anyone else be there. The idea was to locate their exchange’s matching engine at some meaningful distance from the place traders connected to the exchange (called the point of presence) and to require anyone who wanted to trade to connect to the exchange at that point of presence. If you placed every participant in the market far enough away from the exchange, you could eliminate most, and maybe all, of the advantages created by speed." Source: The Wolf Hunters of Wall Street (
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It's not "effectively" a form of insider trading - it IS insider trading, because it is based on non-public information. The way it works is that brokerage X receives a very large order. Using their ultra-fast connection, they trade on the basis of that non-public information. Their customer's order is placed on a slightly slower connection, which (when executed) locks in the broker's profit. Remember "The Sting"? Same thing, except with computers. It also would seem to be a breach of the duty that each broker owes their clients of good faith and fair dealing.
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I expect Mr. Murdock thinks that the restrictions placed on others would not, of course, apply to him. It would be interesting to put Mr. Murdock into a time machine, send him back to 1960, and send him on a road trip through the South. After that, he could try and buy a house in a nice neighborhood in liberal San Francisco in, say, 1957. (White Neighborhood Rejects Willie Mays,5750555)
Toggle Commented Mar 2, 2014 on Whoops, Forgot the Burper King at Whiskey Fire
Not even "Please don't chop my head off?"
Toggle Commented Feb 17, 2014 on Oh, Is That How It Works? at Whiskey Fire
I'd also use Mr. Mankiw's article as evidence that the economy cannot be explained as the actions of actors with perfect knowledge making rational decisions to maximize their individual gains. If society has indeed "decided" to let the financial industry run the economy, the decision was either based on flawed perceptions of the situation, irrational decisions of some actors, or decisions made for some purpose other than maximizing individual profit. For example, consider a society where decisions are made by persons who make the effort to both register to vote, and actually cast ballots ("voters") - and also assume that these voters make decisions based more on emotion than cold rational analysis of individual profit. Let's further assume that some percentage of these voters make their decision based on television ads, media reports, and personal prejudices rather than individual research and careful analysis. One last assumption: let's assume that interested parties with significant financial resources can buy advertising and favorable media reports. Given this, the idea that the extremely high salaries paid to financial industry folks are well-deserved based solely on the fact that those people are actually paid those salaries can be seen as the product of something other than rational analysis.
Toggle Commented Feb 16, 2014 on Oh, Is That How It Works? at Whiskey Fire
No, they got the job because of the "Golden Rule": they have the gold, so they make the rules. It sounds quite a bit like what the British Raj told Gandhi, and what Marie Antoinette told the French citizens...
Toggle Commented Feb 16, 2014 on Oh, Is That How It Works? at Whiskey Fire
Wall Street and big business figured this out long ago: For generations, Procter & Gamble Co. PG +0.53% 's growth strategy was focused on developing household staples for the vast American middle class. ... P&G's roll out of Gain dish soap says a lot about the health of the American middle class: The world's largest maker of consumer products is now betting that the squeeze on middle America will be long lasting. "It's required us to think differently about our product portfolio and how to please the high-end and lower-end markets," says Melanie Healey, group president of P&G's North America business. "That's frankly where a lot of the growth is happening." Source: Wall Street Journal, As Middle Class Shrinks, P&G Aims High and Low , September 12, 2011. In my more cynical moments, I wonder whether they know global warming poses a major threat, and they plan on accumulating as many resources as they can on building walled estates with robotic defenses with which to defend their automated farms from the starving hordes.
Toggle Commented Feb 9, 2014 on Who Benefits from Benefits? at Economist's View
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I feel your pain - I went through a 5-year period cycling between unemployed and marginally employed, and it was soul-killing. I finally got a good job, but I've never felt secure again.
Toggle Commented Feb 5, 2014 on Unemployment is Hellish at Economist's View
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So, she's shocked that after opening her personal life up for discussion, people start asking her personal questions - or aren't in complete agreement with her personal beliefs? Not that asking people whether a vasectomy is planned isn't rude and prying - but sharing one's pregnancy tests at office meetings isn't particularly work-related. Wait until it's closer to parental leave time, for goodness sake.
Toggle Commented Feb 2, 2014 on Your Favorite Babies Suck at Whiskey Fire
The easiest way to detect a bubble: can someone earning the median income for that area afford to buy a median-priced home without resorting to exotic financial instruments? If the answer is no, there's a bubble. Remember all those "liars loans" and zero-down loans just before the US bubble burst? Not to worry, though- prices will fall when interest rates go up.
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