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Walt French
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It gets worse. Or does it? If the amount of B's currency drops by 2% per year, and all exchange mechanisms are closed, it will be an extremely long time until B is devalued all the way to zero. More likely, we would see the wealth "A" types seeing that they could retire in B-land with huge wealth, if they could just import a few years' supply of apples. Now B is exchanging housing, health-care and other non-exportable services in which they have a HUGE relative price advantage, for apples.
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“Then again, most people thought an inexperienced African-American often mistaken for a Muslim could never defeat presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton…” Who is this inexperienced man “often mistaken” for (as opposed to intentionally misrepresented as) a Muslim??? In which major party does a non-incumbent “presumptive nominee” normally triumph??? The fantasy that Thomas would “run” if nominated, and that he would actually “serve” as President if elected, is of the same cloth as the fantasy about the Democrats.
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Maybe Google is just yet another firm holding off repatriation of overseas earnings, waiting for a tax holiday. This has been suggested as a rationale for others.
Toggle Commented May 17, 2011 on Department of "Huh?!" at
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The very institution of slavery was defended with the identical rationale cited here: that depriving slaveholders of their property was unlawful taking by the Feds. 150 years later, we seem to have forgotten that the Paul doctrine is at one with America's greatest shame. If he's going to cite property rights as trumping society's notion of civil rights, he should first be required to show why his argument is somehow different — new and improved!!! — than the one that fueled the Civil War.
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@MHandley, I was not aware that my Mac spends ANY significant time in drawing cover art. It may well be badly written, but I don't see how it matters one whit to the performance bottleneck that you observe. So while I concur with your sense of process count being nearly irrelevant, I can't quite see the significance of the problems you DO cite, either. Apple hasn't sold PPC machines in many years, and iTunes has in general been heavily enhanced since you would have bought a current machine with PPC. Oh, a PS: some applications do NOT run faster as 64-bit code; that's an engineering tradeoff where you're making yet another assumption. Yes, Apple COULD be making life easy for themselves by not trying to support yet another version, but that doesn't mean that a 64-bit codebase would be better.
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@MobiusKlein, I can pretty predictably crash my entire (Mac 10.6.7) system by invoking Chrome with a couple of Flash videos, then invoking Exposé. No Flash? No problemo. Of course, no application should be able to crash the system. But you will recall that Adobe whined about Apple giving it access to special APIs that bypassed the normal application graphics calls. Seems that they've made their typical level of software quality regardless of the heightened susceptibility of the system to Flash's bugginess in this newfound era of cooperation. So crap code that crashes the app? Yes, it's life as engineers know it today. Something that can take down the system? For that you need some extra-strength badness, and its name is “Adobe Flash ®.”
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Isn't raising prices a good profit maximizing approach when you will not, actually, CAN not, retain the YouTube and internet crowds with your technology, at any price, while, thanks to your friendly monopoly position in cable, customers who want what you DO sell have no alternative place to go?
Toggle Commented Jan 7, 2011 on Time To Cut The Cord at Tim Duy's Fed Watch
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@InsomniacGeek put it in very transactional terms, but let me back up a step and suggest that what's happening is what the world wants to happen, and you simply don't like it. (I'm not a fan, either, but let's see if we understand it.) Just as TV has democratized from the 3 networks with programmers guessing what people will want to watch out to today's 108 channels being run over by YouTube. The news of today is the same story. From a couple of national authorities plus a local rag that ran the wire stories plus the want ads, blogs such as this have arisen and are being monetized by scrapers and packagers. This is NOT because Google is evil (a separate question); it's because the efreedoms of the world actually collect repeat hits from viewers who indiscriminately are happy to see a story of interest, and don't give a damn about cultivating sources, depth, communities, etc. No repeat hits, no eyeballs for sale == no aggregators. I'll assert (at least for discussion) that the aggregators are performing exactly the service that the lumpen proletariat wants. And Google is merely delivering on its promise of “relevancy” for the majority of its visitors. Just not what you or I think is “relevant.”
Toggle Commented Jan 5, 2011 on Trouble In the House of Google at Coding Horror
I'll take the under on the second derivative.
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An attempt (Best Foot Forward Rationalization Dept): At the inception of SS, few retirees lived many years past 65. However, a fair number died a decade or even two earlier, leaving widows & orphans. Most actual $ payments were [thought by O to have been] made to the W&O's. This might even be true, and would have put the emphasis on those most at risk of destitution: those with essentially zero option of getting a paycheck of some kind. Might even have been more progressive than the much more middle-class applicability today.
Toggle Commented Dec 9, 2010 on Department of "Huh!?!?" at
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Here we are, with a change in tax law that was known precisely, ten years ago, and the Administration, by playing fire-fighter (rather ineffectually, at that) has fallen into the trap of letting GW Bush and Mr. Greenspan define his tax policy proposals. Why not start with a clean slate of the tax rates that would be right for the foreseeable future, with (probably!) a short-term reduction keyed to the unemployment rate being over X%? Get the policy that is right for the country and the right level of fiscal stimulus for the short term.
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There's now an extensive investigation into Iceland's collapse — far more severe than the US's, as it involved losses far in excess of GDP, versus a small fraction. The report recommends that many bankers, their directors and on-the-take regulators face criminal charges, which could involve hard time. Many were wiped out; in fact, their losses were part of what caused the banks to fail. Politicians and many other members of the elite are among those who attempted to fatten their own wallets at the expense of all other Icelanders, so we can expect some show trials. Why? Surprise, surprise: banks made hopelessly optimistic loans, including to directors of the banks. IIRC, each of the three largest banks lost more money in loans to directors than the entire capital of the banks, indicating the scope of the orgy. As per Akerlof and Romer's paper about the US S&L crisis, looting is the correct term when loans are made to interested parties, and those loans can't be expected to be repaid under any credible circumstance. Somehow, in Iceland, the loss of all one's money and reputation, plus a good possibility of incarceration, was not enough to keep bankers from bringing down the entire country. Why does Mr. Roberts presume that simple bankruptcy will suffice here?
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Oh, and from Finance: we have several cross-sectional and panel studies that examine the cost of capital as a function of various governance measures. Free and honest markets significantly encourage investors to undertake business risks within a given overall ability to tolerate loss. I can't link the individual studies, but if memory serves, US quality governance is the equivalence of a couple of percentage points versus nations with poor governance. That's a huge source of our wealth: it more accurately rewards innovation and capital, pulling money from places where opportunities are more unpredictable, subject to confiscation even. I'd guess that the SEC, pre-Cox, anyway, deserves credit for a good part of that.
Perhaps the governance argument is that GDP is a function of capital, labor, technology and infrastructure, some of which should be understood as the governance. We have a hard time measuring the quality of governance, and, as you point out elsewhere, institutional arrangements for ensuring efficient markets, responsible contracting and such, can vary dramatically across countries. Many institutions, such as the free press, League of Voters and museum docents, might not even be formal institutions. But I don't know how you would deny that all else equal, a society in which I can focus on designing and selling better widgets, will be one where more, better and cheaper widgets will build everybody's wealth.
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Feb 9, 2010