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Thread: Billionaires Blast off

  1. Top | #451
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bomb#20 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Elixir View Post
    Ants are smarter than Republicans.

    That's a water drop those ants found, not a water drop any ants made. Leftist ethics in a nutshell: a demand that farmers live according to hunter-gatherers' morality.
    And it's not right anyway. The ants are spread around the drop because that's how they fit. Each ant uses up a certain amount of the border, there's little more border than the 12 ants need. Besides, the ants are even being fair--look at the two ants closest to the 12 o'clock position--the left ant is too far to the right, somewhat excluding the right ant.
    Yeah, this whole business about ants co-operating, drinking water together while singing Kumbaya is a bit of a myth. Just ask any 10 year boy what he saw happen when he mixed a bunch of red ants and black ants together in a jar. Its a horror show. Ants decapitating and dismembering each other.

  2. Top | #452
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    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    Are you suggesting the inventor mined ore, processed raw materials, etc, all on his lonesome? That mine owners extracted raw materials on their lonesome? Factory owners producing goods on their lonesome? No workers needed?
    No, just that you were unfairly bad-mouthing the Wright Brothers.

  3. Top | #453
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    Quote Originally Posted by untermensche View Post
    Innovation today comes from some corporate owned scientist.

    They don't own what they invent and don't decide what problems they will try to solve.

    If they were told to do away with management with a more efficient AI system they easily could.

    And relieve workers of tons of dead weight riding on their backs.
    Speaking as a guy with a patent on an AI algorithm because I taught a computer how to do something any five-year-old could do by hand...

    That's nonsense. AI is a lot harder than it looks or than Hollywood makes it look, and a lot stupider than the "Intelligence" in its name implies. If it were at all easy to automate corporate management with an AI algorithm, you could rustle up the venture capital to fund the project without any trouble, and start up any number of more efficient companies that would use it, and compete the existing management-heavy companies out of business fast enough to generate huge profits for the venture capitalists and the early adopters. The reason it isn't happening isn't some conspiracy on the part of the owner class to charitably limit their own profits for the benefit of the executive management class; it isn't happening because it's too technically difficult for 21st-century technology. Maybe it will happen in the 22nd century. Maybe not.

  4. Top | #454
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    Quote Originally Posted by laughing dog View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bomb#20 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ZiprHead View Post
    I, for one, am proud to have helped pay the tax burden of billionaires so they can take their vanity flights to space.
    So how did you determine that some of the tax burden you paid was actually "the tax burden of billionaires"?

    It's disgraceful for people who have to work for the government three days a month to slander people who have to work for the government five days a month as not paying their fair share.
    When someone trots out the libertardian rhetoric for tax rates (i.e. taxes = working for the government), you know rational discussion has left the room.
    That's the figure of speech you had a problem with? Should we take it, then, that you regard "I, for one, am proud to have helped pay the tax burden of billionaires" as a case of rational discussion staying in the room?

  5. Top | #455
    Elder Contributor DBT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bomb#20 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    Are you suggesting the inventor mined ore, processed raw materials, etc, all on his lonesome? That mine owners extracted raw materials on their lonesome? Factory owners producing goods on their lonesome? No workers needed?
    No, just that you were unfairly bad-mouthing the Wright Brothers.

    Bad mouthing? That's utterly ridiculous. The Wright brothers didn't exist in a vacuum. Pointing out that they used materials made available to them, mining, factories producing goods, workers, society at large, doesn't take anything away from their achievement.

  6. Top | #456
    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Trausti View Post

    Oh, come on. When has government ever created something with high efficiency?
    Government is at least as efficient as private industry, when adjusted for scale.

    Corporations with similar sizes to government entities are similarly inefficient.

    The big corporations don't get the same scrutiny that governments do; But the idea that they're more efficient is a total myth.
    Disagree. Private enterprise has competition that drives efficiency. Government does not. Government policy is often driven by other factors, also. Compare SpaceX vs the Space "Launch" System. Or the other launch programs that served their real purpose of being pork and finally got cancelled.
    There was bugger all evidence of competition driven efficiency in the twelve years I worked for IBM. Just bloated bureaucracy, excessive management, and all the usual hallmarks of an organisation grown too large to be efficient at anything other than crushing competition by sheer size and inertia. If they couldn't crush their competitors by using their deep pockets, they just bought them and assimilated them into the Borg.

    Governments are just the same. Nobody close enough to the coal face has the authority to make a quick and informed decision; And nobody with the authority has the first hand knowledge and understanding to make a good and effective decision.

    Profit and shareholder value are abstract concepts to the guys doing the work. Work is an abstract concept to the guys sitting around the boardroom table.

    You can disagree all you like, but it remains a fact that "government inefficiency" is just large organisation inefficiency, and privatising large public services (transport, healthcare, infrastructure construction and maintenance, etc.), thus trading public ownership for shareholder ownership, changes very little - the only significant change is a loss of any shred of democratic control, and the focus of corruption moving from reelection and enriching of bad officials, to the enrichment and entrenchment of bad managers.

  7. Top | #457
    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bomb#20 View Post
    It's not a strawman. Plenty of people are proposing taking away over 99% of their wealth -- Bilby, for instance -- and LP's point remains whether it's 99% or 100%.
    99% of a billion dollars taken in tax leaves them with only $10,000,000.

    I can see how that's an awful impost that leaves someone at genuine risk of starvation, homelessness, and destitution.

    Oh, wait.

    Fuck off.
    Congratulations, you killed SpaceX.
    GOOD.

    Why the fuck would you expect me to see that as a problem?

    I thought I had been quite explicit that I believe that big projects (like space exploration) should be done on the basis of society deciding to do them via the democratic process.

    The choice is whether to allow a handful of neo-aristocratic individuals to decide whether and how society should go into space; or whether to make those decisions democratically.

    If you, I, or Elon Musk, want the fruits of our economy to be spent in that way, we each have the same right to try to persuade our compatriots to vote for representatives who will support that.

    That Musk can bypass the 'of the people, by the people, for the people' thing, and just decide to do this stuff (rather than curing Malaria, or feeding the hungry, or building roads, railways, ports, dams, power plants, etc., etc) on his own, then how is that different from letting the Queen or the Pope or the Emperor make that call?

    The purpose of a democracy is to prevent any one individual (or any small group) from imposing their will on society, other than by persuading a majority of their compatriots to support them.

    I will vote for space flight to be funded. But if nobody else will, then democracy says I have failed to sell my opinion effectively, and that it shouldn't happen. The same should go for Musk, Bezos, Branson et al. They're not better than me. Or than you. Or than anyone else.

  8. Top | #458
    Loony Running The Asylum ZiprHead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bomb#20 View Post
    It's not a strawman. Plenty of people are proposing taking away over 99% of their wealth -- Bilby, for instance -- and LP's point remains whether it's 99% or 100%.
    99% of a billion dollars taken in tax leaves them with only $10,000,000.

    I can see how that's an awful impost that leaves someone at genuine risk of starvation, homelessness, and destitution.

    Oh, wait.

    Fuck off.
    Congratulations, you killed SpaceX.
    Small loss.
    When conservatives realize they cannot win democratically, they will not abandon conservatism. They will abandon democracy.

    Poverty exists not because we cannot feed the poor but because we can't satisfy the rich.

  9. Top | #459
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    Quote Originally Posted by thebeave View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post

    And it's not right anyway. The ants are spread around the drop because that's how they fit. Each ant uses up a certain amount of the border, there's little more border than the 12 ants need. Besides, the ants are even being fair--look at the two ants closest to the 12 o'clock position--the left ant is too far to the right, somewhat excluding the right ant.
    Yeah, this whole business about ants co-operating, drinking water together while singing Kumbaya is a bit of a myth. Just ask any 10 year boy what he saw happen when he mixed a bunch of red ants and black ants together in a jar. Its a horror show. Ants decapitating and dismembering each other.
    Communism/Socialism: “Great Idea. Wrong Species.” (E. O. Wilson)

  10. Top | #460
    Elder Contributor DBT's Avatar
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    So nothing needs to be done about inequality or exploitation? Let the rich and powerful exploit workers, own slaves, do whatever they like? Might is naturally right?

    Nothing can be done? Nothing needs to be done? Everything is as it should be?

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