# ParanoiA

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## Posts posted by ParanoiA

### Question on Voltage and Charge Carriers

But again, for a lot of electrical stuff worrying about force and distance will just confuse you and you'd be better off just worrying about the voltage difference. (incidentally, voltage is always a difference, just like potential energy. There is no one absolute voltage, though the voltage difference to a grounded cable comes close.)

Yeah, I don't have any plans to obsess over force and distance as I evolve through this review, that's for sure. It's extremely confusing and I'm a little disappointed that I can't grasp it more immediately. At this point, if I can just "see" potential difference and understand the basics at the particle level, then I can move on and feel fairly comfortable about it.

I'd say no. There's no reason you can't have your charge carriers carry two charges each, eg magnesium ions. Better measure your charges in coulombs or in multiples of e. But charge is conserved, so if you take a given amount of charge from an item it will be lacking that much charge.

Ah, there's another bit of confusion for me. When I'm thinking charge carriers, I'm thinking electrons. When one mentions ions, I'm actually thinking of a charged atom containing charge carriers. Since only electrons are moving in a given electric current, I wouldn't have thought of considering the whole of the atom as the charge carrier.

### Question on Voltage and Charge Carriers

The gravity analogy really helps. But electric field strength decreases as the distance between charges increases, so it's weird to think of potential energy increasing as the field strength decreases in response to the increased distance between charges.

Then, of course, I have to wonder about maximum distance. If two charged particles are a mile apart, their electric fields won't affect each other. As you move them closer together, as some point, eventually, their electric fields will mingle. And instead of a gradual increase in energy as you move them together, it would seem you would run into the maximum energy potential all of the sudden - from nothing to maximum in one discrete step - and then as you keep moving them together the potential energy would gradually drop.

Say it ain't so man.

I was googling the electric field stuff and ran across this page...

The strength of the electric field is dependent upon how charged the object creating the field is and upon the distance of separation from the charged object.

http://www.physicsclassroom.com/class/estatics/u8l4b.cfm

That fits with what you've been describing. Am I correct to at least assume that quantity of charge carriers determines how charged the object creating the field is?

### Question on Voltage and Charge Carriers

I'm not sure what you mean by a difference in charges allowing for carriers. Charge carriers in basic electronics applications are typically electrons, but when you move the electrons around, the areas they have vacated will have a positive charge. If you started with a neutral system, the net charge is zero.

Yeah, I'm probably not using the terminology correctly. Engineers speak of electrons and holes, the latter referring to an electron shortage causing a positively charged atom. With that in mind, my statement "the difference in charges allowing for carriers" was trying to look at the difference between two oppositely charged poles in terms of how many electrons would actually move until the poles cancel each other out or one of them becomes neutral.

For instance, just to keep the numbers simple, if pole A has an excess of say 10 electrons, and pole B has an excess of 10 protons (or really a shortage of 10 electrons), then I was wondering if that means there are no charge carriers. Since each pole cancels each other out, I should not see any electron movement.

But, if Pole A has an excess of 20 electrons, while pole B has an excess of 10 protons, then I was thinking I would then see electron movement until Pole B is neutral, or 10 electrons, or 10 charge carriers.

This net "difference in charges" is what I've been envisioning as the source of potential difference. I also see problems with it of course, because if the size of that charge difference between two poles or substances drives the voltage level, then it would seem impossible to have a high voltage, yet very little difference and therefore very little electron movement - it's self contradictory. Apparently that's because this is not how it works, no matter how nice it fits in my head.

Lots of ways. You can do it mechanically by rubbing certain materials together, like a balloon on your head, or shuffling your feet on a carpet on a dry day. You can do it chemically, like in a battery.

Funny, because that's exactly the example that got me all screwed up. I was reading about shuffling your feet on the carpet to generate thousands of volts, yet the book states "although the voltage seems deadly in terms of numbers (thousands), there are not that many coulombs of charge that can accumulate on an object the size of your body."

Well crap, if there aren't that many coulombs of charge that can accumulate, then how did we achieve thousands of volts of potential? In this example, it's a little easier to accept not being killed because the voltage is not sustained, unlike a battery or household source. But I'm still not making the right connection between charge and voltage.

Consider if you had a giant capacitor as big as your car, and one as small as your finger. If you put the same amount of charge difference in each, the potential difference will be much smaller in the larger capacitor since the charges aren't as "crammed together". Or consider if you had a set of negative charges and a set of positive charges, one cm from each other or ten cm from each other. The ones with the larger separation have more energy per unit charge, and in fact you could get energy by moving them together from the 10 cm point to the 1 cm point.

More generally, integrate the force as you move a charge against an electric field and you get the energy that charge can release when it is allowed to return. A stronger electric field over a longer distance will give you more energy per unit charge.

Hmm, I like the way you're explaining this but I can't say I'm getting it. The separation creating more energy per unit charge is not untuitive. I need to chew on all this some more...

### Question on Voltage and Charge Carriers

Ok, much thanks for the replies.

It looks like I need to now grasp "energy per unit charge". I've seen that repeated in the book I'm using and I need to understand that much better.

What is an example of a small number of charge carriers with a lot of potential energy?

Also, am I supposed to assume that only the difference in charges allows for "carriers"? (Surely that must be since energy is only expended until the two "poles" are electrically neutral - or there is no longer a difference in charges). If that's true, then it would seem that two massively charged poles, one positive and one negative, with only one charge carrier difference, then you would have an extremely low voltage because of the ridiculously small difference, even though both poles are heavily charged. Is that a true statement?

So a small number of carriers with a lot of potential energy can have a large V.

So, how do charge carriers get this potential energy in order to have that large V? I'm probably asking the same question again, but it does sound different to me.

### Question on Voltage and Charge Carriers

I've got myself turned around apparently. I thought voltage was the potential difference between oppositely charged poles - that voltage is a measure of the difference in charge carriers. I'm envisioning ionized clouds of opposite charge and I thought that the amount of voltage between the two would depend on the amount of the difference in charge between the two - that the amount of voltage would depend on the number of charge carriers.

But somewhere in that bit up there I'm apparently off. Because you can have high voltage with only a small amount of charge carriers, or a small voltage with a high quantity of charge carriers. I'm not getting that at all and it's making my intuition cry.

And I've been through the water pipe analogies, and I actually do get the "pressure" concept. But with water pipes I can see where 'pressure' comes from and I can imagine a pint of water under 200 lbs of pressure. But I cannot "see" where voltage is coming from, and I cannot imagine a trickle of current from a thousand volts of 'pressure'. (please note, I'm not talking about resistance and insulating materials that restrict the flow of charge carriers, rather I'm assuming a perfect conductor).

Can anyone see where I'm going conceptually wrong here?

### Child Labor Laws

I honestly didn't think i was capable of doing that my self and I have seen several people who thought they could invest and retire are now walmart greeters or the equivalent, I honestly know of no one who actually did better than they could have by sticking with the company, the stock market is evidently not exactly a sure thing...

What do you think the company invests those pension funds in? Most people have 401k's and pensions are all but obsolete. You're about to know millions of people who did better than they could have with a pension.

There are no sure things, not even when companies are the ones making the promises. There is no difference in risk, either the company hides the risk from you and does all of the investing or you rub your eyes clear, realize the risk and do the investing yourself. (You can invest in all kinds of things. Stocks are just popular. Again, not used to thinking for ourselves about these things so it all seems so daunting. And since economics is apparently not a priority for public schools, we have generations of clueless now.)

Companies can absorb losses better, that's for sure. But then, here we go again shifting responsibility to others to make life easier for ourselves. Ethics is ethics. You don't like it when someone does it to you, not sure why it's ok to do it to them. I suppose we could use the "rich people are evil" card, but I've never been one for prejudice and making excuses to hate minority groups and use that to take their property and their rights. We've got enough of that to live down as it is...

Rather rule in hell than serve in heaven huh?

I disagree with the premise, but absolutely. Without hesitation. I don't find anything heavenly about servitude and subordination, begging for crumbs from my master. F#@k that.

Good luck with that, as I said I've seen more disasters than good times come out of doing that... I at one time held options on several hundred DuPont shares, the value of these options fell to the point of being worthless and never really recovered...

Well thanks, there's millions and millions of us doing it right now. We call it 401k's. They are administered by our employer - which I would like to see change - and they aren't free of all kinds of restrictions yet, but they are the next step to a better solution for retirement that gives the individual more control.

The problem you encountered is why diversification is such a big deal with retirement investment accounts. Spread the risk, spread the reward, slow crawl over the years to a pile of savings.

But all of this is irrelevant anyway. You don't have to risk your money just to save it for retirement. People do that because they want to earn interest on their savings - to do that, you must risk. But if you don't want to risk, so you don't lose your ass, then don't. Just put it in a good ole savings account and let the $250,000 FDIC insurance gaurantee it. We're capitalists in a republic. There is nothing subordinate about that. That's why it's so weird to see so much voluntary servitude and fear of personal accountability. We're all just scared to death about everything. How sad. ### Child Labor Laws I am lucky in that i worked for the DuPont corporation, generally they treat their employees quite well, especially their retirees but they have made cuts to the benefits i worked for over the years, nothing I can really do about it but it seems less than fair. You do hear about people loosing their pensions at a high enough rate to see why there are so many Walmart greeters who are also geezers Ah, I see what you're saying. We have that here, too. The company likes to pit the young against the old and the Union struggles to keep it under control. They love to float contract ideas that involve yanking the rug out of the retirees. Thankfully, we've remained loyal to them in the end. Not sure how much longer that will last, though. But, Moontanman, this is why I question the structure. Think about it...what you're talking about here is your employer - someone you no longer work for - who is still buying products and services for you. It's the weird arrangement of allowing employers to pay us with benefits instead of more money. If you traded in your benefits for the equivalent in cash over all the years you worked there, you remain in charge of all of your stuff. No fighting and scratching every few years to hold on to the crumbs they give you to live off of. It's precisely this attitude of voluntarily subordinating yourself and survival. You've elected a master over your affairs, purely with your behavior. We all do this, and have been doing this for decades now. No one really questions it. Well, some of us do. I don't want my employer buying me health insurance, paying into a pension and all that - give me the cash. Just like I don't have them buy my milk and cheese. Let me use my imagination, creativity, and my very personal knowledge of what makes me happy to determine how I want to negotiate health services and living off of savings. ### Child Labor Laws I am so tired of this Bullshit, i am 56 years old and I have heard all my life about how the young kids are being coddled and given everything by old farts who live in the damn past and have no clue about anything but the past. i remember being 13 and being hired out to clean out an old farmers barn, i shoveled shit and put up hay for three days and the whole time i got a constant spiel about how young kids today were being coddled and how we didn't know the value of work then the bastard stiffed me for half the money he promised and told me it was a learning experience. I raised two boys, they both worked as they grew up from chores to odd jobs for neighbors, i think the oldest got his first job picking up pine cones at around the first grade. They both worked hard worked their way through college and graduated and almost all their friends who were in the same or lower social economic class pretty much did the same thing. most of those kids would do almost anything for money if it was honest work. But yes there were some of the kids who were just lazy, never raised their hand to do anything. Guess where those lazy little bastards came from, yeah, the wealthiest kids in the schools. They drove$40,000 sports cars went to the best schools and had no responsibilities at all. Their parents gave them everything, forbade them form working and the little bastards would then go to the places of work of the other kids and harass them because they worked.

Fuck this elitist bullshit, kids are no more coddled now than they were when I was a kid or when you old farts were kids, the rich kids were always coddled and the poor had to work, it's life but the idea that all or even most kids just sit around and pay video games and ask for handouts is so disingenuous it's difficult to deal with emotionally.

I mostly agree with you here. I don't think they're being "coddled" at all. No, I think we misinterpret their attitude and outlook and we are precisely to blame for it. The major, majority of a child's life and development all the way into adulthood "nowadays" consists of standing in line, showing up to be processed by grownups, being directed and micro-managed every step of their life.

They're not really "lazy", they're waiting on us to tell them what to do. They don't know how to initiate things, adults have always initiated everything. They don't know how to do stuff without our direction because we direct every damn moment of their lives and then one day: poof! You're on your own buddy.

Just an opinion and maybe I'm wrong, I don't feel that strongly about it. But I can't help but notice how over the course of decades we micro-manage more and more of their lives for longer and longer stretches of their development.

Should kids be able to do appropriate jobs? Of course they should but there should be limits and parents cannot always be trusted to be the decision makers in this.

Talk about elitism... Parents are not 100%, but they will always outperform strangers in care and nurturing and knowing what's best for them, most of the time. Drafting a few minor laws to stop crazy parents and protect kids from child abuse is entirely reasonable. Drafting laws to protect kids with society's pluralized moral system is the elitist bullshit. We're way down that road right now.

I say the kids of today are just as industrious as they ever have been, the idea they are not is just old farts bullshitting each other about how hard they had it....

Right on.

Oh yeah, some of those 55 year olds have no choice but to work at fast food joints, when your pension has been stolen by greedy companies sometimes you have to go back to work....

I actually do understand this, despite my previous post on the matter. There's a reason I've been practicing greeting my co-workers at the door lately...there's a Wal-Mart greeting job with my name on it.

But, this is more emotional argument. Pensions stolen by greedy companies? Yes it has happened. Is that common, though? Greedy people have embezzled from companies too. Is that common, though?

The greedy government has raided our social security "pensions" too. Is that common, though? Oops! There went my argument!

### The Budget Battle

I guess CaptainPanic should have just said manufacturing is a much smaller part of the US economy than it was. The parts that have gotten bigger don't really add to a strong economy. That way nobody would have gotten distracted by the shiny hyperbole.

You mean that way nobody would have gotten distracted from the original hyperbole in his statement. I'd like to know how his description of the scope of manufacturing decline in his statement about when the US used to actually manufacture sutff misses your hyperbole charge, yet when I counter with evidence to the contrary without any use of exaggeration or pop-culture memes, you accuse me of hyperbole.

Never mind, I already know how that happens.

Hey CaptainPanic, please don't misunderstand. None of this is directed at you buddy, I just didn't agree with your argument and I know you haven't had a chance to respond yet.

### Child Labor Laws

Heh, I'm tempted to type in my 15 year old son's debate presentation (if that's what you call it) on child labor laws. He's wanted a job since he was 13. He dreams of owning a car lot and air soft business. He has plenty of time for school, as if that's anyone's business anyway.

We did the paperwork so he could work at the skating rink here in town and now he also wants to work at the movie theater. Why should this be discouraged and why should he, and his parents for that matter, have to answer to the whims of strangers so taken by their own personal value systems that they can't see letting anyone else have a value system of their own? The hubris of the modern American still takes me by surprise sometimes.

One point he makes is that when kids get community service, it is government ordered labor - without pay. He then makes the accusation that perhaps this is about the adults fearing that kids will steal their jobs, so they protect themselves by denying children be paid and *not* denying their right to work. I have to say, hard to disagree with the observation.

So why are you whiny adults skeered of little kids taking your careers...huh?

Work is not a right. But a proper reward for work is a right.

Slaves have work... But only free people get a proper reward for the work they do.

Work is a right. I have a right to work anytime I want. I don't have a right to force someone to pay me to do work for them, but I can go outside and just start working in my yard. My son has a right, at 13 years old, to run around the neighborhood and do contract labor - mowing laws, raking leaves, and etc.

It's not about work, it's about marketing labor - getting paid for it. I think kids should enjoy whatever rights their parents afford them, as their parents answer for their actions. I don't think we need bureaucratic ding dongs invoking their value system on the general public just because they feel they need to draw lines in the sand.

In principle, the unemployed people can take up the jobs that 14-16-year-olds would do. I mean, youngsters have no diplomas, and anyone can do the simplest jobs. But older unemployed people are simply too expensive, and that's why people wouldn't mind to employ kids.

A long pet peeve of mine: Adults making careers out of teenager jobs.

Every time I see a grownup in a fast food job, and he's not the manager, I have to wonder why he's trying to make a career out of a kid's job. Why is he surprised they don't give him full time and benefits?

Sorry, but McDonald's is for kids. These are jobs you can train people for in about 15 minutes. Real adult jobs are more involved, and take a bit more than a review of the 3 buttons on the deep fryer.

These are perfect jobs for kids - simple, safe work that introduces multi-tasking, working with people, kissing the customer's ass, attendance perfection and etc - all the stuff that makes a nice entry level experience to selling one's labor. It's great precisely because there's not really that much on the line for the employer nor the teenage employee. But there are always bong hitting adults trying to make a damn life out of serving fast food.

If you want health insurance, a home mortgage, car payments and insurance, food and clothing, energy - particularly for more than just yourself - then you're going to need to provide labor that's worth it to someone else to pay that much for it. The cheeseburger business does not lend itself to an army of $55,000 a year flippers with pension and health insurance. You have every right to try and every right to suffer for it. ### The Budget Battle The author notes that "Germany, the vaunted workshop of Europe, comes in fourth with a paltry 7.4%." My point is that 7.4% is "paltry" only if you ignore the population difference. Also, the author notes that our fraction peaked at 28% in 1985, and is currently 21%, which is below the 23% average since 1970. But that does not say whether it's been a continual slow decline since 1985; if it has been, that would be inconvenient for his argument.. And my point is that population difference doesn't tell us a damn thing. How many workers? Hell, how much and in what form does the capital take that is producing this output? Those are the relevant questions because that's what tells the story about our production capabilities, the technology and the employment - it describes what's happening to our manufacturing. I'm pretty sure "The US doesn't make stuff anymore" is meant to be figurative, not literal. Another thing not mentioned in the article you linked to, is what fraction of our economy is based on manufacturing, and how that has changed over time. That$1.7 Trillion for the US represents just 13% of the GDP for 2006. That's down from over 20% in 1980. So really it's how you want to spin it. Which was my point.

I know it's meant to be figurative, and that's why I also included my own in that same sentence since it's not as if we were ever the only ones making stuff. I'm taking the statement to mean our manufacturing has considerably declined. I'm haggling over the considerably part.

That manufacturing makes up 13% of our GDP doesn't tell us we didn't explode in production in other markets. If we suddenly double our output of cheeseburgers and fries, then we'll see the percentages of GDP drop for all other "classes" of output even though there is no decrease in output for any of those other classes.

What I see is a maturing economy. I see globalization and free trade making an impact. Comparative advantage and competition is determining what country does what the best. We do really well in manufacturing and while there's ups and downs there is no flight of manufacturing here - instead it's changing shape, responding to new technologies and the competition encountered in the international market.

The small declines we notice is natural for a market with increased competition. In fact, it would be weird if it didn't.

### From either camp, is this something we want our children to learn?

Yeah, that situation there is just crazy. Of course, it's a political maneuver. Not sure how the children are in danger here Rigney - that's a bit dramatic for a political boycott, man.

I don't understand, can politicians in the USA tell the police what to do? And why would the police want to arrest Miller?

In the UK, no politician could order the police to go to someone's house, and any MP has the right to abstain from a vote.

A governor of a state is the chief executive and they command the police in their state. I'm not sure how that really plays out, or any of the particulars, but they're supposed to have control over their police forces.

The police would not arrest Miller, if I understand correctly, since they are in session. The issue is that they cannot have a house vote without at least one present democratic senator.

But perhaps they should be able to arrest him, because - in theory anyway - they could hold up emergency legislation using the same tactic and could paralyze part of the government in a crisis. Some might characterize this budget issue as such a crisis.

### Florida Scraps High-Speed Rail Plan

It looked exactly like the insane pictures you see of free-for-all intersections in India, except all of the cars were moving at 40mph and somehow not colliding.

If that can be pulled off in a large portion of cars, congestion will drop dramatically and rail would be less important. However, achieving the fuel-efficiency of rail is still difficult in cars, and cars can't match high-speed rail for long-distance travel.

Personally, I'd travel on rail before I'd use the airline for long distance travel, no question. But I don't see doing that too much either. Mainly because everywhere I might want to travel, domestically, I'm still going to want transportation when I get there. That's kind of what I was alluding to earlier about our situation perhaps being a bit more unique. We have so much land area that it seems to lend itself to individual pods of transportation over group-based pods.

Rail would need to cover so much area that it would ruin the efficiency and scale. Not to mention we'd basically be mirroring the entire road system, which is already built and in place. Otherwise you're asking people to take rail and then do lots and lots and lots of walking, or scramble to find some kind of temporary rental transportation. Probably good for some of us piggies over here, but that's not a solution, that's just sacrifice.

Even if rail is being offered as an alternative rather than a replacement, we still have a majority of land mass that is going to have cars, roads, powerful engines as you pointed out, crashes and all that.

So, it seems to me that focus on rail is to distract from the solution with the biggest impact for americans - automobiles. Rail's impact would seem fractional in comparison. Let's get the biggest leaks first, then tidy up the little ones.

Not to mention, with all of the cars internationally, it's just a matter of producing an innovative solution - the framework to inject them into societies is already there. No need to convince their governments to invest in massive new infrastructure.

I think part of the fuel-efficiency problem is that as car manufacturers developed more efficient engines, consumers also demanded more powerful engines. Modern cars are just as fuel-efficient as they were years ago, but several times more powerful. If we cut back on the demand for high horsepower SUVs, fuel efficiency would be significantly improved.

(Realistically, we should focus our effort on the cars getting 10-15mpg, not the cars that get 40mpg already. Going from 40mpg to 80mpg saves less fuel than going from 10mpg to 20.)

I like the observation. I wonder how computer-driven cars would affect the nature of this "power". If we're not driving, and we're probably not even looking out the window, then I'm not sure where horsepower lust would come from. Maybe that would solve that problem...?

### Florida Scraps High-Speed Rail Plan

I've attended a lecture where a computer science professor demonstrated a simulation of his pet project -- automated computer-controlled traffic junctions. If your cars are computer-controlled, you don't need red lights, so long as the cars can communicate and negotiate an order for proceeding through the junction. This means there's cars executing left turns, right turns, and lane changes all through the intersection, weaving around other cars and dodging through the intersection, mostly without stopping.

It'd do wonders for traffic, but you'd crap your pants every time you enter an intersection.

Ha, no kidding. In fact, some of the stuff I've read on the subject previously suggested we'd turn the inside of the car into a kind of media cocoon. No reason to see out your windows and freak yourself out - let the windows become screens and watch a movie or maybe post on SFN.

### The Budget Battle

That's the fun of statistics. If you don't like what they say, try and find a way to make them seem to say something else. The US produces 21% of all goods. Great. Japan produces "just" 11%, but then, our population is more than twice the population of Japan. It shouldn't be a surprise that the US produces more than smaller countries; you have more people! If you normalize to population (with the US being 1 unit) so that the US production is 21, you get more than 26 for both Japan and Germany. i.e. they produce more than 20% more per capita than we do, which is why they are regarded as industrial powerhouses. The reason people take notice of China is because of where they will be in the ranking 10 or so years down the road, based on their current expansion.

Try to make them say something else? CaptainPanic repeated the myth of the US not actually making anything anymore - and I have stats that repudiate it. You can rearrange them per capita, per puppy, it really doesn't matter - the US does make stuff, and more than anyone else. I didn't try, nor did I need to "find a way to make them seem to say something else" - and neither did the author of that article.

Now, just for grins, how many workers are involved in that output? What is the form of capital that produces the output? You point out how Japan has half the population, but you haven't accounted for how many workers are doing manufacturing there verses here.

China has half the world's population, what happened to your number-of-people logic there?

The US is doing just fine in manufacturing and globalization has produced competition and not surprisingly other players have entered the market. There is no "the US doesn't make stuff anymore", rather it's "the US isn't the only one making stuff anymore".

### Florida Scraps High-Speed Rail Plan

However, I understand the sentiment in the USA that it's a waste of money. The initial construction is very expensive, and the benefits are hard to measure. It's questionable whether the high speed rail will actually have a reasonable payback time. But in Europe business travelers love the train. It's so handy to have wifi connection while you travel. There is much more space, so it's much easier to work on the train than in an airport/airplane, for example because the tray-table will actually fit the laptop, and still have space for your drink. But such additional benefits for the economy are incredibly hard to measure... and are impossible to estimate beforehand.

It is a waste, for the most part and it might be unique for us. Just last night I caught a little bit of Stossel talking about regulations holding back driver-less cars; that the techology already exists and doesn't require any civil infrastructure updates. Certainly such a thing requires massive testing to approve for the general public. I don't like the idea of sharing the road at 75 mph with someone's pet test project.

But, the benefits of such technology extends the benefits we recieve from the pavement we've already littered our country with. According to the pundit on his show, you can add 3 times the number of cars on our roads, and eliminate traffic jams, speed up commuting times, increase safety and reduce the need to build new roads - all by letting computers outperform us silly humans and do the driving for us. Add to that our renewed lust for electric cars and the inevitable push for leaner automobiles and it seems a smarter deal for us.

Well, those numbers have to be reconciled with reality and I know a sales pitch when I hear one. Still, it does make some sense.

### The Budget Battle

That successful economy was built in the past, when the USA did not spend the same percentage of its income on the military, on lawyers and lawsuits, on financial institutions or other useless things. That economy was built in the days that the USA actually manufactured things: Detroit made cars, Silicon Valley made computers, Boeing was (and is) the largest airplane manufacturer, etc... And the USA did so for a competitive price with superior technology. That's indeed how you build a strong economy.

The US decline in manufacturing is a baseless myth. I understand the media business sensationalizes outsourcing and unemployment, but don't let them fool you. Remember, they have a business to run and they build up information to increase value just like McDonald's makes those cheeseburgers look amazing in their TV ads.

http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Investing/CompanyFocus/the-myth-of-us-industrys-demise.aspx

I grabbed an MSN link, but this information is everywhere.

U.S. workers produce 21% of all factory goods made globally, or about $1.7 trillion worth per year. That's significantly lower than the peak of 28% in 1985 but only slightly below the long-term average of 23% for 1970 through 2006. China, the second-biggest global producer, doesn't even come close. It makes just 13% of the world's stuff, or$1 trillion worth. Japan is next with 11%. And Germany, the vaunted workshop of Europe, comes in fourth with a paltry 7.4%.

America makes stuff...lots of stuff. And much of our manufacturing output is done with less and less humans and more and more technology. The cost of superior technology, I suppose. I'm not convinced it's a bad thing, but it certainly looks that way when you're getting laid off so a robot can do your job, that's for sure.

The only way that you can build an economy is that you have an industry that makes something that starts a feedback loop: with every product you make, you can more effectively make more products for less energy and resources. An economy, in the end, is only worth what is physically constructed... So, also a Wall Street adds nothing at all. Wall Street is nothing but a massive group of people who all try to predict which industry will grow the fastest. But the combined accumulation of wealth by such investors must be compensated by a real economy somewhere on earth...

Wall Street provides a major factor of production that cannot be ignored - capital. When they're predicting this and that, they're putting their money where their mouth is, and that means investing in capital - both human and equipment. Without Wall Street, we don't have a market for investment, which leaves us with a terribly inefficient and ineffective framework to find people to invest in firms. Without those people, only the entrepreneur's profit (another factor of production) can be allocated for investment. That means extremely slow growth, if at all.

Not to mention, Wall Street is also made up of the poor, middle class and rich. 401K retirements are one of the most obvious examples of common folk investing in stocks. When you invest, you are loaning money and receiving interest. The financial market is devoted entirely to this. It does translate into a real economy, real capital, real goods.

Or how about the huge legal system the US has? Again, it makes absolutely nothing. Again, it's good to have a few lawyers and a functioning legal system... but too much will be crippling.

I agree and the source of much of this is regulation and laws. I'm not saying regulation and laws are bad, but we still have too much and it's the source that creates the attraction for profit for that market. And yeah, I agree, it's like having an exploding broken window market - it increases GDP, but it doesn't increase wealth or grow the economy.

### Is a fair flat tax possible?

Why the paranoid hostility?

And for that matter, why haven't you (or anyone else) defined what "fairness" means? Without a definition of fairness all we have is people talking past one another and people dragging goalposts all over the place.

To your first question, you replied back with a one liner as if that invalidates my entire post and position. And we're here in this thread because of your initial question to me about accounting for goods and services, which Swansont keeps forgetting. Just look up...there he goes again, lost in the conversation but still doing battle anyway.

To your second question, I declined fairness and actually agreed with you, but not entirely. That fairness is merely evenness, and that implies some sort of subjective notion of equal pain. Everyone names it differently, but it's still the same.

So, yeah, I don't know what it means and I'm not terribly concerned. I opt for equal investment in the republic. Everyone should have something to lose and it should be proportionally the same, consistent with republic and democratic philosophy, one-man, one-vote, power from the people, all equal - otherwise the public treasury becomes the public troth that it is today. Since we allow disproportion - inequality - we get agents sent by the people to "get their cut" and we have businesses and lobbyists colluding instead of businesses and consumers trading.

It's kind of a big deal, actually.

But it never has been. So what exactly is your point?

This is the second time I've had to remind you how we got here...this is from page 3, I think: And I'll remind you also, that you took his question differently than I did, so let's not re-argue that one too, ok?

Have you done a full accounting of the goods and services you receive, including the roads you drive on, the education you have received, the roads others drive on and the education that others have received to make your job possible?

I see this lack of accounting to be a huge part of the problem. I would love to see such an accounting.

So, I said that accounting doesn't exist because taxes are *not* tied to your direct usage. I was really turning the observation around by pointing out that tax forms are all about my income, with some select expenditures, and nothing about my family's detailed usage of government goods and services with pricing for each thing.

From that simple exchange came pages of subjective stabbing in the dark about how much I benefit from government, without a reference to what I actually said.

If volumes and weights (and that was my original point, not voluntary protocols) were not standardized people would scream bloody murder that they were being ripped off. And to whom do you complain about fraud — a nonprofit organization? Fixing the Standard of Weights and Measures is a power of congress as given in the Constitution (article I , section 8)

Lost my damn post again and this time it was after I submitted. I received an error that I must enter a post first...real cute. Sometimes software is just glitchy, but frustrating nonetheless.

Anyway, I said something to the effect that telecommunications standards are far more complex than volumes and weights and yet no one is bitching that their 64kBps bandwidth is a ripoff because Joe Shmoe ISP defines kBps as killer bits per second.

But then, I also have to admit that I can't be sure some of these standards haven't found their way into telecomm legislation either. So I'll concede that much. But it ain't necessary either way, IMO.

### Is a fair flat tax possible?

ANSI receives a good chunk of its funding from the US government.

Well sure, and in further historical discovery we see 5 private and 3 government entities forming the original AESC in 1918. But what's the point?

Again, I keep getting the goal posts moved. They are private, non-government (for redundancy's sake) non-profit and they do not use force to make people use their standards. They rely on voluntary inclusion. And at the current level of government intrusion, no private standards committee can be effective without rubbing shoulders with government on some level. That is hardly, even remotely an argument that government is needed for standards, rather that is an observation of present straits.

And that's just one. Mankind didn't measure stuff until government was invented? Please. All government did was speed up the process of standardizing by being the prick and naming the winner in an industrial competition. Instead of the market deciding who's standards will be adopted, the government chose for the market. Instead of convincing the private consumers of products and services, the winner just had to convince a handful of bureaucrats - just one of many, many channels of collusion we can be proud of.

Any other one liners?

### Is a fair flat tax possible?

Again, an obtuse view, bordering on appeal to ridicule.

Except it's not a "view" but an observation that has yet to be falsified. My "view" is that your tax bill is *not* tied directly to your individual usage of government services. And that's it. That's been it for a long damn time now.

This latest exchange in particulars is just another of your campaigns to miss the point and conflate my "view".

I then took that little piece of tax bill trivia and synthesized it with ydoaPs's "market" observation of goods and services and applied it to simple, economic theory. As an economic solution, to dissociate personal sacrifice with reward and access to resources is a proven terrible economic model, as evidenced by the fall of command economies. Well, North Korea is still going on strong isn't it? Instead, demand economies allocate resources or manage scarcity far better. Don't also conflate demand markets with laissez faire capitalism - no swinging pendulums here, just common sense.

And then, because you infer that extension to be a repudiation of government methods of tax collection, you reply with irrelevant questions about how much government service I've used. Only someone who doesn't understand what I'm saying would respond with such questions.

Here's my "view": Proportional government confiscation of private property without respect to proportional usage of government services is necessary for a functioning governing institution, if for no other reason, than because no individual can know what government services or goods they will consume in a lifetime.

I may use a billion dollars of medicare when I turn 70, or I may die when I'm 45 and never use a dime. Government confiscation for a pool of resources based on need is a practical, functional reality, and arguably, the whole purpose of government to begin with.

I don't like it. Just like I don't like police officers. I don't like these things, but they are the best solution we have at the moment. At the moment is key here too. I'm not done thinking about human happiness. I'm not done considering the role and execution of government. I'm not "satisfied" with confiscation. Just like I'm not satisfied with a "crime rate".

So, I don't care to characterize forcible means as benevolent welfare, or good ole payment for "goods and services".

Unlike most, I didn't think this American experiment was finished. Did I miss a meeting?

Hmmm indeed. You won't name it? I'm supposed to believe there is a non-government entity certifying the kilogram out there?

Shit man, here's just one: ANSI - The American National Standards Institute or ANSI is a private non-profit organization that oversees the development of voluntary consensus standards for products, services, processes, systems, and personnel in the United States.

Yeah, I'm sure the "kilogram" is way beyond those fellas...

I guess Bell Labs and AT&T just lucked into establishing the standards for the telecommunications industry without government. Makes one wonder how we ever got the standardized T1 carrier, huh?

You don't "need" a government to bully everyone into standards. Businesses stand to lose and gain from standards and it's those forces that bring them to the table. Not as much fun as bureaucratic forces, I know, but it's actually ethical. Go figure.

### news stations' reliability

No, corporate news stations can no longer be trusted. With the uptick in competition and 24 hour cable news, sensationalism has finally overtaken factually checked sourcing on the priority list. People watch and read the most exciting information, and news is nothing more than an information business. People forget it's a for-profit, corporate business, no different than Wal-Mart or Halliburton in terms of concentration on the bottom line - profits.

I would suggest taking a different approach to information gathering, like reading from multiple sources and only settle on information when you see it duplicated across different information companies. Googlenews is useful for this, too.

Another great site that liberals and conservatives cringe to read is www.factcheck.org

CNN is terrible. They lied about Rush Limbaughs comments on slavery and James Earl Ray that originated from a Wikipedia contributor without any sourcing- and those were duplicated in a book also without sourcing. Rick Sanchez made an ass out of himself peddling that crap as well.

### Is a fair flat tax possible?

Is this a promise to never use medicare? What about social security? Because you tend to run through what you paid in after only a few years of retirement. How much of the military did you use last year? (We weren't invaded, as I recall). Did you use GPS? Weights and standards? I assume you purchased things over the course of the year, by weight or volume. How much is not getting ripped off by someone selling you .95 gallons when you think you're getting a whole gallon (of milk, or gasoline) worth to you?

I may never use Medicare at all. What if I die tomorrow? I won't use any of that stuff that in the future - but my family will sure have to pay inheritance tax huh?

Or will I use medicare because the government failed to protect me from a mugger?

What about when I got robbed? What happened to that money I gave for police protection? Do I get a refund?

Standards are only invented by the government? Funny, I seem to remember a certain standards institute...totally private...hmmm..

This might mean something if you hadn't truncated my quote.

The truncation has nothing to do with making or breaking my point. Add it back if you want, I just thought it was distracting from the italicized part I wanted to address.

### Is a fair flat tax possible?

Defending the borders has an increase in benefits as you move up the economic scale, because the richer you are the more you have to lose, and while poor have little to lose...

Little to lose except their livelihood, jobs. Influx of cheap labor means exactly that. And for jobs that can't be paid under the table, there's the supply and demand of working poor laborers that drive down prices and saturate openings. Markets eventually catch up, but there's a huge lag time there and it never catches up as long as the inputs keep increasing.

Now, the playstation poor won't feel much, but the working poor will.

### WORKING ON FIFTY!

Oh! The blade is very real and also quite subtle. I may be wrong in my stance on justice. But if, and I say if!, the Muslim Righteous Brothers or street gangs ever take control of even a part of this country, it won't make a damn bit of difference how you feel about justice. Mexico is a perfect example if you want, or dare to look into their desperation. Our turn will come unless we get our heads out of our backsides and start enforcing laws! And if one of these upstanding orginizations should bring your innocence up on charges, I will show my sympathy for you, but other than that; I'll keep my damn mouth shut. You are somewhat safe now because, even with all of our faults, things are handled in moderation. Believe me, a time will come, that will not always be the case. By the way, what kind of business or work are you in? Or a student, trying to save the world?

I'm confused why you think prison instead of death means we aren't enforcing laws. All we're advocating is just to stop killing - we're not advocating anything beyond that. Keep putting them in prison, enforcing laws, all that, we like that. Criminals going to jail is good stuff.

Besides, the death penalty doesn't punish them as thoroughly anyway. They'll endure punishment as the process is executed, and then...nothing. Dead. Do you remember when you didn't exist? Do you feel the punishment of not existing? What makes you think a child murderer or any of these sickos deserves to have it so good? I'd rather they live in a cage and endure decades of punishment.

### WORKING ON FIFTY!

I agree, but only to a point. Is it still better that 100 guilty escape than that 1 innocent suffer? 1000? 1,000,000? At some point we need to accept that we will punish the innocent, or that we cannot punish anyone at all.

And I think that point is the death penalty. I accept we need to punish people and that the innocent will get caught up in it and because of that I think we should limit our punishments to the kind that can at least be stopped upon discovery. Digging up corpses for reanimation isn't an option....yet.

I would go with Blackstone (who wrote the book on Criminal Law) echoed by Ben Franklin "better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer"

That's the spirit I was talking about right there. That Ben Franklin soundbite doesn't reconcile with the death penalty; they seem antithetical to each other.

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