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wasoxygen

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following: 63
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hubskier for: 3471 days

recent comments, posts, and shares:
wasoxygen  ·  3 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 82% of net neutrality comments to the FCC were fake

In my view, neither the source, nor the legitimacy, nor the quantity of online survey responses provide insight into whether net neutrality is a good idea.

I can believe that service providers would oppose net neutrality because it is bad for business. That doesn't mean it is good for customers. Businesses succeed when customers are satisfied.

wasoxygen  ·  3 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 82% of net neutrality comments to the FCC were fake

    The 18 million fake comments the FCC received did not solely oppose net neutrality. The 19-year-old college student cited in the report submitted 7.7 million comments in favor of net neutrality. "The FCC had few safeguards in place to detect or prevent millions of submissions from a single source," the report reads. "The OAG also identified another group of 1.6 million pro-neutrality comments that were submitted using fictitious identities, but has not determined the source of these comments."

Surveys are dumb.

wasoxygen  ·  4 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Philosophy Bro on Climate Change

Not doing the thing you object to is not much of an alternative, but as I favor the do-nothing approach I shouldn’t complain.

wasoxygen  ·  5 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Philosophy Bro on Climate Change

    I doubt any legislator anywhere is making a vitamin A vs. global warming mitigation decision.

There is finite funding for nutrition, there is finite funding for climate, the funding is not allocated at random. So no, there may not be a particular moment where one legislator decides to split a pot of money between those two causes, but the process of creating a budget requires many decisions about spending limited resources on individual programs.

"The Copenhagen Consensus Center is a think tank that researches the smartest solutions for the world's biggest problems, advising policy-makers and philanthropists how to spend their money most effectively."

Spending money is not the only way to solve problems, but spending money can help, and it is certainly a way policy-makers and philanthropists can do good (or harm!) depending on how they act.

Can you suggest any better alternative to cost-benefit analysis for these organizations to make better decisions?

I'm curious as well to know what you have in mind as the non-financial approaches ... but on second reading you say "include, but aren't limited to, spending money" so you recognize that these countless ways do involve financial decisions. Spending money is a part, but not all, of most interventions.

You seem skeptical of the Copenhagen Consensus but I don't understand why. If the ways to address global warming include spending money, how do you decide how to spend the money? Which of the "countless ways" will you prioritize? Can an additional airplane trip be balanced by using paper straws? You question whether economists can provide estimates, but the proposals were created by "acknowledged authorities in each area," not the economists. You point out that economists have made mistakes, but don't propose an alternative to economists.

wasoxygen  ·  5 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Philosophy Bro on Climate Change

Can you propose an alternative way to make decisions that affect the future, if we forego cost-benefit analysis?

The Copenhagen Consensus concluded that fighting global warming by researching low‐carbon energy technologies would be beneficial, and fighting malnutrition by giving children vitamin A and zinc would be beneficial. In a reality where resources are finite, using available resources to fight malnutrition was expected to produce more benefit.

They might be wrong, but if you disagree wouldn't you be arguing that fighting global warming (with a given unit of budget) will produce greater benefit than fighting malnutrition? Or you could say we just don't know, but that doesn't help us decide what to do.

It's natural to ask "Why can't we do both?" But the carbon R&D was ranked #14 out of 30 on the list of priorities, so this is like asking "Why can't we do everything possible to improve the world?" The answer, of course, is the cost.

wasoxygen  ·  19 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Trump predictions recap

Further updates from Scott Alexander:

Grading my Trump Predictions

wasoxygen  ·  25 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: April 14, 2021

    why are there no public toilets in America?

wasoxygen  ·  26 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: So how hot will it get?

It’s been a while since I received an e-mail notification.

Can’t we find a way to work racism into this conversation too?

wasoxygen  ·  26 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: So how hot will it get?

It’s hard to come up with numbers, to be sure. But the alternative is to say we have no idea. There is plenty of evidence that more people die in winter than summer.

wasoxygen  ·  26 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: So how hot will it get?

My perception is that this site indicates that more than half the countries show net GDP gain. That doesn’t mean it’s a global net gain.

I noticed Canada first. But relatively few people live in Canada, mainly because it’s too cold.

The FAQ indicates that the site author was perplexed at the gains as well. I haven’t looked at the methodology, but it’s often the case that cold kills more than heat.

wasoxygen  ·  26 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: So how hot will it get?

My perception is that this site indicates that more than half the countries show net GDP gain. That doesn’t mean it’s a global net gain.

I noticed Canada first. But relatively few people live in Canada, mainly because it’s too cold.

The FAQ indicates that the site author was perplexed at the gains as well. I haven’t looked at the methodology, but it’s often the case that cold kills more than heat.

Edit: so that’s how you get a double post.

Deleted comments always make me wonder what I missed, so I’ll leave this. I was about to add that I think the site ignores sea level change. I find that issue perplexing. Even the biggest projections show less rise than the daily tides cause now. Obviously not good for coastal property, but there are plenty of mitigation strategies, including relocating.

wasoxygen  ·  27 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: So how hot will it get?

More than half show net benefit by 2090.

wasoxygen  ·  30 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Neuralink and the Brain's Magical Future - Wait But Why

wasoxygen  ·  31 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski April 7th 2021

progress since April 2020

La Boum

wasoxygen  ·  31 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: A message from Jeff Bezos: April 06, 2021

The minimum income to qualify for EITC is $1, and self-employment such as selling on eBay qualifies, so the main hurdles to overcome are awareness of the program and filing a return, similar to the negative income tax.

Interesting points in the article:

"In 1969, Richard Nixon proposed the Family Assistance Plan, which included a guaranteed minimum income in the form of a negative income tax." (rejected by the Senate, eventually enacted in 1975)

"In 1993, President Clinton tripled the EITC. Today, the EITC is one of the largest anti-poverty tools in the United States."

"Most income measures, including the poverty rate, do not account for the credit."

With one child and parent filing singly or as head of household:

• Tax credit equals $0.34 for each dollar of earned income for income up to $10,540.

• For income between $10,540 and $19,330, the tax credit is constant at $3,584.

• For income between $19,330 and $41,765, the tax credit decreases by $0.1598 for each dollar earned over $19,330.

• For income over $41,765, the tax credit is zero.

    At a cost of $56 billion in 2013, the EITC is the third-largest social welfare program in the United States after Medicaid ($275 billion federal and $127 billion state expenditures) and food stamps ($78 billion). Almost 27 million American households received more than $56 billion in payments through the EITC in 2010. These EITC dollars had a significant impact on the lives and communities of the nation's lowest-paid working people largely repaying any payroll taxes they may have paid. The EITC is one of the most effective social welfare programs in the United States. The Census Bureau, using an alternative calculation of poverty, found that EITC lifted 5.4 million above the poverty line in 2010.

    Due to its structure, the EITC is effective at targeting assistance to low-income families in the bottom two quintiles—0–40% of households. By contrast, only 30% of minimum wage workers live in families near or below the federal poverty line, as most are teenagers, young adults, students, or spouses supplementing their studies or family income. Opponents of the minimum wage argue that it is a less efficient means to help the poor than adjusting the EITC.

"The IRS estimates that about 20 percent of eligible taxpayers do not claim $7.3 billion of Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) each tax year."

wasoxygen  ·  32 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: A message from Jeff Bezos: April 06, 2021

The "48, 49 percent" that supports President Barack Obama are "people who pay no income tax."

"It's tricky to compare taxpaying status with presidential preferences, but there are enough data points that we can poke some significant holes in Romney’s argument."

Agreed, it's a very selective fact they decided to check, and The Washington Post has argued that the number 47 has been eroding over the years. But I was surprised that the number was that high, even with all the qualifications. Milton Friedman's negative income tax proposal, sort of implemented in the EITC, probably wasn't a terrible idea.

wasoxygen  ·  32 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: A message from Jeff Bezos: April 06, 2021

Heh, I was going to suggest responding before reading the comments, but I didn't want to be bossy.

    Because of benefits, workers are able to get by with lower wages

This sounds very reasonable to me, but I think it's the wrong way of thinking. The question is not what workers are able to do (what is financially possible), it is what workers actually do (how they respond to their incentives in different situations).

Suppose you unexpectedly inherit an annuity equal to half your salary. Financially, you are now able to have the same lifestyle even if your employer cuts pay by 50% the same day. But I doubt you would be okay with that!

In practice, what happens is that the inheritance makes you more financially comfortable, so you are less inclined to work for money (ignoring factors like prestige or job satisfaction). If the inheritance were 100% of your salary, you might even consider retiring early.

New outside income tends to make workers less willing to work for money, so if employers want to retain staff they would have to increase compensation, or at least not reduce it. As Caplan expressed it, "higher unemployment benefits make it easier to not apply for a job at Walmart."

    because workers can get by with lower wages, employers are happy to pay less.

There are plenty of wealthy retirees who can get by with no wages, and employers would be happy to pay them nothing to work as volunteers, but in practice people only agree to work when they consider it better than any alternative, including enjoying more leisure.

wasoxygen  ·  32 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: A message from Jeff Bezos: April 06, 2021

I can get on board with that. There is always room for improvement, and we should be aware of the status quo:

"Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax."

wasoxygen  ·  32 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: A message from Jeff Bezos: April 06, 2021

Hubski is generally sympathetic toward Amazon workers. Hubski then, presumably, opposes a corporate tax which harms Amazon.

Kidding aside, who pays the corporate tax? Not who remits the payment, but who bears the burden of the tax?

wasoxygen  ·  32 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: A message from Jeff Bezos: April 06, 2021

I'd be interested in seeing your response to the quiz.

wasoxygen  ·  39 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 1,500-pound rogue cow has been eluding capture for months in Central NY

    It was like a scene from an old Western movie on French Road on Friday afternoon as cowboys on horseback corralled and lassoed the famous New Hartford cow.

New Hartford cow captured by 'real live' cowboys