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Spinoza

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  1. Just my 2 cents. Consciousness isn't an emergent characteristic of complexity it’s an emergent characteristic of self-preservation. Although I would say that intelligence is an emergent characteristic of self-preservation as well and precedes consciousness.
  2. I saw this and thought some here might be interested. Microsoft WebsiteSpark offers individuals free use of select Microsoft Software for web site development, hosting, and support. You'll get up to three years of access to Visual Studio Professional and Web Matrix, as well as recent additions Windows Server 2012, SQL Server 2012 Web Edition, Expression Studio 4 Premium, and Windows Azure Cloud benefits. http://www.microsoft.com/web/websitespark/
  3. [quote name='zedz' timestamp='1304972741' post='4808705'] [quote name='way2lazy2care' timestamp='1304945245' post='4808509'] [quote name='zedz' timestamp='1304925056' post='4808414'] Battlefield: Bad Company 2 According to Chart-Track, [i]BC2[/i] is the "best ever launch for any game released this early in the year." Interestingly, 53 percent of [i]BC2[/i] sales went to the Xbox 360 version, followed by 31 percent and 16 percent of sales for the PS3 and PC [url="http://www.joystiq.com/2010/03/08/battlefield-bad-company-2-is-new-king-of-uk-sales/"]http://www.joystiq.c...ng-of-uk-sales/[/url] [/quote] but again you come back to which is better, having 100% of sales when sales are 10% of what they could be, or 16% of sales when sales are 100% of what they could be? [/quote] Aye, sorry I read that twice and I still dont understand what you mean perhaps youre implying that even though the console sales dwarf the PC sales having those PC sales is better than not having them OK on the face of it this sounds reasonable but also perhaps not, cause I can see the case being made if it was console only (where piracy is a lot less rampant, eg on the ps3 it didnt exist until a few months ago!) if ppl really wanted to play the game they would have to buy it for the console instead of pirating it on the PC. [/quote] I do believe that piracy did play some part in driving the games market to the console but there were also 2 other factors that dwarf piracy in creating that trend. 1. The wide spread use of big screen TVs and wireless controllers. Its just a better experience to take a load off on your couch and play on your big screen TV. Even better if you have a good surround sound system. In comparison to sitting at a computer screen again, sitting on my couch and playing is a much more enjoyble experience. 2. Vista / Driver issues - Consoles are always easy. Turn on, pop a game in..and your playing in 60 seconds. Im tired of errors after updates on the PC. Then having to update my video drivers to ge things to work again. There is a small resurgence in PC game sales thanks to steam but I suspect the total money spent on PC games compared to the whole industry is below 10%. With one caveat you have to discount money spent on WoW. That being said I recently went back to playing on the PC...LoL has drawn me back. Although if it were available on a console Id go back to that in an instant.
  4. I saw this as well. I will be checking it out this weekend and will post my opinion. Looks very interesting.
  5. You pretty much got the top 3 in that list. That said I like 'Invincible Ultimate Collection' there is 5 of them but the series as whole is not over. Its a good stopping point though. Who am I kidding just read it and deal with wanting more.
  6. Quote:Original post by tstrimp Quote:Original post by Spinoza I'd still like you to try and state what you think what the baseline for fair is when it comes to taxes. We obviously need a progressive system of some sort. I would like to see the income tax system drastically simplified. Get rid of pretty much all of the loopholes and lower taxes a bit across the board to compensate. Social security should be reformed and rolled into the general progressive tax system. People just paying into their own SS account is not sustainable as the funds are not actually reserved for individual retirement payments. This means we rely on a smaller base of people paying for a much larger retirement population. Same with medicare. There should be one number coming out of everyone's paycheck for federal taxes which covers the income tax as we know it now, medicare and social security and it should be so simple that you can calculate it off the back of an envelope. Same with the corporate tax rate. Reduce it considerably and remove the loopholes in the system. Again that really doesn't answer the question unless what your saying is fair is what is most efficient. If that's the case why not just charge everyone the same. Why not just send everyone a bill for 5,000. Would that be fair? Try to answer as simply as possible what is fair when it comes to taxes. Your first sentence. "We obviously need a progressive system of some sort" Why?
  7. Quote:Original post by tstrimp Quote:Original post by Spinoza To tshrimp: I'm curious do you find local property taxes unfair and why or why not? I don't so far. It's much easier to see what your property taxes are going to as they typically have a direct impact on the city you live in. Since they are local, they are also optional. If I had serious objections to property taxes I could move to a state with lower rates. I do have a problem with federal wealth taxes as that money would just disappear into the vast machine that is the federal government with no tangible benefits. Its interesting that you would put it that way. You see local property taxes as fair because they go to local police and fire depts and other things that you see the effect of personally but since you don't see the effects of your income taxes then that isn't so copasetic. I'd still like you to try and state what you think what the baseline for fair is when it comes to taxes.
  8. To tshrimp: I'm curious do you find local property taxes unfair and why or why not?
  9. Quote:Original post by tstrimp Quote:Original post by Spinoza Also you say that having one child drops the average family from 12% effective tax to 3% effective tax rate. I'll be your huckleberry. Explain to me exactly how that works. You've never heard of dependents or child tax credit? In my example where the family makes $50,000 / year. If the couple has no kids, their tax liability is just over $3,000 if they only take the standard deductions. With one child as a dependent, that drops to $2,500 and if they qualify for the child tax credit ($1,000) their liability drops to around $1,500 ($1,500 / $50,000 = 3%). Add another child and their tax liability drops another $500 for the deduction and $1,000 for the child tax credit and they have $0 income tax liability. If their initial tax liability is 12% of 50,000 how does that equal 3,000. 3000 / 50,000 = 6% Did you mean to say that the typical family making 50,000 has a 6% effective tax liability?
  10. Quote:Original post by tstrimp Quote:Original post by LessBread And at any rate, your claim was that we couldn't tax our way out of a deficit. Pointing to 1910 and 7% tax rate does not change the fact that "The US paid for WWII and the Cold War with high taxes, "obscene taxes on the wealthy" actually." You keep conveniently ignoring the fact that it was high taxes on EVERYONE. The bottom tax bracket was 23% for those making less than the equivalent of $24,000 in today's money. They did not fund WW2 by almost exclusively taxing only half the wage earners. My point was you can't pay off the deficit simply by taxing the rich, but I did not make that clear. Quote:Quote:Original post by tstrimp ... and they sure as hell didn't have nearly half the working population paying no income tax at all. How do you know that? What about all those single income households that were so common back in the 1950's and 1960's? The median income for families and individuals was around $2,400. I'm not able to find a source separating individuals from families, so I'll calculate the tax for both. An individual making $2,400 in 1945 would have an effective tax rate of approximately 18%. A family with a single child would have an effective tax rate of approximately 8.6%. If they had another child that would drop down to 3.8%. 1945 Tax Instructions 1945 Census Information Compare that with today. Median income is $50,000 for 2009. An individual with only the standard deductions would have an effective tax rate of around 12%. A family with a single child would have an effective rate of 3%, and a family with two children would actually have a negative effective tax rate. Yes, they would get money back from the government. To summarize, yes the taxes were higher for everyone while paying for WW2. Quote:I always finding amusing when conservatives complain that some people don't pay income tax. Once again... I'm not complaining that half the working population doesn't pay taxes. I'm just saying you're full of shit if you claim the middle class and poor have an unfair tax burden (unless you're talking about state taxes, where I would probably agree with you). Quote:Are you saying that when it comes to fake wars only the poor should pay? I mean, really, the implications of your remark are disgusting. Bush lied the nation into invading Iraq and then cut taxes on his benefactors and everybody but the rich should be stuck with footing the bill? Nope, that's not what I said at all and to be honest I have no idea how you came to that conclusion. You're right about Bush and all that, which is why I don't think we can have exorbitant tax rates to cover the deficit. The government does not have the full support of the people. The relationship between the people and the government is not even close to what it was during WW2 and I believe the only reason they got away with the tax rates they did is because the country was rallied to a cause. If the US had a clear enemy after September 11th, 2001 Bush probably could have raised taxes across the board in order to wage that war. Instead we wasted all of that unity and good will on a bogus war. Do you think people will really jump in line to pay for that? The stimulus bill is another example of something that does not have wide support and will not have many people motivated to paying higher taxes. You say can't tax the wealthier more with out charging the poor more. Why? Also you say that having one child drops the average family from 12% effective tax to 3% effective tax rate. I'll be your huckleberry. Explain to me exactly how that works.
  11. Quote:Original post by Alpha_ProgDes Quote:Original post by Spinoza Quote:Original post by Alpha_ProgDes Quote:Original post by tstrimp I don't think it would be that different from what it is now. The federal income tax is reasonable across the board, and I've said it could even go up a little if they added more brackets. All I'm campaigning against is the idiotic comments that the wealthy aren't paying their fair share, when in reality they are the ones paying in the vast majority of the income tax. Actually I'd like my federal income tax to go down. More money in the pocket and more opportunity to buy things. I ask this as a hypothetical and I ask this to the people more aligned with tshrimp's point of view. If the SS tax was setup like this, would anyone poor, middle, rich, or otherwise really have a problem with this or find this unfair? SS Tax Bracket:$106,800 - 6.2% $250,000 - 4.2% $500,000 - 3.2% $500,001 and up - 1.2% The Tea-party would howel like the world is coming to an end if you tried that. So is that enough to make SS completely funded? It would definitely make it solvent until 2100. Seems like an acceptable solution to me. Although I must admit I personally think creating private accounts held by the public is a better solution to the issue as a whole.
  12. Quote:Original post by Alpha_ProgDes Quote:Original post by tstrimp I don't think it would be that different from what it is now. The federal income tax is reasonable across the board, and I've said it could even go up a little if they added more brackets. All I'm campaigning against is the idiotic comments that the wealthy aren't paying their fair share, when in reality they are the ones paying in the vast majority of the income tax. Actually I'd like my federal income tax to go down. More money in the pocket and more opportunity to buy things. I ask this as a hypothetical and I ask this to the people more aligned with tshrimp's point of view. If the SS tax was setup like this, would anyone poor, middle, rich, or otherwise really have a problem with this or find this unfair? SS Tax Bracket:$106,800 - 6.2% $250,000 - 4.2% $500,000 - 3.2% $500,001 and up - 1.2% The Tea-party would howel like the world is coming to an end if you tried that. So is that enough to make SS completely funded?
  13. Quote:Original post by tstrimp Quote:Original post by Spinoza You also seem hell bent on conflating income with wealth. Lets say for the sake of argument that we got rid of the DoD and DoJ and people had to hire mercenaries to protect there assets(wealth), do you think they would charge proportional to the amount of income a person has or the amount of property and assets they have to protect. I'm quite certain it would be the later. And you would be wrong. They would charge relative to the difficulty of the job. A rich man doesn't have to pay a plumber millions of dollars to unclog a drain. He would likely pay the same as almost anyone else in the same situation. The US doesn't have special military units surrounding these rich peoples houses protecting them more effectively than others in the country. The rich don't have special pothole free roads that only they are allowed to use. Quote:Last, I keep asking what you believe an equitable tax system would be. I don't think it would be that different from what it is now. The federal income tax is reasonable across the board, and I've said it could even go up a little if they added more brackets. All I'm campaigning against is the idiotic comments that the wealthy aren't paying their fair share, when in reality they are the ones paying in the vast majority of the income tax. I agree they would charge relative to the difficulty of the job. If you have a big mansion they would charge more than if you have a small hovel. If they are guarding a treasure chest of diamonds and gems they would charge more than if they are protecting your sack of grain. So we seem to be in agreement on this. "The federal income tax is reasonable across the board" Why? What reasoning are you using to say it makes sense to base taxes proportioned to income.
  14. Quote:Original post by tstrimp Quote:Original post by Spinoza Why? Would you not agree that one of the central roles of a free-market government is the protection and enforcement of property rights. You argue that they have already paid taxes on that wealth but isn't that protection of their property rights an ongoing role of the government. Sounds like you're proposing extortion. Give us your money or we won't "protect" you anymore. Keep in mind that most of this wealth is tied up in investments. You're proposing taking money out of the stock market to make a little extra cash for the government? Do you honestly believe that would have a positive net effect? Quote:If you compare the tax liability vs wealth distribution it follows a fairly close relationship except at the very end. Really the only huge disparity is how much taxes the richie rich pay, not even the richest 1% its more like the richest 1/2%. I don't have the link in front of me but the richest 1/2 % own roughly 25% of the wealth and are responsible for only about 16% of the taxes if my memory serves me correctly. According to this site: http://www.taxfoundation.org/news/show/250.html The top 0.1% earn 10% of the total income and pay 20% of all the taxes. They are still paying more of a total percentage of income taxes than what they bring in as income. You are still trying to confuse the issue by bringing wealth into the picture. I'm not proposing extortion at all. The MAJORITY of income tax will still be spent defending and enforcing property rights. I consider every penny Uncle Sammy spends towards the DoD and the DoJ to be doing exactly that. Do you believe that is a trivial amount of the money that income tax is used for? The only thing I am doing is acknowledging that money is being spent defending and enforcing property rights and that the proportion of taxes collected from it citizens should somewhat reflect this proportion. In general it does except at very tippy top. The richest 1/2% do not pay a proportion equal to the amount of wealth they poses. You also seem hell bent on conflating income with wealth. Lets say for the sake of argument that we got rid of the DoD and DoJ and people had to hire mercenaries to protect there assets(wealth), do you think they would charge proportional to the amount of income a person has or the amount of property and assets they have to protect. I'm quite certain it would be the later. Last, I keep asking what you believe an equitable tax system would be. What system and what LOGIC would be used to effect this system. I have already stated mine. I believe that a primary role of a free-market government is the protection and enforcement of property rights and that because of this taxes should in some measure reflect the amount of wealth each citizen has. Do you have the courage to put fourth what you believe or is criticism of others ideas the only thing you posses.
  15. Quote:Original post by tstrimp Quote:Original post by Khaiy Why should a part of the population that makes 46% of all income and holds 80% of allwealth not pay taxes that reflect that incredible disparity, especially when that income is often not tied to performance or value generated (as in the case of wall street executives this year). First of all, wealth (other than through property taxes) isn't taxed and shouldn't be. They have already paid income tax or inheritance taxes on that accumulated wealth. Why? Would you not agree that one of the central roles of a free-market government is the protection and enforcement of property rights. You argue that they have already paid taxes on that wealth but isn't that protection of their property rights an ongoing role of the government. If you compare the tax liability vs wealth distribution it follows a fairly close relationship except at the very end. Really the only huge disparity is how much taxes the richie rich pay, not even the richest 1% its more like the richest 1/2%. I don't have the link in front of me but the richest 1/2 % own roughly 25% of the wealth and are responsible for only about 16% of the taxes if my memory serves me correctly.