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About Ryan99

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  1. WSJ linkBut people are seeking jobs, that's why unemployment is at 8%. The way the US counts unemployment does not include people who have given up looking for jobs or are underemployed, so actual unemployment is much higher than 8%. If people are unemployed by choice and there are jobs out there for people who want them, why can't 8% of the workforce find a job?The reality is that the available jobs are low paying, low quality jobs. Your article essentially makes the argument that if people had fewer unemployment benefits they would be more willing to take a crappy job. I'm sure that's true. But you should also ask the question "Why are there so few good jobs available when corporations are making record profits?".
  2. All innovations are extensions of existing technology. To think nothing was invented because "smart phones are just fancy regular phones" is pretty ignorant.
  3. What about it is "not at all American"? And what specifically concerns you? It sounds like you think "American" means 55% voter turnout for the presidential elections and 35% turnout for midterm elections. The reality is certain groups benefit by other groups having low voter turnout and push hard to retain the low turnout. We all saw how hard the republicans tried to disenfranchise people this past election.
  4. Are you worried about more people voting or do you just not want to incur the expense? If it's the latter you can have a penalty for not voting instead of a check for voting. More people voting is always a positive. The country would be much better off if the demographics of voters more closely tracked the demographics of the overall population.
  5. Not a major problem but one with an easy fix is the electoral college. It disenfranchises something like 90% of the electorate. Interstate compact to assign all votes to the winner of the popular vote would end it.Also low voter turnout is a problem. Or more accurately disproportionate turnout. It gives way to much power to certain groups which are small in number but high in voters. It also forces politicians to skew older (in terms of their platforms). It's why marijuana and gay marriage are still illegal. The fix is mandatory voting. Make voting one week long with one day a federal holiday. All states must have easily used mail in ballots. Transition to online voting in the near future. If you don't vote you pay a penalty or if you do vote you get a check. $100 sounds about right.
  6. I think having experience as an executive in a large financial institution should be a strong negative for a candidate for the Treasury Secretary. It is like putting the former head of BP in charge of the EPA.Why is that person going to be more beholden to their old job as opposed to their new job? Do you think real world high level financial experience could help someone working in the treasury? I just don't think you make these wide generalizations as may be blocking out as many bad candidates as you are good. Each person should be judged individually for each position.They're more beholden to their old job because their old (and likely future job when they leave government) made them $100 million and their job in the government made them $500,000.
  7. You have to balance representatives not serving their constituents because they aren't eligible for reelection and not serving their constituents because they spend all their time campaigning. I personally believe the latter to be a much bigger problem. Do presidents or other term limited officials fail to serve their constituents because they aren't up for reelection? If anything not being up for reelection frees the politician to actually serve his constituents, rather than serve the special interests which are critical for his reelection campaign.Rookie politicians may be better able to navigate the minefield of special interests and lobbyists than life career politicians. Long time politicians are so entrenched with certain lobbyists and special interest groups that the groups basically run the office the representative was elected for. New blood can be very effective at combating this, and they can also bring in new ideas and are more in sync with public opinion. I think one problem with our representative government is that it doesn't reflect the demographics of the country (in age, but also in wealth, race, gender, etc.). Having new blood could help with this. There certainly is, however I think the evidence at this point strongly indicates that the harm done by these people strongly outweighs the good. Certainly the original though process to get these people was that they know how the system works and will therefore be better regulators and decision makers. And maybe that worked for a while. But it's obvious now that the financial insiders running the regulatory agencies and holding other important financial positions in the government are primarily using their positions to further their own future careers at the firms they are supposed to be regulating.Jack Lew is a great example. He pushed hard for financial deregulation while he worked for Clinton then went and ran a group at Citigroup that could only exist due to the deregulation he helped pass. His group assisted in crashing the economy due to said deregulation and he is now going to be running the treasury (which oversees the bank bailout of his once and likely future employer). He has publicly stated (when he was questioned by Bernie Sanders) that deregulation was not a major contributor to the economic collapse. It should be obvious to everybody that the negatives of Lew's Wall Street association far outweigh any potential benefit. Specific holdings in banks? Absolutely not allowed. A general index fund? That would be fine. And all his financial information should be publicly available so that when he makes decisions the citizens of this country know exactly how that affects his finances.
  8. I'm telling you: conscripted voters. It's like jury duty, except for 2 years. If your name comes up, boom, you're a US Representative. There's no lobbying and no campaigning and no lifelong politicians. We just get a cross-section of America figuring #### out. Hey. It's not like it could be worse.I think this would backfire. What would happen, with this group of people that doesn't know what they're doing, is the actual decisions would get made by another group that does know what it's doing (similar to what happens now with ALEC and people like that). But it would be even worse than now because the "officials" would have even less influence than they do now.Speaking of Jury Duty, I think we should have professional jurors that are educated, take CPE courses and are accountable to the public.
  9. People continue to cite a lack of term limits on this board. I'm not seeing it. Smart voters, not term limits. Term limits make the lobbyists even more powerful, it is crazy.The problem with not having term limits is that the most important thing is getting reelected, not governing. Politicians have figured out that campaigning and running ads is much more correlated with getting reelected than governing well is, so that's what they do with their time. Sure, getting better voters would fix this but that's a huge culture change. Enacting term limits would allow politicians to govern instead of campaign and would be a simple thing to institute.I would like to see extended service time for House members along with term limits for all congressmen. I also think there should be a minimum time between someone being employed in upper levels of government and being employed in the private sector in a related industry; you could come from Goldman and be your town's mayor but not Treasury Secretary for instance. Also much more extensive (and better enforced) rules about conflicts of interest with elected officials, especially concerning previous places of employment. Jack Lew should be ineligible for the Treasury Secretary job simply because of his employment history with Citigroup.
  10. Seconded.Money controlling politics is a problem but not the fundamental problem. The reason there is so much money in politics is because there's a huge payoff if you win. Anytime you have a system that distributes trillions of dollars it's going to be in people's best interest to pay a lot of money to influence that system. Greatly reducing the influence of the government is not a practical fix ... even if the size of the government is reduced by 90% you're still talking about a system that takes and spends hundreds of billions of dollars per year, so people will still be willing to spend billions to influence it. I think the solution is to simplify and make transparent the process for deciding how tax money gets spent and to hold officials criminally liable if they break the rules. That means we need a strong oversight and enforcement arm of the government.I think if you are a government official above some level of power your life and actions should be completely exposed to the public. Essentially you have no privacy and your actions are publicly disseminated. Your daily schedule is posted online and all your conversations and government business is recorded and made publicly accessible. It's readily apparent that we can't trust our own officials and that our representatives do not represent us, so this doesn't seem that drastic to me. If your kid repeatedly got into trouble you'd demand to know what they we doing at all times, I don't see why we should not be even more careful about checking up on our politicians given that they've done far worse things than a kid ever could.The other part of the problem is a public that is disinterested in the political process and it's results. I think apathy is a bigger problem than hyper-partisan fundamentalists. Lack of knowledge of said fundamentalists is probably second. Very few people actually know what's going on and care.
  11. Coursera is a website that offers free online college courses. The courses tend to be oriented more on the technical side (Math, finance, biology etc.). The thing that intrigued me about it is that the courses are actual university courses that enrolled students take simultaneously with the online students. for instance I just signed up for an intro level course in economics taught by Antonio Rangel, who's an associate professor at Caltech. Anyone have any experience with this site? Any good / bad courses people know of?
  12. I tried PMing you about the job stuff but the system says you can't receive them. Perhaps your inbox is full, if there is such a thing?

  13. You'd be stupid not to take a risk on a guy with so much marketability. There's a lot less downside to drafting a guy now because of how the rookie salaries work. And don't think for a second that the fact he's a running quarterback who's white has escaped the attention of teams' marketing departments. Is this guy superior to Tim Tebow? That should tell you where he's going to be drafted. And Tebow worked out pretty well for the team that drafted him. One playoff win and a ton of merchandise sold and then swapped out for Peyton and a fourth round pick.
  14. No, it isn't.You don't know anything about the condition under which he revealed the given information, only that it is true. Any other assumptions are outside the scope of the problem.
  15. With no additional information you assume cases are equally likely. The statement "one of my children is a boy" narrows the possible group of men this guy is drawn from to all men with two kids and at least one boy. You assume he is randomly drawn from this group and the probability his other kid is a girl is 2/3. To conclude otherwise means you are assuming things outside of the information given to you.This is the way probability problems are done. If you are given a piece of information you narrow the set to include all elements for which the information is true. You then draw randomly from this group. If you do otherwise (to get 50% for this problem, for instance) you are going to get a different answer than a statistician would get. Except I am not the one assuming. Did we randomly find out that one of the children was a boy or did we ask specifically ask if either child is a boy. You are seeing more in the statement than what was said.It doesn't matter.Here's the original information: "A man tells you he has two children. He then starts talking about his son." All you know about the man is that he has 2 children and at least one boy. Everything else is irrelevant to the problem. If you solve the problem as is you get 2/3 as the answer. You can assume all sorts of things that change the probability, but these are outside of the original questions as asked. There was no asking of anything. This is all the information you have.