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About felice

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  1. You mean since the industrial revolution? Hmmm... I wonder if there could possibly be some factor other than the free market that might have contributed to the rise in income and reduction in work hours? Adjusting for inflation, income for most people in the US has been pretty stagnant for decades; well under 1% increase per year on average. Funnily enough, that's around when China started industrialising on a large scale... do you think maybe there could be a connection between large scale use of increasingly sophisticated technology and rising average income? A wild theory, I know. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Danes_by_net_worth Denmark is a lot less awful than the US, but it still has billionaires. Which means a significant chunk of GDP being wasted on obscene luxury for the megarich instead of more/better goods and services for everyone else. Have you considered that might be due to the rulers of repressive and authoritarian states choosing to accumulate more wealth and power for themselves, rather than a problem inherent to state ownership? Are there any examples of an established democratic, prosperous, low-corruption country choosing more state ownership and it going badly? North Korea is a feudal hereditary monarchy; that's pretty much the exact opposite of a communist government.
  2. felice

    Ant-Man and the Wasp and the Spoilers

    He's always taken risks with potentially serious negative consequences. That's how he ended up under house arrest at the start of the film. It's how he ended up in prison at the start of the first film. His daughter encourages him to do what he wanted to do anyway.
  3. felice

    Ant-Man and the Wasp and the Spoilers

    What arc? How is he different between the start and end of the film? He's no longer under house arrest, but that's just because time has passed. He gets back together with Hope, but that's because she forgives him. Hope could very easily have been given more of an arc if the script writers had given it any thought. Not that it's a bad film; it's a great deal of fun.
  4. felice

    More Things Star Wars

    Huh. Will it include completing the episodes that currently exist as animatics?
  5. felice

    Ant-Man and the Wasp and the Spoilers

    This really should have been The Wasp, with Ant-Man as her comic relief sidekick. It's about rescuing her mum, the crime boss who's after her dad's tech, dealing with her dad's dubious past (though his responsibility for Ghost's problem turned out to pretty tenuous), and the lengths she'll go to in her quest (kidnapping Scott and risking his whole future). But for some reason it's written as Scott's story?
  6. How is that worse than what we've got now, where the private owners of wealth don't event need to pretend to care about anything other than their own interests? I'm suggesting putting a large number of accountable public servants in control of capital, and to the extent competition really is necessary, we can require them to compete with each other. And I don't think anyone has commented on the subsidised crowdfunding model, where the decisions are entirely up to the general public and no individual has significant power over allocation.
  7. Ownership isn't the same as control. Individual entrepreneurs would still be coming up with their own business plans and running their companies as they saw fit, within reasonable guidelines. They'd just be working for different shareholders, who care about more than just maximising profit. Oh, and executive salaries would be capped at a more reasonable level. Most people wouldn't see much difference in their day-to-day lives, aside from their standard of living increasing. The $2m isn't for business ownership; I was thinking more along the lines of personal homes etc. It's probably overgenerous. We don't need AI for our incredible ability to acquire, transmit, and process data to be useful. We've already got companies bigger than small countries that operate on a command basis internally and use IT to be vastly more efficient than any organisation of comparable size could have been in the past. IT gives totalitarian governments more power; it doesn't cause totalitarianism. It can potentially give democratic governments more power to protect their institutions against corruption, if used well.
  8. The starting point is "exactly the same institutions we have now operating in exactly the same way, just under different ownership"; I agree that the current system isn't efficient But we're really talking about designing a whole new socio-economic system, which is a pretty big job for one person posting on a fantasy book forum. Personally I think "how could the potential issues with such a system be addressed" would make for a more interesting conversation than "that can't possibly work". It's necessary but not sufficient.
  9. Conflict of interest regulations. If you know the applicant, hand the application over to someone else to deal with.
  10. If you're currently a business owner with substantially more than $2 million in personal wealth, then relatively speaking, sure, your standard of living is going to go down. Funnily enough, most people don't fall into that category, and by those standards, the vast majority are already living in a dismally unpleasant place. I'm not advocating centralisation, just nationalisation of ownership of capital. You'd still have multiple potential investors who could give you project the go ahead, they'd just all be working for the government rather than private capital owners. It wasn't very much like my scheme, and we've got a century's worth of technological advances to apply to the problem (information technology in particular). And the Soviet Union started off as an impoverished feudal backwater, which wasn't exactly prime conditions for founding a utopia. Not that the capitalist world is entirely free of nepotism and class discrimination.
  11. A government fund would have different priorities, so of course private investment would produce greater financial returns, along with negative externalities. And as long as private capital exists, it's going to keep growing as a percentage of total wealth, which is a big problem in the long term. I'm proposing two sources, and there's no reason the bottleneck needs to be any worse than the current situation if the VC Department is adequately resourced. If the State is unreasonably imprisoning or murdering people, you've got bigger problems than where venture capital comes from! Confiscate personal wealth in excess of, say, $2 million? Stock markets are abolished, banks etc can continue largely unchanged as places to store money and get loans. Pensions should be the government's responsibility. Transparency is a strong counter to that sort of thing. Commercial sensitivity becomes largely irrelevant, so the whole process can be open to public scrutiny and criticism that makes it hard to get away with bias or corruption. Nobody gets special terms; the government owns all the businesses. Any company that needs additional funds to continue would be evaluated, and either wound up, bailed out, or handed over to someone more competent to run. "Influential supporter" currently tends to mean "donates a lot of money", which would no longer be a factor, and running a business into the ground isn't going to do anyone's non-financial influence much good. Private investors have also been known to make bad picks. I don't know much about Leyland, but Coal was a dying industry no matter what anyone did, and Steel was in a mess before being nationalised. And the government was often prioritising employment over profits, which isn't what a private owner would do but is perhaps better for the country as a whole.
  12. What I'm suggesting isn't a command-style economy; it's more like nationalising the venture capitalists. As a starting point, you'd have the exact same people with the exact same funds available to invest in exactly the same way, the only difference being that they'd be paid a salary* instead of getting a return on investments, with any profit going back to the government. It can be improved from there. For a start, the criteria for accepting a proposal should change to consider the public good. Eg a proposal to make a more addictive form of chocolate would certainly be a profitable one that any private venture capitalist would jump at, but would be rejected by anyone who takes ethics into account. And the same system could fund projects that won't make any profit but have benefits for the community, the environment, etc. And the current venture capitalists aren't necessarily the best people for the job. You'd need a wide range of specialists in various fields to properly evaluate different proposals and determine whether they're potentially viable. I'm also suggesting a state-subsidised crowdfunding system, where anything can get funding as long as enough people back it, no matter what the government thinks about it (anything legal, anyway). (* though do the megarich actually make their own investment decisions now, or do they already hire people to do that for them?)
  13. felice

    More Things Star Wars

    That day, Vader was amazed to discover that when Fett was saying "As you wish", what he meant was, "I love you."
  14. felice

    U.S. Politics: Kraving for Kavanaugh

    In place of. If you've got privately-owned capital at all, it will keep growing like cancer. Nobody deserves to be paid for having money.
  15. felice

    U.S. Politics: Kraving for Kavanaugh

    I'd suggest something like a Department of Venture Capital, to which anyone could submit a business proposal for consideration. If rejected, they could either make changes to address the flaws in the proposal before resubmitting to the same caseworker, or resubmit requesting a different caseworker if they think the first made a bad decision. And/or a state-subsidised crowdfunding system, with successful campaigns automatically getting government funding at some multiple of the amount raised through pledges. All the benefits of socialism, without losing the freedom to innovate. Also, we could abolish tax, since if all capital was publicly owned, government services could be funded out of profits.