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Leftists Understand Economics When it Suits Them

What’s the right way to define good tax policy? There are several possible answers to that question, including the all-important observation that the goal should be to only collect the amount of revenue needed to finance the legitimate functions of government and not one penny above that amount.

But what if we want a more targeted definition? A simple principle to shape our understanding of tax policy?

I’m partial to what I wrote last year.

the essential insight of supply-side economics…when you tax something, you get less of it.

I’m not claiming this is my idea, by the way. It’s been around for a long time.

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Chicago’s Top Cop Keeps Pushing for Unpopular Gun Law

“Unfortunately politics rears its ugly head.”

Yep, that’ll happen.

Johnson’s point, that implementation would create a “mental culture to not pick up a gun,” may or may not prove to be true. Regardless, it doesn’t diminish the fact that repeat violent gun offenders should be taken off the streets; the longer, the better. Unfortunately politics rears its ugly head.

Source: bearingarms.com

Gun control: Remington plant lays off 120 as gun makers report declining sales

Case in point is top American arms maker Remington Outdoor Co., which earlier this month laid off 120 workers at one of its plants in upstate New York. Trump’s victory, which has likely eased anxiety over stronger gun laws, has impacted the company’s handgun sales, the WSJ reported. Industry sales declines at the moment is “a dynamic from which Remington is not immune,” a company spokeswoman said.

Source: RT America

Cobalt Advantage Reloading System (CARS) “Beta” Program

If you have never seen the Cobalt Kinetics rifles (https://cobaltkinetics.com), you are in for a visual treat.

While not into the flashy, I am very appreciative of the technology that is going into producing these functional works of art, and the sport that drives it.

Cobalt Kinetics seems to be transforming and combining the best features of the old with the contemporary technology, materials, and manufacturing processes of today, which places their rifle in the price range of the average enthusiast.

Will they hold up in a fight? I don’t know, so some stress testing to find out how much punishment they can take in comparison to a regular AR would be in order.

However, they look solid so the results may surprise the skeptical.

And there is more to be pleased with.

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Dooming Illinois?

Illinois Might Be Doomed to Financial Collapse

Once of the reasons that tax increases in Washington are such a bad idea (and one of the reasons why a value-added tax is an especially bad idea) is that the prospect of additional tax revenue kills any possibility of genuine entitlement reform. Simply stated, politicians won’t do the heavy lifting of fixing those programs if they think can use a tax hike to prop up the current system for a few more years.

However, if we don’t fix the entitlements, the United States faces a very grim fiscal future regardless of new revenue because the burden of government spending will be expanding faster than the growth of the private economy.

Indeed, tax hikes presumably will accelerate the problems by weakening economic performance, creating an even bigger gap between the growth of government spending and the growth of productive output. Sort of a double violation of my Golden Rule.

Tax Payers Are Escaping

Well, the same thing is happening in Illinois.

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Following Watson and blockchain, quantum computing to deliver next powerful set of services on IBM Cloud platform

Yorktown Heights, N.Y. – 06 Mar 2017: IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced today an industry-first initiative to build commercially available universal quantum computing systems. “IBM Q” quantum systems and services will be delivered via the IBM Cloud platform. While technologies that currently run on classical computers, such as Watson, can help find patterns and insights buried in vast amounts of existing data, quantum computers will deliver solutions to important problems where patterns cannot be seen because the data doesn’t exist and the possibilities that you need to explore to get to the answer are too enormous to ever be processed by classical computers.

IBM also announced today:

  • The release of a new API (Application Program Interface) for the IBM Quantum Experience that enables developers and programmers to begin building interfaces between its existing five quantum bit (qubit) cloud-based quantum computer and classical computers, without needing a deep background in quantum physics.

Source: IBM

BREAKING: WikiLeaks’ Vault 7 Shows How CIA Spies on Your TV, Phone, PC, Mac, and More

A similar unit targets Google’s Android which is used to run the majority of the world’s smart phones (~85%) including Samsung, HTC and Sony. 1.15 billion Android powered phones were sold last year. “Year Zero” shows that as of 2016 the CIA had 24 “weaponized” Android “zero days” which it has developed itself and obtained from GCHQ, NSA and cyber arms contractors. These techniques permit the CIA to bypass the encryption of WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, Wiebo, Confide and Cloackman by hacking the “smart” phones that they run on and collecting audio and message traffic before encryption is applied.

Source: thefreethoughtproject.com

Uber Uses Maneuver Theory (finding the gaps and exploiting them) to Subvert Trolls

Greyball: Uber’s Super Cool App to Subvert Trolls

What can a company do about trolls who use their technology to hurt the company and other consumers? It’s a tough problem for a technology company like Uber because anyone can download the app and summon a car and get picked up. Some of these accounts, inevitably, will belong to bad actors who are up to no good.

Reputation data for individual users are fantastic, but there’s still the problem that users can make new accounts. What can you do?

Several years ago, reveals the New York Times, Uber had a fantastic idea. For a suspected malevolent troll who used the service, the company dropped an extra layer on their smartphone application. The passenger would call a car, someone would answer the query, but then the ride would be canceled. This happened repeatedly. The beauty of this strategy is that the person doesn’t know it is happening and the process discourages the creation of new user accounts.

It’s not blackballing. It’s about being “greyballed,” which is the name of the application.

Peacefully Blocking Bureaucrats

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Bitcoin competing with Gold?

One Bitcoin Is Now Worth More Than an Ounce of Gold

Editorial note: the relationship between the Bitcoin price and gold is interesting as a symbol of Bitcoin’s market success, and the broader success of cryptocurrency general, but has no greater structural significance. Moreover, the market capitalization of the gold market is vastly higher. Even so, given the widespread perception of gold as a safe haven, this event could have implications for the future of Bitcoin and similar digital assets.

One bitcoin has now, at least briefly, been worth more than one ounce of gold, hitting $1239.9 at the bitcoin exchange Bitstamp, while an ounce of gold was priced at $1238.67. The last time a single bitcoin might have been worth more than an ounce of gold happened in November 2013, more than three years ago. Having taken place based on Mt. Gox pricing models, possibly manipulated due to internal Mt. Gox trading bot(s), the legitimacy of bitcoin’s first dance with gold parity faces continued scrutiny. Regardless, the price of gold in bitcoin terms is now trading at an all-time low.Bitcoin increased more than 125% over the course of 2016.

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