is our government smarter than a college sophomore?
I would expect our government uses more advanced security than simple public keys ... so basically the threat described above is zero if the right precautions are taken.
however if lazy Field Agent A is pissed that his secure network is running too slow and decides to email sensitive files via gmail .... well all bets are off. or move files to his thumbstick and plug it in at an internet cafe...
There is no corporate tax, there is only consumer tax.
A lower tax bill for a company means:
A) more money to reinvest in their business (buildings, more employees, better employee compensation, etc)
B) more profits to pass along to shareholders (dividends, rising share price, etc)
C) lower prices of their goods and/or services
It seems like people view corporations as these big pits that money goes into but doesn't come out. It also doesn't seem like we think critically about who actually pays for the taxes imposed on businesses. They simply build it into their cost structure and it is the consumer that ultimately pays that tax, not some entity called 'a corporation' ... essentially they're turned into a shadow tax collector.
I myself was excited reading the article ... with 'at last / how cool is this?' type of thoughts.
When I finished the article though I realized exactly what you assert, that it is still essentially a donation.
If I do a 'mental game' and picture myself with two options, a $10 credit in a bank account where I have to manually allocate (and track) my outpayemts ($0.01) at a time it feels very different vs setting the amount I want to pay per month, and then allocating it equally via my selections.
I can see how the latter is much less emotionally 'costly', as it is much easier to pass out payments because I already consider that $10 "gone" ... so, in the end, it is very likely that as a consumer in this system I end up spending MORE than I would have had I been required to make decisions $0.01 at a time. This is why it is an ingenious innovation.
Which I think helps me be more clear on my point: This has the potential to completely change the way online payments are made to content creators -- or maybe a better way to describe it would be to say it has the potential to create a significantly large new revenue stream. But, they still need to convince me why I need to pay $10 a month, or $20, or $50. Give me an additional RTB and I'll gladly pay it. Simply asking for donations isn't going to be a game changer.
Then it doesn't sound like a very effective business model.
I think this is a very innovative way to allow the consumer (fan) to choose how to allocate payments to services they find valuable. I won't deny that the patron model will garner some support ... but I see legitimate opportunity in this model to make a significant impact on the market - something it won't do as a 'coin tossing' enterprise, but could do with adding real value.
Interesting article Mike, I'll admit I was thinking "wow, cool" through the post. I agree that potentially it could be very useful as an indicator because people have actual money on the line. Reminds me a lot about studies done on 'betting markets' (http://www.econlib.org/) and how they produce accurate predictions.
I noticed you didn't mention an important point you typically highlight ... what is my RTB? What value, addition, incentive is there for the consumer? Why am I giving them money? Because I have too? Because I want too? Until there is a clear RTB beyond "we want you too" ... I don't see the point. I do think they are on to something though - it just needs the proper incentives. Very innovative thinking.
makers mark is not very good bourbon anyway, and their tour is subpar. pretty much anything from buffalo trace beats it hands down. so does the elijah craig (both the 12 and 18 year) from heaven hill, and then kentucky spirit and russels reserve from wild turkey. so much great bourbon to drink, why waste your money?
~$20 range, buy elijah craig 12 year. nothing beats it for that price.
~$40 kentucky spirit or elijah craig 18 year
~$60 william larue weller - barrel proof, unfiltered (one of the best bourbons you'll ever drink, period)
~$120+ pappy van winkle - 20 or 23 year old ...
Well said! Good job keeping your cool and not being baited into a sarcastic flame war.
I agree one of the biggest problems with respect to our health industries today is that the consumer and the customer are two different groups.
The consumer is the person who uses a good or service, the customer is the person who pays for it. And when the consumer is not the customer we get all kinds of strange behavior. Consumers consuming with no regard to the cost, or customers refusing to pay because they don't see the value.
And thank you to Mike for pointing out in his post that "Health Care" reform should be more appropriately named "Heath Insurance" reform.
Not one of the goals of this legislation was to "Improve the Quality of Care" ... all the stated objectives deal with how to pay for care. An important piece of the puzzle, but it is not the same. Health Care != Health Insurance.
Unfortunately I believe that the issues have been purposefully misrepresented with the intent to divide us (the people) and keep the arguments over moral principles and not over the detailed implementation. A detailed implementation that will, in all likelihood, not fulfill the stated moral objectives it was passed upon....
Also, who has read the bill? I keep trying but it is extremely difficult to follow...I'm no where near through it all....
The disc is dying. Yes, my computer has a DVD drive - but for how long will that remain relevant? 5 years? 10 years? I have 32GB USB flash drives that can handle much more abuse than a CD/DVD, (multiple trips through the washer and dryer have proven it....), can be used much more easily than a DVD (faster read/write), and are generally more useful (portable HD, live boot OS, etc) ....
So what happens when those flash drives are 1TB? 10TB's? When the CD/DVD is replaced? They will be -- think back to the year 2000 - 3 1/2 floppy drives were still standard in some machines. What happens 10 years from now? When laptops are built w/ wireless networking cards and USB/Bluetooth only? (oh wait.....)
The problem with the Music/Movie Distribution business is that there will no longer be a need to go buy the latest physical medium to play a recording. That business model just no longer works. The distribution network has already been put in place - now they are just scrambling to keep the old revenue stream alive. I don't blame them, I wouldn't want to give up easy money either - I just don't think it is sustainable.
"Maybe people just didn't like the album enough to buy it."
Maybe people just didn't *want to buy what you were selling.*
Think about it. People don't 'want' to buy pieces of plastic to carry around. They didn't enjoy carrying around cases of tapes that hold their favorite songs ... some people still want to buy Vinyl ... but thats more a niche market than a high volume sale these days.
It is just no longer a viable market to rely on CD sales... people don't want them! Just look at the floor space in a best buy (or similar) dedicated to CDs. It has dropped substantially because people were never in love with buying CD's, they are in love with listening to the music in the most convenient, highest quality format for the time. IE - 8track -> cassette -> CD -> MP3 ... CD's do not offer any real benefit over a high quality digital file that easily transfers to their latest music player.
It is like releasing a new video game on 5 1/4" floppy discs and then complaining at the low volume of sales ... i imagine 95% of the population does not even has the hardware to read that type of disc anymore. People just don't want to buy them.
Likewise, when everyone owns an MP3 player .... why would anyone buy a CD?
Did you ever go to the site? Allofmp3.com wasn't popular only because it was cheaper - it gave customers options. Not only was it easy to use, it provided DRM free downloads and price was set by the download bandwidth. If you wanted a 128kbp Mp3 a typical album would cost 2-3bucks. But you could also choose a bunch of different formats like wav, flac, etc...
It gave people a RTB and delivered what customers wanted, at a price they were willing to pay. I browsed the site quite a bit but never purchased because it was a Russian based site and just didn't feel comfortable -- but had it been a US site I would have simply for the convenience factor.
While you might disagree with my use of "fine" - the point was not a rant against or a discussion of the pros/cons of health care coverage.
I am pointing out a very public example of moral panic being used to lead people to achieve a goal. Now, the merits of the goal, or if we agree/disagree with that is not in the scope of this post. We could point to others (WMD for Iraq, Global Warming, etc) if it makes you feel better, but the underlying principle is the same.
The details have been wrapped in vague language designed to appeal and excite the most amount of people as possible, and the debate has been framed by comparisons to UK/Canadian/Socialist style health care ... neither which are representative to the actual bill going through congress.
Again, the Catch-22 is if our reps (and the news) actually debated the facts/implementation policy it would be nearly impossible to gain enough support to make any type of change. Not only would people be bored to tears, they would disagree on the details.
However, by distorting facts and creating moral panics (death panels, etc) the short term effect might be to motivate people to a goal, but ultimately it loses effectiveness because you either lose credibility if shown to be wrong, or people become numb to constant so-called catastrophes.
134 comments ... only about 5 that I could count on topic to the article posted above...my hat off to the troll - fine work you have done on this thread.
It is very much this sensationalist mentality that has slowly turned me off of the standard TV 'news' or listening to any politician/debate. I find it ridiculous that everything is either a catastrophe or miracle and needs immediate attention.
For example, I had a friend who had the best stories - and at first they seemed amazing - but over time one would hear the same stories told a little differently, details would be different, places would change - it wasn't hard to figure out that they were, in fact, just stories and not true events. This eventually made it very difficult for me to pay attention when he told new stories, as I had no confidence at all that they were true. He had no credibility.
Likewise, I have an complete lack of trust for 99% of mainstream news or when I read a press release from any of our elected politicians. I feel the sensationalizing of the issue hurts their credibility, and quite frankly, I'm tired of it.
In debates the issues are not framed by the true goals or outputs, but by how best to convince the majority of people that it is something they want. Take the health care debate -- I think if you asked 100 people on the street what it means when our politicians say "We want to cover everyone" or "It is our moral duty to extend coverage to all" ... you'll get 100 different answers. The reason is simple, the discussion has been framed in a way that is vague and appealing, lacks details, and thus can be interpreted by those listening in a way they can agree with or support. So, people's expectations for implementation are very different than what is truly being proposed. I have talked to a number of people (and in reading comments on blogs/news sites) that think the health care bill is "Socialized Medicine" and will be "free" based upon our current taxes. This is very far from the truth. It would be interesting to see the results if the President would come out and say "I want everyone to be covered, and to do this we will require everyone in this country to go buy insurance. If you cannot find insurance on your own, you must pay the government for coverage at a price based upon your income and family size. If you fail to pay for insurance you will be assessed a fine through higher federal income taxes, and failure to pay income tax could result in jail time."
The details matter very much for implementation, and I imagine they would garner much less support for the current bill if that is what was discussed.
Which I think is the catch-22. If you discuss the details with 300 million people, you will have 300 million different solutions and probably never get the support needed. If you argue the concepts you can probably convince enough people it's the right thing to do, although though a form of deception. Deception being the willful allowance (and/or directed) of false expectations.