EppsNet Archive: Money

See You in Hell

[See You in Hell is a feature by our guest blogger, Satan — PE] The pope said yesterday that Satan — that’s me — “has been let loose and he’s got it in for the bishops.” My reaction is that I am proud to be thrown under the bus alongside rape victims, abused unwed mothers and financial whistleblowers for the greater “good” of the church. By the way, have you noticed that “prophet” and “profit” are homonyms? See you in Hell! Read more →

A Close Encounter with Burt Reynolds’ Legacy

I’m having dinner at a Japanese restaurant . . . in the booth behind me are a couple straight out of Sons of Anarchy. The man is about 45, large, with a shaved head, tattoos and a motorcycle jacket. Same description for the woman, except for the shaved head. Her jacket is emblazoned with PROPERTY OF TROG (or FROG or ????, couldn’t make it out clearly), which I assume is the name of either a motorcycle gang or the gentleman sitting across from her. Midway through the meal, Trog wonders aloud if Smokey and the Bandit is available on Netflix. To his chagrin, the movie doesn’t seem to register with his girlfriend, so to jog her memory, he pulls up the “Eastbound and Down” song on his phone and plays it loudly enough to be heard by everyone in the vicinity. He then launches into an analysis of the film… Read more →

Thomas Jefferson on John McCain

My fellow Americans – Like President Trump, I was not invited to any of the John McCain memorial services, so I offer my final thoughts here. McCain’s service to his country while being held as a POW in Vietnam was admirable beyond measure. Because his father was commander of all U.S. forces in the Vietnam theater, the Vietnamese offered to release McCain, not as a gesture of mercy, but as a propaganda coup, and to show other POWs that members of the elite were willing to be treated preferentially. McCain stated that he would only accept the offer if every man captured before him was released as well. This enraged the Vietnamese, and McCain’s subsequent five years as a POW went very badly, as he knew they would. Liberals have been very kind to McCain this week because 1) he’s dead, and 2) he was an enemy of President Trump.… Read more →

Life Gets Better After 50?

About 15 years ago, economists made an unexpected finding: the U-shaped happiness curve. Other things being equal – that is, once conditions such as income, employment, health and marriage are factored out of the equation – life satisfaction declines from our early 20s until we hit our 50s. Then it turns around and rises, right through late adulthood. — The Guardian So once you factor out all the things that make life miserable, it turns out older people can be just as happy as anyone else! Read more →

Only So Big a House You Can Have?

Obama: “Right now I'm actually surprised by how much money I got. And let me tell you something, I don't have half as much as most of these folks… There's only so much you can eat. There's only so big a house you can have. There's only so many nice trips you can take." pic.twitter.com/LALI5TCA0i — CBS News (@CBSNews) July 17, 2018 In other news, the former president and his wife bought an 8,200-square-foot house with 9 bedrooms and 8-1/2 bathrooms in Washington, D.C. for $8.1 million. In fairness, he did say there’s only so big a house YOU can have. He didn’t say there’s only so big a house HE can have. Read more →

Girls With Working Moms Fare Better?

Via LinkedIn: Girls who grow up with working moms are more likely to have careers themselves and to have higher paying jobs in the future, according to a report in Fortune, citing study data. The research found that, “daughters of working mothers in the U.S. make about 23% more than daughters of stay-at-home mothers.” This article is headlined — inaccurately, in my view — Girls with working moms fare better. Shouldn’t the headline stay with the facts and say “Girls with working moms make more money” instead of “Girls with working moms fare better”? “Fare better” seems to reflect an inappropriately narrow obsession with money as the only metric for measuring life outcomes. misrepresents facts to promote an opinion, i.e., “working moms are good for society.” Read more →

Foot of Pride

Yeah, from the stage they’ll be tryin’ to get water outta rocks A whore will pass the hat, collect a hundred grand and say thanks They like to take all this money from sin, build big universities to study in Sing “Amazing Grace” all the way to the Swiss banks Well, there ain’t no goin’ back when your foot of pride come down Ain’t no goin’ back — Bob Dylan, “Foot of Pride” Read more →

Teaching Computer Science: How to Get Top-Notch Teachers in the Classroom

I read something every day where educators and/or elected officials are talking about the importance for our kids, our country, our future, etc., of teaching computer science, the sticking point being an extreme shortage of qualified teachers. A person entering the workforce with a computer science degree is unlikely to go into teaching because of the opportunity cost: they can earn a lot more money as a software engineer. The likelihood of getting a mid-career tech industry professional to switch into teaching is even lower. Teacher salaries are based in large part on years of service. A mid-career person switching into teaching is not going to get a mid-career teacher’s salary, they are going to get a first-year teacher’s salary. So here’s the idea: Give CS professionals the opportunity to apply their years in industry to years of service as a teacher. It’s still a pay cut going from software… Read more →

“I Need to Pay Higher Taxes,” Says Bill Gates

If Bill Gates really believed that, he could decide how much he “should” pay, subtract it from what he’s required to pay, and send Uncle Sam a check for the difference. Which he doesn’t do. Gates was talking about taxes in the context of the recent tax bill not being progressive enough for his liking. “People who are wealthier tended to get dramatically more benefits than the middle class or those who are poor,” he said. Bill Gates is as smart as anyone I can think of, so I think his remarks are disingenuous rather than uninformed. People who are “wealthier” (“people with higher incomes” would be more accurate) benefit more from income tax cuts because they pay dramatically more in taxes to begin with (see chart). For example, the top 1 percent of earners pay almost as much into the federal income tax pool (38 percent) as the bottom… Read more →

TFW Hackers Steal $530 Million From Your Cryptocurrency Exchange

$530 million cryptocurrency heist may be biggest ever — CNNTech Read more →

Good News, Bad News on Minimum Wage

Good news: Seattle (among other cities) has established a $15.00 minimum wage. Bad news: Seattle (among other cities) is automating minimum wage jobs out of existence. Readers are invited to formulate their own cause-and-effect hypotheses. Read more →

Two Reasons For the Low Number of Women in Computer Jobs

I saw this chart on LinkedIn with the heading “Chart: Women in tech continue to face uphill battle” and the hashtag #STEMSexism. The first reason for the low number of women in computer jobs is that we rarely hear about women in computing except in the context of pay gaps, harassment, discrimination, “uphill battles” and #STEMSexism. It’s self-perpetuating. “Computing is a terrible profession for women in so many ways.” Followed by “Why aren’t there more women in computing?” You’ve answered your own question. If you think computing is a hostile profession (I do not, btw), why do you want more women to go into it?   The second reason for the low number of women in computer jobs — sometimes the simplest explanations are the best — is that women prefer to do other things. Men and women are different and make different choices about their lives, as a result… Read more →

Soda Sticker Shock in Seattle

Seattle is trying to discourage its citizens from drinking sugary beverages by imposing a 1.75-cent per ounce tax on all sugary drinks sold in the Emerald City. A $15.99 case of Gatorade at the Seattle Costco now has an added tax of more than $10. A case of Coke is now $7.35 more expensive than the Diet Coke or Coke Zero. Sticker shock! What will people drink instead of sugary beverages? Coffee. Seattle drinks a lot of coffee. Is coffee good for you? What if you put sugar in it? Beer. At these prices, it’s cheaper than soda. Diet soda. Are artificial sweeteners better for you than sugar? Fruit juice. Not taxed but contains a lot of sugar. Should there be a tax on all-you-can-eat buffets? How about a tax credit for eating a vegetable? Or maybe — just maybe — the tax code was not designed for and shouldn’t… Read more →

Is Healthcare a Right or an Entitlement?

That’s the title of a lengthy article on LinkedIn in which the author makes the following argument: I had to spend more than $30,000 on cancer treatment. Therefore, healthcare is a right, not an entitlement. Because having a “right” to something implies that you have the right to force another person to work and pay for that thing. You can add a level of abstraction, i.e., “the government should pay for my healthcare” sounds more appealing than “another person should pay for my healthcare” but where do you think government gets the money to pay for things? The article also offers this: Prisoners get free healthcare and shouldn’t we get the same rights as prisoners? Of course, prisoners give up a lot of rights in exchange for free healthcare but if you think it’s a good tradeoff, commit a crime and go to prison. If we, as a country, did… Read more →

The Miser and the Angel of Death

A miser had accumulated, by effort, trade, and lending, three hundred thousand dinars. He had lands and buildings, and all kinds of wealth. He then decided that he would spend a year in enjoyment, living comfortably, and then decide as to what his future should be. But, almost as soon as he had stopped amassing money, the Angel of Death appeared before him, to take his life away. The miser tried, by every argument which he could muster, to dissuade the Angel, who seemed, however, adamant. Then the man said: “Grant me but three more days, and I will give you one-third of my possessions.” The Angel refused, and pulled again at the miser’s life, tugging to take it away. Then the man said: “If you will only allow me two more days on earth, I will give you two hundred thousand dinars from my store.” But the Angel would… Read more →

Wild Wild Life

Sleeping on the interstate oh oh oh Getting wild, wild life Checkin’ in, checkin’ out! Uh, huh! I got a wild, wild life Spending all of my money and time oh oh oh Done too much wild, wild We want to go, where we go, where we go oh oh oh I doing wild, wild life Read more →

Tech Gender Bias: Men Not as Concerned

According to LinkedIn: Despite a string of revelations that women in tech face considerable headwinds — from persistent gender-based pay gaps (per Bloomberg), to limited VC funding for female-led startups (per Fortune), to sexual harassment (per The New York Times) — just 29% of men say that discrimination is a major problem in the industry, according to data from Pew. In fact, some 32% of men claim that it’s not a problem at all. Here’s why I claim that it’s not a problem: Women are capable of making decisions for themselves. For the most part, they choose to do things other than work in tech and do startups. So what? (Pay gaps and harassment are not tech-specific, obviously.) Thus spoke The Programmer. Read more →

A Hotbed of Asininity

I’ve never heard of this woman but she has a verified account and claims to be a Harvard woman: The fact that presidents are raising money from the public for something the government should pay for is disgusting. https://t.co/2GMAZ4E6JX — Kimberly N. Foster (@KimberlyNFoster) October 22, 2017 OK . . . but where do you think government gets the money to pay for things? Sometimes I think America should change its marketing from the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave to A Hotbed of Asininity. Read more →

Spot the Fake News: Obamacare Subsidies

I read four news stories on the same topic — the end of Obamacare subsidies to insurance companies. The Wall Street Journal plays it straight down the middle: President Donald Trump’s executive order on health care issued Thursday marks the first major salvo in what the White House promises will be an extensive, targeted campaign to unravel the Affordable Care Act administratively. As does Bloomberg: President Donald Trump said he is moving “step by step” on his own to remake the U.S. health care system because Congress won’t act on his demand to repeal Obamacare. The Trump administration took its most drastic measure yet to roll back the Affordable Care Act Thursday evening, announcing it would cut off a subsidy to insurers hours after issuing an executive order designed to draw people away from the health law’s markets. See if you can spot the fake news in the Politico version:… Read more →

The Five Hundred Gold Pieces

One of Junaid’s followers came to him with a purse containing five hundred gold pieces. “Have you any more money than this?” asked the Sufi. “Yes, I have.” “Do you desire more?” “Yes, I do.” “Then you must keep it, for you are more in need than I; for I have nothing and desire nothing. You have a great deal and still want more.” Read more →

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