Depending on the state, a trial with a death penalty could cost anywhere from half a million dollars more, to millions more than a trial without a death penalty.
Even at the absurdly high price of $35k per year per prisoner, life without parole is likely a cheaper option for tax payers than the death penalty.
I don't mean to say this is the only reason why the death penalty is wrong. We know for certain that provably innocent people have been put to death.
It's just that in addition to being morally wrong, it's also expensive and a waste of resources. The only reason I can theoretically imagine for keeping it around is that supposedly criminals might be less likely to commit a crime for fear of the death penalty. I think every serious study has shown that harsher penalties don't deter crime.
One of the best ways to actually reduce crime is to provide better early education for poor people.
Ignoring the moralities and can-of-worms question of the death penalty itself for a moment, I've always thought the reasoning of "life without parole is cheaper, so let's do that" was flawed. Why not figure out why the death penalty process is so expensive, and fix that instead? Then you can have your moral & ethical arguments without adding economics to an already hairy debate. I would bet the costs are rooted in over-inflated legal fees and prosecutorial inefficiencies which should be fixed in any case.
Thanks for the review. I think I read it before I pulled the trigger to order one. BTW, I think some manufacturers now make unicycles with double the range than the one you had. Silent chargers also now exist.
Cool! Am I right in thinking that "electric unicycle" is a somewhat misleading name since these things are self-balancing (forward-backward) unlike traditional unicycle which require a lot of practice?
I used to love those comics with cave people riding on wheels. Maybe that's why I like these things.
With regards to practice, it took me 2 weeks to learn well enough to travel a few blocks around the neighborhood. Other people learn faster. Many people come to the meetup and go a few feet on their first day.
Yes that's the bug in question. There isn't really a fix for it, but a very very ugly workaround. Look at ios-imagefile-megapixel to see how they fixed it if you want. Or you can wait a few days for my implementation will be better documented.
Hi, I'm the author of Dropzone. iOS has a bug (as already mentioned by other users) resizing images in canvas. There are workarounds, and I already started implementation (https://github.com/enyo/dropzone/commits/ios-squas). Unfortunately ios-imagefile-megapixel doesn't meet my coding standards so I didn't want to just take the code of their implementation. I will release my fix soon.
Basically, the zone apex (example.com) has to point to an IP address (a DNS A record). The problem with some AWS services (e.g. S3, Elastic Load Balancers, Cloudfront) is that you don't have a static IP address to point to because as scalable services, you are hosted over many servers which can change at any time. If you host your DNS on Amazon Route53, you can take advantage of Alias records, which are exclusive to Amazon. Basically, an alias record lets you point example.com at a resource (S3 bucket, load balancer), and Amazon will periodically look up the current IP address and return it when that record is looked up. These records are served with a relatively short TTL to allow for constantly-changing IP addresses.
Good point, patio11. If debtors don't pay back their debt after after a certain time period, they are supposed to report it as income, but I doubt very many do. Setting up an organization like this puts the onus on the organization to file the 1099-C's
The problem that I see with this is that once your debt is sent to collections, that mark is already on your credit report for 7 years, even if you pay off the debt.
So, "forgiving" the debt is pretty meaningless. People still have their credit report tarnished, which leads to higher interest rates, higher car insurance, and is basically another way to oppress people who are already poor. The only advantage to the debtors in this case is that they won't get phone calls from collection agencies. It's a nice idea though.
This is "a" problem, not "the" problem. For a large number of people, getting $5k or $10k of debt erased would at the very least a large weight off their back, at the most a life changer. Living paycheck to paycheck means cherishing every extra dollar you get to keep. Getting to keep $50 or $100 a month in your pocket instead of sending off to some credit card or debt collection agency is a big deal sometimes. Most people who would probably take advantage of this don't even keep track of their credit because they're so behind anyway.
But if theyre making payments on the debt, the debt collector won't sell it because theyre actually getting their money. The only debts OWS is going to be able to buy are the ones not making payments and the ones that havent made payments in a very long time. So, as cool as not having to pay 50/100 a month sounds, that wont happen to anybody because the ones paying are not the kind of people that would be getting relieved of their debt.
Also, the people who havent paid their debt in years hardly benefit from this too (this might even make it worse in a way) because not only have they had an unpaid debt sitting there, they now have a new mark on their credit saying somebody gave up on collecting on them and that they sold their debt to somebody else. This is even worse, from my understanding of credit, for your credit score then it is to just let the debt sit there. The person in debt obviously isnt making any payments if it's up for sale, so it's not like it saves them any money. All this does is modify their credit score.
This all sounded awesome skin deep, but as you look into it more... it doesnt really do much for anybody affected by Sandy or anybody in financial crisis in general. They're saving just a few people a few hundred bucks that wouldn't be coming out of their bank account for years to come... if at all, ever.
They would be more productive just giving money to people affected by sandy then paying off debt that people have ignored for years anyway. People need food, shelter, clothes, toiletries, warmth... not a 'hey we paid off a debt you havent cared about for years and you dont get to see any of the money we just spent on you, but sorry your cold and good luck'.
This seems like the key insight about this issue. The debts OWS buys on the cheap are debts that were never going to be paid off in the first place. The net practical effect of this action is to transfer money from well-meaning people into the hands of debt collection agencies.
Seems like the only people being bailed out are debt speculators. Doesn't sound like a worthy cause to me.
The action is people donating money that is going to be put to waste in comparison to their immediate needs. They should change the entire event to fundraising more food, generators, shelter, clothes & necessities for these people.
If they want to do something extraordinary, which it seems they're trying to paint this event as, they should do something extraordinary like take all the money they raise and start building people new houses. That's real 'social capital'.
They dont need more homes? Are you not familiar with all the homes that burned down during sandy?
There's nothing wrong with them moving onto other things... but those other things are a waste of time and are not beneficial. If youre going to act like youre trying to make the world a better place, at least do something that supports that. Paying somebodies old debt from 5 years ago is a freebie that teaches nothing. It didnt save anybody money this month. It didnt teach anybody a lesson. It gave some one a free way out of a debt that havent paid in years, which was more than likely their own fault for over borrowing. Meanwhile, people are living in unsafe conditions in NYC & Jersey with very little to their name right now in the present tense. Helping Sandy victims is the first productive thing OWS has ever done, and they should stick to that.
And for the record, I'm quite aware that social capital has a definition. I put quotes around it because the original usage didn't match up with the same definition you linked to and I was mocking it.
How does this raise social capital? It's not helping the original debtor, and in fact, is increasing the demand for non-performing debt? Collection agencies will LOVE this program, since they can now actually make some money off of non-performing debt. If anything, this will result in collection agencies increasing their harassment of delinquent accounts.
Because it's a signal to all these debtors that there's a significant segment of the population that doesn't want to play by the old rules. It shows that they can count on their fellow citizens to help them out when they are down on their luck, the very definition of social capital.
Okay, say I'm in debt to BigHospital for my cancer treatments. I only owe $10K (ha!) and discharging this debt in bankruptcy is something I either couldn't afford or otherwise was unable to accomplish.
I've managed to avoid paying the debt collectors for whatever reason, and I have this low value debt out there. It's par value might be $10k, but it's sold to Rolling Jubilee for $500. Rolling Jubilee discharges this debt.
In practical terms, my credit is already shot. I wasn't able to pay off this debt anyways, so it's not as if I have more money in my pocket. Sure I might be able to rebuild my credit a bit faster depending on how Rolling Jubilee reports the handling of this debt etc etc. Maybe not. Even if it persists on my credit score, rebuilding credit isn't as hard once you get a decent steady job. If I don't have that, I have no business getting more credit, no?
The old rules that you say no one wants to play by are still there at the end of the day.
Oh, and "hey can count on their fellow citizens to help them out when they are down on their luck" doesn't seem to be the very definition of social capital from your link.
Alright... lets actually entertain this idealism for a second. Let's give it a good honest shot and see how well this could work out, even in the most favorable conditions.
Lets say 700 people go this event because the capacity of the venue is a maximum of 700. Let's also say they all donated $50 bucks. Let's be real, most people will only pay $25 each because they're they're psuedo-anarchostic punks who just want to see the bands they love for as cheap as they can. But hey, maybe a few people felt the need to go big on this one. So, let's say 700 people donated an average of $50 each.
That's $35,000 raised from the event and if no artists get paid, if the venue doesn't take a chunk, if the promoter doesn't take a chunk, if the flyers were printed for free, if security doesn't get paid, etc. then that's $35,000 that can be used to buy $700,000 in purchased debt. It's worth noting that in the real world, even Non-Profits have to pay to use a venue, security, promoters, etc. Something with a capacity of 700 in NYC is probably a few thousand at least, based on prices over here on the west coast in LA and San Diego. But hey... let's just be generous since thats the spirit of the whole thing anyway. Let's say they get all $35,000 without a single expense. Not even a penny.
Now lets look at some normal unpaid debt that this will probably go to. The average public college student pays $30,000 over 4 years, so lets say a few kids racked up $30,000 in debt each. Usually college kids also take out loans for textbooks, sneak in a little for groceries & supplies, but again... Let's do the super generous thing and say it's only $30,000 and not a penny more. Keep in mind we're not even counting interest! That's super generous!
$700,000 in purchased debt, at $30,000 for 4 years of school = 23 kids get a free ride. That's really cool. Really awesome. YAY! But wait... they graduated 5 years ago and they dont get to see this money. Since it's being paid for by buying the debt, this means they werent making payments anyway... SO it didnt even benifit them at all. The only thing it did was modify their credit score and give the lending industry $35,000 they didnt have before.
I thought this was supposed to be about putting the man on his ear and teaching him a lesson? Hmmmmm. Reality is calling.
Not only did we not help 23 kids but we also forgot about interest, late fees, attorney fees and all the other other debt this $700,000 would have accumulated over the 5 years of not being paid. You're probably looking at more like... $1.4 million when all is said and done. If you've ever been in collections that long, you know the amount can EASILY double. So really, even with a free venue, and no textbooks or supplies... You really only saved about 12 or 13 kids from paying a debt they weren't paying already in the first place.
12 kids, 23 kids... either way it's $700,000 in debt that the lenders still collected $35,000 on. Do you know how much debt there is owed to lenders and collection agencies?? Do you seriously think even something as attractive sounding as $700,00 will teach the lending industry anything? Keep in mind... You didn't give them $700,000. You gave them $35,000.
Let's look at real numbers here. In just credit card debt alone, and this is based off 'average' numbers, there's at least $1.4 trillion dollars owed just in credit card debt right now that is unpaid. And that is just in credit card debt alone. It's well known that there's $1 Trillion dollars unpaid in student loans right now.
Lets say you paid a ton of credit card bills because that would help more people since the amount is less, per case. You know how much the credit card companies still are looking to collect? $1,369,199,300,000. Yup, that number is still in the trillions. Man this is really hard to put in a positive light.
Hmmm, ok I give up. Now, back in 'real life' land, we forgot all about business loans, house loans, construction loans, medical bills, school loans, the interest, the late fees, the attorney fees... and so on. I'm sure that number is in the tens of trillions of dollars at least. And you think you're going to put an industry on its ear by putting on a concert that will max out at 700 and by giving them $35,000? Even if you did a national tour for every day of the year with no expenses, you wouldn't even break the billion mark in PURCHASED debt. You would have only given them $12.7 million in actual cash... after 365 events... with no expenses whatsoever.... that people paid $50 to get into.
You're talking about playing with $35,000 in monopoly money like it's going to make a difference. You are so sadly mistaken. This is the same misdirected anger I see all over OWS. There's good ideas, that sound great at first, but when you do the Math.. it doesnt add up. All I can say is please stop wasting your time and go back to the drawing board. $35,000 of imaginary money could do so much better. $35,000 could go to helping real people right now, today, that need it. $35,000 doesnt need to be spent paying 20 kids school loans that they were never going to pay anyway. People in our country need real life food, real life shelter, real life water and real life clothes while thinking of donating all that money to the same industry youre tring to make play by new rules. It's so irresponsible and wrong that it's almost offensive.
That's great that you went to all that effort, but I still think you're missing the point. This is not about "putting the man on his ear". You're the only one who sounds like a pseudo-anarchist here. It's the same noise we heard about how the encampments were ineffective, while the national conversation changed around us.
But I guess this is only for government and legally mandated wage garnishment. Otherwise if they already have the black mark on their credit, will paying back anything matter or change that? Is that true?
Seven years goes by in the blink of an eye once you're old enough ;-)
Forgiving the debt is not meaningless: it's a big chunk of money you don't have to pay off. Granted, it's better to work with the creditor and get them to settle for a smaller amount, but a $15k debt removed from your record is not likely to cause you $15k of increased expenses over 7 years.
I'm actually interested in knowing if I bought the debt of someone else, could I write whatever I wanted on their credit report? For example, could I purchase $15k worth of debt for $500 and then forgive the debt and report to the credit agency that it was paid in full?
I walked away from my primary residence because it lost over $100K in value. My credit score only dropped from ~705 to 655 (per Creditkarma.com). Also, only one of my creditors lowered my credit limit (Citibank). American Express didn't even blink, and I've got a Platinum card with them with a $75K+ limit. To date, I've missed over 22 payments on my mortgage, and my credit score still remains fairly usable (I may complete a short sale, or may let it forclose. Depends on how amiable the noteholder is to both scenarios).
You've been lied to. The risks of walking away from most debt is highly overrated.
That isn't entirely true...if the owner of the debt (whether or not it is the original owner) decides to delete it from the credit record, then they can. In fact, many debt buyers act this way - they buy the debt for pennies on the dollar, and then offer to delete it if the person pays, for example, 25% of the amount owed. As mentioned elsewhere, this is know as PFD or "Pay for Delete".
Most of the major credit bureaus require that you own the debt of 5,000 or more people before they will accept payment history records and/or delete requests from the debt owner. That's the only restriction.
Keep in mind that you can always try to negotiate with the collections for a "pay for delete". Where you basically promise to pay the debt as long as the collection agency will delete it from your credit report. It works for some people.