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Lending money is a (in the UK highly regulated) business venture, subject to all sorts of taxes.

Buying land and sitting on it for decades is not.


Property tax != land value tax. Properties in foreclosure may well have very low land value.


no, in the US at any rate property taxes are scaled exactly by land value. Usual scheme is 1% or so of assessed value, which is typically recalculated yearly. Some states have "homestead" exemptions where the first, say, $150,000 of value on a primary residence is exempt from tax. There are also (at least in California) special assessments for a fire or water district that are put on top of the yearly property tax, usually because of state laws that limit the rate at which assessed value can be increased or super-majority provisions for altering property tax rates, and so on.


Land value being the value of the land less the rebuild cost of any structures? That is the definition I was using. House prices are the wrong metric.


If the value of the apartment is high, then it wouldn't be sold for a discount price, would it?

The value might be affected by the tax, I suppose, but the person buying it would be affected by that too when they came to sell.

Land value tax is based on the premise that if you are land-rich, you should also be "more productive" to earn the right to keep the land.

Final point; apartment buildings generally have a lower land value than you might expect given the sale price (see my other comment), with a small square footage spread over many apartments in high-rise, the tax may well be less than you expect (i.e. much of the value may be in the rebuild cost.)


mamon wasn't correct. Quite large number of people don't own the properties. Only 3-6% of people in Poland rent apartments. Others own the place or rent from a cooperative.

During communist times local factory provided flats for the workers. After factories were closed, government formed cooperatives to manage real estate. Currently, buildings are in complicated legal state. There was one period when current tenant could purchase the property for 10% of market value, but it was blocked (possibly by developers lobby). On top of that, some buildings and land have unknown owners because of WW2.

I'd love see an experiment when income tax is replaced by land and property tax.


If the people who currently own the apartments have to sell because they are unable to afford the taxes then they would be in a poor bargaining position - they would pay for their "desire" for immediacy. Those who purchase the apartments would, therefore, be paying below the market rate (defining the market rate based solely on people's desires, without including their financial position).


Immediacy is a problem, yes. That's why at the start of a LVT people must be allowed a grace period of a couple of years to pay. Some argue for deferring such taxes until the property is sold or inherited, but that could lead to even worse situations like the one described.


Mightn't the deferral of tax payments until newly-taxed properties are sold or inherited remove (or at least reduce) the time correlation, thus improving the market position of the sellers?

Avoiding any adjustment in ownership patterns seems impossible to achieve without strong legislation, but attempting to provide adequate compensation through the market (rather than the government) seems like it might work? (question mark because I really have no idea...)


Remote areas and coastline have a very low land value, which is affected by the local facilities and geology much more than other factors.

House price != land value, but the two are related:

Land value = House price - rebuild value.

So, if the price of your house is roughly what it would cost to rebuild it from scratch, your land value is nearly zero, and so is the tax.

In some places, the house price is actually lower than the rebuild cost; negative land value. (This applies to extremely remote and difficult to access locations).

In central London, for example, the house prices are far more than the cost of the buildings; because they are near the rest of London and its facilities the land value is very high.


I used a das with blank keys and cherry blues for some years, got tired of looking for the characters under the numbers (never could reach them from the home row) and got a wasd keyboard with the number symbols printed there and nothing else.

At the same time, coincidentally, I switched to cherry Browns. Best. Decision. Ever.

I still have my das at home, and the wasd at the office, but I'm going to have to get a second wasd for home, switching back to the das every evening is too painful.

The other thing that is critical for making mechanical keyboards usable is a foam wrist rest. Even a cheap one from the web without testing will do wonders for mechanical keyboards with their keys set high. (I think the one good thing about the apple keyboards was that they keys were low enough to avoid those things.)


The part that particularly ticked me was that journalists were literally writing about having had lunch with a non-existent person. Further confirmation (bias) for the thesis that most media will publish lies without compunction.


The most charitable view I can think of is they were in on the joke. The least charitable is in line with yours.


There's also the possibility that those journalists had lunch with someone who convincingly claimed to be Frederick R. Ewig.


I hadn't considered that. Of course, who could dispute it? It isn't like the real Ewig is going to stand up to defend his honor.


The piece in The Awl said

'The imaginary author appeared in a column by the Post‘s Earl Wilson. “Had lunch with Freddie Ewing today…” he shared. Having once profiled Shepherd for his paper, Wilson presumably was in on the joke.'


One "journalist", described as a gossip columnist, a genre known for just making things up routinely.


And their editor, and their publication.


They talk about impact for other government seizure powers- could this have an effect on that awful Civil Forfeiture practise?


Probably not, but it might have an effect on compensation in eminent domain cases.


The phrase common sense is awful, as @robert_tweed says, it is the opposite of a considered opinion.

In politics, however, this idea is particularly egregious, as the article elucidates.

If you're wrong about a scientific theory or a computer program, you can tell well enough by testing the things. If you're wrong in politics, it is extremely difficult to obtain empirical evidence that this is the case.

That is not to say that it's impossible: there is plenty of research out there, and like all human-centric scientific research some of it is flawed, and most is statistically weak. As far as I can tell, "common sense" as used by UKIP, Gove, etc means assuming that any results which are contrary to your brain's initial guess are either wrong, or actually malicious[1].

The Lib Dems (who I stood for in the election) have actually tried to do the probably-impossible here and build a platform on evidence-based policy[2]. Much good it did us in the poll, of course.

[1] http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2298146/I-refuse-s...

[2] not that it stopped some of our candidates trotting out the awful line, as the article points out.


Common sense can best be thought of as the collection of small facts that people have acquired through thousands of years of observing humans and the results. eg, Folk Wisdom.

It's much more useful than you seem to think it is.

Look at priming. It was a recent academic fad, Malcolm Gladwell included a big section on it in "Blink". The idea that you could influence people to walk more slowly by making them read a list of words associated with old age defied common sense. Surely someone would have noticed this effect before.

And the result was that the common sensers were right. Key priming studies turned out to be outright fraud. The rest weren't repeatable.


Priming is a broad topic. Only certain kinds were debunked.

Wikipedia summarizes "Although semantic, associative, and form priming are well established, some longer-term priming effects were not replicated in further studies, casting doubt on their effectiveness or even existence"


> The Lib Dems (who I stood for in the election) have actually tried to do the probably-impossible here and build a platform on evidence-based policy. Much good it did us in the poll, of course.

Interesting you mention that. The Lib Dems didn't do the common sense thing: ditch their leader. Even after a bloodbath in the European elections, even after opinion poll after opinion poll showed considerable negativity towards him.

They had an abundance of data, but a total lack of common sense.


If I'd had anything to do with it, they would have done.


> it is extremely difficult to obtain empirical evidence that this is the case

Hume would say it's impossible. And there's plenty of research out there to back him up. I'd disagree with him, but I have to disagree with you first. It's common sense among philosophers to be humean. :)


To err is humean.


The same code is faster (and easier) to write, correctly, in Python than in either C or C++. (this depends a little on what you're writing, but not much: C/C++ make you specify much more about your code than python does.)

The same code, however, will run faster on C/C++. This is because python is doing some of the work for you, and you did that work upfront when writing the C/C++.

If you are doing something which involves a lot of computation, which all fits in RAM (using numpy in python will make that a fairer test between the two choices), then C/C++ will be faster.

Remember that a good pattern is to write your high-level logic in Python, and write a python implementation of your app, and then profile it to work out the slow parts of the code and speed them up using Cython[1], which will allow you to convert python-like code to efficient C (you can also straight up borrow C/C++ implementations from other people, too). This pattern is designed to balance minimising both programmer-time (since you will only have to code the important bits in C) and run time (since the performance-critical bits can be optimised.)

[1] http://cython.org/

(for pedants: I am referring to the CPython implementation, which is the only one which supports C/C++ extensions.)


This is about free access to a set of highly engineered content, which is not just a back catalogue you are trying to milk but your current latest creation.

We do not think that software engineers should be prohibited from charging for copies of their software: neither do we think that musicians should be prohibited for getting paid for their music.

Yes, people will continue to make art for free, because they love doing it. No, that has nothing to do with whether people are (implicitly) banned from charging for their art/labour if they want to.


Most software engineers (employees) are paid for crafting their software, not for having crafted in the past. That's exactly what I advocate for. We absolutely should pay people for working! I'm saying that those who distribute should be compensated for the distribution, and those who craft should be compensated for the crafting. And everyone should be free to do either, to the best of their abilities.


This is not true at all.

Many consultants may in fact be paid once. But most developers work at companies for a salary. That salary is paid for by charging for software over and over. Without being able to charge multiple times for the same piece of software, there would be no Microsoft, IBM, or Oracle, no SaaS, and no App Store, just to name a few, and none of the jobs that come along.


You're being deceptive, Fargren is on point. Once the dev leaves the company they no longer make that salary. Artists typically get paid some kind of royalty and don't give up full ownership of their work.

>Without being able to charge multiple times for the same piece of software, there would be no Microsoft, IBM, or Oracle, no SaaS, and no App Store

Good riddance.


You're being deceptive

That's not very nice.

Who do you think owns SaaS businesses, or App Store apps, or downloadable software, etc.? I own a software company. If I couldn't resell my software over and over, I'd be homeless. If it couldn't sell software over and over, I'd have to fire all my employees (dev, customer support, marketing...) and shutter my business.

Do you think artists don't have employees? Is their music not their business? There's no difference between me owning software or an artist owning music.

Also, the companies you're saying "good riddance" to defined the world of selling software as a business and as a profession. You may think we'd be fine without them now, but not acknowledging the role they played is disingenuous at best - not to mention the literally hundreds of thousands of jobs they've created directly or indirectly.


If I couldn't resell my software over and over, I'd be homeless.

I don't think you are being deceptive, but I suspect you are being facetious (hard tot ell in the internet). If you lived in a world where you couldn't resell your software, you'd have a different job that didn't depend on that. I imagine the people you provide value to would probably be willing to fund the development of the products they use. That is effectively what they are doing now, but they do it in a roundabout manner. If not all of them would(and there are game-theoretic reason why they probably shouldn't) maybe the ones that would could pay more, or maybe your product just wasn't worth so much to begin with (please don't take this as an affront to your product, I don't even know what it is).

Different property models lead to different viable businesses. I am saying I don't like the current model because it forbids certain endeavors I would love to see, and that we had before. Of course it would be harmful to some business plans that currently work. I just prefer the alternative.


But if they stop working, they are not paid anymore. They are effectively compensated for the act of working, not for some ownership over the work they've done.



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