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  • On 22 Jul 2014 in U.S. smokers say higher cigarette taxes are unjust, YesYNot said:

    komputodo says

    stupid, i think that der is a diferense between TAXING (to raise

    Well, you would apparently prefer a law preventing you from doing something than a tax that makes it slightly more expensive to do it. So, maybe you hate freedom? Maybe you are so idealistically against taxes that you would cut off your nose to spite your face? It's hard to know, because your debating skills are about as good as Costanza's dating skills.

  • On 21 Jul 2014 in U.S. smokers say higher cigarette taxes are unjust, YesYNot said:

    It took me a while to quit. During that time, I wished cigarettes cost $20/pack. I made them more expensive by promising to myself that every time I bought a pack, I'd smoke 2 cigarettes and give away the rest. That made it more expensive, and prevented the smoke 'em cause you have 'em thinking after the first two. Plus, if cigarettes were $20/pack, people would be less likely to give them away, making it harder to get hooked.

  • On 21 Jul 2014 in U.S. smokers say higher cigarette taxes are unjust, YesYNot said:

    komputodo says

    with just taxing cigarettes..tax all the bad behavior to save the lives of people that make

    I already gave a calm and logical answer to this and asked you to elaborate your beliefs. Since you cannot respond to that more intellectual line of thinking, here is a response more fitting of your rhetorical nature:

    Are you so stupid that you can't comprehend the analogous argument? If you oppose a tax on cigarettes, why not get rid of all laws designed to enhance safety?

    Why not get rid of all rules regarding automobile safety and speed limits. Why not get rid of OSHA rules for work safety? Why not let all drugs and all medicines be legal over the counter? Why not allow people to commit suicide? Why not let people buy whatever weapon they want and take it wherever they like?

    ^That's a stupid argument, but it is the same argument that you are making.

  • On 21 Jul 2014 in U.S. smokers say higher cigarette taxes are unjust, YesYNot said:

    Just to point out the obvious.

    We as a society must make judgments about the trade-offs regarding personal freedom and personal safety and societal safety.

    I'm not really sure what you are arguing.

    I am in favor of a tax on cigarettes. How does being in favor of a tax on cigarettes lead one to believe that we should make it illegal to be 20% or more overweight? A more sensible analogy would be to put a tax on foods that have little nutritional value but are shown to contribute to obesity. You're analogy, while not the 'definition of stupid,' makes no sense.

    What laws on the books today would you like to see repealed?

  • On 21 Jul 2014 in U.S. smokers say higher cigarette taxes are unjust, YesYNot said:

    komputodo says

    So you are of the belief that americans are so stupid that they need the govt. to save them from themselves? That's quite a commentary on your fellow citizens..

    I'm of the belief that external laws and rules can save lives through influencing behavior. That doesn't even make them right. It's a statement of fact.

    For example,
    Seat-belt laws save lives.
    Other car-safety laws save lives.
    Building codes save lives.
    Vaccination rules save lives.
    Speed limits save lives.
    Smoking, drinking, and drug laws/rules can save lives.
    etc.

    It's not that people are stupid. People often make decisions that are not in their best interest or at least are not in the interest of keeping them alive. Sometimes, that is because they don't have all of the facts. Other times, they just don't act rationally.

    As a matter of opinion, I believe that many of these laws and rules including taxes on alcohol and cigarettes are helpful. I do not like rules banning alcohol purchase before noon on Sunday or preventing the sale of alcohol in supermarkets.

  • On 21 Jul 2014 in Fortune Magazine- The Housing Recovery is Over!, YesYNot said:

    Three years ago, I wanted houses to go down, b/c I didn't have any. Now, I have two houses and two mortgages, so I want house prices to go up. I don't want them to go up too fast, b/c I have family members that want or may want to buy in the not too distant future. So, I don't want them to go up too fast.

    It's pretty simple really. Pretty much everyone desires what is in the best interests of themselves and/or people they love. This applies to house prices and pretty much everything else.

  • On 21 Jul 2014 in U.S. smokers say higher cigarette taxes are unjust, YesYNot said:

    Why is this news? Nobody likes a tax that singles out their group, and they never think it is just.

    Smoking taxes do reduce the amount of smoking as intended.
    http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/TOPICS/EXTHEALTHNUTRITIONANDPOPULATION/EXTETC/0,,contentMDK:20365226~menuPK:478891~pagePK:148956~piPK:216618~theSitePK:376601,00.html

    Cigarette taxes save lives.

  • On 15 Jul 2014 in Make Tiny Houses legal, YesYNot said:

    John Bailo says

    And the total cost should be low...phenomenally low. So low, say $50,000, that would would not even bother with resale...we'd expect the price to drop and we'd replace it with a newer, better, and more feature laden model every 7 years.

    WTF do you anticipate would improve so much about a box that provides a little shelter from the weather, that you would want to replace it every 7 years?
    And, why would you want to pay $50K every 7 years for a new box to keep the rain out and the heat in / out? Why would the old one suck so much that it would not perform anymore?

  • On 10 Jul 2014 in We're very close to an inflection point in the stock market, YesYNot said:

    So to be clear, you think we are at the point that was the beginning of 1927. As history repeats itself, in 2 to 3 years, the market will double again to 34,000 or so right?

  • On 17 Jun 2014 in Overweight? Not me, say most Americans, YesYNot said:

    rufita11 says

    Mirrors are dead simpler

    In that case, no need to enter bmi measurements into a medical records or a study on the effects of being overweight. Just put mirrors in there. That'll work much better.

  • On 12 Jun 2014 in Overweight? Not me, say most Americans, YesYNot said:

    ^^statistics.... the new tea leaves.

    rolleyes.

  • On 12 Jun 2014 in Overweight? Not me, say most Americans, YesYNot said:

    turtledove says

    The problem is that the actuarial tables think their fat. Insurance companies do rely on the BMI number when calculating risk for things like life insurance premiums. They treat the BMI as if it were 100% accurate.

    Insurance rates are based in part on BMI. Auto insurance rates are based in part on age, sex, and car choice. Not one of these indicators is perfect. They are each just one indicator out of many that are used to come up with a statistical estimation of risk.

    Smoking is not a perfect risk indicator of a heart attack. Neither is cholesterol. Neither is blood pressure. Neither is family history. Actuarial models are based on a bunch of easily measured indicators. None of the models assume that any indicator is 100% accurate. It any indicator were 100% accurate then the other indicators would not be included in the model.

  • On 12 Jun 2014 in Overweight? Not me, say most Americans, YesYNot said:

    Do an image search if you want. There's plenty of pictures where she looks pretty much normal. In some, she looks borderline overweight. Her bmi pretty much tells the same story, so it works well enough for her.

  • On 12 Jun 2014 in Overweight? Not me, say most Americans, YesYNot said:

    rufita11 says

    You do know that BMI is an antiquated and inaccurate measure of health, right?

    I don't think that BMI is antiquated at all. It's not a perfect indicator of health, but it is dead simple, and that is why it is used. That has always been why it is used. Waste to height ratios might be a better indicator, but it is a bit harder to measure consistently. Body fat percentage is more difficult and less repeatable, and no one knows if it would predict health outcomes better or worse than BMI.

    BMI isn't a perfect predictor of body fat - healthy, overweight, or obese. Those guidelines should be interpreted pretty loosely and with a bit of common sense. It is piss - poor at predicting obesity in the 5% of people that are extremely muscular or tall. That is pretty much common knowledge.

    I think that M Obama is a good example of BMI working though. She is both tall and muscular, but not on the extreme side of things. I'm pretty sure that her BMI is in the normal range or near the border of normal and overweight.

  • On 11 Jun 2014 in Overweight? Not me, say most Americans, YesYNot said:

    I bet M. Obama could do more pushups than Captain.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTAIedFfUBU&feature=kp

    Also, she could probably kick his ass and has a lower BMI.

    I'm pretty sure that M. Obama has a bmi

  • On 5 Jun 2014 in "Long story short: price reversion is coming.", YesYNot said:

    "Remember, this incorporates meaningful and often anomalistic sales activity in very high priced areas such as New York and San Francisco, clearly skewing the median numbers higher"

    The author clearly doesn't know what a median is.

  • On 28 May 2014 in Report: Cheap food makes us fat, YesYNot said:

    Whether you lose or gain weight depends on your calorie balance. So, at the most basic level, it's how much you eat.

    What you eat will affect how hungry you get later and how much energy you have. It also may affect your mood how much exercise you do etc. So, what you eat will affect your calorie balance and consequently will also play a part in weight gain / loss.

    Every nutritionist could get someone to lose weight if people did what they were told and stuck to a diet plan. The controversy is over how to get people to follow directions, stick to it, and be happy with it.

  • On 28 May 2014 in Report: Cheap food makes us fat, YesYNot said:

    The calorie in / calorie out calculation always works out. There was a guy at KSU that humorously demonstrated this by eating nothing but twinkies and losing 27 lbs. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-katz-md/chewing-on-the-twinkie-di_b_782678.html

    I think most diet proponents would say that you can get the same weight loss with less hunger by doing x,y,z.

  • On 28 May 2014 in Report: Cheap food makes us fat, YesYNot said:

    Hormones play a roll, but it's not nearly as simple as Taubes makes it out to be. For example, I believe that eating a low fat high carb whole food diet makes you more insulin sensitive, not less. Also, eating high protein & high fat diet increases insulin over longer time periods (the response is just slower), and decreases insulin sensitivity.

    There are plenty of reasons for the obesity epidemic. In no particular order:
    1. People eat less fiber (lots of it is removed in most processed foods), and people eat very few veggies.
    2. People eat out more at slow and fast restaurants.
    3. People eat much more prepackaged dehydrated food at convenience stores or from the center isles while they are out and about.
    4. The people making food in the restaurants and for convenience packaged items don't care how fat you get or if you die early. They load up the food with salt, oil, and sugar.
    5. Excess salt, oil, and sugar makes people eat more. They are less likely to stop when they are no longer hungry.
    6. People eat much more calorie dense foods these days. All processed dehydrated grains are calorie dense. Bread is 1200 cals / lb. Oil is 4000 cals/lb. A lot of processed crap is 2500 calories / lb. In comparison, cooked pasta, potatoes, and rice are about 4 - 600 calories / lb, and they have more fiber.
    7. People drink their calories at Starbucks and from Coke et al. When people eat an apple before a meal, they eat less at the meal. If people drink a coke before or during a meal, they don't eat any less.
    This is not inclusive, but off the cuff, these strike me as the most likely culprits.

    Before I lost the weight I ate pretty well. Mostly it was home cooked and much more veggies than typical. None of the junk sugary cereals. Fast food once a week or so. Other restaurants 1 to 3 times a week. Most of the change was cutting out meat, dairy, and added oils. This seriously changed the nature of what I ate when going out to eat or going to parties.

    My weight loss was probably half muscle and half fat. My body fat % went down. I didn't have 35 lbs of fat to start with, so it was definitely not all fat. My shirts went from tighter in the belly to needing athletic cuts. Pant waist went from 34 to 31. The gym gave a health assessment based on body fat %, height to waist ratio, blood pressure, cholesterol, etc. My score was 100%. My bmi went from 26 to 22, so it is well within the normal range - not scrawny. My doc says doing great and don't change a thing. My running has improved and the weight loss has been great for a knee that is missing some cartilage and sometimes gave me problems.

  • On 28 May 2014 in Report: Cheap food makes us fat, YesYNot said:

    errc,
    How is it that billions of Asians have gotten most of their calories from rice for thousands of years without getting fat?
    How is it that people eating nothing but potatoes for 2 months end up losing weight?
    Why did I drop 35 lbs when I upped my carb intake to 75-80% of total calories?

  • On 3 May 2014 in The 2013 housing market and my prediction for 2014, YesYNot said:

    marcus says

    This argument is so stupid.

    Hey - we agree :).

  • On 3 May 2014 in The 2013 housing market and my prediction for 2014, YesYNot said:

    marcus says

    Meaning that the author, like Tat, concludes that since interest rates sometimes have a positive correlation to RE price, and other protracted periods they have a negative correlation, that therefore these cancel eachother out, and we can not therefore say there is a correlation. (Actually, like Tat, the authors may not understand this.)

    Like Tat says, there is no long term correlation. There is only noise, and random fluctuations that you are trying to assign meaning to. You are failing to see the forest for the trees.
    marcus says

    I guess if it helps you, think of me as making a different point, rather than a contradictory one. And that is that over some fairly long periods interest rates have a positive correlation to interest rates. Over other significant periods there is a negative correlation.

    No one is denying that you can find time periods where there are positive and negative correlations. The price changes in these periods were not driven by the interest rates. They are just noise. If they were driven by interest rates, they would all be correlated in the same direction. We are stating that on the whole, historical data do not in any way back up your claim that an increase in interest rates will cause prices to decline.

    marcus says

    For further understanding of the obvious, you might want to explore the ways in which future income streams are valued by the financial world. They are valued almost entirely as a function of current interest rates. Plug in a higher rate, you get a lower value. This is finance 101.

    So, a net present value calculation uses a discount rate to discount the value of future cash streams. The expected cash flow is in the numerator and the discount rate is in the denominator. No one is arguing these basic facts. Most are arguing that the discount rate never changes independently from the cash flow. In fact, there are other forces that make the expected future income stream correlated with the discount rate. Things are a little different for a cash investor, where the discount rate is tied to the expected rate of other investments (opportunity cost) and the leveraged buyer, where most of the discount rate is tied to a mortgage cost.
    The net effect of all of this over long enough time periods is apparently that there is no significant correlation between mortgage rates and house prices.

    YesYNot says

    Maybe the question is, why do people on Patnet expect that we will have high interest rates in the absence of any inflationary pressure?

    So, I ask again, why do you think that we will have high interest rates in the absence of inflationary pressure? I'm using the term interest rates generally to include mortgage rates and expected returns on investments. The inflationary pressure would cause expected cash flow to increase in the future. You keep acting like we need to understand a net present value calculation, but you ignore the relevant questions about how it works.

  • On 2 May 2014 in The 2013 housing market and my prediction for 2014, YesYNot said:

    Maybe the question is, why do people on Patnet expect that we will have high interest rates in the absence of any inflationary pressure?

    Do you have such expectations Marcus? I've not read any convincing argument around here.

    Even if we were to have mortgage rates increase without any other changes, the net effect would not necessarily be lower prices. Buyers would not want to buy at current prices, because monthly payments would increase. On the flip side, sellers would either not be able to sell at reduced prices (mortgage) or not want to sell at reduced prices. After all, sellers still have their low interest rate loan locked in, and their monthly balance is based on their locked in rate. So, you would have a slow down in sales, but prices might not be so predictable.

  • On 2 May 2014 in The 2013 housing market and my prediction for 2014, YesYNot said:

    I chose to adjust for inflation, because RE prices have gone up in every 30 year period you can think of. This is because RE generally goes up with inflation. Adjusting for inflation is a way to remove this fairly well known appreciation effect.

    marcus says

    Although the correlation can even be seen there (not including the aberration of 2007 - 2012)

    You can't just exclude the part of the data that don't agree with your theory.

    So, while interest rates have gone from 10 down to 4%, national housing has been volatile but has gone with inflation give or take. I picked the years, b/c that was where the CS data started. I'd say that over this period, housing has been pretty immune to the large change in interest rates.

    If you stop worrying about black swans and this time it's different yada yada, you might expect that housing will continue to follow the 3% inflation + - 10 or 20%.

  • On 2 May 2014 in The 2013 housing market and my prediction for 2014, YesYNot said:

    Here's how housing and interest rates have gone over the last 30 years or so, which I believe Marcus referred to. I adjusted the Case-Shiller data to account for inflation. Inflation was done yearly, but it averaged to about 2-3%.

    edited to fix chart

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