Comments by sevendolphins

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Posted on July 10 at 8:59 a.m.

Harwood has pointed out something irrelevant... the only legally required lights for bike riding at night face *forward*. There is no legal requirement for rear lights.

Front lights would not have prevented this tragedy.

On the rear of the bike, only reflectors are required... Harwood makes no comment about whether or not Joshua Canning had rear reflectors.

There are no legal requirements on the color of a bike riders' clothing.

Cars are lethal to bicyclists. Most bicyclists ride in incredible fear of the carelessness of car drivers who are eating, talking on their cell phones, speeding, changing the radio channel, etc, or several of those at once.

I hope the driver's cell phone records are examined in this case; remember Eric Okerblom. I hope Officer Harwood examined the drivers' car for food, radio on, CDs, etc.

On City Worker Killed in Vehicle-Bicycle Accident

Posted on May 16 at 6:12 a.m.

fredb93117 nailed it. And widen it to 4 lanes each way, just through Montecito.

On Sleep with Dogs, Wake with Flea Powder

Posted on April 16 at 2:36 p.m.

The only thing that is obvious: he is not guilty.

He may not be innocent either, but the court/prosecutorial system has weighed in and found him not guilty.

On DA Dismisses DUI Case Against Tony Denunzio

Posted on October 4 at 2:21 p.m.

Noozhawk ain't bad, and from time to time the Daily Nexus does something.

On Baying at the Moon

Posted on September 6 at 8:49 a.m.

The plane for my flight to Denver from SBA never arrived the other day. United Airlines gave me a voucher for a taxi ride form the Santa Barbara Airport to the Santa Barbara Airbus.

Only in the taxi did I learn: the voucher was or $10, and the taxi ride cost $15.

On A Conventional Dog

Posted on July 17 at 7:39 a.m.

Chinatown, released June, 1974, has an amazing score.

On The 10 Best Summer Movie Soundtracks

Posted on July 5 at 10:01 a.m.

I think the teacher's retirement system (CalSTRS) and the Univ. of Calif system (UCRS) have fees/overhead of about 0.15%, very similar to Vanguard, although those systems must also manage the payouts, unlike Vanguard.

CalPERS, I think, has a fairly high fee/overhead... more like 0.56%.

Vanguard is an exceptionally good company... the financial industry typically charges 0.5% for holding your securities. It is very easy to wind up paying 2%, also.

On Should public employees work more years for their pensions?

Posted on July 3 at 4:50 p.m.

Sorry Botany, you misunderstand. Per $ invested, 401(k)s have way more trades than DB plans. More trades/$ means more Wall Street overhead and fees per $ in 401(k)s than in DB plans.

Certainly I understand that public pensions are invested in Wall Street securities. But they benefit from far lower overhead and fees than 401(k) systems.

Also, sorry, the insurance/longevity effect makes DB plans way more economical than 401(k) type plans. Every single 401(k) investor must plan for a long life, and save for it or lower their withdrawal rate. But when 100,000's of people pool their pension funds, those that die early subsidize those that live a long time, like happens in insurance. Risk is actually reduced; risk is not a conserved quantity, and can actually be reduced by pooling the funds.

On Should public employees work more years for their pensions?

Posted on July 3 at 12:02 p.m.

Amazing that anyone would claim (as SantaNa does above) that education does not contribute to the tax base. Somalia, Haiti, Eritrea, the Comoros, Ethiopia, and Chad have essentially no education. They have no tax base either.

Once the US believed that hard work and good education were the source of long-term prosperity. Now SantaNa and others here believe that just pushing money around speculatively is the source of wealth. The real reason China is taking over... the government is investing like crazy in education an infrastructure, which they understand gives long term economic health.

The problem is not `Defined Benefit' pensions, but that those benefits were calculated poorly and way over promised, given the income into the plan. By nature DB plans work best if the employer makes all the contribution... and gives a lower salary. Because people who die early get screwed, and those who live to be 100 reap the rewards, DB plans are more like insurance than pensions. But the benefits in public versions were way, way too generous to sustain the system through a period of bad stock market performance.

401(k)s are very expensive for two reasons: 1)Each individual must plan to live into their 90's and put enough money away for that possibility, to match the coverage of a DB plan; 2)Many more stock trades/dollar contributed, making more money for Wall Street.

But there is one reason why 401(k)s are superior in the private sector: no corporate raiders can come along and empty the pension fund into their own pockets, as was a regular occurrence between 1980 and about 2000, when they were mostly gone.

But in principal, government is stable enough to sustain the large pool of money in a DB plan forever. Actually, Pete Wilson tried to raid the CalPers etc pools in the early 1990s.

On Should public employees work more years for their pensions?

Posted on June 29 at 7:58 a.m.

For the same level of benefits in retirement, Defined Benefit systems are cheaper than 401(k) systems.

The problem with public pensions is *not* that they are Defined Benefit, but that the level of benefits is too generous for the level of contributions.

On Pension Tensions

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