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FAQ

If we cut out welfare and allowed capitalism to take its course, would people's basic needs eventually be fully met by the free market?
The top answers are so bad that they merit a response.I see many communists rehashing the well worn statement along the lines of “NO, businesses only care about profits not people”. Yeah yeah we know. The reality is the following.First things first, all resources in society are limited. Land is limited, food is limited, timber is limited, especially a person’s time is limited. Therefore, as humans we have to decide how we will use all of these limited resources. Considering that there are millions of products we could potentially create out of just a few hundred raw resources, this is very complex. How could we possibly know what and how much of something to produce? Well we have to usePRICES.What are prices in the first place? They are nothing more than signals to society. They tell producers what society wants and how much of it they want. If a business generates an evil profit it is because it is fulfilling the needs of society. If a house building company generates a profit it is because they are supplying a roughly correct amount and quality of shelter to the masses. If it were losing money then that is the way of society to tell the home builder company that they are not using resources efficiently and are not supplying enough or good enough housing to the masses, therefore, they go out of business, or must change their ways so as to satisfy the needs of the masses better. If they do change their ways and organize societies’ limited resources better, then people buy from them more and they are rewarded with profits.Profits are not evil any more than losses are evil. They are simply empirical ways to know if limited resources are being used the way society needs.So on to the welfare question.Without even explaining the immorality of stealing peoples money to give to others, I ask the question, is it even possible for government to ensure the welfare of citizens? Further (and the most important part), how does the state know how much shelter, food, medicine, etc. to give to people if there is no profit or loss system? Think about it, it takes hundreds if not thousands of inputs JUST TO MAKE A PENCIL. Each of those inputs (rubber, wood, graphite, machining, transportation), has their own set of prices (determined by profit and loss) which all is taken into consideration to determine the final price of the pencil. Do you ever notice that we never have a shortage of pencils? For that matter do you ever notice that there is a shortage of bread, or meat, or cars, or electricity? You can thank the free market and the profit-loss system for that.Now on the contrary do you ever wonder why in socialist paradises such as Venezuela, Zimbabwe, the USSR, and Communist China, people are or always were starving and died of basic things like fevers? Do you wonder why around 100 million people died in socialist countries just in the 20th century? All of these countries had universal welfare, what happened? Simply, without any profit and loss system as inherent in capitalism, they had no possible way of knowing what and how much of things to produce. The result? Mass starvation. Even though these before mentioned countries are incredibly rich in natural resources and farmland.Now many will say, “yeah but we aren’t proposing full socialism we just want the government to provide basic stuff, you know mixed economy and all that”. this doesn’t make the basic economics go away. The government doesn’t rely on the profit loss system, they rely on a system of coercion and taxation. this means that they don’t have a profit or a loss, they just have huge budgets and abstract “goals”. Efficiency and consumer demand doesn’t even fit into the calculation and therefore the “welfare” they provide will always be progressively more expensive and lesser quality. Don’t just take my word for itThe sadly funny thing is that poverty steadily declined in the “horrible” capitalist days of the 19th and early 20th centuries, whereas, with the introduction of the modern welfare state in the U.S. the poverty rate has stagnated in spite of the enormous and ever increasing budget we throw at the so called “war on poverty”. Why? Again, because economic calculation for the state is impossible and therefore they can never know what, how, or how much of something to produce, in this case, welfare.Contrast this to capitalism which decades ago eliminated the kind of grinding poverty that plagued mankind for centuries (at least in the west where it has most thoroughly been implemented), and continues to lift humankind up to more elevated standards of living today. Just remember that if you enjoy having an abundance of food, shelter, clothing, etc. it is thanks to the profit-loss system that enables companies to empirically know how much you need of something. Paradoxically, however, the more government “welfare” we have the more we will need.If you want to read more in depth about the subject go to Emerging| All Things Liberty and Art
What are the best secret/hidden spots in New York City to check out?
I'm not a New Yorker, but I visit this city enough to not be called a "tourist". I'm not sure if this place has been mentioned before, but there's a huge segment of the Berlin Wall in a small park on 53rd St between 5th and Madison Ave.The Cloisters is a museum on the West Side located way up near 190th St. It features a large part of John Rockefeller's medieval art collection and features around 1,900 different exhibits. It is not a "secret" per se, but definitely worth a visit, if only to see the scenery of the Hudson and surrounding area (George Washington Bridge etc). I felt like I was somewhere in Europe while I was there yesterday. It is not on the typical tourist's map, which makes it better since its away from all the hustle. Prosperity Dumpling, ChinatownWith 1,200 reviews on Yelp, this place is definitely not a secret, but I doubt non-New Yorkers would know of this place. It is a hole-in-the-wall located in the heart of Chinatown, and serves delicious pork and chives dumplings at an extremely inexpensive price of $1.00 for 5 of them. My personal favorite is the Chicken Sesame Pancake, which costs around $2.50 per pancake. They also sell dumplings in bulk, which I imagine is at a cheaper per-unit rate than the retail price of 12.5¢ per dumpling. Its a great place to go to when you don't feel like spending 10 bucks on a lunch in NYC. DUMBO in Brooklyn (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass, right near the Brooklyn Bridge) features one of the most beautiful views of Manhattan, and is a great place to walk around and explore for those who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan The "real" Halal Guys cart (53rd and 6th) only comes after 8pm. The others are just knock-offs.Even though tickets are sold out months in advance, you can become a part of the Saturday Night Live studio audience if you're willing to go to 30 Rockefeller at 7am for standby tickets. If you reach there in time, you will most probably be able to become a part of the studio audience.The Jersey City Waterfront features some of the most spectacular views of the Manhattan skylineBelvedere Castle in Central Park (mid-park at 79th st) has an observation deck which offers beautiful views of Central Park and Manhattan. Speaking of Central Park, Strawberry Fields is John Lennon's memorial spread over 2.5 acres I haven't done this yet, but "Shakespeare In The Park" in the Delacorte Theater in Central Park is quite an experience. It is a free presentation of some of Shakespeare's most famous plays. It runs in the months of June and July every year. Best part is that tickets are free and are distributed on a first-come-first-serve basis.Shakespeare in the Park's performance of Romeo and Juliet Ice cream, milkshake and milk flavored like the milk that remains after you eat Kelloggs cereal, only at Momofuku Milk Bar in East Village (and other locations!)milkbarstore.comSeven Hills Cafe at 849 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn serves the best hookah in New York City. Priced at only $10 per hookah (with the $5 Yelp check-in coupon), it features every imaginable flavor, great service (albeit a little slow) and lip-smackingly amazing Turkish and Lebanese food. That's all I can think of for now. I'll add more "secrets" as and when they come to mind.
Is it economically feasible for the USA to build a canal from the East coast to the West coast?
No. This sounds like something someone who has not visited the western US might wonder, but then... if you go to the western US it all looks like this:Salt Lake City, Utah Tacoma, Washington: Sparks, Nevada: Denver Colorado:Los Angeles, California:Keep in mind that both Salt Lake City and Denver are both over 4,000 ft above sea level already, and then they have those mountains around them still. It is probably not even physically possible. Most of the interior Western US is at least 4,000 feet above sea level. In Western Washington you can go from 0 feet above sea level standing on the beach to over 14,000 feet above sea level in under 60 miles. That's the ocean, and from it you can see Mt. Rainier.  Of course, that is an extreme, but the construction crews would have to dig thousands of feet deep for thousands of miles. It doesn't sound physically possible.There's not a single line East-West that does not cross over a place at least 3,000 feet above sea level. I don't think any group of people in history has dug a trench 4,000 feet deep. I suppose you could keep the water going through a complex system of interlocking locks, and keep it above sea level, but you would still need to probably dig thousands of feet deep for it to work. There's no way you can have water not pour out when the canal is sloped at a 30 degree angle.Another challenge for this would be the material of the rocks out west. See that red stuff?It crumbles a lot, and has trouble even supporting roads:We are unable to prevent rockslides after even cutting through 100 feet of rock. Really many highways here are never complete. They are always breaking or being blocked by rockslides, and in constant need of repair. At least a few days a year Snoqualmie Pass connecting eastern and western Washington gets blocked by rockslides and avalanches.   Imagine trying to dig a 4,000 ft trench, maybe 2,000 if you got the interlocking canal locks to work, with that material as any part of the trench. It just couldn't support it. 4,000 ft is really taller than any man-made structure ever built.  Another factor is that out west it often gets to below 0. Even ocean water will freeze at 28.4 degrees fahrenheit (-2 C). These are average temperatures. Some days it gets much colder.At 10 degrees (-12 C) the small amount of water in the canal will freeze.  Every year, unless this entire canal is heated, the body of water in it will freeze solid, expand, crack, and break. It would only be able to be used in the summer. This entire thing would be pointless anyways. It is much quicker to deliver a package across the US on land than by sea around it. A cargo ship moves at an average speed of 26.5 miles per hour (it varies by the type of ship, but see How to shrink the world). In the western US trucks are usually allowed to drive between 55 and 75 mph. It takes 41 hours to drive from Seattle to New York City without traffic. It would take a cargo ship 3 times that long to sail through the middle of the country, assuming it was even possible.Back to locks... I mentioned before that it was possible to transport water to higher elevations using interlocking locks. This is how the Panama Canal works. Part of the reason the Panama Canal is possible is because of a big lake that feeds the canal "down-canal" (instead of downstream)Similarly, there is a system of canals connecting the Great Lakes to the Atlantic in the Eastern US and Canada:In both these cases, the locks are fed by rivers and lakes.Much of the western US has no large lakes or rivers, and there really are practically none in Texas, Oklahoma, or Nebraska... In Texas especially, most of the rivers seem to be dry. Here is the Rio Grande:Here's the Brazos RiverThe Colorado River is already being used for freshwater and electricity in many different states.Not only this, but the Western US is in a water crisis.Here's a map of Droughts in the US:There are no water resources that could be exploited to fill this canal without sacrificing most of the cities, power, agriculture, and other things the water is already used for. Not to mention it would destroy the environment.All of the water would have to be pumped from sea level, to thousands of feet above sea level along a series of locks, and the canal would have to be wide enough for ships to go through it.I don't think this would be possible without still having to cut a canal through thousands of feet of rock...I mean a lock system just can't work on a slope like this, at least not to a capacity for ships to go up it:You would still have to cut thousands of feet deep to make the slope less steep. 
What are some must sees or dos when in New York City to fill out a two day itinerary?
Get yourself Metrocards. They work in the Subways and on the buses. Each ride is about $2.75. However, you can transfer from bus to subway, bus to bus, Subway to Subway, or Subway to bus for free.When I take people around for two days, I typically start with the Statue of Liberty. First boat goes out at 8:30 a m. Do not talk to sidewalk ticket agents. At best, they will sell you the $19 ticket for $25, with a commission. At worst, thousands last year paid for boat trips that did not go to the Statue of Liberty, after being told by street ticket agents that it would.From the statue, it's a short walk to either the financial district or World Trade Center Memorial. (We don't call it Ground Zero anymore.)After that, I walk over the Brooklyn Bridge to Brooklyn Heights, with its beautiful 150-year-old houses, including those that housed Arthur Miller, Norman Mailer, Truman Capote and WH Auden. Stop at the Brooklyn Heights Promenade with a 15 km or 10 Mile view of the city and the harbor.This takes us to lunch the first day.Contact me if you want to learn the rest of this two-day itinerary. I'm always looking for another day of work!
How should I apply for a restaurant job in New York City: walk in and fill out an application or online?
Walking in might work, but you also run the risk of inconveniencing someone while their working. However, let's say you go for it, have you thought about what questions will I be asked at an interview for a restaurant job? Visit this link to get yourself prepared for what is surely to come your way whether at your impromptu or official interview. Having some prepared answers can make the process run more smoothly which will give you confidence and probably result in a job.
Will running next to the west side highway in New York (downtown) hurt my lungs?
The short answer is NO.  Running on the West Side Highway will NOT hurt your lungs.I have lived in New York for 15 years and have run hundreds of miles in Manhattan.  A good number of those miles have come running up an down the path on the West Side Highway.  While I'm not going to lie to you and say that it is the cleanest or freshest air in the world, the winds coming off of the Hudson do a great job of blowing away the exhaust fumes from the passing cars and trucks.  If you turn your head and look to the river, you'd have no idea that you are running in the biggest city in America.  All things considered, it really is a great run trail.  In all my time running on this path, my lungs have never been in pain, nor have I had a coughing attack or anything remotely close to that.  I should also note that I lived in TriBeCa during 9/11 and ran the 2001 NYC Marathon.  Therefore, I ran dozens of training miles up and down this path in September and October 2001.  I never had a problem then and now - 11 years later - there are absolutely zero signs that the running has had any long-term effect on me.  My lungs have never been better.
Is it possible to build a highway from New York to London?
New York is 3500 miles from London. The average car can sustain about 70 miles per hour for extended duration. So driving non stop it would take 50 hours to get across the Atlantic... That's right, nonstop it would take over 2 days... But you can't drive nonstop for two days, let's assume a normal person can drive for 8 hours before needing to rest... That would be 6 stops... Potentially that is the maximum one could drive for a day... So we would need a week to get across! A week on a bridge, assuming no storms... :-( Now, the average car can drive 300 miles between fill ups... So you would need at least 12 fuel stops along the way. Here, in the UK, it costs around £50 to fill the tank, so that would cost me £600.Cars can't drive underwater, so the roadway would need to be built higher than the highest Atlantic waves. Also how are you going to support the roadway? Most of the way it would need to be supported by floating platforms like oil rigs.Now, I can get to New York for £600 (return) in about 6 hours by plane... That works out much better for me.
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