March 4, 2010

Children playing with toy trains and play money...

... or no... real money. Our money.



And don't get me started about the Madison kids.

43 comments:

madawaskan said...

Damn it if they'd have only included that stupid logo they have on the cover of the bullet train proposal in this video-almost perfect!

madawaskan said...

Wow-I went to the link of the cover graphic and they actually got rid of it.

It use to be a train flying through an Obama logo.

Now it looks like this:

link

Tony said...

Innumeracy. The public seems to be unable to digest big numbers like billion and trillion so they get behind mass transit boondoggles. The pols love it because it gives them big piles of cash to dole out.

A dedicated road for high-speed buses connecting big cities would work just as well as trains and it would be far cheaper.

Dave said...

Innumeracy. The democrats seems to be unable to digest big numbers like billion and trillion so they get behind mass transit boondoggles.

Fixed.

Tony said...

Dave:

Good point but the public is too quiet [almost comatose] when it comes to weighing the pros and cons of these projects.

From Inwood said...

Hey

They're movin' ahead with the 2nd Ave Subway in NYC. It was supposedly paid for by a $500MM Bond Issue in 1951.

59 years ago. A lifetime.

Think, then, that maybe NYC doesn't really need it?

Ya do? Then you're you’re anti-environment (because I said so & don’t realize that the trains run on energy obtained ultimately from Big Oil) & racist also (unintentional or intentional) since it will begin in East Harlem. Though, like Rik H of the New Yorker, perhaps we should consider the (deeper) truth of what you (really) meant because it is axiomatic that the Left can never be racist (intentionally or unintentionally) &, conversely, that the Right will always be racist or guilty of racial ridicule (intentionally or unintentionally).

Dave said...

Hey Tony,

What do you think those tea parties are all about? Those guys sure are mad about something.

But I agree on the larger point. Not enough people are angry about spending, and I think it IS possible that they just don't understand what is happening.

Quayle said...

When I lived in Paris, a French colleague said to me, tongue in cheek, that America went to the moon and France showed they could keep pace by making a faster train.

But while they work in Europe where the distances are small, and the major cities all have good transportation, that model breaks down when thinking about Houston and Dallas.

So you take the fast train to Dallas - you still need to rent a car when you get here.

DADvocate said...

The flaws is this plan are so obvious it's hard to believe anyone supports it. Mayors are greedy for federal money for anything it seems.

In Ohio for instance, you will be able to go from Cincinnati to Columbus for $18 dollars. In every trip I've taken to Columbus, once there was only 2 of us in the car, every other time more. Two would cost $36. I can drive to Cincinnati in my gas guzzling, very comfortable Tundra Quad cab for about $10-$15 dollars depending on gas prices. (At today's prices, $10)

When I get there I have a vehicle to drive around town already with me. No car rental, no taxis, or depending on someone else to drive me around. Plus, I leave and return from the trip completely according to my schedule or whim. (I inhale deeply here.)

PLUS, the trip is quicker. I don't drive to the station, go through the boarding process (Which may be as security intensive as boarding and airplane. There's been plenty of terrorist attacks at train stations in Europe.) I don't drive thru Dayton because it's not on the route from Cincinnati to Columbus, but the train must go there because that's where the tracks will go. This means a stop in Dayton to further slow me down. What is an 90 minute trip in a car will probably take 3 hours by high speed train.

traditionalguy said...

The key to all appropriations of billions of dollars for "High Speed Rail"is to get a 15 year process started with huge grants for inflated Consultant Contracts given to friends of the Congressmen. In terms of dollars it is a black hole that hopefully never will run any trains. They cannot afford to run trains because then operating subsidies get all the Money and not the Congressmen's political friends.

Hazy Dave said...

Seems like I heard somebody on the radio say that we're not serious about global warming until we embrace rail transportation.

The mind reels. Costly "solutions" to imaginary problems might be better than costly and ineffective solutions to real problems, but not by much.

Class factotum said...

A dedicated road for high-speed buses connecting big cities

But don't poor people take the bus?

Ick.

wv = diolight = God light as in I have seen the light the liberals are right spend my money on a high-speed train!

Irene said...

Madawaskan said . . .

Now it looks like this

Great. It resembles someone zipping by on a luge sled.

Bad omen.

raf said...

One advantage of cars//trucks over rail I hardly ever hear mentioned is the smaller transfer batch. Just like in a factory, requiring material [people] to move together in large batches slows things down, adds additional handling cost, and makes the whole thing less flexible. Sometimes large batch makes sense, but not always.

Tony said...

A private company [the Bolt] runs buses between Philly and New York. They are new, clean, on time and offer Wifi [hear that Althouse?]. For the 90 mile ride, they charge maybe $15?

Amtrak charges about three times that amount.

How come private enterprise can do this?

traditionalguy said...

Tony...You have to realise that private enterprise also makes an evil profit. So even at $15 the capitalist are stealing from workers. It is the Peoples Government that should do all of that stealing. Whats the matter with you? Remember that a good collectivist wants to collect all of the money. Profits only force people to work diligently and produce valuable things cheaply. The goal is the King owning everything. Ask Chavez and Castro how great that is ( for them ).

rollingdivision said...

Democrats lust to spend money on things which lose money and aren't popular, efficient, environmentally friendly or economical. Conversely Democrats lust to tax anything, anyone and everything which makes a profit. So enormous subsidies for 1800's technology, passenger trains. Next thing they'll want to subsidize ocean liners.

LonewackoDotCom said...

Who does NickG want to be when he grows up?
1. Elvis.
2. Gene Vincent.
3. Elvira.
4. Count Floyd.

Write your answer on a card, and email it to your local branch of Koch Industries.

David said...

Tony said...
A private company [the Bolt] runs buses between Philly and New York. They are new, clean, on time and offer Wifi [hear that Althouse?]. For the 90 mile ride, they charge maybe $15?

Amtrak charges about three times that amount.

How come private enterprise can do this?


They can do this because they are traveling on roads paid for and maintained by the government, silly.

Now this train does sound like a massive boondoggle but let's not believe that all the other modes of transportation aren't subsidized too.

By the way, this will create a lot of nice European jobs if we do it. The United States no longer has the technological expertise or the facilities to build this infrastructure or the cars and engines. It will be great for the Euros.

And a government program of uncertain duration or success is unlikely to be the base for the capital investment needed to rebuild our capacity.

Althouse is right. Damn fools think it's play money.

Class factotum said...

They can do this because they are traveling on roads paid for and maintained by the government

Does that mean gas taxes do not fully pay for highways?

That is a serious question.

traditionalguy said...

Professor ... The headline says it was your money. Not anymore.

rhhardin said...

There's nothing like the sound of a train clicking over successive switches in a large train yard.

It helps if your father works for Lionel.

AllenS said...

Don't worry about taking the government train. If it crashes and you are injured, you'll have government insurance. What could possibly go wrong?

madawaskan said...

Irene-

It's really bad, what's telling is that they knew what they had before was even worse.

Andrea said...

The reason so many liberals like the idea of trains and go into dumb projects like this is either because they have trains in Europe and they had such fun on that trip to Europe they went on after high school when their parents bought them a Eurail pass for a graduation present. Also, liberals have no practical knowledge of boring things like geography, so the fact that the continental United States is much vaster and less evenly settled than Europe doesn't seem to cross their minds. Also many liberal rail supporters live in urban areas like New York City, where owning a car is a pain in the ass, and they are used to depending upon public transportation.

Methadras said...

The numbers are very clear on what fiscal losers mass transit systems are nationwide. They are nothing more than a money pit.

LonewackoDotCom said...

Can anyone imagine Reason making this video if trains ran on CleanBurning, LibertyLoving KochIndustries energy? (If you've never heard of the second-largest private co. in the U.S. and their long-term funding of many r/w orgs, a search will reveal literally a ton of information.)

Jason (the commenter) said...

The ones they're building in Florida are especially ridiculous. We have sinkholes here. Sometimes the ground caves in and takes out roads. How is a train supposed to deal with this? They can't drive around!

Paul said...

Methadras said...
The numbers are very clear on what fiscal losers mass transit systems are nationwide. They are nothing more than a money pit.


They are also a jobs program for union workers, whose dues go back to the election coffers of Democrats

edutcher said...

This is the sort of thing that needs a Thomas Durant to be CEO and a Jack Casement to boss construction with a carload of immigrant Irishmen (or Collis Huntington and Charlie Crocker, if you prefer)to do the pick and shovel work. That's the only way it gets done. They'd make it pay, too.

The wussy Lefties don't have the brains or the guts to pull it off.

Henry said...

I hate it when companies like Koch Industries are private and I can't invest in them.

@LoneWacko - Koch sells diesel. Do you know what trains run on?

Joe said...

Hey Koch makes Quilted Northern. All hail toilet paper making geniuses!

Joe said...

Can anyone imagine Reason making this video if trains ran on CleanBurning, LibertyLoving KochIndustries energy?

Huh? Reason, and Nick Gillespie in particular, is against government doing idiotic things, especially things that are best left to private enterprise. You do understand what libertarians are, right?

Joe said...

Fascinating charts about how Europeans actually travel. Look at three charts down and note that the vast majority of transportation is still by car:

http://cfit.independent.gov.uk/pubs/2007/ebp/index.htm#02

LonewackoDotCom said...

Good to see the vanguard of the KochIndustriesFanClub has arrived. Meanwhile, until someone can show me detailed evidence that they would profit from the plan I'm going to stand with the last comment.

P.S. This article about Koch and NAFTA is a must-read. It's from 1993, but it could have been written yesterday about the possible influence of money on certain of your leaders.

LonewackoDotCom said...

Joe:

Your comment is incredibly stupid, especially so in light of the link in my first comment on this thread. How dumb are you?

Henry said...

If I can answer for Joe -- he's dumb enough to know about diesel-electric.

How smart are you?

LoneWacko, do you ever consider who completely abstract and solipsistic your ideas are? You have your big theories and your foolproof solutions and yet, somehow, nothing ever comes of them.

Tell me, what motivates the directors of Koch Industries? Ideology or profits? Your link to the Nafta article suggests you think they are motivated by profits -- and not just any profits, but profits wrung from manipulating big government. And yet Koch Industries sells diesel. If they were truly motivated by profits, would they not support government rail?

Go ahead, connect the dots. I'm sure you can. But remember that if you mention ideology you lose, because then the tie between a free-market company and a libertarian magazine becomes completely, rationally, explicable.

You're not connecting the dots. You're shooting into the air and shouting bang.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Yes! And air travel is so economically feasible! No subsidies there, just TSA and DHS up the wazoo to police the place and frisk grandma! And the FAA is a very profitable enterprise!

As usual, just some more hard-core mumbo jumbo from the usual suspects suffering from the usual myopia.

The numbers and markets are inherent in the technology. Air travel makes sense for flights of 600 miles or more, rail for journeys of 600 miles or less. And cities that are as congested as required to warrant Gillespie's comlaints generally have to have something called a "subway" anyway. But I guess NYC just didn't think about building more roads!

Myopia is correctable, you know.

Joe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe said...

Okay, I'm stumped. How was my comment stupid? Koch Industries owns Georgia Pacific which makes toilet paper.

My second comment was that Nick Gillespie, who produced the video, and Reason Magazine are libertarian. They are against government overreach. Nick is very consistent on this. Simply making claims that someone is corrupt because they once worked for someone else is silly. Gillespie and Welch are VERY prolific in their writings and video products; surely you can find the proverbial smoking gun where Nick supported a government program being backed by Koch Industries.

(Your link is hilarious. The writer makes ad hominem attacks and then complains that people make ad hominem attacks against him. So fierce, he's considering taking legal action while slandering people. Sorry, but that's just plain pathetic. Moreover, as Henry points out, your arguments make no sense at all. Again, find a video of Nick Gillespie supporting a government program contrary to his stated convictions that benefits Koch Industries.)

Alex said...

Next thing garage will accuse Althouse of bashing our Holy President.

Agnes B Bullock said...

You voted for this ship of fools- be proud of that vote

Robert R. said...

Rail has it's plusses and minusses.

So do roads. We can all name there plusses and since we've had them since Roman times, they obviously work. But, they need plowing in northern climes. They need to be policed. They take land off the property tax rolls. They need to be repaved every few years. They need support services like the insurance industry, mechanics, and emergency services. And they're not cheap to build either. The idea of adding a lane to connect major cities via bus only is silly. The I-94 project between Milwaukee and the Illinois border is running $1.9 billion.

Airlines and water freight have their own subsidies. (Heck, should we toss Nasa in there?)

Blanket claims against any form of transportation are silly. Some projects make sense. Some don't. But, in general, they all need subsidies.