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Backward technology being used by backward people in order to move their State backward in time. Forward!
Public transit is big on the communist agenda, and cars are bad because they recall the nuclear family. But the problem with public transit is that many people wear a ton of cologne or perfume. Sitting in there on the 8:15 into the city is like being gassed. I go apopleptic. When I lived in Seattle and didn't have a car I had to walk ten miles to work or ride a bicycle. I just couldn't get on a bus, or I would have expired more rapidly than the transfer.
Meanwhile, China is leading the way forward!High speed rail is the wave of the future!
Something like that.My understanding is that it would have been cheaper for the taxpayers of New Mexico to buy busses and give free passes to the Santa Fe State employee commuters, than to engage in this RailRunner boondoggle.
Keep electing Democrats and you'll eventually get a train that perpetually loses money, just as designed.Nationally, the train is called Universal Healthcare.
The headline quote may do better with a little cinematic context: link
Strictly speaking, it was Johnathan Harker and Quincey Morris who slayed Dracula, although Van Helsing did take care of the weird sisters.
Pogo said: Nationally, the train is called Universal Healthcare.Heh, that could be a riff on "Universal Pictures." :0
I don't know about all that but, for goodness sake, slay something!
I've been using that analogy for 40 years.Nice to know it still applies.Ignorance Is Bliss said...Strictly speaking, it was Johnathan Harker and Quincey Morris who slayed Dracula, although Van Helsing did take care of the weird sisters.You mean Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins?PS I was wondering if we were going to hear about that one, Mojo.
I'll admit being a bit of a heretic on this issue - I can see trains as being useful when they interconnect several major cities which have adequate mass transit systems. (I speak as someone who's occasionally used Amtrak's Northeast Corridor service between D.C. and New York.)But I understand when people say it's pointless to link cities that are difficult to get around in without a car - that kind of kills the whole point of trains, doesn't it?WV: symbobe.
perhaps if the pro-public transport folks didn't oversell the benefits and undersell the costs 100% of the time, more people would take what they say seriously. Every time they want some new govt project/program they're convinced that for no reason whatsoever, THIS TIME WILL BE DIFFERENT, and it never is. On the other hand, it is entirely possible that they don't care and just want to steal our money.
"We were fans of the high-speed rail," said Dave Walker, 65, a retired teacher. "We just felt that was a potential savings for gas, better for the environment, a speedy way to go to Madison."And that's all I liberal needs to justify what would ultimately have cost $1 billion to build and millions to operate.
How about public policy that favors high speed cars on high speed highways, for a change?Public transportation is like public schools. Even staunch supporters like Barack Obama and Rahm Emanuel avoid it if they can.
There are few better examples of the left's rejection of dispassionate analysis in favor of hideous social-engineering schemes than its continued love of passenger rail. Way back in 1965 the definitive book on railways vs. highways was written. Here's the NYT's precis:Two of the book’s major policy conclusions have remained mainstays of economic policy advice.First, highways will never be appropriately used until they are appropriately priced. Unless drivers pay the full social cost of crowding congested urban roads during peak hours, then those roads will remain overused and society will pay a large cost in wasted time. Second, buses are pretty much everywhere more cost-effective than urban trains. We are so used to buses as we experience them, moving slowly along crowded city streets, that we forget Mr. Meyer’s point that buses on dedicated lanes, “freeway fliers,” can be just as fast as urban trains.
"It's probably because, in general, Republicans and conservatives and libertarians don't like government subsidies..."Hahaha. It must be getting harder and harder to be a Republican when you are compelled to lie so often.
Hahaha. It must be getting harder and harder to be a Republican when you are compelled to lie so often.Another positive contribution to the conversation by Mr. Obnoxious.
@garage--Why not try commenting without using the word "lie" or its variants as a rejoinder? It's not persuasive in the least.And presuming that you're referring to government/business cronyism, well just consider which President brought the head of GE into policymaking.
I've probaby asked this question a million times to the choo-choo enthusiasts here: What service would a Madison-Milwaukee rail line provide that isn't already being provided by the existing Greyhound bus service? People can already get from here to there without owning a car. Why spend $1B to duplicate a service that is already available?
Here's an article about what they're doing in Denver, and contrasting it with Atlanta.What's really precious is how it has been judged to be a great success, even though the first trains won't be accepting passengers for two more years (the plan was approved in 2004 when voters approved a special tax), it's $2 billion over budget, they're contemplating a second round of taxes to pay for it, and the construction is so behind that some parts that were promised might be built 25 years behind schedule.If you read the article closely, you realize that the "great success" wasn't in getting a working, affordable, efficient system but rather the great success was in getting a tax passed to fill up the government slush fund. That's how things are judged when government is involved. It's not the result, it's the "how much money did we spend" standard.Now, however, Denver’s vote is an example for the Atlanta region — of a success at the polls that metro leaders hope to emulate, of grievous missteps that they hope to avoid, of a $6.8 billion plan that transit advocates envy and of a new government program that anti-tax forces view with skepticism.
Folks, a free market in transportation services would quickly solve these problems. Auto lovers would have their roads. Train lovers would have their rails. Bus lovers (a creature I believe to be mythical) would have their buses.Problem is, we have no free market. The government owns and operates the highway and road system, which it provides to the users at FAR less than the actual cost. The government paying no property tax on the real estate it covers in concrete. Railroads pay property tax on their rights of way. The government pays no cost of capital to investors in the form of dividends or interest. Those costs are included in the pricing of private rail services. That is why the bus appears to be cheaper than the light rail car.The government should not be in the business, period.And, Lincolntf, the technology is not backward. The two axle vehicle controlled by one person and powered by one engine is what is backward. The auto is just an improved Roman ox-cart. Same chaos and congestion. What is advanced is a system which can move many carts at the same time with one driver: The railroad. Even the playing field by removing the government subsidy of highways. Or are we all really socialists now?
From the article..."While this debate has played out in other rail transit projects around the nation, "Opposition to rail here tends to be more pronounced and more visible" than in other parts of the country, said Rob Henken, president of the Public Policy Forum, a nonpartisan local think tank.Despite the loud opposition, Henken said a June 2010 "People Speak Poll" showed more than 40% of respondents favored a high-speed rail system connecting Chicago, Milwaukee and Madison, as well as a commuter rail system linking Kenosha, Racine and Milwaukee counties."
What is advanced is a system which can move many carts at the same time with one driver: The railroad.You've explained succinctly why so much freight moves on trains. What you have not demonstrated is that rail is a sensible way to transport people.The highway system is essential to the value of rail transport. Most freight is shipped by stacking semi-trailers on flatbeds, to be taken to their ultimate delivery points by trucks. Similarly, most people traveling on passenger trains need a way to get from the terminal to their destination. And, once they're at their destination, they need a way to get around town. If you need to have buses or cars to ferry people around anyway, the value added by passenger rail is a lot less.
And that was a "peoples' poll" taken BEFORE the price of gas went above $4 a gallon.Would anyone care to estimate what the numbers might be today?
And what if Obama wins a second term, as most presidents do?Might we see those proposals for taxing people per mile driven become a new reality? Who knows.But if that did happen, does anyone wonder what the impact would be on the "peoples' poll"?
"Hahaha. It must be getting harder and harder to be a Republican when you are compelled to lie so often."Says the Baghdad Bob of Althouse.
"What service would a Madison-Milwaukee rail line provide that isn't already being provided by the existing Greyhound bus service? People can already get from here to there without owning a car. Why spend $1B to duplicate a service that is already available?"They think the feeling of being cool and not pathetic is an important benefit to be provided by the government.
"Ann Althouse said...They think the feeling of being cool and not pathetic is an important benefit to be provided by the government."100% correct. It's a liberal badge of honor. You are not a player without a train. Having a train, and just as important being part of the cause that got it, are all that matters. Because you have saved the planet. Screwed big oil. blah blah blah
They think the feeling of being cool and not pathetic is an important benefit to be provided by the government."This misses the importance of trains having a station and a station having a coffee shop where the riders can sip expensive lattes and wish they were in Europe. The central planners do not give a shit about transportation but they do care about creating an "urban core" where people live and work and drink expensive coffee drinks. People are much much easier to control after that.
This is a very true statement. In Phlly, the mass transit agency is planning to spend $100 million for a new system to collect fares. It collects $300 million or so annually from passengers. Think about that for a minute- $100 million represents 4 months worth of paid revenue and they will spend that for a new "cash register system"! Now imagine you are a salesman and you selling new cash registers and billing systems to for-profit business and your potential customer asks how much will your new system cost me? And you answer - "4 months of your current cash receipts".I bet you would not close many sales at that price!
"It's probably because, in general, Republicans and conservatives and libertarians don't like government subsidies..."Unless you happen to be Michelle Bachmann. She was paid paid almost $260,000 in federal subsidies for the family farm the Bachmann's list as an asset. Another socialist exposed.
Chip, thanks for your response. I actually agree with most of your points. I'm opposed to government agencies trying to set up 'services' either for our benefit or to control our behavior. They almost always end up creating something which is FUBAR. I want to unlease the creative forces of the market, and to that end I engage in this Don Quixote like campaign to end government support for highway systems. Make the highway user pay his appropriate share of the property tax revenue which should accrue to the political entity in whose limits the highway is located. Property which was part of the tax base before it was condemned and turned over to the highway department.
Speaking of trains, if you are on the market for a board game, I highly recommend Ticket to Ride.
Ignorance Is Bliss:If all it took to build a high speed rail network was to turn in matched sets of colored train cards, high speed rail would have a lot more support.
Hmmm, I thought it went something like this:"Into each generation a Slayer is born. One girl in all the world, a Chosen One. One born with the strength and skill to fight the vampires, to stop the spread of their evil and the swell of their numbers."
The Vampire L'Etat.Hey, now I know what image to use in next year's Tax Day post.
"What service would a Madison-Milwaukee rail line provide that isn't already being provided by the existing Greyhound bus service? People can already get from here to there without owning a car. Why spend $1B to duplicate a service that is already available?"It would be a little bit faster, somewhat more comfortable, and (unless subsidies just paid for everything) more expensive. You'd think that a heavily subsidized passenger train would just eliminate any non-subsidized bus service, but apparently it doesn't.The Northeast corridor is said to be the ideal Amtrak route, yet Amtrak tickets from NYC to Boston or Washington, DC can cost $100. ro $150., depending on the level of comfort you're willing to pay for.And so, there are numberous buses available for the same trip, at fares starting at $10. or so (up to about $50., for the extra-comfy seat version with WiFi, electric outlets, free snacks, etc.).In any case, the case for streetcars seems to get muddied by the New Urbanists' apparent desire to bring back the streetcar suburb ...
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