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Thread: Florida scraps high-speed rail plan pushed by Obama

  1. #241
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    Re: Florida scraps high-speed rail plan pushed by Obama

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Here is a back-of-the-envelope calculation for just one of the societal benefits of a high-speed rail system:

    When a person drives a car, it costs about 30 cents per passenger-mile in external costs (i.e. costs that are incurred by society, rather than by the driver). These externalities include pollution, road maintenance, highway police, emergency services for accidents, congestion, land use, etc.

    So let's use that Tampa-to-Orlando route that keeps being cited as an example of an absurdly expensive boondoggle, with that $3 billion price tag for an 86 mile track. And let's assume a payback period of 20 years (which seems reasonable, given that a high-speed rail system is intended to be a long-term investment). How many people would need to make the round trip between Tampa and Orlando each day via the train in order to justify the cost? Here's how we could calculate it:

    N = The number of customers per day
    $51.60 = The total cost to society for each round trip in a car ($0.30 per mile * 172 miles)
    N * $51.60 * 365 days * 20 years = $3 billion
    N = 7,964

    So roughly 8,000 people would need to make the round trip each day in order to recover merely the EXTERNAL costs to society...and that's not even taking into account the money that would actually be saved by the individuals making the switch. Nor am I including the non-driving related externalities, such as airport congestion.

    How many people travel this route on the highways every day? I bet a hell of a lot more than 8,000. If you could convince a fraction of them to switch to rail, even this route being cited as grossly overpriced would be well worth the cost over the course of 20 years.

    And I bet the numbers are quite a bit better still for places like California and the Atlantic Corridor.
    I think you're overestimating the actual usage and the you're not counting the cost of running such a system and maintaining it, which will be huge (just think of the electricity costs alone). You're going to need more than 8000 a day, a lot more. And with the increased inconveiences I mentioned with taking a train versus driving, I just don't know how many people will do it. You'll need to pay for parking, carry your luggage, pay for a fare, get a rental car (or take some other kind of transportation in the other city), etc., so taking the train isn't as appealing as may first seem.

    Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false, and does not swear deceitfully. Psalm 24
    "True law is right reason in agreement with nature . . . Whoever is disobedient is fleeing from himself and denying his human nature [and] will suffer the worst penalties . . ." - Cicero

  2. #242
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    Re: Florida scraps high-speed rail plan pushed by Obama

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Incognito View Post
    For high speed rail in Florida, absolutely. That would turn the Florida economy around. Imagine what it would do for the Orlando economy if South Florida families could just hop a train and be at Disney World in an hour. Or if yuppies from Orlando, Jacksonville and Tampa could be down in South Beach in an hour. Or if the trains that constantly ship goods back and forth between Florida's eight major metro area could be from south Florida to the panhandle in a matter of hours instead of a full day? It would do so much for commerce in Florida it is unimaginable. Absolutely worth it.

    Increasing connections among people is what boosts the economy. Look at everything from the internet to the interstate. Whenever you bring people together they trade. Normally I wouldn't be advocating for the government handling high speed rail, either, but the corporatist quasi-free market we have no sure won't come up with this on its own. A true free market would have high speed rail in heart beat, but corporatist suppression favoring the oil-based economy keeps that from happening.
    I never support such large government projects even if private comapnies would be engaging in them in the free market. Reason being government doesn't know how to run a system plus I can never support government increases. Anywhere and everywhere the government needs to shrink, so if there is a proposal for government to basically do anything, the standard answer should be no. Making exceptions only leaves you with the system that we have now. A free market system with a ton of "exceptions."

    Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false, and does not swear deceitfully. Psalm 24
    "True law is right reason in agreement with nature . . . Whoever is disobedient is fleeing from himself and denying his human nature [and] will suffer the worst penalties . . ." - Cicero

  3. #243
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    Re: Florida scraps high-speed rail plan pushed by Obama

    Quote Originally Posted by MrVicchio View Post
    How dishonest.

    It'd be a giant waste of money that would put us further indebt for what? Another AMTRACK?
    Amen to that. Let's put people to work by building these waste of time rails but then cut their jobs because no one will use them. Definitely a waste of time and money.
    Ecclesiastes 10:2: "A wise man's heart directs him toward the right, but a foolish man's heart directs him toward the left."
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  4. #244
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    Re: Florida scraps high-speed rail plan pushed by Obama

    Quote Originally Posted by Gapeach View Post
    Amen to that. Let's put people to work by building these waste of time rails but then cut their jobs because no one will use them. Definitely a waste of time and money.
    Any claim that a project will create jobs should be viewed with suspicion. We should ask how many jobs this money would create if it was not tied up in this project. People seem to have a hard time understanding opportunity cost.

    Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false, and does not swear deceitfully. Psalm 24
    "True law is right reason in agreement with nature . . . Whoever is disobedient is fleeing from himself and denying his human nature [and] will suffer the worst penalties . . ." - Cicero

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    Re: Florida scraps high-speed rail plan pushed by Obama

    Quote Originally Posted by phattonez View Post
    Any claim that a project will create jobs should be viewed with suspicion. We should ask how many jobs this money would create if it was not tied up in this project. People seem to have a hard time understanding opportunity cost.
    Was definitely using sarcasm when stating it would make jobs. There are many other things we could be doing instead of spending money on frivolous things
    Ecclesiastes 10:2: "A wise man's heart directs him toward the right, but a foolish man's heart directs him toward the left."
    Government is not the solution to the problem. Government IS the problem.-Ronald Reagan
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  6. #246
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    Re: Florida scraps high-speed rail plan pushed by Obama

    Quote Originally Posted by phattonez View Post
    I never support such large government projects even if private comapnies would be engaging in them in the free market.
    Why not? As a libertarian, I myself am a minarchist, meaning I support the minimal government necessary to protect liberty. A truly free market would have naturally produced high speed rail, that is just simple market efficiency. But what we have is a system where corporatism exerts a corrupt control over the market. Therefore minimal government requires that fighting fire with fire. Minimal government does not mean small government, it means the least necessary, which in this case is still quite a lot of government. But necessary to counterbalance the corruption of the free market.

    Quote Originally Posted by phattonez View Post
    Reason being government doesn't know how to run a system plus I can never support government increases.
    So you'd rather trust crony corprotists with the project? Sorry, they're to busy manipulating our government into favoring oil.

    Quote Originally Posted by phattonez View Post
    Anywhere and everywhere the government needs to shrink,
    False.

    Quote Originally Posted by phattonez View Post
    so if there is a proposal for government to basically do anything, the standard answer should be no.
    This is simple-minded.

    Quote Originally Posted by phattonez View Post
    Making exceptions only leaves you with the system that we have now.
    No, failure to compromise and failure to be pragmatic is what leads to the corrupt system we have now.

    Quote Originally Posted by phattonez View Post
    A free market system with a ton of "exceptions."
    Do you actually think we live in a true free market now? If so I suggest you bone up on Murray Rothbard and Robert Nozick and learn what a free market really ought to look like. It's nothing like the corrupt corporatist cluster-**** we have right now, I can tell you that much.

  7. #247
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    Re: Florida scraps high-speed rail plan pushed by Obama

    Quote Originally Posted by Whovian View Post
    Florida scraps high-speed rail plan pushed by Obama - USATODAY.com



    But...but...didn't Obama promise us high speed rail in the SOTU address?
    How is that comment related to the story... except to say the GOP scores a political victory at the expense of their unemployed constituents.

    Well done GOP!! Way to represent!

  8. #248
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    Re: Florida scraps high-speed rail plan pushed by Obama

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Incognito View Post
    Why not? As a libertarian, I myself am a minarchist, meaning I support the minimal government necessary to protect liberty. A truly free market would have naturally produced high speed rail, that is just simple market efficiency. But what we have is a system where corporatism exerts a corrupt control over the market. Therefore minimal government requires that fighting fire with fire. Minimal government does not mean small government, it means the least necessary, which in this case is still quite a lot of government. But necessary to counterbalance the corruption of the free market.
    Fighting fire with fire only gives you a bigger fire.

    So you'd rather trust crony corprotists with the project? Sorry, they're to busy manipulating our government into favoring oil.
    No. I want an entirely free transportation industry.

    False.
    Mind elaborating on where you think the government should grow or at least not shrink?

    This is simple-minded.

    No, failure to compromise and failure to be pragmatic is what leads to the corrupt system we have now.
    So the 1800s, when we had a relatively free market, that wasn't the result of people sticking to their principles and advocating small government anywhere and everywhere? It wasn't when we started making exceptions that we began our precipitous decline to economic fascism?

    Do you actually think we live in a true free market now? If so I suggest you bone up on Murray Rothbard and Robert Nozick and learn what a free market really ought to look like. It's nothing like the corrupt corporatist cluster-**** we have right now, I can tell you that much.
    Obviously, you don't seem to read my posts much. I'm saying that this corporatist economy came about because we had a free market system and made a ton of exceptions for the common good. It was this compromise that brought us to the system we have today.

    Murray Rothbard (yeah, I read him too) had a quote in For a New Liberty about how Libertarians to reach their goal should always talk about their ultimate goals, and always support goals toward that end and never in the opposite direction. He talks about how the Marxists did this and how programs that seemed really radical years ago (like minimum wage and social security) became not so radical because Marxists would talk about their ultimate goals which seemed much more radical. As a result they were able to acheive many goals and they moved government in their direction. Rothbard thought that libertarians ought to do the same.

    Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false, and does not swear deceitfully. Psalm 24
    "True law is right reason in agreement with nature . . . Whoever is disobedient is fleeing from himself and denying his human nature [and] will suffer the worst penalties . . ." - Cicero

  9. #249
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    Re: Florida scraps high-speed rail plan pushed by Obama

    Quote Originally Posted by Gapeach View Post
    Was definitely using sarcasm when stating it would make jobs. There are many other things we could be doing instead of spending money on frivolous things
    Oh I know, I was agreeing with you.

    Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false, and does not swear deceitfully. Psalm 24
    "True law is right reason in agreement with nature . . . Whoever is disobedient is fleeing from himself and denying his human nature [and] will suffer the worst penalties . . ." - Cicero

  10. #250
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    Re: Florida scraps high-speed rail plan pushed by Obama

    Quote Originally Posted by hazlnut View Post
    How is that comment related to the story... except to say the GOP scores a political victory at the expense of their unemployed constituents.

    Well done GOP!! Way to represent!
    Better that the capital gets freed up for more worthwhile projects rather than being tangled up in the swamp of corruption and inefficiency that is government bureaucracy.

    Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false, and does not swear deceitfully. Psalm 24
    "True law is right reason in agreement with nature . . . Whoever is disobedient is fleeing from himself and denying his human nature [and] will suffer the worst penalties . . ." - Cicero

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