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

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

    Quote Originally Posted by phattonez View Post
    And how exactly did you divine that fact? I know of no way to tell whether an interstate is profitable or not because there is no way to do economic calculation. That is the heart of the problem. People aren't directly paying for the product and we have no way of telling what the external benefits are. A private company would have people pay directly for the road and would internalize any externalities they create. We would easily be able to tell whether or not such a project is profitable. Can't do it with government. Surely roads would be profitable if run by private companies, but not with our current framework of subsidized alternatives.
    It really depends on travel and cost. Some roads can be profitable, some wouldn't be. Just because a road isn't profitable doesn't necessarily mean it shouldn't exist. There are plenty of reasons for having a very sophistocated and expansive structure. A private company folds, what happens to the road? Gets sold off, falls into disrepair, there are lots of negatives from having private companies own something like the roads. It's like the post office, it doesn't have to turn a profit; it just needs to be there. Because private business is subject to many varying winds and circumstance, the government is more robust. I understand the appeal of thinking that roads should be privatized; but I don't agree. There are far too many concerns which go along with it. Once something is established, then yes it becomes easier. For instance, private companies can buy sections of roads. But the initial backbone, the initial structure had to be conquered through the use of government first.

    Quote Originally Posted by phattonez View Post
    How long does it take for an oil company to receive a profit on the drilling it does. I can take 30 years for an offshore oil platform to start producing, yet oil companies do it anyway, don't they? How long does it take for a skyscraper to become profitable? How long does it take for a typical mortgage to become profitable! Yet it happens all the time. People take huge losses at the present for gains in the future. To deny this fact is to deny reality.
    There's a lot of money which goes into prospecting for oil. That's why YOU can't just get up, get a loan, and go out and do it. There are already established oligopoly which exists now, and the barrier to entry is exceedingly high. These companies also share a lot of government protections, subsidizes, and privilege. Hell, there was supposed to be oversight which turned out to be cocain and hookers. Oil companies are not really a good example because they are heavily funded and supported through various government means. In fact, there are a couple whom own large hunks of land they are sitting on. And while they are sitting on it, they're making bank from the government by not farming it. They're just sitting around until it's profitable to mine the land for minerals.

    Quote Originally Posted by phattonez View Post
    No one has been proposing that one company would build an entire national system. There would be a mosaic built by many smaller companies each contributing their part to a national system (most likely).
    So will there be standards then? Or is each company going to make their own sets of rules? Where are they getting all the money from? You can bet your bottom dollar a good portion isn't going to be just loans from banks, etc. The government is going to be there, funding away as well. What about land concerns? That can be incredibly expensive without the power of Emminent Domain.

    No, the best thing is to create it all in a single plan. While plenty of private industry will be brought in to construct it; an overall plan with rules and regulations set for the transportation means is well better than breaking it down in completely different companies. High speed rail isn't something which is highly benefitial going 20 miles. It's benefit really comes in on longer trips. Which is why you want to hook up cities, particularly across State lines. That's the government's business right there.

    Quote Originally Posted by phattonez View Post
    Again, oil companies and financiers do this all the time. Why are you conveniently ignoring them?
    They do it because A) They are founded. It's easier to do something once something exists. It was pretty easy early on to break into oil (once the monopolies had been dealt with), and before when there was proper oversight and regulation to prevent oligopoly. Now there are only a handful of companies out there, and they are established and the oligopoly in place has created a barrier to entry to ensure that they are the only ones around. They recieve tons of money from government, and they are pumping oil which is hella profitable. Saudi Arabia, for instance, pulls oil out of the ground for about 5 bucks a barrel, and what's the going rate these days? Oil is known to be profitable. Which right there is the major difference between giving money to oil companies whom you know will turn a profit or funding a high speed rail to which you have no idea what the return will be. People need oil, it has to be found, it's exceedingly profitable, there are only a handful of companies with the resources and capability of doing it. And that's why they can "do it all the time".

    Thus your appeal to oil is no applicable to high speed rail since the conditions are wildly different.
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    Re: Florida scraps high-speed rail plan pushed by Obama

    Quote Originally Posted by Gray_Fox_86 View Post
    Forget about the mess. Those CEOs have millions in personal wealth. Even though they sent their company into the crapper. What I want to know is how who someone failed at running a business gets bailed out and manages to keep millions for himself after everything.
    phattonez has the right of it here. It's because these are the people who really have the ear of Congress. It is not We the People, but the new aristocracy. The new elite class, the uber rich; they are who Congress ALWAYS works for. Look at what comes out, look at what government really does; past its words to its actions. They are insistent on giving hand outs and appealing to only a certain sector of folk, the aristocrats. It's always the same group of folk, the same companies, etc. It's a bit sickening if you ask me.

    And let's face it, this bit with Obama and the high speed rail. As much as I'd like to see it done and I think particularly in this time of economic downturn we can use government to build something and get jobs; it was nothing but talk. The rail system will never see the light of day and I doubt Obama had any interest in pushing it. It was nothing but words to make it seem like they care or they have a plan. But push comes to shove, they don't do ****.
    You know the time is right to take control, we gotta take offense against the status quo

    Quote Originally Posted by A. de Tocqueville
    "I should have loved freedom, I believe, at all times, but in the time in which we live I am ready to worship it."

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Gray_Fox_86 View Post
    Right. Its time to cut off their heads.
    I'm not opposed. From time to time, government needs a little reminder about who is in charge.
    You know the time is right to take control, we gotta take offense against the status quo

    Quote Originally Posted by A. de Tocqueville
    "I should have loved freedom, I believe, at all times, but in the time in which we live I am ready to worship it."

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari View Post
    phattonez has the right of it here. It's because these are the people who really have the ear of Congress. It is not We the People, but the new aristocracy. The new elite class, the uber rich; they are who Congress ALWAYS works for. Look at what comes out, look at what government really does; past its words to its actions. They are insistent on giving hand outs and appealing to only a certain sector of folk, the aristocrats. It's always the same group of folk, the same companies, etc. It's a bit sickening if you ask me.
    The Romans under Augustus thought they lived in a Republic, too, because he kept up the trapping of the Senate and always went through the proper political motions rather than directly enforce his will. But when we look back on that time we see it today as the beginning of the Roman Empire. I suspect something similar is happening today; we have the theater a republic but it's all just the corporatists going through the motions. And future historians will see our government for the corporatist oligarchy it truly is.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    Are you talking about conscrption during the Rev War?
    He's talking about a constitutionally authorized power that we all agree on.
    "He who does not think himself worth saving from poverty and ignorance by his own efforts, will hardly be thought worth the efforts of anybody else." -- Frederick Douglass, Self-Made Men (1872)
    "Fly-over" country voted, and The Donald is now POTUS.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Incognito View Post
    It's the lesser of two evils. Either transportation will be dominated by the corporatist oil cartel or it will be dominated by government. At least the people have a controlling stake in the government. If you see a way in for the free market I'm all ears, but otherwise those are the only options I see.
    There is a huge difference between government coercion and corporate coercion; that being the government can coerce you with a gun.
    "He who does not think himself worth saving from poverty and ignorance by his own efforts, will hardly be thought worth the efforts of anybody else." -- Frederick Douglass, Self-Made Men (1872)
    "Fly-over" country voted, and The Donald is now POTUS.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari View Post
    It really depends on travel and cost. Some roads can be profitable, some wouldn't be. Just because a road isn't profitable doesn't necessarily mean it shouldn't exist. There are plenty of reasons for having a very sophistocated and expansive structure. A private company folds, what happens to the road? Gets sold off, falls into disrepair, there are lots of negatives from having private companies own something like the roads. It's like the post office, it doesn't have to turn a profit; it just needs to be there. Because private business is subject to many varying winds and circumstance, the government is more robust. I understand the appeal of thinking that roads should be privatized; but I don't agree. There are far too many concerns which go along with it. Once something is established, then yes it becomes easier. For instance, private companies can buy sections of roads. But the initial backbone, the initial structure had to be conquered through the use of government first.
    If a road isn't profitable then why should it exist? How can you measure the standard by which it exists? Remember that companies tend to interlalize the externalities that they create.

    There's a lot of money which goes into prospecting for oil. That's why YOU can't just get up, get a loan, and go out and do it. There are already established oligopoly which exists now, and the barrier to entry is exceedingly high. These companies also share a lot of government protections, subsidizes, and privilege. Hell, there was supposed to be oversight which turned out to be cocain and hookers. Oil companies are not really a good example because they are heavily funded and supported through various government means. In fact, there are a couple whom own large hunks of land they are sitting on. And while they are sitting on it, they're making bank from the government by not farming it. They're just sitting around until it's profitable to mine the land for minerals.
    Many oil companies are tightly controlled, but are you telling me that in this world there would be no drilling for oil if not for government?

    So will there be standards then? Or is each company going to make their own sets of rules?
    Each company will set their own rules, but you would probably see a standard set of rules develop. After all, no one tell technology companies what should be compatible, but the system developed endogoenously so that PCI, USB, firewire, and other standards developed.

    Where are they getting all the money from? You can bet your bottom dollar a good portion isn't going to be just loans from banks, etc. The government is going to be there, funding away as well. What about land concerns? That can be incredibly expensive without the power of Emminent Domain.
    It can be, so you can either acquire the land or find a way around it. Eminent domain creates a huge loss for those affected by it. And companies know how to raise capital, they've done it before and they'll do it again. Look up the Great Northern Railroad.

    No, the best thing is to create it all in a single plan. While plenty of private industry will be brought in to construct it; an overall plan with rules and regulations set for the transportation means is well better than breaking it down in completely different companies. High speed rail isn't something which is highly benefitial going 20 miles. It's benefit really comes in on longer trips. Which is why you want to hook up cities, particularly across State lines. That's the government's business right there.
    There's no such thing as spontaneous order?

    They do it because A) They are founded. It's easier to do something once something exists. It was pretty easy early on to break into oil (once the monopolies had been dealt with), and before when there was proper oversight and regulation to prevent oligopoly. Now there are only a handful of companies out there, and they are established and the oligopoly in place has created a barrier to entry to ensure that they are the only ones around. They recieve tons of money from government, and they are pumping oil which is hella profitable. Saudi Arabia, for instance, pulls oil out of the ground for about 5 bucks a barrel, and what's the going rate these days? Oil is known to be profitable. Which right there is the major difference between giving money to oil companies whom you know will turn a profit or funding a high speed rail to which you have no idea what the return will be. People need oil, it has to be found, it's exceedingly profitable, there are only a handful of companies with the resources and capability of doing it. And that's why they can "do it all the time".

    Thus your appeal to oil is no applicable to high speed rail since the conditions are wildly different.
    Why would it have to be a brand new company building the roads? Couldn't a company with access to a lot of capital start building roads? I see no reason why they couldn't. So the appeal to oil is applicable.

    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 Guy Incognito View Post
    I salute you idealism, but this is effectively giving way to the corporatists. Perhaps you're making some sort of "devil that you know" argument?
    Support for corporatism is support for corporatism.

    There is no such thing. Right now the situation is totally either/or. Unless we're talking about bicycles, your only ways of getting around are going to need fuel derived from oil. So the real question is, do we want to favor inefficient modes transportation that benefit the oil cartels, or do we want efficient transportation provided by government that benefits the economy and the environment?
    I can't support any government-backed proposals. It's like asking is it better to shoot the newborn baby or the old man. Sure, shooting the old man is probably less reprehensible, but that doesn't make it good either. The answer has to be that I can't support either action.

    Again, this is no more a "social engineering scheme" than charging commuters for peak congestion hours on public roads. But, while a congestion charge favors wealthy commuters who can afford it, subsidized loans favor low income earners. I'd be more inclined to the latter, myself, but neither is a free market solution. Don't kid yourself.
    Congestion charge favors wealthy commuters who can afford it? This is most likely how roads would be run. Is it fair that the rich can get more food than the poor? Is it fair that the rich can go on vacations but the poor can't? I realize that government running it isn't the best, but at least it tends toward the free market direction.

    That's just it. There is nothing moving in the direction of our ultimate goal. Once you realize that you'll have a much clearer view of the world.
    Selling off roads piecemeal is moving in the direction of that ultimate goal. Expanding government ownership is the opposite direction.

    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
    If a road isn't profitable then why should it exist? How can you measure the standard by which it exists? Remember that companies tend to interlalize the externalities that they create.
    Because roads are useful and can open up many other means of commerce along with personal travel. But the creation, construction, and upkeep of something on the level of our interstate system is extremely immense and thus government is best able to provide for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by phattonez View Post
    Many oil companies are tightly controlled, but are you telling me that in this world there would be no drilling for oil if not for government?
    Not the way it is done now, no. Costs are too high to jump in, too many rules to prevent proper competition; that's why other companies don't come into existence in the field. It's occupied by oligopoly already in place. You could not make a fresh start oil drilling and refining company because there is no way for you to be profitable on the time scale necessary to survive as a company.

    Quote Originally Posted by phattonez View Post
    Each company will set their own rules, but you would probably see a standard set of rules develop. After all, no one tell technology companies what should be compatible, but the system developed endogoenously so that PCI, USB, firewire, and other standards developed.
    There would have to be oversight and standardization; and that would most likely have to be done through the government.

    Quote Originally Posted by phattonez View Post
    It can be, so you can either acquire the land or find a way around it. Eminent domain creates a huge loss for those affected by it. And companies know how to raise capital, they've done it before and they'll do it again. Look up the Great Northern Railroad.
    Companies can, but where does that money come from? It's not all private banks (which are all backed by the government anyway). Additionally, the great western expansion in which many private companies laid rail through the West cannot happen anymore. Not only are the robber barrens gone, but we also have well more labor and environmental laws to contend with today.

    Quote Originally Posted by phattonez View Post
    There's no such thing as spontaneous order?
    I'm not quite sure I understand this part.

    Quote Originally Posted by phattonez View Post
    Why would it have to be a brand new company building the roads? Couldn't a company with access to a lot of capital start building roads? I see no reason why they couldn't. So the appeal to oil is applicable.
    It could, but that company would have to be able to shoulder the profit loss over the time frame necessary to complete and consumer product. Given the scale of national high speed rail, that time frame, the amount of money necessary, the man hours at stake are all to large. Oil companies get tons of money from the government, a lot of subsidies and other benefits. It's not like they're doing this all in the private sector. The government supports them, and any company which could conceivably conquer the national high speed rail problem would be no different. Because it would take government to float them long enough to turn a profit, which could be 10's of years.
    You know the time is right to take control, we gotta take offense against the status quo

    Quote Originally Posted by A. de Tocqueville
    "I should have loved freedom, I believe, at all times, but in the time in which we live I am ready to worship it."

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari View Post
    Because roads are useful and can open up many other means of commerce along with personal travel. But the creation, construction, and upkeep of something on the level of our interstate system is extremely immense and thus government is best able to provide for it.
    Doesn't logically follow. Try again.

    Not the way it is done now, no. Costs are too high to jump in, too many rules to prevent proper competition; that's why other companies don't come into existence in the field. It's occupied by oligopoly already in place. You could not make a fresh start oil drilling and refining company because there is no way for you to be profitable on the time scale necessary to survive as a company.
    How did the auto companies ever start with the huge startup costs associated with an automanufacturing plant? I wonder how long it takes for those things to become profitable.

    There would have to be oversight and standardization; and that would most likely have to be done through the government.
    Way to go! You just completely ignored the standardization that has come about in technology without any government control. Congratulations!

    Companies can, but where does that money come from? It's not all private banks (which are all backed by the government anyway). Additionally, the great western expansion in which many private companies laid rail through the West cannot happen anymore. Not only are the robber barrens gone, but we also have well more labor and environmental laws to contend with today.
    We have more capital than we had back then, way more. Are you seriously arguing that we can't build projects today at the scale at which they were built in the 1800s? That's nonsense and you know it.

    I'm not quite sure I understand this part.
    A national system can be developed by many smaller individual systems. Spontaneous order.

    It could, but that company would have to be able to shoulder the profit loss over the time frame necessary to complete and consumer product. Given the scale of national high speed rail, that time frame, the amount of money necessary, the man hours at stake are all to large. Oil companies get tons of money from the government, a lot of subsidies and other benefits. It's not like they're doing this all in the private sector. The government supports them, and any company which could conceivably conquer the national high speed rail problem would be no different. Because it would take government to float them long enough to turn a profit, which could be 10's of years.
    How did the auto companies ever start with the huge startup costs associated with an automanufacturing plant? I wonder how long it takes for those things to become profitable.

    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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