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

  1. #371
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    Re: Florida scraps high-speed rail plan pushed by Obama

    Quote Originally Posted by phattonez View Post
    Support for corporatism is support for corporatism.
    Exactly. You understand the principle but you are misunderstanding the application. Keep that in mind as you read my response to this post:

    Quote Originally Posted by phattonez View Post
    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.
    Thats unfortunate, because "neither" isn't an option. Forget you shooting them, that's a false analogy. A better analogy is a train with two different route. On the current track, the train will hit two babies tied to the rails. If you throw the switch, the train will hit an old man tied to the rails. You don't have time to untie everybody, you only have time to flip the switch if you so choose. What do you do?

    Most people would see it's a simple choice: the lesser of two evils. Choosing neither is not an option, and in actuality, choosing neither is a choice in favor of the greater of two evils.

    Quote Originally Posted by phattonez View Post
    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.
    Once again, you are misapplying the noncoercion maxim. Favoring the wealthy wouldn't be a problem if the roads weren't public to begin with. Did you forget that public roads are paid with tax dollars, and that tax dollars are collected from the wealthy and the poor alike? A user fee for a tax-payer supported system become an unjust, coercive benefit for the wealthy.

    Quote Originally Posted by phattonez View Post
    Selling off roads piecemeal is moving in the direction of that ultimate goal. Expanding government ownership is the opposite direction.
    Selling off roads piecemeal to who? The coercive coporatists? You cannot just blindly stagger towards a "free market" as if every small step is some sort of libertarian panacea. The fact is a partially free market can allow for greater corporate coercion than a properly regulated market.

    You cannot judge the success of a government system based on how closely it resembles a truly free, unregulated market. As a libertarian, you must judge the success of a government based on the maximization of liberty, and a minimization of coercion. And yo must always remember: corporate coercion weighs as heavily as government coercion.
    Last edited by Guy Incognito; 02-25-11 at 01:41 PM.

  2. #372
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    Re: Florida scraps high-speed rail plan pushed by Obama

    Quote Originally Posted by phattonez View Post
    Doesn't logically follow. Try again.
    Yes it does. The interstate system is huge, do you really think that any one company could construct it from scratch, providing the most extensive road system available for all people to use in a time frame that would allow them to recover their initial investment and then turn a profit? That doesn't logically follow.

    Quote Originally Posted by phattonez View Post
    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.
    Cars started as a luxury item, only the rich had them. It wasn't until Ford came up with the idea of the assembly line that the car was affordable for the common man to have. But again, this is folly of aggregation. There is a LARGE difference in scale between a auto manufacturing plant and the scale, complexity, and scope of the interstate system. You keep saying "well it is feasible on this small scale, thus it has to be feasible on this much larger scale". But that's not true, particularly with private business (particularly if we're assuming they are getting no money from the government); things do not infinitely scale up.

    Quote Originally Posted by phattonez View Post
    Way to go! You just completely ignored the standardization that has come about in technology without any government control. Congratulations!
    And what standardization is that? With something as complex as high speed rail, you're going to need tight regulations. Not only on speed of trains, but down to the very network it uses to communicate. Particularly if the goal is to eventually link them all up. For ease of transition when linked, they need to have similar systems in place, with similar safety protocols and similar architecture in order to efficiently and effectively link lines with minimal down time (which would be VERY important to private business anyway).

    Quote Originally Posted by phattonez View Post
    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.
    We can't even rebuild New Orleans in a reasonable time (seriously, is that place fixed even now?). While we are most certainly able to scale up to some degree today; there are also other considerations such as safety, labor, and environmental laws which exist today. We cannot build a high speed rail system with slave Chinese labor. The complexity of the system and technology here is not the same which existed in the 1800's. In fact, they could not even envision high speed rail in the 1800's. While we can and do tackle well more complicated and expensive projects now than we did in the 1800's, it's still not infinitely scalable.

    Quote Originally Posted by phattonez View Post
    A national system can be developed by many smaller individual systems. Spontaneous order.
    It's possible, particularly if you want to go the oligopoly route. However, it is not the most efficient and effective means by which one can institute order. That, for something on the scale we are talking about here, is bets accomplished through government.

    Quote Originally Posted by phattonez View Post
    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.
    Through very lax labor laws, by making limited products priced appropriately (in this case, selling almost exclusively to the rich), and by needing to just make a manufacturing plant and not a national interstate system or national high speed rail system. Surely you can see the difference in scale, can you not?
    You know the time is right to take control, we gotta take offense against the status quo

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  3. #373
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    Re: Florida scraps high-speed rail plan pushed by Obama

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari View Post
    Yes it does. The interstate system is huge, do you really think that any one company could construct it from scratch, providing the most extensive road system available for all people to use in a time frame that would allow them to recover their initial investment and then turn a profit? That doesn't logically follow.
    I never claimed that one company would do it and you know it! From the start I've talked about a mosaic system so don't be disingenuous.

    Cars started as a luxury item, only the rich had them. It wasn't until Ford came up with the idea of the assembly line that the car was affordable for the common man to have. But again, this is folly of aggregation. There is a LARGE difference in scale between a auto manufacturing plant and the scale, complexity, and scope of the interstate system. You keep saying "well it is feasible on this small scale, thus it has to be feasible on this much larger scale". But that's not true, particularly with private business (particularly if we're assuming they are getting no money from the government); things do not infinitely scale up.
    A car manufacturing plant is probably the equivalent of a freeway through a city or a freeway in between cities. This is important because a national system could be developed piecemeal through smaller projects. It happened in England with their turnpike system.

    And what standardization is that? With something as complex as high speed rail, you're going to need tight regulations. Not only on speed of trains, but down to the very network it uses to communicate. Particularly if the goal is to eventually link them all up. For ease of transition when linked, they need to have similar systems in place, with similar safety protocols and similar architecture in order to efficiently and effectively link lines with minimal down time (which would be VERY important to private business anyway).
    For efficiency most companies would figure out a way to do that as most computer hardware companies have settled on PCI, firewire, and USB. There was no exogenous control forcing that to happen, spontaneous order merely emerged on the market.

    We can't even rebuild New Orleans in a reasonable time (seriously, is that place fixed even now?). While we are most certainly able to scale up to some degree today; there are also other considerations such as safety, labor, and environmental laws which exist today. We cannot build a high speed rail system with slave Chinese labor. The complexity of the system and technology here is not the same which existed in the 1800's. In fact, they could not even envision high speed rail in the 1800's. While we can and do tackle well more complicated and expensive projects now than we did in the 1800's, it's still not infinitely scalable.
    We have much more capital today and hence the railroad of the 1800s is relatively a larger project than a high speed rail line today. By the way, "slave Chinese labor" assumes that they were forced to work upon threat of death. Is that what happened with the Great Northern Railroad? And most companies do recognize safety as the death of a laborer would cost them a lot of money.

    It's possible, particularly if you want to go the oligopoly route. However, it is not the most efficient and effective means by which one can institute order. That, for something on the scale we are talking about here, is bets accomplished through government.
    Again, government is not the perfect entity that you make it out to be. They overpay their employees and have no idea what to build, what to expand, and what to abandon because they have no price mechanism. With no concept of profit then you can't determine how to best deal with scarcity. It's what happened to the Soviet Union, and is true for any industry that you try to nationalize.

    Through very lax labor laws, by making limited products priced appropriately (in this case, selling almost exclusively to the rich), and by needing to just make a manufacturing plant and not a national interstate system or national high speed rail system. Surely you can see the difference in scale, can you not?
    Surely you can too, as roads would be built slowly through cities first and then from city to city and then by connecting all of these system you'll get an entire interstate system. I don't know why you insist on one company building the entire thing. No one has ever claimed that that is how it would or should happen.

    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

  4. #374
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    Re: Florida scraps high-speed rail plan pushed by Obama

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Incognito View Post
    Exactly. You understand the principle but you are misunderstanding the application. Keep that in mind as you read my response to this post:



    Thats unfortunate, because "neither" isn't an option. Forget you shooting them, that's a false analogy. A better analogy is a train with two different route. On the current track, the train will hit two babies tied to the rails. If you throw the switch, the train will hit an old man tied to the rails. You don't have time to untie everybody, you only have time to flip the switch if you so choose. What do you do?

    Most people would see it's a simple choice: the lesser of two evils. Choosing neither is not an option, and in actuality, choosing neither is a choice in favor of the greater of two evils.
    That assumes that you have to support either or. With a democracy that is not the case. Do you vote democrat or republican in elections? I vote libertarian, even though I know it will lose, at least I cast my vote of opposition toward this system.

    Once again, you are misapplying the noncoercion maxim. Favoring the wealthy wouldn't be a problem if the roads weren't public to begin with. Did you forget that public roads are paid with tax dollars, and that tax dollars are collected from the wealthy and the poor alike? A user fee for a tax-payer supported system become an unjust, coercive benefit for the wealthy.
    Not if the tolls and tolls alone paid for the freeway.

    Have you read Walter Block's The Privatization of Roads and Highways?

    Selling off roads piecemeal to who? The coercive coporatists? You cannot just blindly stagger towards a "free market" as if every small step is some sort of libertarian panacea. The fact is a partially free market can allow for greater corporate coercion than a properly regulated market.

    You cannot judge the success of a government system based on how closely it resembles a truly free, unregulated market. As a libertarian, you must judge the success of a government based on the maximization of liberty, and a minimization of coercion. And yo must always remember: corporate coercion weighs as heavily as government coercion.
    Maximization of liberty is always supporting an increase in freedom, never condoning the unjust system that we have today. Obviously selling to companies with government favor isn't good, but then again corporate corruption in government is another, separate problem that needs to be dealt with.

    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

  5. #375
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    Re: Florida scraps high-speed rail plan pushed by Obama

    Quote Originally Posted by phattonez View Post
    That assumes that you have to support either or. With a democracy that is not the case. Do you vote democrat or republican in elections? I vote libertarian, even though I know it will lose, at least I cast my vote of opposition toward this system.
    Throwing your vote away on a third party is immoral in the same way as refusing to throw the switch and letting two babies get run over in our train hypothetical.


    Quote Originally Posted by phattonez View Post
    Not if the tolls and tolls alone paid for the freeway.
    Well, they didn't. In real life public taxes paid for the roads. You need to stop applying fantasyland politics to the real world.

    Quote Originally Posted by phattonez View Post
    Maximization of liberty is always supporting an increase in freedom, never condoning the unjust system that we have today.
    I find this sentence ironic coming from the person who throws away his vote every election. Is the person in the train hypothetical "condoning" the train running somebody over? Of course not. Choosing the lesser of two evils is always the moral choice. Refusing to make a choice, and thereby permitted a greater evil, is the cowardly route. You can claim principle all you like, but you are doing harm in the real world.

    Quote Originally Posted by phattonez View Post
    Obviously selling to companies with government favor isn't good, but then again corporate corruption in government is another, separate problem that needs to be dealt with.
    They are not separate problems, they are inextricably linked. Corporatist coercion is the inevitable effect of inertia on a free market, and the ideal minarchist libertarian government would be just enough to counteract corruption of the free market.
    Last edited by Guy Incognito; 02-26-11 at 06:21 PM.

  6. #376
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    Re: Florida scraps high-speed rail plan pushed by Obama

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Incognito View Post
    Throwing your vote away on a third party is immoral in the same way as refusing to throw the switch and letting two babies get run over in our train hypothetical.
    Elections are worthless anyway. See Arrow's Impossibility Theorem.

    Well, they didn't. In real life public taxes paid for the roads. You need to stop applying fantasyland politics to the real world.
    Didn't but can.

    I find this sentence ironic coming from the person who throws away his vote every election. Is the person in the train hypothetical "condoning" the train running somebody over? Of course not. Choosing the lesser of two evils is always the moral choice. Refusing to make a choice, and thereby permitted a greater evil, is the cowardly route. You can claim principle all you like, but you are doing harm in the real world.
    Would you vote for Hitler or Stalin? A vote for one is a support of one. The only moral option is neither. If the person who believes in this stuff casts his vote in support of the system, then who will we have to push us in the direction of liberty?

    They are not separate problems, they are inextricably linked. Corporatist coercion is the inevitable effect of inertia on a free market, and the ideal minarchist libertarian government would be just enough to counteract corruption of the free market.
    Corporate coercion would not exist without government.

    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
    Didn't but can.
    Well are we talking about Libertopia or are we talking about Florida? Make up your mind!

    Quote Originally Posted by phattonez View Post
    Would you vote for Hitler or Stalin? A vote for one is a support of one. The only moral option is neither.
    In that situation, the moral option is active resistance, not "neither." There is always the third option of active resistance. But that isn't what you're talking about. You're talking about throwing away a vote on a third party with no hope of winning and patting yourself on the back like you've accomplished something.

    The choice between Republic and Democrat is not such a bad one that active resistance is morally preferable. But even if it was, voting for a third party is foolish and cowardly, and cannot be compared with true resistance to a corrupt government like those of Hitler or Stalin.

    Quote Originally Posted by phattonez View Post
    Corporate coercion would not exist without government.
    False. Government is the levy that holds back the tide of corporate coercion that will inevitably befall any truly free, unregulated market. Corporate coercion is simply the effect of inertia on the free market.
    Last edited by Guy Incognito; 02-27-11 at 04:53 PM.

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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?
    Wisconsin also scrapped theirs. So did Ohio and a number of others....

    The Wisconsin project was to be part of an eventual line linking Minneapolis and Chicago. But Walker campaigned on a promise to kill the line, arguing the state would have been responsible for an annual operating cost of $7.5 million that Wisconsin doesn't have.
    The devil whispered in my ear, "You cannot withstand the storm." I whispered back, "I am ​the storm."

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Incognito View Post
    Well are we talking about Libertopia or are we talking about Florida? Make up your mind!
    I'm talking about our ultimate goals. Just because they seem impossible doesn't mean you should abandon them. To the Communists, things like Social Security and welfare seemed impossible in the 1800s, but look what their pestering eventually brought about.

    In that situation, the moral option is active resistance, not "neither." There is always the third option of active resistance. But that isn't what you're talking about. You're talking about throwing away a vote on a third party with no hope of winning and patting yourself on the back like you've accomplished something.

    The choice between Republic and Democrat is not such a bad one that active resistance is morally preferable. But even if it was, voting for a third party is foolish and cowardly, and cannot be compared with true resistance to a corrupt government like those of Hitler or Stalin.
    I don't think I ever said I was anything like those who opposed Hitler or Stalin. But how is it cowardly of me to vote for a 3rd party when you're voting for the establishment, in effect giving them a vote of confidence? Say what you will, but that is exactly how they take it.

    False. Government is the levy that holds back the tide of corporate coercion that will inevitably befall any truly free, unregulated market. Corporate coercion is simply the effect of inertia on the free market.
    Well this should be fun. Tell me what corporate coercion would exist in an anarchist society.

    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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