View Poll Results: Does strong infrastructure perpetuate economic growth

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  • Yes, economic growth is dependent on infrastructure investment

    28 84.85%
  • No, economic growth is NOT dependent on infrastructure investment

    3 9.09%
  • Unsure/other

    2 6.06%
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Thread: Does strong infrastructure perpetuate economic growth

  1. #41
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    Re: Does strong infrastructure perpetuate economic growth

    Quote Originally Posted by RiverDad View Post
    Trucking can go from point to point, HSR cannot. This means that HSR can only go from terminal to terminal.
    The Interstate Highway System creates a very dense network of interconnections and it allows all sorts of vehicles to travel along the routes. HSR only allows one type of vehicle to travel on the HSR system and it doesn't create a dense network. If you displaced all IHS travel onto HSR then you'd get massive congestion at terminals for all of the traffic that was diffused across a wide network of IHS would be concentrated onto a small HSR network and then have to be diffused from the terminals. The terminals would become massive chokepoints in the system.
    Highways get congestion... highways also have more accidents. Yes, some terminals can be crowded but that has never honestly been a problem in my travels. People can't legally delay trains or rails without a legitimate reason... there is an emergency lever, and I have never once seen it pulled. Pulling one as a prank would result in serious legal punishment.

    If people are waiting for transport and miss the rail, the next one comes, and the next on comes... but I have never missed one because of terminal congestion. You might run a few minutes late if you miss your rail, but people don't have the authority to stall the entire system. The German rails are especially well known for running on time and on schedule. The rail arrives to pick you up the same time, everyday, and brings you home the same time, everyday.

    You can't say about the highway system.

  2. #42
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    Re: Does strong infrastructure perpetuate economic growth

    I can't say that it's "essential" for growth, but I do think that infrastructure investment can spur some growth. The Interstates have been a major boon for the trucking industry, that's for sure.


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  3. #43
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    Re: Does strong infrastructure perpetuate economic growth

    Quote Originally Posted by rocket88 View Post
    If it were underground, wouldn't that be the subway?
    I'm asking SheWolf to clarify. Perhaps she doesn't like the clankety-clank of subways or the way the cars are designed and a HSR levitated train in their place would make her like subways.

  4. #44
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    Re: Does strong infrastructure perpetuate economic growth

    Quote Originally Posted by RiverDad View Post
    I'm asking SheWolf to clarify. Perhaps she doesn't like the clankety-clank of subways or the way the cars are designed and a HSR levitated train in their place would make her like subways.
    In Germany the U Bahn is the part that goes underground.... The German national railway system is called Die Deutsche Bahn, so no, it's not technically a subway.

  5. #45
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    Re: Does strong infrastructure perpetuate economic growth



    The U Bahn is underground... but then suddenly, the U Bahn is above ground...


  6. #46
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    Re: Does strong infrastructure perpetuate economic growth

    Just some facts about rail transport:

    Rail transport is an energy-efficient but capital-intensive, means of mechanized land transport. The tracks provide smooth and hard surfaces on which the wheels of the train can roll with a minimum of friction.

    Essentially, resistance differs between vehicle's contact point and surface of roadway. Metal wheels on metal rails have a significant advantage of overcoming resistance compared to rubber-tired wheels on any road surface (railway - 0.001g at 10 mph and 0.024g at 60 mph; truck - 0.009g at 10 mph and 0.090 at 60 mph).

    As an example, a typical modern wagon can hold up to 113 tonnes of freight on two four-wheel bogies. The contact area between each wheel and the rail is a strip no more than a few millimetres wide, which minimizes friction. The track distributes the weight of the train evenly, allowing significantly greater loads per axle and wheel than in road transport, leading to less wear and tear on the permanent way. This can save energy compared with other forms of transport, such as road transport, which depends on the friction between rubber tires and the road. Trains have a small frontal area in relation to the load they are carrying, which reduces air resistance and thus energy usage.

  7. #47
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    Re: Does strong infrastructure perpetuate economic growth

    Quote Originally Posted by SheWolf View Post
    A lot of what you are saying could have very well been said about the trans siberian railway. Just like in Siberia, a lot of people may not necessarily live in the middle of the US compared to the coastal regions, but connecting the less densely populated areas of Russia has had affects.
    What effects? Most of the Russian economy is concentrated in a few select areas. The rest of the country is dirt poor. Russian railways serve as a way to make the poor move towards the cities. The US already has those. They're called Greyhounds.
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  8. #48
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    Re: Does strong infrastructure perpetuate economic growth

    Try another perspective. Infrastructure is energy use. We use most energy at about 13% efficiency, at least that is true for oil and natural gas and elecricity. The Centralized Distributions Networks for energy that exist are monopolistic cash cows. Start a program that stops distributing energy and manufactures it at the user level efficiently. Look at those nuclear and other fueled cooling towers and realize that those billowing clouds of steam/water vapor are huge amounts of wasted energy, just like a smokestack at a coal plant. Make it an imfrastructure plan to capture waste heat and distribute/use it as needed, not waste it. The side benefit of fighting Global Warming comes into this reality. 13% efficiency says we are leaving 87% on the table and that translates that there is something wrong with the infrastructure, don't you think? Infrastructure must be developed that advantages "local" needs, not corporate needs. We are local as we are the public. Gov't should serve us.

  9. #49
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    Re: Does strong infrastructure perpetuate economic growth

    Quote Originally Posted by RiverDad View Post
    Speed costs money. It takes energy to accelerate a given mass to a set velocity. The faster you want to go the more energy it takes to propel that mass to your desired velocity. Energy equates to money in this calculation. Then there are also the additional engineering costs required to make transportation at higher speeds as safe as transportation at lower speeds. That too costs money.

    We're not going to see any increase in efficiency from hauling coal and grain at 400 km/h. There is already an existing transportation infrastructure in place to move high value items rapidly from point to point. The additional costs associated with building out a national HSR network to replace air transport for high value freight will not increase efficiency.
    You're oversimplifying the physics side of things pretty seriously. The two most important points are that HSR suffers much less from air resistance than trucks do, and that electric motors are much more efficient than combustion engines. Sure, it takes more energy to accelerate a train to 400 km/h than it does to accelerate a truck to 80 km/h. but once the train is up to speed, it won't take much energy at all to keep it going. The journey will also be much shorter. It will also keep the freeways clear of trucks, which any driver can tell you are a major pain in the ass. And, of course, there's the fact that electric trains don't run on oil.
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  10. #50
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    Re: Does strong infrastructure perpetuate economic growth

    Quote Originally Posted by atrasicarius View Post
    Giving people jobs in the short term will give the economy a swift kick in the pants to get it started again. More people with jobs = more people spending money = more demand = private sector expansion. Also, that long term maintenance also means long term jobs.
    It wouldn't simply mean giving people jobs either, it's also investing in the country which will have additional benefits...

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