Not sure if this is really OT, because major infrastructure failures can an
d DO threaten our homes, cars, etc.
Did anyone read about major leak on the campus of UCLA (University of South
ern California) that gushed ~20 million gallons of SCARCE! water into the a
ir. About 900 ? cars were trapped on campus. It took days to remove them.
Now UCLA and the Water Dept are fighting/deciding who pays for the damage
and the ruined cars.
Result was a spate of articles in the media about underground pipes that ca
100 YEARS OLD! That's only *one* manifestation of a general crisis of infra
structure -- leaking water/sewage pipes, rotting bridges, bad roads.
Too bad the (hah!) authorities don't get around to things until a disaster
like the UCLA pipes. Recently also other CA disasters -- gas leaks, etc.
that cost lives.
Is this the only State that neglects preventive maintenance?
On Wed, 6 Aug 2014 12:50:24 -0700 (PDT), Higgs Boson
Our town finally stated replacing 100 year old pipes a few years ago.
The problems is, you can't see them and they still work, so no one
wants to pay for maintenance work. If you are running for mayor, you'd
not do well of your platform was to raise the water rates to fix
things that are not broken yet.
When the Mianus River Bridge collapsed in CT years ago, it was easy to
raise the gas tax to fix things. We have the highest gas tax rate but
still have the worst roads. After a year or so, that money was quietly
siphoned off for other causes of the politicians.
How's this grab you?
Dem Governor of DE, Jack Markell, worked hard to try to increase
gasoline tax by 10 cents per gallon for repair of roads in DE. It was
defeated. In order to submit balanced budget for DE this year, $10
million was taken from the roads funding. Too bad they did not have
more to steal.
"infrastructure improvement" is one of these key phrases, for, "Hey,
folks, we want to raise your taxes."
In DE's case state budget has gone up 26% since Markell's becoming governor.
In MI the Republican Governor says we need to get more revenue somehow
to fix the State's roads and bridges before they get even worse and cost
even more to fix -- but the Republican-controlled legislature won't go
I have heard that in Germany they build their roads with much
thicker/deeper layers of (concrete? other materials?), and they last
much longer. Perhaps Michigan (and other states?) politicians have
thought only about the next election and not about the long-term savings.
Has anyone ever lost most or all of the money they "invested" in Social
Security? Plenty of people have lost all or most of the money they put
in private investments.
I don't know whether the plans still exist, but 30 years or so ago
Australia had guaranteed pension plans run by insurance companies: once
a dividend had been allocated it became part of the principal and could
never be lost -- some years there might be a minute or zero dividend,
but nothing could be lost (other than by inflation).
Protecting its citizens from corporate malfeasance is one of the duties
On Thursday, August 7, 2014 10:25:26 AM UTC-4, Percival P. Cassidy wrote:
Yes, if you consider that you could be getting about an 8% return on
your money invested in equities. And we do have the small problem that
the money that has been put in isn't enough to adequately fund it, and
it's slowly going broke. If you did that in the private sector you'd
go to jail. And then we have the issue that the trust fund is in US Bonds,
ie the social security fund is being used to fund reckless govt spending.
And as it continues to mount, $17tril+, it becomes increasingly unlikely
that the govt will be able to honor those bonds. Greece, here we come.
That's true if you allow a reckelss set of investments. But if you have
a requirement that it be invested in a broad mix of securities, eg SP500,
over the lifespan of a worker, that has never lost money and has returned
a hell of a lot more than SS. It also puts that capital to work, where
it fuels business growth, jobs, etc.
I'm more worried about who's protecting us from govt malfeasance.
On Wed, 06 Aug 2014 19:07:01 -0400, "Percival P. Cassidy"
As I understand it, the taxes are much higher in Germany. It's not
just that they build the roads "thicker", they have a regular program
where they come back every 5 years or so and redo the top couple
inches to "make it like new" again. In many parts of the US it will
be 20+ years before a road gets resurfaced. Still and all, there are
many states in the US where the roads are pretty much as good as those
Many Americans claim that the USA is so much better than many other
nations because the taxes are higher in those other nations. But then
they complain that their own (US) taxes are too high as well.
I don't know about Germany, but I had a Swedish room mate in grad school
for while. He admitted that their taxes were high but said, "But we get
good value for money." Simply comparing tax rates is meaningless without
considering what benefits come from those taxes.
They have been STEALING the HIGHWAY tax money and sending about 25% of
the collected tax to a few high population cities to spend on mass
transit. If that money wasn't being siphoned off we would not have so
many highways in disrepair. And we wouldn't need to be putting tolls
on the highways to pay for them AGAIN.
again. Rochester NY at one time found some
hollowed out tree trunk (soaked in tar) under
the street, still carrying water. Left over
from the original Flour City water pipe system.
With a natural waterfall, Rochester was logical
for a water wheel and flour grinding mill. Thus,
the nickname of Flour City for Rochester, NY.
I suspect these nightmares are every where.
Just like the levees in New Orleans. North
East power blackout, and etc and more.
pensions. But then said that the proceeds could only be "invested" in
special non-marketable Treasury securities. However, there was NEVER any
income stream or other method to actually pay back the interest, let
alone the principle.
The money owed by the Treasury to the Social Security program is
referred to as the "Social Security Trust Fund," and at the close of
2011, it had a balance of $2.7 trillion.This $2.7 trillion debt that the
Treasury ***owes*** to Social Security amounts to $8,734 for every
person living in the U.S. or $23,046 for every household in the U.S.
?Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive,
but what they conceal is vital.?
So don't keep voting for the malfeasants (Was that a word? It is now).
I see little hope for remedying the USA's political problems. In many
(most?) cases it costs so much even to get one's name on a ballot paper
(never mind get elected) that by the time a person is elected, (s)he
owes so much to corporate donors and other special interests that *your*
interests warrant hardly a moment's attention. Get the money out of
politics, and things would be much better.
On Thursday, August 7, 2014 9:36:11 PM UTC-4, Percival P. Cassidy wrote:
Things would be much better if people had simply voted for Romney, a choice
they had, no matter how much you dislike the present political system. Polls
now show that voters would have chosen Romney by a 10 point margin if they
had it to do all over again. The problem isn't that we need a miracle
candidate, it's that voters are dumb. You had a guy with decades of management
experience, experience turning around failing companies, experience turning
around the Olympics, and instead, they chose a community organizer. Twice.
Now we're suffering the results. At least we're not starving on top of a
mountain, with ISIS about to kill us all. Yet. And dear leader continues
to dither away, considering all options.
Romney was the Mass liberal, who tried to socialize
medicine in his state. I don't think that was a very
big difference. Sadly, after the primaries we're either
screwed or beaten. The two sides of the coin keep
pushing agenda on us. Someone's running the country,
but it's not you and me.
I've wondered about the infrastructure. With electric,
water, highways, sewers, data cables, and all. Some
system is eventually going to collapse.
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