Problem was that the railroads were privately owned. We weren't so keen on
capitalizing them, because the same sort of talk about corporate welfare and
being in the pocket of big corporations would have begun ad nauseam. They
were occupied trying to get the firemen off the diesels at the time.
Without eminent domain the highways would be impossible, much less railroad
rights of way. Though we can take for purposes of economic development now,
right? Then there's the demand to get them all off of street level anyway so
that motorists who can't wait or like to challenge trains won't get hurt.
Think of the liability insurance, the toxic spills, the horror....
I remember the Chicago, South Shore and South Bend as quite a ride. Still
Edwin Pawlowski wrote:
|| An improved railway system
|| would have been a possible good alternative or addition.
| We had one. What happend to it?
Sad story involving unfathomable amounts of greed and stupidity on the
part of more participants than just railroads, unions, and
 Railroad management squeezed their employees a bit too much
 Railroad employees unionized to protect themselves
 Unions squeezed railroads a bit too much
 Government stepped in to regulate the daylights out of all
 Railroads stopped being profitable
 Expensive passenger service dropped
 Costly-to-maintain freight routes dropped
 Freight business migrates to trucking
 Freight business falls below critical mass
 Entire railroad companies expire
DeSoto, Iowa USA
To perhaps give you a different perspective on the difference between
East coast and SoCal transit, consider the following:
Since you live in Fairlawn, NJ, a question.
How long would it take you to travel between Fairlawn and New Haven, CT
to say attend classes at Yale?
For many in SoCal, that would be a fairly typical length of commute.
That would be 1 1/2 to 2 hrs each way. Of course there might be classes at
Cornell Medical School, Columbia university, New York University or a dozen
other universities which would be acceptable for me and closer by.
Yeah, Lew, but you wouldn't do it. Go to Rutgers or Princeton instead,
or even NYU or Columbia. COmmuting that distance in the east is
nuts...there are simply too many alternatives.
I used to commute from Amawalk, NY (northern Westchester County) to
Manhattan when I worked in a downtown ad agency--William St. That
didn't last too long. It blew something close to five hours a day, and
at 23, I had other uses for that five hours. I simply moved into
Manhattan (admittedly, probably not a solution today, especially if
you're making a munificent $85 a week). Single room, with bath but no
cooking facilities, $13 a week.
Charlie Self wrote:
> Yeah, Lew, but you wouldn't do it. Go to Rutgers or Princeton instead,
> or even NYU or Columbia. COmmuting that distance in the east is
> nuts...there are simply too many alternatives.
I had almost forgotten that part of east coast culture.
"Commute" is a word in a foreign language they do not understand.
Of course with the east coat highway system, it is understandable.
30 years ago, The Garden State looked like a page straight out of the
Monopoly game. If it were ever to come up to current standards, a
complete rebuild would be necessary.
Still remember a trip up the NJ Pike AKA: Parking lot.
Sunday night, 5:00PM, just another weekend, hit the NJ Pike from the
PA Pike and come to a complete stop.
3-4 hours of stop & go later, the Holland Tunnel.
Definitely not a winner.
Yes, but in Europe, they have cars with much, much better gas
efficiency so it all comes out in the wash for the most part. Here,
we have too many idiots driving gas guzzling SUVs and whining about
gas prices. Um... duh?
Not really....the massive trade deficit will do that.....tis a function of
floating currency values. As we import massive quantities of expensive oil,
Natural gas, Chinese everything etc. other countries can only hold on to so
much U.S. currency before the relative currency value goes down. Imports may
cost more but American products become more competitive and U.S. jobs
increase....In fact our deficit spending keeps relative currency values from
plummeting further since exporters buy our "notes" with their excess U.S.
( I've seen threads go off topic/track - but this one's headed off
in some interesting directions - economics, public policy, trans-
-portation and land use policy. So let's head off onto foreign
Ah - the Half Full view. The other way of seeing it is that the
US dollar is declining significantly, as is how much of the rest
of the world's opinion of the US in terms of our foreign policy.
We, the United States, are a relatively young country and are
still learning how to deal with problems. At the moment, we
happen to be being led by a child, and a not very bright one
at that. Not the best situation to be in when crisis arise
and more on the horizon (global warming/impending energy
crisis/culture clash/social security/medical costs/...). We
will get over it in time. Please bear with us a bit longer.
Sorry about the inconvenience we're causing - we're working
on getting back on track.
Just Wondering wrote:
| charlieb wrote:
|| We, the United States, are a relatively young country and are
|| still learning how to deal with problems. At the moment, we
|| happen to be being led by a child, and a not very bright one
|| at that.
| The President has relatively little influence on the national
| economy. Congress, Big Business, Bis Labor, and the Federal Reserve
| all have more to do with it.
As reflected in the decision to not open the Iraqi reconstruction to a
normal bidding process?
DeSoto, Iowa USA
| What most Americans don't know is that the US currency is in the
| toilet. I run a Canadian company which has 99% of its income in US
| dollars. Our revenue is up but when converted to Canadian dollars
| it becomes less than years before. I used to get $1.60 Canadian for
| every one US dollar, now I only get $1.08 per US dollar and the
| experts say that the two currencies will be par by year end.
Actually, most Americans /do/ know it. If you look at it from the
outside, then the dollar is in the tank - and when you look at it from
the inside, then the cost of everything bought with dollars is
skyrocketing. Either way, it's the same inflation.
What most Americans don't seem to recognize is that it's all happening
in a completely predictable "cause and effect" sequence, and that the
current level of inflation is merely a gentle introduction...
| This means that whatever you bought a couple of years ago that was
| imported, now it is going to cost you almost 50% more today because
| the other currencies in the world have not dropped as much as the
| US dollar.
It's not just imported goods - the cost of doing business in the US is
being affected and the cost of domestic goods is on the same track as
imported goods. It's just a little further back on the train because a
lot of American businesses are dragging their feet on raising prices.
There's not much good anywhere in the picture. As the US dollar drops
relative to other currencies, Americans will necessarily cut back on
their purchases of imported goods - leaving exporters with excessive
inventory, excessive capacity, and excessive employment. Worse, or at
least as bad, obligations payable in US dollars will be paid in
devalued currency (which you're already experiencing).
| Home Depot, Wal-Mart and many others compensate by buying even
| cheaper crap so that the price doesn't go up, that is why the
| plywood is now pure junk.
That can only be carried so far. At some point the merchandise becomes
so crappy that no one wants to buy it, the prices are forced up anyway
to the point where the merchandise becomes unaffordable, and the
commercial structure needs to be rebuilt.
About then some damn political cowboy will come along and tell us:
"Hey! War is _good_ for business."
DeSoto, Iowa USA
Uh, no. The current inflation rate of about 34% compares favorably with the
inflation rate of 2000-06 of 2.45%, 1990-99 of 3.0%, and 1980-89 of 5.55%.
"Skyrocketing" ocurred during the Carter years: 1970-79 7.09%
Very gentle. Productivity, GDP, and personal income all exceed inflation.
Nothing bought two years ago costs 50% more today (except maybe energy). Not
steel, aluminum, grain, manganese, or manufactured goods.
This has never happened in the past, but your predictions of economic mayhem
are just as valid as other economists.
Well, it is. GDP increased 26% from 2000 to 2005 ($9.8 to $12.4 trillion) or
about $3,000 per person in constant 2000 dollars.
This, coupled with a net saving in military lives*, makes war a win-win
===*Fewer military deaths in six years of Afghanistan/Iraq war than in 8 years
of the previous administration's peace years.
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