I don't get it?

Joined
Jul 24, 2002
Messages
11,410
Location
The Sandhills of NewYorkistan
It seems that for various reasons the government would like all of us to use mass transit ( buses, trains, etc.) Around here they're constantly raises taxes, fees and tolls to move people in this direction. Then it's a puzzle as to why no one is buying a car from the American auto companies. Could it be that the government wants us to buy cars and then not drive them? This just might work.
 
Joined
Sep 28, 2002
Messages
39,802
Location
Pottstown, PA
I recall one "I Spy" episode where Kelly and Scott were sent to uncover what happened to a missing agent at a location that was a proposed site for a nuclear plant. One of the "bad guys" was a local who figured that the commies (or the government) was trying to place nukes in strategic locations so that they could be blown up. The same whack job mentality would figure that a centralized transportation system would make people easier to control and hobble.
 

GROUCHO MARX

Thread starter
Joined
Jul 24, 2002
Messages
11,410
Location
The Sandhills of NewYorkistan
 Originally Posted By: ravenchris
As usual, you're kidding...
Well, yes and no. There is a paradox here. There has been a condemnation of consumerism in recent years ( I can't disagree with a lot of it), yet we hear there is a need for people to spend money to get this economy moving. Do we need to spend money on sheer wants? Do we need to spend money for the sake of spending? (The government is the master of this). Or do we need to INVEST money in domestic production? This seems more sensible. If you watch business news, you'll hear statistics about the savings rate climbing in the U.S. Sometimes this is reported as a bad thing ( Darn, if I didn't wish the government wouldn't practice such a bad habit.) Ultimately, economics is not only cyclical but also circular, if you listen to all the theorists. BTW, I hear no talk of instituting accelerated depreciation in the tax code which went a long way towards stimulating CAPITAL INVESTMENT in the early '80s. JMO
 
Joined
Aug 5, 2002
Messages
18,799
Location
Silicon Valley
IMO in the US both public transit and fuel for passenger vehicles are subsidized. If you charge driving based on the cost per miles, toll road, raise fuel tax enough, raise the public transit fares enough, so both traveling by public transit and passenger cars are self sustainable, we'll get the following: 1) People decide to live close to work because both forms of commute would be prohibitively expensive. 2) There will be no traffic on the road, because when there is traffic, someone will either raise the toll so high or build a new road to compete, that there will be no traffic. 3) There would be privately run mini-bus that takes 16-21 people at a time on fixed route, as well as slower and cheaper big buses that runs on a less frequent schedule. 4) 2/3 of all auto plants, domestic and foreign, would file for bankruptcy, and the values of oil companies would fall by 1/2 5) No more SUV because the fuel + road toll would be $20 per gallon, like the rest of the world. 6) No more suburbia living, because traveling is so expensive. People would live in 60 story high rise to reduce transit overhead (see Hong Kong and Tokyo). 7) We would plan out trip very carefully, just like the way we would when we are traveling by air right now. 8) For those middle class who want more mobility, we would buy moped, bring it into our elevator when we reach a building, and park it in our balcony, closet, hallway, or our mini-garage in the apartment complex.
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2006
Messages
10,611
Location
Las Vegas NV
Our government has officially stated that it is perfectly rational for families to be cutting back on spending due to the economy. It has also said that government needs to spend more during times like this. All of this extra spending is via borrowing. So if you don't go into debt to stimulate the economy, the government will do it for you. And of course, they know better how to spend your (and your kids) future pay checks than you do.
 
Joined
May 26, 2003
Messages
9,826
Location
Central Coast, Calif.
the further you move west and stay out of major cities, the more mass transit doesn't exist in any practical manner. i.e. amtrak (there is no CA state rail system) has 1 line that run north-south throughout California. With few exceptions, if I want to travel east-west I have to take a bus and transfer several times. a 3 hour car trip is 6+ hours in any of our transit systems. Regional transit is good in major cities, poor in the other 95% of the state. This is a map of the only non-regional railsystem http://www.amtrak.com/images/maps/regional_routes_california.gif I'd love to have a realistic option for mass transit.
 
Joined
Apr 30, 2003
Messages
7,077
Location
Ontario, Canada
Social networking websites can set up carpooling databases, even for sporadic trips. If you meet enough people, and build enough relationships, the chance that someone in your network is making the same trip as you increases significantly. There are only so many possible trips, in a given city. The chance that nobody is making the same trip as you drops close to zero when the number of people in your network exceeds a certain number. Eventually, travel could be handled the same way data traverses the internet, and central planners will hate the idea just as much as they hate the net. see "birthday problem"
 
Joined
Aug 5, 2002
Messages
18,799
Location
Silicon Valley
 Originally Posted By: Tempest
So if you don't go into debt to stimulate the economy, the government will do it for you. And of course, they know better how to spend your (and your kids) future pay checks than you do.
via public transit (government), or via SUV and truck (civilian)?
 
Joined
Aug 5, 2002
Messages
18,799
Location
Silicon Valley
 Originally Posted By: oilyriser
Social networking websites can set up carpooling databases, even for sporadic trips.
As someone who does that for 10% of his living up to a few years ago, I can tell you that you are going to be royally screwed if you run a country relying on sporadic transportation. For 95% of the time you can find carpools with people on similar schedule and close enough route. I was aggressive (by flexible schedule, angering my boss who didn't pay me much back then anyways) posts advertisement on craigslist, and spend an additional 30-40 minutes per day detouring to pick up and wait for my "clients", then drive 90-100 mph (not km/h) to catch up the carpool overhead time. My clients loved it because they got the fastest commute without owning a car. With carpool my commute was 2.5 hours per day, without carpool it would be 1:50 to 2:10 per day. Carpool do not get 100% of the benefit of driving alone. You have overhead in time and inflexible schedule issue just like public transit. If you do not have to guarantee late night low occupancy rides, you can probably shut off the entire city's public transit by 8pm, or in the extreme run the services between 5am to 10am, then 3pm to 8pm only. How realistic is that? Probably not very. Carpool has the same problem: you still need a car or public transit to fall back on, in case your carpool buddy needs to work overtime, leave early, skip the day, or whatever. Fuel cost usually is not the main benefit of switching to carpool or public transit. Traffic jam, parking, and the cost of owning a car are.
 Quote:
Eventually, travel could be handled the same way data traverses the internet, and central planners will hate the idea just as much as they hate the net. see "birthday problem"
Sorry to disappoint you. There ARE central planners on the Internet, they are called BACKBONE.
 
Joined
Sep 28, 2002
Messages
39,802
Location
Pottstown, PA
 Quote:
So if you don't go into debt to stimulate the economy, the government will do it for you. And of course, they know better how to spend your (and your kids) future pay checks than you do.
Well, if they spend it on something you can get your money's worth out of, it's not so bad. Bridges and other public works last a very long time compared to funding munitions and weapons manufacturers that have no tangible residual value once used and have only potential value if not.
 
Joined
Jun 19, 2007
Messages
351
Location
tampa fl
G.M., thanks for your lucid thoughts. Much of the ambiguity is the result of policymakers and the middle class having entirely different agendas. Ultimately the responsibility falls to each of us to prepare accordingly for our retirement.
 
Joined
Sep 28, 2002
Messages
39,802
Location
Pottstown, PA
 Quote:
BTW, I hear no talk of instituting accelerated depreciation in the tax code which went a long way towards stimulating CAPITAL INVESTMENT in the early '80s.
Let people sit on it if they want to. Making nothing is a really sensible thing to do for the alleged investor.
 Quote:
economics is not only cyclical but also circular
It's also somewhat encapsulated. It may expand or contract, but you can't pressurize one sector without a contraction on another. There's always another shoe to drop that is totally ignored as required consequences to things that some find favorable. The physics of the machinery is mostly immutable. Any fix or "direction" has some bill that will come due regardless of what someone promotes as something "better". Better for whom is the question that needs to be asked.
 
Joined
Apr 30, 2003
Messages
7,077
Location
Ontario, Canada
 Originally Posted By: Gary Allan
It's also somewhat encapsulated. It may expand or contract, but you can't pressurize one sector without a contraction on another. There's always another shoe to drop that is totally ignored as required consequences to things that some find favorable.
You're ignoring the sociological aspect of economics. If everyone in the USA suddenly went Amish, every economic measure would shrink very far, very fast, but people would still be around enjoying their new lifestyles. Much of it comes from the mind and the emotions.
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2007
Messages
1,498
Location
Illinois
 Originally Posted By: ravenchris
nice...
You know, if you're certain, they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
 
Top