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Old 07-03-2018, 07:33 AM
 
Location: California
1,134 posts, read 962,190 times
Reputation: 2056

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ciceropolo View Post
Nice topic lots of interesting issues to address it.


1) Electricity in USA is modeled on a century old central generation and distribution grid. This leads to avoidance of alternate energy sources which could enable less inconvenience to large numbers of people.


"We're probably not going to be in favor of anything that shrinks our business. All investor owned utilities are built on the central -generation model that Edison came up with..." - Ed Legge of the Edison Electric Institute, the lobbying organization for the utility industry (and leader of the national effort to oppose federal renewables targets).

https://www.fastcompany.com/1297936/...-energy-crisis
https://www.renewableenergyworld.com...ts-to-all.html

This is not to say the 'renewables aren't boondoggles also for political marketing (and Wall $treet $peculator purposes) purposes (See Solyndra Solar - Obama etc)


2) Buried infrastructure like water and sanitation systems are not visible so they are not big photo op sells for the politico types (repeat visual reminders for marketing purposes). More visual infrastructure (bridges, roads et al) tends to wait until deferred maintenance makes them a hazard or perhaps the automotive service centers lobby for them (perhaps it's a conspiracy ).

3) Much of the infrastructure of a modern society are used in USA as big payoffs to political contributors (contractors with the ability to bid and buy [politicians!]) or is wasted in the ostensibly expressed need to 'liberate' other poeple in the destroy (armaments profit$) rebuild (construction contracts) cycle overseas to control other countries economies (for Wall $treet $peculators and the military industrial complex 'proving grounds').

Read: Confessions of An Economic Hit Man by John Perkins

4) Feds tend to initiate a build project, but require locals to maintain which leads to great fanfare for the Fed politicos involved but long term residual tax increases for the taxpaying public. Occasioanlly they are just bamboozles from the start like the infamous "Bridge to Nowhere"

Occasional outages as outliers (birds / high winds/ weather / natural disaster) could be lessened to varying degrees but individuals are not encouraged policy wide to do so, and they will likely never be removed.



But you have a good point which is, the overall philosophy toward infrastructure management in the USA is weak since it is generally not something that gets votes (post build out) and people grow accustomed and do not realize maintenance is required at regular intervals based upon structure type and its expected life cycle.

5) Power sources that are mobile and not track able are anathema to CORPGOV as they prefer to: herd, farm, manage, bill, monitor, and track people.


"The power structures only interest is in SELLING energy – and only energy that they can run through a meter. They are not in the least interested in anyone getting alternate power – except themselves. ... but this is not for the People. Peoples power must be piped or wired to them only through meters." - R. Buckminster Fulller, Critical Path, 1981 excerpt from Chapter 3, which I highly recommend reading to understand the historical context of what has transpired in energy generation overlaid with the economic business environment.

Some groups have started making changes in approach but I'm always wary of the potential corruption (favorable legislation / regulation granting monopoly etc...) pay off issue.

Also keep in mind innovations of logarithmic disruptive scope to current 'revenue generating' processes may not be given full investigation due to the Invention Secrecy Act of 1951.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invention_Secrecy_Act
Wow, very informative post. thanks for taking the time to write it out
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Old 07-03-2018, 08:38 AM
 
4,733 posts, read 2,259,491 times
Reputation: 8791
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyinCali View Post
If you have ever been to a country like Japan, you will understand how bad our airports and roads are.
Have you ever driven the highway system in Japan? It is absolutely nuts with expensive tolls.

You're taking our extensive interstate highway system from granted when comparing to Japan. I can hop on I-95 and drive from Florida to Maine without a toll, or on I-10 from downtown Jacksonville FL to the Santa Monica Pier in California.

Go drive from Tokyo to Kyoto on Japanese expressways, it'll set you back about $100. You want to avoid the expressways your trip time goes up much faster than it would in USA because non-expressway roads in Japan are more often one lane and slower speeds.
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Old 07-03-2018, 09:30 AM
 
11,325 posts, read 5,846,190 times
Reputation: 21009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Retroit View Post
Even a brand new electrical grid can be disabled by a “bird”. One instance every few years is nothing to panic about. Mankind survived for tens(?) of thousands of years without electricity. I’m sure modern man can endure a few hours.

It took out 17,000 customers for a few hours. It didn't take out the whole country. A big ice storm or a hurricane can take out millions of customers. Every truck for 1000 miles rolls to handle one of those events. A few weeks later, just about everyone is back online again unless they're in some really low population density rural place. This isn't Puerto Rico.


Taxes don't pay for the power grid. That comes from your electric bill. At my Vermont place, about half my bill goes to maintaining the grid. It's expensive in a rural state with mountains and trees. I'm at a ski resort with higher population density so it's rare for power to go out for 24 hours. The resort is the #2 power consumer in the state so they get priority.


The infrastructure the government pays for is transportation. That infrastructure investment is woefully inadequate. We've sacrificed it in the name of tax cuts for rich people. Eventually, it's going to be wildly expensive to get caught back up.
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Old 07-03-2018, 10:00 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
3,537 posts, read 2,693,805 times
Reputation: 2305
Quote:
Originally Posted by svicious22 View Post
I agree, every time I go to Europe and see how nice their roads are, and how pervasive (and usually nice) their trains are, I think how my priorities and those of most Americans apparently don’t mesh. Also, in the US infrastructure seemingly isn’t so much for the common good as much as it is a means to make a select few rich.

One issue that isn't talked about much is that public transportation in the USA is viewed by the general population as being for "poor people." There are exceptions of course, but those exceptions are mainly due to the fact that driving is a worse option. So if someone wants to get to work/school/appts on time they need to use public transportation.


IMO this also contributes somewhat to the success of uber / lyft. If someone can pay $5 to get somewhere vs paying $2 on the bus as long as they can avoid "the poor people" they'll pay the extra $3.
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Old 07-03-2018, 10:14 AM
 
Location: Lower East Side, NYC
1,837 posts, read 1,089,703 times
Reputation: 1290
I feel like none of this is new. I get the feeling the poor infrastructure talks started in the 70s if not earlier.

I'll just sit back until something happens. None of my votes seem to matter but I'll keep voting for those who wish to invest into the public. That being said, most of those politicians seem to go back on their word, so...
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Old 07-03-2018, 10:22 AM
 
Location: California
1,134 posts, read 962,190 times
Reputation: 2056
Quote:
Originally Posted by lieqiang View Post
Have you ever driven the highway system in Japan? It is absolutely nuts with expensive tolls.

You're taking our extensive interstate highway system from granted when comparing to Japan. I can hop on I-95 and drive from Florida to Maine without a toll, or on I-10 from downtown Jacksonville FL to the Santa Monica Pier in California.

Go drive from Tokyo to Kyoto on Japanese expressways, it'll set you back about $100. You want to avoid the expressways your trip time goes up much faster than it would in USA because non-expressway roads in Japan are more often one lane and slower speeds.
Why would I ever do that in Japan??? I can ride their awesome train system everywhere. I was there for 2 weeks, visited 7 different cities and towns and I was in a cab once. I felt like everything is 3 blocks away max from a subway station. Even with our luggage, we found it easier to just take trains.

Let me see, drive and sit in traffic or sit in a nice train, eat my food, watch ipad and read? Tough choice.

If I lived in Japan, i would not own a car. I spent two years in NYC and 3 years in SF before I bought a car.
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Old 07-03-2018, 10:25 AM
 
Location: California
1,134 posts, read 962,190 times
Reputation: 2056
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrGompers View Post
One issue that isn't talked about much is that public transportation in the USA is viewed by the general population as being for "poor people." There are exceptions of course, but those exceptions are mainly due to the fact that driving is a worse option. So if someone wants to get to work/school/appts on time they need to use public transportation.


IMO this also contributes somewhat to the success of uber / lyft. If someone can pay $5 to get somewhere vs paying $2 on the bus as long as they can avoid "the poor people" they'll pay the extra $3.
Totally. Buses, especially, have a huge stigma attached to it. It is insane. Public transportation is so much better than driving. When I lived in NYC, I read so many books on the Subway, even when it was crowded. I read all of Game of Thrones in the subway.
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Old 07-03-2018, 10:54 AM
 
17,244 posts, read 14,821,251 times
Reputation: 32812
Quote:
Originally Posted by lieqiang View Post
Have you ever driven the highway system in Japan? It is absolutely nuts with expensive tolls.

You're taking our extensive interstate highway system from granted when comparing to Japan. I can hop on I-95 and drive from Florida to Maine without a toll, or on I-10 from downtown Jacksonville FL to the Santa Monica Pier in California.

Go drive from Tokyo to Kyoto on Japanese expressways, it'll set you back about $100. You want to avoid the expressways your trip time goes up much faster than it would in USA because non-expressway roads in Japan are more often one lane and slower speeds.
We have our share, too. It costs $8.00 to drive round trip on the Atlantic City Expressway. The entire highway is only 44 miles long. My fiancé drives from NJ to Mass frequently which also results in hefty tolls. When my niece and I drove from Chicago to Rockford a couple hours away, it felt like we had to stop and pay a toll every 20 miles or so. And of course they were all unmanned and we didn't have Illinois' electronic toll pass.
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Old 07-03-2018, 10:54 AM
 
Location: New York
657 posts, read 370,225 times
Reputation: 1663
Quote:
Originally Posted by svicious22 View Post
I agree, every time I go to Europe and see how nice their roads are, and how pervasive (and usually nice) their trains are, I think how my priorities and those of most Americans apparently don’t mesh. Also, in the US infrastructure seemingly isn’t so much for the common good as much as it is a means to make a select few rich.

The motto in France is 'Liberty, Equality, Fraternity'. In America our (unofficial) motto is 'Liberty and Autonomy'. This matters because the value which America places on personal autonomy and self-reliance heavily influences our priorities in terms of all forms of public spending. In the American ethos, any move towards collectivism is viewed as socialism, any move away from self-reliance to reliance on public (think transportation, housing, healthcare etc) is rejected. Therefore, any massive attempts at public spending for the sole purpose of increasing public quality of life or for the social benefit of the disadvantaged will necessarily fall at a lower priority than spending to increase the quality of success at the private, individual, or corporate level (corporations = persons here, after all). At the end of the day, America and most of Western Europe are polar opposites in terms of social philosophy and it is borne out in the outcomes we see today.

Tell me, in which modern country is poverty most likely to be attributed to choice or personal inadequacy? Will that not influence how we approach poverty and what emphasis we place on improving the conditions for the poor?
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Old 07-03-2018, 11:03 AM
 
Location: New York
657 posts, read 370,225 times
Reputation: 1663
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyinCali View Post
Totally. Buses, especially, have a huge stigma attached to it. It is insane. Public transportation is so much better than driving. When I lived in NYC, I read so many books on the Subway, even when it was crowded. I read all of Game of Thrones in the subway.
I take the subway + commuter rail 5 days a week. I absolutely hate sitting in traffic, and on the train I can read, sleep, study or work and not worry about breathing in car exhaust or delays due to congestion/accidents, etc.

That said, NYC infrastructure is awful and barely (just barely) supports the number of people who rely upon it. For a system running 24/7, using decades old trains and signal systems from the 1950's it's shocking the entire thing doesn't break down more often than it does! The roofs leak, subway floods, and you'll find buckets all over Grand Central (the 'crown jewel' of NYC transport's heydey) catching rainwater during every thunderstorm. At this point, it basically seems like NYC is just running behind a huge, crumbling behemoth attempting to put band-aids on the problem until it gets out of control. NJ isn't much different. Public transit here is only prioritized because it is necessary; but given the option, about 99% of New Yorkers would probably drive their own cars if they could. We have a lot of work to do.
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