U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Economics
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 07-03-2018, 11:11 AM
 
11,325 posts, read 5,846,190 times
Reputation: 21009

Advertisements

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."

It depends on your zip code. Boston, New York, Philly, DC, Chicago, ... Public transportation cities where people tend to go to work via commuter rail or subway. In much of the rest of the country, public transportation is indeed pretty much only used by poor people.


Pretty much the only way to solve the housing shortage problem in the high cost of living cities is to dramatically improve commuter rail. If you can get to work from 60 miles out on a 120 mph express train in 30 minutes, it makes it possible to live well outside the city and still have a life. Unfortunately, investment in rail infrastructure is even worse than interstate highway investment
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 07-03-2018, 11:31 AM
 
Location: equator
2,609 posts, read 1,114,900 times
Reputation: 6354
Quote:
Originally Posted by vladlensky View Post
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?
One of the best succinct summations of the situation I have ever read.

Just returned from Italy (which I hear is almost bankrupt) yet they have the most awesome train system, it was easy even for a foreigner to navigate the entire country. Roads were excellent, hardly any sign of power lines, very nice buses and tram systems everywhere in the big cities.

In my adopted "poor" country, luxury buses run everywhere for next to nothing. We don't need a car. Taxis are everywhere too. And we have almost free healthcare, so poor and corrupt as it may be, there is concern for the citizens. Roads are pretty well-maintained for the important arteries.

Totally amazing that the U.S. can't get a grip on improving life for its citizens. On no---that might be socialism!!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-03-2018, 01:16 PM
 
4,734 posts, read 2,259,491 times
Reputation: 8796
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyinCali View Post
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.
So your post gushing about how anyone in Japan would know how bad our road are was... an exercise in existential commuting theory? You were using Japan's roads as a barometer with which to judge the US highway infrastructure when your experience with Japanese roads was one taxi ride. Maybe you saw some roads outside the train window at 100 mph and that provided you the information you needed to understand how bad US roads were?

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.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-03-2018, 01:35 PM
 
2,360 posts, read 1,028,642 times
Reputation: 2071
Quote:
Originally Posted by lieqiang View Post
So your post gushing about how anyone in Japan would know how bad our road are was... an exercise in existential commuting theory? You were using Japan's roads as a barometer with which to judge the US highway infrastructure when your experience with Japanese roads was one taxi ride. Maybe you saw some roads outside the train window at 100 mph and that provided you the information you needed to understand how bad US roads were?
Have you driven across america? I still have notes from driving NYC to South Cal and can tell you what roads to avoid due to construction zones that been going for decades and didnt go anywhere. Just some signs to park the barrels and officers to give out tickets. Nearly half of I40 is bad, I10 south is holy moly holes that can take out a truck tire on a wet day. Dont get me started on i20.. and I81.. Why we dont have a speed train from one end of our country to the other end by now is our own problem. Too much red tape, money pockets and NIMBYs.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-03-2018, 01:54 PM
 
Location: California
1,134 posts, read 962,190 times
Reputation: 2056
Quote:
Originally Posted by lieqiang View Post
So your post gushing about how anyone in Japan would know how bad our road are was... an exercise in existential commuting theory? You were using Japan's roads as a barometer with which to judge the US highway infrastructure when your experience with Japanese roads was one taxi ride. Maybe you saw some roads outside the train window at 100 mph and that provided you the information you needed to understand how bad US roads were?
What? It is called walking and observing. i can walk around any city and see the potholes. I can walk around Japan and see how amazing their streets are, how all the markings look like they were painted yesterday, how there are no potholes, the curbs are not busted etc.

It is amazing how myopic people can be.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-03-2018, 02:36 PM
 
Location: Paranoid State
12,685 posts, read 9,438,208 times
Reputation: 14942
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
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.
Perhaps in your state. In CA, it has been sacrificed in the name of public sector gold-plated pensions & Cadillac health care.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-03-2018, 02:48 PM
 
Location: Paranoid State
12,685 posts, read 9,438,208 times
Reputation: 14942
Quote:
Originally Posted by vladlensky View Post
The motto in France is 'Liberty, Equality, Fraternity'.
Yeah, but France is full of, you know, French people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vladlensky View Post
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).
I disagree.

Infrastructure projects cost too damn much for no apparent reason.

For example, the first New York City subway opened around 1900. Its price tag is the inflation-adjusted equivalent of $100 Million/kilometer in today's dollars. New York's recently built 2nd Avenue Subway costs about $2.2 Billion per kilometer, suggesting a cost increase of twenty times even though we're measuring in today's dollars.

Paris, Berlin, and Copenhagen subways cost about $250 million per kilometer, almost 90% less. Yet even those European subways are overpriced compared to Korea, where a kilometer of subway in Seoul costs $40 million/km (another Korean subway project cost $80 million/km). This is a difference of 50x between Seoul and New York for apparently comparable services.

I find subway costs particularly telling, because we're building a 19th century transportation system using 21st century technology -- huge boring machines that dramatically cut costs. And other countries still know how to do it for costs orders of magnitude lower than ours.

It isn't just public transportation.

In the past fifty years, K-12 education costs have doubled, college costs have dectupled, health insurance costs have dectupled, public transit costs have at least dectupled, and housing costs have increased by about fifty percent.

And this is especially strange because we expect that improving technology ought to cut costs. In 1983, the first mobile phone cost $4,000 – about $10,000 in today’s dollars. It was also a gigantic piece of crap. Today you can get a much better phone for $100. This is the right and proper way of the universe. It’s why we fund scientists and pay businesspeople the big bucks.

But things like public infrastructure and college and health care have still had their prices dectuple. Patients can now schedule their appointments online; doctors can send prescriptions electronically, pharmacies can keep track of medication histories on computer systems that interface with the cloud, nurses get automatic reminders when they’re giving two drugs with a potential interaction, insurance companies accept payment through credit cards – and all of this costs ten times as much as it did in the days of punch cards and secretaries who did calculations by hand with a manual-crank adding machine.

And your complete non sequitur of corporations = persons?

Corporations are owned primarily by public sector union pension funds, private sector pension funds, 401k retirement savings, IRA retirement savings, and individual investments.


Quote:
Originally Posted by vladlensky View Post
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.
Social philosophy is irrelevant. The outrageous price tag of public infrastructure in the USA compared to other countries is the issue.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-03-2018, 03:15 PM
 
1,151 posts, read 856,407 times
Reputation: 1483
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
It depends on your zip code. Boston, New York, Philly, DC, Chicago, ... Public transportation cities where people tend to go to work via commuter rail or subway. In much of the rest of the country, public transportation is indeed pretty much only used by poor people.

Pretty much the only way to solve the housing shortage problem in the high cost of living cities is to dramatically improve commuter rail. If you can get to work from 60 miles out on a 120 mph express train in 30 minutes, it makes it possible to live well outside the city and still have a life. Unfortunately, investment in rail infrastructure is even worse than interstate highway investment
I see this in NJ. Housing prices within reasonable commuting distance of NYC are insane, while towns beyond that range are emptying out and decaying. If we could improve our existing rail and extend it farther out in the state, it would solve a lot of problems.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-03-2018, 03:43 PM
 
2,360 posts, read 1,028,642 times
Reputation: 2071
The whole system is really over price in cost to build. Its all about who can get away with cheaper labor and cost while profit highs. If they start worry about quality of their work and stop inflation, then we might afford something.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-03-2018, 04:27 PM
 
1,461 posts, read 332,233 times
Reputation: 1667
Quote:
Originally Posted by cebuan View Post
Every job is done by the lowest bidder.
Not always.

Not when the electrical grid is managed by a municipality or private electric company. There are some that don't contract. Most often those in union-friendly states with prevailing wage laws.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply

Quick Reply
Message:


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Economics
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top