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Old 11-09-2011, 10:47 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC NoVA
1,105 posts, read 1,946,858 times
Reputation: 775

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Quote:
Originally Posted by coldwine View Post
I support it wholeheartedly.

The days of cheap gas are over. I don't understand why this concept is not hitting on the middle class of this country. It isn't about spending money RIGHT NOW. It's about making an investment FOR LATER because an unavoidable long-term trend is going to strangle us to death.

Food, energy and gas prices keep rising. If you are not a millionaire, this affects you deeply. Think of our current infrastructure as representing a fraction of the cost you pay every time you buy food. Currently that cost is diesel, trucks, tolls, depreciation on trucks, salaries for truck drivers etc. Highways, highway maintenance, relevant taxes, fluctuating oil markets, etc.

The price will never again go down. It's only ever going to go higher, and higher, and higher...

Also, when was the last time anyone here remembers air fare being very afforable, easy and efficient? Do you really believe it's going to decrease ever again? Tell me, when you buy tickets for this holiday season, if you like paying inflated prices. Because that is going to become the norm. And let me know if you see your wages rising soon to match that rise in time.

Three trillion is quite a bit, however. I'm wondering why so much. It's just a frickin' railroad; weren't we building these things in the 1800's? Have we just forgotten how to do it?
the gas does suck but it can be relieved.

as for trucks depreciating, that's not true. used trucks especially have seen a spike in prices, not because of "inflation" of anything but because of demand. look on autotrader or cars.com and you'll see late 90s-early 2000s model trucks with 150,000 miles going for $12,000.

Last edited by CelticGermanicPride; 11-09-2011 at 10:56 AM..
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Old 11-09-2011, 11:14 AM
 
Location: Chicago
1,312 posts, read 1,581,488 times
Reputation: 1487
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oleg Bach View Post
...All these things that we talk about for the future will not come into being if we worry about cost...the longer we wait - the more it will cost in the eventual long run.

That is what I've been thinking. Someone said that for it to be worth their while gas would have to be $10 a gallon...




So the thinking is to build the rail (if at all) when it costs $10 a gallon for gas?It will be exponentially cheaper to move equipment and materials when gas costs 3-4 dollars like it does now.
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Old 11-09-2011, 11:22 AM
 
3,458 posts, read 3,109,988 times
Reputation: 1532
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gantz View Post
The construction of the line itself was probably subsidized from infrastructure bonds, etc. I believe the ticket prices are not subsidized, since the line runs at a profit.
That would be the same thing. Subsidized bonds for consruction of the rail line would enable a Amtrak to charge lower ticket prices than what they could afford in a free, unsubsidized market.
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Old 11-09-2011, 11:28 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn, New York
3,734 posts, read 3,846,240 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cletus Awreetus-Awrightus View Post
That would be the same thing. Subsidized bonds for consruction of the rail line would enable a Amtrak to charge lower ticket prices than what they could afford in a free, unsubsidized market.
That's not the point though. Even if Acela was a private enterprise they would get those subsidies, just as Exxon Mobil gets oil subsidies. There is not a single infrastructure project in this country that doesn't get any subsidies (this includes even totally private companies listed on stock exchange, like private prisons, etc). The main point is that maintance and operating cost of Acela are NOT subsidized.
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Old 11-09-2011, 11:33 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gantz View Post
That's not the point though. Even if Acela was a private enterprise they would get those subsidies, just as Exxon Mobil gets oil subsidies.
No, because not all private enterprises enjoy government subsidies.

Exxon is profitable without subsidies, Amtrak is not.

Quote:
There is not a single infrastructure project in this country that doesn't get any subsidies (this includes even totally private companies listed on stock exchange, like private prisons, etc).
What subsidies does Fluor get, for example?
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Old 11-09-2011, 11:37 AM
 
Location: Chicago
1,312 posts, read 1,581,488 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cletus Awreetus-Awrightus View Post
No, because not all private enterprises enjoy government subsidies.

Exxon is profitable without subsidies, Amtrak is not.



What subsidies does Fluor get, for example?
Interstates? If you have a product, you need to get it somewhere. I have a hard time believing that Wal-Mart, along with any other large supplier of goods, would have a lot harder time making as much money without the roadways and interstates to connect suppliers to stores to people.
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Old 11-09-2011, 11:40 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn, New York
3,734 posts, read 3,846,240 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cletus Awreetus-Awrightus View Post
No, because not all private enterprises enjoy government subsidies.
Exxon is profitable without subsidies,
Exxon still gets subsidized. They along with Chevron and ConocoPhillips get $4 billion a year from subsidies.
Quote:
Amtrak is not.
Amtrak is not, however their high-speed division Acela is.
Quote:
What subsidies does Fluor get, for example?
Their Alaskan pipeline construction was heavily subsidized. The government gave away that land for free.
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Old 11-09-2011, 11:41 AM
 
3,458 posts, read 3,109,988 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A2DAC1985 View Post
Interstates?
Fluor is subsidized by interstates? LOL ok.

Quote:
If you have a product, you need to get it somewhere. I have a hard time believing that Wal-Mart, along with any other large supplier of goods, would have a lot harder time making as much money without the roadways and interstates to connect suppliers to stores to people.
You apparently define "subsidy" differently than I do.

If everyone can use it, it's not a subsidy.

With the Acela track, Amtrak is receiving a special group of benefits that do not go to just any company. Describing their net revenue as "profit" is nonsense.
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Old 11-09-2011, 11:48 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn, New York
3,734 posts, read 3,846,240 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cletus Awreetus-Awrightus View Post
With the Acela track, Amtrak is receiving a special group of benefits that do not go to just any company. Describing their net revenue as "profit" is nonsense.
profit = revenue - expenses

Acela Express stats:
Revenues: $440 million
Expenses: $308.8 million
Profit: $131.2 million

Average profit: $41 per passanger.

Average profit for Amtrak total: -$32 per passanger.
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Old 11-09-2011, 11:49 AM
 
3,458 posts, read 3,109,988 times
Reputation: 1532
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gantz View Post
profit = revenue - expenses

Acela Express stats:
Revenues: $440 million
Expenses: $308.8 million
Profit: $131.2 million

Average profit: $41 per passanger.
By this logic, when the government runs a surplus by taking in more revenue than they have expenses, that's "profit."

Amtrak is just a government agency that pretends it is a company. It's like talking about Fannie and Freddie's "profits".
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