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Unread 04-14-2012, 01:47 PM
 
4,690 posts, read 1,598,370 times
Reputation: 1560
Frederic Bastiat, Rothbard's pet Frenchman and "forerunner of the Austrian school".

In other words, the answer to Evergrey's question is a resounding "NO".
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Unread 04-14-2012, 02:01 PM
 
Location: SS Slopes
251 posts, read 171,030 times
Reputation: 117
Label it how you wish, doesn't change the reality of the situation. The empirical evidence that macro-economists have held so dearly as absolute proof of their correctness for a century is finally turning on them. Hope you're hedged correctly for it. The past decade has been quite fruitful for us "Austrians," comparatively.
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Unread 04-14-2012, 02:37 PM
 
1,170 posts, read 639,715 times
Reputation: 712
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2nd trick op View Post
Let's get one thing straight ---- Obma's HSR plan was never anything but a fantasy for the dreamers. The enormous price tag, over and above the billions alread spent on a "stimulus" which has yet to work, is going to keep most of the next Congress skeptical.
What's sad is if we could just trim a trillion off of our bloated and unnecessary military budget, we could have Obama's HSR plan funded like overnight.

But our bought and paid for politicians would never allow something so logical to happen, because if you look it up you will see just how much defense contractor lobbyists fund our aforementioned "representative's" campaigns.
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Unread 04-14-2012, 04:43 PM
 
20,274 posts, read 16,403,926 times
Reputation: 2786
Quote:
Originally Posted by soniqV View Post
I don't know what that image is supposed to represent?
The human misery caused by a failure to use available economic resources.

I don't want to get drawn into a Keynesian versus Austrian debate. My point was that holding aside specific economic theories and proposed remedies for recessions, we should never credit the notion that a nation cannot "afford" to put its economic resources to work.

Quote:
Materials are selected as money by the market DUE to their scarcity.
Not really. Lots of things are scarce but not used for money. Things are used for money mostly due to their convenience and utility for that purpose, and people are inventing or co-opting new things to serve as money all the time.

Quote:
It is part of the definition of money. An old copper penny is worth 2 cents and an old silver dime is worth $2.25, why? Because copper and silver represent something scarce and of value
Again, lots of commodities and other things are worth some amount of dollars and cents. That doesn't distinguish a lump of copper or silver from other commodities, or indeed a copper penny from another lump of copper. Is a chunk of copper pipe "money"? Nope.

Now you can imagine a situation in which we didn't have enough copper, or other important economic resources, available to do stuff we wanted to do. But that isn't our problem right now: our problem is we have economic resources sitting idle, not that we lack for economic resources to make use of.

And, of course, it would be the height of silliness to claim our problem is we don't have enough copper sitting around in the form of small disks.

Quote:
Gas prices go up for the same reason grocery prices go up -- because our currency is not, and no longer represents (as it once did), money.
If that were true, the price of everything would be going up, not just gas and groceries. And yet it is not (well, no more than usual--in fact less than usual).

It is true extraordinary general inflation can be a sign that you are running out of basic economic resources to use. But again we aren't running out of basic economic resources to use, and that is why there is no extraordinary general inflation.

Last edited by BrianTH; 04-14-2012 at 04:51 PM..
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Unread 04-14-2012, 05:11 PM
 
Location: In a valley in the South Hills
2,810 posts, read 1,123,343 times
Reputation: 2769
Quote:
Originally Posted by airwave09 View Post
What's sad is if we could just trim a trillion off of our bloated and unnecessary military budget, we could have Obama's HSR plan funded like overnight.

But our bought and paid for politicians would never allow something so logical to happen, because if you look it up you will see just how much defense contractor lobbyists fund our aforementioned "representative's" campaigns.
This RR would pass through primarily Democratic regions. And would be sold by Dems as both a jobs program and an energy saving program. GOP wouldn't care about the benefits and would cite threats to the oil industry, domestic auto and airplane production, lack of traveler security, etc. etc. etc.

Probably the only way this gets done is if the actual jobs that deal with the materials and components required for the trains and tracks go to primarily GOP states so those governors, senators and reps can cite job increases.

Nobody in power in this country is capable of doing the right thing just for the sake of doing the right thing.
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Unread 04-14-2012, 06:23 PM
Status: "America's baseball team -- Roar, Tigers, Roar!" (set 25 days ago)
 
Location: Topton and Nescopeck, Penna.
3,013 posts, read 1,054,708 times
Reputation: 2742
"The State is the Great Fiction by which everyone tries to get his way, at the expense of everybody else." (Frederic Bastiat)

Nowhere more true than when applied to the fantsay HSR systems sold to a gullible and increasingly non-technical public ... and the saddest part of all is that revival of common-sense solutions using present day technology and rights-of-way is easily within our reach.

But that option won't send nearly enough money to the politically-connected contractors and consultants, or the NIMBYs who dream of something so "sanitary" as to be, by definition, unworkable.

Last edited by 2nd trick op; 04-14-2012 at 06:47 PM..
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Unread 04-14-2012, 06:53 PM
 
Location: South Oakland, Pittsburgh, PA
875 posts, read 707,713 times
Reputation: 276
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2nd trick op View Post
...to the fantsay HSR systems sold to a gullible and increasingly non-technical public ... and the saddest part of all is that revival of common-sens solutions using present day technology and rights-of-way is easily within our reach...
And those solutions would be...what, more highways?

The HSR plan is a bit over-reaching, but so was the interstate highway system when Eisenhower proposed it. This is the type of project aimed at long-termed planning, especially in a world with impractical security measures at airports and fluctuating but steadily climbing fuel prices.
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Unread 04-14-2012, 07:27 PM
Status: "America's baseball team -- Roar, Tigers, Roar!" (set 25 days ago)
 
Location: Topton and Nescopeck, Penna.
3,013 posts, read 1,054,708 times
Reputation: 2742
Quote:
Originally Posted by Impala26 View Post
And those solutions would be...what, more highways?
If you'll check my first post in this thread, you'll find that I'm advocating restoring the "extended" SEPTA service out of Philadelphia (which lasted until 1981), cooperating with New Jersey to restore service to Scranton and Wilkes-Barre, with an alternate route to Allentown and Reading, and rebuilding the Pennsylvania's orginal "Pittsburgh commuter" service (which wasn't a "traditional" commuter operation). All three are rail-centerd projects.

What I don't want is to start over from scratch, with a clique of politicians and their allies (who have a weak grounding in both transport economics and rail technology) calling the shots with their pet issues (and fantasies) at the head of the line.

Case in point; Back around 1975, when Amtrak first came up with the idea of state-run services with Federal funding (what was referred to as Section 403(b) service), the present day Philadelphia-Lancaster-Harrisburg service was folded into the plan. To get more legislators behind the plan, the measure also called for reviving a Washington-Harrisburg-Williamsport-Buffalo service that had endured until the creation of Amtrak in 1971.

But the Pennsylvania provincials insisted upon diverting the northernmost part of the service from Buffalo to Erie, using track that wouldn't have been suitable for speeds over 30 MPH without hundreds of thousands of dollars to rehabilitate it, and has snce been abandoned.

The folly was quickly swept under the carpet but just as the space shuttle disasters were a lesson in what happens when science fiction runs up against "hard science", the HSR advocacy has to understand that American passenger rail transport can't instantly be redesigned around a "big Lionel set" the Europeans have put in the show window.

Last edited by 2nd trick op; 04-14-2012 at 07:42 PM..
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Unread 04-14-2012, 08:07 PM
 
Location: Philly
8,161 posts, read 6,160,337 times
Reputation: 1776
Quote:
Originally Posted by MathmanMathman View Post
I think it would have been evident by now if trains were a cheaper solution.
it's interesting you say that, trains ARE cheaper in other countries which is partly why they use them there. our outdated rules regarding crash standards require us to use enormously expensive trains because they use far more steel. think about if you were required to buy a 1950's caddie, how much more would that cost? it's as if time stopped in the 1940's for the FRA. not only is the equipment more expensive to acquire (and run, since it's far heavier) but daily servicing rules haven't been updated in decades (in the US locomotives are inspected daily, in britain it's every 55 hours, and some places are even less) as if equipment isn't more reliable. lightweight trains can operate here, but never on the same tracks as other equipment. then there are other inspections, like the 92 day (changing soon), and then there's construction which costs exponentially more here than other countries. the fact is, people would never put up with such outdated rules on cars and if they weren't there on trains, they'd be a lot more competitive.
Quote:
The rule also changes the existing requirement for periodic inspections of locomotives from 92 days to a 184 days for any locomotive equipped with microprocessor-based control systems with self-diagnostic capabilities. The agency said the rule would produce $378 million in savings for railroads over the next 20 years.

The final rule is effective June 8, 2012.
92 day inspections changed to 184 days; cab locks, both part of new locomotive safety rules - TRAINS Magazine
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Unread 04-14-2012, 08:31 PM
 
4,690 posts, read 1,598,370 times
Reputation: 1560
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2nd trick op View Post
"The State is the Great Fiction by which everyone tries to get his way, at the expense of everybody else."

And doubtless the good people of Topton are very pleased when I-78 gets a smooth new surface.
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