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Old 08-20-2014, 01:33 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 16 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,988 posts, read 102,554,590 times
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"The largest government subsidies in U.S. history financed the railroad boom. Between 1862 and 1872, Congress gave the railroad companies more than 100 million acres of public land and over $64 million in loans and tax breaks…"
Fact Checking Claims about the Transcontinental Railroad | Now and Then: an American Social History Project blog

 
Old 08-20-2014, 01:35 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 16 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,988 posts, read 102,554,590 times
Reputation: 33053
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
Actually, it's not really all THAT difficult, at least with back of the napkin accuracy.

Fuel taxes cover about 50% of road expenditures. Weighted average fuel tax is 49.9 cents (call it 50) per gallon. Average personal vehicle in the US gets what, maybe 20 mpg, and the average drivers drives 15,000 miles. So average driver is paying about $375 in gas taxes and getting about $375 in "subsidy".

Most regular transit users are getting far more than $375/yr in operating subsidies alone.
I was thinking of subsidies such as tax deductions for interest on car loans (if you put the loan on your mortgage) and stuff like that as well. But I agree.
 
Old 08-20-2014, 01:41 PM
 
2,553 posts, read 2,004,178 times
Reputation: 1348
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
^^

Yes, infrastructure should lead growth. That's called smart planning.
There is nothing smart about building beyond one's means. Infrastructure should be built if there is demand (willingness and ability to pay in full) for it. But, for a lot of cities, the construction has come before the demand, giving us rapid horizontal growth and unfunded liabilities.
 
Old 08-20-2014, 02:09 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,061 posts, read 16,070,870 times
Reputation: 12636
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkeconomist View Post
There is nothing smart about building beyond one's means. Infrastructure should be built if there is demand (willingness and ability to pay in full) for it. But, for a lot of cities, the construction has come before the demand, giving us rapid horizontal growth and unfunded liabilities.
No big deal. Most things are unfunded liabilities since they're funded by the general fund. For example, every time you expand transit, you have an unfunded liability and a much bigger one than adding road infrastructure since transit receives much larger subsidies per use than roads. The funding source is set up so that roads don't pay for themselves with user fees so it's just a given same is with transit. It's really stupid to wait until roads/transit can't meet the (user) demand to wait to expand them.
 
Old 08-20-2014, 10:13 PM
 
7,846 posts, read 5,286,183 times
Reputation: 4025
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkeconomist View Post
There is nothing smart about building beyond one's means. Infrastructure should be built if there is demand (willingness and ability to pay in full) for it. But, for a lot of cities, the construction has come before the demand, giving us rapid horizontal growth and unfunded liabilities.
Chicken and the egg paradox.

Tell that to logic to China.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
Non-sequitur. This post was wholly non-responsive to the post you quoted which complained about your equivocal references to cars being a "liability".

You did not indicate who "owned" the liability - i.e., was saddled with the liability. You simply proclaimed that there was a liability. With respect to your first linked article, Denmark isn't the US and a "social benefit" for a municipality does not directly translate to a benefit to the individuals in the city.

As to the remark regarding "bikable communities" - in what way does that make cars a liability?
You are asking to be spoonfed more of what you don't want to hear: Cars are an economic drain on society.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
Don't know where you're talking about, but in the Washington DC, Philadelphia, and NYC areas, infrastructure has most certainly NOT lead economic growth. Roads run at service level F, transit is packed and sometimes unreliable due to infrastructure issues, even water and sewer systems are barely keeping up in some cases.
Chicken and the egg... if roads, sewers, and transit is packed... it means growth outgrew the existing infrastructure.
 
Old 08-20-2014, 11:02 PM
 
2,824 posts, read 3,348,447 times
Reputation: 3030
Quote:
Originally Posted by Opin_Yunated View Post
You are asking to be spoonfed more of what you don't want to hear: Cars are an economic drain on society.
Repeating ambiguous statements doesn't make them true or relevant. You are expected to identify to whom the product is a liability. Now you've clarified that you are referring to "society" rather than individuals such as the car owners. There is nothing owed to your abstract "society". Based upon your logic "people are an economic drain on society". Now what?
 
Old 08-21-2014, 01:29 PM
 
2,553 posts, read 2,004,178 times
Reputation: 1348
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
No big deal. Most things are unfunded liabilities since they're funded by the general fund. For example, every time you expand transit, you have an unfunded liability and a much bigger one than adding road infrastructure since transit receives much larger subsidies per use than roads. The funding source is set up so that roads don't pay for themselves with user fees so it's just a given same is with transit. It's really stupid to wait until roads/transit can't meet the (user) demand to wait to expand them.
Unfunded liabilities are a huge problem for cities, regardless of the specific liability. That it is for roads or transit is really beside the point, though it should be noted that it's hard for transit to outpace the infrastructure.
 
Old 08-21-2014, 01:46 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,985 posts, read 41,937,844 times
Reputation: 14804
Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
Don't know where you're talking about, but in the Washington DC, Philadelphia, and NYC areas, infrastructure has most certainly NOT lead economic growth. Roads run at service level F, transit is packed and sometimes unreliable due to infrastructure issues, even water and sewer systems are barely keeping up in some cases.
Philly and NYC barely has had any new infrastructure since 1970 or so. Washington DC has had more, but it has had higher population growth than the other two. Arguably rust belt metros have excess road capacity as their population shrank or at least didn't grow as expected.
 
Old 08-21-2014, 02:54 PM
 
Location: Chicago
1,312 posts, read 1,581,907 times
Reputation: 1487
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
There is a long history of toll roads in this country.
Toll road - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
From that article:

Quote:
"...19th-century plank roads were usually operated as toll roads. One of the first U.S. motor roads, the Long Island Motor Parkway (which opened on October 10, 1908)...
But here we have railroad:

Quote:
On February 28, 1827, the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad became the first U.S. railway chartered for commercial transport of passengers and freight. There were skeptics who doubted that a steam engine could work along steep, winding grades, but the Tom Thumb, designed by Peter Cooper, put an end to their doubts…

...The first railroad track in the United States was only 13 miles long, but it caused a lot of excitement when it opened in 1830. Charles Carroll, the last surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence, laid the first stone when construction on the track began at Baltimore harbor on July 4, 1828.
So rail transit had been around for 78 years before the first toll road? Seems to me that rail is grandfathered into the whole infrastructure thing if roads are, right?

And this is fun:

Quote:
Just over a century ago, steamships, canals, railroads, and the telegraph were up and running. They were the technological marvels of the 19th century-- setting the stage for the 20th century. Yet the invention that would spark a revolution in transportation was a simple two-wheeler. The bicycle. Its popularity in the 1880s and 1890s spurred interest in the nation's roads.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Yes, I'm aware of post roads in the constitution. Apparently some posters are not. One can argue that post roads include roads to people's homes to deliver the mail.
So why not rail, if roads are grandfathered in to "infrastructure"? They've been around for longer.

You said:

Quote:
..While there is no "right" to infrastructure, other than post roads mentioned in the constitution, there is a long, long, longstanding tradition of public roadways. Transit is how you get from place to place on the roads...
Actually, there is a longer use of rail in the US than roads, via the link you provided. And a long use of bicycles… the catalyst for interest in roads.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
...ETA: I think the commerce clause of the constitution would include some of those other uses, especially military roads.
As we all know, the history of the interstate system and how Eisenhower got the idea to build one when he was over in Germany, and by your own argument, the military and post office vehicles should be able to use the interstate system (at least for free).

But rail? Psssshhhhhh!

That was way too old to be grandfathered in for "infrastructure", right?

"Infrastructure" starts at roads, and goes from there?
 
Old 08-21-2014, 02:57 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 16 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,988 posts, read 102,554,590 times
Reputation: 33053
Quote:
Originally Posted by A2DAC1985 View Post
From that article:



But here we have railroad:



So rail transit had been around for 78 years before the first toll road? Seems to me that rail is grandfathered into the whole infrastructure thing if roads are, right?

And this is fun:





So why not rail, if roads are grandfathered in to "infrastructure"? They've been around for longer.

You said:



Actually, there is a longer use of rail in the US than roads, via the link you provided. And a long use of bicycles… the catalyst for interest in roads.



As we all know, the history of the interstate system and how Eisenhower got the idea to build one when he was over in Germany, and by your own argument, the military and post office vehicles should be able to use the interstate system (at least for free).

But rail? Psssshhhhhh!

That was way too old to be grandfathered in for "infrastructure", right?

"Infrastructure" starts at roads, and goes from there?
Repost:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
"The largest government subsidies in U.S. history financed the railroad boom. Between 1862 and 1872, Congress gave the railroad companies more than 100 million acres of public land and over $64 million in loans and tax breaks…"
Fact Checking Claims about the Transcontinental Railroad | Now and Then: an American Social History Project blog
BTW, the wiki link talks of ONE of the first MOTORWAY toll roads, not one of the first roads in the US.

The constitution, with its reference to ROADS, was adopted in 1789, not after railroads came into being. In fact, there were roads BEFORE the constitution. Good grief!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toll_ro..._United_States
**The first major toll road in the United States was the Philadelphia and Lancaster Turnpike, built in the 1790s, within Pennsylvania, connecting Philadelphia and Lancaster. In New York State, the Great Western Turnpike was started in Albany in 1799 and eventually extended, by several alternate routes, to the Finger Lakes region.

Prior to the American Revolution, some smaller toll roads organized by local governments existed, such as the Little River Turnpike which connected Alexandria, Virginia with the farmland of Western Virginia.
**
(Emphasis mine)

Need I remind you that the American Revolution started in 1776?

Last edited by Katarina Witt; 08-21-2014 at 03:05 PM..
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