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Old 05-09-2013, 12:48 PM
 
1,066 posts, read 2,413,626 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioRules View Post
And virtually every road would be free to travel anyway. If I owned a business it would be to my advantage to work with the other proprietors on my street to ensure customers (the public) had free and easy access to my store. No one is gonna stop in if they have to stop at 20 toll booths along the way.
This is a very good point that I somehow missed. Oponents of private roads seem to forget that it's to the advantage of the entire community to have accessible roads. In other words "If enough people want service x, service x would be provided by the market." Much cheaper and more efficient than a state operated version, I might add.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbcmh81 View Post
Yeah, well if you want to return to the transportation infrastructure prior to the Civil War, be my guest. There were barely any decent roads and rail was fairly dominant, and yes, people did have to pay to use it.
JB, you're confusing two different things. The amount of capital in the U.S. before the civil war was peanuts compared to modern times. Suggesting that the state of private roads during that period is at all indicative of what we would see from a modern private road system is asinine. Using the same logic, what was the state of the computer industry before the civil war? Oh yeah, that's right, it didn't exist. The innovation of private individuals led to some of the most significant breakthroughs in human history over the next couple centuries. Just imagine if we had required mandatory government ownership of the early tech industry...
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Old 05-10-2013, 06:27 AM
 
Location: Columbus, OH
3,038 posts, read 2,511,820 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbcmh81 View Post
So you're against competition and providing alternatives? Air travel is not cheap (even though it is subsidized quite a bit), and many do not like being reliant on cars (the most highly subsidized form of travel and more expensive to build and maintain than rail), especially younger generations.
I'm not against alternatives and competition.

Rail cars in Ohio will not offer viable alternatives for many and zero competition for the automobile.

I'm against hundreds of miilions or billions of taxpayer dollars being used for something that will not work.
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Old 05-10-2013, 06:30 AM
 
Location: Columbus, OH
3,038 posts, read 2,511,820 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbcmh81 View Post
Yeah, well if you want to return to the transportation infrastructure prior to the Civil War, be my guest. There were barely any decent roads and rail was fairly dominant, and yes, people did have to pay to use it.
The roads we have now were largely mapped out before the Civil War, east of the Mississippi anway.

They were as good as any roads in the world at time.

Not sure why you say they weren't decent.

And yes, you still have to pay for using government managed "free" roads today.
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:46 AM
 
16,345 posts, read 18,035,352 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ksu sucks View Post

JB, you're confusing two different things. The amount of capital in the U.S. before the civil war was peanuts compared to modern times. Suggesting that the state of private roads during that period is at all indicative of what we would see from a modern private road system is asinine. Using the same logic, what was the state of the computer industry before the civil war? Oh yeah, that's right, it didn't exist. The innovation of private individuals led to some of the most significant breakthroughs in human history over the next couple centuries. Just imagine if we had required mandatory government ownership of the early tech industry...
I didn't mean literally have the infrastructure of the pre-Civil War era, I was talking about having a rail dominant system. It was sort of a joke considering how anti-rail (and mass transit) some of you are.

While I can recognize contributions made from the private sector, I also don't live in the libertarian fantasy where the private sector can do no wrong and government can do no right, so you can say that line for someone else.
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:54 AM
 
16,345 posts, read 18,035,352 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioRules View Post
I'm not against alternatives and competition.

Rail cars in Ohio will not offer viable alternatives for many and zero competition for the automobile.

I'm against hundreds of miilions or billions of taxpayer dollars being used for something that will not work.
Why couldn't it be competitive? I'd ride it, a lot of people I know would as well. Personally, I don't like driving and am not enamored with cars. I would rather not be required to have to drive everywhere. Air travel is expensive and it's not meant to be local or even necessarily regional in all cases, so I see rail as a good middle-ground.

And rail does work. It's utilized in many nations across the world successfully and there have been plenty of studies supporting its benefits. This is mainly about you not seeing a need for it because you personally wouldn't use it. I don't say that there isn't a place for roads just because I don't like a car-dependent lifestyle. There is a place for them, but there is also a place for other things.
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Old 05-10-2013, 11:05 AM
 
16,345 posts, read 18,035,352 times
Reputation: 7879
Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioRules View Post
The roads we have now were largely mapped out before the Civil War, east of the Mississippi anway.

They were as good as any roads in the world at time.

Not sure why you say they weren't decent.

And yes, you still have to pay for using government managed "free" roads today.
See above about the joke.

Through things like gas taxes, sure. Even still, roads operate at a huge financial loss. If government or a private interest tried to actually recoup all costs for roads, the government taxes there are now would be an amazing bargain by comparison.
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Old 05-10-2013, 07:42 PM
 
1,066 posts, read 2,413,626 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbcmh81 View Post
I also don't live in the libertarian fantasy where the private sector can do no wrong and government can do no right, so you can say that line for someone else.
I'm not sure which world you live in, but I live in one where millions of Americans are forced by law to pay for a bloated, inefficient, and uneconomic transportation system. I live in a world where most people have such a weak understanding of the market economy that they believe the solution to the transportation "problem" is simply shifting the public subsidization toward different industries(rail vs roads).

Anyway, I personally enjoy rail. Subways/light rail/whatever are great for people watching. And I understand why proponents of rail might be frustrated with the huge over-subsidization of public roads. However, I always examine these issues by weighing the consequences of different actions. "If society does x, then y will result....if society does a, then b will result". Which is preferred; result "y" or result "b"? In my mind, the essential question isn't which industry deserves more public funding. It's whether or not public funding is the most efficient method of funding in the first place.
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Old 05-11-2013, 12:04 AM
 
16,345 posts, read 18,035,352 times
Reputation: 7879
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksu sucks View Post
I'm not sure which world you live in, but I live in one where millions of Americans are forced by law to pay for a bloated, inefficient, and uneconomic transportation system. I live in a world where most people have such a weak understanding of the market economy that they believe the solution to the transportation "problem" is simply shifting the public subsidization toward different industries(rail vs roads).

Anyway, I personally enjoy rail. Subways/light rail/whatever are great for people watching. And I understand why proponents of rail might be frustrated with the huge over-subsidization of public roads. However, I always examine these issues by weighing the consequences of different actions. "If society does x, then y will result....if society does a, then b will result". Which is preferred; result "y" or result "b"? In my mind, the essential question isn't which industry deserves more public funding. It's whether or not public funding is the most efficient method of funding in the first place.
So I don't get it. If subsidization is the real issue, why not fight against road subsidization, which is many times larger than rail? Even if you don't agree with rail subsidization, it's the goldfish while roads are the whale. Where are those discussions? I never see them outside of these rail threads. Seems like a hugely misplaced priority.
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Old 05-11-2013, 10:40 PM
 
1,066 posts, read 2,413,626 times
Reputation: 643
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbcmh81 View Post
So I don't get it. If subsidization is the real issue, why not fight against road subsidization, which is many times larger than rail? Even if you don't agree with rail subsidization, it's the goldfish while roads are the whale. Where are those discussions? I never see them outside of these rail threads. Seems like a hugely misplaced priority.
If you mean me personally, I do argue against road subsidization. I've done so repeatedly in this thread.

If you mean in terms of the larger "anti-public rail' crowd, I think there are two explanations. The first is that most mainstream "anti-government" voices are more conservative than they are libertarian. Conservatives aren't very consistent when it comes to the free market [yes, that includes Glenn Beck. He's a conservative... regardless of whatever 'flavor of the month' label he's given himself lately]. The second reason is that transportation funding is a pretty unimportant issue relatively speaking.* With all of the war and financial mayhem going on in the world, arguing over how the federal government spends it's transportation fund[let alone whether or not the feds should be involved in roads at all] is an afterthought for most people. I'm not saying it's right, but it's the case.

*See here. The US DOT received a mandatory budget of $62.6 billion in 2012. When compared to the total of 2.1 trillion, that amounts to ~3% o the entire budget. Then factor in the amount of government expenses which are indirectly financed by the Fed, and it's not hard to see how government transportation spending on roads is a drop in the bucket.
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