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Comment Dumb idea from the start (Score 4, Informative) 294

I've lived hear nearly 30 yards, and the monorail was a stupid idea from the start.

The *only* way it would have or ever will make sense is if it went to the airport. The taxi companies have raised a ruckus whenever that has been suggested.

The stupid thing goes to the convention center and half a dozen participating hotels; it is nothing more than an attempt to lockin conventioneers to that set of hotels. Any expansion will just be more of the same.

Now, if you built something that went to the airport, the length of the strip, and downtown, it would be useful. But that's just not in the cards.

AFAIK, the only thing its ever done right is to escrow demolition funds when it was first built.

And now similar geniuses want to build a high speed train from Vegas to . . . Victorville. OK, other dumb ends have been proposed, but anything other than San Diego, LA, or *maybe* someplace in Orange county is back to just plain dumb. LA or San Diego without stops could actually make sense, as a 200mph run would take less time than dealing with two airports. But drive 100 miles to Victorville to catch a train to vegas??? Or take a train from vegas and, what, walk to LA


Comment Re:left lane laggards (Score 1) 404

>You conveniently left out the 'if that speed is lower than the posted speed limit' part.

No, I didn't.

"Slower traffic keep right" has always been the law at the same level as a posted speed. I don't think that this law has that as a defense, either. (and, let's face it, the legislature is well aware that the de facto speed limit has long been 75 on in town freeways and 85 on the interstate).

Quite seriously, *most* vehicles are going 75 (not 74, not 77) on the freeway during normal periods here, save for out of staters and DUIs and illegals hoping not to be noticed for speeding in the right lane.

I really don't know whether NHP is refraining from issuing tickets to those going exactly the posted speed (something rarely ordered here, anyway), but to deal with a legalist position like that, I suppose he could issue the ticket for *both* 66 in a 65 and obstructing . . .

And for those pontificating about the "passing lane"--note that that is *NOT* traffic law thorough the entire US. In some state (e.g., , most of the midwest, I believe) the left lane is for passing, while in others (most or all of the southwest) it is a traffic lane, subject to slower traffic keep right.


Comment left lane laggards (Score 1) 404

>1) get left lane laggards to drive properly and not slow down faster traffic

With new legislation effective las October 1, the Nevada Highway Patrol is now issuing "obstruction of traffic" tickets to cars in the left lane that "know or reasonably should know" that their slow speed is obstructing traffic.


Comment Re:Britain is mostly metric (Score 1) 440

the key is "nominal"--a 2x4, for example, is the size of the wood *before* cutting; no american wood sizing is the full stated length.

I would not be surprised at all to find that that 1200x2400 was *exactly* the same size as the board it "replaced", or at least that the shipped sizes within the accepted tolerances of the old size.

(In fact, I'd be mildly surprised if it wasn't within the old tolerance range).

Comment Re:Lubbock, TX (Score 1) 350

Quite simply, it is a functional competitive market in an industry usually put forth as a "natural monopoly." Data, rather than supposition.

And the experience in Lubbock shows that it's not too "expensive and ugly".

It's not the only example of a perfectly obvious assumption turning out to be wrong. Lighthouses, for example, have long been offered as an example of a "public good" that only makes sense for a government to provide. However, when you actually look a the data, most were privately constructed by ports to compete with other potential ports. Where would you dock, the lit one or the dark one? :)

And while

hawkI'm at it, bimbo joints also fascinate us for reasons other than the obvious. It's the only example I know of where the same "job" in the same location can have both a positive and negative wage on the same day (strippers are paid by the house off-peak, but pay for stage time during prime hours).

Comment Re:For frequent travelers, this is bad news (Score 1) 139

That just isn't true.

Check with any competent (rather than movement) antitrust economist, or a lawyer involved in such regulation who is welling to tell you about reality rather than the party line.

There is more total profit in a monopoly than a duopoly, and in a duopoly than a triopoly, and so forth. The incumbents don't simply welcome, but invite expensive regulation that makes it to expensive for new players to enter, keeping up their "economic profits".

This phenomenon is the primary reason for the heavy regulation of taxis in most cities of any size. Consumer protection is the window dressing and political cover.

Similarly for cable monopolies and (of all things) hair dressers in many locales (in DC, for example, to braid hair many hours of the cosmetologists chemical training is required, just to keep them out).

A couple of decades ago, when I was younger and more foolish, I actually butted heads to get what turned out to be the first taxi/limo license issued in Clark County (Las Vegas) in three decades. Not just foolish, but naive: maybe five years earlier, certainly ten, I would not have survived the experience. Most likely an accident, but possibly plain violence, or maybe disappeared into the desert.

But what do I know; I'm just trained in antirust law and antitrust economics . . .

hawk, j.d., ph.d., etc.

Comment Lubbock, TX (Score 1) 350

Note, however, Lubbock, TX.

Economists love to study it, as it has two competing power grids--and not coincidentally, about the lowest electric prices in the country.

I spoke to another Economist who actually plotted electric prices by distance from lubbock: the closer to it, the greater the threat of the other company expanding there . . .

doc hawk

Comment Re:Good (Score 1) 139

But that wasn't about worker welfare, nor was it the urban legend about workers being able to buy cars.

Worker turnover at auto makers in general at the time was about three times a year. At the higher wage, workers stayed over a year on average, becoming more skilled and radically reducing training costs.

Note: iirc, Cadillac had significantly longer retention than the industry at large.

Note 2: the higher wage avoiding training costs is also the economic reason that you don't see layoffs after a moderate minimum wage increase--the training costs have already been paid, and the effect is seen when not all the workers are replaced..

doc hawk, displaced Economics professor

Comment Re:For frequent travelers, this is bad news (Score 1) 139

> Pick a country or city and look up its taxi
>regulations. They are often tilted in favor of special
>interests (like large taxi cab companies).

That is demonstrably incorrect, at lest in the US: there is no "often" nor "tilt"; the very *purpose* of "tai regulation" is to keep new taxi companies from entering the business.

OK, a *bit* of consumer protection actually comes in, like insurance requirements and background checks, from which is *insane* to let a new entrant have an exception.


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