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Comment Re:There will be no train (Score 1) 392

In their eyes, if Elon Musk or Google were doing it, it'd be the best thing ever.

Depends. But such a mass transit scheme that's has a decent chance of being profitable without requiring tens of billions of dollars of California taxpayer money as input is probably worthy of your respect as well.

Comment Re:There will be no train (Score 1) 392

Happens all the time.

Nope. If it happened all the time, then no trains, highways, or airplanes would be used at all.

My sentence doesn't mean what you think it means.

Reality, of course, is that while people can be wrong, they are fallible human beings after all, they aren't always, and they do think about what they're doing.

Except, of course, when they're not thinking about what they're doing.

On the other hand, which were constructed with thought and consideration. I'd add more, but my sentence was getting awkward.

Consider the fallacy you're committing here. Just because some transportation infrastructure isn't total shit doesn't mean that California's high speed rail will achieve that threshold.

You seem to not realize that you are arguing against a priority in transportation based on nothing more than offering a handy catchphrase, when in reality, the bridge which you so blithely dismiss, did go somewhere, and did have a purpose. Except, of course, when it didn't.

At least give them the courtesy of some effort towards thoughtful consideration, rather than whatever popular slogan grabs your attention. Reserve that for after school television programs. Let's get the next ten words. Ante up, poindexter.

Or you could stop being an idiot. The damning thing about this project is that it started with a high cost which will only get higher, a poor use scenario, and fantasy numbers for ridership. I also note that no advocate is prepared to deal with the inevitable TSA interference which currently is the only reason it compares well to air passenger service.

Comment Re: Well, duh. Mass transportation is a slush fund (Score 1) 392

But it is being built by contractors not the government.

Who let us note are much better than government agencies at scoring contracts. You have to realize here that businesses will take the fast route to profit. If I give a business a million cars, I don't expect them to become good at driving and making their profit that way. I expect them to become good at selling cars because that's the more profitable way.

And what's this bit about a "free market"? Where's the other competing high speed rails?

Comment Re:There will be no train (Score 1) 392

That would be found in the multitude of existing trains, whose operations can be scrutinized, and compared to the existing highways, airplanes, and even boats that exist.

You do know that they don't just decide to build trains, highways, or airplanes, without any idea what's going on, right?

Happens all the time. I think the current story is such an example. We also have the "bridges to nowhere", many which were constructed by precisely the lack of competence and judgment you seem to think doesn't exist.

Comment Re: Awesome (Score 1) 128

By that token the government should pay for my education because when I graduate I will help move the country forward, generate more tax revenue, reduce the unemployment rate, and create more jobs.

Unless, of course, you don't. Maybe they should bill you the full amount of your education when you turn out to be a waste of oxygen?

Comment Re: Awesome (Score 4, Informative) 128

And mostly fail if you look at the launch record..

Take a gander at Falcon 9's launch statistics. 30 launch attempts with 4 failures (including one while test burning the engines). "Most" would be 16 or more, not 4.

Even if we try to inflate the number of failures by including Falcon 1 (3 failures of 5 launch attempts) and all 6 Falcon 9 first stage landing failures (even though not a one of those counts as a launch failure since NASA didn't pay for even one of those), we still end up with 13 out of 35 launches. 18 is "most".

That's brazenly wrong.

You sir, have the credibility of CNN.

Look who's projecting.

Comment Re:Support High Speed Rail (Score 1) 392

Certainly, few people drove on the first five miles of controlled-access highway --- but the fully built-out Interstate system is used by many millions. To describe the entire project as only the Central Valley segment is foolish at best and malevolent at worst.

The obvious point here is that they are building a rather useless stretch first rather than incrementally building a line that is useful from the start. Even most urban transportation gets that part right.

My view is that this a bait and switch based on the sunk cost fallacy. They'll build this nearly useless stretch and then discover, as usual, that the useful portions of the train's routes will be more costly than expected.

Comment Re:There will be no train (Score 1) 392

Rather than acknowledge that there are circumstances under which spending money on trains actually saves overall because it reduces problems with the road

What evidence exists for that position? Let us keep in mind that we don't actually know how much the trains will cost either, but it's likely more than even this cost overrun estimate. Then that alleged $10 in savings becomes something far smaller or even negative in sign.

Comment Re:Well, duh. Mass transportation is a slush fund. (Score 2) 392

In fact, the contracts awarded so far have cost lass than expected, so the project is actually under budget at this time.

I guess you don't understand how these games are played. There's been very little spending to date so of course, contractors can afford to appear under budget. To get the real money flowing, the contractors and such need to bait the trap and get California to commit a lot more funding.

When there's a lot of commitment, then they'll suddenly have huge cost overruns. My view is that the 50% cost overrun is not a "worst case", but rather an unrealistically low cost estimate just like most other public projects in the US and California in particular.

If California continues to commit, it'll be educational just how many costly problems the project will run into.

Comment Re: Thanks Obama! (Score 1) 371

Unless you have some bad luck, in which case you're financially wiped out and likely unable to pay for health care you need.

That's one outcome. Here's two more:

2) You get some bad luck, but have time to get insurance before the bills kick in.

3) You don't have enough bad luck to justify insurance and pick up insurance when your age justifies the cost of the insurance.

Anyway, one of the big things that people often missed in their replies to me is the pool of sick people that your insurance is paying for. Young, healthy people are paying a significant premium due to these other people. But when people become unhealthy, suddenly insurance makes sense. This is the fundamental problem of insurance. It only works when enough people get it who don't immediately need it.

There is a value to not losing everything you own and/or going through bankruptcy. But it's not infinite value. And if the premium on insurance is above that value, then it's not in the would-be insuree's interests to get costly insurance. I believe we're seeing that with some of the Obamacare markets these days.

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