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Comment Re:Incorrect! (Score 1) 382

Did you know that before we started massively subsidizing (socializing) the trucking industry, grocery stores used to have their own railroad spurs? True story. So capitalism can work perfectly well when we allow it to.

"The trouble with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money." --Margaret Thatcher

Comment Re:Surprising (Score 2) 240

And considering that Iowa is where much food for Manhattan, LA, and San Francisco comes from, roads and bridges there should be of some interest to urban Americans.

Sure, we will maintain the roads and bridges on our side of the state line, but if Iowa wants to sell us food, isn't that sufficient economic incentive for them to maintain the roads and bridges in their state?

Let Washington give them enough money to do so but give it to them unconditionally so we can see whether maintaining ALL of their existing roads and bridges is really the best use of that money. Without strings attached, I suspect Iowa might close down some lesser-used bridges to motor traffic so they no longer need to be maintained, and they might expand their rail lines to get some long haul trucks off the road so they cause less traffic congestion and road wear.

Comment Re:first (Score 2) 382

Comment Re:Incorrect! (Score 0) 382

The vast majority of people don't want to use public transportation.

That's true. They prefer to sit in traffic, as evidenced by the large number of people who sit in traffic every day.

And since public transportation and road construction are both expensive, taxpayers could save a LOT of money by giving people what they "want": less public transportation and more traffic congestion. Right?

Or we could make road users pay 100% of the cost of the roads instead of less than half, and find out if people still prefer to drive.

Comment Re:Big news in California... (Score 5, Interesting) 457

Every claim you just repeated by the State has been proven _False_ by other agencies

That's false. The Legislative Analyst's Office questioned the assumptions but did not find anything in the CAHSR's numbers that were factually incorrect. The State Auditor found some risks and weak oversight but again could not disprove the numbers. We see the same thing over and over again, and each time it helps California improve its planning and oversight.

Meanwhile, every HSR line in the world that's at least a few years old is already making a profit.

Every.

Last.

One.

Even Amtrak's Acela Express makes a profit. So why would California's HSR be any different?

Comment Re:Big news in California... (Score 1) 457

But hey, we got more welfare and crony projects like the Bullet-CrazyTrain.

Yes, the train that will cost $68.4 billion and fulfill the same transportation demand as spending $119.0 billion on 4,295 new lane-miles of highway plus $38.6 billion on 115 new airport gates and 4 new runways ($158 billion total). Let's not build it because we need that $68.4 billion for other things, right?

Comment Re:See, this application actually makes some sense (Score 4, Insightful) 113

Long-haul freight really ought to be moved by rail where it causes less traffic congestion, emits less greenhouse gases, and doesn't tear up the roads. Also, it's easier to automate a vehicle that cannot steer. Unfortunately, the trucking industry is so heavily subsidized that there's no incentive to change.

Comment Re:"Labor Shortage" (Score 1) 477

There is no shortage of people with an CS degree. But there is certainly a shortage of people that can actually write good code for non-trivial tasks.

Wrong again. A shortage means that those people cannot be hired on the open market at any price. The real problem is that employers don't value those people enough to pay the market clearing rate.

Comment Re:Wrong solution (Score 1) 288

Yes, automatic brake control and so on can increase the capacity of a freeway, but that still won't eliminate traffic congestion. At best, it can only delay the onset of congestion for a few years, because once people see that the freeway is flowing smoothly again, they will drive on that freeway more often, developers will build along the freeway, and so on until the freeway is gridlocked again. This happens every time you widen an unpriced freeway without also preventing development (particularly places to park) along the corridor.

So there are two permanent solutions to the problem of freeway traffic congestion: (1) stop pricing the freeway below market equilibrium (because this only encourages people to drive and create traffic congestion), and (2) stop forcing developers to overbuild their parking lots (because overbuilt parking lots also encourage people to drive).

Comment Re: Basic income (Score 1) 726

I can guarantee you that if you guaranteed everyone, say, $20k/year, that landlords will get as close to that $20k/year as they can because they know that everyone will get at least that much.

This is why the minimum wage should be eliminated at the same time. When people are getting only $1/hour for their labor, they will have a HUGE incentive to find a cheap place to live, because living cheaply will bring a far greater ROI compared to working than it does now.

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