Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Recycling Bin

Is anyone else tired of the same old recycled junk? Can someone remind me if the Interstate Highway System we started building in the 1950's ever turned a profit. I think it was a long term investment that granted returns in other ways. Some good, some not so good. From the Wall Street Journal on the stimulus:
We've looked it over, and even we can't quite believe it. There's $1 billion for Amtrak, the federal railroad that hasn't turned a profit in 40 years...
How many times do you think these guys took the Acela to DC to hang out with thier cronies. I guess they don't believe in the investment. Rupert's opinion page hacks are dumber than a box of rocks. This is a gem though:
Most of the rest of this project spending will go to such things as renewable energy funding ($8 billion) or mass transit ($6 billion) that have a low or negative return on investment. Most urban transit systems are so badly managed that their fares cover less than half of their costs. However, the people who operate these systems belong to public-employee unions that are campaign contributors to . . . guess which party?
Would you like some cheese with that whine? Does no one on the R team understand how all transportation works? It's like they believe air traffic controllers come from magical fairly land and highway funds come out of an oil derrick. Where did they get these opinions from anyways? It certainly wasn't from the Manhattan news staff, most of whom I'm sure drive to work right?? I heard the cracker jack factory had some openings. Perhaps you could fill the boxes with this noise.


Justin said...

The WSJ become a cesspool of right-wing ideology since Rupert Murdoch bought it. Sad.

kenf said...

"How many times do you think these guys took the Acela to DC to hang out with thier cronies."

Nah, these clowns aren't bright enough to take the train. They fly on the Shuttle.

Ant the WSJ Opinion Page has been a "cesspool of right-wing ideology" since forever. Remember the email from one of them dissing the 9/11 widows?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, these folks wouldn't be caught dead riding a train. Trains are for poor people. Instead they fly or drive, secure in the knowledge that no public tax dollars are being consumed.

Anonymous said...

They don't drive; they have a driver who drives them.

Anonymous said...

As I often say, it the WSJ editorial page is against it, then it must be good.

Anonymous said...

True story: I was on the Acela Express one time, and someone, who looked like a student at one of the more upper-class colleges, was talking on his cellphone, commenting on the experience. "It's not like normal public transportation. The people here are all well-off".

Robert said...

The main pages of the WSJ have the best journalism of any paper I've read -- and I've read a few. But their opinion pages are just poorly written.

There's no maybe and no inclusion of others viewpoints -- there's no "While some will say....but we disagree because..." This makes the WSJ opinion page nothing more than an echo-chamber because they don't seek to persuade anyone -- the only person that could read the WSJ opinion pages and feel good about having read them are those that already agree with the points.

At any rate, it is unfortunate that the WSJ editorial page doesn't seem to see how their airplane and vehicle travel is subsidized. Some people are satisfied with the status quo and have no stomach for intellectual curiosity.

Morgan Wick said...

Do they publish dissenting letters to the editor? I'm guessing not.

Anonymous said...

nevermind all the public roads that put the private tax paying railroads, transit companies and ferries out of business.

most conservatives and libertarians hate the government except when it comes to their car, in which case they will support every subsidy, regulation and public policy in favor of it.

and of course theres no public employee unions involved with highway or airport maintainence, right?

Most of the rest of this project spending will go to such things as renewable energy funding ($8 billion) or mass transit ($6 billion) that have a low or negative return on investment.

no most of the spending will go to worthless tax cuts that will do nothing but prop up an outdated and discredited ideology.

Most urban transit systems are so badly managed that their fares cover less than half of their costs.

even the worst run system is still better run that W's management.

Anonymous said...

Of course! Rupert Murdoch, a
septugenarian (somebody from 70 to 79 years old) billionaire originally from Australia, is only concerned about his vast fortune! Ha ha.

This is not to say it's all bad: my favourite show, The Simpsons, is on Fox, as is Family Guy. My mother likes House.

I've seen some attacks on the 9/11 widows by notorious right wing "Queen of Invective" Ann Coulter.

Anonymous said...

Didn't add this, but the right wing WSJ guys, with all their money, probably like to drive. I've taken the VIA train to Montreal, Toronto, and last year, Quebec City (it was the 400th anniversary last year there), and I'm what would be considered middle class.

Not to mention that Murdoch's supposedly "fair and balanced" Fox News is the home of right wing jerks like the dumba** Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity (now without fake liberal Alan Colmes), and now the always reprehensible hack Glenn Beck.

Cut the crap about profits of non-automobile forms. I agree with jon here, not with the f**king WSJ editorial page guys.

Anonymous said...

I do hope Murdoch doesn't kill the quality reporting in the pages of the WSJ- if he does, he will lose what he paid so much for- a paper with a strong reputation.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with Robert. While the articles themselves in the WSJ are very well written and informative, when you flip it over to the opinion page, it's like you just entered a whole different universe. Pure conservative propaganda.

njh said...

I thought recycling was good.

Anonymous said...

I read this article and spent a good five minutes in a rage over its stupidity. I think that the current economic situation has solidly proven that evaluating everything with only an eye towards profitability just does not work, but it seems that some will never learn.

Anonymous said...

I go around and around with my conservative buddy at work on this. He thinks there should be a road to his house (obviously), because it already exists. But he doesn't want to fund anyone else's road (or transit, or rail). At some point the Democrats just need to point out that the Republicans aren't so much interested in shrinking the size of government or being more efficient. They're just interested in being selfish.

Anonymous said...

The WSJ editorial page has been lying outright for years.

The lies are a little more subtle this time than their usual outright falsification of numbers (very very common) or faked quotes (fairly common).

Transit projects usually have positive returns on investment. Those returns just go to people other than the organization which paid for the project. They go to local business and citizens. Honestly, much of the money comes right back to the local government in tax revenue, but that increased economic development revenue isn't broken out separately so nobody notices.

In contrast, for instance, extractive-energy operations, like coal mining and burning, have enormous negative returns on investment -- they actively destroy value. The trick is that they palm off the destruction of value on someone *else*'s value. If they were charged the true cost of their pollution, they'd lose all the money they ever "made", and trillions more. Essentially, they're thieves.