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(National Post)   Munich, 1158 AD, rich guy with a bridge screws peasants. Detroit, 2012 AD, rich guy learns from history   (news.nationalpost.com) divider line 81
    More: Asinine, Detroit, Michigan, Ambassador Bridge, U.S., Governors of Michigan, loves, Michigan voters  
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5098 clicks; posted to Business » on 24 Oct 2012 at 2:39 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-10-24 11:39:32 AM
Well that's just depressing.
 
2012-10-24 12:01:21 PM
You know, it would almost be entertaining sitting up here in Canada watching you morons circle the drain, if we weren't getting sucked down in the vortex of stupidity with you.
 
2012-10-24 12:04:01 PM
You are 85 years old and you are a billionaire and this is how you spend your last few days on earth??
 
2012-10-24 12:08:54 PM

what_now: You are 85 years old and you are a billionaire and this is how you spend your last few days on earth??


I picture the Skeksis Emperor at the beginning of The Dark Crystal.
 
2012-10-24 12:57:35 PM

what_now: You are 85 years old and you are a billionaire and this is how you spend your last few days on earth??


His hobby is watching Detroit's Central Station (which he also owns) decay.

media.treehugger.com
(click for photo series)
 
2012-10-24 01:01:12 PM
Has the demand for syrup really gone up enought to merit building a bridge?
 
2012-10-24 01:01:17 PM

Angry Drunk Bureaucrat: what_now: You are 85 years old and you are a billionaire and this is how you spend your last few days on earth??

I picture the Skeksis Emperor at the beginning of The Dark Crystal.


Good analogy
images1.wikia.nocookie.net
 
2012-10-24 02:12:44 PM
Hell, just reroute the bridge west to the Pacific like that oil pipeline.
'merikuh's one defaulted SUV payment away from going tits-up anyway.
 
2012-10-24 02:45:38 PM
And now the real reason that this city is in such a sad state comes to light. The greed and petty corruption have ground Detroit to a halt
 
2012-10-24 02:47:52 PM
Munich?
 
2012-10-24 02:51:29 PM
It's just depressing how many people believe that old farker. He was sent to jail for defrauding the state and federal government on a bridge expansion project, which in turn is why Michigan and the Canadians are thinking "fark it, we'll build our own". Snyder's right that our ass is covered and it is impossible to lose money on this border crossing. Plus the Canadians assuming the risk, while we get matching funds from the feds for use elsewhere in the state. It's a sweet deal. Basically we pay half the costs, thus with us paying the feds throw in matching money. However we turn around and sell toll rights to Canada for a time period and get a lump sum up front to pay off all our costs. After Canada has gotten their money back via tolls, we get half the tolls as well. It's free farking money.

The only real issue I see is the use of Chinese steal. I'd have liked an agreement to use North American steel, but I guess you have to keep costs down.

/the guy also speculated a lot of land in Detroit and is doing a lot to prevent the redevelopment of Detroit
 
2012-10-24 02:53:14 PM
So the plot for a Robocop sequil?
 
2012-10-24 02:53:16 PM

Your Zionist Leader: And now the real reason that this city is in such a sad state comes to light. The greed and petty corruption have ground Detroit to a halt


That's a huge part of the problem. Mayor Bing is doing a good job but faces serious headwinds. A lot of the "wrong" people need to move away or die or something. There are glimmers of hope though, and maybe I'm naive but I think that eventually, some day, the better side will win out. I hope.
 
2012-10-24 02:53:42 PM
SOCIALISM BRIDGE

/hissssss
 
2012-10-24 02:57:21 PM

HMS_Blinkin: Your Zionist Leader: And now the real reason that this city is in such a sad state comes to light. The greed and petty corruption have ground Detroit to a halt

That's a huge part of the problem. Mayor Bing is doing a good job but faces serious headwinds. A lot of the "wrong" people need to move away or die or something. There are glimmers of hope though, and maybe I'm naive but I think that eventually, some day, the better side will win out. I hope.


I still think too much of the prime land is owned by corrupt folk. Moroun is just the worst of the bunch. Bing's doing a good job, but fundamentally he needs to be backed by a City Council that has the balls to unleash eminent domain on a few key scumbags. Right now I'm torn on voting for the emergency manager prop, I dislike the idea of the state running it, but I do like the idea of how the state can roll in a really big farking hammer and pound Moroun into dust. Moroun can easily buy off the Detroit City Council because he's a big fish in Detroit, but he's going to have serious problems dealing with the Gov and State Leg. Snyder will likely crush him.
 
2012-10-24 02:59:10 PM
What a Moroun
 
2012-10-24 03:11:35 PM
Eminent domain that bastard into the stone ages. Build an interstate right through the middle of his mansion
 
2012-10-24 03:15:46 PM
Moroun has got to be in the top 50 worst people on earth. He owns a ton of rotting real estate in Detroit, including the train station mentioned above, which he lets rot because it has a tunnel to Canada underneath it that he doesn't want anyone to use. He also wants to build his own, 2nd bridge to Canada but the Canadian government won't allow it. He's a billionaire and gives nothing of note to any charities. He seems to think he's going to be able to take it all with him when he croaks, which hopefully will be in the near future.
 
2012-10-24 03:23:42 PM

Lost Thought 00: Eminent domain that bastard into the stone ages.


Easier said than done. While Eminent Domain is regularly used by governments to get reluctant property owners to sell, someone with that much money will just draw out the process as long as he can.

It would be easier to lien his properties.
 
2012-10-24 03:26:15 PM

Sliding Carp: what_now: You are 85 years old and you are a billionaire and this is how you spend your last few days on earth??

His hobby is watching Detroit's Central Station (which he also owns) decay.

[media.treehugger.com image 468x312]
(click for photo series)


wow. that is just depressing. It reminds me of the run down stations in west Oakland, CA. And this guy owns them and doesn't want to fix these treasures?


/my premiere link!
 
2012-10-24 03:27:26 PM

ha-ha-guy: HMS_Blinkin: Your Zionist Leader: And now the real reason that this city is in such a sad state comes to light. The greed and petty corruption have ground Detroit to a halt

That's a huge part of the problem. Mayor Bing is doing a good job but faces serious headwinds. A lot of the "wrong" people need to move away or die or something. There are glimmers of hope though, and maybe I'm naive but I think that eventually, some day, the better side will win out. I hope.

I still think too much of the prime land is owned by corrupt folk. Moroun is just the worst of the bunch. Bing's doing a good job, but fundamentally he needs to be backed by a City Council that has the balls to unleash eminent domain on a few key scumbags. Right now I'm torn on voting for the emergency manager prop, I dislike the idea of the state running it, but I do like the idea of how the state can roll in a really big farking hammer and pound Moroun into dust. Moroun can easily buy off the Detroit City Council because he's a big fish in Detroit, but he's going to have serious problems dealing with the Gov and State Leg. Snyder will likely crush him.


You'd really put that kind of power in the hands of Republicans?

Somehow, I don't think the GOP would lift a finger to stop some billionaire from making himself richer through actions which are detrimental to the people of Detroit.
 
2012-10-24 03:35:40 PM

Lost Thought 00: Eminent domain that bastard into the stone ages. Build an interstate right through the middle of his mansion


It was considered back when he tried to gouge the government over a trucking terminal. The issue is you'd have to wrestle so much from him, it would take forever. fark him and build around him. The bridge will remain useful more Detroit to Windsor traffic, but we can just route all the truck traffic and Chicago-Toronto stuff around him via I-94 directly to the new bridge.
 
2012-10-24 03:37:18 PM

Angry Drunk Bureaucrat: Easier said than done. While Eminent Domain is regularly used by governments to get reluctant property owners to sell, someone with that much money will just draw out the process as long as he can.


Draw out the process nothing. SCOTUS showed in Kelo v. New London that all city council has to do is "carefully consider" the prospect, it can then do whatever the fark it wants, and that dude, billionaire or not, can hang. So if his money can't by a majority vote on the council he is toast, and the council could have this as a DONE DEAL by the end of the day.
 
2012-10-24 03:52:56 PM
Here is how I see it. The ambassador bridge was built with private money and operates as an independent business. Over the last 50 years the city of Windsor didn't plan well around it. Now, Canada wants to build a bridge that has more direct access to their freeway, but in doing so the new bridge will directly compete with an existing private business here in Detroit. I say that this isn't fair. I don't favor any government entity that wants to compete directly with private business. I'm not surprised that the bridge company has pulled off the gloves. I would too and you probably would too.
 
2012-10-24 03:54:54 PM

ha-ha-guy: It's just depressing how many people believe that old farker. He was sent to jail for defrauding the state and federal government on a bridge expansion project, which in turn is why Michigan and the Canadians are thinking "fark it, we'll build our own". Snyder's right that our ass is covered and it is impossible to lose money on this border crossing. Plus the Canadians assuming the risk, while we get matching funds from the feds for use elsewhere in the state. It's a sweet deal. Basically we pay half the costs, thus with us paying the feds throw in matching money. However we turn around and sell toll rights to Canada for a time period and get a lump sum up front to pay off all our costs. After Canada has gotten their money back via tolls, we get half the tolls as well. It's free farking money.

The only real issue I see is the use of Chinese steal. I'd have liked an agreement to use North American steel, but I guess you have to keep costs down.

/the guy also speculated a lot of land in Detroit and is doing a lot to prevent the redevelopment of Detroit


Even better, they agreed to use North American steel, and its been approved by the American Iron and Steel Institute (Link)

The Morouns are the absolute worst, and their commercials are so prevalent, it wouldn't surprise if Michiganders are so confused, they vote this idiotic proposal into their constitution.
 
2012-10-24 03:56:09 PM

tomnardone206: Here is how I see it. The ambassador bridge was built with private money and operates as an independent business. Over the last 50 years the city of Windsor didn't plan well around it. Now, Canada wants to build a bridge that has more direct access to their freeway, but in doing so the new bridge will directly compete with an existing private business here in Detroit. I say that this isn't fair. I don't favor any government entity that wants to compete directly with private business. I'm not surprised that the bridge company has pulled off the gloves. I would too and you probably would too.


Well, another problem is that the current bridge is 80+ years old and Moroun has also let it rot. It needs significant work, which is another reason he wants to build another bridge of his own. And if the new bridge is not built in Detroit, it will be built elsewhere so Detroit loses out on a lot of jobs during and after construction.
 
2012-10-24 04:05:52 PM

PatoDeAgua: Even better, they agreed to use North American steel, and its been approved by the American Iron and Steel Institute (Link)


Nice, I'd missed that update. The Chinese steel wasn't a deal breaker but this just makes it better.
 
2012-10-24 04:07:40 PM
The only good thing about all this is that this piece of crap is probably going to die soon.
 
2012-10-24 04:11:49 PM
Approves:

www.nndb.com
 
2012-10-24 04:11:57 PM

SevenizGud: Angry Drunk Bureaucrat: Easier said than done. While Eminent Domain is regularly used by governments to get reluctant property owners to sell, someone with that much money will just draw out the process as long as he can.

Draw out the process nothing. SCOTUS showed in Kelo v. New London that all city council has to do is "carefully consider" the prospect, it can then do whatever the fark it wants, and that dude, billionaire or not, can hang. So if his money can't by a majority vote on the council he is toast, and the council could have this as a DONE DEAL by the end of the day.


Yeah, you're obviously not familiar with the process. There are several key places in the Eminent Domain procedure where owners can object even prior to the constitutionality of the taking. In PA, that includes the designation of the area to be considered blighted, the approval of the plan, the approval of the properties to be taken, and then the acquisition process. Most of the drawn out takings I've seen are from repeated filings to the court about Estimated Just Compensation for the property -- the owner argues, not that the property can't be taken, but that the owner is not being given enough money for the property. I would assume that this guy would argue that his property is valued several thousands times more than what the City would claim, and highly paid sneaky lawyers can keep the wheels spinning for years.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-10-24 04:12:16 PM
Basically we pay half the costs, thus with us paying the feds throw in matching money. However we turn around and sell toll rights to Canada for a time period and get a lump sum up front to pay off all our costs. After Canada has gotten their money back via tolls, we get half the tolls as well. It's free farking money.

Is the deal for a fixed time or until Canada gets its money back? Properly (or improperly) managed a toll road is about as profitable as a Hollywood movie, which is to say not at all on paper. If the owner gets 25 years of tolls, then you get a mismanaged, rusty eyesore at the end of 25 years. If the owner has to give it back after making a profit, then the bridge is well maintained but always in debt.
 
2012-10-24 04:43:31 PM

ZAZ: Basically we pay half the costs, thus with us paying the feds throw in matching money. However we turn around and sell toll rights to Canada for a time period and get a lump sum up front to pay off all our costs. After Canada has gotten their money back via tolls, we get half the tolls as well. It's free farking money.

Is the deal for a fixed time or until Canada gets its money back? Properly (or improperly) managed a toll road is about as profitable as a Hollywood movie, which is to say not at all on paper. If the owner gets 25 years of tolls, then you get a mismanaged, rusty eyesore at the end of 25 years. If the owner has to give it back after making a profit, then the bridge is well maintained but always in debt.


127 million per day cross the Detroit-Windsor Border every day, currently across the Ambassador Bridge since the trucks can't use the tunnel. The owner of the Ambassador bridge is a billionaire because of that traffic. On this new bridge, Canada will collect tolls for 40 to 50 years only on their side of the bridge. During this time Canada also pays all operating costs of the bridge. Once the contractor is paid off or that time period expires, it switches to both sides collection tolls (likely each on one lane, no double dipping, or just one plaza but the revenue is split down the middle). If the bridge isn't paid off, Canada alone eats the loss. An agreement will also be formed at that point for both sides to jointly pay the maintenance.

During the life of this bridge, the directorate of the bridge will be three Americans and three Canadians. However Canada will hold all the liability for construction costs. So if there is an issue failing to pay of the bridge, Canada farks itself on that deal since Michigan has no construction cost liability. The Americans on the bridge directorate will also be able to ensure Canada keeps it maintained and there isn't some heinous repair bill the moment it reverts to shared upkeep.

MDOT knows how to manage bridges. They inspect the Ambassador, the Bluewater (Port Huron to Canada crossing), and the Mackinac. MDOT jointly controls the Bluewater with Canada and runs the Mackinac. The Bluewater has been run at cost (it's not as busy as the Detroit crossing) without any problem for a long time. MDOT studies suggest you can run this new bridge at cost via just car traffic (assuming some super rail link were to happen and there was a drop in truck traffic tolls). With the projected car and truck traffic, Canada should have the bridge paid off in under 35 years and then both sides start making money off it.
 
2012-10-24 04:58:33 PM

King Something: ha-ha-guy: HMS_Blinkin: Your Zionist Leader: And now the real reason that this city is in such a sad state comes to light. The greed and petty corruption have ground Detroit to a halt

That's a huge part of the problem. Mayor Bing is doing a good job but faces serious headwinds. A lot of the "wrong" people need to move away or die or something. There are glimmers of hope though, and maybe I'm naive but I think that eventually, some day, the better side will win out. I hope.

I still think too much of the prime land is owned by corrupt folk. Moroun is just the worst of the bunch. Bing's doing a good job, but fundamentally he needs to be backed by a City Council that has the balls to unleash eminent domain on a few key scumbags. Right now I'm torn on voting for the emergency manager prop, I dislike the idea of the state running it, but I do like the idea of how the state can roll in a really big farking hammer and pound Moroun into dust. Moroun can easily buy off the Detroit City Council because he's a big fish in Detroit, but he's going to have serious problems dealing with the Gov and State Leg. Snyder will likely crush him.

You'd really put that kind of power in the hands of Republicans?

Somehow, I don't think the GOP would lift a finger to stop some billionaire from making himself richer through actions which are detrimental to the people of Detroit.


That just shows your spectacular ignorance. The GOP governor, Snyder, is one of the biggest opponents of Moroun. The union thug from Lansing who ran against Snyder was in Moroun's pocket.
 
2012-10-24 05:04:31 PM
Simple solution, blow the old bridge up. Then you have to build a new bridge.
 
2012-10-24 05:29:19 PM

tomnardone206: Here is how I see it. The ambassador bridge was built with private money and operates as an independent business. Over the last 50 years the city of Windsor didn't plan well around it. Now, Canada wants to build a bridge that has more direct access to their freeway, but in doing so the new bridge will directly compete with an existing private business here in Detroit. I say that this isn't fair. I don't favor any government entity that wants to compete directly with private business. I'm not surprised that the bridge company has pulled off the gloves. I would too and you probably would too.


See that is not how competition works. You can't just say government can't compete with private business, especially in the case of a monopoly.
 
2012-10-24 05:34:31 PM

ha-ha-guy: Moroun can easily buy off the Detroit City Council because he's a big fish in Detroit, but he's going to have serious problems dealing with the Gov and State Leg. Snyder will likely crush him


Moroun has bought a non-small number of GOP state legislators. The city council hardly even needs to be bought, they're too busy worrying about Whitey taking over the city (Belle Isle, the zoo, DIA, etc.) to bother with some billionaire.
 
2012-10-24 05:36:34 PM
If they're too farking stupid to figure out what free means, fark them. Let them wallow in their idiocy.

Also, old rich people need to start being throttled in the streets.
 
2012-10-24 06:16:57 PM
Where are those guys that stole the bridge in broad daylight dressed up as construction workers when you need them?
 
2012-10-24 06:26:29 PM
Vote NO on prop 6!
 
2012-10-24 06:55:00 PM

tomnardone206: Here is how I see it. The ambassador bridge was built with private money and operates as an independent business. Over the last 50 years the city of Windsor didn't plan well around it. Now, Canada wants to build a bridge that has more direct access to their freeway, but in doing so the new bridge will directly compete with an existing private business here in Detroit. I say that this isn't fair. I don't favor any government entity that wants to compete directly with private business. I'm not surprised that the bridge company has pulled off the gloves. I would too and you probably would too.


Pretty much. Anyone who thinks the Canadian government is being altruistic with this bridge is pretty naive. We're just trying to circumvent a private American business and the profit they accrue. The construction of the bridge will mean less cash deposits in American banks (that's what happens to the money of rich people, they don't keep pools full of gold) and thus higher interest rates for Americans seeking capital as the banks will have less capital themselves.
 
2012-10-24 07:13:26 PM

Blairr: tomnardone206: Here is how I see it. The ambassador bridge was built with private money and operates as an independent business. Over the last 50 years the city of Windsor didn't plan well around it. Now, Canada wants to build a bridge that has more direct access to their freeway, but in doing so the new bridge will directly compete with an existing private business here in Detroit. I say that this isn't fair. I don't favor any government entity that wants to compete directly with private business. I'm not surprised that the bridge company has pulled off the gloves. I would too and you probably would too.

Pretty much. Anyone who thinks the Canadian government is being altruistic with this bridge is pretty naive. We're just trying to circumvent a private American business and the profit they accrue. The construction of the bridge will mean less cash deposits in American banks (that's what happens to the money of rich people, they don't keep pools full of gold) and thus higher interest rates for Americans seeking capital as the banks will have less capital themselves.


And I think we found two of that asshat Moroun's sock puppets.
 
2012-10-24 07:20:03 PM

Sliding Carp: what_now: You are 85 years old and you are a billionaire and this is how you spend your last few days on earth??

His hobby is watching Detroit's Central Station (which he also owns) decay.

[media.treehugger.com image 468x312]
(click for photo series)


And the reason for that is the tunnel from that rotting station that leads to Canada, which would cut into *his* profit if rail traffic were to be allowed to use that tunnel (his ownership of the US end of that rail tunnel, and not letting anyone use it, means most rail cargoes have to be loaded onto trucks to head into Windsor, thereby increasing his profits from charging the tolls). He built that bridge for the sole purpose of getting filthy rich on the tolls, and he has done everything in his power to make sure a real competing bridge was never built. In fact, he never even considered building a replacement bridge himself until the Canadian government floated the idea of building the bridge he his now fighting tooth-and-nail (he expected to be dead before his current bridge fell down from neglect).
 
2012-10-24 07:33:01 PM
This guy is a moron.
 
2012-10-24 07:35:53 PM
I'm not going to go as far as saying this guy is evil but he is certainly a greedy liar. He will say we don't need another bridge because traffic counts don't support it but he has plans to build another bridge. He owns several trucking companies so in addition to controlling the means of crossing, he wants to retain the advantage he can give his vehicles versus the competitions trucks.

I don't blame a person for trying to be successful but the level of lies he tells is disgusting.
 
2012-10-24 07:37:06 PM
if the people of Michigan vote down this bridge does Michigan automatically qualify for it own fark tag?
 
2012-10-24 07:41:27 PM
Usually, we turn to the government to provide infrastructure, and for good reason- it should be a positive externality operated without concern for direct income. You basically have to be a libertarian with your head so far up your ass you can see the gold standard to feel bad for this guy.
 
2012-10-24 07:56:19 PM
FTFA: The officer who answered was a friend of "Danny's". He assured me he would pass along my message and chuckled when I mentioned the free bridge. "You mean the bridge to nowhere?" he said. "If you believe that it's free I've got some swampland down in Florida I can sell you."

Ahh, the smug self assurance of the utterly misinformed. As soon as I saw the first "Let the people decide" ad I knew we were in trouble. And I've seen exactly zero ads from the other side, so it looks like Michigan is poised to eff this up. The day Matty Maroun dies should be a national holiday.
 
2012-10-24 08:19:37 PM

Blairr: Pretty much. Anyone who thinks the Canadian government is being altruistic with this bridge is pretty naive. We're just trying to circumvent a private American business and the profit they accrue. The construction of the bridge will mean less cash deposits in American banks (that's what happens to the money of rich people, they don't keep pools full of gold) and thus higher interest rates for Americans seeking capital as the banks will have less capital themselves.


Welcome to Libertarian America.
 
2012-10-24 08:19:53 PM
FTA: "You mean the bridge to nowhere?" he said. "If you believe that it's free I've got some swampland down in Florida I can sell you."


uhh, that's not really how those kind of sayings go...
 
2012-10-24 08:26:16 PM

tomnardone206: I don't favor any government entity that wants to compete directly with private business.


So...down with the postal service?
 
2012-10-24 08:52:52 PM

Blairr: tomnardone206: Here is how I see it. The ambassador bridge was built with private money and operates as an independent business. Over the last 50 years the city of Windsor didn't plan well around it. Now, Canada wants to build a bridge that has more direct access to their freeway, but in doing so the new bridge will directly compete with an existing private business here in Detroit. I say that this isn't fair. I don't favor any government entity that wants to compete directly with private business. I'm not surprised that the bridge company has pulled off the gloves. I would too and you probably would too.

Pretty much. Anyone who thinks the Canadian government is being altruistic with this bridge is pretty naive. We're just trying to circumvent a private American business and the profit they accrue. The construction of the bridge will mean less cash deposits in American banks (that's what happens to the money of rich people, they don't keep pools full of gold) and thus higher interest rates for Americans seeking capital as the banks will have less capital themselves.


This isn't really directed at you, but for the edification of others.

The Moroun bridge no longer has the capacity to handle trade / traffic volume. He hasn't really tried to update it, because he's making money with it. Were you ever have to use the bridge on a regular basis, you would see how badly a new crossing is needed. There's a reason the Chamber of Commerce (which normally would kiss Moroun a$$) wants this new bridge: because it might hurt the Morouns, but it will help more rich people. Those rich people (in trickle down theory) will get more money than the Morouns lose and create more jobs. The union workers like it because it means more union jobs. Basically, it's a win-win except for the Morouns.

Morouns lose, other rich people and union workers win. Morouns win, everybody else loses.
 
2012-10-24 09:10:09 PM
sure, 'free' bridge bought and paid for by canadia. america uses the bridge and pays tolls to canadia. after X amount of money is paid for X amount of years, will there be anyone alive to remember the 'promise' to turn over half the bridge and tolls to america? and with inflation, compounding interest and upkeep, will there be a balloon payment required?
even if american steel and american labor built the bridge, it still isn't in our best interest to back it, no matter how 'free' you think it is...
besides, detroit is a dieing city being bulldozed back into countryside...
at least roebling's erection was humorous as well as practical in it's day, this bridge will serve no-one...
 
2012-10-24 09:28:14 PM

bullsballs: will there be anyone alive to remember the 'promise' to turn over half the bridge and tolls to america?


Let us assume that no one ever writes down this agreement, and we all forget that the US gets half interest in the bridge after it's paid off or a period of time expires. SO WHAT? We still have a bridge that increases trade with Canada. That's good for all of us. As the article pointed out- 25% of all US/Canada trade passes through that region already.

The only loser in this arrangement is the guy who already happens to own a bridge in the area. Well, to farking bad.
 
2012-10-24 09:32:54 PM
What a hateful greedy evil fark.

And holy CHRIST, are Michigan residents really that farking retarded? And why won't the feds get involved?
 
2012-10-24 09:37:14 PM

bullsballs: sure, 'free' bridge bought and paid for by canadia. america uses the bridge and pays tolls to canadia. after X amount of money is paid for X amount of years, will there be anyone alive to remember the 'promise' to turn over half the bridge and tolls to america? and with inflation, compounding interest and upkeep, will there be a balloon payment required?


So you think Canada's brilliant plan is to build a bridge and then wait for every American over the age of 21 to die so no one will remember to ask for payment? Contract law, how does it work?
 
2012-10-24 09:50:44 PM

Barricaded Gunman: FTFA: The officer who answered was a friend of "Danny's". He assured me he would pass along my message and chuckled when I mentioned the free bridge. "You mean the bridge to nowhere?" he said. "If you believe that it's free I've got some swampland down in Florida I can sell you."

Ahh, the smug self assurance of the utterly misinformed. As soon as I saw the first "Let the people decide" ad I knew we were in trouble. And I've seen exactly zero ads from the other side, so it looks like Michigan is poised to eff this up. The day Matty Maroun dies should be a national holiday.


Couldn't agree more! I have seen countless "The people should decide" ads - making ridiculous and insane claims, and flat-out lying in some...

- "Building a bridge without our consent means fewer cops and teachers."

Makes me ill because I'm certain that there are clearly no massive special-interests paying for the "NO" vote, which means Michiganders will undoubtedly follow their stupid-sides at the polls.
 
2012-10-24 10:45:59 PM

Satanic_Hamster: And holy CHRIST, are Michigan residents really that farking retarded?


Having grown up in western Michigan, I can say with authority that yes, Michigan residents are that farking retarded.

Not all of them.

But there are enough impressionable low-information conservatives to let you buy an election with a few million dollars of TV commercials.
 
2012-10-24 10:56:07 PM

Barricaded Gunman: FTFA: The officer who answered was a friend of "Danny's". He assured me he would pass along my message and chuckled when I mentioned the free bridge. "You mean the bridge to nowhere?" he said. "If you believe that it's free I've got some swampland down in Florida I can sell you."

Ahh, the smug self assurance of the utterly misinformed. As soon as I saw the first "Let the people decide" ad I knew we were in trouble. And I've seen exactly zero ads from the other side, so it looks like Michigan is poised to eff this up. The day Matty Maroun dies should be a national holiday.



What's really funny is how they got that idiot to mentally leverage the "bridge to nowhere" from Alaska, even though this bridge clearly goes somewhere.

This new phenomenon of blathering idiots believing, or even "knowing" they are smarter than everyone else, is annoying as hell. Everyone should be forced to take an IQ test and the results should be tattooed on your forehead, written in reverse, so you see your score when you look in the mirror. The stupid need to be reminded to shut their stupid yaps. 

/shutting up now
 
2012-10-25 12:10:23 AM

ricewater_stool: Moroun has got to be in the top 50 worst people on earth. He owns a ton of rotting real estate in Detroit, including the train station mentioned above, which he lets rot because it has a tunnel to Canada underneath it that he doesn't want anyone to use. He also wants to build his own, 2nd bridge to Canada but the Canadian government won't allow it. He's a billionaire and gives nothing of note to any charities. He seems to think he's going to be able to take it all with him when he croaks, which hopefully will be in the near future.


what a sad man. greed does horrible things to men, power too. Dicken's 'A Christmas Carol' airs on TV every year yet some never learn its age old lesson.
 
2012-10-25 12:44:44 AM
Turns out it's not enough for Moroun to make a mint selling duty-free gas: he sold low-grade as high-test, too.
 
das
2012-10-25 12:59:21 AM
Why don't "they" buy the bridge from him and upgrade it???
 
2012-10-25 01:05:34 AM

das: Why don't "they" buy the bridge from him and upgrade it???


It dumps its traffic into central Windsor, not onto a freeway. Supposedly, the only stoplights a trucker must encounter from the Mexican border to Toronto are on the stretch of surface road in Windsor from the bridge to Canada's highway 401.
 
2012-10-25 01:11:30 AM
In reality, could the Canadian government make a law saying private crossings are a threat to national security and refuse to allow crossings in from them?

/knows it won't happen but just interested in the legal ramifications
 
2012-10-25 03:42:23 AM

tomnardone206: I don't favor any government entity that wants to compete directly with private business.


Better points have been made, but nonetheless I'll add that for all intents and purposes only Canadians could argue your point. You as a Michigander could just as easily view it as competition from private business since it's not your tax dollars. Where do you care where the money comes from. It's not yours.
 
2012-10-25 03:50:00 AM
You know, there was a time that the government used to tell people like this to go fark themselves.
 
2012-10-25 04:12:38 AM

tomnardone206: Here is how I see it. The ambassador bridge was built with private money and operates as an independent business. Over the last 50 years the city of Windsor didn't plan well around it. Now, Canada wants to build a bridge that has more direct access to their freeway, but in doing so the new bridge will directly compete with an existing private business here in Detroit. I say that this isn't fair. I don't favor any government entity that wants to compete directly with private business. I'm not surprised that the bridge company has pulled off the gloves. I would too and you probably would too.


HOW DARE ROBIN HOOD TRY TO GIVE US MONEY. THAT GOLD BELONGS TO THOSE PEOPLE THAT HAVE BEEN STEALING AND OPPRESSING US FOR DECADES
 
2012-10-25 07:42:32 AM
from the wiki:
"His father ran two gas stations in Detroit, which Matty helped at before and during his high school education. During his sophomore year of high school (1946), his dad bought Central Cartage Company"

so much for the "self-made-millionaire"

Everytime I read these words, I look up, and almost every time, BINGO:
it don't mean from poor or middle class to rich, like one would assume, but from upper class to rich.
 
2012-10-25 08:51:50 AM
I am ashamed that my state's voters will believe the blatant lies being told by the Morouns just because they're on television.
 
2012-10-25 09:25:15 AM

Dwight_Yeast: You know, there was a time that the government used to tell people like this to go fark themselves.


When was that? They certainly didn't say that to JP Morgan.
 
2012-10-25 09:31:28 AM

doczoidberg: I am ashamed that my state's voters will believe the blatant lies being told by the Morouns just because they're on television.


Same here. I've been ranting about this jackass for a long time. I'm glad this is getting a little more attention, but I'm afraid the prop is going to go through, and fark us all...
 
2012-10-25 10:38:19 AM

Blairr: tomnardone206: Here is how I see it. The ambassador bridge was built with private money and operates as an independent business. Over the last 50 years the city of Windsor didn't plan well around it. Now, Canada wants to build a bridge that has more direct access to their freeway, but in doing so the new bridge will directly compete with an existing private business here in Detroit. I say that this isn't fair. I don't favor any government entity that wants to compete directly with private business. I'm not surprised that the bridge company has pulled off the gloves. I would too and you probably would too.

Pretty much. Anyone who thinks the Canadian government is being altruistic with this bridge is pretty naive. We're just trying to circumvent a private American business and the profit they accrue. The construction of the bridge will mean less cash deposits in American banks (that's what happens to the money of rich people, they don't keep pools full of gold) and thus higher interest rates for Americans seeking capital as the banks will have less capital themselves.



Who said anything about altruism? Why would anyone imagine that we should build a bridge as a favour to someone? Trade with the United States is the life's blood of our economy, and is therefore a matter of highest national security. Screw your private business...who placed a cap on the number of bridges across the Detroit River? The Bluewater 'competes' with this jack-off too, should we close it?

Someone earlier said $127-million a day crosses this bridge, which sounds like a lot, but is inaccurate. It's closer to triple that.

After the new bridge is built, the Canadian government should promptly close their customs plaza on our side of the Ambassador Bridge...good luck collecting your tolls from a bridge to nowhere.

tomnardone, the Canadian government reserves the right to build public infrastructure vital to our national interest, if you can believe it - despite some guy in Detroit. Fair? Who cares.

And not for nothing Blairr, but your analysis of the impact on American banking is blindingly stupid.
 
2012-10-25 11:19:58 AM
Does this highlight the problem of private ownership of public travel, at least on the roadways?
 
2012-10-25 02:24:39 PM

tomnardone206: Here is how I see it. The ambassador bridge was built with private money and operates as an independent business. Over the last 50 years the city of Windsor didn't plan well around it. Now, Canada wants to build a bridge that has more direct access to their freeway, but in doing so the new bridge will directly compete with an existing private business here in Detroit. I say that this isn't fair. I don't favor any government entity that wants to compete directly with private business. I'm not surprised that the bridge company has pulled off the gloves. I would too and you probably would too.


That doesn't mean that you change the goddamn state Constitution to do it.
 
2012-10-25 02:27:50 PM

PatoDeAgua: Barricaded Gunman: FTFA: The officer who answered was a friend of "Danny's". He assured me he would pass along my message and chuckled when I mentioned the free bridge. "You mean the bridge to nowhere?" he said. "If you believe that it's free I've got some swampland down in Florida I can sell you."

Ahh, the smug self assurance of the utterly misinformed. As soon as I saw the first "Let the people decide" ad I knew we were in trouble. And I've seen exactly zero ads from the other side, so it looks like Michigan is poised to eff this up. The day Matty Maroun dies should be a national holiday.

Couldn't agree more! I have seen countless "The people should decide" ads - making ridiculous and insane claims, and flat-out lying in some...

- "Building a bridge without our consent means fewer cops and teachers."

Makes me ill because I'm certain that there are clearly no massive special-interests paying for the "NO" vote, which means Michiganders will undoubtedly follow their stupid-sides at the polls.


Most disgusting one I saw was one which was a direct mailing from what appears to be a fiscally conservative group mailed out to people who had supported Republican candidates and groups in the past. It was a "voting guide" which basically was just straight up "vote Republican" EXCEPT had all kinds of stupid, misleading bullshiat about the bridge amendment. Honestly, it's been a complete pooch screw.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-10-25 03:23:31 PM
You Are All Sheep

I see this as straightforward "rent seeking" rather than a specifically transport-related problem.

Historically (until the last few decades) private toll roads were severely regulated. In the 19th century the legislature would charter a company to build a road, granting eminent domain and monopoly in return for limits on amount and duration of tolls. These companies were overall not very successful. In the end railroads won. (See The Turnpikes of New England for details.)

Those older toll roads were seen as a way to improve transportation. The state didn't make money. The state saw long term value in having long distance roads. Politicians talk about "investing in the future" now when they mean "spend money on a cause I like." Back then they really did invest in the future.

Starting in the mid-20th century toll roads were run by quasi-public agencies instead of private corporations. Some of the agencies' charters had a fatal flaw. The toll authority could extend its lifetime by adding new debt. The bosses didn't want to put themselves out of business.

More recently legislatures have seen roads as a way to get short term cash. Chicago sold parking meters. Illinois sold the Toll Road. In 50 years people will still be paying to fix the 2010 budget deficit.
 
2012-10-26 02:43:13 AM

KWess: And not for nothing Blairr, but your analysis of the impact on American banking is blindingly stupid.


It's true. The money has to go somewhere. It probably goes into a bank. Probably an American bank. Banks use one person's deposit as a loan to another. By Canada building a bridge, the toll generated from Canadian users that formerly went stateside will stay provinceside. If maximizing capital in American banks is the name of the game, this bridge is a bad idea for America.

KWess: ...who placed a cap on the number of bridges across the Detroit River?


Canada refuses to let Moroun build another bridge. On what grounds, I don't know. Perhaps they don't want another era of Moroun monopoly.

But the fact that Canada refused his offer nullifies many of the arguments I've seen in this link. The degenerating infrastructure or insufficient infrastructure.

KWess: the Canadian government reserves the right to build public infrastructure vital to our national interest


And American's can rightly deny access, also in the name of national interest.
 
2012-10-26 09:11:06 AM

Blairr: It's true. The money has to go somewhere. It probably goes into a bank. Probably an American bank. Banks use one person's deposit as a loan to another. By Canada building a bridge, the toll generated from Canadian users that formerly went stateside will stay provinceside. If maximizing capital in American banks is the name of the game, this bridge is a bad idea for America.


No, the money will go to various companies hired to do work on the bridge, who will then put their profits in the bank. Due to the structure of the bridge being half American and half Canadian, companies from both sides of the border will be hired (this is in the agreement). At the time when the bridge starts making a profit, the tolls revert to being 50% split.

All the while the Moroun bridge is still up and running and he's doing what he wants with that money.

What this bridge does is prevent trucks from driving up to Port Huron and going across the Bluewater Bridge because the backup at the Ambassador can sometimes exceed half a day. Thus the cost of transporting goods is reduced since 130 miles of driving distance are removed. That benefits both sides by making trade easier. Losing 50% of toll revenues off one bridge is not a big deal.
 
2012-10-26 03:02:45 PM

Blairr: KWess: And not for nothing Blairr, but your analysis of the impact on American banking is blindingly stupid.

It's true. The money has to go somewhere. It probably goes into a bank. Probably an American bank. Banks use one person's deposit as a loan to another. By Canada building a bridge, the toll generated from Canadian users that formerly went stateside will stay provinceside. If maximizing capital in American banks is the name of the game, this bridge is a bad idea for America.



The money generated by tolls on a bridge is a pittance when considering the context of the amount of capital in American banks. It's about what the US-military spends per hour. The US money supply in 2009 was about 8 million-million.


KWess: ...who placed a cap on the number of bridges across the Detroit River?

Canada refuses to let Moroun build another bridge. On what grounds, I don't know. Perhaps they don't want another era of Moroun monopoly. But the fact that Canada refused his offer nullifies many of the arguments I've seen in this link. The degenerating infrastructure or insufficient infrastructure.


Perhaps we don't want more monopoly. Perhaps we don't feel that something so vital should be in private hands. It seems like it was a mistake in the first place, so why repeat it? The wait at the border is too long, and maybe what he proposes, or his timeline doesn't meet our needs. Maybe it's our damned country and we can do what we want.

KWess: the Canadian government reserves the right to build public infrastructure vital to our national interest
And American's can rightly deny access, also in the name of national interest.


Yes they can, but that's the thing, they're not. All of the duly elected officials in the region want the bridge, and most people, if they knew they were getting it for free, would also say 'why not?' This is about a monopolist who doesn't want others in on the game, lying to people and trying to frighten them into voting against their own interests, because it lines his pocket. We should just expropriate the part on our side of the river.

For that matter, please describe what issue of national interest would prevent the governments of the United States or Michigan from accepting a free bridge at a vital trade link. The money flows both ways, you know...it's good for Michigan too.
 
2012-10-26 05:33:27 PM

KWess: The money generated by tolls on a bridge is a pittance when considering the context of the amount of capital in American banks. It's about what the US-military spends per hour. The US money supply in 2009 was about 8 million-million.


US money supply was 8(10)12
And Moroun's accumulated wealth is 1.5(10)9

Not exactly negligible.

The only reason I'm here is because I hate rabblerousing against the rich whilst screaming about "free-stuff"

There are reasons for American's to be sceptical. It starts with:

Is Canada being altruistic? (Y/N)

No. It's in Canada's interest to build this bridge.

If it's in Canada's interest to build this bridge, is Canada's interest at America's expense? (Y/N)
 
2012-10-26 05:41:30 PM
The trade across Ambassador Bridge between Windsor, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan alone is equal to all the trade between the United States and Japan.

And by having it as a privately held bridge, which charges a toll, which is effectively a tariff, America circumvents NAFTA and takes capital from Canada and places it into the American system.

A publicly owned bridge would be subject to NAFTA.

It's not in America's interest to allow this bridge to be built.
 
2012-10-27 06:15:13 AM

Blairr: The trade across Ambassador Bridge between Windsor, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan alone is equal to all the trade between the United States and Japan.

And by having it as a privately held bridge, which charges a toll, which is effectively a tariff, America circumvents NAFTA and takes capital from Canada and places it into the American system.

A publicly owned bridge would be subject to NAFTA.

It's not in America's interest to allow this bridge to be built.


You had some constructive posts until this utter nonsense. You trying to tell me that the US would deliberately circumvent NAFTA to line one guys pockets? This isn't a trade dispute we're talking about. They're tolls, which are not effectively a tariff. Canadian and US traffic both ways pay a toll to a private enterprise. To the extent that that enterprise pays US taxes as an American corporation there's your gain. To the extent that an inefficient bridge impedes traffic i.e. trade on a bridge responsible for 25% of trade between the US and Canada there is your cost.
Which is more important to Canada is painfully obvious. However what is more important to the US - what is in their interest - should also be painfully obvious.
 
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