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(Slate)   "In liberals' dreams, this Is what America's high-speed rail network looks like." Gee only 18 hours from NY to LA eating Amtrak food? Who wouldn't spend 200 billion for that?   (slate.com) divider line 54
    More: Interesting, Los Angeles, Amtrak, high-speed rail  
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5714 clicks; posted to Geek » on 09 Feb 2013 at 4:08 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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Archived thread
2013-02-09 12:43:13 PM
8 votes:
Let's face it; the Interstate Highway System turned out to be a useless liberal boondoggle, and this will be no different.
2013-02-09 01:01:11 PM
6 votes:
The irony is if the high speed rail gets built suddenly Ayn Rand's novel about a future dominated by rail travel becomes relevant again.
2013-02-09 12:44:53 PM
6 votes:

St_Francis_P: Let's face it; the Interstate Highway System turned out to be a useless liberal boondoggle, and this will be no different.


Damn that RINO Eisenhower!
2013-02-09 12:38:31 PM
5 votes:
Yes, this would just SO terrible. Let's keep everything as shiatty as possible, and never try.
2013-02-09 12:59:41 PM
3 votes:
The plus side is no TSA agent groping your junk before you board.

The negative is no TSA agent groping your junk before you board.
2013-02-09 04:37:17 PM
2 votes:

JakeStone: DamnYankees: muck4doo: Money doesn't grow on trees.

Money is paper. It literally does grow on trees. I've never understood this expression.

I thought money was made from cotton and linen.  Linen's made from flax.  So bushes and flowers, nu?


I don't know about you, but I carve my nickels from solid oak.
2013-02-09 02:27:34 PM
2 votes:

muck4doo: Money doesn't grow on trees.


Exactly.  Money is technically a fungus.
2013-02-09 12:49:49 PM
2 votes:

slayer199: FlashHarry: in before some conservatard divides the cost by the number of jobs created to come up with: "IT COSTS $300,000 PER JERB!!!!" forgetting, of course, that we also receive a shiny new piece of infrastructure that will generate revenue, facilitate commerce and make life easier for the public for a century afterwards.

That isn't the point.  Unless it's substantially cheaper than flying, it won't be used....so it will be nothing but a government sinkhole.  The fastest bullet trains in the world travel around 150mph.  A trip from New York to LA would take 18 hours of travel time (non-stop and not accounting for time changes).  A flight is 5 hours and 45 minutes.  Just looking it up, a one-way non-stop flight to LAX from NYC is $328.

Even now, a one-way trip on Amtrak from New York to LA costs $218 and it takes 5 days (3 stops).

It's simple math.  There's no way to make that affordable and self-sustaining to the point it will be a viable alternative to flying.


And you can declare it as uneconomical without any knowledge of the cost of a high speed ticket, how?
2013-02-11 02:36:00 AM
1 votes:
http://costofwar.com/

Frankly, I'd be astonished to find that an inter-continental high speed rail would only cost $200 billion, but even at ten times that cost, it's still a bargain.  Especially considering our other boondoggles.

It would also be damn cool to be able to explore the country without the necessity of a car.

Why are conservatives so against repairing our infrastructure?  You'd think, given their leanings toward all things nostalgic, that an inter-continental train would be right up their alley.  We could even get the Chinese to build it!
2013-02-10 04:45:59 PM
1 votes:

slayer199: What problem does this solve?


Insofar as it's physically possible to get from any remotely populated place in the US to any other remotely populated place via mass transit of one kind or another, given arbitrary amounts of time and money and accepting arbitrary restrictions on baggage, schedules, terminal points, and so forth... there's no problem.

However, that's been true in this country since the transcontinental railroad was completed in the 1860s. It doesn't mean we've been wrong to come up with incrementally better "solutions" since then.

Significantly badass trains would improve the transportation experience of people who never used them, in much the same way that the internet is better for having massively better bandwidth and infrastructure even for people who are using a 14.4K modem to get on it.

And of course it's not just long-haul passenger trains. There are only a handful of cities with a meaningfully useful light rail/subway infrastructure in the US. Our crazy-quilt of bus lines is  beggingfor someone to nuke it (either via regulation, mass private consolidation, or both) and start from scratch. Air route maps are likewise a preposterous mess from the standpoint of the traveler, although at least that situation is workable at the moment (and would be goosed into better order by competition from other modalities, like high-speed rail). And yes, for a country that is absolutely obsessed with private car travel, we're sure good at deferring maintenance on 70-year-old major bridges that represent major choke points when they finally collapse.

TL;DR: it helps solve the problem of our transportation system not being remotely as useful and reliable as it could be.
2013-02-10 04:16:04 PM
1 votes:

slayer199: Let me ask a question.

What problem does this solve?


Highly inefficient commuter air routes.  Give you an example:  I used to go down to DC from my home in Hartford for work.  A quick hour long flight, but at the right time it's a 5 1/2 hour drive.  I would drive more often than fly.  The commuter routes were expensive, infrequent, and security lines in conjunction with travel time to the airport made it a wash.  Rail was simply not an option, but should have been given the distance between the cities.

A train route is different.  A route with stops in Boston>Hartford>NYC>Philly>Baltimore>DC route will have an overwhelming number of passengers doing between 1-3 hops, and would be simultaneously competitive on a time basis for relatively long haul passengers.  Remember that business travelers can count train travel time as productive time what with cell and internet access.   Capacity is easier and cheaper to add with trains rather than planes.

Nowadays I travel a lot to Atlanta, Charlotte, Philly, and NYC, DC, Chicago, Dallas, SoCal, and NoCal.  For NYC and Philly, I either Amtrak or drive it.  It takes far longer to take the train, but I'm productive - I can be on email, do designs, etc.  What intrigues me is a potential 8 hour train  trip to Atlanta.   I may or may not take HSR to Atlanta, but I'm sure that DC folks would take a 3 hour HSR route to Atlanta. I can fly to Atlanta in about 3 hours direct, but I have to pad about 3 hours on that for various crap around the fact of flying. HSR would reduce my total flights about 20%, and would reduce my car travel by about 80%.

HSR up and down the east coast would introduce a lot more efficiency into our economy.  It would add at least 200 miles to every person's potential coverage area.
2013-02-10 04:13:23 PM
1 votes:
Lsherm:
I believe it's a worthy subsidy, but liberals need to stop pretending that passenger rail isn't a money loser long-term.  Be honest about it: it's going to cost way more than it will ever bring in, but we do it for the same reason we keep the interstate system up and running - it's a public benefit.

So I'm in after a libtard tries to lie about the economics of passenger rail systems.


What is it about conservatives that makes it impossible for them to understand that the future may be different from the past?

When we got around cities by horse-drawn carriage, pre internal combustion engines, the only feasible method of longhaul passenger transport was via rail.  Believe it or not baggers, there will come a time, fairly soon, when oil is too precious to burn in cars, and we will need methods of passenger transport that are more efficient than airplanes.
2013-02-10 01:29:54 PM
1 votes:

muck4doo: BolshyGreatYarblocks: slayer199: FlashHarry: in before some conservatard divides the cost by the number of jobs created to come up with: "IT COSTS $300,000 PER JERB!!!!" forgetting, of course, that we also receive a shiny new piece of infrastructure that will generate revenue, facilitate commerce and make life easier for the public for a century afterwards.

That isn't the point.  Unless it's substantially cheaper than flying, it won't be used....so it will be nothing but a government sinkhole.  The fastest bullet trains in the world travel around 150mph.  A trip from New York to LA would take 18 hours of travel time (non-stop and not accounting for time changes).  A flight is 5 hours and 45 minutes.  Just looking it up, a one-way non-stop flight to LAX from NYC is $328.

Even now, a one-way trip on Amtrak from New York to LA costs $218 and it takes 5 days (3 stops).

It's simple math.  There's no way to make that affordable and self-sustaining to the point it will be a viable alternative to flying.

Unless, you know, gasoline got scarce and expensive or something.

"Shale" is the boondoggle.

Ooooh! Good idea! Let's make gas scarce, and force the people to realize our dreams


Everyone is making it scarce by using it up, Randbat: no one is creating, or can create, an artificial scarcity.  Even OPEC found that its members get too much from short-term cheating on production caps.  But now, even all-out production from Saudi Arabia can't meet demand, and production is dropping everywhere.  Only recession is keeping prices from being much higher than they otherwise would be.
2013-02-10 11:25:52 AM
1 votes:

Smidge204: slayer199: The fastest bullet trains in the world travel around 150mph.

Top operating speed, 236 MPH. (Top speed in tests, 319 MPH)
[upload.wikimedia.org image 423x280]
All electric to boot.
=Smidge=


Serious question: Every time you sign your name at the end of a post (even though it says it at the top of your post), do you simultaneously smell your own fart? Or would that be too much self-gratification at once?
2013-02-10 11:15:42 AM
1 votes:

slayer199: FlashHarry: in before some conservatard divides the cost by the number of jobs created to come up with: "IT COSTS $300,000 PER JERB!!!!" forgetting, of course, that we also receive a shiny new piece of infrastructure that will generate revenue, facilitate commerce and make life easier for the public for a century afterwards.

That isn't the point.  Unless it's substantially cheaper than flying, it won't be used....so it will be nothing but a government sinkhole.  The fastest bullet trains in the world travel around 150mph.  A trip from New York to LA would take 18 hours of travel time (non-stop and not accounting for time changes).  A flight is 5 hours and 45 minutes.  Just looking it up, a one-way non-stop flight to LAX from NYC is $328.

Even now, a one-way trip on Amtrak from New York to LA costs $218 and it takes 5 days (3 stops).

It's simple math.  There's no way to make that affordable and self-sustaining to the point it will be a viable alternative to flying.


Unless, you know, gasoline got scarce and expensive or something.

"Shale" is the boondoggle.
2013-02-10 09:49:03 AM
1 votes:

Animatronik: Morons.Before you blow billions on new rail from LA to NY, you might want to ask how ACELA competes with air for the D.C. to Boston route. Answer: it doesn't. Most people fly. I do. Why take 3 or 4 times longer.


Funniest part of this is that we already have coast to coast train tracks. You don't see any of these punks using it, but they will tell you we should spend trillions more dollars to expand it because at least they are doing something.
2013-02-10 05:11:16 AM
1 votes:

muck4doo: Sure, build a bridge to nowhere and people will flock there, right? There's a bridge to Isleton CA, and I don't see tons of people moving there.


Gosh. It's almost as if there is more than one variable.
You saw the question mark on the end of my question?
And I said building infrastructure "often" creates demand....
2013-02-10 04:13:10 AM
1 votes:

ItchyMcDoogle: This is really starting to annoy me about the Right. If its for bettering the country we cant do it. We cant do anything. Oh but we are the greatest country in the world! But we cant do a damn thing to show it because it might make a Democrat look good.

Todays GOP would have let the Soviets win the space race, Cut funding on the hoover dam and told the french to keep that statue of liberty! Too many tax dollars to assemble that thing and screw you frenchy!!

But if its to spend spend spend on the military, the war in Iraq or gut the surplus for a tax cuts for the rich they are gung ho about it


We do need to rebuild our infrastructure. Republicans just want it to crumble. Rail lines would ease traffic, cut down fuel consumption, cleaner environment .You know..things the GOP hates


i560.photobucket.com
2013-02-10 03:29:43 AM
1 votes:

muck4doo: It would take a large scale use of "Imminent Domain" to make it happen. This is not the 1800's where most land wasn't claimed by anybody. If you think $200 billion is all it is going to cost, I've got a bridge to sell to you. This will land in the trillions of dollars, and be tied up in courts for years.


The interstate highway system wasn't setup in the 1800's either but that worked fine. There's actually quite a bit of land when we're talking about traveling between major cities. Enough such that telecom and power companies have no trouble finding places to lay large fiber tracks or superconductive power lines. Those are also examples of government-assisted private companies.

$200 Billion for a government program to install HSR is a lowball. But as far as subsidy or even a loan to a privatized company...that's actually a huge amount of money. Especially if it's given to a tech company the likes of which Musk founds. I don't disagree with you that a lot of things can go wrong. I disagree with the throw-arms-up-in-the-air defeatist attitude.

That mantra has been said at just about every stage of human progression and it has never been true. In fact, I fully expect silicon valley's next big venture to be efficient, fast mass transit.
2013-02-10 02:34:36 AM
1 votes:

imgod2u: The initial 200B is a large investment and I'm on the fence as to whether this is the right time to spend that. But we will have to eventually move towards it.


It really isn't. If we cut all aid to just the nations that don't like us we would have it covered inside of 10 years.

For our nation, it's never going to be "the right time". There is always going to be a reason we can say we can't do it. And if things are good, I guarantee you before the project is finished being built we'll have some crisis that will have people screaming to cut the project as "unneeded".

We don't have the money isn't an answer when it comes to infrastructure. Settling for short term solutions... or only looking as far as the next fiscal quarter is another reason we are a nation in decline regarding all our infrastructure. From tech to travel to power and water. It's killing us in so many areas. And it carries with it a much higher economic cost long term.

HSR, fortunately, may be one issue where we can say "not today", it might be the dumb thing to say but we can say it.
But we are saying "not today" about an awful lot of things that we can't anymore. And instead of putting in place shiat we need we pay a much higher price trying to keep the status quo going. It's might seem off topic but it's a critical point in the discussion and I can't rant and rave about it enough.

Planning for next year, next decade? We can't plan for tomorrow morning. Short term planning is all we are anymore, and it must change or the plane is going to crash into the goddam mountain...

*ALARM*ALARM*PULL UP*PULL UP*ALARM*ALARM*
*beep

Co Pilot: "wow, good job fixing that problem, it sounded pretty bad there for a second"
Pilot: "fix it?! I just turned the damn alarm off!"

Budgets will only be able to be cut so far... the middle class can only get so close to a nation of lower-class before the legs fall out from under us... and THAT is when we will need these vital infrastructure projects to fall back on and get us back on our feet again. National rail infrastructure is a catalyst for real growth (that thing we used to have before we just lurched from bubble to bubble)

Just remember, the logic of people that tell you how impossible it is is the same logic that is fueling our status quo nationally. And we aren't doing so well lately. But then again, we seem to be in a theme of looking for solutions out of the very people that cause our problems to begin with :-/

And while we b.s. and tell ourselves now might not be the time to invest in our nation, meanwhile China is creeping up behind us and they are planning for 10, 20, 50 years from now.
2013-02-10 01:43:54 AM
1 votes:

Close2TheEdge: How about we start with getting high-speed broadband to every part of the US first?  I'd think that would be a bigger boost to the nation's economy for far less cost than high speed rail.


Yeah, it would. But because internet access (particularly high speed access) is entirely in the hands of private companies, it's restricted to areas that turn the most profit. So if you don't live in an area that makes somebody else rich, you're SOL -- even if you have an idea/product that could turn the economy around overnight.

Also, most of the comments in this thread seem to assume that "high speed rail" = "passenger service." I'm thinking that if high speed rail does take off (and it really could if done right), it'd be something like 80% cargo and 20% passengers. Maybe a double-decker car or something with cargo on the bottom and passengers on the top. Let the fast food joints vie for food service, etc. And for heaven's sake, put the rails over or under the road instead of across it to eliminate those "I can beat the train" fatalities we have in the US>
2013-02-10 01:25:53 AM
1 votes:

doyner: DamnYankees: doyner: DamnYankees: muck4doo: Money doesn't grow on trees.

Money is paper. It literally does grow on trees. I've never understood this expression.

Actually, US currency is made from cotton and linen....or electrons really.

So plants, not paper. I stand corrected.

Meh.  Most of our money is imaginary anyway.


*all* of money is imaginary; it only has value in that people believe it has value.
2013-02-10 12:53:26 AM
1 votes:

Lsherm: FlashHarry: in before some conservatard divides the cost by the number of jobs created to come up with: "IT COSTS $300,000 PER JERB!!!!" forgetting, of course, that we also receive a shiny new piece of infrastructure that will generate revenue, facilitate commerce and make life easier for the public for a century afterwards.

There isn't a single passenger rail system in the world that generates enough revenue to cover the costs.  They are all subsidized.  Europe, Japan, and China all have to funnel money each year into their passenger rail systems above and beyond what they take in via tickets.

I believe it's a worthy subsidy, but liberals need to stop pretending that passenger rail isn't a money loser long-term.  Be honest about it: it's going to cost way more than it will ever bring in, but we do it for the same reason we keep the interstate system up and running - it's a public benefit.

So I'm in after a libtard tries to lie about the economics of passenger rail systems.


When it comes to public spending, "generating revenue" isn't solely limited to money taken in by the program itself. Otherwise, you could say that public schools, the defense advanced research department, NASA, etc. etc. etc. never "generated revenue". Most public programs are public specifically because commercially, it may not be viable but that having such a system greatly benefits the economy as a whole. Think of how much commerce has been created because of the interstate highway or educated adults or the goddamn internet (another "non-revenue-generating" waste of public money?).

A national high-speed railway system would have the same benefit; it provides a link between giant economic hubs that is, in the long run, less costly than flight and has far greater capacity.
2013-02-09 10:23:41 PM
1 votes:

mjones73: Do you know why it's cheaper to fly? Pretty much the same reason Amtrak is only $1 billion in the hole every year, government money.
Do you understand the concept of an investment? Yep, given my previous point that Amtrak can't turn a profit even with government backing now, how do you expect them to do the same once this HSR is built? The investment is only going to pay off if enough people use HSR once it's built. Short of giving away train tickets, grounding airlines or taxing airfare to the point it's undesirable, I don't see that happening anytime soon.


And this is the discussion worth having.

It's hard to even produce solid numbers regarding how much (and in how many ways) the various elements of both industries are subsidized by the Federal Government.

You say it wouldn't be used enough to pay off long term. It may very well be the case. I think, as has been mentioned many times, that the coastal portions of a HSR system would be used greatly but it's hard for either of us to know 100%, either way unless we give it a fair shot somewhere.

I would go so far as to say it's nearly impossible to write a comprehensive cost/benefit analysis comparing HSR to the current air and road, nationwide.

What we do know is that at the basics, rail as a mode of transportation is less resource intensive and has proved much more economically viable (provided consumer demand/use) when compared dollar to dollar against other forms of travel. This has been proven to be true internationally (and historically) especially for areas with populations and distances that we see in coastal US and European nations.

Can the same be said of HSR as traditional rail? I don't have the numbers but I'd love to see them from nations that have been using HSR for years.

The yea's saying to do it because we believe it to be a good idea, and the nays saying not because it's impossible or unrealistic can talk past each other (as we have). I support the former because I think we won't know until we try and there is a lot worse we can do (we DO do) with our money than try new infrastructure projects that if they pay off at all could pay off in a really really big way for our economy.
2013-02-09 10:11:06 PM
1 votes:

muck4doo: How was building the bridge to nowhere in Alaska fiscally responsible?


Perhaps it was "nowhere" because there was no bridge?
Infrastructure often creates demand that didn't exist when it was built.
2013-02-09 10:07:15 PM
1 votes:

Giltric: The bolded part is what you said and my response. The rest is a response to the rest of the posters in case you didn't have time to read the thread in your fury to show everyone, while using the doll, where Haliburton touched you.

HSR is a convienence to a very small number of people. It is a pipe dream in the US.


Just because it's convenient for you to separate the HSR issue from it's obvious realm of infrastructure investments doesn't make it so.

And this is ultimately what this discussion is about, not energy independence or just the HSR, but the entire logic behind the b.s. argument of why this along with every other proposed domestic spending project, isn't possible. Keep repeating it's a pipe dream over and over, your only convincing yourself.

The only fury I have is aimed at people so miserably stupid they can't even realize they aren't discussing the issue, they are obfuscating it.

Case in point: The HSR is a convenience to only a very small number of people?
Huh, who knew?
Wow, that changes everything entirely!
Except for it being a completely made-up pile of steaming shiat.


The planes vs trains discussion is repeated in this thread several times. We all know the status quo is the preferred and easier travel option. It's why they call it the status quo. But no one wants to have a substantial discussion about the whys behind that being the case.

If we'd spent the last 50 years focusing on rail travel the way we have automobile and air you could replicate this discussion switching every instance of plane with train (and vice versa).. it's pointless. Your not discussing why HSR is a bad idea, your just repeating the obvious regarding our current culture and status quo. It's not even an argument, in either direction.
2013-02-09 09:39:55 PM
1 votes:

mjones73: gas giant: Butbutbut profitable! Socialism! My tax dollars!
And then you point to airlines as a model of what you would prefer? What in the actual f*ck.

I think people are trying to point out that it would cost the same and be quicker to fly to most areas. Train travel in this country right now isn't much cheaper then flying, you think it's going to go down after all the money needed to build out and maintain this HSR infrastructure is spent?


Do you know why it's cheaper to fly?
Do you understand the concept of an investment?

We get what they are trying to point out.

I just try not to get my directions from people that can't see 2ft past their own noses.
2013-02-09 09:38:31 PM
1 votes:
Amtrak from Charlotte to Atlanta is 112 bucks round trip, the train only runs both ways in the middle of the night and takes 5 and 1/2 hours. Flights from Charlotte to Atlanta cost around 130 dollars, you can catch a flight anytime of the day, and takes not even 1 and 1/2 hours(not including all the check in time, waiting for luggage that may or may not be there, etc).

At Amtrak I can show up 5-10 minutes before boarding time and park for free, when I get to Atlanta I walk off the train with my bags and 5 minutes later I am inside a van taking me to my hotel(usually a 15 minute ride tops). Flying, actually takes about the same amount of time when you add it up; checking in, boarding, waiting to land, actually getting out of the airport, time spent getting back to the center of town(yes, the train station is actually in Atlanta).

I take the train, the only pain in the ass is the time of the train, but it does get me there early in the morning. If they were to offer an option that left at 7am and got me there by noon  I would pay $200(round trip) for it.

I take the train, and if they added a day trip for $200 I would gladly pay it.
2013-02-09 09:17:20 PM
1 votes:
Wouldn't it be easier for you guys to move to the countires that give you a 30 hour work week with 8 months vacation, HSR from where you are to where you want to go, and free health care?

Sort of like how teatards are told to move to Somalia?
2013-02-09 09:16:27 PM
1 votes:

Lee451: I see the One Laptop Per Child group here still thinks Everything Can Be Done Free if only those mean Republicans (and rich people) would just become Socialist.


/This is NOT what Krokus meant when they sang "Eat The Rich".
//Despite what you all think.
///OLPC: Another Great Socialist Idea. What ever happened?


our entire society is built on socialism, your argument is retarded and manufactured

It's spending neutral, I promise.

See, we take the following 2 trillion dollar project seen here:

www.google.com

And turn it into a 2 trillion dollar project here:

www.google.com

You can call it socialist if it makes you feel better about being so so terribly wrong.
Other words you could use to describe it would be patriotic and American.

Keep espousing the noble tenets of the treasonous war profiteers in the military industrial complex and the global oil conglomerates. Those who tell Americans we can't use their tax money for their own nation while simultaneously grinding the nation to a halt if we don't let them build another 5k tanks or a few dozen muti-billion dollar aircraft that will never see combat (and wouldn't work if they did)

... sorry, no infrastructure for you America... but do listen to this idea I have about invading Yemen.

I'm sure history will show you to have served the more noble of the 2 goals.
2013-02-09 09:06:45 PM
1 votes:

Close2TheEdge: How about we start with getting high-speed broadband to every part of the US first?  I'd think that would be a bigger boost to the nation's economy for far less cost than high speed rail.

 

Throw it on the list.

While your at it add dams, urban water works, a complete power grid revamp, a few off-coast wind farms large enough to be visible from space and about 1000 other things we need very badly if we want our next generations to live in a nation described as "first world" and "economic superpower"

We'll make it the biggest infrastructure investment act in the history of the nation since the New Deal.

I even coined a term for it!  We'll call it 'Nation Building'
2013-02-09 08:17:58 PM
1 votes:

jtown: So the US can shrink down to the physical size of Germany or France. Good to know.


the US can build up it's commuter rail and regional rail to feed high speed rail just like Germany and France.
2013-02-09 08:12:01 PM
1 votes:

WhyteRaven74: jtown: Who (besides you) is talking about Germany? We're talking about a high speed rail system covering the continental United States. Try to keep up.

And Germany's way of handling it, indeed France's too, provide a nice example of how the US could do it.


So the US can shrink down to the physical size of Germany or France.  Good to know.
2013-02-09 07:56:14 PM
1 votes:
ItchyMcDoogle: we are the greatest country in the world! But we cant do a damn thing to show it because it might make a Democrat look good.

Todays GOP would have let the Soviets win the space race, Cut funding on the hoover dam and told the french to keep that statue of liberty! Too many tax dollars to assemble that thing and screw you frenchy!!

But if its to spend spend spend on the military, the war in Iraq or gut the surplus for a tax cuts for the rich they are gung ho about it


We do need to rebuild our infrastructure. Republicans just want it to crumble.


Just in case anyone missed that.

Because it's goddam true. They are completely regressive repressive assholes whose entire political philosophy has been distilled down to: Stop anyone from doing anything good, because the moment people realize how nice shiat can be without us they are going to throw us out on our asses.

Every goal they have politically rotates around benefiting the very privileged few at the cost of the many.

They hate the concept of progress. They admit this openly.
They hate the concept of modern society preferring instead for each man to be an island.

And it works. They kick and scream and throw around bullshiat so when we discuss something like building better rail lines... a task that should be EASY AS CAKE for the richest most powerful nation on earth by-the-way... all you hear is line after line of bullshiat about how it's impossible. (much like many people in this thread are regurgitating)

It's a farking train, not a space elevator.

How can any of you honestly sit there and think you're being reasonable listing all the reasons this just isn't feasible or possible? Your either trolling or you drank the koolaid. You are already convinced this nation can't do shiat about shiat because you ate the big steaming pile these pathologically lying obstructionist basterds served you with their wide smile troll face.

Your shining pinnacle of logic? Air travel is just cheaper.

Yes, air travel. The one industry that has been so plagued with trying to remain profitable that even with the litany of government windfalls they enjoy they continue to throw seats and meals and any other creature comfort off a plane to try and make it just that much closer to cost-effective. They are farking considering STANDING ROOM ONLY flights ffs.... yeah, we should probably just launch ourselves into the air with jet fuel for the rest of time to solve our travel needs... seems legit and smart to me! farking idiots.

Back to the Republican assholes... These are assholes who would GLADLY watch this dollar amount tagged to this rail system get pissed away as long as one of their campaign donors were profiting from it. They'd spend 10x this amount on a defense project they know damn well would never work or see the light of day. They are in the business of stealing tax dollars, not in using them for building and operating the infrastructure of our nation.

Nothing new. It's viewing and imagining problems vs viewing and imagining solutions.

When confronted with a new idea most can only come up with reason after reason not to consider it or accept it. The only questions they are able to ask are 'Why?' never being satisfied with any answer they receive. Nothing but ingrained resistance to change and lack of intelligence to realize there is always a better way. You know, the base logic behind your average neocon.

It's only the visionary and atypically intelligent that can weight the concept against the status quo fairly and say "why not?"
2013-02-09 06:16:50 PM
1 votes:

slayer199: It's simple math.  There's no way to make that affordable and self-sustaining to the point it will be a viable alternative to flying.


That's what taxes are for. If a country's infrastructure can't be maintained by private companies, the government should do it instead.

/ditto healthcare
//and retirement funds
///and utilities
2013-02-09 06:00:53 PM
1 votes:

Tillmaster: jtown: MisterTweak: Have you looked at how long it takes to get there *now*? Probably won't gain you time from major coastal hubs, but try getting from White Plains, NY to New Orleans, LA - if you only have to change planes once each way. Pick somwhere a little further from a major airport pair and it gets a lot more interesting having the rail option.

Air travel is a great subsidy for a few big cities.

You didn't look at The Map, did you?

[www.slate.com image 568x367]

There ya go.  The mythical high speed trains only stop in a few big cities.  If the trains stopped at every little podunk station, it would take forever to travel a significant distance.  (Kinda like how it is now.)  So, just like air travel, many people will have to drive for hours to get to a station then pay more money to spend 3x as long as flying travelling to the next big city.

Oh dear. Do you actually understand how trains work? Probably not, so I'll explain.

"The train now leaving Podunk is the local train to Wensleydale, Buttock, Fishpaste and Grover's Mills. Change at Fishpaste for the express to Chicago."
"The train now leaving Fishpaste is the express to Chicago. The High Speed train to Los Angeles will leave from Chicago track 27".
They all use the same basic infrastructure, and can do so without getting in each other's way.

This isn't fiction or speculation: many non-US countries are currently running very efficient rail networks.


What the fark are you babbling about?  What does anything you said have to do with anything I said?  I think someone slipped chicklets into your meds.
2013-02-09 05:34:28 PM
1 votes:
This is really starting to annoy me about the Right. If its for bettering the country we cant do it. We cant do anything. Oh but we are the greatest country in the world! But we cant do a damn thing to show it because it might make a Democrat look good.

Todays GOP would have let the Soviets win the space race, Cut funding on the hoover dam and told the french to keep that statue of liberty! Too many tax dollars to assemble that thing and screw you frenchy!!

But if its to spend spend spend on the military, the war in Iraq or gut the surplus for a tax cuts for the rich they are gung ho about it


We do need to rebuild our infrastructure. Republicans just want it to crumble. Rail lines would ease traffic, cut down fuel consumption, cleaner environment .You know..things the GOP hates
2013-02-09 05:15:59 PM
1 votes:

slayer199: FlashHarry: in before some conservatard divides the cost by the number of jobs created to come up with: "IT COSTS $300,000 PER JERB!!!!" forgetting, of course, that we also receive a shiny new piece of infrastructure that will generate revenue, facilitate commerce and make life easier for the public for a century afterwards.

That isn't the point.  Unless it's substantially cheaper than flying, it won't be used....so it will be nothing but a government sinkhole.  The fastest bullet trains in the world travel around 150mph.  A trip from New York to LA would take 18 hours of travel time (non-stop and not accounting for time changes).  A flight is 5 hours and 45 minutes.  Just looking it up, a one-way non-stop flight to LAX from NYC is $328.

Even now, a one-way trip on Amtrak from New York to LA costs $218 and it takes 5 days (3 stops).

It's simple math.  There's no way to make that affordable and self-sustaining to the point it will be a viable alternative to flying.


Could we stop subsidizing airfare and make them pay their carbon costs?
2013-02-09 04:52:00 PM
1 votes:

gimmegimme: DamnYankees: gimmegimme: I refuse to travel by plane because it saddens me to be confronted so strongly with our loss of freedom and how little anyone else cares about the Constitution.

What the hell are you talking about.

In order to get on the plane, you must submit to unreasonable search and seizure.  Right?  Was all of that repealed and I missed it?


It's not a search and seizure. Getting on a plane is a completely voluntary activity. There's absolutely no obligation on your part to do it. You might think its overly invasive and therefore decide to not fly on planes, but the idea that its unconstitutional is ridiculous.
2013-02-09 04:42:41 PM
1 votes:

slayer199: Shorter distances, more condensed population centers...or did you miss that point.


You keep saying this, but there's no evidence. Europe is larger than the United States, first of all. Second of all, while Europe does have a population density about twice as dense as us, that number includes Alaska, where there are no people. And if we just leave out the Northern Plains from our rail system, we're relatively close to their density to the point where the objection based on density needs much more empirical evidence than just saying the word.
2013-02-09 04:42:20 PM
1 votes:

Vegan Meat Popsicle: muck4doo: That's the retard perspective of it. You got that nailed down.

Aside from the sarcasm, what part is wrong? Conservatives have historically fought tooth and nail to defend unnecessary subsidies to the extraordinarily profitable oil and gas industries (and, until more recently, coal). They also fight tooth and nail to defend excess military spending even when it means going head to head with actual military leaders over what the military thinks it needs to be buying.

They also traditionally hate any sort of public infrastructure project that isn't part of their own district. They fight against high speed rail, they fight against light rail, they fight against improving urban bus systems.

I'll agree on one point, though. It's not that they're afraid of trains.

It's that they're vile little pants-sniffing scumbags who don't think we shouldn't ever do anything unless what we do benefits people who are already rich.


Why do you hate the job creators?!?!?!  If the men who run the oil companies aren't unfathomably rich, they won't feel like working anymore and they'll just shut the companies down.  Then we'll have no oil at all!
2013-02-09 04:35:55 PM
1 votes:

muck4doo: That's the retard perspective of it. You got that nailed down.


Aside from the sarcasm, what part is wrong? Conservatives have historically fought tooth and nail to defend unnecessary subsidies to the extraordinarily profitable oil and gas industries (and, until more recently, coal). They also fight tooth and nail to defend excess military spending even when it means going head to head with actual military leaders over what the military thinks it needs to be buying.

They also traditionally hate any sort of public infrastructure project that isn't part of their own district. They fight against high speed rail, they fight against light rail, they fight against improving urban bus systems.

I'll agree on one point, though. It's not that they're afraid of trains.

It's that they're vile little pants-sniffing scumbags who don't think we shouldn't ever do anything unless what we do benefits people who are already rich.
2013-02-09 03:42:26 PM
1 votes:

Lsherm: FlashHarry: in before some conservatard divides the cost by the number of jobs created to come up with: "IT COSTS $300,000 PER JERB!!!!" forgetting, of course, that we also receive a shiny new piece of infrastructure that will generate revenue, facilitate commerce and make life easier for the public for a century afterwards.

There isn't a single passenger rail system in the world that generates enough revenue to cover the costs.  They are all subsidized.  Europe, Japan, and China all have to funnel money each year into their passenger rail systems above and beyond what they take in via tickets.

So I'm in after a libtard tries to lie about the economics of passenger rail systems.


please point out where i said it would generate "enough revenue to cover costs."

you can't, because i didn't. now who's lying again?

i was referring to things like hotels, restaurants, shopping, etc. near stations. i lived in europe for many years. every train station is a hive of activity, far more than just getting on and off the train.
2013-02-09 03:35:25 PM
1 votes:

Dancin_In_Anson: Think it can be done without pulling funds from elsewhere to do it?


If we can pull funds from elsewhere to build a new class of ships for the Navy, why not do it for the public good? Either no one does it, period, or everyone gets to, you can't have some people be allowed to do it and others not.
2013-02-09 03:27:54 PM
1 votes:

muck4doo: /Look, I like the idea, but think it is not fiscally responsible. Maybe you can prove to me otherwise.


How is improving our infrastructure, which is crumbling at this point, NOT fiscally responsible?
2013-02-09 03:19:09 PM
1 votes:

Di Atribe: rev. dave: Money should not get in the way of doing what is right.

With conservatives, it all comes back to money. That's all that matters to them.

While I despise making everything a partisan issue, the author of the article fired the first shot.


People like us don't usually read well balanced and non-partison white papers unless it is part of the job.    But you do make a good point about conservatives seeing through green colored glasses.   I thought the part of religious conservatism was not supposed to be so worldly and selfish.

Trains just shift the costs from the people to the government.   If trains are not making a profit then that means there is no money wasted on middle men.  If people did not buy cars and gas and insurance for those cars, each person may save $10,000 or more per year in driving related costs.  Not to mention all the reduction in traffic deaths which have no monetary value.   Even those who own cars will still save money in the long term.  At some point while our population keeps growing even air travel will become so congested that the ticket price will become so high only the wealthy can fly.
2013-02-09 02:41:46 PM
1 votes:

muck4doo: cameroncrazy1984: muck4doo: My question is how much would tickets cost after spending 200 billion to make it happen? Like others said, this isn't a high speed railway through France or Belgium.

Like others have said, why not? Why CAN'T it be like that? Nobody says you have to use the whole system all at once.

I'd like it to be like that. I have already said so. Next trip to NY or San Jose I would love to take the train. But face it, 200 billion is a lot of money to make it happen. You can bring up our interstate highways, fact is, they are already there. People can drive or fly as it is. Amtrack is too damn expensive for the time and travel. I would like to see high speed rail, but I just don't see how it will be cost efficient compared to what we have now. This isn't Europe or Japan with a bunch of large population centers close to each other.


Yes, and the interstate system just magically appeared overnight. And the westward expansion didn't really cost a dime. And the moon, nah...moon shot was just some stuff lying around.

And here I thought Conservatives like the can do
2013-02-09 02:41:19 PM
1 votes:

DamnYankees: muck4doo: Money doesn't grow on trees.

Money is paper. It literally does grow on trees. I've never understood this expression.


That is why you vote Democrat.
2013-02-09 02:30:21 PM
1 votes:

muck4doo: ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha: muck4doo: Di Atribe: rev. dave: Money should not get in the way of doing what is right.

With conservatives, it all comes back to money. That's all that matters to them.

While I despise making everything a partisan issue, the author of the article fired the first shot.

Money doesn't grow on trees. We don't live in Jerry Jones world.

DoD spends over 500 every year, with far less to show for it.
n
DoD employs too many people. The money isn't going to come from there.


We just need to sell it is a military/industrial necessity as Eisenhower did with the interstate system. Then have the military/industrial complex build it. Problem solved.
2013-02-09 01:31:05 PM
1 votes:
Hey just guarding the rail line from terrorists will generate 25,000+ full time jobs. Another thousand high speed snow plow drivers. A few thousand track workers. Guys to wash off the high speed bug splatters and birds every 1,000 miles or so. It all adds up.
2013-02-09 01:24:27 PM
1 votes:

DamnYankees: Dead for Tax Reasons: Nah too many wasteful stops in the middle. Up and down the coasts is fine, but crosscountry you need express from ny to chicago and maybe stop at denver then on to the left coast

Do you know how trains works? There are express lines and local lines. They run on the same tracks (basically). There's very little downside to including more local stops if there's sufficient demand. Once you build the express line the infrastructure is already in place other than the stations themselves, which aren't that expensive.


"Next stop, west bumblefark, indiana"
2013-02-09 01:05:52 PM
1 votes:

FlashHarry: in before some conservatard divides the cost by the number of jobs created to come up with: "IT COSTS $300,000 PER JERB!!!!" forgetting, of course, that we also receive a shiny new piece of infrastructure that will generate revenue, facilitate commerce and make life easier for the public for a century afterwards.


There isn't a single passenger rail system in the world that generates enough revenue to cover the costs.  They are all subsidized.  Europe, Japan, and China all have to funnel money each year into their passenger rail systems above and beyond what they take in via tickets.

I believe it's a worthy subsidy, but liberals need to stop pretending that passenger rail isn't a money loser long-term.  Be honest about it: it's going to cost way more than it will ever bring in, but we do it for the same reason we keep the interstate system up and running - it's a public benefit.

So I'm in after a libtard tries to lie about the economics of passenger rail systems.
2013-02-09 01:04:47 PM
1 votes:

slayer199: There's no way to make that affordable and self-sustaining to the point it will be a viable alternative to flying.


Sure there is
2013-02-09 12:54:32 PM
1 votes:
$200 billion sounds way low to me.
 
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