Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Miami Marlins Risk Dropping the Ball on Transit

But wait… what if you built it and STILL no one came? I guess you’d better have some tradable players…

Exactly how those fans will get to the seats is a another matter. With the season just a few months away, the stadium’s transportation plan remains noticeably incomplete. Most fans will drive: roughly 5,000 garage spaces are intended for season ticketholders, and another 4,000 or so offsite spots will be available nearby. Still parking alone can’t fill the 37,000-seat stadium, and the team expects a considerable number of fans to arrive by public transportation

staring out the window and waiting for fenderbelly Posted: December 13, 2011 at 02:13 AM | 262 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: miami

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

Page 1 of 3 pages  1 2 3 > 
   1. RMc Has Bizarre Ideas to Fix Baseball Posted: December 13, 2011 at 12:40 PM (#4014855)
(The Marlins) executive vice president of ballpark development recently said as much: "Everyone wants people to use public transit."

No, everybody wants other people to use public transit. They'll keep using their cars, thankyouverymuch.
   2. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 13, 2011 at 01:02 PM (#4014859)
I love taking public transit. The sky-high demand for transit-accessible housing suggests I'm not alone.

The growth in rightist opposition to public transit is in some sense understandable - building and maintaining public transit requires public funding. On the other hand, the rightist love for cars and driving is pure ressentiment - cars drive on roads built with public funds and maintained with public funds. Even if you don't "believe in" global warming, it doesn't follow that you would want to do things which produce more carbon emissions - there's no reason for anyone to think that carbon emissions are a good thing. This is pure ressentiment, the embrace of an idea or practice entirely because you expect it to piss off people you dislike.
   3. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: December 13, 2011 at 01:09 PM (#4014861)
On the other hand, the rightist love for cars and driving is pure ressentiment - cars drive on roads built with public funds and maintained with public funds.


Well, public funds which are mostly collected from the users of the roads, at a rate generally commensurate with how much they use the roads, via tolls, gasoline taxes, and registration fees.
   4. RMc Has Bizarre Ideas to Fix Baseball Posted: December 13, 2011 at 01:10 PM (#4014862)
"Rightist"? Most "leftist" advocates for public transit wouldn't be caught dead on a bus. (Kind of like people who advocate public education and send their own kids to private schools.)
   5. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: December 13, 2011 at 01:12 PM (#4014864)
I wish public transit were a more realistic option for me. I took the "T" (Boston's subway) to work for about 8 years and I loved it. Sit there, read a book, mind your business. Now that I'm in the 'burbs I wish I could take it to Red Sox games but it's virtually impossible. Getting to the game is fine but getting out it is such a mad scene trying to get to a subway that I have to add 45-60 minutes to the commute out. The difference between "get home at 11" and "get home at midnight" is a pretty big one if I want to function in the morning.
   6. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 13, 2011 at 01:24 PM (#4014872)
Most "leftist" advocates for public transit wouldn't be caught dead on a bus.
I assume you have data to back this up? For what it's worth, I take the bus all the time.
   7. Evil Twin Posted: December 13, 2011 at 01:35 PM (#4014880)
Well, public funds which are mostly collected from the users of the roads, at a rate generally commensurate with how much they use the roads, via tolls, gasoline taxes, and registration fees.

I say this as a Civil Engineer, if only this were true. There's a tremdous shortfall between the idea and the reality. And the actual need.
   8. TVerik, who wonders what the hell is "Ansky" Posted: December 13, 2011 at 01:37 PM (#4014881)
Well, public funds which are mostly collected from the users of the roads, at a rate generally commensurate with how much they use the roads, via tolls, gasoline taxes, and registration fees.


He said "built". The roads are constructed with "normal" public funds. You're correct about maintenance. Maybe someone more knowlegable about this than me can tell us the approximate cost of building a road versus maintaining it over the long term.

(Kind of like people who advocate public education and send their own kids to private schools.)


This is a throwaway line, but I honestly don't have any problem with this. I don't see any hypocracy in "Public schools ought to be better. But until they are, I choose to send my children to private school."
   9. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: December 13, 2011 at 01:39 PM (#4014883)
Lefty. Advocate Mass Transit. Took it to work today. And yesterday. And the day before. Like a unicorn I am.

Edit: And my boys go to public school. And yes I could afford private school for them.
   10. TVerik, who wonders what the hell is "Ansky" Posted: December 13, 2011 at 01:40 PM (#4014884)
Now that I'm in the 'burbs I wish I could take it to Red Sox games but it's virtually impossible. Getting to the game is fine but getting out it is such a mad scene trying to get to a subway that I have to add 45-60 minutes to the commute out. The difference between "get home at 11" and "get home at midnight" is a pretty big one if I want to function in the morning.


I've taken the train to Yankee Stadium in years past (I understand it's more direct now), but I found it to be really inconvenient for me. I generally go to games with other people, and as cars are (mostly) a shared cost, trains are not. So it's actually a lot less expensive for two or three people to take the drive and split the tolls, gas, parking, etc. rather than buying two or three train tickets.
   11. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 13, 2011 at 01:47 PM (#4014888)
The growth in rightist opposition to public transit is in some sense understandable - building and maintaining public transit requires public funding. On the other hand, the rightist love for cars and driving is pure ressentiment - cars drive on roads built with public funds and maintained with public funds. Even if you don't "believe in" global warming, it doesn't follow that you would want to do things which produce more carbon emissions - there's no reason for anyone to think that carbon emissions are a good thing. This is pure ressentiment, the embrace of an idea or practice entirely because you expect it to piss off people you dislike.

The issue is that most of the US has insufficient density for efficient public transportation. Cities in the sun-belt do not have a "hub-and-spoke" design like NY, where you have masses of people commuting from suburbs/outer boroughs to a central business district. If a city did not grow up around a subway system, it's almost impossible to retrofit.

Would it be better if LA and Houston and Atlanta had built subways in the 1900's and grown up around them? Sure. But, you can't put the toothpaste back in the tube.

Cars are the best of the bad options in those places.

PS. I'm a righty who takes the train to work every day
   12. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 13, 2011 at 01:55 PM (#4014893)
I've taken the train to Yankee Stadium in years past (I understand it's more direct now), but I found it to be really inconvenient for me. I generally go to games with other people, and as cars are (mostly) a shared cost, trains are not. So it's actually a lot less expensive for two or three people to take the drive and split the tolls, gas, parking, etc. rather than buying two or three train tickets.

Correct. Once you're up to 2+ people, it's cheaper to drive in NYC from the burbs and pay for parking than to buy 2+ round-trip train tickets, and pay for 2+ subway rides or a cab.

You can almost always find a garage for <$20, and one round trip ticket from where I live to GCT is ~$20 at peak times. For a couple to take Metro North into GCT on a Friday night, then the subway to their eventual destination is going to cost >$40. If you shop online you can usually get parking for approx. $15, tolls are about $2.50 each way, figure $8 for gas, and the car is cheaper and more convenient.

The train gets economical when you buy the monthly pass.
   13. Joey B. is counting the days to Trea Turner Posted: December 13, 2011 at 02:08 PM (#4014905)
I used to love taking the DC Metro; it used to be truly great. Well, I don't know what the hell happened, but in the last couple of years or so it has gone almost completely down the shitter. The more expensive it has become to ride, the worse the service has gotten.

It has gotten to the point where I would rather pay ten bucks to park in a lot than four or five bucks to ride that awful system, and it's going to stay that way for me until they fix their issues.
   14. RMc Has Bizarre Ideas to Fix Baseball Posted: December 13, 2011 at 02:12 PM (#4014909)
"Public schools ought to be better. But until they are, I choose to send my children to private school."

"Let the gang bangers and crack whores kill each other. My precious snowflakes are going to a real school, dammit!" Naah, not hypocritical at all.

I don't have a problem with mass transit; it's really the best option in a lot of places. I just think it's funny how city planners think everybody else should take the bus, so that's there less traffic on the road for them to deal with.
   15. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 13, 2011 at 02:15 PM (#4014912)
I just think it's funny how city planners think everybody else should take the bus, so that's there less traffic on the road for them to deal with.
This claim of hypocrisy that you seem so very fond of making is based on no actual evidence of what actual city planners do. I'm sure the imaginary liberal that lives in your head is a big knob and I'd make fun of a him too.
   16. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 13, 2011 at 02:16 PM (#4014914)
I don't have a problem with mass transit; it's really the best option in a lot of places. I just think it's funny how city planners think everybody else should take the bus, so that's there less traffic on the road for them to deal with.

Is it any different than how the chattering classes bemoan the lack of good jobs with benefits for the working class, and then hire illegal aliens to be their nannies and gardeners so they don't have to pay SS tax and workers' comp insurance?
   17. Zonk qualifies as an invasive species Posted: December 13, 2011 at 02:24 PM (#4014922)
Most "leftist" advocates for public transit wouldn't be caught dead on a bus.


I assume you have data to back this up? For what it's worth, I take the bus all the time.


Ditto - I do drive to work, but that's because public transit isn't a viable option. Beyond that, I take the bus or the El without fail when I'm about town in the evenings or weekends... I've been an El devotee since coming to Chicago nearly 20 years ago, and especially since the CTA enabled GPS bus tracker, have increasingly grown to love the bus.

If the combination of CTA and metra options made it possible for me to get to the office at times except 8 AM or 10 AM and leave at times other than 4 PM or 6 PM - I wouldn't drive to work, either... it's mainly that the nature of my job means it's not feasible to meet such a rigid schedule - gave it shot, but was going broke on cabs to alternate train stations. If I had even so much as every 30 minute options from say, 7 AM to 9 AM and 4 PM to 7 PM - I'd probably get rid of my car and go icar or zipcar.
   18. . Posted: December 13, 2011 at 02:25 PM (#4014923)
You can almost always find a garage for <$20, and one round trip ticket from where I live to GCT is ~$20 at peak times. For a couple to take Metro North into GCT on a Friday night, then the subway to their eventual destination is going to cost >$40. If you shop online you can usually get parking for approx. $15, tolls are about $2.50 each way, figure $8 for gas, and the car is cheaper and more convenient.

That's their cost. You didn't include the externalities they impose, starting but not ending with guzzling gas and spewing carbons.
   19. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 13, 2011 at 02:31 PM (#4014930)
That's their cost. You didn't include the externalities they impose, starting but not ending with guzzling gas and spewing carbons.

People make decisions based on their own costs. That's why there are externalities. If they faced the costs, it would be internalized, and no longer an externality.
   20. . Posted: December 13, 2011 at 02:33 PM (#4014931)
If they faced the costs, it would be internalized, and no longer an externality.

Right ... their costs should be internalized. That's what proponents of mass transit are saying. (They're saying more than that, of course, but that is one of their primary arguments).
   21. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 13, 2011 at 02:38 PM (#4014934)
Right ... their costs should be internalized. That's what proponents of mass transit are saying. (They're saying more than that, of course, but that is one of their primary arguments).

Well, that makes sense as soon as users of mass transit also face the full cost of their transportation.

In NYC, mass transit is heavily subsidized by bridge tolls and taxes, and NYC is one of the best environments for mass transit. I believe fares cover only ~50% of the cost of mass transit.

Now, part of that is ridiculous union contracts to the transit workers (e.g. retirement with full benefits at 55), but still, fares are heavily subsidized.
   22. TerpNats Posted: December 13, 2011 at 02:45 PM (#4014941)
Would it be better if LA and Houston and Atlanta had built subways in the 1900's and grown up around them? Sure.
For sundry reasons, Los Angeles didn't have a subway in the early 1900s, but it had Pacific Electric (the "red cars") and Los Angeles Railway (the "yellow cars"), the next best thing. They carried riders all over Los Angeles and southern California, and the metro area is trying to replicate that today with Metrorail and the Metrolink commuter rail system.
   23. . Posted: December 13, 2011 at 02:48 PM (#4014944)
Well, that makes sense as soon as users of mass transit also face the full cost of their transportation.

Society bears part of it. That's what civilizations do. It's a public good for a nation to have its territory reasonably accessible to all its citizens. It's also a public good for a nation's citizens not to be a bunch of atomized, asocial losers in constant need of stimulation -- which is what the suburban car culture generates. It's just ridiculous to see all the massive Jersey SUVs in the city on weekend nights, with the occupants constantly ######## about something.
   24. aleskel Posted: December 13, 2011 at 03:00 PM (#4014964)
Well, public funds which are mostly collected from the users of the roads, at a rate generally commensurate with how much they use the roads, via tolls, gasoline taxes, and registration fees.

Well, that's supposed to be the case, but it's not 1-to-1. For example, the gas tax is supposed to cover for the Interstate Highway System. For a long time that was true, except people started using less gas (while driving as much) because cars became more efficient. Since the gas tax has barely budged in the last 20 years, the revenue is drying up. In 2008, for the first time in the Interstate Highway System's history, they had to raid the General Fund to cover an $8 billion budget gap. In other words, I, who don't drive, am subsidizing roads. Furthermore, most of the damage to roads and bridges comes from trucks (there is a clear correlation with axel weight), but efforts to add taxes have been persistently fought by the trucking industry. This is a big reason the transportation infrastructure in the country is in such poor shape.

In NYC, mass transit is heavily subsidized by bridge tolls and taxes, and NYC is one of the best environments for mass transit. I believe fares cover only ~50% of the cost of mass transit.

It's about 40% (just the subway/buses; the commuter rail lines are lower), which is actually very good for the US (most US systems are lucky to get above 20% fairbox capture). European systems are generally higher (60% or so) and places like Japan have incredibly high rates because driving is not much of an alternative. But remember, public transit needs to be subsidized because the fixed costs of building and maintaining it are so high. And it should be subsidized, for the externality reasons already mentioned. And let's not forget the biggest externality of car use: traffic. If you don't subsidize mass transit, those roads are going to be clogged.
   25. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 13, 2011 at 03:05 PM (#4014970)
Society bears part of it. That's what civilizations do. It's a public good for a nation to have its territory reasonably accessible to all its citizens. It's also a public good for a nation's citizens not to be a bunch of atomized, asocial losers in constant need of stimulation -- which is what the suburban car culture generates. It's just ridiculous to see all the massive Jersey SUVs in the city on weekend nights, with the occupants constantly ######## about something.

It's also a public good to have a developed road network that can get you anywhere you'd like efficiently. Roads can reach the 95% of the country mass transit can never hope to reach efficiently.

Your argument boils down to "subsidize the thing I like, tax the thing I don't like".
   26. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: December 13, 2011 at 03:06 PM (#4014972)
Well, that's supposed to be the case, but it's not 1-to-1.


That's why I said mostly






In other words, I, who don't drive, am subsidizing roads.


As well you should. Even if you don't drive, you still derive a tremendous benefit from the existence of roads, unless you don't participate in the economy in any way.
   27. aleskel Posted: December 13, 2011 at 03:08 PM (#4014974)
As well you should. Even if you don't drive, you still derive a tremendous benefit from the existence of roads, unless you don't participate in the economy in any way.

I absolutely agree, I make that point because opponents of mass transit tend to argue that it shouldn't exist if it doesn't pay for itself; the truth is that, with transportation, nothing pays for itself.
   28. The Good Face Posted: December 13, 2011 at 03:11 PM (#4014979)
On the other hand, the rightist love for cars and driving is pure ressentiment - cars drive on roads built with public funds and maintained with public funds. Even if you don't "believe in" global warming, it doesn't follow that you would want to do things which produce more carbon emissions - there's no reason for anyone to think that carbon emissions are a good thing. This is pure ressentiment, the embrace of an idea or practice entirely because you expect it to piss off people you dislike.


These are the scribblings of a retard. Although I'm sure it's comforting to believe that the "rightists" living in your head are engaging in a conspiracy designed solely to piss you off, the simple truth of the matter is that cars are awesome. You don't have to look at, or smell, other people. Nobody is jostling you or stepping on your feet. The climate control is under YOUR control. You can listen to your music at earthshaking volume and sing along, badly and out of tune, without bothering anybody. Cars live by no schedule but yours, and go where you want them to, not where some ####### in city hall says they have to. You're a lot less likely to get arrested for having sex in your car compared to public transit, and if your car is cool enough, it may help you get sex. Even picking your nose isn't quite as socially offensive if you're doing it in a car. Probably because horrified onlookers know there's no risk of you flicking anything onto them... a feature public transportation does not share.

That said, there are times where public transportation makes sense. NYC couldn't function without public transport, and I'd consider the subway system to be a bargain at twice the price. But some people seem to think it's always the best option and love trying to mash square pegs into round holes. I could, if I wished, take public transport to get to work. It would take me approximately 1.5 hours and require the use of 2 trains and a bus. Or I could use my car, which takes about 35 minutes.
   29. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 13, 2011 at 03:11 PM (#4014980)
And it should be subsidized, for the externality reasons already mentioned. And let's not forget the biggest externality of car use: traffic. If you don't subsidize mass transit, those roads are going to be clogged.

Not disagreeing that mass transit should be subsidized to some extent, but as you note, the same argument applies for roads.
   30. RMc Has Bizarre Ideas to Fix Baseball Posted: December 13, 2011 at 03:14 PM (#4014981)
This claim of hypocrisy that you seem so very fond of making is based on no actual evidence of what actual city planners do.

No evidence at all, if you don't count the years I've spent on my village's Environmental Review Board and the multiple conversations I've had with...wait for it...actual city planners.

I'm sure the imaginary liberal that lives in your head is a big knob

I assure you (s)he's far from imaginary. No, of course not all city planners are hypocritical limousine liberal types, but plenty of them are, and they can be plenty irritating. They worship the idea of some mythical, multiculti community where everyone has Good Jobs At Good Wages and take Light Rail everyone, with no idea how to create it or how to pay for it. Sigh.
   31. aleskel Posted: December 13, 2011 at 03:17 PM (#4014984)
He said "built". The roads are constructed with "normal" public funds.

Generally, the way things are supposed to work, both construction and maintenance are paid for by the user taxes (gas and tolls). Construction is funded by bond issues for which the tax revenue, tolls, or other fees are collateral. Maintenance is usually funded by a rolling capital budget that receives direct tax revenue.
   32. aleskel Posted: December 13, 2011 at 03:19 PM (#4014986)
No, of course not all city planners all hypocritical limousine liberal types, but plenty of them are, and they can be plenty irritating.

I'm about to finish my Master's in urban planning. I go to school with many of these people, they do exist. My school does its best to teach them out if it, with varying success.
   33. RMc Has Bizarre Ideas to Fix Baseball Posted: December 13, 2011 at 03:24 PM (#4014990)
These are the scribblings of a retard.

This might be the funniest damn thing I've ever read on this website. Good Face, I oughta go to my local trophy shop, fashion a real-life Primey award, and mail it to your house.

Although I'm sure it's comforting to believe that the "rightists" living in your head are engaging in a conspiracy designed solely to piss you off, the simple truth of the matter is that cars are awesome.

I'm not a "rightist" (whatever the hell that is), but anybody who uses words like "ressentiment" on a baseball website probably deserves to have "a conspiracy designed solely to piss (them) off" against them. Watch out! We're everywhere!
   34. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 13, 2011 at 03:26 PM (#4014993)
It actually wasn't clear, but when I said "love of cars" I didn't mean actual enjoyment of the practice of driving, I meant on a policy level. The valuation of policies which encourage or subsidize driving is the inexplicable movement on the right.

And there is little funnier on this site than RMc's constant claims to be a centrist or not a right-winger. He's like the inverse of arkitekton, the old "I'm a conservative who happens to hold bog-standard left-wing values."
   35. . Posted: December 13, 2011 at 03:30 PM (#4015002)
You don't have to look at, or smell, other people. Nobody is jostling you or stepping on your feet.

Looking at other people and having your foot stepped on.

Oh, the HUMANITY!!!!!!!!!!
   36. Zonk qualifies as an invasive species Posted: December 13, 2011 at 03:36 PM (#4015012)
It's also a public good to have a developed road network that can get you anywhere you'd like efficiently. Roads can reach the 95% of the country mass transit can never hope to reach efficiently.


This is the story of just about everything in the bigger picture -- and why I fundamentally do not understand current conservative orthodoxy on taxation on infrastructure spending...

Presumably, everyone's well aware that in terms of per capita dollars into the federal kitty vs. per capita dollars out, it's actually the Californias, the Illinois, the New Yorks, et al that tend to get the most screwed while the Alaskas, Mississippis, Wyomings, et al that feed at the trough.

This same screwiness exists at the state level -- roughly 2/3 of Illinois state revenues comes from Chicagoland, but only 1/3 of Illinois state spending ends up back in the same area. I imagine the same is true in NY/NYC, LA-SF-SD-etc/CA, etc.

Heck - wanna solve the postal service's fiscal problems? You don't need to muck with the postal workers benefits and salary packages -- just let the USPS charge market rates to serve the 15 people in the middle of Nowhere, Wyoming or whatever... It's a heck of lot cheaper to maintain a mail pickup and delivery system within an enclosed few square miles of millions than thousands of square miles of a few hundred.

Here in Illinois - a downstate state senator recently proposed "exiling" NE Illinois (Chicago, et al) into a separate state. I've about reached the point of saying "Fine -- just gimme an address to the bill for your infrastructure that was subsidized by my state taxes."

Either we're a nation or we're not already and I'm tired of this pervasive, but at odds with the facts, thinking that it's the urban hellholes that are leaching the "self-sufficient" rural areas dry... when it's actually the opposite.
   37. tshipman Posted: December 13, 2011 at 03:48 PM (#4015031)
Cars live by no schedule but yours, and go where you want them to, not where some ####### in city hall says they have to.


How fortunate you are to never have to deal with traffic.


I take public transit to work every day, and mostly enjoy it. Not only is it far, far more convenient than driving, but nearly once a week, something interesting happens. If I had to drive every day, I would spend a LOT more money than my monthly bus pass, and lose a ton of time circling streets endlessly looking for parking.


That's why I said mostly


Once you factor in externalities, I would imagine that Public Transit gives better bang for the buck than cars do.
   38. Joey B. is counting the days to Trea Turner Posted: December 13, 2011 at 03:52 PM (#4015035)
These are the scribblings of a retard.

True, but what can you expect from a guy who took a thread that had nothing whatsoever to do with partisan politics and felt the need to inject his personal political derangement into it.
   39. will Posted: December 13, 2011 at 03:54 PM (#4015041)
Where will the attendees park ? In Philadelphia (for example), there are about 18,000 spots, for a park seating 45,000, with a heavily traveled subway line stopping a 5-10 minute walk away. Is it reasonable to think the Marlins will only need half as many spaces ?
   40. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: December 13, 2011 at 03:56 PM (#4015044)
Heck - wanna solve the postal service's fiscal problems? You don't need to muck with the postal workers benefits and salary packages -- just let the USPS charge market rates to serve the 15 people in the middle of Nowhere, Wyoming or whatever... It's a heck of lot cheaper to maintain a mail pickup and delivery system within an enclosed few square miles of millions than thousands of square miles of a few hundred.


No ####. Try flying to these 'nowhere' places, even with a fed. subsidy (which may be vanishing thankfully) it is very expensive, as it should be. My folks live in 'nowhere, WY', and you cannot get same day delivery of hard copy USA Today/WSJ and they are in one of the ten biggest cities in the state (still under 10k). (of course if you really want it you can get it online, which they do have high speed internet), and overnight delivery via UPS/Fed Ex is not going to happen, unless you're in Cheyenne or Casper, maybe Laramie.
   41. Zonk qualifies as an invasive species Posted: December 13, 2011 at 04:05 PM (#4015060)
Once you factor in externalities, I would imagine that Public Transit gives better bang for the buck than cars do.


I would bet so, too -- beyond maintenance of the infrastructure, we would also need to account for:

1) Police/traffic control and costs... We have transit cops, of course, but I'm betting the total cost of policing the transit system is lower than the cost of highway patrol, et al.

2) Add in other emergency response costs -- I'd be willing to bet that a lot more money for everything from ambulance response to the cost of medical treatment is higher for motor travel than public transit.

It's about 20 years dated -- but here's a study that purports to examine the total socialized costs of motor vehicle infrastructure...
   42. CrosbyBird Posted: December 13, 2011 at 04:06 PM (#4015061)
Most "leftist" advocates for public transit wouldn't be caught dead on a bus.

I wouldn't call myself a leftist, but I am a big public transit advocate where it's appropriate. At the very least, cars should be substantially more expensive to use because of the externalities.

I'm a Manhattan resident, and I've taken the bus around three times in the past two years. I don't mind taking the bus so much as it's not really convenient to get anywhere I want to go, and waiting for it is usually less efficient than just walking (either to the closest subway or to my destination).

When I lived in Pittsburgh, I took the bus a lot and it was fine. In Boston, I took the T somewhat regularly.
   43. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 13, 2011 at 04:10 PM (#4015068)

I would bet so, too -- beyond maintenance of the infrastructure, we would also need to account for:

1) Police/traffic control and costs... We have transit cops, of course, but I'm betting the total cost of policing the transit system is lower than the cost of highway patrol, et al.

2) Add in other emergency response costs -- I'd be willing to bet that a lot more money for everything from ambulance response to the cost of medical treatment is higher for motor travel than public transit.


And deaths/injuries from auto accidents.
   44. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: December 13, 2011 at 04:20 PM (#4015079)
Well, that's supposed to be the case, but it's not 1-to-1. For example, the gas tax is supposed to cover for the Interstate Highway System. For a long time that was true, except people started using less gas (while driving as much) because cars became more efficient. Since the gas tax has barely budged in the last 20 years, the revenue is drying up. In 2008, for the first time in the Interstate Highway System's history, they had to raid the General Fund to cover an $8 billion budget gap. In other words, I, who don't drive, am subsidizing roads. Furthermore, most of the damage to roads and bridges comes from trucks (there is a clear correlation with axel weight), but efforts to add taxes have been persistently fought by the trucking industry. This is a big reason the transportation infrastructure in the country is in such poor shape.
The problem with this argument is that it ignores the fact that Congress has been diverting funds from the highway trust fund for subsidizing mass transit for years.
   45. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: December 13, 2011 at 04:27 PM (#4015091)
I don't have a problem with mass transit; it's really the best option in a lot of places. I just think it's funny how city planners think everybody else should take the bus, so that's there less traffic on the road for them to deal with.

Is it any different than how the chattering classes bemoan the lack of good jobs with benefits for the working class, and then hire illegal aliens to be their nannies and gardeners so they don't have to pay SS tax and workers' comp insurance?
I know this is your particular hobby horse, but it's a nonsensical comparison. The alternative to hiring illegal aliens typically is not being able to afford a nanny or gardener at all. Illegal aliens are creating jobs by being willing to work cheaply; they're not taking jobs from the working class.
   46. Addison Russell T. Davies (chris h.) Posted: December 13, 2011 at 04:39 PM (#4015109)
This seems like a goofy argument.

In denser, hub-and-spoke-ish areas, mass transit makes sense and gets used. In spread-out suburban areas, it doesn't make as much sense and isn't used as much. In rural areas, it makes no sense and isn't used.

I live in the Chicago (far) north suburbs. When I worked in the Loop, I usually took the Metra train. It made sense: I could avoid traffic, read a book, and even save money. When I got a new job in the suburbs, I drove, because taking a bus would've made the commute take 3+ hours. NFW.

So I guess I don't understand the controversy.
   47. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 13, 2011 at 04:43 PM (#4015114)
I know this is your particular hobby horse, but it's a nonsensical comparison. The alternative to hiring illegal aliens typically is not being able to afford a nanny or gardener at all. Illegal aliens are creating jobs by being willing to work cheaply; they're not taking jobs from the working class.

No, my big hobby horse is our ludicrous trade policy. Illegal immigration is at most a distant 2nd.

So, a couple who makes a combined family income north of $150,000 is going to give up one of their $75,000+ jobs, and derail a career b/c they have to pay $35,000 for a nanny rather than $20,000?

They're going to mow their own grass because it costs $200/month instead of $140?

Yeah, right.

All illegal immigration does is further the transfer of wealth in our society to the affluent who can buy personal services cheaply. The kinds of services illegal immigrants supply are disproportionately consumed by the wealthy.
   48. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 13, 2011 at 04:46 PM (#4015119)
This seems like a goofy argument.

In denser, hub-and-spoke-ish areas, mass transit makes sense and gets used. In spread-out suburban areas, it doesn't make as much sense and isn't used as much. In rural areas, it makes no sense and isn't used.

I live in the Chicago (far) north suburbs. When I worked in the Loop, I usually took the Metra train. It made sense: I could avoid traffic, read a book, and even save money. When I got a new job in the suburbs, I drove, because taking a bus would've made the commute take 3+ hours. NFW.

So I guess I don't understand the controversy.


Well said. It's a ideological point for some true believers (on both sides), that bears little relation to reality.
   49. Zonk qualifies as an invasive species Posted: December 13, 2011 at 04:47 PM (#4015121)
I know this is your particular hobby horse, but it's a nonsensical comparison. The alternative to hiring illegal aliens typically is not being able to afford a nanny or gardener at all. Illegal aliens are creating jobs by being willing to work cheaply; they're not taking jobs from the working class.


Heh - yeah - look no further than Georgia and its new immigration law...Even Newsmax, which is hardly a pro-immigration/amnesty/whatever source - paints the same picture.
   50. McCoy Posted: December 13, 2011 at 04:52 PM (#4015131)
I don't have a problem with mass transit; it's really the best option in a lot of places. I just think it's funny how city planners think everybody else should take the bus, so that's there less traffic on the road for them to deal with.

I personally think that DC should ban cars from huge sections of the city and only allow buses and bikes in those sections.
   51. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 13, 2011 at 04:54 PM (#4015141)
So I guess I don't understand the controversy.
The question is whether the current arrangement of transit infrastructure and funding is optimal, and whether it's good. you seem to be suggesting that it's currently optimal, and so there should be no changes. People who think there should be far more construction and funding of mass transit disagree, as do people who think mass transit should be de-funded in favor of personal (car) transit.
   52. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 13, 2011 at 04:54 PM (#4015143)
Heh - yeah - look no further than Georgia and its new immigration law...Even Newsmax, which is hardly a pro-immigration/amnesty/whatever source - paints the same picture.

So, the article is about farm labor. Here's the money quote.

Finding legal laborers is difficult, according to Bookman, because of the low pay and lack of benefits, with an average pay of around $8 per hour.


My response, so pay freaking more than $8/hr with no benefits!!! Farm labor is tough grueling work. It should pay more than that.

If we want to live in a society w/o a large permanent underclass, we're going to have to be willing to pay a little more for labor intensive goods.
   53. Zonk qualifies as an invasive species Posted: December 13, 2011 at 04:57 PM (#4015149)
My response, so pay freaking more than $8/hr with no benefits!!! Farm labor is tough grueling work. It should pay more than that.

If we want to live in a society w/o a large permanent underclass, we're going to have to be willing to pay a little more for labor intensive goods.


No argument... I'm willing to pay more for blueberries (well, maybe not blueberries) - but I'm just a consumer, I don't set the prices except by several degrees of separation in my purchasing choices.
   54. . Posted: December 13, 2011 at 05:02 PM (#4015158)
Finding legal laborers is difficult, according to Bookman, because of the low pay and lack of benefits, with an average pay of around $8 per hour.

Finding good Knicks tickets is difficult, according to SugarBear Blanks, because of their high cost and lack of benefits.
   55. RMc Has Bizarre Ideas to Fix Baseball Posted: December 13, 2011 at 05:07 PM (#4015169)
And there is little funnier on this site than RMc's constant claims to be a centrist or not a right-winger.

Once again: compared to Matt and most Primates, I am a "right-winger". (Hell, compared to some of you, I'm a friggin' Nazi.) Compared to people in the world at large, however, I'm pretty much in the middle, maybe a li'l bit to the right (especially since 9/11). My opinions on the usual wedge issues (immigration, abortion, financial policy, whether NY can support a third MLB team) are a mixed bag at best. (If that makes your demonization of me difficult, well, that's life.)

My issue is not with left/right, but with the hypocrisy that seems to infect every aspect of our public life. "Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants wants to die."
   56. John Northey Posted: December 13, 2011 at 05:10 PM (#4015180)
Up here near Toronto we can only dream of a public transit system that gets 1/2 its budget covered by taxes. At one point the TTC (Toronto Transit) was 80% funded by fares and today is around the 70%+ mark and climbing back up. The regional transit (GO) is also around 70% fare coverage with one train an hour for most routes, and none going where I need them to. I'd be looking at a 2 hour+ commute each way by transit or 20-30 minutes by car. That is nuts when I live in the most heavily populated region of Canada. My local city council refuses to put in transit as it would 'attract the wrong people'.

Back to the Marlins. I'm guessing the 9k parking spaces will do well once they do their next fire sale in a few years. 3 times they have been over 25k per game, twice over 30k (their first two seasons over 30k, 29k the first time they won the WS). In 1995 & 1996 they were top 10 for attendance in the NL as well (just under 24k per game). Otherwise they have been under 23k per game, 13-16th in attendance in the league, bottoming out at 10k per game in 2002.

Are there baseball fans there? Sure. Will they come out in 2012? Yup. Will they keep coming in 2013-beyond? Nope. History tells us they will drop back down to the sub-30k and probably sub-25k fans per game level quickly thus making 9k parking spaces a livable number. Sad eh?
   57. TVerik, who wonders what the hell is "Ansky" Posted: December 13, 2011 at 05:11 PM (#4015182)
You don't need to muck with the postal workers benefits and salary packages -- just let the USPS charge market rates to serve the 15 people in the middle of Nowhere, Wyoming or whatever... It's a heck of lot cheaper to maintain a mail pickup and delivery system within an enclosed few square miles of millions than thousands of square miles of a few hundred.



Yup; that'll go well. "Hey, Ma Kettle. Mailing in your electric bill is now going to cost five bucks, because of where your grandfather decided to settle. No, stop crying."
   58. McCoy Posted: December 13, 2011 at 05:11 PM (#4015185)
My response, so pay freaking more than $8/hr with no benefits!!! Farm labor is tough grueling work. It should pay more than that.

And yet farms are able to find people to do the work and those people are not dying in the street from poverty and hunger.
   59. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 13, 2011 at 05:18 PM (#4015199)
Once again: compared to Matt and most Primates, I am a "right-winger". (Hell, compared to some of you, I'm a friggin' Nazi.) Compared to people in the world at large, however, I'm pretty much in the middle, maybe a li'l bit to the right (especially since 9/11).
Yes, I've read this about forty times, but every time a political discussion comes up, you endorse bog-standard rightist beliefs. I wouldn't be surprised if you have a little bit of the libertarian in you - this is the internet after all - but you are a right-winger.
   60. base ball chick Posted: December 13, 2011 at 05:25 PM (#4015217)
here we go again

mass transit is supposed to be for the masses. and unless you live in a very small confined area where you work, live and your kids go to skool, it doesn't work.

if i wanted to work a job that is, just say, 2 miles west of where i live, it would take me almost 2 hours by bus. houston is just not suited to any sort of mass transportation. they do have special buses that go from the outlying burbs to downtown, but you might could have to wait for another bus or walk a long way. and this assumes you work downtown and that is not a smart assumption
   61. RMc Has Bizarre Ideas to Fix Baseball Posted: December 13, 2011 at 05:28 PM (#4015224)
every time a political discussion comes up, you endorse bog-standard rightist beliefs.

Let's see: I'm pro-choice (somewhat reluctantly; I'm Catholic), favour gun control and amnesty for immigrants, and I've been a registered independent for almost twenty years.

Yeah, you got me. I'm a rightist. Shoot me now. Go ahead. You know you want to. Pull the trigger! Viva la revolucion!

Idiot.
   62. Zonk qualifies as an invasive species Posted: December 13, 2011 at 05:29 PM (#4015227)
Yup; that'll go well. "Hey, Ma Kettle. Mailing in your electric bill is now going to cost five bucks, because of where your grandfather decided to settle. No, stop crying."


'course it won't go well... and that's my point - Ma Kettle needs to stop voting to send state and federal reps to the statehouse and DC who keep feeding her nonsense about how she lives in a hovel because the urban welfare queens and illegals are taking all her money.

Or - with the blueberries... the 'free hand' needs a season of no blueberries and a raft of farms going under because the crops rot in order to adjust the payscale.

I don't personally want a year of no blueberries/farm bankruptcies/Ma Kettle having coronaries over the cost of a stamp -- but then, I don't worship the golden calf of the free market to salve all, either.
   63. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: December 13, 2011 at 05:37 PM (#4015243)
I've been a registered independent for almost twenty years.


My parents both say something similar to this. Neither of them has voted for a Democrat in at least 20 years. They may not self-identify as conservatives but they are.

That doesn't mean you aren't truly independent (I don't follow the political threads closely enough to know), just that the argument is not very persuasive.
   64. RMc Has Bizarre Ideas to Fix Baseball Posted: December 13, 2011 at 05:50 PM (#4015270)
My parents both say something similar to this. Neither of them has voted for a Democrat in at least 20 years. They may not self-identify as conservatives but they are.

I'm your basic center-right kinda guy. I left the Republican party 20 years ago because I disagree with them on too much (abortion, immigration, gay marriage); I still agree with them (more or less) on fiscal policy. Meanwhile, the Democratic Party has some good ideas, but I can't really mesh with people whose first (and last, and only) idea is always "raise taxes and give the money to our key voting blocs!"

So when I get into that voting booth, I have a choice between (1) the Republican, (2) the Democrat, and (3) one or more people I've never heard of, some or all of whom are probably nutjobs, and who have exactly zero chance of winning.

So...yeah. The other option is not voting...an increasingly popular option, it seems.
   65. Addison Russell T. Davies (chris h.) Posted: December 13, 2011 at 05:52 PM (#4015276)
The question is whether the current arrangement of transit infrastructure and funding is optimal, and whether it's good. you seem to be suggesting that it's currently optimal, and so there should be no changes. People who think there should be far more construction and funding of mass transit disagree, as do people who think mass transit should be de-funded in favor of personal (car) transit.

Fair enough. I confess I don't know what the correct ratio is, nor do I have an easy way of figuring it out.
   66. a bebop a rebop Posted: December 13, 2011 at 05:58 PM (#4015287)
Yup; that'll go well. "Hey, Ma Kettle. Mailing in your electric bill is now going to cost five bucks, because of where your grandfather decided to settle. No, stop crying."

I mean, obviously this is a joke... but the narrative of moving to Wyoming is going out to eke out a hard life under the Big Sky. Nobody who chooses to live in Wyoming gets to ##### about the small inconveniences therein. It's as silly as New Yorkers complaining about busy subway stations. The fact that we have an expectation that living in Bumfuck, Wyoming should be as easy and convenient as living in a place with actual people is distressing to me.

And more to the substance of the thread: I'm three years out of college and still haven't needed to buy a car. I specifically chose to go to grad school in a place (Berkeley) where that's possible, and I don't have kids, FWIW. I walk, bike, and use BART, the local bus service and Zipcar, and I save a lot of money relative to my peers with cars. Living in a place with workable transit is a huge deal to me.
   67. a bebop a rebop Posted: December 13, 2011 at 06:01 PM (#4015290)
So when I get into that voting booth, I have a choice between (1) the Republican, (2) the Democrat, and (3) one or more people I've never heard of, some or all of whom are probably nutjobs, and who have exactly zero chance of winning.

You conspicuously leave out the part where you tell us which one you vote for...
   68. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: December 13, 2011 at 06:17 PM (#4015311)
people whose first (and last, and only) idea is always "raise taxes and give the money to our key voting blocs!"


I think it's a safe assumption that "give money to our key voting blocs" is a pretty consistent approach of any political party.

Nobody who chooses to live in Wyoming gets to ##### about the small inconveniences therein.


Why not? I don't think anyone should be required to love 100% of everything they choose to do. I love living in New England but when I have to wake up at 6AM on some 5 degree morning to snowblow a foot of snow out of my driveway...I'm gonna ##### a little. At the end of the day I demonstrate that living in New England has value to me by not moving to Florida or some such place.

Additionally, while I think it's fair for it to be a bit more difficult to live in East Whatever, WY I don't think anyone wants it to be unreasonably difficult. That would cause a massive shift to the urban areas creating overcrowding problems and reducing farming and other benefits created by those locations. I don't think some resident of East Whatever should expect to get the USA Today at the exact same time that some guy in Manhattan does but he shouldn't have to wait three weeks either.
   69. aleskel Posted: December 13, 2011 at 06:19 PM (#4015317)
The problem with this argument is that it ignores the fact that Congress has been diverting funds from the highway trust fund for subsidizing mass transit for years.

Only since the late 80s/early 90s, after a good 50-60 years of spending nothing on public transit and everything on roads.
   70. TVerik, who wonders what the hell is "Ansky" Posted: December 13, 2011 at 06:19 PM (#4015318)
And more to the substance of the thread: I'm three years out of college and still haven't needed to buy a car. I specifically chose to go to grad school in a place (Berkeley) where that's possible, and I don't have kids, FWIW. I walk, bike, and use BART, the local bus service and Zipcar, and I save a lot of money relative to my peers with cars. Living in a place with workable transit is a huge deal to me.


And if they changed the rules in a significant way on you, necessitating a car purchase, you'd be unhappy about it. People aren't always (even usually) mobile in an unlimited way - Ma Kettle could have been "stuck" in WY for years, originally settling there partly because of the guarantee of a connection to society via subsidized mail delivery, local telephone service, and local radio. Changing these rules on her is patently unfair.
   71. base ball chick Posted: December 13, 2011 at 06:28 PM (#4015333)
David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: December 13, 2011 at 11:27 AM (#4015091)

I know this is your particular hobby horse, but it's a nonsensical comparison. The alternative to hiring illegal aliens typically is not being able to afford a nanny or gardener at all. Illegal aliens are creating jobs by being willing to work cheaply; they're not taking jobs from the working class.


- really?

who do you think is getting almost all of the cheap labor jobs? if you are NOT illegal, it is very very tough to get jobs in construction, lawn care, maid, in home child care. take a look at who is the cleaning ladies, restaurant workers.

of course, you don't give a darn. you'd rather just have this society where anyone with money can pay a worker as little as they want to - sort of like the ole mine owners/miners - get rid of all government programs to feed and house the poor and let us all starve to death or live like sewer rats in our little ghettos
   72. a bebop a rebop Posted: December 13, 2011 at 06:40 PM (#4015355)
And if they changed the rules in a significant way on you, necessitating a car purchase, you'd be unhappy about it. People aren't always (even usually) mobile in an unlimited way - Ma Kettle could have been "stuck" in WY for years, originally settling there partly because of the guarantee of a connection to society via subsidized mail delivery, local telephone service, and local radio. Changing these rules on her is patently unfair.

What's "fair" for Ma Kettle is "unfair" for the other people who have to subsidize her existence. The value of having a pretty huge, subsidized rural population is just not clear to me, whereas I understand why having lots of people in close proximity to one another (ie, in cities) makes sense.
   73. aleskel Posted: December 13, 2011 at 06:59 PM (#4015396)
So I guess I don't understand the controversy.

The controversy, such as it is, is that the public has demonstrated that they are only willing to spend a finite amount of money on transportation through taxation, and we have to decide how that money is best spent. Some people want mass transit to be prioritized, some want car infrastructure. The chief issue to me, as someone who favors mass transit, is how we spend that money in each area: we should spend to maintain the roads and expand capacity in mass transit, because I believe that when you take all of the externalities of each form into account, we've reached a point of diminishing returns with road capacity.

The problem, of course, is that mass transit requires density, and there are few places in the US that are suitable (and many more that are actively resistant). The hope, of course, is that if we make expansion of mass transit a national priority more places will have an incentive to promote higher densities locally.
   74. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 13, 2011 at 07:20 PM (#4015421)
The hope, of course, is that if we make expansion of mass transit a national priority more places will have an incentive to promote higher densities locally.
And to add to this "prioritizing" density in many places simply means removing unnecessary regulations about lot size, height, number of housing units, parking spaces, and so on from the zoning code.
   75. Zonk qualifies as an invasive species Posted: December 13, 2011 at 08:00 PM (#4015469)

What's "fair" for Ma Kettle is "unfair" for the other people who have to subsidize her existence. The value of having a pretty huge, subsidized rural population is just not clear to me, whereas I understand why having lots of people in close proximity to one another (ie, in cities) makes sense.


Just want to be clear that I'm not "anti-rural" -- in fact, I've just reached the point where I've spent half my life (growing up) in a small, rural area of mostly farmland where the nearest shopping center was 30-40 miles away; the nearest grocery store 10, and the other half in a dense, urban environment.

There are quality of life pros and cons to both -- but on balance, I consciously prefer the urban.

We have a lot of space in this country - and I'm perfectly fine with people deciding on either for their own reasons... I don't particularly care to force density on anyone. All I want is the recognition that its those 'dense' areas that subsidize the sparse - not vice versa, and a national system of infrastructure spending that reflects the fact that a particularly dense area does require things like mass transit, public employees to perform all manner of sundry tasks, good pay and benefits to perform particularly distasteful jobs like waste handling, etc.

In effect - I want the rural denizens, or rather, those that represent them in congress and in statehouses - to recognize that everybody burning their trash in a field isn't a universal option. In return for this recognition, I'll be more than happy to keep paying into a system that essentially means every ~$1 I pay in federal and state taxes isn't going to bring ~$1 back in infrastructure spending. There just needs to be a limit - I'm willing to pay more for the amenities that I find valuable, but there's a limit to how much of other folks' preferences I'm willing to subsidize.
   76. CrosbyBird Posted: December 13, 2011 at 08:04 PM (#4015473)
Ma Kettle could have been "stuck" in WY for years, originally settling there partly because of the guarantee of a connection to society via subsidized mail delivery, local telephone service, and local radio. Changing these rules on her is patently unfair.

Ma Kettle should pay her bills online and then she won't need to worry about how expensive it is to mail a letter.

Also, it doesn't have to be more expensive, if we're willing to reduce service. Would it be a tremendous hardship if there were only pickups and deliveries on Mondays and Thursdays? Most of our business and communication can be handled electronically, and we should be pushing for more of that.
   77. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 13, 2011 at 08:20 PM (#4015494)

And yet farms are able to find people to do the work and those people are not dying in the street from poverty and hunger.


No, but they're living in shitty conditions, with limited access to health care, and are ####-out-of-luck if they get hurt and can't work.

Are you seriously unaware of the hideous conditions migrant farm labors live in?

Just b/c it's better than the shitty conditions in Mexico doesn't make it right.
   78. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 13, 2011 at 08:25 PM (#4015499)
who do you think is getting almost all of the cheap labor jobs? if you are NOT illegal, it is very very tough to get jobs in construction, lawn care, maid, in home child care. take a look at who is the cleaning ladies, restaurant workers.

of course, you don't give a darn. you'd rather just have this society where anyone with money can pay a worker as little as they want to - sort of like the ole mine owners/miners - get rid of all government programs to feed and house the poor and let us all starve to death or live like sewer rats in our little ghettos


Well said.

To me, if you're going to take a "libertarian" position that we should not have a massive welfare state (which I agree with), you have to be willing to make systematic structural changes to the economy that make decent jobs available to the working class. Otherwise, you're condemning a large swathe of the population to a perpetual underclass. That's immoral.
   79. RMc Has Bizarre Ideas to Fix Baseball Posted: December 13, 2011 at 08:28 PM (#4015504)
I think it's a safe assumption that "give money to our key voting blocs" is a pretty consistent approach of any political party.

The difference is that one party wants to take the existing pile of money and give to their pals, while the other party wants to take the existing pile of money plus a bunch more and give to their pals. Charming.

What wound up happening, I think, is that the GOP went too far right and left for me -- too far right on social questions, and too far left financially. Neither party is interested in anything resembling fiscal restraint: GWBush, who the media considered to be little more than a right-wing fanatic, wound up expanding the government by billions of dollars. Of course, that's better than to our current prez, who basically flushed a trillion dollars down the toilet. (Well, at least the economy is back and people have jobs again, right? Oh. Never mind.)

of course, you don't give a darn. you'd rather just have this society where anyone with money can pay a worker as little as they want to - sort of like the ole mine owners/miners - get rid of all government programs to feed and house the poor and let us all starve to death or live like sewer rats in our little ghettos


Ah, I love the smell of class warfare in the morning!
   80. McCoy Posted: December 13, 2011 at 08:39 PM (#4015522)
if you are NOT illegal, it is very very tough to get jobs in construction, lawn care, maid, in home child care. take a look at who is the cleaning ladies, restaurant workers.

Takes a look around my job. Legal residents and citizens that's who.
   81. Curse of the Andino Posted: December 13, 2011 at 08:39 PM (#4015524)
I used to love taking the DC Metro; it used to be truly great. Well, I don't know what the hell happened, but in the last couple of years or so it has gone almost completely down the shitter. The more expensive it has become to ride, the worse the service has gotten.

It has gotten to the point where I would rather pay ten bucks to park in a lot than four or five bucks to ride that awful system, and it's going to stay that way for me until they fix their issues.


Yup. I can remember in the late '90s, when I still worked for other people, DC Metro was perfect, (the Red Line!) Only problem was once an hour you had to wait 10 minutes at Grosvenor off-peak, and around $1.15 each way. Stations were clean, tickets were free, escalators worked. Over time I've just stopped using it, unless I had to be in the city at 9 or something. Most of the bad experiences recently have been coming back from NY (on bus or train), another 90 minutes plus to get home from Union Station/Chinatown on the Red Line.

So, I just drive to NY, parking free at the outer buroughs.

I've heard that at least one member of Metro's Board of Trustees now actually uses the service these days, so hopefully DC'll get better.
   82. McCoy Posted: December 13, 2011 at 08:43 PM (#4015528)
No, but they're living in shitty conditions, with limited access to health care, and are ####-out-of-luck if they get hurt and can't work.

So?

Shitty conditions compared to what? Limited access to health care compared to what? And why shouldn't they be #### ouf of luck if they get hurt and can't work?
   83. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 13, 2011 at 08:49 PM (#4015538)
I for one would like to hear more from our resident political centrist on the left-wing economic policy of GW Bush.

Also, his centrist characterization of support for minimum wages as class warfare further intrigues me. The political center must be a fascinating place.
   84. aleskel Posted: December 13, 2011 at 08:56 PM (#4015548)
I for one would like to hear more from our resident political centrist on the left-wing economic policy of GW Bush.

Well, he expended public funds on popular domestic programs (like Medicare). To the right wing, that's apparently the road to Bolshevism.
   85. Dr. Vaux Posted: December 13, 2011 at 09:03 PM (#4015559)
This seems like a goofy argument.

In denser, hub-and-spoke-ish areas, mass transit makes sense and gets used. In spread-out suburban areas, it doesn't make as much sense and isn't used as much. In rural areas, it makes no sense and isn't used.

I live in the Chicago (far) north suburbs. When I worked in the Loop, I usually took the Metra train. It made sense: I could avoid traffic, read a book, and even save money. When I got a new job in the suburbs, I drove, because taking a bus would've made the commute take 3+ hours. NFW.

So I guess I don't understand the controversy.


This. I will say that I've seen a lot more hatred of cars and drivers of cars by public transit fanatic than the other way around. I find that interesting.

Promoting density in rural areas is never going to work, because many people who live in rural areas live there because --- get ready for this --- they don't want to live in a dense environment. And this country happens to have plenty of room, so it's possible to have less dense living environments. Pollution is a big problem, for sure, but putting all our resources into public transit and density isn't the only way to deal with it. Putting resources into less-polluting vehicles is also an option.
   86. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 13, 2011 at 09:06 PM (#4015564)
Well, he expended public funds on popular domestic programs (like Medicare). To the right wing, that's apparently the road to Bolshevism.
Right. George W. Bush indeed instituted a number of expansions of government. The people who oppose George W. Bush's economic policy as insufficiently right-wing are those people who fall well to the right of George W Bush on economic policy - rightists.

A very common description of Barack Obama in leftist discourse is that he is "our best conservative president since Clinton." This is what (some) leftists think, and within left-wing discourse the claim makes sense. But just like the critique of GW Bush for being too far to the left, it only makes sense within the terms of discussion of the political side from which it springs.
   87. Zonk qualifies as an invasive species Posted: December 13, 2011 at 09:19 PM (#4015586)
The difference is that one party wants to take the existing pile of money and give to their pals, while the other party wants to take the existing pile of money plus a bunch more and give to their pals. Charming.

What wound up happening, I think, is that the GOP went too far right and left for me -- too far right on social questions, and too far left financially. Neither party is interested in anything resembling fiscal restraint: GWBush, who the media considered to be little more than a right-wing fanatic, wound up expanding the government by billions of dollars. Of course, that's better than to our current prez, who basically flushed a trillion dollars down the toilet. (Well, at least the economy is back and people have jobs again, right? Oh. Never mind.)


OK... I think it's high time the nation's rightist Overton provocateurs started paying some sort of royalties.

But in particular, I think it's silly to compare a party that says they want to cut spending - but really, just wants to cut programs they dislike while expanding the overall outlays (helloooo Pentagon), all without adding any taxes to pay for it to a party that does philosophically believe in public spending but is quite willing to pay for it via revenue (TAXES! BOO!)
   88. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: December 13, 2011 at 09:22 PM (#4015592)
Some more grist for the mill

Washington (CNN) -- A federal safety board called Tuesday for a nationwide ban on the use of cell phones and text messaging devices while driving.

The recommendation is the most far-reaching yet by the National Transportation Safety Board, which in the past 10 years has increasingly sought to limit the use of portable electronic devices -- recommending bans for novice drivers, school bus drivers and commercial truckers. Tuesday's recommendation, if adopted by states, would outlaw non-emergency phone calls and texting by operators of every vehicle on the road.

It would apply to hands-free as well as hand-held devices, but devices installed in the vehicle by the manufacturer would be allowed, the NTSB said.


So, is this about safety, or is it about some goodies for certain businesses that install and provide service for the cell phones in the cars?
   89. The Good Face Posted: December 13, 2011 at 09:26 PM (#4015597)
To me, if you're going to take a "libertarian" position that we should not have a massive welfare state (which I agree with), you have to be willing to make systematic structural changes to the economy that make decent jobs available to the working class. Otherwise, you're condemning a large swathe of the population to a perpetual underclass. That's immoral.


That horse has already left the barn. For better or worse, we've developed an economy that simply doesn't need a great deal of unskilled or semi-skilled labor. If you're an American citizen with a below average IQ and no trade, you probably don't have much of a role in our economy. To the extent we DO need that labor, we've either outsourced it to Asia, or brought in helots from Latin America to do the stuff that can't be done overseas. Getting rid of the illegals won't help all that much. There are a lot of people who are happy to have their houses cleaned at $85 a pop, but make it $150 and suddenly they'll start cleaning their own damn houses. Bringing unskilled factory jobs back to the states would require a degree of social and political upheaval such that it might well require a revolution. And fat people make for lousy revolutionaries.
   90. Tom Nawrocki Posted: December 13, 2011 at 09:32 PM (#4015603)
Of course, that's better than to our current prez, who basically flushed a trillion dollars down the toilet.


Yes, we flushed a trillion dollars down the toilet in Iraq, but G.W. Bush isn't our current president any more.

I suppose you were greatly opposed to that little bit of government spending, too.
   91. TVerik, who wonders what the hell is "Ansky" Posted: December 13, 2011 at 09:34 PM (#4015606)
So, is this about safety, or is it about some goodies for certain businesses that install and provide service for the cell phones in the cars?


Why can't it be both? Why can't you be interested in public safety at the same time as you have business interests?
   92. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: December 13, 2011 at 09:47 PM (#4015624)
The hope, of course, is that if we make expansion of mass transit a national priority more places will have an incentive to promote higher densities locally.
See, libertarians are quite sympathetic to claims that the government shouldn't be subsidizing one lifestyle over another, and shouldn't be zoning out higher density housing, etc. But then every time we think about aligning ourselves with people who hold those views, we're slapped in the face with the reminder that those people really want the government to swing over to the opposite side. They want to force (or "encourage," or "incentivize") people to live in urban hellholes instead of nice low-density suburbs where all the decent god-fearing people with children live.

(Okay, maybe that last part was over the top.) The thing is, so many of these planners think that people don't really want to live in low-density suburbs, that we've somehow been tricked into it by government policy. Many of us do. We like driving. We don't want to live on top of our neighbors (figuratively or literally). We want yards, not parks. We don't want to depend on mass transit. I'm not saying everyone does, or should, feel that way; I'm saying that some people actually do.
   93. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 13, 2011 at 09:50 PM (#4015628)
That horse has already left the barn. For better or worse, we've developed an economy that simply doesn't need a great deal of unskilled or semi-skilled labor. If you're an American citizen with a below average IQ and no trade, you probably don't have much of a role in our economy. To the extent we DO need that labor, we've either outsourced it to Asia, or brought in helots from Latin America to do the stuff that can't be done overseas. Getting rid of the illegals won't help all that much. There are a lot of people who are happy to have their houses cleaned at $85 a pop, but make it $150 and suddenly they'll start cleaning their own damn houses. Bringing unskilled factory jobs back to the states would require a degree of social and political upheaval such that it might well require a revolution. And fat people make for lousy revolutionaries.

Do you really think gradually raising tariffs, and tightening border controls will cause "social and political upheaval"?

I don't think anyone's going to riot b/c they can't get a flat-screen TV for $300, or Nike's gross profit margin falls to 80% from 90%, or their maid now makes $12/hr instead of $7?

Those fat people won't riot either way, and I think it's abhorrent to accept the idea of a "helot" class in America.
   94. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: December 13, 2011 at 09:52 PM (#4015629)
Promoting density in rural areas is never going to work, because many people who live in rural areas live there because --- get ready for this --- they don't want to live in a dense environment. And this country happens to have plenty of room, so it's possible to have less dense living environments.


This. Poll WY residents and they will likely tell you: 1. Leave me alone, 2. I hate cities (and the negative that they bring, even as they freely trade away the good things of a large city) 3. Where can you get this (points over your shoulder at Rockies/Tetons/Big Horns/Bison/Elk/Bear/miles of barren arid land/minerals. It's not like these are people starving for a way to move to Billings, Boise, Fort Collins, Denver or Salt Lake City.

My folks have lived in the 'nowhere' for over a decade, and in conversing with them and their circle of other long time WY residents, or retirees like themselves, ensuring high speed internet access is about the lone unifying demand they have from government (besides 'leave me alone'). I don't think that's asking for too much considering the U.S. Government owns 48% of the land in the State.
   95. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 13, 2011 at 09:54 PM (#4015635)
Okay, maybe that last part was over the top.) The thing is, so many of these planners think that people don't really want to live in low-density suburbs, that we've somehow been tricked into it by government policy. Many of us do. We like driving. We don't want to live on top of our neighbors (figuratively or literally). We want yards, not parks. We don't want to depend on mass transit. I'm not saying everyone does, or should, feel that way; I'm saying that some people actually do.
...
This. Poll WY residents and they will likely tell you: 1. Leave me alone, 2. I hate cities (and the negative that they bring, even as they freely trade away the good things of a large city) 3. Where can you get this (points over your shoulder at Rockies/Tetons/Big Horns/Bison/Elk/Bear/miles of barren arid land/minerals. It's not like these are people starving for a way to move to Billings, Boise, Fort Collins, Denver or Salt Lake City.
And yet housing costs are far higher in cities. The "revealed preference" of the masses is for city living, and they pay a very significant premium for it. Enabling greater density development isn't about forcing people into living situations they don't want, it's about responding properly to the actual demand in the market.
   96. McCoy Posted: December 13, 2011 at 09:56 PM (#4015638)
I don't think anybody is saying you can't live in less dense areas. Only that people should have to pay the true cost of where they chose to live.
   97. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 13, 2011 at 09:59 PM (#4015642)
I don't think anybody is saying you can't live in less dense areas. Only that people should have to pay the true cost of where they chose to live.

But doesn't that theory contradict the desire to subsidize mass-transit?

The cost of maintaining a subway system in NY is ~$5 per ride. Why shouldn't the riders pay that?
   98. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 13, 2011 at 10:04 PM (#4015652)
The cost of maintaining a subway system in NY is ~$5 per ride. Why shouldn't the riders pay that?
Well, the overall question is whether there are more costs to the system overall from more- or less-dense living, and whether the benefits paid out by the government are balances according to the costs. If the subsidization of mass transit is a small benefit for city dwellers compared to the larger benefits paid out to folks who live in more spread out areas, then his point would not be contradictory in the least.
   99. . Posted: December 13, 2011 at 10:10 PM (#4015660)
The cost of maintaining a subway system in NY is ~$5 per ride. Why shouldn't the riders pay that?

Because the essentially on-demand availablity of it has value.
   100. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 13, 2011 at 10:15 PM (#4015666)
Because the essentially on-demand availablity of it has value.

Not very much to people who don't ever ride it, and the exact same argument can be made for road subsidies.

Well, the overall question is whether there are more costs to the system overall from more- or less-dense living, and whether the benefits paid out by the government are balances according to the costs. If the subsidization of mass transit is a small benefit for city dwellers compared to the larger benefits paid out to folks who live in more spread out areas, then his point would not be contradictory in the least.

BTW, I'm not opposed to all mass transit subsidies; I think they're overdone (especially in places that don't have the necessary density), but probably have a place.

I'm just saying, neither side is arguing from a position of ideological purity.
Page 1 of 3 pages  1 2 3 > 

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Rough Carrigan
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (November 2018)
(517 - 8:49pm, Nov 20)
Last: PreservedFish

NewsblogOT - NBA Thread (2018-19 season kickoff edition)
(2667 - 8:31pm, Nov 20)
Last: PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina

NewsblogThe View is Always Better When You're the Lead Dog
(8 - 8:23pm, Nov 20)
Last: Sweatpants

NewsblogCalcaterra - Adrián Beltré Retires, is a Slam Dunk Hall of Famer
(16 - 8:23pm, Nov 20)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

NewsblogOT - 2018 NFL thread
(94 - 8:07pm, Nov 20)
Last: AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther

NewsblogAmazon bids for Disney’s 22 regional sports networks, including YES Network, sources say
(39 - 8:02pm, Nov 20)
Last: McCoy

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 2018 Discussion
(8 - 7:50pm, Nov 20)
Last: Kiko Sakata

Sox TherapyLet’s Get Off-Seasoning!
(10 - 7:46pm, Nov 20)
Last: Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature

NewsblogThe Sky Is Falling, Baseball Is Dying, and the Roof May Leak
(22 - 7:29pm, Nov 20)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogDrafting High School Pitchers Is a Major Problem for MLB, Health of Young Prospects
(8 - 7:17pm, Nov 20)
Last: cardsfanboy

Newsblog2019 BBWAA HALL OF FAME BALLOT
(63 - 6:54pm, Nov 20)
Last: SoSH U at work

Hall of Merit2019 Hall of Merit Ballot Discussion
(196 - 6:44pm, Nov 20)
Last: bachslunch

NewsblogOpening Day possible for Pedroia, who doesn't need offseason surgery
(3 - 6:13pm, Nov 20)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

NewsblogDeadline to set 40-man rosters tonight (11-20)
(2 - 6:03pm, Nov 20)
Last: Dr. Vaux

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-20-2018
(11 - 5:56pm, Nov 20)
Last: Dr. Vaux

Page rendered in 0.8162 seconds
46 querie(s) executed