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Cobra11M

join:2010-12-23
reply to CXM_Splicer

Re: 9;

so true, the private sector is broken (by my opinion) sure I mean they deserve to make money, heck they invest and build the infrastructure, but the idea was to have investors invest in long term no one is doing that anymore everyone wants quick money thus things like internet connectivity for rural America is being stripped away, wall street is pushing the companies to make a quick buck then rather a bigger check for a longer amount of time, the economy isn't helping the problem either in fact its worsening the problem. The problems that this country is facing isn't gonna be fixed with either Obama or Mitt, both answer to the same people in a way and it will def take a awaking to the people for anything to change.

Companies are not scared of investing or expanding they answer to wall street and investors for short term profits, wall street will not expand to rural anytime soon you can bet on that


Crookshanks

join:2008-02-04
Binghamton, NY
Reviews:
·Frontier Communi..
reply to a333

If passenger trains are so great why can't they successfully compete without support from the government? Why aren't they self sustaining anywhere outside of the Northeast Corridor? Do you really think that high speed rail offers benefits compelling enough to justify the use of eminent domain against countless property owners? What of the environmental impact of thousands of miles of new track? How does it ever compete financially against air travel, which requires no new infrastructure, no use of eminent domain, and has no NIMBY pushback from the communities between point a and b?

I'm sorry, but I've never understood the fascination that people have with rail. It's great for moving freight, getting around the city, and for regional trips. Cross country trips? Not so much.



Xioden
Premium
join:2008-06-10
Monticello, NY
kudos:1

1 recommendation

reply to Telco

said by Telco:

Actually, it was just another example of the private sector not having the stomach or willpower to push a project like this.

This is precisely why government needs to step in an own a wholesale FTTH network that anyone can use to deliver high-speed internet to Americans.

Yup I agree. Would run in government ~150 billion dollars to wire every single house in the country with FTTH. It would be a HUGE economic stimulus, create tons of jobs, and a good chunk of that money would be coming back as income tax since a lot of that ~150 billion would be labor. Hell, it wouldn't even cost us anything, just redirect a few % of the defense budget for a couple years and it's covered.

But meh, who am I kidding. Investing in our own infrastructure, creating jobs when unemployment is through the roof and actually doing something useful with tax dollars makes way too much sense so it will never happen.


a333
A hot cup of integrals please

join:2007-06-12
Rego Park, NY
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US
·Verizon Online DSL
·Cingular Wireless
reply to Crookshanks

Perhaps not cross-country trips, but linking up the length of each coastline and its major centers using the EXISTING tracks (but improving them so that they are worthy of high-speed service) is certainly something worth pursuing. There is a whole lot of track that could be put into service similar to the 300 Km/h (~ 187 Mph) service found in portions of the UK, and in a lot of Europe, but we need to renew the trackbed, install concrete sleepers, and install cab-based signalling (typically, safe operation of a train cannot exist with traditional lineside signals above ~125 mph). All of those combined cost quite a lot less than building a whole new line (and don't require the headaches of new zoning/permits/et. al.)

Also, air has its own growing pains these days... increased traffic means we have to re-think an air traffic control system that hasn't been re-thought since the 1960's. New runways also lead to NIMBY cases who do not want to be put in the approach path, and experience the associated noise (or at least the perceived noise), or the potential safety hazards.
--
Physics: Will you break the laws of physics, or will the laws of physics break you?
If physicists stand on each other's shoulders, computer scientists stand on each other's toes, and computer programmers dig each other's graves.


xexx

join:2004-09-03
Aledo, TX
Reviews:
·Skybeam.net
reply to FFH

said by FFH See Profile

Ever hear of a diesel generator? They provided electricity to farms for decades before Franklin Roosevelt rolled out his rural electrification pgm.
[/BQUOTE :

Are you seriously claiming a diesel generator is anywhere near as useful or powerful enough to run modern farming areas and homes with power? Who needs electricity when you have horses to pull equipment anyway!


CXM_Splicer
Looking at the bigger picture
Premium
join:2011-08-11
NYC
kudos:1

1 recommendation

reply to openbox9

said by openbox9:

Less efficient than what? How about the notion of paying employees for their labor instead of reinvesting that money into the company being less efficient? Employees want to be paid just as owners do. There's a balance. We've discussed this before.

Hahaha, you are going to compare workers getting paid to generate profits for a company to shareholders who get paid to... ummm... why do they get paid? Oh yea, to ensure Wall St. bankers will be willing to loan them money if they need it. As we have discussed before, shareholder primacy is not required for a successful company (nor is even being public).

said by openbox9:

... which I believe is the real crux of your point.

Yes, it was. There is also the glaring example often discussed in here... the RIAA/MPAA. When business resists innovation because they would rather pursue their profit model, that is their right. When they sue to stop others from innovating (VCRs, MP3 players, community broadband) then we have a broken system that needs to be fixed.

said by openbox9:

And there are plenty of successful private business efforts in operation as well. Once again, there can be a balance.

Agreed. I don't claim that all business needs to be taken over by the government, that would not be desirable. But when a system no longer working, it is up to the government (aka the people) to fix it. The concepts that the 'free market' will do it or business is always right are dangerous fallacies.

openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
japan
kudos:2

said by CXM_Splicer:

Hahaha, you are going to compare workers getting paid to generate profits for a company to shareholders who get paid to.

I did not compare labor to owners. I was questioning your use of "efficient".
said by CXM_Splicer:

When they sue to stop others from innovating (VCRs, MP3 players, community broadband) then we have a broken system that needs to be fixed.

It seems to me that the system functions just fine since your cited examples have all survived the light of day. I'll grant you that the incumbent businesses would have been better served advancing their business models (hindsight tends to be 20/20) instead of attempting to squash the competition, but those were business decisions.
said by CXM_Splicer:

The concepts that the 'free market' will do it or business is always right are dangerous fallacies.

Agreed. I've never stated either of those as utmost truths.


jduffy
Premium
join:2006-08-20
Cincinnati, OH
reply to Telco

Yeah, especially since everything the government gets into is so successful like solar power, the postal "service", Amtrak, welfare, social security, etc.
--
Atheists swear there is no Heaven, but pray there isn't a Hell.


Crookshanks

join:2008-02-04
Binghamton, NY
Reviews:
·Frontier Communi..
reply to CXM_Splicer

said by CXM_Splicer:

Hahaha, you are going to compare workers getting paid to generate profits for a company to shareholders who get paid to... ummm... why do they get paid?

Do you have a 401(k)? Does it have mutual funds in it? If your answers are "yes", then you're a shareholder in VZ, amongst other companies, and you profit from those dividends.

Crookshanks

join:2008-02-04
Binghamton, NY
Reviews:
·Frontier Communi..
reply to a333

said by a333:

Perhaps not cross-country trips, but linking up the length of each coastline and its major centers using the EXISTING tracks (but improving them so that they are worthy of high-speed service) is certainly something worth pursuing.

Why? What niche will it fill that isn't filled cheaper and more efficiently by air travel?

As it stands, the only reason trains are more attractive for mid-range regional trips (think Boston to DC) is because you don't have to deal with the post 9/11 security regime and resulting delays. The travel time is roughly the same once you take airport security into account. It remains unclear how much longer this will remain an advantage, TSA is currently attempting to expand their security theater into other forms of transportation, including rail and bus stations. Fixing airport security would solve a lot of problems with our air travel system, but that's an entirely different discussion!

said by a333:

All of those combined cost quite a lot less than building a whole new line (and don't require the headaches of new zoning/permits/et. al.)

So why doesn't the private sector do it? It would be all over it if there was money to be made. Why should the Government step in and spend billions of dollars on rail, particularly when we have other infrastructure (roads and bridges) demanding attention. That infrastructure is already the responsibility of Government, and most would agree that it's failing us, how many other first world countries have had bridge collapses in a major metropolitan area?

said by a333:

Also, air has its own growing pains these days... increased traffic means we have to re-think an air traffic control system that hasn't been re-thought since the 1960's. New runways also lead to NIMBY cases who do not want to be put in the approach path, and experience the associated noise (or at least the perceived noise), or the potential safety hazards.

Well, the air traffic control system needs to be modernized regardless, though a lot of issues there could be solved simply by hiring more people. I concur that air travel has it's own NIMBY issues, I just think they are easier to manage than those from rail.

Speaking more broadly, NIMBY, and its step child BANANA, are holding us back more than our mass transit system. Everybody wants cell phone reception, but nobody wants to look at a communications tower. Everybody wants cheaper electricity, but it requires a major battle to obtain the required right-of-ways to build new transmission lines. Politicians grandstand, the tin-foil hat (cell phone towers cause cancer!) crowd comes out, and any new infrastructure project turns into an expensive public relations nightmare.

Our excessively burdensome regulatory structure does not help matters either. It took more than a decade to complete the environmental impact studies for the Cape Wind project. Combine that with the nasty PR/NIMBY battle and it's a wonder the company behind the project didn't pull out in favor of investing their capital elsewhere. Would you have the patience to sit on billions of dollars of capital for more than a decade, when you could send it elsewhere, probably offshore, and earn returns today?
Expand your moderator at work


jesferkicks

@comcast.net
reply to Rich

Re: 9;

If money was to be made, as you say, the companies would find a way to do it. And I agree with the Amtrak guy. Way I see it if the government was put in charge of the Sahara Desert, it would be out of sand in 5 years.

And how about the folks who already have fiber, you wish them to give up more taxes so you can have it? That's raw.



NOCMan
MacChatter
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Colorado Springs, CO

Companies will not do it, because investors are only interested in short term profits not long term gains. I bet if we changed capital gains taxes and pushed them out five years or a decade things would work themselves out. Investors would quit betting on short term investments in invest into things what will profit in the long run.
--
Ski News - Ski Colorado Blog
Web Hosting - www.FrontRangeHosting.com



NOCMan
MacChatter
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Colorado Springs, CO
reply to TuxRaiderPen

Once the airlines all go bankrupt because of rising fuel prices rail will become the only link between smaller cities as the airlines contract back to major hubs and the commuter routes are dropped. It's must a matter of time that's all.
--
Ski News - Ski Colorado Blog
Web Hosting - www.FrontRangeHosting.com


CXM_Splicer
Looking at the bigger picture
Premium
join:2011-08-11
NYC
kudos:1
reply to openbox9

said by openbox9:

I did not compare labor to owners. I was questioning your use of "efficient".

I am not sure I understand your questioning. Surely you understand the relationship between company, labor, and customer. Take away any one of those and you cease to have a 'business'. If you don't want to pay labor (and hence have no labor) you will have no business to reinvest into.

Since the role of the shareholders is very similar to that of a bank, I would ask you this: Would you agree that it is grossly inefficient for a company to continue to pay on a loan indefinitely even after the loan is paid off? If there is a scenario where this could be considered 'efficient' I would be very interested in hearing about it.... and 'to ensure the prospects of securing future funding' is not what I would consider an efficient use of the profits.
Expand your moderator at work

CXM_Splicer
Looking at the bigger picture
Premium
join:2011-08-11
NYC
kudos:1
reply to Crookshanks

Re: 9;

said by Crookshanks:

Do you have a 401(k)? Does it have mutual funds in it? If your answers are "yes", then you're a shareholder in VZ, amongst other companies, and you profit from those dividends.

Yes, I do. As a matter of fact, being an employee of Verizon, my 401k receives a company match of VZ stock so I have a good amount of it... but I fail to see your point. Are you suggesting that since I am a shareholder myself that I am disallowed from pointing out what I think are flaws in the system? FWIW, if Verizon gave me a choice, I would not have any of their stock at all; I would be fine with a better pension and a paid-off place to live.

openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
japan
kudos:2

1 recommendation

reply to NOCMan

Long term-capital gains are already favored in the tax code.

said by NOCMan:

Investors would quit betting on short term investments in invest into things what will profit in the long run.

Plenty of investors do, including many big money managers. I think short-term investor profits above all costs is a meme primarily created to help consumers cope with dissatisfying business decisions.

alancats

join:2000-09-20
New York, NY
Reviews:
·ViaTalk

2 recommendations

reply to Telco

Your post is misguided and ignorant. Verizon spent roughly $25 billion building out their FIOS network. They have every right in the world to start making a return on that investment. Only someone who possessed an obscenely profligate, big government mindset and a total ignorance of economics would fail to understand what a massive investment of money this represents. This was a gigantic risk for Verizon, and they took plenty of heat from investors because of it. They have an obligation to make a return for their shareholders, not to be foolishly altruistic and continue to fund a massive expansion where it doesn't make economic sense to do so.

And, of course, you further posit -- against all common sense -- that we need the benevolent hand of the federal government to step in and provide broadband. Any person who sees government intervention as a panacea for every problem, whether real or perceived, is stunningly naive.


openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
japan
kudos:2
reply to CXM_Splicer

said by CXM_Splicer:

Since the role of the shareholders is very similar to that of a bank, I would ask you this: Would you agree that it is grossly inefficient for a company to continue to pay on a loan indefinitely even after the loan is paid off?

The role of shareholders is more akin to that of the company, not a bank. Shareholders are owners and as such are entitled to the profits of the company. If you owned 1/4 of a business, wouldn't you expect to be compensated...at least a little? As I've stated many times, there is a balance between distributing profits to owners and reinvesting those earnings in the company for potential growth.


jesferkicks

@comcast.net
reply to NOCMan

Dunno if taxes would change anything, they already penalize investors for short term ( year at cap gain rates). If companies won't do it, what did Verizon just do until it got in over its head? It will take awhile but all the big boys know fiber is the only way they can take on the inevitable increase in traffic or start capping monthly gigs which goes over really big time with customers.

And for the guy bringing up the highway system as a plus for government sponsored constuction. In Alabama, highway 75 makes its north south route through Montgomery instead of the straighter route (also the route presented by the construction companies) through Selma at a megamillion dollar addition to the cost -- which the taxpayers got stuck for. Government has little business doing business.


CXM_Splicer
Looking at the bigger picture
Premium
join:2011-08-11
NYC
kudos:1
reply to openbox9

said by openbox9:

The role of shareholders is more akin to that of the company, not a bank. Shareholders are owners and as such are entitled to the profits of the company. If you owned 1/4 of a business, wouldn't you expect to be compensated...at least a little? As I've stated many times, there is a balance between distributing profits to owners and reinvesting those earnings in the company for potential growth.

I certainly understand that the mechanism is different... yes, shareholders are considered owners of the company to the extent of the number of shares they own, but there is little (to no) effective difference between shareholders and a bank (unless you suggest they provide something other than funding). I would submit that a 1/4 owner of a business is there because he/she brought something to the table other than just funding. It is possible that there are there just for funding (and playing the exact role of a bank) but that begs the question... do they somehow deserve to have their profits maximized at the expense of the business model conceived by the other three? To answer your question (even though you side-stepped mine ) YES, as 1/4 owner, I would expect to be compensated with 1/4 the profits of the business. But I would also understand that I was there because I believed in the ability of the other three to make me profits using their business model and not try to modify it... otherwise, why would I have invested in the first place? People who contemplate this line of thinking will start to realize the true nature of Wall St.

While I see a great deal of imbalance in today's world, you HAVE stated many times the need for balance and I appreciate that... I do not see you as unreasonable and I enjoy the dialog.

openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
japan
kudos:2

If you must link investors to a bank, then I'll grant you that the debt holders are most like banks. Equity owners are not.

said by CXM_Splicer:

I would submit that a 1/4 owner of a business is there because he/she brought something to the table other than just funding.

And I would submit, from personal experience, that owners/investors don't have to play an active role and can indeed simply provide a line of funding to make a business work. Think silent investor.
said by CXM_Splicer:

do they somehow deserve to have their profits maximized at the expense of the business model conceived by the other three?

Once again, balance.
said by CXM_Splicer:

While I see a great deal of imbalance in today's world, you HAVE stated many times the need for balance and I appreciate that... I do not see you as unreasonable and I enjoy the dialog.

Thank you. Likewise to you good Sir.
said by CXM_Splicer:

To answer your question (even though you side-stepped mine )

I didn't sidestep your question considering I don't view equity owners as banks. The debt holders on the other hand, no, I would not expect them to receive their coupons beyond when their bonds mature, nor do they receive such payments.

TuxRaiderPen

join:2009-09-19
reply to Crookshanks

said by Crookshanks:
If passenger trains are so great why can't they successfully compete without support from the government?
Railroads that moved freight AND people ie: passenger service built some of the largest corporations and wealthiest persons in the US at one time. Combine the runs! If you have cars to take from area a to the yard in b to be transferred out to other trains put them in the consist for the passenger run, at least on the local/regional feeders to the high speed line.

Now a days the RR's reroute traffic around passenger service lines like they have the plague or something... gee they managed to share the same lines for hundreds of years before no reason they can't now, other than lawyers.

cars are a big part of the demise of train travel, and even air travel.

said by Crookshanks:
Do you really think that high speed rail offers benefits compelling enough to justify the use of eminent domain against countless property owners?
Had the RR not been allowed to abandon and let rot or allowed to remove lines, or abandon/remove/turn to trails a good bit of infrastructure would not have to be REBUILT but upgraded.

And YES 10000000% I approve of taking back the land to provide for a high speed rail feeder system to feed local service to every hick 1 cow town in the US!

said by Crookshanks:
What of the environmental impact of thousands of miles of new track?
I do not care one bit about environmental impacts.

said by Crookshanks:
How does it ever compete financially against air travel, which requires no new infrastructure, no use of eminent domain, and has no NIMBY pushback from the communities between point a and b?
Thats why the government will have to be the one to take the land and then turn it over to some one else OTHER THAN AMTRAK!

So how's that air travel working out????

Delta is killing its regional service, all those great regional jets are going to sit in the AZ desert now till the next revival... All the others are doing the same the regional airlines are going to be gone... Rail offers a good way to do local transit to feed to stations for regional rail travel and then on to the high speed line.

Cities are going to loose the only air travel they have! Some would required hours long drives. Rail service could pick this up.

I am all for regional airlines too... fuel cost is the problem.. it should not be... since the US occupies a country with the 3-4th largest oil supply... it should be running down the streets of the US like water. And similar cost... Put it in a tanker and ship it to the US.. Thats why we were/are there, period. The next problem is refining, the greenie weenie tree huggers kill every project for refineries or nuclear power plants. Arrested and deported for economic terrorism. bye bye enjoy Gitmo!

Plain and simple we need to get alternatives to oil for jet fuel, to electric generation to vehicle (cars/trucks) fuel.. If some South American country, brazil, can convert to ethanol than this country can too! Plenty of sources for it in non corn or other non food stocks.

1) Every oil burning electric plant in the US is REQUIRED to convert to nuclear or sustainable source (NOT COAL or Natural gas! has nothing to do with the environment! it needs to be a one time switch nuclear or some sort of other fuel, like garbage... that can be renewed.

2) gasoline vehicles are phased out for ethanol vehicles.

Ethanol is produced from what ever sustainable sources.. sugar cane, switch grass, garbage, grass clippings, wood processing remainders what ever.. there was a whole slew of development on these things...

said by Crookshanks:
I'm sorry, but I've never understood the fascination that people have with rail. It's great for moving freight, getting around the city, and for regional trips. Cross country trips? Not so much.
Because you have never ridden a train... Not ever trip is about being there instantly. If I have a time frame to meet then air travel is probably the only choice for some situations. Rail travel across the UK, france, Germnay etc. exists and is used by large.... Some time its not about getting there NOW NOW NOW.. its about getting there in peace and quiet.

I'll take trains when its possible and air when I need to... but trains is not an option for 98% of the US... At one time is was as ubiquitous as water. Thats a sad testament to this country.
--
1311393600 - Back to Black.....Black....Black....

TuxRaiderPen

join:2009-09-19
reply to Crookshanks

said by Crookshanks:

Fastest passenger train speed: 200mph
Time from NYC to LA: 14 hours

Jumbo jet cruising speed: 485mph
Time from NYC to LA: 6 hours

Hmm, perhaps this has something to do with it?


Not every one needs or wants to be there instantly, and cross country does not mean only la or nyc...both places I have no interest in visiting, living or anything else...

A high speed line needs to serve all major cities, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Nashville, Chattanooga, Mepmphis Dallas,Atlanta, chicago, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Reno, Salt Lake, san francisco, sacramento, san diego, Billings, Butte, etc...
--
1311393600 - Back to Black.....Black....Black....

TuxRaiderPen

join:2009-09-19
reply to Crookshanks

said by Crookshanks:
Why? What niche will it fill that isn't filled cheaper and more efficiently by air travel?
Many areas about to loose their ONLY portion of your annointed air service as the regional jets are parked, the regional airlines killed off all so very similar to the way passenger service on rail died.

said by Crookshanks:
advantage, TSA is currently attempting to expand their security theater into other forms of transportation, including rail and bus stations.
At least you got that part right... "theater."

said by Crookshanks:
So why doesn't the private sector do it? It would be all over it if there was money to be made.
The difference between the concept of profit and profiteering, thats why... companies will only take risks if there is HUGE PROFITS versus a smaller profit on the same project.

said by Crookshanks:
Why should the Government step in and spend billions of dollars on rail, particularly when we have other infrastructure (roads and bridges) demanding attention. That infrastructure is already the responsibility of Government, and most would agree that it's failing

J O B S..... Thats why... and no this ain't no "New Deal!"
--
1311393600 - Back to Black.....Black....Black....
Expand your moderator at work

jetpowercom

join:2001-07-11
Culver City, CA
reply to FifthE1ement

Re: 9;

Apologies - just lurking here, trying to understand why Verizon is so weak-minded as to stop fiber a block away from my house, and noticed the claim that the Postal Service is "hemorrhaging" money.

Very briefly: USPS is designed to break even, and it does. Only since Congress throttled it in 2006 with the unique and extreme 75-in-10 not-yet-hired employees' retirement health care funding burden - with no means to address this debit - has USPS begun to experience its current paper crisis.

Rather than forcing sale of assets - high-volume post offices - where USPS profits are made, Congress could be tasking USPS, with its ginormous digital network and analog footprint, with a digital buildout that would both streamline its legal obligation to provide affordable communication to every American address and drive down the usurious cost of internet in America.

I said "briefly;" this is a bare summary, just to note that USPS is a balanced government service that pays for itself (but could wipe private carriers off the map if provided the same competitive tools they enjoy).

It comes down to where you draw the "essential/non-essential" line. I draw it at equal access to resources. That's the least (and perhaps that's all) that government should provide. The Post Office has provided equal access by law since our country's founding. All taxpayers - not just "ratepayers" - SHOULD pay for postal service, in whatever paper and digital forms its government agency can provide it.

Isn't equal communication what we all want? What a coincidence - it's also our Constitutional guarantee.


alancats

join:2000-09-20
New York, NY
Reviews:
·ViaTalk

1 recommendation

reply to Xioden

Sure; let's spend more money we don't have and incur even more indebtedness. Brilliant economic strategy.

If a business model has merit, the private sector will build it at its own expense, because money can be made off of it. When government interferes in the free market, the economic Darwinism of the free market falls by the wayside, and you end up with Solyndra, Fisker, etc. -- companies that used the artificial crutch of taxpayer funds to avoid developing viable business models, because they were artificially insulated from having to survive on merit and true competition and innovation.

Crony capitalism via handouts of taxpayer money to favored and well-connected campaign contributor businessmen is poor policy and even poorer economics.