Flying is Quicker and more Cost Efficient than Passenger Rail

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 8th, 2014

Week in Review

Politicians everywhere want to build high-speed rail.  Why?  Because there are maybe only 2 high-speed rail lines in the world that operate at a profit.  All other passenger rail requires government subsidies.  Because the massive capital and operating costs for passenger rail are so great they cannot recover them via ticket prices.  And high-speed rail is the costliest of all.

So passenger rail requires new taxation to support it.  And politicians like new taxes.  Also, building passenger rail requires an enormous infrastructure.  Built and maintained by lots of people.  Union people.  Something else politicians love.  Rewarding their union friends with lots of new union jobs.  Which is why politicians love high-speed rail.  They get a lot ‘thank you’ votes for all that government spending.  No matter how costly or inefficient passenger rail is as a means of transportation.  As we can see here (see I Spent 28 Hours on a Bus. I Loved It. by Eric Holthaus posted 2/4/2014 on Slate).

traveling by plane car train bus R1

The infrastructure between point A and point B for cars and buses is already there.  Paid for with fuel taxes.  Planes need no infrastructure between point A and point B.  But trains do.  A very costly infrastructure.

Trains carry more people than buses.  But not as many as planes.  Which means the far greater cost of passenger rail is divided by fewer ticket purchasers.  Whereas the less costly flying is divided by more ticket purchasers.

Planes can fly around 500 mph.  Passenger rail can travel up to 100 mph on some sections of track.  While high-speed rail travels at speeds of just under 200 mph on dedicated (and very expensive) track.

You add these points together and it’s little wonder that traveling by train costs about 20% more than flying.  While taking 5.8 times as long.  Or a little less for high-speed rail. Making the plane the undisputed champion of long-distance travel.  And it works without massive government subsidies.  Which is the best kind of travel there is.  The kind where the people traveling pay for their travels.  And not everyone else.  As is the case with passenger rail.

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Anchor/Passport Babies proof that People wished Britain/America had conquered the World

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 8th, 2014

Week in Review

The problem with a generous welfare state and porous borders is that they attract a lot of foreign-born people to your country to cash in on those generous welfare benefits.  Some even make the journey while pregnant so their child is born in the country with the generous welfare benefits.  And not the cruel, cold-hearted benefit-free country they are escaping.  Giving them an ‘anchor’ in the country they’d much rather live in than the country they don’t want to live in.  Their native country.

The United States has a porous border with Mexico.  And many Mexicans give birth in the United States while in the country illegally just so their child doesn’t have to grow up in Mexico.  Which when you think about is a statement on how these Mexicans feel about the ‘imperial’ United States.  They must really hate them for not taking the rest of Mexico when they won the Mexican War.  Had the Americans done so there would be no need for anchor babies.  For they would already be enjoying American citizenship south of the Rio Grande.  Based on the number of Mexicans entering America illegally, at least.

The United States isn’t the only country people want to live in.  Canada, too, is a beautiful country with a generous welfare state.  The winters are a little colder, though.  But that doesn’t stop people from trying to become Canadian citizens with anchor babies.  Only they call them ‘passport babies’ in Canada (see Canadian citizenship bill to be tabled Thursday by Susana Mas posted 2/2/2014 on CBC News).

Alexander said the proposed changes to the Citizenship Act would also aim to reduce the current backlog of applications and change the conditions for eligibility.

The government is also considering changes to tackle the problem of so-called “birth tourism” or “passport babies,” but Alexander told CBC News they would not be included in this bill.

Americans and Canadians aren’t better people.  They just live in countries that allow their people to be better.  Which is the problem in Mexico.  Not the people.  As the Americas were colonized Britain was further along in representative government than Spain.  Free market capitalism replaced mercantilism quicker in British America than it did in Spanish America.  And democratic institutions were more developed in British America than they were in Spanish America.  Such that the foundation for representative government, free market capitalism and democracy was more robust in British American than it was in Spanish America.

Because of this when the Americans gained their independence great peace and prosperity followed.  A first following a civil war.  Allowing America and Canada (later granted their independence from the British Empire) to be lands of opportunity.  With strong human rights.  Ironically, in large part to the School of Salamanca.  One of the greatest gifts Spain gave to the world.  Which is why people want to have their babies born in these countries.  So they can be as great as they want to be.  Because only representative government, free market capitalism and democracy can make this possible.  At least based on history.

But you can’t have people entering your country unchecked.  Especially if they’re coming for the benefits.  And your country has annual deficits and a growing national debt.  For adding more people to the benefits roll when you can’t afford it will transform the country from that land of opportunity people want to come to into the country they are fleeing.  Countries with high spending and devalued currencies that lead to black markets and lawlessness.  The very things people want to get away from by having their babies in the United States and Canada.

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Drug Addict chooses Car Theft over Job to pay for Heroin Addiction

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 8th, 2014

Week in Review

Young people, old hippies, college students, liberals, etc., are all rejoicing over the decriminalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington.  Heck, they’d like to go even further.  And decriminalize all drugs.  So they can use whatever they want.  Enjoy whatever high.  As these people want to escape reality by staying high.  Apparently.  It’s so important to these people that President Obama told his Justice Department not to enforce federal drug laws in these states.  Because these are Democrat voters.  And he wants to keep them happy.  So they continue to vote Democrat.  Besides, drugs are a victimless crime.  What’s the worst that can happen (see Man says he stole car to trade for heroin, authorities say by Erika Pesantes posted 2/7/2014 on the Sun Sentinel)?

A man stole a car in Oakland Park and crashed into two vehicles as he fled from deputies Thursday, authorities said. He says he stole the car to trade it for heroin because he was “dope sick,” a Broward sheriff’s report said.

Don’t know if this is the worst that can happen but it’s pretty bad.  This is a problem with escaping reality by staying high all day long.  You won’t be able to hold a job.  Because ‘high’ people are worthless in the workplace.  So even if these ‘high’ people actually got a job their drug use would ultimately get them fired.  Leaving them with a costly drug habit.  And no income.  Hence the turning to crime to support their habit.

Decriminalizing marijuana/all drugs does not make this problem go away.  In fact it only makes it worse.  For they talk about decriminalizing drugs so the government can regulate them.  And tax them.  Just like they do with liquor.  Which, by the way, isn’t free.  To enjoy liquor you first must buy it.  Which requires some source of income.  So drugs will be legal but they will be more costly (thanks to regulations and taxation).  And the readily available supply of drugs (because they are no longer illegal) will encourage people to stay high.  Giving them costly drug habits just as they lose their jobs.  Leaving them little choice but to become a thief (or a prostitute) to raise their drug money.  Which is happening now when all drugs are illegal in most states.  Imagine how that will change when more states decriminalize them.

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With every Increase of the Debt Ceiling we get Closer to Third-World Status

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 8th, 2014

Week in Review

George W. Bush’s last deficit was $498.37 billion.  President Obama’s deficits were $1,539.22 billion, $1,386.92 billion, $1,350.31 billion, $1,120.16 billion and $680 billion, respectively.  President Obama has taken the national debt from $12,973,669,938,453 to $16,738,183,526,697.  And increase of $3,764,513,588,244 (29%).  Or the amount added to the national debt from 1791 through 1985.

So President Obama did in 5 years what his predecessors did in 194 years.  Putting the U.S. dollar in great peril.  For the only reason why the United States hasn’t become a third-world economic basket case is because the U.S. dollar is the world’s reserve currency.  But once the world loses confidence in the American dollar they may choose another reserve currency.  And if they do all of that printing and borrowing will hit the U.S. economy hard.  Making the inflation of the stagflation Seventies seem like child’s play.

We can’t keep printing and borrowing money.  For we are approaching a tipping point.  Yes, having the power to print money can forestall the inevitable.  As long as people still have confidence in your currency.  But if they don’t there is nothing to prevent the U.S. from spiraling down into third-world status just as every other nation that destroyed their economy with out of control printing and spending.  Making these debates over increasing the debt ceiling more than Kabuki Theater (see All’s Fair in Love, War and Government? by Robert Schlesinger posted 2/3/2014 on US News and World Report).

The way that the approach to the debt ceiling has changed – going from a rhetorical opportunity and classic round of Kabuki Theater where lawmakers feign outrage and denounce the debt ceiling increase they know they’re going to vote for anyway to a genuine threat to the economy – illustrates a larger trend in Washington: the movement away from certain accepted norms in our governance. As I’ve written before, there used to be unwritten rules which helped keep the governance train on its rails – they limited the use of the filibuster to rare issues, they made the notion of deliberately shutting down the government in order to extract policy concessions out of bounds and the same with the idea of intentionally harming the economy by not raising the debt ceiling.

Those norms have increasingly been replaced with an ends-justifies-the-means view that the pursuit of power makes anything OK. That’s a real problem for our democracy.

The ends-justifies-the-means in the pursuit of power?  Yes, that is a problem for our democracy.  Such as passing the Affordable Care Act on partisan lines with back room deals.  Causing people to lose the health insurance and doctors they liked and wanted to keep.  Higher insurance premiums and higher deductibles.  A cost that went from just under $1 trillion over ten years to over $1 trillion each year (if our health care is anything like Canada’s health care).  And prolonging the worst economic recovery since that following the Great Depression.  Even telling the Lie of the Year.  Horrible things for our Democracy.  All in the pursuit of power.  In the left’s quest for the holy grail of power.  National health care.

With our huge debt weighing down our democracy we are fast approaching the tipping point.  And raising the debt ceiling may not be the best thing to do.  So someone should be trying to get some spending cuts before agreeing to raise the debt ceiling.  To save our democracy.  Before it’s too late.  Thanks to the Democrats’ pursuit of power.  Where ‘the ends-justifies-the-means’.  Even if it turns the country into a third-world nation.

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Obamacare already has more Ignored Complaints than they have in the NHS

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 8th, 2014

Week in Review

People hate government bureaucracies.  They can’t stand getting their driver’s license renewed.  They hate getting the necessary approvals before making an improvement on their property.  They especially hate having to deal with the IRS.  Giving the choice we would all gladly have our dentists fix our cavities then endure those ordeals.  Without Novocain.  Because it is so frustrating dealing with a slow-moving, inefficient and inept government bureaucracy.  Which is why people don’t want national health care.

Obamacare is already showing what a slow-moving, inefficient and inept government bureaucracy it is.  From the abysmal rollout.  To those 22,000 people trying to get that slow-moving, inefficient and inept government bureaucracy to correct the mistakes that bureaucracy made.  They submitted complaints through the proper channels.  Where they promptly disappeared in the system and went ignored.  Something we can expect more of with this new slow-moving, inefficient and inept government bureaucracy.  As it is a common feature of a national health care system (see NHS watchdog accused of ‘throwing away’ complaints by Laura Donnelly posted 2/3/2014 on The Telegraph).

An NHS watchdog has been accused of failing thousands of patients and bereaved relatives after admitting it fully investigated less than 400 of 16,000 patient complaints made last year.

The figures emerged as a leaked report, seen by The Telegraph, discloses a litany of errors investigating a death at the heart of the Morecambe Bay hospital scandal, where up to 16 babies died amid poor care.

Last night bereaved parents said the Health Service Ombudsman – the body with ultimate responsibility for complaints against the NHS – was “a disaster for patients” while health experts said the organisation was “virtually ignoring” the desperate pleas of families seeking explanations for poor care.

The watchdog’s own records disclose that during the year 2012/13, less than three per cent of complaints which came to them were “fully investigated”.

Unlike Obamacare these complaints are not about data entry errors.  These complaints are about substandard care resulting in patient harm.  And death.  But what happens when the bungling bureaucracy investigates itself?  They tend to circle the wagons to protect their beloved bureaucracy.  While failing the people.  Which will happen with Obamacare.  Where they are already circling the wagons to protect their beloved bureaucracy over data entry errors.  Imagine the callousness that will enter the system when people suffer harm and death from substandard care.

Of course we can trust the government to prevent this from happening.  After all have they let us down yet in the investigation of their ineptitude and callousness over Benghazi?  And let us not forget how they got to the bottom of IRS targeting conservative groups to silence them during the 2012 election.  That thing where there wasn’t even a “smidgen of corruption.”  Yet the woman in charge of that pleaded the Fifth Amendment.  Which defendants do for only one reason.  So they don’t incriminate themselves.  But there wasn’t even a “smidgen of corruption” here.

Is it any wonder 22,000 people can’t get someone to respond to their complaints?  Or that government bureaucracies rarely do a good job when they investigate themselves?  So get ready for a similar fate the British people are suffering with their NHS.  But instead of 16,000 complaints being ignored there will be about 80,000 complaints that will be ignored.  Or more.  As we have about 5 times the population the UK has.  And we don’t have the 66 years of experience in doing national health care they have.

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