US Infrastructure

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Re: US Infrastructure

Postby Kane » Mon Sep 18, 2017 5:09 pm

Saz wrote:
exploited wrote:Tolls are inherently regressive, but I think there is an good case to be made for them in re: major highways and metropolitan city streets.

The only sticking point I have is privatization. Under no circumstances should for-profit corporations be running these tolls. They need to be run by an independent, non-profit agency empowered by government to do this job. Similar to the Central Bank I suppose.


These wouldn't have to be regressive. You tie the toll to the vehicle registration and tie that to income, or value of the vehicle. You could easily have a very progressive toll tax.


That would never happen. It doesn't even happen in the UK.
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Re: US Infrastructure

Postby Saz » Mon Sep 18, 2017 5:11 pm

Kane wrote:
John Galt wrote:indiana made out better in that case. they still got all the money upfront, and someone else is now doing it

privatization of tolls is one question, but tolling at all is another question

i think it's insane to pay that amount of money for 525 sq ft apartment. i pay 1200/mo for my mortgage on my 1900 sq ft place a half hour drive to either minneapolis or st. paul (although i feel like it's a bit small for just me, mainly because it's a townhome and not something with acerage as well as a separate workshop. plus a basement, of course. i am a firm adherent to the pastoral fantasy of americans).

but i don't see why that's relevant. wouldn't businesses then lose employees and be forced to pay more to compensate for the increased tolling?


I think we're nearing that point anyways. Not enough new housing to accomodate employees who cannot already afford a home outright. It's relevant because it goes towards the cost of living in the given area and your ability to make money. And I think companies are losing employees...every fast food joint that I go to around here is hiring. Every. Single. One. I'm looking for a house right now and I've searched the MLS database - you cannot find a home in the east bay under approximately $300k. They don't exist. Condos? Pushing $250k. Want to rent? A room can easily cost you $1,000.

And people will continue to pay it to have a roof over their heads...it's one of the most important things to have. If you don't own a home in the bay already I have a pretty good feeling that we're approaching that 50% mass that pays close to half their monthly income on housing alone.

John Galt wrote: and i'm not even advocating people live closer, i'm just advocating tolling so that we can pay for the infrastructure we still use even though we are on the path to heavily reducing and even eliminating gasoline use for most applications on the highway


Yeah I get that but this taxation scheme is highly regressive. I do feel that people that use the road should pay for it but...what company doesn't use the same infrastructure to transport goods? To acquire raw materials? It's all getting passed down to those paid by their labor - those with diminishing incomes and stagnant wages. There has to be a better way?

John Galt wrote:also i don't see how rents can really soar WITHOUT soaring paychecks. maybe not for you, or your friends, but gentrification happens everywhere. someone is willing to pay for that. like with people and their tiny houses and whatever nonsense. get a 3000 sq foot house with 12 acres like an american, not some tiny commie house


I'm working on it but dude...COL far outstrips income gains in the bay right now. It's really dependent on what industry you work in but I guarantee it - it's happening without soaring paychecks.


You don't realize half the bay is now tech dorks making 150k.
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Re: US Infrastructure

Postby John Galt » Mon Sep 18, 2017 5:16 pm

exploited wrote:
Saz wrote:
exploited wrote:Tolls are inherently regressive, but I think there is an good case to be made for them in re: major highways and metropolitan city streets.

The only sticking point I have is privatization. Under no circumstances should for-profit corporations be running these tolls. They need to be run by an independent, non-profit agency empowered by government to do this job. Similar to the Central Bank I suppose.


These wouldn't have to be regressive. You tie the toll to the vehicle registration and tie that to income, or value of the vehicle. You could easily have a very progressive toll tax.


The Nordic countries do this with speeding tickets, which I think is reasonable. But I feel like hell will freeze over before Americans agree to charge more based on income. So many deluded middle class people would complain about supporting the poor.


you could have it be based on lanes. if you need to pay more to use a certain lane it's actually cheaper for poor people than the alternative (using tax dollars)

http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/ucla- ... fair-55623

but of course gas is as regressive as a toll so what's it matter?
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Re: US Infrastructure

Postby exploited » Mon Sep 18, 2017 5:16 pm

Tiny houses are cool :/
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Re: US Infrastructure

Postby exploited » Mon Sep 18, 2017 5:18 pm

John Galt wrote:
exploited wrote:
Saz wrote:
exploited wrote:Tolls are inherently regressive, but I think there is an good case to be made for them in re: major highways and metropolitan city streets.

The only sticking point I have is privatization. Under no circumstances should for-profit corporations be running these tolls. They need to be run by an independent, non-profit agency empowered by government to do this job. Similar to the Central Bank I suppose.


These wouldn't have to be regressive. You tie the toll to the vehicle registration and tie that to income, or value of the vehicle. You could easily have a very progressive toll tax.


The Nordic countries do this with speeding tickets, which I think is reasonable. But I feel like hell will freeze over before Americans agree to charge more based on income. So many deluded middle class people would complain about supporting the poor.


you could have it be based on lanes. if you need to pay more to use a certain lane it's actually cheaper for poor people than the alternative (using tax dollars)

http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/ucla- ... fair-55623

but of course gas is as regressive as a toll so what's it matter?


Interesting idea. That would work and we already have a kind of precedent in car pool lanes. Solid idea.
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Re: US Infrastructure

Postby Saz » Mon Sep 18, 2017 5:24 pm

Kane wrote:
Saz wrote:
exploited wrote:Tolls are inherently regressive, but I think there is an good case to be made for them in re: major highways and metropolitan city streets.

The only sticking point I have is privatization. Under no circumstances should for-profit corporations be running these tolls. They need to be run by an independent, non-profit agency empowered by government to do this job. Similar to the Central Bank I suppose.


These wouldn't have to be regressive. You tie the toll to the vehicle registration and tie that to income, or value of the vehicle. You could easily have a very progressive toll tax.


That would never happen. It doesn't even happen in the UK.


The UK is the least progressive western country outside of America. It's not a high standard and in fact in London we have congestion charges which is already a progressive tax because the poor in London don't drive, and certainly not into the city. I don't have a car here but most places have significant taxes on new cars which scale with the value of the car. It's not really a novel or groundbreaking idea and it's usually not that unpopular because the assumption here is a very nice car driving around London is some foreigner who looted their home country.
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Re: US Infrastructure

Postby Saz » Mon Sep 18, 2017 5:28 pm

John Galt wrote:
exploited wrote:
Saz wrote:
exploited wrote:Tolls are inherently regressive, but I think there is an good case to be made for them in re: major highways and metropolitan city streets.

The only sticking point I have is privatization. Under no circumstances should for-profit corporations be running these tolls. They need to be run by an independent, non-profit agency empowered by government to do this job. Similar to the Central Bank I suppose.


These wouldn't have to be regressive. You tie the toll to the vehicle registration and tie that to income, or value of the vehicle. You could easily have a very progressive toll tax.


The Nordic countries do this with speeding tickets, which I think is reasonable. But I feel like hell will freeze over before Americans agree to charge more based on income. So many deluded middle class people would complain about supporting the poor.


you could have it be based on lanes. if you need to pay more to use a certain lane it's actually cheaper for poor people than the alternative (using tax dollars)

http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/ucla- ... fair-55623

but of course gas is as regressive as a toll so what's it matter?


Still seems like a 20th century solution to a 21st century problem. Poor people will take the longer, less congested way. Freeing up space for those willing to pay the higher toll to get there quicker. Sales taxes are blatantly regressive but if we are talking about federal funds that gonna mostly come from a progressive income tax.
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Re: US Infrastructure

Postby exploited » Mon Sep 18, 2017 6:14 pm

If you want to think long-term, Saz brought up automated cars. Part of what makes them so awesome is the massive savings we'll see in terms of infrastructure, enforcement, etc.

Because you don't have to deal with the variable driving habits of millions of people, everything will cost drastically less. The infrastructure itself will be cheaper because you won't be dealing with aggressive driving habits, tons of unnecessary braking, the need for constant signs, etc. Everything will be talking on a network, and consequently, emergency response will be able to get to stuff quicker, there will need to be drastically less law enforcement, and we can stop clogging the courts with traffic tickets and that kind of shit. Look at the cost of drunk driving laws! Obsolete.

If you really want to fix infrastructure, make universal, "free" high-speed internet a thing across America. Lay fiber down every highway and use tolls to pay for it.
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Re: US Infrastructure

Postby John Galt » Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:14 pm

you could have wifi most everywhere, under a national system, free to use. and i do think "giving it away", as in, paid by taxes, would be a brilliant idea. we already do it for roads, why not instead have all the data free, and have physical transport cost money? with the data everywhere we'd be able to find problems (like crashes) immediately and be able to divert traffic much more effectively when needed. add in automated cars and it would all work together beautifully. everyone would have to get their own devices to connect but once connected it would be a massive boon for the economy. the north american electric reliability corp oversees all american and canadian power lines, and some mexican. something similar would have some sort of oversight for all the fiber lines, with individual companies managing things at a local level, only difference would be that we'd operate it more like well, toll-less roads are today, with government paying the bills. the cost of being digitally connected is then instead transferred to the cost of being physically connected with the freedom of car travel

of course... at this point telecomm would be 100% against removing all competitors. but they could still compete for the government contracts
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Re: US Infrastructure

Postby exploited » Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:26 pm

Another thing to consider is the peripheral benefits. Who lays down capital along highways? Manufacturers, service industries, etc. This would immediately provide a significant boost to the economic viability of all major transport routes in the US, and that includes small towns and many rural communities. Anyone along the highway can link into the federal network on their own dime.
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