Tag: A Brawny Recovery

The New Hooverism versus High Speed Rail

Burning the Midnight Oil for Living Energy Independence

Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee asks:

Is this the time to launch construction of a high-speed railroad line between Northern and Southern California that will cost at least $40 billion, much of it from bonds to be repaid from a state budget that’s already gushing red ink?

Yes, say its fervent advocates, contending that a bullet train, similar to those in Europe and Japan, will reduce air and auto congestion, reduce greenhouse gases and generate many billions of dollars in economic benefits.

Dan Walters then throws all the complaints about the California HSR project he can find into a big pot, and stirs. Underneath the individual “points”, lies the main New Hooverist thesis … in hard times, we cannot afford to invest in the future.

A Brawny Recovery Instead of Unsustainable Consumption-Led Growth

Burning the Midnight Oil for a Brawny Recovery

On Agent Orange, bonddad writes:

Among the most important of the rules Rosie laid down, in my opinion, is #12: Get the US consumer right and everything else will take care of itself.  The reason is fairly simple:  The U.S. consumer has the biggest balance sheet on the planet.  The U.S. consumer represents 70 percent of our GDP and about 18 percent of global GDP.

This is, however, following the entrenched habits of thought that got us into this mess in the first place. My reply, below the fold.

Beware of Geeks bearing VATs

Burning the Midnight Oil for a Brawny Recovery, cross-posted from My Left Wing.

If you wander around the fringes of economic discussion on these Interwebs, you may encounter sites extolling the wondrous virtues of the VAT. “If only we would adopt a massive VAT, our two decade long decline in manufacturing output would be gone, and we would be an exporting powerhouse once again.” … well, no, that would be a stereotyping of the argument. A real sample of the claims sound more like this, from tradereform.org:

I Squared R Element Company is in Akron, New York. It makes industrial heating elements which are used for many processes to make other things, including glass and computer chips. The company was the low bidder on a contract to export to China.

However, the company lost the bid. Why?

I squared R was told it did not include, in its bid, China’s 10% customs duty or the 17% value added tax(VAT) that must be paid at the border.

All our goods pay a 17% VAT at the Chinese border. And the uninformed say we are a high cost producer. Chinese exporters also get a 17% VAT rebate, i.e. they get paid to export.

And, yes, I have picked out this quote to pick on VAT-uber-alles advocates, precisely because it focuses on the part of the argument that is simply wrong.

More below…

So that we won’t need a Memorial Day for the US economy

… or perhaps that should be, so we no longer need a memorial day for the US economy.

In It need not be a calamity, I wrote:

But … well, we know this. We have known since the 1970’s that we would become increasingly dependent under the Old Energy Economy. We have known since the 1970’s that our four centuries of energy self-sufficiency since European Settlement of the eastern seaboard of North America would be coming to an end unless we made substantial changes.

And then our ruling elites collectively decided to pretend that social division of national product is a more fundamental question than the ability to continue producing it, and we descended into the last thirty years of the wealthy focusing in grabbing a bigger share of the pie, while assuming that the baking of the pie would magically take care of itself.

Crossposted from Burning the Midnight Oil for a Brawny Recovery and The Economic Populist

How To Build a National High Speed Rail system

Burning the Midnight Oil for Living Energy Independence

… A Four Step Program

Step 1. Give states a framework to develop plans, either individually or in groups, and present them to the Federal government for vetting, approval, and funding support.

Step 2. States do that.

Step 3. Fund a substantial number of seed corridors, so that a large number of metro areas (House) and States (Senate) have a stake in maintaining ongoing Federal HSR funding.

Step 4. Keep funding the construction of more.

That is my plan. But, OTOH, I’m just an obscure Development Economist with a field specialization in Regional Economics, so the fact that its my plan is neither here nor there.

More newsworthy, it seems to be the plan of the Obama administration. So, unlike the Bank Bail-out, I find myself on the “cheerleader” side of Administration activity.

Give Me an H! Give Me an S! Give Me an R! What’s It Spell? One Piece of the Energy Independent Transport Puzzle! YEAH!!!!

An HSR Station Grows at Transbay (SF), Grand Finale (pt 3)

Crosspost links collected at: Burning the Midnight Oil for Living Energy Independence

In Part 1, the testimony representing the Transbay Joint Power Authority, managing the Transbay project, resulted in such a pile of red herring left behind that it seemed that there was something fishy going on.

What that something fishy seemed to be was whether the Transbay Terminal “train box” was suited for serving as the main northern terminus for both California High Speed Rail (HSR) services and for Caltrain services.

But … what if the Transbay Terminal is not the terminus of the HSR services?

In that case, the problem turns from physical limits … to legal requirements that the design has to meet. A garbled version of that is showing up in the newspapers … join me beyond the fold as I try to ungarble the story.

The 110mph Triple-C passenger train: Ohio, Now Is The Time

Burning the Midnight Oil for a Brawny Recovery

This information from the Midwest High Speed Rail Blog, Ohio Proposed Budget Includes Developing Passenger Rail Between 4-5 Cities (who themselves give a h/t to Transportation for America):

As part of a two-year, $7.5 billion proposed budget, Ohio plans to continue developing passenger rail service connecting four cities Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton and Cincinnati (DispatchPolitics) – and possibly including a link to Toledo. Rail advocacy group All Aboard Ohio supports the so-called “3-C” plan and describes it here.

You’re From Ohio, You Idiot, Don’t Screw With Our Train

Burning the Midnight Oil for a Brawny Recovery

“Tell me how spending $8 billion,”

asked House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) on the floor,

“in this bill to have a high-speed rail line between Los Angeles and Las Vegas is going to help the construction worker in my district.”

(h/t Matthew Yglesias)

Now, lets look at the Federally Designated Corridors — and you have to have a designated corridor to get any of the $8b.

Yup, no corridor to Vegas. Oh, and what’s that we see … two, count ’em TWO corridors through Ohio … Cleveland to Chicago and Cleveland / Columbus / Dayton / Cincinnati.