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Thread: America's Infrastructure

  1. #1

    Default America's Infrastructure

    Trump's proposed budget cuts the Department of Transportation by 13% which translates to less government money for the maintenance of things like Amtrak trains, airports, tunnels and bridges.

    Traditionally infrastructure is publically maintained, through taxes or fees such as gas taxes, toll roads or licenses. The Trump plan to 'Make America Great Again' is to privatize public infrastructure. Privatization is an alternative to publically management, that is for instance, instead of a port being maintained through a government agency by taxes and fees (and through voting, accountable to voters) a privatized port would be managed and owned by a corporation. There is the argument that government does a lousy job at say maintaining Amtrak, the alternative is corporate ownership.

    Part of the plan to privatize American infrastructure is to allow global investors, and the largest investor and will be owner of much of American infrastructure if Trump gets his way is Saudi Arabia.

    Saudi Arabia has put a major fund worth about $40 billion towards investing (essentially owning) in American infrastructure through Blackstone. What will happen is that fees for using railroads, highways, airports, and even schools will be funneled to shareholders in Saudi Arabia.

  2. #2

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    So I'm correct in assuming privatized roads would be paid by Tulsa, so all road taxes would be stopped?
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    Consul Lurk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sapient View Post
    So I'm correct in assuming privatized roads would be paid by Tulsa, so all road taxes would be stopped?
    It depends on how it's set up. Some cities pay a contractor to take care of it for them, thus the taxes remain more or less the same, only thing that really changes is the employer for the workers. The other option is that the company that maintains those roads pay a fee to the city for the right to set up X number of tollbooths and make their money that way. The advantage here is that the only people that pay for the maintenance are the people that use those specific roads.
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    Consul The Blazin1's Avatar
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    You mean... people might be responsible for the jobs they get paid for? With consequences if they don't? Holy **** guys, that's called accountability. That doesn't sound like a positive thing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Blazin1 View Post
    You mean... people might be responsible for the jobs they get paid for? With consequences if they don't? Holy **** guys, that's called accountability. That doesn't sound like a positive thing.
    Or.. you could look at what actually happens when state services are privatized? In Britain, British Rail gets an order of magnitude more funding now, than they did when state run. Fares went up, service went down. Employment fell massively when coal mines were privatized, and the same happened in every other privatized industry, and the only beneficiaries were the shareholders. You may argue that the businesses are more efficient now, and they may, well be. But what was the net benefit to the taxpayer? More paid out in unemployment and social services and industries that are run for the benefit of foreign owners. In your case, the same people who are funding many of the terrorists you so despise.

    In Australia, ask those in the industrial cities what they think. Those that have survived will tell you loud and clear. The utilities that got privatized have often had to be clawed back.

    In america, your health system is the international beacon for failed private health. The water services privatized cost more, and the prisons, oh, the prisons. Just look. That's what happens. It's ONLY good for the owners. Not for ANY of you.

    In short, if you think any of you will win under this, you are dead out wrong.
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    Consul The Blazin1's Avatar
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    Rok, I don't care about your opinions, from now on, I will only read your posts that come with a reliable source. You repeat lies way too often, and that is a major problem in today's world of social media. People like you are dumbing down the masses with your Stalin like approach to socialism.
    Quote Originally Posted by Baron D'Holbach View Post
    You should quote yourself. It's like liking your Facebook status or high-fiving yourself in the mirror.

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    Consul Rokchick's Avatar
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    Then post refutations. Everything I posted is true. If you've travelled in Britain, you'd know too. There are rare examples of privatisation working out, but most do not make things better for the general population. If they work out, they are done very carefully and with a lot of caveats and restrictions. Which doesn't strike me as the way it will be done under the orange cloud.
    https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2013/...s-older-trains
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-pri...f-slavery/8289
    And as for health, well, since you spend much more for worse outcomes than equivalent countries with public health systems, that speaks for itself.

    And LOL for me being a Stalinist. You don't even know what it means.
    Last edited by Rokchick; 05-28-2017 at 04:29 PM.
    I'm glad I'm not judgemental like all you smug, superficial idiots

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    Consul The Burninator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lurk View Post
    It depends on how it's set up. Some cities pay a contractor to take care of it for them, thus the taxes remain more or less the same, only thing that really changes is the employer for the workers. The other option is that the company that maintains those roads pay a fee to the city for the right to set up X number of tollbooths and make their money that way. The advantage here is that the only people that pay for the maintenance are the people that use those specific roads.
    The maintenance will have to be paid for somehow --

    In my (limited) experience in government, contractors do the same work that the agencies do at a lower or similar price for a couple years, then the price skyrockets. If the setup described by Lurk is used, I'd expect use taxes like the gas tax needed to maintain the infrastructure to increase, as contractors are expensive.

    If it's a more total privatization, I'd expect the model to be more fee-for-service, ie. tolls, which has the advantage of being more avoidable, but the disadvantage of being significantly more expensive for the people that use those roads.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rokchick View Post
    Or.. you could look at what actually happens when state services are privatized? In Britain, British Rail gets an order of magnitude more funding now, than they did when state run. Fares went up, service went down. Employment fell massively when coal mines were privatized, and the same happened in every other privatized industry, and the only beneficiaries were the shareholders. You may argue that the businesses are more efficient now, and they may, well be. But what was the net benefit to the taxpayer? More paid out in unemployment and social services and industries that are run for the benefit of foreign owners. In your case, the same people who are funding many of the terrorists you so despise.

    In Australia, ask those in the industrial cities what they think. Those that have survived will tell you loud and clear. The utilities that got privatized have often had to be clawed back.

    In america, your health system is the international beacon for failed private health. The water services privatized cost more, and the prisons, oh, the prisons. Just look. That's what happens. It's ONLY good for the owners. Not for ANY of you.

    In short, if you think any of you will win under this, you are dead out wrong.
    This is actually why I'm torn about privatization of the roads.

    Privatization is a terrible model for roads.

    Pollution from cars and the over-use of private cars (due to the government's subsidization of the roads that leads to an overabundance of that kind of transportation availability) is a major contributor to global climate change, so I'd actually want a way to decrease private auto use.

    Given the above 2 things, privatization might be worth allowing for as many roads as possible.

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    Well, sudies own majority of fox news, why they won't own the many of infrastructure of the US.

    Whenever money is in need saudis (government/royalties) pay it for their owners (U.S.A.)
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    Consul The Blazin1's Avatar
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    I ask for a source, I get the guardian lmao.
    Quote Originally Posted by Baron D'Holbach View Post
    You should quote yourself. It's like liking your Facebook status or high-fiving yourself in the mirror.

    It's what I would do if I didn't have to keep mine exactly how it is for madsquirrels and erazer.

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    Philosopher cofc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Summer View Post
    thehill
    Thehill is not a source.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sapient View Post
    So I'm correct in assuming privatized roads would be paid by Tulsa, so all road taxes would be stopped?
    Roads can be managed by different agencies on many levels, most of the time there is a public/private cooperation.

    So most roads in cities are municipal roads that are managed by the city, the city may contract with private companies for maintenance or beautification (beautification means for instance plants along roadways, cities could contract with landscape companies that hire their own gardeners as opposed to cities having gardeners on their payroll). The money to maintain local roads is usually from gas taxes and sales taxes.

    Then there are state highways and federal interstate highways. These roads are managed at the state level or federal level, through gas taxes, license and registration fees, tolls at the state level and through the department of transportation at the federal level.

    States have the option of privatizing the state highways or allowing private companies to take ownership and/or build new highways. Private highways tend to be funded by tolls.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lurk View Post
    It depends on how it's set up. Some cities pay a contractor to take care of it for them, thus the taxes remain more or less the same, only thing that really changes is the employer for the workers. The other option is that the company that maintains those roads pay a fee to the city for the right to set up X number of tollbooths and make their money that way. The advantage here is that the only people that pay for the maintenance are the people that use those specific roads.
    That's true, and it's not limited to roads.

    and of course the question for investors is if the tolls are able to produce lucrative returns.

    A disadvantage for local residents that must use the tolls, is that they can vote to elect members that influence a gas tax, they can't vote to elect members to change the price of the tolls. A certain percentage of tolls will go towards maintenance and a percentage will go to shareholders, including Saudi Arabia which has become a major shareholder.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Burninator View Post
    The maintenance will have to be paid for somehow --

    In my (limited) experience in government, contractors do the same work that the agencies do at a lower or similar price for a couple years, then the price skyrockets. If the setup described by Lurk is used, I'd expect use taxes like the gas tax needed to maintain the infrastructure to increase, as contractors are expensive.

    If it's a more total privatization, I'd expect the model to be more fee-for-service, ie. tolls, which has the advantage of being more avoidable, but the disadvantage of being significantly more expensive for the people that use those roads.

    This is actually why I'm torn about privatization of the roads.

    Privatization is a terrible model for roads.

    Pollution from cars and the over-use of private cars (due to the government's subsidization of the roads that leads to an overabundance of that kind of transportation availability) is a major contributor to global climate change, so I'd actually want a way to decrease private auto use.

    Given the above 2 things, privatization might be worth allowing for as many roads as possible.
    I agree. You're post is accurate.

    Investors will only go where there are suitable returns, and toll fees are sort of at the whims of the investors. If say someone in California owned a share in a company that maintains the private roads in New Jersey, the out of state shareholder may be more willing to raise the fees on the tolls, they're only looking for the returns of investment as opposed to actually using the roads (hence why the fees skyrocket).

    As for pollution from cars. Yes, definitely it's an issue, not only are vehicle emissions greenhouse gases that destroy the ozone layer, but also an air quality public health risk, populations living near freeways for instance exposes themselves to asthma risks, lung disease and cancer. Cars spew toxins, the busier a stretch of road, the more concentration of pollution. Populations are set to rise, naturally, and more people equals more cars and the issue compounds.

    Limiting cars and driving is an often sought out solution, it's called the slow-growth or no growth solution (i.e. if we don't build it they won't come). There's the proposals to encourage bikelanes, rapid bus transits, or rail.

    The other solution is termed smart growth, which is developing with a sustainable outlook in mind.

    In terms of circulation, roads and driving offer many benefits to society. It allows freedom to travel and a further range to travel, and paving roads is cheaper to implement and maintain than rail is. Instead of limiting the use of roads or limiting the expansion of roads, the better way to deal with pollution from vehicles is to change the vehicles, that is a transition to hybrid and electric cars.
    Last edited by Summer; 05-28-2017 at 06:11 PM.

  13. #13

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    I think public transportation is more important than roads.

    Penn Station is a mess now and there is alot of talk about withholding subsidies to Amtrak and even potentially taking ownership from Amtrak and giving it to the state, who would have a private company rebuild it.

    http://nypost.com/2017/05/11/cuomo-c...-penn-station/

    More importantly is the need to improve transportation hubs especially in NYC, millions of people take the subway daily but the infrastructure is just so old. Cuomo wants to expand Penn station into a larger facility. Which would be good, commuters from Long Island and New Jersey all go through penn station daily.

    https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/6th...ffice-building

    The key to these projects in having private development at these locations which NY has been doing significantly with all the new transportation hubs. The Oculus and Fulton Center for example, however it is getting closer to the point where the trains and lines themselves need to be greatly improved.

    https://ny.curbed.com/2016/8/16/1250...-grand-opening

    However is seems nothing will ever be perfect.

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