The Dimmest Generation

Watch this video in which comedian Louis CK discusses a generation of people spoiled stupid with Conan OBrian. Is it not true?

What all these things point to is successes of MARKETS. Compare the sucesses related here to the prospect of abject and total failure of government control indicated in this article about the future of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae in the New York Times. Consider, for example the following paragraph-

One reason that Fannie and Freddie will never return to their earlier forms is simple mathematics: to become independent, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac must repay the taxpayer dollars invested in the companies, plus interest. Even if the firms achieve profitability, it could take them as long as 100 years — or longer — to pay back the government. And almost no one expects the companies to return to profitability anytime soon.
Another paragraph in the Times story is indicative of what the larger marketplce has to look forward to with government oversight-
But those actions have caused collateral damage at the companies. On Monday, Freddie Mac’s chief executive, David M. Moffett, unexpectedly resigned less than six months after he was recruited by regulators, having chafed at low pay and the burdens of second-guessing by government officials, according to people with knowledge of the situation.
Yes, people, government, the seat of order and competence in the universe, is going to fix everything. Well, everything except that which they are going to fix.

What Louis CK is speaking to is people taking the fruits of MARKET economics for granted, as though they were inevitable. When some part of the miracle of modern life doesn't work perfectly the dimwits of this world think something needs to be taken over by people who will fix it.

That's when we get object lessons in government's definition of success.

Posted by Lee Emmerich Jamison at March 3, 2009 9:08 AM
Comments
Comment #276651

It’s all going to be fixed with rampant pork-barrel.
OOOHHHHHhhhh … wait a minute.
Sorry.
Pork-barrel isn’t pork-barrel anymore, and the solution for a massive debt bubble is more massive debt, borrowing, money-printing, and pork-barrel spending (of any kind).

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect, and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful.

Posted by: d.a.n at March 3, 2009 10:32 AM
Comment #276655

Correct me if I am wrong, but the government takeover of the GSEs and bailouts of the financial industry were in response to the abject and total failure of the private financial MARKETS. It is clear that but for government intervention, the mortgage industry and banking system would have already collapsed. Indeed, they are still on life support. The government intervention was to simply save the system.

As for your contention that the markets are the only generator of successes, I remind you that the roots of much the technological achievements of the past 40 years can be found in the government initiated and funded space program as well as other government sponsored research and engineering projects.



Posted by: Rich at March 3, 2009 11:15 AM
Comment #276661


When I was a kid, I used to sneak down to the Ohio River to play along the banks. It was a guaranteeded whipping because the river was filthy. The primary culprit was barge bilge water filled with oil which coated the river, the bank, the plants growing along the bank as well as my shoes and clothes.

Today the river is much cleaner with no bilge oil. This must be due to one of those free market successes.

I do disagree with the way the government has handled this situation. The people have missed a golden opportunity to form their own bank and end another free market success, usury.

Posted by: jlw at March 3, 2009 12:34 PM
Comment #276663


I watched the video and in my opinion, the person is talking about a bad behavior, impatience. When entities within the free market promote the notion that they can do it faster, better and cheaper and then they don’t, some people become impatient.

Imo, the dimmest generations, from the baby boomers on down is another free market success story. Don’t save money, don’t plan for the future, get it all now on the easy payment plan.

Posted by: jlw at March 3, 2009 1:00 PM
Comment #276665

Rich,

Do you do your banking at the Bank of the United States? Such entities have been chartered a number of times.

The answer is “no”. I don’t even have to look into your personal history to know because every single time a true “national” bank has been chartered it failed. It failed in real market places because these devices, these ‘tools’ (to refer to the usage in the New York Times article) are always corruptly used by politicians who can’t resist favoring political constituencies with the public’s money. This is what has bankrupted, and will ultimately kill, Fannie and Freddie.

You do your banking at a bank that is owned by private entities in the market economy. The banks on Wall Street that did best in the current meltdown were even more tightly controlled by something else- They were PARTNERSHIPS, banks whose managing partners held capital stakes they could lose all of in the business.

How does any of this fly in the face of the preferability of markets regulating themselves (admitting, of course, the necessity of government mandated transparency in providing the information on which markets can act) versus government manipulation of markets? It doesn’t.

Let’s also apply a little intellectual clarity to the origination of technologies with government programs. Yes indeed, government sponsored fundamental research is the foundation of a number of products, but did the government make those products available to the public? NO. In fact one can show repeated cases in which it was not until government impediments to the development of markets (e.g. elimination of the monopoly of A.T.&T.) were dismantled that the real capacity of the market to generate goods, services, and jobs were realized. Things we now dimwittedly take for granted, as shown in the video, simply would not exist today had it not been for the fact that communications companies could compete with A.T.&T. over what had been stifled within the old monopoly structure.

jlw,

Those who have saved for the future are being savaged right now. It is they who have lost by far the most in the current meltdown, and it is they who are being blamed. They are being targeted for tax increases. They are being called selfish. They are being told they have to “suck it up” and bear the pain while people who didn’t even put down payments on interest-only loans on homes are being saved from foreclosure. They are even hearing people in government float the idea that their 401ks will be seized by the government.

Don’t condemn and punish the results of personal responsibility if you want people to be personally responsible.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at March 3, 2009 1:50 PM
Comment #276666

Lee,

I haven’t even watched the video yet, but you do realize that computers and the internet were government initiated programs? Seems kind of strange that you would point to communications as an area where the most important breakthroughs came from private enterprise…

The failure of Freddy and Fannie are a direct result of a lack of government oversight. Without government backing these companies will die, and so will our economy. Only government has pockets big enough for the market to trust that investing in these companies won’t lead to ruin.

Everything I’ve just said is understood by most Republicans, many of whom don’t want to take government ownership of banks off the table, not because ANYONE wants this. It’s the solution of last resort.

Finally, the richest 2-3% of this country, which has enjoyed criminal tax breaks the last 8 years, needs to contribute if they want this country to have any kind of economy in the future at all. What do they want? To return to Clinton-era tax levels (was that SO bad?) or to see this country go down the tubes?


Posted by: Max at March 3, 2009 2:28 PM
Comment #276674

If it weren’t for the FDIC the banks would already be gone, because there was too little regulation. Without the government making them hold onto capital, they will always reach too far. But then why not. If they screw up, they don’t have to worry the government will bail them out. Because unlike me and my hungry kids, they’re too big to fail.

Posted by: Mike the Cynic at March 3, 2009 4:52 PM
Comment #276676

Max,

I haven’t even watched the video yet, but you do realize that computers and the internet were government initiated programs? Seems kind of strange that you would point to communications as an area where the most important breakthroughs came from private enterprise…
Did your parents or grandparents have an Eniac machine? Or did your parents have an IBM mainframe back in the 1970s? Actually, the company my Daddy worked for back in the ’70s DID have IBM mainframes and, guess what? They were made and marketed by IBM, not the government.

Yes indeed the fundamental science on which the industry was founded was done in government funded projects. Similarly sophisticated research was done in the Soviet Union at the same time.
So, Max, show me all those Russian computer companies today.

What put computers in companies fifty years ago and on our desks twenty five years ago was not the government. It was people running with ideas they could take to market. To suggest the government gave us THAT is worse than folly.

The same is true of the Internet. Major early infrastructure and development happened in government programs, and in scientific communities seeking a way to disseminate information more quickly. Now, though, Internet traffic is predominantly carried over privately operated infrastructure and innovations like fiber-optic cable which was developed by private industry.

Government is important in founding ideas and doing fundamental research, but abominable at recognizing opportunities for people to benefit from them.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at March 3, 2009 5:07 PM
Comment #276708

Please refresh my memory, but in the bad old days of regulation wasn’t a no down intrest only ARM illeagal as well as stupid? This is a product that was designed for a bubble market with the sole intent of making a higher profit for the bank after forclosure. The markets suffer from the same stultifying short sightedness you imply government involvement would have. I am no great fan of onerous legislation but I see a failure of enlightened self intrest a good damn reson to re-regulate!

Posted by: Ted at March 3, 2009 9:06 PM
Comment #276714

Ted,
Well stated. For why President Obama and Congress most first figure out how to allow AIG to write off 1,000’s of insurance claims from the Banks around the world on the property that has, is, or will be foreclosed on they are protecting those citizens who “Did Everything Right” from America having a fire sale on the homes and businesses they have invested in. For why I do not know the current ratio of payoff AIO is allowed to write for the loans made by the banks I do know that in 2008 our Elected Officials said it was around $.03 cents on the dollar which tramslete to $.30 cents for every hunderd, $3.00 for every thousand, or #300.00 on every million if I got my Thinking Right. So I agree that out of Enlightenment and Self-Interest shines a good reason to re-regulate and make the necessary adjustments to Protect and Serve “We the People” for appartently not All Americans are so shallow in thought.

Lee,
I have to take loyal opposition to your posts here. What a shock, huh? For why in an Ideal World the government would only sponsored fundamental research, but the Thruth is that our Military and National Securty is a Leader in Mans’ Technology. And why you may be right that IBN sold your parents a computer back in the 70’s; however, to say the government had nothing to do with bringing it to market falls short of Logic and Reason.

And why I will save you the argument, I do believe that History will show how much Ryles and Regulation any Business most go through in order to become part of the Market. For google A-Z or just ask the owners of Google how much they had tp prove in order to sell their products in the Market. Yes, Permits, Promises, and Resources Required is only part of the Framework that companies like IBM has always had to jump through. For unlike AT&T who was given a Monopoly by the Federal Government to build a National Communication Network even if it meant limiting the Consumers options. Since the 1980’s and Refanomics (Actually 1974) if you want to play with the Big Boys you have to prove that you can take your product off the proch and bring it to the Streets.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at March 3, 2009 10:16 PM
Comment #276717

For all the anti-government ramblings that come from the right wing, they sure do want to control it. And when given the chance to control it, they grow it and use it to screw up not just our country but the rest of the world with it.

And on personal responsibility, I know 3 people who have walked away from and subsequently foreclosed on their homes…. all 3…. avid Republican voters.

Posted by: Rush at March 3, 2009 11:30 PM
Comment #276727

That video was FUNNY! Thanks!

Posted by: Max at March 4, 2009 2:15 AM
Comment #276737

The problem, as I see it, is not a pork filled stimulus or budget, it’s a lack of courage to do what is necessary.

When nations are faced with dire circumstance, no nation chooses libertarian ideals.

America was not democracy when Washington led troops across the Delaware. It was military dictatorship. Hitler turned Germany around prior to WWII. Roosevelt lacked the courage to turn the US around until he began to accept he had no alternative but to enter the war. Nationalization has been made a dirty word by Buffoons like Rush. The Hooverites whined about budgets and killed any efforts to actually do anything about the depression.

What made America great was it’s return to democratic and free market values after the crisis had passed. There is nothing more efficient than a dictatorship.

Nationalizing banks, Seizing the assets of charlatans and thieves who continue to whine and waiver, jailing and executing a few big time crooks, focuses the mind.

I personally think we are repeating the steps to the thirties depression. Too timid moves done too late.

Chavez may be narcissistic lunatic, but he understood Venezuela’s problem, an oligarchy of thieves.

By rounding up or throwing out these lame corporate welfare types and redirecting the industry of America, recovery can be had. Shoot a few lawyers, and a few loud mouthed- wanna- be dictator pundits.

Of course it has to be done with a palatable window dressing for shallow and stupid Americans who think they are privileged and do not owe anything to the country that makes their existence possible. Perhaps a few reeducation camps.

It was done in WWII. It was done in the Civil War, It was done at the inception of this country.
Do we really have to wait until riots begin in the streets, create some phony overseas threat, or listen to the incessant blather of morons? It will happen. I just hope it happens without massive bloodshed, or a megalomaniac that refuses to relinquish power.

Posted by: gergle at March 4, 2009 5:02 AM
Comment #276740

gergle,

To your comment: “The problem, as I see it, is not a pork filled stimulus or budget, it’s a lack of courage to do what is necessary.”

I would add at the end, “within the law of the land.” GW Bush et.al. were willing to do what was necessary and quick to dismiss the Constitution and law by its revisions to accommodate what they needed to do. That doesn’t take courage, that takes deception and secrecy, traits of a dictator. You are right, dictatorship is the most efficient government in the short run. Not in the long run, however, as power corrupts, and absolute power eventually corrupts absolutely, and is overthrown.

You said: “When nations are faced with dire circumstance, no nation chooses libertarian ideals.”

I have to disagree with this statement. The Colonies were in pretty dire circumstances when the Constitution was drafted, and some provisions in the Constitution were born out of some libertarian ideals. Limited government power is a libertarian ideal. And as the checks and balances between the 3 branches of government were designed to limit power, these were a choice for a libertarian ideal.

Gergle said: “What made America great was it’s return to democratic and free market values after the crisis had passed.”

Agree with the return to democratic values part. As for free market values, while true, it was true for their context. In a largely agrarian society of hamlets and farms and ranches, trade between members of a community could be fairly well regulated by caveat emptor, which at that time translated to Know Who You Are Trading With, especially if credit or trust is required for the trade.

Free market values begin to break down in a hurry between individuals who DO NOT know each other or have a history of trust, and is soon compensated for in a hurry with contracts and granting to the government the power to enforce conditions of a contract between trading partners. And when the industrial revolution arrives, it becomes absolutely necessary to grant government the power and responsibility for oversight and regulation of large business trading entities, as monopoly, price fixing, and exploitation of cheap child labor without conscience or mercy become competitive advantages and profit maximizing realities.

The term free trade should have been discarded during the industrial revolution and replaced with the term ‘fair trade’. But, by then, the corporate barons already had control of government in varying degrees and fair trade and competitive advantage became antonyms, and competitive advantage won out, until the Great Depresssion and the FDR administration.

Gergle said: “Nationalizing banks, Seizing the assets of charlatans and thieves who continue to whine and waiver, jailing and executing a few big time crooks, focuses the mind.”

Provided these actions are taken under the rule of law in compliance with due process and the Bill of Rights, I highly recommend such actions as a deterrent to behavior at the corporate, business, and individual level which is counterproductive to the concept and ideal of ‘fair trade’.

Gergle said: “I personally think we are repeating the steps to the thirties depression. Too timid moves done too late. “

Well, there is much debate over this issue. Both sides have meritorious arguments and historical evidence to bring to their side of the debate. Overshooting on compensatory action at great cost to future tax payers via deficit spending against a backdrop of already high national debt, can be as harmful as failure to halt the vicious cycle of unemployment - fall in consumer economic activity - leading to greater unemployment, etc.

I think the jury won’t be in on current government actions to arrest the recession for at least another five year if not a decade. But, yes, as the government spending in WWII proved, the government spending prior to WWII was insufficient to arrest the cyclical recessions called the Great Depression, which btw, was accompanied by the Great Dust Bowl collapse of our agricultural sector of the economy.

If I had to bet today, which I won’t, I would bet that the actions taken to date by the Fed and Congress and Obama are probably in the neighborhood of being the right amount of action to arrest the Recession by the end of this year.

What they do to prevent a recurrence however, and whether it will be effective, is the other real debate beginning to take place.

Gergle said: “Chavez may be narcissistic lunatic, but he understood Venezuela’s problem, an oligarchy of thieves.”

Yeah, right, he took actions designed to leave himself as the last thief standing.

Gergle said: “By rounding up or throwing out these lame corporate welfare types and redirecting the industry of America, recovery can be had. Shoot a few lawyers, and a few loud mouthed- wanna- be dictator pundits.”

This comment and the rest of your comments are just plain counterproductive, and antithetical to concepts like due process and the bill of rights. These words of yours sound like they came from the mouths of Adolph Hitler or Joseph Stalin.

We neither want nor need such ‘efficiencies’ in the United States of America.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 4, 2009 6:43 AM
Comment #276742

Seems Greenspan and James Baker are in favor of nationalizing banks. Their aim appears to be saving the old money involved in the banking industry. And then there is the Obama administration,in a great irony, opposing nationalization. They (we) will most likely wind up doing it because there is no real alternative, at least for the bigger banks and temporarily. We should watch out for “lemon”socialism. Thats where the taxpayers eat the losses without sharing any of the potential profits. The Soviets went through that when they privatized their industry. The Industries that were well run and capitalized were easy to sell off. The government was stuck with the ones in trouble , including some pretty basic ones that could not just be shutdown.


Lee
Wasn’t it Jackson that had that great struggle with the national bank. As I recall the problem was not just corruption but the bank had too much power without any accountability to the governed, a situation not totaly unlike what we are facing with large private banks today.

Posted by: bills at March 4, 2009 7:35 AM
Comment #276743

bills said: “The Industries that were well run and capitalized were easy to sell off. The government was stuck with the ones in trouble , including some pretty basic ones that could not just be shutdown.”

I have yet to hear any Obama plan that avoids this occurring here in the U.S. Perhaps one has been espoused and I missed it. The basic equation however results in tax payers infusing cash into failed financial institutions to offset valueless and diminished value assets, with no real assurance such assets will ever have value equal or above the amount the tax payers are put upfront.

If you have relevant details pertaining to this topic, I would appreciate a link, source or explanation of same. Thanks.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 4, 2009 8:05 AM
Comment #276746

Lee you have got to help me with this leap of logic you have taken here. If I understand your point regarding the dimmest generation it is the Conan OBrian generation is spoiled because according to the comedian’s rant they have it to easy. They are spoiled because the “market is so successful”.

Question 1. Do all conservatives/repubs rely only upon comedians for there unwavering support of their ideology? Between the Limbaugh and this guy you sure seem to favor them along with rather tenacious ties in logic to support these ideologies.

Question 2. Airplane seats have become smaller and planes more crowded since the earlier days of flying due to the markets insatiable demand for profits. Are you suggesting that because our ancestors from the early to mid 1800’s came across country by wagon it is somehow unAmerican to quibble as the airlines devolve in a dog eat dog deregulated frenzy we call the “free market”?

As you took your large leap into the “bad government logic” that didn’t seem to be espoused in Louis CK’s rant did you stop to think that Fannie and Freddie were privatized once and due to the quest for more profits government has had to step in to keep the mortgage market from ruining the economy worse than it has. What is the repub/conservative alternative that would keep the government from interfering in such a capiltalistic style? Or perhaps I should ask which comedian should I refer to for the conservative/repub solution to the problem, the Limbaugh or Louis?

“What Louis CK is speaking to is people taking the fruits of MARKET economics for granted, as though they were inevitable.”

You know Lee I didn’t hear Louis mention the market or the government in his rant. Perhaps you read to much into it. It seems to me your solution is more “hair of the dog that bit you”. More “free market” deregulation and destruction for the gain of the few and evidently entitled aristocracy. Let the rabble starve while the market corrects itself should it choose to do so. We are in a mini depression today due to this logic. You should reconsider the comedians you seem to favor for this ideology as they have lead you down the wrong road IMHO ;)

Posted by: j2t2 at March 4, 2009 9:53 AM
Comment #276751

j2t2,

As you took your large leap into the “bad government logic” that didn’t seem to be espoused in Louis CK’s rant did you stop to think that Fannie and Freddie were privatized once and due to the quest for more profits government has had to step in to keep the mortgage market from ruining the economy worse than it has.
It was no leap. There was never a point at which either Fannie or Freddie was not a “government sponsored enterprise” very heavily influenced by government and heavily protected by their Democrat sponsors from oversight by the regulators who were charged with containing their excesses. They were always the worst sort of hybrid of two worlds.

Louis didn’t have to mention either markets or the government in his ‘rant’ because what he was describing was the essential motivation behind the current attack on markets. Markets give people what they demand. People want cheap air fares and continue to use airlines when they maximize utilization of planes and crews. Then people want to punish airlines for maximizing utilization of planes and crews.

Duh.

Bills,

Wasn’t it Jackson that had that great struggle with the national bank. As I recall the problem was not just corruption but the bank had too much power without any accountability to the governed, a situation not totaly unlike what we are facing with large private banks today.
Jackson thought his greatest accomplishment was the destruction of the central bank. Eventually that “success” led to the establishment of the Secret Service under the Treasury Department to combat rampant counterfeiting of the thousands of species of money printed by individual banks.

In essence your statement is true. That is, of course the problem with a truly “National” government bank. It becomes accountable to political expediencies (a la Fannie and Freddie) rather than the careful husbanding of resources. Here the comparison with huge (too large to fail) corporate banks really is apropos. The bankers there were not risking their own money. They were accountable to federal rules that nudged them into riskier sorts of loans, supposedly (but not really) buffered by federally guaranteed securities founded in “secure” investments based on home mortgages. They knew if the bank did become threatened financially they would be in a position to demand help from the government, and they really didn’t risk their depositor’s money. Essentially these over-large corporations share all the governance issues of government itself.

Why be more careful?

Ted,

Please refresh my memory, but in the bad old days of regulation wasn’t a no down intrest only ARM illeagal as well as stupid? This is a product that was designed for a bubble market with the sole intent of making a higher profit for the bank after forclosure.
These products were, indeed, stupid. Stupid to sell to ordinary buyers and stupid for ordinary buyers to buy. I always thought deregulation of that aspect of lending was just damn foolish as I also thought the use of home equity loans for consumer credit was foolish. I wrote numerous letters to Texas legislators in an attempt to prevent the legalization of such lending practices here.

Yes, there is a rational limit to ‘market only’ controls in a market operated largely by ignorant participants. Markets work best when responsibility and risk are concentrated in those who repeatedly engage in transactions. People who fly (in the example above) repeatedly use airlines, so they become alerted to risks and discomforts. In lending the situation was upside down because the greatest risk fell to the people who knew nothing and made the fewest transactions in the dynamic marketplace, while the leders and realtors were being insulated (or so they thought) from risk.

Regulation of markets should be designed to place risks in the laps of repeat participants.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at March 4, 2009 11:03 AM
Comment #276764

I remember the world as it used to be. I remember a time when you actually had to put something on your body with moving parts to enjoy music. Others remember a time where portable music wasn’t even a reality.

However, when our iPod’s battery runs out, we’re not going, like Louis CK does, to marvel at what we could do if it were only working! We’re going to go “Oh s***, why didn’t I charge it when I was at home?”.

Call it the law of Situational Inertia: your contentment will tend to stay at rest until acted upon by a force.

Yes, we should be going “I’m in a chair in the sky!!! Wooooow!” when we fly. But that’s not our situation. Our situation is that we have to deal with the reality and logistic of getting a vehicle weighing hundreds of tons to attain and maintain powered flight in the lower Stratosphere while travelling at speeds just below that of sound. We don’t have an FAA or NTSB for nothing. The economic cost of having planes constantly dropping from the skies would be serious.

The question is not one of government or no government, but proper government. Where is intervention useful, where is it not?

Stubbornly insisting on certain philosophical positions is no way to run a government. We see what works, we stop doing what doesn’t. We undertake the struggle necessary to make sure the government acts and behaves responsibility.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 4, 2009 12:21 PM
Comment #276782

David,

What I was trying to say in a intentionally radical way, is that the current Republican nay saying is, in my opinion, leading us down the path toward a Depression. I fear that we need to be much more radical in taking charge of the financial sector.

I’m no advocate of Chavez, but he came to power because of similar conditions to Hitler. An inept government that ignores a nation being cripple through corruption, which then creates a desire for radicalism. Bush lead us a long way down that path. My fear is Obama is too hesitant to reverse that course quickly enough.

With all due respect to “within the law”, I think that is a concept that tends to go out the window, even here in the good old US of A in times of crisis.
Most of our “great” presidents have pushed the boundaries of law or ignored them completely.

It could be easily argued that hanging the Rosenbergs was more about politics than any real spying or treason. Certainly rounding up Japanese Americans wasn’t exactly following the Bill of Rights.

Sometimes politics require sacrificial lambs and shots across the bow, much as a 2 x 4 is allegorically used to get a mule’s attention.

Reading about delays in implementing Road projects in Texas, Rush’s antics, and the incessant cries of pork shows a distinct lack of understanding the situation as it is. This isn’t a time for business as usual. It’s akin to arguing about which way to hold the gun in a firefight.

Sometimes it leads to me gergling over.

Posted by: gergle at March 4, 2009 2:38 PM
Comment #276840

DR
You might find it helpful to look in the Krugman blog archives. “Lemon socialism” has been around for awhile. Conservatives love it. If delivery of a service does not have the potential to make money then it should become a government resposibility,ie rapid transit or insuring nuclear power plants. BHO has not offered anything else concerning bank bailouts to my knowlege, unfortunately.

Posted by: bills at March 5, 2009 8:12 AM
Comment #277001

gergle said: “Reading about delays in implementing Road projects in Texas…”

Texas MUST delay its road projects, since, its Gov. Perry intends to use federal dollars to build toll roads which the majority of Texans oppose. Perry insists we keep an open border to the South so that his toll roads can collect revenues from the Mexican haulers who will be forced to use those toll roads, and only those toll roads, en route to Canada where there cheap labor and illegal drugs as well as legitimate goods can be dropped off for import back into the U.S. via the underground economies in all three nations. Never mind the Texan citizen commuters who rely on those same roads to get to and from work in under a half hour who would otherwise have to commute 90 minutes or more by alternate non-toll routes. So much for oil and gas conservation and reducing automobile air pollution, eh?

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 7, 2009 12:32 AM
Comment #277044

Being no fan of Perry’s, sure I see issues with Toll Roads, but these are not Mexico corridors as I understand it. That deal is dead.

Unfortunately, Toll roads WILL be more effective at traffic reduction than freeways, in cities like Houston.

Currently the toll roads are just as jammed as the freeways in Houston during rush hour. I find surface streets are often faster. The tollroad authority wants to apply peak hour rates to even out traffic, but voters are grumpy about it.

It’s not popular, but it makes more sense.

The issue I was raising, is that this is mostly about economic stimulus. The road plans that are ready to go, are partly tollroads. Quibling about the order things get built in, is stupid when talking about stimulus effect. I’m hoping we don’t stupid ourselves into a depression. Then we’ll need neither freeways or tollroads, we’ll be selling cars for food.

Posted by: gergle at March 7, 2009 4:23 PM
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