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15 comments

1 garhighway  Tue, Sep 27, 2011 6:18:39pm

I'm not sure I get your point. Building public infrastructure has been part of stimulus activity since the WPA. I'm not sure there has been a point in time in the last 100 years when local governments were, in the aggregate, fully funded for such work. So the idea that we would fund such work as stimulus does not strike me as novel or startling.

The problem with it, though, is that anything other than routine resurfacing and the like has such long lead times for design, engineering and ROW acquisition that it makes lousy short-term stimulus.

2 mikiesmoky2  Tue, Sep 27, 2011 6:32:20pm

re: #1 garhighway

I'm not sure I get your point. Building public infrastructure has been part of stimulus activity since the WPA. I'm not sure there has been a point in time in the last 100 years when local governments were, in the aggregate, fully funded for such work. So the idea that we would fund such work as stimulus does not strike me as novel or startling.

The problem with it, though, is that anything other than routine resurfacing and the like has such long lead times for design, engineering and ROW acquisition that it makes lousy short-term stimulus.

Thank you for your comments.

REGARDING: I'm not sure there has been a point in time in the last 100 years when local governments were, in the aggregate, fully funded for such work.

RESPONSE: If your assumption is correct, i.e., that these functions are not in the course of ordinary governmental activities, if our economics were adequate these roads and bridges would just collapse and die, since if the only time we would resort to fixing and building would be for the sake of stimulating our economy.

That appears to be a very strange theory.

Just because we are awake may not guaranty that our thought processes are adequate.

Thanks, again,

mz

3 garhighway  Tue, Sep 27, 2011 6:38:24pm

re: #2 mikiesmoky2

Thank you for your comments.

REGARDING: I'm not sure there has been a point in time in the last 100 years when local governments were, in the aggregate, fully funded for such work.

RESPONSE: If your assumption is correct, i.e., that these functions are not in the course of ordinary governmental activities, if our economics were adequate these roads and bridges would just collapse and die, since if the only time we would resort to fixing and building would be for the sake of stimulating our economy.

There's a difference between "funded enough to keep things going" (the usual state of affairs) and "fully funded" (allocated enough money to do every project that a state or town wants to do.) Road and bridge funds as stimulus exist in the gap between those two sums.

If your town would like to build a bypass around the business district but can't afford it, that's the kind of project that is useful for stimulus application. (Leaving aside the issues I raised in my first post.)

That appears to be a very strange theory.

Just because we are awake may not guaranty that our thought processes are adequate.

Thanks, again,

mz

4 mikiesmoky2  Tue, Sep 27, 2011 7:19:11pm

re: #3 garhighway

REGARDING: If your town would like to build a bypass around the business district but can't afford it, that's the kind of project that is useful for stimulus application. (Leaving aside the issues I raised in my first post.)

RESPONSE: Okay, allow me to attack this again:

You are implying that the town must wait until it requires a "stimulus application" before it will build the bypass.
If that were the case, then the town really doesn't need it, since, assuming the town's economics remain healthy, the "desired" bypass will never be built.
Catch 22, anyone?

Does that help?

mz

5 freetoken  Tue, Sep 27, 2011 7:53:17pm
If bridges and roads are in a state of disrepair, a simple explanation should be forthcoming as to why this has occurred.

2nd law of thermodynamics?

Anyway, it is now well documented that a great deal of the post WWII infrastructure build-out in this country, done in what historically could be viewed as a long term boom in western civilization in North America, is not being maintained at a level necessary to keep up with deterioration.

The Navy needs new facilities... many cities' sewer systems need repair... potable water supplies in many areas are disappearing and and new water sources are needed... etc., etc., etc., ...

6 mikiesmoky2  Tue, Sep 27, 2011 8:12:48pm

re: #5 freetoken

2nd law of thermodynamics?

Anyway, it is now well documented that a great deal of the post WWII infrastructure build-out in this country, done in what historically could be viewed as a long term boom in western civilization in North America, is not being maintained at a level necessary to keep up with deterioration.

The Navy needs new facilities... many cities' sewer systems need repair... potable water supplies in many areas are disappearing and and new water sources are needed... etc., etc., etc., ...

Ha, ha...., yeah, the old law of thermodynamics!

That's like the old choke hold, i.e., at some time before he died, the hold could have been released.

It takes years before that old law of T would have done its damage.

Another example: are you not going to replace your roof, at some point in time? We put funds away to plan for those eventualities or we will borrow the necessary funds and pay the loan off over time.

Addressing infrastructure fixes and builds is an ongoing phenomenon at any government level.

No one has addressed the "why" as to the delinquency regarding infrastructure, including parks, schools, etc.. (HINT: the top 0.1%)

Thank you,

mz

7 garhighway  Tue, Sep 27, 2011 8:31:00pm

Generally, funding for such local infrastructure is determined locally, and is therefore a product of local politics. (With a few exceptions.) So NYC has pretty awesome infrastructure, and many other places don't. Because NYC has a ferocious local tax base and is willing to use it.

I really don't see this as a class issue, and I do think there are some things where the locals ought to be able to determine how much money they want to spend.

So while I admire your passion on the issue, I am not with you on this one. If a city or county wants to raise taxes to build the bypass, they can do so. If they don't, they don't. The Feds should stay out of it except in certain situations where true national priorities are in play.

My two cents.

8 mikiesmoky2  Tue, Sep 27, 2011 11:28:42pm

re: #7 garhighway

Generally, funding for such local infrastructure is determined locally, and is therefore a product of local politics. (With a few exceptions.) So NYC has pretty awesome infrastructure, and many other places don't. Because NYC has a ferocious local tax base and is willing to use it.

I really don't see this as a class issue, and I do think there are some things where the locals ought to be able to determine how much money they want to spend.

So while I admire your passion on the issue, I am not with you on this one. If a city or county wants to raise taxes to build the bypass, they can do so. If they don't, they don't. The Feds should stay out of it except in certain situations where true national priorities are in play.

My two cents.

Whereas I, sincerely, appreciate your well thought out comments (worth in excess of two cents – lol), you appear to be missing the important conflict between choosing the allocation of funds for ordinary and necessary expenditures for services and infrastructure repairs and builds versus transferring these funds to the top 0.1% of income recipients.

This understanding is crucial as it is one of the most important factors that have created our economic malaise.

The other most important factors are the offshoring of jobs, Wall Street’s “creativities”, and technological advances (the only healthy factor).

And yes, there has been “class” warfare for the past 30 years, beginning with John Hinckley. Feel free to inquire.

Thank you,

mz

9 Daniel Ballard  Thu, Sep 29, 2011 11:44:12am

Mz
You assume that in the prevailing tax structure the roads and bridges could not have been maintained. That is not necessarily true at all. Logically we can see these are independent policies.

We could easily have built less new roads and maintained the old. Or changed the tax structure and still failed to maintain the roads and bridges.

Generally the states & localities maintain the roads even if built by the Feds. The taxes you refer to are federally set by the congress.

You have built a bridge too far here.

10 mikiesmoky2  Thu, Sep 29, 2011 12:33:14pm

re: #9 Rightwingconspirator

Mz
You assume that in the prevailing tax structure the roads and bridges could not have been maintained. That is not necessarily true at all. Logically we can see these are independent policies.

We could easily have built less new roads and maintained the old. Or changed the tax structure and still failed to maintain the roads and bridges.

Generally the states & localities maintain the roads even if built by the Feds. The taxes you refer to are federally set by the congress.

You have built a bridge too far here.

Since my only goal is to educate, i.e., I don't want to embarrass anyone, I will only offer the important part of the piece, which, apparently, some have missed:

Apparently, when our leadership has had to choose between performing normal and necessary governmental operations versus shifting wealth to the top 0.1%, they have opted for the latter, i.e., we can’t devote the same wealth to investments in infrastructure and give to the top 0.1%.

Is anyone awake?

mz

11 Daniel Ballard  Thu, Sep 29, 2011 3:47:38pm

re: #10 mikiesmoky2

Since my only goal is to educate, i.e., I don't want to embarrass anyone, I will only offer the important part of the piece, which, apparently, some have missed:

Apparently, when our leadership has had to choose between performing normal and necessary governmental operations versus shifting wealth to the top 0.1%, they have opted for the latter, i.e., we can’t devote the same wealth to investments in infrastructure and give to the top 0.1%.

Is anyone awake?

mz

Maybe it's being Californian where we do not under tax the upper 1% like the Feds do. And yet failed to maintain the infrastructure. We have the Buffet rule plus here after all. We soak the rich pretty good. The roads still suck.

[Link: www.latimes.com...]

12 Daniel Ballard  Thu, Sep 29, 2011 3:53:23pm

re: #10 mikiesmoky2

Did you not notice the Feds vs state issue as per who pays for this stuff?

13 mikiesmoky2  Thu, Sep 29, 2011 10:32:11pm

re: #11 Rightwingconspirator

Maybe it's being Californian where we do not under tax the upper 1% like the Feds do. And yet failed to maintain the infrastructure. We have the Buffet rule plus here after all. We soak the rich pretty good. The roads still suck.

[Link: www.latimes.com...]

No matter how many times I attempt to lead to the water of knowledge, you, stubbornly, refuse to drink.

Now...., I must repeat: Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. lol

WOW!!!!

mz

14 mikiesmoky2  Thu, Sep 29, 2011 10:35:30pm

re: #12 Rightwingconspirator

Did you not notice the Feds vs state issue as per who pays for this stuff?

Perhaps if my repitition morphed into a chant, it might work? lol

WOW!!! times X, where X equals a very large number

mz

15 Daniel Ballard  Fri, Sep 30, 2011 9:15:46am

re: #13 mikiesmoky2

No matter how many times I attempt to lead to the water of knowledge, you, stubbornly, refuse to drink.

Now..., I must repeat: Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. lol

WOW!!!

mz

I can tell bad water when I see it. I can without the intestinal parasites residing in said waters.


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