Sunday, April 03, 2011

Quotes from Yesterday's Wall Street Journal

1. "What a remarkable human achievement it is to have nearly seven billion people on the planet and more of them overweight than malnourished."  ~Matt Ridley

2. "But maybe there's a darker side to bike-lane advocacy. Political activists of a certain ideological stripe want citizens to have a child-like dependence on government. And it's impossible to feel like a grown-up when you're on a bicycle if you aren't in the Tour de France."  ~P.J. O'Rourke

3. "The great hypocrisy of politicians who oppose school choice is that most claim allegiance to a party and philosophy that so often claims the moral high ground as defenders of the disadvantaged. Yet they callously oppose an opportunity to provide a better educational choice for children because they have a large constituency in unions. If education policy is about providing our children with the best opportunities possible, we ought to be enacting school choice everywhere we can." ~Dick Armey

20 Comments:

At 4/03/2011 2:37 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

So, who then would oppose medical vouchers for military veterans--they could choose their facilities--and abolishing the VA?

Why is this option never raised by the Dick Armeys of the world?

Are the whole range of right-wing think tanks just maus-maus for plutocrats and the R-Party? Or is there a right-wing think tank with intellectual independence?

 
At 4/03/2011 2:42 PM, Blogger AIG said...

"And it's impossible to feel like a grown-up when you're on a bicycle if you aren't in the Tour de France."

?? Sometime conservative/libertarian commentators go to far in pushing a certain pov. I'm not quite sure what he is referring to as far as bike lanes are concerned, but riding a bicycle has nothing to do with being a child or a grown-up. I ride 30 miles a day back and forth to work, and I do it because its my workout and I enjoy it, not because I'm a child.

Sometime such comments are no better than the nanny-stater's POV.

 
At 4/03/2011 2:56 PM, Blogger AIG said...

The only sentence that made any sense in Mr. O'Rourke's entire piece was the very last one. Everything else was an incredibly poor attempt at humor. But then again, Mr. O'Rourke hasn't made it clear to us whether car drivers also pay for use of city roads (highways and city roads are not funded the same way). This is a problem that affects all users of roads, including users of sidewalks.

Until Mr. O'Rourke can devise a way of charging for use on city roads, then in effect non-drivers and non-users are paying for drivers, just as much as drivers are paying for cyclists. The question is, if the benefits of coming up with and implementing such a system are worth the time of reading his article?

 
At 4/03/2011 3:01 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"?? Sometime conservative/libertarian commentators go to far in pushing a certain pov.

I think that more than anything, this article was intended to be humorous. It certainly worked for me, I'm still chuckling. Maybe bike riders need to grow a sense of humor & not take themselves so seriously.

 
At 4/03/2011 3:05 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

BTW, when did we discover that the true source of all evil in the United States was...public school teachers.

What is the next target? Professors at public-funded universities, such as the University of Michigan?

Why not vouchers for college students, and they could pick their own university?

 
At 4/03/2011 3:14 PM, Blogger AIG said...

"I think that more than anything, this article was intended to be humorous."

I know. It was very poor humor, however. And obviously intended to put forth a certain message, which he failed to do.

 
At 4/03/2011 3:31 PM, Blogger Rick Caird said...

Benjamin, nobody said that public school teachers are evil. What Armey indicated was the teacher's unions are evil. I am with him that.

You probably did not have a good teacher. Your reading comprehension shows that.

 
At 4/03/2011 4:09 PM, Blogger Rick said...

Once again when Mr. Perry strays off economics the posts become rather inane. Mixing two humorous observations with one that confuses the lack of government sponsorship as a denial of free choice. Or maybe we were meant to take the Armey quote as something to giggle at as well? This is possible as Armey did benefit from years attending public schools without the use of vouchers.

 
At 4/03/2011 5:00 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

But then again, Mr. O'Rourke hasn't made it clear to us whether car drivers also pay for use of city roads (highways and city roads are not funded the same way).

It is called gasoline taxes. And license renewal fees. And plate renewal fees. Etc. Etc. Etc. It is clear that drivers pay for roads.

 
At 4/03/2011 5:51 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Rick

[an observation]"...that confuses the lack of government sponsorship as a denial of free choice."

It's not clear to me from this little bit what your position on school vouchers is. Are you in favor of them, or not?

 
At 4/03/2011 7:33 PM, Blogger AIG said...

"It is called gasoline taxes. And license renewal fees. And plate renewal fees. Etc. Etc. Etc. It is clear that drivers pay for roads."

As usual, you're making stuff up.

 
At 4/03/2011 8:45 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Well, back in Eisenhower-Kennedy days, public school teachers were pretty good.

Actually, I think it is the students that make the teachers, within reason. Give me a roomful of eager students from Asian immigrants, and I will get every one of them into college.

Anyway I am against all public pensions, whether for city, state, federal or military employees. Pensions are timebombs.

But this beating up of public teachers is getting a little old. Can we go back to hating commies?

 
At 4/03/2011 9:10 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

New York City public school teachers are evil. There, I said it.

They love the union, they couldn't care less about the kids and they're overpaid.

 
At 4/04/2011 5:57 AM, Blogger geoih said...

"2. "But maybe there's a darker side to bike-lane advocacy."

The real dark side of bike lanes is that somehow it's a good idea to have people on 20 pound bicycles sharing the road with multi-ton cars and trucks. It is inherently unsave.

The problem is this antiquated idea that bicycles are road vehicles. A better analogy is bicycles are pedestrians on wheels, the same as wheel chairs. They should be on the sidewalk. Instead of trying to adapt a road, that was never meant for bicycles, widen the sidewalks.

It doesn't take a physicist to understand that a collision between a pedestrian and a bicycle is infinitely less dangerous that a collision between a car and a bicycle.

Factor in the fact that a significant portion of the bicycle using population are children, then the idea becomes even less logical.

 
At 4/04/2011 6:02 AM, Blogger geoih said...

Quote from AIG: "Until Mr. O'Rourke can devise a way of charging for use on city roads, then in effect non-drivers and non-users are paying for drivers, just as much as drivers are paying for cyclists."

Roads are paid for mostly through gasoline taxes. Drivers are paying for the roads.

What I really like about bike lanes is how they set aside the equivelent of at least one lane of traffic for users, that in my part of the country, aren't even on the road half the year.

Now that's efficiency.

 
At 4/04/2011 7:49 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"It certainly worked for me, I'm still chuckling. Maybe bike riders need to grow a sense of humor & not take themselves so seriously"...

Agreed Ron H...

 
At 4/04/2011 9:16 AM, Blogger AIG said...

"Roads are paid for mostly through gasoline taxes. Drivers are paying for the roads."

That is plainly not true. Gas taxes end up paying for a lot of things, other than roads. But primarily we are dealing with city roads here, which in most cases are paid through many other means other than gas taxes.

"It doesn't take a physicist to understand that a collision between a pedestrian and a bicycle is infinitely less dangerous that a collision between a car and a bicycle."

Most bicycle use which shares roads with cars is in city streets, where the average car is going 30mph. The average biker that rides on the street, is not a child, but someone who is going on average 15mph.

This isn't an advocacy for "bike lanes", as I realize these are generally dumb ideas, but bikes belong on the street if you are going that fast. So either you ban bikes from the streets (which is just as silly as bike lanes), or you let them do what they have been doing all along. Bikers know fully well which roads are safe and which are dangerous to ride on, and adjust their routs accordingly. And of course a lot do ride on the sidewalk when there's no room on the road. But the question becomes; who pays for the sidewalks? And why does the pedestrian get a free pass? (of course, the pedestrian, biker and drive, is usually the same person)

From a free-market perspective (excluding loony anarcho-libertarianisms), the idea of paying for use, and funding through use, is ideal. But unless you can overcome transaction costs of such a complex system as road use, it will always remain problematic. Thats why we haven't seen a solution to it emerge.

 
At 4/04/2011 4:03 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"That is plainly not true. Gas taxes end up paying for a lot of things, other than roads. But primarily we are dealing with city roads here, which in most cases are paid through many other means other than gas taxes"...

Really?

You have something credible to back that up?

Seriously, I'm interested...

 
At 4/04/2011 9:44 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

That is plainly not true. Gas taxes end up paying for a lot of things, other than roads. But primarily we are dealing with city roads here, which in most cases are paid through many other means other than gas taxes.

I think that this is a weak argument. First, gasoline taxes are clearly paid by drivers. There is clearly enough being paid to fund road maintenance. Not only that but the taxes go to subsidize public transit, which makes no sense.

The fact that taxes are used by governments to pay for other things does not mean that drivers are not paying for their use.

City roads were built by developers, not government. They should be maintained by property taxes paid by businesses and residents that use them along with a share of taxes from gasoline.

 
At 4/05/2011 6:04 AM, Blogger geoih said...

Quote from AIG: "That is plainly not true. Gas taxes end up paying for a lot of things, other than roads. But primarily we are dealing with city roads here, which in most cases are paid through many other means other than gas taxes."

Gasoline taxes are paid by drivers for roads. The state then takes the taxes and uses them for something else, but that doesn't change the first fact. It simply highlights the corruption of the state.

Quote from AIG: "The average biker that rides on the street, is not a child, but someone who is going on average 15mph."

What universe are you living in? Avergae of 15 mph? Yeah, if the Tour de France happens to be in town.

The average bike rider is a child and when there is a bike lane present, the state demands that they use it. Perhaps you live in some adults only part of the country.

You're argument is all over the place. If bikes are going too fast, then perhaps they need a speed limit (probably not, if the sidewalk were bigger). If bikers already adjust their routes to safer roads, then why do they need bike lanes? If they move to the sidewalk when necessary, then it must be safe enough for them to ride there. Pedestrians don't get a free pass. Sidewalks are installed because local municipalities require them. It's just another government intervention (like bike lanes).

Transaction costs are a part of any complex system. Saying they are too difficult to overcome for roads is just another way of saying large groups of people don't want to pay them.

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home