Donald Trump

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Donald Trump

Postby Seahawks4Ever » Thu Aug 20, 2015 9:20 am

I was shocked that the more I listen to Trump the more I agree with him. Many of the things he says about trade I have been saying for years. I appreciate he confirmed that people like him give money to politicians and in return he receives political favors.
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Re: Donald Trump

Postby Hawktown » Sat Aug 22, 2015 10:46 am

Seems to me that Trump and his political affiliates should be in prison for the rest of their lives and every penny stripped from their pockets! Along with the rest of the BS government traitors!
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Re: Donald Trump

Postby Seahawks4Ever » Mon Aug 24, 2015 7:49 pm

Now that Trump has gone back on his word of not accepting donation from well heeled donors "as long as there are no strings attached" the bloom should be coming off of the rose. I wondered how long it would take before he would torpedo his own campaign.

The pundits who know him best have predicted he would drop out at some point because he is only on a massive ego trip.
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Re: Donald Trump

Postby c_hawkbob » Tue Aug 25, 2015 2:56 am

Donald Trump, the Democrats best friend.
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Re: Donald Trump

Postby Seahawks4Ever » Wed Aug 26, 2015 11:53 am

Many in the GOP believe that he is a plant by the Democratic Nat. Comm. Even if he isn't, he is sure doing the job.
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Re: Donald Trump

Postby kalibane » Thu Aug 27, 2015 5:51 am

The fact that he even has a legit campaign to begin with should frighten people, especially in the republican party. Trump is a reflection of the xenophobic republican id that has coalesced as a result of the Southern Strategy. But then again half the republican field managed to get elected to high offices and they are basically Bud Select to Trump's King of Beers... same crap, less filler.
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Re: Donald Trump

Postby burrrton » Thu Aug 27, 2015 8:14 am

The fact that he even has a legit campaign to begin with should frighten people, especially in the republican party.


Agree*, but I wouldn't exactly call the Dem lineup a shining example of the American Ideal.

*Trump's a buffoon IMO, and is one of only two or three people (in both the Dem and Repub primaries) that I can say I could never vote for in the general.
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Re: Donald Trump

Postby kalibane » Thu Aug 27, 2015 10:03 am

I wasn't complimenting the Democrats because there is a lot to dislike with them and let me make it clear I have no desire to get into an ideological debate. I'm speaking from a purely functional perspective.

That being said, I think the republican party is in a bit worse shape. The way I look at it is this. You go back 30 years and John Kasich, Lindsey Graham, Jim Gilmore, Jeb Bush and maybe Chris Christie would have been the only people who fit in with the Republican platform. And even Lindsey Graham is far more conservative than he used to be.

Everyone else that is currently in the field would have been relegated to the outermost fringe of their own party 30 years ago, if not laughed out altogether. That's funny thing about this race. Republicans HATE Hillary Clinton... (and trust me I'm no fan) but the irony is that her voting record and policies would actually make her more in line with traditional republican ideals than the majority of the current republican field from about 1990 back through reconstruction.

When they made the calculated decision to court evangelicals and former southern democrats with dog whistle social policy issues like abortion, racial issues dressed up as "states rights', gay rights etc. it set in motion a process that has resulted in a party base that today is so far to the right socially it makes Goldwater Republicans look liberal in comparison.

The result is with the social platform they are running on they pretty much make it impossible to carry the black vote, Hispanic vote, woman vote or gay vote. And then of course this gets compounded by the fact that no one really makes a good faith effort to reach out to these groups for fear that they piss off the base and end up losing in the primary so instead they double down on the social rhetoric and the party just moves further and further to the right. The democrats have a ton to not like in their party but they aren't alienating vast swaths of multiple voting demographics. So functionally I see the Republicans in a worse place.
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Re: Donald Trump

Postby burrrton » Thu Aug 27, 2015 10:34 am

The democrats have a ton to not like in their party but they aren't alienating vast swaths of multiple voting demographics. So functionally I see the Republicans in a worse place.


Well, I don't really disagree, as I think the Republican party is a hot mess right now, but there's a little caveat in there.

'Minority' voting blocs have indeed moved more to the Dems in the last couple elections, but there's good reason to think that's an "Obama thing" and not a "Democrat thing". When Obama isn't on the ticket, Repubs do much, much better.

They don't 'win' those demographics (they never have), but they don't need to because Dems lose by 20 points the demographic that comprises something like 3/4 of the voting electorate- 'whites'.

If Rs do (close to) as well with blacks and hispanics as Bush did, they win. I don't know if they will, because they appear to enjoy shooting themselves in the foot and snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, but they have good reason to be confident (assuming they don't nominate Trump, who'd lose 50 states).

[edit]

I'd also disagree a bit about the claim the political polarization we're undergoing is due entirely to a shift in one side of the political spectrum- the person running an ever-stronger second place for the Dems is a capital "S" Socialist, and JFK would be laughed out of the Dem party today. It doesn't seem you can breathe a word about corporate tax reform, entitlement reform, strong national defense, any restrictions on abortion, OTC birth control, and on and on and expect to be taken seriously by Democrats.

Hell, look what happened to a pretty decent Democrat candidate when had the gall to suggest "all lives matter".

Insisting on some extreme level of ideological purity is not a phenomenon limited to Republicans.

[edit2]

Hehe- coincidentally, I just happened to stumble onto this just now:

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articl ... arios.html

I haven't read the entire article or played around with their tool at all, so I have no idea if it backs up my contentions or undermines them, but there you go.
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Re: Donald Trump

Postby kalibane » Thu Aug 27, 2015 1:42 pm

Can't agree with that. Bernie is an outlier in the Democratic party of today. I think there are some democrats that would like to be more like Bernie but the reality is they aren't. He also would have fit in with the Democrats fine 30 years ago.

Bernie is essentially the Democrat rebuke of Hillary Clinton. Even many of the people who are planning on voting for her don't really trust her. He's almost like Trump... the "none of the above" choice (although unlike Trump he actually has a plan, maybe not a good one but he does actually have policy planks). Bernie is the exception, not the rule. Just like the republicans the democrats on the whole have been shifting right for years. People scream socialist but the truth is the party as a whole is more centrist than left leaning at this point. Our democratic congressional candidates in Cincinnati usually run with a pro-life stance. Hillary would have a harder time finding a place in the democratic party leadership 30 years ago than Bernie would. And watch If Biden gets in the race, which it looks more and more like he might. Feel the Bern will flame out. His biggest impact will be forcing certain topics into the campaign discourse.

As far as the minority demographics. The problem isn't so much in the past, it's looking down the road. So while it's definitely true Obama carried more of the minority vote than usual, the Republican's can't just scrape by on the pre-Obama percentages. The Hispanic block is growing at a much greater rate than other demographics and the baby boomers that make up a sizable portion of the Republican voters are dying off. So now you're looking at an electorate that has larger percentages of younger and minority voting blocks both of which tend to more liberal views. This election is absolutely critical for the Reps IMO. If the Republicans don't win 2016 and don't find a way to tap into those groups down the road I don't see them winning the presidency for a while.

So sure there are certain issues that are non-starters in the Democratic party and their policies are flawed in many areas, what they have going for them is they are more inclusive and that is going to mean more and more as time goes on.
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Re: Donald Trump

Postby burrrton » Thu Aug 27, 2015 2:02 pm

Bernie is an outlier in the Democratic party of today.


C'mon. He has roughly as much support among Democrats as Trump does among Republicans. The only difference is the 'non-Sanders/Trump' votes coalesce around Clinton for the Dems, while they're split among 2,475 others for the Repubs.

Repub nomincation: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls ... -3823.html
Dem nomination: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls ... -3824.html

Also, go here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political ... ie_Sanders

What positions there are you sure a majority of Democrats would reject? If there is one, I didn't see it on a skim.

Just like the republicans the democrats on the whole have been shifting right for years. People scream socialist but the truth is the party as a whole is more centrist than left leaning at this point.


Can you name a position on which Obama or Hillary is to the right of Bill Clinton?

I think it's more that some trends have taken the country overall further left (eg. SSM) and some have taken it further right (eg. debt bomb).
...

WRT demographics, we broadly agree on the trends going forward. Repubs can't write off non-white blocs and expect to win, and even if they could, they shouldn't.

What can get you elected isn't necessarily what's best for the country, and that's something I wish BOTH sides would agree to *and* act on.
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Re: Donald Trump

Postby Seahawks4Ever » Thu Aug 27, 2015 5:25 pm

Every where you hear pundits and pollsters discussing the depth of Trump's support among different groups. One group I can't find any data on but I did hear one pollster say that a certain portion of those in Trump's camp are people who either have not voted in a long time and many who though have been eligible for years but have not voted but intend to vote for Trump. These people shouldn't be confused with young people, many either will be eligible to vote for the first time in 2016 or are under 30 years of age but have never voted before. I saw the news segment too late and missed any poll numbers the (The pollsters) must have posted.

I did hear Trump's comment about that poll, he said his campaign is tapping into the GSM, the great Silent Majority. I haven't heard that phrase since Richard Nixon used it, often.

On a anecdotal note, I have talked to many friends, family, and co-workers who told for years that they didn't bother to vote because it didn't matter, "nothing was ever going to change". Well, maybe there is a significant amount of the electorate who have had enough of the B.S. that has been going on in our country for the last 25-30+ years and are fed up and are determined to change the path our country has been on for quite a while now.

I have to admit, this is the most interesting general election campaign I have ever witnessed, even more so than when Ross Perot ran, especially his 1992 campaign. I am old enough to remember the explosive 1968 election. especially the Democratic national Convention held in Chicago. I hope Dick Nixon sent Mayor Richard Daley a "thank you" note LOL. From one Dick to another Dick!
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Re: Donald Trump

Postby Old but Slow » Fri Aug 28, 2015 2:02 am

It is interesting to hear the reaction to Bernie's Socialist leanings. Somehow people have too much of a connection between socialism and communism, and immediately turn off. Look at the reality. Our entire military is socialist. No competition, government controlled, nonprofit, and so on. Same for several other government controlled agencies. No problem. Some parts of the economy are best left to private enterprise, and some others are not.

There is nothing essentially subversive about socialism. Allowing competitive corporatism to run our military would be a nonstarter. There are things that competition and market effects would result in disaster, just think about what happened in Iraq with our disastrous private partners. Private partners like Kellogg, Brown and Root, gave us a big black eye.

Socialism simply means that some elements of the society should be run by the government, while others can be open to the free market That does not seem so subversive to me. As an example there seems to be some movement to privatize the postal service. It has run quite well as a socialist service, but some seem to think that there is profit to be made if it is privatized. But, will a private company agree to provide service to all that the current postal service does? To isolated points in Alaska and in the deserts of the Southwest? Will we not hear complaints soon that these deliveries are not profitable, and should be eliminated?

Private industry, with all its strength, demands profit. Providing profit is expensive. Government, while clumsy, provides service without the burden of profit, so can, at times, offer the better deal.

The thought that someone espouses socialism means that they are in some way extreme, is extreme. It is mainstream. Socialism has been a part of our system for the long term and should not be seen with alarm.
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Re: Donald Trump

Postby kalibane » Fri Aug 28, 2015 5:13 am

Well Burrrton,

Defense spending goes up each year under Obama and the Trans Pacific trade deal is FAR from a liberal initiative to name a couple. As far as Clinton, like I said no one trusts her. Most people believe she's bought and paid for by her ties to the corporate world. It's not that most democrats reject their proposals (although many are opposed to the Trans Pacific deal) its that the party is actually accepting of these things when in the past they never would have been. The fact that Bernie Sanders has zero chance to win the nomination by most people's estimation shows the party has moved right. If the democrats had been pulling left Bernie would be the clear front runner over Hillary based on policy.

I did just agree with you that Bernie was the equivalent of Trump, the difference is that in the Democratic party Bernie stands apart. He's running a grass roots campaign independent of party leadership. There is no prominent faction of Bernie Sanders lite democrats holding governorships and seats in congress. The handful that do exist are all background players. Compare that to the Republican party where Ted Cruz, Scott Walker, Rand Paul, Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal, Mike Huckabee and Rick Perry are at the forefront of the party getting donations from the Republican establishment donors.

Bernie may be giving voice to what some voters want but he is not representative of the actual party. He's the only person I know of that isn't afraid to be called a socialist. Everyone else runs from that label and moderates their positions to get away from it. I do think that you will see the party start pulling left going forward but since Carter lost up to and including the last election the party has been inching right. Not to the point where they are actually conservatives but in clear moderate territory. That's how they've been able to make some headway in places like Virginia and NC.
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Re: Donald Trump

Postby RiverDog » Fri Aug 28, 2015 8:01 am

There is no way Donald Trump will ever get elected POTUS. Radicals frequently get a lot of traction in primaries, might even win a nomination like Barry Goldwater did in 1964 or George McGovern did in 1972. But like them, he'll get routed in a national election, and probably take down a whole bunch of Republican congressmen and Senators with him. If you support Trump, you're enabling that snake of a politician Hillary Clinton.

The biggest problem I have with Trump is his stand on immigration. He wants to track down and deport every illegal alien in the country. I've seen illegals tracked down, hunted like they were some sort of game, bussed out immediately without even allowing them to get their kids. It's as inhumane and insensitive of an operation that I've ever witnessed. The vast majority of illegal are not here to commit crimes, they are here seeking a better way of life. If they get caught committing a crime or even of a traffic violation, then I could see deporting them. But no way to I want to see a Gestapo style force entering orchards and vineyards on horseback chasing them down like it was a scene out of Planet of the Apes.

He wants to construct a wall across our border with Mexico, something that's not even needed as we can achieve the same results by other less obvious means. A wall between us and Mexico and not one between us and Canada would be as symbolic as the Berlin Wall was. There's genuine problems with our immigration policy, has been for centuries, but I do not approve of the truly Draconian methods that Trump advocates to solve them.

Donald Trump isn't a candidate, he's a spoiler.
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Re: Donald Trump

Postby kalibane » Fri Aug 28, 2015 8:20 am

The cherry on top is he knows neither mass deportations nor the wall would ever happen, but he's going to stoke those fires anyway.
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Re: Donald Trump

Postby RiverDog » Fri Aug 28, 2015 8:30 am

Old but Slow wrote:It is interesting to hear the reaction to Bernie's Socialist leanings. Somehow people have too much of a connection between socialism and communism, and immediately turn off. Look at the reality. Our entire military is socialist. No competition, government controlled, nonprofit, and so on. Same for several other government controlled agencies. No problem. Some parts of the economy are best left to private enterprise, and some others are not.

There is nothing essentially subversive about socialism. Allowing competitive corporatism to run our military would be a nonstarter. There are things that competition and market effects would result in disaster, just think about what happened in Iraq with our disastrous private partners. Private partners like Kellogg, Brown and Root, gave us a big black eye.

Socialism simply means that some elements of the society should be run by the government, while others can be open to the free market That does not seem so subversive to me. As an example there seems to be some movement to privatize the postal service. It has run quite well as a socialist service, but some seem to think that there is profit to be made if it is privatized. But, will a private company agree to provide service to all that the current postal service does? To isolated points in Alaska and in the deserts of the Southwest? Will we not hear complaints soon that these deliveries are not profitable, and should be eliminated?

Private industry, with all its strength, demands profit. Providing profit is expensive. Government, while clumsy, provides service without the burden of profit, so can, at times, offer the better deal.

The thought that someone espouses socialism means that they are in some way extreme, is extreme. It is mainstream. Socialism has been a part of our system for the long term and should not be seen with alarm.


The military is one of the few parts of our society where the government is justified in providing us a service. The police force and our justice system is another. And I can see the need for some regulatory agencies that are accountable to elected officials. But the list starts getting pretty short after those biggies.

There are scores of activities that the government has no business being in and where private industry can provide better, more cost competitive alternatives than can the government. Amtrak is a classic example. When it was created 30+ years ago, it was supposed to show a profit within its first 5 years, and it's never come close. Now it's no longer a national system and the only ones that ride it outside a few routes in the Northeast are retired people that simply want to use it as a sightseeing adventure. Or how about the USPS? Do we really need a bunch of unsolicited snail mail delivered to our doorsteps 6 days a week? Do we really need to provide liberal benefits far in excess of what the marketplace would bear to USFS employees to clear hiking trails or to collect garbage at national parks?

I recently got into an argument with a friend over the Costco initiative that allowed for the sale of hard liquor at private businesses rather than at state run stores. I voted for it, not because I thought it would bring me lower prices, which if it has, has only done so marginally. I voted for it because I see no rational reason why the state should be in charge of selling Crown Royal but not be in charge of selling Budweiser or Marlboro's.
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Re: Donald Trump

Postby kalibane » Fri Aug 28, 2015 9:47 am

Well here's the thing about Amtrak Riv... Amtrak failed because it can't compete. It takes 2-3 times longer for me to take the train from Cincinnati (where I live) to Washington DC (a place we often visit) than it does to drive it myself.

Why would I choose to take the train? The reason it can't compete is our rail system has barely been updated since tracks were first laid. Now compare that to Europe. My wife and I are going to Amsterdam and Paris next summer and when we worked out transportation the fastest way to get from Amsterdam to Paris is by train, faster than flying once you factor in Airport hassles.

But here is the rub. There are zero privately held companies that have any interest of footing the cost for building a high speed rail system. If we leave it to the free market to work out we just won't have it. And even if a private company did decide to take that kind of venture on, the price of tickets needed to recoup the sunk cost of construction and turn a profit would be so high that the common man could not afford to use the service regularly so it makes very little sense. The only way to get stuff like that done is government investment in infrastructure which means enacting policy that will flat out be socialist. But that isn't going to happen so our rail system is just a graveyard.

Competition and capitalism are necessary in general. But the more I learn about the rest of the world the more I'm forced to admit that we have the wrong idea about certain issues. The above is one example, another is healthcare. We are falling way behind the rest of the first world in a lot of areas. And it's hard to ignore the fact that even hard line conservatives in other countries don't give things like socialized healthcare a second thought. It's just accepted. And yet for some reason even though our system is markedly inferior to the rest of the first world ( ranked 37th and falling) and all the countries at the top have socialized healthcare, we stubbornly hold on to the idea that a free market health insurance system is what's best for the country.

Pure capitalism doesn't work, never has. I think we need to start being a little more nuanced in our thinking about having social programs that make sense which doesn't make us a socialist country. And I think that's what Old and Slow is getting at. And at least that's how my thinking has evolved over the past 15 or so years where before I would have been dead set against government run healthcare.
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Re: Donald Trump

Postby burrrton » Fri Aug 28, 2015 11:03 am

There are zero privately held companies that have any interest of footing the cost for building a high speed rail system. If we leave it to the free market to work out we just won't have it.


Which tells most people all they need to know about whether it's worth doing (can turn a profit after construction costs and ridership are evaluated).

There are a lot of factors that keep Americans from wanting to use trains (geography, inconvenience, etc). Assuming all that will change if we'd just spend a trillion or two building it is wishful thinking.

I think we need to start being a little more nuanced in our thinking about having social programs that make sense which doesn't make us a socialist country.


Sure- now detail why what *you* think "makes sense" should outweigh what 150 million others think.

[edit]

Also, you can't use "Does this country have socialized healthcare" as a factor when deciding if countries with socialized healthcare are superior (among other WHO failings like using overall population health, infant mortality, etc).

Our system has (and had) warts, but those WHO rankings are silly.
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Re: Donald Trump

Postby burrrton » Fri Aug 28, 2015 11:20 am

Private industry, with all its strength, demands profit. Providing profit is expensive. Government, while clumsy, provides service without the burden of profit, so can, at times, offer the better deal.


Assuming "better deal" means superior service and cost, can you name one?
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Re: Donald Trump

Postby RiverDog » Fri Aug 28, 2015 11:22 am

kalibane wrote:Well here's the thing about Amtrak Riv... Amtrak failed because it can't compete. It takes 2-3 times longer for me to take the train from Cincinnati (where I live) to Washington DC (a place we often visit) than it does to drive it myself.

Why would I choose to take the train? The reason it can't compete is our rail system has barely been updated since tracks were first laid. Now compare that to Europe. My wife and I are going to Amsterdam and Paris next summer and when we worked out transportation the fastest way to get from Amsterdam to Paris is by train, faster than flying once you factor in Airport hassles.

But here is the rub. There are zero privately held companies that have any interest of footing the cost for building a high speed rail system. If we leave it to the free market to work out we just won't have it. And even if a private company did decide to take that kind of venture on, the price of tickets needed to recoup the sunk cost of construction and turn a profit would be so high that the common man could not afford to use the service regularly so it makes very little sense. The only way to get stuff like that done is government investment in infrastructure which means enacting policy that will flat out be socialist. But that isn't going to happen so our rail system is just a graveyard.

Competition and capitalism are necessary in general. But the more I learn about the rest of the world the more I'm forced to admit that we have the wrong idea about certain issues. The above is one example, another is healthcare. We are falling way behind the rest of the first world in a lot of areas. And it's hard to ignore the fact that even hard line conservatives in other countries don't give things like socialized healthcare a second thought. It's just accepted. And yet for some reason even though our system is markedly inferior to the rest of the first world ( ranked 37th and falling) and all the countries at the top have socialized healthcare, we stubbornly hold on to the idea that a free market health insurance system is what's best for the country.

Pure capitalism doesn't work, never has. I think we need to start being a little more nuanced in our thinking about having social programs that make sense which doesn't make us a socialist country. And I think that's what Old and Slow is getting at. And at least that's how my thinking has evolved over the past 15 or so years where before I would have been dead set against government run healthcare.


There's a reason for that: There is no way high speed rail would be able to attract enough ridership at a high enough fare to be a cost effective competitor with airlines for long distance travel. The only entity that would be foolish enough to attempt it would be the government. The only way it would have even a chance at success would be with a huge government subsidy.

Besides, I don't see any pressing need for high speed rail. We have bigger fish to fry with our limited tax dollars. And the rail system in the USA isn't in a graveyard. It's alive and well in the freight business and in the short commuter business such as Boston-Washington. It doesn't make economic sense for LA-Chicago or Seattle-Minneapolis, and therefore, is not a national system and should be supported by a regional consortium of states and cities with limited participation from the federal government.
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Re: Donald Trump

Postby kalibane » Fri Aug 28, 2015 12:06 pm

I disagree. High speed rail is project not unlike our interstate system or bridge building.

So lets say we decided taxpayer money shouldn't go towards building the Narrow's bridge and we waited for the free market dictate the need to build a bridge there. When do you ever see a company ponying up the money to build the bridge knowing that the only way they can recoup their investment is by charging tolls? If that's the approach we took we just wouldn't have the Narrows Bridge. There is no benefit to a private company taking on that sort of project all the benefits are to the surrounding areas in an indirect capacity. Same deal with high speed rail. If people had the ability to go from SF to LA in an hour without going to the airport they would use it and LA and SF would benefit, but a private company would not make money off it or at least would have to wait at least a decade to start getting into the black.

I never said that what I think should outweigh what other people think but I have an opinion and I'm going to put that forth. And on some issues I think our thinking is extremely antiquated and stubborn. Americans in general refuse to believe we are falling behind the rest of the world but we are. Healthcare, Education, Science, Math, Arts, Crime pretty much any thing you can think of. Now I don't think that means we need social programs to fix all of it but the absolute refusal to look at the evidence in front of us all because people associate what's working in other countries with being a socialist state is pretty obtuse IMO. If 150 million people disagree with me that's their right. But I'm not going to stop pointing out that it doesn't make sense to me.

Healthcare is one of those issues for me. After years of looking at it I have grudgingly come to accept that our view is penny wise and pound foolish. People are so obsessed with not wanting people to get "handouts" on their dime that they can't stomach the thought of their tax dollars helping to pay for someone's $50.00 physical. What they don't realize is when that uninsured person skips their physicals without preventative healthcare what happens is uninsured patients end up waiting until health issues get so bad that they end up having to go to the hospital. So now your insurance premiums get jacked up to because the medical professionals have to keep raising the rates for medical care to cover for the cost of a $800.00 emergency room visit in a best case scenario. Worst case you're also helping to pay for a $2,000.00 ambulance ride and a hospital stay which on average is $10,000.00. All because you didn't want your tax money go towards a $50.00 checkup.

So now you're paying insane insurance premiums (premiums through my employer have quadrupled for single coverage in the last 15 years) and on top of that the quality of the care you're getting is steadily dropping.

When you compare our system with the French system (currently number one in quality) the difference is striking. The average employer subsidized HMO costs a single payer around $200 - $300. Meanwhile French citizens pay about $70.00 per month obviously that's not entirely accurate because of the tax cost but it still doesn't match the cost that we pay now. And the shocking thing is that in spite of their universal healthcare system the U.S. Government still pays more per capita in subsidies for Medicaid and such than the French to insure people universally.

Now if you can look at all that and still come to the conclusion that privatized health insurance is what makes the most sense then more power to you. I couldn't ignore the cognitive dissonance. I'm not saying we should copy the French beat for beat but considering the actual cost and the comparative quality it just doesn't make sense to me that we refuse to at least take a serious look at it when all the healthcare systems that are doing it the best have a socialized system.
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Re: Donald Trump

Postby burrrton » Fri Aug 28, 2015 12:11 pm

I disagree. High speed rail is project not unlike our interstate system or bridge building.


Difference: People *use* highways and bridges.

I never said that what I think should outweigh what other people think but I have an opinion and I'm going to put that forth.


Didn't mean to imply you shouldn't advocate- just sounds a bit like you think we should be funding HSR, costs and market support be damned.
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Re: Donald Trump

Postby c_hawkbob » Fri Aug 28, 2015 12:15 pm

Once the high speed capable rails are built they would easily and quickly rival the airlines as primary people movers, it's strictly the cost of building the damn thing in the first place that's preventing it from happening here.

It torques me off too, I love travelling by rail, it just takes so long on our antiquated rail system.
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Re: Donald Trump

Postby kalibane » Fri Aug 28, 2015 12:19 pm

Riv I think you are underestimating the effectiveness of high speed rail. Modern high speed rail systems are able to travel upwards of 300 mph (one just clocked in at 375) and the cost to ride them compared to flying is around 1/3 of the cost. And it's not hurting for ridership.

Where they have high speed rail it's used quite readily. We'll get to see in about a decade because they are building a rail system from San Diego to the Bay although it's only about half as fast as the systems in other countries.

Honestly high speed rail is not a priority to me it's just an example of something that the free market would never produce here. You could substitute any other kind infrastructure project in for the rail system but you mentioned Amtrak which runs on an antiquated rail system that can't compete with a rental car so I didn't think it was an altogether fair example.
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Re: Donald Trump

Postby RiverDog » Fri Aug 28, 2015 12:52 pm

California's high speed rail is projected to cost $68 BILLION just for their Phase 1. Can you imagine what it would cost to extend a cross country network that connects cities and towns to any type of the same degree as do airlines do?

I love traveling by rail, too, and it makes sense for high density population areas like the US Northeast, Japan, or western Europe. But I don't see how the heck private industry or the government is going to be able to transport someone from Billings, Montana to Orlando, Florida on a comprehensive network of high speed rail and do it for a cost that is competitive with what airlines can do.

I'm not arguing about efficiency or preferences of rail vs air or rail vs. automobiles. I'm against it due to its cost effectiveness and our fiscal priorities. There's much bigger problems that we face as a society, such as the cost of health care, the cost of education, the solvency of social security, and so on, for the government to embark on nation wide high speed rail.

Amtrak is not a nation wide system because it doesn't provide practical service to the vast majority of the country (I think we get one train 3 days a week here in the Tri Cities). Leave it to the states.
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Re: Donald Trump

Postby burrrton » Fri Aug 28, 2015 1:22 pm

Honestly high speed rail is not a priority to me it's just an example of something that the free market would never produce here.


For good reason- it won't work here (by all indications).

The reason you think it's something only the Feds can do is because they're the only ones fiscally irresponsible enough to try.
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Re: Donald Trump

Postby kalibane » Fri Aug 28, 2015 1:25 pm

I don't think anyone in favor of high speed rail would advocate having a system that stretched coast to coast for exactly the reason you stated. I don't even know if it's possible considering power concerns in remote areas. The idea is more like a system that served regional areas like the Eastern seaboard. West coast. Tying the Midwestern states together stuff like that. But that's beside the point.

Like I said I only got off on the high speed rail tangent as a counter point to your Amtrak because I didn't think it was such a great example. Main point: Amtrak was doomed to fail because it was outdated technology on an antiquated rail system that can't compete with other modes of transport even a car. Not actually advocating that we build one but if in the hypothetical the infrastructure was there to support a national high speed rail system I don't think it works out the same way.
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Re: Donald Trump

Postby kalibane » Fri Aug 28, 2015 1:31 pm

burrrton wrote:For good reason- it won't work here (by all indications).

The reason you think it's something only the Feds can do is because they're the only ones fiscally irresponsible enough to try.


What are the indications that it wouldn't work? It works everywhere else where they build them. You honestly think that if there was high speed rail running from DC to NY that business travelers would still opt for airlines over a 1 hour train ride at a 1/3 of the price?

It would work, we just don't do infrastructure anymore.
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Re: Donald Trump

Postby burrrton » Fri Aug 28, 2015 1:32 pm

California's high speed rail is projected to cost $68 BILLION just for their Phase 1.


And that's not expected to be the final tally, with that $68b representing a near doubling of the original estimate IIRC. I'd be willing to bet final tally will be *well* over $100b unless they dial the project back significantly.
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Re: Donald Trump

Postby burrrton » Fri Aug 28, 2015 1:38 pm

It works everywhere else where they build them.


I'd say they're able to build them (justify the money) everywhere they can work, and in the US, I'd also say you picked the one example where it arguably makes sense (Acela corridor).

It would work, we just don't do infrastructure anymore.


I think we do- we're just more careful with our money now (relatively, anyway).
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Re: Donald Trump

Postby kalibane » Fri Aug 28, 2015 1:39 pm

No one said infrastructure was cheap but if people were this close minded in the 50's we never would have had the interstate system.
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Re: Donald Trump

Postby burrrton » Fri Aug 28, 2015 1:40 pm

kalibane wrote:No one said infrastructure was cheap but if people were this close minded in the 50's we never would have had the interstate system.


Nonsense. People used the s*** out of the roads and highways, and continue to do so to this day.

Also, nobody is looking for "cheap"- I think it just needs to not cost hundreds of billions with absolutely zero hope of ever coming close to recouping that.
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Re: Donald Trump

Postby kalibane » Fri Aug 28, 2015 1:45 pm

I'd say that's hindsight working for you bud. There are thousands of miles of road in the interstate system that go through remote areas that receive incredibly small amounts of traffic in middle America especially back when it was proposed. If a project that ambitious was proposed in today's political climate I don't think there is any way it gets through congress.

Remember there were still a lot of places in the country where a ride in a car was still a novelty back then.
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Re: Donald Trump

Postby burrrton » Fri Aug 28, 2015 1:51 pm

kalibane wrote:I'd say that's hindsight working for you bud. There are thousands of miles of road in the interstate system that go through remote areas that receive incredibly small amounts of traffic in middle America especially back when it was proposed.


Maybe- I think that's the benefit of cost-effectiveness, though. Asphalt is cheap compared to things like HSR- we could afford to build them to virtually everywhere.

If a project that ambitious was proposed in today's political climate I don't think there is any way it gets through congress.


If it was being proposed at a time there was no alternative and no debt problem, I think it would have a *high* likelihood of getting through Congress.

That's not the case today- you have to make a cost/benefit case, and you have to show how it will replace the better alternatives that currently exist. It doesn't come close on either.

Remember there were still a lot of places in the country where a ride in a car was still a novelty back then.


In the 50s??
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Re: Donald Trump

Postby kalibane » Fri Aug 28, 2015 1:56 pm

It wasn't just asphalt though. Sure they did their best to avoid it but they had to clear cut large areas, level out terrain and that ain't cheap stuff to do. Imagine how much it must have cost for the interstates going through the Appalachians or through the swamps down south. Not quite as simple as just laying asphalt.

And yes in the 50's. I'm not talking about in metropolitan areas but in rural areas not everyone had cars, they weren't necessary. Sunday drives were still a thing.
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Re: Donald Trump

Postby burrrton » Fri Aug 28, 2015 1:57 pm

kalibane wrote:It wasn't just asphalt though. Sure they did their best to avoid it but they had to clear cut large areas, level out terrain and that ain't cheap stuff to do. Imagine how much it must have cost for the interstates going through the Appalachians or through the swamps down south. Not quite as simple as just laying asphalt.


Fair point. I'd say it was still cheapER than what we're discussing, though.

[edit for your edit :)]

And yes in the 50's. I'm not talking about in metropolitan areas but in rural areas not everyone had cars, they weren't necessary. Sunday drives were still a thing.


C'mon- maybe in remote Appalachia (to use one of your examples), and it's not like today, but many teens had cars in the 50s.

Not to beg the question, but it's really *why* we created the highway system- it was an obvious need.
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Re: Donald Trump

Postby kalibane » Fri Aug 28, 2015 1:59 pm

adjusted to todays dollars it's estimated they spent $425 billion on the interstate system. So about the same as building 4 Regional high speed rail systems by your estimate.

And again I don't think anyone is saying yeah let's go coast to coast lol
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Re: Donald Trump

Postby burrrton » Fri Aug 28, 2015 2:01 pm

adjusted to todays dollars it's estimated they spent $425 billion on the interstate system.


That's about $8.5 billion per state, right? Sounds like a bargain considering the comprehensiveness.
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Re: Donald Trump

Postby kalibane » Fri Aug 28, 2015 2:27 pm

Full disclosure, at this point it's just fun bouncing this back and forth so...

Hypothetically if say people decided to undertake this since it would be regional you're talking about state funding being involved first. Now typically with stuff like this you're going to get some level of federal funding but not in any alternate universe would it seem reasonable to have the entire country foot the entire bill for something that only was serving regional areas. So if you're hypothetically doing this we aren't talking about the fed taking all of the cost on.
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