By on May 27, 2009

At a National Press Club speech intended to promote the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) stimulus spending initiatives, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood explained how his policies are designed to discourage the ownership and use of automobiles. Although many imagine road building when “shovel-ready” projects are mentioned, the only efforts highlighted by LaHood as worthy of receiving federal taxpayer subsidy included buses, light rail and other forms of multi-modal transit. “We have $8 billion,” LaHood said. “You’re going to see new buses; you’re going to see ability of transit districts to really have the equipment . . . And we’ll begin at DOT to set a standard for our ability to get out of the recession, get people back to work in good-paying jobs.” LaHood says some of those federally funded jobs involve driving buses.

“Well, I’ve said that I’m open-minded about transit districts being able to use some of their money for operating,” LaHood said. “I think it’s a little bit silly to provide all of this money to transit districts to buy new buses if you can’t afford to have drivers and employees to use the equipment. And in these hard times, it is difficult sometimes for transit districts to have the operating money.”

LaHood insisted that he wanted to “think outside of the box” when searching for a source of operating money for the buses and the bus drivers. Imposing tolls on new and existing roads using the infrastructure bank endorsed by President Obama was at the top of the secretary’s list of revenue-raising initiatives.

“Well, now is not a very good time to be talking about raising taxes,” LaHood said. “Infrastructure bank is one thing we’re thinking about. We’re thinking about tolling . . . We need to find ways—other ways to do it—perhaps even public-private partnerships that have been used around the country very effectively.”

When asked whether this included a per-mile satellite-based tax, LaHood side-stepped the issue with a joke. The Transportation Secretary admitted that the new fees and regulations are designed to make driving less attractive. He suggested the only opposition to this policy is found in a recent Newsweek column in which George Will dubbed LaHood the “Secretary of Behavior Modification” for his plan to “transform” Americans out of their cars.

Notwithstanding the fact that George Will doesn’t like this idea—the idea of creating opportunities for people to get out of their cars—we’re working with the secretary of HUD, Shaun Donovan, on opportunities for housing, walking paths, biking paths . . . And that concept of livable communities is something that we’re going to promote and work with the committee on, because we think it’s the way forward. It’s the way to get people more opportunities, rather than just in their automobiles.

Much of these new opportunities will be paid for by diverting gas tax revenue paid by motorists into general funds that will cover the non-road related expenses. Already, such diversions amount to billions of dollars. In 2003, $18 billion in gas tax dollars were funneled into unrelated projects at the federal level, on top of the $9 billion diverted at the state and local level. LaHood explained his fundamental purpose in response to press questions seeking clarification.

“It is a way to coerce people out of their cars, yeah. Look, people don’t like spending an hour and a half getting to work. And people don’t like spending an hour going to the grocery store. And all of you who live around here know exactly what I’m talking about . . . About everything we do around here is government intrusion in people’s lives.”

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72 Comments on “US Transportation Secretary Endorses Anti-Car Agenda...”


  • avatar
    Joe O

    Jeebus – What scares me is that these are intelligent people who are talking themselves into believing terrible ideas.

  • avatar
    guyincognito

    Livable community….sounds great!

  • avatar
    Lokkii

    Ever gone grocery shopping for a family of 4 on a bus?

    “…the idea of creating opportunities for people to get out of their cars—we’re working with the secretary of HUD, Shaun Donovan, on opportunities for housing, walking paths, biking paths . . . And that concept of livable communities is something that we’re going to promote and work with the committee on, because we think it’s the way forward. It’s the way to get people more opportunities, rather than just in their automobiles.

    Uhm, what’s your timeline on all this wonderfulness, buddy?

    The city of Dallas has been building a light rail system for the decade that I’ve lived here. In 5 more years, you may be able to actually go somewhere besides City Hall on it.

  • avatar
    NotFast

    Who voted for these people? Not me.

    Ain’t no way these solutions will work for me or most of the other suburbanites in this world.

  • avatar
    geeber

    Secretary LaHood: “Well, I’ve said that I’m open-minded about transit districts being able to use some of their money for operating,” LaHood said. “I think it’s a little bit silly to provide all of this money to transit districts to buy new buses if you can’t afford to have drivers and employees to use the equipment. And in these hard times, it is difficult sometimes for transit districts to have the operating money.”

    I’ll bet that the unions representing transit workers are salivating over that one. At negotiating time, they can say, “See, you can use federal money to meet our wage and benefit demands.” And, since the politicians doing the negotiating are also courting the unions representing the workers at election time, I’m sure that they will be happy to acquiesce. After all, it’s “found money” for the municipality, right?

    As for his other plans – I have no problem with offering people alternatives to automobile travel. I have the sneaking suspicion, however, that most of us will still drive to many of our destinations – I’m not lugging multiple bags of groceries on a bus, let alone on a bicycle – because it is the most convenient and comfortable way to travel. Which won’t satisfy some people.

    I enjoy bike riding for fun and fitness – not as a way to get to work.

    And this is interesting…In 2003, $18 billion in gas tax dollars were funneled into unrelated projects at the federal level, on top of the $9 billion diverted at the state and local level.

    Wait, I thought that everyone else was subsidizing drivers?!

  • avatar
    skor

    Americans will not abandon their cars, or the suburbs, overnight, but things are going to be very different from here on out. The days of cheap hydrocarbons and “anyone with a pulse” credit are over. Now would be a good time to start an “X-burbs Deathwatch”. For those of you who bought McMansions out in Oriented Strandboard Estates, you are so screwed.

  • avatar
    Stein X Leikanger

    What do you know? Has it really been two and a half years already:

    https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/the-road-ahead/

  • avatar
    maniceightball

    The gist of what he is saying is valid — that too many people drive. You can’t argue against that stance for places like LA or Orange County.

    I just imagine all the billions we’ve spent propping up GM and Chrysler, and the sorts of public transportation infrastructure we could have created with that money.

  • avatar
    Hank

    I live in the NY Capital District. The only time it takes you an hour to go to the grocery store is when you take the bus instead of your car.

  • avatar
    Stein X Leikanger

    If you’ve got $54 you don’t know what to do with, spend it on this book. It will tell you how to make money in this new economy.

    http://www.amazon.com/Residential-Streets-Walter-M-Kulash/dp/0874208793

  • avatar
    dcdriver

    I’l bet the DOT secretary arrived at the National Press Club in one of those black US Government Suburbans. No chance he took the metro.

    I’d like to see the Gov’t use the money to provide incentives to private companies who set up generous teleworking or alternative work schedule programs to get people off the road and reduce conjestion.

    Couldn’t he have done this speech from his home using a live video feed or at least something like skype?

  • avatar
    folkdancer

    In the late 20’s GM bought up city trolley systems, ripped them out, and sold the cities on using their buses. Now we have to re-buy all the rights of way to get light rail systems back.

    Our tax money has been supporting the car manufacturers (suburbs, interstates, and low taxes on fuel) and trucking companies for 90 years it is about time the small amount of tax money we collect on fuel goes to other ideas.

    We don’t know what ideas will work because we have wasted so much time and money on just supporting the car manufacturers and land developers. Hopefully we will study other countries and get some ideas.

  • avatar

    I used to ride the bus in LA. Took an hour to get anywhere. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.

    Why not spend the gas tax money on roads, which people would actually use, instead of transit projects nobody wants?

    I’ve never understood this, even from a strictly populist point of view you would think transit projects are about the worst “investments” possible since almost nobody wants to use them.

    D

  • avatar
    geeber

    skor: Now would be a good time to start an “X-burbs Deathwatch”. For those of you who bought McMansions out in Oriented Strandboard Estates, you are so screwed.

    That’s premature. Consider these facts:

    These problems can be seen in the migration numbers. A demographic analysis conducted by my colleagues at the Praxis Strategy Group over the past decade found that New York and other top cities—including Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Boston—have been suffering the largest net out-migration of residents of virtually all places in the country, albeit the pattern has slowed with the recession.

    It’s astonishing that, even with the many improvements over the past decade in New York, for example, more residents left its five boroughs for other locales in 2006 than in 1993, when the city was in demonstrably far worse shape. In 2006, the city had a net loss of 153,828 residents through domestic out-migration, compared to a decline of 141,047 in 1993, with every borough except Brooklyn experiencing a higher number of out-migrants in 2006.

    And this:

    And like other American cities, Chicago now has a growing glut of “luxury” condos, a pattern that became evident as early as 2006 and has now, as Chicago magazine put it, “stalled” as a result of a “perfect storm” of toughened mortgage standards, overbuilding, job losses, and rising crime.

    Or this:

    Short of a catastrophic change, the country will remain predominately made up of suburban, exurban and small town residents. Since 2000, more than four-fifths of metropolitan growth has taken place in suburbs and exurbs. Economically, we see a similar pattern. According to a recent Brookings Institution study of 98 large metropolitan areas, only 21% of employees work within three miles of downtown. The report found that only three regions avoided the decentralizing trend.

    Or this:

    One archetype will be the Bloombergian “luxury city,” a very expensive urban area dominated by the wealthy and their servants, students and nomadic young workers as well as the poor. The affluent will drive this growth, but only in a relatively few neighborhoods in attractive places like New York, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland, Denver and Minneapolis.

    San Francisco may presage this urban form. Already middle-class families are becoming scarce in the city by the bay. The place seems increasingly something of a Disneyland for privileged adults, exempting of course the large homeless population. “A cross between Carmel and Calcutta,” jokes California historian and San Francisco native Kevin Starr.

    The city is nice if you are rich. And even then, virtually all rich people who live in the city also have a nice place in the country to “get away from it all.”

    folkdancer: In the late 20’s GM bought up city trolley systems, ripped them out, and sold the cities on using their buses. Now we have to re-buy all the rights of way to get light rail systems back.

    That never happened. Cities were ripping out their trolley tracks before GM bought the rights of way. Cities wanted rid of their trolley lines, which made repaving roads more difficult and were subject to falling ridership rates because the routes were fixed.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    Follow the money…

    As to LaHood’s comments about it taking an hour to get to the grocery store, I would simply make this comment: If you bought a home that’s an hour away from a grocery store, you’re in the middle of nowhere.

    +1 for dcdriver – maybe LaHood should lead by example.

  • avatar
    carguy

    “Anti-car agenda” is somewhat of a reactionary label for a plan that aims to offer alternatives to the use of a car. The tone of this piece really is paranoid enough that it reminds me of a militia newsletter frightening their members into thinking that the government will come and take their guns away. Get a grip.

  • avatar
    Autojunkie

    “Ever gone grocery shopping for a family of 4 on a bus?”

    As a matter of fact, I used to do it when I lived in Germany. It’s a part of normal everyday life there.

    I love cars as much, if not more, than anyone on here. I collect cars and work on cars of all kinds. I will never give them up as a hobby. I would, however, give up one of my daily driver cars that I have to beat the snot out of every day to commute back and forth to work with. I would love to be able to take a light rail or a bus to work every day.

    As an enthusiast, I would love to see fewer cars on the road. I would love to see fewer unattentive drivers on the road. I would love driving to become nothing but my hobby and not my daily necessity.

  • avatar
    Joe O

    I really wonder how the northern part of the country (i.e. the snow belt) would function with bike paths and walkways as the promoted function of how to get to work.

    I actually watched this past winter (which was relatively mild for SE PA) how many months it was “cold”. Cold being 40 or below.

    5 months of the year.

    5 months of the year I would not want to commute 1 mile via my own feet or on a bike due to weather. And that’s when the ground is dry.

    I’m all for promoting well engineered living. Just don’t ever remove the choice from the citizen, or else the citizen’s choice is to move elsewhere.

  • avatar
    superbadd75

    Mass transit is fine and good, but there are few cities that it would actually work well in. As Lokkii said, here in DFW they’ve been working on a mass transit system for years and it’s still not even close to adequate. There’s simply too much space to cover, and too many people working in too many different places.

  • avatar
    Smegley

    Must be nice for people with taxpayer paid limos and air force transportation at their beck and call to be making such decisions for us lowly stupid people who do not have a clue about how horrible this world is by virtue of the fact that we exist.

  • avatar
    dcdriver

    Like I said above– one solution is teleworking. Obviously it’s not feasible all the time and for all occupations, but a lot of work can be done from home. Let me keep my multiple gas-guzzlers, let me work from home as much as possible.

  • avatar
    golf4me

    I am a gearhead with gasoline in my viens. I would actually LOVE not to HAVE to drive to everything, including work (when I used to work). However there are VERY few areas in America where that is even remotely realistic. Only the older cities on the east coast and in the midwest are capable of this. Why? They were laid out before the advent of the car. Newer cities such as Dallas, Phx, LA have no hope of ever becoming mass-transit cities.

    EXAMPLE:I live in PHX. It’s about a 15 minute walk to the nearest bus stop, and that’s pretty good in this area. Some outlying areas don’t even have bus service. I can take the bus to the light rail to get to the airport. Sounds cool, huh? Here’s the drill. Walk 15 minutes to the nearest bus stop. Possibly wait 1/2 hour for the next bus to the light rail. Takes 1/2 hr. to go the 5 mi to the light rail station with all the stops. Wait 10 min for then next light rail train. Travel about 15 minutes to the airport. Wait 10min for shuttle to terminal. Travel 5-10 min to terminal. Let’s add it up: Almost 2hrs. It takes me 11 minutes in my car, and I’ll bet my car uses LESS energy in the process, too. Hence, even though I live in what would be the “center” of the metro-area, I don’t think I could live without a car. Can you imagine that 15 inute walk and all those waits (outside BTW) on a 115* day? Yeah, not so great.

    Tin-foil-hat-guy will also argue that govt loves mass transit for the simple fact that they can control how & when & which people can move around…

  • avatar
    pk1

    I really do support his efforts.

    The more people use public transport, the more space there is on the roads.

    Space for me to drive my car.

    And all the people who don’t care about driving, who don’t know how to drive, or who don’t enjoy it will be somewhere else.

    Great!

  • avatar
    jpcavanaugh

    Mass transit folks always have it backwards. They want to plan the routes, then get people to use them. It has always seemed to me that the better approach is like should be used with sidewalks. – If you want to pour sidewalks, wait awhile and see where paths develop. Then pour where the paths are.

    Same thing with mass transit. In every metropolitan area, there have to be many highly congested routes where driving is a pain. Design a transit system that is reasonably priced and with easy access and people will use it. Nobody is going to use a system because they should. People will only use it where it is more convenient than driving.

  • avatar
    johnthacker

    “Anti-car agenda” is somewhat of a reactionary label for a plan that aims to offer alternatives to the use of a car.

    “[A] plan that aims to offer alternatives to the use of a car” is somewhat of an Orwellian name for a plan that plans to heavily subsidize the alternatives by taxing unrelated people who won’t use them. If the plan were even limited to paying for capital improvements for transit options that could break even operationally, that would be one thing, but these have to be subsidized on a massive scale even for operation. That’s not just “offering alternatives.”

    In the late 20’s GM bought up city trolley systems, ripped them out, and sold the cities on using their buses. Now we have to re-buy all the rights of way to get light rail systems back.

    The initial reason for the city trolley systems going away was an anti-monopoly law that forbade electric utilities from owning and operating them. Most trolley systems would technically operate on a loss as an independent unit, but because they were owned by the electric company and used that power, they made a profit for their corporate parent. The Public Utility Holding Corporation Act of 1935 forced companies to choose between streetcars and electricity; the electricity companies, having divested the streetcars, promptly increased their rates.

    Our tax money has been supporting the car manufacturers (suburbs, interstates, and low taxes on fuel) and trucking companies for 90 years it is about time the small amount of tax money we collect on fuel goes to other ideas.

    No, not at the federal level we haven’t. Cars have subsidized other transit for years.

  • avatar
    johnthacker

    Mass transit folks always have it backwards. They want to plan the routes, then get people to use them.

    They also want to plan the routes, then somehow increase the density around the routes enough to sustain them. That doesn’t work either. The people who already live there are happy to take the light rail, but they tend to be as NIMBY about additional density as anyone.

    Mass transit works fine when there’s enough density. Building it where density doesn’t exist and then expecting density to magically appear (and the neighbors to approve the necessary zoning changes) doesn’t work too well.

  • avatar
    WildBill

    This socialist/facist/communist nonsense has to stop. They’ll pry my cold, dead fingers from my leather wrapped steering wheel before I give up my car.

  • avatar
    Redbarchetta

    maniceightball Your comment above made me think about something.

    One hand of the government is wasting our money to prop up 2 failed companies. The other hand is working to kill the incentive for people to purchase cars. If his stupid ideas work people will buy less cars since their will be less of a need for them. GM and Chrysler couldn’t even survive with a 16m market, and sure can’t live on the depressed market we have now, yet they are working to have future car sales be low. This just doesn’t work.

    The other problem with this is they plan to pay for it with gas taxes and then per mile tax charges again on the people driving. Less people driving mean less tax to pay for these wonderful bus and rail systems. So what are they going to do raise the tax, and people will drive less, again.

    I am just amazed by how stupid our government is at times.

  • avatar
    unleashed

    GREAT!!!

    I can’t wait for the Government to start implementing all those ideas into reality – a sure thing to get an average Joe real, real angry so the next time around he/she pays really good attention to who gets into congress and the oval office.

  • avatar
    unleashed

    I am just amazed by how stupid our government is at times.

    The Government, any bureaucracy by definition is incapable of running anything “smartly”.
    No surprises here.
    The more Government – the more waste, inefficiency and stupidity. That’s just the way it is.
    Whoever gets into the White House next better start cleaning and shrinking that place up… or we’re @#$#@!

  • avatar
    FleetofWheel

    carguy said:”“Anti-car agenda” is somewhat of a reactionary label for a plan that aims to offer alternatives to the use of a car. The tone of this piece really is paranoid enough that it reminds me of a militia newsletter frightening their members into thinking that the government will come and take their guns away. Get a grip.”

    The article clearly quoted the transportation secretary saying he wanted to coerce people of their cars and that govt is engaging in government intrusion into people’s lives.

    Governments too have banned some, but certainly not all, types of civilian arms. Further, prominent govt leaders have clearly stated their desire to place new bans on currently legal guns.
    So your statement is factually wrong on all accounts.
    No doubt you like the coercion and bans but are saddend to see people resisting the progressive change you seek.

  • avatar
    folkdancer

    I used to ride the bus in LA. Took an hour to get anywhere. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.

    Why not spend the gas tax money on roads, which people would actually use, instead of transit projects nobody wants?

    I’ve never understood this, even from a strictly populist point of view you would think transit projects are about the worst “investments” possible since almost nobody wants to use them.

    It took 100 years to build our present car friendly cities and suburbs. We have been building great roads for 100 years. Now we have traffic jams and bad air in super car friendly cities like Phoenix.

    Are you saying NOBODY wants anything different when we haven’t really tried much of anything else?

    All inclusive words like NOBODY, EVERYBODY, and THEY seldom fit the situation.

    We in the U.S. have been on an addiction high with cars for a long time. Some of the problems mentioned like the high expense of homes near light rail and the inability of getting across LA or Phoenix by public transit are very true. We can think of these problems as part of kicking the habit which will take a long painful time to get through but then we have been addicts for a long time.

    After living in Phoenix for 10 years and being scared by the heat, wondering if the government can find enough water, and living through a crisis when a land developer broke our one pipe line that furnished all grades of gas and diesel I wonder if any more that a few dozen people should try to live here.

    Two or three native American groups have tried and failed to live here when periods of drought came along. Maybe betting almost everything on a car/oil culture will doom us present occupants.

  • avatar
    tedward

    That dodge on the GPS tracking question is not encouraging. Everything else discussed is more of the same as far as I’m concerned. I’ve got no problems funding mass transit (hey, half of my commute depends on it).

  • avatar
    tedward

    “It is a way to coerce people out of their cars”

    hahahaha
    too honest for politics. That’ll be corrected shortly.

  • avatar
    USAFMech

    It’s a damn shame that we could fix this all with a little paint.

    If we had narrow (Naro?) cars we could add lanes without additional infrastructure build out, capital expenditures or Nanny-state behaviour modification.

    Hell, why don’t they just subsidize motorcycles and scooters? I could sure use a Ducati-sized bailout.

  • avatar
    dex3703

    Nice to see a mix of comments. I had thought they would mostly be ravings about those commie pinkos taking our God-given rights to drive away, and am glad to see they’re mostly not.

    To those comments about how mass transit will never work in most of America, I grew up in Fort Worth. I know about being stranded out in the middle of nowhere until I was old enough to have a car, and am grateful to now live in Seattle, which currently has at least passable mass transit for getting to work. I remember the summer day when I realized that I needed to do physical work to stay healthy, and that I’d be happy to walk to school, but it was too far and not safe on the rutted, barely-maintained, no-shoulder road into town. Having a car to drive the relatively short distance so you could walk a little way across a parking lot was an absolute necessity. It was totally dumb. I was probably 11.

    I also like cars. I liked working on them in high school and college, and like the lines and colors. Shiny. But since college it’s been glaringly obvious that cars are a huge liability, and a significant tool for keeping people in debt.

    The simple fact of the matter is that America has consistently made the worst possible choices over the last 60 years in how cities were built, what industries were emphasized, and what advertising was used to train people into thinking what they absolutely needed. A whole system was built up with no thought to preserving the natural landscape and human physical and mental health. It is ultimately tragic in the Shakespearean sense that we have implemented a model of suburban and exurban nowheres that only make sense with individual cars–an arrangement that simply cannot function in the future. There is not enough energy and raw material to keep it going.

    We should be despondent about the bailout billions to the auto companies ultimately not because we’re giving money to incompetent corporate scum who will never pay it back, but because that money, representing a block of resources and time available to society that will never come again, will just disappear to entropy. It will do so because the car is a failed technology serving a failed model.

    The Transportation Secretary is correct in that he should be anti-car. The way we use cars, and the entire system we built to service them (at our expense as physical living animals), cannot continue. We need to invest or rapidly dwindling national treasure in making a sustainable society, instead of propping up dead industries. Doing so will ultimately employ more people, solve more problems, and make us all richer than the current path.

  • avatar
    windswords

    Good times for the museum industry!

    http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/04/415.asp
    “Last week, the U.S. Senate passed H.R. 3, a six-year transportation authorization bill funded primarily by revenue from the federal gasoline tax. The House passed its version of the legislation in March, and the two versions must be reconciled before becoming law.”

    The following spending projects are part of H.R. 3:
    $3,000,000 to renovate and expand the National Packard Museum
    $3,000,000 for the National Infantry Museum Transportation Network
    $1,705,000 to reconstruct Union Station in North Canaan, CT and establish a transportation museum
    $1,000,000 to construct the Transportation and Heritage Museum in Townsend, Tennessee
    $500,000 to Rehabilitate and redesign Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse, NY
    $250,000 for the Issaquah Valley Trolley Project

  • avatar
    windswords

    “It will do so because the car is a failed technology serving a failed model.

    The Transportation Secretary is correct in that he should be anti-car. The way we use cars, and the entire system we built to service them (at our expense as physical living animals), cannot continue. We need to invest or rapidly dwindling national treasure in making a sustainable society, instead of propping up dead industries. Doing so will ultimately employ more people, solve more problems, and make us all richer than the current path.”

    The above is so wrong on so many levels I don’t know where to start, except to say that it’s free markets and free peoples who can decide what is best to serve them. Not the government planners, who not coincedently, never have to live under the constraints and conditions of their plans. If YOU feel the suburbs are bad or that you are driving too much then YOU do something about it. But don’t pull me into your concept of
    “sustainable society”. After you’ve done it for a few years maybe I will look at it and judge for myself, but don’t be surprised if I say “no thanks”.

  • avatar
    skor

    I’m always fascinated by the anti-mass transit rantings of the “right”. “Why should I have to subsidize transportation for losers?”, is their stock argument. “I wanna be free to make my own transportation choices!” I’ve got news for you, almost the entire auto infrastructure in the US is subsidized. When was the last time a private developer, using private funds, build an interstate road? I’m not certain, but I’ll guess it was never. The only reason you can drive 100 miles from your job in the city, out to your McMansion in Nowheresville, is because the GOVERNMENT built the road, as well as the power lines, water supply etc. When you look at from cost per mile, the “independent” red stater gets more of subsidy from the government than does the “loser” riding the subway in NYC.

  • avatar
    geeber

    dex3703: A whole system was built up with no thought to preserving the natural landscape and human physical and mental health.

    Check out the life expectancy of the average American man and woman in the late 1940s, and compare them to similar figures for Americans today. More people can expect to live longer today than ever before.

    Incidentally, anyone who thinks that city living prior to the postwar suburban boom was some sort of Urbanist Garden of Eden needs to do some research. There’s a reason lots of people left the city for the suburbs, and it’s not because mean old GM tricked them into doing it.

    And I fail to see how riding mass transit makes us any healthier than driving. In both cases, one is sitting in a moving vehicle. Unless buses and subway cars now come equipped with treadmills, stairmasters and free weights for passengers to use between stops.

    dex3703: The way we use cars, and the entire system we built to service them (at our expense as physical living animals), cannot continue.

    If you don’t want to use cars, then don’t. That is your decision. Please don’t conflate “what I prefer” with “no one else can make any other choices because civilization as we know it will collapse if they continue to do so” nonsense.

    dex3703: We need to invest or rapidly dwindling national treasure in making a sustainable society, instead of propping up dead industries.

    Based on the standards of those who promote “sustainability” (a word that has many different meanings, depending on which aspect of modern life the speaker doesn’t like that particular day), the only truly sustainable societies are those that gather nuts and berries, hunt animals and run around practically naked. I didn’t realize that Secretary LaHood was proposing THAT scenario for the U.S.

    skor: When was the last time a private developer, using private funds, build an interstate road?

    And when was the last time a private developer built a subway or mass transit system? ALL transportation systems rely on government subsidies or government purchases of rights of way.

    skor: When you look at from cost per mile, the “independent” red stater gets more of subsidy from the government than does the “loser” riding the subway in NYC.

    Not according to the link provided by johnthacker. Cars have subsidized other forms of transporation – at the federal level – for years.

    I have no problem with subsidizing mass transit systems. It provides a form of transportation to the poor, handicapped or elderly. It provides transportation options to people who don’t want to drive, or don’t like it, and therefore shouldn’t really be behind the wheel. But let’s be accurate as to which parties are getting subsidized.

  • avatar
    Gary Numan

    Question for the B & B here:

    Does government exist to serve the people or are people supposed to serve the government?

    Notice how few people stop to ask this very basic question…..

  • avatar
    Casual Observer

    skor: I’ve got news for you, almost the entire auto infrastructure in the US is subsidized. Yes, with taxes from the gasoline purchased by drivers.

    The only reason you can drive 100 miles from your job in the city, out to your McMansion in Nowheresville, is because the GOVERNMENT built the road, as well as the power lines, water supply etc. The government does not have money unless they first take it from people. Simple concept, I know.

    When you look at from cost per mile, the “independent” red stater gets more of subsidy from the government than does the “loser” riding the subway in NYC. Care to explain this one? The subway rider’s fare is subsidized heavily, while the driver’s every mile is taxed through gasoline sales. Not to mention, the typical suburban driver most likely pays more income taxes than the typical urban subway rider.

  • avatar
    wsn

    The status quo is that we are spending billions of dollars on GM every quarter. The proposal of spending billions on buying buses may not be the perfect idea, but at least it’s an improvement over the status quo. So, go for it.

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    Hey, this whole “government” idea isn’t working out. Time to think outside the prison.

  • avatar
    Luther

    Voters are retarded children…Obviously.
    The public school phules never get what they want but get what they deserve.
    This is nothing compared to what the scumbag Obama is planning:

    http://www.antiwar.com/blog/2009/05/22/face-it-progs-obamas-a-dud

  • avatar
    jpcavanaugh

    The simple fact of the matter is that America has consistently made the worst possible choices over the last 60 years in how cities were built, what industries were emphasized, and what advertising was used to train people into thinking what they absolutely needed.

    Wow. And here I thought that individuals made choices about where to live and what to buy and that other individuals got together to supply those preferences.

  • avatar
    skor

    Yes, let’s be accurate about who is being subsidized: car drivers in “red states”. Typically red states — home of independence loving “real Americans” — receive more money from the feds than they pay in federal taxes. Most of the “commie” blue states pay more money to the feds than they get back. New Jersey gets 65cents for every dollar it sends to Washington.

    BTW, the original NYC subway lines were all privately built(funded). The rail tunnels connecting NYC to Jersey were privately built. I don’t know of any interstate highway system that was built with private funds.

  • avatar
    oldyak

    I`m sure many readers of TTAC live in large cities where mass transit is available but realistically,how many would REALLY use it?
    Most “burbs” don’t have mass transport available anywhere near them!
    Even if they did,what about security/safety concerns???
    I guess I could get a carry permit for a handgun….
    But I would rather keep it under the seat and avoid situations(try THAT on a bus)that would cause me to use it!
    Mass transport need to be inner city only!
    Put more money in our rail system!
    I would love to travel city to city by rail rather than drive!Why isn’t this on the list…because of airline lobbyist`s Ill bet.
    More of our ‘government of graft’ in action!
    The day I have to take the bus to work is the day I retire!!!!!!

  • avatar
    wsn

    Gary Numan :
    May 27th, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    Question for the B & B here:

    Does government exist to serve the people or are people supposed to serve the government?

    Notice how few people stop to ask this very basic question…..

    ——————————————-

    Neither.

    Government = A collection of individuals compromising freedom for stability

    Of course, the individuals don’t compromise the same amount.

    If an individual thinks the stability he receives outweigh the compromised freedom, he stays put and maybe complains verbally. Otherwise, he rebels.

  • avatar
    quasimondo

    I wholeheartedly support this anti-car agenda. Get people off the roads and into buses and trains. It’ll make the roads safer for folks like Jack Baruth.

  • avatar
    dex3703

    Glad to see it’s still relatively civil in here and not a slugfest.

    Those comments relating to free individuals making free choices are, probably unavoidably and unconsciously, parroting the free market mantra that’s been carefully crafted over the last 30 years or so. The libertarian fantasy that we live in a ‘free market’ is patently false. Speaking to our current car-centric society and development model, this has been carefully constructed with government policy, which was bought by private influence. State-by-state and locality-by-locality incoherent land development policies and building codes: did these come from The People, or were they instead the result of incessant, carefully designed and deeply funded interests in tract-home building and other land ‘developers’? Why is there a home mortgage interest deduction? Isn’t such a credit an interference in the free market?

    The point here is that the society we live in has been designed, even if only in a de-facto way. I don’t mean this in the kind of Trilaterial Commission conspiracy sort of way, but just that a bunch of independent actions designed to get certain people rich have led to the way we live and think is normal today. A hundred years ago none of this existed. In a hundred years, I would guess none of what we take for granted will exist either (though saying anything more than that is only good for entertainment value).

    Instead of cleaving to a juvenile fantasy that the free market solves all our problems by magic and we don’t have to do anything but sit back and watch advertising and bash the government, we need to grow up collectively and take responsibility for designing the kind of future world we want to live in. Assessing the limits imposed upon us by physics, the natural world, and our reckless use of the past century, only certain sorts of futures are possible. None really include the car at any extent like they exist today.

    Some other random and unsubstantiated points because I’m at work and shouldn’t be writing this:
    – 20th century life expectancy increased in some places, didn’t change and got worse in others. Europeans live longer than North Americans and consume half the energy.
    – Public transportation makes you more active because it’s not door to door. I ride the bus and walk at least a quarter mile every day from stops to destinations, so I get some exercise every day even if I don’t do anything else. I am sure this would be heresy to many Americans, but I guess they enjoy their spare tires, expensive maintenance medications and all their side effects, and impaired sexual function, among other things. (That last is a jibe but it is also true.)
    – American cities after WWII were disintegrating, but as a society we followed the Levittown model instead of rebuilding the cities. I think this had a lot more to do with racism than anything.
    – On that point, how much opposition to public transportation is racism? When I listen to people complain about it, I always hear a subtext of not wanting to be next to all the subhuman races.

  • avatar
    AG

    If there was an Acela-like train system connecting Detroit and Chicago with spur routes in between it would be awesome. If they had this when I was at Michigan, I could hit up the football game Saturday at noon and be in Chicago for dinner!

  • avatar
    jkross22

    “When I listen to people complain about it, I always hear a subtext of not wanting to be next to all the subhuman races.”

    I’m sure you find it hard to believe that there are legitimate arguments that you don’t agree with. Those arguments are not racist… unless of course you say they are, in which case they must be, huh?

    What garbage.

  • avatar
    jackc10

    I am shocked to learn that American cities after WW2 were disintegrating and that all the wrong decisions have been made.

    That is utter rubbish. If it was true everybody would have stayed in the old parish or neighborhood. Fact is, everybody who could get out, did. It continues.

    My father’s old neighborhood in Chicago and my mother’s in Fort Worth were awful when they lived there, well before WW2 and I am a happy native Texan who did have to grow up in old Chicago or Fort Worth, because they relocated to a then new area Dallas.

    BTW, electric trolleys, even in New Orleans are/were prone to constant breakdowns, are loud, are impediments to resurfacing and infrastrucure inmprovements and as are not cost effective except as tourist entertainment and barely useful in a place like NOLA where car ownership is low. Computer ownership is low too and crime is high in NOLA. Might be a connection there. Hard to ride the bus out of town when a hurricane is coming.

    If Seattle is so mass transit friendly, why was there such a hue and cry this winter when a mild snowstorm caused many days of havoc? Turns out the Roads people were hamstrung by the environmental wackos on how they could deal with the snow. It turned to ice. Bad problem caused by concern salt would leach into Puget Sound. That is a salt water bay interestingly enough.

    I have driven in Boston twice. If I had the luck to live there. I would use mass transit at every opportunity if I could not afford a taxi or radio car. Crazy stuff goes on routinely. You can get run over my a funeral procession if you are not careful.

  • avatar
    jpcavanaugh

    If there was an Acela-like train system connecting Detroit and Chicago with spur routes in between it would be awesome.

    Detroit would empty out even faster?

  • avatar
    hughie522

    I have to agree with LaHood on one point:

    If I use public transport, it takes 65 minutes to get to work.

    If I take the car it’s only 20 :P.

  • avatar
    agenthex

    That is utter rubbish. If it was true everybody would have stayed in the old parish or neighborhood. Fact is, everybody who could get out, did. It continues.

    The entire point is that while living out in the burbs is great for the earlier adopters, the system gets worse with time, and becomes untenable in the long run.

    It’s sad really because people were given the freedom to make choices that can turn out to be more expensive in the long run for society and their children, and they took it.

  • avatar
    PeteMoran

    Geez, be thankful you have people that can think further into the future than next year.

    In that future, when running your car costs $10/gallon, and there are endless arguments about WHO will pay for the roads, someone might remark that starting the structural change in transport NOW was a really clever idea.

    My guess is there must be 5 “sky-is-falling” whiners for every 1 pragmatic person in the USA. (Maybe the ratio is even worse).

  • avatar
    slumba

    Basically what is going on is that the gas taxes that were supposed to pay for the upgrades to infrastructure, were instead siphoned off and used as a slush fund for politicians to reward the politically-connected.

    They are just admitting that.

    So the cycle is: steal the gas tax money, traffic gets worse, offer an unworkable LRT system and claim you need to steal even more gas tax money to pay for it.

  • avatar

    I enjoy bike riding for fun and fitness – not as a way to get to work.

    I’ve commuted to work on a bike and regularly use a bicycle for transportation. It’s a feasible commuting solution with some caveats. Weather is an issue. I live near Detroit, this means using a bike isn’t really practical from November to March. Getting wet isn’t a real problem as long as your regular clothes and personal items are packed to stay dry and as long as the temperature is above 50-55. Cold isn’t a problem since you’re generating heat with your exercise. Wet isn’t a problem, because you’re going to be soaking wet with sweat when you get there anyway. Cold and wet, though, is a problem.

    You’ll need shower facilities at work as well as a safe place to lock your bike. You’ll also need to carry spare tubes, a patch kit and a pump or CO2 inflater. Ride a properly fitted bike and be sure to wear bike shorts. Bike shorts will keep your sensitive parts from getting chafed.

    So commuting by bike is a bit of a pain, but it can be done if you’re serious about it. It’s also significantly more dangerous than driving.

    Environmentally, increased CO2 output from riding a bike means that four people riding bikes to work may actually put out more CO2 than if they carpooled in a small sedan.

  • avatar
    John_K

    George Soros, Obama’s handler, is laughing his head off as the US heads further and further off a cliff with each passing hour.

    Way to go, libs!

  • avatar

    The only reason you can drive 100 miles from your job in the city, out to your McMansion in Nowheresville, is because the GOVERNMENT built the road, as well as the power lines, water supply etc.

    While the government has been involved in some electrification, most notably the TVA and some big dams out west, most of the electrical grid in the US is the result of private investment, not government. Water supplies, outside of the west, were the product of local governments, not the federal government.

    As for roads, before the interstate commerce clause was interpreted into meaninglessness, Congress had to justify the Interstate Highway system on national defense grounds in order to provide the original funding.

    What’s interesting is that the drive to privatize roads in the US is coming from big government types. They want to sell or lease roads paid for by the taxpayers to private businesses who, like red light and speeding camera companies, will provide a revenue stream back to government.

  • avatar
    agenthex

    most of the electrical grid in the US is the result of private investment, not government.

    Utilities in general are so heavily regulated they might as well be government agencies.

    Some folks a while back also the bright idea to deregulate them.

    What’s interesting is that the drive to privatize roads in the US is coming from big government types.

    Generally how it works is that some people want to make money like off red light cameras, then lobby the gov to give them that right. The “revenue” is bait. Win-win for everyone, right? As long as you believe “private” always means better.

  • avatar
    HEATHROI

    Its all pie in the sky stuff anyway. The State’s tax receipts have cratered, they won’t be about to float any new bond issues without help from DC, who have creditors with issues of their own.

    This the governmental equivalent of a little girl writing a letter to Santa for a pony.

    a nation which is spending almost a trillion bucks a year on war related stuff is not going get a new transport system of any sort.

  • avatar
    Kendahl

    When my wife and I were young and broke, I rode the bus to and from work for a few weeks after one of our two cars broke expensively. Commuting 12 miles by bus took an hour and a half each way. By car, it took less than half an hour.

    At the same time, my wife had two part time jobs in different parts of the city, 7 and 12 miles from home. Commuting to them by bus would have taken her 6 to 8 hours each day.

    An acquaintance worked in New York City and lived in Connecticut. His commute, by train and bus, took 3 hours each way. Moving to New Jersey saved him an hour a day.

    I live in a medium sized midwestern city. The metropolitan area is 250 square miles and the aggregate population is two thirds of a million. Most of the time, I can drive across town in no more than half an hour.

    A friend of mine, who lived in Pasadena, California, had a girl friend in Orange County. A date involved picking her up, dinner in San Pedro, a movie in Westwood, some time at his apartment in Pasadena, taking her home and returning to Pasadena. The evening used up two tanks of gas in his Buick.

    I wish the people who complain about the private automobile would try to design a public transportation system to replace it. Requirements are availability within a quarter of a mile of any two arbitrary points at 15 minute intervals 24/7 and, at least in my city, no more than one hour travel time between those points. If public transportation is so much better than the private automobile, it should be able to provide at least comparable service.

    Public transportation advocates don’t want to talk about the sacrifice in quality of life needed to make public transportation viable. It needs a high population density. Say goodbye to the single family home. The only way to get the necessary density is to stack people on top of each other in high rise apartment buildings.

    Because housing costs are moderate in the midwest, I can afford to live outside city limits on an acre of land. The nearest bus stop is more than 3 miles away. Some of my colleagues like living even farther out even though doing so requires a 50 to 100 mile commute. Are you going to provide public transportation for them?

    Another colleague recently retired to a home in the country 80 miles from the nearest city. The closest civilization is a village of 300 people five miles away. The closest real town, population 6,000, is 15 miles away via county road. It’s very inviting. Dark skies at night instead of light pollution. Enough space for a couple of horses. No damn noisy neighbors and their ill mannered brats. Of course, it won’t work if I have to depend on public transportation.

  • avatar
    skor

    @agenthex

    It’s true that most of the electrical/water infrastructure was built with private capital — in large towns and cities — the first subways and and almost all the railroads were built with private capital as well.

    The fact remains that almost all rural electrical service was paid for by the feds. Fact is that happy motoring, and suburban Mcliving, would be impossible in almost all Western states, but for federal water projects.

    For all the breast beating that “independent” Americans do about freedom of choice, and living on what was, until recently, marginal farmland, or even waste land, it’s all just a Rush Limpblow delusion. Almost all of the postwar infrastructure that was built to allow our motoring lifestyle was subsidized by the feds. This is why I find all the hysterics that accompany any call for mass trans funding to be so amusing. Apparently it’s OK for x-burb inhabitants to be welfare queens, but it’s not OK for urban residents to be welfare queens.

  • avatar
    agenthex

    It’s true that most of the electrical/water infrastructure was built with private capital

    Utility’s prices/profits are fixed in exchange for granted monopoly, so really it’s just a matter of convenience for the gov and does not support the original author’s point at all.

  • avatar
    reclusive_in_nature

    Thanks, but no thanks. Lots of luck trying to “coerce” the voters into re-electing you totalitarian clowns though. You’re going to need it.

  • avatar
    geeber

    skor: Yes, let’s be accurate about who is being subsidized: car drivers in “red states”. Typically red states — home of independence loving “real Americans” — receive more money from the feds than they pay in federal taxes. Most of the “commie” blue states pay more money to the feds than they get back. New Jersey gets 65cents for every dollar it sends to Washington.

    Your mixing apples and oranges. There is no proof that these federal funds are being used for roads. Most of the transferred federal funds are for Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare payments and disaster relief.

    Revenues from the federal motor fuels tax are used to pay for the federal portion of highway constrution; as johnthacker proved, it has been used to subsidize non-highway projects for years, and this is slated to increase if Secretary LaHood’s suggestions are implemented as official policy.

    skor: BTW, the original NYC subway lines were all privately built(funded). The rail tunnels connecting NYC to Jersey were privately built. I don’t know of any interstate highway system that was built with private funds.

    So were many roads in earlier times. They were privately owned and operated. They weren’t interstate highways because most goods transported in interstate commerce were carried by either waterways or railroads at that time.

    In my hometown, the entrance via the main street is still informally referred to as Tollgate Hill because, in the 19th century (when those private subways were being built in New York City), the main road was privately owned, and users had to pay a toll to enter town.

    dex3703: Those comments relating to free individuals making free choices are, probably unavoidably and unconsciously, parroting the free market mantra that’s been carefully crafted over the last 30 years or so.

    No, it’s because they can think for themselves. What really upsets you is that they have reached different decisions on where and how to live.

    The idea that they are being deluded or tricked by corporations or free-market rhetoric is an old ploy by those who can’t stand the fact that people, thinking on their own, have reached different conclusions as to what constitutes the good life.

    I don’t care if you live in the city and never drive a car, or live on a commune and bicycle everywhere. That is your choice. It is no more or less valid than the choices I have made.

    dex3703: Speaking to our current car-centric society and development model, this has been carefully constructed with government policy, which was bought by private influence.

    This may come as a surprise, but, over the long haul, voters in the United States generally get what they want.

    dex3703: Why is there a home mortgage interest deduction?

    Because both of the major political parties have agreed that promoting home ownership is a good thing.

    Incidentally, someone who owns a rowhouse in the city can claim the home mortgage interest deduction, too. And there is no requirement that they own a car to claim it.

    This deduction isn’t restricted to owners of McMansions in the suburbs.

    dex3703: The point here is that the society we live in has been designed, even if only in a de-facto way.

    Which is good, because completely designed areas tend to be pretty awful and sterile.

    dex3703: A hundred years ago none of this existed.

    A century ago, there were suburbs. The Main Line suburbs on the western side of Philadelphia existed at that time. They developed around the street car lines. In the 1950s, suburbs developed around the interstate exchanges (King of Prussia outside of Philadelphia, for example, where the Pennsylvania Turnpike and the Schuylkill Expressway meet).

    Cities have been sprawling for centuries; as long as the people have been able to live outside the city, they have done so. How far outside of the city they live depends on the available transportation technology at that time.

    dex3703: – 20th century life expectancy increased in some places, didn’t change and got worse in others.

    Not in the United States, which is relevant to the discussion. You claimed that cars are making Americans unhealthier. This is not borne out by increased life expectancies in this country.

    dex3703: Europeans live longer than North Americans and consume half the energy.

    They have fewer poor illegal immigrants, which drag down life expectancies (and virtually all other measures of public health).

    They also have lots of cars in Europe.

    dex3703: – Public transportation makes you more active because it’s not door to door. I ride the bus and walk at least a quarter mile every day from stops to destinations, so I get some exercise every day even if I don’t do anything else.

    There are very few places that offer door-to-door service for drivers. I certainly haven’t run into them. I have to walk lots of places, too. So I get exercise whether I go to the gym or not.

    dex3703: I am sure this would be heresy to many Americans, but I guess they enjoy their spare tires, expensive maintenance medications and all their side effects, and impaired sexual function, among other things. (That last is a jibe but it is also true.)

    Unfortunately, there is no proof that those are related to driving a car. You ignore diet, for example.

    dx3703: – American cities after WWII were disintegrating, but as a society we followed the Levittown model instead of rebuilding the cities. I think this had a lot more to do with racism than anything.

    You need to tell this to the minorities who have been moving to the suburbs in increasing numbers for well over two decades. They apparently didn’t get the memo that the main reason to move to the suburbs is to avoid living in close proximity to minorities.

    dex3703: – On that point, how much opposition to public transportation is racism? When I listen to people complain about it, I always hear a subtext of not wanting to be next to all the subhuman races.

    Because you prefer to ignore the large number of minorities who drive and who are moving the suburbs. It doesn’t fit your narrative.

  • avatar
    agenthex

    The idea that they are being deluded or tricked by corporations or free-market rhetoric is an old ploy by those who can’t stand the fact that people, thinking on their own, have reached different conclusions as to what constitutes the good life.

    No, there’s absolutely no outside evident to support their point of view. It’s all internally generated in the conservative movement that was hatched and then abandon by the main party a while back, right after open racism was no longer consider a populist enough primary stance for the party.

    For example:

    You claimed that cars are making Americans unhealthier. This is not borne out by increased life expectancies in this country.

    Notice the absolutely appalling logic. Cars can make people unhealthier -> life expectancy must decrease. I guess by independent thinking you must mean outside the usual bounds of logic.


    They have fewer poor illegal immigrants, which drag down life expectancies (and virtually all other measures of public health).

    They also have lots of cars in Europe.

    And now the bigotry bubbles to the surface after all else fails. Is there anything conservatives can’t blame on brown people? Or unions in case they’re not even peripherally involved?

  • avatar
    geeber

    agenthex: No, there’s absolutely no outside evident to support their point of view. It’s all internally generated in the conservative movement that was hatched and then abandon by the main party a while back, right after open racism was no longer consider a populist enough primary stance for the party.

    You’ll have more credibility if you stop referring to the conservatives that exist largely your imagination.

    You have complained – with justification – about caricatures of liberal views and President Obama’s actions regarding the automobile industry.

    I would suggest not engaging in the same sins yourself.

    agenthex: Notice the absolutely appalling logic.

    Notice that you didn’t read the entire thread before making a comment, which makes you look completely clueless.

    Let’s review here – dex3703 made the comment that cars are making us unhealthier. One measure of health is life expectancy. (Healthier people tend to live longer.)

    One would conclude that we would die earlier if we were really unhealthier. This is not happening, based on life expectancies compared to years before people used cars on a widespread basis.

    agenthex: I guess by independent thinking you must mean outside the usual bounds of logic.

    If you don’t can’t counter the point, just admit it and, as one group on your side of the ideological aisle says, “move on.”

    agenthex: And now the bigotry bubbles to the surface after all else fails.

    As someone once said, charges of bigotry are dragged out when the liberal is losing the argument. Thank you for proving that point nicely.

    Apparently bigotry now means pointing out the facts – that illegal immigrants present a public health challenge for the U.S.

    (I don’t know how old you are agenthex, but the same charges of bigotry were dragged out whenever anyone noticed that minorities were more likely to commit crimes in urban areas in the 1960s and 1970s. Eventually, the facts became too obvious for all but the dumbest of leftists to ignore, as even the Reverend Jesse Jackson and others were forced to admit the truth. We can only hope and pray that you will admit the obvious regarding the challenges presented by illegal aliens around 2020.)

    If you can’t accept this, I would suggest keeping quiet and leaving the discussion to those who are better informed.

    agenthex: Is there anything conservatives can’t blame on brown people?

    Is there any time a liberal won’t bring out the tired charges of racism and bigotry to cover for ignorance or not wanting to the face the facts?

    In your case, apparently, not.

    A sugestion here, agenthex – I would suggest losing the snark and stop calling people “morons” (as you did in the other thread to another poster), because you don’t know as much as you think you do.

    You can start by learning something about the auto industry, so you will stop believing, for example, that pairing Chrysler with Fiat will produce a viable company, given that Europeans aren’t lining up to buy most Fiats.

    What’s next on your agenda to bring back Chrysler – reviving DeSoto?

  • avatar
    agenthex

    You’ll have more credibility if you stop referring to the conservatives that exist largely your imagination.

    Unfortunately for your argument, my imagination is incredibly accurate. If you don’t fit the stereotype, you would be the first one ever, and I would congratulate you on being the first ever.

    This is not happening, based on life expectancies compared to years before people used cars on a widespread basis.

    See, this is where your basic understanding of scientific logic fails again. You would have a point if car usage were the ONLY variable in play, and clearly this is not the case. If you don’t already understand simple principles like this, it becomes pretty clear that just about everything else you base your worldview is similarly irrational.

    If you don’t can’t counter the point, just admit it and, as one group on your side of the ideological aisle says, “move on.”

    I just want to note that I never dodge points because I never make them unless I can humiliate possible counter-points. The only challenge is to do so in a possibly amusing way. I believe we’ve been through this before where you make this accusation and then are unable to produce any evidence of it when pushed. History repeats itself.


    As someone once said, charges of bigotry are dragged out when the liberal is losing the argument. Thank you for proving that point nicely.

    Apparently bigotry now means pointing out the facts – that illegal immigrants present a public health challenge for the U.S.

    No, I believe the record of posts above quite clearly show you were the one to bring this up. A great portion of traditionalist’s phobias reflect back to scapegoating outside, often minority, groups (Jews/Blacks, now Mexicans/Muslims/gays or really anybody “different”).

    The black welfare queen I guess turned into the illegal mexican, both overblown caricatures to rile up the base.

    A sugestion here, agenthex – I would suggest losing the snark and stop calling people “morons” (as you did in the other thread to another poster), because you don’t know as much as you think you do.

    Here’s the real difference. I know exactly how much I know, and the vast world of knowledge out there I don’t. In fact I know exactly how much you know and don’t. This is why I always win these little silly debates.

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