It took fifteen minutes to go three blocks…

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See how bad traffic is getting your state—and how much it will cost to relieve congestion—in this study released today by the Reason Foundation (which publishes Reason Online).

(USA Today covers the new report here.)

And for the big picture on why mobility matters, read this.

NEXT: One Cheer for Jack Reed

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  1. Of course urban overcrowding has nothing to do with the open-door immigration policies favored by most Reasonites…

  2. Costello, you stole my line.

  3. costello, I wasn’t aware there are open-door immigration policies (unless you consider National Guard troops, wall building, fines, imprisonment, employer sanctions, and minute-men vigilantes an open door policy). Obviously if open door policies don’t exist, they can’t be the reason for the ‘urban overcrowding’ you spoke of. Just sayin.

  4. What we need to cure traffic problems are central planners. Thousands and thousands of them. They’re our only hope.

  5. The solution, of course, is to get rid of government streets and allow private road owners to charge whatever fees the market will bear to allow people to drive on them. By charging money, some people will not be able to afford to go anywhere, thus reducing traffic.

  6. “Of course urban overcrowding has nothing to do with the open-door immigration policies favored by most Reasonites…”

    Since the birth rate is 14.1 per 1000 people and the immigration rate is 3.31 per 1000 people, I’d say you are correct. You are so correct, in fact, that I will overlook the obvious irony in your post so that I don’t have to highlight how wrong you are.

  7. Why do governments feel they must be our enablers in keeping us addicted to roads?
    Is it any different than shoveling cocaine up our nostrils?
    We keep needing larger and larger doses of roads to stay in the same place: literally, in the same place.

  8. Uh, Dan? You know with competition things get cheaper, right? And you do know that the poor already pay for roads that they use by paying gas taxes, right? So saying that there would be people so poor they couldn’t travel is pretty dumb, seeing as how they have to pay for roads NOW and the only thing that will happen is that they will get cheaper with competition.

    Nice try though.

  9. Uh, Dan? You know with competition things get cheaper, right? And you do know that the poor already pay for roads that they use by paying gas taxes, right? So saying that there would be people so poor they couldn’t travel is pretty dumb, seeing as how they have to pay for roads NOW and the only thing that will happen is that they will get cheaper with competition.

    You’re right – what we need are competing streets. Have several different corporations build a set of roads in a city and they can have a price war. Everybody wins.

  10. Did costello just say that we have bad traffic becouse “of all those damn mexicans on the road”?

  11. Every Amtrak train outside the Northeast Corridor puts 100 more trucks on to the highways. One step would be to stop subsidizing long haul trains
    and free up the freight railroads from the necessity of providing scare time slots for passenger trains.

  12. I just got through skimming the 54 pages of this report. 54 pages talking about congestion, the “growing problem,” and options. Never once did it mention “immigration” (search it yourself).

    Did Bob Galvin’s donation come with strings attached, like that Sierra Club donor’s did? “Don’t talk about immigration.”

    7.9 million new immigrants between 2000-2005. 500,000 babies born to immigrants every year. That’s 10.4 million new people from immigration over just the last 5 years.

    By saying congestion is a problem, Reason is admitting that quality of life matters – even more than money. So why can’t it admit that immigration is destroying our quality of life?

  13. Since the birth rate is 14.1 per 1000 people and the immigration rate is 3.31 per 1000 people, I’d say you are correct. You are so correct, in fact, that I will overlook the obvious irony in your post so that I don’t have to highlight how wrong you are. – Lamar

    Sorry, Lamar. Go to the back of the class.

    What matters here is growth. There is a birthrate, but it’s offset by what’s called a “death rate.” (Familiarize yourself with that). What’s more, your immigration rate only counts legal immigration – unless you don’t think illegal immigrants drive. It also doesn’t count the children born to immigrants (one-quarter of all births – or 500,000 a year).

    We worry about road congestion; we worry about crime; we worry about health care costs; we worry about poverty and income inequality (some of us do); we worry about the environment; we worry about the quality of education. Isn’t it funny how immigration affects all of these?

  14. Did I say competing streets, Dan T? Maybe you should stop quoting the Randian in your head, which might be easy if you weren’t wearing your rear-end for earmuffs

  15. If 500K babies were born between the years 2K and 2005, that would mean 500K carseats in cars driven by immigrants, assuming they could afford cars or bothered with carseats (mexican airbags ha ha) except had this been going on since 1990 or so, then such numbers would be accurate, only if there were continual influx and nobody leaving.

    Meanwhile, were “open door” immigration policies implemented, the number of immigrants would be more accurate since they would stop using the desert and start going through normal check points. This would leave only drug runners and real criminals to take up BP time and effort.

    Craig, everytime somebody makes an argument concerning the need for immigration quotas here they always make the immigrant attributes indistinguishable from “poor people” attributes. It seems as if every problem and solution (royal) you attribute to immigrants can be transferred over to poor people. That being said, how much would the education system, health care, traffic etc improve if the poor people were kicked out?

  16. Uh, Dan? You know with competition things get cheaper, right? – Ayn Randian

    Would that be supply-side competition or demand-side competition? Because with the latter they most certainly do not get cheaper. Sure, some things (cell phones, computers, etc.) can be produced in endless quantities. But arable land? Oil? Water?

    http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,645196536,00.html

  17. Meanwhile, were “open door” immigration policies implemented, the number of immigrants would be more accurate since they would stop using the desert and start going through normal check points. This would leave only drug runners and real criminals to take up BP time and effort.

    So who’d be watching the gates to make sure only non-criminals were coming in? Who’d do the background checks? That wouldn’t take BP “time and effort?”

    Your argument rminds me of those who say that we must have an amnesty because we could never deport 12 million illegals. But how would we verify their backgrounds, that they’ve paid their taxes, and that they’ve actually been here for whatever number of years they claim?

    Craig, everytime somebody makes an argument concerning the need for immigration quotas here they always make the immigrant attributes indistinguishable from “poor people” attributes.

    I was not making them indistinguishable for people. I was attributing to them the actual attributes that they do have (higher crime, more children, etc.). Whether their rich or poor makes little difference to some things, like how much they’ll use the roads.

    It seems as if every problem and solution (royal) you attribute to immigrants can be transferred over to poor people. That being said, how much would the education system, health care, traffic etc improve if the poor people were kicked out?

    Our citizen population is not a variable. We can’t kick them out if they don’t want to go. Immigration, on the other hand, is entirely optional. We can have as much or as little of it as we choose.

  18. Meanwhile, were “open door” immigration policies implemented, the number of immigrants would be more accurate since they would stop using the desert and start going through normal check points. This would leave only drug runners and real criminals to take up BP time and effort.

    So who’d be watching the gates to make sure only non-criminals were coming in? Who’d do the background checks? That wouldn’t take BP “time and effort?”

    Your argument rminds me of those who say that we must have an amnesty because we could never deport 12 million illegals. But how would we verify their backgrounds, that they’ve paid their taxes, and that they’ve actually been here for whatever number of years they claim?

    Craig, everytime somebody makes an argument concerning the need for immigration quotas here they always make the immigrant attributes indistinguishable from “poor people” attributes.

    I was not making them indistinguishable from poor people. I was attributing to them the actual attributes that they do have (higher crime, more children, etc.). Whether their rich or poor makes little difference to some things, like how much they’ll use the roads.

    It seems as if every problem and solution (royal) you attribute to immigrants can be transferred over to poor people. That being said, how much would the education system, health care, traffic etc improve if the poor people were kicked out?

    Our citizen population is not a variable. We can’t kick them out if they don’t want to go. Immigration, on the other hand, is entirely optional. We can have as much or as little of it as we choose.

  19. Meanwhile, were “open door” immigration policies implemented, the number of immigrants would be more accurate since they would stop using the desert and start going through normal check points. This would leave only drug runners and real criminals to take up BP time and effort.

    So who’d be watching the gates to make sure only non-criminals were coming in? Who’d do the background checks? That wouldn’t take BP “time and effort?”

    Your argument rminds me of those who say that we must have an amnesty because we could never deport 12 million illegals. But how would we verify their backgrounds, that they’ve paid their taxes, and that they’ve actually been here for whatever number of years they claim?

    Craig, everytime somebody makes an argument concerning the need for immigration quotas here they always make the immigrant attributes indistinguishable from “poor people” attributes.

    I was not making them indistinguishable from poor people. I was attributing to them the actual attributes that they do have (higher crime, more children, etc.). Whether their rich or poor makes little difference to some things, like how much they’ll use the roads.

    It seems as if every problem and solution (royal) you attribute to immigrants can be transferred over to poor people. That being said, how much would the education system, health care, traffic etc improve if the poor people were kicked out?

    Our citizen population is not a variable. We can’t kick them out if they don’t want to go. Immigration, on the other hand, is entirely optional. We can have as much or as little of it as we choose.

  20. We can have as much or as little of it as we choose.

    Alright, fine, I choose to go out to Wyoming or some such place, buy a huge amount of land, and run my own farming (or ranching) community, staffed entirely by people currently living in Mexico. I will pay them, feed them and house them, and they will work for me. I will go to Mexico with jumbo jets and personally fly them back here.

    Now tell me again why I have to have any government involvement in this at all? you said we can choose, and I choose to have a lot. I have optioned for a lot. But according to you, I should have to ask permission.

    Now ask yourself this: why should I have to ask permission to fly in people who live south of the Rio Grande, but NOT ask permission for people from, say, NORTH of it.

    NOT LOGICAL!

  21. I will pay them, feed them and house them, and they will work for me.

    And when they get pregnant or hurt you’ll drive (on public roads) to a local hospital and push them out of your car in front of the emergency room, where they’ll get free health care paid for by the taxpayers.

    And will you educate their children yourself, too? Will you build a really high barbed-wire fence to make sure they don’t go out and rob the next-door neighbors house? Or get drunk and plow into the next-door neighbors kid?

    Dude, you live in a fantasy world.

    why should I have to ask permission to fly in people who live south of the Rio Grande, but NOT ask permission for people from, say, NORTH of it.

    Well, why should I have to ask permission to enter your house but not my own?

  22. Can any Reasonite explain how we can expand the capacity of the highway system, by say 20%, WITHOUT eminent domain?

  23. Well, why should I have to ask permission to enter your house but not my own?

    Because his house and your house are the property of him and you, respectively.

    However, neither the United States, nor the citizenry of the United States, nor the population of the United States owns the territory of the United States in any rightful sense. Government dominion is not ownership. And government dominion does not legitimize the usurpation of the individual rights of the residents of the dominion — even if the majority of the residents are called citizens and given a putative voice in the government.

    Like it or not, the freedom to migrate where one chooses and the freedom to labor on mutually agreeable terms are individual rights that preexist any government. When a government restricts either of these without exercising a compelling state interest — as when it makes immigration illegal or moderated by quota — it is overreaching its legitimate authority.

    Any act of government can be justified by your argument. Try it out.

  24. Well, why should I have to ask permission to enter your house but not my own?

    Sorry, I keep forgetting that you own the whole country.

    Oh, wait. You were just making a false comparison. Nevermind.

  25. Russ2000,
    I can tell you how to increase capacity by 100% and still not use emminent domain.

    Can you say “double decker”?

    The reason the Bay Bridge was build double decker style is because it was cheaper to do so than to attempt to bore into the bedrock below the water. If the cost of land is too high (eg. sans eminent domain) then this is the option that will be chosen.

  26. I was not making them indistinguishable from poor people. I was attributing to them the actual attributes that they do have (higher crime, more children, etc.). Whether their rich or poor makes little difference to some things, like how much they’ll use the roads.

    Right! I mean, poor people commute from the ‘burbs all the time right?

    Will you build a really high barbed-wire fence to make sure they don’t go out and rob the next-door neighbors house? Or get drunk and plow into the next-door neighbors kid?

    Did you just say that only immigrants break into houses or get drunk and drive? Huh, never thought about it that way. Probably because that is the stupidest thing I have ever heard.

  27. Can any Reasonite explain how we can expand the capacity of the highway system, by say 20%, WITHOUT eminent domain?

    It is too bad that this thread got sidetracked into another immigration discussion. As Russ 2000 notes, there are difficult issues involved in making transportation more efficient.

    But I, for one, am glad there is at least one voice out there speaking for the value of roads to the well being of the people. Virtually every organized voice in transportation discussions is on the side of implicitly or explicitly limiting individual automobile transport while favoring increased public transport.

    Yet whenever there’s a bond measure to pay for improvements to public transport, the two largest voting blocks are “I don’t want to pay for that” versus “I’ll pay for that so silly schmucks will take public transit and leave more room on the freeway for me!”

  28. Kwix,

    I like that answer.

  29. However, neither the United States, nor the citizenry of the United States, nor the population of the United States owns the territory of the United States in any rightful sense.

    Then what do my taxes pay for? What do soldiers die for? When it comes time to defend the rights and territory of a nation, how do you, in your materialistic world view, properly compensate a soldier who gives his life for that nation?

    The fact is that outside of private property, the government (on behalf of its citizens) does own the United States. It owns roads, sewers, bridges, dams, military hardware and bases, police stations, prisons, public parks, state parks, national forests and parks, schools, mineral rights, lakes, rivers, streams, oceans, aquifers, ad infinitum. You could place a financial value on most of those things, and the number would come out to tens of trillions of dollars. You are you proposing does those things? Are you saying that immigration doesn’t reduce the value of that property?

    Like it or not, the freedom to migrate where one chooses and the freedom to labor on mutually agreeable terms are individual rights that preexist any government. When a government restricts either of these without exercising a compelling state interest — as when it makes immigration illegal or moderated by quota — it is overreaching its legitimate authority.

    Yes, the freedom to migrate has long existed. The Hyksos “migrated” to Egypt. The Semites “migrated” to Mesopotamia. The Aryans “migrated” to India. The Germans “migrated” into Poland, France, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Russia. The Europeans “migrated” to Australia, North America, South America, and New Zealand. Can’t say that these migrations were much beneficial to the existing populations, though.

  30. Did you just say that only immigrants break into houses or get drunk and drive? Huh, never thought about it that way. Probably because that is the stupidest thing I have ever heard.

    I am saying that there are negative externalities that would result from Mr. Randian’s Wyoming plantation. These externalities are higher with immigrants from Mexico than with American citizens.

    http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=51667

    “While police do not routinely ask drivers about their immigration status, New York’s Rockland County District Attorney Michael Bongiorno ? who has prosecuted more than 20 felony cases this year involving people accused of both unlicensed driving and drunken driving ? estimated that two-thirds of about 70 drivers charged in Spring Valley with misdemeanor counts of driving while intoxicated and unlicensed driving were illegal immigrants.”

  31. the freedom to migrate where one chooses and the freedom to labor on mutually agreeable terms are individual rights that preexist any government.

    What are those terms, and who’s agreeing to them? Certainly not all the parties involved.

    Jose and Lupe come here illegally from Mexico to work. What does their compensation package include? Sure, it includes $8 an hour from their putative employer, but what else? Free medical care at a local clinic or emergency room, funded by a hospital chain, funded by paying customers. Free education for their kids, funded by taxpayers who don’t employ them. Better roads, water, and police protection, funded by property tax payers. Oh, I forgot to mention that Jose and Lupe are shacking up with 3 other families, so their property taxes are nil. And they’re paid under the table, so their income taxes are, too. When Jose gets thrown in jail for drunk driving and running into a car and killing a kid, who pays the for the totalled car? Not Jose, who didn’t have insurance. Not his employer. (This actually has happened to me – my car was totalled by an unisured illegal). Who pays the $20,000 a year cost for Jose’s “room and board” at the prison? Not Jose or his employer.

    The fact is that not every paying party is “mutually agreeing” to these terms.

  32. The fact is that outside of private property, the government (on behalf of its citizens) does own the United States. It owns roads, sewers, bridges, dams, military hardware and bases, police stations, prisons, public parks, state parks, national forests and parks, schools, mineral rights, lakes, rivers, streams, oceans, aquifers, ad infinitum.

    Many of those — sewers, bridges, dams, military, police, prisons, parks, schools — are owned by the government because the government created them from nothing. Others — forests, mineral rights, lakes, waterways, aquifers — are valuable commons held in trust by the government in lieu of their being privately held. Nonetheless, all those things you listed — including ad infinitum — do not compose the entirety of the territory of the United States and do not grant authority to the government to violate individual rights throughout its dominion.

    Let’s take roads, since that is the presumed topic of this thread. I would say that most urban roads are commons, with improvements by the government. Intercity roads usually are indeed government property.

    But if someone bought and built a private road from the national border to Ayn Randian’s Immigrant Ranch, what legitimate authority does the government have to prevent people from travelling that road to the ranch?

  33. It is a paradox that one would have to belong to something when the desired effect is to belong
    to nothing.

  34. And when they get pregnant or hurt you’ll drive (on public roads) to a local hospital and push them out of your car in front of the emergency room, where they’ll get free health care paid for by the taxpayers.

    An excellent argument against the welfare state, since Americans can do this too.

    Will you build a really high barbed-wire fence to make sure they don’t go out and rob the next-door neighbors house? Or get drunk and plow into the next-door neighbors kid?

    Do we do this to American citizens? Noooo, but Americans commit these crimes every day as well. So should we pen you up to “make sure (you) don?t go out robbing…etc”???

    Now I am just convinced you really are a racist, because you think that being “not from around here” means you’re more likely to drive drunk, use public services and rob people.

    All hail Grand Dragon Craig!

  35. “While police do not routinely ask drivers about their immigration status, New York’s Rockland County District Attorney Michael Bongiorno — who has prosecuted more than 20 felony cases this year involving people accused of both unlicensed driving and drunken driving — estimated that two-thirds of about 70 drivers charged in Spring Valley with misdemeanor counts of driving while intoxicated and unlicensed driving were illegal immigrants.”

    Huh. What do you know. This is because New York State does not issue driving licences, and by extension driving proficiency tests, to illegal immigrants. The rest of the article you linked pointed this out, and the fact that illegals involved in accidents are more likely to hit-and-run to avoid the potential deportation they feel will occur. Allow them to legally drive, and don’t deport them and you will have far fewer problems of this sort.

  36. Many of those — sewers, bridges, dams, military, police, prisons, parks, schools — are owned by the government because the government created them from nothing. Others — forests, mineral rights, lakes, waterways, aquifers — are valuable commons held in trust by the government in lieu of their being privately held.

    The government created them from taxes on the people or conquered it from the natives with the blood of the people.

    Nonetheless, all those things you listed — including ad infinitum — do not compose the entirety of the territory of the United States and do not grant authority to the government to violate individual rights throughout its dominion.

    What remains is private property. The idea that you can segregate what an individual does with his private property from how that may affect the commons or someone else’s private property doesn’t work. And that’s before you even get into redistributionist schemes.

    But if someone bought and built a private road from the national border to Ayn Randian’s Immigrant Ranch, what legitimate authority does the government have to prevent people from travelling that road to the ranch?

    No legitimate authority, if you presume that they will never leave the ranch or the road. But that’s somewhere out in fantasyland. In the real world, they will leave the ranch. They’ll use government services. Eventually, they may vote. In a democracy, their votes dilute the representation of everyone else.

    Look, when it comes to reducing government intrusion in our lives, and the amount of wealth that gets redistributed by what is, inevitably and by nature, a somewhat corrupt authority, I am on your side. But that’s not the world we live in. That’s not the world we’ll ever live in (especially with continued, large-scale immigration. The irony is that the ideal political world so many Reasonites seem to envision is one that is best realized in a Jeffersonian, agrarian democracy, where people live far enough away from each other not to bother each other. That’s exactly the world immigration is leading us away from.

  37. Now I am just convinced you really are a racist, because you think that being “not from around here” means you’re more likely to drive drunk, use public services and rob people.

    Randian! He is not necessarily racist. He is a xenophobic, nationalist ass; but not a racist. I am sure that Craig supports building a wall on the Canadian border too.

  38. An excellent argument against the welfare state, since Americans can do this too.

    Very nice. How do you propose achieving the elimination of the welfare state? And do you think excess immigration is leading us toward that vision or away from it?

    Now I am just convinced you really are a racist, because you think that being “not from around here” means you’re more likely to drive drunk, use public services and rob people.

    I thought Reasonites lived in a world of facts and, well, “reason.” The data on immigrants and crime is in, and its conclusive. Heather Mac Donald did an exhaustive report on this. You can read it if you want to be enlightened, or you can call me a racist. Personally I don’t give a crap.

    http://www.city-journal.org/html/16_3_immigration_reform.html

  39. Look, when it comes to reducing government intrusion in our lives, and the amount of wealth that gets redistributed by what is, inevitably and by nature, a somewhat corrupt authority, I am on your side. But that’s not the world we live in.

    We also don’t live in a world that’s going to have open immigration anytime soon.

    Why do you insist on holding the freedoms of individuals hostage to what you believe to be illegitimate government behavior?

  40. Let’s see, is Craig a racist? Let’s find out:

    their votes dilute the representation of everyone else

    Wouldn’t want the Mexicans “diluting” our snow-white representation, would we?

    When Jose gets thrown in jail for drunk driving and running into a car and killing a kid, who pays the for the totalled car?

    hmmm, Jose…there’s no stereotype there. Additionally, he assumes that no poor Americans can do this either. Just Mexicans.

    Who pays the $20,000 a year cost for Jose’s “room and board” at the prison? Not Jose or his employer.

    The same goes for ALL prisoners, but you want to pick on the Mexican one….how telling…

    Will you build a really high barbed-wire fence to make sure they don’t go out and rob the next-door neighbors house? Or get drunk and plow into the next-door neighbors kid?

    Again, Americans do these things every day, but somehow Craig thinks only the Mexicans need a fence, those brown animals.

    Hey Craig, David Duke called, he wants his shtick back.

  41. asked of A Randian:—“And will you educate their children yourself, too?”
    YIKES!
    and then, this:
    “the freedom to migrate where one chooses and the freedom to labor on mutually agreeable terms are individual rights that preexist any government.”

    When the NEED to migrate is dictated by a corrupt, brutal police state, or a oligarchy , then you arent really “freely immigrating” are you.
    This is why theories are just that. They are not immutable laws. Gravity is a law. Randian economics is a theory. Capisce?
    We have a case where countries S of the border are both subsidized & supported militarily by the USG, financed by extorted taxes. The resultant hell is rebelled against, suffered under…..and fled.
    Predators who like to pimp the idea they support “liberty” are all to happy to exploit said refugees.
    All in the name of “liberty” of course.
    Speaking of roadways: I think the roads of the air will figure large in the next few months. Air Traffic Controllers (vile bastards: how DARE they join in a combination!) are gonna rebell. Ideologues are going to want you to support turning the job over, to, say, Halliburton, et al. For profit. The end all & be all of the nitwit.
    When $ profit is the ONLY consideration, stupidity rules.
    Randian runnin a classroom: YIKES.

  42. MUTT, you incoherent troll, don’t you have a bottle of vodka to nurse somewhere?

  43. Um…..what part of the above dont you understand?
    A Poll: while you may disagree with my point, (or points: maybe you think A. Randian in control of youths education a plus) does the Peanut Gallery find it inchoherent? If so, why?
    just curious……

  44. It’s stream of consciousness nonsense, and I am not going to try to interpret it. best I can tell, you’re sputtering on about the United States subsidizing bad governments, creating a need to migrate. Then, the predators take advantage of them. Oh yeah, and you make up a term “Randian economics” (no such thing). Some kind of strange, drunken tangent about air traffic controllers and then som ad hominem about Objectivists teaching kids.

    Maybe you want to take a deep breath and type like a coherent adult, not James Joyce.

  45. MikeP: “But I, for one, am glad there is at least one voice out there speaking for the value of roads to the well being of the people. Virtually every organized voice in transportation discussions is on the side of implicitly or explicitly limiting individual automobile transport while favoring increased public transport.”

    i have not really heard much of an organized voice in favor of closing roads/shutting down highways to improve traffic congestion. also, not to split hairs, but driving on public roads is as much of a sort of public transport as commuter trains/light rail/etc.

    it’s true, that most organized voices to tend to promote public transit (trains, etc.). but since automobile options aren’t being limited – just not expanded – the promotion of mass transit offers a choice not previously there.

    in short, widening roads does not generally alleviate traffic congestion. it may in the short term, but since the road can accomodate more traffic, more cars will take it and we are back to congestion.

    to alleviate traffic on the highways, it is necessary to provide options to get cars OFF of the highways.

    oh, i forgot that the brown people are ruining mass transit!

  46. in short, widening roads does not generally alleviate traffic congestion. it may in the short term, but since the road can accomodate more traffic, more cars will take it and we are back to congestion.

    Those “more cars” are driven by more people doing more things that they want to do. In other words, those widened roads are an improvement to the well being of the people.

    The equivalent money spent on public transit rarely (never?) grants the same level of benefit to the same number of people.

  47. “best I can tell, you’re sputtering on about the United States subsidizing bad governments, creating a need to migrate. Then, the predators take advantage of them.”

    Very good. You show basic reading comprehension skills.
    If you put on your thinking cap, you’ll see I was writing in response to the fellow who tried to posit this migration was free will, and subsequent contracts entered equal on all sides.
    Now, I wasn’t saying YIKES about an Objectivist teaching children, I was saying YIKES about YOU teaching children……is this any clearer now?
    I think my line about theories being nothing more than that- theories, not immutable laws- stands & speaks for itself.
    Since this article was about public roadways, and air carriers are part of that (you’ll perhaps allow a bit of fancy if I say “roadways in the sky”?) and I think our air traffic control establishment- like say, the USCG- has been run into the ground by the current & past Administrations, I was offering a heads up to alert Reasoniods. The Republics ATC establishment is collapsing.
    I
    Class dismissed.

  48. Going back to Jose y Lupe: First off, why did they both come over? Why wouldn’t only Jose come over and Lupe stay back with their families? How much did they pay the coyote to get through the desert? If the payment is comparable and more then that required to immigrate legally, than it seems there is a problem with the immigration service, and that problem is not that the immigration service is required.

    The rest of your description of their living conditions seem to be more an indictment of their illegal status, namely the fact that they live with 3 other families. Do they live in a safehouse provided/charged by the coyotes gang? Or is this simply an arrangement because they’re poor?

    They recieve services for free from local private and government organizations, but will they never be in a position to repay these services in the form of tax revenue?

    How are you not arguing against poor people? Poor people have all the same effect on the economy as the illegals do, except for the “less then minimum wage” part. In which case, you’re arguing against the minimum wage itself. You’re going to find some stiff opposition with that stance.

    “Who pays the $20,000 a year cost for Jose’s “room and board” at the prison? Not Jose or his employer.”

    His employer doesn’t pay taxes? Or better yet, the employer doesn’t pay $20K or more a year in taxes? What a shock! I’m sure you don’t either.

    A lot of administrative actions aren’t paid entirely by the employer of the person whose suffered the action, but by the dollar bills siphoned from 20,000 people for the insiduous evil of taxes.

    It seems as if this entire debate is composed of strawmen attacks and weak-kneed politicians.

    For instance, I read the article posted until this paragraph then knew where it was going:

    “Conservative opponents of amnesty and liberalized immigration respond that the rule of law is at stake. Rewarding large-scale lawbreaking with legal status and financial benefits will spark further violations.”

    I am in favor of tightening the law upon illegal immigrants, but only AFTER loosening the ability to legalize in a quick, simple and secure manner, absent of arbitrary, racist/mercantilist quotas and with accomodating actions from the government of Mexico made available to US citizens.

  49. Maybe you want to take a deep breath and type like a coherent adult, not James Joyce.

    Ayn Randian,

    Don’t you dare discourage him. In some ways he is the best writer commenting here.

    If you put on your thinking cap, you’ll see I was writing in response to the fellow who tried to posit this migration was free will…Since this article was about public roadways, and air carriers are part of that (you’ll perhaps allow a bit of fancy if I say “roadways in the sky”?)…

    Crap! I see you’ve ruined him already. Damn you.

    MUTT,

    Don’t let these plebes change your style. I see the connections with Joyce and Kerouac and so forth. Keep up the always fascinating posts.

    Your biggest fan,

  50. Here’s a great study with tons of info to consider, and the conversation is waylaid by some xenophobic m-fer’s who have to put any and all problems at the feet of immigrants. What the hell?
    This is sad.

  51. Speaking as a MUTT fan, I salute you, highnumber.

    MUTT- keep ’em coming. Fire at will. Damn the dogma, full speed ahead! (Are you sure you weren’t in the Navy, MUTT? You remind me of somebody I used to know.)

  52. The cheapest way of reducing congestion is by optimizing use of the current roads. This can be done by tolls. Tolls that vary by congestion encourage drivers to shift their commute, eliminate unnecessary commutes, carpool, and take public transportation.

    Tolls also make it easier for people to build and fund private roads.

  53. I salute Ammonium for bringing this thread back on topic and bringing up a valid point.

    Living in Chicagoland, it is difficult to speak favorably of toll roads due to the bait & switch tactics of the Illinois Toll Authority, but I do love the concept of toll roads. If only someone around here could execute them honestly…
    I’ve got a crazy idea: let’s get the corrupt gov’t out of the toll road biz. Nah, that could never work. We need the gov’t to run big projects properly. They are the only ones who know how to spend my money on the right things, for my own sake.

    Did I just preach to the choir?

  54. Here’s a great study with tons of info to consider, and the conversation is waylaid by some xenophobic m-fer’s who have to put any and all problems at the feet of immigrants. What the hell?

    Yeah, there’s a leak in the ceiling so let’s build a pool to hold all the water – a $553 billion pool.

  55. Yes, Ammonium has it exactly right. This answer has been around for decades. Technology is now to the point where collecting such tolls would be cheap and easy.

    Did I just preach to the choir?

    It’s possible… Might I suggest you also point out that if the government runs the toll roads, they can check people’s immigration status at the tollbooths!

  56. Yeah, there’s a leak in the ceiling so let’s build a pool to hold all the water – a $553 billion pool.

    Still sad, Xenophobic M-Fer.

    Might I suggest you also point out that if the government runs the toll roads, they can check people’s immigration status at the tollbooths!

    Good point. I never thought of that. While we’re being ignorant statist m-fers why don’t we audit their taxes while we’re at it? Then, we could also search their cars for illegal drugs and check their emissions. [winking smiley face icon here]

  57. Well, they can start gearing up for cheking immigration status because the toll road is coming.

    The first contract has been let on the MEX-US-CAN highway. It will be a six lane toll road from Dallas to San Antonio, and will begin turning dirt early in 2007. It’s the first leg of the Mexico to Canada trade throughway.

    And the contract went to a German firm. $6.1 billion of an eventual $12 plus billion in Texas alone.

  58. A few EZ-Pass systems do today auto-calculate speeding tickets based on travel time between entry and exit. Most toll roads don’t implement this “feature” because it would drive business to surface streets and reduce toll revenue.

    Mid 20th century… GM wins, Pennsylvania Railroad loses. The federal government over-invests in road systems and lets rail systems bite it. To participate in the road system, a citizen has to make a personal capital investment of several thousand dollars. Road infrastructure is a redistribution from everyone to at least the middle class.

  59. MUTT –

    Since you asked, yes, that post was utterly incoherent.

    As for the original topic of this thread, before it got sidetracked into an inane fight over immigration, yes, traffic is a big problem in the US, and no, there does not appear to be any great solutions to said problem that are not very pricey for most states. The Reason study does provide some excellent information on what needs to be done and at what cost.

    My only addition to the topic is to say that at least part of the problem seems to stem from road projects being contracted out to incompetent chimps who let said projects drag on indefinitely with no apparent consequences, generally going massively over budget in the process. How these goons can the charge for the time they spend past their deadline rather than being sued for fraud is a source of bafflement to me.

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