Finally, Common Sense on the Snow Problem.


Local governments—particularly plow crews—cannot deal with snow effectively. Weatherpersons "predict" snow, but don't do anything about it. With the DC area yet again buried in nearly two feet, essential federal services have been shut down. Many government workers are being encouraged to take leave days after the initial powder dump.

Snow is costly for taxpayers, as well. It's expensive to clear. Salting roads even in a southern state like North Carolina requires 29,000 tons of sodium chloride costing some $2.5 million. And then there are the trucks and plows and workers on extended overtime—all of which gobble up taxpayer dollars and break strained budgets.

But the costs of snow removal are insignificant compared to the billions of dollars lost through decreased economic productivity.

More here.

NEXT: Attn, DC Reasonoids: Conquer Snowpacalypse 2 Tonight With Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson at Reason's DC HQ

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  1. Pussies.

    1. There’s plenty to mock Minnesota for, but clearing snow isn’t one of those things. In the Halloween blizzard of 1991, I was very impressed at how quickly the snow got cleared.

      1. Al Franken…what else?

      2. I had a room-mate from back-country Minnesota one year; she was not at all impressed with the Chicago winter, which was simply not up to her standards. (Of course, she reacted to the Chicago spring like it was August in Death Valley, so – like everything – there’s a trade-off.)

  2. But the costs of snow removal are insignificant compared to the billions of dollars lost through decreased economic productivity.

    Or the increased productivity in the rest of the country caused by DC being shut down for almost a week.

  3. [Parody] It’s time for Congress to set limits on the crystalline mayhem that descends through the atmosphere wreaking havoc on all hard-working Americans.

    I am sure it is achievable just by passing a bill, considering that Pharaoh Obama I and Congress think they can also control the global climate just by passing a bill. Such power should not go to waste.

    1. Ban DHMO in all forms!

      1. Just hold on there damnit. We have all that sunk cost in the underground DHMO tube network for the military. Plus the Naval Propultion Systems REQUIRE DHMO to operate. Did you plan for that smart guy?

  4. You’ll have to pry that shovel into my cold dead hand.

  5. Sam Ryan is the president of the National Organization for Institutes, Societies and Enterprises (NOISE).

    Man, I just loved that acronym.

  6. Mother Earth brings shovel-ready work to DC and the Feds fail to take advantage of her largess. That’s says a lot.

    1. LOL – good point. According to Keynes, if it would just snow 2 feet in every city every week, we’d have a perpetual booming economy fueled by the consumption of (unionized) government snow shovelers.

  7. Funny how local guvmints can man up to find millions of dollars for tax subsidies for professional sports teams or establish a study to study whether or not studies impact the study of studies, but wimper like little girls if they have to find a couple of grand more to keep the roads clear.

    Of course, when you have plow drivers who can’t, literally, plow in a straight line, then maybe they’re right not to bother.

    1. Plowing in a straight line in North Carolina will put you in the ditch in about 20 yards.

  8. 29,000 tons of sodium chloride

    Whoa! Looks like someone retained some words from grade school chemestry!

    1. Road salt is typcally calcim chloride which produces three ions and works better than sodium chloride which produces only 2 ions.

      1. Is that the expensive stuff that is in little white or pink pellets?

        1. That’s what the road crews use in the big trucks. The bagged salt for home use is something else entirely, I believe.

          1. Soylent Salt?

            1. Brilliant. 😀

            2. Halite, I believe. Which is just a particular crystal type of NaCl.

              1. All NaCl is halite

                1. Halite is people? Missed that in chem class.

                  1. People have salt in their bodies, man.

  9. The newsman tells me I get to drive home in white out conditions this afternoon. Just another winter day at the office. Fuck DC.

  10. Oh, I’m sorry… did it snow in D.C.? When several million people all whine at once, it’s hard to hear what they’re actually saying.

    1. Yes. See my death prediction below. Mostly due to a lack of bottled water, milk and toilet paper from high-rise dwellers who cannot leave their buildings in 3″ of snow.

      Not without cause. Many of them who do die before reaching the end of the block in sandals and tank tops.

  11. Weatherpersons “predict” snow, but don’t do anything about it

    It’s about time they got off their lazy asses and started preventing blizzards.

    1. and perhaps a Medicaid-style program for those who cannot afford shovels.

      As long as there are provisions that make sure them Mexicans can’t come over illegally and get our free shovels.

      1. I tell my friends and family that one of the drawbacks to living in Iowa is that there aren’t enough Mexicans around to hire one to clear my driveway for me.

    2. Maybe they should just change their predictions.

  12. I live in New England; those living below the Mason-Dixon line can cry me a f—ing river about the brutality of winter.

    1. We know how to handle snow here in the mountains of West Virginia and western Maryland. Don’t lump us in with the rest of the retards please.

      1. I’m not so retarded as to live in the poorest of the yankee states.I’m sure it’s pretty when it snows there,covering all the empty pseudo-ephedrine bottles.

        1. Because if you live in the state with the lowest average income you must be poor, amirite?

    2. I live in a supposedly Northern city, and my workplace has been closed for three days now at the request of the city. Of course, I couldn’t get there anyway since I’m not sure which white lump on the side of the road my car is under.

      1. A garden hose and a good stream of water will help you find it.

    3. Yeah, it is just about as bad as when New England complains about a heat wave of 90 degrees.

      1. I was thinking the same thing. As an Arizonan I laugh when I hear about 90 degree heat waves. And don’t give me “but you have a dry heat” bullshit. 115 degrees, is still 115 degrees.

  13. Whenever some dumbass says “the government should pass a law . . . . ” I always come back with “the government should make it illegal for the snow to fall on the streets — that’ll solve lots of real problems”. The response is good indicator of just how dumb the dumbass really is.


    I remember it very rarely snowed in Baltimore, so I’m not surprised that they’re not used to it. Still, just stop whining already.

    1. just stop whining already

      Talk about precious little snowflakes.

  15. Have the police started shooting snowball-throwing hoodlums yet?

    1. Radio report earlier said a few were arrested in VA during Snowpocalypse on felony snowballing charges. Could not find a news item about it online.

    2. When snow is outlawed, only outlaws will have snowballs.

  16. Are you people seriously asking DC residents to stop whining?

    If you lived here, you’d whine too.

    This town sucks.

    1. As somebody who spent two summers there, I would allow you to continue whining about Maryland drivers.

      1. DC drivers suck too. VA drivers suck the least, in comparison.

  17. Still isn’t snowing here and it has to come right by me to get to DC.

    The radar map, if we are to believe that slight of hand is real, shows the “storm” being held away from DC by a giant black hand.

    1. It’s coming down pretty heavy here. Should be in D.C. by tonight if this storm follows the path of the one over the weekend.

      1. Should be there now. I am on the VA side of the river and it just started a few ago.

  18. But the costs of snow removal are insignificant compared to the billions of dollars lost through decreased economic productivity.

    Well, tough titties. We can’t control the weather.

    1. Actually, there is an increase in productivity, to some degree. Local and state governments are only responsible for plowing roads. Where I live, there’s a shitload of parking lots that need to be plowed by private contractors. Also, a friend of mine owns a truck repair shop and sells and repairs snow plows. He’s sold and installed three new systems, plus numerous repairs on existing ones. Now maybe he can pay me the money he owes me.

  19. Back when I was a teenager, whenever it would snow, my friends and I would go through the neighborhood and shovel snow, mostly for beer and weed money. In fact, there were usually groups of kids all over looking to make a little extra money. Today, there are no kids to be found, anywhere. I also noticed that the houses that have teenagers, it’s the parents that are outside shoveling snow. Are kids really that spoiled, nowadays?

    1. you have to ask?

    2. It’s a mixture of spoiledness and incompetence at all things.

    3. The kid across the street used to shovel our driveway, but now he’s in a wheelchair. Lazy little bastard.

    4. I must have imagined that knock on my door the other day.

    5. Children are so lazy today. Isn’t there some way we could make money off that?

    6. “Today, there are no kids to be found, anywhere.”

      There are in Minneapolis (BTW, the storm your getting in DC passed this way first). And for the record, in my neighborhood, they’re black kids.

      1. I live in a Jewish neighborhood, and the shovel-hawkers are mostly black here too. It’s a bit bizarre, since the buses aren’t running and the nearest black neighborhood is miles away. I sure hope they’re not walking here.

    7. I blame Stanley Kubrick. It’s been trending that way ever since Clockwork Orange hit the silver screen.

    8. TP, what the hell do you think happened to those kids who shoveled snow for beer and weed money? It’s not the spoiled kids but the conditioned parents.

    9. Maybe the kids are afraid that if they shovel snow for money without a license, the rent seekers will get them.

      Actually, a lot of people won’t hire kids to do lawn work or clear snow anymore because of liability reasons. What if the kid gets his face caught in the snowblower while cleaning your driveway?

  20. I refuse to feel anything but unmitigated joy at any suffering visited on the denizens of DC.

    Well, maybe mitigated a little by the certain knowledge that, one way or another, the bill will be passed on to me.

    1. I’m having fun with this too. Positive that The Truck will not go into DC. Tomorrow is play in the snow day, 4WD high.

    2. Come spend 4 days trapped inside with my family, with the schools closed, along with 75% of the curb-side travel lanes.

      You will pity this fool!

      And yes, I am thinking of moving to Florida or Texas. RC? ProL? Can you put up a friend in need for a few months days until he finds a job?

  21. If kids were allowed out the house to shovel snow they might be abducted or find out about capitalism.

    1. It’s only capitalism when you own the shovel.

      1. Nothing wrong with using a shovel that was borowed honestly.

  22. How can we afford a snow day! We can’t lose anymore time on climate change legislation to stop global warming.

    1. Nice.

      Data. Anecdote. All that.

      But still funny.

  23. Snow falling in Arlington now. End of the world soon.

    1. .5″ of snow sticking on the *chloride treated streets. Mother Nature is overpowering mankind’s greatest efforts in snow removal technology.

      I predecit 150,000 dead by morning:
      100,000 DC
      40,000 MD
      10,000 VA

      Snow flurries predicted for the weekend with another 10,000 dead, same proportions.

      Ice Station Tagliaferro signing off.

      1. >>>100,000 DC

        1. Yes, is there an echo in here?

  24. I’m not happy about the ad on this page that says:

    On foodstamps or Medicaid? Get a FREE cell phone!

    1. I wonder what the marketing person got for coming up with that crazy idea.

  25. But the costs of snow removal are insignificant compared to the billions of dollars lost through decreased economic productivity.

    You know, this meme is often heard, but with the gubmint giving trillions away to unproductive financial institutions it’s easy to shrug off the guilt and enjoy a nice snow day!

  26. But the costs of snow removal are insignificant compared to the billions of dollars lost through decreased economic productivity.

    Snow 4 Shiftless

    The economic productivity, if there actually is any, will merely be shifted into the days after the snow is cleared. You know, like it is everywhere else it snows.

    1. SugarFree is the new spambot or is it one of his HTML students?

  27. What’s sad is that the sub-editor doesn’t know the difference between parody and satire.

    And it is even more sad that he felt that it needed to be pointed out in the headline.

  28. Keep DC, Maryland and VA snowstorm incapable, I say.

    When I lived back there it was always a nice feeling to look out the window about 7 am and see 7 or 8 inches of snow, knowing as I did that they’d never clear the roads well enough for me to make it into work that day.

    I did not like going to work, shall we say.

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