The Central Planning Mentality Encapsulated

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  1. I’d just let private bus companies keep buying buses until the line at the bus stop disappeared.

  2. “If we don’t know how many people we have, how do we know how many buses we need?”

    It’s called “THE PRICE SYSTEM”, ya dolts!

  3. The Central Planning Mentality Encapsulated

    SOCIALISM CAN’T CALCULATE.

    http://mises.org/humanaction/chap26sec1.asp

  4. In the same vein, check out this Washington Post article – DC Metro officials lamenting that there are too many unfilled bus driver positions:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/…..02760.html

    “Metro has a critical shortage of hundreds of bus drivers needed not only to operate buses but also to fill vacancies in the ranks of train operators and rail station managers, and it will take at least two years to close the gap, senior Metro officials said.”

  5. If we don’t know how many people we have, how do we know how many buses we need?

    You probably need a sufficient supply of buses to meet demand, regardless of population…

    I wonder how cab companys have survived all these years without access to essential population data, demographics, and race statistics?

    1. Regulation. ;0)

  6. Isn’t the requirement for taking a Census written in the Constitution, Jesse? I mean, did the Founders screw up, again?

    1. Who hit you, Alan? Who?!?

      1. Sharon Stone. She hit me with the truth. And now I have the crabs to show for it.

        1. You can’t handle the truth!

          Or the crabs, for that matter!

          1. I did handle the truth, and it was awesome, not to mention sweeter than honey. And yeah, I did get crabs on my tonsils, but it was totally worth it.

    2. I think his point is that the census is being used for purposes other than that for which it was envisioned, which is congressional representation and the electoral college.

      I’m pretty sure that Madison would have laughed at the notion that participation in the federal census would be necessary for state and municipal governments to provide services.

      1. Which are. Which are.

        1. Embryonic central planners are everywhere.

      2. And the point is that knowing how many people there are doesn’t tell you at all how many buses you need, or what their routes should be.

        1. “We need the census to figure out how many schools to build.”

          Because using enrollment data would just be too simple. Same thing for buses…or, hell, ANY service or product.

    3. Re: Alan Vanneman,

      Isn’t the requirement for taking a Census written in the Constitution, Jesse?

      Which only serves to obviate the question someone obviously paid with money stolen from the population at bayonet point.

    4. STOP SPELLING MY NAME WRONG!

  7. Yup, that was pretty much my thought upon seeing that ad for the first time.

  8. At least it’s buses they’re talking about and not trains. Rails encapsulate central planning better than anything.

    1. Tell me about it.

    2. Tell me about it.

    3. Tell me about it.

  9. Never mind the buses; how many bunks, in how many re-education camps do we need?

    1. I’m working on those figures and will get back to you with your bunk number shortly.

  10. oooh, ooooh, fill-in-the-blank friday fun?

    Ok, I’ll play:
    Enemies/Bullets
    or
    Commies/Bullets
    or
    cops/donuts
    or…
    cops/bullets?

    1. pussies/dicks

    2. Free thinkers/Re-education camps
      Bourgeoisie/Bullets

    3. This is where Kool works:

      http://www.heylittledick.com

  11. If we don’t know how many buses we have, how do we know how many people we need?

  12. If the buses are too crowded, we need more buses.

    If the buses are mostly empty, we need fewer buses.

    1. Re: Brendan,

      If the buses are too crowded, we need more buses.

      If the buses are “too crowded,” you need to raise your prices.

      If the buses are mostly empty, we need fewer buses.

      If the buses are mostly empty, you either lower your prices or you sell off some buses.

      Just saying “We need more buses or less buses” is still guessing at how many. The price system is extremely MORE accurate than that.

      1. Besides, I want a pony not a bus.

      2. You’re also oversimplifying it. If the buses are too crowded then you either need to buy more buses or increase your prices. Or possibly buy more buses and decrease your prices. With a little analysis, your average bus company will be able to figure it out.

        1. With a little analysis, your average bus company will be able to figure it out.

          Reminder: Your average bus company is run by the government.

    2. If there are more people than busses, we need to shoot some o the people.

  13. Socialism can’t calculate.
    Socialism can’t calculate.
    Socialism can’t calculate.
    Socialism can’t calculate.

    And people still say “oh, ‘we’ need more of [fill in the blank]”, as if that person somehow knew what “we” want.

    1. Silly Old Mexican, haven’t you been listening to Tony? Ludwig von Mises’ criticism of socialist calculation was published a really long time ago, like, in the 1920s or something, so therefore it isn’t true. Right? Right?

      No. Not right.

  14. Rats. I should’ve told the Census that I had fifty thousand kids.

    1. FUCKING BREEDERS!!!

      whoops, wrong thread.

  15. If Steve Jobs doesn’t know how many people we have, how does he know how many iPhones we need?

    1. He doesn’t have to. He just uses his reality-distorting will on us.

  16. I bitched about this vehemently to everyone I knew about six months ago, because yeah, it is the distilled concrescence of all central planner thought processes.

  17. We need as many buses as it takes to keep all transit union members gainfully employed.

    At least that seems to be the philosophy of the Pittsburgh Port Authority.

  18. I worked on the 2010 US census and was amused by those ads too. They even put the ads back up this fall after the work was done!

    Seems like they picked the worst possible examples, huh? Not only are there much easier and more appropriate ways to measure bus crowding & utiliz’n, but also it’d be ridiculous to wait for a decennial census to get the data.

    Obviously the p.r. people at the Census Bureau are not that stupid. This is one of those cases where they mmust’ve been charged with finding messages for ads that would be the least controversial and have the least chance of reminding people of controversy. The things census data are really used for would be the sorts of things that would set some people’s teeth on edge — principally setting out turf for those good-for-nothing state & federal legislators — so the ad people took one for the team by making themselves look like idiots rather than by making themselves look smart while fueling controversy.

  19. I understand the criticism of central planning, but the free market wouldn’t even consider transportation a “need” at all and would thus guarantee a portion of the population will go without access to a bus system.

    A free market ensures some will go without. Central planning doesn’t guarantee access, but at least it offers the possibility despite its drawbacks.

    Who wants the free market to decide who gets water for hygiene and hydration?

    1. I understand the criticism of central planning, but the free market wouldn’t even consider transportation a “need” at all and would thus guarantee a portion of the population will go without access to a bus system.

      1) Except for major cities 95% of the population wouldn’t use a bus system even if it was available. In many major cities non-ridership is probably only 90%.
      2) Most major cities with public transportation systems must also have stringent rules prohibiting the free market from setting up more efficient transportation systems.

      1. Putting aside buses specifically, do you think some sort of public transportation option should be available alongside free market options?

    2. the free market wouldn’t even consider transportation a “need”

      Trek, Yellow Cab, Greyhound and Southwest Airlines would disagree.

      a portion of the population will go without access to a bus system

      There’s no difference whether it’s public or private. Population densities make it economically unfeasible to offer convenient service to all.

      Who wants the free market to decide who gets water

      The free market allocates food, clothing and shelter pretty well, why the worry about water? Actually, about 20% of water is provided by private companies. It would be much higher if public utilities weren’t already in place.

    3. who wants an oppressive incompetant government agency run by career bureaucrats with no idea what people need to decide who gets clean water?

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