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View Poll Results: Should the US build or improve it's HSR network?
Yes 249 89.57%
No 29 10.43%
Voters: 278. You may not vote on this poll

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Old December 15th, 2009, 11:35 PM   #921
Slartibartfas
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I am confident that this issue will resolve itself eventually anyway. Simply because (even) the US will not be capable of affording the sheer luxury of a suburban car focused society of the long ways forever.
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Old December 16th, 2009, 03:19 AM   #922
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Even if oil prices increased five-fold, gas is US would still be less expensive than it is today in Europe, as European countries, more or less, treat gas like it were tobacco.
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Old December 16th, 2009, 06:20 AM   #923
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Suburbs will be around, but they wouldn't be the same low density, car centric suburban sprawl we know today. BTW anderlot, what with you obsession with American suburbia?

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ut I think both the US and European car drivers will soon be driving vehicles produced in east and south Asia. - And whyever not? When a high-margins industry is reduced to low-margins it normally migrates to low cost production locations.
Aren't many drivers just doing that?

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Of course in principle there's no reason why country A should do something just because country B does it. However, this has been the argument on countless occasions here in Europe when "progressive" people pointed to recent innovation in the United States and "conservative" mainstream types scoffed at the notion that we should imitate US inventions. But... in the end we usually ended up doing just that.
Can you give examples on what you said in you last sentence.

Last edited by LtBk; December 16th, 2009 at 06:30 AM.
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Old December 16th, 2009, 10:05 AM   #924
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Can you give examples on what you said in you last sentence.
Well, I'm not an engineer, but... an early example would be the first flight of the Wright brothers. European newspapers brought the story but mostly dismissed the possible implications for Europe out of hand: "In America everything's possible. That's well known. So, what's that to us?"

A more recent example - or so I've been told - was the development of fixed line telephony in the generation after WW2. The Europeans were busy perfecting their pre-war analagous technologies. When the Americans came out with the digital technology most European countries went into denial: "No, no, no... we have a much better, stronger and tested system. These gimmicks are just another one of those American gadflies...." The rest is history.
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Old December 16th, 2009, 12:40 PM   #925
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Suburbs will be around, but they wouldn't be the same low density, car centric suburban sprawl we know today. BTW anderlot, what with you obsession with American suburbia?
There is no obsession. I like suburban developments, I see no problem on they being car-centric, but it is under attack from the "cool", "urban-tendy" camp of environwackos and so on. There is no inherently problem with car transportation, for sake! Many peoplw write here like cars, big lots and single houses were essentialy bad because they are "non-European". I guess that, given an opportunity, these people would raise gas taxes to US$ 1/gal.
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Old December 16th, 2009, 01:17 PM   #926
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Originally Posted by andrelot View Post
Many peoplw write here like cars, big lots and single houses were essentialy bad because they are "non-European". I guess that, given an opportunity, these people would raise gas taxes to US$ 1/gal.
I think that US$ 1/gallon would be substantially too low. I currently pay more than US$ 5/gallon at my local gas station. - And rightly so: in the words of a Danish cabinet minister (back in the 1970s, mind you...) "one should penalise those bastards who use their cars every day".
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Old December 16th, 2009, 01:57 PM   #927
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Denmark is Denmark, US is US. Danish should start adopting American patterns, not the opposite. It would boost their economy and increase conversion on uncompetitiv farmland in nice housing developments. Anyway, different countries, different expectations of their citizenry.

The idea that drivers should be "punished" is plainly wrong. It would be like "punish" people who choose to live in single house instead of apartments.

In America, most supporters of higher gas taxes are high-upper-class people who want the low-income families, college students etc. to drive less so they can have more roadspace for themselves.

Gas is expensive in Europe only because of taxes. Those taxes should be slashed or, at least, devoted ONLY to build and mantain road infrastructure (you use, you pay). Americans would tolerate a gas tax increase if the income were used to improve road mobility and maintain present structure, but they fear government will start diverting those funds to other purposes.

Last edited by andrelot; December 16th, 2009 at 04:04 PM. Reason: typo
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Old December 16th, 2009, 03:50 PM   #928
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Originally Posted by hans280 View Post
I think that US$ 1/gallon would be substantially too low. I currently pay more than US$ 5/gallon at my local gas station. - And rightly so: in the words of a Danish cabinet minister (back in the 1970s, mind you...) "one should penalise those bastards who use their cars every day".

He's talking about taxes, not the total price of tha product.

Look, we just live differently here. Your way works for you and my way for me. I commute 11 miles each way so that my family can live in a suburban development and away from the issues that urban life provides. I like it this way. When gas spiked after the hurricanes and the speculators made a rush on it I groaned like everyone else but I paid the price.

Andrelot, I don't find that supporters of higher gas prices are supporting it to get the lower class off the road. Higher gas tax supporters are usually entrenched in several camps. All of which are products of our political left.

One is a belief that if we raise taxes to some ridiculous level we will drive less and thus decrease our dependence on forgien oil sources. The inflationary impact of doing this would far outweigh any percieved benefit. If it suddenly costs two to three times as much to transport goods you can see the negative economic impact that would have.

Two is that increasing taxes and thus reducing car travel would reduce greenhouse gases. Fine, except that people still have to get to work and we all can't ride bicycles that far, lol. You have to burn a bunch of coal to make the electricity to run the trains that we generally don't have. The net carbon reduction probably isn't all that dramatic. We all can't suddenly move to within 2 miles of our jobs or rail stations (that don't exist) either. In order to move we'd all have to sell our homes and who would buy them?

Three is that these taxes would be used to improve the existing infrastructure. This is actually the most valid reasoning IMO if you trust the Government to use the money as it says it will.....which most of us don't. Just one example are the state Governments who started lotteries in order to augment education funding. One after another then cut the education part in the state budget and used the lottery money to make up the shortfall thus increasing education funding by...........zilch.
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Old December 16th, 2009, 04:11 PM   #929
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I agree with you. Living two blocks from your workplace, cycling everywhere are part of a lifestyle well-suited for young, single, no-kids and healthy professionals or students living in mostly flat, mild weather European cities.

It is unpractical, even dangerous, I'd say, to expect people to cycle 3 to 5 miles in Phoenix or Houston during summer, or doing the same in Denver or Boise, MT, in winters.

The expectation that people could ever arrange their lives within walking distance is not real for families with children, unless we roll back to a time when just one of the adults had a carrer, while the other stayed home taking care of children, who didn't do much else than school and maybe a local part-time job. At least, one of the adults would have to stick to a low-skilled, low-paying career where you can find jobs in evey neighborhood (like cashier, salespersone tc.). I don't think anyone except for the very nostalgics or anti-technological freaks would propose this arrangements for 21st Century Western families.
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Old December 16th, 2009, 04:45 PM   #930
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So adults with kids must live in car centric sprawl, and not urban, walkable neighborhoods?
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Old December 16th, 2009, 04:48 PM   #931
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrelot View Post
Denmark is Denmark, US is US. Danish should start adopting American patterns, not the opposite.

Gas is expensive in Europe only because of taxes. Those taxes should be slashed or, at least, devoted ONLY to build and mantain road infrastructure (you use, you pay).
You Americans are so.... outdated.

I'd say you should stick to your car-centric sprawl-increasing policy if you wish. You still have lots of land to cover with your beloved detached-housing suburbia. Just don't tell Europeans what they should do. I mean, use Google-Earth - browse through Netherlands or even Denmark. See the distance between cities. See the density. And then stop giving us such an advice...

But I won't say even that. Because there's a problem with greenhouse emissions. How do you expect to cut these if you stick to your 2x7-lanes-wide, but always congested highways? If you still refuse to cut the emissions, Europe will probably give up on the task too - I mean, how long do you expect Europe will decrease its emission just to see you (and Asia) immediately fill out the gap with your pollution?

It's sad to see the Americans just never learn.

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Originally Posted by FlyFish View Post
He's talking about taxes, not the total price of tha product.
We know. In Europe we really pay at least $5/gallon of taxes. The total price is now around $7.5/gallon.

Last edited by E2rdEm; December 16th, 2009 at 04:58 PM.
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Old December 16th, 2009, 05:16 PM   #932
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Anderlot is Brazilian, not American.
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Old December 16th, 2009, 05:32 PM   #933
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I'm Italian and Brazilian, now living in The Netherlands (before that I lived in Milano). And I'm the first to bash this utterly expensive housing market we have here, and the annoying gas taxes all European governments impose.
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Old December 16th, 2009, 06:03 PM   #934
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So adults with kids must live in car centric sprawl, and not urban, walkable neighborhoods?
Adults with kids should live wherever they choose, within the parameters of their financial ability.
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Old December 16th, 2009, 06:19 PM   #935
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Originally Posted by andrelot View Post
I'm [...] now living in The Netherlands
OK, I see the point. You're not the first to be living in The Netherlands and longing to empty streets of american suburbia. Overcrowding may be damaging to one's view. Anyway, this thread is not about European perspective, so I'll finish the topic with "sorry for my misunderstanding".

But my point still stands - I'm so disappointed with the general American public still sticking to their dream from the 1950ies, regardless any consequences it has brought during the last 50 years...
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Old December 16th, 2009, 07:11 PM   #936
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Where do you get the 60 billion figure from? I agree with the general premise. If Japan and NATO want to continue to have mutual defense pacts then they should increase spending and carry more of the burden.
That is an old figure from around 2000, before the 9-11 attacks, it was mentioned in a number of periodicals relating to national defense at the time, e.d. Proceedings, Armed Forces Journal. In the period from 1971 when the British withdrew from "East of Suez" it is interesting to note that the US sought to avoid being drawn into a new commitment, and the first strategy was the "Twin Pillars" of Saudi Arabia and Iran. But the two major oil shocks of the seventies were triggered by the pillars, Saudi Arabia in 1973 and Iran in 1979. The "Twin Pillars" strategy did not survive the decade.

At the time of the 1973 embargo we imported a third of the oil we consume, today we import two thirds! I had a paper route in 1973, and during the embargo I would see my mother everyday in a line several blocks long to buy the few gallons being sold, my dad had a sales job, and needed to have the gasoline to put food on the table, and he drove a VW bug. I saw that with my own eyes, and the danger depending upon oil imports.

The money we have lavished upon securing our access to the oil would have financed energy independence, in essence we subsidized OPEC.

As the Japan and the EU, I think that we do not need them to merely pick up more of the burden of their own defense, they need to assume all of it. If we cut our forces, we must also cut the missions expected of them. We are now in the position of borrowing money from Japan to defend Japan, and borrow from Europe to defend Europe.
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Old December 16th, 2009, 07:35 PM   #937
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Originally Posted by andrelot View Post
Denmark is Denmark, US is US. Danish should start adopting American patterns, not the opposite. It would boost their economy and increase conversion on uncompetitiv farmland in nice housing developments. Anyway, different countries, different expectations of their citizenry...

...Gas is expensive in Europe only because of taxes. Those taxes should be slashed or, at least, devoted ONLY to build and mantain road infrastructure (you use, you pay). Americans would tolerate a gas tax increase if the income were used to improve road mobility and maintain present structure, but they fear government will start diverting those funds to other purposes.
What Denmark does is the business of the Danes. Were Europe to slash their gasoline taxes their oil imports would skyrocket, and in turn bid up the price of oil with the end result being that more of my income will be transferred to OPEC. Oil is not only used by automobiles, formerly in France a great deal of her electricity was generated by burning oil, in the aftermath of 1973 she went nuclear on a massive scale.
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Old December 16th, 2009, 07:46 PM   #938
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@E2rdEm: I've lived for a while in Wyoming, then I usually hanged in/out around Denver, cruising the I-25 frequently. That was when I started loving suburbia.
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Old December 16th, 2009, 09:15 PM   #939
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Urban neighborhoods can be child friendly if done correctly.
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Old December 17th, 2009, 03:05 AM   #940
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Denmark is Denmark, US is US. Danish should start adopting American patterns, not the opposite. It would boost their economy and increase conversion on uncompetitiv farmland in nice housing developments. Anyway, different countries, different expectations of their citizenry.

The idea that drivers should be "punished" is plainly wrong. It would be like "punish" people who choose to live in single house instead of apartments.

In America, most supporters of higher gas taxes are high-upper-class people who want the low-income families, college students etc. to drive less so they can have more roadspace for themselves.

Gas is expensive in Europe only because of taxes. Those taxes should be slashed or, at least, devoted ONLY to build and mantain road infrastructure (you use, you pay). Americans would tolerate a gas tax increase if the income were used to improve road mobility and maintain present structure, but they fear government will start diverting those funds to other purposes.
Eh...sorry but as a broke american college student I have to disagree. US needs to increase the gas tax to fund public transit. U can overcome the high gas taxes for the poor like me by subsidies. It will also mean there is incentive for me to drive less. If some rich guy wants to drive his gas guzzling sports sedan then fine but he will have to pay through is ass for it.


Besides one thing public transit will have as a big advantage is speed. It will be much faster to take the train than be stuck in traffic. No matter how much moeny u make, i think you would rather choose the faster route.
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