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Old June 8th, 2009, 05:19 PM   #4321
I-275westcoastfl
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Originally Posted by J N Winkler View Post
If you abolish Social Security, what is your plan for dealing with elderly people who starve? Not everyone makes net gains on his or her investments. Social Security was never meant to be an investment, although it has proved to be a remarkably successful one for people who started paying in early--it is a safety net.

Anyway, if the objective is to mobilize productive investment, abolishing Social Security is a bad choice because money spent on it is recycled through consumers and the financial markets and thus supports the economy directly. What would make sense is realignment of our defense budget so that we spend much less on materiél that never sees combat and much more on technologies which can be repurposed for peaceful civilian applications. Military Keynesianism as currently practiced does little more than resist the tendency of the rate of profit to fall, and is not systematically optimized to stimulate Schumpeterian innovation.
The plan is people need to be smart enough to save for their future. You really think social security does much for old people? The amount is supposed to decrease for the younger generations, so I am paying into a failing system when I could be saving the money my own way? If you think the US will ever really cut back on military spending you live in a dream world, it won't happen. However social security and medicare are the next huge chunks of which the government spends a mass amount of money on. So what happens if one doesn't save, well they can starve or work until they die. What is killing the middle class in this country are the many lazy people who get food stamps and go on welfare. I can't believe the nerve of people who will go buy a $90 birthday cake on food stamps, I've seen this so many times. Social Security is a good system in theory but now we are seeing a trend where more people are going on it then paying into it, since our population is aging. That system is doomed for failure or the government will have to increase the money that goes into it which means things like our roads will be put off even more.
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Old June 8th, 2009, 06:24 PM   #4322
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J N Winkler View Post
If you abolish Social Security, what is your plan for dealing with elderly people who starve? Not everyone makes net gains on his or her investments. Social Security was never meant to be an investment, although it has proved to be a remarkably successful one for people who started paying in early--it is a safety net.

Anyway, if the objective is to mobilize productive investment, abolishing Social Security is a bad choice because money spent on it is recycled through consumers and the financial markets and thus supports the economy directly. What would make sense is realignment of our defense budget so that we spend much less on materiél that never sees combat and much more on technologies which can be repurposed for peaceful civilian applications. Military Keynesianism as currently practiced does little more than resist the tendency of the rate of profit to fall, and is not systematically optimized to stimulate Schumpeterian innovation.
More importantly, what is the plan for dealing with the massive numbers of underemployed youth that do not have entry-level jobs, since the older workers have taken massive paycuts to keep from starving in the first place? A high level of unemployment in people ages 18-30 has one of the strongest correlations to a vast number of social problems, from crime to political unrest. Let's also remember that the military has been sliding toward a smaller, more skilled force, so mass conscription wouldn't be much of an option there, either.

As you mentioned in the second paragraph, people forget that some of the most redistributive social programs end up paying out massive dividends, even on a purely monetary level. Education and food stamps routinely bring back in more than 5 times the revenue spent on them. If someone could find the same numbers for SS, that would be helpful.
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Old June 8th, 2009, 09:36 PM   #4323
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Could we please put politics aside? I'm afraid this discussion is leading to nowhere. You can always move it to RRR.
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Old June 9th, 2009, 07:01 AM   #4324
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Well, a good way to get more revenue while not borrowing money is by...raising the fuel tax.
Raising taxes in the middle of a recession? I am very skeptical about it....
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Old June 9th, 2009, 08:51 AM   #4325
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Like I said, it's not happening anytime soon. But eventually the US is going to have to drink the tough medicine.

We can't live off the coattails of previous work and expect it to last forever, we've become lazy...
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Old June 9th, 2009, 08:52 AM   #4326
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Raising taxes in the middle of a recession? I am very skeptical about it....
I'm more for raising speed limits on Interstate highways. 85mph for the city, No speed limit out in the country, trucks 85.
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Old June 9th, 2009, 09:05 AM   #4327
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Would be nice, our highways could be like how a lot of Autobahns are like. Drive as fast as you want.

But I think that police departments don't want that cash cow to disappear.
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Old June 9th, 2009, 11:32 AM   #4328
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I'm more for raising speed limits on Interstate highways. 85mph for the city, No speed limit out in the country, trucks 85.
85 mph for trucks is madness.
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Old June 9th, 2009, 11:47 AM   #4329
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It definetely is too much for them... something like 60 sounds more reasonable...
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Old June 9th, 2009, 07:26 PM   #4330
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Variable speed limits would be a better idea on urban motorways. 50-80mph/80-130km/h depending on traffic and motorway design.

Last edited by LtBk; June 9th, 2009 at 10:43 PM.
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Old June 9th, 2009, 08:44 PM   #4331
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I would support no speed limit for passenger cars and 100 km/h for trucks on 2x2 extra-urban motorways. In mountainous areas, the speed limits should be variable because curvatures in conjunction with slippery pavement may be quite a dangerous mix. It is important to mention that in case of eliminating speed limits, there should also be a very clear provision under which circumstances the police can stop for driving unsafely. Otherwise, it will be like in Montana where a policeman cited a driver travelling at 145 km/h without explaining what his justification was.
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Old June 11th, 2009, 01:32 AM   #4332
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I think the curve radius for interstates are too small for unlimited speed limits. Even the most remote areas of interstates have turning radii of no larger than 2 km. And combine that with grades that are often more than 4% and drivers who don't know how to keep right except to pass, there will be some serious problems.
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Old June 11th, 2009, 02:19 AM   #4333
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Actually, horizontal curve radii of 2 km are perfectly compatible with speed derestriction. The minimum curve radii specified for German Autobahnen in flat country were 1800 m (Bauanweisung Nr. 3, 1933) or 2000 m (Trassierungsgrundsätze, 1942), with lesser minimum radii being used in hilly and mountainous terrain.

The real problem is that American drivers have been socialized to regard the speed limit as a kind of target speed which reflects, to an extent, the geometric design of the road, but not necessarily the performance capabilities of the individual car. The skill basis required for driving has also been deliberately kept low (not just through lax licensing, but also by trying to engineer passive hazards out of heavily trafficked roads), so it is difficult to argue that the individual driver has the knowledge and experience required to choose a safe cruising speed in the absence of speed limit signs to suggest values. I have no opposition in principle to speed derestriction, and it could be implemented satisfactorily on the rural Interstate system with provision for residual speed limits over mountain passes and other lengths of difficult alignment, but in order for derestriction to work advisory speeds would have to be posted.
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Old June 11th, 2009, 06:10 AM   #4334
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I-275westcoastfl View Post
The plan is people need to be smart enough to save for their future. You really think social security does much for old people? The amount is supposed to decrease for the younger generations, so I am paying into a failing system when I could be saving the money my own way? If you think the US will ever really cut back on military spending you live in a dream world, it won't happen. However social security and medicare are the next huge chunks of which the government spends a mass amount of money on. So what happens if one doesn't save, well they can starve or work until they die. What is killing the middle class in this country are the many lazy people who get food stamps and go on welfare. I can't believe the nerve of people who will go buy a $90 birthday cake on food stamps, I've seen this so many times. Social Security is a good system in theory but now we are seeing a trend where more people are going on it then paying into it, since our population is aging. That system is doomed for failure or the government will have to increase the money that goes into it which means things like our roads will be put off even more.
Yes, Social Security does A LOT for old people. The poverty rate for elderly Americans PLUMMETED after it was enacted.

After the hit that people's 401Ks have taken this past year, you want to privatize the system and have everyone's retirement funds subject to the vagaries of the market, especially after we have seen how reckless Wall Street is in investing money? No thanks. I don't want those greedy mother****ers getting a DIME of my payroll taxes.
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Old June 11th, 2009, 06:11 AM   #4335
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Raising taxes in the middle of a recession? I am very skeptical about it....
Then I do not want you to complain about budget deficits.
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Old June 11th, 2009, 06:58 AM   #4336
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I think, if they were going to ever make this "no-speed limits" rule (not that I think that it would ever happen), they should test it in one of those midwest interstates where you can see nothing but grass and flat land for miles...no offense to residents, but the 75 mph or whatever speed limit on I-80 in Nebraska may feel too slow and torturous...I'd love to wizz by at like 100 mph down something like this.

image hosted on flickr

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/15/69...5e98e0.jpg?v=0
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Old June 11th, 2009, 07:51 AM   #4337
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Yes, Social Security does A LOT for old people. The poverty rate for elderly Americans PLUMMETED after it was enacted.

After the hit that people's 401Ks have taken this past year, you want to privatize the system and have everyone's retirement funds subject to the vagaries of the market, especially after we have seen how reckless Wall Street is in investing money? No thanks. I don't want those greedy mother****ers getting a DIME of my payroll taxes.
Do you want to have more of your check to go to SS because more and more people will receive it over time? Investing doesn't only mean stock, a smart person will invest in several things not just one, either way SS alone will not help much as it doesn't really do that now, having retirement savings is the only way.
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Old June 11th, 2009, 08:57 AM   #4338
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I-275westcoastfl View Post
Do you want to have more of your check to go to SS because more and more people will receive it over time? Investing doesn't only mean stock, a smart person will invest in several things not just one, either way SS alone will not help much as it doesn't really do that now, having retirement savings is the only way.
Wandering farther afield from the subject of interstates in the USofA, I cannot ignore the fact that SS is now functioning as nothing more than a Ponzi scheme that is teetering on the brink of collapse. The money that goes in now goes right straight out as benefits. It will be impossible to maintain the current level of benefits without MASSIVE tax rate increases, taxes that the 'X'ers, 'Y'ers and beyond will simply not pay, and/or similarly MASSIVE cuts in benefits as the Baby Boomer crowd starts retiring en-masse. Remember that when SS was first set up, its 65YO base retirement age was significantly OLDER than the USA's average life expectancy, now it is over 15 years YOUNGER - and not only that, over the years, more and more different classes of younger people were added to its benefit rolls. You do the math.

Now, back to the road!

Mike
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Old June 12th, 2009, 05:56 AM   #4339
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$1 million study of elevated lanes for U.S. 280 approved
Posted by Ginny MacDonald--Birmingham News June 11, 2009 5:45 AM

State transportation officials took the third step Wednesday toward construction of elevated lanes over U.S. 280 in Shelby County.
The Metropolitan Planning Organization approved a $1 million state request for a corridor study for elevated lanes from Interstate 459 to Double Oak Mountain.

The money also will pay for preliminary engineering to begin design work on the five miles of lanes.

The MPO also approved $31.5 million to reconstruct I-65 between I-459 and U.S. 31 in Vestavia Hills, and $10 million to rebuild I-20/59 south from Alabama Adventure Parkway to the CSX overpass.

The 280 study will make or break the overhead lane project, said Alabama Department of Transportation Birmingham Division Engineer Brian Davis. It will determine whether there are geotechnical, hazardous materials or environmental issues.

If the study finds no need for an environmental impact study, and federal highway officials agree, engineering work could be well under way within 18 months, said ALDOT Director Joe McInnes. State transportation officials will argue that the impact study is not needed because the lanes will be anchored within the 280 right of way, McInnes said. If the impact study is required, it will delay the project by two to three years.

Davis said the study could begin within a couple of months, and it will be done by Figg Engineering Group of Tallahassee.

Figg also is preparing the final design for exiting and entering the overhead lanes at the Summit. That design should be ready within a couple of months, McInnes said.

The MPO's approval is the first use of federal money in the overhead lane project. The MPO must approve the spending of all federal transportation dollars in Jefferson and Shelby counties.

McInnes said even though state and federal money is being used for preliminary planning, it does not rule out the possibility of putting tolls on the overhead lanes. "This is new construction; we can toll it," he said.

The overhead lanes have been a priority with state officials to reduce traffic congestion on the thoroughfare since 2005, when Gov. Bob Riley asked Progress 280 to ascertain public sentiment about overhead lanes from Double Oak Mountain to the Elton B. Stephens Expressway.

Figg Engineering was hired and numerous meetings found public support for the lanes only in Shelby County from I-459 to the mountain.

Interstate rebuilding

The interstate reconstruction projects approved by the MPO will eliminate the crop of potholes that continually spring up along the two sections of I-65 and I-20/59.

"We have spent millions of dollars trying to patch those interstates," said Lance Taylor, head of preconstruction for Birmingham ALDOT. "Both interstates are beyond their pavement lives."

Parts of the two concrete interstate surfaces date back to the 1960s. Reconstruction work is scheduled next year.

This has been a hot isssue since this idea first surfaced in 2005. People are calling for a light rail line for this corridor, but I dont know if it would be any more cost effective than the overhead lanes idea.

Last edited by Stuck in Bama; June 12th, 2009 at 06:03 AM.
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Old June 12th, 2009, 06:24 AM   #4340
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BTW the now proposed I-422/Northern Beltline is facing opposition from the NIMBY's especially in the northeast section near the I-59 termimus because the route would take it near the Cahaba River, which is the source for drinking water for alot of the metro area.

The western side of the route goes through a very rough/hilly section of the county so I can kinda go along with the time table, but does it take really take 15-20 years in this day and age to build an 50-mile, six lane interstate??.
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