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Argus

What's wrong with the United States?

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Why does it cost so much more to build something in the US than elsewhere? Why does health care cost so much more than elsewhere? Why is there so much corruption and dysfunction? Why is everything falling apart? Is it simply that its political class are all asshats?

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-02-21/u-s-is-a-rich-country-with-symptoms-of-a-developing-nation

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I wonder if it has to with the metric of trust. Societies need a base amount of trust between members to function cohesively.

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23 minutes ago, DrYouth said:

I wonder if it has to with the metric of trust. Societies need a base amount of trust between members to function cohesively.

Given the US has 3/4 of all the lawyers in the world I don't think there's an awful lot of trust there. Maybe all those lawyers are part of why it costs so much to build anything.

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There is the USA we imagine and there is the USA the Americans live.

Even in Louisiana, where the taxes are almost nothing in comparison to Québec, Louisiana is one of the most corrupt shithole in America (to use Trump's wordings).  It's even worse than here, imagine, and we're going to pay at least 600M$/km for the new metro stations (5 stations total for $3.9B).

The State, and I mean by all levels and all accounts, Executive Power, Legislative Power and even Judiciary Power is corrupt. Everyone has an election in the upcoming year, the House, the Senate are always shifting, even Judges are elected so instead of having a huge government that decides everything, the three branches of power try to appeal to their base as much as possible for the shortest gains possible.

While the United States take less money from corporations and even small businesses and wage earners than most European and Asian developed countries, it has one other issue. The oligopolies. The lobbies and oligopolies pay the politicians and they give back to their donors.

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1 hour ago, QuebecOverCanada said:

There is the USA we imagine and there is the USA the Americans live.

 

True, and the USA where the Americans live is and has been the #1 destination for immigrants from around the world (including Canada) for over 100 years.

The USA still offers far more opportunity than many other countries claiming to be superior.

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2 hours ago, bush_cheney2004 said:

 

True, and the USA where the Americans live is and has been the #1 destination for immigrants from around the world (including Canada) for over 100 years.

The USA still offers far more opportunity than many other countries claiming to be superior.

Mostly it offers good weather. But that wasn't the question. The question isn't why all sorts of people from impoverished countries want to go there, but why is it in such shitty shape for such a rich country? Even Trump said he comes home and it feels like the third world due to the shitty airports and roads.

Edited by Argus

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3 minutes ago, Argus said:

Mostly it offers good weather. But that wasn't the question. The question isn't why all sorts of people from impoverished countries want to go there, but why is it in such shitty shape for such a rich country? Even Trump said he comes home and it feels like the third world due to the shitty airports and roads.

 

The weather myth has already been debunked...plenty of other nations have equal or better "weather" but not the same economic success or immigration.

The U.S. was in far worse condition as it rose to become the world's lone economic and military superpower.  

I have already posted references for U.S. infrastructure spending as a percentage of GDP in another thread:

 

70-yrChart2.png

 

https://www.enotrans.org/article/70-year-trend-federal-infrastructure-spending/

 

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11 hours ago, Argus said:

Mostly it offers good weather. But that wasn't the question. The question isn't why all sorts of people from impoverished countries want to go there, but why is it in such shitty shape for such a rich country? Even Trump said he comes home and it feels like the third world due to the shitty airports and roads.

It actually varies from state to state.  It’s easier to build something in Texas than it is in California.  And “so much” corruption and dysfunction is subjective.  Looking at out current federal government and our former Ontario government, I’d say we have plenty.

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13 hours ago, bush_cheney2004 said:

The weather myth has already been debunked...

No, it was proven to be correct.

13 hours ago, bush_cheney2004 said:

I have already posted references for U.S. infrastructure spending as a percentage of GDP in another thread:

Which appears to show a steady downward trend. Which is not good. And in fact, even this is not really the story. If, as was claimed in the article, it costs far more to do the same thing in the US than in France or other countries, then even the GDP percentage is beside the point. The point is that the US infrastructure is falling apart, and despite your president acknowledging this nothing is improving.

 

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13 hours ago, bush_cheney2004 said:

Existing U.S. infrastructure produces far more passenger miles per capita than any other "developed" nation...it is not even close:

 

main.png

 

https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=26192

I'm confused about why you think this is relevant?  The US is the only rich country in the world with both enormous size and enormous population.  Comparing it to poorer countries, or smaller countries, or countries with smaller populations is kind of pointless.

And irrelevant. We're not talking about how much traveling is being done, but why infrastructure is falling apart, why governance is so poor. Why the railroads in Europe and Asia are so much more advanced than in the United States. Why their ports and airports are in such better condition. Why are things so backward in the United States?

 

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2 hours ago, Truth Detector said:

It actually varies from state to state.  It’s easier to build something in Texas than it is in California.  And “so much” corruption and dysfunction is subjective.  Looking at out current federal government and our former Ontario government, I’d say we have plenty.

We certainly have some, but we have nowhere near the level of corruption in the US. Hundreds of US politicians and bureaucrats at every level are arrested every year on corruption charges.

The New York Times tracked this some year ago and found that 824 officials at state, local and federal levels were convicted of corruption charges in Florida in a ten year period. New York had 704, while Texas, Pennsylvania, California and Ohio all had about 550 apiece. That's simply not something that happens in Canada.

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26 minutes ago, Argus said:

I'm confused about why you think this is relevant?  The US is the only rich country in the world with both enormous size and enormous population.  Comparing it to poorer countries, or smaller countries, or countries with smaller populations is kind of pointless.

And irrelevant. We're not talking about how much traveling is being done, but why infrastructure is falling apart, why governance is so poor. Why the railroads in Europe and Asia are so much more advanced than in the United States. Why their ports and airports are in such better condition. Why are things so backward in the United States?

 

 

Of course you are confused...because actual infrastructure production for passenger miles and commercial transport ruins your premise.   The numbers are PER CAPITA...please look that up and find out what that metric means.  

The U.S. is so backwards it leads all nations in these categories.   When Ontario's brand new Nipigon bridge failed, it crippled east-west ground transportation in Canada (single point of failure)....the detour recommended by the government....wait for it....through the United States.

Edited by bush_cheney2004

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6 minutes ago, bush_cheney2004 said:

Of course you are confused...because actual infrastructure production for passenger miles and commercial transport ruins your premise.   The numbers are PER CAPITA...please look that up and find out what that metric means. 

It means it s a big, rich country, bigger, much bigger, than any other rich country. So what? So it travels over cracked and broken roads and on 50 year old railroads and tromps through third world airports to get where it's going. That's the issue. Stop trying to deflect. Why is there no high speed rail in the US? Why are New York city's subways falling apart? Why does Boston have to set fire to its tracks to keep them from freezing over? Why do the airports in China look sleek and ultra-modern while the ones in the US look like shitholes?

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36 minutes ago, Argus said:

Which appears to show a steady downward trend. Which is not good.

 

It is neither good or bad....and comparisons to the investment build out of the U.S. interstate highway system 50 years ago are meaningless.

 

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1 minute ago, Argus said:

It means it s a big, rich country, bigger, much bigger, than any other rich country. So what? So it travels over cracked and broken roads and on 50 year old railroads and tromps through third world airports to get where it's going. That's the issue. Stop trying to deflect.

 

It is not deflection...it is the reality of U.S. transportation infrastructure production compared to other nations.    It has met and continues to meet the needs of the largest economy on the planet.    More investment choices will be made just as they have been made before.   

I say again....with indisputable metrics....the U.S. transportation system is the most productive in the world.

 

Quote

Why is there no high speed rail in the US? Why are New York city's subways falling apart? Why does Boston have to set fire to its tracks to keep them from freezing over? Why do the airports in China look sleek and ultra-modern while the ones in the US look like shitholes?

 

Because the infrastructure in China is far newer.    Is that too hard to figure out ?

Why don't Canadian cities have viable light rail and/or subway systems, something the USA has had for over 100 years ?   

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What's wrong with the United States?

1. Americans are unnaturally overweight, with little shame on being “plus sized.”

350px-Anglosphere_2007_overweight_rate.png

2 There are significantly more horny guys than available girls in most metropolitan areas, creating a demographic imbalance that enables low quality girls to act like supermodels.

3. A victorious feminist movement has institutionalized man-hating in corporations, universities, government, and the media.

4. Expectation to tip 20% just because someone served you a food or drink item with a fake smile.

5. Homosexuality openly embraced and displayed in public around children who don’t yet understand the nature of human sex.  

6. Militarization of police whose monopoly on violence allows them to taze and kill with impunity.

7. Allowing women the right to vote, which has allowed immoral progressivism to dominate the political landscape.

8. 63% of Americans believed in a fairy tale {Bible) and were "absolutely certain" in their view,

9. Let thier faith rape thousands of young children.

 

Edited by Kerfuffle

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Uh-oh...looks like Canada ranks lower than the United States (#14 vs. #20) for logistics performance, which includes transportation infrastructure.    I should probably start another thread to discuss what is wrong with Canada....

 

https://lpi.worldbank.org/international/scorecard/radar/254/C/CAN/2018#chartarea

https://lpi.worldbank.org/international/scorecard/radar/254/C/CAN/2018/C/USA/2018#chartarea

Edited by bush_cheney2004
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18 hours ago, bush_cheney2004 said:

The USA still offers far more opportunity than many other countries claiming to be superior.

Hah! You used to have ten times more opportunity. Now you're only about, 7 or 8 times. :P

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2 minutes ago, OftenWrong said:

Hah! You used to have ten times more opportunity. Now you're only about, 7 or 8 times. :P

 

Indeed...really sucks now...so much so there are soldiers and walls on the border to keep illegals out.   

That money could be used to build another failed high speed rail line in California !

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More fun with numbers.....as of 2017... 7 out of the world's top 25 busiest airports are in the United States.    ("Modern" China has just 3...Canada has none).

Not too shabby for old, broken down infrastructure. !

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_busiest_airports_by_passenger_traffic#2017_statistics

Edited by bush_cheney2004

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4 minutes ago, bush_cheney2004 said:

 

Indeed...really sucks now...so much so there are soldiers and walls on the border to keep illegals out.   

That money could be used to build another failed high speed rail line in California !

Indeed again! And if I were to list what I think is actually wrong with the US, it's that they are not behind Donald Trump all the way!

Meanwhile important work like US/ China trade negotiations are ongoing. These appear to be tied to the upcoming summit meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un. The world would do well to wish Trump success and keep it's fingers crossed, in what might literally be a pivotal meeting for the future fate of all mankind!

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2 minutes ago, OftenWrong said:

Meanwhile important work like US/ China trade negotiations are ongoing. These appear to be tied to the upcoming summit meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un. The world would do well to wish Trump success and keep it's fingers crossed, in what might literally be a pivotal meeting for the future fate of all mankind!

 

Another American fault...how dare Trump actually meet with the Dear Leader of the DPRK.   

Isn't Trump satisfied just to meet with Justin Trudeau and his dreamy eyes ?

 

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More on California's failed high speed rail project....public vs. private:

Quote

Building new surface infrastructure is necessarily costly in places like California, where land values are high. But land value is only one piece of the high-cost puzzle. Building such infrastructure in any location also generates negative externalities in the places it passes through, meaning political pressure will build within those communities to mitigate whatever problems the new infrastructure triggers. Additionally, bypassed communities are likely to resist any project altogether. In extreme cases, this can mean being forced to select a worse route that adds to costs, as happened in California’s case with its approach to Los Angeles.

...What this failed experiment makes clear is that California did not have enough safeguards in place to keep the project from spiraling well beyond its original budget.

https://www.rstreet.org/2019/02/15/lessons-from-californias-high-speed-rail-failure/

 

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2 hours ago, bush_cheney2004 said:

It is not deflection...it is the reality of U.S. transportation infrastructure production compared to other nations. 

In a larger country, goods and people move around more. That does not make your infrastructure more productive then that of a smaller country which does not require so much movement.

Quote

I say again....with indisputable metrics....the U.S. transportation system is the most productive in the world.

You are basing that on statistics which do not support the statement. Moving more people does not make it more productive, especially if it takes longer to move things, or if it costs more to move them.

Quote

Because the infrastructure in China is far newer.    Is that too hard to figure out ?

And why is it newer? Because unlike China - or Europe - the US has failed to upgrade and update its infrastructure. Nor even to maintain it properly.

Quote

Why don't Canadian cities have viable light rail and/or subway systems, something the USA has had for over 100 years ?   

The problems of Canadian cities can be the subject of another thread. But briefly, most cities lack the population base, or are spread out more due to having lots of space to do so. Toronto is almost as big (geographically) as New York with a third its population base so its harder for them to pay for the expansion of their subway system. Ottawa's LRT is under construction now, but has a very large geographical area to serve compared to the population that lives there.

Edited by Argus

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