Skip to comments.The End of the Tunnel (Krugman still doesn't get it)
Posted on 10/08/2010 10:31:26 AM PDT by Titus-Maximus
The Erie Canal. Hoover Dam. The Interstate Highway System. Visionary public projects are part of the American tradition, and have been a major driver of our economic development. And right now, by any rational calculation, would be an especially good time to improve the nations infrastructure. We have the need: our roads, our rail lines, our water and sewer systems are antiquated and increasingly inadequate. We have the resources: a million-and-a-half construction workers are sitting idle, and putting them to work would help the economy as a whole recover from its slump. And the price is right: with interest rates on federal debt at near-record lows, there has never been a better time to borrow for long-term investment. But American politics these days is anything but rational. Republicans bitterly opposed even the modest infrastructure spending contained in the Obama stimulus plan. And, on Thursday, Chris Christie, the governor of New Jersey, canceled Americas most important current public works project, the long-planned and much-needed second rail tunnel under the Hudson River.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Krugman thinks you can just keep taxing - as if that is the magical answer for everything, and it convinces me more and more why these people should not be in positions of power. They arrogantly steal peoples' money and create the Big Dig and think that it is real progress. They burn resources and in the end their wasteful work isn't much better and their are net losses to the economy!
This is Krugman conjuring up Republican-hate in the guise of economic brilliance, which it certainly isn't.
Everyone is abandoning socialism except Krugman.
I’ll see those projects and raise you:
And Denver International Airport
The Erie Canal was financed privately, was it not?
So was the massive boom in railroad building from 1840-1880.
Who needs expensive, corrupt Govt to do this???
Krugman is not entirely wrong here. There was no "stimulus". Congress passed a bill full of $787B dollars worth of liberal pet projects, the vast majority of it being nonsense.
Deficit spending in a recession is fine, and spending on infrastructure is a fine idea, but we are too far down the road of wasteful govt. spending at this point.
Let's start cutting pork, and I'd be all for spending on infrastructure.
The project that irks me the most is the construction of the bridge just up the road from us. It’s been done since August 21 but they still have funds left apparently and they’re not going to open it until the funds are gone.
They just kinda stand around alot.
Mr. Krugman, I don’t know if you’ve looked lately but New Jersey is broke; B-R-O-K-E. As in NO MONEY!! None. And that’s with one of the highest tax burdens in the entire universe. Governor Christie did the adult thing here and you just can’t seem to get it. And you are supposed to be some big-time, world acclaimed economist.
Makes me wonder if Paul can can count to 10 using all of his fingers.
How about a nice big border fence?
If I our federal, state, and local governments were doing the job they should be doing our infrastructure would be up to date. Instead they’re spending money on themselves, the public sector unions, and tranfer payments to crooks and layabouts.
Someone should ask Krugman where is all the money going? If it’s not going to infrastructure, where is it going? Should be a simple question to answer for a Nobel awarded, part-time economist.
Sorry Krugman, but we are utterly broke thanks to the total corruption of your wonderful Democrat Party Regime.
No. The canal was financed by the state of New York. The debt was paid off by tolls, fairly quickly.
“Americas most important current public works project, the long-planned and much-needed second rail tunnel under the Hudson River.”
Never heard of it.
Today railroads are certainly exceedingly valuable and may well be a technology that will continue to be of use well into the future, but do we need 1898's 250,000 miles of track, or can we do the job with only 139,887 miles?
With respect to highways, do we really need extra lanes on all the Interstate quality roadway or can we continue developing auto-pilot systems for cars and more than double both the speed we can move the cars down the road, and the number of cars to be moved (a 4 fold improvement)?
Will another tunnel from New Jersey to New York be meaningful?
How about a third airport for Indianapolis Indiana to handle nothing but express freight? Or would it be more useful to pave an additional runway at Kansas City, or maybe Minneapolis?
If central water supply systems are no longer adequate, how about adding extra capacity in the form of local compact recycling units at major places of employment, schools, and large housing developments? Certainly a technological "fix" costing a few tens of millions of bucks can easily displace a steel and concrete "expansion" that costs billions!
I think the man's brain is frozen.
No, it's not fine. It's just one of those Keynsian notions that is repeated so often that everyone assumes it must be true.
Anyone who understands economics knows that public building projects contribute to the general welfare precisely inasmuch as the finished project is itself economically productive. The BUILDING PROCESS, and the SPENDING, are economic NEGATIVES—i.e., to the extent that the project requires RESOURCES, it COSTS society.
This reminds me: I saw a program on National Geographic in which they had a bunch of engineers designed a bigger, better Hoover Dam. The cost of the IMPROVED dam, they said, would be about $6 Billion.
Has anybody seen ANYTHING come out of the $1 Trillion in porkulus spending that looks anything like a Hoover Dam?
What absolutely galls me, is having a Communist assert that adherence to the founding principles is “ideological”. Geroge Orwell in “1984” called this NEWSPEAK. On the contrary, the philosophical school know as German Idealism through Kant and Hegel and ultimately through Marx and Engles is IDEOLOGY. German Idealists make up words for things that do not exist: like Kant’s MONAD and Paul Krugman’s GONAD. Talk about deluded. And it is repugnant and loathesome to anyone that believes in a democratic republic.
Paul Krugman is the very definition of an ideologue—along with Obama and Pelosi. Reid isn’t intelligent enough to be an ideologue—he’s just a party hack.
If you want to put construction workers back to work, get rid of the illegal aliens
krug is a full blown commie.
There was about $20 billion of infrastructure “shovel-ready” projects in the porkulus bill, and this was the only money for projects the R’s weren’t opposed to. EVERYTHING ELSE was completely wasted.
$20 billion for infrastructure is like pissing on a forest fire to try to put it out.
Maybe it’s easier than that:
“So this was a terrible, shortsighted move from New Jerseys point of view.” ( maybe from NYC point of view)—
“Add in the fact that many residents work in New York,” (lots of wage tax loss if NJ stops being thought of as a bedroom community and people have jobs there as well as sleep there.)
“News reports suggest that his immediate goal was to shift funds to local road projects and existing rail repairs.” (all the better for residents of NJ to get around NJ, spending their money there rather than NYC)
The tunnel was never intended for either Amtrak or the Long Island Railroad. It was a stub-end tunnel and station intended exclusively for New Jersey Transit.
The idea was to get NJT out of the existing tunnels to provide more capacity for Amtrak and lessen the congestion at the existing Penn Station.
Good point. If New York wants its workers to live elsewhere and somehow get into Manhattan and Brooklyn every day they should do something about that with their own money.
Krugman is a disgrace. Krugman fits the description of jackass, just like Obama.
kinda expensive for a stub end tunnel?
Mr. Krugman, would this work today? How much would this labor have cost, in today's dollars, if instead of three hots and a flop and a small wage, workers were required to be employeed, say, at union rates and with full benefits, including Obamacare?
And would the young people on welfare, or whose families are on welfare, even consider doing manual labor for a comparable compensation?
The Civilian Conservation Corps, for example:
The typical enrollee was a U.S. citizen, unmarried, unemployed male, 1820 years of age. Normally the family was on local relief. Each enrollee volunteered, and upon passing a physical exam and/or a period of conditioning, was required to serve a minimum six month period with the option to serve as many as four periods, or up to two years if employment outside the Corps was not possible. Enrollees worked 40 hours a week over five days, sometimes including Saturdays if poor weather dictated. In return he received $30 a month with a compulsory allotment $2225 sent to a family dependent, as well as food, clothing and medical care.
Mexico is building a border fence on its southern border to keep illegals from coming in through Guatemala. We should be able to manage a fence on our border as well.
Urban infrastructure projects are always expensive. It’s been 110 years since an infrastructure project in New York was reasonably priced.
Anything Kroogie says is Shovel Ready.
-and a jump to the head of the line for military enlistment.
Seems to me this could be adapted very well for taking people from NJ into the city and back.
Put some of these on the roads and it would be like adding train lines. Plus it would make Jersey look cool.
when it comes to wasteful gov. spending, at least projects like this have benefits, but instead of two new lines to the refurbished PennStation in the Farley building that could be used to connect to Grand Central Terminal , the Lirr, Amtrak or future high speed rail, two lines to a new , huge terminus that can only be used for NJT is a joke.
And I say this as an unapologetic railfan
Does anybody believe for half a second that the unions would let civilians do the work?
All of the projects named would be union jobs. Every last one of them.
Why hire 100 unemployed Americans when that same money will hire 8 union thugs who will do half the work much more slowly?
And we all know how Obambi just LOVES his union thugs!
Bottom line — ain’t happenin’ but thanks for asking.