DLKAPA
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Scasd On The Chopping Block

Tue Dec 13, 2005 5:15 am

As Per Boyd's hot flash, some pretty interesting stuff.

http://www.aviationplanning.com/asrc1.htm Scroll down just a little ways past the Virgin America bit.
And all at once the crowd begins to sing: Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same
 
jjbiv
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RE: Scasd On The Chopping Block

Tue Dec 13, 2005 9:30 am

Both programs should be eliminated (or at least severely curtailed). They are nothing but Washington pork designed to buy votes. They skew the market for air service, to boot.

joe
 
DLKAPA
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RE: Scasd On The Chopping Block

Wed Dec 14, 2005 5:01 pm

Quoting Jjbiv (Reply 1):
Both programs should be eliminated (or at least severely curtailed). They are nothing but Washington pork designed to buy votes. They skew the market for air service, to boot.

EAS needs to go, I agree, but SCASD doesn't. Who wants to fly to Cortez? Nobody? Then why pay for the empty seats? The planes are better used elsewhere (like the desert, where they can excellently reduce overcapacity). SCASD on the other hand can be useful. Unlike EAS, SCASD when used correctly results in more than just 2x daily B1900 flights to what someone decides is a hub. SCASD on the other hand brought F9 to fresno and is about to bring COex or AEagle to DRO. SCASD unlike EAS is also a one-time grant from the feds to the local government, not a pay-per-year contract from the feds to the airlines.
And all at once the crowd begins to sing: Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same
 
Tornado82
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RE: Scasd On The Chopping Block

Wed Dec 14, 2005 11:16 pm

Respectfully I have to disagree DLKAPA.

I think it should be the other way around. SCASD is causing things like the Rockford debacle, with throwing money at any airline who'll give them a plane, regardless of where its going and who else is already serving that route.

EAS on the other hand is keeping small communities linked to the nation, which in most cases keeps their fragile economies going. If keeping that B1900 2x daily keeps the county's largest employer in that small town, the tax base alone from the jobs there more than pays for the EAS.
 
D L X
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RE: Scasd On The Chopping Block

Thu Dec 15, 2005 2:22 am

Quoting DLKAPA (Reply 2):
EAS needs to go, I agree, but SCASD doesn't.

I agree with Tornado (le shock!). EAS needs to stay. It's a national security issue that every US resident be able to reach every other US resident within a day's travel time.

Why Fresno needs the feds to give $1M to Frontier to get an additional flight to Denver when they already have flights to Denver is beyond me. AND, it's anticompetitive.
 
DLKAPA
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RE: Scasd On The Chopping Block

Thu Dec 15, 2005 2:26 am

I'll use another example then: Pueblo, Colorado. 45 minutes drive from COS, yet having EAS to Denver...why? Ok so maybe CEZ needs EAS, but PUB doesn't, and maybe FAT doesn't need SCASD, but it would definetly help out the local businesses here in DRO.
And all at once the crowd begins to sing: Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same
 
D L X
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RE: Scasd On The Chopping Block

Thu Dec 15, 2005 4:25 am

Hi DLKAPA,

I don't necessarily think that every city that gets EAS needs or deserves it, but there are plenty that do.

I don't think any city needs SCASD. Pork pork pork pork pork.
 
DLKAPA
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RE: Scasd On The Chopping Block

Thu Dec 15, 2005 4:27 am

Quoting D L X (Reply 6):
Pork pork pork pork pork.

Just as long as Ted Stevens gets his bridge.
And all at once the crowd begins to sing: Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same
 
D L X
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RE: Scasd On The Chopping Block

Thu Dec 15, 2005 5:35 am

Quoting DLKAPA (Reply 7):
Just as long as Ted Stevens gets his bridge.

Don't get me started. How many dead and displaced in New Orleans vs. how many people live on that little island? But I digress. That thread belongs in non-av.

Just to stir the pot a little more (and I'm looking at you, FATFlyer  Wink, I think the SCASD also needs to go as it is evident now that low cost carriers other than Southwest simply come and go. If Southwest and Jetblue don't want to fly to your little city, maybe the best thing is to drive to a city that they do want to fly to, not lure any number of failing LCCs to your city so they can die there. As in, will FAT *ever* see a 319 from F9 land there? My guess: no - but FAT got $1M to bring them in.

Anybody have the accounting on how they're using it?
Anybody have the accounting on how much UA lost as a result?

Every town needs air service, but you can't bring a low cost carrier to every city. As this article notes, the LCC market is getting saturated even though most locales do not have LCCs. (US doesn't count, imo.)
 
DLKAPA
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RE: Scasd On The Chopping Block

Thu Dec 15, 2005 5:40 am

Quoting D L X (Reply 8):
As this article notes, the LCC market is getting saturated even though most locales do not have LCCs. (US doesn't count, imo.)

I wouldn't so much say that the LCC market is saturated, I'd say the market as a whole is saturated, LCC's aren't making it better, but the majors aren't helping either.
And all at once the crowd begins to sing: Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same
 
D L X
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RE: Scasd On The Chopping Block

Thu Dec 15, 2005 5:47 am

But do you think that the (altered) mission of the SCASD can actually bring more LCCs to small towns?
 
N312RC
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RE: Scasd On The Chopping Block

Thu Dec 15, 2005 5:50 am

Just read Boyd's column and argue with him.. The guy makes alot of sense and does this stuff for a living.........while all of you are armchair CEOs.


Just read what the guy says... he's right on ALOT of stuff.


EDIT: And by the way, the small community grant program doesnt target LCC's only.... and by the way, the EAS obviously works when places like Athens, GA send out an average of 12 people a day on THREE Beech 1900s. Yeah, that works.. National security my rear end. The small community grant program has, as Mr. Boyd stated, been highly successful because it is TARGETED at markets that are either underserved due to whatever issue (proximity to other airports, etc... but still have POTENTIAL). Sarasota/Bradenton's traffic jumped immensely because AirTran came in and brought the fare levels down (SRQ was enormously expensive, knowing this from personal experience over 10 years)... If the money is used properly, like the small community program does, and EAS does NOT, its very beneficial.

[Edited 2005-12-14 21:56:38]
N/A
 
D L X
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RE: Scasd On The Chopping Block

Thu Dec 15, 2005 8:38 am

Quoting N312RC (Reply 11):
all of you are armchair CEOs

Careful there, I know more than you think.

Quoting N312RC (Reply 11):
And by the way, the small community grant program doesnt target LCC's only

I recognize that, but it shouldn't target them at all over any other airlines, and it definitely shouldn't fund duplicative service.

Quoting N312RC (Reply 11):
and by the way, the EAS obviously works when places like Athens, GA send out an average of 12 people a day on THREE Beech 1900s.

The point of EAS isn't full planes. It's access. Mission accomplished.

Quoting N312RC (Reply 11):
The small community grant program has, as Mr. Boyd stated, been highly successful because it is TARGETED at markets that are either underserved due to whatever issue (proximity to other airports, etc... but still have POTENTIAL)

Does Frontier fly 319s into FAT yet? Is it even on the schedule to do so? How long has it been? Successful? No.
Is FAT underserved? No. By their own admission, most people woh want to fly out of FAT want to fly to LAX, PHX, and LAS. So, why the hell did they get money for DEN? FAT wasn't underserved.

Neither was SRQ. SRQ is less than an hour from TPA, a Southwest city. SRQ didn't have a lot of service because nearby there was all sorts of service, including LCCs. Would you support Ann Arbor getting an SCASD grant so that I don't have to drive to DTW and pay their elevated fares? Talk about underserved... we have no airlines here. I'm sorry, but everyone's suburb can't have a LCC.

On top of that, SRQ played *dirty* to get the grant. Knowing that other airlines would be pissed if they were able to get the feds to pay for a direct competitor, SRQ refused to announce in their proposal what routes and what airlines they were trying to get. That way, no airline could contest them with a counterproposal. Dirty.

SCASD is ripe for abuse. Imo, it should be canned. And now you know how I really think.  Smile
 
DLKAPA
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RE: Scasd On The Chopping Block

Thu Dec 15, 2005 8:48 am

Quoting D L X (Reply 12):
I recognize that, but it shouldn't target them at all over any other airlines, and it definitely shouldn't fund duplicative service.

In Durango it won't do either. Right now they are targeting AEagle to DFW or COex to IAH, both markets not served.

Quoting D L X (Reply 12):
The point of EAS isn't full planes. It's access. Mission accomplished.

Access not needed, especially since Pueblo proper is 45 minutes from COS yet they get their B1900's to DEN (which can be driven in 2 and a half hours or less). Make sense?
And all at once the crowd begins to sing: Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same
 
D L X
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RE: Scasd On The Chopping Block

Thu Dec 15, 2005 9:23 am

Quoting DLKAPA (Reply 13):
Access not needed, especially since Pueblo proper is 45 minutes from COS yet they get their B1900's to DEN (which can be driven in 2 and a half hours or less). Make sense?

Fully agree with you for some cities. Pueblo being one of them. Minot on the other hand...
 
commavia
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RE: Scasd On The Chopping Block

Thu Dec 15, 2005 9:32 am

Quoting Jjbiv (Reply 1):
Both programs should be eliminated (or at least severely curtailed).

SCASD, if used properly, can actually have benefits as long as their is a definitive timetable for moving the money out of the grant, and allowing the service to stand on its own two legs (while it's not one-size-fits-all, I think 12-18 months is more than enough). I believe SCASD already has defined time limits.

Quoting D L X (Reply 4):
It's a national security issue that every US resident be able to reach every other US resident within a day's travel time.

Yeah, it is absolutely crucial that Dodge City, Kansas and Bluefield, West Virginia be linked together with two stops and a change of airlines for "national security." Please!

National security has nothing to do with it. What is a national security issue is ensuring that resources are allocated as effectively at possible at the state and federal level, and throwing money (into a deep, dark hole) to ensure that tiny cities with dying economies maintain twice daily Beech 1900C service to a faux hub is hardly what I call a "national security issue." I think it goes much more nicely into the "buying votes for the home district with pork appropriations issue" category.
 
Tornado82
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RE: Scasd On The Chopping Block

Thu Dec 15, 2005 9:47 am

Here's an EAS success story or two for you.

Clarksburg, WV has EAS service to PIT (for now, but that's a different story).
Some years back, during the RJ craze, Bombardier shopped around for a quiet out of the way airport with a long enough runway for those hogs the CRJ's, and commercial service so that the pilots delivering the planes could get the hell out of town and then get back in when it was time for the pickup, for a heavy maintenance facility. Chosen was CKB, with it's 7000' ILS runway, and the USAirways Express service, courtesy of EAS. If there was no commercial service, many times those pilots running those maintenance ferries in would be relatively trapped in the hills of West Virginia. While many of my future in-laws are from CKB, it's not a place I'd like to be stuck in if I wasn't family. How many well-paying jobs would NOT be in Clarksburg if it wasn't for that EAS service?

A new company just moved into the southern side of Uniontown, PA as well, and chose Uniontown for tax advantages, low cost of living and therefore they wouldn't have to pay what they'd have to pay workers in a place like the DC metro, but still have proximity for workers to drive to Maryland/DC metroplex area where their eastern HQ is, and nearby MGW, where they could get single-connection service to their western HQ, in PHX, without spending half the day driving to the large airports or the expense of having to charter a Lear or something. Since the company is primarily a federal contractor... being located in an area where they can pay less while still affording their employees the same standard of living is a benefit to ALL taxpayers.

In two very depressed economies, an influx of well-paying jobs is always welcome. All together the economic impacts of these two companies to these communities is counted in the milllions... and probably the federal income tax alone paid by their employees offsets the cost of EAS contracts for MGW/CKB. Does paying UA to fly from RFD on a route that was already served bring that kind of benefit to RFD? How about service to a route which admittedly isn't a top O&D route from Fresno?? In cities the size of FAT or RFD, 100 jobs isn't an extremely big portion. In a city the size of Uniontown or Clarksburg, 100 jobs is a huge impact.
 
flyinryan99
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RE: Scasd On The Chopping Block

Thu Dec 15, 2005 10:11 am

This is such a sticky subject to me. I think they both do really good for respected communities. The way I look at EAS is like looking at Greyhound and Amtrak. Allowing people the choice of travel at all but funded by the goverment.

Where does the money come from for the SCASD anyways? I would say let the money just go back to respected airports and be done with it. I think there are some cities that do need access to the world, but not as much as they are talking to expand the EAS service.
 
A330323X
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RE: Scasd On The Chopping Block

Thu Dec 15, 2005 10:36 am

Quoting Tornado82 (Reply 16):
Here's an EAS success story or two for you.

Clarksburg, WV has EAS service to PIT (for now, but that's a different story).
Some years back, during the RJ craze, Bombardier shopped around for a quiet out of the way airport with a long enough runway for those hogs the CRJ's, and commercial service so that the pilots delivering the planes could get the hell out of town and then get back in when it was time for the pickup, for a heavy maintenance facility. Chosen was CKB, with it's 7000' ILS runway, and the USAirways Express service, courtesy of EAS. If there was no commercial service, many times those pilots running those maintenance ferries in would be relatively trapped in the hills of West Virginia. While many of my future in-laws are from CKB, it's not a place I'd like to be stuck in if I wasn't family. How many well-paying jobs would NOT be in Clarksburg if it wasn't for that EAS service?

...pssst...CKB wasn't EAS subsidized until this year. Nice story though, shame it's a load of you-know-what.  Silly
I'm the expert on here on two things, neither of which I care about much anymore.
 
D L X
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RE: Scasd On The Chopping Block

Thu Dec 15, 2005 11:24 am

Quoting Commavia (Reply 15):
Yeah, it is absolutely crucial that Dodge City, Kansas and Bluefield, West Virginia be linked together with two stops and a change of airlines for "national security." Please!

If you're thinking national security in the 9/11 GWB Cowboy sense, you looking at too narrow a view of what national security means. It in part means not letting the country fall apart. What keeps this country together is the transportation network.

It used to be that the country was held together (even put together) by railroads. Now, it's air travel. (Soon, it will include the internet!) Every area of this country needs to be accessible in a day's time to every other area of the country if this country is going to continue to act as a complete unit. It's vital. It's crucial.

The problem with EAS (and the SCASD) is that it gets tinkered with in the form of pork projects.
 
commavia
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RE: Scasd On The Chopping Block

Thu Dec 15, 2005 11:32 am

Quoting D L X (Reply 19):
What keeps this country together is the transportation network.

Let's make a bet. I'm willing to bet you that if EAS (and SCASD, for that matter, but let's just go with EAS) went away completely tomorrow, the economy would not collapse. In fact, I doubt it would even take a dent. Perhaps it would even be helped by a reduction in wasteful government spending and a return of some of the money saved to taxpayers -- who will thus boost consumption -- or to paying down the national debt. That's my bet. Willing to take it?

Quoting D L X (Reply 19):
It used to be that the country was held together (even put together) by railroads.

That's right. And what happened to the railroads? They went away, because new, safer, more reliable, and more convenient modes of transportation replaced them. Wait, stop, hold the phone. No, that hasn't happened. That's right! Instead of letting the free market decide whether or not Williams Junction, AZ requires access by rail or air to the outside world, the government spends billions of my taxpayer dollars making sure that towns like Creston, IA have access to the "national security" network. Maybe they bought into your argument, D L X. Unfortunately, it is quite obvious to many (most?) that they more than $1B the U.S. government spends to subsidize Amtrak each year could be much better spent by the government paying down the long-term debt or, even better yet, let the Americans spend it themselves! What a novel idea!

Quoting D L X (Reply 19):
Every area of this country needs to be accessible in a day's time to every other area of the country if this country is going to continue to act as a complete unit.

I'm sorry, but this country's success and long-term survival hinges on access to Hays, Kansas about as much as the Democratic Party's success hinges on a coherent Iraq policy (i.e., not much).

Quoting D L X (Reply 19):
It's vital. It's crucial.

It's stupid. It's wasteful.
 
DLKAPA
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RE: Scasd On The Chopping Block

Thu Dec 15, 2005 11:47 am

Quoting Commavia (Reply 20):
I'm sorry, but this country's success and long-term survival hinges on access to Hays, Kansas about as much as the Democratic Party's success hinges on a coherent Iraq policy (i.e., not much).

Meh, they have I-70, that's all they need.
And all at once the crowd begins to sing: Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same
 
commavia
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RE: Scasd On The Chopping Block

Thu Dec 15, 2005 11:49 am

Quoting DLKAPA (Reply 21):
Meh, they have I-70, that's all they need.

Exactly. If any particular locale can't support flights on their own, then they don't deserve them. That's life, and yes, they do always have the highway.
 
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knope2001
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RE: Scasd On The Chopping Block

Thu Dec 15, 2005 11:49 am

There are definitely times I agree with Boyd, although too often he's more about attitude than actual solutions. But in this EAS verus SCASD grants, he is DEFINITELY not an impartial observer.

The Boyd group very aggressivly sells their services to communities in helping them created proposals for small community air service develompent money.

Boyd's firm has no financial benefit from the EAS program.

What program do you think he's going to trumpet?

And as aviation funds get tighter, what a surprise he'd slam a competing program.

SCASD has funded dozens of programs over the past few years, and yet generally he seems to flaunt the same handful of success stories. He's gotten plenty of mileage from Rhinelander, for example. What about the new service that disappeared when the grant money ran out? What about the money granted for service that never ended up starting? What about the money spent...and seemingly wasted...on "studies" at airports?

Virtually every spending program will have instances that sound successful and others which sound wasteful. But Boyd is skilled and presenting his arguments in the mildly angered tones of ""MY conclusions are obvious, and anyone who doesn't agree just doesn't GET it...duh!" And that includes this particular instance where he clearly has a conflict of interest. SCASD means money in his pocket.

As for EAS, I agree that the program needs change. There are many communities where EAS *does* support flights to a real connecting hub on the hub airline, and fares are competitive. And in these places EAS tends to be realtively successful. Except for notably remote communities, cities that still can't muster modestly decent traffic under good conditions should be dropped. It's not likely that most EAS cities will ever get out from under subsidy, but we subsidize transportation of all sorts in many ways. If we're going to spend money on EAS, it should bring benefit. We spend $350,000 a year for a city that boards 5 people/day. I think we should spend $500,000 a year for better service for that same city to board 20 people/day, and if that improved $500,000 service only boards 6 or 7 people per day, then the city should be dropped unless it is clearly remote.

Those are just made up numbers, but they help to illustrate a big problem with EAS. Some EAS communities are getting service which is destined to fail, but there's never a chance to upgrade service, even in a lose-it-or-lose-it way. So these airports hang on as long as Big Sky, Mesa or others are able to cobble together a subsidy proposal that qualifies for EAS. The staus quo continues.
 
D L X
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RE: Scasd On The Chopping Block

Thu Dec 15, 2005 12:23 pm

Quoting Commavia (Reply 20):
Let's make a bet. I'm willing to bet you that if EAS (and SCASD, for that matter, but let's just go with EAS) went away completely tomorrow, the economy would not collapse. In fact, I doubt it would even take a dent. Perhaps it would even be helped by a reduction in wasteful government spending and a return of some of the money saved to taxpayers -- who will thus boost consumption -- or to paying down the national debt. That's my bet. Willing to take it?

I'll first take note that you didn't actually refute my point. I'll also Point out that I did not anywhere say that the national economy would collapse without EAS. That's stupid. The economies of certain areas of the country certainly would. I suppose that you're fine with that. Honestly, it's not an unreasonable position to take. I just happen to believe it is myopic. This country is more than its 10 biggest cities.

Quoting Commavia (Reply 20):
And what happened to the railroads? They went away, because new, safer, more reliable, and more convenient modes of transportation replaced them. Wait, stop, hold the phone. No, that hasn't happened. That's right! Instead of letting the free market decide whether or not Williams Junction, AZ requires access by rail or air to the outside world, the government spends billions of my taxpayer dollars making sure that towns like Creston, IA have access to the "national security" network. Maybe they bought into your argument, D L X. Unfortunately, it is quite obvious to many (most?) that they more than $1B the U.S. government spends to subsidize Amtrak each year could be much better spent by the government paying down the long-term debt or, even better yet, let the Americans spend it themselves! What a novel idea!

1) If the Free market were in charge, Alaska would still be part of Russia. Get the point? The free market is pretty bad at keeping a country whole. The free market says "everyone, let's move down south, and abandon Wisconsin, Michigan, North Dakota, Maine, and wherever else that's cold. Whoever wants to move in can, for all I care." Who do you want to move in?
2) you mock the national security issue, but you've answered you own question about why we pay to keep the railroads. (Also, considering that you're in Texas, consider where your food comes from, and what vehicle it travels on to get there.)
3) Flies, honey and vinegar.




Quoting Commavia (Reply 20):
I'm sorry, but this country's success and long-term survival hinges on access to Hays, Kansas about as much as the Democratic Party's success hinges on a coherent Iraq policy (i.e., not much).

Again, ignored my point.  Yeah sure If you only look at singular examples, you're not seeing the forest for the trees. Look at the aggregate. Are you prepared to say this country's long-term survival is not concerned with access to its remote regions?
 
commavia
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RE: Scasd On The Chopping Block

Thu Dec 15, 2005 12:38 pm

Quoting D L X (Reply 24):
I'll first take note that you didn't actually refute my point.

Absolutely not, if we're talking about the same point. If the point you are referring to here is that the country depends on its transportation network, you'll get no argument whatsoever from this corner. However, if you try and tie it to EAS, then I wholeheartedly disagree. EAS is not an integral part of our national transportation network, but rather a leach on it, sucking resources away from useful economic expenditure and towards wasteful investment in air service to communities that simply can't support it.

Quoting D L X (Reply 24):
The economies of certain areas of the country certainly would.

Presumably, yes.

Quoting D L X (Reply 24):
suppose that you're fine with that. Honestly, it's not an unreasonable position to take.

Well thank you, because yes, I am absolutely fine with that.

Quoting D L X (Reply 24):
I just happen to believe it is myopic.

I think it's more myopic to view spending millions each year on service to tiny places that could never support the service if forced to actually compete in the free market, but that's just me. And, furthermore, in my opinion, viewing EAS as anything more than a waste of taxpayer dollars and a huge piece of pork utilized mostly to buy votes is really "not seeing the forest for the trees."

Quoting D L X (Reply 24):
If the Free market were in charge, Alaska would still be part of Russia.

Actually, I believe the governments of the U.S. and Russia had a bit more to do with that than the free market. The U.S. government purchased Alaska from Russia in 1867 for $7.2M in 1867 dollars. I fail to see how the "Free market [being] in charge" would have changed that. Perhaps you could explain.

Quoting D L X (Reply 24):
The free market is pretty bad at keeping a country whole.

Actually, I'd disagree with you there. The free market is about the best change this country has of staying together. The free market determines the places that succeed and the places that don't, based on the business climate, the meteorological climate, and a wide range of other factors. When it comes to the economy, there is just about nothing the government can do that the free market can't do better, and that certainly includes "keeping a country whole." Besides, is the U.S. coming apart at the seams? Did I miss something?

Quoting D L X (Reply 24):
The free market says "everyone, let's move down south, and abandon Wisconsin, Michigan, North Dakota, Maine, and wherever else that's cold. Whoever wants to move in can, for all I care."

That's exactly right, and that's the beauty of it. If people don't want to live in one place, they can move somewhere else. Besides, while weather no doubt has a part to play in the enormous migration currently taking place from the northern rustbelt to the southern sunbelt (northern winters can be horrible!) I think that the economic conditions in the north -- i.e., contentious labor relations, overly powerful unions, economic stagnation, lost jobs, lack of competitive alternative to foreign manufacturing, ridiculously high taxes -- are much more influential in convincing people that California, Nevada, Arizona, Texas or Florida would be much better places to live.

Quoting D L X (Reply 24):
you mock the national security issue, but you've answered you own question about why we pay to keep the railroads

Yeah, so that tiny places with meaningless transportation significance and next to zero actual demand can maintain service to nowhere. Amtrak is about the biggest waste of taxpayer money in the U.S. (and that's saying quite a lot). Running trains to nowhere places that nobody rides on -- yeah, that's really a huge "national security issue!"

Quoting D L X (Reply 24):
Also, considering that you're in Texas, consider where your food comes from, and what vehicle it travels on to get there.)

My guess is that the people who transport cattle by rail to Texas (I presume that is what you were implying) do it at a profit, or they would not do it, and the free market would find another way of getting eight tons of tender loin from Kansas City to San Antonio.

Quoting D L X (Reply 24):
Are you prepared to say this country's long-term survival is not concerned with access to its remote regions?

Yes, 100%, absolutely, I am more than happy to say it.

This country's long-term survival has absolutely nothing to do with "access to its remote regions." It has to do with the government effectively allocating expenditures and precious resources, given to them by hard-working Americans' taxpayer dollars, and running a fiscally responsible and prudent government. Furthermore, it has to do with our economy and society functioning in a free-market, capitalist system where places don't receive services (at the expense of others who can never utilize those services) when those places would never be able to support those services if left to their own devices. That's is what this country's long-term survival depends on.

To quote Ronald Reagan: "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"
 
D L X
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RE: Scasd On The Chopping Block

Thu Dec 15, 2005 1:02 pm

Quoting Commavia (Reply 25):
I think it's more myopic to view spending millions each year on service to tiny places that could never support the service if forced to actually compete in the free market, but that's just me.

It's not about making these regions compete. It's about giving them access. Without access, they absolutely cannot comepete.

Quoting Commavia (Reply 25):
Actually, I believe the governments of the U.S. and Russia had a bit more to do with that than the free market

EXACTLY my point. The free market said that the purchase of Alaska was a nutty idea - Seward's Folly. Turned out okay, didn't it? The free market doesn't always get it right. It's good, but not perfect. It relies too much on individual actions. Sometimes you need collective actions. Evidence: how many anarchous countries there are in the first world.

Quoting Commavia (Reply 25):
The free market is about the best change this country has of staying together.



Quoting Commavia (Reply 25):
If people don't want to live in one place, they can move somewhere else.

Do you see how these two statements do not work together? If everyone picks up and leaves the north, where does this country truly lie? If everyone picks up and leaves the north, the country loses land. You have to follow it all the way to its natural conclusion. Someone might move in, and you don't know what that someone will be. (Think Afghanistan.)
Now, I'm not crazy enough to say that removal of EAS will lead to anarchy in the north (although, there be some crazy people up in Montana...), but you have to see how a connected country is of national importance. EAS helps that when it's not porked to death. (Which it currently is.)

Quoting Commavia (Reply 25):
There is just about nothing the government can do that the free market can't do better

Okay, would you rather have rent-a-cop or NYPD? (Want to retract that statement?)

Quoting Commavia (Reply 25):
Running trains to nowhere places that nobody rides on -- yeah, that's really a huge "national security issue!"

On 9/11, my parents lived in Northern Virginia and I lived in San Francisco. Phone lines dead. I didn't know if my father, who routinely works in the Pentagon was dead or alive. Planes out of service. It took a day before I was able to reach my folks. (Everyone's okay.) It would have taken me at least a week to reach Virginia by car, OR 2-3 days by train. If I didn't have a car, the train might have been the only option. There's a reason we keep the trains around. (And if they were smart, they would have put everone on the train before Katrina came through. But I'll wale on Nagin, Blanco, and the Bush White House some other time.)

Quoting Commavia (Reply 25):
This country's long-term survival has absolutely nothing to do with "access to its remote regions."

Examples of countries that don't have active connections to their remote areas: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sudan...
 
commavia
Posts: 10071
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 2:30 am

RE: Scasd On The Chopping Block

Thu Dec 15, 2005 1:17 pm

Quoting D L X (Reply 26):
Without access, they absolutely cannot compete.

Why should I have to pay for it, though? If they can't compete without access, and they can't ever possibly hope to actually economically justify access, then those places will continue to lose influence in favor of more economically viable locales. That's life, that's progress, that's capitalism, that's the firee market.

Quoting D L X (Reply 26):
If everyone picks up and leaves the north, where does this country truly lie?

Wherever people want it to. I am a firm believer in people's independence and liberty -- people get to decide. Popular sovereignty. If people decide that they've had enough of horrible economies, ridiculous taxes and bad winters, and they'd rather go to places with higher standards of living, lower costs, better jobs and great weather, why should anyone try and stop that? That's what America is all about -- letting people decide "where [the] country truly [lies]."

Quoting D L X (Reply 26):
Someone might move in, and you don't know what that someone will be.

"Someone might move in?" Are you kidding?

It's called a military. We have it for a reason.

Quoting D L X (Reply 26):
Want to retract that statement?)

No, thank you very much. However, I would like to ask you to please quote the entire statement, which reads:

When it comes to the economy, there is just about nothing the government can do that the free market can't do better.

Those first six words make all the different, don't they?

Quoting D L X (Reply 26):
There's a reason we keep the trains around.

It is not efficient nor productive to say that because there is a chance that something might happen that might temporarily limit the viability of one form of transportation, we should artifically support alternative forms that aren't viable. I think it is pretty ridiculous to say that because air travel was shut down in the U.S. for four days in 2001, we need to keep Amtrak -- a useless, pothetically unpopular, and hopelessly unprofitable enterprise -- around for the other 361 days. Parts of Amtrak that might actually have a chance at profitability if out from under the oppression of government bureaucracy, namely Acela, should be split off and the rest should just be put out of its misery.

Quoting D L X (Reply 26):
Examples of countries that don't have active connections to their remote areas: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sudan...

Examples of meaningless comparions of the world's most developed and prosperous country to some of the world's most economically stagnant, politically unfree and socially antiquated countries:

D L X, reply 26.
 
FCYTravis
Posts: 1172
Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2005 4:21 am

RE: Scasd On The Chopping Block

Thu Dec 15, 2005 1:24 pm

Let's apply your Amtrak logic to the U.S. airline industry. Airlines are pathetically unprofitable, too. They're a gigantic waste of shareholders' money. Bleeding red in everywhere. Shut 'em all down.
USAir A321 service now departing for SFO with fuel stops in CAK, COS and RNO. Enjoy your flight.
 
commavia
Posts: 10071
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 2:30 am

RE: Scasd On The Chopping Block

Thu Dec 15, 2005 1:27 pm

Quoting FCYTravis (Reply 28):
Airlines are pathetically unprofitable, too. They're a gigantic waste of shareholders' money. Bleeding red in everywhere.

One key difference, though: airlines don't receive billions of dollars in subsidies from the federal government, as Amtrak does.

It's quite notable that you said "a gigantic waste of shareholders' money," and not "a gigantic waste of taxpayers' money."

That is a "gigantic" difference: if you don't want to waste money, then you don't have to invest in an unprofitable airline. But if you want to live legally in the U.S., you have no choice but to pay your taxes and thus fund useless Amtrak service to places nobody (or virtually nobody) wants to go.
 
D L X
Posts: 11696
Joined: Thu May 27, 1999 3:30 am

RE: Scasd On The Chopping Block

Thu Dec 15, 2005 1:38 pm

Quoting Commavia (Reply 27):
Why should I have to pay for it, though?

Would it be a stretch to guess that you are a Republican?

Quoting Commavia (Reply 27):
Wherever people want it to. I am a firm believer in people's independence and liberty -- people get to decide. Popular sovereignty. If people decide that they've had enough of horrible economies, ridiculous taxes and bad winters, and they'd rather go to places with higher standards of living, lower costs, better jobs and great weather, why should anyone try and stop that?

I see that you're trying to set up the trap: if they want to leave, let them leave. If they choose to stay, why should I pay for it? Because in America, we pay (sometimes the ultimate) for that freedom of choice.
If we cut off access, we coerce people that wouldn't leave otherwise to leave.

Quoting Commavia (Reply 27):
When it comes to the economy, there is just about nothing the government can do that the free market can't do better.

You're right. I read it too fast, and left out something important. Mea culpa.

Quoting Commavia (Reply 27):
It is not efficient nor productive to say that because there is a chance that something might happen that might temporarily limit the viability of one form of transportation, we should artifically support alternative forms that aren't viable.

Would you fly on a plane without redundancy? Maybe it's that you refuse to believe how important it is to this country to have an active, accessible transportation network, so you fail to see why there must be a backup for the instant that the primary goes down. Considering the size of the national budget, and how important the transportation network is, it's worth it to have a backup.

Quoting Commavia (Reply 27):
It's called a military. We have it for a reason.

How very free market of you.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan of the free market, but I've also long recognized that the free market leaves major holes that have to be filled by government. You really don't want a free-market inspired military.

Okay, we're fussing way too much over so small a program.
 
commavia
Posts: 10071
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 2:30 am

RE: Scasd On The Chopping Block

Thu Dec 15, 2005 1:56 pm

Quoting D L X (Reply 30):
Would it be a stretch to guess that you are a Republican?

I vote for people who support the policies and beliefs that I do, whether they be Republicans or Democrats.

Quoting D L X (Reply 30):
I see that you're trying to set up the trap

No trap, just my opinion, which -- I might add -- has remained completely consistent throughout this entire thread. People should be free to live wherever they want. If the economy in the small town they live in sucks, and sucks so much that it can't even support even a miniscule amount of air service on its own, than they are more than happy to leave.

Quoting D L X (Reply 30):
Would you fly on a plane without redundancy?

Absolutely. The way Amtrak operates (unreliably, unefficiently, and incredibly slowly) I already pretty much do fly on planes without redundancy. In other words, when I fly from Dallas/Fort Worth to Newark (which I doubt about six times a year) and I would like to get there in under four hours. There's pretty much no redundancy for that, since taking Amtrak would run me right around two days (leave at 4:30pm on Monday, arrive at 3:25pm on Wednesday). That includes a change of trains in Chicago, and stops in at least 14 cities. That's not exactly what I call redundancy.

Quoting D L X (Reply 30):
Maybe it's that you refuse to believe how important it is to this country to have an active, accessible transportation network, so you fail to see why there must be a backup for the instant that the primary goes down.

Maybe it's that you refuse to believe that individual markets should have to stand on their own, and that the economy overall is far better served by the government not wasting taxpayer dollars on subsidizing planes flying to cities where nobody (or virtually nobody) wants to fly. It's a matter of perspective, I suppose.

Quoting D L X (Reply 30):
How very free market of you.

There are a very few things that simply have to be done by the government because of their enormous scale. The military is one of these. Because of the realities of the size of military the U.S. requires, it has to be run by the government. However, it is telling that of all the organs of the government, the military is probably the most like a ("free market") business of any segment of the entire federal government. It has a very efficient, very responsive, top-down command structure that is run much more like a company than like a government bureaucracy with committees, unions, etc.
 
Tornado82
Posts: 4662
Joined: Thu May 26, 2005 10:19 am

RE: Scasd On The Chopping Block

Thu Dec 15, 2005 2:07 pm

Quoting A330323X (Reply 18):

...pssst...CKB wasn't EAS subsidized until this year. Nice story though, shame it's a load of you-know-what. Silly

Psst.... the story is true, that facility was dependant on that air service. See also Sen's Byrd/Rockefeller's attempt to get Comair running CRJ's in there to CVG pre-9/11. I've posted the link here before, and don't feel like googling it again, see that PKB/MGW/CKB EAS thread which turned into RegionsAir disease, the thread you started a few months back. Although I guess that would have been SCASD for the CRJ's. I can see it now, CRJ's with 7 pax in them, lol. I don't want to get any more specific for his sake, but one of my future in-laws is a pretty high-up dude down there at the Bombardier/Crappy Regional Jet facility. He claims their facility is responsible for probably 70% of the air traffic in that little dump airport.
 
DLKAPA
Topic Author
Posts: 7962
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2003 10:37 am

RE: Scasd On The Chopping Block

Thu Dec 15, 2005 2:09 pm

Quoting D L X (Reply 24):
I'll first take note that you didn't actually refute my point. I'll also Point out that I did not anywhere say that the national economy would collapse without EAS. That's stupid. The economies of certain areas of the country certainly would. I suppose that you're fine with that. Honestly, it's not an unreasonable position to take. I just happen to believe it is myopic. This country is more than its 10 biggest cities.

Enter northeastern arkansas, the only air service (kinda) being a few Beech 1900's into JBR, or (in the case of the communities in Randolph and Lawrence counties) a 100 mile drive to MEM, and that's the minimum. It's another 150 or so to LIT, same to Springfield, and 200 miles to STL. Yet, in all of this, they're still clinging on, and in some cases prospering. Enter: ARG. You may remember it as the final resting place of N81SW, now a diner on the field. They're using THEIR OWN (as in the local taxpayers, NOT the FED tax) to fund studies of the viability of attracting air service, again with their own money. What they've found is that their little airport, ARG, exists very near the center-of-population in an area with about 300,000 people, with basically no air service, other than those few B1900's to JBR, but if you're up in Walnut Ridge (where ARG is located) or farther north or west (it might not look like much but I guarantee there's alot of people living in that area), JBR is already halfway to MEM, with prices higher than that at MEM, and to boot larger aircraft at MEM. So, again with their own money, they're starting an airport expansion. If it fails, it's their loss, not mine. If it succeeds, then it will prove that EAS is no longer a necessary subsidy.

Quoting D L X (Reply 26):

Okay, would you rather have rent-a-cop or NYPD? (Want to retract that statement?)

That depends. If there's a large market with many "rent-a-cop" agencies and a government that isn't stingy with its tax dollars (we already know ours isn't), I'd rather have the rent-a-cop. with the government police department, the employees at said agency take their jobs for granted, there is no incentive to better performance because they know (the unit as a whole, not the individual officers) that they have, as a whole, permanent job security. If you switch to a privatized police force where several agencies are competing, you will see an instant change, if the agency does something the government doesn't like, they get the axe and move on to another contractor. That's what you call "incentive."

Quoting FCYTravis (Reply 28):
Let's apply your Amtrak logic to the U.S. airline industry. Airlines are pathetically unprofitable, too. They're a gigantic waste of shareholders' money. Bleeding red in everywhere. Shut 'em all down.

I haven't invested shares in Indy so honestly my wallet doesn't give a flying flexjets if they go under.
And all at once the crowd begins to sing: Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same
 
cloudy
Posts: 1613
Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2002 3:23 pm

RE: Scasd On The Chopping Block

Fri Dec 16, 2005 1:09 am

Quoting D L X (Reply 30):
I see that you're trying to set up the trap: if they want to leave, let them leave. If they choose to stay, why should I pay for it? Because in America, we pay (sometimes the ultimate) for that freedom of choice.
If we cut off access, we coerce people that wouldn't leave otherwise to leave.

Allowing people to face the consequences of their own choices is not coercion. Taking money from some people to allow other people to avoid the consequences of their choices IS coercion.

Some coercion is necessary for society. We will arrest heroin addicts and put them in jail, rehab, etc. rather than let them face the consequences of their own actions - because letting them face those consequences is bad for society as a whole. We coerce people in paying taxes to feed poor unwed mothers, even though they chose to have fun with a looser before they could support a child. We do this for the sake of the children who would otherwise starve. We also don't want such people to turn to crime. It sucks but for now there is no other way - we have to do it to protect the children and society at large.

However, I don't see how giving people the right to live wherever they want with the government protecting them from the economic consequences of that choice is going to help society at large. In fact, such protection harms society even if you ignore the monetary costs. It harms the economy because it is inefficient. It harms the environment in several ways. It encourages people to bite more into nature rather than live in already built-up areas. It increases emissions from planes and trucks. Even if the money came as manna from heaven it would probably be a bad idea.

I don't see how protecting people from having to choose between their livelihoods and their hometown is worth the price of coercing others into paying for it. If we are to do that, I would like to see major benefits to society. All I see is COST to society, while the only benefit goes to a few individuals. I and people I know have moved many times to follow economic opportunity and I am still a functional citizen. I didn't ask others to pay anything to help me. I resent being made to pay to help others who do not need it, most of whom are far better off than I.
 
Tornado82
Posts: 4662
Joined: Thu May 26, 2005 10:19 am

RE: Scasd On The Chopping Block

Fri Dec 16, 2005 1:22 am

Quoting Cloudy (Reply 34):
However, I don't see how giving people the right to live wherever they want with the government protecting them from the economic consequences of that choice is going to help society at large.

This is the logic we typically hear spewed from residents of the largest metro areas, not SPI. In these largest metro areas, Federal dollars pay for your subways, your commuter trains, and your buses. Well, the small cities don't have subways, trains, and some don't have buses. You live in SPI according to your profile, a city, combined with neighboring Decatur, Bloomington, and Lincoln which collectively have more highway lane-miles than residents probably (and I've been through the whole area numerous times), in the state of Illinois which also has more interstates connecting nothing to nothing than any other state imaginable. So what's wrong with taking a proportional sum to pay for the planes for these small mountain towns instead? You could pay EAS for the whole nation for what it costs to build only a couple miles of pointless interstates in the middle of nowhere... or city buses that are never ridden on in some cities by anything other than drug addicts going to get their next fix... etc.
 
commavia
Posts: 10071
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 2:30 am

RE: Scasd On The Chopping Block

Fri Dec 16, 2005 1:27 am

In these largest metro areas, Federal dollars pay for your subways, your commuter trains, and your buses. Well, the small cities don't have subways, trains, and some don't have buses. [...] So what's wrong with taking a proportional sum to pay for the planes for these small mountain towns instead?[/quote]

There is one key difference, though, that continues to dog your (and D L X's) logic. The subways, commuter trains and buses that are utilized in urban areas and partially subsidied by the federal government are actually necessary, meaning that these metro areas could not practically function without them, and -- most importantly -- people actually use them. Subsidizing flights to tiny cities that next to nobody actually flies to is not the same as subsidizing a train/subway/bus network that millions of people use each day.
 
Tornado82
Posts: 4662
Joined: Thu May 26, 2005 10:19 am

RE: Scasd On The Chopping Block

Fri Dec 16, 2005 1:43 am

Quoting Commavia (Reply 36):
people actually use them.

I can point to MANY heavily subsidized bus routes here that nobody rides, they just drive around burning fuel and further adding to traffic problems using DOT money that could be used to put in turning lanes and whatnot to alleviate said problems. I can point to the same thing in Pittsburgh, Columbus, and many other pretty large places. The routes in the core of the city are used, mainly by poor without cars, and in the suburbs the routes aren't used much at all because people who can afford a car anyways want the privacy of their own vehicle. Sure in NYC and DC people use the public transit further into the suburbs, but that's by necessity because of the lack of enough highway space.

Besides, it's not a necessity for those people either. Using your theories and others... those people CHOSE to live in their large metro area where they would be dependant on that bus/train/subway. Nobody told them to move to New York just like nobody told someone to move to Clarksburg, WV. The fact is that they're there. The overpopulation in NYC, DC, etc. could all move out and there would no longer be a need for my taxes to be blown on trains for them either. It's the same exact thing, just in reverse.
 
cloudy
Posts: 1613
Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2002 3:23 pm

RE: Scasd On The Chopping Block

Fri Dec 16, 2005 1:56 am

Quoting Tornado82 (Reply 35):
This is the logic we typically hear spewed from residents of the largest metro areas, not SPI. In these largest metro areas, Federal dollars pay for your subways, your commuter trains, and your buses. Well, the small cities don't have subways, trains, and some don't have buses

That is wrong also. They should be paid for by local tax dollars.

Quoting Tornado82 (Reply 35):
You live in SPI according to your profile, a city, combined with neighboring Decatur, Bloomington, and Lincoln which collectively have more highway lane-miles than residents probably (and I've been through the whole area numerous times), in the state of Illinois which also has more interstates connecting nothing to nothing than any other state imaginable.

Some of you east cost dudes do not truly realize how many of us live in "flyover" country. That is why some of you seem shocked when the politicians spend so much time here. the Chicago metro area by itself is third behind New York and LA. Add Milwaukee and Gary and you have a truly huge metro area. Saint Louis, just across the river in Missouri, has over 2 million people, I believe. Illinois is in the top 5 states by population. Illinois has 7 cities not anywhere near the Chicago or Saint Louis metro areas that have more than 100,000 people - sometimes significantly more. Sangamon county (home of SPI) has 210,000

Care to look on an actual map? Most of those interstates go to and from Chicago and Saint Louis. Those that don't carry Chicago and Saint Louis traffic go between out of state cities like Indianapolis, Memphis and Minneapolis. I55 and I72 near Springfield are very busy and need to be contually maintained(mostly with STATE funds). You may be thinking of the roads to Peoria and Rockford. Peoria is a substantial city (over 200,000) and it lies on the way from several major cities to Minneapolis, the Quad cities, Des Moines and many other major places. Ditto for Rockford. The only Interstate in Illinois that I can think of that would not be possible without outrageous subsidies is the spur of I-72 that leads from Springfield to Hannibal and Quincy. It is relatively cheap to build highways in Illionois since it is a relatively flat and borring place, except in the far south.

AT Macedonian Airlines (Greece)">IN SHORT, Illinois is not a subsidy pig. It recieves highways because there are a lot of people in Chicago, Saint Louis and the routes between a lot of out of state cities cross Illinois. Also, The downstate cities in Illinois are much bigger than the secondary cities in many other midwestern states. Look on a freakin map. You want to see expensive, unneeded highways? Take a look at West Virginia and Alaska. You want to get from Ohio(another unrecognized, huge state) or points east to Minneapolis, Saint Louis, or a dozen other huge places? Cross Illinois.

Evem

Quoting Tornado82 (Reply 35):
You could pay EAS for the whole nation for what it costs to build only a couple miles of pointless interstates in the middle of nowhere... or city buses that are never ridden on in some cities by anything other than drug addicts going to get their next fix... etc.

City busses benefit SOCIETY AT LARGE by providing an alternative to the auto, for the sake of the environment and for the sake of poor people. I think they are poorly managed and overfunded. I'd look for ways to get the same benefit from a more free market. But at least there is a theoretical case for busses. Air service subsidies benefit no one except a few people who would rather not move from their hometown. Even this is being generous. Usually, it is not old grandmas and family-oriented people who don't want to move who argue for air service subsidies. Those people tend to be self reliant and see isolation as a kind of benefit. It is well-off businessmen and local merchants who want more money to line their pockets who spend time lobbying for this kind of stuff. They buy the congressmen, and the congressman pressure the bearaucrats to deliver the goods. Such is life when dealing with other people's money.
 
Tornado82
Posts: 4662
Joined: Thu May 26, 2005 10:19 am

RE: Scasd On The Chopping Block

Fri Dec 16, 2005 3:31 am

Quoting Cloudy (Reply 38):
Chicago metro area by itself is third behind New York and LA. Add Milwaukee and Gary and you have a truly huge metro area

Really? I didn't know that living in Porter County/Valparaiso, Indiana for my college years... studying geography and demographics among other things. If you can't sense the sarcasm there, YES I already knew that. I'm always the one saying how (and heavily flamed for it) JetBlue is just a niche carrier that doesn't even serve the #3 metro area in the US, obviously I refer to Chicago. However by all accounts Milwaukee is its own metro area, and in some cases Lake/Porter Co. Indiana are split out to form their own Gary metro area as well. But of course what would I know, I only fly over that area.  Yeah sure

Quoting Cloudy (Reply 38):
sometimes significantly more. Sangamon county (home of SPI) has 210,000

Fayette, PA/Monongalia, WV sum together for over that, and there's the EAS I speak of. Or you can sum up the I-79 corridor of Monongalia, Marion, and Harrison and also get up into that 210k neighborhood. WV counties are so tiny that you need about 3 to make up in sq. mi. for one county in IL. 210k just isn't that many people, honestly. It would barely be at the median in PA to be honest. So are you going to give crap to these people who "choose to live in small towns" still? SPI, like I was alluding to before and you came right to me with support, is no bigger than many of these EAS stations.

Quoting Cloudy (Reply 38):
City busses benefit SOCIETY AT LARGE by providing an alternative to the auto, for the sake of the environment and for the sake of poor people

A huge empty bus driving around emitting exhaust while hauling only the driver harms the enivronment, and US oil consumption.

Quoting Cloudy (Reply 38):
But at least there is a theoretical case for busses. Air service subsidies benefit no one except a few people who would rather not move from their hometown.

Or the hundreds of people who have jobs in otherwise economically depressed areas because the hometown airport has EAS service. Once again, the EAS, in terms of tax-returns, are probably close to self sufficient. The government might be taking money from the left pocket to the right, but if the EAS is creating jobs... it's doing its job! SCASD in places like RFD, FAT, etc.... doubtful.
 
cloudy
Posts: 1613
Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2002 3:23 pm

RE: Scasd On The Chopping Block

Fri Dec 16, 2005 9:31 am

Quoting Tornado82 (Reply 39):
Or the hundreds of people who have jobs in otherwise economically depressed areas because the hometown airport has EAS service. Once again, the EAS, in terms of tax-returns, are probably close to self sufficient.

These jobs are not created, they are moved. They would have created tax dollars wherever they were.

Quoting Tornado82 (Reply 39):
A huge empty bus driving around emitting exhaust while hauling only the driver harms the environment, and US oil consumption.

that's why they need to reform the system. Do you throw away money on one thing just because you paid to much money for something else? At least there is an undeniable public benefit when busses are used. They are much more fuel efficient and affordable than cars when rightly used. There are many, independent cities the size of Springfield in Illinois. There are not nearly as many of them in other Midwestern states. Illinois has a much higher population OUTSIDE of its "primary" metro areas (Chicago and the eastern Saint Louis area) than most other states do. Even compared to most Eastern states, Illinois has a lot of sizable cities that are not in a "primary" metro area. That, as well as the low cost of building here and Illinois position as a crossroads of the Midwest, is why we have the highway system we have. The reason I point these things out is to defend our highway system, not to proclaim some sort of superiority. The Interstate system was designed to connect all cities with a metro area over 50,000. We have many such metro areas in illinois. Its that simple

Quoting Tornado82 (Reply 39):
210k just isn't that many people, honestly. It would barely be at the median in PA to be honest.

That is why we DON'T have EAS! We drive to Saint Louis, Chicago and sometimes Bloomington. The air service we do have in Springfield is self supporting.
The city fathers think of this as some sort of tragedy. They spend more time thinking about air service than about REAL problems like homelessness, the meth outbreak, etc.

I think if government is going to take money from some and give it to others, it should not be for the purpose of shortening someone's drive to the airport or moving jobs from one place to another. Having to move to get a job is a personal problem, not a societal one. I'd really like to have service to the DC area, because that is where my brother lives and I have other connections there. But it ain't going to happen. If I want that, I'll have to move to another city. That is not "coercion". IT IS LIFE.

[Edited 2005-12-16 01:37:07]

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