Monday, August 06, 2007

Across America

Notes from across the United States:

Southwest Minnesota is covered with windmills. Ten years ago, there weren't any. Several other states have "wind farms" scattered about. It is important to remember that most, if not all, of these windmills would not exist without government subsidies.

Most Western states have a maximum speed of 75 mph on freeways and speeds up to that on rural roads. Republicans in Congress eliminated the 55 mph speed limit in the mid-90's.

Some overhead freeway signs in Los Angeles are surrounded by coils of barbed wire. Is this to fend off graffiti?

Roughly half the television and radio stations in Los Angeles are in foreign languages. Spanish is the most common, but far from the only such language.

Most houses in the Los Angeles area are surrounded by high walls. There are many 'gated communities' complete with walls, gates, and sometimes guards. This is in the suburbs, not the city itself.

Highway exits in Texas for roads that head to Mexican have 'no guns' signs similar to the ones around the entrances to WMU.

The Border Patrol stops cars heading out of El Paso to check for illegal immigrants.

Carlsbad Caverns is pretty awesome.


Anonymous said...

Did you notice all of the corn being grown in the heartland? That's from government subsidies too. How do most Bible belt states vote by the way? What about that bridge collapse that just happened? Seems to me that government taxes do sometimes go towards those things the free market cannot provide. Now there's some news from around the US. said...


Um... what?


Matthew said...

Corn may be grown more because it is subsidized by government; not because consumers necessarily demand it, or, at least, demand it at its current levels of production. Why is that a good thing? (Hint: it is not.)

Furthermore, the free market can and already does provide bridges (funded through tolls). Funny you should use an example of government failure (the bridge DID collapse, after all) as an example of a government high point.

Anonymous said...

Ahh how sad it is that you rush to the defense of Allan and his garbage. For you see Matthew, infrastructure funding has been denied time and time again all over the country; broadband access, road improvement, the electrical grid, etc. etc. Let's take MN as an example. Their GOP Governor twice vetoed a bill that would have provided more funding for just this sort of thing. So you are wrong, it is when the system isn't allowed to work by ideologues who are quick to point out market interference in areas oddly enough most beneficial to individuals but rather show in areas where large corporations benefit (health care, agriculture, aerospace, etc.). Brush up on your Adam Smith and the three areas where he deemed government appropriate. I had thought you much better than Allan, honestly.

Anonymous said...

Allan I am sorry for all the times we have disagreed. You are right. I am wrong. From here on out I am always voting republican.

Matthew said...

I am actually very familiar with the topic. While Adam Smith did argue for the government funding of public works, his rationale was that private industry would not provide it; not because government can do it more efficiently or effectively. Furthermore, Smith was strongly in favor of the users of public works paying in proportion to their use.

This is at odds with our current system. We have private entrepreneurs willing to provide these works. Additionally, we have a system of funding that doesn't properly match the users of the good with the funders of the good.

Instead, we rely on bureaucrats in government to fund or not fund these works based on political and budgetary reasons. Works paid by use ensure funding approximately proportional to their ware. Privatized works are maintained due to the profit motive; it is, after all, difficult to collect tolls on a collapsed bridge (I hear the lawsuits are nasty, too).

The point isn't that in these cases "the system wasn't allowed to work," but rather that this is the perfect example of the government bureaucracy at work. It doesn't provide funding to where its really needed (as stated above, its far too busy paying off the agriculture lobby and others). Government fails regularly to provide the needs which we are forced by government decree to rely on them for.

Anonymous said...

Nice try Nick. Clearly you have no thoughts of your own on this matter and lap up Allan's droppings because they comfort you at night. Why don't you take a page from Matt and the other sensible ones on this blog? Notice how Allan has had nothing to say here. He is a fraud! said...

Suppose you're right... I couldn't make heads or tails out of your post and that was clearly a reflection of my own intellect.

I guess as a WMUGOP blog newb I've got a bit to learn about how this all works...

Are you using catch phrases? Is it like Jim Rome and the Jungle?