“Amtrak is a massive failure because it’s wedded to a failed paradigm. It runs trains that serve political purposes as opposed to being responsive to the marketplace. America needs passenger trains in selected areas, but it doesn’t need Amtrak’s antiquated route system, poor service and unreasonable operating deficits.” – Joseph Vranich, former Amtrak spokesman
As I ride the train and look out at the Virginia countryside, Blue ridge Mountains to my left, the Piedmont to my right, I am struck by the beauty of my home state. As the sun rises the sky quickly shifts from violet to pale blue. There is no mist this morning, just crisp clear early spring.
Overall I don’t have many complaints with Amtrak. For the most part it’s on time. The trains are usually pretty clean. The fares are reasonable. The stretch I ride is usually populated with regular Washington DC commuters and so I get the sense a bit of extra attention is paid. This morning however I got on a train which had started last night in New Orleans (from what I could gather) and which would arrive ultimately in New York in the afternoon.
The train was late by 15 minutes – not terrible – but just as I was about to hop on a stream of bleary eyed people poured out, most immediately lighting cigarettes as they exited. They got off. We got on. The people finished their smokes and the train started rolling again. By then we were ½ hour late.
I know I am being picky.* Frankly $33 to go from Charlottesville to Washington DC is a very good deal. I get to sit at a table in the cafe car while I write this. It certainly beats the heck out of driving 3 ½ hours into Washington. And that’s if I don’t hit traffic, which I always do.
So, as I fly along just south of Manassas I wonder why it is that no one can make any money doing this privately?
Looks like the South American socialism experiment isn’t working out so well. Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, the 3 biggies are all floundering economically, big time.
Perhaps Hernando DeSoto the Peruvian free market economist should hold a weekend retreat for the leaders of these countries and school them on how to create wealth and opportunity instead poverty and despair. Just an idea.
Many believe that the precipitous decline in the price of oil that the world just saw was Saudi Arabia’s reaction to Obama cozying up with Riyadh’s sworn (literally) enemy, Iran. Saudi Arabia essentially dropped an “oil bomb.” The blast from which the world appears to have absorbed for the most part.
Now the spigots are still on but the flow of oil isn’t increasing. As such the price of crude has more or less stabilized at between $45-$55/barrel. The bombing for the time being has stopped, or at least isn’t escalating.
The spirit of the free market is alive and well in many parts of the world, including in many places where free markets have long been denied. Brazil for instance.
Where there is capitalism, where there are free prices and free markets wealth is created. Where the state sucks like a leach off of the population enriching the political class and placating the poor, wealth is destroyed.
For those who believe in work, in innovation, in liberty, in human potential, indeed in justice, free enterprise is the way forward. It is not in socialism and crony capitalism. Those are the paths of economic death. The Soviets showed us this not so long ago.
Free prices and free minds. Let people be what they can be, and watch the economy blossom. Kim Kataguiri understands this and increasingly so do the people of his homeland.
Way to go Mr. Kataguiri. Take it to the streets. We are watching. The world is watching.
It was supposed to be all private money but alas even in death Teddy Kennedy has found a way to take from the American taxpayer. That the money is going to his own self aggrandizement would have pleased him. That the money came from “defense” would have pleased him even more.
Google is a highly politicized company. An ardent supporter of the current president, members of Google’s senior staff even helped Obama get elected in 2012. This would be bad enough if Google was in the business of oil, or cars, or even jet fighters. But Google is in the business of INFORMATION.
The truth is some (many) people just want someone to make decisions for them. I am unsure if it is a genetic disposition or whether it is socialization or whether it is both. All I know is some people do not want to control their own lives. They are more comfortable with someone at the helm. They are comforted by a horizon which is limited and defined by others.
Strangely these same people also want to limit the lives of those who prefer to be free.
Yeah, Senator Graham somehow inserted himself into this story.
This has been one weird day in the Senate and this is the 3rd post we’ve done today on Rand Paul and his military funding proposal.
Though we have said that we were not pleased with Rand Paul’s amendment, at least it called for cuts (if future cuts) to other spending. Rubio just wanted to spend money on defense whatever the cost to taxpayers and future generations. Cruz sided with Rubio. But in the end neither Rand’s or Rubio’s proposals got past the Senate floor.
Nick Gillespie is a great writer and advocate for liberty. Here he analyzes Rand Paul’s proposal in the Senate which will increase military spending by billions. Something which has disappointed many small government conservatives and libertarians.
I remember sitting in my car in college listening to Howard Stern on the radio before class sometime in 2000. Howard and his crew were talking about the stock market which was roaring. The Tech Bubble was in full effect. The sky was the limit. If you weren’t in the market you were losing out. It was a similar vibe to the Housing Bubble which would emerge only a few years later.
Stern took a call from a listener.
The caller, who sounded like he might have been on the tail end of a serious bender explained in candid terms that he was affiliated with some unsavory characters and that he and his unsavory friends were manipulating the market up. He said there was little under the prices of many of the stocks which were rising at breakneck speed.
In a few months we would see how right that caller was.