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High Speed Rail to Dallas?


EJC

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From Arkansas Business Journal: http://www.arkansasbusiness.com/article.as...28865&cID=5

The Arkansas State Highway & Transportation Department is seeking $500,000 in federal stimulus money to study a high-speed rail route from Little Rock to Texarkana. It's part of a plan that ultimately would halve that five-hour drive from Little Rock to Dallas.

The track is part of a regional route that has been dubbed the South Central High-Speed Passenger Rail Corridor in President Barack Obama's High-Speed Rail Strategic Plan. Obama outlined his plans for a high-speed rail system in April. He compared his initiative to President Dwight D. Eisenhower's push for a nationwide interstate highway system in the 1950s, which transformed the United States.

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Wasn't there talk of doing a study on a high speed rail between Little Rock and Memphis earlier this year? Although I realize that's not on the overall high speed rail plan. Maybe it was just regular passenger rail I heard something about.

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You don't want to impose more unemployment/fewer consumers to stimulate the economy, which would inevitably happen. And it's not like you can expect those workers to seamlessly transition to building light rail--especially considering the baggage (political hurdles, feasibility, etc.) associated with it.

Priorities.

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The stimulus has had literally nothing to do with the stabilizing of the economy. Just like most fiscal policy, it is too slow, too scattered, and too poorly implemented to help before the economy corrects itself. Hell, with the extra debt that is going to be saddled on, the CBO actually projected the stimulus would be a NET DRAG on the economy over the next ten years.

If your priority is to increase the debt we've accumulated as a nation over the last 230+ years by ~7% in order to stave off a temporary recession, well then I'd suggest you re-think your priorities.

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Really? Because the as of the first of August, only $70 billion of the stimulus money had been spent. In a $12+ trillion economy, that's like throwing a pebble into the Gulf of Mexico.

If you wanted to make an intelligent argument on the effect the stimulus has had so far, it would be based on psychological effects - certainly not that it has somehow "spent" us out of this recession.

"Economists of all stripes agreed it was necessary, and Krugman published an article just a few weeks ago talking about how much worse the situation would have been without a stimulus."

There are plenty of economists out there that disagree with Keynesian economics. You may choose not to read them, but that doesn't mean they aren't out there.

And citing Krugman - who is just left of Castro - is simply laughable.

"It was not a "temporary recession"--if you think that it was just a run of the mill recession, you're out of the loop. "

Recessions, by definition, are temporary. And they are also a very necessary part of the business cycle.

"It was far more serious than anything since the Great Depression."

You're confusing the financial crisis with the recession. While sure, the financial crisis was the worst we've seen since the Great Depression, the recession has been anything but. Hell, the recession of the early 1980's coupled the same type of unemployment levels we are seeing now with insanely high inflation and a fed funds rate north of 20%.

"Furthermore, government purchases are a tried and true measure for stimulating the economy--due to the multiplier effect, the stimulus increases consumption spending severalfold over the initial investment."

One of the most widely debated measures in economics, ah, the infamous multiplier. I won't debate what many career economists could debate for years...I'd just again point you to the CBO study that showed this stimulus package would be a net drag on our economy over the next ten years. Google the "crowding out" effect.

"Austerity measures are actually incredibly dumb to implement, and just further retract an economy. "

Again, you've chosen to believe what Keynes had to say hook, line, and sinker.

Just so you know...he's not the only economist that has ever walked this planet.

"Consult any macro book."

Trust me, I've consulted many.

Look, kid, you are smart. But you don't know it all and you sure aren't that enlightened on this subject. I'd suggest you take your own advice, and go get that macro book you sold back last semester and re-read it.

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Are you kidding? Loads of people would have been laid off had the stimulus not been enacted. This would have created a chain reaction of misery. Economists of all stripes agreed it was necessary, and Krugman published an article just a few weeks ago talking about how much worse the situation would have been without a stimulus. It was not a "temporary recession"--if you think that it was just a run of the mill recession, you're out of the loop. It was far more serious than anything since the Great Depression.

Furthermore, government purchases are a tried and true measure for stimulating the economy--due to the multiplier effect, the stimulus increases consumption spending severalfold over the initial investment. Austerity measures are actually incredibly dumb to implement, and just further retract an economy. Consult any macro book.

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Sooo... about high speed rail. I wonder what the time comparison would be for this line to flying. I thought I'd read the corridors chosen met certain criteria that would make them competitive. Would it stil have stops at Malvern, Arkadelphia, and Texarkana?

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Sooo... about high speed rail. I wonder what the time comparison would be for this line to flying. I thought I'd read the corridors chosen met certain criteria that would make them competitive. Would it stil have stops at Malvern, Arkadelphia, and Texarkana?
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The below descriptions were cribbed straight out of the High Speed Rail Strategic Plan

I'd think that the corridor from LR to Txk would probably fall under the Emerging HSR corridor going forward. Outside of LR there are tons and tons of at-grade crossings and I can only assume it would shared with Union Pacific.

HSR

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There are many common sense connections---i.e. LR and Memphis.

I'm still relatively skeptical of a LR-Dallas connection within any time in the next 2 decades. There are too many higher-density options.

That said, infrastructure is usually a good investment. It's pretty odd that LR doesn't have any 6 lane streets, to me at least.

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I'm curious which city people in central Arkansas are more likely to visit, Memphis or Dallas. Although I guess it's hard to compare, Memphis is quite a bit closer. I could see Dallas being a higher draw. It is bigger and has a lot more to do overall. But as I said earlier, it's also further away. If that HSR network ever does come about hooking up to Dallas gives you a lot more options as well.

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I'm curious which city people in central Arkansas are more likely to visit, Memphis or Dallas. Although I guess it's hard to compare, Memphis is quite a bit closer. I could see Dallas being a higher draw. It is bigger and has a lot more to do overall. But as I said earlier, it's also further away. If that HSR network ever does come about hooking up to Dallas gives you a lot more options as well.
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