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Government Sticking Too Much of Its Nose Into Transportation .. Again!

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Posted by Backshop on Friday, July 9, 2021 7:48 AM

PNWRMNM

The idiot sock puppet needs something to distract people from son Hunter's $500,000 paintings.

There is much more to fear from big government than from the railroads and steamship lines.

Mac

 

Nobody cares about his son other than the "what abouters".  He's not a government official, unlike some who have been accused or charged for working for other governments.

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, July 9, 2021 7:59 AM

Backshop
He's not a government official, unlike some who have been accused or charged for working for other governments.

But he is the child of a government official, definitely more than accused or charged of working for another government, perhaps with some influence more than 'implied' to get what he wanted.  Every excuse in a storm!

Of course I expect this all to start "coming to light" about a year from now, in time for the first Harris administration to start safely after Jan 24 2023... but not long after that date.

Now back to railroading of the actual sort!

I see nothing 'awful' here -- the issues of equity and fairness for all shippers being a major 'incentive' for past regulation, and reciprocal-switching rights even if artificially controlled being far less intrusive than the arrogant misregulation of the bloated post-1920 ICC.  I don't think the sky is falling and an evil 'leftist-socialist cabal' sees this as the camel's nose to the happy world of soak-the-railroads that was played in not-so-recent but still-vivid memory.

That said: something the Biden and Harris administrations are going to need, badly, in a couple of years will be strong corporations and enough rich of the 'wrong' sort to soak for all the programs they'd like to run, and PSR railroads and their 'principals' are an increasingly attractive target... and to be honest I'm coming not to see that as a bad thing.

The likely problem as I see it is the same as in the Eastman years: the people making the stranded-fair-shipping-rate policies are more likely to be lawyers than logistics people.  And to think that Procrustean solutions (like Tier 4 final as applied to locomotive engines) are the expedient way to achieve what they want.

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Friday, July 9, 2021 8:41 AM

Why is it that the right wingers/Trumpers on here think their highly political and often offensive posts are just fine but they go running to the moderator as soon as someone progressive responds? 

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, July 9, 2021 8:50 AM

charlie hebdo
Why is it that the right wingers/Trumpers on here think their highly political and often offensive posts are just fine but they go running to the moderator as soon as someone progressive responds? 

Whether we like it or not, this is an explicitly political topic, and it may be an indication of priorities to be applied to the freight railroad industry.  I do not think President Biden is nearly as pro-freight-railroading as he is pro-passenger, and (as I think I said) I am not averse to his using public policy to deal with some... more rather than less... of the distortions caused by abuse of the idea of "PSR".  That is the focus that I think we should concentrate on, or at least take up seriously, in this sort of thread going forward.

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Posted by SD60MAC9500 on Friday, July 9, 2021 9:07 AM
 

PNWRMNM

The idiot sock puppet needs something to distract people from son Hunter's $500,000 paintings.

 

Mac

 

 

 

 

charlie hebdo

Why is it that the right wingers/Trumpers on here think their highly political and often offensive posts are just fine but they go running to the moderator as soon as someone progressive responds? 

 

 

Let's have some civil discourse in this conversation..These two comments above me are why threads get locked... I'm asking you all to refrain from personal political attacks and name calling. How you feel about the political arena is obviously your choice, and we are not going to agree with certain actions by the government. We're discussing why the govt. need not get involved in rates as it does not have OPEX (operation expenses) to make the judgement on how rates should be set in the free market.. Please stay on the subject..

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rahhhhhhhhh!!!!
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Posted by charlie hebdo on Friday, July 9, 2021 9:20 AM

SD60MAC9500
 

 

 
PNWRMNM

The idiot sock puppet needs something to distract people from son Hunter's $500,000 paintings.

 

Mac

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
charlie hebdo

Why is it that the right wingers/Trumpers on here think their highly political and often offensive posts are just fine but they go running to the moderator as soon as someone progressive responds? 

 

 

 

 

Let's have some civil discourse in this conversation..This above me is why threads get locked... I'd like people to refrain from personal political attacks and name calling. How you feel about the political arena is obviously your choice, and we are not going to agree with certain actions by the government. We're discussing why the govt. need not get involved in rates as it does not have OPEX (operation expenses) to make the judgement on how rates should be set in the free market.. Stay on the subject..

 
 
 
 
 
 

Exactly my point,  illustrated in spades by the rightist above with his pejorative. 

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, July 9, 2021 9:29 AM

I see we cross-posted.  Amended accordingly.  As you have quoted the original for reference, I have no hesitation in removing the 'personal' from the post in question.

I look forward to further reading your opinions on the actual topic of civil railroad-related discourse.

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Friday, July 9, 2021 9:29 AM

Overmod

 

 
charlie hebdo
Why is it that the right wingers/Trumpers on here think their highly political and often offensive posts are just fine but they go running to the moderator as soon as someone progressive responds? 

 

As long as the progressives stick to facts they'll have little to fear from me, at least.  Certainly no one intellectually honest can accuse me of being a 'Trumper' for a New York millisecond, and I haven't been able to stomach most of the right wing for decades (most prominently after they flubbed the post-1994 Congressional possibilities, but in sme respects well before that, and from about 2014 on, increasingly so).

 

On the other hand, I know propaganda when I see it, from any side, and I am very familiar with the usual ridicule-the-straw-man's-politics tactic.  It is beneath someone of your intellectual standing and accomplishments to perpetrate it.

Whether we like it or not, this is an explicitly political topic, and it may be an indication of priorities to be applied to the freight railroad industry.  I do not think President Biden is nearly as pro-freight-railroading as he is pro-passenger, and (as I think I said) I am not averse to his using public policy to deal with some... more rather than less... of the distortions caused by abuse of the idea of "PSR".  That is the focus that I think we should concentrate on, or at least take up seriously, in this sort of thread going forward.

 

You are attacking me for my post?  Straw man?   Apparently you have no clue what you are talking about. Several posters on the right (I was not specifically referring to you, but you think "the song is about you,  don't you?") made blatantly political remarks. I commented that typically it seems they think that is just fine but if a progressive has the temerity to challenge these "revealed truths" an adequate hominem attack follows.  That is exactly what you have done.  

Regulation issues should not be political as it is really about economics.  Capitalism and mixed economies seem to work better,  more efficiently with competition and the avoidance of centralized control, whether from DC or Wall Street and s few board rooms.  Lacking that, regulation can at least partially substitute. 

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Posted by SD60MAC9500 on Friday, July 9, 2021 9:31 AM
 

charlie hebdo

 

 
SD60MAC9500
 

 

 
PNWRMNM

The idiot sock puppet needs something to distract people from son Hunter's $500,000 paintings.

 

Mac

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
charlie hebdo

Why is it that the right wingers/Trumpers on here think their highly political and often offensive posts are just fine but they go running to the moderator as soon as someone progressive responds? 

 

 

 

 

Let's have some civil discourse in this conversation..This above me is why threads get locked... I'd like people to refrain from personal political attacks and name calling. How you feel about the political arena is obviously your choice, and we are not going to agree with certain actions by the government. We're discussing why the govt. need not get involved in rates as it does not have OPEX (operation expenses) to make the judgement on how rates should be set in the free market.. Stay on the subject..

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

Exactly my point,  illustrated in spades by the rightist above with his pejorative. 

 

Charlie you're inlcuded in my last comment. I was speaking specifically to your and Mac's comment.. Stop it!

 
 
Rahhhhhhhhh!!!!
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Posted by charlie hebdo on Friday, July 9, 2021 9:41 AM

You make my point.  Double standard. I said nothing offensive but you lump me in the same pocket as MAC who used political insults. Very different.

I realize that progressives are a minority on here,  partly because of the double standard and many have chosen to depart and let the rightists prevail in at least this one pipsqueak arena as a majority. 

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, July 9, 2021 9:47 AM

charlie hebdo
Regulation issues should not be political as it is really about economics.

The issue, though, being in part, as Weber didn't discuss but Keynes did, the imposition of correct 'regulation' of pure capitalist and 'market-based' activity.   Where I think the discussion might point is that there is regulation that is Pareto-optimal, establishing more of a 'level playing field' for the competent, vs. regulation that is an exercise of punitive or restrictive power.  In this sense, reducing the 'natural monopolist's' tendency to charge what the traffic will bear "because they can" is not an interference with the idea that a 'market price' is based on fair marginal profit over factor costs.  (As someone noted in a different context, all the putative advantages of PSR ought to be bringing rates down, and increasing the potential market for additional business, in an undistorted free-market economy...)

Capitalism and mixed economies seem to work better,  more efficiently with competition and the avoidance of centralized control, whether from DC or Wall Street and s few board rooms.

But again, only when run without 'gaming the system', or exploiting transient advantage merely for short-term perceived gain, or for playing dog-in-the-manger to reduce structural competition or enhance effective barriers to entry.

Lacking that, regulation can at least partially substitute.

It certainly can... in many cases, should... and arguably in a great many contexts must.

But I would argue that it be objective, non-ideological, and to the greatest extent possible Pareto-optimal.

(And that it address 'getting things done' for the industry as a functioning part of the economy, not assuring the greatest nominal fiduciary-responsibility return to the 'shareholders' of stakeholders who "matter".

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Posted by Euclid on Friday, July 9, 2021 10:23 AM

 

Is there a need for an executive order to increase competition and combat aggressive pricing by co-called “monopoly railroads”?  What can a shipper accomplish by challenging inflated rates?  What is an inflated rate?  What is a monopoly railroad?

 

https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/562032-biden-to-issue-executive-order-on-consolidation-in-railroads-ocean

 

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, July 9, 2021 10:45 AM

What Hunter S. Thompson said about 'that sickening here-we-go feeling'... Smile

Euclid
Is there a need for an executive order to increase competition and combat aggressive pricing by co-called “monopoly railroads”?

He thinks there is.  Are you going to argue it with him?

It's an initial shot; I think it's the lowest-hanging fruit to be 'proactive' about if he intends to change some of the ways the freight-railroad industry does things.  (I expect it will not be the last, but that's not material to the present discussion...)

What can a shipper accomplish by challenging inflated rates?

They might, you know, have to pay less for what they get?  They might feel they've helped strike a blow to get excessive charges or perceived 'gouging' addressed?

What is an inflated rate?

There is a rate that constitutes fair profit.  That is the thing that fair competition helps a market economy converge on: the costs of providing the service plus a fair profit above all overhead cost and allowance for risk.

"Inflated" is a charge above that, solely due to uncompetitive factors.  Biden and many others consider single-access customers to often suffer this.

One of the concerns does represent the stranded cost of what may be expensive 'premise access' or the opportunity costs associating with allowing another railroad to execute reciprocal switching.  Just as with other considerations of infrastructure, those things may be in some cases objectively very large.  But that to me is something that can be objectively discussed as part of determination of a fair policy, or even included in an executive order as a factor.

What is a monopoly railroad?
In this context: a railroad that controls the only access to a particular shipper.  Note that 'monopoly' here doesn't refer to all shipping options, just to the ability to get railcars in and out if the premise.  In the context of Biden's order, it's pretty clear what was meant.

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Posted by Juniata Man on Friday, July 9, 2021 10:46 AM

I doubt the executive order does much beyond send a strong message to the STB and FMC. These two agencies are, after all, the ones actually responsible for keeping an eye on railroads and maritime interests.

CW

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Posted by Convicted One on Friday, July 9, 2021 10:50 AM

Euclid
Is there a need for an executive order to increase competition and combat aggressive pricing by co-called “monopoly railroads”?

Personally, I don't believe there is any question that the government err'ed   in allowing some of the anti-competitive mergers of the past. So, it's not unreasonable to expect their "participation" in moderating against abuse by some of the monsters that rose under their watch.

Not completely dissimilar to way the electric utilities that dominate their territories have been forced to enjoy their monoplolies "under supervision". 

When that high barrier to entry begins to work against the general good of the republic, guidance is often necessary (IMO) to keep the overly enthusiastic in check. 

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Posted by Convicted One on Friday, July 9, 2021 10:53 AM

Juniata Man
I doubt the executive order does much beyond send a strong message to the STB and FMC

I found the link provided by the O.P.  to be especially illuminating in that regard. 

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Posted by Backshop on Friday, July 9, 2021 11:04 AM

Overmod
 

Of course I expect this all to start "coming to light" about a year from now, in time for the first Harris administration to start safely after Jan 24 2023... but not long after that date.

The presidential term of office is only two years now?  How interesting...

I also find it laughable when someone says "let's get back to railroading" while they use that same post to make one more political comment.

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, July 9, 2021 11:06 AM

Convicted One
I found the link provided by the O.P.  to be especially illuminating in that regard. 

See what Wilner says... and then what Smathers had to say!

Where I'd start looking as of the official issuance of this executive order is the likely influence, going forward, on the KCS-CN approval...

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Posted by Convicted One on Friday, July 9, 2021 11:43 AM

I'm not a big proponent of government. But at the same time, I believe that very little happens for no reason. 

The railroads have no qualms about using a big stick, when one is available to them.  Who else is there to respond in like-kind  fashion?

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Posted by Convicted One on Friday, July 9, 2021 11:46 AM

Overmod
See what Wilner say

 

Bingo! That was my point.

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Posted by Convicted One on Friday, July 9, 2021 11:50 AM

Regarding that "big stick":...I'm forced to remember the "blocked crossings" debates, where several here enthusiastically pointed out that the RR's are subordinate only to federal jurisdiction, not state.

"Can you hear me now?"  Whistling

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, July 9, 2021 12:33 PM

Backshop
The presidential term of office is only two years now?  How interesting...

More interesting than you think.

A Vice-President taking office less than two years from the end of a term does not have that 'count' toward the two-term restriction.  So a presumptive Harris administration could run 10 years rather than be limited to eight.

What will be amusing is the timing to ease President Biden out just by that point -- not before, and probably not too much after.

Personally, I find it laughable that someone who to date has contributed nothing remotely railroad-related to this discussion thinks they have the standing to criticize... but that doesn't matter either.

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Posted by Backshop on Friday, July 9, 2021 12:54 PM

Overmod

 

 
Backshop
The presidential term of office is only two years now?  How interesting...

 

More interesting than you think.

 

A Vice-President taking office less than two years from the end of a term does not have that 'count' toward the two-term restriction.  So a presumptive Harris administration could run 10 years rather than he limited to eight.

What will be amusing is the timing to ease President Biden out just by that point -- not before, and probably not too much after.

Personally, I find it laughable that someone who to date has contributed nothing remotely railroad-related to this discussion thinks they have the standing to criticize... but that doesn't matter either.

 

I see that you're a disciple of QAnon.  How quaint!

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, July 9, 2021 1:11 PM

Backshop
I see that you're a disciple of QAnon. 

If you see that, you need better corrective lenses.

Frankly, I like Harris and wouldn't mind seeing her have more than two statutory terms.  I'm just upset at the presumptive machination -- hopefully it will not develop according to "plan".

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Posted by Ulrich on Friday, July 9, 2021 1:19 PM

Convicted One

I'm not a big proponent of government. But at the same time, I believe that very little happens for no reason. 

The railroads have no qualms about using a big stick, when one is available to them.  Who else is there to respond in like-kind  fashion?

 

Same can be said for government.. I would prefer a freer "invisible hand" that is guided by supply and demand market forces over the "father knows best" mechanism that is the hallmark of every command economy. We're not so far off... CN and KCS are patiently awaiting the decision of the STB on whether their merger proposal will go ahead or not. Its up to five people to decide that.. they can give the thumbs up or the thumbs down. That's alot of power vested in five people.. 

 

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Posted by rdamon on Friday, July 9, 2021 1:31 PM

First a $10B defense contract to Microsoft cancelled and now this.  Hmmm to the benefit of AZNU?

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Posted by Convicted One on Friday, July 9, 2021 1:49 PM

Ulrich
. I would prefer a freer "invisible hand" that is guided by supply and demand market forces over the "father knows best" mechanism

Would you consider the way CSX butchered the former B&O  Illinois Sub,.. or "hemmed in" the western end of the former PRR.... to be "supply and demand" driven? I wouldn't. Seems like they were more intent upon making sure the line would never  pose any potential to compete with them, ever.

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Posted by Ulrich on Friday, July 9, 2021 1:57 PM

Convicted One

 

 
Ulrich
. I would prefer a freer "invisible hand" that is guided by supply and demand market forces over the "father knows best" mechanism

 

Would you consider the way CSX butchered the former B&O  Illinois Sub,.. or "hemmed in" the western end of the former PRR.... to be "supply and demand" driven? I wouldn't. Seems like they were more intent upon making sure the line would never  pose any potential to compete with them, ever.

 

 

Absolutely. but I never said it works perfectly. People are at the heart of all decisions, whether they're command economy driven or driven by market forces. I'm free to make good and bad decisions, and I'm free to reap the rewards and penalties of both. Free market does not mean all decisions are good all of the time.. 

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Posted by Backshop on Friday, July 9, 2021 2:12 PM

Overmod
Backshop
I see that you're a disciple of QAnon. 

 

If you see that, you need better corrective lenses.

 

Frankly, I like Harris and wouldn't mind seeing her have more than two statutory terms.  I'm just upset at the presumptive machination -- hopefully it will not develop according to "plan".

 

OOOH!  "The Plan".  This is getting more comical all the time.

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Posted by BaltACD on Friday, July 9, 2021 2:12 PM

Ulrich
 
Convicted One 
Ulrich
. I would prefer a freer "invisible hand" that is guided by supply and demand market forces over the "father knows best" mechanism 

Would you consider the way CSX butchered the former B&O  Illinois Sub,.. or "hemmed in" the western end of the former PRR.... to be "supply and demand" driven? I wouldn't. Seems like they were more intent upon making sure the line would never  pose any potential to compete with them, ever. 

Absolutely. but I never said it works perfectly. People are at the heart of all decisions, whether they're command economy driven or driven by market forces. I'm free to make good and bad decisions, and I'm free to reap the rewards and penalties of both. Free market does not mean all decisions are good all of the time.. 

Considering the economic power of the players in today's 'free market' most of the 'decisions' that are getting made are intended to monopolize and single source whatever is the product or service and therefore put the users at the mercy of the providers.

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