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Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 11:13pmSanction this postReply
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This is a great argument. It takes the Public Choice economic theory (politicians are motivated by there own interests, too!) and demonstrates a truly absurd and damaging result of allowing people that are ruled by the next election to make these kinds of decisions. Whenever I am in a traffic jam, I think of how absolutely unnecessary it is that I am stuck there, and how impossible it would be for traffic jams to exist if roads were private. As I sit there, I will now have another thread to follow in my mind, as well.



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Friday, August 20, 2004 - 6:56amSanction this postReply
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This isn't a news item.



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Friday, August 20, 2004 - 9:51amSanction this postReply
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Mr. Stolyarov, I consider it underhanded to post links to your own websites as "News Discussions", particularly given your recent run-ins with the owners of this site.

BUT, you did get me to read your article, and I cannot "unread" it, so had better give you my honest feedback!

I don't think that the central tenets of this article are on very solid ground. The Romans did not build better roads than those of today- they built extremely good roads, but not ones that could handle todays highway traffic. And although your claim that todays' roads are inferior due to public ownership is attractive from a libertarian perspective, you've carried it too far. I am not convinced that most bureaucrats deliberately and corruptly seek to build bad roads in order to maximise the work they can contract out. This claim is just not borne out by the facts. Here in Spain many roads are privately owned and run (albeit in an imperfect form via government 25 year concessions and the like), and I do not believe there is evidence that shows that these roads are significantly better in quality or require significantly less maintenance.

Articles like this that make excessive, ridiculous claims about the advantage of private enterprise stand the risk of being laughed down and ultimately damaging, not helping the libertarian cause.



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Friday, August 20, 2004 - 2:51pmSanction this postReply
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"I am not convinced that most bureaucrats deliberately and corruptly seek to build bad roads in order to maximise the work they can contract out."

Most bureaucrats may not, but this is Chicago we are talking about here! I am still wondering why we went to asphalt roads, when concrete was cheaper and concrete roads laid DECADES ago are in better condition that asphalt roads of 2 years ago. Mr. Stolyarov is correct--there is continuous road construction in Chicago, and the same stuff gets done over, and over, and over. Corruption in Chicago and in Illinois as a whole is pretty terrible.

I would have found the article more interesting if it were a practical discussion of exactly ~how~ universal-access, standardized roads would be built and financed via free markets. Let's not forget that the Federal Govt. conceived the Interstate Project, not as a competitor to private roads, but because there were literally no modern roads linking many places whose economies could have used them. Of course, Mr. Stolyarov is free to decide the scope of his articles without my interference!

Mr. Stolyarov, I had no idea you were a Chicagoan. I work in the Loop (though I now reside in Oak Park). If you would like to meet, I would offer you a cold beverage of your choice, and I would drink beer, most likely.



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Friday, August 20, 2004 - 8:48pmSanction this postReply
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Greetings.

Mr. Hibbert: This isn't a news item.

Mr. Stolyarov: But this is an "interesting link," which I posted under the category, "News & Interesting Links."

To Mr. Bertelsen: I am not exaggerating the advantages of private enterprise in terms of road quality.

As a matter of fact, I recently received an interesting tidbit of information from one, Mr. Darryl Forester, which I post here with his permission.

"Quite some time ago, I watched a piece on TV about research done at a state prison, in Albany, NY, I believe, which fund that addition of fly-ash from the burning of coal, when used in proper combination with cement, yielded a product that was nearly indestructible for road surfaces, if the road-bed was of proper construction."

Our technology today is indeed superior to that of the Romans, so why do Roman roads last millennia, and ours do not? Technology must not be the issue here; we have the technology to build roads that deteriorate negligibly.

To Mr. DeSalvo: What you recommend as an extension of the scope of this article might be interesting to explore. I had, however, conceived the article as one that might fit typical SOLO guidelines of length. Since this will no longer be a problem for me, I shall be at liberty to write as extensively on the subject in the future as I see fit.

As for your meeting suggestion, it certainly is an interesting idea. My current workload is very large, however. Perhaps we could arrange for a meeting sometime around the Christmas season, when I anticipate having fewer engagements. (I live at a fair distance from Oak Park, in Northbrook, so the trip I would have to make would be a substantial one.)

I am
G. Stolyarov II
Editor-in-Chief, The Rational Argumentator
Proprietor, The Rational Argumentator Online Store
Author, Eden against the Colossus
Chief Administrator, Chicago Methuselah Foundation Fund
Atlas Count 917Atlas Count 917Atlas Count 917Atlas Count 917  





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Friday, August 20, 2004 - 9:44pmSanction this postReply
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This was indeed "underhand" of Mr Stolyarov. He has now been placed under moderation.

Linz



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Saturday, August 21, 2004 - 9:03amSanction this postReply
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I've heard somewhere (not sure if it's true) that concrete takes around 30 days to set. While this may be fine for new roads, it would be completely unacceptable for rebuilding existing, heavily-trafficked roads. Here in Toronto, I face the same problem with roads either being under construction, or under snow and ice, depending on the season - so I am definitely in favour of better road-building techniques.



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Saturday, August 21, 2004 - 6:43pmSanction this postReply
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"I've heard somewhere (not sure if it's true) that concrete takes around 30 days to set."

FYI, normal concrete takes twelve hours or so to set, although rapid-hardening concrete can set much quicker (with a commensurate increase in the heat generated).

It takes twenty-eight days however for concrete to approach its maximum strength.

Cheers,

Peter Cresswell
ORGANON ARCHITECTURE
~Integrating Architecture With Your Site~
P O Box 108054, Symonds St, Auckland, New Zealand
(649) 631 0034
organon@ihug.co.nz




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Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 6:15pmSanction this postReply
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A number of years ago I read an article somewhere discussing what an unequivocal and colossal failure asphalt roads are, expect for the companies providing road resurfacing services. There was also extensive mention of new ideas for road surfaces--one involved use of old rubber mixed with something (I read this years ago) that would allow great expansion/retraction characteristics that would well suit Canadian and US/Chicago climate. I understand that there was testing planned somewhere out west. Never heard a thing about it after. Ring a bell with anyone?

Even if concrete takes as much as 24 hours to set, I can attest to the fact that Chicago and Illinois roads and expressways remain torn up, closed off, etc, for months, with no discernible work being done on them. A more diligent and reasonable schedule would be a good idea.



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