rabbitearsDaniel Drezner thought his experience in Ukraine was outdated because it’s been twenty years. Turns out, he’s wrong.

Separatists in Ukraine have taken to waving the Confederate Flag (sort of). They’ve also tried to re-start a WWII tank.

Silicon Valley has more employees from Texas than India.

If McDonald’s in Alaska can afford to pay their workers more than they are paid in Texas, why can’t they pay that much in Texas? Adam Ozimek response. A Walmart in North Dakota is paying $17/hr. Ahhh, the bargaining power of labor shortages.

646,000 new manufacturing jobs added from 2/10 to 5/14!

Republicans talk about wanting to reduce government, but British Conservatives are working hard it.

The hard life of liberal gun lovers.

According to Pew (Warning: as reported by Townhall), the notion that the political dynamics of the US have primarily been a case of the right moving rightward and the left standing still (or dragging to the right) is inaccurate.

Japan has awesome high speed trains. Here’s why.

Rail in the US is very expensive.

Category: Newsroom

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11 Responses to Linkluster Houston

  1. The Ukraine link needs to be fixed…

  2. Silicon Valley has more employees from Texas than India.

    To be honest, isn’t the entire idea of employing outsourced labour for more mature firms that require cheap intellectual labour to do simple or routine work versus a startup or former startup looking for more “creative” talent?

    why can’t they pay that much in Texas?

    As you noted, it’s all labour supply issues, and there are plenty of people willing to work for minimum wage in Texas, and there’s little incentive for companies, both large and small to pay more.

    Japan has awesome high speed trains. Here’s why.

    Japan is a bit of an interesting case, but the article neglects to note that the debt generated by Japanese National Railways before its privatization was absorbed by the Japanese state which also includes the R&D and capital costs of building a sizable chunk of the core Japanese high speed railway network. Japan has a well run high speed railway network, but it’s not the magical example of private development that some would make it out to be.

    Rail in the US is very expensive.

    Hell, even building highways in the US is rather crazy. Just compare the Tappan Zee Bridge replacement to the Oresund Link…

    Mind you, I’ve read that article, and this topic has been a point of contention for a lot of transit advocates who would like to see cheaper transit costs from automation, single person operation, proof of payment schemes, and lower capital costs. If we had lower costs, certain cities could get away with tunnels in lieu of street running segments and other cribs designed to reduce costs.

    • trumwill says:

      Re: Silicon Valley

      I don’t understand what you’re saying.

      Re: Texas

      I found the two sides to be talking past one another on that one. Bruenig is trying to show why they could pay that much in Texas, while Ozimek is looking at why they don’t (and/or shouldn’t have to). I suspect, though, that Alaska pays as much as it does in part because it’s not worth their while nationally to roll out a more automated system, but that Texas is large enough that a labor shortage or minimum wage hike there would cause the national chains to re-evaluate their options.

      I always appreciate your perspective on rail. Josh Barro made the comment that modern conservatism is so terrible that it makes liberals do stupid things. For instance, pushing liberals to support cost-inflated project because conservatives are so much more interested in killing the projects than trying to set parameters that would lower their costs. It was an interesting point.

    • I don’t understand what you’re saying.

      I was arguing that a IT consultancy firm like IBM is far more dependent on foreign labour sources than say, Google or a small start up.

      conservatives are so much more interested in killing the projects

      One of the things that I’ve found interesting is that you’ll see conservative think tanks put out policy documents about how rail transit is a waste, and we thus buses can do a suitable job, yet you rarely see much in the way of conservative support for better bus service. In effect, the problem isn’t the spending on rail transit per se, but simply the actual spending on transit and the diversion of road space to transit vehicles that seems to be main source of contempt.

      • trumwill says:

        Yeah. That’s an area where conservatives are often disingenuous, or come across that way. They will point out how B is better than A, but don’t even come close to supporting B. PPACA is actually an example of that.

  3. Peter says:

    It is no surprise that the three New York rail projects lead the list, as rail (and public works in general) projects in New York are basically scams designed to enrich the already grotesquely overpaid construction unions, not to mention bribe-taking politicians. The only way to carry off a major project at a reasonable budget and on a non-ludicrous time schedule is to have it run and managed by the federal government, with all local politicians completely excluded from the process, and use nonunion labor brought in from outside the city.

    • trumwill says:

      This seems to be a problem with transportation projects in general (both mass and car). It may well be one of those areas where the feds would be an improvement. Or maybe not, since the feds have been known to make their own sweetheart deals.

  4. kirk says:

    Regarding rail, there’s a private company planning passenger service from Orlando to Miami. I think it looks interesting.


      • Allegedly, it’s really designed to pump up some real estate investments, but that’s supposedly how JR East and West make side money in Japan.

        FWIW, I’m not against the project, but I would want to see more details. If it’s going to be a 79 mph railway with little in terms of upgrades, I wouldn’t expect much, but if they end up buying some 125 mph rolling stock, then it may actually pan out decently, but it still wouldn’t be as good as say, a new build line with a 200 mph speed.

        OTOH, if they can manage to deliver Miami-Orlando in four hours, it would definitely beat Amtrak’s current schedules at 6 hrs…

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