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Railroads

Posted by lrbeggs 9 years, 9 months ago to Economics
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People forget how much production resources and end products are still transported on railroads. Owned by a VERY FEW.


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    Posted by straightlinelogic 9 years, 9 months ago
    Perhaps the saddest part of all this is that Burlington Northern Santa Fe started out as James Hill's Great Northern Railway. The Great Northern was the only transcontinental railroad built without subsidies or land grants, the antithesis of Buffet's crony capitalism. Hill's construction of that railroad is one of the lost chapters of American capitalism, a truly epic and heroic story. I paid tribute to Hill in The Golden Pinnacle. I hope in some future novel I have the opportunity to skewer Buffet.
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    • Posted by coaldigger 9 years, 9 months ago
      I was aware of The Great Northern but had not heard of James Hill. While reading The Golden Pinnacle, it soon dawned on me that this was not a fictional character but a real person so I had to take a side trip to Google land to add to the story. Reading fiction makes me feel guilty but historical fiction where I learn something at the same time reduces the uneasiness.
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      • Posted by $ jlc 9 years, 9 months ago
        Don't feel that way, CD. The purposes of fiction and non-fiction are different. Non-fiction attempts to relay 'what happened' and often make a rational story of 'why it happened that way' (thus crossing over into fiction). The purpose of non-fiction is 'least we forget'. Fiction is best rooted in reality (thus crossing over into non-fiction) but its purpose is to distill a microcosm in which a small set of principles can be illustrated. Its purpose is to make the complexity of reality more comprehensible.

        So - enjoy your fictional reading. It is as important as non-fiction.

        Jan
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      • Posted by straightlinelogic 9 years, 9 months ago
        Thanks. No less an authority than Ayn Rand thought fiction was more important than nonfiction, because the latter shows what is, while the former deals with what ought to be. She said that was the distinguishing feature of Romantic fiction. I regard myself as a Romantic writer, so don't feel guilty about reading my book, or any other bona fide Romantic writer's. The problem is that there are so few of us, but I can recommend DK Halling's book Pendulum of Justice. The Halling's are denizens of the Gulch. There are other Gulch writers, too. I just haven't had a chance to read their works, yet, but I think that's a good place to search for novels of value.
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        • Posted by johnpe1 9 years, 9 months ago
          Robert, I have become an expert editor with a friend
          who is a nuclear engineer, whose "Tucker Cherokee"
          series is just beginning -- Tucker's Discovery is the
          first book, and Deadly Cold will be the second. I am
          doing the final edit of Deadly Cold right now. these
          are also very interesting romantic-fiction novels,
          written by a Rand devotee. the Tucker books are
          available on Amazon as paperback and kindle.

          everyone loves heroes!!! -- j

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        • Posted by coaldigger 9 years, 9 months ago
          That's not it. I spent 12 years in the public education system in Southern WV and only learned to be hostile to the system that was trying to brain wash me. The next four years was spent learning a trade, Electrical Engineering. My next experience with academia was when my employer insisted I get a MBA at their expense. So at about 25 years old I knew a lot about math and spread sheets but nothing about anything. With business and family and a lot of travel, I had a finite time to read. I love pleasure and reading about things I like but I am so totally ignorant about history, culture, philosophy and human evolution, I do not feel that I can waste time reading about imaginary happenings. That does not mean that I do not dream of things that may be.
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      • Posted by khalling 9 years, 9 months ago
        Big publishers for decades have tried to shape America's stories. We are to root for the "anti-hero" whatever that means. Follow some emotionally scarred, ethically amoral individual who we hope will redeem themselves by the book's end. It is hard to tell the difference between the heroes and the villains. Writers who understand and yearn for romanticism in their heroes tell stories that remind us why we are living and achieving. Stories are every bit as important as music or Art. It is important that the stories we want to relish are told. I, and some others, are attempting to do just that.
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    • Posted by $ rockymountainpirate 9 years, 9 months ago
      The last bit of his great railroad, the Empire Builder is being killed by Buffet hauling all the oil and making the Empire Builder so late people have quit riding it. I posted an article about it a week or so ago. While killing the train, it's also killing the businesses that were supported by the rail traffic.
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  • Posted by richrobinson 9 years, 9 months ago
    The sad part is that the reason given for not building the pipeline is "environmental concerns".
    I think shipping oil by rail is much riskier so it really highlights the hypocrisy of the left.
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  • Posted by $ allosaur 9 years, 9 months ago
    I found that bit about Buffet very enlightening for an additional reason why the Keystone Pipeline is being blocked. I've been learning a lot since I started to hang out in the Gulch.
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    • Posted by khalling 9 years, 9 months ago
      there is a gulcher who is an oil man. He tipped us off some months back that Buffet was the real reason the pipeline was not going through. Buffet can't afford a Liberty president
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  • Posted by DrZarkov99 9 years, 9 months ago
    Actually, the largest amount of commercial goods transported from the U.S. interior is by barge, with rail second, and trucking third. Barge transport is safer, cheaper, more energy efficient and environmentally cleaner than any other method.
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  • Posted by johnpe1 9 years, 9 months ago
    good analysis of an obvious situation;;; as though
    BHO was somehow a different kind of politician,
    other than skin color. the use of skin color as a
    shield for hyper-aggressive progressive fascism
    is new, and next we have Hillary. same stuff. -- j

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  • Posted by wiggys 9 years, 9 months ago
    this is not new news. buffet is in cahoots with many who have vast sums of money here in the usa who work against the usa. I casn only imagine how successful we in the usa would be if people like buffet understood how much better they would be if they worked what I say is honestly in the free market system vs the system they work in now. as all goes to s___ they will ultimately lose all. buffet will probably not be alive when that happens unfortunately.
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  • Posted by sfdi1947 9 years, 9 months ago
    I sense a resentment here, but remember, billionaires, regardless of their crony affiliations are all billionaires, and Daddy Warbucks never really existed, excepting the illusory inking of 'Lil Orphan Annie'. Their self aggrandizement is a matter of record, and none of them has much in the way of redeeming value. Richard Branson and Charlie Koch are probably the best of a bad lot; I don't consider Gates because what good he's supposedly done has been done overseas, and I believe that Charity is best kept to home.
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  • Posted by sfdi1947 9 years, 9 months ago
    @Irbeggs, I wouldn't call 4.3 million stockholders a few, and it's closer to a billion if one considers the mutual funds and pension funds that hold stock as well. Yes, Buffet controls the corporation, which is much more than the railroad itself, but his 23 percent share is not total control and any number of large stake holders could by combination, take his control away.
    The carriage of oil-sand crude from Canada and the Dakotas could be moved much more cheaply to the south, but not to the east or west, unless pipelines which are not proposed are proposed and built. How can we blame the railroad for taking advantage of the Democrat's intransience on Keystone? Buffet wasn't a controlling stake holder until after 2010, when all these environmental resistance began in 2008-9, and FYI, Union Pacific, Canadian National NA also serve Western Canada.
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  • Posted by servant74 9 years, 9 months ago
    Pipeline then Water then rail then truck are the most efficient methods of transporting goods ($ per pound mile).

    They also go from the least to most flexible due to infrastructure required, and cost of implementation. There is a place for all of them (also air transport) depending on the value equation for the product and time requirements.

    I find it sad that we have let the rail assets decay over the years enough that bulk/large goods don't seem to be able to share the rails with passenger transport easily. ... Once the economic conditions change (if ever), that too will be fixed. The politics will change to follow the economics in the long run.
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