January 10, 2009

Build, baby, build!

The idea of Obama having a blank check to spend billions for two years on "infrastructure" has liberals fantasizing over all the SWPL projects they'd like to build, such as solar powered magnetic levitation trains. The problem, of course, is that liberals have spent the last 40 years making building anything in the the coastal regions of America an extremely slow process, so it's implausible for them to argue that their favorite projects could have non-negligible "stimulus" effect.

So, that's leading liberals to demand that we cut the red tape holding back construction. It's time to deregulate. Bulldoze, baby, bulldoze!

You see, all those environmental regulations are supposed to stymie bad people. But, we liberals are good people, so the laws shouldn't apply to us.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

30 comments:

J said...

Experience shows that once regulations and procedures are in place, it is almost impossible to bypass them or temporarily to suspend them. When a bureaucrat is charge of implementing some petty regulation, he/she will never give up his responsability and source of power. Only in new, yet unregulated areas it is possible to spend money fast. Like space research, deep ocean exploration, war in foreign countries and the like.

Anonymous said...

Steve, some links would be appreciated. It would be nice to see what you're talking about.

Realistically, the red tape has the libs tied in a whole tangle of gordian knots. All those regulations need various unionized panjandrums on the government dole to administer them. Cut the regulations, you cut the rationale for the livelihood of a significant part of the Democratic party's electoral base. There's that, and "regulation" is behind only to "stimulation" and "infrastructure" among the contemporary mantras of these folks. And all this money being bandied about in all these big plans needs someone to keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't all go into the pockets of the various Blagojeviches, Dodds, Rangels, Dixons and Kilpatricks that the Dems seem to keep putting in place to administer it. And then there's federalism: California has spent 6 years so far butting heads with the EPA over whether it can regulate CO2. Even with California as very near to ground-zero of the economic bust, I very much doubt that the big libs in the Bay Area and LA are going to see their little ecotopia knuckle under to a weaker scheme. Not like properties are being rented to Section 8 tenants on their blocks.

In the background of all this, there are limits both in time and political capital for all of these little schemes. With an economy that probably won't be getting better any time soon, it's likely to be a short honeymoon for Obama, who will have to generate results fast before windows start closing.

JudgeStone said...

1.) ??
2.) Dennis Dale
3.) Profit!

It's interesting that Larry Auster and South Park came up on the same thread a few days back, since Auster would have you banned fromhis Misfit Gnome Island for watching South Park. Auster's latest has been to demonize Paul Gottfried, a man with whom he seems to agree on everything, because--get this--Gottfried associates with people with whom Auster disagrees. Not enough for Austewitz to denounce those who criticize Israel, he takes it to a whole new Meta Level.

Tell me Auster, how many degrees of separation are enough?

This link here provides the South-Parkification of the Auster phenomenon. The boy in the yellow, disheveled hair, Tweek, is a pretty good characterization.

http://www.southparkstudios.com/clips/153484/?searchterm=tweek

guest007 said...

I am amazed how quickly the left is willing to throw the National Environmental Protection Act under the bus when it is inconvenient for the goals of the left. Maybe the left will remember that environmental laws such as the Clean Air Act, Clean War Act, etc are not suppose to consider economic costs.

I also suspect that the Obama Administration is depending upon environmental groups to not be the roadblocks they usually infrastructure projects.

Also, as the numbers get into the billions of dollars, the contracting process slows down. I wonder after criticizing the Bush Administration about its contracting procedures in Iraq, if the Obama Administration will try to circumvent the Federal Acquisition Regulations.

Chief Seattle said...

One of the two freeways going through Seattle was damaged in the Nisqually quake of 2001. Since then legislators have been arguing about whether to replace it with another elevated structure (ugly), or with a tunnel (expensive), or with the SWPL option, a "surface street" (slow). It keeps coming down to money, because although the mayjor and his developer buddies are having wet dreams at the idea of a mile of prime waterfront opened up for condo development, the tunnel will cost a billion dollars more even in the optimistic estimates. The arguing has been going on for 8 years now, with $2.8 billion actually allocated from the state legislature, which is enough for the elevated option, but not for the tunnel. So it may possible that if the state got $1B in Obama stimulus dollars then the problem would fix itself, and digging would start next week. Of course God forbid they dig up a few old bones - then all construction would grind to a halt while the "Indian Burial Ground" is studied and the appropriate pay-off to the local "Indian Chiefs" is determined.

Anonymous said...

This will be an interesting wedge issue for the green wing of the Dems to confront, much like the environmental impact of unrestricted population growth through illegal immigration was for the Sierra Club(ultimately they went with the Party, and refused to address the issue). For the "non-profit" advocacy orgs.(the various P.I.R.G.s,Nature Conservancy,etc.) they will have to decide if the funding from "true believer" private donors is more important than the money they squeeze out of the government, in other words, how can I avoid having my rice bowl broken? I think they will go with the Party, because private grants will be sparse in this frigid economic climate.

Anonymous said...

Judge Stone,

Address Lawrence via email. This is Steve's blog, not Auster's.

South Park? Austewitz?

You have no class.

What was the subject of this thread again? Lately, they keep getting hijacked.

Anonymous said...

Chief Seattle brings up a really interesting point: here in New York, the State Dep. of Environmental Conservation has just adopted a policy that it must "consult" Indian tribes before approving any permit for an activity (building, etc.) which might impact any resources of that tribe, even if the "resources" are located off Indian land, essentially giving veto power (or at least the power to delay, which can amount to a veto where the developer's financing is tight)to Indian tribes. My first thought on reading of this was that the tribes must have amassed considerable (unpublicized) political power, probably through judicious use of the revenues from thier gambling casinos.

Steve Sailer said...

In Southern California, the casino tribes with just 100 or 200 members are so rich that not only do they flood the airwaves with political commercials during campaigns, but they run TV advertising throughout the Christmas season wishing everybody a Happy Holidays from the San Miguel tribe, with video of all the tribe members smiling and waving at the camera. It's an incredibly expensive version of sending out a Xeroxed Christmas card letter about what your family has been up to.

So, yes, I bet Northeastern casino tribes have more than a little political clout.

Anonymous said...

I written about this before in reference to Robert Moses, who essentially built the entire post-war NYC Metropolitan infrastructure from 1948-1968. I just can't see anything like that happening today. Too many regulations, community groups, revenuers, world improvers, etc. I can think of at least a dozen projects here in the NYC Metro area that would increase capacity immensely (double-decking highways, HOT lanes, widening roadways, etc.) But you see, SWPL don't like that! Don't you know that the Cross Bronx Expressway destroyed the Bronx beyond repair?? If Cross Bronx Expressway was never built, why the South Bronx would be a thriving financial and technology hub! Don't ever question the SWPL....

Anonymous said...

Again re the Indians, a Long Island tribe (I believe it is the Shinnecocks, who are a real tribe) is going to get assistance from the State and County in obtaining a site for their casino off the reservation(!)
That is because their tribal land is located deep in Southampton, on the Island's South Fork, where summer auto traffic is approaching gridlock. The wealthy summer residents (people like Speilberg and Martha Stewart) do not want the casino traffic to impact them...so, the obvious solution is to find a place with no political pull to site the casino.

headache said...

It’s kinda funny how liberalism pans out in reality. We're having a harsh winter here in Germany. The new busses cannot cope with the cold since designers assumed Global Warming and dimensioned the heaters smaller. So everybody hates taking the bus. Some of the older busses are great because they had properly dimensioned heaters, so everybody is swooning over these old busses. When you're cold you could give a s about fancy paint-jobs, alternate fuel, environmentally friendly combustion etc.

I’m waiting to hear the latest spin on why we’re having colder winters when there’s Global Warming.

headache said...

This liberal manner of sidestepping red tape when it suits them is reminiscent of the Soviets who had much to say about other political systems but never had much mercy with their own underlings. Sometimes it seems its an IQ thing, in that the chattering class is a little too intelligent to just take orders and get the work done, yet too dumb to actually run anything properly or create things that are of use. Maybe the modern liberal is just such a type of animal.

headache said...

Chief Seattle,
Tunnelling has always been touted as the solution to inner city problems, so by definitionn its SWPL. I work for a large German contractor considered one of the premier international tunnellers. We're doing OK but not being flooded with work. I suspect we'll pick up a little with all these infrastructure programs in Germany and the US but how this is going to fit into a 2 year timeframe beats me. Large projects routinely run over the timelines, especially in the planning phase. Planners, especially the governmental kind, can make a year go away like hot cross buns. That's why infrastructure projects typically fetch several times their original estimate. I guess there's higher math to construction after all.

Lucius Vorenus said...

JudgeStone: This link here provides the South-Parkification of the Auster phenomenon. The boy in the yellow, disheveled hair, Tweek, is a pretty good characterization.

Southpark jumped the shark [once and for all] when Wendy was allowed to beat Cartman.

The show is so politically correct now that it's simply unwatchable.

PS: If there's some sort of an underlying maxim at work here - a fundamental law of the the TV-verse - something along the lines of "Hollywood corrupts and destroys everything it touches" - then you've got to figure that it will soon afflict NCIS, as well.

Bellisario had better marry off Tony & Ziva now, before Tony discovers his inner interior decorator, and Ziva discovers her inner performance artist.

Thank goodness Brad Wright had the sense to put an end to the Stargates [SG-1 and Atlantis] before they could be hopelessly corrupted.

Sparky said...

All of this is meaningless Washington DC posturing. A major financial reset of this society is over the next hill. Wake up.

Read Steve's pal Denninger. We have passed the Debt/GDP event horizon and there won't be ANY available monies for spending projects in coming years.

Wake up already. Treasury market dislocation means bankruptcy for your federal, state and local governments.

America is full of clueless Pompeii dwelling morons. The volcano has been rumbling for years...but they still don't get the message.

"the falcon cannot hear the falconer"

Anonymous said...

The inertia in the system, as others have pointed out, means that nothing is going to happen quickly.

That is, job preservation and new jobs are not going to happen quickly.

Job destruction, on the other hand, is already happening and is going to accelerate this quarter.

Hold on tight to your ride.

Anonymous said...

So, we are all going to be construction workers now? As a newly unemployed Wall Street computer programmer, I suppose I'll have to take it, but it's not going to look good on my resume.

Anonymous said...

Headache said:


It’s kinda funny how liberalism pans out in reality. We're having a harsh winter here in Germany. The new busses cannot cope with the cold since designers assumed Global Warming and dimensioned the heaters smaller. So everybody hates taking the bus.


Chalk this up as another cost associated with excessive masturbation among the ruling classes.

There will be that much less money for rescuing the economy when people start complaining that their services stink.

Oh, what services. There's no money left for them, either.

anony-mouse said...

Offhand I wouldn't imagine there would be any roadblocks (pun intended) to repairing things like highways instead of building new ones.

But who gets to cut a ribbon at a repairing project?

Anonymous said...

Steve is a (personal?) friend of Denninger?

ben tillman said...

I am amazed how quickly the left is willing to throw the National Environmental Protection Act under the bus when it is inconvenient for the goals of the left.

For the Left, it's all about who and whom - it's particularism, not principle.

Lugash said...

I am Lugash.

On a similar vein, since we're in such an economic downturn will we see some of the more odious affirmative action measures repealed?

Doubt it.

I am Lugash

Anonymous said...

Steve mentioned that he and Denninger worked for the same employer at some point in the distant past, I believe.

Outland said...

I don't get leftists. It's all heart and conviction, no brain or ratio.

Let's hope the post-oil age come soon. It would kill the domestic green movement and their anti-consumerist instincts, the Islamic revival, Russia's renewed geopolitical ambitions and even save some of the environment/climate.

Hell, it could even prevent the West from a Darwinian struggle for energy resources with the Chinese sometime later this century.

I don't know if it would be a black swan, but it would surely be a game-changing event.

headache said...

"As a newly unemployed Wall Street computer programmer, I suppose I'll have to take it,.."

If you're good, and I always read how everybody on wallstreet is/was, reset your skills for CNC and SPS and get to program real life machines. That's the wave of the next 10 years as what's left of the money gets invested into construction, infrastructure, automation, defence etc.

Anonymous said...

"I’m waiting to hear the latest spin on why we’re having colder winters when there’s Global Warming."

You must have not gotten the memo. Please replace "Global Warming" with "Climate Change" for all future discussions. Thanks!

Jeremiah said...

Steve,

Check out this news clip, it demonstrates the point you are making exactly - regulations for thee=good, but regulating me? Me?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VvKFFvw2Nds

Mr. Anon said...

"Jeremiah said...

Check out this news clip, it demonstrates the point you are making exactly - regulations for thee=good, but regulating me? Me?"

Thanks for the clip. That was funny. I laughed. I laughed at THEM.

guest007 said...

Steve,

Another law that the progressive elites believe is only for others is the Americans with disability act.

The Obama Inaugural is totally out of compliance with ADA but the media does not care.

Unless you are a health adult who can walk for miles and stand on your feet all day, you have no ability to attend the Obama Inaugural.