This is not an opinion I formed lightly. It has come from my experiences traveling internationally and witnessing first hand how the United States is clearly behind in rail travel. I am also always reluctant to postulate that our federal government is better or smarter at providing a service than privateers (see: Parcel Delivery). But there are some areas where government standards can improve efficiency and safety (see: FAA & Air Travel – minus the boondoggles that are TSA & DHS).

By having the track rights under federal control, it relieves freight carriers of their property. I say relieve because at the moment they pay property tax on their right-of-ways. Instead it would be better served to have them pay a usage tax, or something similar, rather than retaining ownership. The reason being is the rail network vastly needs up an upgrade.

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The year was 1988, I was 11 years old. The Minnesota Twins were fresh off a World Series win. After taking my Sears Lobo II to it’s limits (whatever that means to an 11 y/o), it was time for an upgrade. I had purchased a copy of Radio Control Car Action magazine from the local hobby shop – Jolly’s Toys and Hobby in Apache Plaza. Inside, I found this article with all of its 80s flair: Raider1 Continue reading

Let’s take a moment and look at two political philosophies and how they can even be applied to something as simple and mundane as a road (re)design. It may seem like somewhat of a reach, but stay with me for a story of regulation vs. self-regulation.

In Finance

Alan Greenspan himself did not foresee the housing crash coming. His mantra had always been that the market should (and will) self-regulate. He may have, at one point during the crisis, re-considered his libertarian ideals, as the situation left him “in a state of shocked disbelief.”

I saw Alan Greenspan on Charlie Rose (relevant conversation at 51:16) where he discussed the 2008 mortgage crisis. I suspect that in the aftermath he did some research going backwards to see what could have been done to prevent it. He mentioned a change at the NYSE in 1970 that allowed broker-dealers to become incorporated. Prior to this, broker-dealers were required to be partnerships where all partners had “skin in the game.”

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