Morning Links

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011
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62 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  derfel cadarn | 

    One is inclined to inquire just exactly what the intended purpose of the trashcan is then,if not a receptacle for trash ? One must assume that a news paper is not “public” enough to qualify and is therefore private trash.

  2. #2 |  BoogaFrito | 

    She should have first tossed the paper onto the ground, at which point it would have actually become litter and not household garbage…

  3. #3 |  BoogaFrito | 

    I might be more disgusted by the talk-show actor story if it didn’t come off as such a left-wing screed, railing against profits, deregulation, Walmart, and free markets. And that’s just the first two sentences.

    I’m not sure how actors would be used in this context; I’ll listen to Rush Limbaugh occasionally if I’m driving when it’s on, and I’ve always thought the calls were the worst part of the program. The callers almost invariably come off as non-thinking, inarticulate parrots.

    What would make this story more interesting would be the discovery that actors were hired to portray one of the few liberals who call with an opposing view…

  4. #4 |  Standard Mischief | 

    >Elderly NYC woman gets a $100 ticket for putting a newspaper in a public trash can.

    cue the Green Police theme

  5. #5 |  Dave Krueger | 

    More evidence that lack of a sense of humor appears to be a requirement to become a public school administrator.

    Maybe schools should put up one of those signs like they have at the security screening centers in airports: “Please No Jokes”.

    Of course, since we live in an era where the behavior of children is attributed to almost anything except the children themselves, it stands to reason that adults who deal with children are going to constantly be asking themselves whether they can be held accountable for the behavior of any kid whose engine goes off the tracks. Warning signs, people. Warning signs.

    If that kid shoots up a bunch of his classmates and the media finds out the school ignored the obvious “cry for help” contained in the message on that T-shirt, the school will be held liable. Hell, I’m surprised they didn’t lock him up for a 72-hour observation.

  6. #6 |  Mattocracy | 

    $100 fine for being repectable person. Damed if it litter, damned if you don’t.

  7. #7 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Granny Stroy: 10 days to pay or the fine jumps from $100 to $300!

    Once again NYC proves it doesn’t have a budget problem by having freaking trash can cops.

  8. #8 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Justice Stephen Breyer dissented, saying the courts have consistently allowed broad use of the exemption for 30 years. “I would let sleeping dogs lie,” Breyer said.

    I’m not even sure Breyer went on to elaborate in his dissent.

  9. #9 |  Highway | 

    Once again NYC proves it doesn’t have a budget problem by having freaking trash can cops.

    But Boyd, they’re Profit Centers! And it’s dead easy: Just stand near a trash can and watch for someone throwing something in.

    And Dave: since when have any folks who support and staff public schools had the sort of reflection that lets them look past their pure and good intentions to see what the actual results of any of their actions have been? They can barely figure out the intended results, and have shown a complete imperviousness to the idea that there are unintended results.

  10. #10 |  Mike Leatherwood | 

    Simpson said he doesn’t think that “innocent” roadside photography would be prosecuted even if the bill is passed as introduced.

    “Farmers are a common-sense people,” he said. “A tourist who stops and takes a picture of cows — I would not imagine any farmer in the state of Florida that cares about that at all.”

    Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha. Methinks the sky color in Mr. Simpson’s world is pink with purple spots.

  11. #11 |  goober1223 | 

    That HOV lane story was pretty fascinating, though brief. These people spend tons of money helping a small amount of people (25% of the highway for 3% of cars), then grab their crotches and wave their junk at the populace in a show of political force. To paraphrase: “We’re going to fuck your shit up so that you never want to drive your car alone again.” Thanks politics! And thank you, government.

  12. #12 |  Alan | 

    The New York thing got some discussion a few months ago when it happened. Basically it’s the city trying to keep people from bringing their household trash out & putting it in city receptacles instead of paying for trash pickup. If she hadn’t been right outside her own building she wouldn’t have had an issue, but walking out and tossing something is pretty much exactly what they’re trying to prevent.

    One thing that I’m surprised was missed on the Premier thing – in addition to Beck, Hannity & Limbaugh, the same network syndicates Randi Rhodes along with multiple non-political shows. I have no idea whether people are actually being paid to call any of those shows (and if so if they’re being paid elsewhere to troll them instead of making them more interesting), but in the interest of fairness this should be included as well.

  13. #13 |  DarkEFang | 

    This is why so many newspaper articles are so infuriating. The old lady says she only threw a newspaper away. The garbage cop says she threw a bagful of trash in the can. Then the old lady says there “may have been an empty canola oil bottle” in the bag.

    What bag? Bottle of canola oil? I thought she only threw away a newspaper. What exactly is the old lady’s story?

    This article is either poorly researched or intentionally misleading. Sure, we all like to make fun of ridiculous ideas like garbage police, but what is the actual story here? Did she throw a newspaper in the trashcan or did she throw away a bagful of trash that included a newspaper? There actually is a legitimate reason why public trash cans are for litter only, so it does makes a difference.

  14. #14 |  DarkEFang | 

    #10 Mike Leatherwood –

    Simpson should probably ask some tourists who’ve been detained for taking pictures of airports and public buildings about people having common sense.

  15. #15 |  Marty | 

    I love the outrage of the elderly woman ticketed for throwing her newspaper in the trash. The old people I know all have a healthy distrust and outrage of government.

  16. #16 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    FORT MYERS, Fla., March 5 (UPI) — A Florida high school student was questioned by authorities for wearing a T-shirt they found threatening.
    The unidentified boy at East Lee County High School in Lehigh Acres wore a T-shirt Wednesday reading, “A friend will help you move, but a real friend will help you move a body,” a Lee County sheriff’s report stated.
    —————————–

    I think we learned from the Bong Tokes for Jesus case, any independent thought or signs of a sense of humor–anything other than unwavering obedience to authority– will get you into a world of trouble in high
    school these days. Not just “suspension” or “detention” anymore,
    in the modern USSA there’s a direct connection between the Principal’s Office and the Sheriff’s Office.

  17. #17 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    DarkEFang, you need to talk to more old ladies. They never stick to their stories and are easy to trip up. I had one Granny admit nabbing the Lindy Baby AND personally choking Jimmy Hoffa with her own hands.

    Grannies: NEVER make a statement to an agent of the state. Maternal Order of Grannies will make your statements for you in court.

  18. #18 |  Marty | 

    the school administrator is exhibit 4,980,633 on why we should have vouchers. I can’t imagine this is the first kid these twits have run over and I bet the kid’s parents would gladly switch schools, if it wasn’t an unreasonable burden. Bureaucrats thrive on being THE only solution- and monopolistic school systems are the only solution to parents who can’t homeschool or afford private.

    hopefully, these kids douse the administrator’s car with marijuana (you KNOW assholes like this are calling in dogs and searching lockers), so the dogs go crazy when they walk through the parking lot. Oh wait, the dogs signal when told…

    this is a little discouraging to me that teenagers are just rolling over and taking this shit.

  19. #19 |  CTD | 

    The update to the radio story includes a claim from the company that these services are only offered to “entertainment” radio, not news/talk, FWIW. The story actually doesn’t present any evidence that Hannity, Limbaugh, etc. have ever done used said service.

  20. #20 |  MDGuy | 

    @ Mike Leatherwood

    I noticed that part of the article too. Simpson needs to realize that while farmers might be “common-sense” people, prosecutors are not; they are “rack up convictions to further my career” people.

  21. #21 |  DarkEFang | 

    #18 Marty –

    I don’t know that vouchers would help in this particular instance. Parents drive these kinds of zero tolerance policies in the first place. Parents get furious when they hear about a principal using their own judgment to decide an appropriate punishment, especially if that kid misbehaves again at some point. It isn’t until their own kids are in trouble that parents want school officials to show leniency.

  22. #22 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    http://www.prisonplanet.com/tsa-lies-to-justify-illegal-train-station-grope-down.html

    Above, TSA groping 9-year-olds as they get OFF the train.
    These guys are worse than Catholic priests.

    “They sent us all into a roped-off holding area and said ‘Y’all are going to be searched,’” Gamble says. “We were getting off the train. This didn’t make sense.”

  23. #23 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Schools: How it could be…

    I dropped my daughter off at school (a private school) and helped her take about 100 boxes of GS cookies in to fill orders. I saw the principal and asked if this was OK. He said “Of course! I love the cookie program.” I then patted his belly and said something like “Duh.”

    At local public school cookie distribution is not allowed. They have a rule. They said it “can get out of hand”. Hey, how about accepting that challenge and having the kids figure out a way to deliver cookies without getting out of hand? Seems like a learning opportunity.*

    Public School: Everything is a learning opportunity and let’s use our heads instead of turning them off and relying on a rule.
    Private School: zero tolerance for deviating from rules…you exist only by the grace of the school administrator. Here, take a standard test.

    Now that I think of it, I shouldn’t have patted his belly.

    *Paragraph may be biased interpretation.

  24. #24 |  Bad Medicine | 

    “Student grilled over suspicious T-shirt”

    I wouldn’t have thought a T-shirt would burn long enough to grill an entire student. Maybe use his text books next time…

  25. #25 |  M | 

    I had no idea that’s how HOV lanes started. Makes more sense to me now to see so many “HOV”-2 instead of HOV-3 lanes these days. They’re a blessing to parents.

  26. #26 |  CRNewsom | 

    @#23 Boyd

    I think you have the Public and Private switched towards the end of your post. If it is correct, I am confused…

  27. #27 |  Stephen | 

    #4 “green police”

    I liked the anteater at about 0:41. After all the drug dog stories, it seemed on target.

  28. #28 |  SJE | 

    Amtrak head furious at TSA for doing searches: I wonder if this is because it happened in Washington DC, and would mean that politicians and their staff were searched.

  29. #29 |  Mattocracy | 

    We are beginning a process of deliberately making it harder for drivers to use freeways. . . . We are prepared to endure considerable public outcry in order to pry John Q. Public out of his car.”

    One of the more milder examples of why government is fucking evil.

  30. #30 |  Aresen | 

    Simpson said he doesn’t think that “innocent” roadside photography would be prosecuted even if the bill is passed as introduced.

    “Farmers are a common-sense people,” he said. “A tourist who stops and takes a picture of cows — I would not imagine any farmer in the state of Florida that cares about that at all.”

    The issue is not whether farmers have common sense. It is whether police, courts or politicians do. (Or even common decency, if a cop is determined to assert his ‘authority’.)

    And that being said, just WTF does Rep Simpson think terrorists would do with a picture of a farm? If terrorists did want a picture of a farm, they could probably get their info from Google Earth in any case.

  31. #31 |  Aresen | 

    @ Bad Medicine | March 8th, 2011 at 11:52 am

    They used Michael Moore’s t-shirt.

  32. #32 |  EH | 

    Marty@18: Why does the solution have to be changing schools rather than changing administrators or the rules? Why do vouchers have to be involved at all when they are the most disruptive solution possible?

  33. #33 |  Dave | 

    The radio story is an anti-Hannity jeremiad masquerading as a scandal. The company has already denied that the actors are made available for public affairs shows, and Limbaugh and Hannity have both specifically denied using them. Why is this here? Need a lefty link so people won’t mistake you for a Republican? Good ones are hard to find, aren’t they?

  34. #34 |  Zargon | 

    Why does the solution have to be changing schools rather than changing administrators or the rules? Why do vouchers have to be involved at all when they are the most disruptive solution possible?

    Nobody here will tell you that the rules or the administrators shouldn’t be changed. But there’s two solutions to any problem. Fix it, or escape, and the fundamental problem with public schooling is that the system is designed to forbid both.

  35. #35 |  Miroker | 

    I thought Clinton denied having sex with that girl, but that did not make him more believable. If they say it, it must be true. I personally do not subscribe to that theory.

  36. #36 |  omar | 

    Why is this here? Need a lefty link so people won’t mistake you for a Republican? Good ones are hard to find, aren’t they?

    Posts like this are why we need the thumbs up/down system back.

  37. #37 |  JThompson | 

    @Dave: Indeed. And we all know Limbaugh has never been a hypocrite.

    It’s not like he railed against drug addicts for a decade while being a drug addict himself.

    Ok, bad example.

  38. #38 |  Elliot | 

    I’m not sure why the OpEdNews article was given the credence of linking it here. It was filled with innuendo, but no evidence of its central thesis. Coming from a highly biased source, I think it was a mistake to give them credence until more substantive evidence is presented. At that point, a less blatantly biased news source would likely have picked up the story.

    From the story about fake callers to radio shows: “…syndicating everything from robotized genre music stations to a political talk show hosts selling snake oil.

    So, if a political talk show isn’t “progressive” then it’s “snake oil”? Way to start off a screed complaining about allegations of not being “fair and balanced”.

    I have a long list of criticisms of Limbaugh and Hannity—their politics, the lack of critical thinking in how they argue, the lameness of their attempts to weasel out of accountability when caught being dishonest. The same holds for Fox News and other Republican-leaning media (which seems to be in a small minority everywhere outside of talk radio).

    That said, when I watch Olberman, Maddow, Maher, Matthews, et al., or read most newspaper stories on political topics, I find the same problems. For example, Maddow tried to link pro-gun rallies on Patriot’s Day to a “celebration” of McVeigh’s atrocity through a long, concerted propaganda effort. And, Matthews joined Mark Potok (the SPLC crackpot who has lumped libertarian Judge Andrew Napolitano with “hate groups”) in a pathetic tag-team attempt to accuse Stewart Rhodes of fomenting violence, when he repeated, over and over, that their response to illegal orders would be to lay down their arms, stand down, and refuse to comply. On Real Time, Maher completely ignored the unsustainable nature of public employee unions’ special benefits (which are far more generous than what private employees receive), portraying the battle in Wisconsin and elsewhere as Republicans attacking those poor teachers making $30,000 (or some low salary figure).

    Among the pro-Democrat and pro-Republican (or generically pro-Big Government) media and punditry, the dishonesty is rather ubiquitous, to say the least. Even dishonesty is described with the dishonest euphemism “spin”.

  39. #39 |  celticdragonchick | 

    We are beginning a process of deliberately making it harder for drivers to use freeways. . . . We are prepared to endure considerable public outcry in order to pry John Q. Public out of his car.”
    One of the more milder examples of why government is fucking evil.

    Freeways are public property and are managed by the gubmint. In many cities, they are overused (like Los Angeles), so the government has to incentivise behaviors that lessen the traffic snarls. Locals are often unwilling to pony up taxes for alternate forms of mass transportation, or are unwilling to use them because of social conditioning etc. So, you are left with HOV lanes to try to persuade people to carpool and reduce the goddamned traffic jams that make communting hell on earth for just about everybody in large cities. Otherwise, you have to go to getting millions of people out of the suburbs and back into living within a very short distance of their jobs…which is unlikely at best.

    I fail to see anything evil about HOV lanes.

  40. #40 |  Elliot | 

    @Omar (#36): I, for one, wouldn’t give Dave a thumbs down for criticizing the linking to a highly biased source offering lots of innuendo, but few hard facts.

    One thing I like about The Agitator is that when Balko links to a story which happens to land on the pro-Republican side of a given issue, it’s a safe bet that (1) the Republicans happen to be on the correct side of the issue (even if for the wrong reasons) and (2) the news source isn’t some Republican, “conservative”, or “neo-con” propaganda mill.

    However, I’ve been very disappointed on a number of occasions when a link goes to some pro-Democrat crackpot author criticizing Republicans. In some cases, the crackpot happens to stumble upon a valid point, but more often than not, the article is poisoned with other crap.

    When I see a link to a story from a pro-Republican or Christian “conservative” news organization, I go to google to search for less biased sources, not only to check the accuracy, but to give me a better citation.

  41. #41 |  Jerry | 

    If you think HOV lanes are bad in the price for the amount of users, check into Mass Transit trains. The amount of money for the riders to be served is astronomical.

  42. #42 |  EH | 

    Dave@33: Do we know that Hannity and Limbaugh have “public affairs shows?” That is, does the company saying they don’t use shills for public affairs shows consider H&L to be a part of that category? If not, then their words are empty.

  43. #43 |  Mattocracy | 

    I wouldn’t be suprised if Limbaugh and Hannity’s callers are paid actors. I also don’t think it’s a huge deal or shocking. Their shows are really for entertainment purposes, not actually providing thought provoking conversation. It’s about telling their audience what they want to hear. I don’t think OpEdNews is lying (biased as they maybe), but they do look kind of naive trying to act astonished by something that is probably a well known practice amongst talk radio shows. They might as well complain about professional wrestling being fake.

  44. #44 |  DarkEFang | 

    Up until 10-15 years ago, there were lots of people who would swear that pro wrestling was real. Just because something seems obvious to us doesn’t mean it necessarily does to everyone.

  45. #45 |  J sub D | 

    Elderly NYC woman gets a $100 ticket for putting a newspaper in a public trash can.

    In Detroit we’d give her a good citizen award and assume she was from out of town.

  46. #46 |  sigh | 

    Up here in the Pacific Northwest, Amtrak ran an ad campaign aimed at lesbian couples urging them to take the train instead of flying, with the selling point that it was worth it to avoid the TSA. (no argument there from me)

    I am therefore not surprised that Amtrak is livid over the TSA shennanigans. No transportation carrier or terminal would subject themselves to that crap if they can avoid it.

  47. #47 |  Highway | 

    Freeways are public property and are managed by the gubmint. In many cities, they are overused (like Los Angeles), so the government has to incentivise behaviors that lessen the traffic snarls. Locals are often unwilling to pony up taxes for alternate forms of mass transportation, or are unwilling to use them because of social conditioning etc. So, you are left with HOV lanes to try to persuade people to carpool and reduce the goddamned traffic jams that make communting hell on earth for just about everybody in large cities. Otherwise, you have to go to getting millions of people out of the suburbs and back into living within a very short distance of their jobs…which is unlikely at best.

    I fail to see anything evil about HOV lanes.

    Evil? Probably not. Ethically vacant? Definitely.

    First, the problem is that they expressly took capacity away from roads that had already exceeded their capacity to give over to a scheme that would not make up for that capacity in efficiency. Note that their goal was to get a total of 7800 vehicles off the road which carried 260,000 vehicles (per day) (3% of vehicles). For this, they reduced capacity by 25%.

    There’s a *huge* difference between adding capacity in HOV lanes, and changing capacity from open to HOV. The scheme was *intended* to make driving worse. And that was in conjunction with other schemes to route people off of alternate routes onto those overcrowded highways. And why? To encourage (force?) people to live places they didn’t want to live? To encourage (force?) people to work places they didn’t want to work?

    I do live where I work, and work where I live. My ‘commute’ to work is under 10 minutes. And I’m livid when people want me to ‘pony up money’ to subsidize other folks using mass transit that is inefficient, underused, and extremely costly. It’s not ‘social conditioning’ when people realize that mass transit systems are inflexible, don’t meet their needs, are very costly (although the people who are getting highly subsidized for their rides tend to like it). It’s not ‘social conditioning’ when people decide what they want their living space to look like. It’s a choice.

    It can certainly be argued that perhaps more of the transportation funding should go into maintenance of existing roads rather than construction of new roads. But it’s a far different thing to say that the capacity of existing roads should be reduced, and the money diverted into other things that people do not use.

  48. #48 |  Elliot | 

    Mattocracy (#43):I wouldn’t be suprised if Limbaugh and Hannity’s callers are paid actors. I also don’t think it’s a huge deal or shocking.

    I don’t listen to them very often (a few minutes here and there while in the car if I’m in the mood) and I don’t agree with their politics, nor their techniques. But I’ve heard a number of anti callers who make them look bad (offering a counter-argument, to which the host bumbles around to offer some lame comeback) or pro callers who come across as not very enlightened (which undermines the attempts of the host to make “conservatives” seem smarter and wiser).

    If they are using plants, they’re not very good, or they’re only using them occasionally.

    I don’t think OpEdNews is lying…

    Clearly they are being dishonest. Instead of finding a smoking gun, they get their chalkboard out, put pictures of Limbaugh and Hannity on one side, put a sign representing the fake caller provider, then wave their hands a bit and draw lines between them, without actually establishing a case.

    I’ll be convinced when they put up a few links to some actual calls (YouTube or other), or actually get their hands on some documentation (even better).

    Until then, it’s shoddy journalism with nothing but innuendo and I’m disappointed it merited a link on this weblog.

  49. #49 |  EH | 

    Highway@37: You may be interested in Braess’ Paradox, which complicates your assumptions.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Braess's_paradox

  50. #50 |  Uptight and priggish is no way to go through life. « doubleplusundead | 

    [...] Via the Agitator [...]

  51. #51 |  Elliot | 

    @EH (#49)

    Huh?

    As far as Limbaugh’s drug use, I don’t think he should have any legal problems. Nor should anyone else who isn’t hurting anyone else, for that matter.

    If he quit championing drug prohibition after his trouble, then that’s good. If not, he’s an ass.

  52. #52 |  Highway | 

    EH, that certainly is interesting, and makes sense, and it would be a defensible argument to make for specific capacity reductions with investigation. I wonder about some of the examples given, since two of the three seem to have effected mode changes for a percentage of users, although I guess that can be part of ‘socially optimal’. However, I’m not a big fan of the idea of “Get those people off my road” which is many people’s primary motivation for supporting mass transit (for other people).

  53. #53 |  EH | 

    I don’t think the motivation for HOV lanes is “get those people off my road” so much as “let’s let some cars drive faster.”

    As far as Braess goes, it’s not so much an argument for reducing capacity, more a challenge to the assumption that adding lane capacity will result in better flow. The paradox says that when the participants in the network (drivers) are acting selfishly, that becomes a factor in lane capacity irrespective of the change in capacity. I have never seen a one-lane addition to a three-lane (per side. conventionally: six-lane) highway result in a 1/3 reduction in travel time. Braess is why.

  54. #54 |  MIkeS | 

    I dunno, Radley. The unsourced claim mixed in with hyperbole and ranting about fake callers to talk show hosts didn’t seem very compelling to me.

  55. #55 |  qwints | 

    I, for one, am laughing at the number of libertarians who seem to think they are entitled to public roads.

  56. #56 |  Elliot | 

    Re: my #51 above, EH should have said “Highway@47″ not “Highway@37″. That’s why I was scratching my head.

  57. #57 |  Marty | 

    ‘# #32 | EH

    Marty@18: Why does the solution have to be changing schools rather than changing administrators or the rules? Why do vouchers have to be involved at all when they are the most disruptive solution possible?’

    if I get horrible service at Wal Mart, I take my business elsewhere. I might write a letter to someone’s supervisor, but generally, I try to shop where I’m happy. I think a family should be able to shop for a school they’re happy with- whether they don’t like an administrator at one school or if they prefer the academics at another. It doesn’t have to be a punitive thing- school that make students/parents happy will be rewarded with a higher demand.
    I just don’t understand how giving consumers a choice can be a bad thing.

  58. #58 |  Elliot | 

    quints (#55):I, for one, am laughing at the number of libertarians who seem to think they are entitled to public roads.

    When one group uses a monopoly on the use of force to create a monopoly in a given market, then the usual discussions involving individual rights are already tainted by the aggressive coercion underlying the premise of “public” anything. Growing up in a world where “public” property is a ubiquitous occurrence, in which the vast majority make no substantive ethical objections, it’s easy to understand why people who overlook the root of the problem get contradictory results when they try to apply basic principles of individualism.

    In a free country, the owners of a given road would have full authority to decide who could drive on them and what rules they had to follow (traffic rules, speed limits, conditions of vehicles, lights, mirrors, insurance). If you didn’t like an owner’s rules, you don’t have to drive on that owner’s road. Of course, basic 2D geometry plus the occasional bridge or tunnel means having a competitive market in roads rather complex. It’s not impossible, though. Look up James Jerome Hill.

    Telling people “you can’t do X without government” is a bit like breaking everyone’s legs, maintaining a monopoly on the sale of crutches, and then bragging about how you’re “serving the people” because no one else is able to do so.

  59. #59 |  Marty | 

    # #21 |
    #18 Marty –

    ‘I don’t know that vouchers would help in this particular instance. Parents drive these kinds of zero tolerance policies in the first place…’

    I understand where you’re coming from, but I disagree. Drug testing didn’t originate with parents. Metal detectors didn’t originate from parents. Parents may be buying into the propaganda now, but I believe there will be enough unsatisfied customers that vouchers will have an impact. It’s predictable how hard the monopolies are fighting against vouchers, though.

  60. #60 |  Elliot | 

    Marty (#57):I think a family should be able to shop for a school they’re happy with- whether they don’t like an administrator at one school or if they prefer the academics at another. It doesn’t have to be a punitive thing- school that make students/parents happy will be rewarded with a higher demand.
    I just don’t understand how giving consumers a choice can be a bad thing.

    Even before you get to the obvious point of allowing parents to choose how to educate their offspring, why don’t you stop forcing people who don’t have children in school to pay for it?

    If a person is home schooled then doesn’t have children, why should she pay one penny for other people’s kids to be bored and brainwashed in crappy government zoos schools? There is not one good reason. (And, if you think she benefits indirectly, why not convince her of that and ask her to voluntarily contribute? Or, if you think that the product you produce depends upon the education of your employees, then you take up the slack and pay more towards the schools and raise your prices. Then, people who benefit will end up paying, if they want your nifty gadgets.)

  61. #61 |  Highway | 

    EH, I didn’t read the paradox quite the same way. I took it more that the individual decision making can decrease the overall system efficiency due to network effect improving some trips at the expense of many others. Now, the overall capacity may be much higher, but it shows in total number of trips, while the time per trip goes up. The system can achieve an equilibrium that varies from the optimal efficiency.

    As for the ‘Get off my road’ attitude, that’s usually associated with mass transit (as in “Other people should get their cars out of my way so that I can drive faster). Usually the response to HOV is “Why can’t *I* use that lane? It’s not fair!”

  62. #62 |  Rob in CT | 

    Re: HOV lanes, in my experience hardly anybody uses them. The one available to me is an HOV-2 lane (I gather it may have started as an HOV-3). Also motorcycles and hybrid cars w/only 1 occupant are allowed.

    Since my wife and I work in the same building, we commute in together and use the lane. Of course, we’d commute in together anyway, so the lane isn’t altering our behavior in any way. It probably saves me ~1-2 minutes of driving time under normal conditions (total commute = 25 minutes).

    I’d say that ~25% of the people I’ve seen driving in the lane are driving alone. Many others are driving their kid around. Some others are undoubtably like my wife & I (driving the way they’d have driven anyway). I would guess that very, very, very few people actually “carpool.” The buses use the lane, and they are used by a fair number of people.

    To sum up… public transit gets a thumbs-up, in general, from me. HOV lanes, not so much.

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