Today’s Headlines

  • Larry Littlefield

    “US Gas Predicament Follows Decades of Ignored Warnings, Policy Failures.”

    And political successes. The generations in charge have been willing to sell out the future, and future generations, on every issue: debt, pensions, infrastructure investment, the environment, energy, Social Security, health care, etc. etc.

    The issue behind the issues is generational equity.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Jimmy Carter was right — no something for nothing on energy.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/07/AR2008070702215.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

    “In 1977, Jimmy Carter called it the ‘moral equivalent of war.’ In the sort of speech a politician rarely delivers, he told a not-particularly-grateful nation that his energy program was going to hurt, but ‘a policy which does not ask for changes or sacrifices would not be an effective policy.'”

    Well, I listened to him. So, perhaps, did many other readers here. But the fable of the ant and the grasshopper doesn’t always end the way Aesop said. Often the ants are forced to subsidize the “decent, hardworking” grasshoppers. There is already a bill to subsidize the overbuilt McMansions. The SUVs may not be far behind.

  • Included on list of MTA cutbacks in MTR story: “Repairs of pump wells on 2 and 5 in Brooklyn and G in Queens.” So they’re not going to repair the pumps that keep our subway system, which operates below sea level, from being submerged. Note to mainstream media: If a storm takes down the pumps, there are two gentlemen you should go to for a soundbite. Their names are Silver and Brodsky. Here’s how I’d phrase the question: “You killed congestion pricing, and now three subway lines are underwater. How do you sleep at night?”

  • Re: “Commuters Flock to Free Ikea Buses and Water Taxis”

    That’s pretty clever. If I lived or worked in Red Hook, I’d do the same thing.

  • Re: “Commuters Flock to Free Ikea Buses and Water Taxis”

    It’s a public relations coup for Ikea as well. What better way to build community good will in New York than to provide free and comfortable transit for an underserved neighborhood?

  • Re: “NYC to spend billions to cut greenhouse gases”

    If Bloomberg wants to make a significant dent in greenhouse gas emissions, then he needs to promulgate a comprehensive bicycle parking bill:

    –All parking garages must accept bicycles
    –All office and retail buildings of a certain footprint must provide indoor bicycle parking
    –All office buildings must permit employees to bring in their bicycles if their companies permit it

    AND he needs to throw his support behind a comprehensive bike share program a la Velib.

  • Re: “Tired of Rising Gas and Falling Profits, Cabdrivers Seek a Fuel Surcharge on Fares”

    All the more reason to encourage the pedicab industry. Maybe some of the drivers who are really suffering from the high gas costs would do well to switch? I imagine the cost of the pedicab is less than the Crown Victoria and certainly there aren’t the fuel costs.

  • Oh yeah, Bloomberg? You care about emissions?

    Issue summonses for idling.
    Issue summonses for idling.
    Issue summonses for idling.
    Issue summonses for idling.
    Issue summonses for idling.
    Issue summonses for idling.

    You could do NOTHING ELSE and you’d cut emissions dramatically, and dramatically quickly!

  • Re: “American Energy Policy, Asleep at the Spigot”

    The chickens are coming home to roost, aren’t they?

  • I don’t buy the suggestion that pedicabs are the solution for the impact high fuel prices are having on cab drivers. You’re telling me that Joe Cabbie is going to (for example) pedal my drunk ass home from Hell’s Kitchen to Downtown Brooklyn at 2:30am on a Saturday? I doubt it.

  • Re: “A Bigger Penalty for Riders Who Cheat on the Fare”

    “The authority said that it might increase the fine for other offenses as well and was also considering asking the State Legislature to raise the maximum fine it can charge to $200.”

    My god, the MTA has to go to Albany for something as local and trivial as determining appropriate fines for fare beating on the NYC subway? No wonder this system is broken!

  • Hi Josh, I’m not saying it’s a 1:1 replacement. But more pedicabs would be part of the strategy, along with other solutions, such as more frequent and express night service on the MTA, motorized lightweight vehicles that could be shared or driven by someone else, etc. And I don’t think Hell’s Kitchen to downtown Brooklyn is that ridiculous a distance. I know people who bicycle commute from Inwood to downtown Brooklyn on a daily basis.

  • Max Rockatansky

    I don’t know that I’d categorize our energy policy as an energy failure. The oil companies are making record profits, so looking from their point of view I’d say it was a successful policy. That’s what middle-America gets for electing a president and vp who are knee deep in oil, enjoy your $100 fill ups! Suckers.

  • Larry – Our revenge (totally their own doing though) will be hyper inflation while prior generations are on fixed incomes.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Larry – Our revenge (totally their own doing though) will be hyper inflation while prior generations are on fixed incomes.”

    Unfortunately, wage income may be more fixed than retirement income these days, since Social Security is indexed for inflation and for NY’s public employees since 2000 so is retirement income. One thing that isn’t indexed for inflation is the minimum wage.

    But there is a lively “how are we screwed?” debate going on as to all these public, business and personal debts that can never be repaid will be handled. Eroding them via inflation is one way out, mass default another. In fact, high inflation may be seen as a sort of mass default. And savvy commentors know that inflation is one way NYC escaped from the 1970s fiscal crisis.

    Not good for savers, of course, but how many of those are there in this country? In any event, someone seems to have saddled the MTA with floating rate debt. I’ll bet they were well paid by the agency to do so.