Today’s Headlines

  • The Daily News guy who’s saving such big money on tolls, that he’s going to redeem for a fancy family dinner when he hits $1,000 saved; wouldn’t you think that the 15-20 A.M. minutes he’s now spending in traffic instead of with his family is worth $6 a day? Maybe they would rather have that than a deluxe meal every couple months.

    I will however avoid mentioning how his self-interested decision worsens the environment for my fellow Washington Heights and Inwood oxygen-breathers.

  • $6 saved for 30-40 minutes of time plus gas per day. Given that he only values his time at $9 hour, perhaps the NYDN should adjust his salary accordingly.

  • Larry Littlefield

    (The E-ZPass fares don’t apply to me. I don’t use E-ZPass, but that’s another story.)

    Perhaps they took his EZ Pass away for speeding through the toll booths.

  • Funny how driving is the only activity you’re not allowed to charge extra for to get better service.

  • Thanks Lexus. On the same day that Avi Amenov died because some idiot was driving one of your vehicles irresponsibly, you aired the following ad on tv:

    Big round of applause for being a caring, compassionate company….

  • Re: Westchester toll evasion, all I can say about Edward Fay is, what unbelievably selfish behavior! Assuming he is commuting to the NY Daily News offices on 450 W 33rd, he likely could take either the Hudson or Harlem line to Grand Central, ride one stop to 33rd St, and walk or take a cross-town bus. Instead, not only is he trying to screw the MTA out of much-needed monies for mass transit, he using Inwood and Washington Heights as his commuter route, adding to our traffic, safety, and environmental problems without giving our community and our businesses one damn cent back.

  • lee

    Wales produces graphic anti-texting while driving PSA

    http://www.engadget.com/2009/08/16/wales-produces-exceptionally-graphic-educational-film-about-the/

    Hmm, maybe this should have gone in the weekly carnage.

  • “The MTA has stuck it to all of us countless times over the years and now, it was time for me to pay them back. I will personally screw them out of $1,000 over the next year.”

    The frightening thing about that Daily News story is that he doesn’t think for a second about what is good for the city, what is good for the environment, what is good for future generations. He never gets beyond the idea that the government is trying to screw me, and so I am going to screw the government. If most people had this attitude, the result would obviously be dramatic economic, social, and environmental decline.

  • Edward Fay writes, “You can take the Deegan further south and cross over at the George Washington Bridge exit and pickup the Henry Hudson Parkway.”

    Why are we spending $407 million so this guy and his friends can save $1000 a year?

  • Larry Littlefield

    “The frightening thing about that Daily News story is that he doesn’t think for a second about what is good for the city, what is good for the environment, what is good for future generations. He never gets beyond the idea that the government is trying to screw me, and so I am going to screw the government. If most people had this attitude, the result would obviously be dramatic economic, social, and environmental decline.”

    Which I believe to be possible, if not likely, but hopefully reversible after people learn their lesson.

    As a result of 30 years of lack of concern about the future, the amount of public money sucked up by past debts, pensions, and retirement benefits paid in exchange for past work is set to soar. The result will be an ever widening wedge between what people pay the government in taxes and the services and benefits they get in return. Government will seem more and more like a ripoff. The MTA is just the start.

    The result, given the culture of Generation Greed, is unlikely to be an examination of the conscience. Gee I should have paid higher taxes, expected less in services and benefits, paid higher fares with less discounts, expected to have to work more years in my government job?

    Forget it. We are heading for a political system in which the meaning of “liberal” goes back to what it was — against government, which is seen as unjust and exploitive. And “conservatives” will be trying to collect taxes and fees, offering less and less in return, so the debts can be paid.

    Charles, if you were the voice of America we wouldn’t be in this mess. But there it is, and we are heading for an institutional collapse.

    http://www.r8ny.com/blog/larry_littlefield/preparing_for_institutional_collapse.html

  • he doesn’t think for a second about what is good for the city, what is good for the environment, what is good for future generations

    While this may be true, it’s not what’s wrong here. What’s really wrong is that the city is not pricing its roads and bridges properly according to the laws of supply and demand. If it were, one would be free to pursue one’s self-interest without fear of the sort of “shaming” outlined above which frankly isn’t a very effective force on many people.

  • vnm

    Edward Fay’s case presents a classic free rider problem. While he’s being a selfish prick ignoring the environmental costs of his actions, he’s also doing the economically rational thing, assuming he places a low value on the time he spends with has family and a high value on the dollars in his pocket. The only dollar cost he’ll have to bear is increased wear-and-tear and increased gasoline costs, both caused by stop-and-start city driving. (Ironically, in an effort to smugly stick it to the MTA, he’s going to do his part to increase reliance on imported gasoline, worsening the U.S. trade deficit and supporting the economies of Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, etc.)

    As a Westchester County resident, he does not spend a dime to maintain the bridges. So even if wear and tear on the bridges goes up because of toll-shoppers like him, they will not have to pay more. Car-free New York City residents pay to maintain the bridges so that Westchester residents can come through and pollute their neighborhoods.

    He makes a great case for why the Harlem River bridges should be maintained by the people who use them.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Free rider problem there is, but something more.

    This individual is using public roads and bridges paid for by city taxpayers for free (actually, the city paid to rebuilt the Harlem River bridges with borrowed money, and that makes them free to city taxpayers too right?)

    And yet he sees the government, his state government, in the case of the MTA, as “them.” A separate entity you try to get the best deal at the expense of, and that is trying to get a deal at the expense of you. It’s that kind of attitude that leads to the kind of institutional collapse Charles is worried about and I’m damn near resigned to.

    The more tax dollars go to the past, and not services and benefits people can see, the closer an all out revolt against obligations to government in exchange comes. And the private sector has similar problems.

    Consider this chart on total U.S. debt as a share of GDP, public and private.

    http://img27.imageshack.us/img27/143/graphtotaldebtpercentof.jpg

    Lots of folks here are worried about peak oil, and should be, but it appears we hit peak debt first. What explains this? Flat as a percent of GDP from 1945 to 1980, a surge from 1980 to 1992, a flattening through most of the 1990s, and then an explosion post 2000? We’ve gone from 150% of GDP to 350% of GDP, and rising.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Let me just add to the point above. It isn’t just debt.

    The 1950s and 1960s saw massive infrastructure investment; the 1970s saw a surge of environmental concern. The depreciation of the infrastructure and increase in the load on the environment (which is better in most ways, but not for global warming) is another non-financial debt.

  • Boris

    Cap’n Transit,

    Under no circumstances am I siding with Edward Fay, but the Alexander Hamilton Bridge project is being funded almost entirely by federal funding, as it should be, since I-95 runs over it.

  • Yes, Boris, but I pay federal taxes. I want to see them going to rehabilitate the #1 train tunnel, not the Hamilton Bridge.