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Us States Going Back To The Stone Age

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Digging up tarmac highways and turning them into gravel paths, that is quite bad...

No, it makes a lot of sense. Building tarmac roads that two people use every day is crazy unless you're doing it as welfare to construction workers; the cost of maintaining them bears no relation to the benefit to the few people who use them. The people you should be complaining about are the ones who decided to tarmac the roads in the first place.

Or do you seriously think that paying $75,000 a mile every few years for a road which serves a town of 78 people makes any kind of economic sense whatsoever?

Remember, this isn't Britain with its enormous population density and relatively benign weather; North Dakota's temperature records are 120F in the summer and -60F in the winter. Tarmac doesn't last long when regularly exposed to weather like that and Britain has nearly 100 times as many people per square mile.

Edited by MarkG

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Usually when a society progresses it grows and adds to it's infrastructure/technology.

This is not progress, even the Romans could do better than dirt tracks for highways, this is regression.

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Guest Noodle

Usually when a society progresses it grows and adds to it's infrastructure/technology.

This is not progress, even the Romans could do better than dirt tracks for highways, this is regression.

What MarkG is saying is correct. We have the same here.

There's two roads to my village. One is a hardstanding which falls apart during the rains, but most take the other route which is a dirt road and in much better condition.

The local council recently tarmacked a long stretch of road, last time they did it it lasted for about 6 months, although this emulsion looks to be a better job.

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Hasn't the US always been a bit like this though. JK Galbraith used to referred to it as "Private wealth, public squalor"

"massive public investment... to improve social goods in spheres where the private sector [is] unwilling to invest", the amalgamation of great private wealth inevitably results in what Galbraith called "public squalor"*.

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There was a thread about this earlier today. There used to be a Federal Highway trust fund that distributed money to the states but I believe it was shut down (I think that means ran out of money) recently. The authorities are pulling the plug on the economically marginal parts of the country. Most of small town America has been left behind by globalisation with the exception of a local Wal-Mart where the food stamps can be redeemed so it is impossible to maintain the roads with local money.

The wealthy areas of the country will continue to have all the infrastructure they desire - soon to include walls and private security armies like Blackwater paid by local taxes.

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Usually when a society progresses it grows and adds to it's infrastructure/technology.

A society that spends more on infrastructure than the benefits it provides is a society that doesn't last for long; the demise of a civilisation is usually marked by expensive boondoggles that drain the wealth that they could have spent on something useful that would have sustained them.

This is not progress, even the Romans could do better than dirt tracks for highways, this is regression.

We have SUVs, the Romans didn't. Not to mention that they had slaves to build those roads. And how many tiny villages of no strategic importance did the Romans build roads to?

Roman roads were built primarily to allow the legions to travel rapidly from one strategic point in the Empire to another, just as the US Interstates were built to allow fast travel across America by Army convoys. Everywhere else in the Roman Empire you'd have considered a gravel road to be a luxury.

Edited by MarkG

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how can americans not afford to pave their roads?

there are more or less the same number of americans as there were in 2006, they have more or less the same set of skills and access to more or less the same mix of raw materials and capital goods.

how come then, they can pave the roads in 2006 but not now?

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how can americans not afford to pave their roads?

Which part of paying $75,000 PER MILE every few years to repave a road which services 78 people makes any economic sense whatsoever?

how come then, they can pave the roads in 2006 but not now?

Could it be something to do with the biggest economic bubble in the history of the planet?

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There's nothing to stop individual communities creating roads for themselves. If they want a road bad enough they should get out there and build it.

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Could it be something to do with the biggest economic bubble in the history of the planet?

I'm not sure what the relevance of that is. Clearly the americans as a nation could fix the roads if they wanted to.

But they seem to think something is stopping them..

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I'm not sure what the relevance of that is. Clearly the americans as a nation could fix the roads if they wanted to.

They could blow trillions of dollars on giving everyone a free flying car if they wanted to. That would make no economic sense either.

But they seem to think something is stopping them..

Being essentially bankrupt, perhaps? That does tend to concentrate the mind on things that actually make sense rather than blowing money on unaffordable boondoggles.

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It doesn't take that much money to quarry stone and build roads. The Romans did it. They could build roads in a matter of days.

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It doesn't take that much money to quarry stone and build roads.

Yeah, it's called spreading gravel. Which is what the Americans are doing.

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I'm not sure what the relevance of that is. Clearly the americans as a nation could fix the roads if they wanted to.

But they seem to think something is stopping them..

Yes, individuals that hold power will not make any money from building them....so they do not get built...but you knew that already ( I hope)

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http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704913304575370950363737746.html?mod=WSJ_hp_editorsPicks_3

Blimey.

Digging up tarmac highways and turning them into gravel paths, that is quite bad...

USA number one!

You ought to try the roads around my way (east of Brighton). The lack of tarmacadam is everywhere and driving my Mazda MX-5 with the special sports suspension along with Konis makes you only too aware of the shocking deterioration in the road surfaces locally. They say there is no money to carry out routine repairs so at this rate our roads will revert back to broken concrete and gravel within 5 years.

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how can americans not afford to pave their roads?

Indeed. Don't the chain gangs provide the labour any more?

Which part of paying $75,000 PER MILE every few years to repave a road which services 78 people makes any economic sense whatsoever?

Switch to the EU & it's the part where the mayor/el presidente knows how to fill in the EU grant form, the dosh gets well spread out, & thus so does the tarmac.

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You ought to try the roads around my way (east of Brighton). The lack of tarmacadam is everywhere and driving my Mazda MX-5 with the special sports suspension along with Konis makes you only too aware of the shocking deterioration in the road surfaces locally. They say there is no money to carry out routine repairs so at this rate our roads will revert back to broken concrete and gravel within 5 years.

proof that you are, indeed, a hairdresser.

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You ought to try the roads around my way (east of Brighton). The lack of tarmacadam is everywhere and driving my Mazda MX-5 with the special sports suspension along with Konis makes you only too aware of the shocking deterioration in the road surfaces locally. They say there is no money to carry out routine repairs so at this rate our roads will revert back to broken concrete and gravel within 5 years.

I've noticed the roads are noticably worse round here as well. A lot of the potholes from winter were patched up badly and are now deterioating. Also look at the anecdotes thread for some interesting info on car tyre replacements.

I've now had three tyres replaced this year.

As for the US roads, I agree with MarkG. Why bother building a good road to a small community. Far better to have the dirt/gravel track and spend less money on giving all 78 people grants for SUV's. I bet most of them have SUV's anyway.

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There's nothing to stop individual communities creating roads for themselves. If they want a road bad enough they should get out there and build it.

Actually if you read the article, the cost of tarmac has doubled in the last decade, it is made from petroleum by-products. So no the locals can't just build a road, they need to have the resources to purchase an increasingly expensive tarmac to put on it.

Looks like peak oil is also peak tarmac road along with peak plastic, peak food etc etc...

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Actually if you read the article, the cost of tarmac has doubled in the last decade, it is made from petroleum by-products.

They could maybe scrape all that crud out of the Gulf of Mexico and use that.

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Actually if you read the article, the cost of tarmac has doubled in the last decade, it is made from petroleum by-products. So no the locals can't just build a road, they need to have the resources to purchase an increasingly expensive tarmac to put on it.

Looks like peak oil is also peak tarmac road along with peak plastic, peak food etc etc...

I read somewhere (probably the oildrum) that oil shales were very similar to tarmacadam, except there was a lot more oil in the tarmacadam. It even mooted the point in time when we dig up and refine the road for fuel, rather than repair it.

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  • 261 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
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      • Even
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      • up 5%



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