Brother, Can You Spare 12 cents for Crumbling Infrastructure?

In the middle of the last century the U.S. started building the Interstate Highway System. It’s now named after President Dwight Eisenhower, who shepherded its passage through Congress in 1956. Connecting the far-flung corners of this large nation, this 47,714 mile network allows commerce to flow freely. The cost of construction, adjusted for inflation, was more than $400 billion. By any imaginable measure, it was a wild success, and soon became the envy of the world.

The construction and maintenance was paid for mainly through levies on sales of vehicles, tires and related goods, and a federal gasoline tax that generates about $28 billion a year for the Highway Trust Fund.

The assumption was that the system’s maintenance and improvements would be paid for by users: Those who drove on the roads and highways. The fairest way to assess that was through a gasoline tax. Drive more or bigger vehicles, you pay more. Seems rather logical.

Fast-forward a half-century.


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Category: Really, really bad calls, Taxes and Policy, Transports

Why Gold & Oil Are Trading So Differently

Category: Commodities, Energy, ETFs, Gold & Precious Metals, Media, Technical Analysis, Trading, Video

10 Thursday AM Reads

Our early morning train reads, now with even less insider trading: • With All Due Respect Mr. Bogle (Irrelevant Investor) • The Fed and Oil: 2014 is not 2011 in Reverse (Ft Alphaville) • Asness: Efficient Frontier “Theory” for the Long Run (AQR) • The rise of rich man’s subprime (Fortune) • 10 Legendary Investment Rules…Read More

Category: Financial Press

Impact of Oil Price Drop on Producer Nation Deficits

click for larger graphic Source: Economist

Category: Digital Media, Energy, Taxes and Policy

10 Wednesday PM Reads

My afternoon train reads: • Some People Will Never Learn (A Wealth of Common Sense) • The Myth of Passive Investing Begins to Unravel… (Pragmatic Capitalism) • The Hedgehog Review: Falling (Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture) • Why Free Marketeers Don’t Buy Climate Science (Bloomberg) • New Leak Reveals Luxembourg Tax Deals for Disney,…Read More

Category: Financial Press

Cartogram: Jobless Rate Change Since Great Recession

click for interactive chart Source: WSJ   Great set of interactive charts at the WSJ  showing differing views of American employment. Maps include Jobless Rate Change, 2013-14; Labor Force Percentage Change, and the map above of Jobless Rate Change Since the Great Recession Began. The cartograms are sized not by their physical acreage, but rather…Read More

Category: Data Analysis, Digital Media, Employment

10 Wednesday AM Reads

My morning train reads: • The Price of Gold in the Year 2160 (Baseline Scenario) • Jack Bogle – Active Investor in Passive Clothing (Pragmatic Capitalism) • Where are the Economists’ Yachts? (Investing Caffeine) • Vanguard quintuples assets in robo-adviser, leapfrogging competitors (Investment News) • What ‘The Art of War’ Can Teach You About Business (LinkedIn) Continues here…Read More

Category: Financial Press

NFP, Inflation & Conspiracy Theories

    Unbelievable jobs numbers..these Chicago guys will do anything..can’t debate so change numbers — Jack Welch (@jack_welch) October 5, 2012     Today’s column is about stupidity. Perhaps that’s overstating it; to be more precise, it is about the conspiracy-theorist combination of bias, innumeracy and laziness, with a pinch of arrogance thrown in for…Read More

Category: Bad Math, Cognitive Foibles, Data Analysis, Economy, Really, really bad calls

Napster’s Culture of Free

Grappling With the ‘Culture of Free’ in Napster’s Aftermath

Source: NYT

Category: Music, Video, Web/Tech

Global Asset Prices and the Taper Tantrum Revisited

Global Asset Prices and the Taper Tantrum Revisited Jan Groen Liberty Street Economics, December 08, 2014   Global asset market developments during the summer of 2013 have been attributed to changes in the outlook for U.S. monetary policy, starting with former Chairman Bernanke’s May 22 comments concerning future curtailing of the Federal Reserve’s asset purchase…Read More

Category: Think Tank