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jerryking : second-rate   4

Infrastructure spending is no miracle cure - The Globe and Mail
KONRAD YAKABUSKI
The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Apr. 23 2015

In some circles, infrastructure spending is seen as a miracle cure to lift the economy, if not political fortunes. With rock bottom interest rates, proponents say now is the perfect time to ramp up spending on trains and subways in order to stimulate growth, relieve congestion and boost long-term productivity.

As with most economic strategies, however, the devil is in the execution....You can always find studies to buttress your claims that new infrastructure pays for itself by stimulating the economy and generating jobs during the construction phase while boosting productivity thereafter. But this is hardly true across the board. Does anyone believe the Sheppard subway line has made Toronto’s economy more productive? It’s a sinkhole whose operating costs are a drain on the rest of the transit system.

And what about Pearson Airport’s Terminal 1? It’s a cavernous monster that adds to passenger stress levels while subtracting from their productivity. Speaking of poorly conceived projects, the soon-to-open rail link between Pearson and downtown Toronto appears to rely on overly optimistic ridership projections.

In our infrastructure envy, we decry our subways, roads and commuter trains as second-rate. But proper scale and functionality are far more important than fancy architecture or expensive materials.
Konrad_Yakabuski  infrastructure  politics  debt  second-rate  Keynesian  scaling  functionality  UPX  interest_rates  sinkholes  low-interest  overoptimism 
april 2015 by jerryking
Three Mistakes Novice Art Investors Fall Prey To - WSJ.com
February 25, 2013 | WSJ | By DANIEL GRANT.

(1) Buying what's in vogue.
(2) Shooting for the quick profit.
(3) Going it alone.

As art investing has gotten more popular, advisers have sprung up to offer guidance to would-be collectors, weighing the relative quality and importance of an artwork, researching provenance and sales history, and appraising current value.

Advisers, for instance, can help steer you away from second-rate pieces.
collectibles  collectors  art  art_advisory  investing  investment_advice  pitfalls  mistakes  artwork  provenance  second-rate  art_appraisals 
february 2013 by jerryking
China, the World's Capital - New York Times
May 22, 2005 | NYT | by NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF. Supremacy,
particularly for individual cities, is fleeting. What can NYC learn from
a city like Kaifeng? (1) The importance of sustaining a technological
edge and sound economic policies. Ancient China flourished partly
because of pro-growth, pro-trade policies and technological innovations
like curved iron plows, printing and paper money. But then China came to
scorn trade and commerce, and per capita income stagnated for 600 yrs.
(2) The danger of hubris, for China concluded it had nothing to learn
from the rest of the world - and that was the beginning of the end. I
worry about the U.S. in both regards. Our economic management is so lax
that we can't confront farm subsidies or long-term budget deficits. Our
technology is strong, but American public schools are 2nd-rate in math
and science. And Americans' lack of interest in the world contrasts with
the restlessness, drive and determination that are again pushing China
to the forefront.
Nicholas_Kristof  China  China_rising  New_York_City  hubris  parochialism  insularity  impermanence  restlessness  public_schools  incurious  ignorance  second-rate  America_in_Decline?  U.S. 
march 2010 by jerryking

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