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Moore's Suggestions

We’ve talked plenty about Michael Moore’s ideas on what killed GM. It’s easy to be a critic, and 20/20 hindsight is nothing special. More important: what do you think of his ideas for the future?

Here they are:

1. Immediately convert our auto factories to factories that build mass transit vehicles and alternative energy devices.

2. Use that money to keep the current workforce – and most of those who have been laid off – employed so that they can build the new modes of 21st century transportation. Let them start the conversion work now.

3. Announce that we will have bullet trains criss-crossing this country in the next five years.

4. Initiate a program to put light rail mass transit lines in all our large and medium-sized cities. Build those trains in the GM factories. And hire local people everywhere to install and run this system.

5. For people in rural areas not served by the train lines, have the GM plants produce energy efficient clean buses.

6. For the time being, have some factories build hybrid or all-electric cars (and batteries).

7. Transform some of the empty GM factories to facilities that build windmills, solar panels and other means of alternate forms of energy.

8. Provide tax incentives for those who travel by hybrid car or bus or train. Also, credits for those who convert their home to alternative energy.

9. To help pay for this, impose a two-dollar tax on every gallon of gasoline.

This the part about Moore I HATE. He’s proposing a complete government controlled transport system. Even if you think the idea is GREAT…It’s going to be very very painful to get there. That $2/gal gas-tax will be around for decades…and it’ll take decades to implement his plan. It’s not feasible and not much thought put into what he’s proposing.

I know very little about Moore’s plan.

But when I read the 9 suggestions in the OP’s post, you sure can’t argue with the direction they’re trying to pursue - which is to reinvest in the USA rather than sending everything overseas.

I don’t think car assembly plants are going to be that easy to retool for making even buses let alone trains and windmills.

I do strongly agree with investment in high-speed rail and other alternative transportation infrastructure, but the sort of a pre-1930’s assumption that large amounts of unoccupied labor is what can get them done isn’t realistic. Big infrastructure projects require engineers and capital far more than just a labor pool.

As appealing as a two-birds-with-one-stone solution like this is, I think realistically the solution to infrastructure is investment in infrastructure and the solution to unemployment is education and retraining.

And what about the unwashed masses who simply do not want to be at the whim of the bus schedule?

Moore uses a sledge hammer to make his point and that makes him effective. The Status Quo is VERY hard to change. The financial collapse last September CHANGED EVERYTHING. We can no longer import vast amounts of oil so everyone can own and drive 3 cars…Those days are over and we must face that reality. Here we are in the midst of a global recession, oil demand down 5% from 2007 levels and the crude price closed today at $70.50, up $2.50… When we and the rest of the world recover from this collapse, oil demand will increase sharply and prices will skyrocket once more.

Moore is just trying to save us from this folly. It’s NOT some Liberal plot to deprive you of your freedom. You will still be able to travel wherever you want to. You just may not be driving a 3/4 ton, 5000 pound, 7 liter engine truck to the supermarket… Maybe YOU can afford it but our country can not…

We never imported VAST amounts of oil.

Texases, are you aware that Amtrak has lost $23 Billion?

You’re suggesting that the feds take over the nationwide transportation system, remake it to what they want, and force people to use it, even though their taking over of Amtrak has been a losing roposition. They’ve already nationalized the world’s largest banks and two of our three automobile manuafacturers.

a $2/gallon gas tax? Man, that should stimulate the economy! As a commuter I feel stimulus welling up inside of me as I type!

Texases, I would argue that the suggestions would be our executive branch gone completely out of control in taking over the private sector and in forcing the citizen’s’ to do their bidding. I fear for where we’re headed. The founders created a three part system so that no single part could acquire too much power. The Constitution is intentionally written as a RESTRICTIVE document. It says not what the brnches of government CAN do, but rather what they CANNOT do. The founders must be rolling over in their graves.

The entire direction of these suggestions is bad on a great many levels.

I can already take the train to work. I take my car to the station, then the train, and a bus on the other end. All tolled, it would take about 1.5 hours one way. I make the same drive in about 35 minutes now. And the train station is not on the way to work. I will not really save fuel because the fitness center is half way. and I stop there on the way into work. I’m sure that if I disrupted my families lives by moving just to satisfy someone who doesn’t care about me, this issue would belong to someone else. Trains don’t help me, and I live in a very high population area. I have a hard time that they would help others if we upgraded a few million miles of track, which is where the real cost is. For all the talk about trains in Europe, my wife’s family in Germany drives everywhere - none of them use the train to commute, and they never have.

Whoa, these aren’t my ideas, they’re Moore’s. I think they are nonsense. They boil down to convert plants to trains, buses, and solar panels, build lots of rails, and tax gas at $2/gallon to pay for it.

There is NO short term need for trains, the areas that need them have them, adding ‘bullet trains criss-crossing the country’ is crazy. I’m not going to pick a 5 hour train ride over a 2 hour plane trip. And how much economic trouble for the airlines would a federally subsidized long-haul passenger train service create?

No rapid buildup of light rail can happen, these are decade-long projects. Thinking some rapid conversion of factories (even if it could be done) solves anything is nonsense, and distracts us from doing the important things we need to do.

And how many ‘energy efficient buses’ does anybody need in rural areas?

Finally, why is adding $2/gallon to gas a good thing for an economy in the midst of an economic depression?

His recommendations would result in the government taking over a large fraction of our private transportation network. Name another thing you think the government is wildly successful at…come on, anybody?

Europe has a great public transit system. It is a wonderful concept but considering many European countries are the size of states puts an improbable spin on mass transit.

Michael Moore is apparently not someone who could manufacture a durable product for sale. Why, then has he gained so much traction? The answer may be infotainment. He is apparently not a stupid person but knows how to profit from the shortcomings of the efforts of others.

The U.S. imports 13 million barrels a day. We consume 20.8 million barrels a day. At today’s prices, our imports cost us almost one Billion dollars a day. “Vast” is the correct term…

“Finally, why is adding $2/gallon to gas a good thing for an economy in the midst of an economic depression?”

The more expensive a product is, the less will be sold. This is good.
Also, we desperately need the money in our Treasury…

“I’m not going to pick a 5 hour train ride over a 2 hour plane trip”

Yes you will if the train ticket costs $100 and the plane ticket costs $600…
There is no upper limit on the price of oil once it truly gets in short supply…

The train ticket will only be $100 if it is subsidized heavily. Don’t me wrong, I thing gas is under-taxed. It should be increased about $.50/gallon and the money used to improve roads, bridges, all the transportation infrastructure that is falling apart. From then on, increase about $0.10/year, continued encouragement to higher-mpg cars.

Most if not all these ideas are stupid. The most lame imo is rural folks waiting for the bus. Imagine waiting in -20 windchill on the prairie of Illinois or Nebraska for a late bus for a 3 hour bus ride to work.

I think America would be better off if America did not listen to Moore. His old boss needs to rehire him as a fry cook at Arbys.

I hate to say it but I would have to agree with all those things. We aren’t going to have Oil in another 50 years or so if we continue at this pace, we are better off if we learn to adapt without it.

The days of living 50 miles from your job are about over…Think 5 miles…

Also, more importantly, you will if you can hop right on the train downtown and it takes you an hour and a half on each end to get to the airport and through security. Especially as regional flights have to become less frequent due to overcrowed airports and airspace.

The government massively subsidizes the airline industry through mostly paying for the upkeep and constrution of airports, maintaining the whole aviation infrastructure including air-traffic controllers, and most of the budget of the TSA and FAA. The airlines, through ticket fees or whatever, pay very little of these costs overall. High speed rail infrastructure requires a large up-front investment, but once the tracks are constructed it is very cheap to run.