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Fresh powder at Oak Grove

Fresh snow at Oak Grove on the Orange Line

Rich got to Oak Grove around 6:30 a.m., just in time to see tracks remain unshoveled, which is one of the reasons the T is still just running that single shuttle train up and down that one track between Oak Grove and Wellington, causing grief for commuters like Beth Chaplin at Malden:

At Malden Sta at 7:15am; SB "shuttle" train too full to get on. Now heading NB to OG so I can circle back to Wellington.

So she'll be one of those people with a seat as the train pulls into Oak Grove, then leaves for Wellington, where she'll join the hordes already waiting for a train into Boston, on platforms that as Brian Kokernak shows us, were already packed at 6:50 a.m.:

Crush at Wellington

Things aren't much better on the Green Line, where Sarah Strosahl reports:

Waited 35+ for a D line. T worker came out of his booth to update and tell us "tomorrow is Friday"

.

Red Line? It's shuttles all the way down to Braintree from JFK/UMass again and we're getting reports of a train at Central with doors that wouldn't shut, so everybody had to be herded off.

Blue Line? Running fine, except for the fact it's overcrowded. Cybah reports:

Been waiting for a blue line train for almost an hour. They are running but just so jammed with people.

Commuter rail? On the Franklin and Newburyport/Rockport lines, some trains are so full they're just bounding through stations without stopping, leaving commuters on platforms shaking their fists - if they can even make them, given how frozen they are.

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..when you could eat off that platform?

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New York and Chicago have rail-mounted snowblowers and sweepers. I can only imagine what Montreal and Toronto have. Does the T have nothing?

The jet snowblowers were made for clearing switches and yard tracks, not for plowing the whole system.

Some railroad maintenance machinery can be used to plow snow, but I don't understand why they aren't using what they have. At this point they need to bring in rental equipment or an outside contractor to get the lines open.

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Their Metro is completely underground. Toronto is mostly underground, but due to their location they get less snow (I mean, the only way they would get lake effect is if the winds were coming from the south.)

Looking at the commuter rail tracks from the Orange Line for the last few days, I have pondered the machinery major railroads use to clear snow in places like North Dakota and the Donner Pass, but as their machines blow snow 50 feet to the side of the track, the people who live by the T wouldn't like that too much.

Do you remember the last time Boston got over 60 inches of snow in 2 weeks without a warmup? The T should do what they did then.

These are unusual times. I hate to say that the best option might be shoveling, since I am not volunteering for that job.

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How do they get new subway cars delivered? Is there a giant elevator somewhere for this purpose?

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IMAGE(http://i.cbc.ca/1.2817557.1417049609!/fileImage/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/16x9_620/stm-metro.jpg)New trains are delivered to the The Youville Repair Shops where there's access to the outside. It's noteworthy that the original Metro trains from 1967 are still running, and that the 1976 series is planned to be kept in service until 2036!

It certainly helps that the trains never go outside, but the level of maintenance and cleanliness of the entire underground system is vital to keeping everything running smoothly.

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Don't they also have rubber wheels to be more quiet?

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Yes, or something like that. An acquaintance who went told me it's like riding a limo.

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          IMAGE(http://esteemfoundation.org/emdx/rail/metro/Images/tMP59-PorteMaillot.jpg)
Montreal's rubber tire design was based on earlier subways in France. Besides the exceptionally smooth ride, they provide faster acceleration and better traction on steep grades. This site has a nice explanation showing how it works.

It's also interesting that the brake shoes are made from Quebec birch wood, infused with peanut oil because of its high burning point. It is said that sometimes when a heavily loaded train stops quickly at a station, it smells like roasted peanuts.

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I've never seen numbers, but I can imagine that the Alewife extension of the Red Line was spendy. Pretty much every other extension has been built along existing rail right-of-way (Ashmont in the '20s, BL in the 50s, D Line in the 50s, RL to Braintree in the 70s, OL in the '70s and '80s) because it's cheaper and, except in exceptional snow (6' since Jan 24), doesn't work any worse.

The best option would be to have a diesel plow for each line, and a work car that could power it below ground. The NYC subway has a bunch of diesel work cars that they run diesel through the subway, so that might be feasible. Of course, NYCT is all interconnected, and all the work equipment is the width of the narrower A lines (numbered lines, S shuttle) so they don't need as much. But the T could probably get away with one heavy-ish diesel for each line equipped with a plow and third rail scrapers so that during major storms the trains wouldn't have to be kept clear with trains that have issues taking power off of snowed over third rails. This hasn't really been an issue before, but it would be a relatively small expense (maybe, say, $5m per line, $10m for the Red, Orange and Blue lines, although the Blue Line might not need it since above ground the trains take power from the wire).

That would go a long way towards clearing the track of the OL that is out of service. And I'm sure the T could think of uses for a diesel outside of snow clearance—towing dead trains, perhaps? Of course, if they go to those steps it won't snow a foot for five years, but at least they'll be prepared, something that can't be said right now.

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The Red Line has a diesel locomotive and a diesel snow blower. But all the people who knew how to run and maintain them have retired, so they sit out of service, covered in snow, at the Cabot yards. Might have come in handy the last few weeks.

Photo of the loco:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/54690684@N07/8114301588/

Photo of the snow blower:
http://photos.nerail.org/s/?p=53716

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which could run on all 4 rail lines, being trucked from one to the other, but no one knows how to turn it on.

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These are not unusual times. These are the same types of problems the T has faced practically every time we have a weather event. Not just recently either. For as long as I have been a T rider, about 20 years. I can remember rides that turned into generation spanning epics and inspired me to sleep on the floor or a cot when I finally got in rather than take the emotional risk of potentially facing more of the same on the way home. A cloud can't pass over the sun before the T says uncle and throws their hands up. We deserve better for what we pay in fares and tax. Time for change is way past due.

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The Red Line in particular has had epic fails in good weather, but these were usually single trains and not on a daily basis.

The issue in our face right now is what about the snow on and between the tracks that gets into the motors and causes them to short out. The long term issue is that the Orange Line cars were bought with funding from the Carter administration- all of them- and cars on the Red Line are just as old. But the long term issue causes us to go down a train set or 2 during bad days.

However, 60 inches of snow in 2 weeks is not usual times. If you think it is, start driving and find out how the roads are with 60 inches of snow.

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Tuesday night. All lanes on Interstate 93 were down to bare pavement, despite the 60 inches of snow we've gotten in the past two weeks.

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Okay, Somerville to Andover is nothing. Four plows push the snow beyond the breakdown lanes and into the easement they have on the sides. I was on 128 Saturday night down by Braintree and couldn't help but notice the 5 foot walls of snow at the onramps. I don't want the city of Boston to take that approach, mainly because I walk and enjoy having sidewalks at least semi passible rather than full of snow until late March.

Here's my question, and it's a serious one. Back in the days of the elevated Central Artery, where did the plowed snow go? Did it just drop to the street below? Did Mass Highway have trucks at the ready for every storm of more than 6 inches?

But back to trains. As I noted somewhere else, are people really expecting the T to use snowblowers akin to what BNSF uses on the Donner Pass or CN uses in North Dakota? I don't think the people along the Southwest Corridor would be happy if all that snow suddenly ended up in the driveways, nor would the city like the snow to suddenly be blown onto Lamartine Street or Columbus Ave.

Snow removal from highways is nothing. That's why I head to the burns this time of year when driving- no clogged streets, no snowbanks leaving me wondering if a car is coming. That's what we are dealing with in Boston. And Cambridge and Somerville and a lot of other towns from what I have read here.

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I am certain the plows pushed the snow right over the green crash barrier when the snow was high enough.

I bet they were organized enough that Boston DPW would know to wait until that was done until fully plowing the streets underneath.

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is for crews to come back after the storm has ended and the main roadway is sufficently plowed. They then cut down those snow piles in the on-ramp gores, at least for enough of a distance so traffic is visible to those on the ramp.

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Sadly, I first questioned this (to myself) just as the tunnels were opening.

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I saw the snow melter on the bridge by the Dockside restaurant in Malden, so maybe they will have that track cleared today.

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They were also running shuttle buses this morning between OG and Wellington--mine never even stopped at Malden, too full. I can't believe this track is not clean yet. If there's a legit reason for it, I'd love to hear it.

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Why isn't that Orange Line track cleared yet???????

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....there likely aren't enough cars to run on the full line anyway.

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T worker knows what day it is!

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If/or when the riders of the MBTA start paying their fair share is when they can expect better service. Why do people in Springfield have to subsidize the T with a portion of the sales tax collected in their part of the state. Stop complaining and start paying.

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Why should my taxes go to help Springfield recover from that tornado? It didn't happen anywhere near me and I resent having to pay for their stupidity in building a city in a tornado zone.

And I-91? Why should I have to pay for some road I never use?

Christ, it's not like we live in a commonwealth or something.

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Every organization in the state - MBTA, state government, BPS etc. is apparently broke.

I think that makes us a Commonpoor.

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Broke, when we live in the richest nation in the world, and are the wealthiest we have been at any point in known human history.

Sorry, but I don't buy into that lie. This is a choice, granted, not made by many of us.

We have the assets, we have the work ethic and resources. We even have the money, in the sense the federal government issues it and the rest of the world continually wants it.

The problem isn't that we are broke. The problem is the bastardization of the system. The problem is a very few are telling us we are, that there's nothing to be done, and to stay away from their castle built on the Commonwealths back.

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it's just patently untrue. About 50% of America lives paycheck to paycheck. Another 30% are just barely ahead of that. The next 19% are expected to pay most of the taxes, pay full fare to send their kids to school, phase out of most tax breaks, don't qualify for the fancy trusts and offshore tax havens of the 1%, and have no pensions - meaning they will live on Social Security and savings (which will diminish even further if you increase their taxes). The 1% already pay about 50% of every marginal dollar in taxes and even if you increased that to 100% there simply aren't enough of them to pay for everything.

the country (and the state) has the same problem many households have - we make a lot of money. But then we spend it - too often on things we don't need or can't truly afford.

And before you say - just tax them to oblivion - read the story about CT. They have literally half a dozen to a dozen taxpayers that would seriously crimp the state's budget if they decided to move away - and at least one did - but left his company in CT after "negotiations". Many are looking for alternatives to places like NY, NJ and Illinois due to tax burdens.

Where do you turn for more money?

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Where do you turn for more money?

You create it, literally. Wealth generation. That is why we do Capitalism and Economics, do we not?

Your story is nice, but it relies on the notion that there is a pie and that is it, who gets what. That's simply NOT how economics works. The pie is growing or (hopefully never) shrinking, and it's not the ends we are worried about but the means.

In the abstract the whole system really is a shame to give us something to do, to work towards something. But it's what we've decided to do with our time as a species, and it is 100% a cultural construct we've built. How we structure it means many different things for everyone. since the late 70's we've structured it around "job creators" who have failed to uphold their end of the bargain. Profits are all time highest, the stock market is booming, and real wages/good job growth has been falling for decades. It's not that the economy has not grown, it has and well. It's that the proportions going to who are all screwed up, and that's a direct choice on the structure of the economy.

Many are looking for alternatives to places like NY, NJ and Illinois due to tax burdens.

Those are weird places to look for alternatives to run away from taxes. And if 10 people can move away and destroy your tax base and community, Capitalism has already failed. Representative Democracy is over, since they wield all the power and money to effect every resident. SCOTUS has defined money as speech, and we're close to it being votes at this point.

Yes, the problem is 10 people hold all the cards and fund the system; that they can get up and take their ball and go home is a HUGE problem. If that much wealth is pooled into so few hands, Capitalism and democracy just ceases to work. Period. The issue is then how to set up the economy in a way that grows the middle class, and doesn't pool wealth and cause the system to eat itself.

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Profits are all time highest, the stock market is booming

Quantitative easing creates lots of phantom money for investors which in reality is inflated and utterly worthless paper. It's one giant imaginary bubble.

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Like worthless gold. Yes, we apply measurable value to something and have means of exchange that don't always involve physical trinkets. Demand makes the world go around.

Hence why in the Zombie Apocalypse gold and diamond will be worthless; labor, canned food, and weapons will be the new currency.

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Capitalism is working perfectly. Like water, it's flowing to its most efficient users. A very small percent of people create things and save. Most people work and spend. Capital becomes very efficient when concentrated due to economies of scale - so it tends to that.

You can come up with an alternative and even give it a nice oxymoronic name like "social capitalism" - but then it's neither for trying to be both.

Government is already somewhere around 40% of the economy. How much bigger should it be? We don't have a revenue problem for government - and maybe the spending is not out of line. I just don't think we are getting the return on our investment that we deserve.

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This is not a snarky post. I'm seriously curious to know where you get these ideas from

Do you have any proof to what you are saying? references? links?

Look I DO Believe Gov't is bloated, but you're making this your sole argument for not properly funding the T and I just don't buy it... hook, line, and sinker.

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Again - I don't have enough data to do a full analysis - but the T has grown revenues tremendously over the past 15 years. They've also figured out how to spend it all and then some. Click on CKD's "source" link and you'll see what I mean. D'Alessandro did a report 5 years ago highlighting things (a few from memory I believe were salaries 40% higher than the exact same position for the state, outrageous sums paid for capital equipment overly generous pensions payable at very young ages and more) The T always has an excuse for this when in fact they have received VERY generous funding increases over the years - and hardly invested an extra dime in capital until the last 3 years when things really started to fall apart when the magical duct tape was worn out.

Here's the main problem I have with this (very similar to the arguments about BPS).

a) We know where we are. Tell us where we need to be.
b) build a plan for how we get there.
c) Have consequences for failure - and that needs to be both for executives who underestimate costs and employees who refuse to deliver reasonable value for working

The private sector is not an unlimited pot of gold to fund government. Read my posts in detail - I don't make this stuff up - they are all sourced from government documents. The numbers are staggering - especially compared to what's happened to private sector employees. The problem with the T (and the BPS) is they never tell you what they need. They just come back EVERY year and say "MORE, MORE, MORE" then you give it to them and it's never enough.

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Here we go with private sector entitlement.

Public sector employees are not your 'servants'. They deserve a salary on par with the private sector and that is kept up with the cost of living. And if you think that working in the public sector is somehow a golden ticket, I dare you to leave your cubicle and go work in it.

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You work in the public sector you get the following:

a) far greater job security
b) decent pay - most recently on par with private sector except at senior levels
c) healthy benefits
c) generous pension

Here's the problem - people are now conflating "salary" with compensation. Salary is only one component. Job security, pensions and bennies are substantial forms of public sector compensation. The problem has become that public sector employees have come to expect private sector salaries PLUS everything else they get.

There are 9000 ways to chop this up and argue exceptions, but if you take your average public sector employee making $75k and a private sector employee making $75k - I'd bet you have similar education and skill levels. The problem is the public sector person gets all those other things. The private sector person now gets no pension, fewer benefits, no COL raise in years and virtually no job security. This is a relatively recent phenomenon - I'd say last 10-15 years. It's not healthy and it's not sustainable and it will break down as it already has in Detroit (other problems there) and as it is doing in NY, IL and NJ. This isn't an us v. them thing. The problem is that when the economy is over half public sector (and we are pretty close to that), there aren't enough people to support the government. Don't believe that, go ask Greece, Italy, Spain and a host of other countries what it's done to their economies.

(here's a stat for you - a $50k pension would require about $1 million in savings to fund a similar retirement - you'd have to be in about the top 5% of Americans to have that kind of money).

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Turn it upside down.

a) far greater job security
b) decent pay - most recently on par with private sector except at senior levels
c) healthy benefits
c) generous pension

Wouldn't we rather private jobs have these same benefits? Instead, you're complaining that public employees get these and that means they should get yanked around more for all the cushiness in their lives. How about instead of trying to screw them for figuring out how to have a better life, you fight the people making the decisions that keep these things from you in private jobs? Your problem isn't that the public sector employees are screwing you. But it is that you're getting screwed.

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... but as unions weakened, the benefits started evaporating, from both union and non-union employess -- while beneifts (and pay) for corporate executives grew explosively.

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Private sector now competes on a global basis - which has caused many of these benefits to disappear (and increase the rewards at the top - because now you can sell your goods to the whole world quite easily - so economies of scale increase dramatically).

Hard to outsource a cop or a teacher or a firefighter and Chinese firemen willing to work for low wages aren't allowed to compete for those jobs. But at some point people start getting tired of getting screwed while they are paying someone else to have all of those things and they start telling government to they won't pay for it.

Bottom line - end of the day it's a closed system - sure there's a few percent more each year as anondeuce says - but there's only so much water in the bucket to drink. If you get 3% more water - and let the insatiably thirsty workers drink all the extra water every year, how do you have any left over when you need to trade some water for food (i.e. - in this case trains, but also schools, computers, new books and God knows what else.) And if you promise them 3% more water every year and one year it doesn't rain - which happens about every 5 years - then you are really SOL and you end up just digging a deeper dry well.

You can argue all you want. Kind of like the subtitle to the book I just wrote (dealing with the impact of financial fees on retirement funding) - it's not an opinion, it's arithmetic. You can't just keep siphoning a bigger and bigger portion off the private sector to give to government - eventually you turn into France, then Italy and then Greece and then Venezuela.

We don't have a revenue problem - we have a spending problem.

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You are like talking to someone from 1925. It's like you don't think we haven't already been here before or put in place policies at one time that were supposed to keep us from being here again...but we've been foolish enough to remove them thinking we were smarter this time or simply forgot our history lessons.

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And please don't say Glass-Steagall.

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The term is "Civil Servant" they by definition work for us. In terms of overall compensation including benefits the public sector has been outpacing the private sector for a good decade.

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The private sector is not an unlimited pot of gold to fund government.

When a very tiny few are the only other ones holding the pots besides the government which prints and back the money; yes, yes they are.

I'm all with you when wealth is distributed equally. The market does work well indeed, but not when its concentrated. It gums up the work and is time for government to step in and fix an issue of liquidity.

When wealth looks like this, it's the primary reasons jobs are not being created and government is finding it hard to fund things. 100 people are holding on to the pot, while the next 300,000 are left fighting over a shilling.

IMAGE(https://bosguydotcom.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/wealth-distribution-in-the-us-chart.png)

Now I'm not arguing that the government should just redistribute it, or spend it. There's dire consequences of that as well, especially in the short term. But we can't maintain and increase this disparity without hollowing out both the underpinnings of Democracy and the health of our economy. We need to make choices that reverse these trends and put Capital and Spending power back into a large middle class, and yes that means lower profits and savings for the top of the top.

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Because the middle class voluntarily redistributes it to the 1%. They aren't coming into your house and stealing it from you and they are still paying almost all of the taxes.

Don't want them to have it - buy a 1500 sf house in a far flung suburb instead of a McMansion, don't buy fancy branded goods, don't eat at Chipotle or Shake Shack or even McDonald's, don't spend a fortune taking your kids to the Katie Perry and Taylor Swift concerts, hell - don't have kids period, don't go to crappy overpriced movies and wait for them to come out on pay-per-view if you have to see them, drop the second and third cars, don't go on vacation, drop the cell phone with a streaming data plan, don't go to see pro sports teams play or buy the crap they advertise when playing on TV etc. etc. etc. Basically live like people lived 30-40 years ago.

The 1% have no wealth if we don't buy what they are pitching and put the balance in the bank - then they have to pay us. But if you want to stay on the treadmill with all the modern appurtenances you have two choices - stop spending and start saving. The 1% will collapse like a house of cards. But THEN who pays to have a government that's an even larger part of the economy?

The 1% have that much money for one single reason - WE GIVE IT TO THEM OF OUR OWN FREE WILL!

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Because the middle class voluntarily redistributes it to the 1%.

There's nothing voluntary about it. It's just how unfretted Capitalism works until it ceases to be Capitalism. John Smith knew this and talked about Monopolies in the Wealth of Nations,. Oligarchies aren't far behind.

Thats all Macro Economics 101 stuff Stevil (You're taking a more micro approach), and competition isn't some inherit byproduct of the system. It's the thing that keep the gears grinding. Competition and efficiency go out the window as wealth and power is concentrated in smaller and smaller groups, since they can use their wealth and power to keep competition at bay and force others out of the markets. They don't have to be innovative when they are the only choice.

Ideally government is there to force the most competition across the broadest markets, letting winners become the norm, in which new competition and innovation takes place. And sorry, but that has nothing to do with getting rich, but creating a system that promotes innovative work towards life, liberty, and happiness.

Or at least that was the idea. I'd argue it's been coopted by people looking to grab as much as they can, money, power, influence.

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The invisible hand doesn't hold you at gunpoint and force you to drive to Gillette after the Patriots win the super bowl and pull your credit card out of your pocket to buy an overpriced t-shirt you can't afford to match the other 57 in your drawer from the Sox, the Bruins and the Celtics.

Short of "stop buying needless crap" I don't have another answer on how to keep rich people from getting richer. It's what they do as long as we allow them. One thing I know is not the answer is "make them give more to government". It hasn't worked yet and you know what they say the definition of insanity is...

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It created the largest middle class boom the world has ever seen after WWII, which in itself [the middle class] is a fluke and against the norm in Capitalist societies.

It didn't come from nothing. Wealth was redistributed, Unions became strong and demanded better wages, and Monopolies were busted.

Unfortunately it took a Great Depression and a Second World War to destroy the economy and old gilded guard money so much that they had little say in stopping it, and more off less to lose if it worked. And it did.

We decided to restructure the economy to the squishy middle, and it paid of for just about everyone. Now were stuck in a game theory battle of who can be king and grab all the pawns, instead of all being wealthier and better off for it.

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I'm sure you would have excellent ideas about how to run a colony of rich twerps for whom the central philosophy is everyone for themselves.

Which Ayn Rand even couldn't muster at the end of her life, claiming her social security payments and medicaid.

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Take away the "Government", what happens to the "Economy"? The economy is a function of the Government and the systems and laws we set up, and can't be so easily removed.

Spending on goods and services is something north of 78% of GDP. The economy IS spending, it is not saving. Investing is wealth generation, and a hedge on future assets, productivity, and innovation.

Last, to use your water analogy, what happened to the Charles before the Army Corps built levees, locks, and flood plains? It would shit all over one of the wealthiest and most historic areas of Boston. We decided that land was worth cultivating, so we adjusted how the river works. The economy is no different.

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Have you ever lived in NY? NO ONE is going there to escape from taxes. If you live in the city proper you pay both a city tax AND a state tax. NY is not a place to go to save money, period. If they were really worried about taxes, they'd move to NH. But you know why no one wants to live in NH? Their school systems suck. Why? No funding.
Everything is a tradeoff, folks. You (and I don't mean you the person I responded to so don't take offense, I mean the general "you") want to complain about taxes? Take your own trash to the dump, homeschool your kids, pave your own roads, clear your own land, treat your own wounds, grow your own food, fix your own lightposts, police your own town, put out your own house fires...they're called public goods for a reason. If you don't want anyone else to have what you think you're entitled to because you think you're a harder worker than everyone else, and don't want to contribute to the funding of things that you don't think affect your life at that particular point in time, well good luck to you when you're old and can't work and need Medicare. Good luck to you when you're laid off from your job and need help. The system won't be there to help you because you voted against funding it a long time ago. You have to think of others and the greater good - that's the social contract you make to live in a functioning society. And you know what? It works pretty damn well because we have the resources and means, and voice in our vote, to hold the system accountable. Go down to Guatemala and see where their taxes are going. Not to any services for the people, I'll tell you that much. They're burning trash down there because they are lucky if the garbage man comes to pick it up.
We're all selfish idiots who only think short term and what's in our own best interest, and who cares about our neighbors. There is no empathy anymore. I don't think we even deserve half the stuff we have anymore. Again - go down to Guatemala and see the kind of conditions they are living in there, and putting up with and used to from their government, which really does just shamelessly take the money and run every time.

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I said people were looking for alternatives to that, not moving there as an alternative. NH, FL and TX are a few of the beneficiaries of that.

As for the rest - exactly my point. Used to be we had money to pay for things like trash removal -but things like that, parks and more are getting pushed aside to fund just schools police and fire. Eventually we won't even be able to afford those things. We keep giving disproportionately more to government and getting less in return. Boston has closed several smaller departments, short-staffed things like assessing and almost effectively defunded the parks department.

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We are broke because so much of what we have now is borrowed money from the future. The compounding interest is now outpacing growth.

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We are broke because so much of the income that our labor generates goes to the 1%.

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Depressed demand due to allocation in the highest brackets where it just sits.

No demand, no jobs, no wage growth, no need for capital investment outside of speculation.

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We are borrowing from ourselves mostly (other Americans), in order to invest in ourselves. If you cut all of that, we become austerity-minded Europe.

It hasn't worked that well for them, with the EU seeing 0 to negative growth for 2012 and 2013, the most recently available years: http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/tgm/table.do?tab=table&plugin=1&language=en...

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Tornados happen once in a lifetime. Western Mass is taxed everyday for the MBTA. Try a better analogy next time.

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And where did the money come from to do all that repair to roads, bridges, and dams out west?

I somehow doubt that the 50,000 to 100,000 people (at most) each paid in $500-1000 apiece to make the repairs in their own area.

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And the T failure is not a crisis?

Good we'll remember that when a tornado hits your home and we're stuck pay for it. We'll tell you to "stop whining" and "suck it up and pay more"

I'll also remember this when I-91 needs repair, or the PVTA needs buses, or anything transit related to Western mass, we'll just be like "stop whining" and "suck it up and pay more"

See how that works? Doesn't feel too good.

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How about you stop complaining too?

We DO pay our fair share in fares and taxes. We deserve better than what is going on now.

And btw.. you are aware the sales tax also funds the PVTA? It funds ALL transit, not just the MBTA.

PS - Without commerce in Boston, Springfield would look like Detroit. Keep that in mind when you complain about paying for something in Boston. Boston does its fair share of keeping Western Mass alive. It's a two way street.

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Eastern Mass pays more in taxes than Western Mass. The eastern part of the state subsidizes the west.

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"In 2004, Springfield, the third largest city in Massachusetts and long suffering from economic decline, requested extraordinary state assistance to meet its financial obligations. "

From http://wareham-ma.villagesoup.com/p/receivership-a-tale-of-two-cities/11...

Here's a thought: maybe if Springfield had efficient transit and connections to other regional economies, people would actually want to live there? The T is a massive contributing factor to the growth of education, healthcare, biotech, internet tech, finance, real estate, and all those other successful industries that seem to be concentrated in the eastern portion of the state.

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It does, the PVTA

http://www.pvta.com/

It's disproportionately funded by those inside 128, since thats where the majority of the population and economic activity is. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but Springfield and central/western MA is as bootstrappy as an Ugg.

We're all in this together.

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IMAGE(http://www.quickmeme.com/img/58/58739dcfcdd82515f5f01aa85ded330aa224f06880931f2cb7c5552d82373ba0.jpg)

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But it has Smith & Wesson, which employs half the city. And lots and lots of guns. That's something, right? Who cares about services when you've got weaponry!

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It used to have Colt, a US Arsenal, and a ton of manufacturing companies. I don't think you realize the entire industrial supply chain and skilled labor involved. Those are really good jobs for people.

Kahr in Worcester brought back a lot of work that was lost when Harrison & Richardson went belly up. Savage employs a good number of skilled machinists too.

Do you really want to crap over companies with a long history in the state for providing good high paying jobs making perfectly legit products?

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I'll keep making the same offer that everyone who comes up with this complain should be more than happy to take.

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You are lucky that our reps don't have this big grandstanding need to bray to us about how we are going to stop subsidizing Western MA.

Because Western MA is heavily subsidized - all those roads that need to be maintained for so very few people with considerably lower average incomes.

If you keep this up, that might change - and we won't be the ones who are sorry when subsidies stop because Eastern MA will win big if that happens.

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How did the Boston Elevated Railway clear snow a hundred years ago? Where are the MBTA's now removal crews?

Why hasn't the MBTA hired temporary ready labor to shovel the snow by hand or with regular snow blowers? This reeks of management incompetence.

Why can't the public get answers instead of management pounding the table?

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as I passed Wellington Station on the commuter rail, I observed a snow remover on the outbound track just north of the station.

About 8:35 this morning, as we left Malden Station on the commuter rail, I observed the same snow remover on the outbound track about midway between Malden Station and the underpass north of Wellington.

Assuming the snow remover had been working constantly, that's about 18 hours to go less than one mile. And if the snow remover wasn't working constantly, then the obvious question is - Why has it taken so frigging long to clear a track?

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I just don't get why they can't clear this track. Something seems very, very broken at the MBTA for this to continue.

Same with the red line. Both of these should be absolute, top priorities. Yet nothing is getting done.

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I wonder if they are concerned about breaking something? Or they know something is broken?

It has to be something more than just snow in the way.

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However, they DID clear the inbound track pretty quickly. So I doubt fear of breaking something is a legitimate excuse for not clearing the outbound track.

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for once I am with you.. really how long does it take?

And to think we get MORE snow this weekend.. and we're going to be back to square one.

At the rate we're going it may be opening day at Fenway before the T is running back to its "normal" self.

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You have to kill third rail power to use the jets. But once you kill third-rail power for that, the snow and ice will continue to build. But the jets work very slow. The jets are really intended just for clearing out switches in yards. Using the jets on the main line is more a gimmick than a practical method, but once you commit to using them, its difficult to use any other method to clear the line. A ballast regulator with a snow blower would be much better to use, but that doesn't get the same "look we are doing something!" attention as trucking some jets in from NYC to augment your own jets.

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about clearing the inbound track.

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Inbound was cleared by the "snow trains" while power was still on

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on it as inbound. Unless you're saying they chose not to run snow trains on the outbound track for some reason.

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A: Because New York DOESN'T FUCKING USE THEM.

They use snowblowers and rotary brooms. I guarantee you that this is a result of somebody's "We do it this way because we've always done it this way" attitude.

So, MOAR JET SNOWLBLOWER!!!111

Tuesday morning, my Uber car to South Station passed over one of the jets on 93 near Community College. I couldn't believe how loud it was and how heavy the fumes were hanging. I also can't believe how much money we must be wasting on kerosene/jet fuel when it clearly doesn't work.

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Well Spring will be here in a month. However, what can be done before next Winter to keep the T running. I'd guess the Legislature should have an emergency appropriation so the T can fix things... maybe they should start with the switches; or buy some snow removal equipment.
Maybe more seating can be removed from cars to increase capacity. I just don't know

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If all the T workers I see sitting around doing nothing on a daily basis picked up a shovel and chipped in, this wouldn't even be an issue.

Heck, they could've even given a bunch of kids home from school on Tuesday 20 bucks each and had it shoveled in no time.

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did the T do absolutely nothing the past few days?

It sure seems like it.
Red Line tracks were untouched Mon-Weds, one of the busiest lines on the T, if not the busiest.
Commuter Rail and Boat lots were either barely plowed, or completely unplowed, these lots are usually being plowed as the snow is falling.

Didn't the T take tuesday off to do all of this? There has to be some politics behind this, because it sure seems like the T threw their hands up and didn't do a damn thing the past few days.

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the T's snow clearance policies

The month of May. It's the cheapest snowplow around.

Jack Lemmon from It Happened to Jane

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If the National Guard can be sent on an emergency basis to clear streets, why can't they be used to did out tracks and switches on the T. Why can't they be deployed to clear bus routes?
It seems some creative thinking is needed here.... by someone; probably Baker.

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in one of Baker's press conferences the other day. The National Guard person in attendance stated that clearing MBTA tracks and stations was not part of their mission, as the snow on MBTA property did not constitute an immediate threat to life and safety.

In other words, the Guard is saying "not our job."

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I think they were brought in to clear roads and sidewalks and because they have tanks/gear to remove large amounts of snow at once. I think it's the equipment he wanted, not the hands on deck necessarily.

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Has anyone seen them out there? I haven't.

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I am honestly wondering if they are just waiting for the snow to melt. Yesterday, the T announced that the Braintree branch would continue busing through Sunday. But we're getting a foot snow Sunday. Surely the T won't be MORE able to run after that than it is now.

If they just said "No Braintree service until the snow melts," there'd be a riot, so maybe they're just extending the alert a few days at a time. I can't figure out why else the tracks haven't been touched.

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I live closer to Malden Center than Oak Grove, but yesterday I thought I'd be smart, so I got up super early, and walked to Oak Grove at 6:30 AM to be sure of getting a seat.

Not only was Oak Grove pretty crowded at that time, but when the train showed up, it was full of people who didn't get off. Lots and lots of people have learned the trick of getting on an outbound train so you can already be in said train when it turns around, or so you can switch to an inbound train at the end of the line where it's hopefully less crowded.

And who could blame them? After the first few stops, the inbound trains are so crowded that no one else has even a chance. Unfortunately, this means that anyone who can't or won't use that technique has zero chance, since the upstream trains will now be packed not only with crowds that started at those stops, but people who ought to have been waiting alongside them. Madness.

Of course, yesterday the joke was on me and everyone who rode outbound to go inbound, because we all got the announcement that we'd be dumped at Wellington and have to get on a different train after we'd left Malden Center. I said goodbye to my nice seat and packed in with everyone else.

Today I'm working from home. Again.

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Very interesting how this devolved from criticizing the T to a fiery discussion of wealth & poverty. Isn't it clear both rich and poor are paying dearly for this debacle ? Everybody is getting hurt. What I don't get is why some people of a certain political leaning seem to be both complaining and defending the T at the same time. Somebody else's right to be incompetent on the job ends where my pocketbook begins. I'm doing my job as a T rider, paying my fares and paying my taxes that support the T. Now the T has to produce. If they dont, and so far they have not, then heads gotta roll.

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The problem is that consequences of societal breakdown accrue more intensely to those at the bottom.

I'm wealthy, have access to a car, can afford parking. I don't like to or want to commute like that, but I can when lacking alternatives. I can also work from home, and get paid even when that is not feasible.

I somehow suspect that the woman who cleans my office doesn't get paid anything if she can't make it to work. She seemed pretty grateful that we left her camping gear in an empty office and some unused hotel toiletries and clean towels for the shower, as swing shift workers are sometimes stranded with the collapse of the transit system. (If she worked directly for us, rather than for a contractor for the building management, this wouldn't be an issue).

I'm inconvenienced and slightly wounded because my wealth is a buffer. People like her are screwed.

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