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How does Netherlands/Germany do it?


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#46 riahc3

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 15:03

Hello,

Ashpalt is better for wear and tear than concrete actually though, why some roads use concrete on high speed curves, better grips but harder on the rubber,

I actually ment asphalt, sorry.

Ashpalt FTW :)


#47 +gaburko

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 16:09

Well most European countries are the same size as individual US states, so it's much easier to maintain small areas.

Being that the US is one of the biggest countries in the world, it's basically impossible to make everything "nice".

 

Not to mention we have huge weather tangents here.  In my state, a new road gets almost immediately destroyed by a single winter.

The joke here is that we have 3 months of summer, and 9 months of road construction.  There's just no way to keep up with it.

Not an explanation really. US is "bigger" in terms of size, but so are the taxes collected, so you should be able to have the same quality as the one in Europe. The weather is not an explanation either, you have countries, particularly in Central Europe with heavy winter and very hot summer (I live in Switzerland and its below 0c in the winter now and we had 35c in some summer days. )

The explanation is that taxes are spent on different public goods. While most European governments decice to spend on infrastructure (good) and overly-generous pensions (bad), the US government decides to spend heavily for the Pentagon boys to get the latest toys. Whether thats good or bad obviously depends on whether you are on the sending or receiving end of a, say, loaded and flying missile.



#48 Astra.Xtreme

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 16:29

Not an explanation really. US is "bigger" in terms of size, but so are the taxes collected, so you should be able to have the same quality as the one in Europe. The weather is not an explanation either, you have countries, particularly in Central Europe with heavy winter and very hot summer (I live in Switzerland and its below 0c in the winter now and we had 35c in some summer days. )

The explanation is that taxes are spent on different public goods. While most European governments decice to spend on infrastructure (good) and overly-generous pensions (bad), the US government decides to spend heavily for the Pentagon boys to get the latest toys. Whether thats good or bad obviously depends on whether you are on the sending or receiving end of a, say, loaded and flying missile.

Err... what?  The US is huge, so constantly upgrading infrastructure on such a massive land area is simply impossible.

We have almost 5 million miles of roads here.  Good luck making it look "pretty", much less maintaining it.

 

The most money is spent in the heavily populated areas, and it's a constant cycle of rework due to the massive amounts of traffic.  Our 3rd largest city, Chicago, has 1.5 million vehicles per day that use it's northern tollways.  This is worse in NYC and LA.  Show me an area in Europe that gets that much traffic.  There's not a single day in the year where there isn't parts of those roads being rebuilt.  It's a constant cycle and requires a tremendous amount of money.

 

Btw, it's a common misconception that we spend all our money on defense.  Something like 15% or less of the budget goes towards that (and swiftly decreasing), and it's largely in the form of wages for the soldiers. The majority of our money goes towards social programs, and will continue to increase due to our lovely new Obamacare program.  Our country is already broke, so there won't ever be money to make infrastructure look "nice".



#49 +Bryan R.

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 16:40

I spent a month traveling Europe and Switzerland was where it started and ended. I was stuck thinking similar thoughts too. Switzerland is also just so clean!

 

When it comes down to it, it probably has a lot to do with the economic scale. The US and other top-power countries are ripe with corruption and have so many people's hands in the pot it really shouldn't be any wonder why at some point the scale tips away from civilian interests. They think we'll be just fine with whatever cheap alternatives but there are intangible cultural differences that arise.

 

With that said though, I would still defend the US infrastructure simply due to it's size and scale. On a more local level I still agree though.



#50 +gaburko

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 16:47

Err... what?  The US is huge, so constantly upgrading infrastructure on such a massive land area is simply impossible.

We have almost 5 million miles of roads here.  Good luck making it look "pretty", much less maintaining it.

 

The most money is spent in the heavily populated areas, and it's a constant cycle of rework due to the massive amounts of traffic.  Our 3rd largest city, Chicago, has 1.5 million vehicles per day that use it's northern tollways.  This is worse in NYC and LA.  Show me an area in Europe that gets that much traffic.  There's not a single day in the year where there isn't parts of those roads being rebuilt.  It's a constant cycle and requires a tremendous amount of money.

 

Btw, it's a common misconception that we spend all our money on defense.  Something like 15% or less of the budget goes towards that (and swiftly decreasing), and it's largely in the form of wages for the soldiers. The majority of our money goes towards social programs, and will continue to increase due to our lovely new Obamacare program.  Our country is already broke, so there won't ever be money to make infrastructure look "nice".

No, you are wrong. The US does not spend 15% on defense, its about 4.4% in 2013. But, say, UK, France, Germany or Italy spend less than half of that (as a percentage). The delta in Europe goes to, as mentioned, overly generous social payments and infrastructure. Its all a matter of priorities. US wants to be the bully in the world, Europe wants to be the best retirement home in the world. I am not judging whether one is better than the other, i dont like either.

 

Now back on the topic. Think "relative terms" not absolute. If the US has the highest number of vehicles on the road, it also collects the highest amount of $ to support that infrastructure. Clearly, thats doesnt happen, so money is either 1) spend inefficiently 2)spend elswehere 3) 1 and 2



#51 Astra.Xtreme

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 17:18

No, you are wrong. The US does not spend 15% on defense, its about 4.4% in 2013. But, say, UK, France, Germany or Italy spend less than half of that (as a percentage). The delta in Europe goes to, as mentioned, overly generous social payments and infrastructure. Its all a matter of priorities. US wants to be the bully in the world, Europe wants to be the best retirement home in the world. I am not judging whether one is better than the other, i dont like either.

 

Now back on the topic. Think "relative terms" not absolute. If the US has the highest number of vehicles on the road, it also collects the highest amount of $ to support that infrastructure. Clearly, thats doesnt happen, so money is either 1) spend inefficiently 2)spend elswehere 3) 1 and 2

I think you need to recheck your sources.  To correct for my previous mistake, the US actually spends about 20% on defense:

Source: http://www.usfederal...il_fy13bs12014n

That percentage is shrinking pretty fast though.

 

Also, the US is not even in the top 50 countries in the world for personal income taxes, so you're wrong in saying we collect the most $ for funding.  You are right in that the money is spent elsewhere and inefficiently.  For one, we spend much much more money than we bring in.  And two, because of all the political BS, too much of the money gets wasted on crap that doesn't benefit the greater population.

 

Whether or not our infrastructure is fancy, it won't effect my bottom line.  I'd much rather have a tax cut than fancy roads and sidewalks.



#52 Growled

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 02:57

Well, I've always wondered why most houses in America are built with wood instead of brick/cement, especially in areas prone to weather phenomena like tornados and hurricanes. You'd think that it would fare better than a wooden house.

 

Probably because wood is so common place and inexpensive here in America. Safety be damned.



#53 +Bryan R.

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 15:35

Building codes were vastly overhauled after Hurricane Andrew so no wood homes at all in Florida.



#54 +LogicalApex

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 15:56

It is rich. Stone, tile roofs, brick are way way more expensive than timber houses and shingled roof. Concrete side walks are also way way cheaper than stone side walks. It why the USA uses these materials becaues the others are to dam expensive. I used to work in this industry.

It is all about local characteristics. In cities like Philadelphia it is very rare to see an all wood house, we are a brick and flat roof city, but that is what dominates our suburbs. If people want wooden houses then those are what will be built...

 

 

Yea the Amerians for new orelans after the hurricane had to bring in the Dutch to help re engineer their levys etc since American Army core of engineers had so many design failures lol.  Dutch and Germanys very good engineers.

I'm not going to generalize in the same manner you did... Primarily because Engineering is a very wide discipline and to say one nationality is better overall at the entire scope of engineering is disingenuous.

 

The US reached out to the Dutch not because they are better or worse engineers, but because they have more experience in this area. The entirety of The Netherlands is below sea level and is very prone to massive floods. The Dutch have far more experience dealing with the specific type of problem they were addressing.

 

That doesn't mean the Dutch would build the best airplanes...