Inconsistent truths

I really enjoy reading articles or finding out about things that I always took for granted “as is” and find that my reality or thoughts about a subject were false or at the very least, incomplete. Many myth’s abound in financial markets and I like to think I’ve educated myself enough to tell the difference between reality and fiction. An obvious example is listening to the talking heads on CNBC, financial journalism, management fees, etc.

As I travel on the subway to Wall Street everyday, I spend a lot of time on the NYC subway system. Admittedly it’s a great subway system. I am flabbergasted when traveling in London or Washington, DC an find no express service or it stops running at a certain time. How medieval! So when I read the latest entry by Falkenblog, he links to a paper by the CATO institute on the inefficiencies and myths revolving around the rail system. If you were like me you would have assumed that it’s an energy efficient means of mass transit to start. If pressed you probably would’ve said it helps more people then hurts and probably vital if your in a lower income neighborhood. This paper then was a real eye-opener and debunked many beliefs I once held:

1) Mass transit is inexpensive

2) Higher gas prices result in higher usage of rail lines

3) Europeans drive less then Americans

4) Rail save energy

5) Rail reduces greenhouse emission

6) Rail helps low-income families

7) Rail promotes economic development

If you thought any of these were true before, take a few minutes to read this paper. While one should never just take what’s written for granted, it is a good tool to get one to stop and think about something as routine as the daily commute and the real complexity of it all.

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~ by largecaptrader on August 2, 2010.

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