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China "Stimulates" Economy By Suspending Road Tolls For Golden Week - Millions End Up Stuck In Traffic Jams

Tyler Durden's picture


This one is for the the no good Keynesian deed goes unpunished files. As part of its 8 day Golden Week celebration, China's central planners decided to do a good thing for the people and remove all tolls from expressways. That was the populist explanation. The fundamental one was that this act would somehow spur the economy. Alas, while the same people may have saved some transit money in the process, what they did not save was on transit times. As South China Morning Post reports, millions were promptly stuck in traffic jams as a result of the politburo's generosity. From SCMP: "A bid by authorities to stimulate the economy by suspending road tolls for the "golden week" holiday brought huge tailbacks across the mainland yesterday as almost 86 million travelers took to the roads. That's 13.3 per cent more than on the first day of the National Day holiday last year." And then the fun began.

"One traveller blogged that he could only move 200 metres in an hour on the Zhengzhou to Shijiazhuang expressway in Henan province. Others said the queue of cars on the Guangzhou to Shenzhen expressway was 40 kilometres long. All roads leading out of Guangdong were jammed, with cars moving at about a kilometre an hour in front of some toll gates. Provincial traffic-management authorities estimated traffic on expressways would increase by 40 to 80 per cent compared with the same period last year, the Shenzhen Special Zone Daily reported. The People's Daily reported dozens of accidents on 24 highways across the mainland, further aggravating the congestion."


From midnight on Saturday until midnight this Sunday - the duration of the combined holiday for yesterday's Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day - passenger vehicles carrying up to seven people are exempt from paying tolls.


It's the first time in decades that the government has suspended the notoriously high tolls for a major public holiday, with the move coming as consumption falls amid slowing economic growth.


The warning signs were there even before the tolls were suspended. In Guangzhou, cars began lining up before midnight on Saturday, waiting for toll-free travel to begin. Traffic was backed up at major expressway toll gates before dawn. Long lines were appearing on all 17 Beijing expressways by 6am, dashing many travellers' hopes of making an early start to the holiday.


By the afternoon, internet users had made tens of thousands of microblog posts about the traffic jams.


"I set out at 5.30am and didn't approach the border between Guangdong and Hunan until 4.30pm," said Xiong Junhui , a Shenzhen resident, noting that the journey was roughly 400 kilometres.


Xiong and her husband were heading to Mang Mountain National Forest Park in Hunan, and expect the toll-free policy to save them between 300 yuan (HK$367) and 400 yuan on their journey. "It is worth waiting for a while on the road to enjoy the toll exemption," Xiong said. "But the traffic jam makes me so tired, and now I already want to go home."

So... no economic stimulus?

In short, Keynesian miracles 4ever! But don't worry, next year's Golden Week celebration and roat-toll suspension will have a different outcome.


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Mon, 10/01/2012 - 09:25 | 2844656 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Long food carts on Chinese highways.  Have a feeling that (once again) humans will demonstrate that tey are not as smart as fucking yeast.

Hedge accordingly.


Mon, 10/01/2012 - 09:27 | 2844669 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



It would have worked if they would have just opened up the toll roads and not charged any money.


Mon, 10/01/2012 - 09:29 | 2844683 otto skorzeny
otto skorzeny's picture

The thieves on the Illinois Toll Authority would rather give up their first born than surrender a penny to free tolls.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 09:31 | 2844690 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



I spent some time in Chicago.....I believe you.


Mon, 10/01/2012 - 09:36 | 2844708 bigdumbnugly
bigdumbnugly's picture

and people still wonder about the origins of the chinese fire drill...

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 09:42 | 2844732 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

You just helped me realize that coffee is supposed to be swallowed and not expelled through the nose.

As an aside, Krugman just blogged that these traffic jams should be GDP positive for China, with gas consumption and all.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 09:44 | 2844742 otto skorzeny
otto skorzeny's picture

PK also said that everyone should throw a rock through the car window of the guy stuck next to them to "stimulate".

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 09:58 | 2844800 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Man who run in front of car become TIRED... Man who run behind car become EXHAUSTED

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 10:07 | 2844837 old naughty
old naughty's picture

So this is 'one for the road' humor?

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 10:29 | 2844934 AssFire
AssFire's picture

All these commuters dropped watches in toilet;

bound to have shitty time.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 10:41 | 2844980 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

Krugman who stands on MSNBC high on pot.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 14:05 | 2845831 fourchan
fourchan's picture

worst drivers ever, parked is the best case senario.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 09:57 | 2844794 MilleniumJane
MilleniumJane's picture

I had the pleasure of traveling through Chicago's tollroads about 10 years ago.  Couldn't believe the condition of those roads compared to the freeways where I live.  Now our state is considering converting as many bridges and freeways as they can into tollroads so they can raise more revenue.  Whenever I hear that bullshit, I think of Chicago.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 10:08 | 2844840 XitSam
XitSam's picture

Are the toll roads owned and operated by the state or a private company?

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 10:15 | 2844870 MeBizarro
MeBizarro's picture

Pay for actual usage of something?  What a crazy concept.  If you are wary of privatization of roads and what kind of deal private funds will get, that is another matter but generally what has happened is that private money that has bought public roads in the US have taken a bath (e.g., Indiana Turnpike).  

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 10:44 | 2844994 MilleniumJane
MilleniumJane's picture

My point is that the roads in Chicago were shitty-potholes, big ruts, half-assed patch jobs, etc.  I have no idea how Illinois plays this but if it's like anything the government decides to "privatise," someone out there is getting major kickbacks at the expense of the public and their safety.  Did you read about Oak Ridge's security breach by the 82 year old nun and the subsequent safety violations that were found after investigation?  I am frustrated because it's always the question of which crooks do you want to hand your money to.  I don't trust either of the thieving bastards, but with the way things are going I am much more leery of privatisation than letting the government continue to handle things like infrastructure.  It's the devil you know vs. the one you don't.  

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 13:28 | 2845675 Slightly Insane
Slightly Insane's picture

You're comment understates the situation and criminality in Illinois.   I do beleive that they will be eating each other pretty soon.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 10:19 | 2844891 zerozulu
zerozulu's picture

A bicycle country turning into a car country and a car country turning into bicycle country. Happening in my fuc***** lifetime.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 10:22 | 2844911 prains
prains's picture


Mon, 10/01/2012 - 09:28 | 2844680 holdbuysell
holdbuysell's picture

South Korea does this and adds restrooms too. During the holidays the roads are quite similarly packed.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 11:36 | 2845230 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


South Korea does this and adds restrooms too.

You can't even see the roadsides of that highway. If they're driving on the roadsides, you can expect a substantial increase in accidents (and skidmarks).

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 13:31 | 2845689 Slightly Insane
Slightly Insane's picture

And due to the overwhelming number of "skidmarks" produced that day, they had a "run" on "laundry soap" the next day.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 12:22 | 2845376 HeatMiser
HeatMiser's picture

So basically its was just like a normal traffic day in Mass Hole Chusetts.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 21:53 | 2847180 mkkby
mkkby's picture

LawOfPhysics - apparently I'm the only one in my class who understood the "yeast experiment".  Let's have a few billion more fucking babies.  Good plan!

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 09:25 | 2844664 holdbuysell
holdbuysell's picture

Any idiot understands the concept of 'the tragedy of the commons' ... Oh wait.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 09:26 | 2844670 otto skorzeny
otto skorzeny's picture

WWIII WILL be fought over oil(dressed in the guise of terrorism)

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 16:12 | 2846348 DosZap
DosZap's picture

And we think LA is Bad???.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 09:27 | 2844675 purplefrog
purplefrog's picture

uh...unintended consequences?

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 09:31 | 2844681 gojam
gojam's picture

Yeh +1 , who'd of thunk it..............?

Chinese abandon law of unintended consequences only to find that everybody has decided to leave the city

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 09:28 | 2844676 Jason T
Jason T's picture

The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions don't you know.

.. so that's why gas is up!

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 11:09 | 2844897 old naughty
old naughty's picture

If you can call stmulate more gasoline consumption to reduce the reserve that...yes.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 09:28 | 2844677 swissaustrian
swissaustrian's picture

Central planning creates unintended consequences

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 10:29 | 2844763 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



I remember a few years ago, there was a particularly nasty intersection on a nice, new, fast road between Dong guan and Chang an.  When it opened, drivers were always ignoring the traffic laws and causing terrible accidents at the intersection.  So, the Chinese government closed the big, nice, new, fast, freeway for a few months, causing drivers to take the old, slow, road, as a punishment!  When they re-opened it, drivers no longer ignored the traffic laws at that intersection, and the accidents decreased significantly. 

I love how they farm the medians and roadsides in China. 

Apparently, they shuck corn in the roads, too...

What a fine example of a walkable boulevard.  Kunstler would be proud.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 11:03 | 2845079 zerozulu
zerozulu's picture

We have corn,a lot. We have roads, a lot. Missing one ingredient. Wonder what?

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 11:38 | 2845240 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


I love how they farm the medians and roadsides in China.

It's some of their most productive soil.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 09:28 | 2844678 Dr. No
Dr. No's picture

Crap.  They created a data point which supports higher toll fees reduces conjestion.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 13:11 | 2845590 Matt
Matt's picture

Toll gates and traffic lights help break up traffic. Even if the traffic volume was the same with tolls, having steady traffic will cause more congestion:


Mon, 10/01/2012 - 09:28 | 2844679 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

cenrtral planning.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 09:31 | 2844682 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

All that gasohol burning away in the Jams. Someone knows which side of their bread is buttered.

Here we know it well as a "third world burn extra gas in traffic that you cannot afford anyways" tactic.


Somewhere, a Krugwoman is having a wet-dream

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 09:31 | 2844688 yogibear
yogibear's picture

More Chinese stuck idling just helps increase oil demand and world prices.

With the Fed's dollar trashing talk it won't be long until WTI oil is consistantly over $100/barrel.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 09:33 | 2844698 Robslob
Robslob's picture

In the good ole USA our "men in blue a.k.a. Police force" would take that opportunity to drive "ticket" revenue for expired inspection stickers!



Mon, 10/01/2012 - 09:50 | 2844719 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

You should run for your local county commission, damn fine idea.  This is exactly the shit that is coming.  Several of the counties I farm in began charging people for "run-off water" from any man-made structure.  very glad that we already had recovery cisterns in place already because we successfully demonstrated that we captured all of our run-off and did not have to pay.

It was based on the square footage of your structures and pavement etc.  Would have been a substantial tax.  When I tell people to "prepare" this is the kind of shit I am talking about.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 09:42 | 2844730 Dr. No
Dr. No's picture

Or at least giving parking tickets for illegally parked on an expressway.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 09:44 | 2844739 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

Obstructed traffic.  Bring out the police batons, plastic cuffs, and riot helmets.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 09:53 | 2844784 No Euros please...
No Euros please we're British's picture

Sorry, the UK beat them to it. Really. No stopping zone tickets from camera detected number plates of cars in rush hour jams. No one ever thought of that, would you believe?! And they had to go to Belgium to find the biggest beaurocratic idiots, just because we don't speak French.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 09:33 | 2844699 kito
kito's picture

these people should try the prospect expressway ramp to and fro brooklyn thats traffic.........

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 09:33 | 2844703 Catullus
Catullus's picture

This is also why Starbucks doesn't work in China. Give away anything for free in China and you'll see people use it just because it's free. That's why a price is its own rationing device.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 09:34 | 2844704 insanelysane
insanelysane's picture

The invasion of Japan will be delayed.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 09:35 | 2844705 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Selling more oil with those traffic jams; maybe they are trying to help Iran out (?).

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 09:37 | 2844715 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Unintended consequences bitchez!

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 09:37 | 2844716 Quinvarius
Quinvarius's picture

I see that and I think "highway fruit-stand millionaire."

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 09:41 | 2844721 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

china never fail to make me raff

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 09:40 | 2844723 stateside
stateside's picture

Yet the blowhards who are short the commodities say China's infrastructure build-out is largely over LOL.  No need to build new roads heh?


Mon, 10/01/2012 - 09:41 | 2844724 Cone of Uncertainty
Cone of Uncertainty's picture

Note to the Chicoms traveling on toll roads: Make sure you pack an extra cat or two, to ward off hunger.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 09:45 | 2844744 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

How many highways in the US are 18 lanes wide (9 in each direction)?

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 10:15 | 2844869 MarkD
MarkD's picture

Thinkin same thing. Photoshop?

Did a quick google maps fly over in the Henan province and nothing even close to that.....not sayin that pic is suppose to be about the article but........ their expressways look no different (possibly even better) than ours.


Mon, 10/01/2012 - 12:25 | 2845386 ImnotPOTUS
ImnotPOTUS's picture


This is a photoshop of the 405 freeway and Sepulveda Blvd. looking north towards the "Valley" from high above Sunset Blvd. in Southern California. To the left on the hill is the Getty Center if you know where that is.

This is not a real photo.If one whishes to see an actual vista of idiotically packed cars on a freeway, they should illegally park in the emergency lane of the flyover carpool lane of the 5 freeway north to 91 west interchange to see 16 lanes of unmovable traffic on any given weekday.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 13:27 | 2845665 FinalCollapse
FinalCollapse's picture

Try 24 lanes in Toronto, Canada near the 401/403 interchange.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 09:46 | 2844746 Dagny Taggart
Dagny Taggart's picture

classic blowback

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 09:48 | 2844752 Frastric
Frastric's picture

What money the consumer saves is sacrificed at the expense of productivity.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 09:48 | 2844755 Peter Pan
Peter Pan's picture

Mao must be turning in his grave. It is all too bloody funny. Not a place to be with a weak badder or bowel. Japan at least must be feeling quite superior.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 12:56 | 2845518 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

"Not a place to be with a weak badder or bowel."

Why not? The roadside is China's toilet...

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 09:50 | 2844765 ejmoosa
ejmoosa's picture

The tolls ration a scarce resource, they just do not collect taxes.

What the hell do you expect if a scarce resource suddenly is free?



Mon, 10/01/2012 - 09:50 | 2844767 hedgehog9999
hedgehog9999's picture

This is a great lesson for Central Planners!!!, but they'll never learn any way......

For every action there is always a reaction and sometimes of an unintended consequence.

The few pennies they save in tolls , they will blow up in gas, car repairs, food while they wait and otherwise piss them off to ruin ther little trip. And while they still will spend more than they would otherwise do, they will spend less in the coming weeks and months as they spend their wad. 


Mon, 10/01/2012 - 09:51 | 2844771 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

Remember last year, there was a 10 day traffic jam across half of China? People had to sleep in their cars.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 09:52 | 2844773 GolfHatesMe
GolfHatesMe's picture

You didn't make that traffic jam, the Gov't did

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 09:53 | 2844776 roadhazard
roadhazard's picture

I predict motorcycles and bicycles will be making a comeback. Just like Americans the Chinese will not be able to afford the gas prices let alone tolls.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 10:14 | 2844867 MilleniumJane
MilleniumJane's picture

Have been doing it since gas was around $3.80.  I looked at our family's finances and came to the conclusion that our savings were increasingly taking less of a priority just to have the pleasure of two single-occupant vehicle commuters in our household.  Now I take the bus to work (much to my bosses' irritation (but that's another story)).  I only drive to work when I have an appointment or an errand that cannot wait until the weekend.  We also used to be fanatical about yard work and mowing the lawn but I told my husband "Fuck the oil companies.  I refuse to give them any more of what we have just to keep up appearances."  So now we mow about every two weeks instead of 1-2 times a week.  They can all kiss my ass. 

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 09:53 | 2844782 Peter Pan
Peter Pan's picture

The result of zero tolls seems to be as successful as ZIRP.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 09:55 | 2844789 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

that many people hit the road because of no tolls ???? much are the damn tolls in china

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 09:57 | 2844798 Monk
Monk's picture

That's not a Keynesian deed.


Mon, 10/01/2012 - 09:57 | 2844802 ZeroAvatar
ZeroAvatar's picture

Yesterday, a ZH commenter left a link to, about a study regarding rats in a cage.


The conclusion was, after a certain point of 'overpopulation', the 'residents' (in this case the Chinese, but also 'Merkans) began to show pathological behavior.  Sudden bursts of violent behavior (Columbine, Ft. Hood, Aurora Theatres).  Many became hypersexual, then turned asexual.


There was an 'irretrievable breakdown point' where there was no turning back, and the race (rats) was doomed.  They ran amok, causing violence, cannibalism, high infant mortality rates from abandonment and attacks from their own mothers, withdrawel.  A point beyond any possibility of control.


I fear we are VERY close to reaching that point.  HOW WILL THE CHINESE REACT TO THESE HIGH LEVELS OF POPULATION?

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 10:10 | 2844846 literarybeer
literarybeer's picture

oh jesus christ calm down.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 10:43 | 2844988 Terminus C
Terminus C's picture

I am pretty sure that ZeroAvatar is not Jesus... I know this because... I am Jesus.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 11:28 | 2845188 zerozulu
zerozulu's picture

"Merican" are different. All who think its ok to give up some freedom for security and they have nothing to hide will be in the streets with baseball bat, when SHTF.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 10:05 | 2844828 Aegelis
Aegelis's picture

New verb "governmented".  Sentence use: I was trying to do a good thing, but governmented it instead.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 10:06 | 2844830 ZeroAvatar
ZeroAvatar's picture

According to (MB360), U.S. population was 281 million in 2000, and is now 314 million (increase of 33 million sheeple) in just 12 years.


No wonder young children nowadays have a detached look about them.  They seem to be apathetic and 'disinterested'. 


Something's wrong with our youth.  Just take a hard look at them.  None act like we did when we were their age.  They act as if the weight of the world is upon their shoulders.


Maybe growing up and going to school with this additional 33 million sheeple had something to do with it.  FOR SURE, technology is having some kind of effect on them, and it sure doesn't look positive to me.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 10:08 | 2844831 ZeroAvatar
ZeroAvatar's picture

(First dupe post evah!)

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 10:08 | 2844838 Bokkenrijder
Bokkenrijder's picture

The Chinese can't drive for shit!

They drive the same way pedestrians walk through a busy pedestrian area: signs. lights, rules are all 'for reference only.'

So much for cenral planning, hehehe...

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 10:09 | 2844844 ZeroAvatar
ZeroAvatar's picture

But officer, I thought that 55 mph speed limit was just a 'suggestion'.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 10:14 | 2844862 Bokkenrijder
Bokkenrijder's picture

Yup, that's the way they drive. They swerve from right to left, stop in the left lane on a busy highway and reverse because they have missed their exit. Every time I'm in Shanghai, the 45 minute trip from the airport to The Bund is a real eye opener with regards to the planning capabilities of the Chinese government.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 10:18 | 2844888 ZeroAvatar
ZeroAvatar's picture

Ummm, ever been to Mexico? 


(Oh wait, they're all over HERE now, driving like that)

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 10:29 | 2844939 Gavrikon
Gavrikon's picture

And LOTS of them are inebriated.  They also like using that drive-thru liquor store there in Denton, TX.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 13:45 | 2845746 ZeroAvatar
ZeroAvatar's picture

Drive-thru liquor stores!   YEEEEE HAAAAAWWW!  Ain't America Grand? 


Can someone do something 'bout all those beer and whiskey bo'ols on the sides of the road, PLEASE?

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 10:37 | 2844967 azzhatter
azzhatter's picture

My favorite in Shanghai was the taxi driver who missed our exit and proceeded to back up on the Yanan expwy to the exit ramp.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 11:30 | 2845198 Nobody For President
Nobody For President's picture

And then there is the taxi-cab race from the airport to downtown Bangkok on the only 4-lane in the country.

Yep, folks drive a little differently in asian countries. Then there are the Germans on the freeways, including the toll ones in France (piage, but spelled wrong) - you do 95 miles an hour in the number one lane and you have a German dad with his family in his Mercedes running up your tailpipe. Fuck those people drive scary fast.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 13:21 | 2845637 frenzic
frenzic's picture

If by the number one lane you mean the left(est) one you are really doing it wrong. Move over to the slow lane or get a real (that means German sedan) car and grow some balls. Those Teutonians can do 150 mph all day and have a little travel in the pedal to spare. And they do. Just like home. Mine is a little less quick but I'd be up your tailpipe too getting all worked up while rolling another joint. You do know keeping your lane is forbidden in Europe don't you. Move over already. Time is money.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 10:12 | 2844851 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

I hope they brought their pet rats with them so they have something to eat during that traffic jam...


Mon, 10/01/2012 - 10:17 | 2844882 americanspirit
americanspirit's picture

I wonder how many of those cars in the traffic jam photo are financed, not paid for. Hard to tell but they all look pretty new. Maybe this is a clue to Chinese GDP numbers - I mean, besides the 40 or so Ghost cities. Did the Chinese gov't run something like a "Cash for bicycles" program a while back?

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 10:23 | 2844915 ZeroAvatar
ZeroAvatar's picture

I looked at a used Jeep Unlimited last week.  As it turns out, they had 'just sold it',  for $29,000.  He wanted to know what my 'budget' was, so I told him under $20,000 (I don't really have a 'budget', per se).


He said it would be hard to find one for that amount, unless it was much older and higher mileage.  He said used cars were 'really hard to come by right now'. 


I told him wait a coupla years.  Right now dealerships are making subprime loans to anyone with a pulse (have you seen all the Hummers lately?).


In a year or two, they won't be able to GIVE these cars away (once they've been repo'd from the unemployed, over-optimistic sheep).

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 10:22 | 2844906 MeBizarro
MeBizarro's picture

Chinese copying all of the stupid and foolish U.S. urban policy mistakes of the past 50+ years to build out further & further that have made us slaves to imported oil to the tune of roughly $300B last year (nearly half of our trade imbalance) and created a massive bill for infrastructure maintenance.  

Why it doesn't really matter what the US does because almost all of the oil demand in the future is going to come from China, India, and to a lesser degree Brazil.  

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 10:31 | 2844948 MeBizarro
MeBizarro's picture

Never understood American's attitudes to cars in general.  It's a functional necessity for most Americans because public transportation stinks or is quite limited.  Also understand the convenience factor but I will never understand why people lease cars or insist on buying a car every 4 or 5 years.  Like taking a pile of money, pouring gas on it, and burning it.  

Do wish I do more work on my own car but I run my Civic into the ground over the next decade instead of wasting cash on a new car.  Much rather have that cash saved and if I choose to spend on other things.  

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 11:35 | 2845220 Nobody For President
Nobody For President's picture

The attitudes seem to be changing - more and more teenagers are not getting their licenses as soon as possible, or getting them at all if they are in urban areas with any kind of public transit. There is a real demographic shift going on re america's great love affair with the auto. The zip car phenom, if you will. This is certainly real among my college grad daughter's friends and my grandaughter in high school in the suburbs.

A trend worth watching.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 10:42 | 2844987 icanhasbailout
icanhasbailout's picture

A traffic jam is a government's idea of a holiday weekend.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 12:11 | 2845332 mendigo
mendigo's picture

does not make sense that eliminating toll produced traffic jams.
not buying it

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 19:15 | 2850093 Abbie Normal
Abbie Normal's picture

Their tolls are far more expensive than in the U.S.  Over there, it costs $80 in tolls to drive 250 miles, that's $0.32/mile.  Heck, the tolls are even more expensive than the fuel.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 12:28 | 2845399 giggler123
giggler123's picture


Mon, 10/01/2012 - 14:10 | 2845854 matrix2012
matrix2012's picture

he he he... having the biggest population of more than four times over the USA, it really takes China tremendous efforts to drift the population smoothly... every attempt there could have the meaning of another big social experiment... only India comes close in the size matter.


If you ever pay a visit to China then you'll realize that number does really count... the size isn't an illusion :D



"To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries." -- Aldous Huxley, author of 'Brave New World', 'Brave New World Revisited', 'The Doors of Perception', 'Island' (his last book), etc.

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 10:23 | 2848230 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

The photo is a fake, scroll down a bit to see:

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!