Cry me a bay, it’s the Turnpike toll road blues

This’ll be out a bit early today, as if I actually had a schedule. The final furniture move, for stuff that doesn’t fit in the new apartment, is happening today, moving a dresser and a dining room table into storage. The storage is now a little less than an hour away; I expect this time will decrease when, this Friday, a new section of the Pennsylvania Turnpike opens, but I don’t really know how much (I’m guessing about 10-15 minutes, 20 at the outside).

Folks around here are inconsolable about Turnpike tolls (in Pennsylvania, Turnpike means toll road, often with a 70 mile per hour speed limit). They act as if the Turnpike is taking every last penny they have, which is also about how they respond to taxes. I hardly ever heard about either in California and, frankly, I paid more in bridge tolls out there. It’s really by far the least of my operating costs and I’m really rather disgusted when I hear people complaining about them here because, really, they aren’t much,[8] certainly nothing compared to the smidge over $8-9 to cross the Golden Gate Bridge[9] these days.

I shouldn’t be disgusted. The fact that folks have such an aversion to tolls means the Turnpike is generally wide open with hardly any traffic. You really can go fast on these roads. Which is definitely not the case with San Francisco Bay Area bridges, each and every one of which is a bottleneck for traffic.

The new section of the Turnpike will improve connectivity to the Pittsburgh airport, but mainly for folks along the I-79 corridor from Canonsburg south. That’ll sweep up some travelers from West Virginia and maybe even Maryland who also use the airport. I wouldn’t use it that way myself from where I live, but it will bypass a leg up I-79 to I-376 (the “Parkway”) and onto a section of U.S. 22 to get to my storage in West Virginia.


Capitalist Libertarians

Ian MacDougall and Isabelle Simpson, “A libertarian ‘startup city’ in Honduras faces its biggest hurdle: the locals,” Rest of World, October 5, 2021, https://restofworld.org/2021/honduran-islanders-push-back-libertarian-startup/


Pandemic

(Inter)national

Tom Frieden’s op-ed in the Washington Post reminds us that we’re still[10] having problems getting vaccines to the world.[11] I don’t see why an exposed unvaccinated person overseas would be any less a ‘variant factory’ than one here.[12]

Katie Camero, “UCLA doctor ‘willing to lose everything’ escorted from work for refusing COVID vaccine,” Sacramento Bee, October 7, 2021, https://www.sacbee.com/news/coronavirus/article254829122.html

Ben Sales, “A Proud Boys-sympathizing rabbi in Florida has provided 200 vaccine exemption requests,” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, October 8, 2021, https://www.jta.org/2021/10/08/health/a-proud-boys-affiliated-rabbi-in-florida-is-offering-to-endorse-covid-19-vaccine-exemption-requests

Alex Horton, “Hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops have not yet complied with vaccine mandate as deadlines near,” Washington Post, October 10, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2021/10/10/military-vaccine-mandate/

Lizette Alvarez, “Florida teachers are quitting their jobs in droves — and who can blame them?” Washington Post, October 11, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/10/11/florida-teachers-covid-quitting-desantis/

Tom Frieden, “Pfizer and Moderna’s mRNA vaccines are our best chance to end this pandemic. Break up their duopoly,” Washington Post, October 12, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/10/12/its-time-break-up-pfizer-modernas-duopoly-their-vaccine-technology/

Dan Whitcomb, “Texas governor bars all COVID-19 vaccine mandates in state, rips Biden for ‘bullying,’” Reuters, October 12, 2021, https://www.reuters.com/world/us/texas-governor-bars-all-vaccine-mandates-state-2021-10-11/


Employment

Employers are still whining about not being able to find workers.[13] They’re also still ignoring my applications.[14]

Eli Rosenberg, Abha Bhattarai, and Andrew Van Dam, “A record number of workers are quitting their jobs, empowered by new leverage,” Washington Post, October 12, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/10/12/jolts-workers-quitting-august-pandemic/


  1. [8]Pennsylvania Turnpike Customer Service Center, “Toll Calculator,” 2021, https://www.paturnpike.com/toll/tollmileage.aspx
  2. [9]Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District, “GGB Toll Rates Increase July 1, 2021,” June 10, 2021, https://www.goldengate.org/ggb-toll-rates-increase-july-1-2021/
  3. [10]Tom Frieden, “Pfizer and Moderna’s mRNA vaccines are our best chance to end this pandemic. Break up their duopoly,” Washington Post, October 12, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/10/12/its-time-break-up-pfizer-modernas-duopoly-their-vaccine-technology/
  4. [11]Helen Branswell, “WHO director-general slams notion of Covid-19 vaccine booster doses given global health needs,” Stat, July 12, 2021, https://www.statnews.com/2021/07/12/who-director-general-slams-notion-of-covid-19-vaccine-booster-doses-given-global-health-needs/; Maria Cheng, “WHO: Rich countries should donate vaccines, not use boosters,” Associated Press, July 13, 2021, https://apnews.com/article/europe-business-health-government-and-politics-coronavirus-pandemic-02b1157d4f0def0460c9c4548f1c7679; Hindu, “U.S. defends restrictions on export of COVID-19 vaccine raw materials amid India’s request to lift ban,” April 23, 2021, https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/us-defends-restrictions-on-export-of-covid-19-vaccine-raw-materials-amid-indias-request-to-lift-ban/article34391251.ece; Christopher Rowland, Emily Rauhala, and Miriam Berger, “Drug companies defend vaccine monopolies in face of global outcry,” Washington Post, March 20, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/03/20/covid-vaccine-global-shortages/
  5. [12]Maggie Fox, “Unvaccinated people are ‘variant factories,’ infectious diseases expert says,” CNN, July 3, 2021, https://www.cnn.com/2021/07/03/health/unvaccinated-variant-factories/index.html; Tom Frieden, “Pfizer and Moderna’s mRNA vaccines are our best chance to end this pandemic. Break up their duopoly,” Washington Post, October 12, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/10/12/its-time-break-up-pfizer-modernas-duopoly-their-vaccine-technology/
  6. [13]Eli Rosenberg, Abha Bhattarai, and Andrew Van Dam, “A record number of workers are quitting their jobs, empowered by new leverage,” Washington Post, October 12, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/10/12/jolts-workers-quitting-august-pandemic/
  7. [14]David Benfell, “About my job hunt,” Not Housebroken, n.d., https://disunitedstates.org/about-my-job-hunt/; David Benfell, “About that alleged ‘labor shortage,’” Not Housebroken, June 10, 2021, https://disunitedstates.org/2021/05/09/about-that-alleged-labor-shortage/

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