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Western Railroad Discussion > Freight Railroad Slowdowns Under Microscope Amid Supply Crunch


Date: 05/25/22 11:49
Freight Railroad Slowdowns Under Microscope Amid Supply Crunch
Author: SooGuy64

Is there light at the end of the tunnel?  It seems the Class 1's may have much to do with the supply chain issues.  Interesting read:

Freight railroad slowdowns under microscope amid supply crunch | The Hill



Date: 05/25/22 12:19
Re: Freight Railroad Slowdowns Under Microscope Amid Supply Crunc
Author: railstiesballast

This is the odd part: 
Big RR financial games to raise their stock prices have worked: RR leaders get big bonuses, normally a happy story.
But they do damage they to to the rest of the economy, where other, even bigger business cannot even achieve passable results due to supply issues. 
A loss for the business community as a whole.
Why do the big financial houses and stock funds tolerate such childish behavior between their clients?
I would hope they could seat people on the Boards of the RRs to balance out these greedy compulsions.



Date: 05/25/22 13:03
Re: Freight Railroad Slowdowns Under Microscope Amid Supply Crunc
Author: wyeth

Even though I like how it's getting more out in the public the information on how oppressive the Class One railroads are making it for employees, I wish these articles (and the people saying the quotes) would put more context into the talk about the railroads' tough "availability policies".  In this article, it mentions BNSF's "controversial attendance polices", which many will probably think that "yeah, the company has a right to enforce their employees to actually show up for work", but it doesn't put that into the actual context that most of these employees have no assigned days off, are on call 24/7, and have absolutely no predictable work schedule - yet they have to safely work with heavy equipment, harsh environments, and numerous things that can be deadly to both themselves and the public at large (like hazardous materials being carried).



Date: 05/25/22 13:49
Re: Freight Railroad Slowdowns Under Microscope Amid Supply Crunc
Author: pbouzide

railstiesballast Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> This is the odd part: 
> Big RR financial games to raise their stock prices
> have worked: RR leaders get big bonuses, normally
> a happy story.
> But they do damage they to to the rest of the
> economy, where other, even bigger business cannot
> even achieve passable results due to supply
> issues. 
> A loss for the business community as a whole.
> Why do the big financial houses and stock funds
> tolerate such childish behavior between their
> clients?
> I would hope they could seat people on the Boards
> of the RRs to balance out these greedy
> compulsions.

It's called "financialization", the practice whereby running every business ruthlessly optimized for shorter term shareholder return (and only shorter term shareholder return) is theorized to produce the "best possible outcomes". Without much if any regard for any other stakeholders, including other businesses. Let alone employees, customers, and the health of the overall economy and the citizenry at large.  

It's a purist ideology which takes the meritorious aspects of competitive markets to an insane extreme, and it's supported quite bipartisanly because politicians from both parties have been so thoroughly lobbied and literally purchased with dark money campaign contributions from the few who directly benefit (immensely) from it.

In my opinion it's as harmful a purist ideology as top down command economy Marxism is. And the latter is always something to guard against, but if anyone thinks that has anywhere near the probability of occurring in the US power structure as it exists today, especially given the reality of (again bipartisan) financialization which is right here right now, you're living in a fantasy world and need to turn off your TV and look around at the reality. We can all see it as Class 1 employees or even as knowledgeable foamer trackside observers.

Most of us on this forum see the negative trending effects on the railroad industry, but rest assured it's an infection that's taken hold well beyond railroading. 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/25/22 13:53 by pbouzide.



Date: 05/25/22 13:58
Re: Freight Railroad Slowdowns Under Microscope Amid Supply Crunc
Author: eljay

^ ^ ^
very well stated!



Date: 05/25/22 16:29
Re: Freight Railroad Slowdowns Under Microscope Amid Supply Crunc
Author: Fiftyfooter

Agreed, that is superb hit the spike nail on the head!



Date: 05/25/22 17:44
Re: Freight Railroad Slowdowns Under Microscope Amid Supply Crunc
Author: skinem

pbouzide Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> railstiesballast Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > This is the odd part: 
> > Big RR financial games to raise their stock
> prices
> > have worked: RR leaders get big bonuses,
> normally
> > a happy story.
> > But they do damage they to to the rest of the
> > economy, where other, even bigger business
> cannot
> > even achieve passable results due to supply
> > issues. 
> > A loss for the business community as a whole.
> > Why do the big financial houses and stock funds
> > tolerate such childish behavior between their
> > clients?
> > I would hope they could seat people on the
> Boards
> > of the RRs to balance out these greedy
> > compulsions.
>
> It's called "financialization", the practice
> whereby running every business ruthlessly
> optimized for shorter term shareholder return (and
> only shorter term shareholder return) is theorized
> to produce the "best possible outcomes". Without
> much if any regard for any other stakeholders,
> including other businesses. Let alone employees,
> customers, and the health of the overall economy
> and the citizenry at large.  
>
> It's a purist ideology which takes the meritorious
> aspects of competitive markets to an insane
> extreme, and it's supported quite bipartisanly
> because politicians from both parties have been so
> thoroughly lobbied and literally purchased with
> dark money campaign contributions from the few who
> directly benefit (immensely) from it.
>
> In my opinion it's as harmful a purist ideology as
> top down command economy Marxism is. And the
> latter is always something to guard against, but
> if anyone thinks that has anywhere near the
> probability of occurring in the US power structure
> as it exists today, especially given the reality
> of (again bipartisan) financialization which is
> right here right now, you're living in a fantasy
> world and need to turn off your TV and look around
> at the reality. We can all see it as Class 1
> employees or even as knowledgeable foamer
> trackside observers.
>
> Most of us on this forum see the negative trending
> effects on the railroad industry, but rest assured
> it's an infection that's taken hold well beyond
> railroading. 
Well said indeed and so depressing. I'm going to get something to drink...something strong.



Date: 05/25/22 18:39
Re: Freight Railroad Slowdowns Under Microscope Amid Supply Crunc
Author: TAW

skinem Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------


> Well said indeed and so depressing. I'm going to
> get something to drink...something strong.

The most depressing thing about the railroad industry is that it is essential.

TAW



Date: 05/25/22 19:06
Re: Freight Railroad Slowdowns Under Microscope Amid Supply Crunc
Author: skinem

TAW Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> skinem Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
>
>
> > Well said indeed and so depressing. I'm going
> to
> > get something to drink...something strong.
>
> The most depressing thing about the railroad
> industry is that it is essential.
>
> TAW
Thanks, Tom. After 43 years, I guess that's some consolation that since it's essential, it'll be around so somebody can be paying into RR Retirement so all's not lost
...he says as he pours another one.



Date: 05/25/22 20:46
Re: Freight Railroad Slowdowns Under Microscope Amid Supply Crunc
Author: Drknow

Pbouzide wins the intertube today.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 05/26/22 19:08
Re: Freight Railroad Slowdowns Under Microscope Amid Supply Crunc
Author: cchan006

SooGuy64 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Is there light at the end of the tunnel?  It
> seems the Class 1's may have much to do with the
> supply chain issues.  Interesting read:

Thanks for the link.

Since The Hill published it, I can only assume this is strictly a political angle. Politics = art of stealing credit, and blaming others. In that perspective, it seems the railroads are being setup for blame, to distract the focus away from failed global/domestic policies? I did mention last month about that possibility, that UP might become a scapegoat for the upcoming domestic food shortage (my post is still there, not deleted).

If political pundits are already looking for blame, is food shortage already considered inevitable? How sad.



Date: 05/26/22 19:10
Re: Freight Railroad Slowdowns Under Microscope Amid Supply Crunc
Author: cchan006

skinem Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Well said indeed and so depressing. I'm going to
> get something to drink...something strong.

Whatever it is, you should stock up. The bumpy ride might last a while, so you don't want to run out due to supply chain issues.



Date: 05/26/22 19:22
Re: Freight Railroad Slowdowns Under Microscope Amid Supply Crunc
Author: cchan006

pbouzide Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> In my opinion it's as harmful a purist ideology as
> top down command economy Marxism is. And the
> latter is always something to guard against, but
> if anyone thinks that has anywhere near the
> probability of occurring in the US power structure
> as it exists today, especially given the reality
> of (again bipartisan) financialization which is
> right here right now, you're living in a fantasy
> world and need to turn off your TV and look around
> at the reality. We can all see it as Class 1
> employees or even as knowledgeable foamer
> trackside observers.

Thanks for articulating the issue of "financialization."

Turning off the TV won't be enough. There's the brainwashing, confirmation-bias machine called social media. The infection has spread enough that it's too late to wake enough people to reverse the trend. The illness is terminal. This, based on random conversations with various people since the pandemic started (2+ years), and some people are hopelessly brainwashed and irrational.

This is excluding the occasional irrational rants here on TO (most get deleted) which exhibit the same brainwashed symptoms.

Anyway, it's a shame to the numerous independent thinkers I've interacted with, here on TO and in the real world. Their voices are scattered by totalitarian tactics to "silence the critics."

> Most of us on this forum see the negative trending
> effects on the railroad industry, but rest assured
> it's an infection that's taken hold well beyond
> railroading. 



Date: 05/29/22 13:21
Re: Freight Railroad Slowdowns Under Microscope Amid Supply Crunc
Author: pbouzide

cchan006 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> pbouzide Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > In my opinion it's as harmful a purist ideology
> as
> > top down command economy Marxism is. And the
> > latter is always something to guard against,
> but
> > if anyone thinks that has anywhere near the
> > probability of occurring in the US power
> structure
> > as it exists today, especially given the
> reality
> > of (again bipartisan) financialization which is
> > right here right now, you're living in a
> fantasy
> > world and need to turn off your TV and look
> around
> > at the reality. We can all see it as Class 1
> > employees or even as knowledgeable foamer
> > trackside observers.
>
> Thanks for articulating the issue of
> "financialization."
>
> Turning off the TV won't be enough. There's the
> brainwashing, confirmation-bias machine called
> social media. The infection has spread enough that
> it's too late to wake enough people to reverse the
> trend. The illness is terminal. This, based on
> random conversations with various people since the
> pandemic started (2+ years), and some people are
> hopelessly brainwashed and irrational.
>
> This is excluding the occasional irrational rants
> here on TO (most get deleted) which exhibit the
> same brainwashed symptoms.
>
> Anyway, it's a shame to the numerous independent
> thinkers I've interacted with, here on TO and in
> the real world. Their voices are scattered by
> totalitarian tactics to "silence the critics."
>
> > Most of us on this forum see the negative
> trending
> > effects on the railroad industry, but rest
> assured
> > it's an infection that's taken hold well beyond
> > railroading. 

Agreed.

Social media is even worse, but TV covers a lot of bases with the significant chunk of the citizenry that isn't plugged into FB and Twitter (or even Linked In lately) for their daily dopamine reinforcement hits and doomscrolling. 



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