Monday, August 15, 2011

A train to nowheresville

And you wonder why people have no faith in government. If this project were considered in the private sector it wouldn't even make it past the 'What if stage" because it would have been laughed out of the board room. Why, because the private sector is actually driven by profit and not some socialist utopian fantasy.

Okay, a little background first. The California high-speed train idea has been knocked around since the 90's. Initially to, ahem, economically connect San Francisco to LA and Anaheim. Now the Feds have decided to grant money to the project $3.5 billion and the state is going to sell bonds worth $2.8 billion (by the way, anybody buying bonds from California should have their head examined). So there's $6.3 billion in the kitty and it's only about $6 billion short and they've not even broken ground yet!

Okay, money aside, the supporters want you to believe that this will generate an economic boom in the central valley, increasing tax revenue and so forth and so on. Sounds great right? But here is where the liberals go off the rails (sorry couldn't resist). There is a reason why no one is in the central valley. There are no jobs. And here is a great example of the difference between public sector thinking and private sector thinking. It all comes down to which side of the economic argument you believe. Supply side (read Keynesian) or Demand side (read Milton Friedman). The supply side argues that if we build it they will come. While the demand side argues that if you find an unsatisfied want or need in the market place and you build something to respond to that want or need, good things will happen.

But let's put that aside for right now. The more pressing problem is where the train will go. Right now the project will start almost 200 miles north of Los Angeles, an area noted for its lack of human population, and end almost 200 miles south of San Francisco, another equally appealing hot spot known for (you guessed it) an egregious lack of human population. And, if Amtrak is any guide at all, the wonderful people of California will not only have to pay for this debacle, but subsidize the cost of the ticket as well just to get anyone to ride the damn thing.

Right now you can fly to San Francisco from LA or Anahiem for $138 and only take 75 minutes. Using the proposed train it will take over 2 hours and you will still be 200 miles from your destination. What a deal!

So, what is the real reason liberals want this train so bad? Control. They want to control every aspect of your lives from which doctor you see, what energy source you use, down to how you get from point A to point B. You see, the more they control you the less free you are, and the less free you are the more power they have over you. And that is their ultimate goal. So when it becomes apparent that the train is not economically viable, look for a tax on more convenient forms of travel like air. Knowing those knuckle heads in Sacramento, they will simply apply some sort of user fee to airlines making them less attractive to get more folks to use the train ala Wesley Mouch.

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