High-speed Rail: A History Lesson Never Learned.

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On June 5th 2009, President Obama claimed he's a student of history. Yet he still called for public-private partnerships to develop national high-speed rail. In American history, there were public-private logistics' partnerships between the government and entrepreneurs that built projects like the transcontinental railroad started under President Lincoln. Lincoln liked projects like this because he was a Whig at heart, and Whigs liked public works projects. They also liked bankrupting people.


The Whigs, an early American political party, spent public money on internal improvements as they were called; the shovel ready projects of the day. Unfortunately, the money would then be shut off in times of economic hardship. This meant, of course, half-finished roads, bridges and canals. And lots of people who had made business decisions based on the half-finished roads, bridges and canals went bankrupt.


Internal improvement projects like the transcontinental railroad were, of course, good for America. ( This doesn't mean high-speed rail is). The transcontinental railroad linked America from sea to sea. Along the railroad, telegraph lines sprung up because the railroads needed fast communications, leading to the development of a modern communication's network. This led to jobs for repairing communication's infrastructures because ready transportation was now available. It also lead to more train service as cities became the hubs of connecting railroads. And the original investors went bankrupt. Oh, the people who bought the railroads for a nickle on the dollar became tycoons. And there was no government bailout.


Today people who favor things like high-speed rail seem to know no history. This nation faces hard times because in good times we wouldn't stop spending. Now we're to spend even in bad times on projects like high-speed rail that are all storm and no rainbow. Please understand:


  • High-speed rail is based on the green agenda. Contrary to popular belief, most scientists who are said to believe in man-made climate change aren't in a qualified field. An example, 87 % of meteorologists, according to Gallop, don't believe in man-made climate change. But governments use only studies showing man-made climate change because they hope for Cap and Trade taxes on carbon-dioxide emissions. These taxes are a trillion dollar gold mine where governments can fulfill their dream of the ages and actually tax you for breathing.


  • Cars are more convenient, cheaper and here. And for those who don't like this because we're missing out on the new technology of the future in trains, we already replaced this type of technology once before. With cars.


  • The United States is big and not densely populated. So here, when you arrive at your high-speed rail destination, you'll have to rely on some other transportation that's either expensive or doesn't exist.


  • After 500 miles, it's cheaper to fly than to take a train. True there are security hassles to flying, but who's to say that it won't be just as bad at train stations in a decade.


  • There's no high-speed rail system on Earth today that's not government subsidized. Amtrac has 78,000 passengers daily and each ticket is subsidized $ 50.


  • The high-speed rail systems in the U.S. would rely on electric power which now is mostly coal driven. Yet Cap and Traders hate coal power; instead wanting green energy, and green energy is a dog that won't hunt. To replace a one hundred megawatt traditional power plant with wind power in California would require mile wide windmill fields from LA to San Francisco. How are we supposed to fund trillions in bankrupting clean energy and trillions in bankrupting high-speed rail? If history is right, the government won't, its partner will; partner.
Jeffrey Ruzicka
Jeffrey Ruzicka is a retired executive of a small company that specializes in industrial water treatment. He lives Happily with his wife in Western Pennsylvania. He is a contributing writer to LogisticsJobSite, LogisticsJobSiteBlog and Nexxt




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