Just a few thoughts on the “let’s build railroads for the WIN!” idiocy emanating from King Ogabe’s Idiocratic Misadministration these days since nobody else seems to be posting worth a damn in spite of the generous salary and benefit plan offered to our Imperial Staff.
Take it from somebody who grew up in a country ideally designed for public mass transit, both culturally and demographically, the latter part being particularly important since, for that sort of thing to be profitable, you have to have a LOT of people crammed together in relatively small areas with an acute and frequent need to transport themselves at the same time as them being able to exist without private transportation.
After all, if you need private transportation anyway in order to accommodate all of your everyday needs not fitting into a regular, predictable, daily commute, why the hell put up with schedules, delays and snooty unionized public transport employees?
In Europe, you can make do without a private vehicle because pretty much everything is within walking (or bicycling) distance. Yes, your grocery loads are smaller than here in the U.S., but that’s not a problem. You just go more often. Remember: Everything is nearby. Besides, anybody who has actually tried transporting himself and a huge load of groceries on public transportation has only tried it once. It is not an experience you want to repeat.
None of this is true for the majority of the U.S. In Texas, which I bring up because that is where I live, you’re dead without a vehicle. Nothing is “close by.” Besides, you try to convince a Texan to walk to the grocery store in 110 degrees with 89% humidity. Go ahead. Wear a bullet-proof vest too.
We’re just not packed enough, and we happen to like it that way. If we wanted to be sardines, we’d grow fucking fins. And mass transportation isn’t a viable business model unless you have a huge mass of clustered individuals in need of transport.
And one more thing, and that’s where Europe comes in again: It doesn’t work over there either. Mass transportation is yet another of those money holes that run with constant, massive deficits, which is why it’s pretty much all nationalized since that’s the only way you can get the taxpayers to pick up the tab.
If you can’t get it to work in Europe, you can’t get it to work anywhere. Period.
And here’s the short version for those who just want to make the argument in one sentence. It’s a good one too because it applies to everything, not just “high speed rail.”
“If a business can be run profitably, THEN SOMEBODY IS ALREADY DOING IT!”
No, we didn’t think that one up. It used to be taught in school. 2nd grade, actually. Before it was replaced with “Fisting 101”, “How to Roll on a Condom 101” and “How to Convince Yourself that Being a Fucking Loser Makes you SPESHUL 101.”
Thinking that politicians and bureaucrats with absolutely, positively ZERO experience in running anything anywhere other than into the ground can come up with something that private individuals whose very existence and ability to pay their bills haven’t thought of is so skull-crushingly daft that individuals suffering from it ought to be forcibly sterilized before they can pass their terminal retardation on to future, innocent generations.