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53 Billion For High Speed Rail - A Good Idea?

  1. lady_love158 profile image60
    lady_love158posted 6 years ago

    http://biggovernment.com/wshughart/2011 … amanomics/

    Okay I know Obama is a harvard graduate but if he is really that smart where does he get his bone headed and ridiculous ideas?? This is latest nonsense... people in the USA don't take trains and to ride this boondoggle will likely cost more than an airline ticket and will certainly take longer! Its dumb ideas like this that make me question Obama's intelligence and wonder about his sanity!

    1. safiq ali patel profile image69
      safiq ali patelposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      But America's planes are congested. There are so many airlines flying all over American not that there is just no room in the skies for more planes. The Airports are full. Places like New York JFK, San Fransico and Las Angeles do not have room for more people to travel through. So Obama is wanting to develop a high speed rail network. I think the high speed rail network is a great idea. Personally  don't like to feel like I have to take the plane. I like to have choices. A slow train like the Amtrak Empire Builder or the Southwest Express is great for seeing America from the comfort of a cabin and a journey that takes over two full days to travel from Chicago to L.A. by rail.. I think this high speed rail network will move America's railway system from being stuck in the 1800's to living in the 21st Century. Japan, India, China, the United Kingdom all have these high speed networks installed or are preparing to install them. If America is to stay ahead, to stay competitive and to move it's transport infastructure into the 21 century then people have to recieve these plans well. One more reason America is not doing to well commercially is because so much of its road, and rail system is seeped in history, in tradition and in white plans. America most move into the twenty first century. It must diversify and become a land of choice. Not just plane but plane, train, car or horse which ever you prefer. Development will bring progress, Progress and good planning will create a new America. It has to be done. That is my opinion.

    2. Wesman Todd Shaw profile image93
      Wesman Todd Shawposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      I don't see anything dumb about high speed rail.  You think it's better for Americans to buy gasoline, over priced under quality autos, and auto insurance while polluting the planet and supporting the finite petro dollar?  WTF??

      1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
        Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Apparently! That's what the market has decided!

        Public transportation sucks, I lived in Japan for 4 years.

    3. profile image0
      Texasbetaposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      We don't take trains because our trains are inefficient and the opportunity isn't there. Ignorant.

      1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
        Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        why are they inefficient?

        Why isn't the opportunity there?

        Why don't we take them?

        Why don't we demand them?

        The answer is that we clearly like the choice of cars over railways.

        Now: if we had private roads, things might be different! railways might be a more profitable venture (unlikely, but possible).

        1. profile image0
          Texasbetaposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          If we invested in the infrastructure, then the opportunity would be there, and the choice viable. Instead, we have allowed our economy to be dominated by the most inefficient model of using cars exclusively for our ground transportation. High speed rail would not only benefit personal and business travel, but would open up an entirely new world in logistics, which I am in, getting you your goods cheaper and faster.  Why haven't we demanded it? We are idiots and have been duped for years into voting against our own benefit and for the benefit of rhetoric and false economic models, like supply side and Hayek ridicule.

          1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
            Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            First off - Trains suck. I lived in Japan, and they're quite the annoyance. 3 bucks to drive 5 miles? give me a break.

            Second - Cars aren't "the least efficient" means of transportation. I can think of numerous modes that are worse: Horse Back, walking, jogging, riding a bike. You obviously aren't thinking about ALL the possibilities when you make such false claims.

            Third - If the railways won't be profitable today (which you don't deny), then they'll simply be a waste of money UNTIL they ARE profitable. We have no idea how long this will take.

            Fourth - when they DO become profitable, we will likely have better technology and better construction methods which would make the construction cheaper.

            You simply CAN'T convince me otherwise.

            Oh, and BTW, You can ridicule Hayek all you want. His school of economics has a MUCH better track record than yours (Keynesian Economics = teh suck when it comes to predicting things. Art Laffer still owes Peter Schiff a Penny). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2I0QN-FYkpw

            Here's the chief "real economist" and his fantastic predicting ability: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QpD64GUoXw .

            "Prepared to get schooled in my Austrian Perspective"

            1. profile image0
              Texasbetaposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              At one time, highways weren't profitable either. It is called investment.

  2. Mikeydoes profile image78
    Mikeydoesposted 6 years ago

    Having a blazing fast rail system would be used quite a bit, and can benefit us in many ways.

    Money is always an issue.

    It seems to me like if the track is down it will be used. It may not be as fast as an airplane. BUT.

    Can someone hijack it? Do we have to show up 1-2 hours early? Are we allowed to walk around on the train and feel comfortable?

    Airplanes suck, I hate them. Right now Southwest and Airtran have cheap flights, however Airtran is being bought out. This scares me.

    Having these trains seems like it would be AWESOME! Especially if we had a huge transit system. Of course it may be expensive to start up, but many people don't like planes. When they experience a much safer, easier ride, they can easily become lifetime customers.

  3. Evan G Rogers profile image82
    Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago

    Indeed.

    Building random high-speed rail is a pretty pointless endeavor. How many people need to go from Cincinnati to Columbus regularly enough to make this venture profitable?

    The answer: not enough.

    This is why these things aren't being built by the market. They aren't worth it.

    Sure, the construction would "create" jobs (in reality, they were just be jobs stolen from other industries due to mal-investment), but those jobs would be temporary, and they would have to be maintained through higher government spending.

    To discuss the "jobs stolen from other industries", just think about it. You have the choice to either drive that far, or hop on a train to do it ... and then get in a taxi and drive from the station to your real destination. Sure, taxi jobs will be created, and so will train jobs. But we'll lose jobs to pay for the bureaucracy, and we'll lose money in the Gas industry and other such things. And the transportation would be less efficient.

    This is the folly of "spending side" economics (the stuff they teach in schools). GDP is NOT a measure of production, but a measure of spending.

    1. Wesman Todd Shaw profile image93
      Wesman Todd Shawposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      E.G.R., I wonder, does he get paid to say the most ridiculous memes all day every day on hubpages???  It's like he's a piece of well written java script, a faux noise parrot, and someone so out of touch with reality. .. . .that he thinks the local newspaper isn't manipulated garbage for the minds of the fools.  Waving magnets over dungheaps is logic for E.G.R. java script programs; God bless us all, each and every one.

      1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
        Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        what the hell are you talking about?

        Dung heaps?

        ... I just wake up in the morning, and as my hash browns cook up, I come on here and see what people are saying, and try to reply..

        Magnets? what?

        1. Wesman Todd Shaw profile image93
          Wesman Todd Shawposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Well, I just think that if you are going to be an entertainer rather than a thinker, that I should mimic you?

          1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
            Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            the hell are you talking about? I'm not an entertainer! If I were, then I'd be a poor one.

            If you're not going to post valid arguments on these forums, then I'll have to just call you a troll and move on with my life.

            Make a valid argument (instead of "dung heaps" and "magnets"... i still have no idea wtf you're talking about), or move on.

        2. profile image0
          Texasbetaposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          ...then looks at his wife and thinks back fondly to the Confederate South. Yeah, we've already established your lack of humanity dude.

          1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
            Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            alright, that's a personal attack. I've reminded you repeatedly that I'm living in Ohio.

            1. profile image0
              Texasbetaposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              Okay man, then wait a second...either you are not trying to understand or just playing. It doesn't matter that you live in Ohio. You are supporting the Confederacy. Therefore, you are supporting enslaving people, and those very people, resemble your wife. Does that not make sense to you? Is it okay that you support slavery even though you live in Ohio? Is that some kind of universal exception I don't understand?

              1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
                Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                The Confederacy WAS more than just Slavery. It was indeed a big issue, but that wasn't it.

                I've argued elsewhere (and here) that slavery was likely to go belly up without the government subsidizing it, and thus the state's rights issue would be more important.

                And with that, the south wasn't forcing Japanese people to be slaves. Especially not American Born Japanese.

                In fact, the only Union that I can remember on US soil treating Japanese like crap would be FDR's presidency -- y'know, the North.

                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUrpIFp7 … re=related
                "No Charges, no trials, no due process"

                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WiOSUN4EgVQ
                "2/3rds were native born"

                I love the contrast between what Takei says and the propaganda Audio at the time.

                Anyway. Don't bring my fiance into this because 1) it's irrelevant, 2) it's obviously inciteful, and 3) it's counter to your argument, as the atrocity against "my fiance's people" was committed by the victors of the war in question.

  4. JSAlison profile image60
    JSAlisonposted 6 years ago

    Trains will become more and more attractive as oil prices continue to rise. Electricity can be generated in whole range of ways. If you want a sustainable economy they are the way to go.

    1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
      Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      "I'll be waiting for that day"

      1. kerryg profile image87
        kerrygposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Some analysts are predicting that oil will top 2008 prices this year.

  5. optimus grimlock profile image60
    optimus grimlockposted 6 years ago

    its a noval idea put not worth the money!!!

  6. I am DB Cooper profile image66
    I am DB Cooperposted 6 years ago

    "What is more important, no public transit system in the country, with the possible exception of New York City’s subway, generates passenger revenues sufficient to cover operating costs, let alone capital costs. All others gush red ink year after year."

    I was surprised to learn that this statement was made someone who, according to his bio, is a "Distinguished Professor of Economics". Then I read the rest of the bio, and it says "at the University of Mississippi". Ah, that makes a lot more sense. I don't think any of my economics professors would have tried to convince us that a form of public transportation was not worth it just because costs exceed revenue. That's a ridiculous way to frame the argument, because almost all public transportation will lose money when you just look at revenue versus expenses.

    The whole point of public transportation is that it creates a positive benefit that can't be found on the balance sheet. This isn't just goodwill either; increased production leads to lower public costs elsewhere and higher tax revenues. There are very few cities that would shut down their subway systems if given the chance, even though many are in the red by tens of millions of dollars. They know that if you take away the subways, you'll see businesses move out and a mass exodus of jobs, and many of these jobs are in high-paying sectors.

    Whether or not high speed rail is a good idea is something I can't predict. One thing I do know is that we shouldn't base our judgment on whether or not passenger revenue can cover the $53 billion in expenses.

    1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
      Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Yes yes yes, public transportation has a lot of benefits.

      But why isn't it being invested in on the private level?!

      If it were valued by society, they would pay for it, and thus it would be profitable.

      The sheer fact that it isn't being invested in is evidence that it isn't desired by the populace.

      Heck, I know I would ride that! Public transportation sucks! I lived in Japan for 4 years -- their trains were on time relentlessly. But that didn't change the fact that it took 3 times as long to get there!

      In fact, I just recently bought a car! Not only is a car cheaper than these massive public transportation endeavors, but they are more efficient and much more convenient. More fun, too.

      Those railways are going to exist to transport people from one city to another... Whoopty doo! what if I want to go ANY WHERE ELSE!!!!???

      1. junko profile image78
        junkoposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Just keep buying gas and cars until oil is cut off or the supply runs low and cost too much.  Than walk or ride a bike from one city to another, right?

        1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
          Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          say it with me, now:

          "as prices increase, alternatives become more profitable!"

          Thus your entire argument is destroyed with an understanding of the first 20 minutes of the first class of Econ 101.

          1. kerryg profile image87
            kerrygposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            "as prices increase, alternatives become more profitable!"

            Alternatives such as public transportation perhaps?

      2. mtkomori profile image82
        mtkomoriposted 6 years ago in reply to this



        I'm not sure if you're FOR pulic tranportation or AGAINST it. You quoted an example of Japan and how efficient their train system is, yet you say that "public tranportation sucks". It probably "sucks" in the U.S. and Canada, which I can say for sure having lived in Waterloo, Ontario since 2006 where the only public tranporation we have now is the inefficient bus system. I am from Japan and lived in a transit-oriented city, Tokyo and Yokohama, and I know from experience that an efficient train system really is the fastest way to get around. In some cases, yes, it can take more time on the train even in a large metropolitan area like Tokyo becasue you have to travel on a set route with the train. But driving within the city (e.g. Tokyo, Yokohama) is unreliable because you don't know when you'll run into a traffic jam.
        Yes, it will be very costly to build a mass transit system in many parts of North America and saying that public transportation will be beneficial to the economy in the "future" may not sound convincing because nobody knows when this "future" is. But do we put up with the rising oil prices, the cost of building new roads and frequent motorvehicle accidents?

        1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
          Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          I'm FOR public transportation if it's PRIVATE.

          If it's owned by the government, then it really isn't worth it. Japan has so much government regulation in place that it costs a fortune to drive/take-a-train just about anywhere.

          My argument is that transportation will and should remain the way it is until it becomes cheaper and more profitable to engage in a different way.

          Also, your example of how "faster" it is to take a train than it is to drive relies on Japan's system of driving vs. Japan's railways. Both were/are, at some point, owned by the government.

          IT took me almost 4 hours to take a train from Takasaki-shi to Tokyo, and about the same time to drive that far.

          In the US such a drive would take 2 hours MAX. A trip to Aomori (car or train, both take the same time) took an entire day's drive -- it would take about 4 hours to drive that distance in the US.

          The argument i"m making here is simply that we can't compare apples to oranges.

          Your argument about "increasing oil prices" isn't a very good one: as the price of Oil increases, alternatives (railways) become better investments, thus we don't need to build them yet: they will be built by private companies in the future in a profit driven system, rather than a "I'm the government, do as I say" system.

          ALSO!!! The deaths that happen on the roads -- remember that those roads are NOT privately owned. Imagine if a private road owner was responsible for the deaths that happened on his roads!! Things would be MUCH different.

          1. John Holden profile image61
            John Holdenposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Evan, in the UK we used to have publicly owned public transport until a previous administration decided to privatise it.
            I could go on about how public property was sold to private enterprise but not to the benefit of the last owners but that's not really what I'm about.
            Rather I'm more concerned about the effects of privatisation.
            Fares now are some three times what they would have been in public ownership.
            Service has gone out of the window too, some routes are well over subscribed whilst others have been cut without a thought that though on their own they aren't profitable they help  to contribute to more profitable routes and relieve pressure on other forms of transport.

            1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
              Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              Well, the government had a monopoly on the things that it bought with your money... why weren't you complaining then?

              THEN, the government sold all the rights to a private company that then had a near monopoly on the systems. And NOW you're complaining?

              BTW, I bet you were paying more for the service when it was owned by government! You were probably just paying for it indirectly through income taxes AND directly through sale price.

              1. John Holden profile image61
                John Holdenposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                Why complain when something works?
                The problem is that the fares cost much more under private ownership, the government no longer subsidises the system, it gives out grants!
                The first year that the railways were privatised the grants received by the railways almost exactly equalled the dividends paid out to share holders!

                All that has happened is that the benefits have been removed from the population at large and handed to private enterprise, mostly the big financial institutions!

                1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
                  Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  I love the way that you're complaining about the cost of transportation when a business owns it...

                  but now you're arguing FOR a mode of transportation that will cost MORE than the current system we have.

                  pretty ironic.

                  1. John Holden profile image61
                    John Holdenposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    What!! Where am I arguing for a mode of transportation that costs more than the  system we have?

      3. DTR0005 profile image85
        DTR0005posted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Evan, I suspect the private sector isn't interested in public transportation because the private sector can't see a profit on the near-tern horizon. It's like 45 year-old power grids servicing a new, residential neigborhood. The attitude is "if it ain't broke, don't fix it..." You take your home state of Ohio - no commuter rail service in the entire state. I read somewhere that Ohio is one of the few states its size that has absolutely no train service. Not passing judgement, I just think it's odd. Then again, Ohio is pretty damn conservative- the only liberal areas being Cleveland and Columbus (to a degree.)

        1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
          Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          why is it odd?

          I like driving! Trains piss me off! They're slow, they stop every twenty minutes, they don't go where I want to go, they leave without me, they don't stop and turn around if I forget something, they don't stop near the restaurants i like on the way to my destination, they don't let me have a surround sound system blasting my favorite music, they don't let me "have fun" with my hunny on long boring drives, I have to sit next to fat sweaty guys who reek horribly, my fiance was felt up by a pervert on one in Japan 15 years ago...

          ugh...

          You name it, a car is a MUCH better way to move yourself.

      4. I am DB Cooper profile image66
        I am DB Cooperposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Evan, you said: "But why isn't it being invested in on the private level?!
        If it were valued by society, they would pay for it, and thus it would be profitable."

        The point of what I previously said was that it isn't profitable in a traditional way, and that's why you don't see the private level getting involved. If Private Rail Incorporated wants to build a $53 billion rail system between New York and Chicago, it needs to generate enough revenue from tickets to cover its expenses. If their new rail system causes businesses to grow and expand in New York and Chicago and increased tax revenue in those cities, Private Rail Inc. doesn't get a cut of that. If the new rail system causes unemployment to go down and less strain on the government aid programs, that doesn't erase debts from Private Rail Inc.'s books.

        The public benefits from public transportation in many cases cannot be realized by private corporations embarking on the same projects.

  7. Doug Hughes profile image60
    Doug Hughesposted 6 years ago

    "Between 1957 and 1962, engineering plans were developed for a system that would usher in a new era in rapid transit. Electric trains would run on grade-separated right-of-ways, reaching maximum speeds of 75-80 mph, averaging perhaps 45 mph, including station stops. Advanced transit cars, with sophisticated suspensions, braking and propulsion systems, and luxurious interiors, would be strong competition to "King Car " in the Bay Area. Stations would be pleasant, conveniently located, and striking architectural enhancements to their respective on-line communities."

    This isn't a theoretical system. It's in operation, popular, with a weekday average ridership of 328,000 fares. The system is quiet, non-polluting, and much more efficient than driving. It's called BART, and it connects Oakland to San Francisco with a tube under the San Francisco bay. The system has been in service since '72 and residents swear by it.

    1. junko profile image78
      junkoposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Who are you talking to, Doug?

      1. lady_love158 profile image60
        lady_love158posted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Lol... the voices!!!

        1. junko profile image78
          junkoposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          I think he likes talking to you lady love.

          1. Doug Hughes profile image60
            Doug Hughesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            I have a bit of a crush.. but don't  tell anyone...

      2. Doug Hughes profile image60
        Doug Hughesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        The idea of high-speed rail - electric or other - is NOT a new, hypothetical system.  That's the point I was trying to make. Nobody likes their cars as much as Californians, but they use BART more every year.

        So I was responding to those who suggest the system wouldn't work or wouldn't be used.. look at BART for evidence.

        1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
          Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          It COULD be used, but the most OVERlooked part of the entire endeavor is that it is being paid for by taxes.

          The ONLY reason why it's a profitable venture (if it even will be profitable) is because it will have HUGE government subsidies.

          Basically, your argument that people will choose to use that over their cars MIGHT be true, but the important point is that even if they DON'T switch from their cars, they're still paying for the service they DON'T use!!

          Ti's theft, my good sir.

          1. junko profile image78
            junkoposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Evan G. Rogers: , that's allBefore you left this thread this this morning, I made comment questing the wisdom of your post. I implied that we may in the not too distant future need high speed rail and you just ignored my post.  Ithink you should rethink your position, that's all.  You could be wrong,huh?

            1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
              Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              I didn't ignore anything.

              I happen to have a life outside of HubPages.

              Anyway...

              Yeah, we might WANT high speed rail IN THE FUTURE... so why are we investing in it now, when it will lose money for centuries? Why not take the money that would be a bad investment and instead invest it in paying down our debt?

              1. kerryg profile image87
                kerrygposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                Centuries? Shell just released a report predicting regular severe oil shocks by 2050, and according to Wikileaks the US government believes Saudi Arabia is overstating its oil reserves by as much as 40%. We're talking decades at most.

                Heck, if analysts are right and oil gets back up over $147 a barrel this summer, we'll see mass transit use climbing again by fall.

                1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
                  Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  Right!

                  That's an argument I can believe in!

                  Once again: I'm not saying Public Transportation is evil, I'm merely saying it isn't economical yet.

                  Once gas prices skyrocket, then it will be a good investment.

                  That's all I'm saying. (Well, i guess i did say that i don't LIKE public transportation... but that's just a personal opinion)

                  Once it's economical to build it, it will be built without the government.

                  1. rebekahELLE profile image91
                    rebekahELLEposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    You sometimes have some good arguments, but here I don't see one.
                    The rate we're going, we'll need 20 lane highways throughout the country. How many lanes do you want? High speed rail makes sense for major corridors with business commuters and tourism dollars dangling midair. Our FL. governor didn't do his homework in making such a bad decision, and no, I didn't vote for him.

          2. kerryg profile image87
            kerrygposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Dude, oil companies get billions of dollars of government subsidies and handouts a year. Do you really think you'd be crowing about how much cheaper your car is if they didn't?

  8. AnnCee profile image77
    AnnCeeposted 6 years ago

    Yeah it's a great idea.  Cronies can get the bloated contracts to build a thing few car driving Americans will use and then more cronies can get bloated contracts to operate the in-the-red enterprise and more cronies can get more bloated contracts to promote the useless thing and then tickets can be given away for free to encourage people to try it and it can limp along until it turns into another Socialist ruin.

    Anybody ever notice that the entire infrastructure of the United States is designed for cars more than people?  http://images.zaazu.com/img/scratch-head02-idea-animated-animation-smiley-emoticon-000415-large.gif

    1. junko profile image78
      junkoposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      anncee:  what list do you belong to, capitalist?

      1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
        Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        should we be embarrassed that we support "making money through hard work"?

        I sure ain't!

  9. TheSenior profile image59
    TheSeniorposted 6 years ago

    Ok so let me get this straight - the Pres feel that this nation needs high speed rail - why because he is probably enamored with the bullet trains in Japan - ok fine.

    What he has to remember is that America for 1 has just come out of a major recession where  lot of people have been unemployed for a long time 2 he has spent more than a trillion dollars and the unemployment rate is still almost 9% and 3 America is How many times larger than Japan???

    This is another way to spend taxpayer money and put America deeper into debt and further devalue the dollar.  I really wish he would concentrate on rebuilding America and helping to improve the economy by cutting spending.  Democrats are sure showing America that they are the party of spend, spend, spend.

  10. SomewayOuttaHere profile image59
    SomewayOuttaHereposted 6 years ago

    ...whoa...that's a lotta dough!......omygee....what i could do with that where i work!....and i'd just want .01 %......ha ha ha...maybe less...haven't done the math......

  11. Hugh Williamson profile image88
    Hugh Williamsonposted 6 years ago

    I used to occasionally ride high speed rail - up to 120 mph but that was only for some sections of the route. Conrail, not Amtrak owns the tracks so occasionally passenger trains have to wait for freight trains to pass -- that never happened in the old days.

    High speed rail works in places where lots of passengers need to go about 100 - 200 miles. Longer than that, you run into train changes which almost surely bring on numerous delays maybe for hours or days.

    Spending big$$ on passenger rail would probably be a good thing in heavily populated areas but in the past, politicians insisted that the routes detour into their districts or they'd vote funding down.

    Amtrak operates with one hand tied behind them and if that doesn't change, I don't believe that passenger rail service will thrive no matter how much money is thrown at it.

    1. junko profile image78
      junkoposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Frieght train tracks won't support high speed trains. The building of the type of tracks needed is the work to be done.

    2. Evan G Rogers profile image82
      Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      I have no problem with high speed rail IF IT'S DONE PRIVATELY!!

      If the government wants to steal money from me to build something, how about we invest in something that's more profitable?

      High speed rail isn't being built on the private market for a reason: it's not profitable, and thus it isn't desired.

      1. junko profile image78
        junkoposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Evan G Rogers:  What about infrastructure, should we wait for the private sector to repair the interstate. roads and bridges? The goverment don't out right steal money, they overpay and misaproiate (porky projects) The private sector steals, lies, and all the misdeeds the goverment is said to be guilty of, and they just love pork. There is too much fraud in the private sector, and they don't like oversight.  Private sector rights.

        1. AnnCee profile image77
          AnnCeeposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          States are selling highways to private companies, some of them foreign, because they can't afford to repair them.  In many areas we not only get taxed for road repairs that don't happen, we also have the privilege of paying tolls.

          1. junko profile image78
            junkoposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            AnnCee: This conversation  is for grown people. Children should seen and not heard.Go away, go outside and play with the other children.

          2. Hugh Williamson profile image88
            Hugh Williamsonposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Indiana sold the rights to it's toll road (part of the Interstate Hwy System) to a foreign conglomerate - a kind of long term (75 yr) rental. Their first act was to DOUBLE the tolls.

            They can also depreciate their new highway for tax purposes because of the length of the lease. The money from this and other similar sales goes to 1-shot budget balancing and pork projects.

            http://www.manufacturingnews.com/news/07/0615/art2.html

            1. junko profile image78
              junkoposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              Rather than except help from the administration or support the administration in anyway deals are made with the devil. The nation is on a decline to defeat the president.

            2. Evan G Rogers profile image82
              Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              Sure, they might have raised the rates, but you probably were paying for the infrastructure cost through income or gas taxes.

              Also, if what everyone else is saying is true, the company that owns the roads will likely ACTUALLY take care of the roads, unlike the government.

              1. Hugh Williamson profile image88
                Hugh Williamsonposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                Why would a conglomerate that's half way around the world worry about whether your roads are taken care of? If the motive is profit, then minimizing expenses will help profits.

                Reread my reference -- wasn't the real motive was to skirt the campaign finance laws and put 70 million dollars into Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign?

                "...the company that owns the roads will likely ACTUALLY take care of the roads, unlike the government."

                The company that owns the roads got them through dishonesty and  bribery. The deal smells -- these are NOT the good guys.

                1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
                  Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  Why would a conglomerate that's half way around the world worry about whether your roads are taken care of?

                  MONEY!!

                  Why does a conglomerate that's half way around the world care if your Car works? or if your VCR runs? Or if your Camera is of good quality? or if your TV is nice? Or if your "random imported item #89" is good?

                  It's called profit. It drives us to be good to one another.

                  When I walk into a restaurant, I know damn well that the chef doesn't care about me. I know he's only there for the money. But that desire of his forces him to make a good meal, and to treat me like a king, if only for 30 minutes.

                  1. junko profile image78
                    junkoposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    THE CONSUMER PROTECTION AGENCY  better business agency goverment watchdog advacate for comsumer protection here and abroad. I thought you knew that, Evan Rogers

                  2. Hugh Williamson profile image88
                    Hugh Williamsonposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    Privatization has been exploited by politicians of both parties for their own gain. My reference gave the details if you want to check it out.

                    Our leaders have spent us into bankruptcy but they have mostly ended up rich and remain worshiped by their partisan followers. You now trust that politicians will magically reform and solve our problems by selling our infrastructure?

                    Our money's gone and our infrastructure is now the target. It's naive to think otherwise.


                    http://www.manufacturingnews.com/news/07/0615/art2.html

          3. Evan G Rogers profile image82
            Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Good.

            Your usage of the word "foreign" implies that you think that anything not made in the US is bad.

            This is nonsense.

            I bet I could find over 50 things in your home that were made or designed abroad.

        2. Evan G Rogers profile image82
          Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          the interstate is owned BY THE GOVERNMENT.

          All of these horrible "poor infrastructure" that you are citing are owned BY THE GOVERNMENT!!!

          the government clearly can NOT take care of its own investments, yet here you are demanding that it builds NEW infrastructure.

          Don't blame capitalism for socialism's faults.

          1. junko profile image78
            junkoposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Evan G Rogers:  If i didn't read your profile I wound think you were uneducated.  Why are you so disagreeable, unreasonable, and  never wrong even if you are not right? If you don't agree, throw it out, dismiss it. I think you should use some of that education and not be so vague.  I really find it hard to to understand why you say what you say, and what you mean when you say it.

            1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
              Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              you think i'm undeducated?

              your posts are almost illegible.

  12. uncorrectedvision profile image61
    uncorrectedvisionposted 6 years ago
  13. Gail Anthony profile image60
    Gail Anthonyposted 6 years ago

    TheSenior-The trillion dollars you are accusing Obama of spending was a program proposed by a Secretary of the Treasury working under Bush, enacted by a legislature controlled by Democrats, and signed off by Bush.

    Roosevelt pulled this country out of the depression by spending money (public works projects).

    A high speed railway would work exceptionally well between Washington, DC and New York City.  Citizens in both municipalities understand mass transit, love their trains, and the railways have a high ridership.

    I have doubts that a high speed railway in Ohio would be successful as no Ohio city has a great mass transit system and the residents are not accustomed to traveling by rail.

    1. uncorrectedvision profile image61
      uncorrectedvisionposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      FDR extended what should have been an 18 month down turn into an 18 year long economic disaster.  The stock market did not regain its pre-1929 level until 1949.  The constant tampering with the market place had the same results then as now.  Businesses could not predict, just as now, what goofy idea would be proposed next.  FDR like Obama tinkered and prodded the market place as if he could apprehend all the knowledge necessary for its operation.  It is good to see that Democrats don't change. In their arrogance they still believe they can control the vast, dynamic market place and compel a rushing, energetic and wholly natural force into their fantasy control.

      Obama voted for TARP and still had most of the funds available when to took office.  He did get another $800 billion in stimulus.

      1. Gail Anthony profile image60
        Gail Anthonyposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        You've made an assumption with no basis in fact.  Life in 1937 was considerably better than in 1930.  The stock market is not a good gauge of life.  The markets had bad hiccups in the mid 70's, mid 80's and 91.  Those downturns had absolutely no bearing on my enjoyment of life.  I guess we could say the collapse of 2007 should have ended in 2008 and some dimwit has allowed it to continue.  I also do not see any great evidence of Obama tinkering with the market place.  He spent his first two years trying to get his socialist agenda in place.

        I belive the majority of both houses voted for TARP, but that's another issue.

    2. lovemychris profile image79
      lovemychrisposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Amen Gail!
      And lol, here's what our gvr in Mass did...All those Repubs who turned the money down? He re-applied and got more!
      Now, we will have the benefit of high-speed rail because of a gvr who see's the future, and you all will be stuck in the past, because your R's don't like Obama,and are trying to get him out. They will say no even if he offered them the moon.

      Anyway--on a side note....
      Musician Mos Def goes to Japan on a regular basis, and he says that when he comes back to the United States, it's like stepping back in time 100 years......
      That is sad and pathetic.

    3. Evan G Rogers profile image82
      Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      roosevelt didn't pull us out of a recession, he kept us in it by spending like a drunken sailor.

      If you think that spending money is good for the economy, then go ahead and blow your life savings on fish sticks.

      I know you WON'T do this, because you're not an idiot. But you have to recognize that there is a direct connection between "the government spending money like a drunken sailor" and "you spending money like a drunken sailor".

      If it isn't good for one, it isn't good for the other.

      1. John Holden profile image61
        John Holdenposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Yes, far better for the economy if we all stash our money under the mattress and don't spend a single penny we can avoid.
        That'll fix it--won'it!

        1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
          Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          stuffing your money in a mattress is a horrible investment.

          I'd much rather invest it in stock.

          1. John Holden profile image61
            John Holdenposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            But investing in stock is spending it and we've agreed that spending is bad for the economy!

            1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
              Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              I never said spending is bad for the economy, I just said that "spending relentlessly" is a bad decision.

              FDR spent money like a drunken sailor, and people think that he did good things. He didn't.

              1. John Holden profile image61
                John Holdenposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                I beg to defer, you said "If you think that spending money is good for the economy, then go ahead and blow your life savings on fish sticks."

                Nothing about relentless, not one mention of it.

                1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
                  Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  ugh, in context i clearly meant "spending like a drunken sailor".

              2. Gail Anthony profile image60
                Gail Anthonyposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                I love it when a kid spouts off with unsubstantiated comments.  Historically, FDR did help this country out of a recession, not by spending like a drunken sailor but by spending responsibly. 

                I AM an idiot because I have almost lost my life savings, not once but twice, and it might have as well been on fish sticks.  I went from over 90K to 41K in three days and on another occasion, from over 550K to 230K in three months.  I know what I have learned from those two periods but I have not lost faith in the stock market.  I do not blame those losses on any president, the Democrats, or the Republicans.

  14. American_Choices profile image86
    American_Choicesposted 6 years ago

    The automotive giants have been promoting the American dream of the car.  The rails make economic sense - long term.  Our infrastructure is crumbing, we have had to support the automotive industry and transportation is a real public need.

    Kudos to rail - irrespective of the political supporter.  America needs strong education system, strong transportation and strong innovation.

    1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
      Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      It might make sense to have high speed rail 50 years from now... but until then the entire system of rail will be LOSING MONEY.

      There are other fantastic ways to invest the money to make a stronger America. Rail isn't a good investment.

      Wanna know how I know? I bought a car, and I love it a lot more than I liked using public transport in Japan.

  15. rebekahELLE profile image91
    rebekahELLEposted 6 years ago

    Investing in improved infrastructure makes sense for the increased economic growth of a country. According to The World Economic Forum's global competitiveness report, we have dropped to 23rd in quality of our infrastructure in the last decade.
    We spend more than $85 billion a year because of road congestion.
    Can we spend that money on something that will move us into the future?
    We could also follow other countries lead in creating ways to publicly and privately fund partnerships in creating improved infrastructure.

    1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
      Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      I would like to point out the obvious counter argument:

      All of that infrastructure you speak of is "owned" by the government. They clearly can't take care of their own investments.

      And yet, now you want them to steal my money to buy Railways for a state I don't live in?

  16. 2besure profile image83
    2besureposted 6 years ago

    It is a great idea!  As a matter a fact, it is an overdue idea!  Problem is how much will it cost, how long will it take and how many jobs will be created by the project.

    1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
      Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      those jobs will be gone within 2 years, and the remaining jobs will be paid for through theft by taxes.

      It's a horrible idea, and it will NOT create jobs in general.

      Governments can NOT create wealth, they can only redistribute it. In order to pay for the "new jobs", the government will have to tax people who would normally be using that money to invest or buy other things.

      It won't create jobs.

      Read "Economics in One Lesson", by Henry Hazlitt for more clarification (there is a video online as well).

      1. 2besure profile image83
        2besureposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Most people hate to hear it but they are going to have to raise taxes at some point.

        1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
          Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          ... or they could cut spending.

          did you know that the original Income Tax in the US was only 1% on people who made over $4,000 (aka, only bout 5% of the population).

  17. AnnCee profile image77
    AnnCeeposted 6 years ago

    The United States and Americans aren't suited to mass transit.  We are too independent.  We live too far from our shopping and services.  Our cars are an extension of ourselves.  That's the way our infrastructure, our economy, our culture is designed.

    Surely we have all noticed when we travel abroad that we are less tractable than people from other nations.   That's why they call us rude.  I don't think most Americans are rude.  We just want what we want when we want it and where we want it.

    In Mexico at a resort one time we befriended a couple from India.  We were going down to one of those dinners with entertainment together one evening and were among the first to arrive.  The hostess wanted to seat us right up front next to some giant speakers because her job was to fill the seats in a certain order.  We objected to the seating and the hostess was nonplussed, "But that is the way we seat you," she said.  We seated ourselves at the back of the room far from the giant speakers but our new friends, the Indian couple, followed orders and sat in front of the speakers.   They commented that Americans think they can do whatever they want.  I replied that we don't think we can do whatever we want, we actually can do whatever we want in terms of things like open seating in a restaurant we are paying for. I encouraged them to come sit more comfortably in the shade with us.  The woman started the evening with a headache from a long bus ride and a long trek we'd taken in the jungle, I can't imagine what that night of raucous Mexican entertainment in front of those large speakers did to her.  They never even considered saying no to the coming torture.

    Americans don't like being herded.  We like to go our own way.


    Our leaders would like to force us into a different mold.  Green us up.  Control us more.  Load us on trains.  I have a hunch we won't go easily.

    1. lovemychris profile image79
      lovemychrisposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      YOU won't go, cause you're stuck on big oil....I'll go gladly! Save money on gas, as it's $3.23-.29 cents per gallon, depending on which town you are in.
      And-we here on Cape Cod would LOVE a train to Boston or New York.

      "it's not profitable, and thus it isn't desired."

      This is why we need gvt, and why privatization is a bad, bad idea.

      Profits over all else leads to no good.

      We would have nothing but non-affordable, cheaply made everything!

      1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
        Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        ... you do realize that you'll need to drive a car to get to the rail station, and then ride to get to your real destination right?

        And you do realize that the energy used in the rail system would be coal or worse, right?

        And you do realize that the trains will leave without you if you are late, right?

  18. aware profile image70
    awareposted 6 years ago

    people don't ride trains   because  the current system of rail  is terrible  and takes forever. any ridership study is skewed negatively i feel because  of a false perception  high speed would be the same as  what we have now. but  i feel when presented with a advanced  hi tec    modern  rail. that is   fast  reliable and    priced  reasonable.   the public will embrace  this futuristic idea.   progress   esp in transportation is key to the growth of this country.

  19. Midnight Oil profile image89
    Midnight Oilposted 6 years ago

    I love train travel.... the only way to go places... Far more relaxing than a car or flying - if we were meant to fly, we would have had wing.  The human body is not designed for long haul flights.

    High speed trains are the way forward - try the TGV in France in you to see how it its done.  (love the way they notch up full power when running close to motor/freeways to make the cars look as if they are going slow)

    Let the train take the strain!

    1. AnnCee profile image77
      AnnCeeposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Just be sure to take your own bread and sausage and beer. smile

      http://www.tumyeto.com/images/uploaded/_____Russian_train_opt.jpg

      1. Midnight Oil profile image89
        Midnight Oilposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Looks like the Village People on tour.... wink

        "it's fun to ride on the T.R.A.I.N" !

        (I am not even going to ask about the sausage!)

        1. AnnCee profile image77
          AnnCeeposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          No no, it's "fo eat", as my son would say.   

          Just remembering Russian lit, scenes on a train.

          I forgot, you need stinky cheese, a couple chickens in a crate and a goat.

          1. Doug Hughes profile image60
            Doug Hughesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            I took the train, first-class from Moscow to Saint Petersburg and back 10 days later.  It's luxury like I have never seen in the US.  As most Americans won't travel to Russia, (which is a shame, they are a wonderful and hospitable people) allow me to set the record straight from personal experience. Take the train.

            1. kerryg profile image87
              kerrygposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              I've taken it in the opposite direction and also had a good experience, though I wouldn't call it "luxury like I've never seen." I doubt I was riding first class, though.

              Amtrak used to be much plusher than it is now. I rode the Pioneer several times as a kid and remember the food being really good. Then they cut Amtrak's budget so they had to drop the Pioneer line and the kitchens, so now the food is all reheated and sort of crappy. Also, the trip takes an extra day or two because now I have to go backwards to Chicago and across the northern route or south to SF and then up the coast to get to Seattle, which is deeply annoying because I don't like Chicago and hate Nevada with the passion of a thousand burning suns and no Pioneer means I have to go through one or the other. tongue It's still better than the airlines, at least, but definitely several cuts below what it was in the past.

  20. TomC35 profile image60
    TomC35posted 6 years ago

    This is one time I actually agree with Lady.

    I think sometimes work programs can stimulate the economy, etc, but I just do not think mass public transportation will work here as it does elsewhere.

    We like our cars and also, we do not have the other important factors of the public transportation in all cities.  If I took a train from Augusta to Atlanta for instance, once I got to Atlanta then what? Their Marta system is good, but not something I personally would want to ride, and it does not go everywhere.

  21. Jim Hunter profile image60
    Jim Hunterposted 6 years ago

    If this were needed or even wanted a private company would be all over it.

    Only a one term President could come up with this waste of money.

  22. mtkomori profile image82
    mtkomoriposted 6 years ago

    I think many of us have had positive experiences on trains and HSR in Europe and Japan. I've been on the TGV in France last summer and the Shinkansen in Japan this past Dec.Both operated with  amazing efficiency allowing the passengers to get to their destinations effortlessly. But you have to remember sucess of the HSR in both  Europe and Japan relies on an already successful mass transit system. People were already taking the train on a daily basis and when an HSR is built, they made sure it arrives and departs at an already heavily used train station. If not,they made sure an HSR station is served by one or more trains. If an HSR station is built in the middle of nowhere (for e.g. in California), will people go there? If people are going to drive there, they might as well drive all the way.They will not take the HSR. California does not have a successful mass transit system. So the key to a successful HSR system there is rebuilding a successful mass transit (train) system that enables passengers to get on the HSR easily.

  23. prettydarkhorse profile image61
    prettydarkhorseposted 6 years ago

    Riding in train is a beautiful experience. It made my travel to Europe from Brussels to Paris, then to Netherlands, Paris to different point in France, then the bullet train to London. They make travel fascinating and easier for those who love to see the places that you passed by. I will never exchange it with airplane. Maybe US is more sparse and too huge to be able to have trains which can be interlinked. It is very good idea.

 
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