Monday, November 07, 2011

Derailed?

Costs for the high-speed rail corridor in Califorina are swelling well beyond what people want to invest. Of course, anti-progress Republicans and right wingers were ready to pounce, expressing a willingness to stop investing in American infrastructure before we really begin.

I'm not going to lie, the cost of the California project are high enough to derail the idea of rail infrastructure nationwide. The folks in charge of that project need a swift kick in the ass to get things under control. Because this kind of thing is important and needs to be done right.

Some other thoughts:

1. I wonder how many private contractors with political connections are involved in this projects runaway costs. Again, the private-public partnership is corrupted at taxpayer's expense.

2. It is a double expense as well, because such partnerships are what allow this country to do big things. If there is no credibility for such big projects, we will never have any big projects again.

3. THIS IS HOW STATE-LEVEL DECISION MAKING AFFECTS NATIONAL POLICY AND POLITICAL NARRATIVE. Occupy Sacramento. The Feds have done just about all they can do to make this happen, and it is dying once it gets to the state level.

4. If placed under the same microscopes of scrutiny, the United States would never have build the Panama Canal, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Transcontinental Railroad, or made the Louisiana Purchase. End of story.

That's the kind of big project that is at risk here, and we would do well to keep that in mind.

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