Re: House Amtrak Funding
Date: 07-29-2007 - 18:20
Speaking as one who has actually seen combat (21 months of it), there never was a war that was easy; or pretty; or that wasn't terrifying, traumatizing, or grievious to the heart; or wasn't a complete gutwretching fiasco from beginning to end; even the one's we supposedly won.
However, Its those d... fickle politicians who have blown this relatively minor one all out of proportion. You know, the same ones who debated and then voted to send our troops to fight and die; while they then sat at home pretending they "Didn't really mean to actually go to war - just to scare the enemy". Of course, that was after the shooting started. They suddenly realized that the Commander In Chief was of the wrong party for the war to be of any political benefit to them - So what happened next.............. Now there is the cause of this fiasco! They made the normal fiasco that is the epitomy of war into one big partisan fiasco - squared!
ENOUGH OF THAT!
I once promised to not bring up politics in this forum except as it pertained to trains - AS LONG AS NO ONE ELSE DID. That offer still stands. I repeat - The Iraq war is not particularly related to railroading or much of anything else domestic for that matter (Unless we lose).
However, the fact remains that same the reasons that aircraft carriers, smart bombs, cruise missiles, and the like cost so dang much also applies to why public transportation costs are so much higher than private costs. Even if every dime spent on Iraq went instead to Amtrak and public transit, it would only serve to make those entities just that much more inefficient. We would get little benefit from it.
The main point in my post was that - what is holding back public ground transportation is as much its own inefficiency as it is a lack of funding. I ought to know - I'm employed there!
Too many dollars chasing too few resources always runs the costs through the roof. If demand (more available dollars) increases faster than supply, price inflation is ALWAYS the result.
You just cannot throw money at a problem - any problem, and expect to get as much benefit back. We might do it in war out of desparation, or a desire to save as many lives as we can; but to do it under normal conditions is foolish and counter-productive. Even in war, we cannot keep it up forever. You must instead increase the funding supply no faster than you grow your resources.
Unfortunately, this tom-foolishness has been the rule of the day for forty some odd years now. And we have indeed reaped the whirlwind. In every single economic realm where deep pockets money (goverment or even insurance money) was thrown around, costs skyrocketed - war machines, trains, busses, hospitals, pharmacy, electricity, general contruction, auto accident repair, you name it!
I repeat - We need instead to find ways to bring costs back into line (perhaps expanding our resources faster); then and only then will we actually get more bang - or even more trains.