Re: California's High-Speed Rail - Bait 'n' Switch Tale
Date: 03-22-2014 - 10:29
You think these projects are merely leaking money? Well, you may be right. There is a small portion of public funds that are leaking. Leaking directly to the actual project in question; rather than into private corporate hands as intended. But that really is a small price to pay, for all that free unearned wealth.
After a long railroading career that was mostly centered in passenger railroading and public transit; I got'a tell ya that I've personally witnessed a lot of the corruption that makes this so. I have complained often about such corruption on this forum and in other places; about absurd lopsided laws that put public agencies at severe disadvantage, when dealing with contractors; and how it has cost the public (especially in California) not just billions upon billions of dollars, but has also cost us hundreds if not thousands of miles of track that could never be built because of it.
Also, I saw a lot of really bright engineers come, and then go because of it! They could not stomach it. Ultimately, it played into my decision to pull the plug as well - it was a lost cause (at least in California). Having worked and consulted on both, it is easy for me to see that rail projects have consistently cost public agencies between ten and twenty times what the same work costs a private railroad.
How could this be? Well to be fair, public agencies are at best, slave to public whim; thus tend to add lots of unnecessary and unrelated bells and whistles to all sorts of projects; stuff that just plain is not needed to get the transportation job done. In this regard, the federal government doesn't help much either, with their own silly set of unnecessary demands on every project. But most of the problem is in the favoritism embedded in the law, that deals all the cards to contractors. This is especially so in California. It isn't any wonder then, that being free from such encumbrances, private railroads manage to build a mile of track for so much less than public agencies (about a tenth the cost).
Indeed, all public transportation projects in California, whether for highway or rail construction; have devolved into nothing more than money laundering schemes, to cover up the transfer of public wealth into private hands - free of any requirement to actually earn it.
As for a solution in the real world - I haven't the foggiest idea -
short of ridding the country and its legal system of all public corruption. But since it is us voters that keeps re-electing it back into office; that would first require ridding ourselves of all personal corruption as well!
Naw - I didn't think anyone wanted to do that!