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Thread: The good percent of the stimulus bill?

  1. #1
    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default The good percent of the stimulus bill?

    Well, we all know the stimulus bill as a whole is a bad thing but I just came across some nice info:

    Buried in the $800 Billion stimulus package is $8 Billion for high speed rail in the United States. Itís the most serious investment in commuter rail service in the nations history.

    Additionally President Obama intends to ask for a further $1 Billion a year for high speed rail in his budget request to congress, starting with the 2010 budget.
    http://bubblemixx.com/wordpress/2009...ed-rail-in-us/

    And then this, with a picture that makes me happy: http://www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/

    Well, I like trains and I always thought the US could use a few more of these, not necessarily to connect the east and west, that's quite a distance, but rather to connect the bigger cities etc.
    Of course there are pros and cons concerning this but I think it's generally a step into the right direction and even here in Europe we could use more trains and cheaper prices, it's such a hassle to get to the supermarket across the street because of all the cars...really annoying...


    "Topic is tired and needs a nap." - Tosa Inu

  2. #2
    Master of Few Words Senior Member KukriKhan's Avatar
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    Default Re: The good percent of the stimulus bill?

    After a decades-long delay, and a tripling of costs, we now (here in my neck of the woods) have The Sprinter, a high-speed, light rail train from Escondido to Oceanside.

    Husar will be proud to know that the actual engine and cars are imported from.... Germany, and that the project finally got finished after we brought in German Engineers.

    I was glad to see it finally get off the ground, after my experience in Europe: being able to walk 50 meters to a bus-stop, and 2 hours later, be in another major city enjoying a bier or 6, and be back home by sunset. For cheap.
    Be well. Do good. Keep in touch.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Senior Member Fisherking's Avatar
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    Default Re: The good percent of the stimulus bill?

    @ Husar

    That is hardly enough seed money to do much more than a study. Rail costs or engineering costs particularly when handled by governments in the US are horrendous.

    When Seattle/King County started their light rail plan they spent more than $1 Billion before they even broke ground. The rail line was reduced in scale and it is of questionable usefulness to the community.

    As much as German Style mass transportation is desirable it was deliberately squelched in the 1950s by government and the auto industry. This money will just be spent with little to show for it and is just more pork in the budget.

    These projects are usually a means to reward support. It is amazing how many times these projects have been started without appreciable results. It seems too little money to be even a serious start given government proclivity to waste.


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    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: The good percent of the stimulus bill?

    Well, that's not a fault of the trains, it's a fault of the American government and people who don't do much to end this sort of pork spending. But of course I agree that if that's how it is, it's essentially wasted money as well and not a good percent at all.


    "Topic is tired and needs a nap." - Tosa Inu

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    Senior Member Senior Member Fisherking's Avatar
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    Default Re: The good percent of the stimulus bill?

    Quote Originally Posted by Husar View Post
    Well, that's not a fault of the trains, it's a fault of the American government and people who don't do much to end this sort of pork spending. But of course I agree that if that's how it is, it's essentially wasted money as well and not a good percent at all.
    Indeed!

    More is the shame actually.

    It is not actually the engineering or construction costs which are so high. I miss spoke. Where most of the money goes is for the Top Managers appointed by government to oversee the project and afterward the Transportation Agency for the operation. That is how it costs so very much and why it rewards supporters.

    I live in Germany and the Transport System is wonderful.

    I have learned from past experience however to be skeptical of Politicians, particularly American ones, of what ever stripe or party.

    I remember a trip Bill Clinton took to Germany in the 1990s. He was all praise and glory for the German Apprentice Ship styles and said it should be implemented in the US.

    At the time I worked for a Government Agency which trained craftsmen and used the system of training also used in Germany. We thought, hay a pilot program and an increase in personnel trained!

    Sadly what we got only two months later was the end of the program. A new program which did a poor job of training but an increase in managerial positions. In the end it cost the public more and delivered less.


    Education: that which reveals to the wise,
    and conceals from the stupid,
    the vast limits of their knowledge.
    Mark Twain

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