Sunday, February 27, 2011

George Will: High Speed to Insolvency -- Why liberals love trains.

From here:
To progressives, the best thing about railroads is that people riding them are not in automobiles, which are subversive of the deference on which progressivism depends. Automobiles go hither and yon, wherever and whenever the driver desires, without timetables. Automobiles encourage people to think they—unsupervised, untutored, and unscripted—are masters of their fates. The automobile encourages people in delusions of adequacy, which make them resistant to government by experts who know what choices people should make.
Read it all.
 

2 comments:

eric said...

Great article.
Can't argue with any of it.
Still, living in the Northeast, I have to say, if I can I will always take a train anywhere I have to go, over any other way of getting there.
Chicago, Miami, New York, Toronto, Boston, Washington, Philly: all these cities are reasonably accessible from my little village railroad station in the Hudson Valley, New York.
It is simply the most pleasant and convenient way to travel to these places.
My politics make me agree with the thrust of the article, but my personal preference for travel is on trains.
And there is some validity to the argument that the subsidy for trains is not nearly as great as that offered to highway and air traffic, when you consider the full cost of road building, airports, air traffic control, and so forth.
But this "high speed" pipe dream - nah, take a pass. It's too
expensive.

The Underground Pewster said...

Automobiles take us to the destinations we choose. Trains take us to train stations that someone else has chosen for us.

And who picks the locations for the train stations?

The same geniuses who want to tell you what to eat, what to teach your kids, and how to spend your money.

Population density and proof of economic sustainability should be the key factors behind the decision to start a mass transit system of any kind. In earlier times, that was the risk of the private entrepreneur. Why has government taken on the job?

Because they know what is best for us?