Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Anti-rail-boondogglism is spreading

Our favorite word is becoming quite popular. John Kasich is riding his opposition to the 3C Snail Rail Boondoggle straight into the governor's mansion. After hovering within a few points of Strickland for months, recent polling pushed him up from “toss-up” to “leans Republican” in Rasmussen's Election 2010 Gubernatorial Scorecard. Snail killers are in high demand.

Up in Wisconsin, their Republican candidate for governor issued a similar proclamation against their "high speed" rail boondoggle (see below). He's now favored to win too, and the boondogglers feel threatened.

Over at the Capitalist Tool, Steve Forbes says all this high speed rail nonsense is nothing more than Railroading the Taxpayer.
"Bottom line: All of these rail projects couldn't pass even a laugh test in the private sector, yet they will soak up capital that otherwise could be used for productive purposes. And it's not just the capital. Almost all high-speed rail schemes around the world operate at a loss. Even those touted as turning a profit are usually helped with off-balance-sheet government subsidies.

The mission of the next Congress is clear: Tear up all of this pork-laden, misbegotten track."

Reason Magazine summed it up pretty well in Why Cities Are Broke or, There is Something Tragic About a Train...
"... or a light rail system or a streetcar boondoggle that just makes people (well, pols and their civilian enablers) wet their pants over the prospect of tossing 19th-century technology and 21st century debt obligations at cities and states and countries that are already dead broke."


  1. Good think you guys aren't running his campaign. You'd probably fail miserably like you did with Issue 9.

  2. Gordon,

    We'll be content to cheer him from the sidelines if it means killing this boondoggle in its infancy.

  3. And the American Conservative sings the praises of rail.
    But they aren't courting tea baggers.
    Doesn't Kasich's business board idea sound kinda cronyish to you guys?

  4. Quimbob,

    There's certainly the potential for his business board to degenerate into cronyism, but that tendancy currently exists in the Development Dept as well. So that isn't a deciding factor for us.

    It's all about the implementation. If he merely replaces a permanent government board with a permanent private board, he will simply be substituting one bureaucracy for another, and it will fail.

    What's needed is a cadre of business all-stars who will define their legacy purely by their results and then go away. The Smale Commission in Cincinnati was a good example. They set the ship back on course and then disbanded.

    Kasich has the contacts and cojones to convince a bunch of industry hot-shots to lend Ohio their business savvy and job creating talents for a while. And that's exactly what we need right now, desperately.

  5. 3-C snail rail is dead in the cradle. Keep hanging your hat on your one victory if it makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside Gordo. And thanks for continuing to post on COAST's blog even as you weakly declare them to be irrelevant. Haha


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