Jerry Brown Will Have a Fourth Term as Governor

Dec 7th, 2013 | Posted by

It won’t be official until November 2014, but with California recovering from the recession and the budget crisis thanks to Democratic leadership, polls show Governor Jerry Brown has a landslide lead in his bid for a fourth term:

If Jerry Brown runs for an unprecedented fourth term as governor of the Golden State, he would trounce all three likely Republican challengers in June’s open primary, according to a new Field Poll.

More than half of registered voters (52 percent) would pick Brown if the primary were held today, and nearly 6 in 10 registered voters say they approve of the job Brown is doing — the governor’s highest approval rating since taking office in January 2011 and an increase of 7 percentage points since July.

Only 11 percent of Californians would vote for former Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado, and support for state Assemblyman Tim Donnelly and former George W. Bush administration official Neel Kashkari would be in the single digits, the poll finds.

None of these Republicans can beat Brown. It won’t happen. Brown runs a scandal-free office and with California doing well, there’s no appetite for throwing out a successful incumbent. Especially if the alternative is a Republican. Kashkari might have the best chance against Brown, maybe being able to crack 40%, but the wingnut base of what remains of the California Republican Party will almost certainly unite behind Tim Donnelly and send him through to the November election against Brown. If that happens, Brown would probably get above 60% of the vote.

What this means for California high speed rail is that its best champion, and its first champion, will almost certainly be around for four more years to help shepherd the project forward. If Democrats can hang on to their 2/3 supermajorities, then I would not be surprised to see some action in 2015 on finally addressing the state’s transit funding needs.

  1. Observer
    Dec 7th, 2013 at 17:29
    #1

    What happens to Donnelly in California in 2014 will happen nationally to the republicans in the 2016 presidential election if they nominate an idiot like Ted Cruz.

    Observer Reply:

    Go Jerry Brown, go HSR.

  2. jonathan
    Dec 7th, 2013 at 17:46
    #2

    Wholly off-topic, and usuruping (currently) un-posted-to thread for something completely different:

    Robert, I am not the only one here who is beyond frustrated at Derek’s posts. Derek consistently tells anyone who disagrees with them, that “if you could read a demand curve” … you would “understand” that Derek’s comments and viewpointare correct.

    Derek very glibly tosses off an Econ-101 understanding of economics. At the same time, Derek is utterly oblivious to the reasoning and models behind his Econ-101 (okay, okay, actually high-school, in civilized countries) grasp of the matter. Specifically, Derek has *no* grasp of the axioms behind the free-market NeoClassical synthesis: no barriers to entry (to a market), and no economies of scale.

    Alon Levy has addressed this point fairly well: at least Alon mentions ‘network effect”. Others have made the basic point, that Econ goes beyond Econ 101. [[Robert and Derek might like to contemplate the fact that health economics is a separate sub-field, because in the health-care marketplace, “free and perfect flow of information” does not hold, BY DEFINITION — if it did, no-one would need to see a doctor for diagnosis. Healthcare just isn’t like … well, making pins).

    So. Robert, I request that any post which includes the phrase “If only you could read a demand curve” (or close paraphrase) be banned, and subject to administrative removed.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    I disagree with Derek also but I think it would be wrong to censor him. Hopefully he will read our posts and start to understand that economics go beyond 101. But if he never does I think he should be allowed to post as he will.

    I respect this blog for its respect for all opinions.

    EJ Reply:

    Nah, every comment section needs the “smug libertarian” and Derek fulfills that role.

    Chad Reply:

    To Derek:

    “Externalities, prisoners’ dilemmas, the principal-agent problem, public goods, monopolies, oligopolies, monopsonies, market power, tragedy of the commons, rent-seeking, game theory, moral hazard, incomplete information, information asymmetry, bounded rationality, adverse selection, nepotism, cronyism, racism, sexism, homophobia, regulatory capture, human irrationality, third-party payer, deceptive marketing, non-rival goods, free-riding, non-excludable goods, transaction costs, missing markets, strategic price complexity, guilds, occupational licensure, patents, trademarks, de-merit goods, predatory lending, subsidies, regulatory arbitrage, tax arbitrage, labor arbitrage, capital controls, trade wars, currency manipulation, zero-bounded interest rates, tariffs, and last but certainly not least, a complete blindness to the needs or rights of future generations”

    Get back to us when you understand all those concepts. Until then, don’t bother us. Thanks.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Meh. Save the purges for people who are actually a problem; there’s no such person on this blog, it’s not YouTube comments on feminist vlogs.

  3. John Nachtigall
    Dec 7th, 2013 at 18:05
    #3

    I like Jerry. While I don’t agree with his methods (threatening schools to get taxes passed) I think his heart is in the right place and he is respectful of tax money for spending. We would probably disagree on what to spend the money on in almost all cases, but he is consistent and I trust he has the best interests of the state and it’s people in mind when he makes decisions.

    He is a huge advocate got HSR but the real question is this. Is he willing to spend political capital to pass a tax to get a consistent funding stream to get this project actually started? It’s just that simple. It would not be popular and he would have to twist even more arms than he did to get the bonds passed. They would rather raise money for a lot of other reasons. How committed is he to this project?

    Observer Reply:

    As we all know, if California were a country, it would be the world’s eighth largest economy; of the top ten economies all have or are planning HSR. These economies are what California is competing against. As the wise old saying goes: think globally – act locally. Jerry Brown gets it.

    Paul Druce Reply:

    HSR really doesn’t increase our competitiveness however.

    Joe Reply:

    If course it will.

    Getting to Fresno from the SV, or any part of the CV is ridiculously difficult.
    HSR puts Fresno 60-70 minutes from the RWC station.

    Paul Druce Reply:

    And that increases our competitive advantage against China how precisely?

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Ockham’s razor: HSR frees up our roads and conventional rail for exports including oil to China. Every gallon of petreloum we conserve using HSR and electric car is one that can put on a ship and sent to the Far East to help even out the trade deficit and strengthen the currency.

    Paul Druce Reply:

    That’s not how Ocham’s razor works, that’s not how the international oil market really tends to work, and that’s not what Jevon’s paradox would predict. Also the effect of HSR upon conventional rail is nonexistent and the same is true for roads outside of the Los Angeles-San Diego corridor. Lastly, that has nothing to do with increasing competitive advantage.

    joe Reply:

    “Also the effect of HSR upon conventional rail is nonexistent ”

    Public spending on higher speed rail improve conventional track which directly benefit freight transportation, reduce travel time and safety.

    HSR like CA’s probably has a negative effect on rail companies which lose the subsidized maintenance benefits of passenger rail.

    Paul Druce Reply:

    “Higher speed rail” is not high speed rail. And you have got to be kidding me about subsidized maintenance benefits of passenger rail…

    joe Reply:

    Not only am I not kidding you but using google/bing you can find articles explaining why it’s true. Imagine that.

    Paul Druce Reply:

    Then it should be remarkably easy for you to provide sources.

    joe Reply:

    If I were your monkey…. I’m not so you can decide to continue to be stubbornly wrong and I’ll choose when and where I am sufficiently annoyed to bother.

    Paul Druce Reply:

    The burden of proof is upon those who make a claim.

    joe Reply:

    Then lead by example.
    “HSR really doesn’t increase our competitiveness however.”
    “Also the effect of HSR upon conventional rail is nonexistent ”

    Paul Druce Reply:

    Burden of proof would be upon the commenter claiming that they did increase competitiveness and have an effect upon conventional rail (since they made the initial claim).

    Alon Levy Reply:

    You’re describing Dutch disease. Strengthening the currency via resource exports = making manufactured exports less competitive. Canada, where Harper doesn’t care about anything except oil, has seen manufacturing as a proportion of GDP go down from 16% in 2005 to 12.5% today (the USA’s proportion has been essentially constant, about 12%). Ontario’s manufacturing is increasingly uncompetitive, and in the financial crisis Ontario turned from a federal tax donor to a tax recipient for the first time in the history of the equalization payments program.

    joe Reply:

    Sorry, not interested in playing 20 questions. China built HSR for a reason. Apparently that too confounds you.

    Paul Druce Reply:

    Yes, China built HSR for a reason. It does not, however, follow that that reason was competitiveness in the international market nor that California will somehow be more competitive by building HSR.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Are you…stealing synonymouse’s peyote?

    China built HSR precisely because it knows that cheap, subsidized transportation by international standards can help unlock a larger and larger pool of cheap labor in the country. China as it currently stands is running out of coastal areas where workers make next to nothing and welcome factory jobs in quasi slavery conditions. Add HSR to the hinterlands though, and you can dilute the labor pool.

    California meanwhile, has the opposite problem. Labor costs are pretty uniform, but land is ridiculously overvalued near specific areas along the coast. Thus, if you want to build a factory in the Golden State, you have to build it far from the largest sources of capital. Thus, a fast train that can get you from Silicon Valley to Bummtucky is a serious advantage in getting capital firms to favor industry.

    Secondly, if you think the international oil markets don’t act like “that”, where have you been in the last six months? BNSF is apparently riding the Obama Administration hard to make sure that fossil fuels exports to Asia flow through its railroads and not a pipeline. BNSF originally proposed this plan for coal, but now it has realized it might be better suited for petroleum.

    Eric Reply:

    +1

    Paul Druce Reply:

    Chinese HSR is not subsidized and is even recouping its capital costs; it’s also more expensive than conventional train travel that it is replacing. HSR trips have nothing to do with cheap labor, that’s strictly an issue of living costs (primarily food and housing), commute costs (nothing to do with HSR), and labor supply. As it is, China is starting to engage in massive automation because their labor costs have risen to a sufficiently high degree as to make them significantly less competitive. For long distance transportation, *shipping* costs are what matter, not passengers.

    Secondly, if you think the international oil markets don’t act like “that”, where have you been in the last six months? BNSF is apparently riding the Obama Administration hard to make sure that fossil fuels exports to Asia flow through its railroads and not a pipeline. BNSF originally proposed this plan for coal, but now it has realized it might be better suited for petroleum.

    Oil exports to Asia would never flow via pipeline vs BNSF because there’s no oil pipeline over the Rockies nor a proposal for one. The West Coast is completely isolated from the rest of the country when it comes to oil (bar the occasional, currently rare, oil train); about half the oil is domestically produced in California or Alaska, the rest is imported mostly from the middle east (while the rest of the country imports from elsewhere). You have a single small pipeline via Arizona and that’s it. Any reduction in California oil use is simply going to offset imports, it isn’t going to free up domestic crude from the rest of the country for exports.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Who is going to build a factory in California when they don’t even want Sri Racha and you cannot use your fireplace on the coldest days of the year?

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Any reduction in California oil use is simply going to offset imports, it isn’t going to free up domestic crude from the rest of the country for exports.

    You are still making my point. In fact, I’m kind of surprised members of the CAHSRBlog brain trust don’t invoke this more often: California used to be the largest oil producing state in the US, and was basically energy independent. Once that ended and the state became overly dependent on imports, the economic fortunes of the State went from growth to decline.

    Laughing off the impact energy independence has, however California establishes it (HSR, solar panels, etc.) is done at your own peril.

    joe Reply:

    Yes, China built HSR for a reason.

    …And Japan, Spain, Germany, France….

    It does not, however, follow that that reason was competitiveness in the international market nor that California will somehow be more competitive by building HSR.

    The Chinese are not secretive about their reasons for building HSR. You still profess confusion as to why these systems are built as if this is some puzzle that you have to solve by inference.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Japan built HSR because JNR considered it necessary to compete with cars, France built HSR because SNCF considered it necessary to compete with air travel, and Germany built HSR because DBB was engaged in a long-term project to improve the rail network (as a basic transportation service, not because it was competing with France or the UK) and beyond a certain point it was better to build new lines than improve existing lines. Countries that try to improve national competitiveness cut taxes on foreign firms; countries that try to provide services to people living in them spend money on infrastructure, welfare, education, and health care.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Japan and France were considering it because the existing lines, even with competition from cars and airplanes, were reaching capacity. Four tracking the Tokaido main line would have cost almost as much. I dunno about the line to Lyon but it would have been pricey.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Yes, but in both cases it was a policy promoted internally within the railroad, justified purely in terms of transportation benefits. The French government didn’t support the LGV Sud-Est and made SNCF borrow the money for it on the international market; the government’s oil import reduction strategy involved nuclear power, not HSR. SNCF was losing money at the time, and was in decline. There was a capacity problem with running higher-speed trains on the PLM line because of interference with slower trains – it wasn’t as if it was running 10 intercity tph and needed extra capacity.

    In Japan there was no competition with cars and planes, yet, so indeed the Tokaido Main Line was reaching capacity, although again the limit was track-sharing with slower trains rather than a high tph count of the legacy Kodama. But there was a belief that as Japan got richer, cars and planes would dominate, as they were starting to dominate in the US at the time. A lot of countries looked at postwar America and decided that that’s how the future would look like, and built roads for the sake of being competitive (and the ones that did that the most fervently, like Thailand, ended up having horrific urban air pollution). JNR rebelled against that view and decided to modernize intercity rail instead by building a dedicated standard-gauge line.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    JNR picked the appropriate technology for the problem. Just like if you remake Manhattan to be car only Manhattan disappears if you remake Tokyo to be car only Tokyo disappears. And to a lesser extent Boston or Osaka or Nagoya or Baltimore or Chicago or Hiroshima. Paris, London, Berlin….
    SNCF was leaning toward oil fired turbines until the oil crisis put the kibosh on that. And investigated a few other really odd things. Everybody else was standing around with their hands in their pockets because everybody “knew” that running conventional trains at speeds higher than 125miles/200 kilometers per hour was nearly impossible and there would have to be new technology if we wanted higher speeds. Thus the fascination with maglev. Or monorails. Monorails were going to be whisking us to suburbs in record time by 1970. PRT monorails. Or off to Philadelphia or Manchester or Lyon or Kyoto or Munich.
    Using standard gauge means they had less engineering to redo when they leeched designs. And using standard gauge means they gained experience for the export market whether the exports were high speed or more conventional. And while you can slap a wide car on narrow gauge trucks if you are going to be building fresh wider is better.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Again according to references cited in Barter’s thesis, Japanese officials seriously thought about remaking Tokyo to be car-friendly. They were stymied by strong property rights protections in Japanese law and high urban land prices, which made it much harder to condemn swaths of land for wide freeways. As a result, Tokyo’s elevated highways are very narrow – 4 or 6 lanes.

    However, there were also plans to reduce imports to increase national competitiveness: these included oil and car imports. Trains had a large domestic industry at the time (although for the Shinkansen, Japan used some Western technology), so they were preferred both on economic grounds of being much more space-efficient in expensive cities and on national grounds of reducing imports. That said, the Shinkansen was still JNR’s baby and not the government’s.

    And re my original point about competitiveness, I can’t help but notice that in Japan, despite a pro-rail national policy and an industrial policy that ignored cars, cars eventually became the top export, while in countries that were pro-car in order to foster an automobile industry, like Malaysia, the automakers are a basket case.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    There were serious attempts, to make Manhattan more car friendly where high urban land prices killed that off. They gave it a shot in DC and got Metro out of it. Ya can’t have London or Tokyo or even the Loop with lots of cars. You end up with trains because nothing else has the capacity an intensely developed downtown needs.
    JNR was an accounting gimmick. It was the government’s railroad just like the Holland Tunnel or the Tappan Zee bridge is the government’s. Japan had it’s domestic automobile industry just like the Germans, French and English had their own domestic automobile industry. Took a bit longer to take off but Japan was poorer than the others. Remind us again how the Shinkansen was financed…

    Alon Levy Reply:

    The chief of JNR lied to the government about the budget to get it financed using public funds in addition to the World Bank loans. But he was facing considerable resistance – it wasn’t part of any concerted public program, pushed for by politicians, until the first line had opened and proven successful, just like in France.

    Japan didn’t have a major auto industry in the 1950s. It might have even been a net importer of cars, I’m not sure.

    In DC they not only gave it a shot but succeeded. Density outside the core is low, car ownership rates are high, transit usage is low outside the core, and the Beltway is enormous, with protrusions of wide freeways into the center.

    Andy M Reply:

    Prior to the TGV, there was not one but two main lines from Paris to Lyon. Besides the direct one you could go via Orleans. The Mistral train, which was SNCF’s flaghsip, was running at 200km/h on the sections where this was permitted and SNCF clearly had a commitment to greater speed before the TGV went center-stage (as various recoird breaking runs as well as a gradual speed up of regular services shows). The approaches to Paris were (and pretty much still are today) clogged up with commuter trains and this is why all the TGV lines that converge on Paris don’t connect to the legacy lines in the outer suburbs but continue to as close to the terminus as is possible – indeed the time savings these extra line represent is often under-estimated, despite the TGVs having to negotiate said lines at reduced speed. Outside of the Paris region, lines were not generally clogged up in pre TGV days. A lot of the growth the TGV generated was new traffic. If you compare pre-TGV timetables to today you will see that trains haven’t only got faster, they have got more frequent too.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    But the LGV Sud-Est used the legacy approach to Gare de Lyon for 30 km until the Interconnexion Est opened…

    nslander Reply:

    One of CA’s biggest challenges is the relative lack of affordable & desirable housing stock within reach of its metro job centers. Maximizing that reach is not a recruiting advantage CA can currently claim, even if its actual effect is marginal in practice. This will help CA do what it often does best: sell itself. Not too hard grasp really, once you drop the reflexive opposition.

    Observer Reply:

    Transportation to and from the central valley is difficult and inconvenient. The CV is isolated; and this makes it that much more difficult to address the high poverty rate. Even though HWY 99 is being widened to six lanes in some places, I have always considered it woefully inadequate – especially in this day and age. As for conventional rail, we basically have a single track system accommodating both freight and the San Joaquin trains; this also will be become increasingly inadequate – if not already. It amazes me that some of our so called leaders do not seem to want to address this. Other than the current HSR plan and the ridiculous I-5 corridor alternative, there is no talk of addressing this.

    datacruncher Reply:

    Just a FYI, but 99 is headed to full 6 lane status. In just the next 3 years or so current construction will have converted nearly all of it to 6 lanes with the exception of a few stretches like the approx. 35 miles from Delano to Tulare, thru Madera and a few other spots north between Merced and Sac. Planning is underway to expand those sections when funding becomes available.

    I agree the CV freight rail capacity needs to expand. Funding needs to be found for the SJ Valley Agricultural Goods Movement Corridor plan. It mainly upgrades and closes gaps in existing rail lines snaking thru the Valley to provide a 3rd N/S rail corridor in the SJV from the Port of Oakland to Tehachapi. Plan at:
    http://www.visaliatimesdelta.com/assets/pdf/J41655461016.PDF

    Chad Reply:

    “HSR really doesn’t increase our competitiveness however.”

    Hogwash. I live in Japan and use HSR for business all the time. It opens up all sorts of possible business trips that just aren’t feasible logistically with either a car or a plane. In the range of 50-350 miles, my company pretty much uses it exclusively. So does everyone else. It is fast, comfortable, and reliable, and doesn’t come with the safety and liability issues that driving does or the unpredictability and delays that both driving and flights do.

    Chad Reply:

    “And that increases our competitive advantage against China how precisely?”

    The same way my company’s competitiveness was enhanced when I made a half-day trip down to Tokyo on Friday to meet a client that happened to be in town and had an afternoon to spare. Driving or local trains would have required me to take the whole day off, or skip the trip. HSR made it feasable for me to work until noon at the office and still make the meeting. Either my company got an extra half-day’s work out of me, or they got the enhanced value of the business meeting, depending on the hypothetical alternative.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    You guys really want to use Japan (motto: 3 decades of stagnation and counting) for this example?

    A single HSR line is not going to impact the CA economy in any significant way

    Eric Reply:

    You could use any developed country other than the US as an example. Japan happens to be the place these two have personal experience with.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Yeah you are right…one little aqueduct from the Owens Valley to Los Angeles…not a big deal either.

    Quaint little college in the Berkeley Hills, nothing to get worked up about.

    Little garage in Los Angeles with a guy drawing movie strips…just one man’s stupid idea…

    shorebreeze Reply:

    HSR in Japan helped to unleash an epic 25 year economic boom from the early 1960s to the late 1980s. Japan’s troubles since the late 1980s aren’t related to HSR, but rather to their struggles with transitioning to a situation where Japanese just don’t buy stuff like they used to (consumer demand), and also with the unfortunate decision by successive Japanese governments to fund all kinds of things through borrowing rather than taxation. They’ve muddled through it only because the Japanese public seems to be OK with buying savings bonds instead of paying taxes, but it’s not exactly a high growth recipe. Still, the implication for high speed rail from this is what, exactly?

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Japan’s economic boom began in the 1950s. As can be seen here, the rapid rise in GDP per capita goes as far back as the data to 1952, and accelerated in the late 50s, before the Shinkansen was completed.

    The best that can be said about the Shinkansen and Japan’s economic development is that it was one component of many (chiefly local transportation investment) that reduced Japan’s oil imports, which made the hit its economy took in 1973 less brutal than it could’ve been if it had had American-style consumption patterns. (The US of course was cushioned by its status as a major oil producer.) Although the investment in urban transit was partly an attempt to reduce imports of oil and cars, which Japan wasn’t a major producer of in the 1950s (see Paul Barter’s thesis for references), the Shinkansen was the policy of a few JNR managers and not concerted government policy.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    That’s not competitiveness, sorry. That’s economic development, independently of competitiveness. The question for competitiveness isn’t “does it help business?” but “does any company decide to site itself in Japan rather than in the US because of the Shinkansen?”.

    joe Reply:

    Transportation infrastructure is a component of competitiveness. And if it’s efficient, time and energy, it further helps competitiveness.

    Chad’s example is exactly what HSR can do for CA – Easy access between a CV facility and Coastal HQ or R&D Center. Fresno will be 1 hour from the C station in RWC. That’s closer than most of SF is from Google HQ.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    You’re stating it, but I don’t recall that you’ve ever provided a reference other than one RPA document showing that two small towns with ICE stations got additional economic development out of it. What works for a small town doesn’t work for a large county. Downtown Lille has been helped a lot by the TGV station, but Nord-Pas de Calais is still the poorest region of mainland France. The evidence re questions like “do employers ever decide to site themselves in region A rather than region B because of HSR?” is mixed.

    shorebreeze Reply:

    Try taking a TGV out of Calais and you’ll get, what, two or three choices a day? A rail station doesn’t count for that much if all it gets is old-fashioned non-frequency of schedules. Calais is in the rail equivalent of a small feeder airport with ESA subsidies in this country; it’s enough to get around, but not a game-changer in economic development. What Lille got was a game-changer — extremely high frequency service to a lot of places.

    For the same reason, people in Ashford on the English side of the tunnel screamed bloody murder when the cross-channel Eurostar schedules got hacked back to close to Calais levels after the awful Ebbsfleet park-n-ride was built. But at least Ashford still gets very frequent HSR to London out of the deal, far better than Calais has to Paris.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Yes, Lille got a game changer, but somehow the region of France of which it is the capital is the poorest in European France (i.e. not including overseas departments). Its department ranks 84th out of 96 in European France in median income per capita – still richer than Pas de Calais, but that’s not saying much. Lille itself is poorer than the rest of its department.

    Likewise, in Provence, the departments with reasonable TGV connections (Vaucluse, Bouches-du-Rhone, the western parts of Var) are poorer than Alpes-Maritimes, where the TGV takes 5.5 hours to get to Paris and people both in this forum and in my family mocked me for choosing the TGV over flying. Within Var, Toulon, the city with the reasonable TGV connection, is poorer than Hyères, the resort city at in the center of the department with one daily TGV on a randomly chosen weekday, which does the tip in a little more than 4 hours. Foreign vacationers have preferred Nice over Marseille for more than a century: even when they had to get there from the UK by train and ferry, they’d take the 250 extra kilometers of train trip to get to Nice. Marseille was never an English resort town, even though it was closer by railroad travel time metric.

    All data is from here; click on “niveau de vie median” to get per capita rather than per household numbers, which make Nord-Pas-de-Calais look a bit better but still bad. For the parts about which cities in the Riviera are resort towns, read about Hyères and the French Riviera on Wikipedia.

    Andy M Reply:

    There are voices who say that the TGV has benefitted Paris more than the regions. The thinking is thus: Let’s look at an architect in Paris versus an architect in Strasbourg. Before the TGV, the Parisian architect could only compete for work in Paris and surroundings, and the Strasbourgian could compete only for work in Strasbourg and surroundings. Now with the TGV, the Parisian architect is able to compete for work in Paris, Lyon, Strasbourg, Lille, Marseille etc etc. The Strasbourg architect can only compete for work in Strasbourg and in Paris and is thus at a disadvantage, losing more jobs on his home turf than he is winning on other peoples’. He may thus consider reolcation to Paris while, continuing to serve his loyal customers back in Strasbourg while seeking new ones elsewhere. That TGV line may thus actually be siphoning entrepreurial talents into Paris rather than out of it.

    Exceptions may apply to cities that are sub-centers. If you’re in Lille for example you can compete for work in Brussels, London and Paris while benefitting from living in Lille with its relatively low costs of labor, moderate rents etc and this cost-competitive edge may offset being able to compete in two or three cities less as you can undercut the prices of your Parisian competitors.

    In the Central Valley, things may be comparable. You can benefit from the low costs there while being able to compete for work in both LA and the Bay Area.

    Observer Reply:

    And an antiquated crumbling highway system with no funds available to fully fix, enhance or expand it – will increase competitiveness? That has yet to proven anyplace in the world.

    Observer Reply:

    Expanding highways and building more of them will always cost more than rail.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    A kitten has just died because of you.

    Jerry Reply:

    So what will PETA do?

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Probably make a racially or sexually offensive ad about it.

    Optimally it might have shirtless photos of Jamie Bamber somewhere in the ad.

    Observer Reply:

    As for funding, we will know more after the election; probably not much will be said until then. Hopefully any funding proposal will be serious, meaningful and workable.

  4. Paul Druce
    Dec 7th, 2013 at 18:07
    #4

    Ah election season: one of the best arguments mankind has devised against democracy (close seconds: Presidents Bush and Obama).

    EJ Reply:

    Democracy: the worst system of government ever devised. Except for all the other ones.

  5. Donk
    Dec 7th, 2013 at 23:58
    #5

    Currently Jerry seems much more concerned with the Safe, Clean and Reliable Drinking Water Supply Act. I believe this will be on the ballot in 2014 for $11B or so. Hopefully he can get this thing out of the way one way or the other and then get back to transportation.

    And when he gets back to transportation hopefully he scales the plan back to put funding behind meaningful public transit projects, LOSSAN, Caltrain electrification, and high speed rail that starts in LA and SF instead of the CV.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Within a few weeks we should know whether we are in a 1976-77 level drought. Norcal will fight stronger in a drought time against irrigating Palmdale lawns.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    You got it backwards.

    The *old* Peripheral Canal plan was north vs. south, this is a different animal.

    The 2014 bond can pass if the populous counties in the State (Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Riverside, Santa Clara) approve it overwhelming. But if the indictment against Senator Calderon is any indication…support has been less-than-stellar. Nobody is quite sure how more water is going to help growth in Southern California even though in yesteryear it was quite obvious.

    Expect it to go down by a razor-thin margin. The affluent parts of the state don’t need more land development to grow, and the poorer parts aren’t able to utilize cheap land to grow these days.

    It’s time to put a population cap on the arid south of 20 million and let more Californians migrate north to where there’s no shortage of liquid gold.

    Donk Reply:

    I oppose the bond simply because there is still a long way to go to improve efficiency in the way we use our water before we spend $11B.

    And if there is anywhere there should be a population cap, it should be in the air-conditioned nightmares of Las Vegas and Phoenix.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Colorado River water is allocated by state. For decades California used more than their share. Las Vegas has and Phoenix have a more secure water supply than Los Angeles, San Jose, or Dallas.

    Eric Reply:

    Or allow water prices to rise and let the free market do its work.

  6. John Nachtigall
    Dec 8th, 2013 at 07:31
    #6

    What’s this…Amtrak lied about buying joint trains and running 220

    http://www.philly.com/philly/business/transportation/20131208_Hitting_the_brakes.html

    I’m shocked. Who could have predicted?

    HSR in this country is just too expensive to be practical.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    It reads like spin, rather than like Amtrak lying. The Vision clearly states that full-speed running will only begin in 15 or so years, but additional Acela trainsets are needed now. The joint procurement isn’t about the trains Amtrak wants to run in the 30s, but about the trains it wants to add to the Acela stock now.

    synonymouse Reply:

    “It would be a little like owning a Ferrari that can go 190, but you never drive it more than 60.”

    Why would one purchase a Ferrari to serve as a commute car?

    Clem Reply:

    To realize economies of scale by purchasing together with the neighbor’s commute car. 1 Camry + 1 Camry = 2 Ferraris, don’t you get it?

    synonymouse Reply:

    Maybe they will allow rolling stock suppliers to bid on one spec instead of both.

    So no bids for PB-CHSRA or much higher.

    jonathan Reply:

    How much credibility can you give a source which calls Ron Diridon “a high-speed rail expert”?

    synonymouse Reply:

    This represents a major embarrassment for JerryRail – on a par with the Kerry decision. It means the NEC is calling the shots and these trains cannot meet the 2:40. Morris, I would expect the litigants will use this in insisting the 2:40 proviso is violated. Jerry had better pull out of this deal when the suppliers are saying two versions are not going to fly with them.

    Curiously 160mph is precisely what the UP CEO(dunno know his name, who does?)stated in an interview thought would be the rough top operating speed. Warren Buffett would not have a clue. I’ll trust the guys who know how to move and restore a 4-8-8-4.

    160 tops and the DogLeg – what a joke.

    synonymouse Reply:

    This why I have been advocating the I-5 racetrack – at least you can enjoy a couple hours of sustained 160mph and get somewhere close to competitive.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Did you read the joint procurement? It explicitly calls for 220 mph top speeds for the CAHSR trains. Only the Amtrak trains may be slower.

    Also, the skill set required for restoring a 4-8-8-4 is rather different from that required for planning and running an (0-8-0)*8 high-speed trainset.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    *a, not an.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Granted about the bigboy, but it indicates a serious interest and commitment to trains. Why doesn’t Buffet bankroll the CSRM and those two lonely Santa Fe locomotives rusting away outside in Sac?

    So why does not the Amtrak spec call for 220mph? Answer: the trainset design is to be optimized for 160mph. Otherwise, why even worry?

    Two prices or two bids?

    wdobner Reply:

    It doesn’t call for 220mph operation because they do not have the infrastructure to support operation above 150mph. They want to replace, supplement, or cascade the Acelas in a shorter timeframe than California proposes to purchase their HSTs. Any operation at 220mph on the NEC will come well after California’s system is up and operational. At that time a joint procurement makes sense, and I would not be surprised if that was the intention all along, the efforts of their PIOs and the self appointed experts here notwithstanding.

    synonymouse Reply:

    So a supplier can bid on the NEC trainsets and pass on the other?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    I remember reading the original press release. The one that does not include the numbers 160. How does it make sense to jointly procure 2 different train designs

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Mash together Amtrak and Congress, and it starts making sense, the way it makes sense to force the Air Force and Navy to buy a fighter jet that has the same build as a STOVL jet.

    Paul Druce Reply:

    I’ve always figured Amtrak would be purchasing sets built for but not with capacity for running at 220mph (downrated motors or something or simply not used at that speed). Wait for the bids before pronouncing it a true mountain in my opinion.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Nobody in the world specifies trains that way.
    Nobody in the world builds trains that way.
    Nobody in the world pays for such trains.

    But America’s Finest Transportation Planning Professionals will show how it’s done.

    Clem nailed it, as usual:

    To realize economies of scale by purchasing together with the neighbor’s commute car. 1 Camry + 1 Camry = 2 Ferraris, don’t you get it?

    Wait for the bids! It will all be OK! Amtrak’s on the case!

    Clem Reply:

    It doesn’t stop there: after delivery, (should things ever progress that far!) these Frankentrains will spend a year in Pueblo being reverse-engineered, and another year doing “acceptance testing” on the “California Test Track” to make sure the door status indicator lights work and the “F” stencil doesn’t wear off at speed.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Presumably the F has to be an indicator light that can go on or off, since the trains are bidirectional.

    jonathan Reply:

    Push-pull consists still have an “F” on the front of the locomotive;why would HSR trainsets be any different? What do the Acela trainsets do?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Capture three quarters of the air-rail market, along with the even slower trains, between New York City and Washington DC and painting an F on them ( or not ) isn’t big concern? Maybe the Tier III regulations won’t require it?

    jonathan Reply:

    It’ s not just the “F”, it’s the mindset that it denotes: grab-irons on a 220 mi/hr train, FRA testing at Pueblo for a year despite UIC/TSI certification, and whatever else goes along with that.

    P-B’s custom one-off FITH catenary standard too, I suppose. Can’t just go with an existing standard, we have to make up or very own, and then test the trains and pantos against it.

    Paul Druce Reply:

    Wasn’t saying it was a terribly good idea, just that it might be what they were doing. The Royal Navy did it with the Type 45 and some of its systems, hence why it came to mind as a possibility. Not a good idea, but I’ve also mentioned my displeasure with Amtrak’s entire NEC fleet plan before.

    wdobner Reply:

    Except that the conclusion you and most of the self-appointed experts here jumped to never did make sense in terms of Amtrak’s rolling stock procurement programs. Joint procurement only makes sense when they’re both ordering 220mph rolling stock, something CA will not do for a number of years. Meanwhile Amtrak requires higher capacity train sets to supplement the Acelas in the next few years.

    The press release was poorly worded, but it takes a total lack of critical thinking on the part of the blog experts to craft this into some sign of incompetence on anyone’s part other than your own.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    But California isn’t going to be procuring anything for a decade or so. Whatever Amtrak has delivered in 2017 will be hopelessly obsolete by the time California is thinking about ordering something.

  7. morris brown
    Dec 8th, 2013 at 07:55
    #7

    Denial, Denial and more Denial, seems to be the name of the game with the Authority these days. Statements from Chair Richard and CEO Morales continue to express the view that Judge Kenney’s rulings will not delay the project and the recent STB decision affects only the segment from Fresno to Bakersfield.

    So at the Board Meeting on Thursday (Dec 5 2013), we find more of this attitude and statements that simply are not true.

    An excerpt video from the Thursday meeting dealing with the STB decision can be viewed at:

    http://youtu.be/_e0CP_ACU7I

    From this video we hear this:

    Richard says at:
    7 min 47 sec. into the video (as posted on YouTube)

    Richard:
    I think I read one of the stories this morning in the in the LA times said that this was related to the 29 mile segment in the Central valley —I believe that is totally inaccurate — because last year we received authorization from the Surface Transportation board for the 29 mile segment that we are building now.

    So this related to the next segment of the alignment, which is the Fresno to Bakersfield segment — Is that right?

    Morales: Yes correct — it is tied to the Fresno to Bakersfield

    Richard:
    Sorry, Ralph, I just had to point that out…

    (The reference to “Ralph ” at the end from Richard is to “Ralph Vartabedian”, the author of the LA Times article.)

    These statements are truly amazing and without any validity:

    The STB decision can be found at:

    http://www.stb.dot.gov/decisions/readingroom.nsf/WEBUNID/DACE3D538024C4C585257C370051ECF0?OpenDocument

    and we read from it:

    The Authority states that its design-build contract for a 29-mile segment of the HST System, which is composed of a five-mile portion of the Line and a 24-mile portion of the Merced-to-Fresno segment, requires the Authority to give its contractor a notice to proceed with construction of the five-mile Line segment by July 12, 2014. The Authority asserts that if it cannot issue the notice to proceed by then, the five-mile segment will be removed from the contract and the Authority will need to renegotiate the price for the construction of the 24- mile segment and the price and timetable for the five-mile segment, which could result in a substantial aggregate increase in the cost of construction of the two segments.

    Who do Richard and Morales think that are kidding? They cannot be believed.

    joe Reply:

    “Denial, Denial and more Denial”

    So you say but then the Judge did not invalidate one contract, he did not invalidate the appropriation. Money and contracts are still in place. These were litigated by opponents and upheld.

    The design work is still proceeding as you pound your keyboard. Here’s Jeff in a recent interview explaining how work is underway now.
    http://ia801004.us.archive.org/3/items/Insight-131014/Insight-131014c.mp3

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    “(Judge) Kenny agreed to issue a writ of mandate ordering the rail agency to re-do its 2011 funding plan before spending any state bond money on construction of the proposed high-speed rail system.”

    combined with

    “the identification of funds must be based on a reasonable present expectation of receipt on a projected date, and not merely a hope or possibility that such funds may become available.”

    equals a stop in less than 2 years (assuming they can ever get it started)

  8. D. P. Lubic
    Dec 8th, 2013 at 12:08
    #8

    Some commentary by the Executive Director for All Aboard Ohio with a USA Today story on the states that are helping to support Amtrak:

    Official Page
    Federal Transportation Subsidies
    For these programs, federal subsidies pay the following shares of total operating costs:

    Amtrak: 12%
    Federal Aviation Administration: 29%
    Federal Highway Administration: 49%
    Transportation Security Administration: 67%

    SOURCES:
    “Amtrak covers 88% of operating costs”, News Release, Amtrak; March 5, 2013.
    “Airport and Airway Trust Fund (AATF)”, Fact Sheet, Federal Aviation Administration; February 2012.
    “Analysis finds shifting trends in highway funding, user fees make up decreasing share”, SubsidyScope, An Initiative of
    the Pew Research Trusts; November 25, 2009.
    “Funds Up In The Air”, Edward L. Glaeser, Boston Globe; March 7, 2013.

    NOTE: does not include indirect federal or direct nonfederal subsidies such as military spending to continue oil shipping,
    petroleum tax benefits, defense technology transfers to commercial aviation, or state/local subsidies including urban tax
    donating to exurban/rural areas, free parking, or stormwater management in low-density, car-dependent areas

    Link to story, and in the comments another back-and-forth between two readers about the definition of a subsidy; the “no subsidy” definition for roads man sounds an awful lot like John N. here.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/11/23/states-amtrak-short-lines/3316205/

  9. Emmanuel
    Dec 8th, 2013 at 16:23
    #9

    I don’t like the legislation that Governor Brown has vetoed. I think he did a disservice to the California Legislature which leaves me skeptical. Personally, I think the most important priority of the next term will be to finally pass a single payer health care bill for California.

    As much as California has embraced Obamacare, there are ZERO cost controls and to add insult to injury, Covered California is the only state exchange that did not negotiate adult dental coverage into their health plans. Obamacare might be a good deal in the South or something, but for a state as liberal as ours, it’s just embarrassing. Wherever I visit doctors, I see pro-single payer posters hanging down their walls and I realize that this state is more than ready for it.

    Vermont already signed their single payer bill and they are working hard to have it ready and running by 2017 so that they can cash in their state innovation waiver and start saving real money.
    http://innovation.cms.gov/initiatives/state-innovations-model-testing/
    Don Berwick, the former Medicare chief is running for Governor in Massachusetts and he has been talking about single payer non-stop, too.
    I have the feeling our own Governor would probably have the audacity to veto a single payer bill with one of his irrational argumentation that “California is not ready for it yet.” He seems to be too focused on making Obamacare work rather than realizing that this band-aid will rip apart in the next two years.

    Here’s the easiest way to go about single payer.
    1st step: Turn Covered California into a single insurer (Let’s call if Single Payer California) that negotiates directly with health care providers. This single insurer would have the bargaining power to change something.

    2nd step: All Essential Benefits Plans must be bought through Single Payer California. Private insurers would only be allowed to provide employer-based insurance and supplemental plans.

    3rd step: Move employer-based coverage to the single payer system. As always, corporations can still provide additional benefits from private insurers. The employer contribution to your health insurers can be used as a voucher to lower your premium even further.

    The Single Payer marketplace would provide different coverage options (transl. premiums) depending on your need/health, and age. Counter to Obamacare, the young or healthy would be rewarded for being healthy by being eligible for a lower premium bracket, but also have less access to more expensive types of health care while the ones who need health care would have to pay more, but also have better and affordable access to specialized care. I don’t need to write it all out. There are dozens of examples of universal health care around the world. My point is, does Governor Jerry Brown have the guts to sign such a bill if it landed on his desk?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    so what do you want to ration by? The current system rations by income (poor cant afford insurance” What do you want to ration by to keep costs down.

    Age? Potential?

    How would you decide who goes to the top of the waiting lists, because in any single payer system, there has to be rationing. Especially if you are going to put everyone on the system. There just isnt enough care to go around. So tell me, whats the criteria for who gets care and who does not.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Nobody else in the world has worked any of this out.

    It’s rocket science!

    God bless America and its brave health care industry profiteers.

    World leaders in health care delivery and in high speed rail design, procurement and construction.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    No they worked it out fine. Most single payer systems ration by a combination of timing (first come, first served) and age.

    Canada uses wait lists to keep costs down

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/06/20/canadian-healthcare.html

    They also cut experimental and rare procedures from care. Basically the 90% who need basic care are better off. But the 10% who are really sick especially with rare problems are allowed to die (or wait) to keep costs low.

    It’s not a horrible way to run an overall system, but in America where everyone thinks they are special and where most (85%) have coverage that pays for anything it will be a big mountain to climb

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Canada is an Anglophone country with Anglophone quality of social services. The people here who actually care about health care keep plugging France and Sweden as better systems.

    Though, even Canada is better than the US (as is pretty much any country that’s upper middle-income or higher). Waits for medically necessary procedures are on average shorter here than south of the border.

    Nick Reply:

    Canada isn’t an anglophone country though it is also a francophone country. les Canadiens de Montreal go habs go

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Around 80% of Canada is Anglophone, and federal social policy has the same spectrum of views and same issues as in the US, New Zealand, Australia, the UK, and Ireland. Quebec is indeed different (as the PQ’s attempt to shove French forced assimilation onto Muslims and Jews in the province shows), but the effect on federal policy is mostly in “…except Quebec” clauses on some laws.

    jonathan Reply:

    If you think NZ or Aus has the same spectrum of views as in the US, you’re making it up as you go along. Really.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    In what way is Key different from Harper?

    Alon Levy Reply:

    And also, you’re really trigger-happy about accusing people of making things up. E.g. in the comment where you accused me of making things up about FRA bells (which I’ve never said anything about) and pantograph noise (where I’m just citing JRTR articles on the subject).

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Canada uses wait lists to keep costs down

    Guess what? I waited nearly four months for a diagnostic appointment last year, despite debilitating pain, a $9000/year deducible, and thousands of year in “insurance” extortion payments.

    You’re a complete loon (either that or an industry shill) if you claim — let alone believe — that health care in the US isn’t rationed and doesn’t involve queues for services of all kinds.

    Nobody in the first world delivers less for more. Not even close. USA USA USA USA!

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    California isn’t Real America ™ so what happens there doesn’t count.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    I said US care is rationed. It is rationed by income. I asked what system you would prefer?

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    I’m the 1%, dude. Income isn’t a problem, by any remotely real world standards. It’s all stilll completely fucked.

    Elizabeth Reply:

    This is the Sutter Health disease mentioned before

    Because they are profit maximizing through fee for service, they won’t let a nurse deal with a hang nail – you have to see an orthopedic surgeon for that. As a result, people with real problems, even if they have real money, wait real time to see specialists.

    They have the vast majority of the market here. What medical practice wouldn’t want to join? The doctors are told the reason their total comp doubles is efficiency in e-records. At some point, their neighbors are going to start pointing two and two together about their skyrocketing premiums and their pediatrician’s new fleet of Teslas but it hasn’t happened yet.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    The US already has a single payer system:

    Government health insurance programs already set prices for the majority of medical services and costs in the country. In 1950, the population looked much different and most workers have coverage and most elderly people lived in state-administrated institutions. Today we have too many old and too many poor people to avoid something like single payer. As it stands, some employer based health insurance might survive, but once the cost of insuring the rest is passed on in higher taxes on corporations or CEOs…they will probably seek to make people worse off than better.

    swing hanger Reply:

    “keep government out of my medicare!”

    Paul Druce Reply:

    How would you decide who goes to the top of the waiting lists, because in any single payer system, there has to be rationing.

    The same way they do it now, triage and certain other assessments (such as when they evaluate organ donation recipients).

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    So if you have a 40% heart blockage and good employer insurance you are going to get an immediate catherization. In a Canada single payer system you can’t even get not he list because you are not “sick enough” to get care. It makes great public policy, but if you are the guy with the 40% blockage you don’t feel too good.

    People die waiting for organ transplants, Others judge if those limited organs are worth giving people. It’s the only way to deal with a limited commodity like organs, but with a. Single payer system you treat everything like it is limited.

    If we switch to a single payer system I don’t think it is going to turn out like you hoped.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    I know exactly how it will work out.
    As does anybody who has spent any time outside the US.

    Nobody — NOBODY — goes back home saying “I wish our healthcare was like I experienced in the USA.” Nobdoy.

    BTW Everything is limited.
    Human intelligence, for example.
    Every level of health care at every level of expense and every level of technology and every level of labour intensity, for another.
    The amount of public revenue and concrete available to built full-scale choo choo trains sets, for another.

    But bad choo choos = bad, bad heath care = good. Because, um, USA USA USA USA!

    swing hanger Reply:

    I’ve never heard people say “I wish our trains were like Caltrain or Amtrak” either (lol). Sometimes I wish every American had an opportunity to live abroad as a non-tourist for a while- they may learn a lot, and will definitely realize/see more of the good AND bad of their own country.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    My mom says that re Italian trains. She’s seen some Amtrak lateness, but not a lot of it, while in Italy she missed a connection once because the first train was late. She’s only ridden Regional in the US, which is reasonable by the standards of peripheral Italian lines, and much more comfortable.

    Nick Reply:

    The Dutch aren’t too keen on Italian trains they are going to have a fyra sale ! in fact somebody wrote graffiti on one of the rejected trains saying don’t but Italian trains ! the uk PEndolinos seem ok apart from the stinky toilets that is !

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Ah, yes, AnsaldoBreda, the Italian-Dutch basket case.

    Joey Reply:

    Aren’t the New Pendolinos built by Alstom?

    Miles Bader Reply:

    As does anybody who has spent any time outside the US.

    Nobody — NOBODY — goes back home saying “I wish our healthcare was like I experienced in the USA.” Nobody.

    That’s overstating it a bit … I agree that in general the U.S. health system has very serious flaws, but any given person’s experience of the healthcare system only covers a small portion of the experience space, and there certainly areas where the U.S. does perfectly fine. One of the biggest problems with U.S. healthcare is that it’s so easy to slip through the cracks, but there are still many people for whom that doesn’t happen.

    I’ve lived in three countries for any length of time: The U.S., Scotland, and Japan, and I’ve had to deal with both routine and emergency health issues in all three countries. Overall, I’d say my “healthcare experience” in the U.S. was better, in that I felt better cared for, and not particularly ripped off. Obviously that’s only my particular experience, and maybe I’d change my mind if I got cancer or suffered long-term unemployment, but neither happens to have been an issue for me.

    That isn’t to defend the U.S.’s “screw the poor who slip through the cracks!” system, simply to say that U.S. healthcare isn’t universally bad…

    [I will say that the Japanese system in particular seems a great deal more screwed up than you'd think given the way it constantly receives accolades in the U.S. press...]

  10. morris brown
    Dec 8th, 2013 at 18:32
    #10

    Californians deserve to know how a bullet train will be financed

    Geroge Skelton in the LA times:

    http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-cap-bullet-train-20131209,0,4623084.column#axzz2mwLXNLKD

    Jerry Reply:

    Always an excellent question. How will something be financed.
    But why does the military-industrial complex always get a free pass?
    The George Skelton’s of the world never asked how the Iraq War would be financed.
    Oh just put it on the Chinese Credit Card. We’ll have a tax cut at the same time.
    And the TRILLION dollars still has to be paid.
    What did George Skelton gain from all the Billions that went into building the IRAQ infrastructure?

    Nick Reply:

    Yeah it is funny isn’t it. right wingers always say that we need less govt and that the welfare and benefits programs needs to be cutback and how we cannot afford to subsidise public transit or railways.

    but yet these same people want to spend even more on defense spending give tax cuts to people who don’t need them and subsidise roads because of the greater good which sounds suspiciously like socialism to me. So it is wrong and communist to subsidise rail but right and right wing to subsidise highways according to this weird doctrine. Similarly subsidising renewables bad tax breaks to the gas and oil industry good ! vested interests still rule

Comments are closed.