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Forum Post: Could high-speed rail be the answer?

Posted 3 years ago on Oct. 24, 2011, 8:08 p.m. EST by lancealotlink (147)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Ladies and gentlemen in this corner we have the son of a famous statesmen and politician Jesse Jackson Jr.

In this corner we have the son of a famous statesmen and politician Rand Paul. Let's get ready to ruuuumble.

In this corner we have a politician that wants to suspend the Constitution draft an emergency jobs relief act and hire 14 million unemployed cleanup workers at $40,000 a year.

In this corner we have a politician who wants a balanced budget amendment. Lower tax rates for corporations to bolster the stock market. And somehow this is going to create jobs.

But in this fight there are no winners only the American people lose.

Now I am not here to condemn Mr. Jackson. I believe his plan is a lot more sincere than the Republicans. And he is right this is an emergency situation. Only I don't believe what America t needs right now is 15 million janitors.

And when Republicans tell me that we need a balanced budget amendment. I have to ask how and they have no answers. Just because you pass a balanced budget amendment doesn't mean you're going to balance the budget. It only means that there's going to be a lot more pain for lower-class people who had nothing to do with getting us in debt in the first place. It's called balancing the budget on the backs of the poor.

This is a very insincere policy but it's not half as insincere or cruel as to continue to lower corporate tax rates in hopes to bolster the stock market.

Just because you bolster the stock market doesn't mean you're going to create jobs. You see corporations are not job creators they are profit creators.

Their job is to try to get rid of jobs and create more profit. That is what they do. They invest in technology to trim jobs not to create them. That is why we have huge corporations paying zero taxes and we still have zero jobs. Is not their business to create jobs. This is something Republicans never seem to learn or never want to learn really.

Rand Paul warned the president that if he wants to get reelected he will pass the Republicans jobs plan. Well Rand I am warning you that if something is not done very quickly we are about to lose this whole country. People are not going to wait around 15 or 20 years from now for the budget to be balanced and the stock market to go up. Which might not happen at all.

My idea involves a massive public works project with no corrupt private contractors that could create millions good paying jobs. it's called high speed rail.This project could take 15 to 20 years to build would bolster our infrastructure.{Which we have to do anyway} and would lead us into a modern society of the 22nd century.,and if it was non-profit pay for itself. without doling out welfare.

This project would jump start our economy and have the public sector competing with the private sector for jobs.

Wouldn't it be great to have a modernized high-speed rail that could take us around the country like in Europe. This would be great for tourism and the European kids might come over here for a change instead of our kids going over there.

Winston Churchill once said"Americans will do the right thing once they've done everything else."I hope high-speed rail is not the last thing we do to jump start our economy.

Mr. Obama we need good paying jobs and we need them now. Let's rebuild our infrastructure and economy. Let's build high-speed rail.

44 Comments

44 Comments


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[-] 2 points by NielsH (212) 3 years ago

As much as I am in favor of public spending, I am weary that much of the money will end up in the pockets of the same moneyed interests that are lobbying for high-speed rail.

There are also thousands of bridges and roads that need repair. Contracts for such jobs can be awarded to smaller players than investment in high speed rail.

I am not necessarily against HSR, just afraid that it will end up being yet another form of corporate welfare.

[-] 2 points by lancealotlink (147) 3 years ago

no what I am saying it should be a goverment project like W.P.T in the 30's. A public works project would eliminate contractors . It would be a socialist project that would emulate Germany.

[-] 0 points by NielsH (212) 3 years ago

The reason for my response is the current proposals for HSR, which, I suspect, would benefit GE enormously (hence the reason Immelt is part of the jobs commission)

[-] 2 points by lancealotlink (147) 3 years ago

Yea unfortunately Obama is a Corpritist who give favors to his buddies on wall street but put someone like Jesse Jackson Jr in charge or Van Jones and now we have a real goverment project.

[-] 1 points by scvblwxq (155) 2 years ago

China has been winning contracts to rebuild american bridges since they are really good at building bridges cheaply. They have rebuilt most of their countries infrastructure since 1950 and the WTO doesn't allow discrimination.

[-] 2 points by Faithntruth (997) 3 years ago

We could indeed invest in infrastructure and high speed rail is a good idea, although it doesn't solve the root of the problem...it is like putting a bandaid on a boil. Completely agree with your statement about what corporations do: their goal is profit, but not just some profit, they want ever increasing profit, and when they don't meet projections, the stock market reacts negatively. It is a circularly reinforcing error of thinking, because it is not possible to maintain ever increasing profits. This culture of greed has to change.

[-] 1 points by lbraider (6) 2 years ago

I say rebuild what we have first. The HSR is a fine idea but we have to get the money out of politics first.get the money out should be our battle cry.

[-] 2 points by ARod1993 (2420) 3 years ago

Count me in on that one! Government-sponsored HSR investments now are perfect; they provide a ton of construction, engineering, and technical jobs to build, and then they require a good-sized contingent from those same fields to keep the infrastructure running once it's up. This becomes especially important when you consider that construction was one of if not the hardest-hit industry in the nation when the housing bubble blew out, and new construction jobs would help some of the poorest and longest-unemployed Americans.

HSR is also a valuable investment regardless of the economic times in which it's proposed: it's far cleaner than cars and airlines, and if Uncle Sam does it instead of a private company then Uncle Sam will be the one to turn Amtrak into a significant revenue source for the long term, thus allowing our government to do more with fewer taxes while still avoiding obscenities such as $45 carry-on fees and on-board fees for everything from pillows to snacks.

I believe that if you really want to make rail in this country what it could be then you need to stop looking to slash low-performing services but look to augment them so that they are as attractive as the other options. I will not come down one way or the other on where Amtrak is financially right now because I am neither a rider nor an employee. However, I firmly believe that we would be able to drastically improve it through an expansion program. I feel that high-speed service would probably be more than profitable if it were put in place on nearly all 500+ mile routes with some more popular 100- to 500-mile routes being upgraded as well. At that point, it would probably be a good idea to put together a spoke-and-hub system coming out of most if not all major cities in the United States and parts of southern Canada running at regular speed (60-100 mph between stations, comparable to commuter rail) and then create a high-speed web of railway lines between major cities.

To those of you who say that this would be a waste of money, I say think again. TGV does runs at 170+ mph on a daily basis, and China is able to get ~225 mph on parts of it's high-speed system. Japan's Nozomi service does ~190 mph on regular runs and has a new train out capable of 224 mph. These numbers are also nowhere near the record speed for a wheeled train (320 mph, TGV). If this technology is already out there and in use in Europe and Asia, then I don't think it would be impossible to get regular passenger service operating at around 250 mph on high-speed, long-distance runs. It would be quite expensive to build in terms of laying and electrifying massive amonts of new track, but it is not impossible.

Once the service gets going in that pattern or something similar to it, I guarantee you that Amtrak will become a moneymaker for the government in little or no time. Look at it like this: as things are today, a 3000-mile trip from JFK Airport in New York to LAX will take you 5-6 hours and will run you $330-$515 per person assuming two checked bags and no meals. However, not included in that estimate is the 2.5-3.5 hours it will take you to clear security, check baggage, etc. In reality, your full airport-to-airport travel time will be 8-9 hours. A high speed Amtrak train of the type I described could make the trip in about 11-12 hours, only about a three-hour difference. In fact, for trips shorter than 1250 miles, the train would actually be faster. If you assume Amtrak high-speed fares will stay where they are for current runs an NYP-LAX round trip would be about $450-$500 (slightly higher than by air but not if you want to eat en route).

If this were to be built, you would have created a travel option that is comparable in price (perhaps lower as increased ridership may allow for fare cuts and some airlines have decided to start charging for carry-on bags), anywhere from 2-3 hours slower to 1-2 hours faster than, and much more passenger-friendly than airplane travel. I see little or no reason why many people would continue to fly over those distances when a bullet train can do the job appreciably better. As for slower, more scenic lines, I say that we would probably be able to cut several of them with little or no outcry because much better service would be available while the others would wind up being commuter runs over shorter distances.

Many of you on here (particularly those of a more libertarian bent) will probably balk at this due to cost, but cost may not be as prohibitive as it appears. In 1956 Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the bill ordering the creation of the Interstate Highway System, and half a century and half a trillion dollars later, it wound up fundamentally changing the face of America. What's to say the same can't be true for Amtrak?

[-] 1 points by lancealotlink (147) 3 years ago

Thanks permalink your a genius and said it better then I could have .Some people believe that all goverment jobs are a failure but I say look at Hoover Dame . That was an great project that lead us into the 21st century.

[-] 1 points by ARod1993 (2420) 3 years ago

No problem; I live on the NEC so HSR seems kind of like a no-brainer to me.

[-] 1 points by lancealotlink (147) 3 years ago

Yes I ve seen the traffic hell you have to go through.

[-] 1 points by ARod1993 (2420) 3 years ago

Yep; I go to MIT and my family lives in NYC; it's typically 4-5 hours each way unless you take the Chinatown bus, and even then that's 3:30-3:45 when the driver decides that speed limits are for cowards and he can do 90 the whole way. Actual HSR at next-gen speeds (not quite my speeds, but close) would mean doing NYP-BOS in 1:30-2:00, and conceivably NYP to Montreal in 3 hours, Toronto in four, Chicago in seven, and Miami in nine.

[-] 1 points by armchairecon (138) 2 years ago

... finally found the answer... to life

[-] 1 points by EB4TL (6) 2 years ago

"High speed rail would lead us into a modern society of the 22nd century"

Correction: 20th century.

[-] 1 points by lancealotlink (147) 2 years ago

wait I think its 21 st century its always one century ahead of what it really is I think.

[-] 1 points by StevenRoyal (490) from Dania Beach, FL 2 years ago

I haven't heard Jackson say that. Can you provide me the source so I can evaluate? Thanks.

[-] 1 points by lancealotlink (147) 2 years ago

Look on Fox news yuck and then put in Jesse Jackson Jr.in search and you will find the article.

[-] 1 points by StevenRoyal (490) from Dania Beach, FL 2 years ago

Still can't find it after hours of trying. Can you send me the link?

[-] 1 points by lancealotlink (147) 2 years ago

Ok just google" Jessie Jackson Jr . jobs plan" and you will find several articles on it.

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 2 years ago

are you saying we should follow the French and the Japanese? how un-American of you. you must know America is always number one!

RAIL BABY RAIL!

[-] 1 points by lancealotlink (147) 2 years ago

Or South Korea which those rails go 185 m.p.h.

[-] 1 points by lbraider (6) 2 years ago

I say rebuild what we have first. The HSR is a fine idea but we have to get the money out of politics first.get the money out should be our battle cry.

[-] 1 points by RufusJFisk52 (259) 2 years ago

where would we get the money for a giant project like this? Print it? And what if it doesnt break even or make money...the extra costs and losses go back on the taxpayer. And what about eminent domain issues? You will have lots of people get thrown out of their homes and land and get nothing in return. And is their enough demand for a project like this? and what happens after this project is done? This does not seem economically viable. People only want it done for the idea that people will get to work. Economic viability be damned.

[-] 1 points by scvblwxq (155) 2 years ago

The government is suppose to create money so the population can get things done. If the economics work out its a good idea.

[-] 1 points by lancealotlink (147) 2 years ago

Well first Rufus I would say if we built it around federal highway or railrounds that would solve alot of the eminent domain problem.Secoundly I talked to a guy when I started to blog this idea.Who told me that somehow you could use the electrical energy from the highway to move the rail. Now dont ask me how its done because that beyond my expertise.And 3 rd we have corporations that are sitting on trillions of dollars that arent doing sqaut with the money.So lets move money from the prvate sector to the public sector.If this was a public works project that would eliminate the huge profits that private contractor would obsorbe .Plus the fair charges would allow us to pay for this project itself.

[-] 1 points by RufusJFisk52 (259) 2 years ago

they also said that with amtrak. it is too big a risk to add to the deficit even more so i feel.

[-] 1 points by lancealotlink (147) 2 years ago

If we could get 15 million people back to work that would be 15 million new tax payers . We cant balance a budget in these difficult economic times and to try would be disaturous.In mt opinion.

[-] 1 points by RufusJFisk52 (259) 2 years ago

kickin the can down the road

[-] 1 points by lancealotlink (147) 2 years ago

Hmmm what else can we do we have people in our parks screaming for jobs.

[-] 1 points by lbraider (6) 2 years ago

I say rebuild what we have first. The HSR is a fine idea but we have to get the money out of politics first.get the money out should be our battle cry.

[-] 1 points by mgiddin1 (1057) from Linthicum, MD 2 years ago

The balanced budget amendment was the old bait and switch routine used on the Tea Party to replace the anti-big-government stance that they originally took, which was far more threatening.

A balanced budget at this point is a fantasy. Our currency is worthless. Our deficit is insurmountable without a serious about-face in government spending - even the interest amounts to something like 30% at this point. They are not going to balance the budget - that's why this is like the last, final drinking binge before they drive the dollar in to the ground. Default by default, if you will.

And you are right about us not needing 15 million janitors. We don't need 15 million new federal workers, period. This doesn't work either.

High speed rail is not the answer. If it was, maybe Obama would just find some company that was cutting edge in the high-speed rail development department, give them a huge bailout right before they went out of business, then call it good.

Legalize hemp. Now THAT might have a fighting chance of saving the economy. It would create jobs, revenue, innovation, lesson our dependence on oil, help treat HIV and cancer: http://www.activistpost.com/2011/10/let-our-farmers-grow-hemp.html

[-] 1 points by scvblwxq (155) 2 years ago

Our US currency is the only thing that can be used to pay US taxes. That gives it its value. Its more like a tax credit that can be used for transactions.

[-] 1 points by Lockean (671) from New York, NY 2 years ago

+1.

"please don't bump threads"

[-] 1 points by lbraider (6) 2 years ago

I say rebuild what we have first. The HSR is a fine idea but we have to get the money out of politics first.get the money out should be our battle cry.

[-] 1 points by lbraider (6) 2 years ago

I say rebuild what we have first. The HSR is a fine idea but we have to get the money out of politics first.get the money out should be our battle cry.

[-] 1 points by lancealotlink (147) 3 years ago

that wasnt the answer I was hoping to get but I guess everybodies a comidian