Trains For America

More choices for better transportation

Amtrak, high speed rail, and political reality

In my own awkward halting way, I have attempted to bring my political knowledge to bear on the political situation in which transportation advocates exist. This is not an easy world.

I found an internet site, Moderate Voice, that fairly well, and comprehensively captures the essence of our sorry state of affairs. You aren’t going to like this. It made me very uncomfortable and I think I disagree with parts. Nonetheless, government in America does not respond to Americans.

Health Care Reform is “exhibit A” and is the general topic of the post I found so enlightening and encouraging. Stay with me. Here is what Marc Pascal had to say on medical costs and the massive paid opposition to any substantive change.

The wealthiest Americans and largest corporations control the business of this country. The U.S. has been, is, and will be an oligarchy or plutocracy (essentially the same), and our “meritocracy” simply exists to buttress this near complete control of the U.S. economic and political system. All members of Congress are so dependent upon campaign contributions for their continuing existences, that only those with enough money or the ability to raise significant amounts of money have access and effective control over the actions of Congress.

But now on to the good part.

For example, new spending on Amtrak, rail mass transit, and high speed rail has garnered broad bi-partisan support in Congress, simply because the wealthiest Americans and many large corporations now see a direct future benefit to their own bank accounts by way of ostensibly doing something good for the American public. (It also helps that the housing bubble and other investment options are pretty well discredited.) If they did not see these public investments ultimately benefitting themselves, they would not now be playing such a large role in the current and future budget plans of this Congress and this Administration.

This post is meant to focus advocates of various meritorious ideas geared to help the majority of Americans to take the realistic view that for those proposals to ultimately become enacted, they must principally get the approval of the wealthiest Americans, investors and businesses.

Filed under: Amtrak, Passenger Rail Politics, Passenger Rail Transportatio Policy

2 Responses

  1. Spokker says:

    Essentially, the ends justify the means.

  2. Ran says:

    As an accompaniment to this point, I wanted to mention a blog post of mine regarding the costs associated with improving service in the Northeast Corridor.

    http://rbiii.wordpress.com/2009/01/29/train-speeds-on-the-nec-part-iii/

    Democracy compels some unfortunate compromises.

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