Trains For America

More choices for better transportation

Libertarians spread questionable information (self-serving opinions) on Amtrak and high speed rail

This item appears on the Yahoo discussion group, “All Aboard.” This kind of material is just too good not to spread abound.

The point to be made is that my previous contention that so-called libertarian and conservative “think tanks” are for sale to the highest paying special interest. All of this has a direct bearing on the continuing dominance of all transportation discussions by highway and airport commercial interests.

While not the smoking gun of all times, it raises some questions and should raise some eyebrows.

The Buckeye Policy Institute, a libertarian, Cato-like institute, in  Ohio has come out against the Ohio Hub with the usual biased information. However, one of the Institute’s co-founders and former  president, Dr. Sam Staley, was involved in the economic impact analysis  that was commissioned by the Ohio Rail Development Commission. Staley  was involved through the consulting firm Gem Public Sector Services (the  study was completed almost two years ago). Gem concluded that the  project was economically sound and recommended the state pursue it.

Here is all the pertinent info


“The Ohio Rail Development Commission has engaged two teams of six noted
economists to verify that answer and see exactly how Ohio may benefit  from new business and development generated by building the Ohio & Lake Erie Regional Rail/Ohio Hub Plan…The second  team is headed up by Douglas Harnish of GEM Public Sector Services, with  over 23 years in real estate development and evaluation. Joining him are  economist *Dr. Sam Staley of Wright State University and former  President of the Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions…”

“*Gem concludes that construction of high-speed passenger rail is  economically feasible and justifiable assuming an 80% federal construction match. By feasible, we believe the economic benefits  justify the investment and the project will not be a burden on the State  biennial budget*…”

Here’s Staley’s bio from the BPI site:


Filed under: Amtrak, Passenger Rail Transportatio Policy, Regional USA Passenger Rail, United States High Speed Rail

2 Responses

  1. Noble Baker says:

    Of course Libertarians are for ale to the highest bidder. That is the cornerstone of their philosophy.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Not all libertarians are like this.
    I’m really disgusted that libertarians are so widely being duped into supporting our transportation welfare state.

    For all of the subsidy and corruption of the 19th century rail industry, we did have a comprehensive coast-to-coast transportation network, that was almost completely privatized by today’s standards, and cost the tax-payer virtually nothing.

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