GOVERNACIDE: Politicians ribbon-cutting opportunities cost people’s lives and Taxpayers’ wealth

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

https://www.cato.org/blog/questions-ask-about-amtrak-501

DECEMBER 20, 2017 9:21AM
Questions to Ask About Amtrak 501
By RANDAL O’TOOLE

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The wreck of the 501–the Amtrak train that crashed near Seattle on Monday–is raising lots of questions about Amtrak operations, but they aren’t always the right ones. Here are some questions that should be asked and some of my preliminary answers. Answers from Amtrak (the operator), FRA (the funder), Sound Transit (the track owner), or WSDOT (the train owner) may differ.

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2. Around 800 people die in railroad accidents a year. PTC would prevent only about 1 percent of these fatalities; far more would be saved by spending the same amount of money on better grade crossings and fencing of rail rights of way. Why do we put so much emphasis on an expensive technology that will do so little?

Answer: Accidents that PTC could have prevented tend to be more spectacular than people getting killed when a train hits their car at a grade crossing. This suggests that, when politicians decide where private businesses spend their money, it’ll get spent on grandiose programs rather than things that could really make a difference.

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5. Why do so many reporters call this a high-speed train? The top speed between Portland and Seattle is 79 mph, the same as it has always been and the same as most other Amtrak routes. In technical terms, this was a conventional, low-speed train.

Answer: Though this was a low-speed train, it was funded by Obama’s high-speed rail fund. By repeatedly using the term “high-speed trains,” reporters are keeping that idea in the public consciousness, perhaps in the hopes that Trump’s infrastructure plan will include money for more such trains. (This could backfire, however, by making people think that high-speed trains are more dangerous. They aren’t–but they are a lot more expensive.)

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Question: So are all trains obsolete?

Answer: No, only passenger trains are obsolete. Freight trains are extremely productive, and America has the finest, most advanced rail system in the world. That’s because it is mostly private and operates to produce profits, not to give politicians ribbon-cutting opportunities.

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So the answer is that politicians and bureaucrats, their egos, cause the waste of Taxpayers’ wealth on their egos.

Argh!

Happy New Year; new year same as the old year.

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GOVEROTRAGEOUS: Isn’t “price-gouging” satisfying the neediest?

Friday, July 31, 2015

http://www.foxnews.com/travel/2015/07/24/feds-open-probe-into-whether-airline-price-increased-in-wake-amtrak-crash/?intcmp=hplnws

AIRLINES
Feds probe possible price-gouging in wake of Amtrak crash
Published July 24, 2015FoxNews.com

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Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said Friday the government has opened a price-gouging investigation involving five airlines that allegedly raised airfares in the Northeast after a deadly Amtrak crash in Philadelphia in May disrupted rail service.

The Transportation Department released letters to five airlines — Delta, American, United, Southwest and JetBlue — seeking information on Friday.

“The idea that any business would seek to take advantage of stranded rail passengers in the wake of such a tragic event is unacceptable,” Foxx said.

DOT is exploring whether the price hikes violated federal regulations prohibiting airlines from engaging in unfair and deceptive practices and asked the airlines provide information of pricing and seat availability for a time period before and after the crash.

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The Gooferment’s “price-gouging” is the free market allocating scarce resources to those who need it the most.

If the price is artificially low versus the demand, then there are shortages, queues, and rationing.

If the price is unacceptably high, then the consumer will seek alternatives — driving for one thing, the bus for another, or delay / change / cancel your trip. Perhaps even carpool. 

The free market will allocate based on price to the “neediest”.

That’s the “fairest” way to handle any allocation of a scarce resource; not with a Gooferment investigation.

And, doesn’t Amtrak belong to the Gooferment!

Argh!

Perhaps they are trying to distract us from their immoral, ineffective, and inefficient “running of a railroad” to the evil private airlines.

Argh squared!

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