[Swiftwater Gazette] $10 billion waste of capital
kroposki at att.net
Wed Oct 4 06:46:02 EDT 2017
Myletter to Trains Magazine re: $10 billion waste of capital
Posted:03 Oct 2017 12:14 PM PDTOctober3, 2017
TrainsMagazineP.O.Box 1612Waukesa,WI 5317-1612
Re:"Time Is Up", by Bob Johnston (October 2017 edition)
Inresponse to Mr. Johnston's article about the real impact, if any, ofthe government's 2009 $10 billion infusion to states and Amtrak forthe benefit rail passenger service, it is obvious that this massive spending had no real long term impact. Let's just look at several reasons why:
Themoney was NOT invested by private individuals who expected to reap adecent return. It was simply a political handout with dubious goals(get America working again?...who knows?). No one ever expected thatthe money would be returned to the treasury with interest.
Andherein lies the problem. Ten billion dollars was diverted from thereal economy to politically connected cronies. That's $10 billion of capital that was wasted instead of $10 billion of capital that would have been invested profitably by the private economy.
Thestates and Amtrak do NOT have a business plan for revitalizing railservice; all they have is a pie-in-the-sky wish list. Wishes are not plans. Business plans can be evaluated according to some criteria; wishes cannot be evaluated by any objective standard.
Therefore,spending to satisfy wishes become nothing more than exercises inpolitical power and political log rolling (you vote for my expenditure and I'll vote for yours. Neither of us care one whitabout the soundness of these expenditures).
Amtrakwill NEVER be profitable until it is privatized. The only way todetermine whether Amtrak can be profitable is for people to invest their own money with an expectation that it will be returned to them with interest.
Ifno one wishes to purchase Amtrak, then Amtrak should be shut down, pure and simple. To keep it going under the present conditionsrequires a constant infusion of public money, which represents adiversion of capital from sound investments.
Insteadof capital accumulation via private investment, America suffers capital consumption. It is akin to spending one's savings on personal consumption instead of investing in productive assets. Instead of afuture of independence and dignity, one finds oneself living as adependent of some sort (relatives, the government, private charity).
PatrickBarron20McMullan Farm LaneWestChester, PA 19382Phone:610-793-3605
Email:PatrickBarron at msn.com
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