17 April, 2009

What is this Euroenvy our government seems to have?

Over the past several years, there seems to be a growing sense of Euroenvy in our country. Many people look at the way things are going in Europe, and wish it would happen here.

Most recently, the Dictator in Chief announced plans to establish a high speed rail system in this country. He claims that it will help to link the people of this country together. No doubt, this is based on the rail system in Europe.

Here is why it won't work. First of all, all of the tree huggers won't let it. But assuming they do start building it, there is no way it will ever cover the costs of operation.

Part of the reason that it works in Europe, is that the entire continent of Europe is more than double the population density of the US. Europe has a population density of 70 people per square Km, while the US comes in as the 177th most densely populated nation in the world at 31 people per square Km. Several European nations register in the high triple digits, and host the world's most densely populated nation, Monaco, which tips the scales at a staggering 16,905 people per sqkm (just under 32k people live in its just under 2 mile borders). All in, 24 European nations register densities of over 100, including 3 (Monaco, Vatican City (2045) and Malta (1258)) over 1000.

If people live close together, it makes it more efficient to take the train.

As part of the announced plans, they intend the UPNY corridor between Buffalo and Albany. That's all well and good, except that a report came out today, that Thru-Way usage is down. That would suggest that there is less demand for transit between these cities.

Another problem that we are going to run into is the complete lack of experienced rail workers. The high speed trains would require a different type of track than standard trains, so it's not going to create any new jobs, since all of the workers would have to come from Europe or Asia, where they use the high speed trains already. Didn't we learn the lesson from Springfield with the Monorail?

I've taken a train ride. It was fun, but I'm not sure I would do it again. When I was living in Sacramento, I needed to get to Salt Lake City, UT. The train tickets were only about $50 less than it would have been to fly. It took 11 hours to take the train (it takes about 9 to drive), and when we got there, we still didn't have a car.

When it comes down to it, mass transit works in densely populated cities, not in the spread out expanses.

And, correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't we fight a war to not be a European nation? Wasn't this country founded by people not wanting to live in Europe, for whatever reason?

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