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President Obama, China, High-Speed Rail and the Sputnik Moment
Reason Foundation ^ | 1/26/2011 | Samuel Staley

Posted on 01/26/2011 12:51:51 PM PST by wheresmyusa

Last night in his State of the Union address, President Obama urged Americans and Congress to embrace this generation's "Sputnik" moment and spend more on technology and innovation to spur economic growth.

America is losing its edge to nations like China, Mr. Obama suggested, because we have failed to commit to a long-term vision to be competitive in this digital age. "China is building faster trains and newer airports," the president said. "Meanwhile, when our own engineers graded our nation's infrastructure, they gave us a 'D.'"

"Within 25 years, our goal is to give 80% of Americans access to high-speed rail, which could allow you go places in half the time it takes to travel by car," said President Obama. "For some trips, it will be faster than flying - without the pat-down."

The president’s comments raise an important question: How relevant are China’s investments in infrastructure to the challenges of U.S. economic competitiveness?

Unfortunately, if China’s commitment to high-speed rail is a benchmark for the kind of commitment President Obama believes the U.S. must make to remain competitive, we may be learning the wrong lessons.

First, China's transportation spending is very specific to its circumstances and its investment in high-speed rail should not be seen as independent of its need to develop a comprehensive transportation network. China eclipsed Japan last year to become the world's second largest economy, but this achievement is not as significant as it might appear. While the amusement park glitz of the Bund in Shanghai and the skylines of Beijing, Guangzhou and other cities are suitably impressive, they represent a nation in transition from poverty to middle-income status.

China's per capita income (adjusted for purchasing power) still ranks 93rd worldwide according to the International Monetary ...

(Excerpt) Read more at reason.org ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: boondoggle; broke; china; debt; hsr; obama; rail; sotu; spending; trains; willie

1 posted on 01/26/2011 12:51:57 PM PST by wheresmyusa
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To: wheresmyusa

I don’t care to be like China and I don’t like their crappy products.


2 posted on 01/26/2011 12:57:28 PM PST by linn37 ( "The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples money.)
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To: wheresmyusa; All

America is losing its edge to nations like China, Mr. Obama suggested, because we have failed to commit to a long-term vision to be competitive in this digital age. “China is building faster trains and newer airports,” the president said. “Meanwhile, when our own engineers graded our nation’s infrastructure, they gave us a ‘D.’”


Hey Obushma.....if you and your fellow Free Trade Communists were not shipping American wealth and jobs to Communist China....there would not be such a “disadvantage”.

Obushma and Free Trade Communists: Partners in the raping of America


3 posted on 01/26/2011 12:58:24 PM PST by UCFRoadWarrior (NAFTA, WTO, UN, IMF, USAID, World Bank, are all Statist organizations)
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To: UCFRoadWarrior

Wouldn’t high-speed rail access to all of those people pretty much kill the concept of high-speed due to the number of stops it would need?

With so many people living in suburbs or otherwise away from downtown, how does having to get to and from downtown make it easier?


4 posted on 01/26/2011 1:03:02 PM PST by JeffChrz (Dr. Atlas will shrug.)
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To: wheresmyusa
Sputnik????

Sputnik was the high point of the old Soviet Union, not the United States.


5 posted on 01/26/2011 1:06:23 PM PST by Brookhaven (Moderates = non-thinkers)
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To: wheresmyusa


6 posted on 01/26/2011 1:06:41 PM PST by WOBBLY BOB ( "I don't want the majority if we don't stand for something"- Jim Demint)
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To: UCFRoadWarrior
We're also losing our edge to China in control of the media and internet, government interference in citizen's personal lives, and, I suspect, abortions.

Obama wants to be Chairman Mao.
7 posted on 01/26/2011 1:09:47 PM PST by Apparatchik (If you find yourself in a confusing situation, simply laugh knowingly and walk away - Jim Ignatowski)
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To: wheresmyusa

Moron doesn’t understand that the sputnik moment was one of OH CRAP! The Russians sucessfully put a satellite in space and jumped WAY ahead of the USA. Or maybe he is referring to an Oh crap moment coming at from China.
Really bad choice of words.


8 posted on 01/26/2011 1:11:11 PM PST by Texas resident (Hunkered Down)
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To: Apparatchik

Well, his advisors admire Mao, obama made glowing statements about China after he came back from the olympics there and both China and obama are in favor of internet censorship. China owns a big bunch of our debt and their leader was just here and was outright treating obama like they own him.


9 posted on 01/26/2011 1:13:14 PM PST by Texas resident (Hunkered Down)
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To: wheresmyusa
According to a post here yesterday China is planning to merge five cities into a single mega-city with a population as large as California. With a population density like that high speed rail makes a lot of sense. Bout outside the New York metro (where we already have high speed rail) it doesn’t make a lot of sense in the US. We would be better off just paying down the debt. And any investment money that can be squeezed out after debt payments needs to go to repairing existing bridges and upgrading the power grid. Both of those are ready to fail and if the go down no amount of high speed rail is going to save the economy.
10 posted on 01/26/2011 1:18:02 PM PST by GonzoGOP (There are millions of paranoid people in the world and they are all out to get me.)
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To: Texas resident

Zer0 IS the sputnik of our times. 2010 was the start of the awakening.


11 posted on 01/26/2011 1:27:14 PM PST by Paladin2
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To: JeffChrz
"High speed rail" is about as realistic as "shovel ready jobs" and "green jobs" saving the economy. As for the chinese building "newer airports"--lol, what else? China is also building "ghost cities" to keep their burgeoning masses busy and under some semblance of control. Not a great model for the US to follow in the 21st century.
12 posted on 01/26/2011 1:36:43 PM PST by hinckley buzzard
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To: wheresmyusa

The “new” China is being built by the “old” USA, namely Coca-Cola, GM, Catepillar, etc.


13 posted on 01/26/2011 1:38:09 PM PST by AmusedBystander (Republicans may have helped drive the economy into the ditch, but Obama is driving it off the cliff.)
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To: wheresmyusa

As far as I can tell, the only reason for high speed rail in Nevada is to give Harry Reid a hell of a lot of money for all the property he bought all along the line.


14 posted on 01/26/2011 1:42:45 PM PST by Dogbert41
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To: wheresmyusa

Love the headline. :)


15 posted on 01/26/2011 1:53:47 PM PST by bronxville
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To: wheresmyusa

And the contracts for high speed rail here are going to Chinese companies.


16 posted on 01/26/2011 1:59:48 PM PST by w4women ("All great change begins at the dinner table". Ronald Reagan)
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To: wheresmyusa
Buffoon!
17 posted on 01/26/2011 2:02:30 PM PST by AngelesCrestHighway
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To: Texas resident
Moron doesn’t understand that the sputnik moment was one of OH CRAP!

I thought it was a world class Freudian slip. O is our sputnik moment. Overcoming him is the challenge of our age.

18 posted on 01/26/2011 2:08:05 PM PST by Louis Foxwell (For love of Sarah, our country and the American Way of Life.)
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To: wheresmyusa
Liberals have such a weird high speed train fixation. They think it will make us "more like Europe", as if that's a worthy goal.

If we want to be more European, it would be cheaper for us to just start a couple world wars every century, embrace mimes and let heat waves kill our elderly.

19 posted on 01/26/2011 2:08:36 PM PST by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: dead

Sounds pretty simple on paper, dead.


20 posted on 01/26/2011 2:10:05 PM PST by Cyber Liberty (We conservatives will always lose elections as long as we allow the MSM to choose our candidates.)
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To: wheresmyusa

So that is what Willie Green was shilling for.


21 posted on 01/26/2011 2:10:36 PM PST by mountainlion (The government is not my god no matter how much they preach.)
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To: wheresmyusa

LIberals may claim that high-speed rail is the one infrastructure project they all support wholeheartedly, but I think most of the opposition is that everyone knows that if we actually did start to build a system the NIMBYs and Luddites would still have it tied up in court forever.

Americans can’t contemplate building anything major until our legal system is fundamentally changed to require that the opposition to a major project, public or private, present scientific evidence rather than “feeeeeeeelings” as a reason for not building.


22 posted on 01/26/2011 2:11:33 PM PST by BlazingArizona
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To: wheresmyusa

We didn’t lose our edge we gave it to China.

Our jobs, Our money, Our Industry, we have been giving it away for years and now the chickens are coming home to roost and this idiot wonders why?


23 posted on 01/26/2011 2:12:35 PM PST by Venturer
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To: BlazingArizona
The bed-wetters around hear are always complaining about the active rail line that runs through our community. They want it moved or rerouted, even though it was here before the Civil War. In fact, it is one of the main reasons for the community’s development in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Another rail line nearby was abandoned and turned into a greenbelt trail. The public rejoiced. They should have been saddened by the loss of infrastructure.

24 posted on 01/26/2011 2:23:17 PM PST by CobraJet
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To: wheresmyusa
"For some trips, it will be faster than flying - without the pat-down."

Until the first terrorist strike on a high speed rail. Which Obama guaranteed with this statement I bet.

25 posted on 01/26/2011 3:21:46 PM PST by 5thGenTexan
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