Skip to comments.President Obama, China, High-Speed Rail and the Sputnik Moment
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 presidents comments raise an important question: How relevant are Chinas investments in infrastructure to the challenges of U.S. economic competitiveness?
Unfortunately, if Chinas 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 ...
So that is what Willie Green was shilling for.
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.
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?
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.
Until the first terrorist strike on a high speed rail. Which Obama guaranteed with this statement I bet.
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