Town Square

Article: "China's (High Speed) Train Wreck"

Original post made by Conductor Jerry on Jul 6, 2012

So Democrats...are you happy now that your newest "big govt" project was passed? (Nevermind that it will likely push this leftist State off the cliff...though it was already teetering on the edge.)

Need more info about China's failed high speed rail project?

Here you go > Web Link

Note the author's last line in this article of April 2011...

(Since the U.S. has not built HSR yet)..."On the whole, I'd say China should envy us."

Guess they won't be so envious now that another sucker has bought into this failed mode of transportation.


Posted by Apathy, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jul 6, 2012 at 10:30 pm

Has it ever occurred to you unemployed far-right teabloggers that if you spent less time scouring the internet for China birther socialism Obama apocalypse horror stories, you might be able to get actual jobs?

Posted by Conductor Jerry, a resident of Amador Estates
on Jul 7, 2012 at 6:22 am

Nice try, dweeb.

My feet are firmly planted in the private sector and I probably pay more taxes for losing democrat initiatives than you could ever imagine.

Speaking of "actual" jobs, you are probably referring to government jobs which suck the life-blood out of the private sector. If you have a job at all, it is probably in this parasitic class of government work or perhaps SEIU.

Posted by Apathy, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jul 7, 2012 at 6:54 am

"I probably pay more taxes for losing democrat initiatives than you could ever imagine."

Sure. You make a billion dollars and you're going be a quarterback and win the superbowl when you grow up and your dad is the strongest in the world and is gonna beat me up.

Time to grow up and leave the playground behind, son.

Posted by ap-pathetic, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 7, 2012 at 7:00 am

So, you are typing your childish posts from the SEIU office hoping for a menial task to perform. Ok, dad, time to get some skills, other than playground rants.
Good luck with your choo choo to nowhere.

Posted by Jason, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jul 7, 2012 at 12:43 pm

Finally, our legislature and Governor have come up with a fiscally responsible, pragmatic approach to creating jobs. This will surely spur individuals and businesses to move back to CA. Thank you voters for approving the HSRA bill then re-electing the politicians who made this dream a reality.

We are getting FREE federal money that will cover almost 4% of the cost! The balance will come from the private sector and riders. Look how successful Amtrak and CalTrain are.

There does, however, need to be a provision so that economically challenged riders (including undocumented workers) can ride for free. Fares should be based on one's ability to pay.

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jul 7, 2012 at 4:12 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Jason, Could you explain how the federal money is free, or explain how much of the remaining 96% comes from the private sector, or what fares will be for riders especially if those who cannot afford the fares will ride for free? Perhaps I'm missing some intended humor of the post.

Posted by Apathy, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jul 7, 2012 at 4:42 pm

Kathleen must you come in here and pick a fight with Jason? Can't you leave any forum threads alone?

Posted by b, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 7, 2012 at 6:20 pm

That article taught me that Chinese bureaucrats are corrupt and Chinese consumers will spend an extra 90 minutes in traffic to save $4. Very interesting cultural lesson, although not tremendously relevant to California.

Posted by Mr. Mittens, a resident of another community
on Jul 7, 2012 at 10:03 pm

My goodness. So 'b' gives evidence of reading the piece forwarded by 'Conductor Jerry'. And, obviously, Conductor Jerry can't read very well. But many of the jobs I shall create will improve Conductor Jerry's prospects. For it is 3rd world stoop labor jobs that we must savor after all of the illegal immigrants self deport. And, too, we'll need many stoopies (stupid stoop laborers) like Conductor Jerry to help complete the Wall dividing us and Mexico. Talk about adding additive value! Heavens!

Posted by Daniel Bradford, a resident of Foothill High School
on Jul 8, 2012 at 1:52 am

Actually, the point of that article shows up early in the story:

"...history counseled caution about introducing bullet trains in China, where the typical passenger was still a migrant worker, not a businessman rushing to a meeting. To be sure, there was an economic case to be made for upgrading China's lumbering rail system: It would free up limited rail capacity for freight trains, thus reducing truck traffic on congested roads. Beijing's initial feasibility studies envisioned the gradual introduction of trains that would move at a maximum 125 mph, according to Caixin, the Chinese economic magazine."

Short version: high-speed bullet trains are too costly for a developing economy like China's, and are more appropriate for a developed nation such as France or Japan.

Question is, which are we? Third World nation or developed First World nation?

Oh, and by the way, all transportation is subsidized, not just high-speed rail: municipal airports are subsidized by taxpayers, our interstate highways and city roads are built for and maintained by tax dollars, etc.

It's funny how homeowners who will happily take their mortgage interest deduction (a government housing subsidy) will then rant and rave against "subsidies" to high speed rail or some other "socialist" project.

But then again, intellectual and moral consistency were never the right-wingers' strong suit.

Posted by Conductor Jerry, a resident of Amador Estates
on Jul 8, 2012 at 9:07 am

My guess is that you were a very trusting and willing student during your high school years, and beyond, to be brainwashed that 'big govt interventions' like FDR's New Deal "saved" us from the Great Depression.

Sorry Daniel, that is what the left-leaning teachers and mainstream media want you to believe. It was just the opposite.

FDR's big govt spending put the "Great" (i.e. "prolonged") in the Great Depression.

Here is more info, tho sorry to burst your bubble here as I am sure this info will alter your view of reality (just kidding because you leftists will justify your views by lying, denying, and obfuscating in any manner.)

I doubt you'll have an "open mind" to read this but so be it >> Web Link

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jul 8, 2012 at 11:08 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Daniel, The short version should read, "high-speed bullet trains are too costly ..." for China or France or Japan or the US. By the way, many modes of transportation are covered by airline gate fees, taxes on passenger tickets, toll roads, gas taxes--payment by those using the modes of transportation. I have no problem with those using a service paying to use the service.

This is just a new bad idea. It ignores the cost to all states (of course, this is not a new question, Web Link ) for California to have HSR (how does this benefit, say, Hawaii or Alaska--or the states like Florida that have already opted out?). It ignores the cost to future generations. It ignores the pollution created by the project, the actual train, and other greener innovations in flight and automobiles that can occur long before the train reaches San Francisco or Los Angeles. It ignores anyone who lives north of San Francisco and beyond Los Angeles. It ignores that while there will be construction jobs, those jobs will be lost (assuming it actually gets completed), creating a need to start the next new bad idea. Imagine if this money was available to all for education instead.

I'd give up a mortgage deduction for a graduated flat tax on all income.

Posted by Daniel Bradford, a resident of Foothill High School
on Jul 8, 2012 at 2:06 pm

The flat tax is a terrible idea. It's not been implemented in any modern economy in the world, with good reason. A graduated income tax acknowledges the fact that beyond a certain level of income, an individual has far more discretionary income, and therefore can afford to surrender a greater portion of his/her income to taxes.

In other words: Do you really think it matters to the day-to-day life of a man who is worth $10 billion whether his income tax is 28% or 35%? But those extra taxes at 35% mean better schools, better roads, for all.

As for subsidies for transportation: Once again, denial is not just a river in Egypt. There are certain projects that are too big to be undertaken by private entities, such as the building of the interstate highway system (which began under that infamous Socialist President, Dwight Eisenhower) and high-speed rail. The gasoline and vehicle use taxes we Americans pay covers only a small percentage of the actual maintenance cost of this magnificent highway system that ties together our vast republic.

In other words, every time you drive your car on Interstate 5 or 580 or any other highway in California, taxpayers (which is all of us) are subsidizing your automobile travel.

Similarly, the user fees paid by airlines and their passengers only covers part of the original construction costs and ongoing maintenance costs of our airports. The rest is taxpayers subsidizing air travel. I don't mind that, as I think air transportation in the USA is necessary, given the size of our nation (I sure wouldn't want to drive, take a bus, or even a high-speed train home to Kansas to see the folks when a jet can take me there in a few hours).

Rail travel is the most energy-efficient land transportation. It's why Europe and Japan have developed such an extensive railway network. It's high time the United States began such a project. Every single passenger on high-speed rail will be traveling at a subsidized rate. Just as every single motorist and airline passenger travels at a subsidized rate.

While we're on the topic of moral and intellectual consistency, Ms. Ruegsegger benefited from a huge parcel tax in the Palo Alto School District, her last place of employment, but has adamantly opposed even a small parcel tax in the Pleasanton USD. If not for the Palo Alto parcel tax, she'd have likely been laid off from her job, rather than allowed to retire on her own terms. So Ms. Ruegsegger only opposes the taxes she has to pay, not the ones which benefit her. It's like those senior citizens who show up at Tea Party rallies to protest against "Socialism" but are happy to receive housing subsidies, Social Security, and Medicare.

I'm from Kansas, and I'm used to hearing farmers rant against "welfare" (which to them means "money for not working") and then hustle down to the bank to cash their agricultural subsidy checks--which they get for NOT growing crops.

All I ask for is moral and intellectual consistency. The opposite is hypocrisy.

Posted by Apathy, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jul 8, 2012 at 2:15 pm


You seem like a reasonable person, so I implore you not to bait Kathleen. She shows up on far too many threads and under far too many names picking fights and disturbing civilized discourse. Please, just don't engage with her any more.

Posted by Daniel Bradford, a resident of Foothill High School
on Jul 8, 2012 at 3:11 pm

It's ok, I just want to remind everybody who Ms. R really is and what her agenda really is: a retired civil servant who rails against the tax breaks, taxes, and civil service pensions that all benefit her.

Besides, I don't hold out much hope for "civilized discourse" in these forums, do you? It's mostly a bunch of pseudonymous Tea Partiers and Birthers whose grasp of American civics is shaky at best.

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jul 8, 2012 at 3:57 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Daniel, I am happy to have a reasoned discussion. Apathy is just baiting.

Yes, no secret I have 16 years of service, including as a board member. I get a pension; I do not have lifetime health benefits--no health benefits at all actually. I retired not because STRS made it possible, but because other circumstances made it possible. And our family pays all that is asked of us (and take the same breaks you also are entitled to and go beyond your philosophy and would gladly pay more and have no breaks), and then we donate and volunteer.

So, rail against me personally rather than the subject at hand. That's where the breakdowns are on these forums. Been going on for years now.

I'll read your longer missive later.

Posted by Mr. Mittens, a resident of another community
on Jul 8, 2012 at 5:49 pm

I call upon all my good America critics of public worker pensions to return all pension benefits from whence they came -- viz., from REAL American taxpayer pocketbooks.

Now, as for Kathleen, we don't expect her to do anything so consistent with her own philosophy, because she's so SPECIAL. She's one of those REAL American taxpayers, not one of the phoney ones who get pension benefits ... just like you do.

It's this kind of consistency, made possible largely by my party, which allows Repubs who receive nat'lly subsidized health care to vote against universal health care; which allows Repubs -- bad mathematicians and uneducated pig farmers alike -- to carp about entitlements while themselves drawing social security and medicare; which allows a presidential aspirant to house much of his money and investments in foreign countries while criticizing the American job situation; which allows a self-glorifying public office secretary to criticize public worker pensions while refusing to return her own pension.

This is what allows America to be great! Fire Obama. Let's turn away from investigating my tax returns and point to something specific: what KIND of drugs did Obama do in high school?

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jul 8, 2012 at 7:05 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Okay, "guys," you have fun with the bs and hyperbaloney. It appears our legislature is willing to run the experiment on HSR despite those who oppose this project moving forward, including Sen. Simitian and Palo Alto.

Posted by liberalism is a disease, a resident of Birdland
on Jul 9, 2012 at 9:25 am

liberalism is a disease is a registered user.

'...carp about entitlements while themselves drawing social security and medicare...' So, SS is an entitlement, unlike, say, paying into a 401k plan all your working days? Why do you leftists keep dragging out this flawed premise, unless you're now willing to privatize the retirement funds we pay into?
Although, I can see your point in calling it an entitlement for basement dwellers like you, who pay nothing into the system. Along with your increasing dem voting bloc of illegals and dependent drones, it's all a free ride for you low lifes.

Posted by liberalism is a disease, realliy, a resident of Birdland
on Jul 9, 2012 at 1:23 pm

Just in case you did'nt read my initial post. Liberalsim is really really a desease.

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jul 9, 2012 at 1:52 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

The next plan for the state budget: Web Link