Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Word: Open letter to Amtrak

Schematic map of Amtrak routesA nation of 300 million in a vast country served by "a railroad system that would make Bulgaria ashamed." Image via Wikipedia

An American conservative living in Ireland recounts a recent (mis)adventure on Amtrak:
Rail worked for us for decades, and today Third-World peasants can count on transportation freedoms that most Americans cannot. Public debate about Amtrak tends to focus on whether you will ever turn a profit, but we don’t ask when our asphalt will turn a profit, or our sewers, or our bridges -- they are infrastructure, necessary for an advanced society to function. Every surge in the price of fuel, every dire warning about the climate's transformation, every new plunge in the economy makes Americans’ constant driving more difficult and rails more necessary.
UPDATE: Great piece on why, despite the abundant and fast-mounting tidal wave of evidence that the age of automobility -- carburbia -- is over, our elected "leaders" and the opinion elites cling to the fantasy that it can be sustained:

September 25, 2009
Guest Speaker: David Withnell

The Auto Industry and the Great Recession:
How are we rolling in Salem?

What has it been like to be an auto dealer in today’s economic crisis? Our speaker, David Withnell, President of Withnell Motor Company, will give us a local perspective on doing business in an era of high fuel prices, foreign competition, bailouts, “cash for clunkers”, and rapidly evolving automotive technology.

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