Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Who Will Benefit
Everyone in America will benefit in some manner. There will surely be some who suffer as well, as always seems to happen during any great change, but with careful attention I believe most of the suffering can be ameliorated (auto workers can build vehicles for the new sysem, mechanics can be retrained to repair them, etc.). For the rest of us the worst things we will have to suffer are the construction and paying for it, not too bad a deal in my opinion. What we will get in return is far more than a faster, safer, more convenient, more efficient, greener, and less expensive system. It will provide a new economic stimulus to our economy on a massive scale, seemingly something that is going to have to be done anyway. It will also provide more stability to the American economy by helping blunt the effects of energy cost fluctuations, which never seem to go downward very far or for very long. Eliminating all the oil required for over 1/4 of our national energy use will do more good than any amount of drilling, plus it gives oil producers (national and corporate) far less leverage over us. Over 40,000 people every year will benefit by still being alive instead of dying in gruesome accidents, likewise, almost another 2.5 million will benefit from not being injured in those accidents. I dont know the number of people that will benefit, but it would be all those who own the property recieving damage to the tune of tens of billions of dollars every year. Government at all levels stands to benefit directly from not having to worry about transportation financing or enforcing traffic regulations and safety, the lost revenue from tickets, personal property taxes, etc. should be more than made up by this. People unable to drive for physical, medical, legal, or other reasons would have unprecedented ability to get where they need to go without assistance. Folks who have an altruistic streak in them will also be able to say that their generation did something that will be useful to us all, far into the future. Finally, the planet will benefit, from the skunk meeting its untimely demise in the middle of the road, to the pelican that is covered with oil after a spill, to a biosphere that is undergoing more rapid change than likely has ever been seen on earth (other than meteor impact or other major disaster).