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).


Writer to the World said...

This certainly is an interesting idea, and I'd like to know more about how such a proposition would be deployed.

America has a very poor public transportation system, and some of that has to do with business tactics employed by big oil and the auto manufacturers in the late 30's through the 50's. It's actually an intiguing story that I can't go into detail about here. But they basically killed the trolley car in cities.

I personally don't believe any country is in very good shape without a reliable and well-maintained rail system. If for only practical reasons, it's a necessity that we've too long ignored.

I'll be interested in hearing more about your idea.

npts2020 said...

I am well aware of many of the stories involving shady business practices of our transportation and energy industries over the past century or more, so you would be preaching to the choir so to speak. I address the physical aspects of the system in How the System Operates, Energy for Travel, and A Better Transportation Paradigm threads. The socio-political aspects I talk about in When Can We Start and How Long Will It Take, A Corporation Larger Than Exxon-Mobil,The Largest Public Works Project Ever, and The Politics of Personal Transit threads. I would be happy to try to answer any specific questions, thanks for your feedback.