Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Why High-Speed Rail is a good idea for America right now!

Everyone has heard the President talk about high-speed rail and many other people. They say that this isn't the time to spend on improving infrastructure because the economy is bad and unemployment is high. They say it will cost too much.

To quote the President, "Their memories are short." Most of America's current infrastructure was built in the 1930s, a decade of unparalleled unemployment and economic slump. President Roosevelt decided to spend on infrastructure, be it the dams of the Columbia river, providing all the power and water needed for Eastern Washington, and the famous Tennesse River Valley Authority, bringing millions of jobs to two of the nation's most impovrished districts. Providing electricity for the booming 50s, and the water for the farmers of America.

If Roosevelt had not done this, the power grid in the 50s would probably not have enough to support all the new appliances.

It is better than that even, as a teenager looking for work, I have read "What Color is your Parachute?" and the most important lesson I learned from that book is to KEEP YOUR REFERENCES UP TO DATE. By putting in public works, it gives Americans opportunity to get money, so they can spend which drives an economy, and it keeps their references current so that they aren't bought out by someone else and business runs smoothly.

The Republicans like to say that it will be too expensive, and yes, it is 10 billion dollars. Compare this with the 231 billion spent in the DOD this year. Anyways,that 231 billion will not be paid back. This 10 billion dollars will create revenue for the government, making the deficit slightly smaller in 5 years, aka it will pay for itself!
Assume that the New York-Philadelphia, Miami-Tampa, Seattle-Portland, LA-San Diego, Chicago-Milwaukee, and Philadelphia-Washington trains all have a seating capacity of 500 each, a long train. Each of these people pay $20 to bypass the rush hour and go on the train above the freeway, (which I think would be the best) and these mass-transit corridors are filled daily, twice a day, going to and from work. That would mean every morning each of the 6 trains I mentioned will be filled 2 times per day, earning $20 from 500 passengers, creating a revenue of $12,000 per day for all these trains. Over 365 days (people work weekends, and people would take the train when going on a day trip, it's a lot faster.) that would give you $4,380,000 generated during one year on only these trains. Wait a minute, only one train going in the morning and one train in the evening? That's far too conservative because there are far more people using these trains than 500 per day! We need to multiply this statistic by at least 3 because there will be at least three trains going city to city, and they would be maybe an hour apart each because people work different hours in today's world. That gives us a total of $13,140,000 earned on these trains alone.
But that is completely inaccurate because according to http://www.ushsr.com/hsrnetwork.html there will be 24 trains running independently by 2015 running twice a day every day. Keeping our extremely conservative statistic of a $20 fee and running 2 times per day, filling 500 seats each way, twice a day gives us a revenue of a whopping $175,200,000 of income per year. This is still too low. You have to remember all the money that these 1000 commuters would have spent on gas, in the millions saved, not being sent to OPEC and Exxonmobile, and BP, and instead going to the government which is paying for DOMESTIC POWER. That stat is important showing the money saved by these users, being spent in other parts of the economy, boosting the American economy. You have to remember that there would be at least three trains per day because of the sheer amount of commuters in SUBURBIA who would LOVE to save THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS EACH IN GAS MONEY! Their is no way these trains will not be filled. Multiplying our earlier stat in this train of thought gives us $525,600,000 of income in 2015. This will pay for itself.
Wait a second, I only calculated the amount made in 2015-2019.  Before 2020 there will 35 more trains built, giving a total of 35 trains, times 500 seats, times 2 times per day, times 3 trains, times a fee of $20 per person times 365 days. This is a huge total of $766,500,000 of income per year for the years 2020-2024. This will be a self-sustaining program given my extremely conservative statistics. They are definitely going to run more than twice a day, what about noon? It is absurd that an American would oppose this development because of the benefits we will reap every day for the next 50 years! The money wasted in rush hour will decrease by 500 cars (at least) for each of these trains, making everyone save money. To oppose this is ridiculous. It will help us as much as the Interstate highways did, making America a more prosperous society.

One only has to look at the other countries that are investing in this technology. Europe already has. This has Spain, France, Germany, UK, Italy, and the recently wealthy nations of China, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan have invested in this wonderful technology and are reaping the benefits today because of the investment made 5 years ago. This is obviously a wonderful choice for America because it is completely domestic, and it requires no fossil fuels which are going to be scarce in 50-100 years when I am going into retirement.

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