With rail transit in terrible shape nationwide, it's a good thing that pensions, education, government services are well managed, and securely financed!
The Problem with Socialism | The Antiplanner
Crikey, now Honolulu's light rail will become a train to nowhere along with the California Bullet Train to Nowhere?
More below the fold.
The federal insurance fund protecting millions of pensions is running out of cash
Well, there is now way that Hawaii's pension fund could be in trouble.
10 Worst Funded State Pensions
Oh, come on! This is a joke right. The Honolulu light rail will cost $8 billion, and the Hawaiian pension fund has $8 billion in unfunded out of $21.2 in liabilities?
Pension for most state workers falls to 19 percent funded
The real problem with rail is that it requires a total capital rebuild after 30 years. While the agencies attempt to extend this, the results are frightening, as deaths, injuries, and serious stoppages begin to skyrocket. The deaths per passenger mile for light rail is 2-1/2 time greater than that for automobiles, and bus is slightly better than auto.
Light Rail Increasingly Dangerous | The Antiplanner
So, when deaths increase due to lack of maintenance, it is on a mode of transit which is already exceptionally high.
Portland's Eastside light rail is at this juncture now, as are many other light rail systems, including San Francisco's BART, Washington, DC's Metro, among many others. None of these transit systems have set aside money for this complete recapitalizing rebuild of the system. Such a rebuild takes substantial time, and disrupts passengers for a year or perhaps longer. The real problem is the cost which is nearly always about the same amount as the initial cost to build the light rail line. While federal funds are available for the initial construction costs, they are not for these complete recapitalizations. In essence, these localities are being faced with costs of hundreds of millions to billions which they do not have and do not have access to.
Luckily, the other areas of government are in better shape.
Detroit schools expected to run out of money to pay teachers by April 8
Droll, Detroit, very droll.
But funding is not a very good metric, so what about funding versus testing results?
The Impact of Federal Involvement in America’s Classrooms
Well, that's bracing. Increasing funding does not equate to any change in test scores. So, why are we increasing the funding?
It seems we have finally come to a systemic confluence with Margaret Thatchers statement that the problem with socialism is, socialists always "run out of other peoples money." Today, the socialists are running out of other peoples money in pensions, whether state or private, transit, government services, schools, and pretty much everything else government addresses financially.
Might it be time for a change? Progressives say no, all that is needed is another $1 or $2 trillion in deficit spending, oh, and QE Infinity, and we will be just fine.
An election is coming, stay the course, or change the course? It will be up to you. Choose wisely.