13.2.13

OPPORTUNITY COSTS.

An Energy and Capital report reminds readers that in questions of resource allocation, what people choose not to do is as important as what they choose to do.
Although some find it convenient to target high-speed rail as a waste of taxpayer dollars, if you dive into the numbers, you'll find that the absence of high-speed rail in this country actually inhibits economic growth...

Recent studies conducted by the Government Accountability Office, the European Union, and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials found that the actual cost of building and/or improving rail lines is significantly lessthan the cost per mile of alternatives.

In the area of high-speed rail, it was found that not building high-speed rail in California would cost the state $8.2 billion in foregone benefits over 40 years...

In the Midwest: $11.7 billion over 40 years; the Northeast Corridor: $5.5 billion over 40 years; and in the Pacific Northwest: $1.1 billion over 40 years.

Interestingly — and certainly not in line with what detractors argue — we are finding more and more evidence that maintaining the status quo and not investing appropriately in rail and high-speed rail infrastructure will actually be an increasingly expensive proposition for taxpayers.
Go. Read and understand. And contemplate the private losses implied by people spending more time at the airport than they do in the air, or more time stuck in traffic or waiting for the light to change than they do actually moving.

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