April 21, 2018

A Trainful of Libertarians

First, some props to Duke's Michael Munger. His "unicorns" riff is the best answer to dirigisme I know.

1. Go ahead, make your argument for what you want the State to do, and what you want the State to be in charge of.

2. Then, go back and look at your statement. Everywhere you said "the State," delete that phrase and replace it with "politicians I actually know, running in electoral systems with voters and interest groups that actually exist."

3. If you still believe your statement, then we have something to talk about.

Coloradans have two spectacular examples. The first is "the train to the plane." It's technical name is "the A-Line" and its official name is "The University of Colorado A Line." As in:


CU paid FIVE MILLION DOLLARS for the naming rights. prompting concerns that "that sure seems like a humongous waste of money" and "won't that confuse travellers as it does not go to the University?" Both pale to "wouldn't it be better to associate the University with Nazism or chlamydia than a train that is millions over budget, years late, and breaks down all the damn time?"

(Nobody calls it that anymore. They kept the money, but seemed to have graciously let them off the hook for aiding and abetting.)

It has been presented to the good people of Colorado that the project has turned a corner and is near complete. Because the gates don't work, they pay as much as $55/hour to have human flagpersons control the intersections. Some arrangement was made to drop them, but the trains blow loud horns near residential areas all day and all night.

While it stopped breaking down every day (Channel 9's Kyle Clarke had a daily feature on his news program "Is teh A-Line working today?") we may notg be out of the woods. Passengers were stuck on an overpass for almost three hours, with no bathrooms, water, food, or plight updates. Several Chicago Cubs fans missed the game they had flown in to see.


Not to put too fine a point on it, but this is 100-year-old technology. They had time and money. Unlike many transit projects, they had potential ridership. They had CU's $5 million Simoleans. And -- here's where Munger's unicorns come in -- they could not pull it off.

I'm running out of ones and zeroes, but the second Denver Metro example is teh VA Hospital in Aurora. This project -- run by the Feds -- makes the choo-choo look good. In the years that this project has been overdue, I've watched several large hospitals go from plain earth to open for surgery.

Yet people still line up to have The State unicorns take over.

Colorado Posted by John Kranz at April 21, 2018 11:45 AM

Where is Benito Mussolini when transit boosters need him?

His "success" such as it was, is not hard to achieve. Simply place tight controls upon journalists and prioritize operations on all rail lines that carry tourists. Oh, wait.

Posted by: johngalt at April 23, 2018 2:23 PM | What do you think? [1]