Bad News for Gov Brown’s Choo Choo to Nowhere – No Economic Growth

Russ Steele

Doug LaMalfa posted this link on Facebook. It fits with the research I did for a magazine article that was never published. To controversial at the time. The editor only wanted positive High-Speed Rail stories.

By Ralph Vartabedian, Los Angeles Times

A new UCLA economic analysis of Japan’s Shinkansen bullet train and its impact on the growth of cities along its route calls into question claims by state officials that California’s high-speed rail project will create up to 400,000 permanent jobs.

Construction of Japan’svaunted bullet train began in the mid-1960s, and it did not generate higher economic growth or additional jobs, according to the study.

Written by Jerry Nickelsburg, senior economist with the UCLA Anderson Forecast, the study said there may be other justifications for bullet train service between Los Angeles and San Francisco, but the $68-billion project as an engine of economic growth “will have only a marginal impact at best.”

Nickelsburg examined the growth rates of cities and regions served by Japan’s system, compared to the nation’s overall rate of growth, and found that the introduction of high-speed passenger service had no discernible effect.

The analysis looked at nearly a dozen urban and rural prefectures and found no evidence that the introduction of bullet train service improved tax revenues, which was used as a proxy for local gross domestic product. In one case, one region without high-speed rail service grew just as quickly as a similar region with it. The study examined economic activity over a 30-year period.

You can read the rest of the story HERE. If the study’s predictions are accurate, it would undermine one of the major justifications for the California project, economic development and job creation!

China learned a very valuable lesson as the cost of their high-speed rail network doubled due to fraudulent forecasts and financial accounting tricks used to deceive the Central Committee. Not too different from what is taking place in California right now to deceive California taxpayers.

The Unions are desperate to launch this pork barrel project, but the claims of spurred economic growth have been called into question.  The lessons from Japan and China are real, and too important for our political leaders and Gov Brown to ignore. But, hey those cost overruns are down stream, long after the political hoaxers have retired and tax payers are forced to foot the bill.

It would be in our best interest, and the best interest of our children, to stop this boondoggle in November.


About Russ Steele
Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.

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