Sunday, July 29, 2012

"Bootleggers and Baptists" in the California Sun

Peter Gordon writes:
The late Senator William Proxmire famously awarded his annual Golden Fleece Award to the silliest or most wasteful federal program.  A worthy successor migh be a Bootleggers and Baptists award, perhaps awarded by Prof. Bruce Yandle or his followers.   I realize the competition would be intense because there are so many contenders.

Today's LA Times reports "California Senate vote keeps bullet train alive ... In a victory for Brown, the Legislature approves funds to begin the system in the Central Valley."   California politicians do not want to surender their $3 billion federal grant.  But no one has any idea how much matching from State taxpayers will be required.  
No serious economist or transportation expert believes this project has any merit.  I cited some of the discussion here.
The Obama and Brown Administrations have been pushing hard for this boondoggle.  "Green jobs" says it all.  Jobs at any cost dressed up as "green".  But who can blame them?   "Green jobs" is nothing but Bootleggers and Baptists.  These guys know what they are doing.

1 comment:

  1. I've also heard there were a group of investors very interested in funding a line from LA to SF, going along the highway, but the state wouldn't go for it because it doesn't involve 'revitalizing' the Central Valley. There's more about it on the marketurbanism blog.