Sure, Obama Administration — Bring on That China-Style High Speed Rail System!

Doug Powers by Doug Powers on July 29th, 2011

This is article 14 of 55 in the topic Government Shutdown

nullIn 2008, then-candidate Obama praised China’s “vastly superior” infrastructure and expressed a desire to rapidly bring that style of high-speed rail system and other infrastructure “improvements” to the United States.

Later, the administration even dubbed Joe Biden as the “Conductor or the train to the future” (if that isn’t disturbing, nothing is).

So how’s China’s high speed rail system working out?

The collision is the latest setback for China’s bullet- train program. The $34 billion Beijing-Shanghai high-speed rail line, the world’s longest, has suffered major delays from storm-related electrical breakdowns at least three times since it opened on June 30.

“In so many areas, there is the lack of an adequately trained — and perhaps more importantly, experienced — workforce, along with tried-and-tested management oversight at the operational level,” Bill Barron, a visiting scholar at the Division of Environment at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, said in an e-mail. “Given the pace of expansion, how could there be?”
[...]
In addition to technical faults, China’s spending on its railways has generated accusations of graft.

Liu Zhijun, an advocate of bullet trains, was fired as railway minister in February for “severe” disciplinary violations as part of a corruption probe, Xinhua said. Su Shunhu, deputy chief of the transportation bureau of the Ministry of Railways, is under investigation on suspicion of taking bribes, the 21st Century Business Herald reported on July 22, citing an unidentified ministry official.

“I don’t think China should develop this high-speed, high- cost system,” Jiaotong University’s Zhao said. “The last railway minister did not follow any scientific development approach and this is the result. This is not only a technical problem but a management problem.”

Sure, let’s bring this superior transportation system to the states!

Actually, among too many politicians, the potential for graft is a selling point instead of a liability, which makes it an even worse idea.

Speaking of graft, there’s one thing American politicians will never import from China, and that’s their method for dealing with corrupt public officials.

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