Seattle Transit

Matt Yglesias points out, or more accurately has it pointed out to him, that California isn’t the only major player with a big rail bond/program on the ballot this fall.

High Speed Rail Referendum

Robert Cruickshank runs an advocacy blog in support of the California High Speed Rail initiative that’ll be on the ballot this fall in my home state. In his latest post, countering anti-rail/anti-initiative comments from the Howard Jarvis/Prop 13 group, he makes an excellent point:

What prosperity California still has today is the product of past public spending – the bay bridges, the freeways, the aqueducts, the universities. All of those were paid for by taxes, and Californians reaped the rewards. But those investments need to be renewed, in a way that suits the new conditions of the 21st century, specifically energy, environment, and climate.

What he neglects to mention is that investment in all those things basically dried up by the end of the 1960s. Since then, opposition on one side by anti-tax forces and on the other by environmentalists has all but stopped new infrastructure projects in the state. And California is but a microcosm of the entire country in this regard. We’re living off the achievements of our grandparents.