Saturday, June 20, 2009

Right-Wing Georgia Public Policy Foundation: Public Transit Is A Tool Of Totalitarianism!

No doubt a GPPF fan.

From our friends at PeachPundit, something included in a GPPF e-mail:

- On the one hand: “Rail travel will encourage economic growth and create new domestic manufacturing jobs, while reducing pressure on our highways and airways. In addition to the economic advantages, trains are energy-efficient, capable of reducing billions of pounds of carbons each year from being released into our atmosphere and reducing our country’s reliance on oil.” – Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph Szabo

- One the other hand: “If we really wanted to save energy, we would privatize transit, privatize Amtrak, and sell highways to private entrepreneurs who would have an incentive to reduce the congestion that wastes nearly 3 billion gallons of fuel each year. … But of course, the real goal of the rail people is not to save energy but to reshape American lifestyles. They just can’t stand to see people enjoying the freedom of being able to go where they want, when they want to get there.” – Randal O’Toole

GPPF's use of Cato Institute O'Toole's quotation speaks a lot for the intellectual calibre of the sort of research done at that place. Is it possible for the right to have a facts-based debate about issues rather than chalking everything up to a conspiracy?

I don't support privatizing public transportation because I think it'd be inefficient and expensive, not because I'm in on a plot to deny people freedom. That's ridiculous. It's almost as bad as PeachPundit/Red State's Erick Erickson complaining about how he can't use as much water as he wants in drought conditions.

At the root of it, all of this ideological far-right complaining about government regulations and the public sector really is fundamentally one thing: anti-social. These people are upset that they share the planet with other people and that their selfish interests can't just run wild (which would actually hurt them, too, in the long-run). In most countries, the right at least tries to make some sort of rational, data-based argument for privatization. In America, demonizing the public sector and throwing around meaningless platitudes about how us lefties are just stealing from the 1984 playbook suffices. Sigh.