America Will Grow by 100M —and High-Speed Rail Is Bad?

Blogger: We're going to need to build some kind of new infrastructure anyway
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 15, 2010 2:41 PM CST
A high-speed train in China.   (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan)

(Newser) – Economics blogger Ryan Avent picks apart the arguments against high-speed rail, including the fact that opponents don't seem to take into account the costs of accommodating America's population growth in coming years. We're going to have to build some kind of infrastructure so people can get around, whether it's highways or rail. "And on almost every measure," he writes, the highway option "is the worse of the two."

"Basic analyses showing relatively poor returns for HSR construction tend to make unrealistic assumptions," he writes. "They tend to take existing transportation subsidies as given and compare HSR to a no-build alternative that isn’t actually an alternative. America is forecast to grow by over 100 million people in the next few decades. New infrastructure will be built." Full blog here, including his complaint that HSR has become a "culture war issue."

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