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Passenger Trains > “Good luck, you’ll need it”. WAPO columnist smacks Amtrak


Date: 09/14/20 07:03
“Good luck, you’ll need it”. WAPO columnist smacks Amtrak
Author: Copy19

Longtime Washington Post  columnist Robert J. Samuelson wrote his farewell column today noting that over the years his opinions didn't seem to change anything.  He cited Amtrak as a prime example.  He said funding passenger trains shouldn't be a government function.   He called it a giant waste of money.  "It's not that I dislike trains, I don't...."

Ouch.

JB - Omaha

(Correcting quote)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/14/20 13:40 by Copy19.



Date: 09/14/20 07:21
Re: “Good luck, you’ll need it”. WAPO columnist smacks Amtr
Author: joemvcnj

Chimp chatter. Ignore it. Move on. 



Date: 09/14/20 07:37
Re: “Good luck, you’ll need it”. WAPO columnist smacks Amtr
Author: bluesboyst

Copy19 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Longtime Washington Post  columnist Robert J.
> Samuelson wrote his farewell column today noting
> that over the years his opinions didn't seem to
> change anything.  He cited Amtrak as a prime
> example.  He said funding passenger trains
> shouldn't be a government function.   He called
> it a giant waste of money.  "It's not that I
> dislike trains, I do..."
>
> Ouch.
>
> JB - Omaha
Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out!!!!



Date: 09/14/20 07:45
Re: “Good luck, you’ll need it”. WAPO columnist smacks Amtr
Author: jcaestecker

If Mr. Samuelson's opinions didn't change anything, then I guess it's fair to believe that they weren't worth very much to anyone other than himself.  

-John



Date: 09/14/20 09:40
Re: “Good luck, you’ll need it”. WAPO columnist smacks Amtr
Author: PRSL-recall

An example of one who cannot conceive of anyone travelling by train given the existence of air service and passenger cars. To them trains belong in the history book and that's probably what he means by "liking them". 
Such think that their preferences should be shared by everyone else. That's an area where their great intelligence fails.



Date: 09/14/20 11:38
Re: “Good luck, you’ll need it”. WAPO columnist smacks Amtr
Author: joemvcnj

His purpose is to write college economics textbooks. He uses highways, airports, and airplanes, taking them for granted as the air he breaths. But Amtrak does not fit neatly into one of his textbook diagrams and graphs about break-even points with widgets, so he rejects the entire concept.



Date: 09/14/20 11:52
Re: “Good luck, you’ll need it”. WAPO columnist smacks Amtr
Author: ts1457

joemvcnj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> His purpose is to write college economics
> textbooks. He uses highways, airports, and
> airplanes, taking them for granted as the air he
> breaths. But Amtrak does not fit neatly into one
> of his textbook diagrams and graphs about
> break-even points with widgets, so he rejects the
> entire concept.

I think you are getting your Samuelson's confused.

Robert's degree is in political science and he is a journalist.

Maybe you are thinking of the late Paul Samuelson?



Date: 09/14/20 11:53
Re: “Good luck, you’ll need it”. WAPO columnist smacks Amtr
Author: joemvcnj

Ah yes, wrong Sameuelson ! Thanks.



Date: 09/14/20 12:27
Re: “Good luck, you’ll need it”. WAPO columnist smacks Amtr
Author: Lackawanna484

In the opinion column, Mr Samuelson's point is government gets involved in things that it shouldn't, and stays involved in them.

So far as I can tell, nothing that I have written has ever had the slightest effect on what actually happened. I’ve routinely suggested shutting down Amtrak, not because I dislike trains (I don’t) but because Amtrak is an excellent example of how the federal government has acquired so many nonessential functions. Amtrak continues chugging along, costing billions of dollars for small public benefits. But I’m resigned to this. No one elected me to anything. In our system, the people rule, not the pundits; and that’s how it should be.



Date: 09/14/20 19:35
Re: “Good luck, you’ll need it”. WAPO columnist smacks Amtr
Author: Lurch_in_ABQ




Date: 09/15/20 20:00
Re: “Good luck, you’ll need it”. WAPO columnist smacks Amtr
Author: ProAmtrak

Lackawanna484 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> In the opinion column, Mr Samuelson's point is
> government gets involved in things that it
> shouldn't, and stays involved in them.
>
> So far as I can tell, nothing that I have written
> has ever had the slightest effect on what actually
> happened. I’ve routinely suggested shutting down
> Amtrak, not because I dislike trains (I don’t)
> but because Amtrak is an excellent example of how
> the federal government has acquired so many
> nonessential functions. Amtrak continues chugging
> along, costing billions of dollars for small
> public benefits. But I’m resigned to this. No
> one elected me to anything. In our system, the
> people rule, not the pundits; and that’s how it
> should be.

Then he praises the highways and airlines that our government never has a problem of funding and they're a Hell lot more expensive than funding Amtrak? Talk about being narrow minded!

Posted from Android



Date: 09/17/20 03:07
Re: “Good luck, you’ll need it”. WAPO columnist smacks Amtr
Author: cchan006

ProAmtrak Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Then he praises the highways and airlines that our
> government never has a problem of funding and
> they're a Hell lot more expensive than funding
> Amtrak? Talk about being narrow minded!

Mr. Samuleson is actually correct about wasteful spending, yet he totally neglects how "wonderful" Caltrans (California Department of Transportation) is regarding their spending on the highways. He's lived on the East Coast all his life, so I can somewhat sympathize. Maybe he's unknowingly criticizing the NEC, since that's probably all the Amtrak he has seen during his career?



Date: 09/18/20 04:47
Re: “Good luck, you’ll need it”. WAPO columnist smacks Amtr
Author: engineerinvirginia

About the Federal Goverment owning businesses....well perhaps in a perfect world a country like our so constructed, the goverment would not own things...but the reality is, it really IS the people who run this shiq show...and so long as the people tell the goverment to support passenger rail...it must do that....the people should understand that THEY are ponying up the cost....by taxes on one hand and for those who wish to use the service, by ticket sales and onboard services....so it is what it is...the people want it and there you go. Even back before the civil war the Commonwealth of Virginia in an effort to spur commerce routinely authorized and provided funding and personnel to build out new railroads....the investment was recovered with stock subsrciptions....that's how stock was sold in the days before stock exchanges....but here again....the government running business.....I am not a progressive in the way present politics defines it, but I am all for the furtherance of commerce, and I support all transportation modes...and I support the state operation of those modes that find profit elusive yet they remain needful....



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