walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

bad analysis?

I'm now Officially Suspicious of Mr. Perl:

from pp 50-1:

"Paradoxically, public officials often find it easier to support private enterprises than they do to assist public enterprises--especially those with commercial mandate. [RLA: Really? Tell me more. Do.] Tax breaks, public purchasing, and other forms of assistance are justified by the jobs that private firms like the NMR [RLA: New Model Railroad, aka, Shinkansen, ICE, TGV] create, which are valued more highly than the public sector positions in an RPM [RLA: regulated public monopoly]. In the transportation sector, [RLA: okay, maybe he'll make his point finally] governments usually make terminal facilities and, often, line haul infrastructure available to private carriers at cost. [RLA: scratches head. Hunh? Okay, I'll believe you.] Airport and air traffic control facilities typify this form of infrastructure support for aviation, while the U.S. interstate highway system exemplifies the model for road transportation."

He's totally lost me. The U.S. hasn't found it "easier" to support freight on rail, which is private enterprise. At least not so far as I can tell. So that doesn't look like a public vs. private thing -- in any event, air traffic control as a public thing did not come into existence in any sort of "support private enterprise" sense. Depending on where you're talking about, it was either to support a domestic, national flag carrier (hardly private in any sense we'd mean), or served purposes beyond civil aviation, or came into existence in the wake of a massive disaster (which, IIRC, involved the Grand Canyon in the U.S.). So if the U.S. can't manage to support freight on rail, why would privatizing passenger rail (anywhere, but hey, work with me here) improve rail prospects?

I hold out hope for this book yet, but the U. of Calgary thing and the bow tie are making me nervous.

And yes, I get this is a book about passenger stuff, but this statement is pretty ambiguous, especially that "line haul" bit.

ETA: I believe "line haul infrastructure" means "weigh stations". But I could be wrong.
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