Never one to forego an opportunity to tap into the herd mentality of populist sentiment, Chris Fitzsimon sings glowingly of an apparent "majority" in Charlotte on light rail:
As Election Day gets closer, it is becoming more and more obvious that the anti-transit forces, led by Raleigh’s leading market fundamentalist think tank and its followers, are not only out of step with the majority of voters in Charlotte, but even with conservative politicians that normally agree with much of their anti-government rhetoric.
Funny. A man as educated as Mr. Fitzsimons hasn’t yet grasped the concept of concentrated benefits and dispersed costs. (Read: Of course they want it Chris! It’s a golden goodie gotten at the expense of other people.) That’s ok. In Fitzsimon’s universe, costs don’t matter. Things fall like manna from heaven. Nevermind the rural folk who’re having to bankroll the folly trolley. Nevermind that only Bill Gates to pay the full cost of a fare. Fitzsimon is happy with the following calculation, which pretty much sums up the "progressive" worldview:
A wants x.
B wants x.
C wants x, and so on…
A, B, and C get together to figure out how to make D pay for x.
This is the new age of bread and circuses folks, which actually started back in 1936. If we run out of bread, says the progressive, let them eat cake! When it comes to the costs light rail relative to benefits (better news which Fitzsimon cannot point to), even Marie Antoinette would blush.
(UPDATE: Interesting article about light rail failures in Seattle. Particularly damning is this fact: “1996 promise: For $1.8 billion taxpayers would get 21.3 miles and 24 stations of light rail to be completed by 2006. 2006 results: For $4.45 billion (year of expenditure dollars) taxpayers will get 18.75 miles with 15 stations to be completed by 2016.” Sound familiar, Charlotte? HT: Brian Balfour.)