Hours after tragic train derailment, MSNBC ghoulishly uses it to advance a political agenda; Update: Train was going twice the speed limit « Hot Air:
The same day as the Philly train crash, NPR was all over the "connection" with Republicans trying to control spending and the deaths on the curve in Philly.
Government currently spends about 35% of everything the US produces each year (GDP). That percentage has been growing forever -- but like all growing things, there is very likely a limit. What we see now is that GDP has started to grow very slowly, AND this is at a point where interest rates are historically low while government debt is historically high. A reasonable betting man would say it is unlikely that interest rates will hold at this level.
From a Democrat view, trying to control government spending on anything, save defense, is universally bad. Government workers (including AMTRAK workers) are Democrats, so having more of them and paying them more is GOOD! (as opposed to corporate and other profits, which are BAD!)
It appears that the train was running over 100 MPH into a curve rated for 50MPH. Thanks to government unions which had a "fireman" on diesel locomotives over a quarter century after the complete switch to diesel, our trains still don't have automatic speed control. One of the evil things Regan forced in the '80s was the dropping of the "fireman" position the rails -- but I believe some hung on until the '90s! The government - union connection is a very strong one.
Imagine the politics of replacing a (union democrat) engineer with a computer! Since our trains are all a federally operated system, one can't expect any efficiency or cost containment, but some of the numbers and complexity quoted in this linked article might even give a lefty pause! $3.5 BILLION for speed control!
Anybody have cruise control on your car? Anybody have GPS? I hate to point this out, but trains tend to really stick closely to their tracks -- I'd strongly suggest a MAX speed control system that linked the throttle / brakes with GPS could be produced VERY cheaply. We aren't talking aircraft flight control here ... and looking around a bit, even THAT is now only about $5K for a Cessna 172!
Even fully feather bedded government kickback laden idiots should have no trouble putting auto speed / brake control on train for 10-100X the cost of what FLIGHT control costs for a Cessna! A train really only operates in ONE dimension, the "track dimension" ! So if it was 100x the cost, it would be 500K a train, x 300 (AMTRAK currently operates 300 trains a day in the US), so a "mere" 150 MILLION! Again, that is at 100x the cost for an AIRCRAFT flight control system!
But don't hold your breath. Controlling government costs is WRONG ... no doubt it will take the ENTIRE $3.5 Billion with cost overruns, extra kickbacks, plus, plus plus -- part of the reason listed in one article for the slowdown was "towers on Indian lands", and EPA studies!
Damned bloodthirsty Republicans!
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