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Another part of our massive government incorporated is.
Amtrak our government railroad.
It was created forty years ago after a senator said of government rail company will be the last great hope to save rail passenger service.
Saw how's that working out for us Randal O'Toole at the Cato Institute specializes in transportation how's it.
Worked out for -- we still have passenger trains we do have passenger trains and their hemorrhaging money.
When Amtrak took over.
Those congress actually believed that it would be able to pay for itself that out of rail fares.
And at the time -- fares for cheaper than airline fares so I thought they get a lot of customers but since then airline fares have dropped dramatically.
Rail fares have gone up and the costs of running Amtrak have gone up even faster so the subsidies are huge.
And -- -- let's let's break this down the thought that the cost would go down because costs often do when they thought they could manage better government all was thinks that.
Can make the same argument for government health care but they didn't regulate.
And they -- that we have this charge the prices didn't go down.
If you we we measure this from the beginning -- Amtrak Hampshire prices went up.
Freight went down.
-- and if you look at the chart you notice that they stayed about the same until about 1980.
When we deregulated the freight lines we got the government out of regulating the freight lines and then freight went way down.
But -- government regulation on Amtrak.
Congress imposed telling him track how they have to manage their labor and where they have to run trains the cost just went up.
And one result is that they run trains from New Orleans to Los Angeles for example that's the most.
Expensive subsidy you've written this train I've written this train it goes through a desolate landscape.
Takes a long time.
And it only goes three days a week and it has a few -- ridership of any major Amtrak train in some of the highest -- -- get rid of it.
Get rid of it except for their politicians whose district it passes through who wants to -- want to keep that train going.
So the result is the ticket price is 452.
Months of this is a train ride for rich people you can fly there.
Much more cheaply take the boss much much more cheaply.
Plus think taxpayer pays a subsidy of 437.
Dollars a ticket.
Is four times as -- Now the government lovers would say good private transportation gets -- subsidy to the taxpayer makes a contribution to flying and driving.
There are subsidies to -- for those subsidies -- average two of.
About -- penny a passenger mile as opposed to -- seven cents a passenger mile for Amtrak.
So why don't they privatize Amtrak.
Well -- privatize railroads and other countries Japan privatize its railroads and they're now making a profit Britain privatize its railroads and all they do get some subsidies.
For the most part they're being very innovative and and they're attracting more passengers faster than than European railroads and making a profit and -- and making a profit.
And if we privatize -- The passenger trains here I think we get some passenger train to -- much better than Amtrak we might get fewer passenger trains.
But the irony is that Anthony house well who's called the father of Amtrak and -- who proposed to create Amtrak back in the 1960s.
Now believes it was a mistake and -- we ought to privatizing.
Politicians wanna hang on politicians want -- controls so they can claim.
That the reason why you have a passenger trying to ride is because you elected them any need to vote for them again.
Another of their arguments is trains or greed -- salute.
-- -- Well trains most Amtrak trains use diesel locomotives and they use the same kind of -- that our cars and trucks he is and they pollute.
They -- a little bit less energy than than the average automobile today.
But automobiles -- are getting more.
And the boss.
The bus is -- -- of all the bus uses about a third as much energy and -- about a third as much pollution is Amtrak for intercity buses.
And it's not just green there are bus routes all over the country where the but local bus companies are providing faster more frequent.
Service trains that are government's not just at the politicians don't find that glamorous and they don't controller so they're not just thrilled with bosses last point -- criticism.
Case our view Oracle about he likes big government.
Interstate highway system is perhaps the single biggest government intervention in the economy.
Reading -- tool lets you you think it was a wonder of the free market.
How interstate highway system work it was a government program that did work and it worked because congress said first of all is going to be funny users we're not gonna have general taxpayers funded out of gas to.
And second of all we're only -- wad of money and then build it and hope the money come if we had designed Amtrak the way we designed the interstate highway system always put it on a pay as you go basis we didn't we decided to have -- -- was the problem -- Well I ride Amtrak to Washington -- city I don't deserve it but so.
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