Archive for December, 2010

California Train to Nowhere is Not a Solution

Saturday, December 25th, 2010

As we all celebrate Christmas and the upcoming New Year, we are a country that refuses to look itself in the mirror. Politicians and labor leaders harp on the fact there are fewer and fewer jobs in manufacturing and other blue-collar occupations, and put together all kinds of works projects to create temporary jobs that will last for a few months or years but don ‘t solve the big problem of long-term employment.

California has decided to build the “Train to Nowhere,” or as is it now called, “The Train to Bakersfield.”  This project is hailed by the liberals as a job-creator and a method to travel throughout the state on a high-speed rail system.  With $4 Billion on federal stimulus money, tracks are being laid on a 65-mile route starting in a town named Corcoran.

Corcoran, California is a town of 25,000 and is probably most famous as the place where Robert Downey Jr. was incarcerated.

Again, short-term solutions to long-term problems.

A train. A manufacturing plant. A construction project.

None of these are solutions, as once the project is done, the workers are all looking for the next government-funded gig.  America has to realize that we never will be a manufacturing country to the magnitude we once were.  We have evolved. Specialty manufacturing, yes, but able to compete with countries that have cheap, non-union labor, no way. Allen Edmonds shoes in Wisconsin and John Deere, Mack Trucks and Boeing jets.



It’s all about technology and companies that can scale without the need to have incremental head-count increases. Groupon‘s costs do not increase 10-fold when their web traffic increases the same amount. It costs no more to to complete 1o transactions than it does 5 transactions. In other words, it is not labor intensive. And they are worth $6 Billion.

So how do we solve the technology gap? How to we get the people who want to work and now pawns of the liberal programs involved? The days of the UAW having 100,000 people in a town building transmissions are done. We need to find the niche markets that the global market needs and demands Made in the USA on the product.

It takes one brilliant idea to transform a town or region. One visionary to create a widget that everyone needs. One amazing person to rejuvenate all the pizza parlors and beauty salons and grocery stores. It’s not a train line or a highway project. Let’s encourage our brightest and best to create, design and build here and the rest will take care of itself.

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