The latest talking point parroted by the Left in its campaign to secure (borrowed) federal dollars for high-speed rail in North Carolina is that the project would create 4,800 jobs, and that blocking the funding would destroy those illusory jobs. (As an example, here’s a tweet from Raleigh City Councilwoman Mary Anne Baldwin.)
Assuming you buy the job-creation line, let’s do the math. Washington has dangled $500 million as an enticement to participate in the project. That funding would lead to 4,800 jobs. So each job would cost taxpayers $104,167. Deal?
But wait, there’s more. Much more. Anyone who’s spent more than a few seconds studying the economics of passenger rail knows that the start-up costs are merely a down payment. No North American rail line covers its operating expenses with fares (in fact, most pay less than half their way at the ticket booth) and high-speed rail would not ease traffic congestion, since the average North Carolinian would take a round-trip ride on the train once every 27 years.
But trains are really cool, and much more civilized than using cars, and besides, we’re flush with cash. Right?