Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Cancel South Coast Rail

This week the MBTA announced the South Coast Rail project will cost $3.4 billion - a more than 50 percent increase over the original $2.23 billion estimate. The original completion date of 2022 extends to 2028.   If past is prologue, the cost estimate will continue to rise.  Governor Charlie Baker should cancel this project and refocus economic development funding directly in Gateway Cities.

The South Coast Rail project has been under evaluation since the 1980s.  It would restore old rail beds of the former Old Colony rail line to provide commuter rail service from New Bedford and Fall River to Boston.

The MBTA announcement points out several issues that should concern taxpayers in Massachusetts – MBTA incompetence, over regulation, and a cultural and economic mindset more fit to the 1900s than the 21st Century.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Rejecting Globalism

On May 5, 2016 Secretary of State John Kerry, in a commencement speech at Northeastern University said, "You’re about to graduate into a complex and BORDERLESS WORLD." [emphasis mine]  This is a profound statement, particularly from the Secretary of State of the United States.  It turns on its head a system of political organization in place since the 1600s in which each nation state has sovereignty over its territory and domestic affairs, to the exclusion of all external powers, within the borders of the state.  Kerry’s globalist viewpoint may be out of step with a nationalist moment in history.

Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders reject the notion of a borderless world through their condemnation of international trade agreements.  They revile a political, economic, financial, and media elite that have advanced a global economic system that increasingly operates outside of the controls of the state and the interests of U.S. citizens.  Large corporations move production to the lowest wage labor markets and shift headquarters to escape taxation.   The resultant loss of whole industry sectors like manufacturing in the United States or stagnation of wages in the middle class are the tangible experience of many citizens.