TMT: A Vital Exponential Economics Plan
Imagine someday the jaw-dropping prime time news conference by President Obama of a 21st century coast-to-coast U.S. super high-speed railroad plan. The details reveal that the initial 200-billion dollar budget for the new railway grid instantly creates 25 million design, construction and manufacturing jobs across 49 states from Maine to Texas to Alaska, plus at least another 35 million full time permanent occupations upon completion. Imagine the revelations of it being the world's first and largest 100% LEED certified transcontinental private and public works project partnership. Imagine that the plan also captures our imagination on the scale of the 1960s space program. Imagine so much of the partisan Capitol Hill bickering becoming mostly mute and moot as Congressional representatives focus on how to best work the plan for the benefit of their state. Imagine, in the middle of relentless and increasing reports of government inaction, malfeasance, incompetence, dysfunction and overreach, the Obama Administration announces the one thing that matters uppermost to a majority of Americans right now and going forward — employment. Imagine. We're halfway through another New Year, yet most Americans still can't and should not feel greatly or falsely optimistic about our economic futures. That will be the baby in the middle of the street for at least until the end of the next decade. No patriotic pep-talk, 'speechifying' or divisive rants by political partisans of any flavor will change the financial facts facing most of us everyday. The time has really come, and is surely overdue, for a truly 21st century Presidential 'Big Idea' that starts working instantly. Our passenger and cargo railroad system is the most glaring example of how far we have fallen behind in the 20th and 21st centuries. It's like the clogged and corroding arteries of a deteriorating body. Inevitably, the vital economic, employment and structural organs of the nation begin to fail — sending all of us on an accelerating spiral toward social collapse while large socioeconomic gaps disintegrate and destroy the American middle class. Compared to smaller and larger modern industrialized nations across Europe and Asia, our passenger railroad system is an embarrassing relic. If President Obama or the next POTUS are genuinely serious about sustainable modern U.S.-based jobs and broader national economic development, then laying new tracks across America is the best way to renovate, invigorate and innovate our stagnant economy. Austere piecemeal approaches to improving our economy are simply not sustainable or effectively working fast and wide enough for most of the U.S. The infrastructural economic foundations of this nation are crumbling faster than our attention span, or political will, to take systemic actions to repair it. Imagine an energy network of solar-paneled roofs atop high-tech maglev monorail train system cars and stations that have exponential economic effect on energy distribution, permanent mass employment, shipping commerce, local-to-regional tourism, diverse railroad related small business development, huge new jobs training opportunities, reduced road/rail pollution, decreased highway congestion, plus a sustainable boost to a multitude of regional and local economies across the U.S. within 50 miles of an American made and built high-tech maglev train system. Additionally, pairing climate change infrastructure protection will be inevitable when it comes to construction for the trans-American maglev train (TMT) system against weather related and other potential threats. Diverse high-tech design, construction, operation, administrative, maintenance and a wide variety of service jobs greatly expand. Year-round multi-billion dollar boosts to domestic tourism become common, as well as foreign tourists who want to see much more of our grand and diverse continent because it will finally be much easier to do so — just like in their countries. Imagine all of the dead and dieing American towns that can be commercially, technologically and culturally resuscitated through the accessibility of localized speedy rail connections. A variety of locally designed and constructed ornate mixed-use high-tech rail stations become major hubs for exponential commercial and cultural development activity that many of these towns haven't seen in several generations. There are no mathematical, economic or partisan political laws that say U.S. towns that once flourished can't or shouldn't reinvent and revamp themselves to grow within and beyond the 21st century. It is also realistically conceivable that America's TMT system can generate exponential economic and social benefits when linked and multinationally funded by a wider high-speed transportation network that extends to major cities throughout Canada, Central America and South America. Intercontinental trade and tourism jumps to a much higher, mutually beneficial and truly sustainable level than we can imagine and fully exploit with the antique rail transportation concept we now use across these geographically connected continents. Our current passenger and freight railroad concept no longer provide the cost benefit economics or return on investment assets we critically need now, and into the 22nd century. In fact, as it is currently structured and operated, it is economically stifling. Over 60 cities already know this (Providence, Miami, Detroit, Yuma, etc.). Remember Allentown, PA? They also know that propping-up a cramped and delay-ridden airport network, or rickety interstate bus links, aren't the answer either. Failure to constantly and effectively maintain a vast arterial economy across our decrepit local-regional-national rail system keeps us on the fast-track toward another major economic breakdown that's becoming obvious within several sectors of America. France, Japan, Germany, Brazil, China, Britain, Italy, South Korea, Israel, Russia, and much of Europe and Asia figured this out several decades ago. Really, is it too far-fetched to imagine, develop and fund an exponentially beneficial 'Big Idea' of a truly sustainable, mass employment and environmentally sound rail system? — which easily pays for itself during this decade into our next century. Will vital organs in our economy have to undergo a massive seizure before we fix America's rotting railway arteries? With hopeful optimism, we urgently need the TMT now. Surely, it's far better than the dysfunctional, outmoded and costly choo-choo clunker we have.
Dennis Moore, POTUSworld.com (12 December 2012 — Updated 12 June 2013)