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Re: PC: failure of the railroads = failure to see reason

(This is an opinion inspired by Mr. Kingston's email addressing the decline 
of the railroads in this century - it does not purport to reflect or imply 
that he shares the same opinion as the following)
Yes, if the government gets its hands back on the throttle of the railroad 
industry's every move, it is sure not to work.  I personally believe there 
is a concerted effort afoot to undermine the industrial power America once 
was.  This is done under the guise and at the behest of special interest 
groups.  They cite their reasons under the false pretense that they are 
attempting to save mankind from itself.  In reality, it is a liberal - 
instigated movement by which a socialist government will be achieved, if 
they have their way.  By legislating away our ability to have factories, 
mining, cheap energy and the like, the common American citizen is slowly 
pushed into a state of increased poverty.  Once it reaches the point where 
it becomes an obvious crisis situation, then the good hand of Big Government 
will come to the rescue and dispense, as it sees fit, the needs of our daily 
lives.  Kind of a gloomy picture to paint, but not totally unrealistic.  The 
Republicans are constantly assailed as being squarely behind industry while 
the Democrats love to portray themselves as the champions of the downtrodden 
masses.  In truth, the liberals want MORE government control of every aspect 
of both public and private business and life.  The conservatives conversely 
are in support of industry and free enterprise because that's the engine 
that made America in the first place.  Make profit a crime, and enact 
legislation that is so prohibitive that it is near impossible to produce 
products without incurring tremendous expense meeting these regulations, and 
there is the vehicle by which we have come to this point in our history.  Be 
thankful that we finally have an administration in place that doesn't 
demonize capitalism, and that has exhibited exemplary conduct under 
pressure.  As long as we have Americans who buy into this "do it for the 
children", false pretense way of thinking, the blame will always go to the 
ones doing the most to solve the problems.  One mindset believes that every 
individual has a God given right, an entitlement, to get all they desire 
handed to them just for the sake of their mere existence.  The other 
ideology believes that each person has the right to pursue prosperity and 
succeed based on the expenditure of honest effort to acquire all things 
worthy of accomplishing.  If everything is distributed equally, regardless 
of the amount of work (or lack thereof) put forth by an individual, then 
there is no incentive for anyone to go the extra mile, to achieve 
excellence.  The very kernel of our American way of life has been the belief 
that honest effort produces an abundance of benefits, both personally and 
economically.  Unfortunately, as post WW2 Americans strived to make a 
better, easier world for their children, the very good that they 
accomplished has resulted in our modern - day dilemma.  The amount of 
tonnage handled by the railroads is one of the barometers by which one can 
judge the relative economic strength or weakness of an economy at a given 
time. It just may be the case that the economy is on the rebound, but I also 
feel that part of our perception of the railroads in a state of decline is 
occuring due to the industry settling into its niche.  At one time, the 
canal system was touted as the saving grace method of transportation.  They 
were built, overbuilt, and retired for the most part, once the railroads 
proved to be a faster, efficient means of transporting good and people.  The 
railroads were THE technology of the day and, like the canals, built and 
overbuilt lines everywhere.  For that point in history, this was 
essentialEnter the 50's and the Eisenhower Interstate highway plan, along 
with the proliferation of airline travel.  The uninitiated eye sees today's 
railroads as dinosaurs, as irrelevant as the younger railfan may perceive 
steam locomotives to be.  Unfortunately, heavy indusrty is the machine the 
railroads serve best, and with the current dearth of such large 
manufacturing facilities in the USA, the glory days of the railroads as it 
once was, may never be seen again.  I remeber the Penn Central as being a 
super busy railroad at a time when they could barely afford to handle the 
traffic, let alone keep it on the rails!  Now we have a situation where the 
railroad infrastructure is in generally better shape than in memory and less 
traffic than when it wasn't in shape to handle it!
This is my first, only and last semi - politically oriented email I'll ever 
send to the PC List.  Jerry, I just couldn't bear adding to the great email 
from Mr. Kingston.  Forgive me, guys and gals!

Jim Kosty
Corning NY

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