Friday, December 23, 2011

More mid-course corrections for high-speed rail when the truth comes out

Let's start with the last comment in this article, quoting Jerry Brown's spokesperson.  He refers to the article by Mike Rosenberg which exposed the ridiculoulsly inflated jobs numbers, showing how they are simply not true.  Brown's office says that the article, "attempted to create an inaccurate impression." So, Governor, tell us again, who is attempting to create an inaccurate impression?

Now the lid is off another pack of lies.  Remember the ridership flurry where the process of concocting those numbers was also exposed to be fraudulent?  Well, same with the jobs numbers and the rail authority is now backing down.  "imprecise and potentially confusing" they say.  

That's the understatement of the year.  The reality is that they routinely pumped up those numbers as part of their relentless sales job.  Especially for the Central Valley, where they are intending to start construction, because the unemployment rate is so high there.

We've talked about this many times.  We've pointed out the unscrupulous efforts to shove this project down our collective throats by appealing to our sense of guilt about the large number of the unemployed, as if this project will have anything but a minor impact on those jobs numbers.

Now we are getting explanations like it wasn't really jobs, but job-years.  Yes, we've known that for a long time.  Why didn't they come clean in the first place and tell the truth?

Over and over, we are being scammed by this project, and our Governor has no interest in being honest with us about this. 

When the rail authority dramatically revised their cost forecast upward by over two times the earlier cost projections,  they received praise for their "honestly" and "transparency."  What BS! Now having been caught with more of their shenanigans, they will revise those jobs numbers downward. 

There is nothing they say that can be trusted. Not their many business plan variations, their financial plans and forecast, their decision-process for construction. They make everything up as they go along, spinning all the information in order to sell something that, if we all knew the total truth about this project, we wouldn't touch it with a ten-foot pole.

I do believe that the rail authority expected the California voters to lie down and play dead, so that they could walk all over us with whatever they chose to do.

It hasn't turned out that way.  And, now the Press is wise to them and will keep exposing this seamy project to the light of day.

How much longer will Jerry Brown lash himself to this sinking ship?

This story is taken from Sacbee / Living Here / Wire Lifestyle News / Wire Lifestyle

California high-speed rail leaders vow to show real job figures
San Jose Mercury News
Mike Rosenberg

SAN JOSE, Calif -- SAN JOSE, Calif. - Backing off claims that the bullet train would create more than 1 million jobs, California's high-speed rail leaders acknowledged Thursday that their "short-handed" definition used to describe jobs has been "imprecise and potentially confusing."

In a statement responding to an investigation by this newspaper, the California High-Speed Rail Authority clarified that the 1 million jobs figure does not refer to the number of workers. Instead, as the newspaper reported, it refers to an economic term known as "job-years" in which, for example, one person working 10 years equals 10 job-years.

While the lower-than-advertised job figures would result in about 20,000 construction workers during a typical year, the project's die-hard supporters such as California Gov. Jerry Brown said the differences didn't change their fervor to start building.

Project officials vowed Thursday to make it clear that far fewer people will get jobs than they implied, saying that the project will create "thousands and thousands" of jobs.

"But it is important to emphasize that the case for high-speed rail does not revolve around jobs," project board member Michael Rossi, the governor's jobs czar, said in the statement. "It is clear to Californians that something must be done to keep our state moving over the next generation."

From Sacramento to Washington, political leaders have argued the railroad's employment benefits are so overwhelming that this is the perfect time to embark on the most expensive project for any state in U.S. history. They are urging the Legislature to approve the $6 billion first leg of construction in the Central Valley next year, hoping to find the rest of the funding along the way.

Rail officials also had used "job-years" to add up the number of "spinoff" jobs they expect outside companies, such as restaurants and retailers, to create to support the project.

In reality, they estimate about 40,000 actual workers - or two-thirds of the project's total jobs - will be employed in spinoff jobs in a typical year, even in such secluded areas as Central Valley farmlands.

A spokesman for Brown did not address the jobs claims but in a two-sentence statement called the newspaper report "hyperbolic" and said it "attempted to create an inaccurate impression."

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