Reason is the leading source of news, politics, and culture from a libertarian perspective. Go to reason.com for a point of view you won't get from legacy media and old left-right opinion magazines.
Former Gov. Jerry Brown was a steadfast supporter of the California's bullet-train boondoggle despite cost overruns, lawsuits, and a lack of private support. But in his first State of the State Address, current Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that he would scale back the project.
"He's spit in Jerry Brown's eye," says Joel Kotkin, a fellow in urban studies at Chapman University.
Gov. Newsom says he'll push forward with one portion of the high-speed rail line—the stretch running from Bakersfield to Merced, or span of about 175 miles. But neither city is a big job center, and it's not a heavily traveled route. "This is the ultimate train to nowhere," says Kotkin.
He says that backers of the Green New Deal, a plan that would crisscross the country with new bullet trains, should take notice. "The real battle in the Democratic Party is between reality and fantasy. And this was a big win for reality," says Kotkin.
"Is any other state going to be as stupid as we are?"
Produced by Paul Detrick.
Photo of Gavin Newsom; Credit: Mike Blake/REUTERS/Newscom
Photos of Jerry Brown in legislature; Credit: Hector Amezcua/MCT/Newscom
Photo of Jerry Brown; Credit: Fred Greaves/REUTERS/Newscom
Photo of Joel Kotkin; Credit: Nick Agro/ZUMA Press/Newscom
Photo of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; Credit: G. Ronald Lopez/ZUMA Press/Newscom
Photo of Trains; Credit: Imagine China/Newscom