China's New Deal: Next Time, Take The Train

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
chinas new deal next time take the train

The People’s Republic of China has decided to drop some serious money on digging the country out of a hole. We’re not talking namby-pamby bailout money for distressed banks and auto companies that may actually go up in price (yeah, sure.) We’re talking real hard asset investment. China’s State Council has approved $300b for large scale construction projects to seriously boost economic growth, China Daily reports. Everybody had been banking on concrete measures to expand China’s clogged roads. But to the abject horror of China’s motorists, the government’s money will be working on the railroad. “In 1997, we dealt with the Asian financial crisis by stimulating domestic economic growth by investing in the construction of highways.” Zheng Xinli, a senior government policy advisor, said. “This time the money will go on improving the rail network.” Using the CIA Factbook’s numbers, 1/10th of GDP will be railroaded through China’s economy. Somebody’s making out this BIG STYLE. Bulldog, bulldog; bow wow wow!

As New Haven, Connecticut, woke up to the Sunday news, shit-eating grins dominated the breakfast table.: This February, Yale University’s college endowment fund had sunk $50 million in the IPO of the China Railway Construction Corp., which is set to get about half of the pie. That deal should keep Yale well endowed. Of the $300b, $180b have already been allocated. The rest should be earmarked and spent in no time flat. By 2010, China wants to expand its 48k-or-so miles of rail by another 8k miles. That, my fellow Americans, would be the distance from Anchorage, Alaska all the way to Peru. And they’ll have that done in two years. Right of way? No problem: All land belongs to the government.

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2 of 6 comments
  • HarveyBirdman HarveyBirdman on Oct 27, 2008

    I'd much rather see U.S. bailout bucks going to infrastructure than Wall Street. China may be on to something.

  • KixStart KixStart on Oct 28, 2008

    Infrastructure projects make more sense than bogus "stimulus checks" that are, often enough, cashed by other countries. --- RailsToTrails - Sure, I'd like to see a healthy rail network but, if the trains aren't useing them, might as well give the cyclists a chance. In fact, I use a couple rail-trails myself, frequently, as a cyclist. Around here, the converted trails do get used.