The Secret Worldwide Transit Cabal

Informed but opinionated commentary and analysis on urban transportation topics from the Secret Worldwide Transit Cabal. Names have been omitted to protect the guilty.

Our Mission: Monkeywrench the Anti-Transit Forces

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Tuesday, August 13, 2002

Hahvahd, Take Another Hit!

From the Cabalmaster:

Referring to the article in The Stranger ("Comparison Shopping," Josh Feit, Vol 11 No. 46, Aug 1 - Aug 7 2002):

ECONorthwest is the firm (and the appropriately-surnamed Daniel Malarkey admits to being the analyst) that found that the (Seattle) Central Link LRT would have a negative ratio of benefits to costs.

But operating-cost savings would provide a positive benefit-cost ratio even if ridership did not change.

But Mr. Malarkey seems to like monorail. Perhaps because it isn't "regular" rail. He, after all, is a Harvard grad . . . ah, Hahvahd, school of Kennedys . . . Kain . . . Pickrell . . . Gomez-Ibanez . . . and the ever-"envious" Jonathan Richmond . . .)

This brings to mind one of the more memorable sentences we've read, penned by George M. Smerk (and which I hope that no one on the list will find offensive): "Benefit-cost analysis, like the words of the Holy Bible, may be used to prove almost anything."

Another memorable sentence, which we neglected to save for reference, is a quote by a New York stockbroker, published in the Wall Street Journal: "Economics is taught in this country without any reference to history, politics -- or common sense."

It would seem that Harvard-trained economists are among those most lacking in the latter quality.

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