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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Monday, April 26, 2004


Home of More Transit Links Than You can Possibly Check(tm), Unless you have no life other than websurfing

Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity: and I'm not so sure about the universe. Einstein

From the Cabalmaster:



No, we kid you not! The one and only, the inimitable, Professor Peter Gordon, PhD, University of Southern California, now has his own blog!!

Not just a mere “website,” mind you, but a genuine blog!!! Just like the one by Your Favorite Transit Pundits that you just love to read!

Among Gordon’s most famous – and asinine – pronouncements was one we brought to you right here! Yes!! Intrepid websurfers will certainly remember:

“The world would be better off without the [Los Angeles] Blue Line.”

The Los Angeles Blue Line is evidently among the ten busiest “light rail” lines in any “developed economy.” But the good citizens of “LA-LA Land” – and the “rest of the world” would be “better off” without it!

(Say, Dr. Gordon! Did you mean the world, the whole world and nothing but the world? Including such far-flung places as Peoria, Pittsburgh, Perth, Phnom Penh and Pyongyang? Or was that another of those florid flourishes of rhetoric?? Please let us know, Peter!)

(Intrepid Websurfers who follow this blog are perhaps marveling at our restraint! Note that we DID NOT get carried away this time; we REFRAINED from adding “Petersburg” to the alliterative list above!!)

If we didn’t know better, we’d swear that some of the posts on “Peter Gordon’s Blog” were penned by . . . well, visualize a fat-headed idealogue, playing in his libertarian sandbox, crying in his beard because few take his extremist rhetoric seriously – and fewer are likely to “convert,” so to speak.

Why not?

An underlying tenent of the libertarian “faith” may be expressed as follows: “The highest ‘moral authority’ is ‘the market.’”

(This doesn’t get stated “up front,” of course; it sounds much too harebrained.)

(Bt then even Dr. Gordon agrees, well, sort of. From his 4/23/04 blog post:

"Economic analysis, by definition, leaves out many considerations..."

Well, Doh!)

As for the alleged morality of placing market above other considerations:

Most people would probably not agree . . . hey, don’t take our word for it; ask your local theologian; your choice of denomination!

The following is heresy to libertarians of various stripes, but: There are public services that, because of nature or scale, are best left to government. Imagine privatization of all streets and highways . . . all sewers . . . all water supplies . . . all police and fire services . . . all schools . . . and so forth. No? We didn’t think so.

Contracting (or “tendering”) is one thing. Given proper management by supervising public agencies (a very big “if”) contracting can provide significant economies. But full privatization of all government infrastructure and services? Not likely.

Oh, and by the way, don’t believe your local libertarian lolapalooza when he protests that all he wants to do is provide more “choice.” T’ain’t so. Most of these guys are virulently anti-choice when it comes to issues related to urban form. In the mythical land of “Libertaria,” you can have any urban form you want so long as it’s auto-dominated sprawl. (That’s the ultimate expression of the marketplace, you know . . . not!)

Of all the offerings in cyberland, wethinks that only Wendell’s websites will offer more material for cheap shots than “Peter Gordon’s Blog.”

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