Competition in the business world encourages fresh ideas. Choices benefit consumers; better products and services result. Only the strong survive.
In the political world competition is intentionally stifled or, worse, nonexistent. Better ideas and intelligent choices are limited. Taxpayers are forced to pay for overpriced and underperforming products.
The proposed South Shore extension to Dyer exemplifies this concept. All taxpayers must pay for the outrageously high costs of building a new line to Dyer from Hammond ($83,000 per estimated passenger), yet urban core areas, especially Hammond and East Chicago, will likely suffer as 1,800 of the predicted 5,600 daily riders that now use existing stations there, will board in Dyer.
Competitive idea: Add commuter service to existing Amtrak service from Dyer to Chicago.
Rep. Pete Visclosky's legacy on this proposal will be a growing tax burden, urban blight and a discontented constituency.
- Thomas Markovich, Hammond