The San Jose Mercury News’ wonderful takedown of politicians who spouted the insane claim that the bullet train project would create 1 million jobs triggered some odd reactions. For its part, the California High-Speed Rail Authority quickly acknowledged how misleading the number was. But bullet-train defenders have drawn a line in the sand. This farcical claim isn’t really a farcical claim, and if it is, well, the people who think so are fat nerds!
Remember how the scam number was arrived at? According to the CHSRA, a job created by the project that lasted 10 years was counted as 10 jobs. But did the pols and the agency officials who touted that claim explain this not-at-all-minor distinction when talking about the alleged massive job gains that were just around the corner? Nope.
But that didn’t bother Jim Earp, exec director of the euphemistically named “California Alliance for Jobs”:
Criticisms about whether the jobs projections for the high speed rail project should be expressed in terms of ‘job years’ versus jobs have led me to conclude there are too many over-fed, under-worked armchair economists who have nothing better to do that debate statistical theories while real people continue to search for real jobs.
Groan. Only fat nerds care about stuff like this!
Almost as laughable was the take of apologist Robert Cruickshank, who said this should have been the headline on the Merc News piece:
California doesn’t need jobs
In other words, according to Earp and Cruickshank, any criticism of the rail authority equals opposition to job creation. So let’s spend $98 billion to create 20,000 jobs! Let’s do it! Don’t be a fat nerd and got in our way!
It reminds me of the old Ben Stiller impersonation of multimillionaire self-help guru Tony Robbins. “People come up to me on the streets all the time and say, ‘How can you take all that money from hundreds of thousands of people and promise to make them happy?’ And I say, ‘Isn’t it worth it if I can make one person happy, even if that one person is me?’”
Go here to check it out. The part I’m talking about starts at the 3:28 mark.