… is from Holman Jenkins’s essay, “A Private Railroad Is Born,” in today’s Wall Street Journal:
We live in strange times. Circumstances have conspired to invite pols everywhere to spend money as if bills never come due – and to feel righteous about it. High-speed rail, for some, has become a religious sacrament. For others the appeal is less mystical. How much easier it is, after all, to borrow and squander untold billions on a bullet train than to enact immigration and labor policies that might actually save the Japanese economy. How much more pleasant for politicians in Washington and Sacramento to fret about high-speed rail than to pursue the pension, education and tax reforms the country actually needs.