High-speed rail will never recover costs 

The Sunday op-ed by Steve Falk, CEO of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, played fast and loose with his numbers and projections about why high-speed rail would allegedly be good for California. The truth is that there won’t be enough riders to even service the exploding costs to build and run the high-speed trains.

If I had a family of four, why would I take this thing to the Los Angeles station and then have to rent a car to get where I’m really going? This will make the trip cost far more and take longer because of getting to and from the station. Clearly I would be better off just using my car.

Businessmen might take high-speed rail once and then go back to their jets, and there aren’t enough old-timers wanting to get their railroad fix to keep California’s biggest boondoggle afloat. This will be much to the disadvantage of our tax-weary public.

Barry Prager
San Francisco

Sheriff must step aside

With the mounting controversy surrounding Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi getting worse, he really should either temporarily step down or resign for the good of the department. The weekly distraction of him having to appear before a judge when he is supposed to be doing his job is interfering with his ability to execute the duties of his office.

Now with new allegations from a self-proclaimed former girlfriend that he’s got a fiery temper, his credibility is taking another hit. Instead of trying to stonewall what’s happening, he needs to think about the good of the department he is supposed to be heading.

Also, Mirkarimi is a politician who has never headed an entire department before. This is an entirely different animal, and he might be in over his head.

Edmund Lee
San Francisco

Rebuilding flooded city

One-third of the city of Minot, N.D., was submerged in a June flood and still can’t find enough skilled plumbers, electricians and other construction workers to fix what’s broken. Why can’t their governor and congressmen and/or other North Dakotans do something to connect workers and jobs more efficiently?

Why not immediately organize a bus caravan program from adjacent cities and states, or even subsidize airline connections if necessary, to bring in specifically needed skills for 30-day emergency repairs? Reclaim Minot housing to minimum livable standards.

Unemployed skilled labor would earn money. Flood victims, paying as much of the expense as they are able, would have living accommodations sooner rather than later.

Al Ujcic
San Francisco

Keynes belongs in past

Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama both embraced Keynesian economics, a theory that flowered nearly 80 years ago. Keynesians teach that government must borrow and spend to put money into circulation as a way to create consumer demand that will spur economic growth.

Demand is important, but investors also look at return. When U.S. taxes and regulatory policies make it more profitable for U.S. capital to buy foreign production capacity, it doesn’t help the U.S. worker.

When those Keynesian dollars stimulate leaner foreign competitors to produce more for export, we have shot ourselves in the foot. Keynesian economic theory’s day has come and gone.

Paul Burton
San Francisco

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