Friends of Transit: Getting There Together Weekly

January 16, 2009

The Computer Virus Edition

Filed under: Economic Stimulus — friendsoftransit @ 8:20 pm

Folks,

Thanks to a small grant from a state level partner, Disability Advocates is able to send two staff members to a conference next week.  I swear one of them told me that she was flying via Northwest. And the e-mail looked so real.

Yes, this morning I received an e-mail confirming an e-ticket with NWA.  Since the company credit card is in my name, I thought this must be the airline ticket for next week.  My gut said check it out further, but my haste said it must be the ticket for Monday.

Wrong.

Long story short, two hours of productive time this morning was lost in the repair mode.  Thank goodness we have awesome computer support or the two hour switch over to a new computer (and all the necessary network connecting) could easily have lasted into two or more days.  Who would have ever thought that one simple click could do so much damage.

But it looked so real.

Earlier this morning, as the virus was beginning to take over my former computer, I read a few more details on the proposed stimulus package that was proposed in the House of Representatives.  Yikes, there’s a lot of money in there!  (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123202946622485595.html)  It looks so real.  Its promise to “jump start the economy” sounds so inviting.  How could we say no?

Well, the economist who spoke at the Econ Club on Monday of this week said we should be saying no.  Alan Beaulieu of The Institute for Trend Research (http://www.ecotrends.org/) said that, in his opinion, the stimulus package looks real enough but it will likely cause the eventually coming recovery to be not as long or as vibrant primarily because we’ll have all this borrowed money to pay back to ourselves.  His advice: weather the storm; recessions are a normal part of the economic world and recoveries will come.

But the stimulus looks so real.

Especially the part supporting increased transit spending.  The multitude of shovel ready projects have literally been years in the planning.  Why not move the projects forward?  I can’t speak to all the other parts of the stimulus plan, but I can tell you that it’s high time we get the shovels in the dirt for increased transit options.  The American Public Transportation Association (http://www.apta.com/) is a great place to start looking for additional support for the transit components of the plan.  Yes, they may be a bit self-interested on behalf of their members, but check out the many well thought out perspectives on the great benefits transit is providing today and the ones we could be taking advantage of tomorrow with just a few billion in stimulation.  In addition, if you’d like to keep posted on the federal level, sign up for APTA’s bi-weekly update, called Passenger Transport (http://www.apta.com/passenger_transport/thisweek/).  This excellent e-newsletter provides a great deal of timely information on the federal government’s efforts to support (or hinder) local efforts to expand transit.  See how real it looks to you.

My gut’s telling me to click on the fast forward button for transit.  Decades of positive evidence and thorough planning can’t be wrong.  All the other things in the stimulus package?  Now my gut is saying I best check it out a bit more before I click.

All for today.

Dave
RapidYes.org

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