forget cars

Red line train.

It's no secret that the United States is a superpower. By definition, a superpower is a country that has the capacity to project influence at a global level. Influence, being synonymous with the advancements a country has, encompasses modern technology. Nothing is more exemplary as a model of modern technology than high-speed railroads (HSR). Japan has them. Europe is filled with them. Yet the U.S. is behind. And if the U.S. wishes to remain coronated in the court of global superpowers, it'd better start constructing sooner rather than later, as the unpredictability of the world is extraordinary and, frankly, threatening. 

As of today, California is expected to complete the initial operating segment between San Jose Diridon Station and Bakersfield by 2027 in the state’s own high-speed railroad system. But this is one state out of many. In other states, many Americans remain skeptical of this construction, hanging on to their old love of cars. Yet they neglect to understand the greater achievements a HSRwill accomplish. One being that HSR will dramatically improve the American economy. 

Railroads provide the efficient mobility of people and goods. With the faster movement of goods and people, a stronger economy develops. It's a very simple concept: if people have fast, easy, and affordable access to go to and fro, more work will be done, compared to the many delay occurrences and traffic congestion of automobiles. The completion of work is the backbone of strong economies. The linking of cities into integrated regions supplies the functioning of a local, single, and stronger economy, thus improving the national economy. Economic benefits also incorporate broadened horizons on labor markets and offerings to employersof a larger network of employees to choose from, as the railroad construction will impart over 150,000newjobs. 

As Americans, we are dependent on a yearly total worth of $700 billion on oil. Seven hundred billion dollars is spent on foreign oil. With the booming auto industry, this creates a major dependence. Why should a major industry of a superpower be dependent on foreign trades when the solution to it is cheaper? Without the need of oil for transportation, the U.S. will have more money to invest in other industries. With the existence of high speed trains, oil will not be as widely needed, therefore, the U.S. can withdraw from the War for Oils, gaining a better handle in dealing with international affairs. No oil simply means billions of dollars will be saved, and new industries can be created with others being invested in. The more (money), the merrier (the economy). 

Being electrically run, HSR is a great step towards improving the environment at a global level. Less car usage means reduced oil consumption. Less oil consumption means less emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Less CO2 equals a happier and healthier planet. The automobiles Americans drive release over 1.7 billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere each year, adding to the negative effects of global climate change. Each gallon of gasoline a car burns creates twenty pounds of CO2--that's about 6-9 tons of CO2 each year for a typical automobile. Additionally, expanding airports and highways impacts wetlands and water resources, increases pollution, and is harmful to farmlands and wildlife.The HSR is not such a detriment to the environment.On the contrary, the cleaner transportation option does less damage to the environment. 

One may argue against the HSR due to the cost, but isn't this the same mentality one can use to argue against some of the greatest innovations? President Lincoln built the First Transcontinental Railroad in the midst of the Civil War, and yet, the railroad was a catalyst for the booming success of economic and industrial growth. It expanded the American economy, bringing with it the hope for industrial revolutions. The HSR will allow the U.S. to wear the superpower crown for a little while longer, bringing with it a promise of a stronger economy, more independence, and a better environment. One can hardy argue against the long term effects when they are this positive. 

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