California’s Bullet Train Disaster Results of Political Incompetence and Corruption
Ed Morrissey has been sounding the alarm about the myriad of issues with the proposed California bullet train for two years now. The high-speed rail line has been on the verge of a total implosion ever since the idea was first implemented. For starters, the cost estimates associated with the project had tripled since it first began.
That’s a sure sign of corruption if we have ever seen one. The costs rose high enough to purchase several new Navy aircraft carriers. The nation of Venezuela could have used the money to wipe out a significant portion of its national debt. The number has now reached $77 billion and we can hardly believe our eyes.
How does a state allow their political incompetence and corruption to reach this point? California ought to be ashamed of themselves but this is not a state that is familiar with shame. That’s what happens when you leave the leftists in charge. They have all sorts of cool plans that look great on paper but leave everyone wondering how they are actually going to be carried out.
Money is not something that they consider at times like these. We are not sure how things managed to fly so far off of the rails (see what we did there?) but we have some ideas. While it would be tempting to simply write this one off and blame it on the typical ineptitude, that would be a major mistake.
Incompetence on this level cannot be explained away so easily. The Los Angeles Times has started digging into the matter, speaking with various whistleblowers in the process. They have also spoken with the contractor who is responsible for spearheading the project. All of the parties involved agree that it was always a disaster in the making.
However, the company (known as WSP) that was leading the efforts essentially shut down any efforts to speak out. Those who were considering speaking out were told that their careers would take a major downturn if they were to do so. The folks at WSP created a toxic operating culture that kept people from being willing to speak their minds.
“I was told to shut up and not say anything,” said Mark Styles. He was supposed to be overseeing the project and when he noticed the issues, he was immediately silenced. Styles was even told that he did not have the proper level of understanding when it came to the political arena that he was in.
That had to be insulting. He noticed clear issues with the project and was unable to voice them because of political concerns. Eventually, he realized that he was going to have to speak out. This is his livelihood. Styles cannot afford to sit back and hope for the best in this regard. He would never be hired again if he allowed things to get to this point without being willing to say something.
Styles described an atmosphere that has since been corroborated by a number of senior officials. WSP could not handle basic tasks and Styles knew that he had been handed a barrel of snake oil. If the state made changes to their program, they were not able to be handled. If construction schedules needed to be created, this was another common issue that could not be taken care of.
Despite all of these obstacles, the project continued to move forward. California taxpayers are shouldering the costs of this lunacy and our hearts go out to them. It gets tiring to watch the American people suffer because of all the bureaucratic nonsense that takes place. WSP decided to lie to the public and put a better face on things.
As for Styles, he parted ways with the company and found a job in another state. Many of the other employees who were quoted about WSP practice have also decided that they are ready to move on. Gee, we can’t imagine why that would be the case. While they should definitely receive a great deal of the blame for what has taken place here, the California government also needs to be taken to task for what they have allowed to happen.
At this point, no one even knows if the project is going to be completed at all. The money could run out entirely and then who knows what is going to happen? This is the sort of boondoggle that should be costing everyone their jobs but of course it won’t. We wouldn’t be surprised if they end up with little more than some unfinished tracks.