On the TTC: 6Posted: January 14, 2007
The third claim on TSRT’s TTC-propaganda billboard is that the project will create “more jobs.” The promise of more jobs gets used to sell just about everything; and sometimes, it’s even true. It’s true in this case, for example: building 8,000 miles of infrastructure will indeed create more jobs, because, naturally, someone has to do the work of building it.
The first problem with this claim is the implication that not building the TTC means less jobs: which, of course, it does not, but a big part of the pro-TTC party’s platform is the claim that enemies of the TTC are enemies of progress. And if Peter Gorman is correct (see the previous post), then at least some of the jobs created by the TTC are replacements for jobs that will be lost when improvements to existing highways stop.
Secondly, the claim tries to blind us to the fact that any massive government project will create jobs. If Gov. Perry decided he wanted to dramatically improve the quality of low-income public housing across the state, and contracted with private companies to get it done, well, that would result in more jobs. So would building an environmentally responsible (“green”) freight and passenger rail network across the state – instead of the TTC. So would reclaiming abandoned urban properties – empty warehouses and dead malls – and turning them into community centers, homeless shelters, or parks. Of course, those projects lack an essential feature that attracts governments & private investors – profitability. C’est la vie.
A last point I’d like to make is that the “more jobs” appeal, much like the “faster evacuations” appeal, is calculated to hit people at an emotional level, circumventing the rational, critical-thinking, parts of their brains. I’m not trying to belittle emotion, but it’s a sorry way to make decisions of this sort; we ought not pave a million acres of Texas just because it feels right.
That’s all I have to say on the subject for now; bookmark the TTC News Archive to stay informed.