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California's High-Speed Dream Derailed


Published on January 22, 2020

The failure of California’s high-speed rail project demonstrates that everyone loses when politicians make promises they can’t keep. What was supposed to be a cost-effective infrastructure project has turned into a multibillion-dollar disaster, failing to achieve its initial goals while still costing many times its promised price. California’s experience teaches many lessons about the true cost and likely experience with large-scale transportation projects.

 Discussion Questions

  1. What can taxpayers learn from California's high-speed rail project?
  2. How often do large infrastructure projects come in at cost or under budget?

Additional resources:

  • Read “A Closer Look at the Left’s Agenda: Scientific, Economic, and Numerical Illiteracy on the Campaign Trail” by Michael J. Boskin, available here:
  • Read “California Dreamin’: Of Bolder Leaders Unafraid to Challenge the Vested Interests Running the Golden State—And Ruining Its Future” by Michael J. Boskin, available here:
  • Read “California’s Bullet-Train Fiasco Continues: $20 Billion for 120 Miles?” by Lee Ohanian, available here: