Planning: USA vs. China
Matt Yglesias notes that Shanghai has a long-term plan for expanding their subway system and laments that we’re not so forward thinking here in America.
What’s striking is the extent to which we don’t operate like that here in the United States. I think everyone believes that over the next couple of decades the Washington, DC metro area will continue to add population. And people likewise clearly envision there being additional square feet of office space in the District and they’re also envision an increase in the District’s population. On top of that, we’re also trying to envision a less carbon-intensive future. All this pretty clearly implies that there ought to be some sort of plan in place for building additional Metro capacity through the central city.
My initial reaction was that, yeah, authoritarian states run by Communist parties tend to be better than democracies at producing long-term plans. After all, it’s easier to plan if you are going to be in office for the foreseeable future and don’t have to worry about public reaction to your policies.
Amusingly, however, his commenters have already pointed out that:
- The Census Bureau [Excel spreadsheet] actually predicts a significant decline in DC’s population over the next two decades.
- U.S. metropolitan areas with subway systems, including DC, in fact have plans locatable in seconds via the Internet. LA. NYC. DC. Seattle.
As I understand it, you can also get good Chinese food in those cities.