Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee
kevin_standlee

Listening <> Obeying

Another thing I keep hearing as a theme from the Peninsula NIMBYs who cry "build a 50-mile long tunnel without disturbing our cities in the slightest or build nothing at all!" is "They're not listening to us!"

Well, actually, I think the California High Speed Rail Authority is listening to them. They're just not obeying. The two things are not the same.

Assume for a moment that you had a teenage child who had qualified for a driver's license, and you decided that you were going to give that child a car. You can afford to buy a low-end new model car, and tell the child you're going to give him/her that car. The child yells, "But I only want a Ferrari!" If you gave the child the small car you can afford, and the child screamed, "You're not listening to me!" would you not consider the child just a tad foolish?

It is not a perfect analogy, I grant you, but it's close. It's sort of funny, really, because some of the very loud complainers are members of the various city governments along the Peninsula, and surely they must have plenty of experience of listening to the requests of their citizens without giving those citizens what they request. After all, the requests of any given group of people are likely to be mutually contradictory, so you have to pick and choose from among them.

Local example up here where I am. A local Subway sandwich shop wants to build a drive-up window. People who live in the area near the shop don't want it built. The Salem city council will have to eventually decide who to back: the area residents or the owner of the store who is providing employment and business taxes to the city. No matter what they decide, the other side could whine, "You're not listening to me!"

Grow up, people!
Tags: high speed rail, politics
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