Decision in November: Ride Amtrak or buy a Ford

Jim McElhatton of The Washington Times wrote in his recent article, "Fraud, abuse found rampant at Amtrak":

One Amtrak employee spent much of his time in the office sending emails to women he met through a half-dozen online dating sites and claimed overtime pay for hours he spent officiating high school sporting events.  Another worker may have received more than $100,000 in bogus overtime, records show.

Unfortunately, as the article describes, overtime abuses aren't the only problem at Amtrak.  Moreover, as reported in Smart Money by Kristen Bellstrom and Jen Wieczner, since 1971, the year Amtrak was created by Congress, it has never turned a profit. Worse yet, according to The Economist, in 2011 alone it required $1.4 billion in government subsidies to keep operating.

This is what happens when the government runs a business?

Not subject to market forces, government-run businesses need not provide a product or service at a price people are willing to pay.  In this environment, employees are not properly supervised or, in many cases, are not motivated to do well or even the right thing.

Certainly there are good employees, just as in a Marxist utopia there would be people who toil to their utmost for the benefit of the state.  However, the great message of all socialist and Marxist-driven economies is that most people are motivated by their own self interest.  When they can loaf or even steal and still get their paycheck (or even a bigger one), that is exactly what many will do.

In a capitalist system, on the other hand, businesses seek to provide that which is most in demand, at a price people will pay, at the maximum profit.  This is genius and has resulted in the most powerful economy -- providing more wealth to more people -- that the world has ever known.  In an American business, not only is the owner watching the bottom line, not only are supervisors watching employees, not only are employees watching other employees (as everyone knows his or her job depends on an efficient delivery of product), but each employee knows intrinsically that if he robs the system, he will harm the owner's ability to write his paycheck.  We have Xerox, Apple, Ford Motor Co., IBM, and thousands more that exemplify the genius of the American capitalist system.

This issue is doubly important right now.

It's doubly important because, in November, we have a clear choice about which way we want America to go.  Select Obama, and we choose a man driven to make our economy mirror the socialist model exemplified by Amtrak.  Select Romney and we choose a man who understands better than perhaps even Ronald Reagan the genius of our capitalist system.  In America, a business must make a profit to survive.  In an American business, everyone understands that.

So we have a choice coming up.  Ride Amtrak or buy a Ford.