In the past 60 years, the US went from ambitious projects to being completely unable to get even the most minor alteration to an existing structure approved.
The latest example. http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/12/senators_launch_effort_to_block_oil_pipeline_through_seven_nj_counties.html#incart_river
Someone thought it would be a good idea to bring Bakken oil field oil to the metro area by pipeline. What an idiot. With bi-partisan opposition to it, we will be protecting railroading, trucking, and barge piloting jobs as well as fire department haz mat jobs because it makes tons more sense to transport oil via rail truck and barge than it would by quiet pipeline.
Who cares that it is vastly more expensive to transport it that way? I mean besides Warren Buffett who owns a railroad or two? And maybe politicians who get contributions from rail, trucking and merchant marine companies?
But it’s way safer. Like that little explosion in Quebec a while back, those would be sort of rare, They even found most of the bodies, right?
Did I say I am for it? You didn’t read that. I think an idea that could bring economic benefit to an area should be heard, thought about, assessed and decided upon one way or the other. Knee jerk opposition (the town where I grew up did a big show with the town council about their opposition) is stupid, emotional, cheaply political and will do more harm in the long run.
We went from “we can build that” to “you didn’t build that” to “you can’t build that”. In 60 years.
Long ago townspeople would meet and there would always be a few local cranks who opposed everything and would give impassioned, egregiously misinformed, somewhat loony reasons that all should be opposed. They were listened to courteously, then the town ruled for what would make the most sense.
Those few local cranks are the ones who run things now.