At Salon, Will Doig asks why American public transit projects have decades-long time lines, while in China, new transit projects open in a heartbeat. And as Matt Yglesias points out, American transit projects are also more expensive than comparable build-outs in other big, rich cities, like London.

So what’s our problem? (Besides, you know, that we insist on safe working conditions and some environmental protections.) Doig has a few suggestions, including:

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  • We plan too much.
  • We don’t have enough money invested in transit.
  • Politicians want a transit project to serve their constituents. Or go nowhere near them! Either way, they can derail progress.
  • We love cars too much.

It’s not clear how to zap these problems into nonexistence. But, for starters, more money would help.

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