The government has decided to build an 11-mile section of high-speed rail in western New York somewhere between Rochester and Buffalo. There aren't many passenger trains that go that route and there are no local stops anywhere along that line.

It's a piece of engineering a few people want and even fewer people will ever use. It's the classic definition of doing something because we can, not because we need to, of taxing the many for the benefit of the few.

Likewise, the much-aligned annuity is a solution in search of a problem. While politicians, the press and academia have long touted its goodness, industry pros, plan sponsors and even investors have avoided annuities like the plague (see "Why 401k Plan Sponsors and Investors Lack Cupidity for the Annuity,").

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