Friday, August 24, 2012

"You didn't build..." the roads..

When our President said, "You didn't build that." he meant, we're told by the left, we didn't build the roads and bridges.  Maybe so, but wouldn't private roads and bridges be better than the ones we have now?

I've just started reading "The Privatization of Roads and Highways," by Walter Block.

How about a quote from the preface?

"Lest you think your money would be going up in exhaust
fumes, remember that market firms, who must please customers
to stay in business, provide everything better and less expensively
than government, without that nasty moral hangover of
forcing people to pay for things they may not use or want. Your
gasoline price already includes forty to fifty cents per gallon in
taxes for road building and maintenance. This means I’m paying
twenty-five to thirty-three dollars per month for road use now.
With privatization of roads, that cost would go down, probably
considerably. It happens every time anything is moved from government
hands into private hands.

There are other benefits that would follow road privatization.
The private roads that exist now have fewer accidents than public
roads, probably in part because they’re better maintained: If
private road builders let potholes remain, get reputations for
high accident rates, or do repairs during rush hour, they have to
deal with complaints and with people choosing other roads."

I'm on page ix and its already interesting.

How about the next two paragraphs?

"Pollution and pollution controls on automobiles would also
be handled by road privatization. If auto pollution were to grow
too thick, people living near the offending roads would sue the
biggest, most obvious target: the road owners. Road owners
would therefore charge higher fees for cars without up-to-date
inspection stickers. Auto manufacturers would build pollutioncontrol
equipment into cars, and advertise how cleanly they run.

Automakers do this already, but under the gun of a government
that mandates pollution levels and what kind of pollution controls
manufacturers use. Without government interference, engineers
would be free to compete to provide different technologies
to reduce costs and improve horsepower while providing cleaner
burning engines. With the inspection stickers being coded to your
automobile’s age, manufacturer, and model, there might be a separate
pollution rider on your monthly statement. Drivers of new
Hondas might see a discount, while drivers of old belchers would
pay fees that might be higher than the road tolls themselves."

If the book keeps up with the preface it should be quite good.  Did I mention that I first heard of this book through "Bourbon for Breakfast" by Jeffery Tucker?

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