the sad, sorry state of roads

Posted on October 4, 2012

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HT @ASCETweets

The topic isn’t new. “Sad, sorry state of roads” will almost guarantee an acknowledgment by American Society of Engineers and other road building advocacy groups. I wish this particular article had a user-friendly comments section, because I think the reader debate would be quite lively.

http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/In-Gear/2012/1002/The-sad-sorry-state-of-US-roads

What I like is Richard Read’s parting thought: “How would you suggest we solve this growing problem?”

But the preceding thought is misleading: “It’s a given that U.S. roads have to be maintained, and it’s also a given that our government is responsible for maintaining them.”

Why is it a given that government is responsible for maintaining them? Very few people have explored a broad privatization of the transportation network. Walter Block is one. He raised the issue years ago in the context of public safety. And just to be clear, I’m not talking about the current model, full of public subsidy that we label “privatization”. I would love to see some in-depth research papers on fully-privatized networks.

That is a debate long overdue. Economists out there…you have some free time, right?

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Posted in: Opinion