Thursday, November 19, 2009

Get Riled Up!

Want to get riled up? Check out the back and forth at the National Journal between highway lackeys and the good guys. "You're trying to take away our freedom to drive 100 miles to work everyday!" This one from the head of the truckers:
However, many of the proposed solutions encroach upon our freedom of mobility and our right to live where we want. Smart growth land-use strategies are simply ways to encourage living in high-density areas offering mass transit, which counters the preferred lifestyles of most Americans. Instead of changing the transportation systems to modify our behavior, we should improve our transportation systems to match people’s behaviors and preferences.Personal freedom is a defining characteristic of the American way of life...
This gem is from the head of the highway users alliance:
If so, I assume you would reject policies that would limit the choice of new homes that can be zoned and built, force people to pay to park in front of their home, add high tolls to their car trips, require paid parking at suburban shopping centers, divert their taxes, and involve the federal government in local land use planning, right? Afterall, these unfortunate souls do not need to be punished for living how they were forced to live, right?

We are in total agreement in fact -- Americans should be free to live where the want to live, work where they want to work, and shop where they want to shop. And as they choose freely without armtwisting from the federal government, we should provide the transportation system that is finanically, politically, and environmentally sustainable to support that free choice. We could start our plan with the one mode of transportation that could theoretically support itself with a reasonably set gas tax paid by its users.
I just fell of the couch laughing. Man those users sure do pay for the system! We can let people live however they want as long as its with cars! This is amazing yet not surprising. This is what we are fighting against.

9 comments:

Cap'n Transit said...

Nice Ford reference there.

Yes, you can live anywhere you like, so long as it's not above a grocery store! You can work anywhere you want, so long as it's in an office park. You can shop anywhere you want so long as it's in a strip mall. And you can get there any way you like - but we've made the highways so cheap that nothing else will compete with them.

njh said...

Nothing like letting the open market decide! That's right: It's absolutely nothing like letting the open market decide. If they are so sure of the strength of the market, why are they so resistant to competition?

AJ said...

Infringing on people's preferred lifestyle? I thought an overwhelming percentage lived in urban areas?

Oh, right, they're arguing fantasy versus reality.

Matt Fisher said...

Yup. That's what REAL Americans want. Unfettered sprawl and unlimited mileage by car. The market is giving the public what it wants. Great. Just great.

arcady said...

On the other hand, I agree that the feds really should not be involved in this one way or the other. Remember what happened last time the federal government tried to help cities? We got urban renewal, housing projects, and "interstate" highways through downtown. And we got FHA loans for suburbanization and segregation, and so much other unpleasantness. I think the feds should stay out of the cities, especially in terms of setting policy. Maybe throw some money at local transit expansion, definitely fund Amtrak, but don't tell people how to build their cities.

clever-title said...

I agree with half of what they say - zoning to prohibit people from building they housing they want on land they own is an infringement on their property rights, and requiring shopping centers to charge for parking is meddling in the business decisions of the store owners.

Those arguments are in total opposition to the demand for further road socialism by rejecting tolls and other fees that allocate the costs of the highway infrastructure to users.

"And as they choose freely without armtwisting from the federal government," and without federal armtwisting like using general revenues to support Interstate highways, mass transit would be freely chosen by more users, and funded by more investors.

arcady said...

BTW, the position of the "free market" types is something along the lines of "the government should give the market what it wants". Which really isn't a free market at all, if the government has to determine what the market wants and then massively interfere to provide it.

clever-title said...

That kind of "free marketer" is lying, ignorant, or both. Republicans, especially, like obsuring their socialism in the language of freedom.

Andrew said...

These people bitch so much about "socialism", even though their life style depends on it!