Monday, September 12, 2011


Let's pretend there's an item, we'll call it "product X" that is made on the "Free Market".  This product, however, cannot be used without billions of dollars worth of infrastructure paid for, maintained, and expanded by the government. Moreover, product X also requires the addition of another product (we'll call it "Product Y") to use, which the government also subsidizes. 

Over the years, Product X and Product Y receive subsidies, support and infrastructure that literally make it impossible to live without these products in many areas of the country--people are literally beholden to these products, can't study, live or eat without products X and Y--and this drives the government to subsidize X and Y even MORE.

Now, product Z is on the market and always has been. Product Z requires 1/10 of the infrastructure subsidies of product X AND nullifies the need for product Y.  You would think it's a no brainer that shifting some of the subsidies from a portion of the subsidies spent on X to product Z.  You would also imagine that "free market" conservatives would rail against the subsidies provided to X and Y as government intervention shifting the hand of the market and skewing the free market in a way that is anathema to their anti-regulation, free market mantra.

You'd be wrong, however, because the opposite is true. Right now, the Republicans are threatening to stop ANY spending on transportation infrastructure unless they can stop the government for funding safe bike lanes in places where people ride. Not only does this mean they are even further skewing the market in favor of a resource intensive more of transportation that's damaging to the environment, they're doing so in a way that is detrimental and unsafe to those who chose NOT to use that more of transportation. 

How we, as a nation, continue to enact policies that are so grossly skewed in favor of two corporations (Auto and Oil) while ignoring the fact that doing so completely negates the policy proscriptions of the same political party that pushes so heavily for them is beyond me.  Vehicles and roads are not "freedom" despite what we've been raised to believe.  They are the ultimate government "planning" that otherwise is railed against.


Post a Comment

<< Home