My Most Unlibertarian Position
September 6, 2011 20 Comments
One issue on which I’d lose points on a libertarian purity test is toll roads. In libertarian utopia, one presumes there would be toll roads everywhere, perhaps even only toll roads. Me, I would abolish them
It’s not the money. It’s the stupidity of the thing. You’re driving quickly, making good time, when oops, time for everyone to slow down, fan out into a highly wasteful 12 or maybe 24 lanes (obtained how? is there no better use for this land?), stop at a little hellish booth in which it’s some poor soul’s actual job to sit 8 hours a day, and hand the poor overweight lady, like, $1.15. Then maybe like 4 miles later, you have to hand over 75 cents to some other poor schmoe.
Is there anything more idiotic? And the entire East Coast is like this! With an associated, parasitic-offshoot infrastructure of those hellish toll-road-captive roadside malls sprinkled all over New Jersey and thereabouts. Some words come to mind: wasteful (of everyone’s time, mostly), stupid, ugly, cruel (in particular, to those tool booth workers). And yet nobody thinks it’s even unusual or noteworthy. Like sheep, they all just accept it, as if it’s normal to constrain our own movement in this way (and hire an army of toll takers to breathe car exhaust full time), as if there’s no conceivable better way to collect revenue for (supposedly) road maintenance. At least, if there’s any sort of grass roots movement at all to abandon this 17th-century-and-before relic turnpike system, I have not observed it.
Maybe people on the East Coast are just dumber. After all they do put up with the weather too, seemingly wholly unaware of how unnatural and swampy the humidity; most of the suburbs haven’t caught on to the concept of installing fences to separate each other’s yards from view; I could go on. The more I think on it the harder a time I have trying to rule out the ‘dumber’ hypothesis.