Friday, February 05, 2010

Snow, messy roads, and who's responsible

Snow, messy roads, and who's responsible

I don't know about the roads in Albuquerque, but here on the Llano Estacado the recent snows left the roads pretty messy. I heard some people complaining about the government road crews and saying "why don't they clear the snow off?"

The thought had never even crossed my mind. Snow is not much of an impediment. I've driven through much, much worse. That's what 4-wheel drive is for, although I haven't always had it. If you don't have the proper vehicle for the conditions, why not? Is it because the State leaves you with barely enough for the inadequate vehicle you have now? Do taxes and regulations cripple the automobile industry keeping real innovations slow in coming? Do fuel requirements, due to government meddling, keep better, more effective and efficient vehicles from being put on the market? Or do you assume that the government will take care of the roads so making sure you are able to travel is not your responsibility?

That doesn't even begin to address the innovations that could make roads obsolete, but that are stifled by government protection of the status quo (or even the scaling back of technology "for safety").

The state steals enough of my money and I really would rather hold on to what's left instead of letting them buy more road-clearing equipment that wouldn't even be used once a lot of years. Remember that what government does with your money, it does with incredible inefficiency and waste. You are paying for streets of gold, but getting, well... what you currently have.

As I have thought for many years, and stated many times: Someday people will be amazed we ever settled for government-owned roads. Don't fool yourself into thinking you aren't already paying to drive on roads. Private road companies would not collect fares if their roads were impassable, and would be liable for damages if poor maintenance led to accidents and vehicle damage. If businesses financed the roads that serviced them, they would refuse to pay if the road conditions did not permit customers to reach them. This might mean heated roadways, or 24-hour road maintenance crews, or things we can't even imagine now.

So, dear highway department, Don't clear the roads on my behalf. I'll make my own way.