A Future of Private Roads and Highways

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Fri, 17 Apr 2009 13:01:22 GMT  <== Politics ==> 

Walter Block at The Ludwig von Mises Institute - an introduction to Mr. Block's book, Privatization of Roads and Highways, in which he advocates, in great detail, "the complete, total, and full privatization of all roads, streets, highways, byways, avenues, and other vehicular thoroughfares." Bravo! $19. [lew]

If the highways were now commercial ventures, as once in our history they were, and upward of 40,000 people were killed on them annually, you can bet your bottom dollar that Ted Kennedy and his ilk would be holding Senate hearings on the matter. Blamed would be "capitalism," "markets," "greed," i.e., the usual suspects. But it is the public authorities who are responsible for this slaughter of the innocents.

Is there anything of a practical nature that can be done to solve the problem in the short run? Probably not. But do not give up hope. Right before the decline and fall of communism in Russia and Eastern Europe, there were few who thought this scourge would soon be removed.

Another benefit of the present book is that it attempts to demonstrate the viability, efficaciousness, and, yes, morality, of the private-enterprise system, addressing a difficult case in point. If we can establish that private property and the profit motive can function even in "hard cases" such as roads, the better we can make the overall case on behalf of free enterprise.

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