Coming into work I noticed that the traffic lights at a large intersection were out, four lanes in all directions. A repair crew was on-site and had put up STOP signs at every lane to advise people to stop and use the old fashioned round-robin rule for proceeding through an intersection.
There were some minor misfires and people failed to go when they should have, and others creeped out ahead of their time, but for the most part, it was an orderly, crash free system of resolving the challenge. I immediately thought of the battle between free marketers and Statists. My day dream went something like this…
If traffic lights never failed, and someone wanted to build an intersection without one, the cry from Statists would be that without Government installed traffic lights, the death toll and accident rate at intersections would become unprecedented, with children and pregnant women finding themselves beneath big rigs. Our healthcare costs would skyrocket, billions would be lost from wasted productivity, global warming, racism, misogyny, elitism, and cats and dogs would become best friends.
Luckily, traffic lights do fail, and we can see the free market action of thousands of individual absolutely selfish decisions being made that lead to a safe and secure transit across a very busy intersection. Nobody wants to be hit. Nobody wants to hit anyone.
Did you ever notice that Statists claim chaos outcomes only for those things that the Government has “always” controlled. Roads, police and fire are the “go-to’s” for any true blooded Statist.
But, oddly, I don’t hear Statists telling us how the whole world would fall apart if the Government didn’t control the cargo trains any more, or inspect all the Mercedes and Fords coming off the assembly lines, or monitor the quality of tools used to fix airplanes and car brakes so there are no accidents, or the placement of malls and houses for maximum efficiency, or hotels so the hot water in my shower doesn’t scald me, or that there is enough wheat to make donuts, rubber to make bike tires, beef to make steaks and ice to make pina coladas. But if government WERE in charge of these things, my oh my, the cries of chaos from the Statists should anyone suggest that the private sector could handle them.
The free market works just fine without the Government, and Statists ignore the billions of ways that it DOES work, so they can make wild, and incorrect, predictions about what would happen in an area where the Government has complete control, should the threat of “privatization” occur.
And yet for the life of me, I can’t think of a single area that the private sector could handle that the Government has helped us more than they could have – at best, it would be just as bad but without the taxpayer cost. The DMV that takes 8 hours to renew a license? The FDA that kills millions of people? AMTRAK, the embarrassing government train service that’s accumulated $25B in Federal subsidies (and the Democrats whine about private corporate government subsidies….take care of your own backyard first, how about that!), or Obamacare, the “Affordable” care act with unaffordable skyrocketing premiums every single year since inception and massive increases in costs to be born by tax payers? The USPS, billions in debt every year, bloated retirement benefits, sub par service compared to FedEx or UPS? The Department of Defense that drowns children or covers them in dirt and blood?
And my roads…ah, meh roads…potholed, always under construction roads with highways that still take hours to traverse just a few miles. Orange County and Los Angeles, 29 miles apart, might as well be in different countries, because residents of both counties refuse to transit the 5 freeway which makes a 30 minute journey 2 hours most days and times of the week. Is that what my taxes are paying for? I laugh at the “roads” defense Statists use. If that is what my taxes are paying for I am either severely under-taxed or all of my tax money is wasted. Which is more likely? And if they double my taxes, does anyone really think the roads would be twice as good? Gimme a break.
Categories: Government Failures
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