Monday, August 18, 2008


Atrios has a post quoting some "glibertarian" running for State Assembly in California who wrote a piece attacking the very idea of public transportation. I quote:

We just don't use buses with a frequency that causes even a slight profit. If public transportation were really needed or even moderately desired, the market demand would make it happen. When the iPhones went on sale, did we have to levy taxes to get people to buy them? We didn't have to raise taxes to put a computer in virtually every home, either. Good ideas are swarmed by people wanting to use them.

And my first thought on reading this was: What an imbecile. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized he was totally right. If public transportation is such a great idea, why hasn't Steve Jobs figured out a way to make a profit at it? That guy is like totally smart and if he can't give it to us in a cool and expensive manner, maybe it's not worth it.

But hey, why stop at public transportation? First off, there's our entire road system, which almost entirely consists of socialist tax-and-spend concrete and asphalt. Lenin must be proud, I'm sure. I mean, if public roads were really needed or even moderately desired, the market would make it happen, right? And yet it's obvious that the only roads we need are a few tollways in the most congested areas; yet our greedhead politicians continue to spend a fortune subsidizing unneeded driving.

And why stop there? Where's the iPolice when you need them? Why aren't the iMarines fixing the mess in Baghdad? And why isn't our iPresident telling us about our huge budget surplus? I'll tell you why, because the government doesn't want these things to happen. They just want us sucking on the bureaucratic teat, so they'll steal our hard-earned money in order to subsidize activities that surely must be ripe for the picking for some young entrepreneur; if only the government would just step aside and let the free markets do their thing. Why else wouldn't this be happening?

And so I say: Enough! If free enterprise won't lengthen buslines or stop your sister from being raped, well then it's obvious the market doesn't want these things to happen. We didn't have to raise taxes to stop the Germans in WWII, and if something is a good idea, it will be swarmed by people wanting to use it. And if not...well then, it must be a bad idea. The markets know all!

Update: I've just been informed by a very reliable source that I'm an idiot and don't know what I'm talking about. And for that, I apologize.


Nellcote said...

iMarines=Blackwater. How's that workin' out for you?

daveawayfromhome said...

All privatization does is replace spending on government "inefficiency" with spending on profit. I've yet to see evidence of any costs actually going down, and why would it, since you're simply adding a parasitic layer to the process. You're still going to need workers, managers and the materials to do your project with, but now you've got added people who contribute nothing to that project but the desire to siphon off some of the money for their own ends. How can that possibly save money?

BruceH said...

Well, daveawayfromhome, look at all the money we are saving in home energy bills since the electric utilities were deregu... erm, privataized.