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Author Topic: Roads and coorporations  (Read 3361 times)

GhengisConrad

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Roads and coorporations
« on: April 17, 2007, 10:11:35 am »



Why are public roads bad? I know iknow, the buisness will pay to have them made so you will come to them. But then wont all roads lead to walmart and only wallmart?

Wouldnt we end up with competing roads side by side.

Wouldnt it be a waste?

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Ron Helwig

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Re: Roads and coorporations
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2007, 08:26:54 am »

What makes you believe that only businesses will build roads?

Why do we need roads? (Asking in a "check your premises" mode)

You might find Roads in a market economy by Gabriel Roth to be interesting reading.
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Gabriel

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Re: Roads and coorporations
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2007, 11:13:07 am »

In any discussion of free-market roads, there's a crucial point that many libertarians seem to overlook: Roads are a necessary military defense resource. It's impossible to know where an enemy will attack; the next best option is to have good roads so that you can redeploy your defenses as quickly and flexibly as possible. So, to the extent that national defense is a valid function of government, so too is the construction of roads for the military. And, once those roads are built, it would be asinine to reserve them solely for the army's use.

Yes, there are plenty of roads that *don't* have the justification of military necessary... but don't imagine that a minarchist libertopia would have no government roads at all. Even if you go full-fledged anarcho-capitalist, your town's private defense contractor would almost certainly demand an adequate road system as a condition of employment, or raise their fee enough to let them build one of their own.
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greap

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Re: Roads and coorporations
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2007, 12:22:47 pm »



Why are public roads bad? I know iknow, the buisness will pay to have them made so you will come to them. But then wont all roads lead to walmart and only wallmart?

Wouldnt we end up with competing roads side by side.

Wouldnt it be a waste?



<i>Why are public roads bad?</i>

The answer is in your question, they are publicly owned. I don't recall being able to drive being a natural right.

<i>I know iknow, the buisness will pay to have them made so you will come to them. But then wont all roads lead to walmart and only wallmart?

Wouldnt we end up with competing roads side by side.

Wouldnt it be a waste?</i>

Outside of towns the roads/highways would likely be business run and owned, cost payed for via tolls. In towns they would likely be collectively owned by the individuals living the homes, and business owners operating, on the roads or even collectively by the town and likely operated by business.

Access would, of course, be up to the owners but I would very much suspect the only difference you would see is residents who wish to access the road paying a yearly or by use fee to do so and access being completely open to non-residents (or a small toll at the edge of town). The entire idea that suddenly you would be unable to get anywhere with privately owned ignores the fact that business needs transport to function and individuals need access not just to their own property but to area business in order to live. People are smart enough to figure this out on their own don't you think? A town that doesn't have open roads will either die out or is an enclave for a random nutty group who don't want you there anyway, the problem resolves itself.

A town that has little or no traffic would have little or no money to spend on roads, a town which has heavy traffic would have lots of money to spend on roads. Companies who build & maintain roads would compete on not just the roads themselves but also the management of the roads leading to a huge cost saving compared to the current situation. Seems like the free market provides an ideal solution for roads to me.
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greap

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Re: Roads and coorporations
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2007, 12:28:16 pm »

In any discussion of free-market roads, there's a crucial point that many libertarians seem to overlook: Roads are a necessary military defense resource. It's impossible to know where an enemy will attack; the next best option is to have good roads so that you can redeploy your defenses as quickly and flexibly as possible. So, to the extent that national defense is a valid function of government, so too is the construction of roads for the military. And, once those roads are built, it would be asinine to reserve them solely for the army's use.

Or you just have a well armed citizenry, a well armed but small air force, a well armed but small navy and bucket loads of nuclear weapons. I don't understand why "Leave us alone and we will never bother you, fuck with us and we will glass your entire country" is not a perfectly adequate defense against the vast majority of aggressors.

Also I am sure some of us, myself included, would love to own functional battlefield equipment such as fully armed tanks. Just because you don't spend $650bln a year on a military doesn't mean you you have no form of ground defense.
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error

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Re: Roads and coorporations
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2007, 01:24:18 pm »

Unfortunately, I don't have bucket loads of nuclear weapons.
 
The only people who DO have nuclear weapons are people who believe in forcing their will on others.

This is somehow "good"?
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greap

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Re: Roads and coorporations
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2007, 05:01:36 pm »

Unfortunately, I don't have bucket loads of nuclear weapons.
 
The only people who DO have nuclear weapons are people who believe in forcing their will on others.

This is somehow "good"?

I thought we were discussing libertopia?
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GhengisConrad

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Re: Roads and coorporations
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2007, 01:58:59 am »

Yeah I heard with our current spending budgjet can we afford to equip like every man woman and child win america with a bazooka?

Who'de mess with us then eh? We've all got bazookas!


Then again it could be detrimental to the tourist industry but.......
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"I will not help you to pretend I have a chance. I will not help you to preserve the appearance of righteousness where rights are not recognized. I will not help you to preserve an appearance of rationality by entering a debate in which a gun is the final argument. I will not help you to pretend that you are administering justice."- Hank Rearden page 443

Achilles

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Re: Roads and coorporations
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2007, 02:18:38 pm »

In any discussion of free-market roads, there's a crucial point that many libertarians seem to overlook: Roads are a necessary military defense resource. It's impossible to know where an enemy will attack; the next best option is to have good roads so that you can redeploy your defenses as quickly and flexibly as possible. So, to the extent that national defense is a valid function of government, so too is the construction of roads for the military. And, once those roads are built, it would be asinine to reserve them solely for the army's use.

Yes, there are plenty of roads that *don't* have the justification of military necessary... but don't imagine that a minarchist libertopia would have no government roads at all. Even if you go full-fledged anarcho-capitalist, your town's private defense contractor would almost certainly demand an adequate road system as a condition of employment, or raise their fee enough to let them build one of their own.
If national (or other) defense is used as the rationalization for 'public' road building, I would venture that the military would soon be the arm of government with a virtual monopoly on the construction and use of overland roads.  The current state of affairs with the Army Corps of Engineers and so-called 'navigable waterways' is an appropriate one.

It is entirely reasonable for a legitimate government to allow construction of roads for military purposes, and while it may make sense to allow use of these roads by private citizens, it is not a requirement and certainly not justification for constructing such roads.  At the end of the day, the military would have first right of refusal.  The use of eminent domain for construction of military roads would certainly follow shortly, I suspect.

There should be nothing that prevents a private citizen from construction of a (rail)road, airport, canal, subway, monorail, etc. as long as the right of way is obtained through legal means.  In any 'libertopia' I would propose, eminent domain would certainly not one of them.
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TEBON

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Re: Roads and coorporations
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2007, 02:50:13 pm »



Why are public roads bad? I know iknow, the buisness will pay to have them made so you will come to them. But then wont all roads lead to walmart and only wallmart?

Wouldnt we end up with competing roads side by side.

Wouldnt it be a waste?



<i>Why are public roads bad?</i>

The answer is in your question, they are publicly owned. I don't recall being able to drive being a natural right.

I have the right to drive.  It isn't a privlidge unless you're a government official telling you so.  In my natural life, I've been able to crawl, walk, run, and now, I've gained the ability to drive an automobile.  Keeping nice and safe roads are just one way that we, as taxpayers (whether willing or unwilling) treat ourselves to make life that much easier when we have to get to work, or get to a Red Sox game.  Pull our soldiers back from everywhere in the world, build a wall around the country. . . problem solved.
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greap

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Re: Roads and coorporations
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2007, 04:24:55 am »



Why are public roads bad? I know iknow, the buisness will pay to have them made so you will come to them. But then wont all roads lead to walmart and only wallmart?

Wouldnt we end up with competing roads side by side.

Wouldnt it be a waste?



Why are public roads bad?

The answer is in your question, they are publicly owned. I don't recall being able to drive being a natural right.

I have the right to drive.  It isn't a privlidge unless you're a government official telling you so.  In my natural life, I've been able to crawl, walk, run, and now, I've gained the ability to drive an automobile.  Keeping nice and safe roads are just one way that we, as taxpayers (whether willing or unwilling) treat ourselves to make life that much easier when we have to get to work, or get to a Red Sox game.  Pull our soldiers back from everywhere in the world, build a wall around the country. . . problem solved.

No, you don't have the "right" to drive anymore then you have the "right" to healthcare.
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Charles

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Re: Roads and coorporations
« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2007, 08:47:22 pm »

Personally, I have no issue with public roads, so long as they are paid for only by users of the road via registration or fuel tax (that you can get out of when the gas is for other use, e.g. agricultural).  I can't see that there is any basis to complain, since anyone else is free to build their own competing system.

I've never heard an explanation of what prevents the road owner from driving the price way up since almost all properties would have no competition (my driveway goes to one and only one road).  He could drive it up until my property was almost, but not quite, of no value.  This is not a free market, in which we'd expect the price to be driven down to nearly cost.
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Gabriel

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Re: Roads and coorporations
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2007, 09:13:47 pm »

I've never heard an explanation of what prevents the road owner from driving the price way up since almost all properties would have no competition (my driveway goes to one and only one road).  He could drive it up until my property was almost, but not quite, of no value.  This is not a free market, in which we'd expect the price to be driven down to nearly cost.

The road that goes past your house would most logically be owned by you, in common with your neighbors, and you'd probably jointly contract maintenance to a road service company and share the costs. Ditto for most or all capillary roads; the road to a mall would almost certainly be owned by that mall. Roads as a profitable enterprise would probably exist only at the arterial scale, where there would indeed be meaningful competition.
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