It still cracks me up (in a perverse way) how supportive Conservative Republicans are of the largest wealth redistribution & socialization process ever implemented in America. Really? Can they not identify the hypocrisy?! WTF.
…and if you aren’t sure what I’m talking about, it’s the Interstate System. It dramatically changed the way the entire country lives by a massive influx of cash into road construction, created sprawl almost single handedly, didn’t cost anything at pocket cost, and basically is now utilized more by the poor (not to their advantage overall) than the well to do and rich. It also happens to prove out the Democrat’s view on socialist influxes of public works helping the poor (which is partially wrong, because now look what it is doing for the poor, as we’re over-leveraged and can’t even keep up with our Interstates and they’re dependent on automobiles vs. biking, walking or transit usage which is much more economically viable for upwards mobility) – passenger rail jobs were vastly better for the poor than the Interstates). It helps the poor for the period the money is dumped in, devalued that Government spending is, but then nobody ever clearly plans for maintenance. Screwing over the states, taxpayers and the poor it originally benefitted.
Compound all of this to the state level, as is usually the case the states almost always have to fill the gaps when the Feds screw up something like this and then toss the whole thing over to the states. If you’re not sure what I mean here, it’s because originally the feds subsidized the Interstate build out at 80% to 90% and the states covered the other 20% to 10%. The agreement however was that the states would then takeover maintenance, future construction, etc. But now that we’re in that cycle the feds still have to step in because we ARE NOT THAT RICH AS A NATION anymore. We can’t keep up with the roads, the feds have to fill the gaps, at 40% to 60% of road costs. In addition the only roads that are covered under the gas tax are the Interstates, and at this time they’re only covered about 90% (for a few decades they were actually covered under the gas tax).
But just in the end… sooooo much hypocrisy among both parties in regards to this, and the taxpayer, citizen and every person born in this country is now left with the debt incurred, the unsustainable infrastructure, the sprawling and anti-community oriented suburbs, and a decreasing interest and growing apathy toward fixing it – in LARGE part because both parties ignore the problems and the people generally don’t even know where the root of the problem is.
…such as, how can one NOT see that the Interstate system is a MASSIVE redistribution of wealth? It’s a forced cost abrogation by taxation and then setup in a way that people are for all practical purposes forced to use it. In the end, it wrecked the private sector transit and transportation options, it along with airline subsidies created an industry that can barely sustain passenger transport at any level (air, road, rail, etc). The costs have been forced down, albeit they actually cost modern people more than people from 1950 or 1920 or 1890 in literal currency when including the tax part of the cut…
…it’s all, freaking stupid. 99% of the population is blind to this. They need to wake up, because one of the most important fundamental needs for Americans is transport. We need to realize what is sustainable (and I don’t just mean environmentally, I’m talking about economically too) and what is NOT sustainable. Across the board, at Government, private sector, and in the market as a whole, we need to become more informed and start making serious changes…
btw – if you’re an investor, you can watch transport markets and derive immediate valuations for companies that provide services or products for people that use a particular mode of transport. Just one aspect of the multi-pronged aspects of macro-economics.
Cheers, my rant is done.