[ExI] Americans are poor drivers

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Wed Jul 8 03:29:24 UTC 2009

On Tue, Jul 7, 2009 at 6:33 AM, Stathis Papaioannou<stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:

> How does this consideration change if the roads are publicly owned,
> which is the way it would go in a communitarian anarchist society?

### If there is only one owner, the "public", then individual choice
is pre-empted by whichever brainless bureaucrats run the "public"

I may be unusual in having this experience but, to my significant
distress, I really hate traffic lights. I see a traffic light, and I
see red: What kind of a fucking idiot could have had the idea of
placing traffic lights at intersections, causing hundreds of thousands
of casualties, burning billions of dollars in other people's gas
money, slowing traffic, and destroying literally millions of
quality-adjusted life years among the public? Anybody with enough
imagination, or maybe just experience driving in let's say Britain
would see immediately that traffic lights are dumb, inferior to
traffic circles. Science confirms that - traffic circles are almost
always superior to traffic lights as measured by throughput, cost,
speed, safety, you name it.

Yet, if there is one owner of roads, Mr John D Public (the D stands
for dumb), there is no real incentive for technological progress, for
increased efficiency, because Mr Public can always take some more of
your money or time to cover any of his stupidities. A competitive
private owner would have to attract you with speed, comfort, safety
and low prices - he wouldn't put idiotic, blinking red obstacles in
your path.

Which brings me to the title of the thread - Americans are lousy
drivers. Bumblingly slow, carelessly lounging in the passing lane at
snail speeds, opening a quarter of a mile distance to the next car
while driving in tunnels, taking their sweet time in responding to
traffic lights. A good private owner would certainly find a way of
teaching them the value of other people's time, make them give way to
faster, more competent drivers, stop them from carelessly causing
backups upstream.

At least, this is what I dream about while stuck in traffic that is
purely the effect of lack of efficiency, lack of technological
innovation and lack of drive on the part of Mr Public.


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