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The Defenitive Guide to Why Government Builds the Roads

So, I was reading Facebook posts and wound up at the Libertarian theory that if government didn’t build roads, we wouldn’t need roads.  No, seriously – they think this!  I will be using The Definitive Guide to Who Will Build the Roads as reference, since it prompted this post.

 Roads have been around for well over Three Thousand years.  Long before cars, there were roads.  They have, since their invention, been made and maintained by large merchant organizations (Trade Associations) or a government for the purposes of trade or war.  Some roads were made by people travelling from one location to another, but they usually linked up to a government built and maintained road.

“Where was Jesus going on the Road to Damascus?”

 The private roads have already been tried, both in England and the United States.

Private individuals built roads themselves and then charged for their
use, usually blocking passage by setting a long pole (pike) across the
road. Once the toll had been paid, the pole would be swung (turned) out
of the way, allowing the travellers access to the road (turnpike). By
1829, 3,783 different turnpike companies operated 20,000 miles of
highway throughout England.

 The People (bicyclists and farmers mostly) are responsible for the government taking on road building.

The first definite success of the fledgling Good Roads Movement was
achieved in 1891, when New Jersey became the first state to take
responsibility at the state level for improving roads and formed a State
Highway Department.

 On to their Guide:

“If the government didn’t build the roads for cars, would people still be driving cars.

They could be driving off road vehicles that don’t need roads to be
build. If no one ever built the roads then car companies might have
developed the technology to hover above the ground instead of needing
roads. Naturally, this is all silly speculation but there is one
untouchable point.
We cannot predict whether we would need roads if government didn’t build them.” (spelling errors left intact)

For one, the invention of cars prompted the building of better paved roads, not the other way around.  Henry Ford built vehicles, people bought them, people demanded better roads, government responded with better roads.  For another, hovercraft require flat surfaces without obstacles – also known as roads.  As for needing roads if government didn’t build them, that is kind of a moot point, really, because we have built and used roads of some type for thousands of years.

The author then goes on to equate good roads with slavery.

Asking, who will build the roads without government, is like asking, who will pick the cotton when we free the slaves.

I’m not going to respond to that, just pointed it out.

 Why are roads the worlds go to source of transportation? Why aren’t we
carrying things on planes or trains? Why haven’t we invented hovercrafts

 Why are roads the world’s go-to source of transportation?  The Free Market.  It is the way we, as a people, have chosen to do transportation.  We all walked the same path, wore it down into a trail, widened it into a road for wagons, paved it for ease and comfort of travel.

Why aren’t we carrying things on planes or trains?  We do.  There is still a need to get people and goods from their point of origin to the airport or train station.  Planes and Trains still need roads.

Why haven’t we invented hovercrafts?  We have.  They have lots of issues.  Also, they have not caught on with consumers.  Feel free to buy one.

If there were no roads then car companies would have two choices. There
first option is build better off road cars. There other option is to
build the roads. (Again, bad grammar left intact.  I’m sure the author intended “Their first option”)

Car companies would build the roads?  First of all, either the price of a car would go up dramatically or the car companies would have huge tolls on their roads.  If you have travelled on a toll road or turnpike – imagine every inch of every road being a toll road!

You might be wondering how they could profit off building roads. That’s a
fair question. How does government profit off roads? Tolls are one
option. (No, if people had to make a profit off every road they wouldn’t
have toll booths. They could easily get car companies to put chips in
cars that count road usage.) The people that use the roads would pay for
the roads instead of the 300+ million people the United States
government currently charges

 Government doesn’t profit from roads, thereby keeping the taxpayer cost down.  The author obviously has never been to a large city or been on a toll road.  There are still toll booths, but you can buy an EZ-Pass for most turnpike systems.  Imagine travelling from one side of the city to another.  How many bills for road use would you get?  How about travelling across a state or through several states?  How many times would you have to stop and pay tolls if every road was a toll road and the company that owned that road changed every so many miles?  Either you would have a massive corporation in control of all roads or lots of different bills from “your travel authority” for each stretch.

All these tolls to just use the road would be an extra burden on the already poor, who would likely be unable to use the road to even get to work.

The funny thing is, private road building companies could profit without even charging people that drive on the road.

How does the author imagine that to be the case?  Sell advertising space on the road?  Would that cover it?  How much would that make prices go up?

Road front property is more valuable than non-road front property. Many
landowners would be begging for roads to be built on their property.
That’s because their property value would increase exponentially with a
road built through it.

Okay, so either property owners would have to charge more rent and be responsible for road maintenance or businesses along the roadway would chip in for road maintenance?  Again, rising prices on everything.

You know what? The bottom line is that We, The People, have decided that we don’t want to be controlled by large corporations.  We want real freedom of travel.  We have determined that we will all contribute to maintaining our roads.  If you don’t like it, you are free to chose to leave.

Government is non-voluntary. I can’t choose not to be a citizen of
America. I need permission to leave. I was born here. I did not agree to
that. I’m stuck here, following the rules until government approves of
my departure (I even have to pay to eliminate my citizenship. That’s not

So, you’d like to leave – but you want someone else to pay for your passage out of here? You blame the government for not paying for your travel?  Yet, you want to pay corporations just to be able to use the roads?  From what I understand, you don’t need a passport to go to Mexico or Canada – but you still have to pay your own way there.

It seems to me that you don’t want freedom, what you really want is to be able to do anything you want without any consequences.  That will never happen.  Suck it up, buttercup.  Actions have consequences no matter where you are.

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