John Stossel is my Wednesday post, I guess…

I’ve said it before, and I’ll likely say it again. I become more libertarian the more often I read John Stossel’s columns. I started paying attention to his stuff (what seems like) many years ago, when I was in my early 30’s. Is that possible? Yes, it is – he joined the program 20/20 in 1981 – when I was in my 20’s!

Your Government wants to control every aspect of your life – your gambling weekend, your medical care, your gas tank, your grocery list, and your education. So, how about your highways and byways? Tunnels, toll roads, roundabouts. Traffic lights, stop signs, and other distractions to the scenery and that muddle your brain?

In 1995, a private road company added two lanes in the middle of California Highway 91, right where the median strip used to be. It then used “congestion pricing” to let some drivers pay to speed past rush-hour traffic. Using the principles of supply and demand, road operators charge higher tolls at times of day when demand is high. That encourages those who are most in a hurry to pay for what they need. It was the first time anywhere in the world that congestion pricing was used. Bureaucrats were skeptical. Now congestion pricing is a hot idea for both private and public road management systems.

It also turns out that government roads often run more smoothly when drivers have more, not less, freedom.

This sounds paradoxical. Politicians often sneer at libertarians, saying, “You want to get rid of traffic lights?!” Well, yes, actually. In some cases, traffic moves better and more safely when government removes traffic lights, stop signs, even curbs.

Imagine, if you can, treating grownups who drive as if they actually have brains and sense?

Nah…never happen.


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