Sunday, May 24, 2009

Our first neo-Marxist president?

The latest Larry Elder column is here:

A particularly interesting excerpt follows

Our first neo-Marxist president?

By Larry Elder


In the early 1900s, a businessman, Carl Fisher, owned the Prest-O-Lite headlight company. He organized an association to finance coast-to-coast paved roads so that motorists could drive both day and night, ideally using his headlights. The association soon disbanded, when Congress passed the Federal Road Aid Act of 1916. What would have happened had government not built an interstate highway system? A consortium of truckers/gas stations/hotels/motels/roadside restaurants would likely have built one with their own money in order to make more money. They would have charged tolls for maintenance. Motorists actually using the roads would bear their costs.

Private business built the first leg of the New York subway system. And it made money — at least before local government used taxpayer money to build competing systems and undercut the fare charged by the private operator. Tax dollars hid the true cost, allowing the city-owned service to charge less. Ultimately, the private operators sold out to the city.

Did Eisenhower have the constitutional authority to build the interstate highway system? Yes, but not to improve economic development — and he knew it. In fact, the official name of the interstate highways is the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways. Ike argued that the country needed paved highways to move missiles around to protect the country. From a military standpoint, the argument was dubious. Missiles could be launched from fixed positions, as technology continually increased range, speed, accuracy and power.


This is a highly recommended article!

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