Hotdog someone explain private roads to me (Read 389 times)

  • Avatar of `~congresman Ron paul~~
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The reason I was looking this up is because one of my friends who is a Ron Paul supporter was ranting about the state of roads in the area and how it would all be better if they were privately owned.

Seriously I just read a huge forum war between some Ron Paul libertarian douchebag and a liberal and I still don't get the logic behind the libertarian concept of private roads. Granted the guy didn't put forth a very good argument but apparently Ron Paul himself has sponsored bills to get this through in his home state (failing of course!). I don't mean like, private HIGHWAYS; I literally mean private roads like the street in front of your house.

Someone play devil's advocate for me here and explain how there is ANY LOGIC AT ALL behind the idea of nationwide competitive private road networks because I am just not seeing it at all.

Last Edit: April 28, 2008, 07:25:14 am by benjamin franklin

That’s right, you have the young gaming with the old(er), white people gaming with black people, men and women, Asian countries gaming with the EU, North Americans gaming with South Americans. Much like world sporting events like the Wolrd Cup, or the Olympics will bring together different nations in friendly competition, (note the recent Asian Cup; Iraq vs. Saudi Arabia, no violence there) we come together. The differences being, we are not divided by our nationalities and we do it 24-7, and on a personal level.

We are a community without borders and without colours, the spirit and diversity of the gaming community is one that should be looked up to, a spirit and diversity other groups should strive toward.
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Eh, I'm sure someone could do better, but I hear a lot of my anti-UHC anti-gov friends talk about how the government's influence and effect on such things simply destroys it. I have a friend who argues for privatized school systems, where there is actual competition and incentive for teachers TO BE GOOD AT TEACHING, HOWEVER, there is some federally mandated curriculum requirements that any privatized school must follow. Therefore, better quality schools, parents have choice in schools, etc, similar to the school system in Germany which apparently works beautifully. Same for UHC (apparently) where my friend calls for -more- privitization of HC, thus increase competition, lowering of prices, etc. (IT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE THOUGH THESE COMPANIES MAKE BILLIONS COGNITIVE DISSONANCE ARRGGGGG).

edit, sorry that has nothing to do with the roads thing, but it's somewhat similar to the ron paul perspective
Last Edit: April 28, 2008, 07:38:16 am by Wil
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ron paul has never passed a single bill btw.

also I guess the argument is that THEY CAN DO IT BETTER but there's not a jot of evidence for this and to say privatized roads is hilarious because unlike other services everyone has to use certain roads and you aren't going to pick the allstate patch over the kerr drug one if you aren't going to drive over them.

basically you need new friends.
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The reason I was looking this up is because one of my friends who is a Ron Paul supporter was ranting about the state of roads in the area and how it would all be better if they were privately owned.
What what what wh whut wut wuh ROADS???????[/i][/u][/s][/c][/c]df[][

Roads are a very typical, if not the schoolbook example of what governments are supposed to provide. Roads offer a benefit to everybody, but no particular benefit to any one person or entity. The reason why roads are not privately owned is because there is no money to be made with them. Sure, you could just buy up a large amount of land and start asphalting away... you could charge money for whoever wants to make use of them later. But do you really think you can make money with that? Not only is the initial investment gigantic, there are very few cases in which people prefer a road they have to pay for over one that's free. Even if you somehow manage to lay a road that people are willing to pay for, there's no way it can be a sustainable business. The money you get from it won't be able to cover the maintenance costs.

And yet, a country's revenue correlates strongly with the quality and reach of its infrastructure. Bad infrastructure means no mobilization of the industry, which means a low GDP. To developing countries, getting good roads is the first step in developing a solid infrastructure for its industry. Because it benefits many people—the entire country—but nobody in particular, you could say that the best way to finance a road is to ask everybody to throw in a dime. Which is exactly what the government does.

It's this sort of stuff that makes me not understand libertarianism. I'm inclined to believe there are sensible arguments behind every political alignment, but libertarianism keeps proving that notion wrong. It seems to be inextricably bound with a naive, child-like belief that a pretty theory must work in practice because of how logical it sounds.

EDIT: by the way, I can't tell you what libertarians think about roads. I can hardly even make a logical presumption about it because of how unworldly the entire ideology is. Based on what I've read about them, they probably feel that when they're privately owned, competition will cause the quality to improve. Of course, this assumes that there's a market for roads, which there isn't. (Libertarians assume a lot of things.) There are more things wrong with the idea than just this, but the most important thing is that this is not something you can put into the hands of the free market.
Last Edit: April 28, 2008, 06:57:36 pm by Dada
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http://www.cato.org/pubs/regulation/regv25n3/v25n3-6.pdf

cato is a libertarian think tank btw.

also none of this fucking parses, it makes no sense.
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http://www.cato.org/pubs/regulation/regv25n3/v25n3-6.pdf

cato is a libertarian think tank btw.

also none of this fucking parses, it makes no sense.
It starts with the following:[blockquote]"During most of the twentieth century, highways, tunnels, and bridges were viewed as public goods that government must provide."[/blockquote]
Since that was written in the past tense, I didn't read any further (but I will later).
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So how does libertarianism work with things like DAMS. There wouldn't be competing dams, where the "free market" of dams would lower the "cost" of each, and improve the quality. I sort of understand the perspective, but it seems to be assuming that free market principles and benefits can be applied to anything.

"Private" roads benefits:
  • No need for new taxes to finance the bot projects.
  • Having the same firm in charge of construction and maintenance provides better incentives to build a road that lasts longer.
  • Private firms usually are better at managing and more efficient than state-owned companies.
  • Cost-based tolls are easier to justify to the public when infrastructure providers are private.
  • Those who benefit from the infrastructure pay for it.
  • In stark contrast to public provision, the bot scheme uses the market mechanism instead of central planning to screen projects, which reduces the probability of white elephants.

As for the "competition," the article puts it that "competition for the field substitutes for competition in the field."

I think the article makes a pretty good argument.
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wait you don't actually think that's a good argument.
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Sure why not?

(*braces self for beating*)
Last Edit: April 28, 2008, 08:52:51 pm by Wil
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first ask yourself the question: will the private sphere do the job better? if the answer to this is no, ask the next question: does it have the potential to do it worse?

Quote
"Private" roads benefits:
No need for new taxes to finance the bot projects.
Having the same firm in charge of construction and maintenance provides better incentives to build a road that lasts longer.
Private firms usually are better at managing and more efficient than state-owned companies.
Cost-based tolls are easier to justify to the public when infrastructure providers are private.
Those who benefit from the infrastructure pay for it.
In stark contrast to public provision, the bot scheme uses the market mechanism instead of central planning to screen projects, which reduces the probability of white elephants.

first there is the idea of "bot projects" and taxes which is somewhat misleading. ask people if they are okay with their taxes paying for roads, and you'll be hardpressed to find anyone horrified by it. roads are important and if a private company does them, they can do shit like lock out access to certain people if they want (much like how a driveway is your property, so you can seal it off with a gate).

secondly, the concept that the same firm doing construction and maintenance will result in better roads is wrong. I worked in road maintenance for a year (I've only last night realized how much ridiculous experience I have on GW, everyone probably thinks I go visit the UN and rap stars while paving roads and working hospitals) and they do a damn fine job of it. more importantly, why would it result in better roads? tell me, if a meat company kills your cow does that also mean it's going to be good at grilling it? a stretch but you get the picture. they are two different ideas and there's no real correlation between building a road and maintaining it as to suggest it will be better under one roof.

private firms are not better than state owned operations. this is a lie libertarians like to trot out. I said this in another topic, but Charles Goodsell's infamous polemic, The Case for Bureaucracy, does a full and indepth study and confirms that there is no bias in either direction in regards to who can run aspects of industry better.

the justification argument is so laughable I'm not even going to seriously address it. people will feel better about tolls if they know it goes to KFC instead of GOBMINT. please.

the BENEFIT argument is bizarre. everyone benefits from roads and via taxes, everyone pays for them. doesn't this argue the other side? the other way to see this is some "people who maintain roads will get money to maintain roads" which is what happens anyways, there's no extra incentive. road maintenance workers aren't LAZY.

the last argument about BOT contracts ignores that there are ALREADY problems with BOT style contracts. when I worked RM we had a chemical sprayer company that we hired out for a road repaving, but we discovered quickly that it was eroding asphalt because of a formula switch. they refused to reimburse the state. were this completely privatized, no one would have said anything and the road would break down earlier. also the idea that this won't create white elephants may be true, but it will create investors that might want to cut and run and leave a major highway full of potholes or maintained poorly.

we use BOT contracts for initial construction sometimes anyways, and I just provided one example where the bureaucracy had to watchdog the private enterprise; privatizing roads would reduce that watchdog to nothing and we'd end up with shittier roads by far.
Last Edit: April 28, 2008, 09:15:55 pm by Magical Negro
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I think the desire to shift to private seems purely ideological

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1673288-1,00.html
But here's an example of government dealing with the private sector for roads issues, though I don't think it's as extreme as a purely privatized road system.
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oh there's definitely possibilities, but I would try to reform bureaucracy instead of going to privatizing.
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secondly, the concept that the same firm doing construction and maintenance will result in better roads is wrong. I worked in road maintenance for a year (I've only last night realized how much ridiculous experience I have on GW, everyone probably thinks I go visit the UN and rap stars while paving roads and working hospitals) and they do a damn fine job of it. more importantly, why would it result in better roads? tell me, if a meat company kills your cow does that also mean it's going to be good at grilling it? a stretch but you get the picture. they are two different ideas and there's no real correlation between building a road and maintaining it as to suggest it will be better under one roof.

I think the implication of this argument is 'if the guys who build it have to maintain it too then they'll be more committed to building a better road in the first place'. The problem with this is that the government already does this too.

the BENEFIT argument is bizarre. everyone benefits from roads and via taxes, everyone pays for them. doesn't this argue the other side? the other way to see this is some "people who maintain roads will get money to maintain roads" which is what happens anyways, there's no extra incentive. road maintenance workers aren't LAZY.

I think the idea is that people who use roads the most will pay more in tolls. When applied to highways etc. this is reasonable but it's absolutely crazy to suggest streets, etc. shouldn't be free.

That’s right, you have the young gaming with the old(er), white people gaming with black people, men and women, Asian countries gaming with the EU, North Americans gaming with South Americans. Much like world sporting events like the Wolrd Cup, or the Olympics will bring together different nations in friendly competition, (note the recent Asian Cup; Iraq vs. Saudi Arabia, no violence there) we come together. The differences being, we are not divided by our nationalities and we do it 24-7, and on a personal level.

We are a community without borders and without colours, the spirit and diversity of the gaming community is one that should be looked up to, a spirit and diversity other groups should strive toward.
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Quote
The problem with this is that the government already does this too.

man this one quote is all i needed to respond to that whole list, thanks a lot ass.
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yeah yeah yeah you're all bark and no bite

That’s right, you have the young gaming with the old(er), white people gaming with black people, men and women, Asian countries gaming with the EU, North Americans gaming with South Americans. Much like world sporting events like the Wolrd Cup, or the Olympics will bring together different nations in friendly competition, (note the recent Asian Cup; Iraq vs. Saudi Arabia, no violence there) we come together. The differences being, we are not divided by our nationalities and we do it 24-7, and on a personal level.

We are a community without borders and without colours, the spirit and diversity of the gaming community is one that should be looked up to, a spirit and diversity other groups should strive toward.
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I'm impressed that you guys are able to prove this idea to be terrible logically, because I can't get past the idea that this is the dumbest fucking concept I've ever heard.


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I'm impressed that you guys are able to prove this idea to be terrible logically, because I can't get past the idea that this is the dumbest fucking concept I've ever heard.


GUYS YOU WANNA COME DOWN MY DRIVEWAY IT'S $5
The idea of paying to use a road isn't very strange (it's done in a lot of countries, for example France does it with their largest roads) but the main issue is that it's still the government that should be doing it rather than a private company.