Archive for December, 2010

Free Market Argument for Cycling

December 13, 2010

Ironically, in a country which has promoted and benefited from the free market, the United States takes a decidedly totalitarian and authoritarian view regarding transportation.

Because of deception by the unscrupulous few, the many in the United States pay a very large hidden bill–for transportation.

By the way of a highly sophisticated marketing campaign the good Americans have been deceived into thinking that driving everywhere is “practical” while they ignore the enormous costs to themselves as well as the collective costs. Some American children have even been deprived by basics such as health insurance and in rare cases, food, due to the excessive cost to getting to work.

Why are things so bad?

If we were simplistic, we could take the TINA view: There Is No Alternative.

However, if, using good old American ingenuity, we can find a better solution to our problems. We’d be remiss, however, in our research if we didn’t take into consideration solutions offered by others.

The best way to do this is to travel, and barring that have experts from other nations come to the United States. The latter method was used for such impressive programs as our rockets program as well as our highway system–both of which were first implemented in Germany then the ideas filtered here.

Likewise, for transportation what better place to look that Copenhagen which has comprehensive infrastructure for the bicycle.

Naysayers will say that Copenhagen is not the United States and that the bicycle is impractical. Real Americans are never swayed by such negative people.

When looking for a solution that is going to improve our economy and rejuvenated our standard of living we must first look at all the data rather than blindly dismissing brilliant innovation.

People all over the world are riding the bicycle and reaping many rewards: a happy commute, exercise, and a deeper connection to their neighbors something that has been so lost in the United States that currently our great nation is boiling over with misdirected and impotent anger.

A bicycle trip across the country will teach one the great goodness of our neighbors in all 50 states. Additionally, it will reveal how much bicycling can bring people together.

This feeling of national connection and love of one’s neighbors can only be established at a slower pace.

This talk of cycling might lead many to wonder why we don’t cycle more.

The reason is obvious when we look at the rise automobile ownership which mirrored the rise of the freeway infrastructure.

Similar to the mantra for real estate, cycling is tied to “infrastructure, infrastructure, infrastructure.”

Unless there’s the proper facilities for cycling, it’s going to remain marginal. Why don’t we build it?

We have been deceived into thinking that transportation is a winner take all affair and that all other modes must be expunged. Such a selfish attitude is not becoming of the Americans I know.

I believe that most people will support bicycle infrastructure when they realize that it is critical to a free market economy. If bicycles can’t compete in the market place then the government has all ready picked the winner in transportation.

Real Americans will not stand for such tampering in the market place. They will not stand for the creeping socialism which states that the government must provide for every single need of an automobile. It’s hardly fair that machines should get free real estate hand outs in the form of parking while human being lack homes. I don’t know a single human who lacks this basic decency that is a testament to good upbringing.

If someone can not bicycle to their job then by default the government has interfered in the market place and decided what that person should buy. This denies us all a basic freedom, Freedom of Mobility, which can be found enshrined in our hearts and values if not in our legal codes.

Thus the government should build a parallel, equal in utility, and separate from any interference by pedestrians, automobile, and animal alike in order for bicycles to compete equally the market place.