Free Market Argument for Cycling

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.


2 Responses to “Free Market Argument for Cycling”

  1. Says:

    I appreciate your sentiment for a safe cycling network.

    What you propose is not a Free Market solution. The current highway system takes money from all segments of the population, including those who may not even use it. You have no ability to stop funding it. This is a forced obligation. It is therefore the same theft that is perpetrated by all entities seeking government subsidies for any good or service. There is an endless list of those who receive tax and borrowed government theft, and it is engrained in worldwide psyche. Think everyone from farmers, to Amtrak, to 53% of Americans who receive some sort of entitlement.

    A free market would produce a cycling network paid for by private funds. These funds would be investor funds, user fees, and reinvested profit from private entities who owned the network. The companies who owned the network would have a profit incentive to build the safest, and most innovative network the cycling market (users) could purchase. Such a private company would never consider it could make a profit by placing 15mph cyclists on glass laden barely useable “bike lanes” called shoulders where cars zip by often within inches at 50 mph.

    The Free Market does not produce equality through government subsidy(tax, borrowing at interest through banks). The Free Market produces winners and losers. The winners in a free market would be a cycling network for cyclists, and a highway system for automobile users. They would be own by private companies with a profit incentive to innovate and provide the safest roadways for it’s customers. They would police and set up their own system to collect the fees. Their system would work because the users would demand a convenient system. Think cell phones, computers, and televisions. Prices come down from innovation, and we receive better bang for the buck. The same would hold true for cyclists, as well as automobile users. In a fee market we’d have the best trail system our (users) money could buy.
    I would gladly live in a free market, where I could choose what services to buy and which ones to allow to whither on the vine. In America, when it comes to the road system, or farms, or trains, or airlines, or 53% of the population receiving some government “entitlement”, we do not have that option.

    Please be very careful whom you ask to fund a”Free Market” cycling network. Your solution is no different than the one that forces us to fund the highway system cyclists mostly cannot use.

    • Fred Says:

      Trying to separate the “free” market from the government is like trying to separate a head from a person’s body. Taxes are not theft, they are a personal responsibility of every citizen.

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