The Government Doesn’t Want Safe Roads

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Of course it doesn’t. We all heard as children that the reason we need government is to avoid the anarchy of, say, a world without stop lights. But now some cities are rethinking the placement of red light cameras, because they deter people from running red lights, and thus reduce traffic tickets and, accordingly, ticket revenue.

Think about that for a moment. Government would rather fleece its taxpayers for more money, for violating traffic signals, than it would stand a world where no one ran red lights at all. This is what you need to know about the state: It wants us to break laws, including the few laws with some reason behind them. The more lawbreakers, the more fines, the more cops, the more jails, the more the state grows. Government is not there to keep social order – it is there principally to extract wealth.

Obviously, a free market in roads would lead to an orderly, profitable, efficient, mutually agreeable and sustainable system of keeping order. There would be fewer accidents and yet fewer hassles. It would be a glorious sector of the economy, like the other ones handled by private enterprise, where the customer would be king.

4:59 pm on April 4, 2008