Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Some things about government are eternal.

The latest New Jersey scandal a-brewing has it that Hoboken’s mayor was informed her city was to be denied federal aid following Hurricane Sandy unless she went along with a real estate project favored by Governor Chris Christie.

Shocking, but hardly . . . unheard of. Back in the 1930s, Franklin Delano Roosevelt distributed disproportionate “stimulus” funds to swing states for one reason: re-election.

Corruption is ancient.

Christie’s staff seems, well, merely a bit more honest than usual. For modern America. Take the “Bridgegate” scandal: Trying to “hurt” a mayor by shutting down bridge lanes to his city, thus severely inconveniencing the mayor’s constituents? This sort of pettiness in policitics is common, with one difference: Most players disguise the pettiness.

So how does the continuing scandal of misgovernment usually get hidden? Dishonesty? Evasion?

Or, just ideology?

In several cities throughout the United States — Portland, Oregon, in particular — top metropolitan bureaucrats have deliberately developed policies that make automobile traffic more congested. Why? To encourage ridership in public transportation, which is considered (for ideological reasons) somehow better. Thus billions are spent on infrastructure supporting light rail, which take lanes away from car drivers, and move fewer people at greater inconvenience.

So why is that policy not itself a scandal?

The intent of Chris Christie’s aides was, obviously, base and petty and wrong. And actionable.

The ideology driving today’s anti-automobile agenda, on the other hand, is said to be noble and altruistic. Even though the harms to the public in terms of hours lost in frustrating commutes far exceeds the recent New Jersey scandal.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. Drik says:

    Public transportation is the cheapest transportation per mile in terms of the cost born by the rider. Figures are a few years old but the relative proportion hasn’t changed. Riders pay about 17 cents a mile. The actual cost of the transporting of the rider is close to 50 cents a mile but is born by the vast unwashed who never do the riding. Compared to the automobile where the driver shells out about 35 cents a mile. Only has to add one passenger to compete with public transportation in terms of cost per citizen mile if you put no value on the convenience and independence. 2-3 riders and the cost of the private automobile is less per passenger mile. And the cars would compete well with the busses and trains in terms of pollution if we had pollution laws that made sense, since 90% of the pollution is cause by less than 10% of the cars. Cars that are either no longer technologically competitive re pollution or those that are not kept tuned. It would be cheaper than all of the taxes and pollution controls to just give out a free car to those less that 10% of the drivers. A lot cheaper. And a lot more effective, but government doesn’t work that way.

    If all the poeple that were being forced to pay for public transportation tried to avail themselves of what they are paying for, it would shut down from the gridlock of the masses.

  2. JFB says:

    The real disguised act is the fact is that the government, which is always an instrument of force, is seeking to mask its mandating of a particular human action by some other manner.
    By intentionally increasing traffic congestion government is taxing the automobile traffic without saying so, and hoping to make the public or mass transit more economical and attractive in comparison. As this is for a “good” social purpose, we are all anticipated to support the action. We should not.

  3. Pat says:

    The whole point is that this is for a ‘good’ purpose. Government rarely disguises its intentions anymore. In modern day politics, the ends justify the means. So what if you’re taking a lady’s home away from her (Connecticut)? It’s for the benefit of the community. Ergo, it’s all good. Those of us who oppose government’s heavy-handedness and interference in our lives are ‘selfish’ at best.

  4. MoreFreedom says:

    The more power government has to pick winners and losers, the more advantage the 1% rich will have in being chosen a winner, along with the politicians doing the picking who also benefit from campaign cash and other favors.

    The only way to reduce this corruption, is to limit govenrment’s power and scope, as our founders intended.

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