Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Politicians; Doing the Right Thing? Privatization of Roads

It is political career suicide to try to do the right thing although all your voters are opposed to the thought. It is an issue of efficiency, of economics, and of decentralization, yet there are still politicians who want to do the right thing for the country. Politicians who know, that although their approval ratings may plummet and that they may not be reelected, they must push forth certain legislations to better the country.

A dark veil had been placed over the government as politicians
abused the system, but it is now being lifted as the politicians with strong morals step up for the right causes. What cause brought to my eye this subject? The privatization of roads. Articles have began to rise over the dispute between lawmakers and citizens over the topic. Politicians see a way to increase government funds by leasing the roads, the private firms see a profit from the roads, but most citizens believe it to be a harmful proposal. Even though private firms are more efficient than public entities

skepticism abounds: Will companies take good care of highways? Will toll roads become too expensive to drive? Will investors pluck profitable routes, leaving others to crumble? What will happen to public toll-road workers -- including 600 in Indiana who have been promised interviews by the new operators, but not the same job?

The quote taken from Washington Post over the topic...

Lets face it, private firms only want to make money. Therefore they will take good care of the highways. The toll roads will not become too expensive to drive since it will cause a decrease in the traffic leading to a loss in profit for the firm. The toll roads prices have not changed in years, therefore private firms will increase the price until they reach the market equalizing price. As a driver of their routes, we become their consumer. If the consumer wants a route, the firm will provide it. Does the grocery store not order a certain brand of cookies if you want it? And unlike the public sector, the private firms will maintain the roads as they would begin to compete with other routes. I know I would take a long route with less potholes then a short route full of many. Its harmful to the vehicle and causes me to waste more money otherwise. Privatization is just what the major highways need. Congestions will always be a problem but if there are more drivers than there is road, the price will rise decreasing the number of drivers, or to be more efficient the private firm will expand the road or find an alternate route(a detour) to better serve their consumers. Lets face it, for once the politicians are doing the right thing. Privatization can increase jobs for the state, either as maintenance or support. They can take better care of the highway system and the driver. The road system will become another market, and just as any market, it will aim to become more efficient by providing more for the consumer. Think of new technologies, more signs, and more messages that screen telling the driver where the major congestions are and what routes to take. Privatization of the highways is definitely a good proposal. It only guarantees a better future.

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