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Re: Tougher Licensing, tiresome rant.

-- [ From: Huw Powell * EMC.Ver #3.1a ] --

> For the skill portion, require a person to complete all 4 laps of the
advanced course on Sega Rally. 

A video game? what if you're not good at video games?  How do you test for
immaturity IRL situations? anger?  tiredness?

alt poli haters tune out here this gets nasty!

> self-respecting capitalist 

isn't that an oxymoron?

> semi trucks (via anti-train legistlation) 

the capitalists with money to make on trucking were the force behind this. 
What this country needs are 1000 times more trains and busses.  Vastly more
efficient use of limited natural resources and easier to implement new
improvements in technology.

>and luxury SUVs (via guzzler taxes on cars) 

agreed.  minivans should count as cars not trucks.  They have replaced
station wagons because staion wagons couldn't meet CAFE standards.

> the special interests are where the campaign money comes from.

mostly large corporations seeking to make "competition" easier.  Not the
fault of the free market, an inherent problem in a "free speech = money"
campaign financed democracy.  Got any solutions?  the time is ripe.

>PRIVATE COMPANIES:  try to create the most efficient highway system
possible to maximize profit.  

actually they just try to maximize profit.

> With safety of course--this is in the interest of the company.  If you run
an unsafe highway, drivers are going to flock to a competitor's highway,
just like a restaurant with E-Coli. 

Safety would only affect choice with either 1. government (that's us, the
little guys) intervention or 2. a genuine alternative to the unsafe product.

>   Slow vehicles should also be charged more money for using the highway
because they are on it longer.  Similarly, large unwieldly vehicles should
be charged more or sent to a special highway because they take up more space
on the highway, block visibility, travel more slowly, and lessen the
pleasurable driving experience of others. Maintain the roads in pristine
condition because this leads to faster speeds (more cars moving, more money)
, and a competitive advantage over other highways.

how would the companies collect the money?

What if the company that owned, say I-70 betwen STL and KC ran it badly? 
Who has 300M$ to throw another road down next to it to compete with them? 
and who pays for the ramps?

Like it or not, most roads are a "public accomodation" (a phrase recently
abused in Massachussetts) and as such need to be run for the entire public
benefit.  Something private companies are notorious for ignoring.  Look at
the local phone companies trying to charge extra for data transfer usage of
their lines (other thread...)

Did you say high gas taxes?  Compared to where?  gas and oil prices in the
US are held artificially low - for the purpose of rendering competitive
technologies fiscally unsound and keeping the car and oil companies in
business.  Around here the price of fuel oil is such that it's just
marginally more expensive to invest in alternative, biosphere-friendly
sources of winter heat.  and on and on...

I guess it depends on your perspective to an extent but simply blaming
government isn't the route to solutions.  The roads the US goverment (ie the
interstate system) is responsible for are some of *the best* in the world. 
Private interests try to squash, politically and psychologically, any
attempts to do better, like supertrains and high quality bus lines.

It is truly a quagmire.  The solution?  I think any real solutions to these
transportation issues would require such a huge dislocation of the US
economy (and world politics) as to be rendered impossible.  How do you wean
people off high consumption vehicles when our living patterns have adapted
to reflect the availability of cheap oil since World War 2?

OK I'm done.... flame away.  Ouch.

Huw Powell
HUMAN Speakers

(insert irritating quasi-political quote here)