Monday, March 16, 2009

Mindless expansionism

It's rare that a single paragraph perfectly captures the non-thought that so often passes for thought in the minds of people afflicted with Carhead, the mental disorder that turns adults into five-year-olds who are incapable of thinking beyond their immediate wants and who throw terrible tantrums at the slightest hint of frustration. But Washington Post editor Fred Hiatt nails it:
Highway funding, after all, has become as encrusted in unyielding orthodoxies as any political issue. Almost no one disputes that Washington and the states, including Virginia and Maryland, have failed to deliver on the basic governmental responsibilities of ensuring mobility and enabling commerce. The number of miles Americans drive has essentially doubled since 1980 (cars up 97 percent; trucks, 106 percent), but the number of highway lane miles has grown only 4.4 percent. Result: twice as much traffic per road.
That's right -- we're driving TWICE as much as we did just a generation ago and, per the Carhead mentality, it's not nearly enough. There you have it folks, Carhead in all its glory. No matter how many communities we destroy, no matter how obese we are, no matter how many people die in our pursuit of automobility, no matter how much pollution we create, how hot the globe gets, or anything else, the only thing that matters is spending everything we have -- and more -- on pouring more roads for Carheads.

Why, anything else is just ... social engineering!

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