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Dave Peterson: An Unusual Argument for 'Free Markets' on the Road

Let's imagine a world with "Free Market" traffic flow.

A few months ago I was bicycling along Western Avenue in Batavia. It has nicely painted bike lanes on each side with arrows showing the proper direction of travel.  As I was northbound, I encountered a man riding southbound in the same lane.  We were closing fast on a collision course when he finally looked up and saw me.  As he passed I mentioned it might be safer to ride on the other side WITH the flow of traffic. He shouted "I don't care! Get out of my way!" Ah, to be so carefree. He didn't care about the traffic laws, didn't heed the obvious arrows and somehow felt I was impeding his progress.

It recently dawned on me this incident illustrates the notion that some (politicians and presidential candidates) would call "Intrusive Government Regulation" getting in the way of "The Free Market".  By showing his disdain for the government-enforced markings on the road and riding on the wrong side, excuse me ... By making a "Free Market" choice of which side of the street to ride on, the Western Avenue bicyclist has opened up opportunities for full employment of our emergency response and hospital personnel. He was displaying his potential to become a small version of a "Job Creator."

Let us spend a few minutes to expand on this concept and imagine the benefits to society if government were to take a hands-off approach to our roadways and eliminate Rules of the Road, pesky traffic lights and stop signs. Everything would flow much more smoothly. You could probably get to work in half the time since you could drive as fast as you wanted and wouldn't have to wait at stop lights. 

Take a look at traffic in India. Waves of vehicles move like schools of fish passing through each other.  Injured pedestrians and other crash victims are simply pulled off to the the side while traffic continues to flow around them. The few losers who still have to ride bicycles know they are unworthy to occupy the road.

"The Free Market" concept is sometimes referred to as "Survival of the Fittest." How appropriate that in many cases the fittest would be the giant trucks. In a continuous effort to maintain their status as the "fittest," consumers would tend to buy increasingly larger and more formidable vehicles, thus helping American auto industry workers and benefiting the real "Job Creators" (according to our candidates), the gas and oil industry executives *.

Shifting to a "Free Market" assault-vehicle-based transportation system will stimulate the economy in other ways. As is well known, children are not "Job Creators," they are of no immediate benefit and are burdens on our valuable resources. Eliminating school zone speed limits, expensive crossing guards, sidewalks and crosswalk striping not only speeds up traffic but also weeds out the many lazy and dull children who are not self-motivated enough to hurry across the street without getting hit.

The truly valuable students, those who have the foresight to aspire to become gas, coal and oil industry executives, will be protected from this carnage due to the simple fact that their parents, having the raw courage to be wealthy, are sending them to private boarding schools in secure undisclosed locations. Downsizing or eliminating our public school systems and the teachers who only "work" nine months of the year will save billions.

Downtown business districts and shopping centers would be much more pleasant to drive in since the annoyingly slow elderly pedestrians would be quickly culled from the herds of pathetic walkers. This would have the added benefit of reducing the burden on the healthcare system and Social Security. People who are so poor and lacking work ethic as to not have a chauffeur to drop them off directly in front of the store shouldn't even be rewarded by access to shopping. 

Removing bike-lane striping will reclaim valuable road width, increase speeds and allow easier access to the shoulders of the road for VIPs with special skills to pass on the right. 

As more and more vehicles reach optimal size to claim to be the "fittest," it will be necessary to have some distinguishing characteristic to identify who are the "Alpha" drivers, so elite we should cower in their presence. Luckily, the animal kingdom gives us some examples: the distinctive silver back of the gorilla, the fantastic plumage of the peacock, the tremendous mane of the lion. In the vehicle kingdom it will be known who is one of the very select few, the absolute pinnacle of worthiness, because as they speed by, unfettered by limitations of the unwealthy, you will see hanging under the rear bumper of their truck a set of gleaming golden testicles.

 

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* Apparently my economics professor was mistaken when he explained that jobs are created as an educated, innovative and motivated work force responds to demand for goods and services. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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