Hate Potholes? Blame The State.

Although I’m pleased as can be that most of the world has moved beyond blaming the Jews for everything I’m not happy about society’s continued need to create scapegoats to blame everything on. In this case millennials have become the new scapegoats. Millennials are blamed for the failures of everything from Social Security to roads:

Millennials, they even drive different.

This key group of Americans is inadvertently creating unsafe conditions on America’s roads, according to a new report from Standard & Poor’s. That’s because this younger cohort is driving less than older groups and driving in more fuel-efficient vehicles when they do.

As a result, their gas consumption is lower so they pay less in federal gas tax, which is pegged at 18.4 cents per gallon. This means they contribute less to the Federal Highway Trust Fund, which helps pay for infrastructure maintenance in states.

Here’s the thing, it’s not the fault of millennials that the roads suck. It’s the State’s fault. The State has decreed a monopoly on transportation infrastructure and, like all monopolies, has run it into the ground. Consider the way the State funds transportation maintenance: gas taxes. Now consider the decrees the State has issued mandating more fuel economical vehicles. It really tied its own noose but forcing automobile manufacturers to build vehicles that use less of the very substance that is used to pay for transportation infrastructure.

More importantly though is the State has done almost nothing to increase its own efficiency. Look at any technology that exists in a freer market (one that entirely monopolized by the State). Every year the products either become cheaper, better, or both. Consumers expect better products or a lower price. Producers want to increase profits, which requires improving its manufacturing efficiency and technology.

While personal electronics, automobiles, fabrics, kitchen knives, and basically everything else have gotten better, become cheaper, or both the same can’t be said for transportation infrastructure. Roads today are nearly identical to roads from decades back. Road construction technology has almost improved very little over the decades.

Judging by every non-monopolized technology we have access to roads today should be phenomenally better than the roads our parents drove on. Road construction technology should be at a point where building new roads or replacing old roads is cheap and fast. The fact less plunder from gas taxes is rolling in should be a nonissue because the entire process surrounding transportation infrastructure should be a lot cheaper.

If you hate potholes blame the State for failing to improve the efficiency of its declared monopolies.