Monday, October 27, 2003

Post of the Week

My slashdot post of the week. From a discussion regaring the traffic light controllers used by emergency vehicles starting to hit the public market.

Come on, fellow libertarians! (Score:5, Funny)
by MillionthMonkey (240664) on Sunday October 26, @08:52PM (#7316229)

We're going to hear a lot of people calling to make these devices illegal- except in the hands of qualified emergency response personnel. We must resist them. Traffic light control is yet another prime target for deregulation and privatization, and keeping these wonderful devices out of the hands of ordinary citizens restricts our liberty to control intersections that we've paid for with our tax dollars.

Competition and free markets make everything better. They work great for companies, which is a strong indicator that they improve everything else, too- like public schools, the electrical power grid, and traffic lights at intersections. Why should emergency response vehicles receive a government-granted monopoly on the control of traffic lights? This is just old-fashioned, socialist thinking. If I want to turn my light green and yours red, and I'm willing to pay money for the privilege, why shouldn't I get the right of way? I've got more discretionary income, which means my time is probably more important than yours anyway. Government should not be standing on our necks and telling us who can and can't control traffic lights. The "invisible hand" can do a better job of guiding traffic through intersections anyway!

I can hear the socialists whining even now. "But what about the poor ambulance and police cars?" they'll say. They're so addicted to government regulation they don't realize how wonderful things would be if it were every man for himself. Hey, why should the government have a monopoly on ambulance service and law enforcement? My Expedition has plenty of room in the back for a heart attack victim or a criminal. If I'm willing to pay the money I should be able to offer a competing emergency response service as I sail through an endless sea of green lights and yap on my cellphone. To argue otherwise is socialist, and we've learned from the fall of the Soviet Union that socialism doesn't work, people.


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