Car Neutrality

SCENE:  Dayton, Ohio – 1904.  A group of protesters – young activists from Snofe Lakes, California – chant slogans in front of the Leach and Bitwell Auto Company; “Keep The Roads Democratic!”, “What do we want?  Road Neutrality.  When do we want it?  Now!” and “Cars are a Public Utility”.   After a few moments, Arthur LIBRELLE climbs up on the soapbox.  

LIBRELLE:  What we seek is highway neutrality.   We demand that the government treat cars and roads as the public utility they truly are.   That way, in thirty years, your children will be able to buy a car like this (LIBRELLE points to a 1904  Leach and Bitwell roadster – a two seater with a hand-crank starter that is basically a glorified go-kart with a two cylinder engine and a couple of chairs which lists at $5,000 – which is about $200,000 2017 dollars) – and their children, and their children’s children, as long as California is the capitol fo the horseless carriage industry.  Nobody will be able, using just more money, to buy a better car!

(Hezekiah MERG chimes in):  But if you treat the budding auto industry like a utility, there’ll be no impetus for someone like, say, Henry Ford or Louis Chevrolet, to respond to the market demand and build a cars that, before long, will be every big as good as the specimen you see here, for  a fraction of the price.

LIBRELLE:  (Scoffing as the young people from Snofe Lakes laugh uproariously)  Oh, it is to laugh!  The idea that people from Detroit will ever build cars, or that technology will ever surpass what we see in front of us!   No, indeed; let us regulate cars and roads like utilities, that they may ever be as successful as the crown jewel of Los Angeles’s transportation system, our streetcars!

(The crowd erupts)_.

8 thoughts on “Car Neutrality

  1. You mean the East German Trabant, bikebubba?
    It had a steel frame, but the body was made mostly out of discarded fibers from textile manufacturing. It was literally made of garbage.
    Someone tried to import them to the US as a novelty, but it could never pass US safety & pollution requirements. Socialists uniformly fail to protect the environment or people. It is honestly like they are trying to kill people and make the environment poisonous, but were stopped by their own economic inefficiency. A Trabant was a luxury in East Germany. If they had given each citizen their own Trabant, more people would have died & air pollution would have been worse.

  2. Jawohl!

    But I had the thought that if we’d nationalized the car industry around 1910 as our gracious host suggests here, the car industry would never have gotten to the advanced 1955 Fiat design that “inspired” the Trabant. So my apologies for the oversight. If we’d nationalized cars in 1910, they’d explode, killing all occupants, once every 70 times they were driven, like the space shuttle.

    On the bright side, Ignaz Schwinn would have benefited….as would have J.J. Hill.

  3. Another thought is that if you want to keep the roads Democratic, you’d choose Oldsmobiles that inexplicably cannot stay on the bridge when the driver is taking his girlfriend home.

  4. Pingback: In The Mailbox: 12.18.17 : The Other McCain

  5. Another analogy would be that road neutrality suggests that all vehicles are equal, thus a bus and a truck that cause 800 times the road damage as a car would pay the same road tax as a car.

    But wait, there’s more!

    Wouldn’t road neutrality mean that all cars would pay the same tax? Certainly a Lexus produces no more wear and tear on the road than does a Prius. Why are they taxed differently?

    What do we want? Vehicle Tax Neutrality! When do we want it? NOW!

    Except for Ford F150’s, my neighbor drives one and she is evil, she should be taxed more than me.

  6. You bet, bikebubba. Down here in southern Minnesota, you got your Chevy bars and your Ford bars and even a few Mopar bars – and if you wanna start a fight, you go into the wrong bar and yell, “Chevy trucks suck”.

    I say base taxes on brand loyalty…. It makes as much sense as anything else.

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