Politics: the Hard Part
Action: Restore transport and power to free markets via Performance Standards. Face the brutal fact that Federal monopolies over power and transport deprives people of liberty to choose cleaner, faster, safer and more affordable mobility.
Background: The Federal monopoly over communications infrastructure was declared unconstitutional in 1982. Once free markets were restored, millions of jobs, vast innovation, and, better services at lower costs resulted. That success can be repeated in power and mobility infrastructures.
Unconstitutional Federal monopolies over communications, power and transportation were put in place in the mobilization to fight World War I. The great innovations of Ford, Edison, Bell and the Wright Brothers were institutionalized into Federal commercial monopolies. Monopolies that mandate for people abandon liberty, buy a car and oil to be economically competitive.
The communications monopoly was broken in 1982, liberty to choose communications networks was restored. In the crucible of free markets, long dormant innovations of the Internet (1969) and radio telephones networks (1946) found niches and scaled to commercial viability.
Once power and transport monopolies are broken innovations can deploy. My guess is by 2020 people will choose to solutions that power US transportation within domestic energy resources (50% reduction in oil use), and, by 2030 people will choose to solutions that accomplish what Thomas Edison noted as practical in 1910 to power America within a solar budget:
Sunshine is spread out thin and so is electricity. Perhaps they are the same, Sunshine is a form of energy, and the winds and the tides are manifestations of energy.... Do we use them? Oh, no! We burn up wood and coal, as renters burn up the front fence for fuel. We live like squatters, not as if we owned the property.... There must surely come a time when heat and power will be stored in unlimited quantities in every community, all gathered by natural forces. Electricity ought to be as cheap as oxygen....
Federal violation of the Constitution's "post Roads" restriction created monopolies over power and transportation infrastructure with consequences of:
- Resource Depletion, US Peak Oil was in 1970.
- Debt, the tax on future labor. National debt increased in tandem with oil imports since 1970.
- Climate Change, oil and coal pollution tilting the balance of nature.
- Funding of enemies, oil-dollars fund Al Qaeda terror attacks.
- The path to war, dependence on energy outside self-reliance is illicit energy. Dependence on slave energy and imported oil are nearly identical in how dependence shapes events into the path to war. Nearly perpetual undeclared wars since 1950 illustrate the defect of combining military force with Federal commercial monopolies.
Radically safer and efficient transport has been understood for decades:
- The 140,000 miles of freight railroads in the US average 476 ton-miles per gallon; over 130 times the efficiency of moving a ton to move a person on the Federal highway monopoly. Yet Federal subsidies to highways/oil caused the abandonment of 120,000 miles for freight railroads by removing efficiency as a market force.
- The Personal Rapid Transit network in Morgantown, WV has delivered 110 million injury-free passenger-miles since being built as a solution to the 1973 Oil Embargo. In that same period of injury-free mobility, 1.6 million Americans died on the unconstitutional government highway monopoly. No PRT or podcar network has obtained access to rights of way since Morgantown's opened in 1975.