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Steps to a Sustainable Future

Federalist #62, Madison

"What prudent merchant will hazard his fortunes in any new branch of commerce when he knows not but that his plans may be rendered unlawful before they can be executed? What farmer or manufacturer will lay himself out for the encouragement given to any particular cultivation or establishment, when he can have no assurance that his preparatory labors and advances will not render him a victim to an inconstant government? In a word, no great improvement or laudable enterprise can go forward which requires the auspices of a steady system of national policy."

Step 1: Govern by Performance Standards

As: Secaucus Law 2014-23 and Massachusetts Senate Bill #1837

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WHEREAS, Returning communication infrastructure to a free market in 1982 resulted in vast innovation, better service at lower costs and millions of jobs;

WHEREAS, Privately funded freight railroads average over 400 ton-miles per gallon efficiency;

WHEREAS, Establishing performance standards based on economic work accomplished per unit of energy consumed may allow free market solutions that repeat communication infrastructure success in transportation infrastructure;

WHEREAS, the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment Study PB-244854 (1975) identified Automated Guideways and Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) networks as a solution to the 1973 Oil Embargo and the PRT network at Morgantown, WV has delivered 110 million oil-free, injury-free passenger-miles since starting service in 1975;

Non-exclusive access to City rights-of-way will be granted to transportation systems providers meeting the following free market principles:

(1) Privately funded construction, and

(2) Privately operated without government subsidies, and

(3) Exceed 120 passenger-miles per gallon, or equivalent efficiency, and

(4) Exceed safety performance of transportation modes already approved for use.

(5) Energy Diversification Option: Gather at least 2 megawatt-hours of renewable energy per typical mile of network per typical day.

THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, Regulation of free market innovations shall be based on:

(1) System design, fabrication, installation, safety, insurance, inspection practices shall be compliant with the ASTM International, Committee F24 on Amusement Rides and Devices, and

(2) Environmental approvals will be granted based on a ratio of energy consumed per passenger-mile of the innovation versus transport modes approved to operate in the rights-of-way, and

(3) All taxes and fees assessed on the transport systems providers, passengers and cargo shall be limited to 5% of gross revenues and paid to the aggregate rights-of-way holders by transportation systems providers.


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Step 2: Why the ASTM Standard for Theme Parks

Departments of Transportation are responsible for the current transportation networks. As with the Federal communications monopoly's stifled the Internet (created in 1969) and cell phone networks (created in 1946) until it was declared unconstitutional in 1982, the Federal highway monopoly is hostile to alternative networks:

  • Stifled Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) Networks since Morgantown's was built as a solution to the 1973 Oil Embargo. Since the PRT network opened in 1975 it has delivered 110 million oil-free, injury-free passenger-miles. In that same period of time, the 1.7 million Americans died on the highway monopoly.
  • Despite freight railroads average 476 ton-miles per gallon efficiency, since The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 nearly half freight railroads in America were forced into bankruptcy and/or abandonment.

By contrast to DOT standards, theme park standards:

  • Have a safety record about 80,000 times better than DOTs'.
  • Are specifically tailored to pedestrians, especially children.
  • Have an existing enforcement industry.
  • Have an existing insurance industry.
  • Have an existing common law.

Step 3: Transportation is the Catalyst for Changing Energy Systems:

Step 4: What is practical

Radically more efficient, safer, and less expensive transportation is well understood:

  • The 140,000 miles of frieght railroads in America average 476 ton-miles per gallon. Yet since The Federal-Aid Highways Act of 1956, 120,000 miles for rail were bankrupt and abandoned. 
  • The Personal Rapid Transit network in Morgantown, WV has delivered 110 million oil-free, injury-free passenger-miles since being built as a solution to the 1973 Oil Embargo. In that same period of time 1.7 million Americans have died on the highway monopoly.

The Federal highway monopoly stifles innovation and wiped out nearly half the freight railroads. Federal communications monopoly stifled innovation in the near-century of rotary telephones. The Federal communications monopoly was declared unconstitutional in 1982. These 5 Presidential vetoes of "internal improvements" explain why the Federal transportation monopoly is unconstitutional. 

Federal violation of the Constitution is lawless. Capiltal did not invest in communications until the Rule of Law was restored in 1982. Capital will not invest in sustainable infrastructure until the Rule of Law is restored in power and transportation. Without retool to sustainable infrastructure, people, cities, and states face Civilization Killers of resource depletion, $19 trillion in debt, Climate Change, oil-wars, oil-dollar funded terrorism, etc....

By passing the folllowing one-page law, cities and state governments create a regulatory framework that allow private capital to fund construction and operation of solar-powered mobility networks that accomplishe what Thomas Edison noted as pracical in 1910:

"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...."


    Existing efforts:

    Step 5: Understanding How to Pay for Networks

    Millions of jobs and vast profits can be obtained by converting current waste into value. Metrics on waste are:

    Freight railroads are 100x more efficient that highways but do not have to account for energy for creature comforts. JPods network are 10x more efficient than urban roads and highways. There are nearly 2 million lane miles of urban roads in America. Guessing that JPods networks can dispace 70% of the oil-power cars/trucks with solar-powered mobility over the next 15 years. A guess is that this reduction in vehicles will make walking and biking safer while cutting oil use, congestion and accidents 75%.  To build 500,000 miles at $10 million per mile of costs is $5 trillion. Customer savings and revenue once networks are built will be about $500 billion per year. The networks will pay for themselves ever 10 years in wide application.

    JPods will not start with general networks, but will concentrate in niches where there are a large number of shuttle vans and the network will exceed the 5-year payback recognized by the 2010 audit of the Morgantown PRT network.

    As another indication of capiable payback, Kiva Systems received a $33 million investment from Bain Capital in the early 2000s and sold themselved to Amazon in 2012 for $775 million. Kiva Systems applies small robot to move packets around a warehouse just as JPods does around cities.

    There are no technical barriers nor financial barriers to building the Physical Internet®. Just as there was no technical barrier in deploying the Internet after it was created in 1969 or radio telephones after they were created in 1946. There is no technical or financial barrier to answering the call to action by eight Presidents to end dependence on foreign oil.

    The only barrier to repeating the benefits experiences in communications infrastructure since 1982 in transportation is the same as caused the near century of rotary telephones before 1982, unconstitutional Federal monopoly control. Following are the steps for creating millions of jobs as we change the lifeblood of America from oil to ingenuity.

    The following graph uses MassDOT data to compare cost per passenger-mile and pollution per passenger-mile for various modes of transportation. Over 90% of the current costs of urban transportation can be recovered as profits and customer savings.


    Step 6: Recognize the Conflict Between Compliance and Liberty/Innovation

    In the effort to secure ratification of the Constitution the Federalist Papers were written to explain the intent of the Constitution. 

    Federalist #51:  

    "If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself."

    Governments are essential to coerce compliance because men are not angels. Innovation is a disruptive compliance failure. For America to adapt innovation is essential and to minimize social unrest government coercion is essential. The Federal Constitution was written specifically to account for both needs with a legal framework. 

    Capital cannot invest in innovation unless there is the Rule of Law.

    It is essential that "oblige it {government} to control itself" within the enumerated sovereignty assigned in written Constitutions. To prevent the Federal government from repeating the defects of the King's transportation monopoly (example: Boston Tea Party), by a vote of 8 states to 3, the Constitutional Convention specifically limited Federal involvement with infrastructure to no more than "post Roads"; no more than if no other means was available to defend free speech, the Federal government could tax to build a road to deliver letters.

    Federal violation of the Constitution in creating the communications monopoly resulted in nearly a century of rotary telephones. Federal violation of the Constitution in taxing to support the central electrical grid and The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 defined economic competition based on dependence on burning coal and oil with consequences of :

    • Pollution tilting the balance of nature into Climate Change.
    • Resource depletion with US Peak Oil in 1970.
    • 45% dependence on foreign oil with oil-wars required since 1970 and Federal debt increasing to $18 trillion in tandem with foreign oil imports.

    Since the Federal communications monopoly was recognized as unconstitutional in 1982 millions of jobs have been created to deliver vast innovations of better services at lower costs. The success in communications can be repeated by restoring liberty to invent to inventors and liberty to choose between inventions to people in free markets.

    Current Federal hostility to innovations can be measured by coercion applied to protect the highway monopoly from competition.

    • Networks with radically greater efficiency have been bankrupt. Freight railroads average 476 ton-miles per gallon. Since The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 removed efficiency as a market force, nearly half the freight railroads in America have been abandoned.
    • Networks with radically greater safety have been surpressed. Since being built as a solution to the 1973 Oil Embargo the Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) network in Morgantown, WV has delivered 110 million oil-free, injury-free passenger-miles. In that same period 1.7 million American died on highways and Federal policies have stifled further deployment of PRT networks.
    • Eight Presidents calls to action to end dependence on foreign oil have gone unanswered. Bureacracies are by definition the institutionalized suspension of judgment. They need to be limited to  coercing defects not controlling innovation and stifling liberty.

    Step 7: Recognize that Capital Will Not Invest without the Rule of Law:

    Laws must be clear and stable for capital to take risks on innovations.

    Federalist #62, James Madison:

    "What prudent merchant will hazard his fortunes in any new branch of commerce when he knows not but that his plans may be rendered unlawful before they can be executed? What farmer or manufacturer will lay himself out for the encouragement given to any particular cultivation or establishment, when he can have no assurance that his preparatory labors and advances will not render him a victim to an inconstant government? In a word, no great improvement or laudable enterprise can go forward which requires the auspices of a steady system of national policy."


    The Internet was created in 1969 and the first radio telephone networks was created in St Louis in 1946. Neither could commercialize under the Federal monopoly. It was only after the Rule of Law was restored in 1982, when the Federal government shifted from control to governing by performance standards that niche markets formed. In those niche markets the Internet and cell networks were forged into becoming commercially viable. 

    Such innovation is creative destructions completely foreign to the needs of governments to coerce compliance. To gain the benefits of this creative destruction governments must limit their control to applying standars of what, not how.

    Currently the Performance Standard Law was passed by the Town of Secaucus, NJ. A $60 million network would have already been constructed there but NJDOT blocked crossing their rights of way in direct violation of the will of the Legislature as expressed in New Jersey Law 2004-A2031. Capital cannot invest when agencies can violate the call to action by eight Presidents and the written laws of Legislatures. There is no Rule of Law, only the adminstrative whim of whom ever controls an an agency without review by legislatures or compliance with Constitutions.

    The Performance Standard Law is currently pending as Massachusetts Senate Bill #1837. As soon as this bill passes capital can be raised and networks deployed in Massachusetts. Here is a link to a hearing at Boston City Council on Oct 5, 2015.

    Plan for 5 million jobs by 2015 (the plan was written in 2010 and will become valid once Performance Standards Law is passed).

    Constitutional basis for free markets in transportation

    The above framework is simple. As noted in Federalist #62, simplicity in legislation is essential:

    ...the unreasonable advantage it gives to the sagacious, the enterprising, and the moneyed few over the industrious and uniformed mass of the people. Every new regulation concerning commerce or revenue, or in any way affecting the value of the different species of property, presents a new harvest to those who watch the change, and can trace its consequences; a harvest, reared not by themselves, but by the toils and cares of the great body of their fellow-citizens. This is a state of things in which it may be said with some truth that laws are made for the few, not for the many.


    In the mobilization to fight World War I the Federal government monopolized/socialized communications, power and transport infrastructures as "natural monopolies. In 1984 communications infrastructure was restored to free markets resulting in millions of jobs, vast innovation and better services at lower costs. That success can be repeated when power and transportation are restored to free markets.

    Government control of the means of production in power and transport violates the Constitution. The US Constitution and Bill of Rights culminated an intense 37 years effort to structure government based on individual liberty. 

    Federalist #45 (Madison):

    "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State."


    Building of highways ("the internal order, improvement") was intended to be a State function. Had States managed infrastructure the Special Interests of oil and automobiles would have tempered and slowed the creation of civilization killers of Peak Oil, Climate Change and Debt. Persistent wars to protect foreign oil would have been unnecessary. As noted by West Point's System Engineering manual, alternatives might have been found:

    "In fact, one of the most significant failings of the current U.S. transportation system is that the automobile was never thought of as being part of a system until recently. It was developed and introduced during a period that saw the automobile as a standalone technology largely replacing the horse and carriage. So long as it outperformed the previous equine technology, it was considered a success. This success is not nearly so apparent if the automobile is examined from a systems thinking perspective. In that guise, it has managed to fail miserably across a host of dimensions. Many of these can be observed in any major US city today: oversized cars and trucks negotiating tight roads and streets, bridges and tunnels incapable of handling daily traffic density, insufficient parking, poor air quality induced in areas where regional air circulation geography restricts free flow of wind, a distribution of the working population to suburban locations necessitating automobile transportation, and so on. Had the automobile been developed as a multilateral system interconnected with urban (and rural) transportation networks and environmental systems, U.S. cities would be in a much different situation than they find themselves in today.

    What is important here is not that the automobile could have been developed differently, but that in choosing to design, develop and deploy the automobile as a stand alone technology, a host of complementary transportation solutions to replace the horse and buggy were not considered."

    Federal funding of the Interstate Highway system created an unconstitutional Federal commercial monopoly, caused the loss of nearly half the freight railroads, stifled innovation, and created Civlization Killers.  JPods Nov 11, 2016 to DOE RFI DE-FOA-0001669_161111 on the need for the rule of law.


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