Sat, 03 Mar 2007

Transportation Subsidies

I was noticing the other day that all widely used transportation technologies are OVER 100 years old. Why should that be? I think I know: they're all subsidized. Canals, railroads, airports, and roads. None of them bear the full freight of their passage. Now, invent some new technology, e.g. a dual-mode monorail like the RUF. How can it possibly gain a foothold against the subsidized modes of transportation? It can't. It has to get a subsidy of its own. Politicians are bad at picking new technologies because most of them fail, and no politician wants to be seen as having backed a failure.

That is the cost of transportation subsidies: no innovations can come to market.

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