“Who will build the roads without the state?”
The statists say this as if it is some incredibly difficult question that no one has ever considered.
The same people who build the roads now can also build them in the future, and those people are not the state. They are private contractors with a workforce of roughly 235,000 people, who are merely paid by the state with your tax dollars minus the cost of the bureaucracy. We can eliminate the middleman and directly pay them without the state.
The state is the only thing currently stopping you, me, or a group of us, from paying those same private contractors to build all of the roads that we could ever want.
“But who will engineer the roads?”
Certainly, not the state, as they do not engineer the roads now. The state hires civil engineering firms staffed with some of the 275,000 US licensed civil engineers to perform engineering services. Any number of them will be happy to tackle your road design problems in exchange for money in a little system we like to call capitalism.
“But who will maintain the roads? The state actually does that.”
While it is true that the state does self-perform a number of road maintenance tasks like pothole filling and snow removal, it is also true that the road maintenance workers could just as easily work for Gerald Jay Road Maintenance as they could work for the Department of Transportation. After all, the state has no road maintenance knowledge that the rest of us are incapable of possessing. In fact, my street is plowed by a private company contracted by a neighborhood association, and my neighbors just fixed a pothole with cold patch that they bought at Home Depot.
“Fine, but how will all of this be paid for?”
Construction, engineering, and maintenance services can be paid for in a seemingly infinite number of ways and it would be foolish to think that there is just one way (taxes) to pay for them. Just a few of the ways to fund roads without the state follows.
- The businesses or homeowners along the road pay for the costs.
- The automobile manufacturers fund the roads as part of their business model.
- Electronic tolls.
- The air velocity of passing cars could spin wind turbines to generate electricity.
- (Truly) voluntary taxes.
- Usage fees tacked on to bus fare, delivery fees, ambulances, etc.
- Any combination of the above.
Who will build the roads? Anyone who wants to.