Gregory Shill, ‘Should Law Subsidize Driving?’

A century ago, captains of industry and their allies in government launched a social experiment in urban America: the abandonment of mass transit in favor of a new personal technology, the private automobile. Decades of public and private investment in this shift have created a car-centric landscape with Dickensian consequences. In the United States, motor vehicles are now the leading killer of children and the top producers of greenhouse gases. They rack up trillions of dollars in direct and indirect costs annually, and the most vulnerable – children, the poor, and people of color or with disabilities – pay the steepest price. The appeal of cars’ convenience and the lack of meaningful alternatives has created a public health catastrophe. Many of the automobile’s social costs originate in the individual preferences of consumers, but an overlooked amount is encouraged – indeed enforced – by law. Yes, the US is car-dependent by choice. But it is also car-dependent by law …

Shill, Gregory H, Should Law Subsidize Driving? (March 1, 2019).

First posted 2019-03-07 07:09:38

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