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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Benevolence of the Trucker

Land Line Magazine's coverage of the Public-Private Partnership (P3) forum that I moderated on Monday ran with the headline, "Panelists say profit motivates infrastructure investment."

(As an aside, the association that publishes this magazine represents the "independent owner/operators" who pretty much oppose everything. Other trucking associations that represent trucking companies see the value of P3s, despite their misguided opposition to leasing the patronage-laden, inefficient Turnpike.)

Apparently these independent truckers are going to start hauling all of goods across the country for free ... out of the benevolence of their hearts ... because profits are evil. That's how their chief lobbyist characterized them: “What comes out of this roundtable is that they are here to make some money, here to make profit on this.”

It makes you wonder what truckers earn in return for hauling things to Wal-Mart, if its not the evil "P" word?

Of course, we know that truckers don't haul goods out of the benevolence of theirs hearts any more than the baker or the butcher give us bread or meat for free. They do it for profit.

Anyway, the truckers obviously didn't listen to Maurice McTigue of New Zealand about his country's experience when it turned over its transportation infrastructure to the private sector. Motorists benefited from a 40% increase in productivity.

Well, if the truckers think government will be more benevolent than the free market that gives us bread and meat, then I guess they'll continue getting what they're getting ... higher gas taxes and rougher roads.

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