Screwing the Public by Guadamour

GUADAMOUR

by Guadamour
Dandelion Salad
featured writer

Guadamour’s blog post
Dec. 27, 2007

In the 1980s Mexico started a major road construction program, turning many of their major highways into divided controlled access interstate like roads. This sounds like a great idea because Mexico was in desperate need of more transportation infrastructure.

However, there were a number of sizable problems with this.

The Mexican constitution states the all people have the right of access to the highways and roads without cost. or tolls.

In the 1980’s Mexico auctioned off parts of roads to be built to private corporations. The corporations build and maintain the roads and collect tolls. This is irregardless of the fact that the roads being built were being built on public land and there was generally no way to get between point A and point B without taking a toll road.

Needless to say, the Mexican public has paid billions in tolls since the 1980s.

When Colonel Eisenhower returned from World War I he took a large number of troops from Long Island. California to Washington, DC. Such were the roads in the US of A at that time, it took him 62 days to make the trip.

Eisenhower vowed to himself at that time that if he was ever in a position to do something about that he would. That is how and why the United States started the Interstate system in the 1950s.

The Interstate System was slipped in under the Department of Defense because it was originally designed for troop movements.

It is hard to image traveling across the US of A by ground at this time without the Interstate Highway System.

The Interstate Highway System we know today was built by the Federal government in conjunction with the states it passes through. It is a highway system that is in the most part open to all . These are public roads purchased with public money outright or though eminent domain and maintained by state and Federal tax dollars.

These roads are funded by taxes that are included in the sale of each gallon of gasoline or diesel sold in the country. The tax is now something like 19 cents a gallon.

This represents a huge amount of money, and this money is alleged solely for transportation use.

Needless to say, only a small fraction of the money is used for transportation.

It is a great slush fund which almost all politicians dip into.

Any time that public money is used to build and maintain a highway or road in the USA, the public is suppose to have unfettered access. This is generally the case accept in the Northeast and some places in the Midwest.

Anyone who has driven cross country on I-50 will come to a toll booth. This is on a highway funded by the Federal and State governments and built on public land. This is patently illegal; nevertheless, it exists. Fortunately it doesn’t exist to any great extent in the USA.

That may soon change. The US of Corporate A is promoting and exploring a privatization of parts of the Interstate Highway System.

Under NAFTA (“free trade” corporate welfare) a highway stem linking Mexico , the US and Canada is being built. It is largely being built with public funds and on public land; however, it is to be privatized (read more corporate welfare), and anyone using the roads, even when there is not another way around (this includes the military) will have to pay a toll.

This is exactly what happened and continues to happen in Mexico—the corporations collect billions and the public is screwed.

This must be stopped before it too far along to undo the further erosion of the rights of the public of the USA. This will allow the government to severely restrict travel within the country, even if it is on public land.

3 thoughts on “Screwing the Public by Guadamour

  1. We in the US are currently paying for infrastructure we are not receiving. We pay with the purchase of every gallon of gasoline and diesel .Mexico does not have a dual highway system. The new modern one was built over the old public roads. Oftentimes there is no way to get around the toll road! The old two way highway roads don’t have shoulders. I am not familiar with the Mexico you seem to know, but then I only lived there for a total of more than twelve years.

  2. Good article! Tough call :-I Somehow we have to come up with the money for our infrastructure, but who will pay? The rich, the poor, the users, the corporations? Mexico now has 2 national highway systems; the older, public one, is like a rural American highway; mostly two lanes, but sometimes with four lanes, and two shoulders. The newer national Mexican toll road system is great! It’s a first world system with 4 lanes or more, well maintained, good shoulders, patrolled by police, and rescuers, and guarded by armed soldiers. The poor people in Mexico complain about having to use the older public highways, and want to use the toll roads without paying for their construction or maintenance. How well is that goint to work?

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