This story originally appeared on The Dollar Vigilante.
Those who believe in a need for government for certain roles in society almost always bring up the roads. Here is an example of happy taxslaves who believe that without government and taxation there would be no roads.
In the image above they also make the correct statement that without governments and taxation there would be no wars. Why they say that like it is a bad thing I have no idea.
However, getting back to “muh roads,” this argument for government and taxation for roads happens so often that countless memes have been created to show how ridiculous the idea is that roads could not exist with government and taxation.
But with most governments in the world today nearly bankrupt after years of waste on centrally planned projects and wars, the private market has popped up in numerous areas and has actually begun to take it into their own hands to fix neglected roads and other public areas that the government neglected. And, in every case, you won’t believe the government’s response to private individuals fixing the problems.
The first story comes from the City of Tacoma, Wash., which will persecute you if you make a “rogue crosswalk.” These “rogue crosswalks” are popping up throughout the city, and local bureaucrats have cooked up some stiff penalties in order for those caught red-handed.
The group behind the rogue crosswalks is Citizens for a Safer Tacoma, which believes the crosswalks save lives. Tacoma police admit traffic incidents have increased in the area in recent years, and at least 15 members of the group have been hit by cars. Meaning well, individuals went to the city for help; but the city didn’t listen. Like many across the world, they took the project into their own hands.
“If the city does nothing, we will,” said a spokesman, who wouldn’t go on camera because he didn’t want to be targeted. “None of us want to go to jail, but we’re more dedicated to the safety of citizens than we are to the law,” he added. Unfortunately for the citizens, they will likely learn that police are more beholden to the law than they are to the citizen. Each rogue crosswalk costs the city $1,000 to clean up. The city did note, however, that the crosswalks were quite creative.
“They’re different colors, some of them were circles; they weren’t really a crosswalk,” said a city spokesperson. In other words, they didn’t meet Federal guidelines so that the City of Tacoma can continue receiving Federal grants and loans.
Pothole Robin Hood
Similar to the individuals in Tacoma, a Jackson, Miss., couple chose to fill potholes they believed the city was neglecting.
“Our biggest issue is that the issue has been somewhat lackadaisically handled or ignored for way too long, and our infrastructure is weak because of that,” says Don Chane, the rogue potholer. They found the asphalt one day and thought it would do.
“We thought ‘you know what, this may belong to the city, it may belong to the state, it may belong to Jesus, but at any rate, it’s not being used right now and there is grass growing out of it, so let’s just stick this back in the holes.'”
The couple was very efficient, fixing 33 potholes on their first night out. They circled the holes and spray painted “citizen fixed” next to the hole, and they left a flower in the ring of the repaired pothole.
With media attention piling on, the couple called it quits at 101 potholes, not wanting to get arrested for showing how poor centrally planned road repair is.
The Mississippi Department of Transportation, the “rightful” owners, did not wish to press charges.
Man Fined For Driving Around Pothole
Although the government won’t fix the potholes, it will fine you for driving around them.
That is exactly what happened to a Minneapolis man who was given a $128 fine because he swerved to avoid a pothole.
He says the officer thought he was on his cellphone and cited him for failing to stay in his lane. The driver plans to fight the ticket. What’s funny, the road he was driving on is scheduled to be resurfaced in just a few weeks. But knowing government, that likely won’t happen on schedule or within the budget.
Rainbow Staircase In Instanbul
When one man painted a public staircase rainbow colors, the community loved it. But when city workers of Istanbul, Turkey covered the brightly colored street art with dull gray paint, people repainted the staircase swiftly. A battle of sorts had broken out.
A retired engineer named Huseyin Cetinel reportedly spent $800 on paint to make the steps in his area more attractive. He said that nature is colorful and he believes cities can be as well. His work went viral. Many saw the paint job as a call for equal rights. The artist said he wasn’t trying to promote any group, but simply add color.
But when the city painted over the staircase, the people of Turkey were outraged. At first, the government denied doing so, but ultimately fessed up like a child under the pressure of a knowing parent.
A quiet war was waged as guerrilla artists painted the city with color while the city covered it up with gray. Gray seems to be the color of choice for unimaginative, communist-style central planners.
Ultimately, the city let the citizens have their colorful way.
The idea of central planning (akin to communism), which is government, is an anachronism, a thing of the past. Not only are governments not providing these “services” adequately anymore, but they are now impeding the free market’s attempt to fix the problems. More people wake up every day to this realization.
That’s why I started not only The Dollar Vigilante, but also Anarchast, to spread information on how all things currently done by government can not only be dramatically improved by private enterprise, but that government itself is an unneccesary evil in all its forms. Here is an Anarchast interview with Walter Block, also known as “Mr. Libertarian” and author of The Privatization of Roads and Highways.