Noun: chutzpah xhootpu
1. (Yiddish) unbelievable gall; insolence; audacity
The Charleston (WV) Gazette has an editorial this morning that warns against the privatization of toll roads around the country. And I think the geniuses there are serious:
Public, not private
Around America, private investors are quietly seeking to take over roads, bridges and airports from government authorities, to reap profits from facilities built by taxpayers. Investors also hope to buy several state lotteries.
By leasing or buying roads, speculators assume huge financial burdens for maintenance and improvements. But those investors also get to charge tolls, which are likely to mushroom quickly.
Toll increases are inevitable when private investors take over. But good maintenance is not. Once public assets are leased or sold, BusinessWeek warns, they are likely to be resold, again and again. New buyers feel pressure to limit maintenance and rake in higher profits. (link)
I somehow missed the BusinessWeek article so I'll not comment on it.
But I will comment on the uproarious notion that government-operated toll roads are somehow better maintained than are private roads. Especially coming from a publication in West Virginia, home of the West Virginia Turnpike.
I'm tempted to say, in response to the editorial - prove it!
But don't think you are going to use the turnpike (I-77) as an example of a well-maintained highway. It is awful by anyone's measure. It is so poorly maintained around Beckley that it has become hazardous to drivers' well-being. The only highway I've ever driven that was as poorly preserved was I-94 in southeast Michigan between Detroit metro airport and the city. It too is a government-maintained highway.
If there is a worse-run system, I don't know where it is. In fact, there can't be a more poorly maintained highway system in this country or the government would shut it down for being hazardous to human health.
So give up the hallucinogenic drugs, leave the bicycle at home, and take a journey southbound out of your cloistered enclave there in Charleston.
But consider yourself forewarned. You'd better be wearing your hardhat and have your life insurance premiums up to date. That publically-owned and maintained turnpike is a killer.