Who Hijacked Our Country

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Free Parking

As our energy problems get worse and worse, politicians at all levels — from city councils to the U.S. Congress — will have to start looking for ways to stop wasting fuel. And guess what may be ultimately headed for the chopping block (don’t shoot the messenger): Free Parking.

As the population becomes more aware of how many ways fuel is wasted — everything from poor mileage to improperly inflated tires — our millions of free parking spaces are looking more and more like that proverbial sore thumb.

When new parking spaces and garages are built, there’s less land for housing and office/industrial space, and real estate prices go up. People are encouraged to drive instead of using mass transit if they know there’ll be a free parking space waiting for them. Excessive dependence on cars plus increased housing prices equals urban sprawl.

And these problems all reinforce each other. Mass transit deteriorates because everyone would rather drive. Thousands of people move to a small outlying community where housing is cheaper; then the housing prices go way up in this formerly outlying community, and thousands of people move still further away to find cheaper housing. Zillions of new parking spaces, garages and lots are built, and the cycle continues…

In 2002, $374 billion was spent nationwide to subsidize off-street parking. In other words, “free parking” isn’t free.


If you’re between the ages of 34 and 39 and you’re in favor of the war in Iraq, you probably thought you were too old to go over there and get in on the action. Well, Good News!

Because of recruitment problems (I wonder why), the enlistment age has now been extended to 39. No longer do you have to sit on the sidelines, frustrated at being too old to get in there and Kill The Enemy. You go, Guy.


Blogger Benjamin Solah said...

lol, great stuff, I love ur writing

March 23, 2005 at 4:21 AM  
Blogger Lookout One said...

If you want to know who Hijacked our country this exposé explains a lot!

March 23, 2005 at 8:50 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Thanks, Benjamin Solah.

Lookout One: Thanks for that link. I didn't read much of it, but I've got it bookmarked. It's very chilling, and yet not at all surprising.

March 23, 2005 at 10:37 AM  
Anonymous librarianguish said...

Whew! I just turned 40. Of course, give it another year and they'll raise the age to 90.

Desperate times, eh?

Enjoy the sun! And conserve your water :)

March 23, 2005 at 10:59 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Librianguish: Eventually, no age group will be safe. If you can breathe you'll be drafted to fight in Iraq, Syria, Iran, North Korea...

March 23, 2005 at 11:21 AM  
Blogger Ken Grandlund said...

I just posted an essay on the energy situation and my thoughts on the future of energy...take a look if you care


March 23, 2005 at 4:27 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Ken: I read your post last night when I was surfing. Very true. Renewable energy sources will become more important; more necessary. The longer we wait, the more urgent it will get.

March 23, 2005 at 5:45 PM  
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