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Solve Rising Gas Prices by Restoring Free Markets

Have you noticed gasoline prices are rising? Between the beginning and end of April 2018 gas prices increased for Americans by $86 million per day. Without decisive action, gasoline prices will continue  to  rise until the bankit collapse of 2008 is repeated.

The purpose of this paper is to ask Americans to act through our city and state governments to build economic lifeboats for their communities that are durable against rising gasoline prices by:

  1. Planting a Victory Garden: Energy self-reliance starts with the self. If everyone plants a Victory Garden, we can prevent an oil price shock from becoming an Oil Famine
  2. Answering the calls to action by the last eight Presidents to “hold our future in our hands alone.”
  3. Passing the Solar Mobility Act. Allow privately funded solar-powered transportation networks such as Hyperloops, ET3, and JPods.
  4. Enforcing the Constitutions “post Roads” clause to end the Federal highway monopoly that mandates the monolithic dependence on debt buying foreign oil. State governments should enforce Federalism by protecting citizens from unconstitutional Federal highway taxes. States should collect all internal improvement taxes. Federal funding of internal improvements should then be funded by State governments with Federal programs accountable to the States for their efficacy. ASCE grades US roads a D and transit a D-.

Victory Gardens

Energy self-reliance starts with the self. The Lifeboat Paradox: “If you are self-disciplined enough to have and be skilled in the use of a lifeboat, you are less likely to need one.”

If everyone is self-disciplined enough to grow 1/3rd of their own food, rising gasoline prices will not create an oil famine– a lack of availability of food due to farmers who can’t afford to plant and truckers can’t afford to deliver.

Answering Eight President’s Calls to Action

President Nixon was the first President issue a call to action to “hold our future in our hands alone”. John Stewart’s humorous summary of eight Presidents calling for an end to foreign oil addiction, notes Nixon is the only President to actually do anything. Tricia Nixon opened the Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) network in Morgantown, WV on Oct 24, 1972. This grade separated networks of self-driving cars has delivered 110 million oil-free injury-free passenger-miles. The Congressional Office of Technology Assessment study PB-244854, published in 1974, outlined PRT as the solution to urban traffic problems and dependence on foreign oil.

Despite the calls to action by eight Presidents, the Federal highway monopoly taxed to expand the monolithic dependence on debt buying foreign from 20% in 1973 to 65% in 2008, forced the bankruptcy/abandoned of nearly half the freight railroads (despite their 476 ton-mile per gallon efficiency), and blocked further deployments of PRT networks.

Two safety metrics illustrate the Milgram behaviors of DOTs, the demand for obedience, in mandating oil and blocking podcar networks: (Does you audience know what the Miligram thing is?  It would be best to identify it succinctly--if you are referring to the demand for obedience--this is too vague for one to know obedience you are addressing.  There are details in your head that are not in the readers heads that you must include in order not to lose them.)

  • The injury-rate for ASTM F24 regulated thrill rides is 0.2 per million. DOT have a death rate of 118 per million. Pedestrian death on roads is up 46% in the past 5 years.
  • In the period Morgantown’s PRT network has been injury-free 1.7 million American were killed on roads. There are 4.6 million medically reportable injuries per year.

As President Obama noted in a speech to the nation on June 16, 2010:

“For decades, we have known the days of cheap and easily accessible oil were numbered," he said. "For decades, we have talked and talked about the need to end America's century-long addiction to fossil fuels.”

We have known the end of cheap oil was coming for decades. In 1956, Dr. Hubert widely publicized that US Peak Oil (the maximum oil energy available to each American) would occur by approximately 1970. In 1957, Admiral Rickover’s “Energy Slave” speech warned that population growth and resource depletion would push the limits of the earth by 2000.

The Constitution was written with divided sovereignty, states governing commerce and Federal governing war, to prevent a “needful” majority (see Federalist #10, #51, #9) from forming, a Tyranny of the Majority. The Framers were well aware of the defects of a majority faction because of their "needful" commercial addiction to race-based slavery. It was this divided sovereignty, the conflict between “free labor” and “slave labor” state economies, that forced an end to Federal support of slavery.

The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 creates a monolithic “needful” majority of drivers that are voters. Children are a defenseless minority burdened by debt, pollution, and D-graded infrastructure. Federal highways are identical to Federal support for the expansion of slavery with the Missouri Compromise, Kansas-Nebraska Act, and Dred Scott Decision.

Federalist #51 (Madison):

In a free government the security for civil rights must be the same as that for religious rights. It consists in the one case in the multiplicity of interests, and in the other in the multiplicity of sects. The degree of security in both cases will depend on the number of interests and sects;

Interstates created a needful majority, Americans without a car and foreign oil cannot economically compete. This needful majority of voters who are driver:

  • Consume non-renewable resources; US Peak Oil was in 1970.
  • Fund terrorists with oil-dollars to attack America.
  • Fund both sides of oil-wars since 1991.
  • Tilt the balance of nature by producing 20 pounds of CO2 for each gallon of gas we burn.
  • Rebuilt known paths to domestic war.
  • Borrowed for $21 trillion more in benefits than we were willing to be taxed.

As PRT, freight railroad, and the urban designs in foreign cities illustrate, there are alternatives to the Federal highway monopoly.

Paths to War

Like earthquakes, war are sudden violent releases of stress that have built over decades. The Federal highway monopoly has rebuilt the two known paths to domestic war between Americans (open letter to the West Point Class of 1972):

  • Illicit Energy is the dependence on energy outside self-reliance. Federal-Aid Highway Act mandates dependence on foreign oil, building the same path to war as Federal support for the expansion of slavery.
  • Taxation without Representation: Since US Peak Oil national debt increased in tandem with oil imports. Debt is the tax on future labor. The Federal debt ($21 trillion) imposes a $64,635 tax (2018-06-01) on the future labor of every child without their consent . Children cannot revolt, so when they can no longer carry the debt or push it on to their children, they will starve in vast numbers. This Oil Famine almost happened in America in 2008. It did happen in Syria in 2010. Rising gasoline prices will trigger an economic collapse at some point. Life requires energy. Less affordable energy, less life.

Pass the Solar Mobility Act

Local and state action, passing the Solar Mobility Act allows use public rights of way to privately funded transportation networks that are 5 times more efficient than highways, safer than highways, solar-powered if above ground, pay 5% of their gross revenues, and comply with the ASTM F24 standards used by 44 of the 50 states to enforce thrill ride safety at theme parks.

Hyerploop, JPods® (disclosure, the author is the founder), and other modern versions of Morgantown’s PRT are being built despite the barriers of Federal monopoly but mostly in foreign countries. Millions of jobs will be created digitizing mobility networks as soon as the Federal highway monopoly is ended.

Traffic costs Americans $1.7 trillion/year. At least $1 trillion per year of these costs can be recovered after free markets are restored as customer savings, jobs building networks, and profits.

Enforce the Constitution

The written Constitution forbids Federal politicians from mix war-powers with their commercial self-interests. Federalist #10 (Madison):

“No man is allowed to be a judge in his own cause, because his interest would certainly bias his judgment, and, not improbably, corrupt his integrity….  [divided sovereignty, Federal over war-powers, states over crime and commerce]

The Boston Tea Party resulted from the King mixing his war-powers with commercial self-interests. Madison documented in preparation for the Constitutional Convention that under the Articles of Confederation risks of war were caused by state governments mixing war-powers and commercial self-interests, “Vices of the Political System of the United States”.

The Preamble, the Federal mission statement clearly states divided sovereignty. The Federal government is granted unlimited taxing power for the limited sovereignty to “provide” for the defense of liberty. It is forbidden to tax to do more than “promote the general welfare”.

Federalist #46 (Madison):

"The federal and State governments are in fact but different agents and trustees of the people, constituted with different powers, and designed for different purposes."

Federalist #28 (Hamilton):

Power being almost always the rival of power, the general government will at all times stand ready to check the usurpations of the state governments, and these will have the same disposition towards the general government. The people, by throwing themselves into either scale, will infallibly make it preponderate. If their rights are invaded by either, they can make use of the other as the instrument of redress. How wise will it be in them by cherishing the union to preserve to themselves an advantage which can never be too highly prized!” [The people have found it necessary to use these two types of governments to wage war on the other in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars.]

Federalist #51 (Madison):

“If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”

“Ambition must be made to counteract ambition.” [The Constitution grants war-powers to Federal politicians and power over commerce to state politicians so ambitions in one sphere counter the other.]

“In the compound republic of America, the power surrendered by the people is first divided between two distinct governments, and then the portion allotted to each subdivided among distinct and separate departments. Hence a double security arises to the rights of the people. The different governments will control each other, at the same time that each will be controlled by itself. Second. It is of great importance in a republic not only to guard the society against the oppression of its rulers, but to guard one part of the society against the injustice of the other part. Different interests necessarily exist in different classes of citizens. If a majority be united by a common interest, the rights of the minority will be insecure.”  [Federal highways unite drivers in voting for Federal politicians who mortgage the liberty of children to provide $21 trillions more in benefits than were contributed.]

Some will say that Article 1, Section 8 grants power to Congress to tax to “provide for the general welfare”, to tax Ohio factory workers to build Interstate Highways in New York. That stands the Constitution on its head and created the problem of rising gasoline prices today. Congress, a part of the Federal government cannot have more power than the whole Federal government as limited in the Preamble to only “promote the general welfare”. In Federalist #41 Madison explains Congress’ power to control of commerce are restricted by an enumerated list “not even separated by a longer pause than a semicolon”.

Congress is to use the Commerce Clause, war-powers to coerce, “to regulate”, commercial behaviors that build paths to war. The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 created perpetual oil-wars since 1991 and funded terrorist with oil-dollars by violating enumerated restrictions:

  • “post Roads”. It was forbidden to create the uniform foreign oil addiction we see today, forbidden to create the “needful” majority willing to sacrifice Posterity for cheaper gas prices today.
  • “No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or Revenue to the Ports of one State over those of another”. Forbidden to taxes or use war-powers to benefit the people in one state over another. Farmer in Iowa cannot be taxed to fund subways in New York.
  • “fix the Standard of Weights and Measures”. It can set uniform standards, but must use the state courts to enforce those standards.

Madison explains divided sovereignty over war and commerce, specifically highways (internal improvements), in Federalist #45:

"The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State."

Presidents Madison, Monroe, Jackson, Tyler, Polk, Pierce, and Buchanan vetoed Congressional mixing of war-powers with commercial self-interests in road building. Until the Civil War, Presidents vetoed powerful Congress wanting to tax people not in their districts to pay for pork barrel projects in their districts. Of the first 53 vetoes 21 were to prevent Congress from generally taxing the nation to benefit special interests.

Construction of the Transcontinental was accomplished with private capital with the Federal government providing lands and bonds for completed miles of railroads. The bonds were repaid in full, on time, and with the agreed to interest. A review should be conducted to determine if this use of the Federal balance sheets is "provide" or "promote".

After the 17th Amendment, popular election of Senators, the cost of political  corruption was reduced from buying half a state legislature to merely contributing to a Senate campaign.  Congress and Presidents colluded violate the Constitution’s divided sovereignty, to consolidate war-powers and commercial self-interests, to tax and build infrastructure that mandated Americans buy the products of those who funded the campaigns. The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 industrialized urban sprawl, mandating American familes own 1.7 cars to be economically competitive. Federal highway monopoly created a "needful" majority, Tyranny of the Majority voted for $21 trillion more benefits than we were willing to pay in taxes. This debt is a tax we impose on our children without their consent.

Federalist #10 (Madison):

If the impulse and the opportunity be suffered to coincide, we well know that neither moral nor religious motives can be relied on as an adequate control. They are not found to be such on the injustice and violence of individuals, and lose their efficacy in proportion to the number combined together, that is, in proportion as their efficacy becomes needful…. [Interstate Highways created  a needful majority, drivers who vote]

A common passion or interest will, in almost every case, be felt by a majority of the whole; a communication and concert result from the form of government itself; and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party [Posterity, children].... Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths….

violent in their deaths…” is the path mandated by foreign oil addiction. There is another choice.

Americans can exercise the self-discipline to be energy self-reliant by:

  • Ending the Federal highway monopoly that binds our survival to foreign oil by passing the Solar Mobility Act in their local and state governments.
  • Planting a Victory Garden to protect their families from oil and food price shocks.

Millions of jobs were created by ending the Federal communications monopoly. Millions of jobs will be created building by ending the Federal highway monopoly. Federalism, the Constitution divided sovereignty, is essential to innovate internal improvements, to correct the D and D- ratings under Federal control.

Ending the foreign oil addiction mandated by Federal highways will take time. DOT bureacracies will resist change as indicated by them doing nothing to answer the calls to action by eight Presidents. Building transport networks as efficient as railroads and safe as theme parks will take time. Victory Gardens buy time.

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