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How Cars Ruined Our Infrastructure (Among Many Other Things Too!)

Ever notice how most countries aside from the United States have more accessible and practical methods of transportation? Ever wondered why so many Americans have demanded the development of a new, modern transcontinental railroad amidst the hardships of the coronavirus pandemic? Well, these problems date back to the 1920s, when Henry Ford created the first affordable automobile, essentially establishing a stable market for cars. These would then be produced left and right as people everywhere would start buying these vehicles and thus the companies that dominate our world today (Ford, GM, and Chrysler, etc.) would become powerhouses for the American economy. Infrastructure would have to address this technological boom so, eventually, railroads would be abandoned in exchange for the creation and development of transcontinental highways, with the most iconic example being Route 66.

Jump back to the United States in 2021 and you’ll see great environmental, economic, and social problems, like how car manufacturing consumes far too many resources at a time where these are becoming more and more finite (this includes the manufacturing of electric cars as well). Furthermore, you’ll see major cities like California with crumbling infrastructure, as most roads and highways are lacking in good shape all the while traffic jams are becoming increasingly more annoying than ever. And cars are just too expensive nowadays (especially alongside gas prices amid petroleum shortages), as more people in cities opt-out of buying vehicles and instead use subways or taxis.

We’ve got all these problems, yet companies argue cars should still be a mainstay in our society if we just make them consume electricity rather than oil. The problem, however, is that doing such simply will not mitigate their environmental harm, as—like I’ve stated before—car manufacturing simply consumes too many resources. But it’s not like most people could do anything about it, after all, Ford, GM, and Chrysler—these car companies—they have a monopoly on a captive market that will simply keep buying until it collapses because our infrastructure is so poor, with poorly-maintained subways and unkempt streets.

That’s when our government should step in because it’s not like this is a problem in other countries; look at Japan, for example, and you’ll see clean, organized trains that are highly available to everyone in whatever region. You see, by developing more railways, a more viable and accessible alternative to cars would be granted to the American markets, meaning that more and more people would opt out from buying cars. Doing such would not only reduce our carbon footprint at a time where strong environmental protection is needed but also grant Americans a more economically and practically feasible transportation experience. Sure, it’d be expensive, but if the US government redistributes the amount of tax money they receive by opting to spend more on infrastructure and social development rather than on the military-industrial complex, then it might be possible. Anyways, don't buy in on Elon Musk's Hyperloop concept, it's nonsense.

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