The Dystopian Future in Which Almost No One Owns a Car, by Zachary Yost

Lockdowns are a warning of what happens when governments restrict freedom of movement, an obvious danger if nobody owns a car. From Zachary Yost at mises.org:

By this point readers are more than familiar with the previously unthinkable infringements on our traditional rights and liberties due to “health and safety” lockdowns that the state has inflicted upon us over the last year. While thankfully more and more restrictions are being lifted, it is important not to forget the period of veritable universal house arrest that was enacted in many states, in which even the freedom to go for a drive was denied to us. It unfortunately seems inevitable that we will face such scenarios again when a convenient excuse comes along, though I fear that the next time will be even worse thanks to the advent of self-driving cars.

Self-driving cars seem like a truly amazing advancement in human technology. As someone who is not particularly fond of driving, I once followed their development with great interest and hopeful anticipation. However, the advent of lockdowns as an acceptable government policy has shown just a taste of the kind of dangers that would come with their widespread adoption. While they would liberate us from many of the dangers of the road and free up time in which to work or enjoy ourselves on a ride, the price of this liberation is actually an unprecedented level of government control.

Some advocates of self-driving cars argue that their adoption would mean that very few people would actually own a vehicle anymore, and that instead everyone would basically Uber everywhere. Oftentimes such predictions are espoused by people who lament how evil American prosperity is and cringe at the thought of our car culture’s carbon footprint.

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