Murphy on Private Production of Roads
By David Henderson
Most Americans recognize the efficiency of private enterprise in providing goods such as computers and cars. Yet for various reasons, when it comes to roads, most people recoil from the idea of private production. Indeed, many people think that one of the essential functions of government, in addition to other tasks such as coining money and providing military defense, is to provide roads.
So begins frequent Econlib Feature Article writer Robert P. Murphy in his July article, “Private Production of Roads,” July 3, 2017.
One of the standard questions skeptics of economic freedom raise is “With limited government or no government, who would provide the roads?” It is usually asked as if it’s a rhetorical question. It shouldn’t be. Murphy shows that in U.S. history roads were provided privately. He also lays out how private production is highly likely to solve some of the biggest problems that exist with government ownership of roads.