While the question of “Who will build the roads?” is typically presented as a problem that only government can solve, all too often, government does nothing to solve it, or, in some instances, makes the problem worse. Every election year we listen to the politicians all preach about the crumbling infrastructure and how they will fix it. And, every year after each election, the American people never see those promises come true. Case in point, potholes in Kansas City have gotten so out of hand that one man is throwing them birthday parties to get the government’s attention.
Frank Sereno — like millions of other Americans — has gotten fed up with the terrible roads in his community. So, to raise awareness for the problem, he threw a birthday party for a 3-month old pothole on his street.
“I’m going to have a celebration for Pothole,” Sereno said. “I got some cake, lit a candle and had a little birthday party for Pothole. He seemed thrilled with the idea.”
“I didn’t sing to him,” Sereno told KCTV. “I thought about it, but it was a little bit warm, so I said, ‘Well, we’ll just do the cake.'”
Sereno said that he’s called the city repeatedly but they have never done anything to fix the pothole problem.
“The asphalt is completely degraded,” he said. “It’s just a symptom of our deteriorating road conditions.”
Sereno’s pothole stunt did grab the attention of city officials, however. To avoid any further bad press, the city actually filled the pothole. However, because Americans won’t consider any other means of building roads without taxing people, this problem is here to stay.
Despite the fact that many people believe roads would cease to exist if they were not funded by the government, private charities and businesses have actually been able to serve this function in isolated circumstances when they had the freedom to do so.
As TFTP reported last year, Domino’s Pizza took to solving pothole problems by encouraging customers to nominate their towns for pothole repairs at pavingforpizza.com. So far, there are already four different cities that have benefited from the road repairs, including Bartonville, Texas; Milford, Delaware; Athens, Georgia; and Burbank, California.
Another perfect example of this very situation was in the news a few years ago on Hawaii’s Kauai Island, when private citizens performed a $4 million road repair job for free—in just 8 days. When a need arises in a community, people naturally come together and take care of what needs to be done; they don’t need someone forcing them to do it.
“We shouldn’t have to do this, but when it gets to a state level, it just gets so bureaucratic, something that took us eight days would have taken them years,” said Troy Martin of Martin Steel, who donated machinery and steel for the repairs. “So we got together—the community—and we got it done.”
More recently, in one Michigan community, people took these matters into their own hands instead of sitting around and waiting for the failed government to do it. In 2015, residents of Hamtramck, Michigan—a community in the heart of Detroit—started an effort to fill in potholes and repair roads themselves.
Critics of taxation are often asked, “who will build the roads?” Apparently, there are those who believe that in the absence of the state, humanity will suddenly become incapable of laying down a dirt path or connecting roads into an interstate freeway. These people discuss the creation of government roads as if the construction was simply due to the kindness of government and not made possible by the theft of taxation.
However, what the government really does is collect money from private citizens under the threat of violence, then use that money to employ those very same citizens to build infrastructure. The reality is that the people could build infrastructure themselves for less money if they coordinated with neighbors and other communities and they would do a far better job at it.