ET Workshops outline key economic principles and outline how market-based reforms can help solve transportation challenges.
Federal transportation policies influence how Americans travel by car, bus, train, sea, air, and even bicycle. Federal policies also regulate (and restrict) rockets travel to space.
Core economic concepts include incentives, information, opportunity cost, scarcity, uncertainty, and entrepreneurship. No one knows or can know the best way to travel from here to there. Entrepreneurs and enterprises innovate to help make travel safer, faster, and less expensive.
Public Choice economics can help us understand why outdated and costly federal programs (such as mass transit policy and the Jones Act) continue to be supported and funded. The benefits are concentrated to special interest groups and companies while the costs are disbursed among millions of taxpayers, and commuters stuck in traffic jams.
The good news is that new technologies can resolve traffic congestion and fund expanded highway capacity, and innovate new firms from Uber and Lyft to SpaceX, Blue Origin, and JP Aerospace create new transportation opportunities and capacities.
Economic Thinking Online presentations look at today’s policy challenges as well as the history of U.S. transportation infrastructure. A key challenge in the status quo is the politicization of transportation, perhaps best seen in state and federal policies that divert funds to mass transit and light rail programs.
Economic Thinking Workshops are offered to students, families and debate clubs, and available at no charge to students attending this year’s ET workshops. Our goal is to provide an online learning experience similar to attending a workshop.
Interested students and clubs can request Skype sessions for questions and further discussion.