In a hearing of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee's Panel on 21st Century Freight Transportation, Rob Atkinson argued that the U.S. freight transportation system faces major challenges and new policies are required to enhance investment and improve existing infrastructure. These include targeting investments in areas that can improve truck freight movement; creating better funding models for these investments; and ensuring that trucking pays for the full costs they impose on the system.
ITIF Event Highlights the Social and Economic Case for Autonomous Vehicles
In reflecting on ITIF's event, Stephen Ezell wrote smart public policies and government support will be vital in ensuring nations’ pioneering positions in the deployment and adoption of autonomous vehicle technologies. Likewise, leadership will be needed from U.S. policymakers at both the federal and state levels to craft legislation and safety standards through which automated or autonomous vehicle technologies can be researched, developed, tested, and ultimately deployed.
The Road Ahead: The Emerging Policy Debates for IT in Vehicles
Just as IT-driven transformations in other industries have created new policy issues, the same will be true in transportation. The automotive industry will likely face some of the same policy debates and challenges previously seen in other industries further along in the technology adoption lifecycle. Chief among these policy debates will likely be concerns about public safety, data privacy and ownership, free speech and decency, liability, and access to wireless spectrum. While this report will not offer answers to all of the questions it raises, it will argue that the policy decisions about IT in the vehicle should be driven, not by narrow interests and concerns, but rather by a broad government mandate to foster innovation in the transportation sector. This will require leadership from both the government and the private sector and cooperation between different stakeholders.
Are Toll Lanes Unequal? A Response to the Rawlsian Critics
Dan Sarewitz argued in a piece at The Breakthrough about new high occupancy/toll (HOT) lanes on the Washington, DC Beltway. He claims, “market rationality imposed on roadways that all people depend on for their livelihoods and social lives means that poor people will be increasingly required to travel more slowly than those with more money.” So what Sarewitz appears to be arguing against is our current tax system, which he presumably, and rightly, believes is not progressive enough. Fair enough. But let’s have that discussion rather than demonize innovative, environmentally and socially progressive innovations like toll lanes built through public-private partnerships. If we want to build the support for policies that are truly pro-growth, rather than one that simply redistribute limited growth, we need to reject failed Rawlsian thinking.
Winning the Race 2012 Memos
As the 2012 presidential campaign moves in the final stage, ITIF is presenting general principles and specific recommendation ideas across several policy areas we believe the next President and Congress should adopt to restore U.S. global competiveness and prosperity.
As chronicled in Innovation Economic: The Race for Global Advantage, the United States is losing its once formidable edge as an innovator. Many other nations are putting in place better tax, talent, technology and trade policies, and reaping the rewards in terms of faster growth, more jobs, and faster income growth. It’s not too late for the United States to regain its lead but it will need to act boldly and with resolve.
Week by week until the November election, the Winning the Race series will put forward creative yet pragmatic ideas in policies affecting taxes, trade, education, broadband, the digital economy, clean energy, science and technology and other areas. Taken as a whole, the series represents a new Innovation Consensus to replace the outdated Washington Consensus.
Memo One (September 3, 2012): Boosting Innovation, Competitiveness, and Productivity
Memo Two (September 10, 2012): Trade and Globalization
Memo Three (September 17, 2012): Corporate Tax
Memo Four (September 24, 2012): Digital Communication Networks
Memo Five (October 1, 2012): Traded Sector Industries
Memo Six (October 9, 2012): Digital Economy
Memo Seven (October 15, 2012): STEM Skills
Memo Eight (October 22, 2012): Clean Energy
Memo Nine (October 29, 2012): Science and Technology
Memo Ten (November 5, 2012): Overcoming the Barriers
Complete List of Policy Recommendations: Top Policy Recommendations for the Obama Administration to Help the United States Win the Race for Global Advantage