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Should There Be Government Roads?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/24/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 774 times Debate No: 32887
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
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The debate will be 1st round introduction, 2-3 rounds rebuttal, and 4th round closing thoughts and rebuttals or a short summary. The Burden of proof will be on both Pro and Con. I hope to have an intellectual debate about the more abstract rather than some specific statistics or poll taken on FOX or something along those lines, unless if you find it completely necessary in your argument.

I think it is the consensus that government roads are mandatory in the world to provide commerce, however this is not my view and I would like to hopefully change some minds. Thanks in advance to whoever debates.

Any recommendations for this debate or for future debates, please post a comment.


Please clarify your reasoning in round 2, and I will happily debate.
For the record, I am a strong conservative and still believe that there should be government roads.
Debate Round No. 1


All the rounds succeeding this one I would like to have rebuttals in along with new arguments.

To clarify; the goal of this debate is to debate whether it is preferable or not in any aspect to have governments in the business of making roads.

You can either look at it thought the utilitarian perspective, and the ethical way. If you can think of any other radically different ways to see this let me know in your rebuttal.
I'm going to introduce the ethics objection to government funded roads first, hopefully you can introduce the utilitarian perspective later.

Is It Ethical?

There are no independently acting groups, for example the saying "governments act" is only a metaphor for saying an individual that is part of the government acted. Because of this, any objectively unethical things must be treated as such even when committed by the government.
A person can steal money and it is called theft, however when a person from the government steals money, they nickname it taxation. Since the governments of today aren't voluntary, any theft must be treated as such. If a their stole from you all the money in your wallet at gunpoint, but promises that it will be used in good faith, I would assume no one would stand for this. Any use of stolen money has to be unethical.
So Pro, can I steal from you to build a road connecting my house to the grocery store? It would benefit all of the public going on that path.

For this next point I'll argue under the assumption that taxation is ethical. Let's say the local government arbitrarily decided that a new road must be built. Since everyone paid just as for it as their neighbor, the only possible way to have a fair system would be for every citizen to use the new road equally. Otherwise it is cost for everyone for the benefit of the few. This is insanely unrealistic with any system, especially one run by the government since it cannot receive market signals to decide where to put a new road.

Thanks for reading and I'm excited for your rebuttal.



I understand with your views on taxes. However, it would not be practical to privatize road building. Private companies have significantly less power than do the government. Considering the process of obtaining permission and permits would particularly would make it hard. Let us not forget that someone would have to pay for this as well.
Considering this, I do believe that there should be government roads. Many other things should be privatized, but not roads.
Now, if roads were no longer handled by the government, we could revert to horses because the roads would be unfit for cars.(This would be cool, but not very practical) But other than readopting horse transportation, there is no solution to public roadways.
Debate Round No. 2


For payment, private companies could use an EZ Pass like system and charge you a few cents every time you used the road or something along those lines. On the permit problem, no one is going to stop you from using your own land to build a road on it. The only way you would need a permit would be if the land was owned by someone else and you were using the government to seize it for the public good.
Next for the horse argument of yours, I don't follow that logic. Could you elaborate? If there were a demand for paved roads for cars then the free market would provide.


Forget the horse argument, just a kind of joke. My point was that road conditions would get worse but you can just throw it out.
The EZ pass system seems like a toll road idea to me. This would slow the flow of traffic.
People do not just own land from GA to AL in a format that people could travel. This is incredibly expensive to do. In addition, road privatization would most likely lead to forms of monopolies in the road industry and could cause massive toll charges to people.
These businesses would have to seize land from people so that they could build the roads. What about the farmers who do not want a highway running through their farm? They could completely halt the expansion of roads.
Basically, I am saying that it would be so much more user friendly and probably cheaper to keep roads public. Privatization of certain things is good, but not for roads, the military, or the police, etc.. However, education could be privatized somehow. It works for some things, not others.
Debate Round No. 3


Lexinator forfeited this round.


My argument carries, vote for me.
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Ragnar 4 years ago
Ok this debate is over toll roads, were it government roads this would just be funny.

Kicker: If he's ignorant or not, we will have to vote based on several factors to his argument.
Posted by Kicker_Swag 4 years ago
pro is ignorant
Posted by Sui_Generis 4 years ago
I'd be con, so. Doesn't mean I won't accept, but I'll do it tomorrow if at all.
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