Hopefully driverless cars can navigate around potholes
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed legislation last week that will allow driverless cars to be tested on Michigan roads. Snyder released a statement saying that, “By allowing the testing of automated, driverless cars today, [Michigan] will stay at the forefront in automotive technological advances that will make driving safer and more efficient in the future.”
Republican Senator Mike Kowall who sponsored the legislation, went further:
This is really a huge economic development bill,” Kowall said. “This is going to have an effect of attracting new companies and building upon existing companies that are already here.”
I’ll admit, the thought of driverless cars on our roads and highways kind of freaks me out. The idea that this will have any sort of significant impact on our economy makes me laugh.
At the end of the day, driverless cars in Michigan seem to be the perfect metaphor for how Republicans are governing our state. As roads and bridges and highways are disintegrating into pothole-strewn obstacle courses, Republicans have done exactly nothing to fix the problem. They have cut corporate taxes to the bone and raised taxes on most Michiganders. Now they find themselves unable to come up with funding to fix critical infrastructure because their tea party contingent won’t allow revenue to be raised. Governor Snyder says it’s a top priority and has proven unable to get his fellow Republicans to budge. His total lack of successful leadership is like one of Google’s driverless cars with Rick Snyder at the wheel and being taken for a ride.
More than 50 business and other groups around the state have formed the Just Fix The Roads coalition. Their website documents the economic devastation being inflicted on our state by our deteriorating roads. They point out that failing to fix our roads is costing our state over $1 billion a year.
The Road Commission for Oakland County has taken to producing a brochure to “inform people about the crisis we face and move them to help us encourage the state Legislature and governor to take action before Michigan is irreversibly damaged by its rapidly deteriorating road system.”
Yet Republicans do nothing of consequence that will actually help improve our roads or our economy.
Their lack of leadership is perfectly summed up by the image of a car with no driver. The result of their lack of leadership is a stalled Michigan economy and an unemployment rate that hasn’t dropped since April.
No amount of driverless cars is going to fix that.
Photo by Anne C. Savage, special to Eclectablog