Carmageddon is Coming
Angus Hervey

One aspect not tackled — a collapse in government revenues from transportation. Governments find it as difficult as companies, or in some cases more difficult, to adapt to revenue declines. If the transition to electric vehicles happens as fast as this writer suggests, there would be an immediate collapse in government revenues which would lead to seriously political disruption. As the transition will likely be slower and more complex than he suggests, the challenge will be more diffuse. But, as the ever-so-slow decline of the newspaper industry has demonstrated, that doesn’t mean people or institutions will adapt smoothly. Unions, for example, find it nigh on impossible to adapt — as their more reactionary members fight any form of change and seek to squeeze the last drop of income from the old business model. The same applies to some companies. Governments adopt a similar stance — as it is easier to squeeze money out of existing businesses rather than introduce new taxes on new business models. Another complication: as the last two decades have demonstrated vividly, companies which provide services for hire tend not to respect any form of ownership rights. The legal battle to ensure that non-corporate customers have some digital rights is going to be a long and complicated one. Far too many tech bosses are acting like rent seekers of the worst kind — extending their ‘rights’ willy-nilly while rejecting any idea of ‘fair use’ or of equitable distribution. For reference: see Facebook.