This is what Indianapolis and Indiana will look like in the year 2036

Indy’s Plan 2020 is getting a lot of attention. I tried looking at their site, but almost every link I encountered said nothing or was broken. From what I hear, it’s a lot of zoning and land re-use plans that everyone is holding up as “the key to the city’s future”. I rarely believe that sort of stuff because Indianapolis, like most cities, doesn’t have any money to turn effort into momentum.

Doug Masson is doing an excellent job of summarizing Indiana’s history in his Indiana Bicentennial series.

Given Plan 2020 seems rather lofty and best-case-scenario for the future, and Doug has the State’s overall past covered, I thought it might be interesting to think about what Indianapolis and Indiana might look like in 20 years. That seems like a reasonable amount of time for gears of government to work enough to induce some noticeable policy changes at the state and local levels.

In 20 years this puts Indianapolis in the year 2036. Most millennials will now be somewhere in their 40’s. A new generation will have graduated out of K-12 education.

Indianapolis Neighborhoods

Broad Ripple will experience an overall suburbanization effect. As present-day millennials age and decide they want to hang near work and decent schools with their new families, Broad Ripple is going to look more like an old-school suburb.

Which means all the nightlife, music, and other noisy stuff will continue its trend and firmly supplant itself in Fountain Square. The current colony of artists and other industries that rely on extremely low-rents and low-cost spaces will now be setup around Garfield Park. The Cultural Trail will have extended south to Garfield Park, and East through the New York St/Michigan Street areas. However, we’ll be buzzled as to why all the growth will take place near Garfield Park and not so much on the near east side.

The 16th street corridor will continue its growth just north of Downtown and is likely to grow into something we’ve not seen much before in Indy. I think it’ll become a sort of “uppercrust young people with money” corridor. College students that have wealthy parents, Downtown workers with well-paying jobs, but with a taste that eschews the sort of shiny all-glass all-chrome aesthetic that defines Fountain Square’s new developments today. A new aesthetic of urban, gritty, classical-architecture is likely to take shape here.

The City’s continued investments in new roads, sidewalks, transit corridors, and trails will continue to expand primarily on the north side, north of Washington Street, east of Michigan Road, and west of College Ave. Nothing new here.

Lafayette Square and Washington Square malls will drag down everything around them like a collapsing star. They’ll kill spontaneity, aesthetics, and drag down safety and drive up costs in transportation. Best case is the city will work with Simon to demolish the properties and replace them with a dense node of mixed-use residential and commercial that is affordable and pushes the boundaries of quality, low-cost, office and retail space for entrepreneurs and super small businesses. “Mall to Small” we’ll call it.

Development on the south side will likely cease in this period. The south side will be waiting another 20 years (40 total from today) for suburban counties to struggle with their over-development and sprawl. Their costs will skyrocket, their residents will leave for newer exurbs, and taxes will increase. This will put Fishers, Avon, Plainfield, and Greenwood on a similar tax rate with Marion County. Thus, new development will in-fill on the south side of Marion County to at least get benefits of proximity since costs are equalized.

Shelby and Hancock Counties will benefit from that south side growth in 50-60 years from today as they become the new affordable suburbs.

Families and adults looking to flee from the City will setup shop in Westfield, Whitestown, Lebanon, New Whiteland, and Franklin. These places will resemble Fishers and Carmel today. Danville may also enjoy some exurban growth. Brownsburg will miss this boat because of a lack of vision and planning today. This will be their “lost generation”. Greenfield and Shelbyville will grow once that aforementioned south-side infill occurs.

Greenwood, Avon, Plainfield, Fishers, and Carmel will look like present-day Beech Grove and Lawrence, in that order. Carmel seems to be attempting to avoid this fate by investing heavily now, but heavy debt loads on a fickle population of residents may be their undoing. Greenwood, Avon, and Plainfield are likely unable to avoid this fate and will become old, expensive, and unsustainable once their water, sewer, road, and school systems start requiring immense repairs – all at around the same time. As property ages and becomes less valuable, they will see revenue shrink even more.

It could be that Carmel grows into an urban center unto itself, and between Indianapolis’ core and Carmel’s core the northside of Marion County becomes something else entirely. I think Carmel’s gambles today are likely to be dangerous long-term with debt. Debt is everyone’s undoing.

Indianapolis will maintain healthy bond and debt levels throughout this time, barring an emergency, and resemble our current “slow and steady” conservative approach to growth. But I can imagine a scenario where Indy’s “sports strategy” starts to show some cracks. The Colts are likely to be in negotiations for another new stadium. The Pacers will maintain shop here. The Speedway is going to see a decline in viewership, advertising, and attendance. Baseball, hockey, and soccer will continue to be such minor-players residents will loudly lament the expense of maintaining such expensive hobbies for the City. Particularly as investments in actual quality-of-life issues on the northside incenses people on the east, west, and south sides that don’t see those same amenities, but do see millions pouring into new stadium discussions.

Beech Grove and Lawrence will collapse and be folded into Indianapolis-Marion County government. They will be mere neighborhood names like Nora and Mars Hill conjure up today. Speedway may hang on, but only so long as Allison Transmission is around.

IUPUI will continue to expand east into Downtown for residential and healthcare work. Expect them to push west big time once they have a large enough plan to quickly take over the black neighborhood that’s there now. They’ll eschew growing “up” because of costs in taller buildings, preferring to keep things nice and cheap just over the river.

Indianapolis’ economy

Indianapolis’s economy will continue to be Indiana’s economy, and even more so, despite what state lawmakers will want to recognize, like today. I do not, however, think technology will be Indy’s future savior. I think our economy is likely to look a lot like today.

Salesforce will continue to expand in Indianapolis until the tech bubble bursts and their lack of profits for the sake of growth will cause total collapse of their workforce. Or, Salesforce will continue to expand in Indianapolis until a larger, actually profitable, company (like Microsoft or IBM) comes along and buys them out. That buyer is likely to have no allegiance to Indiana and we’ll enter a period of attrition as they move positions elsewhere. This will cause an undoing of Indy’s tech sector. Many will leave the city for the coasts in job relocations, but many will stay and reenter the workforce as solo entrepreneurs and freelancers. This is going to have a heavy impact on Indy’s income and sales tax revenues, but is likely to even out 10-15 years from then as the market sorts itself out. It’s hard to say which of these two things happens first. They’re racing neck-and-neck with each. What’s clear is that a select few on Wall Street and in San Francisco will be huge beneficiaries while everyday workers and the City wonders what happened and why.

Indianapolis will likely maintain most of its employment stability in government, retail, and biomedical industries (Lilly and Cummins will still do extremely well). Expect healthcare to take a dive as Boomers die and the echo-boomers age into middle-age with relatively modest healthcare needs. In another 50 years healthcare will likely tick up again as Millennials age further.

Indianapolis will continue to be a convention town, as another Convention Center expansion will have happened. Indianapolis will now regularly host large conventions for political parties, the NRA, and the sort of events we view as “just slightly” out of our league today from a capacity and hospitality stance. New hotels will continue to flow into Downtown.

Statewide policy

Indiana’s Legislature will have finally moved on from social issues like gay marriage, but will still be fixated on abortion and immigration. Indiana will likely continue to slide in the direction of less regulation and low taxation, but will compensate by raising more fees and use-taxes. Expect an increase in the gas tax by a bunch, likely within the next 2-5 years from today, and tied to inflation as Speaker Bosma has proposed. Just as electric cars take over more. I’d expect the gas tax to go up in 2-5 years and then a special “electric surcharge tax” will be placed on electric car charging to make up the difference going forward.

Indiana’s Legislature will continue to exert heavy control on Indiana’s municipalities, much to their chagrin. There will also be a push towards improving quality of life, noting that it’s not enough to be good for business if no one wants to live in your state. But this will focus heavily on communities with money. Expect Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, and Evansville to do well here, plus Hendricks, Hamilton, and Boone Counties. Rural decline will continue to heavily decimate the Hoosier hinterlands, placing them in America’s new ghettos: rural, lacking in services, and priced out of useful healthcare, transportation, and high-paying jobs.

Mitch Daniels in his return third term in 2020 will be able to stem the tide for a while, but by 2030 we’ll view rural residents as burdensome and unable to deliver value for the State.

Higher education will continue to be a sore point for Indiana as Hoosiers will still be priced out of it. I don’t expect changes in the pricing of higher education for another generation.

Places currently in economic decline will be largely abandoned. Muncie, Tipton, Seymour, and the like will resemble present-day Gary. Anderson and Kokomo may be able to stem this tide by throwing transit subsidies into Indianapolis’ orbit. Westfield’s gain in residents, for instance, will be Kokomo’s gain in industry.

Very rural counties today, like Cass, Washington, Greene, etc. will decline even further into a barely-self-sustaining entity that is mired in drug abuse, prostitution, underemployment, and anger.

The overarching conclusion: the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Orlando, guns, and why your dog is happier

There’s this illustration that always makes me smile:

Do-you-know-why-your-dog-is-happier-than-you

I think about that little drawing more than any other cartoon with possible exception of The Simpsons. It was the first thing I thought about when I woke up this weekend and saw the news about Orlando’s Pulse nightclub shooting. The first story I read was from the NY Times. It was still early, so details were scant. It initially reported 20 dead, 40 injured. I thought of this drawing, then I thought, “It was probably a gay bar. The shooter was probably some closeted Muslim-looking guy.” Then I thought of that drawing again.

Whether it wasn’t PC for me to think that or not, that’s what I thought.

Jeremiah and I marched in Circle City Pride this weekend. If someone had told me ten years ago I’d be marching in a parade I’d have kicked them in the shin. But there I was, walking alongside a handful of other folks from the Enterprise Republicans, a group doing the daunting work of moving the rest of the Indiana Republican party on social issues. We’re Mitch Daniels types. Indiana’s a Republican state, if you hadn’t noticed. We can’t expect to move tens of thousands of voters to a whole new party to fix one really big, really bad, problem. It has to be done from within.

As we were walking along I kept seeing the faces of people in the crowd. There were a lot of confused looks and people unsure of what the hell we were doing there.

It wasn’t comfortable, to say nothing of the temperatures.

I kept running up to people and saying, “We’re not fans of Mike Pence either.” Others were playing the same riff: “Some of us understand we have to respect everyone”, or, “Not all of us are like what you think.” Ironic given the locale.

Throughout the whole parade route, the thought that someone might have a gun pointed at me crossed my mind. It’s just one of the things in my thought bubble as I was walking. You don’t go through life in Washington County as a gay teen in the early 2000’s and not think about that sort of thing.

Truth is, everyone feels hate toward some other group. I feel it on my commute when people show anger at bicyclists. I felt it in the damn Pride Parade for heaven’s sake.

This country isn’t likely to move on gun control because of a mass killing in a gay bar. If white elementary school students didn’t do it, this won’t either. Plus, we’re fighting an uphill battle against the 2nd Amendment (do you really think we can start to ratify something for the Constitution this year? Next year?).

The connection between gun laws and crime isn’t even settled. Any research showing the more gun laws a state has translates to fewer deaths isn’t even solid cause-and-effect. It could be that low gun deaths in a state just correlates to low gun owners, and low gun owners means less opposition to gun laws. It’s correlation, not causation, even though the outcome looks promising.

It’s understandable that when it comes to feelings of powerlessness, a lot of people will try to even the odds. Many do so with guns. I own a gun, but it rarely moves. But I do think about whether I’d be safer wearing it sometimes. At the very least I think I’d feel safer even if it is more likely to incite an escalation.

Regardless, like most people, I probably won’t do much different. Just file away all those thoughts for later processing like I and many others do. Just one more thing in our thought bubble.

If you’re anti-gun you must immediately set your car on fire

Here’s a fun way to make people bunch up in knots.

If you think the world would better off without guns and we should abolish and criminalize their use and ownership, then will you also criminalize the use of a car? Because if you think guns kills people, or if guns don’t kill people and that people kill people, either way the automobile is deadly and should be banished.

Headlines that report that gun deaths now equal auto deaths aren’t quite accurate. Not to sound overly supportive of the gun lobby, but the CDC’s numbers can be interpreted in two ways.

In 2014, 33,599 people were killed be a firearm. 33,736 were killed by a car.

About 72% of those gun deaths were suicides. If you remove those, there were 12,265 non-suicide gun deaths in the US in 2014.

So there’s an uncomfortable argument to be made here for everyone, isn’t there? Cars are far more deadly. Cars are just as deadly. Or guns are just as deadly. I guess the one that’s hard to make is that guns are more deadly than cars. At least not with the available data we have so far.

The unfortunate thing is the people who will be quick to abolishing guns won’t be so quick to give up their cars. At all. To be really honest with themselves that person would have to support gun control and get rid of their car. A small group of people will do that, but it’s a small group. It’s a lot like the anti-GMO/pro-science crowd. It’s a bit of a contradiction.

Cars have done a lot for the economy. Just as gun owners can say guns have done a lot to shape the frontier of America, wars, and culture. But they come with some hefty loss of life.

This is why the only remaining rational argument has to be somewhere in the middle.

Car owners have to recognize they’re driving metal tombs, that marketing and culture have made them believe it’s super safe, and that it’s costly in all sorts of ways through life, finance, and the environment.

Gun owners have to recognize they’re holding metal death machines, that marketing and culture have made them believe it’s always super safe, and it’s costly in all sorts of ways through life, finance, and the environment.

I’d go a step further though and say gun owners should, and I believe do, recognize that just as we don’t just trust any person behind a car, we have some limits. We put age restrictions, ensure some modest level of understanding through driver tests and exams, have an education period for new drivers, and will take away this privilege if you consistently violate the laws surrounding its safe use.

Ironically, the gun owners do have a right. Whereas car owners do not, despite what many may think.

And before someone asks or wonders: I generally don’t care about or think about guns. I don’t get freaked out when I see one in a grocery store just as we’ve asked people not to get freaked out when they see a gay person.

I also don’t care about cars. I don’t care about them from a possessions standpoint, cultural standpoint, or care if other people choose to own one.

I know who I’m voting for

As much as it pains us to acknowledge it, America’s two party system is largely what ensures policy gets done or dies. For better or worse, it’s protected us against god-knows-what. In the US if your party receives 3% of the vote, you’re certifiably crazy. In Britain 3% is all it can take to put someone in the Prime Minister’s seat. At least we can say with some mathematical authority than an actual majority of the electorate picked the guy sitting in the oval office.

So as we hurl toward a November election, I know who I’m voting for and don’t even feel certifiably crazy about it. I think you can get behind my choice. You might even be inclined to support them, too.

I wanted someone who thinks like me, and I think like a lot of my friends like you.

  • A belief that women have a right to abortion, the government probably ought not fund it directly but should protect the ability to get one, and the duty of a woman to live with that responsibility.
  • Believing that men and women have the right to marry whomever they choose and live according to their own hearts and minds.
  • An understanding that we can’t fight our way out of every conflict and war should be rare, but is sometimes necessary.
  • Holding the knowledge that incarceration is necessary for some people, but a lot of people incarcerated for drugs have done more harm than good to many communities by splitting up families, ruining job prospects, and dragging down social resources.
  • The fiscal sense to know that access to education is immensely important, but is largely harmed by buckets full of money thrown at the problem without addressing root causes.
  • Ditto for healthcare.
  • Healthcare access is important for everyone, but let’s not settle for a government program if we can figure out a better, more efficient way. If that comes to be the only way, then let’s do it smart.
  • Deporting 11 million immigrants is bad policy, a waste of money, and harmful to economic growth.
  • Deporting, er, rounding up 500 million guns in the US is also probably bad policy, a waste of money, and, more importantly, unconstitutional until an amendment is passed.
  • That in a good capitalistic society the “pie”, the share of available wealth, can actually grow.
  • Welfare recipients shouldn’t be tested for drugs, but let’s figure out a way out of the “vicious cycle” that is welfare today.
  • Space travel is awesome, and could just as well be done as a public-private partnership with the likes of Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson, and Elon Musk.
  • Protecting the environment is important, but recognize we can’t just flip a switch overnight. Government is likely too corrupt to pick the best, most efficient, winners.
  • Muslims are people, too.
  • The path to citizenship should have a clear, efficient, and legal mechanism.
  • Common Core standards probably aren’t the worst idea, but states really are better suited to education standards. A student in Indiana that can study bio or agri-science is probably better off for everyone than a student in New York studying the same thing. The Federal government pushes out an increasing amount of that experience.
  • The wealthy aren’t to be feared, and neither are the poor. Recognize that people of all wealth levels do things most people would find bothersome. But a lot do things most people would find noble and respectable.

A lot of that probably sounds like Bernie Sanders or many progressives. A lot sounds like fiscal conservatives. None of it mentions religion. And it appears it’s not a “take half, leave the other” kind of approach. For once there is a way you can keep Democrats out of your wallet and Republicans out of your bedroom. You can actually get behind a group of people who are socially liberally and fiscally conservative. Leave people alone, protect you and your assets, and be smart with where money is spent.

I’m thinking I’ll vote for Gary Johnson and Bill Weld. A ticket that has more governing experience than Trump or Clinton. A ticket that supports the kind of governing approaches that have been immensely popular in New Mexico, Massachusetts, and I’ll add Indiana since Mitch Daniels would fit comfortably with this ticket.

In America a vote for a third party is often considered a “waste”, and like I said, our two-party system has protected us from who-knows-what kind of crazy. But it’s clear it’s also produced the current election. If there were ever a time to support a third party, this is it. It’s time the religious right go take their small corner. It’s time for racists and bigots and homophobes to go take their small corner. It’s time for the folks who would regulate everything from hair dressers to hot dog water go take their small corner. And the rest of us adults with actual common sense and a sense of fairness and live-and-let-live ethos can be heard.

I had a political science class once where the instructor mentioned if you go far enough right and far enough left on the “political spectrum” you end up meeting each other. In that reality, the spectrum is more of a sphere. The Libertarian party may conjure ideas of crazy people, but the rational among them should be dismissed no more than the far left Democratic Socialists like Bernie Sanders or the far right Religious Conservatives like Ted Cruz. Hillary and Donald may be centrists in a lot of ways comparatively, but we all have good reasons for supporting neither. Clinton’s been around in this work for too long. Trump is…Trump.

I wrote the other day how most people have one or two “vote-moving issues“. This is where a person can seemingly vote against their own interests or beliefs on most everything, but because a candidate supports one super-important issue to them, they vote on that. For a long time that was voting Democrat just to push the needle on shutting up the religious conservatives decrying marriage rights. Now that we’re beyond that, I don’t have a vote-moving issue anymore. Instead, I’m looking for a full platform, and a Johnson/Weld ticket fits.

No one cares what millennials think, so stop saying they do

Kelly Hannon at NUVO has a letter to the editor wherein she talks about the ridiculousness of Indianapolis’ transportation network. It fills in a lot of the same talking points we’ve been hearing from the Indy Chamber and others about the need for more and better transit options in Indianapolis.

I find them to be pretty weak. Which has me concerned, because this is starting to appear and sound incredibly one-sided.

Here’s Kelly:

Currently, only 33 percent of jobs in Indianapolis can be reached via transit in 90 minutes. That’s ridiculous. It’s also ridiculous that the wait time to get on one of these buses for a 90-minute trip can be between 30-60 minutes. And what happens if you have to transfer, and the second bus is behind? Or it has already left? If you currently get around this city in your car, I ask you this: use Google maps and find out what your commute would be to work, or to your favorite spot across town, if you had to use IndyGo mass transit. I did.

I don’t dispute the numbers, and she’s not wrong about transfer times. I’ve learned the quirks of the system enough myself to know when a transfer is even remotely feasible. It’s usually easy if you’re heading someplace within a few miles of Downtown. Not so much if you’re heading out to the fringes of town. But it’s clear Kelly owns a car here, which is important. She doesn’t mention where she lives around town, either, even generally, so it’s hard to make a lot of judgments here.

Like I’ve always said: people who live in rural areas know what they’re signing up for. A lot of that goes for people building a home outside 465.

The fact is, getting around the city of Indianapolis is a privilege, and not a right. Our current system in inequitable. There are too many people in this city held back from employment opportunities, educational opportunities, as well as social services, health clinics, and grocery stores simply because our city has not invested in creating a transportation system that serves all.

Alright, you lost me. First, driving isn’t a right, either. Car ownership isn’t a right. This isn’t a fact at all. You just made that up. No one owes you or me anything. I do believe that reliable and efficient transportation can be the sort of “hand up, not a hand out” that drives a lot of our political discourse in 2016. I’ll never fault anyone for trying to get to work. But don’t call it a right or privilege. By this rationale, everyone is owed a bike share station near them, too. We have rights listed in the Constitution and that is it. What you’re talking about is a nice-to-have.

Kelly talks about upward mobility in Indianapolis, and it is true Indianapolis does not do well in regards to upward mobility. But much of the research on upward mobility point to problems in education, largely K-12 schools, as the bulk of the problem. That’s a complicated and multi-faceted issue. Transit is a small part of it, in that a parent could possibly earn more money through enhanced job access, or save money through reduced private vehicle expenditures, that can then be spent on a child. Doesn’t mean it will, and there are a lot of extra hand-waves involved. People have to be empowered to move around and be effectual, too.

I am tired of hearing the ol’ pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps ideology when it comes to getting jobs in this city. When it comes to opportunity, there is no hiding the fact this system continues to perpetuate the imbalance of power between the wealthy, white, and/or able-bodied population and the poor, of color, and/or disabled communities. For it to take an average of over 90 minutes to get to 67 percent of the jobs in the area is a leading reason why Indianapolis’s upward mobility ranking is so low. I am tired of hearing those who are unemployed be blamed for not trying hard enough, when in actuality, they are running a completely different race than those of us with the privilege and funds that allow us to own a personal vehicle.

Here’s where you run into a problem. A big problem. By saying you’re tired of getting people to “pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps”, you’re saying you have a problem with conservative principles. And it’s awfully hard for any electoral math to work in your favor, especially in Indiana, when you discount at least 50, and in the case of Indiana, about 60% of the voting public. Even if you say this is just a Marion County issue where there’s a majority of Democrat voters, this ultimately has to go into the suburbs to be effective with all the job access, particularly in the low-skill labor we’re talking about here.

And that’s the other half of this big problem: it’s clear Kelly owns a car and drives it regularly. That she’s never ridden a bus before, or so it reads. That’s her privilege and a choice. Because she could choose to do without. But she doesn’t because current options aren’t good enough for her. And that’s quite a slight to the people she’s championing. And it furthers this awful branding that our transit system has: it’s a service to the poor. A welfare mechanism. Whereas in other cities they treat buses and transit like a piece of infrastructure, no different than a bridge. For all the people claiming we need to be like other cities, perhaps the first step is to stop being unlike other cities and shift your cultural connotations about who uses a bus and why.

And to add to my earlier comment about disregarding conservatives in this context: every voter has a vote-moving issue. If you’ve ever wondered why your union-dues paying uncle votes Republican, perhaps it’s because he really loves to hunt and his gun ownership is his vote-moving issue. All else be damned. For some it’s their ability to homeschool, gay marriage rights, abortion, or any number of other issues.

Locally, a person’s vote-moving issue in transit is likely to be: “Can I benefit from this directly?” If we keep promoting this idea that the current system is only for icky welfare types, don’t be surprised when they vote against it. If we keep promoting this idea that “it’s what millennials want”, don’t be surprised when everyone else over the age of 35 says “Screw them” and vote against it. If we keep promoting this idea that transit is what business wants, don’t be surprised when a bunch of people say, “I’m not a business, screw them, they can pay for it” and vote against it.

These are all vote-moving issues. The environment may be one for another block of people, but not a lot of people.

Years of marketing work has taught me one thing: people want to see themselves and see their own benefits. The easy, low-hanging fruit is, “You won’t have to spend money on a car.” Because in the US the regulations we have on cars make it impossible to build a new, reliable, car that’s under, say, $5,000. It can’t be done. Regulations add $7,000 to the cost of a new car alone. Some of this is for safety features. But did you know the US now requires all new cars to have back-up cameras? I’d gladly trade a lot of “features” like that for a dry box with wheels where I can just turn my head around and look behind me. I bet a lot of other people would, too. That leaves used cars, which I find a waste of money. For $5,000 a used car is just going to fall apart in a year or two, or be somewhat unreliable in short order. Thus, it’s all a waste of my money and I don’t want to spend it. That’s my vote-moving issue and choice.

I’d rather spend the extra $20 a month IndyGo is after in taxes (plus fares) on a robust transit network than $250 a month, or likely more, on a car. That’s just good math. And, I think, the one vote-moving issue that most people are likely to warm up to. It’s also the one getting the least play.

No one gives a crap about what millennials want or think. No one owes anything to anyone. But I do like to take care of myself, and so does everyone else.

Don’t discount the value of the conservative notion of helping people get to work AND the ability to reduce overall budget expenditures for ever-widening roads and highways AND the ability to give people a real option to increase their household earnings through efficiency and savings. That’s a perk, not a right. And it’s a perk that most people can be comfortable with and support.