LaHood: “Yes, I am Secretary of Behavior Modification”

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood lashed out in response to George Will’s claim that LaHood is trying to be “Secretary of Behavior Modification” — by casually admitting it.

“About everything we do around here is government intrusion into people’s lives,” says LaHood. Admitting that Obama’s policies are, in fact, “a way to coerce people out of their cars,” LaHood commented that, “The only person that I’ve heard of who objects to this is George Will.”

It is not surprising that LaHood has never heard of the Antiplanner, but he hasn’t heard of the Reason Foundation, Heritage Foundation, Cato Institute, or (from the state LaHood used to represent) Heartland Institute?

When asked about airlines that are worried that Obama’s subsidies to high-speed rail will harm their efforts to be profitable businesses, LaHood was “noncommittal.” Apparently, he doesn’t see any difference between a for-profit company and a for-loss government agency.

And LaHood is supposed to be the token Republican in the Obama administration. He certainly isn’t a Republican in the Reagan mold.

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31 thoughts on “LaHood: “Yes, I am Secretary of Behavior Modification”

  1. Scott

    “Behavior Modification” is what the left is about. Of course you know that Randal. It’s complicated (& hypocritical, as is some of the right), while the left claims personal rights & such, there are still efforts to modify certain actions, restricting freedom.
    It’s too bad that many don’t understand. It goes beyond that. “Who’s gonna pay” is part of the issue.
    The left says: “The other guy, & the non-user.” Fairness? Far from it.

    Big government is making things worse. For one thing: The deficit is 12% of GDP. That is not increasing the GDP; it’s taking away from the private sector.

    It’s too bad that people don’t educate themselves more & “think” beyond personal, selfish, ignorant, lazy & such views.
    In addition to the web sites provided:
    http://www.fraserinstitute.org/
    http://www.independent.org/
    http://www.lewrockwell.com/

    This is beyond transportation people. It’s personal choice. And these proposed limits on freedom have negligible effect on outcome.
    Actually, things are made worse w/gov intervention.

  2. Dan

    there are still efforts to modify certain actions, restricting freedom. It’s too bad that many don’t unde…

    Zackly! It’s too bad many don’t understand the manly wish of a few to look masculine, which results in restricting fraydums by autocentric development!

    Yup. It’s too bad that many don’t understand that thinking the fraydum to choose between auto and auto and auto and auto ain’t no fraydum.

    DS

  3. Scott

    Freedom to be forced to pay taxes for others to ride mass transit?

    Freedom to be free from government coercion?

    There are many choices now to live near a transit hub.

    Face it leftists: public transit is very expensive & needs high density over a large area.

  4. Lorianne

    “About everything we do around here is government intrusion into people’s lives,” says LaHood.

    You have to admit, he has a point there.

  5. craig

    Having lived the biking and transit only, lifestyle for 2 years.

    I prefer the freedom of a car, to be able to go to where I want, when I want and not be a slave to the transit schedule. And the limits of what I can carry on transit.

    You can live the transit life style, if you like living in the inner city. I prefer the outer burbs and some privacy at home and in my car.

  6. the highwayman

    Lorianne said: “About everything we do around here is government intrusion into people’s lives,” says LaHood.

    You have to admit, he has a point there.

    THWM: So in a nut shell. Anti-planner = Bullshit + Hypocrisy.

  7. bbpdx

    Admitting that Obama’s policies are, in fact, “a way to coerce people out of their cars,”

    He mispoke a bit there. He meant to say “coerce OTHER people out of their cars.” You see, people love transit. They love when YOU ride transit.

    People love light rail, and “dense transit-oriented” housing. They love when YOU ride it, and when YOU live there.

    Can’t wait to catch Ray LaHood on the bus. What, he’s too important for that? I wonder who he was talking about then?

  8. Scott

    What the hell is this jibberish talk about “laws”? Who’s talking about laws?

    And WTF is & all government spending & action being intrusive? How so?

    You leftists & freedom restrictors & money redistributers really do not understand. Please try to pay attention.

    You have the mindset of “all or none”. There’s a wide range of options.

    What you are saying is not even close.
    Should all behavior & purchases & movements be approved by gov?

    So, nobody should have cars, & transit spending should be quadrupled?

    What hypocrisy is there in classical-liberalism?

  9. Tad Winiecki

    Craig – many people have travel choices which give them freedom to go where and when they want without using cars. Many are quicker and cheaper than cars and go places cars can’t go. Depending on the season and where you live some of these are mopeds, scooters, motorcycles, snowmobiles, boats, ultralight airplanes, and gyrocopters.
    God bless you.

  10. D4P

    What the hell is this jibberish talk about “laws”? Who’s talking about laws?

    The Antiplanner criticizes particular decision-making because it seeks to modify behavior. In other words, “Decision X is bad because it seeks to modify behavior.”

    Thus, we can infer from this logic that if something seeks to modify behavior, it is bad.

    Thus, since all laws seek to modify behavior, they should be declared bad.

    If you’re not willing to consider all laws to be bad, then you’re gonna have to come up with a different rationale for opposing any given decision or policy beyond simply stating that it “seeks to modify behavior.”

    Efforts to modify behavior are all around us, but the Antiplanner would have us believe that only “planners” and their ilk are responsible.

  11. ws

    ROT:When asked about airlines that are worried that Obama’s subsidies to high-speed rail will harm their efforts to be profitable businesses, LaHood was “noncommittal.” Apparently, he doesn’t see any difference between a for-profit company and a for-loss government agency.

    ws:A for “profit” company that is hemorrhaging money, has constant bankruptcies, and operates on government/municipal backed construction. The US airlines industry had a $9 billion net loss last year. The railroads have not been afforded the same interventionist methods as roads and railroad lines. Let’s not conflate these two industries as if they’re operating similarly, because they’re not.

    Give railroads a chance to at least compete and offer them the same financing mechanisms that other industries have. I agree that throwing money at Amtrak is not the solution, but we can’t keep holding them to a different level of criticism. It seems like airlines are allowed to fail and go into bankruptcy or get special treatment from the feds, but oh no, Amtrak must get the brunt of any criticism.

  12. the highwayman

    craig said: Having lived the biking and transit only, lifestyle for 2 years.

    I prefer the freedom of a car, to be able to go to where I want, when I want and not be a slave to the transit schedule. And the limits of what I can carry on transit.

    You can live the transit life style, if you like living in the inner city. I prefer the outer burbs and some privacy at home and in my car.

    THWM: Just as are there people that don’t want to be tethered to a car either.

    To each their own, I live in the burbs, though mostly get around on foot & transit.

  13. D4P

    Thought the Antiplanner might be interested in this, since he talks so much about carbon emissions.

    New GIS maps available today showing that “although (carbon) emissions on a per-acre basis are greatest in highly urban areas, it is in the suburbs and outlying areas where we pollute the most on a per-household basis. This is because rates of driving are so much higher in spread-out suburbia than in places where homes, jobs, shops, and services are in more convenient proximity to each other.

    http://tinyurl.com/carbonemissions

  14. the highwayman

    The Autoplanner: …LaHood is supposed to be the token Republican in the Obama administration. He certainly isn’t a Republican in the Reagan mold.

    THWM: Ronald Reagan, ok well let’s see, budget grew 69%, the war on drugs, people convicted of no crime having their property confiscated, the arms race, Grenada, funding the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan.

  15. ws

    I’m surprised Reagan is a Republican in the “Reagan mold” too considering he had the largest tax increase ever (besides during WWII), and even larger than Clinton’s!

  16. Scott

    Dan: What does “masculine” have to do w/anything? There is freedom to ride transit or take transit. There are many drawbacks in transit & if you decide upon transit, your choices are severely limited.

    H-man: You have never backed up your your claims of “liberty-leaning people: as being assholes or hypocrite or against others. Please elaborate on what you perceive.

    There is plenty of freedom for an individual to locate themselves by a hub. However, their destinations are few & inconvenient. Should $100 billion more be spent on transit? That would be 20+ times as much more, on a per passenger-mile basis as roads.

    D4P: Bad logic in that laws to modify “the prevention of harm to others” (ie behavior) justify the gov. getting all forms of a person’s actions.

    ws: Airports are subsidized. Airplane tickets should taxed more to pay. However, should security (ie sock checking) be so severe?
    Profiling is good: there is a much more likelihood that ~Arabians might pose a risk, compared to those born in the US.

    H-man: You live in suburbs & take transit often. Good for you, whatever, who cares. You’re lucky that those limited options are available.
    Personally, I grew up in suburban Chicago, w/the only bus (not to where to I wanted to go) being a mile away & once an hour. I never complained that taxes should be raised for “my convenience” & more than 2-3 times as much energy/money per rider.

    LaHood is a RINO. Not that Repubs are real good; they pander to voters, esp. Ted Stevens.
    BTW, Reagan could only do so much w/a leftist Congress.
    He defeated the commies. I know some of you are sad about that.

    He did practice Keynesian-ism too much (again, w/Congress as for Bush), which is being done way too much now by the Marxist BO. Figure it out: The deficit is 12% of GDP; that doesn’t add to output, it takes from the private sector.

    People! Please learn!

  17. the highwayman

    I can’t explain some thing that you don’t want to understand.

    Scott: Personally, I grew up in suburban Chicago, w/the only bus (not to where to I wanted to go) being a mile away & once an hour. I never complained that taxes should be raised for “my convenience” & more than 2-3 times as much energy/money per rider.

    THWM: My father grew up in rural area where the nearest bus route was in a town 9 miles away and that’s understandable. Also you don’t need a 40 foot bus when a smaller bus can do the same job.

    In your case it seems that you or your family chose to live in a more auto dependent location by design.

    It’s all relative, if you go to the store to buy milk and they are out of milk, then you can’t buy any milk there.

  18. ws

    Scott:“ws: Airports are subsidized. Airplane tickets should taxed more to pay. However, should security (ie sock checking) be so severe? Profiling is good: there is a much more likelihood that ~Arabians might pose a risk, compared to those born in the US.”

    ws:I know things get OT on this site, but where the heck did the part about Arabs come from about racial profiling?

  19. Scott

    ws: Yeah, profiling was a reach & way off topic.

    Please don’t mis-perceive the racial over-tones, but what ethnicity have terrorists been?
    This does not mean that all Muslims or people from certain countries are bad.

    The thing is: that in airport inspections, consider the odds of being a terrorist. For whites, blacks or hispanics, it’s very very low.
    For brown (southwest Asia) it’s slightly higher. For those brown from the Mid-east, the chances are even higher for Arabs & Persians.

    In other words, 1 out of many million US born citizens could be a terrorist. And for Middle easterners, the odds are many times greater.

    Part of the reason that I brought up is that some of cost for airports is security. There are are more efficient ways to “screen” potential threats to passengers.

  20. Lorianne

    The Highwayman sid: So in a nut shell. Anti-planner = Bullshit + Hypocrisy.

    I wouldn’t say that.
    He has some valid points about planning and planners … and he’s very inconsistently hypocritical.

  21. the highwayman

    Ask your self why most of the rail lines in Hawaii were trashed after WWII?

    Why do you have one form a infrastructure judged on a profit or loss basis while an other one is not?

    I hope you know that Honolulu once had commuter trains?

    When rail lines are dismantled, it’s not for economic reasons, it’s for political reasons.

    If there’s a downturn in the economy, you’re not going to rip out the road from in front of your house.

  22. the highwayman

    Scott said: Freedom to be forced to pay taxes for others to ride mass transit?

    THWM: So, I pay for the road infront of my house so others can drive on it.

  23. Scott

    What the hell does an island of 600 sq.mi., being ~1/5 urbanized, have to w/ anything?… Which used to have rail, before cars were affordable?

    Why would a lesser used rail line, be discontinued for political reason, rather than cost?
    You have it reversed. New LRT lines are made for political reasons, rather than econ or actually helping congestion.

    Dude, please stop or start your medication.
    Tell the Doctors, in the hospital which you reside at, that you still ramble on, almost coherently, but with no point.

  24. Pingback: The Antiplanner :: More on LaHood :: http://ti.org/antiplanner

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