Monday, July 24, 2006

Signs, signs

The Town of Cary is getting a lot of flack from citizens over the new signs that are popping up all over town. There have been many letters written to the News & Observer complaining about how unsightly these signs are, and about how they are a big waste of the taxpayers' money.

One interesting theme that has appeared in more than a few letters is the complaint that the town is being hypocritical by putting up these garish signs while banning most signs for commercial purposes. Whether these letter writers understand it or not they are criticizing a fundamental aspect of the relationship between government and the governed.

Does anyone (other then libertarians) question the power of government to tax? If it is wrong for individuals to take money from others without consent, how can the government do it? Granted, with regards to the sign issue, we are not comparing apples to apples, but the point is that government has the power to do things that no individual or group is allowed to do. Why? Read the sign above and think about all that it implies.

Ostensibly, one of the functions of these signs is to warn drivers about upcoming traffic problems. If this is the case then the sign that is a block from my house is facing the wrong way! It can be viewed when traveling north on Kildaire Farm Road, but at this spot it is southbound traffic that tends to be the problem. Every evening at rush hour traffic flowing south backs up for blocks, turning the road into Kildaire Farm Cluster F*%$. Even if the sign was facing the right way, I don't see what good it would do. There aren't many alternate routes drivers could take once they are able to see the sign.

The only thing that has appeared on the sign near my house is a reminder to buckle up, and how they can make you.

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