Texas Liberal

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Bolivar Ferry Gibb Gilchrist In Houston Ship Channel Boat Yard For Work—Free Ferry Is Socialism

Where are boats in the Bolivar Ferry fleet sent when they need maintenance or repairs?

From the picture above that I took last week, I’d say they go to a boat repair yard in the Houston Ship Channel.

Above you see the Bolivar Ferry called the Gibb Gilchrist in a boat repair yard in Houston Ship Channel.

The Gilchrist is the yellow boat in the middle of the picture.

The Bolivar Ferry runs from Galveston Island to Bolivar Peninsula. It is a “free” service run by the Texas Department of Transportation.

Where are the cries of socialism?

I thought a real Texan could cross a few miles of Galveston Bay on his or her own and without help from a meddling government.

Where are the citizen-volunteers to fix the boat, instead of the tab taxpayers are no doubt picking up for whatever work is being done?

Here are facts about who Gibb Gilchrist was from the excellent Handbook of Texas Online.  The upshot  is that Mr. Gilchrist was once President of Texas A & M.

The Bolivar Ferry is a great ride. You can walk on and take a round-trip that will run about 50 minutes. You’ll see big ships and you might see some dolphins.

While you are riding the Bolivar Ferry, you are using a taxpayer-provided government service that enhances the common good.

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July 30, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , ,

8 Comments »

  1. Nice photo. Think I’ll play 3702 in the Pick 4 some day this week.

    Comment by Newton | July 30, 2012

  2. “Where are the citizen-volunteers to fix the boat”

    Why on earth do you think the notion of cooperative (rather than coercive) collective effort requires unpaid labor? In the absence of a free alternative, all manner of conveyances are repaired — everything from race cars to wide-body passenger jets.

    Your straw-man fetish is getting away from you.

    Comment by Matt Bramanti | July 31, 2012

  3. Newton–That might be your lucky number.

    Matt–All I hear about is things that could be done better by people left themselves rather than by government. Why not save some taxpayers some money by having mechanically inclined right-wing extremists fixing them. It would be like the 1000 points of light George H.W. Bush talked about.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | July 31, 2012

  4. “Why not save some taxpayers some money by having mechanically inclined right-wing extremists fixing them.”

    Because you’re setting up a false dichotomy, attributing the silly half to conservatives, and then easily knocking it down.

    In this false dichotomy, the only possible options for transportation from Bolivar to Galveston are (a) a free state-run ferry system in which maintenance is paid for by the state, and (b) a free state-run ferry system in which the state asks for unpaid maintenance labor.

    When presented with those two alternatives, an observer’s natural reaction (and the one you’re counting on) is “option B is ridiculous, thus option A must be the right answer.”

    I’m really not sure whether you’re being dishonest, so I guess I have to ask: in the absence of the TxDoT ferry, do you think any means of transportation between Bolivar and Galveston would emerge?

    Comment by Matt Bramanti | August 1, 2012

  5. I think you folks on the right would gut the ferry and the fine service it has provided for many years, and replace it with a less useful privatized service that would be awarded based on political donations and political favoritism.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | August 2, 2012

  6. “I think you folks on the right would gut the ferry and the fine service it has provided for many years,”

    Not gut. That implies that there would be a carcass left. I would eliminate the public ferry entirely.

    “and replace it with a less useful privatized service that would be awarded based on political donations and political favoritism.”

    I wouldn’t replace it with anything, as I’m not in the ferry business. If someone wanted to run a ferry service, he could. He could set the fares at his discretion. The boats and related equipment would be sold to the highest bidder in a public auction.

    You seem to imply that a private system would be subject to political corruption, but there would be nothing to “be awarded.” That’s in contrast to the current system, in which valuable contracts are awarded by a political entity.

    Comment by Matt Bramanti | August 2, 2012

  7. I think everything is prone to corruption.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | August 3, 2012

  8. And yet you pick the method in which corruption is least likely to be detected and corrected because of incentive effects.

    I think it’s strange, but then you don’t believe much in incentives.

    Comment by Matt Bramanti | August 4, 2012


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