I got pulled over again this morning. My car's uninspected. I got a $62 fine I can't really afford because I didn't have the free money for a $60 inspection I can't really afford. So, obviously, as any classist libertarian internet asshole would gleefully point out, I can't really afford to own a car. Unfortunately, both of my jobs, and my community college, are about a half an hour's drive apart from both my home and each other. (Give or take 10 minutes for any given line in that triangle.)
There isn't any public transportation in my home town, and even if there was, I live a 15 minute drive off the center of town, which is about a 4 hour walk, and while public transportation is sort of well-equipped to get people to and from my school, it's not even a little bit set up to get people to either of my jobs.
The solution, I'll point out again for people who don't follow this blog and so don't see this rant every time something bad happens with me and my car, is comprehensive public transportation reform.
The ability to get around is a basic requirement for participation in society -- despite what recent Intro to Economics graduates and autodidactic internet Libertarians would argue, human beings are physical entities who interact in ways that are governed and constrained by time and space, and cannot be reasonably analogized to spreadsheets.
We need busses and trains and subways and government-funded cheap-or-free taxis. The government manages the roads, because transportation is a fundamental necessity for a thriving civilization. They should manage the stuff that goes on them, too -- or, at least, provide accessible options.
Having a personal vehicle should be a professional choice, or an uncommon hobby -- for a huge number of reasons: it'd be way safer if there were way fewer vehicles on the road, piloted by generally more professional people; human beings are in general objectively bad at driving and definitely shouldn't be doing it; it'd be a huge plus for the environment if the average vehicle housed a dozen people per trip instead of like 1.5; it would be less expensive to maintain the roads if they took less general wear; and other reasons also as well.
Which is to say: no, I'm not personally equipped to keep my car maintained and inspected. No, it's not reasonable to expect people in poverty to be able to do that. No, it's not reasonable to expect people in poverty to go without cars. No, that's not safe. No, it's not okay. And no, it's not a good idea to keep trying to bolster the American manufacturing economy by artificially inflating the demand for personal motor vehicles by perpetuating bad policy.