Over the years, transit advocates have written tens of thousands of words on why America is so far behind on high-speed rail, has so much sprawl and pedestrian-hostile development, an obesity crisis, etc.
You could read all those words, or you could just look at The Economist‘s chart below. This is one of those political science puzzles where the correct policy option is self-evident, but that solution is so unpopular that we construct crazy government schemes to try to achieve half as much at much higher cost.
Meanwhile in somewhat poorer countries like China and Indonesia, they’re actually directly subsidizing gasoline, so I suppose it could be worse. Here in America, we at least have the decency to keep our subsidies nice and hidden.
Sorry the chart is measured in “euro cents per litre”. That’s what I get for reading commie European publications.