One of the most important freedoms enjoyed by most Americans is afforded not by the Constitution, but by Henry Ford. Affordable access to automobiles gives us the ability to come and go wherever and whenever we please. We are not limited to the routes offered by trains, nor are we limited to their schedules. This freedom is as fundamental to our lives as many of those in the Bill of Rights.
Outside the world’s wealthy nations, most people do not enjoy that freedom because they cannot afford a car. But soon, many more people will be able to enjoy that freedom. India’s Tata motors has repeated Henry Ford’s feat and dramatically reduced the cost of an automobile. Its new car, the Nano, will cost just $2000 new. This brings the car within the grasp of the developing world’s middle class, and will bring them a freedom of mobility they have never known.
Naturally, many environmentalists are appalled. Only by living in abject poverty can people keep their carbon emissions at a satisfactory level.