Self-driving electric cars can be self-recharging (when not in use), widely shared (why own when you can rent an autonomous taxi at any time?), and more efficient (tested and efficient algorithms over human randomness, less traffic, etc). These cars won't approach the efficiency of mass transit, sure, but they'll be a big improvement over the current situation in terms of energy usage/pollution. Suburban sprawl is another issue, but that's happening either way.
It's a step in the right direction. You're not going to flip a switch one day and get everyone to give up driving in favor of mass transit. It's just not going to ever happen, at least in the US. Better that we make improvements in a way that people will adopt rather than try and force something they won't only to end up achieving nothing at all.
While I'd love to blame an economic system for this, I feel the truth is more mundane: consumers are oblivious to what they are purchasing and are content to pay high prices for bad service.
What difference does it make? Saying capitalism doesn't work because consumers are ignorant is no different than saying socialism doesn't work because people are greedy. Yeah, it'd be great if we could change behavior to make these systems work as intended, but that's not really an option. If the system doesn't work, it doesn't work, period. The reasons don't much matter unless you have a solution to match them.
When people think Apple, they think iPhone. Samsung, they think Galaxy S. HTC, they think... well, probably nothing. None of their product lines have a strong brand identity, so people won't ask for them. And when people won't ask for you product, how do you plan to sell any when you're competing against the products people will ask for?
* I realize some internal components are different, but as far as the average consumer is concerned, they're exactly the same.
A beauracracy the size of the US government will always have corruption in it, but it still always comes back to us when we don't remove those responsible.
Sadly, our tests of these pseudo-scientific medical practices has shown them to come up short:
This is partially my point, though. This article says "sham" acupuncture is equivalent or better than the real thing, but leaves out that both are better than the usual treatment:
So yeah, all of the magic behind acupuncture and placement points and whatever other junk may not be true, but that doesn't change that there's something about the process of acupuncture that seems to help. So there's no need to throw it out. It really does help, and science should work to figure out why so we can make it better, not throw it away because it doesn't work exactly like practitioners think it does.
The trouble is that you are basically jumping from "science can't explain everything" to "maybe one of these wooly theories is correct". Yes, it is certainly true that not everything is explained. That doesn't make some random wooly theory likely to be correct.
True, but at the same time, let's not throw all of the "wooly theories" away out of hand. I sometimes think that a lot of people see something like "Eastern Medicine" and stop listening right there. But just because science didn't generate the theory doesn't meant the theory can't be correct. Let's test them and see how they work, then teach the ones that make sense. There's no reason to limit ourselves wholly to theories originating from science or non-science when the ultimate goal should be improving medicine, whatever the source.
This is less of an issue where there's not much traffic (parts of the Autobahn, for instance), and you could maybe make it work by having different lanes going different speeds, but there is a point beyond just making you drive slower than you're capable of doing.
In the other case, presumably a retired millionaire has already paid taxes on the money he's earned, and he shouldn't be punished for saving a bunch of it in a bank account somewhere. And hey, if you wanted to reward someone for taking a low paying but very important job like school teacher, deductions are still there. There is still the question of the transition from one system to the other, but I'm only concerning myself with what the effect of either system in place would be.