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My solution blends the two strategies: retain the pedal position sensor that captures the operators intention while retaining use of a 'return' cable. The ECU can remain in control of advancing the throttle to retain their interest in fuel economy measures while removing its control over retarding it. Pushing the pedal down merely provides enough physical free play for the ECU to work with while retaining any veto control if it gets out of hand.
The final part would encourage the adoption of accelerator pedals that users slip their feet into rather than just on top of. This would provide the same ability to positively influence the pedal return rather than expect the spring to do so.
The only real solution is to void the entire health insurance industry and migrate to a system where the state covers the health of each citizen regardless. As the article illustrates, this process has already started on its own accord.