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Re: Libertarian way to carfree, another way

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  • Matt Hohmeister
    Despite being a socialist, I have some libertarian traits. Some regulations are in place only for special interests, and those are blocks to carfree
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 23, 2001
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      Despite being a socialist, I have some libertarian traits. Some
      regulations are in place only for special interests, and those are
      blocks to carfree development:

      "I want to build a carfree city--wait, can't do that. Law requires free
      parking next to every building. And state transportation money can be
      used only for highways. And I can't mix residential and commercial."
      The dumb regulations go on. Here in Tallahassee, the extremely small
      "downtown" area, as per law, has no residences (I do not count hotels
      as residence). Granted, you can live *right* next to downtown and be a
      block from your office, but you live in an apartment building
      surrounded by parking and will have to drive (or ride a bike, or take a
      bus) something like 3 miles to the nearest grocery store.

      And yes--I am *very* propertarian, in a way. Pay for your own
      stormwater runoff, roads, and whatnot. Oh yeah--and pay for your own
      pollution. Some libertarians claim that natural resources (like clean
      air and oil) are "public domain" and should be first-come, first-
      served. I, too, believe in the public domain: you should pay no fee for
      solar power extraction. There's a difference, though: once you spew
      exhaust fumes into the air, it's there to stay. Extract oil, and it's
      gone for good. However, you can extract all the sunlight you want, and
      there's still enough to go around. I say: charge a pollution fee, and
      send it to the public coffers. If you are an anti-public-services
      libertarian, the money could be collected by a central agency and
      distributed amond everyone. Thus, the resource-takers (big oil,
      polluters, etc) pay a fee that is then split equally among every person
      in the country.

      And no matter what some libertarians might say, safety and clean air
      are *not* priveleges to be granted to those rich enough to afford cars
      and houses with micron-filtered air conditioners to avoid breathing the
      dirty air. :)

      --- In carfree_cities@y..., Brian Paquet <bpaquet@c...> wrote:
      > In addition to the direct subsidies, one must consider the negative
      > externalities which cars cause. IIRC David Friedman in Machinery of
      > Freedom speculated that if the courts had the power to truly protect
      > property rights then the industrial revolution would have to have been
      > much cleaner. One can see the application to those mass polluters and
      > killers the automobile. And good old David's book is an anarcho capitalist
      > work. For a small state libertarian you can advocate using the state to
      > charge for ALL the negative externalities which could price cars out of
      > use. After all if cars became the playtoy of the rich, their use would be
      > small enough that one couldn't justify keeping city infrastructure for
      > these few vehicles.
      > If you are looking to convert a libertarian, another approach is simply to
      > sell the car free concept as a superior concept, the car free city as
      > providing a better lifestyle. If a person doesn't like the concept, then
      > it will be a hard sell regardless of political persuasion. However if
      > there is a critical mass of car free enthusiasts then someone is bound to
      > build a city where they can live free of at least the local effects of the
      > car. Hell, I suspect you would get a true car free city quicker without
      > having to work through a government to do it. It's a half way approach,
      > but at least it puts the person on the path, plants the seed.
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