--- In carfree_cities@y..., Rob Hines <robhines@m...> wrote:
> Here is another spin on this post.
.... the argument that we wouldn't have the
> right to charge a user fee on gas for three main reasons:
> 1. That we all do benefit from subsidized transportation.
I would counter this by offering for consideration something else
that could be subsidized to all our "benefit." Say clothing was
subsidized so that customers at retail stores were only charged a set
price per pound to cover the retailers' overhead and operating
expenses except inventory, and the government reimbursed the
retailers their cost of purchasing garments. Everyone would be much
more fabulously dressed and the peopled environment would be visually
improved as a result. That is the benefit to all. True, not
everyone would benefit equally, but maybe the culture is one that
agrees that people who have time to shop and attend extravagent balls
are the ones most deserving of a hand up. I don't mean this
sarcastically. Of course, "culture" expressed in politics might
seldom be well informed by what John and Jane Public would really
want for one another. Taxpayers would pay for this subsidy, meaning
that the things they would otherwise be spending money on are
relatively neglected. Clothing stores and clothing manufacturers
would thrive because of their popularity with consumers who would
otherwise be allocating their funds differently. Other products
suffer in demand and in innovation. A more verbal economist could
continue on with an explanation of why this brings us farther from a
social optima, while I think of graphs.
> 2. Which burned me more since it was such a generalization, that
>people shouldn't face user fees on gas because the rest of society
>funds medical social insurance, university (here in Canada), public
>school, and other services government provides that does not benefit
>every individual in society. He argued that in effect its part of
>our culture to subsidize services even if few benefit.
The fact that public subsidies exist, doesn't mean that every one of
them is justified. Let the case for each subsidy be argued on its
> 3.People want to live in the suburbs.
Simple. Let them pay what it really costs for them to live as they