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Re: Subsidization

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  • turpin
    ... There are quite a few people who will make a cultural justification for cars and driving, in terms of independent mobility. I don t buy the arguments. But
    Message 1 of 3 , Apr 4, 2002
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      --- In carfree_cities@y..., "prometeus57" <prometeus57@y...> wrote:
      > What are the possible reasons for driving a car?

      There are quite a few people who will make a cultural
      justification for cars and driving, in terms of
      independent mobility. I don't buy the arguments. But
      we should be aware that they are made.

      > What's great is that both the right-wing and the
      > left-wing justifications align themselves on this
      > issue.

      Economists will point out that subsidies generally
      create a significant social burden and produce a lot
      of hidden social problems. This is true even for
      good subsidies. Many of the ills we decry about car
      culture are a direct result of the subsidization of
      the roadways, even though few people realize this
      or understand the connection. There are some things
      that should be subsidized. Of course, everyone
      argues about what those are.

      My own view is (a) the bias always should be against
      subsidization, unless there is compelling social
      reason to do so, and (b) if a group has come to
      realize that some activity is so harmful in its
      consequence as to fight it politically, the FIRST
      thing to address is where it is subsidized. The
      thing I find interesting is that people rarely view
      car issues as a matter of subsidy. They park for
      "free" and drive wherever they want for "free,"
      except for a few toll roads, yet still think of
      automobile travel as essentially the result of
      private enterprise. And then they are surprised
      that the roads are overused, and that there is
      this terrible mismatch between sensible resource
      allocation and the decisions of businesses and
      individuals. But THAT is exactly what subsidy
      causes.
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