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1475Re: Road Fascism

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  • Mike Doran
    Nov 8, 2002
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      --- In methanehydrateclub@y..., "David" <b1blancer1@e...> wrote:
      > --- In methanehydrateclub@y..., "Mike Doran" <mike@u...> wrote:
      > >
      > > > Road fascism?? Now there's a term I will admit I have never
      heard
      > > > before. Please explain that to me!
      > >
      > > Well, there are about 4 million miles of roads in the US.
      > >
      > > And no one is charged to use them.
      > >
      >
      > Of course I'm charged to use them! I pay a registration fee for my
      > car, I pay a road maintenance fee when I pay my property taxes, and
      I
      > pay gasoline tax, all of which go to road building and maintencance.
      >
      >

      You only pay for about 1/3 of the cost of them through those taxes.
      But this differs from a use fee. While it is true to some degree
      that the more you drive the more gas tax you pay, if you break it
      down the cents you pay for gas is insignificant compared to how large
      the subsidy is for using a government asset for free.


      > >
      > > But it is a subsidy with social force. In 1960, like I said, 60
      > > percent of the US was city or small town. That is 1960 Census
      data.
      > > The most recent Census data has it at 60% in the burbs now.
      Recent
      > > studies show US citizens drive TWICE as much in just the past 10
      > > years. Our families are more apt to break up, and interestingly,
      > > women are less happy then they were in the 1970s when we drove
      less.
      > > I think men don't mind the drive as much but women are killed
      > > socially by their greater inability to be central figures in
      > > the "household" any more because of the greater and greater
      amount of
      > > time American families spred from their homes.
      >
      > So where does that put me? I work out of town during the week, and
      I
      > drive 400 miles to get home on the weekends (although I should be
      able
      > to start flying very soon, thank goodness). I live just outside of
      > the city limits of a small town (30,000 people). Am I causing rot
      in
      > the cities? Should I have to pay thousands in road user fees?

      Without question the subsidy allows you to have the job you have and
      live where you live. You know, I was studying a rare tornado that
      occurred in Salt Lake City in 1999 and looking at first why tornadoes
      were rare there and why one occurred. Turns out that there are
      mountains and the Great Salt Lake, which may have some EMF
      characteristics that inhibits tornadoes. In any event, what I
      learned is that south of the City are 20 small towns--that today have
      sprawed into a seemless web of suburbia. It is like that across the
      US.


      Would
      > you keep me from getting home to my wife?
      >

      That is an unfair question. The better question I will have you
      answer. Do you think free food in the Soviet Union was a good idea?


      > >
      > > Low density growth is the result, and it causes rot in the cities
      and
      > > small towns. The tax base decreases, social services like
      education
      > > are diminished. It is true that there is growth in the new
      burbs,
      > > but that growth is not planned nor will it be prepared to deal
      with
      > > the longer term issues like Hubbert's peak. And it is a growth
      > > pattern that cannot be sustained.
      >
      > Shall we play the chicken-and-the egg thing? People went to the
      > suburbs because of the fact that the big cities were already in
      > serious decline. People wanted lower crime rates, lower taxes, and
      > better schools for their children. Why is any of that bad?

      Because it comes from the subsidy with the cost of making it worse
      for those who do live in higher density areas. And it isn't
      sustainable--indeed already the economy is feeling it and we haven't
      had the impact of Hubbert's peak or serious climate change from our
      activity . . . yet. And mostly because there IS a social cost to
      road fascism.

      BTW, if roads were tolled you could eliminate other taxes. Sure it
      would discourage driving, but do you honestly think it makes any
      sense to drive a 4,000 pound SUV to return that 5 ounce video?
      Really?
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