Comment 30675

By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted April 30, 2009 at 23:38:52

LL >> Do you ever notice you use the word "free" in two exactly opposite ways?

A "free" market economy is one in which people get to spend what they earn, rather than by politicians. "Free" goods, only exist because government doesn't have to pay for the goods it provides.

>> the city streets will always belong to the citizens.

Fine, but unless you can reduce demand, you will always have traffic jams. The same thing happens whenever government tries to give anything away for free, whether that is health care, or when using price controls. Unless you can find a way to stimulate additional supply, which is what profits do, you will be left with shortages. See the economic history of the U.S.S.R or pre Deng Xiaoping China, or Cuba for further details.

>> But Denmark IS a bastion of freedom!

Denmark's government spending accounts for over 50% of their economy and they have averaged 2% real GDP growth from 2003-08. Singapore's government spends 14.4% of GDP and it has averaged 5.57% real GDP growth the last six years.

So while the people of Denmark may enjoy riding bikes and a solid safety net, they will not enjoy the gains in real wealth that more market based economies do.

>> A place where labour unions are repressed with state violence

Like I said, political freedom in China is very poor and we all know that unions are as much about politics as they are about the economy.

>> I value ecosystems, parks, farms, buildings over parking lots, wide lanes, gas stations, pollution.

When you phrase it like that, it's hard to argue with you. However, the driving culture is not just about parking lots and gas stations and exhaust fumes. Cars allow people to live within an urban area AND have access to the more wild areas of the continent. Without cars, you would be stuck in your home town, bored as hell. You would only have access to goods and services produced locally and your quality of life would be severely impacted.

>> I follow in the autonomist tradition in that I think of ever increasing commutes as unpaid work.

Your great-grandparents likely worked 13-15 hours a day. Mine were farmers and loggers and they would have loved to have access to a car, fumes or no fumes. So while you THINK you may not like the car culture, or long commutes, try moving to Northern Ontario and living off the land for a while.

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