Comment 30726

By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted May 01, 2009 at 22:36:17

arienc >> Transitioning some of that demand to other modes is critical for making efficient use of our resources and keeping tax levels reasonable.

If drivers had to pay for the use of roads, just as they have to pay for their cars, demand for roads would fall dramatically. It would also mean lower taxes for everyone and a fairer playing field for mass transit. Once again, government interference in the delivery of goods and services distorts consumer preferences and the result is shortages and inefficient use of taxpayers money.

>> Business thereby becomes more profitable, thanks to having public goods such as transit and bicycle infrastructure available.

If public transit provides a useful service to businesses, then why the need to have taxpayers subsidize it? The HSR was started as a private company, so why can't it return to private hands? If it truly does provide a benefit to society, it will earn profits just like McDonald's, Tim Horton's, the odd airline, etc.

>> the culture which puts cars first

I agree, governments should get out of the road business.

LL >> Singapore is a police state with draconian laws.

And yet people flock there. Singapore has a low fertility rate (1.24 in 2004), but it's population grew an average of 2% from 2000 to 2008. In 2006, around 30% of the people there were foreign workers. Nobody forced those people to go to Singapore, they made that choice of their own free will.

>> Yes, taxes are coercive...

From 2004 to 2006, real government spending in Canada grew 8.2% and final domestic demand (strips out net exports which Canadians don't get to consume) grew at 9.43%. From 2006 to 2008, real government spending increased 11.7%, while final domestic demand only grew at 6.86%. The point is that when government takes a larger role in the economy (39.2% of GDP in 2004 to 43.3 in 2008), real wealth generation slows down.

Therefore, if the Canadian people want government to provide lots of freebies, doesn't it make more sense to do so with a faster growing economy. For example, if government spending was capped at 30% of GDP, it could still provide lots of services, but it would be able to increase it's spending at much faster rates than it currently does, simply because the economic base would be growing much faster.

The alternative is to choke off private investment by increasing the relative role of the government, thus slowing the tax revenues that government requires to pay for the health care and education that people want. Think of it like eating all of your food in the present and not saving any seeds for next years crop.

Jason >> I still love the irony of people with screen names like 'ASmith' and 'Capitalist' urging us all to follow the lead of communist China.

The label communist doesn't really apply to China anymore...

Permalink | Context

Events Calendar

Recent Articles

Article Archives

Blog Archives

Site Tools