Monday, May 07, 2007

It's Called Capitalism

Republican New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is considering congestion pricing for New York City: that is, charging drivers $8 to enter the busiest parts of Manhattan during week days as a means of reducing traffic and air pollution. In justification, he has offered one of the most profound statements I have heard from a Republican in many years:

Using economics to influence public behavior is something this country is built on, it’s called capitalism. Tax policy influences you to drill here and mine there and grow this and live here and do that, and you know, that’s common. We have tried to make it more egalitarian with subsidies for people.

(Note: while this quotation was heavily circulated last week, the comments were made on April 22nd, and his announcement concerning a driving fee was scheduled for late April. Profundity aside, it seems he might have backed down.)


janfromthebruce said...

So what happens is those with money/means get to drive in, and those without don't. Yap, that is capitalism. And that cost to drive in, well that will become a tax deduction, as the cost of doing 'business.' Of course, when those who get to 'reduce their taxes' don't pay, someone else does. Guess who? That's right, those without the means to avoid that cost, who don't get the business deduction as working expenses, will pay more through 'higher taxes.'

So what to do? How does a city reduce traffic congestion, air polution, and reduce overall greenhouse gases?

Watch the video and let's talk?

Of course, free public transport wouldn't be free, as it would come from our overall taxes. But as the video shows, its costs are comparible to other costs that we don't bat an eye at.

Anonymous said...

First, Bloomberg is actually a Democrat. He only ran as a Republican to avoid the nomination contest.

Secondly, keep in mind, New York has a much better Transit System than any Canadian City. It's perhaps one of the few cities in North America which can compare to Europe. So New York does have the ability to implement a congestion charge.

In Toronto, Calgary, Montréal, Edmonton, Ottawa or Vancouver it would mean many business would relocated too the Suburbs. Which is already a problem for Toronto.

Before we place a congestion charge, we should start putting more money in public transit.

As for Free Transit. Calgary C-Train is free in downtown. That's something Toronto should consider on the Subway. It would really help keep business in the city, rather than sending them to the 905 region.

Anonymous said...

We all have to wonder what Bloomberg is really thinking of with this congestion pricing tax scheme. Maybe he mostly just wants a new tax. Just wrap it up in 'concern for the environment', and people can just demonize those who oppose it.

If he cares so much about traffic jams, congestion and air pollution, why does he let Park Avenue be blocked off? Why doesn't he do anything about that?

Pershing Square Restaurant blocks Park Avenue going South at 42nd St. for 12 hours a day/6 months of the year! This Causes Massive Congestion & Air Pollution!

But apparently it does not bother NYC's Nanny-in-Chief Mike "Congestion Pricing Tax" Bloomberg? Check out the map!

Check it out!


Little Blue PD