Thursday, March 5, 2015

just say NO! (to the transit tax)

Invoking the much despised specter of congestion Metro Vancouver politicians have been working over time to promote their latest tax hike, in this case a .5% bump in the PST. Allegedly the money will be allocated towards transit which will alleviate the endemic gridlock which motorists so despise. The actual cause of gridlock is the fact that there is no price associated with road travel. Normally in a market when you have too much demand and too little supply price increases until supply meets demand. There are no shortages. But with socialism chronic shortages and uneconomic allocation of resources are endemic. Ironically the very politicians who create these problems then benefit by campaigning about them and the gullible public soaks it all up and pays the bill. Le sigh.

Many well meaning but stupid people have praised sales taxes but let us be clear - there is no such thing as a good tax. Savings isn't per se better than consumption. It's not our place to tell other people how they should be living their lives or spending their money. While it's true that savings are crucial for long term economic growth each individual's value scales are completely different, based upon the various ends they wish to achieve with their limited means. Only the person in question is qualified to say how their money should be spent. There is no such thing as a good tax. Be it on sales, incomes, imports or oil all taxes are bad and all taxes should be opposed.

Higher taxes and more spending on transit will not alleviate congestion. The best long term solution is to privatize the entire system of infrastructure, transit, roads, sky train, the whole kit and caboodle. Then you will see routes designed on the basis of consumer demand. Competition between firms will mean ever improving quality and costs will be contained. Road travel pricing will mean higher prices during peak times, which in turn will solve the problem of traffic jams. This would also mean innovation in road safety, as various infrastructure firms would be able to compete by advertising their improved safety records.

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