Monday, April 9, 2012

Chapter 11

Right away  Franks says that taxation rather than regulation will cut down on harmful behavior and boost revenue, but come on. Boost revenue, yes, probably, but I can't think of a single case in which someone quit smoking or drinking because of taxes. I think people simply account for the added tax as part of the price, and they are still willing to pay. I think that goes for the pollution issue he discussed. Am I the only one who doesn't care if companies have to pay a tax on their pollution, or are regulated on it? It's something that should have been regulated in the first place, and as he points out, if they don't have any consequence, then they will pollute without care. It should be seen as any other aspect of their business, they shouldn't get any sympathy just because some people still have their heads up their asses about global warming. Cutting down on harmful pollution can only yield positive results, and climate change is not the only problem that results from pollution, it can lead to harmful breathing condition for people near it, and it can contaminate water or soil. This is one issue that I don't really understand the opposition on.
But in his example of adding a fee to travel thru London during peak times seems like it could have unseen consequences. I've never been to London, but I imagined if that were the case in Fairbanks and the city started charging motorists if they wanted to drive down Airport Way during peak times. I think it would be a huge burden to some people, and it would have a negative effect on businesses like gas stations and coffee carts, that people will swing into really quick on their way somewhere else. A road fee like that would turn their peak business hours into lulls. Yes, traffic would be better, but I know when and where traffic is going to be heavy, and I decide whether or not I want to deal with it, or take an alternate route. And I do that all on my own, without any monetary incentives, as I'm sure everyone else who drives does. I'm sure there are other positives, too, maybe over time, if more people did take public transportation, air quality in that area could improve, or roads would not have to be repaired as frequently, but those seem like very long term "what ifs" compared to the short term "most likelys".

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