German wants to reserve bikespace, roads discussion

pete75
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Re: German wants to reserve bikespace, roads discussion

Postby pete75 » 16 Aug 2019, 7:23am

[quote="Pete Owens"]
exactly the point I was making above (the bit starting "note pete75 ...")
It is free to the user (ie free in the general useage of the word)
[quote]

But it is not free to a user who is a tax payer.

pwa
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Re: German wants to reserve bikespace, roads discussion

Postby pwa » 16 Aug 2019, 7:53am

pete75 wrote:
Pete Owens wrote:exactly the point I was making above (the bit starting "note pete75 ...")
It is free to the user (ie free in the general useage of the word)

But it is not free to a user who is a tax payer.

"Free at the point of use" is the phrase used. Paid for by society so that an individual in need does not have to find money to pay for their treatment when they are ill. Except for the dentist and the optician, which seems to me to an anomaly.

mattheus
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Re: German wants to reserve bikespace, roads discussion

Postby mattheus » 16 Aug 2019, 8:35am

Pete Owens wrote:
mattheus wrote:
Pete Owens wrote:Now I am a leftie. I am happy to see us contribute taxes to provide facilities for the general good of society. It is good that people who cannot afford the necessities of life are provided for - ie free health and education from the general purse, I would like to see greater funding for social housing, social care, social infrastructure - parks, libraries. So I am far from a market fundamentalist, but even I draw the line at socialism for motorists. Privatise the roads - if there is genuine demand then leave the supply to the market. Let the state concentrate on modes of transport accessible to all rather than just those with the means and ability to own and drive a car.


Pete,
I have to disagree with your logic here - because I don't think it makes sense to treat motoring in a "free market" manner. Cars-n-roads have too many effects on those trying to avoid them - the space they take up, the pollution, the deaths they inflict. Plus all the subtle stuff.

Hardly an argument for state subsidy.

Certainly the state should be actively discouraging car use by taxing it to compensate for the external costs (eg pollution) imposed on society. We should regulate the safe design and operation - just as we do with private operators of other transport modes (indeed the conflict of interest in the state being both the provider and regulator of roads probably contributes to the reluctance to regulate properly due to the cost implications).

However, when it comes to the efficient allocation of resources - eg your example of the space vehicles take up- then even a lefty such as myself recognises the effectiveness of market mechanisms. Congestion is simply an imbalance of supply and demand - and this should be dealt with through the price mechanism. If more people turn up wanting to use your road then you can handle then put the price up - those that don't value the use of that road space at that time of day will not pay thus removing the congestion for those that do. If a lot of people do still choose to pay higher prices then this is a measure of genuine demand - and thus possibly making it worthwhile to expand the capacity.


OK, I see where you're coming from now. Does kinda make sense.

(It's still a tricky one though! All that congestion doesn't just affect the demand/supply - it increases the pollution. How do you factor that into the pricing?? But maybe I'm just creating problems ... )


Pete Owens
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Re: German wants to reserve bikespace, roads discussion

Postby Pete Owens » 16 Aug 2019, 5:44pm

mattheus wrote:
Pete Owens wrote:Certainly the state should be actively discouraging car use by taxing it to compensate for the external costs (eg pollution) imposed on society. We should regulate the safe design and operation - just as we do with private operators of other transport modes (indeed the conflict of interest in the state being both the provider and regulator of roads probably contributes to the reluctance to regulate properly due to the cost implications).

However, when it comes to the efficient allocation of resources - eg your example of the space vehicles take up- then even a lefty such as myself recognises the effectiveness of market mechanisms. Congestion is simply an imbalance of supply and demand - and this should be dealt with through the price mechanism. If more people turn up wanting to use your road then you can handle then put the price up - those that don't value the use of that road space at that time of day will not pay thus removing the congestion for those that do. If a lot of people do still choose to pay higher prices then this is a measure of genuine demand - and thus possibly making it worthwhile to expand the capacity.


OK, I see where you're coming from now. Does kinda make sense.

(It's still a tricky one though! All that congestion doesn't just affect the demand/supply - it increases the pollution. How do you factor that into the pricing??

The bit in the first paragraph.

Use market mechanisms to sort the basic resource allocation - the building & maintenance of roads, the acquisition of land on which they are built and so on. Thus the decisions of whether to build a road or whether to choose to use a road at a particular time of day are settled by price signals.

Use a combination of taxes and regulations to address the external costs - pollution, safety and so on - just as we do with most areas of economic activity.

And in the case of the pollution caused by congestion, applying the price mechanism to remove the congestion, also reduces pollution as side effect.

pete75
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Re: German wants to reserve bikespace, roads discussion

Postby pete75 » 17 Aug 2019, 7:54am

pwa wrote:
pete75 wrote:
Pete Owens wrote:exactly the point I was making above (the bit starting "note pete75 ...")
It is free to the user (ie free in the general useage of the word)

"Free at the point of use" is the phrase used. Paid for by society so that an individual in need does not have to find money to pay for their treatment when they are ill. Except for the dentist and the optician, which seems to me to an anomaly.


And prescriptions. Maybe there should be a small charge for a GP appointment so that people don't go with trivial things like a cold or flu. Nobody will begrudge a fiver though if they're ill it's less than two pints of beer. The money would provide a welcome boost for the NHS. The charge should apply to people living on benefits as well - a GP friend says they go with very trivial complaints unlike folk who have to fit the visit around their working lives. If people need to go a lot because of a chronic condition there could be either a season ticket at a similar level to that for prescriptions or no charge for condition related appointments.

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gaz
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Re: German wants to reserve bikespace, roads discussion

Postby gaz » 17 Aug 2019, 9:55am

Maybe if there was a small charge, say £5 for every journey made by car, people would stop making car journeys for trivial purposes.

There would be less congestion, less polution, less obesity and these healthier people would place less demand on their GP and other health services.
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pete75
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Re: German wants to reserve bikespace, roads discussion

Postby pete75 » 17 Aug 2019, 11:09am

gaz wrote:Maybe if there was a small charge, say £5 for every journey made by car, people would stop making car journeys for trivial purposes.

There would be less congestion, less polution, less obesity and these healthier people would place less demand on their GP and other health services.


In case you didn't know every car user faces a charge for each journey and very often a lot more than a fiver.