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Comment Re: What final estimate? Wrecks happen. (Score 1) 411

The taxes was only a teensy bit of the cost of driving. It changes that cost by maybe 1.5% so who cares ? Even then your disputation is entirely Americacentric. Where I live all taxes help find roads and gas taxes are not enough to cover the cost so indeed non drivers are subsidizing drivers. Whether its more or less than what goes to public transport does not actually change that contrary to your claim - no even in your home where more gas taxes goes to public transit than normal taxes go to roads its still true. Any taxes going to roads make it true. I didnt compare subsidies. I said taxes from nom road users help pay for roads. Even if 99% of all taxes went to trains and from the other 1% only one solitary dollar was spent on roads it would still be a true statement. You didnt understand and disproved a claim I didnt make with a claim that is far from universal.
It still gets more complicated than that. What about people who use neither ? Who walk to a job they live closr to. I lived in a small town for a few years. My job and every amenity that existed was within three blocks of my house. It made no sense to ever not walk anywhere. I was hardly unique. I still paid taxes though. So I was subsidizing both public and private transport and all I got was sidewalks and streetlamps.
It still gets more complicated. Freight pays fuel taxes. They recoup that in the price of goods. So everybody pays some fuel taxes. Even a bedridden old pensiom earning hermit who hasnt left the room in 40 years have been subsidizing drivers all that time.

Comment Re: More nation-wrecking idiocy (Score 1) 411

Dont have a citation but studies that support the opposite have headlined /.many times before. Honestly I had no idea it was even a controversial idea. I thought it was a stock example of politicians ignoring reality. There was even a story a few years ago about a UK town that got id of them entirely based on that research.
Apparently the issue is more complex than I thought.

Comment Re: actually gas taxes pay for trains (Score 1) 411

So you reduced my final estimate with that correction by what ? 1% ? 1.5% in some regions ? Yep that totally makes it n9t a market faillure. You should inform the world's economists. Since traffic is literally the text book examply used to teach economics students about externalities there is a nobel prize out there with your name on it if you prove that wrong.

Oh I almost forgot.... what the hell is your alternative explanation for traffic jams ? Are you seriously convinced that billions of people seriously enjoy them and subject themselvez regularly to that experience by choice ?

Comment Re: you forgot that x / y * y = x (Score 2) 411

Except I didnt say the full cost is shared. A great deal of it is paid by everyone else in society even those who never drove or even owned a car. Even if you only ride tge train your taxes still help pay for roads - so they cost more. In smoggy cities lots of people get respiratory illnesses with expensive treatments and if anything those are worse on poorer communities who are less likely to own cars. The vast majority of road deaths are pedestrians: death is a huge expense.
If you only affected other drivers by driving the market would be functioning but your actual cost is a lot more than that. Imagine if every driver had to pay a tax sufficient to supply a fund that pays full treatment costs for all respiratory illness sufferers and pays out the EPA estimate for economic value of a human life (7.5 billion dollars) to the family of every pedestrian who died on the road and covered the full dissability cost for every one that gets mangled and and and.... the only sane choice would be for everyone to hardly ever drive so that those costs are kept tiny. Which they would because currently that tax would be tens of thousands of dollars per driver per month.

Comment Re:More nation-wrecking idiocy (Score 1) 411

There is overwhelming evidence that speed cameras do not affect driver behavior at all. If they did, they would not be such a complete waste of time. The purpose of speed cameras are definitely not to make roads safer. Maybe they once were but not for a long time. The purpose of speed cameras are to give the council an additional revenue stream.

But that itself is part of the proof of their failure. If speed cameras actually achieved their stated goal - that revenue stream would be steadily declining and councils would have to subsidize them and defend them in the budget !

Comment Re:More nation-wrecking idiocy (Score 3, Informative) 411

Actually the cycle is a bit more interesting than that.

You institute a charge.
People don't want to pay to sit in traffic so they don't.
Traffic gets cut down a lot.
Now people see a different sum altogether: for a nominal charge, I get to drive when the roads are mostly empty because nobody else wants to pay. Suddenly it's worth paying.
A lot of people do the same math.
Soon the road is congested again, but now everybody is paying and because they are already doing so - they now rationalize the cost away.
So the authorities raise the charge yet again...

Traffic jams are a prime example of market failure, in this case due to externalities, the vast bulk of the cost of your choice to drive (as opposed to say - taking the train) is not paid by you but by other people (and that's without considering climate change costs). A lot gets amortized over everybody else who drives (they all take longer to get there - time has value), some gets paid in medical bills from smoggier cities etc. etc. etc.
If you had to personally bare the full cost of driving, far fewer people would choose to drive and the market would function correctly. Traffic jams would be virtually non-existent and those who have to drive would be rewarded for their expense with very fast trips indeed.

Comment Re: cellphones are bad enough (Score 1) 51

For fossil fuels though thats far from the only factor. Big generators will always be cheaper per joule there because they have access to a wider range of fuels (when oil is expensive crank up the gas generators) and much better economies of scale. Coal by the ton costs a lot less than coal by the kilo.

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