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Re: ***Everyone here has the ability to Do heavy Math in their Heads...FAST.***

Posted by Spider-Pig on Thu Jun 26 13:54:39 2008, in response to Re: ***Everyone here has the ability to Do heavy Math in their Heads...FAST.***, posted by JayZeeBMT on Thu Jun 26 05:20:13 2008.

Here's an interesting one for you guys: Taxes pay for the operation of FDNY, like they do for fire departments in most large cities. Yet you still get billed for FDNY ambulance service when you use it. However, FDNY does not charge you to put out your house fire (or even a fire in a skyscraper)...that's paid for through tax levies...

That's because not putting out house fires has an obvious negative externality: The neighboring buildings could catch fire.

There is no such problem with emergency medical care. My house isn't damaged if my neighbor dies.

Now, taxes pay for (in subsidies) the operation of NYCT...but New Yorkers pay a higher percentage of NYCT's operating costs in fares than most other US cities...what if, just what if, those billions being spent in Iraq were used to fund (among other things) NYCT's ops so the system was free? (If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people...)

The two things are completely unrelated. You can make the argument that spending on Iraq should be spent on something else entirely. There is no meaningful connection.

That having been said, there is no reason why mass transit should be free. It's not a public good; it's neither non-excludable nor non-rival.

If you argue it should be provided for free as a social service, then why not give everyone free food, clothing and shelter. People need those before they need the ability to travel.

...and before SubChatters get up in arms and call me crazy, recall that once upon a time, CUNY was FREE...people got their college educations and the city didn't go broke...taxes paid for it all, and people paid less in taxes then, than today...

Except the city did go broke...oops.

I find it fascinating that nearly everyone on this board who has argued in favor of free or discounted mass transit has argued for it as a social service instead of as a form of economic capital.


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