[ExI] Serfdom and libertarian critiques (Was: Call to Libertarians)

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Fri Mar 4 05:57:59 UTC 2011

On Fri, Mar 4, 2011 at 3:53 AM, Rafal Smigrodzki wrote:
> ### Well, you don't need to have subsidies for zero-fare public
> transportation - you only need accurate pricing of inputs and outputs.
> If road owners charged by the square foot/hour of occupancy, with
> supply/demand adjustment of prices on an hourly basis (i.e. congestion
> pricing), and if there was free entry for the provision of private
> means of mass transportation, you would have an efficient outcome.
> What you describe is the result of municipal monopoly ownership of
> roads and their mispricing, followed by
> running-around-like-a-headless-chicken attempts to fix the resulting
> problems. And yes, there are places like Singapore, or nowadays
> London, which introduced congestion pricing - which works better than
> subsidies even if it is imposed by an illegitimate, municipal rather
> than private, authority. When you want things to actually work, the
> economics narrative (price, supply, demand, incentive) always beats
> the political narrative (Conservative scum, good Liberals).

Seems it is more complicated than that. (Like real life often is).

In London, over the last five years or so, congestion charging has had
the desired effect of reducing the number of private cars entering the
central zone.

Initially traffic flow improved, but now the jams are back again, even
with reduced traffic volume. Why has this happened?

It turns out that there have been other 'improvements' implemented to
benefit other users.
1) Cycle paths have been installed, reducing the road volume for motor vehicles.
2) Most traffic lights have had a pedestrian phase added, which stops
all roads for a period while pedestrians cross.
3) Additional pedestrian controlled lights have been installed to
allow pedestrians to cross roads with continual streams of traffic.

So you would have to add pedestrian pricing into the scheme as well.
As soon as anyone moves outside their house, on foot, cycle or car,
the meter would have to start charging. That's a real communist


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