Originally Posted by geoff's two cents
Good lord! The reason I pay taxes on things like cigarettes and alcohol must be because [lightbulb!] my government is fascist! Thanks for sorting that out for me.
Except for your rather selective application of Marx (a discussion of which would be off-topic here; time permitting, I'd be happy to debate this with you in the proper forum, if you'll direct me), the rest of your post is well-taken, though I disagree with much/most of it. I think my previous post(s) show where I stand on these issues.
As for tolling/taxing, mezzanine points us, I think, in a more fruitful direction for discussion and debate. My hunch is that there are precedents for this already somewhere. . .
Yeah, it is a bit fascist, the government is trying to control my choice by punishing me for making the wrong one. I don't smoke, but it makes me sad to think that people are driven into the poorhouse by their chemical dependence on a substance like alcohol or nicotine, and our solution is to punish them financially. I'm not going to say it's right or wrong, but it is a form of choice control that is external to the free market.
Same with removing the Viaduct. The only purpose removing the viaduct can serve society as a whole is to inconvenience travel into downtown. This is a form of scocial engineering to force people into choosing to take transit, not by making transit better, faster or cheaper, but by making everything else worse. It is degrading the quality of life, to make something else look good by comparison.
I'm not saying transit is horrible, in fact it's great... if you live in the right areas. And because the overall footprint of rapid and mass transit is still rather small, there is a premium on the cost of living near a station that a lot of people can't afford.
It's great that you can afford to live where you do so you can take transit. Not everyone can. And if everyone actually tried to
, I doubt you
could afford to as others would be able to outbid you on your life style.
So in fact you can thank the people who chose to live in a house in the burbs, because if we all wanted to live in boxes downtown, there is no way in heck you could afford to live where you do now. There is not enough supply for us all to live as condo dwellers, and if we all tried to live walking distance to skytrain there would be a lot of empty space in the lower mainland.
We all have a choice, and if someone wants to live in Cloverdale and have 3 kids, a dog, a yard, a patio, a garden, media room, home office, work shop, and a car and drive to work downtown...
instead of 2 bedrooms+den, 1 kid, no garden and no car for the same cost of living, who are you to take it away? Sure a lot of those people who drive downtown could actually afford to live downtown or at least closer to transit... but if they did they would have to make sacrifices, sacrifices they would rather not make.
That might be an exaggeration (or not), but there are things out there that you might not even care about, that would be impossible for other people to give up if they HAD to live your lifestyle. For me, driving = freedom, and where ever I live, I will always want a personal vehicle, so it will always be factored into my cost of living, regardless if I take transit or not.
I'm just curious, what does Vancouver gain by removing the Viaducts that offset the costs inflicted to people who use them?