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Nothing really pays for itself (except maybe toll roads)

by LiveModern Webmaster last modified Jun 27, 2012 01:07 AM
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by Michael Lewyn last modified Jun 26, 2012

Arguments over transportation policy often run as follows: HIGHWAY SUPPORTER: Highways pay for themselves! Buses/trains don't! So highways good and everything else bad bad bad! TRANSIT SUPPORTER: But highways create bad externalities like pollution and climate change! So if highways were taxed at their true cost gas would cost a zillion billion cajillion dollars per gallon! (followed by numerous counterarguments and counter-counterarguments that I won't bore you with, except as written below...) It seems to me that these arguments miss one point: even if the highway system as a whole pays for itself, the system is so chock full of cross-subsidies that each individual road doesn't (except for toll roads). read more






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