Comment 24439

By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted May 30, 2008 at 21:56:24

A major point in your renewal plan for Hamilton is public transit (I think you mentioned light transit, feel free to correct me). I am not against mass transit, but I don't think the government needs to run it. If there truly is a demand for this service, consumers will willingly pay for it. The government does not operate car dealerships, or electronics stores, so why is mass transit any different?

The reason why car dealerships, and electronics stores exist, is because they fill a need consumers have, and do it in a way where both the consumer and the store owner are better off. If mass transit is as valuable a service as many people say it is, then the private sector should have no trouble offering this service to consumers. In this case, government involvement is unnecessary.

What do I think is going to happen to the subdivisions when gas doubles? Assuming that it does (big assumption), people will demand more fuel efficient cars, and auto makers will produce them. In fact, fuel efficiency will become the key selling point that auto makers focus on. This is how the market works, customers express their desires, and businesses fulfill them. It's a win-win situation.

Regarding the King/Spadina issue, are you telling me that investors were holding back their plans to build because they needed the government to tell advise them on what their customer wanted them to build. That is too funny. Next you will tell me that Tim Hortons, and Canadian Tire are consulting with government officials for marketing advice.

I find it interesting that you keep mentioning one's freedom as long as it doesn't harm others. What harm is being done to you if a owner of a building decides to create a parking lot? You may not like it, but you are not injured in any meaningful way. There are many people who have bad taste in clothes, that doesn't mean the government should force them to buy a new wardrobe.

Finally, if you choose to make life difficult on property owners, there is a consequence. Investors are primarily interested in making money, and anything that government does that decreases this likelihood is seen as a negative. Conversely, when government reduces the regulatory burden on developers, they are more willing to risk their capital on things other than parking lots.

You simply can't have it both ways, either you allow developers to maximize their investment, or you end up with risk free structures like parking lots.

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