Comment 39910

By Kiely (registered) | Posted April 16, 2010 at 16:22:53

It almost sounds like you're equivocating now but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and chalk it up to a misunderstanding.

This is why I provided the quote for my intended meaning Ryan: "a purchase, especially something that somebody should be able to use for a relatively long time"

It is a misunderstanding and that's cool. It is also cool if I get beat up on an issue (my skin is thick) but I would prefer to get beat up in a way that is creating constructive discussion... and I'm not seeing that here today.

If your idea of "presenting some challenges" is to make claims that turn out to be factually untrue (like your claim that cars generate net tax revenue).

If you accept that roads are required whether people drive cars or not (which I have used the emergency vehicle argument to highlight) and privately owned cars are not the sole reason for our road network, than yes cars do generate positive economic benefit. I'm sorry but if you want to continue to debate that fact you will have to be more specific regarding your argument to the contrary.

you must be willing to change your mind as your understanding of the facts changes. If you're not willing to do that, we're not going to have a productive debate.

I have stated throughout this thread that I am a supporter and essentially in agreement with you, you seem to be the one who is unable to concede a point.

If your point is that we need to find ways to make our case to people who believe things that are untrue and aren't willing to change their minds, I don't really know how to respond to that.

Not exactly my point Ryan. Yes you will have the "grasshut dwellers" who don't want anything to change ever, but you can't go chasing after them. My main point is the roll the car currently plays in our economy and society is going to create some very unique challenges for us to deal with if we want to reduce our dependence on it... but you don't seem to agree with that?

If we are ever going reduce the number of cars we have on the roads, which I believe we should, we need to understand the economic impact that the reduction in car usage and logical reduction of sales will have on our economy. Just take a walk (or bike ride) around this city and count the number of auto dealers, service centres, auto parts stores, tire shops, etc... and think how you'll replace those jobs. Mass transit could help but let me give you an idea of the difference in jobs required to support both. When I was right out of school I worked at a car dealer, one car dealer could employ 50+ people. Later in my career I worked in transit service for a large NA city... the entire commuter rail fleet was maintained by ~150 people. So in this example for every 3 lost car dealers you would need 1 new commuter rail system to replace the lost jobs. It will be much easier to lose the dealer jobs than it will be to build an entirely new commuter rail system. Very basic example but hopefully it paints the picture.

Our governments have revealed a complete inability to cope with the type of change that will be required to create the sustainable cities we live in. We can't just build some bike lanes, jack up the price of gas, slap restrictions, tolls and fees on cars and hope for the best and to agree with your point, slapping $30 fees on bikes isn't going to work either and is largely pointless (but as I said, not surprising that a politician would suggest it). We need to have some of these hard discussions now and that's why I don't mind taking some heat... We need to discuss what will replace the car in our economy, it is not going to be a simple thing to do and I believe this is a vital topic to be discussed in this debate. Apparently others on here including yourself do not.

Some numbers for you Number of new cars sold in Canada last year - 1.6 million Say the average price is $20K, (which would be low), GST and PST alone are $2700 X 1.6 million = $4,320,000,000. If we reduce that by say half we are still going to need our roads (so that cost isn't going anywhere, perhaps slightly reduced because of less maintenance) and we will need to find an extra $2,000,000,000 in the budget to replace the sales tax income alone… not to mention lost income taxes, (because we will lose jobs), tire taxes, gas taxes, license fees, etc…

See where I'm coming from now? Hopefully we're back on track ; )

Comment edited by Kiely on 2010-04-16 15:23:26

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