Comment 39955

By jonathan dalton (registered) | Posted April 18, 2010 at 18:43:30

Another important point about the economics of autocentricity is that the costs of car ownership easily make up 30 to 40% of a middle class income. As Kiely contends, alot of that money keeps people employed in various fields from manufacturing to sales to maintenance, and it's all taxed. But without cars, that money would still exist, and people would spend it on other things, all of which would employ people and pay taxes. We had a functional industrial economy before cars, and we can have one with less cars. Bicycle manufacturing and streetcar manufacturing used to employ people and pay taxes in Canada. So did agriculture and neighbourhood level retail, to a much greater extent than they do today.

On an incremental level, reduced car ownership will have a net positive effect on the economy as those who go car-free have more disposable income which they will spend in higher value added industries that tend to keep more of their wealth in the community. As the mode split moves significantly away from cars, new industries and revenue streams will be created out of the demand for non-automotive transportation.

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