Economics

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
economics, free parking



Is Free Parking Costing Us Billions?

from the it-takes-733-pages-to-discuss? dept

Always interesting economist Tyler Cowen has a story in the NY Times discussing the "cost" of free parking. It's based on the book The High Cost of Free Parking, which spent an astounding 733 pages to delve into the subject. The book suggests that "free parking" cost people in the US at least $127 billion in 2002. I haven't read the book -- and at that page length I'm sure there's a detailed discussion on nearly every challenge -- but I do wonder if it takes into account the benefits to local businesses of free parking. The easier it is to park, the more likely people are to go to those businesses. I'm guessing that the response is that if this does make sense, it should be a per-business decision, rather than a government-mandated one, which is the main complaint. This isn't a subject I've thought much about, frankly, but I found Cowen's discussion of it interesting, and thought people around here might have some... enlightening comments on the subject.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. icon
    Crosbie Fitch (profile), 17 Aug 2010 @ 1:10am

    Not taxing = costing?

    This isn't one of those "Because we aren't taxing something we're losing billions!" kind of arguments is it?

    Govt: Because we're not taxing oxygen consumption, we're losing billions in lost tax revenue...

    RIAA: Because we're not fully collecting the tax due on cultural exchange, we're losing billions in lost tax revenue...

    There's a difference between revenue from productivity and revenue from taxation.

    Tax is meant to be collected from the people in order to provide for the people. If it's not collected nothing is 'lost'. The people still have their money. If anything taxation loses revenue through administrative overheads.

    However, a tax that ends up in private hands is simply theft from the people. Like the banking bailout.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: Copying Is Not Theft
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.