U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Oregon
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
Jump to a detailed profile or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Business Search - 14 Million verified businesses
Search for:  near: 
 
Unread 02-28-2010, 10:02 AM
 
Location: State of Jefferson coast
965 posts, read 1,387,038 times
Reputation: 1171
Quote:
Originally Posted by philwithbeard View Post
As a Liberal, I am still going to have to come down on the side that the bikers should pay something, and not let the Motorist road use Gas Tax pay for all the bike path improvement.

It is more of a public perception than anything logical or debatable point.
The old "user-fee doctrine" of the libertarians is a very dangerous precept that aims to eviscerate one of the longest-standing institutions of American democracy: the notion of a "public good" A public good is something that is subsidized by government because its existence promotes the greater good of society at large, whether any given person uses it or not. Consider some of the arguments that libertarians have made against the public good.

"I have nothing against public schools, but shouldn't the parents themselves contribute some of the cost of educating THEIR kids? If I don't have kids, why do I have to support YOUR kids' education with MY property tax dollars? I don't get the benefit of a service for my kids that you as a parent gets."

"We don't really use the library. My kids do most of their reading at home on the computer. You can get pretty much anything over the internet these days. I think that library users should pay some small fee per book, same as when you rent a video at Blockbuster. We shouldn't be funding this on the back of taxpayers."

"Where I live, I really don't use public law enforcement. Smith & Wesson guard my home. I shouldn't have to pay into the public law enforcement district."

"Why should I have to support a County Public Health Office with my tax dollars? I don't use it! If I need health care I go to my own doctor and pay my own bill."

"Why are we using municipal taxes for a parks program? I don't use the parks myself. If we want a park let's put a fence around it and place a turnstile at the entrance. If you want to go in, you drop your coins in the box and the turnstile lets you in. It's no different than going to a movie or a sports game."

The Libertarians would love to take us back down to an Afghanistan-level of public amenities where there are no public goods, only private ones that you must pay a fee to use. But then, they aren't that keen on building society at all. Their misreading of the Constitution leads them to see freedom as something that is vested only in the individual, not the community.

Remember, the objective of democratic governance is to achieve the greatest possible good for the greatest possible number of people. That doesn't mean everyone gets exactly what they want. Nor does each individual get a customized tax bill that reflects only their own idiosyncratic patronage.


 
Unread 02-28-2010, 11:45 AM
 
12,492 posts, read 21,602,423 times
Reputation: 6861
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brenda-by-the-sea View Post
The old "user-fee doctrine" of the libertarians is a very dangerous precept that aims to eviscerate one of the longest-standing institutions of American democracy: the notion of a "public good" A public good is something that is subsidized by government because its existence promotes the greater good of society at large, whether any given person uses it or not. Consider some of the arguments that libertarians have made against the public good.

"I have nothing against public schools, but shouldn't the parents themselves contribute some of the cost of educating THEIR kids? If I don't have kids, why do I have to support YOUR kids' education with MY property tax dollars? I don't get the benefit of a service for my kids that you as a parent gets."

"We don't really use the library. My kids do most of their reading at home on the computer. You can get pretty much anything over the internet these days. I think that library users should pay some small fee per book, same as when you rent a video at Blockbuster. We shouldn't be funding this on the back of taxpayers."

"Where I live, I really don't use public law enforcement. Smith & Wesson guard my home. I shouldn't have to pay into the public law enforcement district."

"Why should I have to support a County Public Health Office with my tax dollars? I don't use it! If I need health care I go to my own doctor and pay my own bill."

"Why are we using municipal taxes for a parks program? I don't use the parks myself. If we want a park let's put a fence around it and place a turnstile at the entrance. If you want to go in, you drop your coins in the box and the turnstile lets you in. It's no different than going to a movie or a sports game."

The Libertarians would love to take us back down to an Afghanistan-level of public amenities where there are no public goods, only private ones that you must pay a fee to use. But then, they aren't that keen on building society at all. Their misreading of the Constitution leads them to see freedom as something that is vested only in the individual, not the community.

Remember, the objective of democratic governance is to achieve the greatest possible good for the greatest possible number of people. That doesn't mean everyone gets exactly what they want. Nor does each individual get a customized tax bill that reflects only their own idiosyncratic patronage.

And that is the question... who and what defines greater good

The Constitution isn't that complicated... it would seem most people can understand what it says...

As more and more burdens are placed on business... more are opting out of the position of being employers... at least that is what I find...

The problem is once something is taxed... the tax tends to become permanent... The United States didn't have Income Tax as we know it today for over 100 years... now it can take a 1/3 of what I earn.

I personally think Oregon, as a State, should chart it's destiney... just don't be surprised when those with differing viewpoints don't argree with the plan and vote with their feet and move...
 
Unread 02-28-2010, 03:08 PM
 
Location: State of Jefferson coast
965 posts, read 1,387,038 times
Reputation: 1171
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultrarunner View Post
And that is the question... who and what defines greater good
Actually, once you decide that the great good is what you should pursue, the course is quite clear. From Plato to Kant, a good deal of philosophy has been devoted to this issue. From local school boards to the U.S. Congress, the greater good is decided by elected policy makers whose decisions are based on demonstrable evidence and reasoned argument. The problem is that Libertarians want to substitute the the unfettered freedom of the individual for the greater good of society, essentially replacing an adult notion of freedom with an adolescent one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultrarunner View Post
The Constitution isn't that complicated... it would seem most people can understand what it says...
The Constitution is enormously complicated. It doesn't mean what "most people" understand it to mean, but what the Supreme Court says it means. An understanding of the Constitution involves not only a reading of the document itself, but a study of the hermeneutics of all the major Supreme Court decisions that are part of Constitutional case law.
 
Unread 02-28-2010, 07:01 PM
 
12,492 posts, read 21,602,423 times
Reputation: 6861
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brenda-by-the-sea View Post
Actually, once you decide that the great good is what you should pursue, the course is quite clear. From Plato to Kant, a good deal of philosophy has been devoted to this issue. From local school boards to the U.S. Congress, the greater good is decided by elected policy makers whose decisions are based on demonstrable evidence and reasoned argument. The problem is that Libertarians want to substitute the the unfettered freedom of the individual for the greater good of society, essentially replacing an adult notion of freedom with an adolescent one.
Exactly... if it were that simple... there would never be any disagreements... there are many things I don't agree with... like public employee's getting over $800,000 in lump sum vacation pay or Highway Patrol Officers getting over a quarter million dollar in lump sum vacation pay... yet, our elected officials condone this and pay it... incredible. All of this was in today's SF Chronicle...

If only the goverment was looking after the great good... we would be in agreement.

Who is a Libertarian?... does that party have anyone in public office or appointed to our courts?

What is unfettered freedom... are we not a nation of laws?


Quote:
The Constitution is enormously complicated. It doesn't mean what "most people" understand it to mean, but what the Supreme Court says it means. An understanding of the Constitution involves not only a reading of the document itself, but a study of the hermeneutics of all the major Supreme Court decisions that are part of Constitutional case law.
Well then we have a problem... the founding Fathers have been quoted marveling in it's simplicity... I have seen it myself in the Smithsonian...

Anything that is too complicated for most people to understand is a problem right there... we are not talking high tech brain surgery or rocket science.

Once again... I question the wisdom, the financial impact and the cost of public safety in constructing 600 million dollars of bike paths...
 
Unread 03-01-2010, 09:45 AM
 
Location: State of Jefferson coast
965 posts, read 1,387,038 times
Reputation: 1171
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultrarunner View Post
Once again... I question the wisdom, the financial impact and the cost of public safety in constructing 600 million dollars of bike paths...
Yes, it sounds like a lot of money when you add up the project's 20-year total of capital outlay, but ...it's less than what it costs to fund the war in Iraq for a single day.
War Costing $720 Million Each Day, Group Says - washingtonpost.com

Let's suspend our pointless war for 24 hrs. and do something truly noble on a domestic front instead. Sacrifice one day of waging war for 7300 days of building something that promotes good health on a domestic front. Build bikeways, not foreign empire!
 
Unread 03-01-2010, 10:09 AM
 
Location: Hillsboro, OR
5,186 posts, read 3,739,620 times
Reputation: 2950
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultrarunner View Post
Once again... I question the wisdom, the financial impact and the cost of public safety in constructing 600 million dollars of bike paths...
Can you admit that you have a bias? Clearly you are a car enthusiast beyond even the standard definition of that term. My first car was a Datsun 280Z. I've owned a Turbo Passat. I was a driving enthusiast. No more. I always thought I might be again when an electric vehicle with performance characteristics akin to internal combustion motors was produced but that day seems unlikely. At least in my driving lifetime. For the foreseeable future bicycles are my transportation. Portland is unique in the U.S. in having as many cyclists that use bicycles as transportation in proportion to the population. NYC has many, many more total cyclists, however.

Regardless of what you believe, Peak Oil is a reality. Oil is finite! The only point I will concede is that the exact amount of oil left in the ground is unknown. Rather than use that as an argument for unabated consumption, I use it to argue that, in fact, the Peak may already have passed.... .... . Offshore drilling, pressurized steam extraction, shale mining... hmmmm. If it is this hard to get the available oil now... ... So, I see all your positive spin on the future of motorized individual transport as biased thinking. Doomed biased thinking.

Bike lanes and bike paths are not the same thing. I question the need for either but it must be said that there is a vast difference in the cost of striping off a portion of roadway for the exclusive use of bicycles and constructing an entirely separate roadway for the use of bicycles. We ride in a club with over 50 other tandem teams. We are the only cyclists in that group that dare take a bike out into traffic. The rest car top their bikes to some park or lightly trafficked suburban road (on a Saturday or Sunday) and more or less enjoy themselves while staring in their rearview mirrors anticipating the approach of a car, which happens two or three times in an hour.

The fear of a majority of cyclists about cars is what spurs the construction of bike paths. In Europe, motorists are educated about bicycles and their right to be on the road and thus despite the fact that there are no helmet laws and very lax use of them by cyclists there are far fewer cyclist fatalities than in the U.S. where cyclists have become rabid helmet adherents.

When I need to go somewhere new I use Google same as you do. Imagine if you had to consult some kind of special map published by the AAA to tell you which roads and streets were safe for use by cars. What? I expect that I will be safe and respected as a legal road user on any road in Oregon excepting the Interstates and limited access turnpikes. Bottom line, this cyclist does not want or need 600M in added bicycle paths.

Therefore, however, I do not feel obligated to pay for the use of public roads when the traffic signals now require the presence of large masses of metal above them in order to operate. I do not feel obligated to pay for the use of roads that force bicyclists to ride over sewer covers with grating that slats parallel to tire tracks and traps them. I do not feel obligated to pay for use of roads that force bizarre kinds of left turns where you turn right first and loop around to cross left with pedestrians.

I am an American taxpayer. I am not consulted as to what projects, services or what have you is deemed neccessary to use them for. Currently, $660M a minute are being spent to keep up hostilities worldwide. I can't see how an expenditure of $600M over years with the result of a durable good that will last decades if not more and benefit some subset of Portland residents, runners and skaters if not cyclists, causes so much upset.

H
 
Unread 03-01-2010, 11:48 AM
 
Location: Portland, OR
1,657 posts, read 2,335,319 times
Reputation: 831
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
....I am an American taxpayer. I am not consulted as to what projects, services or what have you is deemed neccessary to use them for. Currently, $660M a minute are being spent to keep up hostilities worldwide. I can't see how an expenditure of $600M over years with the result of a durable good that will last decades if not more and benefit some subset of Portland residents, runners and skaters if not cyclists, causes so much upset.

H
I agree with your points.....
However,
As long as general government revenue is used for the bike paths.

However, should the money come from the Highway Trust fund, then I feel the bike path users should contribute a token amount (less than 10% matching of Highway Trust fund money) toward the funding. Bikes on the bike path tend to reduce the number of cars in the rush hour traffic jams and all that.

The Federal Highway trust fund was a social contract between the people and the Government to set aside a specific tax on a specific product for the building and maintenance of roadways. I just feel we, as a society. should honor our agreement or just do away with the Highway trust fund 'set-aside' agreement. And just admit the Fed Gas tax is going into the general revenue pot.

I don't have any idea on how to collect such a bike use tax in Multnomah county, and it probably will cost as much to administer and enforce as any actual money collected.
 
Unread 03-01-2010, 12:10 PM
 
Location: State of Jefferson coast
965 posts, read 1,387,038 times
Reputation: 1171
Quote:
Originally Posted by philwithbeard
The Federal Highway trust fund was a social contract between the people and the Government to set aside a specific tax on a specific product for the building and maintenance of roadways. I just feel we, as a society. should honor our agreement or just do away with the Highway trust fund 'set-aside' agreement. And just admit the Fed Gas tax is going into the general revenue pot.
On a somewhat related issue, the assumption upon which that social contract was made 53 years ago -- that the number of gallons of fuel purchased was proportional to a vehicle's impact on the roadway system -- no longer holds true. That whole era of fuel-tax funding for highways is about to come to a close.

The Nissan Leaf, coming out this year, is an all-electric compact with a 100-mile range. Early adopters in metropolitan areas will probably snap them up quickly. Once the range for electrics gets into the 300-mile ballpark (should be possible with Li-ion iron phosphate batteries), electrics will go mainstream. This could be within 5-10 years easily. Since fuel purchased no longer reflects pro-rata impact on the roadway system, we're going to have to find another way to dock vehicles for the construction and maintenance costs of roads. Kulongoski's proposal is a mileage tax. Once that happens, the whole formula for the budgetary accommodation of different modes of transportation will have to be reworked.
Kulongoski to pursue mileage tax
 
Unread 03-01-2010, 02:42 PM
 
172 posts, read 250,304 times
Reputation: 256
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brenda-by-the-sea View Post
Build bikeways, not foreign empire!
How about we build schools and not bike paths. That is where the money should be going. It would be one thing if the city of Portland could tout a top quality school system but with the poor quality of education in this city (along with poor quality of other critical services) there are a lot of other things that should placed in order of priority ahead of bike paths.

I have read that goal of the program is to raise the percentage of commuters who use bikes from 15% of total commuters today to 25%. So, for 10% of commuters into Portland we will spend this money? That is for the greater good? Really? Sounds like it is for the greater good of the vocal minority - certainly not the majority.
 
Unread 03-01-2010, 03:53 PM
 
12,492 posts, read 21,602,423 times
Reputation: 6861
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brenda-by-the-sea View Post
Yes, it sounds like a lot of money when you add up the project's 20-year total of capital outlay, but ...it's less than what it costs to fund the war in Iraq for a single day.
War Costing $720 Million Each Day, Group Says - washingtonpost.com

Let's suspend our pointless war for 24 hrs. and do something truly noble on a domestic front instead. Sacrifice one day of waging war for 7300 days of building something that promotes good health on a domestic front. Build bikeways, not foreign empire!
Yes, I agree and I can't believe the President has not already acted... this is just an example of things I don't believe in that are done for the "Greater Good"?
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Closed Thread


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2011 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $74,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Oregon

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2014, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 - Top