Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Tolls on bridges and roads used to be common. Before the federal government began writing  humungous checks for infrastructure, the rule was to loan localities money. The feds would get paid back from tolls collected.

Earlier, private toll roads and bridges built our first good infrastructures.

There’s increasing talk, now, about congestion pricing of roads — charging more at peak hours, or for fast lane access.

Tim Rutten argues against this. In a Los Angeles Times op-ed called “Congestion pricing — a slippery slope to toll roads,” Rutten says that congestion pricing “discriminates against the working poor.”

Rutten imagines a low-level worker rushing from work to go to the day care center to retrieve her sick child. Driving the jammed lanes would be too slow, so she turns into the fast lane and pays money to get her child faster. Rutten says “A society that can rationalize the imposition of such pain doesn’t need to worry over how to define equity; it needs to worry about its soul.”

Yeah, right. There are costs and choices everywhere. In an emergency, spending a few bucks to help your child is reasonable. Even if you are poor.

But preventing the option from even being available?

Mr. Rutten should rethink his all-or-nothing approach. And maybe even the fantasies that jam up his own soul. Without faster lanes that cost money, the mother would have no choice at all but to sit in traffic.

Solutions that work are better than solutions merely dreamt.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. voxoreason says:

    Good argument. This is much like the fuss about gas station owners who charge “replacement costs” for gas they’ve already purchased when prices were lower.

    With gas prices rising, some people, say, Sunday drivers, should simply stay home. But if one station charges $3.50/gal and another charges $4/gal, which one is more likely to run out of gas first?

    Okay, given an emergency situation, say, a woman is about to have a baby, her husband may have the choice of getting NO gas at $3.50 or all he *needs* (if not all he wants) at $4.

    Simplified (you usually have more than two stations to choose from, with maybe a small difference in prices, but the lowest price is always attractive), but sometimes it’s worth it to pay more for the essential things.

    Unless you want to learn how to deliver a baby in your back seat because you ran out of gas. Guys, if you’ve never done this, believe it: you don’t want to!

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  3. Tolls Create Gridlock, so without tolls traffic will move faster.

    Tolls were ment to be temporary and In Orlando they have created another tax on the people.

    Tolls are taxes and gas taxes are for the roads and yet Florida DOT gets money from both, thus double taxation.

    Someday the drivers will wake up.

  4. JD says:

    Paul, You have it wrong here.
    This issue is not one of having the choic eto buy more — in this case paying more for a faster lane.

    This issue is about government dictating your “need” to use a faster lane by some measuring device, whether it be money, or carpooling, or vehicle standard, etc.
    The governing agencies “take” from each and build a road, then through political paybacks only allow those it deems “worthy” to use the road.
    The HOV lanes are a disaster!!!! The incentive to carpool should be based on individual choice, not the governments high hand to regulate the level of traffic you have to deal with.

    ALL LANES (and freedom) FOR ALL!

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