Audio Asylum Thread Printer
Get a view of an entire thread on one page
|For Sale Ads|
In Reply to: RE: It's $9+ in HK so quit yer posted by RGA on November 29, 2021 at 18:38:41
I've spent a little time in Hong Kong. It's one of those cities where "normal" residents rarely need a car, and when they need one they can hire one. The scarcity of parking makes it a luxury item, so fuel prices are kind of irrelevant. Also, the climate makes it unnecessary to use fossil fuels for heating.
Now put yourself in the great plains of CA or USA. Everything is spread out. A car is a fundamental necessity of life because you need it to go anywhere. You literally can't feed your family without it. If you're a tradesperson, or otherwise work with your hands, you probably need a truck or van for work as well. Taking a vacation or visiting family usually involves loading up a vehicle and going on a road trip. And it gets cold in the winter so you depend on gas or oil to keep you warm.
A fuel price spike in HK would be noticed by the companies in the transport business and not so much by the population at large. But a fuel price spike in the middle of CA or the USA is felt by nearly all the people in multiple facets of their life.
When discussing change - just because an infrastructure is set up one way doesn't mean we can't change it to a better way.
I think we're in agreement mostly. Hong Kong is a city - so let's first keep apples to apples and agree that in a city most people should not "need" a car and that in cities traffic is the biggest nightmare.
Here in Hong Kong since the pandemic, the government has been subsidizing people's transit costs. We use an octopus card which has been around for at least 15 years. You load the card with money and then can use it on buses, trains, ferries, shopping centers, McDonald's Starbucks and vending machines. Great invention (from an Aussie).
So you tap your card when you get on the MTR and when you arrive at your destination it knows how many stations you went and deducts the amount say $4.4HKD or $9HKD whatever the amount.
I live on MaWan an island with its own bus terminus and because I am a resident I get a discount. The management on the island scans my Octopus card doing whatever voodoo they do and every time I get on the bus the usual $11.7 fee is reduced to $7.6. This card is great because the government decided to give all residents $5,000 HKD in three installments. You fill out an online form with your octopus card number. Then on October 1st you tap an Octopus reader at every MTR station and $2,000 was put onto my card. Each month you tap and get a refund. Last month I got $110. Woohoo - hey that's better than kick in the pants.
Sorry for the story but the point is the US and Canada should do something similar. You already do this with tolls for bridges or long stretches of highway. So in a rural area where people absolutely need a vehicle and arguably gas-guzzling vehicles, they can be subsidized.
The problem with governments is they always use a sledgehammer to fix a problem that requires watch repair tools.
Obviously, a $9 gallon would destroy rural farmers but not so much in downtown New York. So in a rural area maybe you have an $8-gallon subsidy - making life easier there while having the premiums in place for people who really don't need a car. It's a carrot and stick approach to get people to act responsibly because they won't do it on their own. And you are not losing "freedoms" because you have the choice to pay it or not.
Again the governments aren't nimble - society needs speed boats to make turns quickly as needs arise but governments are Air-Craft Carriers big bloated and slow to respond.
The reason China is faster is obvious - there are no discussions or checks and balances so he says do, and 1 minute later is starting to be done. In the West - there is an endless debate, goes through piles of red tape. I laughed when Bill Maher tried to get a solar panel put on his shed in his back yard - it took him over 1100 days to get through the California Beaurocracy to get one. And that is a Solar power-friendly state - eesh.
I don't know what the best solutions are but getting corruption (lobbyists) out of politics has to be the first step.
Subsidy seems to be a scary word but the US is already doing that with Places like New York basically subsidizing Kentucky. So if you're doing it already may as well do it for gas too.
Post a Message!
This post is made possible by the generous support of people like you and our sponsors: