Tuesday, January 03, 2012

OWS people read Shoup

Rortybomb reports that the Zuccotti Park OWS library contained a copy of Don Shoup's The High Cost of Free Parking.  Amazing what rebels with time on their hands will read.

But the Rortybomb post then goes on to note and cite various views of privatization.   Can you have privatization without liberalization?  In other words, is there "enough" competition?   Also this:
“In just three words, ‘willing to pay’, we have swept away the inequality of wealth and power that any attempt to turn market mechanisms toward planned ends must confront…It follows that asking an extra dollar for parking hurts the well-being of the poor far more than the rich, and systematically privileges those who don’t need to think twice about paying six dollars for a parking space.”
Many parking spaces do not have perfect substitutes because of inevitable location rents.  The rents can go to a public entity, they can be dissipated via what Shoup has called "Cruising for Parking", or they can go to a private owner.  Private owners can pay the discounted value of future net revenues.  They can also be allowed to manage and price the space as circumstances dictate.

If we bring the well-being of the poor into the discussion, then we should recall that poor management of the infrastructure we have means that we are prompted to build new facilities.  And what would we then build?  These days, it has to be facilities that pass muster with the Baptists as well as the Bootleggers.   Tom Sowell reminds is that a policy conversation is not complete until we ask, "compared to what"?