Monday, November 21, 2005

Sprawl, transport and choice

PC has a wonderful series on why sprawl is good and the abolition of town planning even better. Most of the links are on his latest post on the topic, here.

The crux of so much of this is that planners get concerned about traffic congestion (which is a result of roads not being managed or charged like private property), insufficient use of public transport, energy use in homes and the disorder of capitalist societies. Most of this is out and out nanny statism.

To those who espouse this, they look at figures for energy use, public transport use and for them the less energy and more public transport the better- in short, Pyongyang in North Korea is the ideal city.

Frankly, who cares if people use more or less energy in their homes, or whose homes are energy efficient or otherwise? It doesn’t matter any more than whether those people buy a new pair of shoes every week or every year, or have a huge collection of CDs. The key is- as long as they PAY for it, a person should be able to consume whatever they wish. Pay meaning, the cost to purchase it and dispose of it, and that means no subsidies for production or distribution and no subsidies for rubbish collection or disposal or recycling. Remember how in so many countries energy and rubbish are run by central or local government, and are directly or indirectly subsidised.

Also who cares if public transport is well used or not, as long as those using it pay for it. Much public transport in the world is not subsidised – think of long distances buses and trains in New Zealand, and most airlines.

Planners are busybodies, they want to nanny us all, because we don’t know what is good for us. They want to protect us from using cars unnecessarily, from wasting energy and eating the wrong foods. They are do-gooders, and many have their hearts in the right place, but they need to be told to “fuck off, leave me alone, it’s my life and my money and I will do what I want with it”. Many of their messages are not bad in themselves – I don’t want to waste power or petrol, but sometimes I want a hot wash in my washing machine, sometimes I want to drive with the accelerator to the floor, sometimes I want to eat fast food. Sue Kedgley is the ultimate nanny – a hypocritical bitch who gets driven around, while calling on people to use public transport. John Prescott was the UK Transport Secretary, and did the same.

I want to live in a house, in the suburbs, with as many rooms as I can afford, as big a car as I can afford, and travel whenever I want in the class I can afford, and buy whatever I want – and live my life the way I want to. I don’t want anyone else’s money to do it. You can suggest ways I could do things better, but if you dare tell me where I should live, in what sort of house, how I must go to work or tax or subsidise things I don’t want to do because you don’t like my choices, then fuck off!

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