Watching a lot of baseball these days. Thus I am cursed to view the unending commercials featuring cars and trucks, often one following another. Buy Mazda. No, buy Chevy. No, buy Audi—and so on. I have noticed that no advertisement for vehicles depict reality, the uncongenial goo that describes our transportation corridors. Each advertised car or truck glides alone on empty roadways. Sure.
In reading a few recent articles on Denmark, thrust into the headlines by the Democratic debate the other day, I came across this tidbit from Matthew Yglesias: the Danish government imposes a 180-percent tax on automobile purchases. What? Yglesias links to this article, wherein the tax is broken down to its constituent elements: a sales and registration tax, an ownership tax, an insurance tax, and a fuel tax—the nomination of which equals roughly 1.8 times the retail price of the automobile.
Now comes the new leftist government of Oslo, Norway, which seeks to ban automobiles from the city center by 2019. Several years ago London enacted a “congestion” tax on cars driving downtown. As a result, fewer private vehicles clog ingress and egress, in addition to the urban center.
America, as always, is different. Over a quarter-billion passenger vehicles ply our nation’s roadways, according to this article. Should there be any attempt to ban them from our cities or tax them like Denmark does, all hell would break loose. Besides, who would pay for the baseball games?