Order Principles of Economics Responses
There are certainly both advantages and disadvantages of toll roads for drivers. One of the most well-known benefits of toll roads is that they can save considerable time compared with other routes. It is reasonable for us to reason that less traveling time means saving money. Also, because people are paying for the toll roads, regular maintenance makes it easier and safer for drivers. So, in conclusion, the advantages of toll roads are time-saving, money-saving, safety, and less congestion. When roads are public goods, they result in congestion, a negative externality. A toll is a corrective tax on the externality of congestion. But tolls might not be practical solutions because the cost of collecting them is too high. The government failed to consider that congestions only happen during some specific periods. Charging flat tolls, regardless of traffic conditions, maybe a burden for some drivers. Some people also argue that toll roads foster corruption and political patronage and discourage needed improvements on the rest of the highway system.
In addition to the advantages of toll roads previously mentioned, new electronic transponder technology, like E-Zpass, makes toll roads more palatable. If the toll is charged differently based on the time frame drivers use the road, toll roads will be preferable.
I don’t think there are other ways to pay for highways other than tolls or higher motor fuel taxes. Of course, the government can pay for the roads, but how does the government pay? By using the tax money. If the government pays for every road, the roads become a public good. People may argue that the problem with public goods is freeloaders. But are there any pure freeloaders? Everybody has been paying taxes since the day they are born. The real problem is the budget might not be big enough to pay for the highway system’s construction and maintenance. Scarcity always exists. To control the budget and degree of scarcity, the government (actually every tax-paying citizen) paid for the construction. It expects drivers to pay for the use and maintenance by tolls and higher motor fuel taxes. No matter what the government does, tax-paying citizens pay for the roads they use. So it really doesn’t matter whether they’re paying by tolls or other taxes.
WC: 373 words
Why toll roads are a bad idea. National Motorists Association. (2015, October 21). Retrieved October 14, 2022, from https://ww2.motorists.org/issues/tolls/bad-idea/
Mankiw, N. G. (2021). Principles of Economics. Cengage Learning, Inc.
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