Mileage tax. Those who use the roads more, pay more.
Roads for the most part are payed for by gasoline taxes. So I thought. This represents a pretty basic, measurable "usage tax" which doesn't of itself invade privacy really. Why would government need a new tax for this? There's already "commercial fuel" under different tax laws for stationary and construction equipment. It's even colored different so you can tell.
The thing that sticks here is the privacy defense. What is our expectation of privacy on the roads? Further, driving on public roads is a choice and it's long held that you simply don't have to own one. The tax is therefore "voluntary".
The argument that one needs a car to compete economically in this society has been held EXTERIOR to law for what reasons? Before cars we used to tax (toll) foot traffic, horses and horse-drawn conveyances on different roads. We taxed the use of harbors and waterways. Private enterprises such as roads and river crossings were common as well.
Capitalism has an interesting relationship with roads. We assert the right to free travel but EVERYTHING IS OWNED thus requiring we have permission to do so. Land ownership has an effect of isolating you from the rest of the world which is great except for the fact that life requires that most of us interact with the outside world. Plus, rather than a more communitarian approach to conveyance like mass transit, we have chosen to favor the individually owned car. We have heavily invested in it. And even people who don't own cars pay for this in terms of increased danger of getting run over, increased noise and hideous amounts of pollution. These people HAVE NO CHOICE. They breathe it perhaps more than the drivers who create it. You drive 5 miles to work and are exposed to outside air for 10 minutes. You walk those 5 miles and you are exposed for an hour or so.
Tell me where privacy ends up as a priority then? And how conceptually a mileage tax has to mean invasion of privacy?
Be brave, be brave, the Myan pilot needs no aeroplane.
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