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Paying to Maintain Roads

by Anon

As the number of cars increases, more money has to be spent on road systems. Some people think the government should pay for this. Others, however, think that drivers should cover the costs.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.


Some today have argued that the funding for road systems should be the responsibility of governments instead of individuals. In my opinion, although maintaining roads can be considered a public service, private motorists should pay in order to more generally benefit society.

Proponents of governments assuming road costs argue this is a basic service tax-payers expect. In all countries, working adults must pay a certain percentage of their monthly salary to the government. From these contributions, individuals justly feel entitled to a variety of public services ranging from police and fire departments to affordable hospitals and safe infrastructure. Roads are a key component in this contract as most people drive in order to go to work, see friends, and take holidays. The government will itself benefit not only from fulfilling this mandate but also in terms of the financial byproduct of consumers being outside actively contributing to a market economy.

However, forcing drivers to pay these costs will greatly discourage private automobile ownership. This disincentive is crucial today because cities are overcrowded and private vehicles contribute to rising pollution levels. In large cities such as New York City and Tokyo, it is nearly impossible to traverse the city by automobile at peak rush hours. If there were fewer cars on the road, then people could travel more freely on bicycles, on foot, and using public transportation. Additionally, private vehicles are inefficient. Other forms of travel leave relatively small carbon footprints but cars, often carrying only one or two passengers, use more petrol than would normally be required to transport people. Replace cars with more efficient transport options and there would be a marked decrease in the consumption of fossil fuels.

In conclusion, despite the strong argument that tax-payers deserve public infrastructure such as roads, it is more important to discourage individuals from purchasing cars. In the long-term, this will greatly benefit cities and the world as a whole.

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