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Wednesday, May 22
The Indiana Daily Student

A hurrah for paid parking

Meter

Paid parking will increase the wellbeing of everyone, including the crows that keep us up during winter nights. It’s elementary economics.

Currently, there is a shortage of parking, as every driver isn’t willing to pay for a parking space.

As the price of parking increases, less people are willing to pay for a space, freeing up parking spaces for those who are willing to pay.

With a paid parking system, there will be more parking for those who are willing to pay the price.

At the same time, those who aren’t will receive the benefit of spending the money they may have spent on parking on something they value more.

Less people will be inclined to drive downtown, which is great for you environmentalists, as less congestion means less carbon emission, which means cleaner air.

On the downside, this means there will be more bikers on the roads, which means your English professor won’t be the only stinky one in class with dripping armpit stains.

In short, a world with paid parking means less traffic, more parking availability and happier birds. The city will also receive the money from the meters.

I can’t believe it’s taken this long for Bloomington to seriously consider implementing a paid parking system.

Two groups of people are among the things preventing us from benefits of paid parking.
The first includes those who believe parking in public spaces is an inalienable right and believe they should do so at no cost.

To these, I say, no, free parking is not a God-given entitlement.

The Bill of Rights does not protect it, nor should you.

The second group includes the “people instead of profits” loons who think allowing a private company — God forbid an out-of-state company — to collect profits from parking meters somehow harms the citizens of Bloomington.

These are the people who said in Liberation, a “newspaper for the party of socialism and liberation,” that Chicago mayor Richard Daley’s “sale of the parking meters [to Morgan Stanley] is part of an all-out attack on workers in Illinois.”

You’d think the CEO’s of parking operations were stopping rush-hour traffic, pulling people out of their cars and busting their kneecaps.

In fact, the privatization of parking actually benefits workers.

Under a privatization plan, city governments will be free to focus their energies on more important things, like running social welfare programs for the poor.

A city will not only receive a large sum of money up front when a company acquires its parking.

It also may receive regular payments from the company.

So, the government will have more money to spend on less things.

Everyone will benefit from this increased efficiency.

To the profit-haters, I say profit benefits people.

Private companies don’t just have more incentive than government to provide better services.

They can also make government more efficient at the same time.

So, hurrah to Bloomington for growing up and realizing that in big person world, things aren’t free — and that’s a good thing.

­— arcarlis@indiana.edu

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