Tuesday, February 17, 2009

What if? #1 - Mergers & Money

The first in a series of “what if I’m right” ideas. These are simply observations, not holy writ.

The previous government of Quebec (read Parti Québécois) unloaded the maintenance of roadway infrastructure to cities and towns all over the province.

This was done to cut costs at the provincial level, and move that cost towards the cities. The actual money didn’t all follow suit, and what money was downloaded was quickly dilapidated and dispersed.

No way can towns afford to support super-highways, it just ain't happening.

My first conjecture: the towns were forced-merged into larger entities thereby increasing the tax base. Economies of scale I guess. “Fusion forcée” is the word of the day, hell even in Ontario.

Is this enough? Probably not.

How can the new towns make enough money to support these new things without a substantial increase in taxes? Remember, if the taxes go up too much, people will be clamouring for reversing the mergers, and that just can't happen.

The solution is simple, yet Machiavellian. Take away the people’s right to sue the cities (re. pothole damage, etc.) This translates into potentially millions of dollars in avoided costs for the towns, and costs the provincial government NOTHING, except a vote.

Not bad really. No taxes raised, and seriously, who gives a crap about my neighbor's transmission getting ripped out from under his car? Not my problem. Besides, I drive this big ass S.U.V., so potholes are sporting.

Yes this passed as law, as is. I think I may have mentioned it before, but I connected the dots just recently, hence my second conjecture: easy money.

Now I am here to say that all this bullshit obviously didn’t work did it?

I give you: falling overpasses.


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