ALARMINGNEWS_1_1.jpg

July 27, 2007

Ayn Rand would be proud

An MTA Board member, Norman Seabrook, came up with an inspired idea to raise funds for our transit system without raising fares: "sell 42nd St.'s subway system underground to Disney for $60 million a year and have them paint it any way that they want to paint it." Mayor Bloomberg, of course, pooh pooh'd the idea. I think it's genius. Thoughts?

Posted by Karol at July 27, 2007 02:05 AM | TrackBack
Technorati Tags:
Comments

Brilliant.

Posted by: Dorian Davis at July 27, 2007 08:03 AM

not so sure Rand would be on board.

can you elaborate?

Posted by: E6 at July 27, 2007 09:28 AM

How about we let Disney paint something you'd have to look at every day...

Posted by: not dawn summers at July 27, 2007 09:53 AM

I am sure she would embrace the idea. If only Rand had a blog...

Posted by: lysiak at July 27, 2007 10:31 AM

..the idea of gov't owned property that is then sold to a favored company (without bidding) with the new "private" owner not allowed to have any influence in the operations of the transportation (which would still remain very much publicly funded) and the public still forcibly on the hook for paying for the lighting, security and cleaning of the "private" property.

Yeah. My guess is that she's be thrilled.

Posted by: E2 at July 27, 2007 10:35 AM

Anything that privatizes or is a step in the direction of privatization is ok with me. I rather like that idea. I'm not sure how much Disney be willing to pay for all that advertising, but the concept itself is indeed Randian. It's all about getting government to stop providing goods and services, which the free market should provide on its own.

Similarly, I've opposed using public funds for the Second Avenue subway line. Some may recall that I argued about this at the March indy Young Republicans with the lady from the Manhattan Institute. Rand, being as awesomely capitalist as she is, would completely agree with us.

My position is that the "rights" should be sold to private companies, who would then be in charge of running it. Taxpayers could then get a large tax cut for the next year, or the money could be used for rebuilding public infrastructure. If the private line goes bankrupt, so be it: the people would be no worse off than before, unlike a Big Dig that taxpayers paid for. If the line makes a profit, cool. As I noted, this is precisely what Andrew Jackson suggested about the Bank of the United States -- Jackson being the last Democrat worth voting for for president, possibly excluding JFK.

The MI rep's point was that nobody would want to put money into such an endeavor, and that's exactly my point. It's not a shortage of capital. There's so much floating around in global capital markets (my employer manages nearly $1 trillion just by itself) that $20 billion is nothing. It's that nobody believes such an operation could be financially profitable. Some would say that's why government must do it, but in fact, that's the very reason government must not. In the end, it would need public funds from city residents, others across the state, and then you get into the BS of federal matching funds. A real libertarian, like Rand, recognizes that it's immoral to make some people pay for what others consume.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at July 27, 2007 10:36 AM

Vote forwith both hands!

Posted by: Tatyana at July 27, 2007 10:38 AM

I do agree with privatization, however, calling it a "sale" is a little misleading, since it would be little more than a sale of the advertising rights. I doubt they would let Disney do too much else. And we'd still be forced to pay for the space regardless.

Its a very very very minor step in the right direction.

Also the fact that the "advertising rights" wouldn't be auctioned (not necessarily on the open market, but at least to a handful of select bidders) - similar to real privatizations of roads, power lines, that some govt's have been doing - but given to a pre-determined company for a set price... doesn't sit well at all.

Posted by: E2 at July 27, 2007 11:09 AM

The privitization is a good idea, but Disney? Try being stuck on Pirates of the Caribbean ride for two hours.

Posted by: Hubbard at July 27, 2007 12:31 PM

I agree with Perry except for the fact that he didn't note that the voters passed bond acts in 1951 and 1967. When the city government accounts for that money, it should be trusted with more.

Not.

Also, I disagree with this:
"It's that nobody believes such an operation could be financially profitable."

I believe it could be financially profitable...just not at $2 a ride. I wouldn't be willing to pay 5$ a ride, myself. But in a city where the average 2 bedroom apartment sells for over a million dollars, there would be no shortage of riders at a higher price. Those people would gladly pay more for a "luxury" train ride downtown, meaning less crowded due to the higher price. Of course, the public would never allow an "elite" train ride. The second this idea got floated, somebody would compare it to segregation.

Dawn?

Posted by: Oschisms at July 27, 2007 01:04 PM

The second this idea got floated, somebody would compare it to segregation.

Dawn?

Haha, Dawn would be on the luxury train so fast.

Posted by: Karol at July 27, 2007 01:27 PM

I do agree with privatization, however, calling it a "sale" is a little misleading, since it would be little more than a sale of the advertising rights. I doubt they would let Disney do too much else. And we'd still be forced to pay for the space regardless.

What's wrong with just selling advertising rights for now? Bring in lots of revenue, don't raise fares.

Posted by: Karol at July 27, 2007 01:30 PM

Nothing's wrong with it at all. I did say it was a step (albeit a small one) in the right direction.

It's just that it's nowhere near as revolutionary of a plan as your teaser headline made it out to seem.

"NYC to allow more advertising in subways - Ayn Rand mildly pleased" would have been sufficed.

Plus I am a little skeptical of the NYC-Disney relationship ever since that bullshit eminent domain abuse crap they pulled. Yes it was crap. Yes, I know Times Square is "cleaner" and more enjoyable to visit, but that's not the point. Let's say my personal preference is to forcibly vacate the entirely of Harlem and turn it into a golf course... does the fact that I prefer to go there justify it?

God help the poor little gov't employee who ever tries to apply eminent domain to me if I ever own property... that $35 k wouldn't have been worth it to his grieving family.

Posted by: E5 at July 27, 2007 02:23 PM

...sell 42nd St.'s subway system underground to Disney for $60 million a year and have them paint it any way that they want to paint it." Mayor Bloomberg, of course, *pooh pooh'd* the idea.

Ha!

Posted by: Shawn at July 27, 2007 05:21 PM

Why not just put LCD's in the cars with commercials and make it so anyone with a bluetooth headset can tune in?

Posted by: Stan LS at July 28, 2007 10:52 PM
Post a comment









Remember personal info?