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Custom Free Parking Comes at a Cost essay paper sample

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This is an essay in response to an article by Tyler Cowen published on the 14th of August this year. The author of this article brings out in a very clear way the hidden costs of subsidies and the effect this has on the equilibrium price. By reviewing this article the essay will seek to answer the following question, Should the subsidies / mandates for minimum parking continue or would we be better off with less free parking?

Cowen (2010) starts writing on the topic free parking by first briefing on the commitment that is given to cars by most car owners. The author laments that though many issues in reference to cars have received attention very little attention has been diverted to the free parking that is reserved for the cars. The author directly hit the topic on the head by calling the business of free parking a serious economic issue. He views this one classic example of the economy being steered in the wrong direction and believes that the car parking spaces are far too many (Cowen, 2010).

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Cowen (2010) argued that the charges for parking car should be raised as this will result to lessened trips on cars which will turn out to reduce the amount of emission to the atmosphere. The author further claimed that there will be proper land use and that the congestion will be far gone. The author associates Donald of the University of California with the similar opinion on the issue of the free parking. This, according to the author of the article, is argued out in his book; the high cost of parking (Cowen, 2010).


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Cowen (2010) argued that the space left for free parking is quite huge such that if the developers are to directly foot the cost of providing the free parking then the parking spaces would be small and quite expense as well implying that the car owners will more careful and when and where to drive their cars. In a quick calculation the author proves that indeed free parking is indeed costly. An example of a parking which would cost 100 dollars on a monthly basis is given as an illustration; such a space under the current law offer s subsidy of five dollars daily which has been reported to outweigh the costs of driving the gasoline tax (Cowen, 2010).  

The author compares Manhattan and San Francisco on the issue of car parking; while the streets in Manhattan have been reported to be full of cars moving about in search for parking space in San Francisco a pioneering program has been instituted. The program makes it possible for cars to be charged different charges depending on demand and supply. Cowen (2010) quoted Professor Shoup who made a claim that in most cases the cars in some car parks are far too cheap than the parks. The example of the Los Angeles parking space was considered and estimated to have cost over thirty one thousand dollars which the author claimed to be costly than the worth of many cars (Cowen, 2010).

Figures calculated by Professor Shoup showed that in the year 2002 the value of free parking subsidy was approximately one hundred and twenty seven billion dollars. This article has brought to light costs which can be said to hidden in reference to free parking. Apart from saving the environment from the emission there are substantial amounts of funds which will be saved. These funds used to subsidize the free parking can be used to fund other sectors of the economy. Cars owners should be prepared to bear the costs of parking their cars. This will reduce the number of cars being driven and will ensure that the environment is polluted to a less extent (Cowen, 2010).

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