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Can bicycles get Ireland out of the crisis?

feargach

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Joined
Dec 11, 2006
Messages
4,968
I would suggest that bicycles have the potential to save Ireland from its mess, or at least contribute heavily to getting through this crisis.

For countries like France, Germany and Italy, car-dependency is a swings-and-roundabouts issue. On the con side, they are at the mercy of the vagaries of the oil markets, and are currently suffering as all the new oil finds are in low-volume, high-cost shale-oil pockets, and this suffering will continue until someone finds a new Saudi Arabia of easy-to-extract, high-quality, high-volume oil.

On the pro side, they have an important automobile industry, so any attempt to switch to cycling has the potential to undermine that industry.

But for Ireland, it's all con, economically. Every car we import is a massive flow of funds out of the country. Every car guzzles down ever-more-expensive foreign oil. For some, it's a totally necessary expense.

But for many, it's a luxury that they permit themselves, despite much better options being available. We all know very fat people who work five miles away from their homes, but drive there alone in their cars every day, befouling the air, damaging the roads, blocking the streets. They sit in traffic, wasting their time (which is arguably none of my business), and wasting the time of other road users (which is definitely my business).

Let's do a quick calculation of how much Ireland (the economy as a whole, not the government) would save in imported fuel and if every worker who lives fewer than 5 miles from their workplace were to cycle to work rather than drive.

The main areas of savings would be fuel consumption, need to replace cars (the milage will go down, therefore there'd be no need to replace a car every 5 years) and time lost to sitting in traffic jams (people can earn more money by taking on overtime, or businesses can require their workers to do extra hours, which makes them more profitable and thus pay more taxes to lower our deficit.) Business deliveries will become quicker thanks to a reduction in traffic jams, which will make our economy more dynamic.

I strongly sense that the most fanatical austerians will suddenly come over all Krugman-esque when this proposal to reduce our deficit without spending anything comes up for discussion.
 


Ribeye

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Joined
Jul 12, 2011
Messages
26,024
Give me strength
 

R3volution_R3ady

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Joined
Sep 17, 2012
Messages
2,314
I don't think you've thought this through.
 

IbrahaimMohamad

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Joined
Feb 5, 2013
Messages
4,161
I would suggest that bicycles have the potential to save Ireland from its mess, or at least contribute heavily to getting through this crisis.

For countries like France, Germany and Italy, car-dependency is a swings-and-roundabouts issue. On the con side, they are at the mercy of the vagaries of the oil markets, and are currently suffering as all the new oil finds are in low-volume, high-cost shale-oil pockets, and this suffering will continue until someone finds a new Saudi Arabia of easy-to-extract, high-quality, high-volume oil.

On the pro side, they have an important automobile industry, so any attempt to switch to cycling has the potential to undermine that industry.

But for Ireland, it's all con, economically. Every car we import is a massive flow of funds out of the country. Every car guzzles down ever-more-expensive foreign oil. For some, it's a totally necessary expense.

But for many, it's a luxury that they permit themselves, despite much better options being available. We all know very fat people who work five miles away from their homes, but drive there alone in their cars every day, befouling the air, damaging the roads, blocking the streets. They sit in traffic, wasting their time (which is arguably none of my business), and wasting the time of other road users (which is definitely my business).

Let's do a quick calculation of how much Ireland (the economy as a whole, not the government) would save in imported fuel and if every worker who lives fewer than 5 miles from their workplace were to cycle to work rather than drive.

The main areas of savings would be fuel consumption, need to replace cars (the milage will go down, therefore there'd be no need to replace a car every 5 years) and time lost to sitting in traffic jams (people can earn more money by taking on overtime, or businesses can require their workers to do extra hours, which makes them more profitable and thus pay more taxes to lower our deficit.) Business deliveries will become quicker thanks to a reduction in traffic jams, which will make our economy more dynamic.

I strongly sense that the most fanatical austerians will suddenly come over all Krugman-esque when this proposal to reduce our deficit without spending anything comes up for discussion.
How would you redistribute the tax burden, to recover all the taxes currently derived from motoring taxes, in this new utopia of bicycles?
 

LamportsEdge

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Joined
Jan 10, 2012
Messages
21,694
This is going to happen anyway. Notice the increase in bicycle racks around urban areas? Preparation for fuel prices to go through the roof. Of course in Ireland the wealthy will still drive but it is back to the fifties for everyone else.

Huge increase in cycling in urban areas around Europe- London and the UK generally there is a boom in interest partly due to the Bradley Wiggins effect and the speed cycling medals at the Olympics.

The middle class seem to be taking to it big time and the prices in the bicycle shops for hybrid racer/chunky bikes reflects that. Bicycle accessory stuff must be booming... staycations and holiday downsizing along with better bicycle pathways at tourist spots is helping as well.
 

ruserious

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 3, 2011
Messages
29,085
While we are at it, let's chuck out our TV's, Ipads and Androids. Feck it...hopscotch is all we need. Or is that foreign too?
 

R3volution_R3ady

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 17, 2012
Messages
2,314
You know it's funny to me...

The OP's sig asks the question "do I really want to ban paper money and go back to gold?"
It's particularly interesting when every thread he starts is about austerity. Well, has the OP ever asked himself why there is a so much debt to begin with? Give me strength.
 
D

Dylan2010

While we are at it, let's chuck out our TV's, Ipads and Androids. Feck it...hopscotch is all we need. Or is that foreign too?
yeah sure feck it, all you need is a bag of spuds a week, give the rest of your money to the gubberment and we'll be happy out
 

GJG

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 10, 2006
Messages
3,102
Website
blog.hereshow.ie
I would suggest that bicycles have the potential to save Ireland from its mess, or at least contribute heavily to getting through this crisis.

For countries like France, Germany and Italy, car-dependency is a swings-and-roundabouts issue. On the con side, they are at the mercy of the vagaries of the oil markets, and are currently suffering as all the new oil finds are in low-volume, high-cost shale-oil pockets, and this suffering will continue until someone finds a new Saudi Arabia of easy-to-extract, high-quality, high-volume oil.

On the pro side, they have an important automobile industry, so any attempt to switch to cycling has the potential to undermine that industry.

But for Ireland, it's all con, economically. Every car we import is a massive flow of funds out of the country. Every car guzzles down ever-more-expensive foreign oil. For some, it's a totally necessary expense.

But for many, it's a luxury that they permit themselves, despite much better options being available. We all know very fat people who work five miles away from their homes, but drive there alone in their cars every day, befouling the air, damaging the roads, blocking the streets. They sit in traffic, wasting their time (which is arguably none of my business), and wasting the time of other road users (which is definitely my business).

Let's do a quick calculation of how much Ireland (the economy as a whole, not the government) would save in imported fuel and if every worker who lives fewer than 5 miles from their workplace were to cycle to work rather than drive.

The main areas of savings would be fuel consumption, need to replace cars (the milage will go down, therefore there'd be no need to replace a car every 5 years) and time lost to sitting in traffic jams (people can earn more money by taking on overtime, or businesses can require their workers to do extra hours, which makes them more profitable and thus pay more taxes to lower our deficit.) Business deliveries will become quicker thanks to a reduction in traffic jams, which will make our economy more dynamic.

I strongly sense that the most fanatical austerians will suddenly come over all Krugman-esque when this proposal to reduce our deficit without spending anything comes up for discussion.
I can't source the figure, but I understand three per cent if Ireland's economy, at its height, was in vehicle sales alone.

If you wonder why, have a consider the cartels (exempt from European and Irish competition law) who sell the cars. Economists calculate that criminal price-fixing adds about €3,000 to the price of every vehicle sold in the country (and we complain about VRT why?). There have been a couple of convictions, where the criminals kept detailed written records of their crimes, which were uncovered.

There was no jail time handed down, and the highest fine was a pathetic €12,000, considering the hundreds of millions ripped off from consumers over the years. That is the strength of the lobby you are up against.

How would you redistribute the tax burden, to recover all the taxes currently derived from motoring taxes, in this new utopia of bicycles?
So you are basically saying that any money not spent on cars evaporates from the economy?

There are two issues here that you are confusing. One is the trade balance, the other government deficit. Clearly any shift away from cars improves Ireland's trade balance, since the vast bulk of motoring spending goes straight out of the country.

Since motoring taken as a whole is a large net beneficiary from the exchequer, relative to other types of spending, this is likely to improve the deficit too.
 

GDPR

1
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Jul 5, 2008
Messages
217,847
No, they'd sink for sure, even if we could get enough of them hooked up to the land to tow Ireland away from Europe.

Tug boats now, now you're talkin'
 

Mushroom

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Joined
Nov 27, 2009
Messages
15,474
Let's do a quick calculation of how much Ireland (the economy as a whole, not the government) would save in imported fuel and if every worker who lives fewer than 5 miles from their workplace were to cycle to work rather than drive.

Yes, let's.

From a very quick calculation I estimate that the net daily saving to the economy would be in the region of £25:18:6d.

This factors in such extra costs as the increased requirement for surgery on bicycle-related haemmorhoids; the massive extra charge to the exchequer arising from the drop in tolls on our roads, bridges and tunnels; the large losses to Local Authorities' revenues arising from diminishing car parking revenues or the cost of large-scale redundancies in fuel stations and traffic wardens outside schools.

(I haven't factored in the massive loss of revenue to Sinn Féin supporters that would arise from the inevitable closure of illegal diesel laundering plants all along the border.)
 

LINKS FAHREN

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 1, 2010
Messages
748
It seems that Flann O'Brien was a prophet. Watch out for half-people- half bicycles...fellas spending a lot of time leaning on one elbow on walls or standing propped on one foot at kerbstones.

It'll also save billions on health spending, as a bicycle is a far less complicated machine than a human body.

The possibilities are endless...

'Two wheels good, four wheels bad'

P.S. There is no punishment or torture too great for people who cycle on footpaths. The air of sanctimoniousness which attaches to cyclists on the roads does not apply when you take to terrifying ambulatory citizens on the footpath.
A long stick in all your spokes then and may your smugness soften the impact of the laws of physics.
 

feargach

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Joined
Dec 11, 2006
Messages
4,968
How would you redistribute the tax burden, to recover all the taxes currently derived from motoring taxes, in this new utopia of bicycles?
It's not obvious that this would be a major issue.

People would self-declare their distance from work to home. Or perhaps the Revenue would be able to get that data automatically from their records.

You raise VRT for those who live too close to work to reasonably claim it's needed, and you drop it for those who have to go a very long distance to work. It can be revenue neutral this way.

Will people try to lie to the Revenue? Of course! Every day people try to fiddle their taxes. But the location of your workplace in relation to your home is not an easy thing to conceal. The Revenue will catch and publicly shame a group of cheaters whom they will catch by doing random audits, and this will dissuade most punters from risking it. A few brazen folk will get away with it out of not being checked, and that's true of all kinds of tax cheats.
 

IbrahaimMohamad

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 5, 2013
Messages
4,161
I can't source the figure, but I understand three per cent if Ireland's economy, at its height, was in vehicle sales alone.

If you wonder why, have a consider the cartels (exempt from European and Irish competition law) who sell the cars. Economists calculate that criminal price-fixing adds about €3,000 to the price of every vehicle sold in the country (and we complain about VRT why?). There have been a couple of convictions, where the criminals kept detailed written records of their crimes, which were uncovered.

There was no jail time handed down, and the highest fine was a pathetic €12,000, considering the hundreds of millions ripped off from consumers over the years. That is the strength of the lobby you are up against.



So you are basically saying that any money not spent on cars evaporates from the economy?

There are two issues here that you are confusing. One is the trade balance, the other government deficit. Clearly any shift away from cars improves Ireland's trade balance, since the vast bulk of motoring spending goes straight out of the country.

Since motoring taken as a whole is a large net beneficiary from the exchequer, relative to other types of spending, this is likely to improve the deficit too.
What if people diverted their motoring budget to foreign holidays, or to savings, or to paying off debt, or to imported goods?

Would productivity suffer if people used bikes as opposed to cars?

Surely taxes like stamp duty that discourage people moving house or place of business should be abolished?

The rainfall in Kerry is about 6 time the rainfall at Dublin Airport. Would Kerry people be happy to cycle in the rain?

Surely if we are to export a lot of our production we will need to import too?
 

feargach

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Joined
Dec 11, 2006
Messages
4,968
Yes, let's.

From a very quick calculation I estimate that the net daily saving to the economy would be in the region of £25:18:6d.

This factors in such extra costs as the increased requirement for surgery on bicycle-related haemmorhoids; the massive extra charge to the exchequer arising from the drop in tolls on our roads, bridges and tunnels; the large losses to Local Authorities' revenues arising from diminishing car parking revenues or the cost of large-scale redundancies in fuel stations and traffic wardens outside schools.

(I haven't factored in the massive loss of revenue to Sinn Féin supporters that would arise from the inevitable closure of illegal diesel laundering plants all along the border.)
So, what are you assuming that people who aren't buying cars will do with that money they have saved.

You would appear to assume that they'll simply burn it.
 

feargach

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Joined
Dec 11, 2006
Messages
4,968
What if people diverted their motoring budget ... to savings, or to paying off debt
Well, that would mean that our costs of recapitalising banks would plummet.
 

Mushroom

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Nov 27, 2009
Messages
15,474
So, what are you assuming that people who aren't buying cars will do with that money they have saved.

You would appear to assume that they'll simply burn it.

Pay off their mortgage arrears. Pay for private health insurance. Invest in vintage wine. Donate to the Green Party.
 

IbrahaimMohamad

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Joined
Feb 5, 2013
Messages
4,161
So, what are you assuming that people who aren't buying cars will do with that money they have saved.

You would appear to assume that they'll simply burn it.
Surely it's theirs to burn if they wish to do so, just as it was theirs to squander in a property boom?
 


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