Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Straw man in the snow blind

Blue Virginia likes this column from the Washington Post. Instead of throwing out straw man arguments about Republican opposition, how about looking at some real problems with "snow insurance."
First, do people feel they've already paid what's needed to get snow removed? Keeping the roads clear should be the minimum done by local government, since slick roads can bring other higher costs - emergency personnel responding to accidents that clog traffic.
Second, people have seen higher taxes for needed services not providing all the services they say they will. If people pay $25 extra per year, how do we know that $10 of that fee won't just go to higher pay for current employees?
If you pay extra, you want the extra work done. Now.
Third, people are already working together. My short street has been cleared since Saturday afternoon. Why? The state plow came through twice, and then a neighbor brought in someone with a snow plow to clear driveways. Several neighbors paid to have their driveways cleared, and the plow pushed snow off the street while working. We moved our snowy cars onto the street while he finished clearing our driveways.
On the other side of my house, a neighbor has a snow blower. He clears his driveway, then goes down the street to help others clear theirs. My brother outside of Philly had two neighbors bring by snow blowers to clear his driveway Sunday after the snow.
I did my part on government roads during the blizzard of 1993 in West Virginia. I had a downtown apartment, and took my shovel to clear a storm drain of storm one evening. The water drained and traffic moved more smoothly.
"Snow insurance?" An interesting idea. If you think opponents have a real reason for being against your idea, then you can better present it. And make a better program to benefit the community.
Besides, didn't RFK Jr. say the era of Big Snows was Over? Why invest in something you won't need in a warmer climate?

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