A thought experiment:
Tired of being bled dry by our vampirical municipal government, I decide to stop paying my property taxes and utility bills. For the sake of easy round numbers, let’s call it an even $4000 a year.
Now, with those 40 Robert Borden’s stuffed back into the pocket of my chinos, I’m going to venture out into the private, for-profit sector and acquire all those things the city used to provide in return for my hard-earned money.
1) Clean water piped directly into my house.
2) Dirty water and other nasty stuff piped directly out of my house and treated accordingly.
3) Garbage, waste and recycling collected from my curb on a weekly basis.
4) My streets cleaned in the summer, plowed in the winter and reasonably navigable all year round. Sidewalks should be plentiful when I chose to walk. And fit a bike path or two in as well.
5) My neighbourhood will be safe and secure. Fire services on the ready in case of a conflagration and emergency services nearby in case I twist my ankle on a rough patch in the sidewalk and I fall down into the street in front of a car.
6) Parks, well groomed and maintained. Swimming pools, clean and refreshing. A healthy tree canopy.
7) $3 more or less to take transportation to anywhere in the city at any time of day.
8) Make sure my neighbours don’t sell their attached house to an overzealous developer who decides to rip the place down and put a 40 story condo. Oh yeah. And make sure my neighbour doesn’t build a 40 foot fence dividing our backyards.
Maybe that can be the same people who police the streets but they’re already working for me 24/7, and the overtime’s going to put a serious dent in my 4 grand.
Let’s see. That cover everything?
Water & waste. Clean streets. Law & order. Public transit. Parks. Planning. Zoning.
Oh yeah, right…
9) I’m not crazy about people having to sleep out on the streets or park benches. So I’d be happy to chip in to provide some shelter and affordable housing if need be. But if it gets too expensive, we can throw people in jails and put them on the provincial dime.
10) It would also be good to make sure my local haunts keep their cutlery clean and ground chuck properly refrigerated. You can never be too careful.
11) Stray animals. Nothing’s more depressing than coming across homeless cats or dogs. OK, homeless people but I covered those in point 9. And racoons. Somebody’s got to keep those little buggers out of my attic.
So… water & waste. Clean streets. Law & order. Public transit. parks. Planning. Zoning. Various social services. Proper permits and licensing. Animal control.
All for $4000 a year. $333.33 a month. $83.33 a week. $11.90 a day.
And since this is all through the private sector, where efficiencies abound, I’ll be expecting some change.
— hypothetically submitted by Urban Sophisticat