Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Toll Operators

Toll Booth Operators

In the last couple of days I was driving to Denver International Airport to pick up some family. To avoid traffic backup I decided to take the E-470. When one of my passengers saw that there are no longer toll operators they made the comment that it was a shame that so many jobs are no longer being provided. Luckily I was able to explain to them that they were only understanding the seen consequences of the jobs being lost.
Without going doing extensive research some of the seen possible unseen new jobs are the increased staff at the mail room for sending out tolls to the toll road users. Along wight the possibility that tolls may go down, or the fact that not having to pay up front will increase the number of people who will choose to use the roads. With this increase in traffic more businesses would be willing to invest along to road. New gas stations, Wal-Marts, fast food restaurants are built and providing many new jobs that require similar skill sets to the "lost" toll booth operator jobs.
Going a little further, with the increase use of the toll road and the increased number of businesses that are accessible via the toll road, the tolls should eventually be removed. This government would now be able to justify using a tax to pay for road maintenance. With the toll ultimately removed, causing an even greater amount of traffic. And just like before, with more traffic more businesses are willing to invest.
The One lesson teaches us that we cannot assume that what we see is the end of the conversation. Just because toll booths no longer require operators, does not mean that nothing else will happen as a result. Hazlitt talks about the criticism that machinery gets in Chapter 7 "The Curse of Machinery"

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