At this point it’s quite uneccessary to pile on Matthew DeBoard’s reaction to Felix Salmon’s article on congestion pricing. Ryan Avent and Felix Salmon have offered capable refutations, and Brad DeLong has put the whole failure in a wider, snarkier context:
Slate has found that it is a lot easier to be contrarian and edgy and counterintuitive if you are also really dumb–and is, here, clearly taking the line of least resistance.
There’s no point in kicking a dead horse, but I can’t resist pointing out one final and glaring error in DeBoard’s tirade, which in fact was his final point:
“I mean, you never hear about guys like Charles Komanoff trying to perfect Houston, do you?”
His point is that Houston is a driving town, for driving people, and when drivers get sick of congestion in New York they’ll “move someplace where the driving life is tolerated and even embraced”, someplace like Houston. In a driving town like Houston they surely have no need for “utopianism” like congestion pricing. Except that Houstonians actually were early pioneers of congestion pricing: they implemented a congestion pricing scheme on Interstate 10 way back in 1998. Oops! Turns out Houstonians are fortunately not as misguided about congestion pricing as DeBoard is.