Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Th economics lesson the left never gets

Nanny dearest

Where’s Mike Bloomberg when you actually needa nanny?
Being a hypocrite — that’s where.
As The Post’s David Seifman reported yesterday, the city Parks Department has seen a precipitous drop in both membership and revenue over the past year at its neighborhood recreation centers.
That’s because in July 2011 the city sharply hiked the fees it charges for using those facilities.
Annual adult membership fees doubled from $50 to $100 at regular centers, and from $75 to $150 at those with swimming pools.
And rates for senior citizensmorethan doubled — from $10 to $25.
The net result: Fully 44.5 percent of non-senior adult members, and half of all seniors, gave up their memberships.
That’s more thaneight timeswhat the city’s numbers-crunchers predicted.
And it translates into a net revenue loss of some $212,000 for the city.
User fees aren’t exactly taxes, of course.
Yet when bureaucrats jack them up without reference to what the market will bear, they have the same destructive effect.
Ham-handed taxation drives out potential investors; excessive fees stifle demand.
Both are destructive.
But the real irony here is that such centers are where many New Yorkers — those who can’t afford pricey private health clubs — go to get regular physical workouts.
Of the kind that Nanny Mike has been honking about for years — even as he rations New Yorkers’ sugar, trans fats, large sodas, and so on and so forth.
You’d think that making centers for physical activity unaffordable for tens of thousands would be the last thing on the Bloomberg agenda.
Consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds, eh, Mike?
City Hall stands by the move, saying kids attend for free and there are more free exercise classes, so overall attendance is up.
But that misses the larger point.
If Mayor Mike is determined to force New Yorkers to live healthier lifestyles — whether they want to or not — why effectively remove their access to one place that actually helps them do so?
Why, indeed.

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