Regulation and taxes (A positive perspective)

On the relationship between population density, regulations, and taxes.

High population density areas tend to have more regulation and higher taxes than low-density areas.

High density areas require increased regulatory specificity because people are living in closer proximity to one another and the actions of individuals have an increased ability to affect larger amounts of people/neighbors. This increased regulation costs more to administer, which requires higher taxes.

For example, if you live on a ranch, your sphere of influence is small. If you hold a concert in your backyard the only people you have the ability to disrupt is yourself or your family.

But, if you live in a city, your sphere of influence is large. There can be hundreds or thousands of people living on a single block. Holding a concert on your patio could disrupt an entire city block.

This ability for a single individual to be disruptive to such a high number people requires very specific regulation that must be enforced with greater consistency. 

Politics is simply a word for “our shared life together”. And the more people you’re sharing life with the more regulations (and the taxes to maintain and enforce them) are required to effectively insulate the collective from the lowest common denominator. 

All to say, the more people you share life with, the more considerate you have to be.

And the higher the density becomes, the more the collective must define what “considerate” means in practice through the creation of regulations. And the more the collective must insulate itself from those few who choose to not abide by those considerations determined by the electorate via administration of regulation. 

This is why increased regulation (and taxes) in high-density areas is essential for ensuring a base-line quality of life for the electorate. 

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