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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 4, Issue 11 (June 1, 1930)

Problem of Distribution of Costs

Problem of Distribution of Costs.

The point that had to be kept clear in mind was that there were two questions involved that must be kept distinct — first, the total transport costs to the community, and second, their distribution.

If a man adopted a line of action that increased the total transport costs to the community and, provided the distribution of those costs was not altered, so that the increased burden was borne by the party responsible for it, then probably no great harm was done, or at least no great discontent would arise; but when action of that kind was followed by an alteration in the distribution of the costs so that the proportion to be borne by the party concerned was reduced and the burden shifted to other members of the community, or to the community as a whole, then of course cause for dissatisfaction arose immediately. The trouble was that, when a man secured a reduction page 19 in his high-rate goods by sending them by motor, the advantage was individual, while the burden was borne by the community, unless the community chose, by some such method as that outlined, to recoup itself and to that extent restore the status quo.