Biking for Dollars

Biking to work is fun, healthy, and in Europe it’s subsidized. Really.

In Holland, every employer can offer an employee the right to buy a 500 Euro bike every three years with pre-tax dollars. Given marginal tax rates and average income there, that’s the equivalent of an $1000 subsidy from the government. Wow, the Dutch are really doing their part to fight congestion and global warming.

But every subsidy has to be paid for. Why do Dutch truckers and taxi drivers have to pay higher taxes so that University professors can buy fancy new “fahrrads?” Why does the government need to pay people to do something they might do already? And why is bike manufacturing so special?

Maybe bike building is essential to Dutch culture. And maybe the small Dutch roads just can’t handle more cars. But the story of this subsidy reminds me that there are no atheists in foxholes, and no conservatives when subsidies are handed out.

Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA
Chief Investment Officer
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By | 2014-09-03T19:29:38+00:00 June 13th, 2008|Global Market Update|0 Comments

About the Author:

Mr. Tengdin is the Chief Investment Officer at Charter Trust Company and author of “The Global Market Update”. The audio version of each post can be heard on radio stations throughout New England every weekday. Mr. Tengdin graduated from Dartmouth College, Magna Cum Laude. He received his Master of Arts from Trinity Divinity School, Magna Cum Laude and received his Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 1992. Mr. Tengdin has been managing investment portfolios for over 30 years, working for Bank of Boston, State Street Global Advisors, Citibank – Tunisia, and Banknorth Group. Throughout his career, Mr. Tengdin has emphasized helping clients manage their financial risks in difficult environments where they can profit from investing in diverse assets in diverse settings. - Leave a comment if you have any questions—I read them all! - And Follow me on Twitter @GlobalMarketUpd

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