Michael Kinsley, star commentator, essayist and part-time Seattle-ite, takes to the Los Angeles Times opinion page today to argue that the toll on the 520 floating bridge is another example of smart economics undermining the shared experiences needed to bind a democratic society.
It's heady stuff. Kinsley, who founded Slate.com for Bill Gates and is married to former Gates Foundation chief Patty Stonesipher, hooks his argument on this: At one time, it didn't matter how rich or poor you were, everyone had to endure the misery of traffic jams together.
Now, however, there are more and more ways that people with money can skirt the daily hassles, like the TSA program that lets frequent travelers skip security lines (for a fee).
"By this way of thinking, the two bridges side by side, one costly to use and one free, constitute a small step backward, toward making money more important," Kinsley writes. But read it yourself. He's got some in-jokes for the Seattle crowd and witty ending.
Oh, by the way, the 520 bridge is closed this weekend, so we'll all suffer equally on the I-90, at least for a few days.