Re: Your government at work:
I collect bicycle license plates from around the world and I always wondered why some countries/states/cities stopped their licensing schemes.
Some of my bikes carry age appropriate license plates and in particular my Chinese made 28inch wheeled bikes all carry Chinese license plates. It makes for a great talking point with other wheel men and women I meet.
Seriously though I think that bicycle licensing/registration does have its advantages in that those who ride bicycles will then have a lever to lobby with. Here in NZ the present National Party (think Republican party, but with less fascism, more short sightedness and too much interest in the bottom line on the ledger sheet instead of whether their policies are actually good for the average citizen), decided to develop a nationwide network of cycleways that would cover most of the country. This wasn't done to help out local cyclists, but with the aim of attracting more people from overseas to visit the country. Tourists = $$$$$$$ in the government coffers.
As it happens this has worked out well in the district where I live because it's now possible to ride by bicycle to all the surrounding towns without having to ride on the roads. Very useful during the idiot season during Summer when the city dwellers are let out to run loose all over the rural countryside in their motorcars. For our district the cycleway project has worked out great, but this is by no means universal.
With funding coming from bicycle registration it would become possible for cyclists to demand that all future roading and infrastructure projects take bicycle use into account. Not so long ago a major roading project was being planned here in NZ for Auckland our largest city. Cycleways were going to be included until some bean counter decided that they would be too expensive. As usual short sighted thinking won the day and a great opportunity to help reduce the shocking traffic congestion in Auckland was lost.
Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy chocolate which is almost the same thing
Home of the Kotanga Tramway.