Thursday, October 22, 2009

As usual, Coyote is both succinct and on point

From Coyote blog:

Cameron Scott meant this sentence as a withering critique of everything that is wrong with the government, from his point of view:

Transit riders shouldered four times the share of the MTA [Metropolitan Transit Authority] 2008 budget disaster [than] drivers did, but officials promised to seek more revenue from parking.

Holy cr*p! You mean that transit users shouldered four times more of the transit budget than transit non-users? Gasp!

The Bay Area where he lives is experiencing light rail disease. This is the phenomenon where middle class voters along heavy white collar commuting routes push for horrendously expensive light rail lines. The capital costs of these systems drain transit budgets into the distant future, forcing service cuts, particularly in bus systems that serve the poor. The result is that the city ends up with bigger transit bills, but less actual transit, and progressives like Scott scratch their head and try to figure out what went wrong. It must be because non-users of Transit aren’t paying enough!

There are legitimate and principled discussions to be held on the role of government in transferring wealth for defense, or health care, or environmental protection, but what underlies a lot of these discussions is that far too often too many people take what they want and convert it into what society needs.

In other words, they elevate personal, class, or political preference into a matter of social and/or economic justice.


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