Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Carbon-auto trolls busy as panic sets in

Can you imagine someone with a master's degree seriously proposing that transit fares be raised at a time like this? Yesterday Dennis Byrne did exactly that in the chicagotribune.com.

People are turning to public transportation in the face of high fuel prices. The U.S. carbon-auto industry is fearful and desperate. They can no longer control the price of crude. International competition is heating up and military solutions are not working well.

The U.S. treasury is tapped out. People are tired of oil wars. People are tired of traffic delays, parking problems. People are worried about global climate disruption.

The U.S. carbon-auto industry is turning loose its trolls and wannabe trolls with orders to propagandize that public transit is "subsidized" [it is not], that service must be cut, taxes raised, or fares raised.

We need to be bold and take this campaign head on. Public transit is a public investment. Fares are restraint of trade tariffs that hurt other business and consumers in favor of the carbon-auto industry. An industry that has enjoyed trillions in subsidies as taxpayers have paid for their externalities and still have a climate mess left to be addressed.

Join your local transit advocacy group today. We need massive political involvement.

2 comments:

Melissa said...

I'm a little confused as to what you mean by saying that transit isn't subsidized? I used to work on the National Transit Database, so I know that most systems would have a difficult time operating without public funding. Would you please clarify?

fpteditors said...

Hi Melissa, a subsidy is "a direct pecuniary aid furnished by a government to a private industrial undertaking, a charity organization, or the like." (dictionary.com). Most urban public transit in the U.S. is publicly owned and operated. Just like public schools, public transit is a public investment, not a subsidy of a private enterprise. So that brings up the question why do we invest so much then try to discourage use by putting annoying fares on it, fares that cost almost as much to collect as is collected. The answer is: the fares are a tariff that subsidizes the oil, coal, and auto companies.
Hope this helps, and please keep questioning!