Tuesday, July 16, 2013

One of the many "alternatives" to #freetransit

The Oil industry is extremely capital intensive. By capital we mean not just money, but fixed assets: trucks, pipelines, wells, ships and such. As well, oil depends on the same sort of fixed inventory for consumption: roads, parking lots, cars, gas stations, and such.

Most of what oil does, move people around in cars, or goods in trucks, can be done much more efficiently with trains and buses. But if this waste is reduced, demand will drop. If demand drops, prices could drop. The return on money sunk into fixed assets would drop. When oil price drops, reserves become resources. In other words, no longer recoverable at market price, they are no longer assets. A vicious cycle would begin. Lower return, lower asset value of product, while fixed assets cannot quickly be reduced.

Public transit is a very serious threat to the oil industry. Free transit raises this threat exponentially. This is why you see so many "alternatives" pop up when some one suggests free transit.

Road pricing is a favorite. Road pricing continues the myth that we are a pay-per-use society. The so-called "conservatives" love this. The irony of their hypocrisy is almost poetic. They hate bureaucracy, but nothing creates bureaucracy like putting a toll on everything. If you want to see a good example, drive on the Tri-State Tollway outside of Chicago. Dozens of farms have been paved over so cars can wait in eight lanes so 35 cents can be collected from each car.

There are many other "alternatives" and there is an army of paid oil trolls, and free wannabe trolls, in various corporate media, who are eager to put them forward.