Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Why we should say "Fight Racism" not "Black Lives Matter"

To achieve any progress for poor and working people anywhere, first we must be united. In the US the protests against racist police brutality have been given the name "Black Lives Matter." Sounds good at first. But, stop and think, what does that actually say. 

  • First it is a truism, like "water is wet." 
  • Second, it says nothing about why black people are being attacked, or what to do. 
  • Third, it is ambiguous and raises more questions, such as what about disabled lives? 
  • Fourth, it is divisive. It does not directly address oppressed in general. 
  • Fifth, what is it's impact on people for whom English is a second language? Do they immediately interpret it as a fight against racism? Do Vietnamese lives matter? Korean? Polish?
  • Sixth, it is weak and liberal and sounds like something in church, not the streets. 
  • Seventh, it can be used by racists to appeal to white oppressed and say: "see? no one cares about you."

The MSM has great power in shaping protest. They choose what's "popular" by what they feature. Let's not let them hijack the fight against racism.

Make your sign say "Fight Racism." It is unambiguous.

Monday, August 31, 2020

Saturday, August 15, 2020

What happens when you build a system where cars are more important than people?

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Movement for a Peoples' Party

"Repair our aging and leaking drinking water pipes, meters and wastewater treatment plants. Expand bus lines, subway systems, high speed rail and other means of public transportation. Reduce public transit fares to broaden access and take more cars off the road. Create millions of living wage jobs modernizing the infrastructure that powers American life and commerce. Classify the internet as a public utility and bring the country online with universal high-speed community broadband that covers rural communities."
Movement for a Peoples' Party in the US calls for expanding bus lines and reducing public transit fares. This will not be enough to address the "unmentionable" problem: sprawl. However, as the movement grows, this could change. But if sprawl is not addressed, the party will fail.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

US bet on sprawl and lost

Friday, June 12, 2020

Join the fight against racism

For millennia, racism has been a strategy to keep people divided in the face of oppression. Today bankers and other financial crooks have used their corporate-controlled media to keep it alive and strong.

The key to their propaganda is to make people think that too many other people are racist or apathetic, and the task of winning them is too exhausting.

The recent rebellion in the US has exposed this lie. Most people are not racist. Most people see how it hurts everyone. Most people are sick of it. Most people want unity against oppression.

We must keep this going until this strategy of division is no longer usable.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Don't be naive about provocateurs

The purpose of provocateurs is to turn protest into riot. Then the corporate media can frighten people from joining the protest, and government can use violence.

How to spot:
  • First, be careful, they are usually uncover police
  • Dressed in black with strong boots, and good face covering
  • Taunting police from the front, throwing things from the back
  • No one seems to know who they are and they don't socialize
  • When in isolated area, they commit vandalism/graffiti
  • They are the ones to break the window and start looting, then leave quickly
If you can gather some people and catch one. Pull off their mask and take photos.

The narrative of the media and right-wing is that these provocateurs are just out-of-control left. Don't assume that to be true! Watch their behavior. Catch them.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Trump represents the actual ruling class

Trump is not an anomaly. The US rulers are out of options. Except for military, they have no more ways to rule.

They have:
  • created trillions of dollars out of nothing -- made the problem worse
  • trotted out liberals like Biden -- further enraging people
  • tried undercover provocateur attacks to scare people -- exposed on social media
  • brought military force against peaceful protest -- exposing their "democratic" facade
  • tried to squeeze more money and power out of their control of SWIFT and CHIPS money transfer
  • started trade wars to squeeze allies and rivals
The US sprawl system is decaying. Many trillions of dollars are needed just to keep it running. There is no money to fix it. The only course is to abolish consumer-product based economy (especially cars) and focus on basics.

Monday, May 25, 2020

MMT -- helicopter money, and why it won't work

It’s too late for America to recover. It left it too long. It was arrogant and conceited, paying for things it didn’t need, like wars and mega-mansions, but not those it did. So it didn’t invest when it should have, but now the bill is due, but nobody can pay it. What do you call a society like that? Bankrupt. Just like most Americans are, only they don’t know it. What do you call a whole society of people, after all, who die in debt?America’s broke, my friends.

This article sums up the dilemma of the US, but then goes on to recommend helicopter money. It leaves out what all the economic and political "experts" leave out: sprawl.

Dropping cash on top of a failed consumer-product based system just adds fuel to the fire. The system won't change, it will still be based on individual purchases, and there will be even less money for public goods. The article does a good job of distinguishing between these.

The US needs to unwind sprawl. Make cities car-free, make education and healthcare free. Guarantee housing.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

As empire collapses US working class fights back - @paydayreport

Strikes and labor organizing are on the rise as essential workers grapple with safety concerns while on the job. Meatpacking plants, city sanitation and healthcare are some of the industries where workers are striking or organizing.

for more see paydayreport.com   @paydayreport

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Anti-China campaign will backfire

In the US, both political parties are ramping up anti-China feeling.

There are several problems with this plan:
  • To strike back, China need only announce intent to sell US government bonds.
  • Racism tends to kill its host. East Asians in the US will become estranged.
  • The US has very a serious problem -- a crumbling infrastructure.
The last point is the most important, and the least discussed. There is plenty of chatter in the US political about everything except the second law of thermodynamics. To put it simply, things decay.

Engineers calculate that the US needs $3T just to make infrastructure safe. But, on top of that, sprawl infrastructure needs constant energy input.

It will take the US many years to unwind sprawl. In that time it should not be provoking other countries.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

What is coming for the US -- Virus is just getting started

US bankers have already looted the cash-register. By direct FedReserve gifts of printed money to banks and by gifts of borrowed money through the federal government.

There is little left to steal, but the virus is just getting started. People are scared to work, and unable or unwilling to spend money. Long slow stagflation with much suffering is here.

There will intense campaigns to increase all possible divisions among the people and between the people and foreign countries. Racism will be the major weapon, but other divisions such gender and age will also be used.

People need to become politically active. Join or form local groups. These groups can push government to provide free services or provide them itself. Get away from sprawl and individualism and move to urban communal sharing. Think about how to deal with armed right-wing gangs.

Suburbs should become farms again. Cities should be car-free. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

US got caught in between virus and economy -- now in deep trouble

There is no doubt that quick response is necessary when dealing with an exponentially spreading virus.

Yet some countries, notably the US, tried to dodge the problem. Mathematically, they could have lost a couple million lives and come out with little economic disruption.

That failed when it became obvious that an overflow of healthcare facilities would make this plan a very noisy and unpleasant affair.

So they changed horses and tried to mitigate viral growth with "stay home" and "personal distance."

These weak measures got them into the worst of both worlds. Now any direction they go will fail.
  • Suppression of virus -- would require measures that would lead to major social upheaval.
  • Continue Stay-home -- social upheaval plus economic stagnation.
  • Open up all -- return to virus exponential growth, which increase fear of going to work.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Astroturf group begging for a chance to spread the virus

photo by @joshuabickel

Billionaires have bailed themselves out. Now they want us back at work. They organized astroturf groups to beg for death. But there are people are really suffering. The money handed to the banks and hedge funds should have been used to make healthcare, education, and public transit free. In addition, everyone should be guaranteed housing.

#Autosprawl #Meltdown

The corona virus has exposed for all to see that the US system is unsustainable. People have cars, but cannot afford food. According to engineers the US sprawl infrastructure needs $3T in maintenance and repair just to make it safe. The #autosprawl system has been a misallocation of resources. It was already crumbling and now its fragility is obvious.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

This is why helicopter money will not work -- #autosprawlmeltdown

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Free public transit now in 17 US metro areas due to corona virus

The US count of free public transit in response to Corona virus is now 17 metro areas. This will take pressure off people who need to get to essential jobs. Healthcare, cleaning, trash pickup, power supply, food transport, food delivery... there are many just to keep the basics working.

The US Congress is actually discussing handing over trillions of dollars to billionaires. This money would be better spent on free services.

Instead of bailing out hedge funds, why not have universal free healthcare, free public transit, free education, and guaranteed housing.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Don't drop money from the sky, make public services free

This is what to do. Make public services free.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Suddenly lots of money available, but natural limits must be considered

Human growth has pushed back the habitat of wild nature. This has led to disease epidemics.

It's time to degrow.

Printing money to hand out and stimulate the same old system that caused the problem is not a good idea. First of all, that money is no longer backed by cheap energy, so this type of stimulus will fail.

The best route is to make public services free. healthcare, education, public transportation, guaranteed housing, and such.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Don't tolerate trolls spreading division

Trolls are spreading blame-the-victim, blame-the-boomer, #racism, and other various divisive propaganda.

Capitalist leadership, and the capitalist system are not equipped to face society-wide problems. We will have to pull ourselves out of this.

It only takes a small budget to unleashed thousands of trolls on social media. Don't be overwhelmed, just mute or block them and call on others to do so.

We provide ways to identify them, and we are open to more suggestions.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Helicopter money and why it won't work

By now, all economists know that creating more billionaires with QE doesn't accomplish anything for the real economy. So we will hear more about pushing money to main street.

They are trying to solve financial debt. If they use printed money to do this, it is really just more of the same. The correct way to solve debt is default, but the bankers and billionaires will try to avoid this as much as possible.

What is not being discussed is the debt to the biosphere. The world has copied the US system of autos and sprawl. This is a subsidized, unsustainable system. Even if oil price goes to zero, the system draws most of its subsidy from the destruction of the biosphere. This cannot be paid with money, printed or otherwise.

Regardless of price, oil costs more joules to get a joule every day. The only way to address this is by degrowth. We are already in degrowth, the question is, will we fight it to save the rich, or will we work with it to save the biosphere.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Head of US CDC has declared that there is no charge for corona virus tests or isolation

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Helicopter money will stimulate all the wrong things

To re-stimulate the economy from the effects of the corona virus, governments and central banks will shower people with helicopter money, so named because it is like dropping cash on the population from helicopters.

This is the height of stupidity. We have the corona virus because of rampant growth. China grew so fast that natural systems were stressed to the limit.

Now, in the name of preserving a failed system and a few billionaires, money will be pushed to the bottom and create a little flurry of activity as it rushes back to the top.

It's time to recognize that growth should not be the goal. We should take advantage of the lesson nature is teaching us with the virus, and seek out gentle degrowth.

To help victims of economic shock. Make public transit, healthcare, and education free. Reform housing laws and end homelessness.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

President of Massachusetts Senate calls for #freepublictransit

In her letter, Chandler pointed to fare-free programs in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and Dunkirk, France, as examples where eliminating fares has led to greater use of public transportation, which advocates say will result in corresponding reductions in congestion and greenhouse gas emissions.

...Chandler wrote in her letter that eliminating fares at the WRTA would actually have a "relatively manageable" impact on the authority's finances. In 2018, fare revenue was 14 percent of the WRTA's operating expenses, which Chandler said was the lowest mark in a decade. The lost revenue, she said, would be "partially offset by operating efficiencies."

Monday, March 9, 2020

Peter Harrison's plan for US nationwide #freepublictransit

The fed gov spends $40B/yr on roads and $2.3B on transit which is crazy.

This locks millions of Americans into long, traffic-filled commutes while paying a fortune for a car, gas, and insurance. That’s wasted money and time Americans should be spending elsewhere.
What’s worse, 30% of our carbon footprint comes from cars and trucks. There’s no credible way to avoid climate disaster that doesn’t involve getting people out of cars and into mass transit. We need to take back our streets and make them about moving people, not cars.
But tbc good transit policy does not include punishing car owners who have done nothing wrong. This system was literally a conspiracy against transit + cities. Getting people out of cars is about creating viable alternative ways to get around a city + region conveniently. 
That means above all else making public transit 100% fare-free + accessible. The elderly, the disabled, families with strollers, and the poor need to be able to use these systems with ease.
The fed gov can help with money. Lots of it. My #free2move plan calls for a 90/10 Fed/local gov spending match. This is the same percentage that the feds set for interstate highway construction that gutted American cities and created anti-environmental suburban sprawl.
The plan calls for $1.7 trillion over 10 years to help operating and capital expansion for urban transit systems. That can mean high speed rail or just improving sidewalk and bike lane safety. Not every city needs a subway system. But every city needs safer streets. 
But fed money isn’t enough. And just empowering local governments with transit decisions will mean more roads and more homeowners blocking transit (see CA). #free2move is about regional planning + democratic control. 
That feels like a contradiction in US, but we’ve always operated at a regional level. The Constitution is extremely clunky and dated on this but metropolitan regions need to cooperate as a single commuter shed (like a river system) to make a transit system truly work.
State DOTs will just maintain roads (or get funding raided) + most cities don’t control their transit systems (like NYC w MTA). This means no elected official is ever held accountable for traffic or poor transit. #free2move requires direct voter accountability for funding 10/12
This plan doesn’t require gas tax increase or congestion pricing which are both politically toxic and regressive. Not to say those things shouldn’t be on table to discuss contextually but they aren’t part of #free2move. We have plenty of money at national level to do this. 
We can afford to build + maintain comprehensive fare-free public transit in US #free2move

Truly, we can’t afford not to invest in public transit. Our infrastructure is collapsing, our democracy is failing and our planet is dying

We need our cities to work for all of us.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Bring us your rich, your energetic, your masses of cyclists

Heaven forbid some energetic child should jump on a fare-free bus. Or a rich person. Horrors!

Trolls are now pushing this line:

"Free transit doesn't work because new riders are mostly pedestrians and cyclists"

Who cares? They are welcome. They can change habits quickly. But gradually, car owners will change their habits... then this is what happens.

A city of 1 million in the US spends $3.6 million per day on gasoline. A 1% increase in weekday ridership on public transit would save the city dwellers $5 million/year. A 10% increase would save $50 million a year.

This is why the trolls are out in force.

Friday, March 6, 2020

109 municipalities in France have a local candidate calling for #freepublictransit

One week before the first round of the municipal elections, the Observatory of Free Transport Cities questioned the candidates' programs. Are many of them mentioning free public transport, positioning themselves in its favor? 
The Observatory has identified 109 municipalities with more than 20,000 inhabitants having at least one candidate in municipal elections offering free public transport.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Shale drillers "need a miracle"

Earlier this week the chief executive of Schlumberger said as much. Speaking to Reuters on the sidelines of an industry event in Saudi Arabia, Olivier Le Peuch said he expected growth in U.S. shale oil production to slow down to 600,000 to 700,000 bpd this year and further to just 200,000 bpd next year as low prices continue to take their toll.

Do people value that which is free?

A propagandist is not concerned with what you think
He is not concerned with what other people think
He is concerned with what people think other people think

Free only has meaning when there is ownership and wealth. Do we suppose that a hunter-gatherer returned to the tribal camp and said "here is some wood I found for the fire. It was free."

It's capitalism that wants us to think that most other people do not respect that which is free.

Air is extremely valuable. People treasure it. Those who are able, fight to stop its pollution.

But the capitalist system is busy trying to find ways to own it and charge for it.

The answer is yes, people value that which is free: human compassion, air, etc. Don't fall for the propaganda.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Cost of cars - oil wars

US, Russia, and several other countries fighting to control energy reserves and routes in MENA. Here is a camp of Syrian people chased out of their towns by Russia bombs. To stop these wars, we have to get off oil.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

People in Worcester, MA, have their say. They say #freepublictransit.

WORCESTER - Advocates for a fare-free Worcester bus system filled the City Council chamber Monday night to make their case. 
...During 90 minutes of public testimony, 37 people spoke, a vast majority in favor of giving the fare-free system a try. 
Those who spoke included representatives from the local business community, college students, environmental advocates, community and social justice activists, and many everyday riders of Worcester Regional Transit Authority buses. 
“We can lead to way in Worcester by making public transportation free across the board,” said Candria Gray, co-chair of the Zero Fare Coalition and a frequent WRTA bus rider. “There is a clear demand for a fare-free system. We just need the decision-makers to embrace it.” 
Etel Haxhiaj, also with the Zero Fare Coalition, said a fare-free bus system would eliminate a financial burden for many people. That, in turn, would likely increase ridership, she said. 
“Worcester is a city of immigrants, refugees and working families who depend on well-connected bus service,” Haxhiaj said. “To pay for bus service is a big deal for them. People recognize the importance of having a reliable, free and dependable bus service. A Worcester renaissance is not a renaissance without a free transportation system that everyone can benefit from.” 
Many also spoke about the need to make the bus service more reliable and efficient, to expand service to more areas of the city and to have more frequent buses on many routes.
Tanya Whitworth of the Independent Socialist Group said a fare-free WRTA is a crucial first step toward expanding public transportation. Bu,t she added, many bus riders are unhappy with the WRTA’s current reach.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Good to see some candidates taking the bull by the horns

Monday, February 17, 2020

Oil trolls provide lies to balance with truth

Here are some troll lies embedded in an NBC story about free public transit.
"But some experts warn that free rides wouldn't solve the issues besetting many public transit systems, including crumbling infrastructure, infrequent and unreliable service, and routes that take workers nowhere near their jobs."
Whataboutism. What about the crumbling infrastructure? What does that have to do with fares? If anything, it shows that charging fares has done nothing for infrastructure.
"For that reason, city leaders should not look at eliminating fares as a "panacea" for transit problems, said Hayley Richardson, a spokeswoman for TransitCenter, a nonprofit group based in New York City that works to improve public transit around the country."
Who is claiming a panacea? Name one.
Instead of eliminating fares, Richardson said, cities need to prioritize creating transit systems that actually serve their customers. The best scenario would be cities where buses arrive every five minutes in dedicated lanes and a country where most Americans can walk to transit.
Here are 15 cases of free public transit where service was expanded and/or improved after fares were removed: https://fptsuccess.blogspot.com/search/label/%23expand 

Removing fares in Kansas City $5 million. Stadium renovation $325 million.

He said critics rarely ask where the money comes from for other projects, like the hundreds of millions of dollars spent each year on building and maintaining streets or the $325 million to renovate Arrowhead Stadium, where the Kansas City Chiefs play. 
"That costs us and local government tens of millions of dollars a year," he said. "So I think the real question people have to ask is 'Do we care about the public?'"

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Systems and critical mass, the tipping point as unsustainable #autosprawl collapses

One reason that free public transit is fiercely opposed is that autosprawl infrastructure will lose volume. For example, highways will carry fewer cars, thus decreasing return on a public investment.

That is not the fault of free public transit. That is the fault of the profiteers who used deceptive practices and bullied us into this unsustainable system. By the way, unsustainable means: can. not. continue.

When urban buses are fare-free, car use will hit a tipping point and lose critical mass. Profits will be hit, public investment in autos will lose value. Autosprawl will be exposed. People will see autosprawl welfare for what it is and reject it.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Is the Federal Reserve the main problem?

If only we could stop the Federal Reserve printing money and get back to real economy, things will be better. Is that true?

Cheap oil is over, and what is left in the ground is leveraged and re-hypothecated. The real economy is overwhelmed. It will contract one way or another.

Official world debt is over $250 Trillion. But that amount is trivial compared to the debt we owe the biosphere, a debt that cannot be paid in money.

The purpose of the money printing is to try to push the suffering onto the weak.

Right now, not on cable news, but in real life, wars for energy mean poor people are being tortured, murdered, bombed, and herded into refugee camps, and then the camps are bombed. Local economies are being drained by high interest rates. Ethnic tensions are being stoked, and massacres allowed.

Meanwhile, energy is subsidized and wasted on cars and sprawl.

The best way to reduce the pain is to undo sprawl as rapidly as possible.

Reform or revolution?

If we try to reform transportation in cities, we will be dragged into a mire of detail and conflicting interests. The public will soon be bored and discouraged.

Instead, let us stop trying to plan our way out of the auto system mess. Let's take a revolutionary step and make the buses fare-free, and respond to demand. Let the people then, by their choices, show us where the trams, connectors, and network nodes should be.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Oil is not a commodity

Transport --  ships, trucks, trains, planes, and cars all depend on liquid fuel.

The cost of oil is a value-added tax that trickles through every transaction, and every physical activity, in the real economy. Cheap oil production peaked in 2005. Every day since, it takes more joules to get oil to wheels, propellers, and assembly lines than it did the day before. This is a built-in drag on the world economy.

Sitting above the real economy, central banks make up the difference by creating money on their keyboards. This increased debt creates additional economic drag by extracting interest from the real economy.

Any threat to oil-demand is a threat to the bankers. This is why they will attack free public transit.

They want to make riding public transit an unpleasant experience.

Expect attack. Expect intimidation. Expect sowing of doubt and uncertainty.

Bill introduced in US Congress calls for #freepublictransit

#freepublictransit in Tallinn spread to 11 counties in Estonia with 32% ridership increase

The success of the scheme in Tallinn led to a demand for free public transport elsewhere in Estonia, and legislation was introduced to allow it to be introduced on a county by county basis. When the legislation came into force on in July last year, 11 out of 15 counties opted to provide free transport. In those counties, public transport trips increased by an average of 32% in the second half of 2018.

This is why free public transit is so scary to the banksters who have bet too much on oil and sprawl. Free public transit leads to more efficient cities, which leads to more public transit, and so on. They can't stop it.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Expensive tight oil has peaked, debts defaulting, demand sagging, second correction overdue

The plateauing of conventional crude oil production in January 2005 was one of the triggers of events leading to the 2008 global financial crash, according to the report. As debt built-up in the subprime mortgage sector, the crude oil plateau drove up the underlying energy costs for the entire economy making that debt more difficult to repay—and eventually resulting in catastrophic defaults. The report warns that “unresolved” dynamics in the global energy system were only temporarily relieved due to "Quantitative Easing"—the creation of new money by central banks. A correction is now overdue, it warns.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Legislation introduced in NYC to make all subways and buses fare-free

Monday, February 10, 2020

#freepublictransit advocate running for US Senate

Saturday, February 8, 2020

More buses needed, not hyperloop, self-driving-car scams

The typical general-purpose lane of traffic in a city can carry around 1,000-2,000 people per hour. If you create a bus-only lane, that number jumps up to 4,000-8,000 per hour. If you give over more of the street to transit and create a transitway that goes up to 10,000-25,000 people per hour.

Bankers face defaults as oil demand falls, increase attack on #freepublictransport

The big banks sit on top of the world economy, extracting interest and draining its life. Now they have impoverished people to the extent that the world economy is sagging badly. No one can afford the oil-tax that is baked into every economic activity, but oil producers can not afford to produce at lower prices.

There is no near-term solution to this paradox except debt default.

To cut their losses, the bankers are mounting a troll attack on the campaign for free public transport. They are setting up straw men, such a claiming that free public transport advocates say that it is a solution to everything.

They are especially concerned about Luxembourg. They are trying to make it all about traffic congestion, and six months in to free transport there, they will have a "study" and declare it a failure.

People will fight back, because they can't afford to get to work, school, shopping, or doctor.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Oil industry, already desperate for customers, hit by #coronavirus

China’s oil demand amid the coronavirus outbreak is likely inflicting the worst oil demand shock to markets since the financial crisis of 2008-2009, with Chinese demand plunging by 20 percent compared to the typical demand for the season, sources with inside knowledge of the Chinese industry told Bloomberg.

Oil price already too low for producers, now, a new threat. Expect more money-printing and bank bailouts. Oil industry is made up of steel and cement. If these assets run under capacity, something has to give.

Trolls focus on accounting, not economics, to oppose #freepublictransit

Treating your local transit agency as a business and treating fares as revenue is a scam.

Public transit is not subsidized, sidewalks are not subsidized, public schools are not subsidized -- they are all public investment that produce benefits far beyond their budgets.

Trolls want to bury us in numbers by treating fares as revenue, and investment as subsidy.

Subsidy means public money going to support for-profit concerns, such as the auto system, for example.

Don't fall for this, reframe the discussion to include the cost of autos and sprawl. What are those costs? Here is a place to find them.


Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Where is the money?

Around the world people are struggling for food, shelter, health, and education.

Meanwhile governments are giving fossil-fuels 10 million US dollars per minute.

Those fossil-fuels are being used to fuel autosprawl.

Autosprawl is a system whereby people live spread out. Every building must be heated and cooled separately. Most activities require a vehicle.

So, many people are going without food, shelter, health, and education so that this system can absorb all the money for the purpose of wasting energy.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Candidate for Congress calls for #freepublictransit

Fighting #racism is critical to winning #freepublictransit

Racism keeps people divided, poor, and politically weak.

All working and poor people are adversely affected.


The very small percent who profit from racism would like us to think that it is about personal preference and there is nothing can be done. That is not true. Racism is for profit, money, power.

We need to show people that when we don't fight racism, we hand victory to our oppressor.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Police provocateurs vandalize New York Subway

Having failed miserably to come up with any arguments against free public transit. The oil-auto-sprawl profiteers have sent agents-provocateur to vandalize public transit and try to make it look like free transit activists are moronic and dangerous.

This plan will also fail.

Here are some tips on how to recognize provocateurs.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Trolls say we have to have better public transport before we can make it fare-free

Congratulations to @MattHaneySF and the city for this achievement. But if it takes decades to get one car-free street, you can imagine how long it will take to get free public transit.

Right now, one of the favorite troll attacks on free public transit is to say -- 

"the system needs to be improved before it can be free"

They disguise themselves as "planners" and "cycle advocates" and pretend that free public transit is just a matter of city planning. It is not. It is a struggle against the oil-auto-sprawl profiteers. A mass movement for free transit will unite us, and then we will have the power to make improvements.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Ireland political party calls for immediate #freepublictransport across the country

Urban sprawl and the lack of genuinely extensive public transport have led to a massive dependence on private cars and private goods vehicles. Figures compiled by the Department of Transport show that the number of licenced vehicles in the state has trebled over the last 30 years due to population increases and a neoliberal model of economic growth.14 Instead of this neoliberal approach with its attendant transport emissions, People Before Profit favour a major increase in public transport spending to make the service free for users immediately. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Imagine no cars, and more room for low-energy-footprint affordable housing

photo from google maps

Just say "no" to helicopter money

Universal Basic Income [UBI] sounds great, but what are the downsides?

UBI is a capitalist solution to problems caused by capitalism. It is like giving money to robbery victims without doing anything about the robbers.

People will spend the money right back into the rotten system we already have. Buying more unhealthful cheap food and more useless consumer products like cars.

Since the "tax money" went to UBI, the elites can say "oh no money for public health, public education, or public transport, but you have $1000 a month now, go buy it on the free market!"

Instead, we should fight for free services: health, education, transport. 

Monday, January 27, 2020

Plenty of buzz about #freepublictransit in Ireland elections

People love #freepublictransport in Dunkirk, France

In September 2018, the French city of Dunkirk, with a population of just over 90,000, and a total of 257,000 in its metropolitan area, launched a free bus system for residents and visitors, since when it has succeeded in drastically reducing private car use.
An academic study on the experience shows that bus use has skyrocketed more than 60% on weekdays and more than doubled on weekends, with 48% of users saying they now leave their cars at home. Furthermore, 5% of those surveyed said they have sold their car or decided not to purchase a second vehicle. A third said that the availability of free buses means they now make trips they wouldn’t have otherwise. This increased demand is not due solely to the availability of free and convenient transportation, but also to the fact that it is frictionless: people don’t have to worry about travel cards, cash or identification.


Friday, January 24, 2020

Ridership up 57% where fares free for youth

Kids are riding public buses more in Montgomery County after officials made Ride On and Metrobus service free at all times of the day for people under 18. That’s according to new ridership data shared with the county council during a hearing on the program on Thursday. 
The council expanded the Kids Ride Free program to cover the full day in July 2019. Previously, kids were only been eligible for a free ride from 2 to 8 p.m. — after school hours. That meant that students who took public buses to school in the mornings had to pay the fare.

What if our buses and trains are already crowded?

Fair question. How can we make public transit fare-free when the buses and trains are already crowded.

Here is the answer. Why are we in this situation? The government can see clearly that more service is needed, yet they continue to subsidize sprawl and cars.

A look at history shows that people have lobbied and voted for better transit for over 100 years. And compared to the increase in cars and sprawl, it has not come close to keeping up.

If we continue this for the next 100 years we will continue to fail. Asking for another bus here, a bike lane there, will keep us divided and weak.

We need a single, simple policy that can unite us.

That issue is fare-free [meaning no fares] public transit. #freepublictransit #freepublictransport

When we are united, we will have the power to add more buses where needed.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Los Angeles County Supervisor calls for #freetransit for k-12 students

Los Angeles city council member proposes #freepublictransit for LAUSD students

What if these two public agencies could work together to help solve each other’s problem? That’s the idea behind a proposal, floated by LAUSD Supt. Austin Beutner and transit advocates, to provide free transit passes to the district’s more than 600,000 K-12 students. 
The proposal comes at a time when advocates around the country are increasingly arguing that public transit should be free. Affordable transportation, they argue, is key to helping people get to school, jobs and opportunities to help them escape poverty. It’s good for the planet too, as more people choose to ride transit rather than drive, which reduces the greenhouse gas emissions responsible for climate change.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

"a party that is serious about congestion, the environment and road safety could make all public transport free"

But we could go one step further. In this election, a party that is serious about congestion, the environment and road safety could make all public transport free. Although it is often said that our public transport system is poor, in fact it works for a lot of us.
And as well as an economic argument for free public transport, there’s a moral one: If elements of health and education are free, why not transport – another public good?
The ultimate aim of these policies should be to follow Oslo’s recent example and ban all cars from our city centres. This is the future of urban living, not to mention a requirement of cutting carbon emissions. For years we have designed cities for cars, and that’s what we got: more cars. Now we have to change our behaviour and go the other way. It will take time and lots of detailed investment in more public transport.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

What's so scary about #freepublictransit?

Why is fare-free public transit/transport treated differently from other public goods? Why must there be a user-fee?

The answer lies in understanding autosprawl. Trillions of dollars have been sunk into everything from cul-de-sacs and DIY stores, to ocean tankers and refineries. The web of liquid-fuel fixed infrastructure covers human developed habitat, and controls the flow of the entire economy.

The whole thing is leveraged in debt far beyond recovery.

When oil was cheap, too much was borrowed against the future. Now, cheap oil is draining fast. Every day it takes more joules to get a joule. So now we have super-borrowing to "pay the mortgage."

When people discover the benefits of fare-free public transit, they demand more, and then they discover the subsidy to autos and sprawl. They will reject that subsidy, and demand more fare-free public transit.

This is what has the banks and bondholders shaking in their suites.

In US, at least a dozen candidates for US Congress calling for #freepublictransit

At the blog >> https://fptpols.blogspot.com/ << we are tracking candidates and officials who favor fare-free public transit.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Thorough debunking of fares, means-testing, and #racism

Given that the pay-per-ride system for public transit is regressive, unjust, and cuts against the benefits of having mass transit even in a simplistic Econ 101 universe, there are shockingly few American cities that offer free and universal transit. Even internationally, pay-per-ride is the norm. What’s happening here? The answer is that cities around the world have been convinced that making public transit free invites only “undesirable” riders. This is disappointing to put it mildly, but I think it offers us a valuable lesson in how to approach our arguments for universalizing services.

Problems solved by having more and better public transportation

There are numerous reasons why access to public transport should be encouraged. For every $1 invested in public transport, around $4 of economic returns is generated, while a $10 million investment in public transport generates $30 million in increased business sales. People are also safer traveling on public transport, with accident risk reduced by 90% versus private transport. From an environmental perspective, public transport already saves the US 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline each year, and 37 million metric tons of carbon. As buses emit 20% less carbon monoxide and 25% fewer nitrogen oxides per passenger mile versus single-occupancy cars, public transport is also better for public health.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Irish Times -- eloquent case for #freepublictransport

Motor tax alone raised more than €981 million in 2018. If we ring-fenced motor tax to make all public transport free, such a “targeted” tax initiative would cover the cost, with €381 million left to build cycle lanes. 
The ultimate aim of these policies should be to follow Oslo’s recent example and ban all cars from our city centres. This is the future of urban living, not to mention a requirement of cutting carbon emissions. For years we have designed cities for cars, and that’s what we got: more cars. Now we have to change our behaviour and go the other way. It will take time and lots of detailed investment in more public transport. 
However, using basic economics, it makes sense to introduce a congestion charge for the privilege of driving at peak hours and at the same time to reduce to zero the cost to the commuter of public transport, financing the shortfall from motor tax, and ring-fencing what’s left of motor tax to build cycle lanes. 
If not now, when?

Friday, January 17, 2020

Mexico, State of Mexico, people protest fare hike

To the shout of “Not even one more peso to transport!”, Members of the No to the Tarifa collective and even feminist women with green scarves, spoke once again against the adjustment of more than 20% to the cost of this service in the State of Mexico.

Mexico Crude Oil: Production

Brazil spending big money to violently enforce fare-hikes

Photo: avispa.org

Here is the reason:
Brazil Oil Auction a ‘Total Disaster’ as Bidders Stay Away

For more about the long struggle for fare-free public transport in Brazil: click here.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Boston City Council President supports #freepublictransit

Free public transit is a public good

But, ultimately, the argument for free public transit is simple: it’s a vital public good. Like education, libraries, and parks, it serves the common good and not just individual desire. 
As we explained in our new, “pro-public” vision for 2020, we all benefit from things like public transit regardless of whether we use them or not. 
As Wojciech Kębłowski, a post-doctoral researcher at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, writes “You don’t have to insert coins to light an individual lamp posts on your way home at night, or pay for every minute spent in a park or library.” 
Dionisia Ramos, a 55-year-old living on unemployment while going to school in Lawrence, put it even more directly, telling the Times: “Transportation should be free. It’s a basic need. It’s not a luxury.”

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Banks cause oil wars to keep away debt default

As the US uses SWIFT and Federal Reserve as weapons, it should be more obvious to all the link between oil wars and debt.

The world has $255 Trillion in debt outstanding. This a bet on future growth and earnings which depend on resources and labor being available. But one resource, oil, is much more important than the others because without oil, no transport, without transport, no economy. Every drop of oil still in the ground has debt against it, leveraged and rehypothecated many times.

The Trump administration warned Iraq this week that it risks losing access to a critical government bank account if Baghdad kicks out American forces following the U.S. airstrike that killed a top Iranian general, according to Iraqi officials.

Steady growth of #freepublictransport in Poland

This map is five years old. Thanks to a campaign initiated then by labor unions, the adoption of fare-free public transport has been strong and growing in Poland.

Here is the latest map:

For more about free public transport in Poland:

You can have fare-free AND expand service

Making buses fare-free is the quicker route to better service. If we wait for better service first, we will wait another 100 years, because it took us 100 years to get to this mess, and many people have been fighting for better service all that time.

The trolls are saying that once the system is fare-free there is no money for expansion. The facts do not support this claim. Here are some examples to the contrary:

Nine cases of fare-free service leading to expanded service:

Here is a list of troll arguments and links to refutations:

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Who is next? Worcester, MA, City Council studying #freepublictransit

District 4 Councilor Sarai Rivera co-sponsored the order, and said going fare-free would be the first step in bringing the WRTA into the modern age. For a city that is always talking about how it is moving forward, Worcester’s public transportation seems to be stuck, she said. She said it’s not just a poverty issue; fare-free bus transportation would mean more people would use the system.
“This is doable. We can do this here in the city,” Rivera said.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

São Paulo, Brazil, people protest fare hikes

[from Google translate]
Another beginning of the year, another increase in the public transport fare of São Paulo (SP). From January 1, 2020, bus, subway and train tickets will increase from $ 4.30 to $ 4.40. Integration between modes will increase from R $ 7.48 to R $ 7.65. 
In response, the Free Pass Movement (MPL) São Paulo called a demonstration for January 7, in front of City Hall, at the Viaduto do Chá, at 17h. 
...“It is a very serious attack by the rulers against most of the population. A working population that depends on this public transport to travel, to study, to work, to look for a job ”, he points out.

Are any elected officials calling for #freepublictransit? [Yes]

Here in the capital region, we are eliminating user-fee barriers to public transit ridership, as a form of climate action and social justice, starting with young people in the city of Victoria. - Ben Isitt in Times/Colonist  
* * * 
We are sure we don't have them all, but our list has grown to 26. More people are starting to realize that their town or city is exporting a lot of money for gasoline [petrol] while suffering the cost of support the inefficient auto and sprawl system.


What to expect in 2020

1. Continued sagging of world economy
2. Acceleration of birth rate decline in developed areas
3. Intensified fighting for control over oil and gas 

Debt-service, high energy costs, and military spending will continue to be a burden on profits. As companies fail, unemployment will add to the downward pressure. In developed areas, birth rate decline will accelerate which will further depress demand for energy, especially oil.

As profits evaporate into energy cost and debt-service, the control of the last sources of high netenergy fuels will become more important and fighting will intensify.