I found this a fairly typical example of the thinking by the modern victim class.
Stimulus dollars for new fare boxes strikes me as very close to the extreme in Keynes's insight that stimulus from the gov't can be needed and serve well, when he said something like that a "stimulus" could be burying bottles of dollars under a field and people digging them up - his point being that ANY stimulus would help. 50+ yrs later, surely the thought that "yeah, but, a smarter-placed stimulus would have more effect." Stimulate the company (and its employees) that make fare boxes, or allow SF residents to not be yet further pressed for money? I think the latter is smarter, and am stunned that the former seems to be going to happen.
I beg you to write and publish something on this. Raising fares at Muni also has a ripple effect on local business -- I won't ride the bus on the wkend out into the neighborhoods and maybe use my little splurge money to buy something there. In addition to that, for MTA, I will be overall paying less to them (while feeling a lot more confined, riding a lot less). The fare increase will get less money from me, while imposing more hardship on me, and I will be putting less money into local business.
Thank you for noticing and writing of we "the working poor." We're increasing in number. I'm well-educated and under-employed, and right now just trying to get by each month. I am desperately trying to avoid having to move out of SF.
So here is the situation:
- He is well-educated, presumably with portable skills, but insists on staying in San Francisco where he cannot find full employment. My sense is he has not tried to find a job anywhere else in the country
- He considers himself to be poor, but refuses to entertain the idea of living in the most expensive city in the country (save possibly Manhattan)
- He wants the rest of us via stimulus money to to subsidize his rail transport to help him better live in a city that has no work for his skills and which is too expensive for him to afford
I am OK with helping out folks who have tried everything they can to make ends meet and still need help to survive. But should I really be thrilled to rush to the aid of someone who refuses to take even the first and most obvious step to address their poverty?
I have moved 9 times in my life trying to make things work for me and my family. I loved Boulder CO the best, and would love to live there, but there is no work for me that fits my skills. I guess I could have stayed and lived their in a financial situation that is less than I desire, but if I did so, it would be hard for me to imagine that I would lash out at the rest of the world for not subsidizing my choice.
Postscript: These guys are on drugs thinking light rail is the answer for the working poor. As I wrote in the comments:
...light rail is simply not transit for the working poor. It is transit for yuppies that happens to be used by some working poor. They are built for white collar workers commuting to town who are too high and mighty to be caught dead in a "grubby" bus. But since light rail is orders of magnitude more expensive than buses, two things happen in every city that ever builds light rail.
1) Light rail fares skyrocket to cover their immense operating deficits and capital costs, giving the lie to politicians that sold these systems as helping working poor.
2) Bus service, the form of transit that serves most of the working poor even today in the Bay Area, is cut back to help pay for rail.
Light rail is the worst enemy of providing transit services to the working poor ever devised in this country.