Thursday, June 2, 2005

Big Meanie Post 2

[Ed. note: Every once in a while, I like to write a rant just so that enemies of freedom can betray their reactionary instincts and completely misrepresent The London Fog as heartless Conservatives. I'll start to call them Big Meanie Posts. Here's today's…]

I guess the rear ends of the elderly and the poor may soon constitute a much more attractive clientele to the local public transportation system than my own. Private companies are free to discriminate to compete for customers with, say, discounts of course — it's their business. But discrimination by government monopolies — to which no unsubsidized private interest could compete, especially in this case — is one of the most corrupting influences on people in this country in my opinion. For government to function at all under the dubious but first-year-university-philosophy-acceptable pretence of consensual protection from the depradations of violence and fraud, it must be applied equally. Anything else is the state condoning and even perpetrating the same violence from which it purports to protect us. If you don't think taxing the earnings of some people to redistribute to other people based on arbitrary cut-off points — or, worse yet, on race, age, gender or political philosophy divides — is discrimination, what is? But I guess we're a little too far gone in this city and this country to bother with such questions.

From the London Free Press:

Pressure is building to provide free bus passes to London seniors and low-income residents, which could cost taxpayers millions of dollars. The issue appeared on three city council comittee agendas this week, including yesterday's board of control session.
Pressure? They're politicians — I pay these idiots to handle pressure. And where's the pressure coming from? Nuns, this time!
In a letter to the board, the Sisters of St. Joseph asked that a committee be struck to examine the issue before the next round of city budget talks.

[…] A London Transit Commission report estimated the cost for such passes as at least $800,000, possibly more, on top of the $258,000 cost of the current 25-per-cent seniors' fare discount. The city also spends about $94,000 on bus passes for the blind.

But with an estimated 45,000 Londoners living below Statistics Canada's poverty line — ranging from $17,515 for individuals to $32,546 for a family of four — the cost of providing free bus passes to the poor and seniors could be "significant."
Could be! Of course, the nuns have entered into an unholy alliance with labour groups, senior special interest lobby groups and Helen Connell. The whole article should be read before its permalink status disappears — it's an starving infant poster child for the finest manufactured lugubriousness that taxpayer money can afford to subsidize.

No help will be coming from most of the council quarters, ever receptive to the social activists. Councillor Susan Eagle, London's own Dark Lord, breezily supported the idea of free bus passes for the poor last year with the astonishingly unfounded blandishment that the working poor were "equally deserving of a discounted bus pass." Equal of what? Eagle's supporting pathological premises were not reported. And I would like to think that deserving is not the adjective Eagle meant to use, but I'm afraid that she meant it completely. At this point, I'll just repeat what I've heartlessly said earlier:
Being poor does not merit anything in its own right, except that it could be said that it merits a little extra effort to improve one's standard of living. Don't get me wrong — I've no doubt that getting around in the city and looking for work or better work is difficult enough, and that bus passes are expensive. I would certainly consider supporting any private endeavour to assist people who want to improve their situation, but what [free bus pass proponents] are not proposing anything as honourable as charity. They are proposing the forced redistribution of the earnings of one group to another on the spurious grounds that being less productive in a relatively prosperous economy makes one more deserving — of what I ask again? In effect, they are proposing that the government discriminate against some people in favour of others.

If poverty merits desert of cheaper transportation, then poor people also deserve cheaper food, cheaper housing, cheaper medicine, cheaper recreation, etc. — and they already receive many of these things. But by forcing some people pay for others to receive what taxpayers must themselves work to provide, this petty municipal socialism is making us all poorer, rich and poor alike.

2 comments:

Fenris Badwulf said...

I nearly choked on my own holier than thou outrage when I skimmed the first few sentences of your post. How I shook with moral superiority and quivered with concern over things you do not care about.

Good thing that I did not actually read your fascist reactionary earth rapist and seal clubbing hate speech. Ghack!

I do not need to read it, the facts speak for themselves. You conform to the Big Meanie sterotype, you big meanie!

The earth is going to turn into a ball of magma this summer if we do not send money to research global warming.

Aaaargh.

MapMaster said...

I beg your pardon -- I adore seals. They taste great and their fur makes fantastic trimmings on the imperialist-capitalist winter boots I use to stomp on homeless people.