As portrayed in the fantasy world of a fictional character named John Galt (and others – “where is John Galt?”), public transportation is a communist and socialist plot to destroy the world. Republicans like Paul Ryan take this “socialist plot” seriously. Same with Sid Dinnerstein in Palm Beach County, as he derides any attempt to improve public transit systems. And Rick Scott who turned back money from the stimulus package to build a high-speed rail system.
I see this issue of public transit in a different light. I see public transit as a healthy competitive force in the transportation and energy industries, competing against corporate monopolies. There are some metropolitan areas which are able to break even and sometimes make a profit on public transit.
If it is run correctly, public, or mass, transit is as capitalist as Mom, apple pie and baseball are American ideals.
After World War II, a Republican general named Douglas MacArthur became Supreme Commander of Japan. We TRAINED the Japanese and changed their culture from one of an ancient feudal landlord system to a modern-day economic giant. The Japanese auto industry came here and ate our lunches. But all the same, the Japanese HAVE invested in high-speed rail. Detractors would look for the negative in those investments, but consider how well that society and culture has competed in the world markets?
Republicans who worship Ayn Rand would turn back the clocks to the days of the feudal landlords, rather than moving America forward. Paul Ryan would do the same. Yet it was a REPUBLICAN – Gen. Douglas MacArthur – who molded the Japanese nation into the competitive force it has become. Due to his effective leadership in Japan, this has enabled that nation to think in long-term strategic investment strategies and have been very successful. In contrast, powerful Americans stupidly embrace short-term investment more aggressively than ever before. “Me first and I want it now” is the evil words in America today, contrary to what truly works.
Only President Obama has provided a long-term vision for America, through investments in industries which can help us become energy independent, including public transit systems, which use less energy.
Despite the fantasy world created by Ayn Rand, there are also side benefits to public transportation. One of those is the ability to solve our drunk driving problems and reduce the punitive nature proposed by iron-fisted law and order jerks. In nations where public transit is more prevalent, a person who drinks too much is not allowed to get behind the wheel of a car, but has an option to take public transportation instead. Long-term, perhaps this can be a more efficient solution, too. But of course, silly me – American wealthy ones refuse to think in terms of long-term efficiencies, don’t you know?
Paul Ryan may flip-flop and say what people want him to say. But in the end, he does wish to invoke policies based on the greed of Ayn Rand, reducing programs like Medicare, Social Security, and public transportation, despite the case some of us can make that these systems CAN better stimulate a capitalist free market – competing with the big corporate monopolies. That is the hidden agenda – the big corporate monopolies which act like a Soviet politburo, but pretend they are not by pointing false fingers at those who wish to invoke free market capitalism.
I would argue that the former Soviet Union was a form of crony capitalism. But Paul Ryan and other Ayn Rand worshipers are so caught up in the Atlas Shrugged fantasy world that they miss this point.
President Obama has a better sense of what it takes to get this nation running again. But he needs our cooperation, not a knife in the back by people who are suckered into the negativity of Fox Noise and other Media outlets – and refuse to consider there might just be a positive side which is not being fully presented.
Go ahead. Attack what I say. Stubbornly ignorant ones intent on holding on to what they believe will ALWAYS find something wrong with any solution which does not quite fit into their narrow line of vision.
“Seek wisdom, not certainty.” — Diana Butler Bass.