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Hedges writes: "The deterioration of the nation's public transportation...is part of the relentless seizing and harvesting of public resources and programs by corporations."

Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges. (photo: Truthdig)
Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges. (photo: Truthdig)

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+19 # WestWinds 2013-04-15 10:36
A FEDERAL TAX DAY MESSAGE: Where are your tax dollars going?

We need to have campaign finance reform. This was a hot topic and now it has done what it always does; faded into the shadows.

Every year a bill is submitted in Congress to eliminate corporate campaign financing through lobbyists, and every year Congress votes to continue to line their pockets with corporate money, be bought and not do the will of the people but rather to keep voting for the best interests of crony capitalism.

We need to end this cycle since those on The Hill are so addicted to war, oil and corporate money that they will never be able to do that for themselves.

If you want to start someplace, start here and the rest will follow.

Nothing changes if nothing changes!
***
 
 
+17 # dkonstruction 2013-04-15 11:00
One of the things that public employee unions need to figure out is how can they fight back while at the same time gaining the support of the majority of people who they need to have on their side in order to win. this is in large part a matter of tactics.

Public employees provide services to (for the most part) other working people. when they strike and shut down services, for the most part, they just piss off the very people they need to win over and have supporting them.

But there are alternatives.

The purpose of a strike is not first and foremost to shut down services but rather to hit the employer where it hurts, i.e., in their pocket book. In the old days of industrial unions that meant shutting down production. But for today's "service" workers it has to be done differently if they are going to win people's support.

The answer is to continue to provide the services but refuse to, in the case of transit workers, collect fairs or in the case of others, like hospital workers, refuse to bill for the services.

In 1973 in Milan, Italy, the bus workers went out on strike but they decided to do it by continuing to drive the buses but refusing to collect fairs. the city gave in to the demands of the bus drivers in 24 hours and the majority of people sided with the bus drivers.

Imagine what would happen here in NYC where I am if the transport workers union went out on strike but kept driving the trains and the buses but refusing to collect fairs?
 
 
+7 # Malcolm 2013-04-15 12:49
Quoting dkonstruction:


But there are alternatives.

The purpose of a strike is not first and foremost to shut down services but rather to hit the employer where it hurts, i.e., in their pocket book. In the old days of industrial unions that meant shutting down production. But for today's "service" workers it has to be done differently if they are going to win people's support.

The answer is to continue to provide the services but refuse to, in the case of transit workers, collect fairs or in the case of others, like hospital workers, refuse to bill for the services.

In 1973 in Milan, Italy, the bus workers went out on strike but they decided to do it by continuing to drive the buses but refusing to collect fairs. the city gave in to the demands of the bus drivers in 24 hours and the majority of people sided with the bus drivers.

Imagine what would happen here in NYC where I am if the transport workers union went out on strike but kept driving the trains and the buses but refusing to collect fairs?


One of the most intelligent statements i've heard in eons. Bravo! Double Bravo, dkon!
 
 
+1 # Malcolm 2013-04-15 12:53
I just remembered that the cable car operators, and i think the street car and bus drivers as well, stopped collecting fares back in the late 60's, or early 70's. I didn't live in Frisco, so never even thought about why they stopped charging, but sure enjoyed the free rides, being a starving student at the time :)

dkon, do you think this was a strike of some kind?
 
 
+1 # dkonstruction 2013-04-15 14:14
Quoting Malcolm:
I just remembered that the cable car operators, and i think the street car and bus drivers as well, stopped collecting fares back in the late 60's, or early 70's. I didn't live in Frisco, so never even thought about why they stopped charging, but sure enjoyed the free rides, being a starving student at the time :)

dkon, do you think this was a strike of some kind?


Malcolm,

thanks for the kind words. Interesting about cable car operators. I don't remember this one (and hadn't heard about it before) so you've given me something to research...than ks for the heads up about this one....from you're description, it could well have been the kind of "strike" the Milan bus workers organized...wil l have to look this one up.
 
 
+2 # Majikman 2013-04-15 13:02
Brilliant!
 
 
+12 # Vardoz 2013-04-15 12:10
The corporate agenda for the 99% is slavery.
To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether 'tis Nobler in the mind to suffer
The Slings and Arrows of outrageous Fortune,
Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles,
This is our battle and has always been our battle. Every right and protection has been won in battle- and here we are again- so we need to protest, strike, boycott and speak out like the service workers just did- In San Francisco waiters get minimum wage - not $2.13 per hr. and restarants have not lost any money at all!!!! So don't let the lobbists win. Kick your rep out and vote progressive- like Sanders and Warren. Organize and unionize. It's either live free or die at this point.
 
 
+7 # Norm 2013-04-15 12:16
Violia has dangerousIsrael i ties:
Veolia’s involvement in the tramway project in East Jerusalem has led to international protests. The Irish tramline company Luas, run by Veolia, was forced by the Ireland-Palesti ne Solidarity Campaign to cancel its contract with Israeli authorities in Jerusalem. Amnesty International France has requested Veolia not to sign the contract because it raises serious questions about international law violations.
 
 
+2 # da gaf 2013-04-15 14:33
i wonder if America will still be at all somewhat sane in a few more years? all the ugly things are steadly increasing day by day...surely not but do you think now that this country and its' people are soon to be for sale?...and if it is -will it ever stop?
 
 
+8 # Mrcead 2013-04-15 14:36
This sadly ins't news. Corporations want the public sector dismantled since all of that "profit potential" isn't realized and is simply "wasted". So instead of doing the honest thing and offer better service, they would rather just stress the existing framework to tout it as inefficient and gain votes to take it over when people "realize" that the system (that was designed to run on a break even structure) doesn't make any money and actually loses money when the market is stressed artificially and on purpose.

Why people cannot see this is beyond me. There is no difference from the deliberate choking of the mom and pop shops to this travesty. Airlines are private and we see how well they run. Can't even function without multiple bailouts AND tax breaks. Now they want to take over public transport?

There is NO good reason for public transport to go private. A bird in the hand is worth 2 in the bush. Heed this.
 
 
+3 # Majikman 2013-04-15 16:05
Mrcead, the airlines started to fall apart when St Ronnie disbanded the CAB (civil aeronautics board). Although private co.'s, the airlines had to adhere to gov't regulations that protected the public and provide service (subsidized) to smaller less profitable markets. After deregulation, the Wall St boys took over and the industry went to hell.
 
 
+1 # Mrcead 2013-04-15 17:41
Cheers for that bit of info.
 
 
+5 # Cassandra2012 2013-04-15 15:31
There are otherwise good people out there who think public unions should not exist, nor heavens, strike, "because there is no competition" ??
This is elitism, pure and simple.
Anyone who has been a public servant (teacher, professor, nurse, firefighter et al) for a paltry salary and minimal fringe benefits and watched administrative sections of the public services increase their numbers, salaries, healthcare benefits, perks etc. with impunity; or watched the board members and presidents who run these public services gamble away money intended for running the service on slippery hedge funds etc. knows the reasons why public unions, however imperfect, are crucial as watchdogs for the public good!
 
 
+4 # happycamper690 2013-04-15 17:42
Some predict that one consequence of global warming will be a frequent disruption of air travel due to severe inclement and turblulent weather. This would be a strong argument in favor of a national system of high-speed rail service that could take us coast to coast in comfort.
 
 
+3 # brenda 2013-04-16 03:41
I've talked to a few of these so called "Tea-bagging" Republican Nimrods. They refuse to listen to reason, and continuously lap up the bile that Rush Limburger drops down on the ground for them. They are the kind of dopes that have to wake up and find themselves flat on their backs with a rich man boss standing on their chests, before they will listen to anything that's worthwhile, true and in their best interests. It can become very frustrating to watch these nitwits throw anything away that their rich slave masters tell them to.
 
 
+3 # reiverpacific 2013-04-16 19:17
Welcome to the post -Thatcher/Reaga n world and it's finks.
Old iron-corsets privatized and sold off British Rail, formerly the best and proudest railway system in the world (both my uncle Jock and paternal grandfather were drivers in the steam era -the royalty of the working classes- and if they were even two minutes late on a long run even, they had to write a detailed report on why and have a damn good reason).
It is now a sad, broken-up, "profit-first" excuse for a service. But at least something remains. The UK has to at least try and keep up with the rest of Europe via the "Chunnel".
It's all going backwards here. And your health don't-care non-system is the horrified laughing stock of the so-called "civilized" world.
 
 
+1 # Jack Gibson 2013-04-17 12:08
The country is going, by design, to hell in a handbasket. Everything of worth is intentionally being privatized and ruined, being turned into increasing ways to suck more and more money out of us into the hands of the few, and intentionally being used to impoverish all of us. The corporate-fasci st globalists believe there's no such thing as private property unless they own it, that We the People don't own anything, that nothing we have belongs to us, and they want to take it all for themselves. This is what the "U.N." and every so-called "public" plan, in the fraudulent guise of "humanitarianis m", "equality", "compassion" and "benevolence", etc., was all about from the get-go. The national parks are an example. The securing of them was made to look like it was protecting them for the masses; but, in reality, it was about setting them aside so the corporate-fasci sts could take them over and exploit them to an ever-increasing extent; and they are hard at work lobbying to take them out of public hands and put them in private, corporate-fasci st hands so they can, in order to extract natural resources from them, destroy them for their metastasizing, cancerous greed that is making all of the healthy "tissue" diseased, and taking over the entire body politic.

- Continued -
 
 
0 # Jack Gibson 2013-04-18 22:21
These cancerous parasites literally believe that all people are property to be exploited and to profit off of; and, if they can't profit off you, that you should be exterminated. This is what's taking over the U.S. and the world behind the mask of "benefiting us". These leaches want most of us dead; and, if We the People continue to allow them to takeover, they will very soon have their wish. Stop the globalist, corporate-fasci st "Fourth Reich" before it's too late, people; otherwise, we are all totally screwed and tattooed!
 
 
0 # alaink 2013-08-15 08:11
You have to be kidding. There has to be a better reason to maintain these union workers. They are going to need to find something useful to do for which someone finds it valuable to pay for their services and it isn’t driving: keeping a bus between two white lines and not running into anything! Computers are about to take over that job, so that retraining better start ASAP.
 

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