Public Transit Is Free Here

Public Transit Is Free Here

Here, in the place where I live, the local buses run free, literally free. The storied history of this situation is long and boring, but basically, the town spent tax-payer money on a public transportation system that has yet to be completed. Thus, they’ve decided to force the overarching public transit system (of the larger metro area) to no longer accept payment for local public transit rides as a way to recoup the losses for which the taxpayers have already paid for public transit services. The services in question are supposed to be lightrail services, but the bus, in my opinion, will do for now. I did not live here during the taxation for the larger public transit operation/promise. Thus, I have lost no personal finances to the cause. This means that riding the local bus around here is absolutely free! for the likes of me and my body buddy (i.e. lifemate).

Yesterday, we rode the free bus for the second time, since we’ve moved to this place. We take it out to a larger, broader shopping area that has all of the big box stores Americans love. As dwellers of the downtown area (despite the town being quite small, there’s a bit of sprawl that makes living car-less a bit of a challenge, even with the free bus system), we use the buses to get to shops and such that we might need on any given week or month. We absolutely do not use public transportation for any of our daily needs, that would be nearly impossible with the inefficient, albeit free, system that exists currently. But the worst part about riding the bus here in the town in which I now live revolves around the people who require (are sustained by) the local bus system here in this town.

I am lucky and privileged enough to be able to be floated by my middle-class family, if/when need be. My decision to not have a car reveals a bit of that privilege. I can afford to live in the more densely populated area of the town, right downtown where all the “stuff” happens. I have chosen to not have a car, and I am capable of living without said car by utilizing public transit when I want it, and I live close enough to my daily needs (my place of employment, the Chamber where I take meetings, etc.) to walk everywhere else. I can also simply rent a car on days when I need to travel regionally, out of the town, to the larger metropolitan areas. I understand that this is not the case for most of the local public transit users here in my new hometown.

Case in point, a woman got on the bus yesterday and the bus driver recognized her. After a brief exchange of niceties, the bus driver asked, “I thought you worked at Wal-Mart?” We were on the other side of town from Wal-Mart. Frustrated, she spoke, “I hate that place.” After a short explanation we (my body buddy and I) overheard, we learned from the fellow passenger that she began making too much money from her job at Wal-Mart; she was going to be evicted from her low-income housing. So she quit … on her birthday … because she had had “enough of this bullshit.” The thing I realized right then and there was that she existed in a world that I have never known. And in that moment, I realized that public transit is even more important for towns that want to have an economically healthy population.

This woman on the bus is trapped in an economic system that forces her to remain poor in order to survive. She’s smart enough to know that even though Wal-Mart pays her more than is allowed to be “low income,” Wal-Mart does not pay enough to live among the middle class. Or perhaps she’s merely lazy and doesn’t want to work, and so, she’d rather take her low unemployment and live in low-income housing for forever. This is the argument, is it not? Are poor people poor due to their own laziness and affinity to leech off the larger American economic system, or are they trapped by the system that has pitted them against billionaires?

To hear with my own ears the way in which she described her desperation about making too much money made me cringe. Her options were to be employed but homeless or unemployed in a house. She sees no other way to live, no other way to get out of this hell hole trap that she is trapped inside. Yes, she seemed a bit immature for the look of her, and she definitely seemed like she lacked higher-level education, but she’s surviving. She’s found a way to work within the fucking terrible system within which she is trapped. But is surviving enough? In These United States, is our goal to merely survive? I think not. I think that the situation this woman on the bus is clearly trapped within speaks to a larger degradation of the larger state of our country. We are all on our very own in this “Land of the Free.” But this is not the way that life here in These United States needs to be.

On Healthcare

On Healthcare

What the fuck do you need your ‘beloved’ health insurance for if you can afford to pay for all your medical services OUT OF POCKET?

Duh.

The thing that these idiots (the “central” liberals and anyone like them) who continue to bash the healthcare plan supported by Warren and Sanders fail to understand revolves around the specificity of their lack of understanding around the concept of COST. How much should medical services COST? The argument boils down to the simple fact that the Dems are divided on the issue of whether or not the government ought to set the COST for medical services.

That’s right, the liberal party in this country cannot even decide whether or not the government ought to control the cost of medical services and procedures. What kind of fucking “Developed Nation” is this? Healthcare, the everyday services that every single fucking person (in the world) needs, is essential for a healthy, equitable existence.

IF the government controls the COST, that means that medical services and procedures will be set by the government, and if the government is working and serving the public (as opposed to the corporate interest, power and control in Warren’s sight-lines), the COST of medical services and procedures ought to be cheap enough to afford if you are a living, working (whether for minimum wage or not, and this is a wholly other issue) person in the United States. Obviously, when the government isn’t working for the people, we all shrink small into ourselves and convince ourselves that we can make our own decisions, provide for ourselves better than our government or anyone else can, a la Andrew Yang and his “freedom dividend” (which is a great idea, just not yet). Yang doesn’t believe in an America run by a government that cares and feels responsible for its citizens. Yang is a pure capitalist, dangerous and selfish.

Bottom line, No one is going to “take away your health insurance.” The progressives (Warren and Sanders) desire to make medical services and procedures CHEAP (in cost not quality), cheap enough for you to be able to stop shoveling money into your insurance premiums (and deductibles and co-pays) and pay for your medical bills yourself (which you already are plus payments to insurance providers), AND have some extra money, the money not being paid to your insurance, if all goes to plan. Not to mention that your healthcare needs (medical services and procedures) will no longer depend on your employment/employer. This will also lift the burden off small business owners who have to provide insurance for their employees, when really, the government could just make healthcare so affordable that if you pay an employee a healthy, equitable wage, they (employees) ought to be able to pay for whatever medical services they need whenever they need them. Do you honestly love that job you’re doing solely for that healthcare coverage? Didn’t think so. Thus, if American healthcare coverage is so cheap that you can work anywhere and afford to pay out of pocket for any medical services or procedures you might need, you’re free to do whatever you want for work. Uncouple your health insurance from your employment, and you are free.

The point that Warren attempted to make in the September #DemDebate (but could not due to her admitting that taxes will rise) is that yes, your taxes will go up a bit, but you will not have an insurance payment! Duh! So, yea, you will pay more in taxes (technically), but overall COST of medical services will be so cheap that you will not also have to pay money to some fucking insurance company. That money you save from NOT paying insurance crooks ought to be more than the taxes taken out, so when all is said and done, not only will you be able to afford all of your medical needs, you will save money AND no longer have medical bills to pay. If all goes to plan.

Duh.

Don’t be stupid. Vote in your best interest, not against them.