A Glaring Flaw In ‘Pseudo-Socialist’ Thinking On The Part of Urban Cyclists

Background Reading


Divvy Station - Daley Plaza

Divvy Station – Daley Plaza

Nothing strikes “fear” into the hear of an Urban Cycling Advocate like the notion that their pet projects are not going to be around for very long. Right now we are seeing a desperate urgency to get as many Protected Bike Lanes built as our little trowels can handle. But this is because in the back of every Leftists mind is the certainty that if the GOP regains control this sort of Socialist tom-foolery won’t “fly“. The Tea Party advocates in the GOP alone will demand that there be some sort of accounting for what they consider a needless “Social Program“. So the current thinking is that if we can ramrod this forward fast enough whether the next election cycle is in our favor or not nobody is going to go to the expense of “tearing up” what is already in place, right?

Well the “funny money” crowd is alive and well over at the Chicago Urban Cyclists “Whine and Jeez” Club Forum. They are wringing their collective hands over the fact that the British BikeShare program is being defunded by its primary “sponsor“. This brings to mind the days when here in the United States we had the Motorola Cycling Team which too was let go only to eventually resurface with the U. S. Postal Service. The problem is that everything in the Universe has to be sustainable. You would think that Liberals would be most cognizant of this fact since they are always whining about oil usage and the fact that as a fossil fuel it is an unsustainable proposition going forward.

But like their Conservative counterparts who have never ever worried about how much it costs to keep a standing army on every street corner in the Middle East the “sustainability” mantra is only chanted when it is somebody else who is being unrealistic. Even more to the point is the fact that we are sitting in the one state in the Union where politicians of all stripes have been paying for the mistresses and yacht outings for decades using pension monies for the purpose of keeping the books from being too red. And low and behold in 2013 the fecal matter impacts the fan blades of stupidity and suddenly everyone is scrambling to find ways to “not restore the pension funds raided” but rather to cut the benefits of the people whose money they took.

So here we go with some more silliness:

Actually, it’s rather straightforward and should be a big RED FLAG for all things “bikey” in Chicago’s future. London’s Mayor, Boris Johnson, has done squat to make the program self-sufficient and Barclay’s will end its sponsorship in 2015.  At least London has dedicated bike transportation professionals in its gov’t.

Clearly this fellow gets it. You cannot run either the London or the Chicago or even the New York BikeShare system in perpetuity without their being some income. Now that is not to say it has to be sustainable each and every year, but over the long haul it has to bring in at least as much income as expenditures, otherwise somebody in government is going to come with his hand out asking for a tax rate hike to pay some for something that the Liberals on Bikes shouted for decades before.

They will of course have all emigrated to Amsterdam which has decided that a lump sum fee of $100,000 gets you a lifetime of non-payment of taxes if you came from the United States. So the upshot is that all the motorists who were supposed to be the problem and for whom the lanes were required in the first instance are stuck paying for a Liberal boondoggle.

Now along comes that Pseudo-Socialist thinking that is so very popular these days:

Well…. is the goal of such a program to ultimately be self-sufficient?

I read (possibly in the linked article) that there is little data available as to what sort of revenue any of the bike share programs actually generate (would love to be corrected on that)….. but I don’t know how we leaped to the idea that a bike share program is supposed to be profitable enough to be completely self-sustaining. Divvy was presented as a transit option, a “last mile” solution to complement bus and commuter rail….. I don’t see much criticism of Metra or CTA for not being completely self-sustaining.

Here is one very belligerent argument that is really out in left field (pun intended):

No. Absolutely not, not ever. Demanding parts of a whole to be able to exist independently from one another is something you’d do for only one reason: political agenda.

The roots can’t take care of themselves (for very long). Do the branches and leaves have anything to gain from taking notice of this and going on strike for more water and nitrogen? This shit is retarded and whoever made it conventional wisdom is responsible for 70 years of a ruined and immiserated public sphere (and counting).

Well…. is the goal of such a program to ultimately be self-sufficient?

A few points need to be made. First, whether you agree with this drivel or not it should be clearly stated to the public at the outset that bike lanes are going to be a drain on the public coffers. There is no real benefit to them that allows them to function in a sustainable way. We are in essence providing a public service (available to all) but will likely only be used by a minority of “elites” who could care less that sustainability is not possible. Let’s stop trying to sound like a GOP-sensitive group and admit we are far Leftists who want to eradicate cars by any means possible. Stop the guerrilla warfare and open fire with a nuclear missile that reads more like the Leftist Manifesto published in RedEye. That is closer to the truth that anyone really suspects.

Now see if I was writing that these knuckleheads were contemplating not having Divvy pay for itself, you would have rolled your eyes and said I was just being a “brat“. But frankly Chicagoans and suburbanites alike ought to be sitting up just now and wondering why they are forking over money to the Active Transportation Alliance to enable it and the City of Chicago to dig more financial holes down which money will be poured. And for what real purpose?

As to the notion that no one seems to mind that neither Metra or CTA re sustainable, think again. Ask any downstate denizen whether they like having the financial woes of the northeast section (read Chicago) of the state cause blowback on the rest of Illinois and you will hear both loudly and clearly, “hell no!

Chicagoans as a rule are fairly mindless and clueless when it comes to just how reprehensible their financial dealings are viewed outside of its city limits. But that would be giving them too much leeway, they just don’t give a damn. And the current crop of Bike Lane Infrastructure Projects is not going to affect anybody’s bottom line positively. It will only mean that in the very near future when the current mayor has retired (or been retired) that they will come hat in hand to tell the rest of the state that if they are not given yet more money to piss down the financial toilet, “you’ll be sorry!” But enough is enough.

Every Liberal in the state should be outraged at the pension debacle. But they cannot voice that outrage because they were part of the group that stole the monies. They will all be looking at the wall come the time for the courts to decide if the pension fund compact that was reached is constitutional. I am guessing that at least one level of courts will say “no“. But eventually everyone will turn to look at the wall because the financial outcome would be horrendous if the pensioners are not made to pay.

So once again we have the same Socialist thinking sprouting up over Divvy and its ilk. None of these programs can become a drain on the Federal Government forever. At some point the responsibility for these boondoggles will be turned over to the states. And by then as I said all of the miscreants who were responsible for this damage will have fled to jobs in other states for even more money (in terms of salary).

Real Socialism Is Sustainable

What Socialism implies is not that there is “funny money” to be had for all time, but rather that everyone will pay what they can afford and that will mean that those most able to will pay slightly more. It is what is practiced every time a small town allows the widow to get food for her children at a slight lower rate because she is unable to pay more. Neighbor help her plow her fields and pass on clothing their children have outgrown to allow her kids to go to school dressed better.

But the modern notions about how this idea is to be implemented are simply scandalous. And frankly I am more than tired of having somebody who is a penny pincher tell the rest of us that his favorite project is “not supposed to be sustainable“. Sorry, but that flies in the face of reality. If you don’t pay your taxes there is no pot of gold from which to make up the difference. The world was not created for a bunch of bike riders to enjoy freshly painted green bike lanes at no cost to them. Neither are we supposed to be willing to embrace a business model that is not going to show a profit.

If that were a meaningful thing to expect, we should simply hand over the bikes to anyone who wants one on a Saturday afternoon and when they are all gone smile and say have a great day.