Saturday, November 12, 2005


The boss class and its mass media pimps constantly tell us there is not enough money in the till for decent wages, better education, and health care. We are endlessly reminded of the need for "frugality in government" and "care with the tax-payer's dollar." Recently in Vancouver I was once more made aware of what a great and smelly load of BS this is.

The municipal, provincial and federal governments have banded together to use taxpayers money to build a transportation link between Vancouver and the southern Lower Mainland municipalities. This is known as the RAV Line. There are two different routes, one far more expensive than the other. The Arbutus Street route would follow an existing - and recently abandoned - rail road track. The Cambie Street route requires tunneling and the building of an elevated track through a residential neighborhood. The Arbutus track would save tax-payers a billion dollars. Which system do you think our frugal and tax conscious neocons choose? If you said Arbutus go stand in the corner, dunce, why Cambie, of course!

This is a classic example of "When it's something WE want, there is no money in the till, When it's something THEY want, the sky's the limit." It also shows how government is a racket, a means of funneling tax money to friends and associates of the politicians and bureaucrats. Why chose the expensive route? A billion extra dollars channeled into the pockets of the construction companies which back the politicians, that's why.


Blogger Anglonoel said...

As a relatively frequent visitor to Vancouver from England (5 times in 8 years) it's interesting to read stuff about state socialism for the rich in BC. When I first went to Vancouver in 97 I remember the claim that Vancouver had the best public transport in the world. I have my doubts about how true that is now! I still think the Skytrain is great, as is the Seabus between downtown & North Vancouver. However, the bus system has a lot to be desired. I've been to a baseball game and a rock concert in the last 2 visits there. Both were out in the sticks and finished 10.30-11pm. We (myself, my travelling companion/drinking partner & Vancouver Jo & Joanna Public) were left waiting for a good 20-30 mins for a bus. It seems BC Transit are unable to put on more buses for times when they know more people will want to use public transport. Whatever happened to the consumer as king and supply following demand?

However, I live in London & use the tube, so I know all about the rip off of state subsidies for (usually extremely inefficient) private companies!

10:27 AM  
Blogger Kevin Carson said...

Even back in the '80s, when the neoliberals were so exercised over fiscal and accumulation crises, they were quite up-front about the fact that fiscal austerity applied only to the consumption needs of ordinary people. Their agenda called for even MORE state spending when it came to subsidizing accumulation.

Hildyard. "Myth of the Minimalist State"

9:26 AM  
Blogger Kevin Carson said...

Oops--meant to say "the '70s." But anyway, what they really care about is less shifting resources away from the state, than from consumption to accumulation. And even when they claim to seek a shift from nominally "public" to nominally "private" spending, all they really mean is shifting some spending from the state budget as such to the quasi-private corporations that control the state.

BTW, welcome back. Sounds like a great trip. The Pacific NW is one of the few areas I'd choose to live in as an alternative to the Ozarks. Here's to Ecotopia!

9:32 AM  
Blogger RossK said...

Agreed re: the RAV debacle.

But it's much more than just the difference in cost.

After all, the creme de la creme going rancid up and down the Arbutus line can not be underestimated.

7:10 PM  

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