So, one of the stories currently circulating around the sphere is the push in major localities to “decriminalize” fare-jumpers. We all immediately know why. The major cases emerging over the past month or so involve DC (90% of all arrestees are black), LA (more than 50%) and NYC (89% along with Hispanics). Go figure.
Financially, it’s not really that big a deal. Compared to the nightmarish pension liabilities that LA and NYC will never be able to make good on, this is like an ice cube-sized hole in the Titanic. Moreover, these transit systems can’t go anywhere so it doesn’t matter what depredations are placed upon them. That’s an enormous difference from a supermarket losing money from systemic theft. It can simply close up shop, leaving an infamous “food desert” behind.
DC doesn’t really have to worry about money since the Federal government can just conjure up all it needs until whatever point that probably leads to a crisis. In the meantime, the basic safety and functionality of the rail system itself is atrocious and without parallel in any 1st World nation. This goes right down to the fare machines that are without an exaggeration, the most idiotic on the entire planet.
Ironically enough, the percentage of DC metro employees who are black actually exceeds that of the fare-jumpers. They even promoted a guy who’d done a lengthy prison stint for dealing PCP to a senior management position. Functional illiteracy is a serious problem. There have been easily preventable accidents and people have tragically died. Emergency shutdowns have occurred. There will be more to come.
Here’s what this is all about: Basic Functionality. Now that transit can be boarded free of charge, essentially with impunity, does anyone really believe that violent incidents will decrease? The journey for people who actually pay to keep the thing running will surely get worse. It must be a wonderful experience to get set upon by teens in a frequent, completely random, and isolated incident.
The brilliant example of London provides a glimpse of what to expect. The government decriminalized shoplifting under £200, and replaced it with a minimal civil penalty. Police are ordered not to pursue. Last year, the rate of shoplifting doubled, as did the rate of violent incidents. Small wonder that people for whom every day is Christmas day at someone else’s expense have a predilection for antisocial behavior.
Dis fare ain’t fair! It just reeks like the stench of death wafting from a country stumbling towards the grave. It’s hard not to get dismayed when we’ve got a total and utter refusal to reconcile ourselves to obvious reality. Although, here’s a healthy attitude to take: If none of this is a surprise, then none of it should piss you off.
On that note, I’ve got no advice to offer unless someone wants to help me build a colony out in Montana. It would also help if you have millions of dollars. Happy Holidays, Y’all!!