Here is my response sent to Tri-Met on April 4, 2012. I look forward to your comments. marc
1. Fare increases are better than service cuts.
2. For the $2.25 fare, riders should have 3 hours in any direction. This would ease the pain of the fare increase and eliminate the hardship of having to buy two fares .
3. The WES commuter train from Wilsonville to Beaverton costs more than the whole Portland bus system! Management should bear the main brunt of the costs of this boondoggle.
4. Revenues are down in a recession. Coming out of a recession means increasing demand and purchasing power. 14 million jobs need to be created nationwide to compensate for the millions of lost jobs and the new workers coming on the job market every month. Harry Hopkins and FDR created 4 million jobs in 2 months. Where is the pressure and demand for creating 14 million jobs? Tri-Met should lobby for job creation and increased purchasing power, for redistribution and an end to tax havens and tax evasion, for an end to immoral illegal wars and the Bush tax cuts.
5. The more egalitarian, the happier and safer the society. The wealthiest 400 Americans have more wealth than 180 million Americans. The wealthiest 10 Germans have more wealth than half the German population (35 million). Crisis and chance are represented by the same Chinese letter. The state has a social nature and can't be only a power and security state or a trough for the super-rich and corporations.
6. Trust and public spirit come when citizens share in the gains of productivity and participate in governance and shaping the future. Vancouver BC has community centers in every neighborhood. These community centers have a cushioning and multiplying effect; they serve as surrogate classrooms and counseling centers. Why can't we learn from this concrete example?
7. Creating a social net is a precondition for reducing working hours and sharing work. If everyone had health care, they would gladly reduce their working hours and enable millions to join the workforce. Why can't the purveyors of the financial crisis be called to account? Why can't we reverse the "race to the bottom," the conversion of private losses into public losses, the exploding inequality and generalized insecurity?
8. According to the neoliberal myth, higher profits would lead to increased investment and more jobs. In truth, higher profits meant speculating on foreign currencies and buying back company stock.
9. All things considered, the best solution would be a $2.25 fare for three hours in any direction and reducing management salaries.
Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to your response and to a world of increasing justice and inclusion.