A couple things have been sitting in my mind:
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Chicago’s parking meters have been privatized, and it appears the city courts seem to have taken the job of enforcing the parking meter laws with a new vigor. Fees have been for the most parts increased, and the courts have been less and less forgiving, making a point of finding reasons to keep the fees. New rules for the challenge have been created and (of course) not written down or told to everyone. Obvious cases of pre-emptive ticketing have been held up, with every excuse used to make the tickets legal. Non-working meters seem to no longer exist.
As I sit here, I have to wonder why the hell the city couldn’t have done the price-raising on the parking meters themselves. Shift the price from $.25/15 minutes to $.25/10 minutes (and the hour spots to maybe 45 minutes or half an hour).
But I forget…it’s “The Magic of Private Ownership.” Never mind that Chicago has handed over control of the streets to some company for pennies on the dollar, they’re suddenly treating parking rules as so sacred that those rules stay in effect even when there’s rules that dictate exceptions (such that for broken meters).
And don’t tell me about corruption, as I’m sure the same rules for getting out of stuff exist today as they did before Daley sold off the parking meters.
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So now, along with the neocon whining about how prices aren’t being allowed to drop “down to where they belong” (interesting that they want prices and wages (always wages, and especially the wages of the workers) but never debts to drop) but they’re now talking about how “home ownership gums up the economic works.”
That’s right…you own your house, you’re messing with the economy.
Here’s how they explain it: People own their houses, they’re going to stay there when the jobs leave for “better shores” (cheaper wages, better exploitation of locals, grungier pollution of surroundings) thereby withdrawing their talents from the greater economy where it can do “the greatest good” (Not helping their kids grow or keeping the neighborhood stable by doing stuff in it or keeping the church going; NO…gotta keep the gears of the machine working, children neighborhood and God were meant to be ignored of course).
Now understand: There’s sometimes good reason for renting (limited time expected at the place, renting is more affordable, don’t care to take care of house and lawn, etc.), but generally owning a home is preferable to renting an apartment. Indeed, many places, neighborhoods and governments work to persuade people to buy houses instead of renting. The present depression was caused, in part, because of the abuses this drive for people to buy houses caused (or allowed).
So what do the neocons and corporatistas want? Simply put, a work force willing to follow them to the ends of the earth, wherever they choose to go, with no allegiances other to their jobs and the company who hires them at the moment. Why else would they praise IBM’s opening of foreign jobs to American workers (complete with helping them move to their new digs)?
Any wonder Communism and Socialism was popular once? And should be (imho)?