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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted October 24, 2010 at 16:01:39
Cohen >> all indications are that we are a city of startling inequality... What is to be done? ...Public transportation is one of the main facilitators of equality in urban societies.
WTF? How does subsidizing a money losing transportation system help put money in poor people's pockets? Currently, the HSR costs $30M more than it raises in revenue. How about taking this $30M and giving it to poor people and let them spend it the way THEY want to, rather than the way YOU want to?
If public transit is as valuable to poor people as YOU say it is, then poor people will use that $30M to pay the higher fares the HSR currently gets in subsides. However, if you're wrong, they will spend some or all of that $30M someplace else, like on clothes, or food, or tools for a new business.
If Hamilton has too much poverty the reason is because government is too big, not too small. In the past 5 years, city wages have grown by about 40%, about 4x more than the average Ontario worker.
If wages for city workers had only increased as much as the residents of Hamilton, we would have an extra $135M to give to poor people. Take 18.4% of 500k residents and you get 92k people. Then take that $135M in wages to city workers and divide it equally amongst the 92k poor and what do you get? An extra $1,467 per poor person, or almost $6,000 for a family of four. If you add the $30M in subsides to the HSR, the $1,467 number jumps to $1,793 per poor person, or an extra $149 every month.
That is what would help reduce poverty, not hiring more high paid city workers to run a business that produces such a poor product, it requires almost half of its budget to be in the form of taxpayer subsides. Public transit is a scheme to enrich public employees and their unions, nobody else.
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