How the Koch Brothers Are Killing Public Transit Projects Around the Country
It makes sense though that they’d hate mass transit – mass transit is a democratizing tool that makes society work better and is difficult to be privately held – everything they despise. Even before you get to the fact that they own holdings in gasoline and asphalt (natch!) as radical libertarians they almost certainly fetishize the automobile as a symbol of freedom, yada yada yada, so mass transit must die.
Public transit, Americans for Prosperity says, goes against the liberties that Americans hold dear. “If someone has the freedom to go where they want, do what they want,” Ms. Venable said, “they’re not going to choose public transit.”
The Kochs’ opposition to transit spending stems from their longstanding free-market, libertarian philosophy. It also dovetails with their financial interests, which benefit from automobiles and highways.
The lesson is that, like many other situations, bad actors like the Koch Brothers put out astroturf money to pay for deluded volunteers (poor people working for “Americans for Prosperity”) spreading lies that support the agendas of the richest people in the world, against themselves and their neighbors in order to kill local projects. In a country with low, low, low turnout it’s easy to defeat even the best intended transport modernizing project. Just scream “they’re going to raise your taxes” and old people and cranks will vote against anything.
These Americans for Prosperity fucks are trying to sell the idea that the future of mass transit isn’t mass transit at all but driverless cars. How the fuck does that help people who can’t afford a car? Even assuming all these cars are electric, which the Kochs are not assuming, how do more cars, driverless or not, help pollution, traffic, overcrowding? They don’t. As usual it makes no sense for anybody who lives in a region bedeviled by a lack of mass transit, or aging infrastructure to support.
But one of the major malfunctions of democracy is that it’s always easier to get people to vote against something than for it. And when you spread out a bunch of dark money to willing whores who will sell out their neighbors, it’s shooting fish in a Koch Brothers Barrel Co. owned barrel.