Black People : The Black Misleadership Class Lines Up Behind Transit Privatization In Atlanta

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by RAPTOR, Nov 7, 2012.

  1. RAPTOR

    RAPTOR Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    excerpt:

    Back in the 1960s residents of Fulton and Dekalb counties along with the city of Atlanta voted in a penny sales tax to fund MARTA, the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority. For all the usual reasons, the surrounding majority white counties declined participation in MARTA, claiming its acronym instead stood for Moving Africans Rapidly Through Atlanta. Along with rural legislators they imposed savage and arbitrary funding and operational restrictions on the agency, so that to this day MARTA receives not a penny of gas tax revenue and is the only big city transit agency in the nation that gets not a penny from state government.

    Though they wouldn't tax themselves to pay its bills, suburbanites were long represented on MARTA's governing board, and the rural and suburban state legislators although again, the state gives no money to MARTA, convene a permanent and powerful oversight committee that constantly interferes with its governance.

    A generation of black Atlanta mayors have made it their business to push tens of thousands of low income black families out of the city in order to “revitalize” it with wealthier, whiter residents, and white suburbanites now covet the multibillion dollar transit infrastructure built by inner-city Fulton, Dekalb and Atlanta residents.


    ...But a whole layer of the black political class and their hangers on are foaming at the mouth at the thought of lucrative “public private partnerships,” and that will be the shape of the politics of black Atlanta for the near future. It's the privatizers and profiteers vs the rest of us. Which side are YOU on.

    http://www.blackvisions.org/Boards/index.php?topic=3864.480
     
  2. Shikamaru

    Shikamaru Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Look at that ... self interest again ....
     
  3. skuderjaymes

    skuderjaymes Contextualizer Synthesizer MEMBER

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    Peace Raptor,

    I read the article.. the author is against "privatization"--that much is clear. But they never get around to exactly what it is that is so bad about privatization. It seems that they are relying on the campaign-time designation of "privatization" as a bad word. They go on to say,

    "Privatization will be a good deal for whichever fat cats get the contracts. But it won't be good for ordinary people who need transit to get to and look for jobs. It won't be so good for businesses who depend on transit to bring workers and customers to their doors. It won't be good for the thousands of elderly who have less access to automobiles, often because they can no longer drive, and it won't be good for college and high school students who depend on public transit to get to school. It won't be good for folks who have to access medical care or government services, or who want to maintain family ties or get to church on Sunday."

    Which is written in the same vein as a Romney campaign speech... the list a bunch of things that are bad and then associate them with a certain word or action.. but without a single iota of detail that connects those two sets of things. This really just sounds like someone that may be losing their job and benefits if this thing happens trying to drum up some support. And there's nothing wrong with that.. but if that's the reason, they should just say that. Instead of depending on historical racial tension and campaign-related public fear of the "P" word. But I'm unconvinced that Privatization is a bad word. I think context still matters.. and instead of crying about it, these concern parties should be pulling together their resources to make a solid bid for the contract.. and also for some of those political seats.

    -in my opinion..


    Peace again.
     
  4. RAPTOR

    RAPTOR Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    HoTeP Skuderjaymes,

    I get a different take.

    I don't think that the author merely takes issue with "privatization" in and of it self. But as it relates to the transit system in atlanta and its possible impact on "ordinary people who need transit...".

    I don't know if the person is "losing" their job and whether or not that lead to the person writing the article. And to say he/they are "depending on historical racial tension" seem to infer that there aren't any racial tension today... in atlanta-georgia? We talkin'bout geo'ga now.

    But hey I recall amos wilson saying "there is nothing like a good theory to guide behavior".





     
  5. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    Terence Courtney

    Marta Should Not Be Privitized
    posted Sept. 19, 2012

    ...What does privatization mean? Essentially, it is the transfer of public assets and services owned and performed by government agencies to businesses and individuals from the private sector. Privatization results in the replacement of public participation and institutional responsibility with a profit motive. Private sector decision making is private– the community has no rights to discuss and make policy. Instead of people governing, markets govern. Instead of service-providing, making money becomes the driving force. The people who suffer the most from this policy are those who have been traditionally marginalized from the seats of power – the poor, the working class, people of color (especially women), and those with disabilities.

    Who is responsible for the fact MARTA is continually in crisis? The answer is found in MARTA history. MARTA was a public system set up to fail because of its funding structure. MARTA’s operating budget depends on what it collects at the fare box and the one-cent sales tax that Fulton, DeKalb, and the city of Atlanta agreed to levy in 1971 in order to create the system. For racist reasons, Gwinnett and Clayton rejected the sales tax and refused to join. This meant a “metropolitan” system was reduced to serving just two counties. The other huge factor in this set-up has been the fact that MARTA is the largest transit system in the country to receive no operating help from the state.
    Privatization has a proven track record of failure. For example, the privatization of the Atlanta water and sewer system in 1999 led to the city cancelling its contract with United Water after four years of terrible service. MARTA brought back in-house its paratransit service in 1997 because of all the problems with the private contractor, Dave Transportation. In 2004, the British multi-national, First Transit, began operating the CTRAN buses in Clayton County. Three years later, MARTA took over the service. The bottom line is that the profit motive has no place in public transit. There are some necessary services that a society provides that are not designed to make a profit – fire, police, libraries, schools, and mass transit.
    Other funding mechanisms, including state-funding must be found to restore MARTA to its rightful place at the core of any regional system that will be developed in the future. In order to correct the racist history that has had such influence on the lack of development and maintenance of MARTA, it will take a social movement led by those most affected – transit dependent riders and transit workers – to demand that MARTA remain in the hands of the people not the profiteers.
    The Atlanta Public Sector Alliance urges all residents of Metro Atlanta to stop this take-over of public assets for the enrichment of a private few. Let’s organize for a regional transit system that is just and equitable, democratic and well-funded, with universal design to facilitate the mobility of all. Only a public MARTA can achieve these goals.
    http://midtown.patch.com/blog_posts/marta-should-not-be-privatized
     
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