Chris Fitzsimon takes me to task in one of his vacuous Friday rants as follows:
Borders says that "maybe Jack Betts is rich and lives in South Charlotte. But he has forgotten about the less affluent people in Mint Hill who’re bankrolling his boondoggle." Maybe not Max, Betts lives in Raleigh and has for a long time. Those pesky facts never seem to get in the way of the desperate attempts of folks on the right to disguise their market fundamentalism as concern for working class.
I don’t know what is sadder about this post. Is it that Fitzsimon refuses to acknowledge that light rail is a wealth transfer from mostly poor people (West or East Charlotte) to mostly wealthy (South Charlotte, where Lynx runs)? Or that the residence of Jack Betts is really (really) beside the point. I didn’t don’t give a flying proverbial where Jack Betts lives (which is why I said "maybe"), because the fact isn’t relevant to my point — you know, the point Fitzsimon doesn’t bother to address.
Fitzsimon says: Borders is angry that Betts’ article was "biased," but Betts is a columnist and an editorial writer. He is paid to have a point of view and express it. Borders works himself into a lather about Betts, trying to use him as an example of the elites that Borders claims are the real beneficiaries of public transportation.
(Notice also that Fitzsimon omits my critique of Bruce Siceloff who is not a paid editorialist, but nevertheless cheerleads for regressive rail — and did so with Chris’s buddy Rob Schofield on WUNC. There was no smart-arse comment to be made there, because I have Siceloff dead-to-rights. And the aggregate effect of McClatchy’s paid editorialists AND journalists cheerleading for rail is, well bias. That nuance escapes poor Fitzsimon.)
Why doesn’t Fitzsimon bother to address my point about the abject regressivity and unfairness of rail? Because he can’t. He’s got no case. He claims to care about the poor, but probably doesn’t. Or at least he’s willing first to lobby government to take my resources to help the poor before shelling out his own–and then he wallows in the inconsistency of regressive light rail fetishism. Typical "progressivism". Like much of the leftwing twaddle that passes for policy analysis, Chris is slowly lowering himself to the level of those lesser Koses — one cutesy remark at a time. But cuteness doesn’t a solid argument make. And I won’t hold my breath waiting for the likes of Fitzsimon to engage in any reasoned discourse–like explaining why he wants to tax poor people in Garner to benefit wealthy people in North Raleigh (where, for all I know, Jack Betts lives.)
By the way: Chris Fitzsimon doesn’t have a clue about what my feelings about the working class or the poor. But I do know this: at least my policy prescriptions (and my sense of charity) don’t amount to compulsion masquerading as compassion. NC Policy Watch has cornered the market on that tack.
(Update: I also notice Fitzsimon never links to those he, eh hem, critiques. He’s probably afraid that they’ll see the original context of what he’s attacking and it might actually make sense to his readers.)