Debate Forum Left: 4/5/11

Criminal gangs war over buses

by Mark Luedtke

Mark Luedtke

If you read the Dayton Daily News over the last couple of weeks, you might have thought the most important story in the world was whether or not Beavercreek City Council would allow the RTA to run buses to Fairfield Commons. Apparently this is a big deal to Dayton’s powers-that-be, so the Dayton Daily News tried to gin up support for the bus routes. Oddly, the story was almost non-existent in the Greene County papers.
I find the entire affair enlightening. If you just look at the surface of the issue like the Dayton Daily News did, it’s obvious that discrimination against minorities played a major role in the council’s refusal.  One editorial noted, “The council’s demands of RTA would be comical if the situation weren’t so sad.”
Among them:
• Provide ‘state of the art’ surveillance cameras that ‘transmit real-time surveillance pictures to the Beavercreek Police Department’
• ‘Provide heated and air-conditioned shelters’
• Limit use of the stops to small ‘airport shuttle-type’ buses”
The council knew these demands were absurd and could never be met. That was never their intention. These demands were designed to scare Beavercreek residents into believing RTA’s poor, mostly minority riders were criminals, and the council wanted to protect them. It worked. By pretending to protect Beavercreek citizens, council members gained support from the people they manipulated. Like all government actions, this was a charade by council members to increase their power at the expense of the people.
But there are deeper issues here that haven’t been addressed. First, why is Beavercreek City Council involved? Why doesn’t RTA drop riders off at the mall? Did the mall owners refuse to allow that? If so, that should have been the end of it. This matter should be decided by property owners, not government. Second, since RTA is also funded by taxes, why do we allow government to loot us to enrich the ruling class under the guise of helping the poor travel?
This conflict highlights the true nature of government. If thugs demanded money from you at gunpoint so they could run a bus service, you would instantly know a criminal gang was robbing you. Nobody would claim that funding a bus service with stolen money was a legitimate service or good for the community. Everybody would know the goal was to enrich the thugs. If thugs forced you to pay them a fee for protection, you would instinctively know that you were a victim of a protection racket. Nobody would claim being a victim of a protection racket made you safer. Everybody would know the goal was to enrich the thugs. But if the criminal gang occasionally gives us the privilege of choosing between Tony Soprano and Don Corleone to run it, we call it a government and think it works for us. Sycophants left and right claim the bus service and protection racket funded with stolen money benefit society.
But there are differences between ordinary criminals and the criminals who run government. Government is run by arch-criminals who are so successful, they’ve seized control of the law-making process so they can make their crimes legal. They hate competition, so they hunt down less successful criminal gangs. Also, they must provide pseudo-services to give their looting programs the illusion of legitimacy to keep the people from rebelling. These services invariably cost more and are lower quality than equivalent services provided by the private sector.
Most people believe government exists to provide services that benefit the people, so they think government provides poor services because of inefficiency. That belief is mistaken. Like all criminal gangs, government exists to loot the people on behalf of the gang leaders and members – the ruling class, bureaucrats and agents – and it’s ruthlessly effective by design.
This conflict highlights how socialist America has become. The conflict was created by government and can only exist because of government. In a free society, the private owners of the mall and bus line would negotiate a mutually beneficial deal. Both would supply effective security to deal with the rare criminal. Storeowners and workers would profit. Bus customers would profit. Everybody would profit. There’d be no council meetings. No protesters. No headlines. No ruling class looters. Just people improving their lives through a system of voluntary exchange.
Government doesn’t help the poor. By looting us, it destroys wealth, makes us all poorer and traps people in poverty. Government doesn’t protect us from criminals. Government initiates most violence in society, creates most conflicts in society, attacks people with arbitrary laws of aggression, creates black markets, steals from people, traps them in poverty and divides them into winners and losers. It commits most crimes, legalized and not, and promotes criminal activity. The ruling class, bureaucrats and government agents profit from poverty and crime. That’s why, regardless of whom we elect, government creates more of both, not less. Government is the enemy of civilized society and human advancement. And as this conflict illustrates, government promotes and institutionalizes racial discrimination for the benefit of our rulers.

Mark Luedtke is an electrical engineer with a degree from the University of Cincinnati and currently works for a Dayton attorney. He can be reached at MarkLuedtke@daytoncitypaper.com

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