Actually, This (Ruthless Crackdown on Subway Fare Dodgers And Environmental Scofflaws) Is The Future Liberals Want

February 20, 2019

Inside Edition has angered Twitter intellectuals after running a piece on "fare dodgers" in the New York subway system. The program's news crew ambushed individuals who snuck onto the train platforms without paying, a practice the city's transit authority has identified as an "increasing problem" that reportedly cost $215 million in lost revenue this year.

Here is the offending segment:

The replies are littered with blue checkmarks valiantly "owning" Inside Edition for defiling the sanctity of journalism by "punching down." These are some of the same people, presumably, who spent an entire week investigating and denouncing the facial expressions of a problematic high school student.

Inside Edition might not be worthy of a Pulitzer, and might not be as journalistically ambitious as, say, ambushing an elderly Trump-supporting Facebook user on her front lawn. But the issue of fare dodgers is relevant because the embattled New York subway system, the travails of which are documented on social media by aggrieved journalists, is a dysfunctional mess thanks to the incompetence and mismanagement of the Democratic cartel that dominates the city and state governments.

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been feuding with Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio over how to fund the transit authority's $30 billion proposal to fix the system. City and state budgets are facing multi-billion-dollar revenue shortfalls, and the Metropolitian Transit Authority (MTA) recently approved a budget that projects a $1 billion deficit by 2022. They need all the money they get, which is probably why they've been so aggressive about hunting down and seizing money from citizens who commit minor offenses such as dodging fares or smoking on subway platforms, and why the MTA is considering physical barriers to prevent turnstile hopping.

The impulse to "dunk on" Inside Edition for highlighting the fare dodgers, as opposed to the corrupt politicians and bureaucrats who have run the system into the ground, is understandable I guess. Or better yet, we should highlight the real villains: The rich people (who pay most of the income taxes) who are fleeing the state and its hefty tax burden, rather than remaining dutifully in place. The rich, at least, can afford leave.

Whether they like it or not, this is the future Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her neo-socialist cohorts want. This is the Green New Deal in action. Not only will it necessarily involve a ton of cronyism and payoffs to the likes of Amazon and General Electric, achieving "climate justice" will inevitably lead to ruthless crackdowns on environmental scofflaws, and require our government overlords to punch all the way down to the bottom when it comes to enforcing regulations and raising much-needed revenue.

Or maybe not. Maybe it'll be different. Maybe, if Democrats can get total control of the federal government, they'll find nobler politicians and more competent and compassionate bureaucrats to completely reorganize our energy, transportation, and agricultural sectors, and modernize our existing infrastructure, and so on. No recycling enforcement officers digging through trash in search of actionable illicit refuse. No jackboots ransacking bodegas for selling ground chuck without a meat license.  No federal agents evicting immigrant farmers who won't give up their land to make room for the Topeka-Oklahoma City bullet train. Whatever the case may be. Doesn't sound like the sort of things a benevolent government would ever do.

They'll probably figure out a way to fund the Green Dream that doesn't involve a massive disruption to the everyday lives and finances of normal, less-than-rich Americans, and won't spark a public backlash the way Emmanuel Macron's climate-friendly fuel tax hikes spawned the "yellow vest" movement in France, ultimately forcing the government to back down. Maybe they can do it without the edifying intramural squabbling between "save the trees" environmentalists and "no, cut them down to build solar farms" environmentalists. Just wait until they start talking about nuclear power.

Certainly our politicians are much savvier than the French, and will be able to persuade American voters to spend trillions to reduce our country's 15 percent (and falling) share of global carbon emissions, even though most Americans are unwilling to spend even $10 a month to combat climate change. Even the liberal ones. Washington state can't even pass a carbon tax. High-speed rail can't even get off the ground in California.

Maybe this is why Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin couldn't help but laugh nervously when asked about his support for the Green New Deal.

AOC at least deserves credit for acknowledging the massive undertaking that "dealing with climate change" would require. Durbin's bold idea, on the other hand, is to "ask the Republican leader, what's your position on global warming... [do] you believe human activity is having an impact on our environment?" Durbin knows he's on much safer ground sticking with empty platitudes on climate change. But he's not trying to win a Democratic presidential primary.

The future belongs to AOC, whose likening of climate change to World War II could ultimately serve as pretext for a foreign policy of regime change for "denier" governments around the world.

And that's how neocons will save the planet.