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Old 08-04-2008, 01:03 PM
 
Location: Philly
8,590 posts, read 6,739,876 times
Reputation: 1939
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geeo View Post
The arbitrator has historically NOT sided with PAT, it sided with the union. The arbitrator doesn't even have to take into account PAT's ability to pay. That's the way it works. PAT management has been trying to rein in costs, but their hands are tied with the union contract, and every change they try and make is blocked by the union. Check out this morning's Post-Gazette for the front- page story on PAT absenteeism and see how difficult it is to even discipline a union employee, leet alone fire one.
the article is a good insight into the real problems that the PAT faces. what do do about it? rather than engage in no more money/more money, how about pushing for real change at PAT?
as for riders, sometimes they just like to complain. every time there's a fare hike people complain about the "poor service they get and how it's so expensive, might as well drive." of course, the calculations don't work in their favor. that said, there are service problems with any insulated government agency. frequently it comes down to incompetent(or incapacitated by poilitics) management and unions who hold riders hostage because they know they'll win. Maybe it will take a resolute management team that has the riders and taxpayers on their side. I don't mind bus drivers making good money (it can be a tough job) but the absenteeism issue indicates there may be other issues rather than simple wages.
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Old 08-04-2008, 03:19 PM
 
269 posts, read 683,120 times
Reputation: 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geeo View Post
The arbitrator has historically NOT sided with PAT, it sided with the union. The arbitrator doesn't even have to take into account PAT's ability to pay. That's the way it works. PAT management has been trying to rein in costs, but their hands are tied with the union contract, and every change they try and make is blocked by the union. Check out this morning's Post-Gazette for the front- page story on PAT absenteeism and see how difficult it is to even discipline a union employee, leet alone fire one.
When I said they sided with PAT I meant the union, sorry. I'm with ya 100%.
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Old 08-04-2008, 03:29 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, the Iron City!!!
802 posts, read 1,946,698 times
Reputation: 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by subdivisions View Post
I'm of a fairly libertarian bent myself, and even I see how PAT benefits all of us who live in Pittsburgh.

Even though I may disagree on the extent to which "everyone" may benefit, I DO subscribe to the theory that HAVING Public transport is essential to a city as big as PGH, and everything I've read in this thread only furthers the proof behind my contention that EVERYONE should be responsible for paying their fair share of the tax burden, since everyone apparently benefits from it.... a tax on alcohol, smokes, or other "six taxes" is arbitrary and unfairly penalizes those who tend to earn less and have less to spend... which forces them to spend even less, further hamstringing the local economy and fostering illegal means of altered states, as the natural response to whenever legal means become 'out of reach" for most of its proponents...

A Property Tax would ALSO be unfair, as it would unfairly tax homeowners who, by and large, drive much more than they may use the transit system.

A Consumption Tax would need to be gradiated to reflect the actual percentages of peoples' expendable income as it relates to the tax burden, overall. Sure booze and smokes might be taxed 15 cents or a quarter, but then that Steak Dinner might cost a dollar more... a refrigerator might bring in an extra 20 bucks....

Unfortunately, taxes ARE a necessary evil, even for this Libertarian, but I also believe the part of the communist manifesto that reads "from each, according to their ability to pay"...
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Old 08-04-2008, 03:37 PM
 
Location: Westsylvania
2,405 posts, read 2,799,328 times
Reputation: 1125
Quote:
Originally Posted by By~Tor View Post
Even though I may disagree on the extent to which "everyone" may benefit, I DO subscribe to the theory that HAVING Public transport is essential to a city as big as PGH, and everything I've read in this thread only furthers the proof behind my contention that EVERYONE should be responsible for paying their fair share of the tax burden, since everyone apparently benefits from it.... a tax on alcohol, smokes, or other "six taxes" is arbitrary and unfairly penalizes those who tend to earn less and have less to spend... which forces them to spend even less, further hamstringing the local economy and fostering illegal means of altered states, as the natural response to whenever legal means become 'out of reach" for most of its proponents...

A Property Tax would ALSO be unfair, as it would unfairly tax homeowners who, by and large, drive much more than they may use the transit system.

A Consumption Tax would need to be gradiated to reflect the actual percentages of peoples' expendable income as it relates to the tax burden, overall. Sure booze and smokes might be taxed 15 cents or a quarter, but then that Steak Dinner might cost a dollar more... a refrigerator might bring in an extra 20 bucks....

Unfortunately, taxes ARE a necessary evil, even for this Libertarian, but I also believe the part of the communist manifesto that reads "from each, according to their ability to pay"...

I agree with a lot of this, but instead of calling them "sin" taxes, call them "luxury taxes" or even "vice taxes". Nobody NEEDS alcohol or cigarettes (and I'm a still-trying-to-quit part-time smoker), at least not in order to survive. Alcoholism doesn't count.

I also don't understand how taxes on alcohol are going to drive people to (way more expensive, though mostly better) illegal black-market drugs. I don't think it works that way.
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Old 08-04-2008, 06:13 PM
 
Location: Philly
8,590 posts, read 6,739,876 times
Reputation: 1939
Quote:
Originally Posted by creepsinc View Post
I agree with a lot of this, but instead of calling them "sin" taxes, call them "luxury taxes" or even "vice taxes". Nobody NEEDS alcohol or cigarettes (and I'm a still-trying-to-quit part-time smoker), at least not in order to survive. Alcoholism doesn't count.
people who drink alcohol are generally less stressed. plus it's good for the heart. I see the drink tax less as a vice tax than a way to tap a growing sector of the economy (at least that's what it was in Philly). seems like PAT should serve nightlife better though.

Last edited by pman; 08-04-2008 at 06:27 PM..
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Old 08-04-2008, 08:44 PM
 
Location: Westsylvania
2,405 posts, read 2,799,328 times
Reputation: 1125
Quote:
Originally Posted by pman View Post
people who drink alcohol are generally less stressed. plus it's good for the heart. I see the drink tax less as a vice tax than a way to tap a growing sector of the economy (at least that's what it was in Philly). seems like PAT should serve nightlife better though.
People who smoke pot are generally a LOT less stressed, and it doesn't kill brain cells, unlike alcohol*. Sorry to keep beating a dead horse, but until anything that can be put into the human body to produce the desired effect is legal (and taxed), this can hardly be considered a free country.

Public transit should always be a higher priority than sports facilities.


*I haven't done anything (including drink) in years, but I reserve the right to do so.
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Old 08-05-2008, 02:30 AM
 
20,274 posts, read 17,255,126 times
Reputation: 2801
Quote:
Originally Posted by By~Tor View Post
A Consumption Tax would need to be gradiated to reflect the actual percentages of peoples' expendable income as it relates to the tax burden, overall. Sure booze and smokes might be taxed 15 cents or a quarter, but then that Steak Dinner might cost a dollar more... a refrigerator might bring in an extra 20 bucks....
That sounds like a very complex tax, which means it will be relatively expensive to comply with and administer, which means you will actually have to collect more taxes to end up with the same amount of revenue.
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Old 08-05-2008, 09:29 AM
 
Location: Philly
8,590 posts, read 6,739,876 times
Reputation: 1939
Quote:
Originally Posted by creepsinc View Post
People who smoke pot are generally a LOT less stressed, and it doesn't kill brain cells, unlike alcohol*. Sorry to keep beating a dead horse, but until anything that can be put into the human body to produce the desired effect is legal (and taxed), this can hardly be considered a free country.
It isn't good for your heart like alcohol though. Still, it shoudl be legal. you could tax it to and lower property taxes.
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Old 08-05-2008, 12:20 PM
 
Location: Hell with the lid off, baby!
2,197 posts, read 3,761,111 times
Reputation: 371
There's a new petition going around town, not to abolish the drink tax, but to just simply lower it now, as my idea was a couple posts earlier in this thread I did not sign the first petition, but I did sign this one!
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Old 08-05-2008, 09:45 PM
 
Location: County Mayo Descendant
2,641 posts, read 2,650,661 times
Reputation: 1047
I'll go for the drink tax, why not? it started with heavy taxes on tobacco, now thats not enough, once you open a door you can't shut it, and it will keep happening.

Someone has to pay for the govt's gas.
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