Movement is the essence of being alive and having public transportation available to consumers is an essential part of most civilized societies. The public transportation system of a civilized society aids the movement of citizens to and from the areas in which their efforts are aimed. Without these transportation systems, our society would cease to function properly. For this reason, we should nationalize public transportation systems, i.e. buses, trains, subways, and airlines (Yes, the airline industry should also be included in this group.). These transportation systems are privately owned companies receiving large monetary subsidies and grants from local, State, and federal government agencies. Our federal and State governments subsidize these businesses because they are vital to our social system. Bus lines, subway systems, railway systems, and airlines should be owned and operated by the social system. The profits from these services should then be used to enhance and perpetuate their existence. Any leftover profits could be pumped into a general social fund to reduce the amount of taxes paid by our citizenry.
Again, these are not new concepts. Amtrak is one of our nation’s railway companies. It began servicing the public on May 1, 1971, and has been receiving government subsidies for over 40 years, pretty much all of its entire existence. Regarding our nation’s entire railway system, Amtrak alone had been given more than $23 billion dollars in subsidy money as of the early 2000’s. This calculated to over $766 million dollars per year since its inception. It was reported in July of 2001 that Amtrak’s revenue for the year 2000 from passenger trains and other ventures totaled nearly $2.09 billion dollars. Because of operating expense (which include lofty executive salaries) and high debt with interest, it had an operating loss of $944 million dollars. Do the math. Only the nation itself can operate a business on a “break even” principle because its ultimate objective is to provide the populous with the service rather than making a profit. Because a national railway system is vital to commerce, in March of 2001, the Amtrak Reform Council suggested establishing a new government corporation to own and operate a national rail system. Originally, the government ran the railways anyway, as is done in most other countries. The government built rail lines and the business and then turned it over to private interests. The same thing is about to happen again. The government used taxpayer dollars to build the Space Shuttle program. Now, NASA is seriously considering turning over the operation of the four Space Shuttles to a private company. Who truly profits from this exchange?
Most countries operate their own airline systems. The United States airline system is a $135 billion dollar industry, and yet I am sure the American public has no idea of the degree to which this industry is subsidized by our federal government. In addition to the monetary support, a good number of the employees that make the system work are federal employees like air Traffic Controllers, the FAA, etc. Now add to this group the National Guard and a Federal Security Force. As well, airport construction is heavily subsidized, if not completely paid for with our tax dollars.