While driving round trip to Suffolk today, my trusty iPod, set to "shuffle" served up the Kingston Trio cover of the song "M.T.A". Something about that song has always bothered me. At first, I thought it might be the fact that the song's writers (Bess Lomax and Jacqueline Steiner) were leftists. Not your garden variety liberals, but honest-to-goodness "progressives". The original song was actually a campaign ditty for a Boston mayoral candidate, Walter O'Brien, Jr., who ran on the Progressive party ticket. The Kingston Trio, a cautious band politically, changed the name to "George" O'Brien.
As you may recall, the song speaks to a proposed fare increase on the Boston subway from .10 to .15, a 50% increase. Walter O'Brien staked part of his campaign on rolling back that fare increase. One might think, given my adulation for government programs that this is the part that bothered me. But alas, 'tis not the case. In fact, I would fully expect a government subsidized mass transit facility to be so far in hock that it would require a 50% fare increase just to tread [dirty] water in Boston. Can you say Medicare? Medicaid? Public Education? FEMA?
No, it turns out, as I listened to the next to last set of verses that my problem with the song, all these decades, is identified here:
Charlie's wife goes down to the Sculley Square Station every day at quarter past two,
And through the open window she hands Charlie a sandwich as the train comes rumblin' through.
I know Progressive love to distribute food stuffs, but jeez.... give the man a nickel, not a salami and cheese sandwich!
This is why "progressives" never "get it", and the same reasons Obamacare is destined to become the straw that broke some poor camel's back. The solution is simply not that hard. I mean, the song could have been four verses shorter.
I'm just saying....