Accept no substitutes, because there are none

Three cheers for Barbara Ehrenreich, who in this delightful meditation on a $25,000 dessert full of vermin parts and rat droppings offers the most powerful reason that private charity can’t replace the state: rich people need services, too!

She’s right, of course: it does little good to suggest to people that their luxuries could instead have provided someone else with necessities.  Point out instead that regulation will keep lead out of expensive toys as well as cheap ones, and that public expenditures pay for roads that carry Mercedes as well as Kias–or, in the case of the Minneapolis bridge collapse, don’t carry them.

As Chicago goes into month 6 or 8 of its transit-funding crisis (the Governor refuses to admit public transit requires public money, and will veto any legislation including a tax increase–and he’s ostensibly a Democrat!), the Nonprofiteer recommends the Ehrenreich approach: cut out the lakefront express buses that serve wealthy people who work downtown, and the commuter trains from the suburbs.  Let’s see how quickly commuters smell a rat. 


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