Thursday, March 26, 2009

Shoes for Industry: Oh, to be a Chicago Parking Meter Repairman.

"Shoes for Industry! Shoes for the Dead! Shoes for Industry!

HI! I'm Joe Beats.

Say, what chance does a deceased returning war veteran have for that good payin' job, more sugar, and that free mule we've all been dreaming of?

Now take off your shoes.

Now you can see how increased spending opportunities, mean harder work for everyone, and more of it, too! So, do yourself a favor, Joe. Join with millions of your friends and neighbors, and, TAKE OFF YOUR SHOES!

"For INDUSTRY!" -- Firesign Theatre, "Don't Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me The Pliers."

Sabotage is a deliberate action aimed at weakening another entity through subversion, obstruction, disruption, and/or destruction. In a workplace setting, sabotage is the concious withdrawal of efficiency generally directed at causing some change in workplace conditions. One who engages in sabotage is a saboteur. . . It is said that powered looms could be damaged by angry or disgruntled workers throwing their wooden shoes or clogs (known in French as sabots, hence the term Sabotage) into the machinery, effectively clogging the machinery. -- Wikipedia.

As anger at inefficient and predatory government grows, we will see more of this. Unfortunately, when you read the story you will see that even the smashing of meters is no skin off the crooked Chicago aldermens' noses who set up the system. I would imagine it won't take long for someone to figure out how to give them the message personally. A cut-off parking meter through the alderman's windshield or front window perhaps? Shoes for industry!


Mar 24, 2009 10:39 pm US/Central

Parking Meter Revolt: Frustration Over High Costs

Reporting: Jay Levine CHICAGO (CBS) ―

They are taking more of your quarters every day. And Chicagoans are in revolt. While some are saying enough by avoiding them, others are taking out their frustrations on the parking meters - literally! CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports with the anger behind the new meter rate increases.

You think eight is enough? How about 12? That's how many quarters buy an hour of parking time in some places now. And its why some people have had enough.

Near Broadway and Addison, meter after meter are broken.

"I called the company and I said I don't want a ticket," one woman said.

LAZ is a Chicago company which collects the money for the New York owner which paid the city $1.2 billion to lease the city's 36,000 meters for 75 years. They've pasted new stickers on them, doubled the rates to as much as a quarter for five minutes in the Loop. That's $3 an hour to $2 an hour in many other neighborhoods. People are angry.

"People come into this neighborhood for entertainment reasons, and you can't anymore because meters are so expensive," said Joe DiSalvo.

And people are frustrated.

"It's jammed," a woman said.

CBS 2 called the company, too; twice to New York, another to Chicago. They didn't call back. We also called the city. They called back but basically said, 'not our meters anymore, not our problem anymore.'

Enter a guy who calls himself 'Mike The Parking Ticket Geek.' He contacted us via Twitter and showed us his website,, which he used to give people advice on how to beat parking tickets. The site has become a lightning rod for peoples' complaints about the new rates and operators.

Mike says the people who are writing to him have a sense of "anger, frustration, rage in some cases."

To the point where some, it appears, are vandalizing the meters. Pictures on Mike's website show meters deliberately smashed, taken apart, spray-painted, or deliberately jammed.

"People suggest taking a quarter, putting some super glue on it, and putting it in the coin slot," Mike said.

That jams the meter and everyone parks for free. Or not at all.

All over the city, we saw stretches of meters empty in places where people had been fighting for spots. Having to put in 12 quarters an hour was either too inconvenient or too expensive.

The credit card meters, promised for the entire city within six months, are still rare. And peoples' patience is wearing thin.

"Some people write me and say, 'this is the last straw, my condo is for sale, sales tax, red light cameras.' It's just too much for some people,'" Mike said.

The meter people have said they hope to get things straightened out by April 10th. Some have suggested a moratorium on tickets until they do. But with the city having given up the proceeds from the meters but still getting the revenue for the tickets, the meter revolt may fall on deaf ears.

"Sabot-cat" of the Industrial Workers of the World.


Anonymous said...

Evidence of another fissure in a crumbling society...

The latest budget plan put forth by the commissar could use a saboteur...



Anonymous said...

Spray can insulating foam sealants that harden within an hour have many uses.

jon said...

it's hard to judge the morality of these acts.

after all, if the meters belong to the city, then they don't really belong to anyone at all. it's just a collectivist abstraction.

until someone comes down from upon their high horse and asserts control and therefore property rights, they belong to whomever "homesteads" them.

it's interesting, because, the meters are supposedly the mechanism through which "the city" asserts property rights over the parking spaces.

stuck in a little guards-the-guards loop, are we? what a pity.

Anonymous said...

Ignoring the government's sale of the parking meter business to a private corporation, which I don't know enough about to comment on...

It seems to me that all this private company is doing is trying to place prices at the appropriate level to balance supply (of spaces) and demand (by drivers). I fear that I fail to see why this counts as sabotage rather than vandalism committed by people who were accustomed to getting something cheap because of gov't subsidy and are now upset to have to pay the full price of the commodity's worth.
Further, I read somewhere else two things that (if true) would further make this self-destructive vandalism rather than actual idealistic sabotage. 1) The city still has to pay for maintenance, meaning taxpayer money; 2) when a meter is out of service, the parking spot does not become "free" but rather an illegal place to park, further constricting supply.

Perhaps I am misunderstanding your meaning in your short blurb on this post... However, even upon reexamination, I see no other interpretation except that you see no problem with street thugs destroying a private business's property for setting prices that place the price for the supply equivalent to the demand that exists. As I said, I know nothing about the deal that was struck between the city and this company (or the city period, for that matter), so maybe that is what you are commenting on, in which case I would love to be enlightened

CorbinKale said...

How can anyone justify renting parking space that is on a street paid for and maintained by taxes? If they sell the "rental rights" to a third party, the arguement that the proceeds go to street maintenance is moot.

closed said...

Private company my ass.

It's a government supported monopoly.

If a local business association owner the local street, and set private rates, that would be different.

What happened was the Chicago Corruption Machine sold a 75 year monopoly to a firm run by its cronies.

Your attempt to paint these tools as "free marketeers" is a lie.

closed said...

Oh, and we'll keep your comment about tax payers paying for the damage when we shoot bullet holes through tax payer purchased JBT uniforms.

Just because the state will use stolen funds to fix damage does not mean we should stop fighting the state when it goes tyrant on us.

Anonymous said...

A perfect application of 4G warfare


Anonymous said...

"people who were accustomed to getting something cheap because of gov't subsidy and are now upset to have to pay the full price of the commodity's worth."
One must assume that such comments are offered in jest. To take the statement at face value would seem to indicate that the writer is one of those raised on the 'statist plantation' who fails to recognize that 'government subsidies' are actually the redistribution of funds taken from the pockets of those who actually labor for their pay, unlike city officials and other elitist bureaucrats.
When citizens are already taxed on all that they earn, and all that they spend and all that they save, and taxed additionally for tags to place on their automobiles, taxed for licenses to drive them, and taxed again on fuel needed to operate them, one must ask why any entity assumes that it has the authority to further tax them, id est, charge them a fee, for parking those vehicles on a public street.
Certainly, a privately owned parking lot is a legitimate enterprise and the owners of such a lot would be free to ask whatever rapacious fees they wished in order to 'sell' their product, a rented space on private property. People could simply ignore their greed and go elsewhere.
But for any entity to feel that it has the right, or authority, to charge usurious fees for people to park on monopolized public streets, paid for and maintained by public funds? Utter nonsense. The only wonder is that the meters have not ALL been removed or destroyed by people who have already been pushed far beyond their civic obligations.
- Nona Omen

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the responses. I had not considered the "monopolized public street" factor of the equation. I was in fact thinking more of the private parking lot business model like Anonymous mentioned. Thanks for pointing out my naiveté.

As for the gov't subsidies: I'm perfectly aware that a subsidy is a taxpayer's money being stolen and redistributed. However, my point was that when the gov't artificially kept the prices low parkers paid only part of the actual value of the space with all taxpayers paying for the rest. Now, these parkers are having to pay the entire price without this gov't subsidy, so the user of the service is paying the price rather than the other taxpayers. The details kbarrett raised do explain to me the corruption involved, and his hypothetical local business association makes significant sense to me.

Lastly, in regards to the nature of the replies. I am new to this aspect of the fight - I was raised on the philosophy of Classical Liberalism and working within the bounds of the system. This seems to have left me ill-prepared for the current situation in some regards, but I am still on the right side. I have begun trying to train myself, but internet and textual sources are not the best for such a remedial case as mine. Perhaps, rather than attacking or belittling someone who makes comments such as my original one, you could explain why they are wrong or the assumptions they fail to recognize... of course, if the poster then persists in being statist/socialists, ridicule and spite are justly deserved.

p.s. Textual communications lose so much of the human intent behind them, that I fear perhaps I am in fact hallucinating the dismissal and ridicule that I read into the responses. If so, I apologize, but would caution against attributing a "lies" or "jest" to someone who has taken the time to read and respond to a post.

deadbolt said...

There's a sayin' down here in Texas..."SAW EM' OFF".

Not that I'd want to give anyone bad ideas or anything ;-)