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The Return of Everyday Crapitalism - Bus Fares vs reality

It is certainly truth that the poorer you are, in our supposedly technological society, the less flexible life becomes. While the rich spend relatively less in our economy. It is thus the poor that drive it, while receiving less support to be able to survive.

Case in point, and another example of what I amusingly call "everyday capitalism", our local bus service, within the region it operates, offers three tickets for day journeys within certain boundaries. I can go to X with ticket number 1, go to Y with ticket number 2, or I can go to both within the same day with ticket number 3. Each ticket is not so dissimilar that they are easy to tell apart and thus easy to avoid making the mistake I did today by purchasing number 1 and not number 3. As there is no way to rectify this error, for which I accept some responsibility (insert smileyface), I'm stuck.

It's not a big deal, as the journey I was to make later doesn't involve life or death, just the on opportunity I get in the week to socialise. Had this been a hospital appointment, or trip to pay the bills etc (and don't get me started on the increasingly inflexible attitude of banks - I said don't!), things might be very different. Basically if you're poor and you can't make up that shortfall you are fucked.

Is pointing all this out worthy of your time in the blogosphere? Actually I think so; I post this to show you just how difficult life can be in what is alleged, according to the ruling class, a shining example of modern industrial society. We are the 6th richest economy in the world yet we have public transport systems that, according to them, need arcane ticketing structures to turn a profit.

Not only that but have you noticed how tickets get more expensive with age? That is, kids and young adults pay less, adults (as with anything) pay more. We take that for granted; why? Essentially the message is: "you're 'old enough' now, so pay me more!". That is the logic of everyday capitalism.

As for the banks (I told you not to get me started!), I have to pay £6 to Barclays (or rather their collections department) to cover old loans. This pittance is of course a drop in the ocean compared to their daily turnover as a global capitalist financial munitions dealer (that's figurative, don't sue me - I need the £££ for the buses). But again the logic of capitalism takes over: "pay your debts". Another aphorism we take for granted and never question - even when it impoverishes communities and smashes societies. Debt is not a moral principle (the rich certainly aren't troubled by it), it's a weapon.

That said when I make my monthly pilgrimage to the local Barclays cutpurse I find that they make it increasingly difficult to pay this money. I could easily choose not to, but where would that get me. They'd be quicker to point out my indiscretion than to make it easy to pay. I can't use the post office because the PO can't take these kinds of payments, they no longer issue paying in books, I don't live near a branch (hence the PO option), they no longer have counter staff, the machine replacements don't accept these kinds of payments, they no longer have paying in envelopes to pay into those weird deposit boxes. So instead I have to queue up with the only counter staff available who's there to deal with business customers. They are ridiculous.

As is capitalism.

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