Socialism on a bus route

Is it capitalism or socialism when a company owned by another company who then states it will not provide a social necessity unless they are subsidised by the public purse?

It is often said here and elsewhere that capitalism should be allowed to run its course because that is the only way forward. There are those, either they don’t have a social bone in their body – don’t understand that not everyone can afford a car of their own (irony) – cannot drive a car because of a multitude of reasons – don’t understand economics – are indoctrinated – or they simply will not look at the world as it really is.

Greyhound Canada, which is a subsidiary of Dallas, Texas-based Greyhound Lines Inc., which in turn is owned by Cincinnati-based FirstGroup America, has given 30 days’ notice that it will halt service in Manitoba, and the 90 days that are required in Ontario.

As of Dec. 2, it will no longer offer service north of Sault Ste. Marie through to Saskatchewan, a spokeswoman for the bus line said.


When you get to Canada there is one overwhelming feeling – its vastness. Canada is beyond big, it is enormous! So, if you don’t have a car or any other vehicle how to you travel? You could, I suppose, get a horse and cart. But, as we all know, it would take days to travel between A and B.

Buses are something then that people need. Not want – need! And this is where we have a problem with Greyhound cancelling routes – they are doing this because they say that the routes are not profitable. That is capitalism at its bare, nakedness. In capitalism people don’t matter – and this is not a new phenomenon.

Published: September 22, 1985

New York will give Greyhound Lines Inc. $416,000 to continue service on 12 routes linking 100 upstate communities under an agreement intended to avert threatened cancellations, the state said.

State officials acted after the United States Interstate Commerce Commission gave Greyhound permission to drop routes if it was unable to work out a new subsidy arrangement with the state.

Greyhound, which has received a state subsidy on some routes since 1983, had sought permission to discontinue four routes affecting 28 upstate communities.


From this we can see that Greyhound has been receiving State subsidies for at least a quarter of a century. If States can fund bus routes – or at least subsidise them, then that isn’t your naked capitalism, free market thinking – only the free market can do what government can’t – and do it more efficiently and deliver a service with little waste and a profit.

That is borderline socialism – of private companies who cannot do it alone.

With a wild sweep across the board we then come to today’s current favourite – healthcare. If the States can support bus routes for people, why can they then not support a public option in healthcare? Albeit one that is, in fact, a non-profit company with those in that public option paying a premium to the company – so not really subsidised by the State, unlike a free market bus company.

Socialism is rife in the US and Canada, then – it must be with the evidence we are given – but not a socialism for the people to get the services they need – a socialism for corporations to get their hands on public money because their business model has failed.

Americans who are willing to pay their taxes for buses to run but not allow a company to form so that a need can be filled, a dire need, and this argument is shouted from the rooftops, literally.

You are willing to help those monoliths who cannot subsidise themselves but not willing to help the most needy of all your compatriots?

Why do I find something very wrong in that?

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About Bolshy

Blogging in the ether to see if that elusive literary agent or publisher wants some new talent.
This entry was posted in Bias, Blah!, Canada, Civil Liberties, Comment, Conservatives, Democracy, Economy, I shit you not, Modern Liberty, Money, Personal Opinion, Personal philosophy, Politics, Republicans, Socialism, Twattery, United States of America, World. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Socialism on a bus route

  1. museditions says:

    Thoughtful post, Cyn. There was a period in my life that I didn’t own a car, and I did take buses to far-flung places. Usually, the local transportation was good, but sometimes Greyhound would go where no other public transportation did. I can’t imagine what I’d have done if I couldn’t get home from my summer camp, or if I wasn’t able to attend the Highland Games because there was no bus!
    Sorry they’ve cut back in Canada. I read something recently about mail service being cut back in outlying areas, too, because it was just too expensive to deliver the mail by seaplane every day.
    Some balance is in order.

  2. Alasdair says:

    Good argument, well made.

  3. Kelsie says:

    You are willing to help those monoliths who cannot subsidise themselves but not willing to help the most needy of all your compatriots?

    4 words: Nineteenth-century railroad corporations. During the 1850s, the US and state governments gave railroad corporations millions of acres of free public land, and millions more dollars in loans.

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