Friday, April 26, 2013

Cheap Tickets Anyone?

(Ed. Note: this post has been corrected to change the ticket price from $6 to $5)



“Pssstt…..pssstt….hey, come over heah.”

“I got a deal for youse.”

“Heah’s how its gonna woik; youse gonna love dis.”

“Foist, we print up $50 million and spend it to bring a train to Brunswick….you know, that place up in Maine wit all them nice old people.”

“Then we sell ‘em tickets for $5 to ride dat train from where they lives to see my business associates down in Portland, Boston, and udder places down the line.  When they gets there, we sell ‘em food and moichendise for their real money, until they ain’t got no more left.”

“It’s like takin’ candy from a baby, only easier.”

“Then we send ‘em home wid anudder $5 train ticket, and tell ‘em to send all their friends down to see us wid their moneys, too.”

“Is dis great or what?  You want in on some of the action?”


Do you have your tickets yet?  Earlier this week we saw a sticker pasted on copies of The Ostrich being sold at Hannafords.  They promoted upcoming ‘special days’ when you could take these $5 rides, and all the places you could stop.  I suspect we’ll see them on other papers as well (turns out they are on The Forecaster.) 

We could say it looks like they’re trying to goose up the ridership numbers, but why go to the trouble.  We’re pretty sure they could goose them up with a data entry ‘mistake’ here or there anyway. 

It’s one of the ways in which government works its magic.  See the IRS’ recent overpayment of tax credits for example:

In the last decade the Internal Revenue Service has improperly paid up to $132.6 billion in refunds through the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) aimed at assisting low-income families with children, an IRS Inspector General report found.

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