After Baltimore officials made the wrenching decision to close three fire companies later this summer, the City Council initially sought to avert the cuts with a new money-raising strategy: it passed a resolution this month urging the administration to explore selling ads on the city’s fire trucks.It is far from clear whether corporate logos will be painted on Baltimore’s fire engines any time soon. Officials in Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s administration have expressed doubts about whether the proposal would generate enough money to keep even one fire company open.But in exploring the option, Baltimore is joining dozens of other financially struggling cities, transit systems and school districts around the country that are trying to weather the economic downturn by selling advertisements, naming rights and sponsorships to raise money.
We have so destroyed our urban centers economically that we're literally selling public services as endorsements just to keep fire departments open and people and cities from burning to death, like we're a friggin third world hellhole.
KFC became a pioneer in this kind of unconventional ad placement earlier in the downturn, when it temporarily plastered its logo on manhole covers and fire hydrants in several cities in Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee after paying to fill potholes and replace hydrants.Pizza chains now advertise on some school buses, as a growing number of states consider allowing school districts to sell ads. The Baltimore City Council member who wrote the legislation urging the city to sell ads on fire trucks, William Welch, said he was simply trying to find a way to help the city meet its growing needs in a time of dwindling revenues and support.“As I’ve looked at budgets, they get bigger with less support from the federal and state governments,” Mr. Welch said. “And we can’t tax people out of existence. We’re trying, our mayor’s trying, to bring 10,000 more people back to Baltimore city. And if you have an increasing fee or tax structure, you’re not going to be able to do that. So you have to create alternatives.”
We can't tax people at all, because taxation is now theft and it will get you killed politically. We've become a nation of "screw your neighbor" where 99% of us, we all fight for crumbs from the table while the insanely rich laugh at us and buy more of our political system every day. When you make basic services and infrastructure compete against each other in death matches, you have winners, and you have losers.
The funny part is in this rigged game, we're the losers for even playing. Welcome to the United States of Hell.