Thursday, September 22, 2016

Frugal Bagel and Practical Cranberry Nut Roll's List of Shared Civic Fantasies


Choo choooo

Boston Makes Up Its Mind Not To Support Driving in the City As a Thing Anymore

The City of Boston raises metered parking costs to $10 an hour and uses the proceeds to increase the reach of public transportation, especially in low-income areas. Cars gradually disappear from the roads, as buses, bikers, and pedestrians increase.  

The U.S. institutes Universal Basic Income
UBI is the main part of this, of course--every single citizen would receive a monthly stipend of, say, $2000. Enough to live on, very frugally, if you can't work; enough to make your life comfortable if you work full-time, even at minimum wage. It would replace welfare, food stamps, social security, and every other government program based on proven need or complex calculations, therefore actually saving money in bureaucracy, and reducing that nasty paternalistic flavor that welfare currently has.

The MBTA Adds a North-South Subway Line West of the Red Line
The "Chartreuse Line" connects to the Orange Line at Forest Hills and the Green B Line at Brighton Center. The northern branch includes stops at the Watertown Arsenal Mall, Chestnut Hill, and Boston College. The southern branch continues to Mattapan. Oh, and also, while we're at it, the Orange Line extends past Forest Hills into Roslindale, the Green Line extension into Somerville is completed, and the Red Line continues past Alewife to Belmont Center where it connects with the Commuter Rail. The Blue Line is fine as it is, we guess.

The U.S. Institutes a National Bank
This was basically an add-on dream to UBI, as it would make it easier for the government to provide the payments, but even without that, there are advantages. No bank would be "too big to fail" because everyone would have the option of banking with the government. And since every citizen would be entitled to an account, it would grant people who've gotten on the wrong side of ChexSystems access to checking and savings accounts without having to resort to an expensive shadow economy of money orders and payday loans.

Our Building Gets a Gym
The government building where we work converts its top floor into a gym, which we can join at a substantial discount. The circular hallway that forms a circuit around the floor is converted into a red clay track. The offices and alcoves facing the windows are fitted with treadmills, elliptical machines, and stationary bikes, so you can look outside while you work out. The bathrooms are expanded into shower/changing rooms, and conference rooms are turned into weight rooms. Wooden flooring is laid down in one of the larger bullpens, converting it into a yoga/ballet studio with adjoining meditation spaces. Internal windowless offices are turned into squash courts. The gym holds numerous classes throughout the day at no extra charge to members, including Zumba, P90X, Sports for Absolute Beginners (Lesson 1: How Not To Be Afraid of the Ball), and Biking in Traffic.

Boston Hates Drivers, Part 2
Boston is officially declared a pedestrian city. Cars are banned from the roads, except for emergency vehicles; mass transit (including buses, trolleys, taxis, and Uber); and commercial vehicles such as freight trucks, food trucks, and pizza delivery. We realize that this loophole weirdly incentivizes setting up a small business in order to be able to drive a car; any yahoo who wants to drive around town just has to set up an Etsy and fill their car with sock monkeys. But we think this is kind of interesting, and we want to see where it goes.

Everyone is Issued a Jumpsuit
Instead of choosing their own clothes for work, everyone wears a uniform consisting of a jumpsuit. This is standard for all jobs. There are options you can choose to customize your jumpsuit. This is up to the individual, not the business. There would be four color options, one for each seasonal color palette: black, navy, olive, or sand. There would also be at least three cuts: one each for pear-shaped, apple-shaped, and straight figures. You'd mix and match from limited options to create your perfect jumpsuit, which would have your company's insignia on the shoulder and your name and rank on the chest pocket.

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