Plan to Increase Bus fare a Heartless Act

We haven’t made the decision if it will go up by a $1.50 or if it will go up by $2, we don’t know now, but certainly all of that has to be accessed to make a decision as to where bus fares will go – Minister of Transport William Duguid

During the debate of the 2019 Appropriations Bill and Estimates- The Standing Finance Committee, Minister Duguid felt sufficiently emboldened to announce that active consideration is being given to a hike in bus fare. The idea that the bus fare maybe increased by $1.50 or $2.00 smacks of a callousness which challenges rational thought.

After ten years of living in a challenging economic environment and the understandable fatigue that has enveloped the citizenry- Duguid’s revelation must be labelled no more than ‘flying the proverbial kite“.   There is no way the government of Barbados can consider raising bus fare in the economic climate of the BERT variety.

It is a nobrainer to the least observant that the segment of population dependent on public transport occupies the lower socio economic rung. For the government to have the ‘bravado’ to broach an increase in bus fare at this time smacks of political-rape.

Have the chickens coming home to roost?

  • The poor financial state of the Transport Board is a fact.
  • That successive governments have used the Transport Board as a political play ground is a fact.
  • That the last government supported the Transport Board to starve UCAL of resources and at the same time outsource work to private contractors for hundreds of thousands dollars is a fact.
  • The last Transport Board leadership under Sandra Forde despite expending hundreds of thousands of dollars to maintain an old fleet was unable to purchase a single new bus, a fact.

The biggest irony is that we have the incumbent government signalling to increase bus fare to $4.00, however, the current financial state of the Transport Board is a result of political patronage practised by BOTH DLP and BLP over the years. There is the oft saying that a people get the government they deserve. This smells like a numbers game by accountants determined to shave numbers to fit into an excel worksheet.

In a related matter the blogmaster took careful note of former Minister of Transport Michael Lashley successful attempt to explore a ‘loophole’ in the law which saw Magistrate Graveney Bannister dismissing a case against a PSV worker he represented.



68 thoughts on “Plan to Increase Bus fare a Heartless Act

  1. David

    There isn’t anything wrong with increasing busfare if it is done in a smart way … you just cannot arbitrarily increasing busfare without offering the public some incentives …

    Now I have stated in a recent post that government must move towards computerized the buses in an effort to offer those incentives to the public…

    And once the government embark on this new idea then it can offer the public:

    1) A two Hour ticket
    2) A day ticket
    3) A monthly ticket
    4) A junior ticket
    5) Seniors ticket at haft price
    6) The Disabled at a reduced fare
    7) Students at a reduced fare

  2. David

    That is college and University students at a reduced fare…we have do to something for the young people who are trying to make it, and Seniors who have given much to the betterment of the country..

    • @Lexicon

      Do you read with understanding? The author’s interest is not about the structure of a price hike in fares, it is about filling a bucket which has holes.

  3. This bus fare ‘ increase ‘ talk has only now gained momentum because this government is scrambling to find money to pay Darwin Dottin as a consultant.

    Send home Dottin and there will be need to increase bus fares !

    Stop the Rottin’

    By sending home Dottin

  4. I have noticed that in Barbados whenever there is talk about a price increase, some Bajans automatically support the increase.

    I am willing to conclude that some PSV operators and those travelling with their own private vehicles would say yes, but the number of positive responders also suggest that some bus commuters are in favor of an increase.

    Though increases are inevitable, I thought it was a law of nature to support an increase in wages and salaries and to strongly resist an increase in rent, food, bus fare etc. i.e. support more money coming into your pocket and resist money going out of your pocket.

    This is not a B thing or a D thing. But it appears that there is a need to support any policy of the their party. Perhaps they are unaware of a need to examine policies by their merit and not just by a party.

    Silly me, I automatically say no anytime I see fingers reaching towards my pocket. I can be convinced otherwise, but you have to make a good argument.

  5. Take what you get when voting for crooks, remove the crooks and remove the 3, 4, 5 $,… The Crime Minister is now using other Ministers to stick it to you ALL Again, by the end of the Year All things will have less value and more cost,, keep learning to trust crooks in office ,,,, can i get an Amen- A-woman and never forget Mia never cared, ZR license were sold off to Ministers who waits on the other side to cannibalize the bus system and the money comes to them not the government ,,,,,Nike having a sale on footwear get some , carpool,

  6. They are many buckets holes to be filled
    How about govt putting policies in place to fill the pockets of many households that govt keep emptying
    Households which in less than a year has see govt policies tear their pockets apart finacially in more ways than one
    Yuh mean to say that after govt has placed tax after tax on the barbadian shoulders
    Govt have the mitigated gall to push the bajan household into economic doldrums one more time
    Heartless indeed very heartless

  7. This govt is hell bent on complying with all International agencies that push bajans backs to the wall while squeezing the financial daylights out of them a read of local media in Todays paper states Tax is dying were Mottley’s words to big business as she reached out to foreign investors
    In the mean time our local economy continues its death rattle wedge between high unemployment and low end wagers

  8. @lawson February 22, 2019 7:54 AM “If you want to help seniors who have given much build some decent sidewalks.”

    Excellent idea. And light the sidewalks ok, with solar lights. We seniors like to go out at night too. But we don’t want to fall because of cracked or non-existent sidewalks, and poor or no lighting.

    Looka, lawson gave up the drinks at 7:48, and by 7:54 he is coming up with an excellent idea. Stay sober and keep the good ideas flowing.

  9. @bajanfreeparty February 22, 2019 8:12 AM “…ZR license were sold off to Ministers who waits on the other side to cannibalize the bus system and the money comes to them not the government…”

    I believe this to be true.

    otherwise how to we account for a Transport Board which has been reduced to 47 working buses, still with tens of millions of subsidies coming from the TAXPAYERS? Still with hundreds of staff. Doing what?

    The Americans have a saying “follow the money? Our American friends are righ in this.

    Tens of millions of of dollars are spent by Bajans on bus fares every year, and tens of millions of OUR tax dollars are given in subsidies?

    And yet the system has become poorer and poorer.

    Where d money gone?

    I would like an answer from the “D’s” especially those “D’s” who have clearly benefited from these tens of millions of dollars.

    I would like an answer from the “B’s” especially those “B’s” who have clearly benefited from these tens of millions of dollars.

    If the money is no longer in the taxpayers/commuters pockets, it has to be in somebody’s pocket.

    The question is:

    Whose pocket? Whose bank accounts? Whose offshore bank accounts?

    The Americans claim that Donville was committing illegalities. Do any of us truly believe that he is/was the only one?

  10. @Mariposa February 22, 2019 8:33 AM “Yuh mean to say that after govt has placed tax after tax on the barbadian shoulders Govt have the mitigated gall to push the bajan household into economic doldrums one more time.”

    When your DLP friends were doing the same, you didn’t have a word to say. As long as your DLP friends were stuffing their offshore bank accounts you were good.

  11. There is a need for a comprehensive approach to transforming public transportation in Barbados. Increased revenue must be central to the strategy based more on increased ridership and less on fares. Increased ridership requires the right type and quantity of buses, reliability, technology, on-board amenities and most importantly a complete overhaul of routes and how we marry transportation and land development.

  12. Mr. Lexicon

    1). How will a “two-hour ticket” system work in Barbados, when some routes have to wait 3 hours or more for a bus?

    2). Day ticket…… see #1

    3). The previous administration was “toying” with the idea of a “monthly ticket system.” I remember see former transport minister John Boyce demonstrating how the system would work. But that idea apparently went into “file 13.”

    4). School children and students of a certain age attending tertiary level institutions are allowed to travel on TB buses without having pay bus fare.

    5). Senior citizens are allowed to travel on TB buses with having to pay bus fare. However, a few years ago, TB was looking at confining seniors’ “free travel” to specific times during the day.

    And remember it’s “HALF” not “HAFT.”

    6). The disabled are allowed to travel on TB buses without paying.

    7). Students at a reduced rate……. see #4. Unless, in both cases, you’re suggesting “abolishing” the “free travel” for these categories of commuters and make them pay a percentage of bus fare.

    BTW, are these YOUR suggestions…….. or is this what normally occurs in the USA?

  13. Artar

    If some routes have to wait three hours then create a Five Hour Ticket …it isn’t quantum physics … It is pure common sense…

  14. Artax

    I could come to Barbados and organized Transit System more efficiently than what have been proposed … because I have better ideas … and a much smarter vision for the country …

  15. Since there are only forty-seven or by the time I finish typing probably forty-six buses on the road the increased bus fare will go into the minibus owners’ pockets. Only the senior citizens wait for the transport board buses these days because one never knows when one is coming. I would suggest that they find some other way to ease the pockets of the minibus owners until the transport board is able to put buses on the road, improve their efficiency and get passengers on board again. Then and only then would the transport board raise more than negligible revenue that could make a difference to their operations.

    The pitiful wage increases that the lower socioeconomic bracket received have already been eaten up by sanitation and sewage charges. If increased VAT or a reduction in the basket of VAT-free goods is being contemplated a bus fare increase would be unbearable.

    I do not see that it is fair to place another burden on those who can least afford it at this time.

    My understanding was that the burden was to be SHARED between the haves and the have nots. But the big hotel owners have already been relieved of any burden that was first imposed on them last year by a reduction in corporation tax (assuming they are corporations). And the other large corporations are laughing all the way to the laughing banks. And professionals (those who don’t ignore the tax man altogether) can now incorporate to join in the laughter and shop overseas to avoid high prices and increased vat.

    Is the burden now to break the backs of the have nots who work for these corporations? Those who must now leave home much earlier to be squashed like sardines in minibuses and return home much later squashed again like sardines in minibuses?

    How much more must these people endure?

    One cannot get blood from a stone!

    Where are the new ideas? Does she not still “got this”?

  16. “If some routes have to wait three hours then create a Five Hour Ticket …it isn’t quantum physics … It is pure common sense…”

    Mr. Lexicon

    Common sense is not common.

    If we leave out the waiting time for a bus, it’s clear you do not know how the how the transport system operates in Barbados, that’s why I did not elaborate on the hour ticket suggestion.

    “Not my suggestions … this what normally occurs here in the US with a computerized Transit System…”

    I’m not at all surprised.

    You seem to have an uncontrollable obsession for using the USA as a benchmark against which ALL situations must be measured.

    “With computerized Transit System … You can use your debit card or credit card to pay your fare ….”

    Mr. Lexicon, you win…….. I surrender!

  17. Just saw your post, Enuff. I agree wholeheartedly. With a better service some people would put down their cars at least on some days. And others would not buy a car at all as I was forced to back in the day because of unreliable service.

  18. “Where are the new ideas? Does she not still “got this”?”

    She only “got this” as long as she got taxpayers money to pay consultants so she can keep telling yall that..

    The White Oaks consultant got a good escape clause in the contract he drafted and that those idiots signed…and not only can they not hold him and his temporary employees paid for by bajan taxpayers.accountable for any cockup….but if there is reason to sue….they can only sue him in England and Wales…that is what the idiots signed up for …among other questionable things…

    But dont worry…ya still gotta keep ya eyes peeled for when they hire a consultant to tell them what to for about Transport Board……cause….they went into office bankrupt of ideas…although i was told that from day 1…i still gave her the benefit of the doubt…if ah was depending on that to survive…i too would be starving.

    As long as they ran out with that White Oaks contract that people spent months telling them to make public….ya done know the shitshow is about to begin.

  19. Better service what? Water rates went up under David Thompson for better service, road tax went up for better roads, telephone rates went up for more reliable service, fuel prices went up for better quality gas. Have we seen any improvement in any of the above? The government must be the only extortionist business where you are able to charge more in advance with the promise of delivering more and then not delivering on the promise.

    I am surprised that the minister did not scare the public into acquiescing to a two dollar increase in fares by first threatening a five dollar benchmark and then reducing it to two dollars in sympathy with the wishes of the people. We would all be singing the praise of the minister for his generosity and understanding.

  20. The public transportation needs of the country cannot be solved with approx 50 buses but th Gov’t is in a no win situation. First it should show some goodwill by at least purchasing a few vehicles to show it is serious about tackling the problem and not just increase fares however any fare increase will not be enough to eliminate or remove the deficit because Gov’t run public transportation is always subsidized the question is how much of a subsidy is Gov’t prepared to absorb.

  21. I understand that bus fares have remained stagnant for years and an increase is necessary to offset all of the increases that have taken place to keep the buses up and running. However, I cannot begin to fathom how a low income person will be able to afford $4.00 for a one way bus fare….if that’s the increase the govt. is going for. That will be a huge dent in their monthly food bill. Govt. need to find another way to extract money to offset bus expenses instead of taking food out of the mouth of people who already suffering.

  22. @ Sargeant at 1:45 PM

    I like your approach. Are we going to have a subsidized public transport system or not?

    If not what is the size of the subsidy?

    How is it that the PSVs are making a profit charging the same fare as the subsidized public transport?

    What are they doing that the TB need to take on board.?

    One thing is sure we cannot guess the new fare. How was the kite $4.00 fare arrived at?

    A revised upward movement in bus fare is long overdue.

  23. @ david.

    Okay lets have 4.00 bus fares. But with 47 buses working and more probably dying slowly everyday how much money/revenue can the TB actually collect. How many routes can it effectively service; how can it effectively reduce the waiting times of its faithful commuters?

    A computerised buses is a walk in the park.. Just install a computer on any bus and it becomes computerised? But please please before you computerised a non-functional bus due to lack of proper restorative and preventative maintenance. Please i beg u fix the RH bus first and secondly work out how to maintain it; thirdly and if necessary install the computer.

    The 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 dollar bus fares will only work if the TB has a bus availability of 80% and above. 47/190 is less than 30%.
    Somehow i cannot see Virgin Atlantic boost of an ontime rate of xx percent with only 30% of there aircraft fleet being available.

    Functioning buses will collect your fares as readership or commuters use your service. If must be a laugh among the consultants that with 190 plus units that 47 are functional. Yes God is a a bajan but he apparently does not work any maintenance miracles for the TB. maybe the God is a bajan services are used to get us the 47 buses in the first place.?

    IMO No increase can be justified without any sustained increase in user delivery or satisfaction across the entire PSV transport.
    sector. The same way the FTC can compel BWA and BL&P to have minimum service level the public and private PSVs should be held to some type of service delivery contract. Peter will pay for Paul, etc but self regulation is a farce with out penalty of loss of income to the entire group.

    I must also be dreaming becuase we dont enforce any shyte bout hay either.

    Just asking/sighing

    • The issue is bigger, there is debt and maintenance expense to service ballooning debt accumulated over the years.

  24. @VC

    Competing against the PSV’s is like going into the ring with one hand tied behind your back. On one hand you have a regulated entity with schedules,employees,overhead etc.and on the other
    a roving band of semi outlaws answering to nobody and flouting the rules (what rules?) daily. They have become the only reliable public transportation service for many

  25. @ Hal Austin February 22, 2019 2:10 PM

    There is tech for this. Property fitted buses can detect passenger movement; embarking or disembarking. They use cameras fitted in the entry/exit points of the buses to determine the load profile of any bus on any route. Tie the passenger entry/exit with GPS or buspole location(pole number if available) etc and we can see how each bus route performs over any entire review period.

    The real question is do these policy makers want actual data to make good decision or do they just like making decisions.

    Just saying

  26. @ hal

    youtube is my proof of existence. we can count persons the any bus carry thereby creating a load profile for any given route over any given review period.

  27. @ David February 22, 2019 2:52 PM

    Barbados likes to see itself as a modern society. Pushing or punching or leaning above its weight.

    If you wish to make such a claim; an effective public transport system must be available. These systems are usually a public and private sector solution. If we cant do it forget about the pushing/pushing/leaning above our weight PR talk.

    Just saying

  28. @ David

    You are starting from the wrong end. You are taking our failed transport system as the starting point. Shift to a new paradigm. Do we need a subsidized Public Transport System? If the answer is yes. We need to cost it .
    We need to assess whether the mixed transport system is socially efficient. The result that you have stated is a result of a failure to decide whether it should be private or public.
    The mixed structure is not socially efficient.
    Currently for the private section to make a profit, road safety regulations are being violated. The dog eat dog culture is stressing our justice and law enforcement agencies. These are hidden costs paid for by the taxpayers. We have to decide whether the PSV should charge an economic fare or not. In which case we will be back to private concessionaires. That is not necessarily a bad thing.

    Alternatively if we must have a single Public Transport Bus system, the size of the subsidy must be determined. That is a political decision paid for by the taxpayers. But the actual fare must be transparently determined..

  29. In this country it is fast becoming the norm to fix symptoms and not the underlying diseases and it is costly.

    • @Vincent

      Until we can ring fence the governance framework for SOEs to protect from political patronage it will continue to be a repeating cycle.

  30. @ David BU at 3 :32 PM

    Where is this new paradigm? Although the present Transport structure is dysfunctional we are simply raising bus fares to solve it.. Give us a break.

  31. @Vincent,

    We have been told (the BERT Monitoring Group) that part of the deal with the IMF is tighter control of statutory bodies by the government. So, the Transport Board will not get greater autonomy, it will come under the direct control of the prime minister, if the Monitoring Group is right.

  32. I cannot understand how govt can pay White Oaks 80 thousand US monthly but can’t buy buses now lets do the maths × 12 for five years at least barbados would afford two buses
    What on earth can White Oaks consultation do to help to create economic growth in barbados

  33. The staffing of the TB is the prime reason the TB is not discontinued. The private operators have been operating for 40+ years, at TB fare rates and making money. Just abandon public transport, and let the cards fall; if there is demand, somebody will grab it, and charge accordingly. If the TB is out of the service, the GoB can force operators to cover routes with lower load factors. The GoB can implement fare rules, just as they do for other services owned by others.
    Interestingly, the labour movement have never grabbed a share of this private market. It is obvious disbanding the TB is one of the easier BIG cost saving measures for the GoB. It isn’t as though they don’t have a well established replacement.

    • @You have to factor that the PSVs cherrypick the profitable routes and the time of day to operate read peak. During the Estimates Debate we were inform the disproportionate number of PSVs on the Coastal route.

  34. If fare increases are vigorously rejected then responsible persons would be forced to make a detailed justification for a fare increase.

    Is the fact that there are so few buses on the road and such a huge staff the main reason the TB is not making any money. Is the number of the buses on the road too low to reach a ‘break even’ point? The TB is saddled with fixed expenses and unproductive bodies.

    A fare hike may be necessary but it should not be accepted as a fait accompli. What if the fare goes up and we have even fewer buses on the road? That’s what happens in wonderland.

    Details! Details! Make a stand. Try to gather details of how things will improve. Fight….. We do not fight for anything. We discuss, throw big words around and in the end we go along.

    Remind me of a story where Winston Churchill is reputed to have said..”Woman, we have established what you are. We are only haggling the price”

  35. Reworking PSV rules and requirements is a whole lot easier than trying to fix the TB. And whereas 90% of such things come with accusations about foreigners, or skin tone, here we have an industry of locals, the majority of whom are black entrepreneurs.
    The conversion from public to private in transport has many former examples, and many of the same considerations appear time and time again.

  36. LOL at Theo, methinks that quote was about hookers and wasn’t WC.
    The story… a wealthy man at a function asked an attractive lady if she would consider spending the night for $100,000. She agreed. Sometime later he saw the lady again and told her due to extensive global travels he had the currency confused, his offer was actually $10,000. Again the lady agreed. Then shortly before the rendezvous hour, the man again saw the lady and told her he couldn’t afford $10,000, would she consider $1,000. Infuriated, the lady replied, ‘who the hell do you think I am’. The man responded who you are has been established, we are merely negotiating price.

  37. David BU at 6:34 PM

    In a privatized and properly regularized transport system no cherry picking should be allowed. The routes would be allocated with the destinations emblazoned on the front and sides of the buses. These routes will include a mixture of rural and urban districts.

  38. @David

    Agree that if public transportation is transitioned outright to the PSV sector the people on the marginal or the rural routes will suffer), after all what incentive is there to service these routes when there are many routes in which the operators can make “short turns” to maximize profits.

    As for the argument that PSV’s make profits on the same fee schedule so why can’t the TB, that argument is only valid if there is a level playing field and that is far from being reality.

  39. @ Sargeant

    The concessionaires will all have long routes including rural and urban areas. Routes to which they are assigned.Failure to abide by contract would incur taking away the concession.
    The PSVs are profitable mainly by overloading their vehicles.They are required to give the owner a fixed income.They get to keep the excess. They take the risks hence the overload of the court system by this sub-sector.

  40. The TB has cost so much money over the years, if the GoB wishes to partially subsidize the fare in lower load areas, that is likely to be far more cost effective, than operating the buses in that area. Everywhere location has a price? I can find less expensive locations away from major centres, yet expect the longer travel route will be the same cost as a shorter one? Like the airlines have learned, it is sometimes more cost effective to run smaller equipment on the low load routes and feed to a point, where other low load routes converge, and transferring those passengers to larger equipment.
    As VC pointed out if the route operators play tricks they can lose the route, and potentially other routes.

  41. Plodding along…

    “Government has reached the targets set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), under the Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) programme, for the October to December 2018 quarter.

    However, in the first quarterly public report released this morning by the BERT Monitoring Committee, co-chair Ed Clarke told reporters the total revenue target of $2.078 billion for April to December fell short by $56 million, or 2.7 per cent.

    Clarke, who shares the chairmanship with General Secretary of the Barbados Workers Union (BWU) Senator Toni Moore, explained that although the Government failed to achieve the prescribed revenues, a $175 million drop in expenditure compensated for that shortfall.”

  42. @ Vincent Codrington February 22, 2019 9:58 PM

    That may be the case of teaching old dog new tricks. But the old behaviour learnt over many decades will be hard or almost impossible to eliminate. and wil the new behaviour has any benefits for the actors involved? hmm

    Barbados does not have a very good or strong foundation when i comes to the enforcement of laws quickly fairly and adequately.
    There will still be political connections either direct or indirect. The Transport Authority will have to be become “apolitical”. An apolitical organisation in Barbados is a relic of the past or a phenomena or an undiscovered cheap energy source.

    If it would happen. The non performance of a PSV operator on a route will not equate to any real sanction on him/her unless he/she is known to be on the other side of the political divide or has not friends or family that know anyone that can or will pull a string

    Just saying/asking ( but looking reality in the face).

  43. @Vincent Codrington February 22, 2019 2:06 PM “How is it that the PSVs are making a profit charging the same fare as the subsidized public transport? What are they doing that the TB need to take on board?”

    A Simple Response: Maybe not as much steel in dey?

  44. @SirFuzzy (Former Sheep) February 22, 2019 2:27 PM “secondly work out how to maintain it”

    Since each motor vehicle comes with a maintenance manual provided from the manufacturer, what is so hard about reading and following the manufacturers instructions?

  45. @SirFuzzy (Former Sheep) February 22, 2019 2:27 PM ” If must be a laugh among the consultants that with 190 plus units that 47 are functional.”

    Which calypsonian wrote “d white people laughin’ at we.”

  46. @Sargeant February 22, 2019 2:29 PM “a roving band of semi outlaws answering to nobody and flouting the rules (what rules?) daily. They have become the only reliable public transportation service for many.”

    You understand that the political class [all parties] and their acolytes are exactly the people who have inflicted the roving bands of semi outlaws on us, don’t you? Try speaking to any one of the outlaws and he will ask you to disembark the RH van and ask you “you know who own dis?”

    The transport system is as bad as it is because the politicial and monied classes like it so. After all they never have to catch a ZR van. They never have to wait 3-5 hours for a Transport Board bus. They can get a tax funded Mercedes every three years.

    So why should they care?

    When it comes to public transport in Barbados these people can teach Satan to sin.

  47. @SirFuzzy (Former Sheep) February 22, 2019 2:36 PM ” There is tech for this.”

    It is not a matter of tech.

    Nobody wants tech.

    If there was good tech then we would know how much money the sector and individual owners are making.

    And then that money should be TAXED.

    Follow the money people.

    Nobody wants to pay the tax on the huge cash incomes being earned.

  48. @David February 22, 2019 6:34 PM “You have to factor that the PSVs cherrypick the profitable routes and the time of day to operate read peak…we were inform the disproportionate number of PSVs on the Coastal route.”

    No David.

    The PSV’s don’t get to cherry pick.

    The oversupply of PSV’s on the coastal routes? ALL of those licences were granted by government…to their friends/family/associates/party faithfuls [all parties]…so that their friends/family/associates/party faithfuls [all parties] can make money. And as it is entirely cash money, guess how much of that money is declared on the income tax forms.

    Follow the cash David. Follow the cash, and you will find the CORRECT answer.

    It is NOT about PSV’s cherry picking routes.

  49. @TheOGazerts February 22, 2019 6:40 PM “Remind me of a story where Winston Churchill is reputed to have said..”Woman, we have established what you are. We are only haggling the price”

    If the passengers are whores, then the political/economic classes are pimps.

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