"THE BIKE CIRCLE" OR KEEP THINKING STUPID AND STUPIDLY GO FORWARD? (A to-think-about-article) Kees Deckers June 2012 Two Dutch newspaper articles of the first week of June  Dutch are obliged, supposedly from a democratic own choice, to accept in principle each paid job, wherever it may be situated in the "own"  country. Do you live in the north of The Netherlands and can you get a paid job in the extreme south, you have to take it. You are left with only  two choices. Or you move, and are stuck with all costs this causes, like buying a more expensive house, paying more rent, being confronted  with a more expensive level of facilities in the new environment and being confronted with higher municipal and regional taxes. Or you start  journeying back and forth on a daily basis. Which is called commuting. In short, for the Holy Paid Job each Dutch human is obliged to put aside  his/her entire range of other activities of life. And if necessary to eradicate these as unimportant.  It has taken many humans sometimes many years to build up for themselves an as safe and as cosy possible living environment, with an own  family, friends, acquaintances, a nice milkman, a kind female neighbour, a rock-solid soccer team, a great billiard or philosophy club, a good  school for the children and nice boyfriends and girlfriends and so on and so on. That all is less important than work. Work goes before all else.  You simply are obliged to create a new, cosy living environment in your new dwelling place, or you simply are obliged to relinquish all your  other activities as much as possible, to have time enough to travel to and fro. Exaggerated?  Even if your paid job is only a one hour drive from your home, it still means, that with a five day workweek, you waste 10 hours of time and  energy with commuting. You don't get this paid as part of your wages. Worse even, as a commuter, you also pay for the costs of this travelling  back and forth. Take with that the further fact, that many humans also are forced unwillingly to commute at times when traffic jams are  unavoidable, then this means: Even more wasted time and energy. And we are talking about the own energy and the own time here. None of it  is paid in wages. Or at most as a small tolerated and noble gesture-amount, like a reimbursement for travel expenses.  It can't be blamed humans, that most of them prefer travelling to and fro in and on their own pieces of motorised sheet-metal over travelling  with the so-called public transport. For in this way most humans are much quicker where they have to be, than by train and bus, the public  transport. And in this way, they also have the possibility to stop somewhere on their way to or from, for instance to do groceries, for which  there is a lot more room in their own piece of motorised sheet-metal than in this so-called public transport.  Ever since the sell out and adjustment of the public transport, from utility company to private company, by the so-called leaders of The  Netherlands, with that the situation in transport like bus and train has deteriorated continously on all fronts. The costs keep rising. The number  of actions one has to perform as a passenger also only keeps growing, because in this way more paid jobs in this so-called public transport can  be deleted. And instead of actual improvements in this form of travelling, lines are brought back to the barest minimum or completely deleted.  And it is still not enough. Because hey, we are in an economic crisis. And private public transport enterprises too have bad weather, right?  Therefore "austerity" measures, or rigorous and hardness measures have to be taken by the government. It's the only way!  More asphalt solves traffic jams  On June 1 the Dutch newspaper "De Telegraaf" shouted on its front page: "More asphalt solves traffic jams". The article comes with half-  baked evidence about "the opening up of important parts of widened road". A proof, that today is accepted as true, and in a few months time  will prove inaccurate again. But a proof that also gives the impression, that there still is not enough asphalt in The Netherlands. And who has to  pay for all this asphalt? And what if the economy recovers? Then even more humans will start to make use of that asphalt in and on their pieces  of motorised sheet-metal. And that is why the current, so-called minister is "not satisfied". Because: "Despite the poor economic climate, it is  expected that the mileage of all road users together will rise only. And especially even more at a revival of the economy." (page 3 of “De  Telegraaf” of 01-06-12). Not even a week after, on June 7, the Dutch newspaper "Algemeen Dagblad" heads with: "Commuter tax costs much more than expected".  "Net incomes may tumble down an extra 1,000 euros or more a year." For many humans this is the net salary of one month. And for what? For  even more asphalt? Because we are in terrible and dire economic circumstances? Who are those "we"? All incomes? Or again only the lowest  and middle incomes? How much will a high income feel of "austerity" measures, or rigorous and hardness measures? Higher incomes receive 10  to 100 times more net money per year in their pockets, than middle and low incomes. Because hey, they are more important humans.  Therefore for them "austerity" may not be more than a slap on the fingers. All things considered it is not they, who have caused the problems.  And only they can solve them, with their expert opinions, right?  It is bizarre already, that humans find it normal to be obligated to waste 10 or more hours a week of their time and energy on travelling back  and forth. Even more bizarre is it, that they even pay for it to be able to get to their paid job; that, in fact, they pay to be able to have and  keep the Holy Paid Job, with at most a small tolerated and noble gesture-reimbursement for travel expenses as compensation. But now they  want to take away even this last. What does this tell us about our so-called great, capitalist economy-experts and government leaders?  The Bike Circle  More than 30 years ago a teacher of sociology at a Social Academy talked about his idea of "The Bike Circle". In that time I was a student  there. Of course, it is an idea from a socialist and communist angle, so for most humans bad and taboo from the start. For the neurolinguists:  Right is right. Left is dangerous. Translated from Dutch: Rechts is recht. Links is link. is Link. The Dutch word “link” means “dangerous” and  “untrustworthy”. But I still put his idea here on the table once again.  "The Bike Circle" is a circle, with a radius of between 10 to 15 kilometres, within which each human should be able to reach and arrange, all  his/her general daily needs and necessities in all areas of life. A radius of 10 to 15 kilometres can be biked.  What are the areas of life of a human? They are the own home and family. Friends and acquaintances. Health Care. Education. Clubs, societies  and other social and cultural work. Police, municipal authorities and the legal system. Faith and religious authorities. But especially also the  own, paid job. Let's assume for a moment that more than half of the so-called Dutch humans were able to find a paid job within a radius of 10 to 15  kilometres from home. How much less asphalt would be needed? How much asphalt could be taken away, for which trees, flowers and plants  could be put into place, or farmland, or...? How much time could be reclaimed with not having to stand still in traffic jams or having to wait on  failing private public transport enterprises? How much money and time could be saved on sport and fitness clubs and running around in the  neighbourhood to get enough exercise, when we daily bike, or even walk, to and from our work anyway? How much less hastiness would be the  consequence of this? How much less stress, irritability and senseless violence in traffic and on the job? How many fewer traffic fatalities would  result? And for what reason would another extra commuter tax be necessary? How much money could be saved by reducing the usage of the  car with more than 50 to even almost a 100%? How much less pollution of the environment would that cause? And why would there still be  needed a CO2 tax (which is coming)? Much less oil is needed; so, much less rapidly depleting energy. For each human extra energy and time,  which is now wasted by sitting in traffic jams, which are paid by himself, and by driving around in and on motorised sheet-metal; energy and  time which can be put to use in other terrains of life then the Holy Paid Job. More time and attention for the own children and other fun.  In this way, I can go on enumerating lots of advantages, for a while yet. But, of course, we humans are inclined to immediately start  enumerating all disadvantages. Especially the disadvantages for our own person. Not being able to race around in and on motorised sheet-metal  as often any longer, which is also a beautiful symbol of power and status; a piece of sheet-metal for boasting and bragging, used to catch the  jealous eye of another human, and the interested gaze of that special one, who otherwise will not look at you! And it's so practical! And, well,  you can't change it (anymore) anyway, can you? We can't go back. Life is simply as it is. And so on. And when you get rich yourself, because of  the way, in which we interact with each other as so-called compatriots with regard to this bizarre commuters behaviour, why then would you  want to change this? Besides, others will stop you. And you can not stop others. And... But what is actually more favourable? "The Bike Circle" or keep thinking stupid and stupidly go forward?