The New York MTA angered a bank by taking down its subway ads. But the bank makes a better point.

Advertisers have gotten a bad rap for ignoring people's best interests, and banks have been among the worst.

They spend huge sums of money on ads touting what are often enough raw deals. So when I heard the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) was taking down hundreds of ads by a bank, I was instinctively excited.

But then I saw the ad:


Image by Amalgamated Bank.

This wasn't a typical advertiser. They weren't luring people into predatory products. They were promoting good.

"#RaiseTheWage" on a banking ad? A bank supporting a policy that doesn't just enrich the rich? I could imagine the rider response being a blend of joy and bewilderment. Of course, I came to learn that the advertiser was no ordinary bank.

Photo by The All-Nite Images/Flickr.

According to its website, Amalgamated Bank is the largest majority union-owned bank in the country, and for nearly 100 years, they've catered to people and institutions "fighting for social and economic justice."

To the bank's dismay, the MTA withdrew the ad buy because they want the transit system to be politics-free.

An MTA spokesperson said their ad buyer "erroneously" approved the six-figure deal for 1,260 ads placed in subway stations and train cars. He explained that the ads were in violation of their viewpoint-neutral policy.

Photo by Metropolitan Transportation Authority/Flickr.

Amalgamated Bank head Keith Mestrich had this to say:

"It's outrageous that the MTA would ban an ad that promotes giving New Yorkers a living wage. The #RaiseTheWage campaign is not about politics, it's about giving the people of New York a fighting chance and Amalgamated Bank is very proud to support and promote this important campaign."

We could grant the MTA benefit of the doubt, but they don't exactly deserve it.

The agency has been called out before for their selective enforcement of the policy.

GIF from "Real Housewives of Orange County."

A judge ruled against the MTA when they tried to remove ads promoting a new comedy documentary called "The Muslims Are Coming," without ever having batted an eye at CNN ads for the Republican presidential debate.

It's sad that in tough times, speaking up for working people can be conflated with politics instead of patriotism.

And it's astonishing that when a business involved in an industry notorious for exploiting people wants to sing a different and more positive tune, a worker- and taxpayer-funded agency, like the MTA, can be so quick to hit the mute button.

If the MTA really wants to be viewpoint-neutral, then they should be clear about the rules and consistent with enforcement. In other words...

GIF from "Breaking Bad."

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I'm staring at my screen watching the President of the United States speak before a stadium full of people in North Carolina. He launches into a lie-laced attack on Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, and the crowd boos. Soon they start chanting, "Send her back! Send her back! Send her back!"

The President does nothing. Says nothing. He just stands there and waits for the crowd to finish their outburst.

WATCH: Trump rally crowd chants 'send her back' after he criticizes Rep. Ilhan Omar www.youtube.com

My mind flashes to another President of the United States speaking to a stadium full of people in North Carolina in 2016. A heckler in the crowd—an old man in uniform holding up a TRUMP sign—starts shouting, disrupting the speech. The crowd boos. Soon they start chanting, "Hillary! Hillary! Hillary!"

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

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What someone wears, regardless of gender, is a personal choice. Sadly, many folks like Maryann White, mother of four sons, think women's attire — particularly women's leggings are a threat to men.

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