Sunday, December 11, 2011

Privatization and Oligarchy | Firedoglake

Privatization and Oligarchy | Firedoglake
Another great way to make money risk-free is to tap into taxpayers through privatization. The idea is that government provides necessary services, paid for by taxes. If you can get the government to bow out, you can put that tax money into your own wallet. For-profit proprietary schools, which let you tap into the flood of student loan money Uncle Sam offers to those trying to better themselves, are a great example, as we learn in the New York Times.
A pithy statement of the situation we face. Financiers and profiteers have their eyes on, and in some cases their hooks already in, everything government does or owns. They want to turn everything into a commodity that they can force us to pay them for. Water, clean air, the mail, parks, streets, schools, pensions, health care--you name it, they want it to be provided by private corporations on a for-profit basis. Government, for them, is just a competitor to be crushed.


Anonymous said...

> They want to turn everything into a commodity
> that they can force us to pay them for. Water, clean air, (a 4 minute excerpt from the 2003 documentary "The Corporation").

Narrator: The prospect that two thirds of the world's population will have no access to fresh drinking water by 2025, has provoked the initial confrontations in a world-wide battle for control over the planet's most basic resource. When Bolivia sought to refinance the public water services of its third largest city, the World Bank required that it be privatised, which is how the Bechtel Corporation of San Francisco gained control over all Cochabamba's water, even that which fell from the sky.

Oscar Olivera: All these laws and contracts also prohibited people from gathering rainwater. So rainwater was also privatised. Unpaid bills gave the company rights to repossess debtors' homes and to auction them off. People had to make choices: from eating less and paying for water and basic services, to not sending their children to school, or not going to the hospital and treating illnesses at home; or, in the case of retired people who have very low incomes, they had to go out and work on the streets. Then, with the slogan: "The Water is Ours, Damn it!" People took to the streets to protest.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who is a regular reader of The Professor's blog will appreciate the first reader comment to the linked story:

gtomkins December 11th, 2011 at 10:42 am
Wake me up when we get to tax farms, privatization of tax collection. It was the final step down the road of crony capitalism for the ancien regime, and our ruling elite doesn’t seem to have learned anything from those spiritual ancestors of theirs who made that mistake.

Somebody better wake gtomkins up, because it's been happening for decades.

George K. Staropoli said...

"Government, for them, is just a competitor to be crushed" raises the question, "Just what feature or function uniquely distinguishes a government from a business?"

Arguments here and there, and in the courts have flirted with this question, but have never really answered it. We have the "public functions test," which falls flat when you consider how a town may incorporate within the statutory framework.

You have HOAs that are quasi or mini governments, and then not. So, put your minds to work and ask yourself,

Just what makes a government a government and not some for-profit or nonprofit business entity?

Idiocracy said...

> They want to turn everything into a commodity
> that they can force us to pay them for. Water, clean air,

"Brawndo, 'the Thirst Mutilator', had come to replace water virtually everywhere. Water, the basic component of all life, had been deemed a threat to Brawndo's profit margin. The solution came during the budget crisis of 2330, when the Brawndo Corporation simply bought the FDA and the FCC, enabling them to say, do, and sell anything they wanted."

Anonymous said...

Time to re-read "The Theory and Practice of Oligcarchical Collectivism"


actual text: