”The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power
to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is Fascism—ownership of Government by an individual,
by a group, or by any other controlling private power.” Franklin D. Roosevelt
‘The myth of private-sector superiority has three
components that feed off and reinforce one another. First, that the
private sector is always dynamic and best; second, that the public
sector is costly and inefficient; and third, the conclusion that
everyone benefits from the continual incremental privatization of the
public sphere. All three elements are false.’ Andrew Simms, British
author and campaigner
Privatization ideology softens people up to accommodate
the rule of markets. It encourages them to welcome financial
capital as a servant of financial capitalists and forget its role
as a servant of democratic peoples and their interests. It reverses the traditional logic of social contract thinking on which America was founded and
on which an international order must be founded as well. Rather than privilege the power of a common will and public goods over
the anarchy of private power, it celebrates private power unencumbered by law, regulation, or government. It insists that
freedom is secured not through cultivating justice and the law but by assuring their absence. It denies vehemently the traditional wisdom behind America’s historical devotion to multilateralism and
international institution building. Thus, it ignores the “the secret of the United States’ long brilliant run as the world’s leading state,” described by G. John Ikenberry as “its ability and
willingness to exercised power within alliances and multinational frameworks, which made its
power and agenda more acceptable to allies and other key states around the world”
Fear's Empire, War, Terrorism, and Democracy: Benjamin R, Barber
‘Privatization means you take a public institution and
give it to an unaccountable tyranny. Public institutions have many side
benefits. They’re not out for profit. They may purposely run at a loss
because of the side benefits. So, for example, if a public steel
industry runs at a loss it’s providing cheap steel to other industries.
Maybe that’s a good thing. Public institutions can have a
counter-cyclic property. So that means that they can maintain
employment in periods of recession, which increases demand, which helps
you to get out of recession. Private companies can’t do that in a
recession. Throw out the work force because that’s the way you make
money.’ Noam Chomsky, speaking in the film The Corporation (2003).
‘People often don’t understand the engine that drives
corruption. Particularly in India, they assume government equals
corruption, private companies equal efficiency. But government
officials are not genetically programmed to be corrupt. Corruption is
linked to power. If it is the corporations that are powerful, then they
will be corrupt.’ Arundhati Roy, Indian author and public intellectual
Remember that 8
men own the same wealth as half the world. and income inequality corrodes democracy.
Republicans think privatization
is good policy. What it actually does is remove functions from public accountability, and
gives them to oligarchs...so it
is anti-democratic. Result: Blackwater, Enron, prison-industrial
complex, privatized vote
counting, worst of all money-driven politics
There is now considerable doubt
about election integrity because
right-wing corporations make the voting machines. Most vote
rigging is computer fraud, but there
is little to prevent it.
Privatizing vote counting
makes elections untrustworthy.
Right wing propaganda (almost all corporate media)
has largely convinced the public that the private sector is more
efficient and more
reliable than the public sector. This ought to be open to much broader
discussion because we know that a single payer healthcare
much less expensive and more effective than our privatized one.
Privatization under the Bush Jr administration
really was a cover for
profiteering for companies like Halliburten, the Carlyle Group, and
The deregulated financial sector devoured the productive
economy and through its excessive speculation caused a major market
crash. Now privatization threatens public schools,
the post office, and
even Social Security. There is
massive funding for these efforts from oligarchs.
Many Republicans would
privatize Social Security, and they are doing their
best to privatize education as well.
It appears the Post Office is going to have to shrink for the
benefit of private companies. When the Constitution was signed, the
Post Office WAS the media...which is why it is
written into the Constitution. Republicans have all but destroyed
Privatized healthcare in the US
is not only the world's most expensive, it does not cover a large
fraction of the people, It is highly bureacratic, and it is not
particularly effective in overall quality. Even so, it is about to
be cut so that Republicans can spend unlimited amounts of money for tax cuts for the wealthy,
war, and not much for our civilization.
American healthcare, for example, is the most expensive in the
world, doesn't work well, and doesn't even cover everyone. Republians reject
even the most minimal reforms.
Republicans are determined to privatize the public schools.
They call it school choice and they will tell you that charter schools
perform better than public schools. Except they don't. When confronted
with the evidence, the Bush administration decided to stop collecting
Compare other privatized sectors: find oligarchy, expensive
services, downsizing, corruption, off-shoring where possible, ...
Although Republicans, particularly, like to believe that
private institutions function better than public ones. Public libraries do
well. Social Security is efficient. Public sector health care
(Medicare) works pretty well, and, in my opinion a single-payer system
would be much more efficient than the insurance bureaucracy controlled,
expensive system for medicine that we have in the U.S.
So I think it is useful to decide where to draw the line between public
Take, for example, software as a product. The first copy requires a
large investment, but after that, the marginal cost of copies is near
zero. Free software (as defined at fsf.org) is steadily improving, and
it has the potential to be a public good. As a matter of public policy,
every citizen should prefer it.
The New York Times (5/27/2015) reports that
Since President Obama took office, the Federal government has poured
more than $29 billion into health information technology.
All that money produced proprietary, closed source, unauditable,
software packages, covered by
non-disclosure agreements, of varying security. Naturally, these
packages don't talk to each other because
there was no standard.
So, most likely, the doctor's office can't share data with the
hospital, and hospitals cannot share data with each other.
Free software (defined at fsf.org)
is licensed to be shared,
open source, auditable, improved, and built upon.
Software, like other information, is extremely expensive to produce for
the first copy, but every new copy afterwards has
close to zero marginal cost.
Think what 29 billion might have done in the public sector.
If the medical community used free software, many of the
demonstrated problems would disappear.
Since armaments are a major
industry in the US, it is also a (government !!!) jobs program.
Notice that when
Republicans decide it is time to balance the budget that programs
to get cut are always those that actually benefit people: like healthcare, social
security, Medicare, or infrastructure...not the military
Privatization requires the profit motive that corrupts many
industries including media, health care, elder care, pharma.
Capitalism knows no limits,
and that is why it will destroy us.
Make no mistake, they have no particular regard for the public, only for their own self-serving profit.
Vast Right Wing Conspiracy
Private vs Public Comparisons
Stand Up To ALEC
Blackwater Jeremy Scahill