Friday, March 10, 2006


The Denouement

Well ... not surprisingly the Republicans managed to turn what looked like it might be the straw that broke the camel's back for the President's support into a political victory in which everyone but the Democratic party and the American people have won: thanks to an (un-named) American company buying the rights to operate the port operations owned by the company bought by DPW (follow that? in confusion, there is profit.), the fixers who arranged the deal will get their money (now at possible cost to the US taxpayer who is having to now guarantee the revenue expected from the deal), the Republicans in Congress get to look like they got the President to back down on something and the Democrats, especially Schumer will either look like unprincipled flip-floppers if they back down now or like Bush-hating xenophobes who want to deny funding to our troops if they don't. This is all so convenient you'd think Rove planned it that way ... hmmm .... <>.


So when will our nation start discussing the real issue: this myth that private companies are automatically better than the government at everything? On the radio some people from NOLA were saying that if the federal government couldn't handle the reconstruction, they should let a private company take over -- but that's what they want you to conclude: that gummint always bungles everything so let business take over (for a nice profit for certain people in positions of power). The problem is that the numbers just don't add up -- while the profit motive is an excellent incentive for innovation (of certain sorts -- in many areas the government/academy are much better at innovation than businesses who have a bottom line to worry about) and efficiency, a non-profit organization or government operating at the same level of efficiency as a for-profit enterprise is going to be able to do the job cheaper by the amount of profit the for profit enterprise is going to make -- it is a matter of simple math! Unfortunately, too many Americans are innumerate and think of underwear gnomes as capable of working magic in their unspecified step #2 of their business plan. I am not advocating socialism here, but this idea that privatization is a panacea is ludicrous, and we need to tackle it before those who want to sell this country to the highest bidder run away with our national resources for their own profit.

The US did not get to where it is today by following a program of rampant privatization, free-trade and unfettered "capitalism" -- we got here by a robust system of government regulations, from the time of Jackson through both Roosevelts and to our present day. While some regulations no doubt need reform or modification, history has shown that free-market/free-trade idolatery is bad for our economy. So why are some people trying to push an agenda that they must be completely ignorant not to know is bad for us? Are they that stupid or do they hate America?

Hey... check out my blog... you are mentioned prominently at the very end! Keep up the good work!
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