4.03.2007

Issue of the Day :: Privatization of the State

After seeing Naomi Klein talk about this yesterday on Democracy Now!, I read this over lunch. Bush blaming bureaucracy for the failures at Walter Reed is such a red herring. The process of privatizing the health care of our veterans and service people is what has created the hideous conditions.

7 comments:

FS said...

I haven't read up on any excuses given for the conditions at (an admittedly small area of) Walter Reed, but privatization is the only way to guarantee any service.

Bureaucratic red tape and layers of employees who are at the best redundant, and at the worst useless are the hallmarks of government-run entities, Sam.

Can you name one service the government provides where it does a better job than the private sector? And people want to trust them with administering health care? Me thinks that's nuts.

Homer said...

The obsession with privatization is a national security issue- I would rather have things like military healthcare and vaccine factories in the hands of the government than in the hands of private individuals. Of course, Bush's buddies can't make money that way.

thephoenixnyc said...

More than any other admin the Bushie shave given truth to the old adage that

-Republicans believe government doesn't work and when in power they prove it.

Privavtization has been a mantra of their for 6 years and it has been an unmitigated disaster.

Sam said...

Scott, I think the question is not to compare government and private sector jobs, but to consider the jobs government does for us that no business interest takes on, or would ever. Even though many have been dismantled, agencies like the CDC, or FEMA, or the EPA, or even the FDA are in place to protect us, a concern that is often unimportant to business interests. And you should read about what's been happening with the VA system in the past 6 years, it's a disgraceful and draconian mess, that has flowered because the "privatization" renders everything unaccountable (until rats are discovered in everyone's lunch I guess). Attacking each and everyone of these agencies and sabotaging them from within is the national security issue that Homer mentions. We are all much more at risk of succumbing to Ecoli or a hurricane, for example, than to terrorists.

Homer, I couldn't agree more. Though my libertarian-leaning friends may not agree, I certainly think one of the top functions of government ought to be regulation and protection of the common good. Where there is no profit margin you'll find no business interest. And conversely, when the common good and profits are in conflict, common good always seems to lose, doesn't it? Could you imagine what the world of Archeology would be like if only in the hands of business interests?

Phoenix, though "privatization" has been a huge disaster for everyday Americans, I would add that the Republicans have been really successful at implementing a secret agenda, keeping the media quiet about it, and preventing absolutely any and all debate about it. They've been quiet as a mouse doing all this, and have achieved it without much public outcry at all. Everyone is much more concerned with how Sanyana is doing on American Goddamned Idol.

Sam said...

And Phoenix, I love that line about Republicans believing government doesn't work, and then demonstrating it! So true...

Steven said...

Republican surely sells one of talking point well. We will be rich one day since we are living this greatest country called USA. This illusion makes many think that they are to or will belong to this group called "my elite". That is why there is market for privatization all the way. "my elite" of course can well take care of themselves. Just pitifull!

When I grew up, we had universal medical insurance in China. We took for granted. Now most of people are so afraid of getting sick since so many do not any coverage any more. It becomes a huge social issue there. Now Chinese government is planning to reintroduce universal medical coverage. This is the task that only government is able to take on. It is about social justice and human dignity.

Also HongKong and Singapore are good example of very efficient government and can attract best of talents to work for.

Neo-con advocates small government when the programs aim to serve common welfare. And surely do not mind exploding the size when they can benefit those real "my elite".

Sam said...

Amen, Steven. Social justice and human dignity. That's what progressive government services are, a sort of whole-is-greater-than-the-sum-of-the-parts ability for us all to take care of one another. If you believe that taking care of one another is a worthy cause.

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