The False Promise Of Privatization.

Since Ronald Reagan, Republicans have promoted the privatization of government services as the solution to all economic problems. They have long wanted to privatize Social Security and Medicare as a method of killing these so-called entitlements. They would like to privatize the postal service. Under Republican administrations, they have already privatized prisons, much of the military, even intelligence-gathering operations. And, at the state level, they propose to privatize highway rest stops and state parks.

The belief is that corporations are always able to do things better, and for less cost, than the government.

Well, let’s examine the concept. Had Social Security been privatized in 2008, most people would have lost large portions of their investments with the crash of the stock markets. Private contractors for the military have bilked taxpayers out of hundreds of billions of dollars in Afghanistan and Iraq. And the recent escape by three murderers in Arizona occurred due to negligence at a for-profit prison.

Want more?

Then how would you feel about the sale of naming rights for the Grand Canyon or Yosemite? The sponsoring corporation could place its logo at the base of the canyon or the base of the falls. And why stop there? All park attendants could wear logos on their backs. There could be billboards for the corporate sponsors everywhere within the park borders. All highways and roads could become toll roads with a series of corporate logos replacing the white dotted center lines. Interstate rest stops could be turned over to fast food corporations and gas stations with pay toilets. All police squad cars could have corporate logos replacing the shields on the doors. And all 911 calls could be routed to call centers in India or the Philippines where the caller is put on hold for 20 minutes.

And once the corporations realize they have control of the business, prices will go up to pay six-or-seven-figure bonuses to the executives and dividends to shareholders.

The point is, corporations are in business to make money and they’re only responsible to their shareholders while government entities are non-profit and report to you. And, as for the claim that corporations are less bureaucratic than government, anyone who has ever worked for a large corporation or tried to get a claim paid by a large insurance company can tell you that’s simply not true.