Sunday, May 5, 2013

Privatization and why it's a bad idea


We've been brainwashed into thinking our public servants are somehow stealing from us. That somehow they didn't earn the small salaries they receive. Not talking about those who make the decisions. They after all are above the laws they make.
But the lowly office worker and the public grounds keeper is somehow labeled a scrounger sucking of the tit of the government cow. They are labeled the enemy of the tax payer something to be loathed at all costs. What's forgotten is that such services are necessary for a functioning society. The "profit" lies in the fact that what they do benefits us all to one degree or other.

So the concept of profit here is just one of greed. To turn the entire system into a capitalists' wet dream would do little in the long run for society as a whole. We have after all watched as incomes of the top 1% climb to the stratosphere while the average guys wages fell flat. And that's not to mention the benefit take-a- ways of health care and retirement.  So realistically those in the middle and bottom saw their wages fall, eaten up by co-pays and matching dollars in 401k s. That is if they even had those benefits to begin with. No the private sector relies heavily on subsidized tax payer funded health care to enrich it's bottom line. Just ask any front line Walmart worker. If that weren't bad enough we all fund their food stamps as well so where's the low prices coming from really?

Those at the bottom are not going to go away anytime soon and things won't get better until those at the top realize that hey maybe you just might need some folks around to empty the garbage and fix the roads because we know you aren't going to do the job. And forget their scare tactic of "death panels", with the sequester they've already pulled the plug on grandma and snatched the food from her plate before she could object.

No greater evil has been hoisted on the American public than the sequester. It gave cover to the dysfunctional congress as a sort of plausible deniability with no one to blame except the other side. They had a gun but thought no one was stupid enough to actually use it. So it's no meals on wheels for you grandma, the senator just must get to his vacation spot before his reservation at the plush resort expires. Got to work on the tan you know.

As for privatizing everything it doesn't work. Especially when the motivating factor is producing a profit for those who don't necessarily have an interest in the product or service. But on the flip side of the argument, non profits have no real incentive to save money when funds come from the public coffers. They go by a set budget and any savings goes back to the taxpayer so they'll make every effort to spend the last penny of what they've been allocated. That said they are still cheaper in the long run in most cases. Look no farther than health care to see what damage privatizing the system can do. It was once all non profit and affordable but with the rise of HMOs in the 70s the system quickly started to price itself to being unaffordable.  And had wages kept pace for the majority this discussion would not have been necessary.  


BBC said...

Not all public servants are poorly paid, many of them here are in unions and make damn good money and have good benefits.

And some women working in offices here are making thirty bucks an hour.

Randal Graves said...

Dude, I steal pens all the time. That said, the more valuable the service you provide, the less you often make. If a bunch of provosts don't show up for a week, the university runs just fine. If the custodial staff doesn't, the place will look and smell like a dorm room.

BBC said...

I steal pens all the time also, that helps the economy, right?

Roger Owen Green said...

They are all leeches, until you call for for some essential service and no one answers the phone...

The Blog Fodder said...

A great many services in the public good are far more efficient delivered by government than by either for-profit companies or even NGOs. In fact as you pointed out, NGOs are often worse than for-profits.
Saskatchewan's telephone, gas and electricity utilities are all government owned and work better than the for-profits in neighbouring Alberta. and our government owned and mandated auto insurance is far far cheaper, especially for drivers under 25.

BBC said...

I agree with Blog Fodder, basic services are best if provided by a responsible governing body. I grew up with good services provided by such.

BBC said...

My electric service is provided by the PUD but things have changed. The administrators and linemen, everyone in the PUD makes such great wages that my electric bill is now my highest monthly expense.

Demeur said...

Okay then we all agree to privatize pens right?

And who's dorm rooms have you been sniffing around Randal?

Fodder don't let Harpo hear you say that.

BBC said...

I'd like to make my own private electric company. Maybe I could sneak a turbine in that new sewer line.

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