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Privatization: A Demonstrably Bad Idea

October 17, 2014

Two blog posts yesterday described a report released Wednesday by the Center for Media and Democracy titled “Outsourcing America Exposed“. For any readers who are skeptical about the belief that “if we just get rid of government and replace it with the private sector, everything will run a whole lot better”, I suggest reading Thom Hartmann’s “A Red Privatization Horror Story”  posted on his blog. It describes the debacle of deregulated for profit charter schools in FL and PA and demonstrates that:

Ultimately, private corporations are only interested in making money and are only really accountable to their shareholders, not “We the People.” The way they see it, it doesn’t matter if prisoners have to eat rotten meat, if students get a crappy education, or if for-profit hospitals like the ones in Texas don’t have proper staffing. All that matters is making a quick buck, and if that means screwing over the public, then so be it.

The only bone I had to pick with Hartmann was this sentence:

And Republicans will never change their mind about selling the commons off to the highest bidder, because from the Republican point of view, these aren’t scandals or horror stories, they’re success stories.

As I wrote in a comment I left, the Democrat party is just as willing to sell the commons when it comes to public education, and that is a real problem for those of us who believe all children are entitled to the same kind of public education as the most affluent children in this country receive.

Alas, Common Dreams writer Dierdre Fulton also overlooked the outsourcing of public education in her article, focussing on prisons, legal costs, and water in her article, which included this quote:

Some experts estimate that $1 trillion out of the $6 trillion that federal, state, and local governments spend annually are handed over to private contractors, according to the Center.

The lack of coverage about deregulated for profit charter schools doesn’t reflect the report they are highlighting, which cited ALEC’s support for online for-profit charters and their well documented failures in OH, PA, and FL. IF public education becomes privatized, taxpayers should be aware that more of their trillions of dollars will be going to private for-profit contractors and given the choice, those contractors will be more interested in satisfying their shareholders than meeting the needs of the taxpayers… and they can’t be voted out of office.

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