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Mon Dec 10, 2012, 08:33 AM

Any time you hear the word "privatization", you should be scared

Any time the word "public" is used in a negative way, you should be worried.

You are being played. Privatizing things that are public is 100% a money making scheme. It has nothing to do with making schools better, or making anything better. It is only about some private corporation raiding public land, public money, and making a killing.

Here's how it goes with schools:

1. Make it illegal or very difficult to not put your children in accredited schools. Get public opinion on your side. (Note: My kids are in public schools and I'm a huge supporter, but this is a necessary ingredient in the scheme.)

2. Underfund public schools. Get rid of unions. Pay teachers so little that it isn't an attractive job. Create policies where you can to make public schools as bad as possible. Claim that class size doesn't matter so as many kids as possible will get stuck in one class. Create as many test requirements as possible, and make it difficult for school districts to meet goals.

3. Now that you have made public schools weaker, start putting in a few charter schools. Use public money, take over public land, and your corporation will make a lot of money! Have fewer rules for the charter schools than you have for the public schools so that you can make some comparisons and the charter schools will look better. (At least on paper - some charter schools are pretty horrible.)

4. Use those comparisons to get to your ultimate goal - dismantling public school completely. Take over school buildings wherever you can, and offer vouchers to put toward the schools, but you can make more money if you have costs above that. At this point the only other alternative is public schools, which you've destroyed, and it's difficult to illegal to not put your kids in any school, so you have a pretty captive market. There is tons of money available in the charter schools market! Only people with no choices at all due to economics will keep their kids in public schools. And you can pick and choose which kids you'll take anyway. Don't take kids who cost too much to educate, and keep the extra money!


(edited due to stupid spelling error - not enough coffee yet this morning. edited again later due to two typos.)

153 replies, 8189 views

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Arrow 153 replies Author Time Post
Reply Any time you hear the word "privatization", you should be scared (Original post)
gollygee Dec 2012 OP
ellenfl Dec 2012 #1
SharonAnn Dec 2012 #63
Locrian Dec 2012 #142
alp227 Dec 2012 #132
jody Dec 2012 #2
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #5
jody Dec 2012 #9
Lars39 Dec 2012 #13
jody Dec 2012 #20
Lars39 Dec 2012 #21
jody Dec 2012 #24
Lars39 Dec 2012 #39
Overseas Dec 2012 #150
jody Dec 2012 #151
Overseas Dec 2012 #152
jody Dec 2012 #153
jody Dec 2012 #15
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #35
jody Dec 2012 #68
JDPriestly Dec 2012 #42
jody Dec 2012 #69
Occulus Dec 2012 #57
jody Dec 2012 #71
Occulus Dec 2012 #80
GoneOffShore Dec 2012 #77
Squinch Dec 2012 #127
GoneOffShore Dec 2012 #136
Squinch Dec 2012 #148
AnotherMcIntosh Dec 2012 #11
Baitball Blogger Dec 2012 #41
gollygee Dec 2012 #14
jody Dec 2012 #17
gollygee Dec 2012 #19
jody Dec 2012 #22
gollygee Dec 2012 #23
jody Dec 2012 #26
gollygee Dec 2012 #27
jody Dec 2012 #29
duhneece Dec 2012 #30
jody Dec 2012 #31
duhneece Dec 2012 #32
jody Dec 2012 #62
JDPriestly Dec 2012 #75
jody Dec 2012 #97
Major Nikon Dec 2012 #46
jody Dec 2012 #101
Major Nikon Dec 2012 #115
jody Dec 2012 #119
Major Nikon Dec 2012 #123
jody Dec 2012 #129
JDPriestly Dec 2012 #44
Major Nikon Dec 2012 #55
jody Dec 2012 #67
Major Nikon Dec 2012 #70
jody Dec 2012 #72
Major Nikon Dec 2012 #73
HangOnKids Dec 2012 #82
Major Nikon Dec 2012 #83
HangOnKids Dec 2012 #85
Major Nikon Dec 2012 #86
duhneece Dec 2012 #25
jody Dec 2012 #28
JDPriestly Dec 2012 #34
freshwest Dec 2012 #40
jody Dec 2012 #64
JDPriestly Dec 2012 #74
jody Dec 2012 #87
JDPriestly Dec 2012 #109
jody Dec 2012 #111
Occulus Dec 2012 #50
Dyedinthewoolliberal Dec 2012 #51
GoneOffShore Dec 2012 #59
jody Dec 2012 #66
Dyedinthewoolliberal Dec 2012 #76
jody Dec 2012 #92
Dyedinthewoolliberal Dec 2012 #130
HangOnKids Dec 2012 #84
jody Dec 2012 #90
HangOnKids Dec 2012 #91
jody Dec 2012 #94
HangOnKids Dec 2012 #96
jody Dec 2012 #106
HangOnKids Dec 2012 #107
jody Dec 2012 #110
HangOnKids Dec 2012 #93
newspeak Dec 2012 #146
HangOnKids Dec 2012 #147
devilgrrl Dec 2012 #81
GoneOffShore Dec 2012 #88
HangOnKids Dec 2012 #98
devilgrrl Dec 2012 #99
HangOnKids Dec 2012 #100
geardaddy Dec 2012 #102
forestpath Dec 2012 #112
Egalitarian Thug Dec 2012 #135
jody Dec 2012 #139
Egalitarian Thug Dec 2012 #143
jody Dec 2012 #144
Egalitarian Thug Dec 2012 #145
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #3
RC Dec 2012 #4
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #7
RC Dec 2012 #60
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #61
marmar Dec 2012 #6
jody Dec 2012 #10
Fumesucker Dec 2012 #79
jody Dec 2012 #89
Fumesucker Dec 2012 #103
jody Dec 2012 #108
Fumesucker Dec 2012 #113
jody Dec 2012 #114
Fumesucker Dec 2012 #116
jody Dec 2012 #118
Fumesucker Dec 2012 #120
jody Dec 2012 #122
freshwest Dec 2012 #43
snot Dec 2012 #53
AnotherMcIntosh Dec 2012 #8
ProSense Dec 2012 #12
gollygee Dec 2012 #16
abelenkpe Dec 2012 #18
duhneece Dec 2012 #33
avebury Dec 2012 #36
quinnox Dec 2012 #37
unblock Dec 2012 #38
southernyankeebelle Dec 2012 #45
We People Dec 2012 #117
southernyankeebelle Dec 2012 #121
liberal_at_heart Dec 2012 #47
cyclezealot Dec 2012 #48
Occulus Dec 2012 #95
Bucky Dec 2012 #49
Octafish Dec 2012 #52
nashville_brook Dec 2012 #124
Octafish Dec 2012 #125
gollygee Dec 2012 #126
RoccoR5955 Dec 2012 #54
hunter Dec 2012 #56
Sunlei Dec 2012 #58
leftstreet Dec 2012 #65
GoneOffShore Dec 2012 #78
Starry Messenger Dec 2012 #104
truth2power Dec 2012 #105
Squinch Dec 2012 #128
bvar22 Dec 2012 #131
snot Dec 2012 #133
LWolf Dec 2012 #138
woo me with science Dec 2012 #134
GoneOffShore Dec 2012 #137
davidpdx Dec 2012 #140
gollygee Dec 2012 #141
Raksha Dec 2012 #149

Response to gollygee (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 08:49 AM

1. exactly! eom

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Response to ellenfl (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:42 AM

63. Privatization - or how my sister became a Democrat.

Privatization creates patronage, which is unaccountable to the customer/client.

A turning point for my sister, a former Republican (like me) was when she moved to North Carolina in 2007. I went with her to get her car title changed and to get a new Driver's License.

Because of the Patriot Act changes, one had to provide more information than in previous years.

Those two offices showed the incredible differences between privatized services and public services.

1. In one office, by phone call and then actual visit you couldn't find out all of what you needed to complete the paperwork. They keep telling you you need one more thing. You go home, get it and come back. On the third trip you got your document. During these experiences the people at the counter were overwhelmed with the long lines, equipment that didn't work, and the facility was a disaster (tiles missing from the floor, leaks from the ceiling with buckets under them, etc.). Naturally, the employees weren't very friendly our courteous.

2. In the other office, the facilities were spartan but clean and well maintained. The line managing process was orderly and the lines moved quickly. You could call ahead of time, find out exactly what you needed, and set an appointment to get through the process. The process worked smoothly and all the staff were friendly and very professional.

My sister didn't understand why the two offices were so very different in the same state. I explained to her that Office 1, the car title office, was privatized. The contract had been awarded to someone (probably a political crony) for a defined amount and that person/company was going to wring every $ out of it, for their own profit, that they could. Complaints were irrelevant because the owner had the contract and political connection so nothing would be done.

In Office 2, it was the state DMV, a state run agency which issued Driver's Licenses. They were committed to providing the best service they could within a limited budget. They knew that their performance in providing services to the public determined whether or not the kept their job and whether or not it maintained a state agency. Frankly, the entire experience there was so positive that we left smiling.

Once she understood that private companies providing public services meant that theyw ere unaccountable to the public, and only accountable to their patrons, she realized that this was a bad deal for the public. Their money is being taken through taxes, the services are not provided well, and there's little the public can do about it.

It really helped that the government run DMV was an ideal example of what the benefit is of providing public services through government agencies.

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Response to SharonAnn (Reply #63)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 09:13 AM

142. they're getting sneakier...

What they tend to do is put a few bucks into the privatized 'office' to make it (on the surface) appear more upscale vs the spartan gov office.

People fall for appearance - even though it's usually cheaply done and doesn't last long. But long enough to do it's job in swinging opinion.

Health care buildings are like that. The new hospital has valet parking and a 'check in desk' like a hotel.

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Response to ellenfl (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:23 PM

132. From today's Thom Hartmann radio show: "Is public education going the way of public housing?"



Thom says that soon with all the privatization efforts like vouchers/charters public schools will be so ghettoized that they'll be compared with Section 8 public housing! He also referred to this opinion article by a former Georgia Republican Party chair (published in the Atlanta newspaper)

Be forewarned: the recent referendum on Constitutional Amendment 1 related to state-approved charter schools is being viewed by its authors and key supporters as much more than an endorsement for increasing the number of charter schools and — they have promised us — improving academic achievement. They view it as an endorsement for drastically altering public education as most Americans define it.

To better understand what I mean, think about the terms “public housing,” “public hospital,” and “public school.” For most people, the term “public housing” conjures up images of low cost, government-subsidized housing for people with little or no income who cannot afford to buy or rent their own homes. Similarly, the term “public hospital” is commonly used to refer to publicly funded hospitals that primarily serve those members of society who have little or no income or private health insurance.

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Response to gollygee (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 08:50 AM

2. There have been many studies showing public services can be provided more effectively and

 

efficiently by private sources than public sources.

One obvious set of examples is every federal contract awarded under Circular A-76 given particular emphasis by President Carter and every subsequent president. http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/circulars_a076_a76_incl_tech_correction

4. Policy. The longstanding policy of the federal government has been to rely on the private sector for needed commercial services. To ensure that the American people receive maximum value for their tax dollars, commercial activities should be subject to the forces of competition.

As a voter that's the type of decision I expect my representatives to make and to appoint managers to public positions in which they serve as stewards of public funds.

You paint with a broad brush that is unjustified.

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Response to jody (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 08:55 AM

5. there have been many more studies showing the opposite. and there is the evidence of our own

 

experience, which is that the more private and public are mixed, the more it costs. our healthcare and military contracting systems being exhibit A.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #5)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:01 AM

9. Please cite a study supporting your assertion re "military contracting systems being exhibit A." nt

 

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Response to jody (Reply #9)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:19 AM

13. Are the companies being awarded contracts

Providing healthcare and pensions comparable to military healthcare and pensions to their workers on the low bid with which they won the contract?

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Response to Lars39 (Reply #13)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:28 AM

20. Please clarify your question. nt

 

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Response to jody (Reply #20)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:30 AM

21. Please answer the question.

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Response to Lars39 (Reply #21)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:34 AM

24. LOL have a great day. nt

 

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Response to jody (Reply #24)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 10:02 AM

39. A lack of decent affordable healthcare and pensions

to people in these companies that provide contract services is hardly a laughing matter.

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Response to jody (Reply #9)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 03:46 PM

150. Here's the list of the federal contractors' number of fraud convictions

http://www.contractormisconduct.org/



The Privatization is Better lie is like the Trickle Down lie. We wished it would work. It sure sounded good in the abstract. But it has not turned out that way.

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Response to Overseas (Reply #150)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 04:14 PM

151. Thanks. This thread is about service contracts. There were perhaps a dozen Poor Contract

 

Performance since January 1995 that were with service contracts.

Given the thousands of service contracts, that could be a good record.

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Response to jody (Reply #151)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 08:55 AM

152. The privatization of military services has been a failure in terms of cost and quality.

Halliburton and Kellogg Brown and Root charged us much more and produced much less.

Served moldy food to our troops.

Did electrical wiring that electrocuted our troops.

When military services were done in house, we also got double duty for our tax dollars. The services also gave useful job experience to our troops for when they left the service. They could cook for hundreds and do repair work that would serve as more valuable experience when they left the service.

Military services were much more accountable when done in house.

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Response to Overseas (Reply #152)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 12:34 PM

153. Yes but service contracts on permanent military sites have been successful. nt

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #5)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:22 AM

15. Are you familiar with performance based service contracts used by the federal government? The name

 

has been changed but generally retains the adjectives "performance based".

It has been used successfully thousands of times and misused also.

The concept is based on one of the three items that each federal contract must address; cost, schedule, and performance.

Performance is the most difficult to monitor during a contract and requires the government have precise standards for the product or service to be provided by the contractor.

Those three factors are the basis for "earned value management" that has proven successful for managing contracts for which performance can be tracked.

Obviously there is much more than that but I've followed the idea from its inception in 1978 and observed many successes and several abysmal failures. The latter always associated with the government being unable to define the standards for the product or service to be produced.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #35)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:55 AM

68. Yes intimately familiar. nt

 

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Response to jody (Reply #15)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 10:10 AM

42. The problem with privatization is that you are dealing with corporations.

The purpose and goal of a corporation is to make profits for its shareholders. Cutting corners and providing really good service is not and never has been the goal of corporations.

This is not a question of whether corporations are run by bad people or good people. This is the law. If a corporation is not seeking to maximize profit for its shareholders, it is not doing its job.

Sometimes, in maximizing profit, a company finds "new ways" to do things. It innovates. Very often the innovations consist of cutting corners or cheating -- anything to make that bottom line look good, to coax the stock price up.

The incentives, in other words, in private companies are toward taking, toward profit for themselves and inevitably toward misrepresentations, cheating and even stealing.

On the other hand, government answers to the people. Elections are competitive. Campaigns are the time to show yourself and your own ideas in their best light. There is less secrecy (although all too much) in government than in private industry.

Back when small businesses were the rule (maybe even before the industrial revolution), we did not need such a powerful government.

But now that we have huge, multinational corporations, we need strong government to regulate the private sector.

Privatization makes it hard to draw the line between the private sector and the government. Increasingly, corporations become dependent on the government for their contracts and their work. When corporations are as dependent on government contracts for their profits as many of them are today, we have to ask ourselves whether the government is watching and policing them or whether they have simply supplanted the government.

Talk of performance evaluation is absurd in a world in which the private sector is so dependent on the government for contracts and the government can no longer step back and look objectively at the work of corporations. They are too intertwined.

We have privatized government tasks to the extent that the private sector has taken over a lot of the decision-making and work that the government should be doing -- especially in the area of defense.

Interestingly, the last war we really won was WWII. That was the last decisive victory that was of any importance. (Grenada and the Dominican Republic were police actions, not wars.)

And WWII was also the last war we fought without a lot of private contractors mooching off the taxpayers.

Enough said. Point made.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #42)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:56 AM

69. Please read A-76 and tell me where it is wrong. nt

 

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Response to jody (Reply #15)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:15 AM

57. Education is neither a product nor a service, but is properly termed a social imperative.

Primary education is not, and never should be, a thing to be bought and sold. On that path lies the ruins of empires.

I will not debate this with you, in part or in whole. I will not clarify. I will not elaborate. You are wrong, front to back, in general and in detail.

With that in mind, I find it interesting that you use classical Republican talking points almost exclusively, on this thread and elsewhere, yet piss and moan 'til the cows come home when anyone has the temerity to notice. Just the other day, you were whining about how someone else belled the cat and gave you a sad, yet here you are, using the same Republican talking points we are, to a man, universally familiar with.

Consider the cat belled. Again.

BUSTED.

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Response to Occulus (Reply #57)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 12:05 PM

71. Sorry but in terms of contracts the accepted terms are either product or service. nt

 

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Response to jody (Reply #71)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 01:37 PM

80. Ring! Ring! Ring!

There's that bell again.

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Response to Occulus (Reply #57)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 01:10 PM

77. I've noticed that this particular cat doesn't like being belled.

And will not answer questions that are relevant to the discussion, but rather moves the goal posts every time.

Considering the number of posts and the length of time here, I'm astonished that the bullshit continues to be posted.

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Response to GoneOffShore (Reply #77)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 06:36 PM

127. Yes but can you cite studies that prove the cat doesn't like to be belled? And if you can, then

I'll tell you it wasn't a cat in the first place.


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Response to Squinch (Reply #127)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 08:47 AM

136. Excellent! But

if it walks like a cat, yowls like a cat, and smells like a cat, but declares that it's not a cat, what is it?

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Response to GoneOffShore (Reply #136)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 06:50 PM

148. It's TROLL CAT!!!

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Response to jody (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:07 AM

11. Carter was a neo-liberal. This was widely known. His failed policies led to the election of Reagan.

 

Reagan, however, did not reject all of his policies.

It was Carter, not Reagan, that began de-regulation. The Reagan Administration just expanded upon them.

To the extent that Carter relied upon privatization, (1) he was wrong and (2) his privatization efforts were much more limited than those who followed him.

When Carter's economic policies were known from his first term, and those policies put this country in a recession while at the same time creating run-away inflation, he could not get sufficient votes from Democrats to be re-elected for a second term. The fact that he appears to be a genuinely good person, and more honest than Nixon and Ford, does not mean that his policies were good ones.

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #11)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 10:09 AM

41. That neo-Liberalism has caught on with Republicans.

That's because their private groups can take over local government and do just about anything they want. What began with the idea of urban revitalization has spread to every form of construction within the city limits (and sometimes extends to property that hasn't even been annexed in, yet.) Our local governments have become brokers for construction!

And neo-Liberal, pro real-estate Democrats are right there helping them along because they don't know when to say stop. At least, that's what happened in Florida.

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Response to jody (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:20 AM

14. Charter schools don't have to provide busing or special ed

In fact they can in some cases make public schools provide their busing.

They don't have the same requriements, many of which cost money, and some of which cost a LOT of money. You can't compare efficiency in an apples to apples way.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #14)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:26 AM

17. I've read several state's laws for charter schools. IMO it's up to the state to declare what a

 

charter school must provide. I'm sure someone will correct me if that's not true.

In any case, charter schools are just one instance of privatization whereas the OP made a blanket condemnation of privatizing or contracting out.

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Response to jody (Reply #17)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:28 AM

19. There is a pattern of privatization

Much of which is not in our best interest, but all of which is in the best interest of corporations.

I recommend you read The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein. Privatization of some things makes sense, but the push is for everything to be privatized, and the reason is corporation greed, not public benefit.

And I will add that everything that should be privatized probably was a long time ago. IMO any case where people are still talking about privatizing something, it's probably not in the best interest of the people of the US.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #19)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:31 AM

22. Then you oppose the Presidents policies to contract out services under Circular A-76.

 

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Response to jody (Reply #22)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:33 AM

23. I am opposed to any neo-liberal privatization schemes. nt

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Response to gollygee (Reply #23)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:35 AM

26. Are you unable to say you oppose Obama's policies under A-76? A simple yes or no is easy. nt

 

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Response to jody (Reply #26)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:37 AM

27. I haven't read that and I have no intention to

I know you don't like unions and love privatization, and I don't feel any need to give you that much of my time. I had to take you off ignore to read your comments - I wouldn't have known you'd posted here except at one point it said I had there were three replies when I only saw two.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #27)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:42 AM

29. You don't know what I like or dislike. I do dislike ignorance and like facts. nt

 

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Response to jody (Reply #22)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:43 AM

30. It's my understanding that defense contractors are exempted

So the biggest 'takers' don't have to follow those rules.

Do private prison companies adhere to those? I don't think so.

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Response to duhneece (Reply #30)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:45 AM

31. "defense contractors are exempted" from what? Please explain. nt

 

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Response to jody (Reply #31)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:49 AM

32. Defense contractors have no-bid, cost-plus contracts to supply meals, security, other

services deemed necessary to our wars and they have little oversight, few regulations, many opportunities to buy overpriced materials (6-packs of sodas to Humvees) and reap obscene profits.

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Response to duhneece (Reply #32)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:41 AM

62. Agree but contracts for services at permanent bases do not have those problems. nt

 

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Response to jody (Reply #62)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 12:32 PM

75. I used to write grants including grants for public money.

It was pretty obvious that some of the grant requests were proposal were written specifically for certain contractors. It was obvious that a lot of political maneuvering had gone into wrangling a good request for proposal from some agency. The process is hideously corrupt in many instances. Sorry, but I've seen too much of it to fall for some paid-for-by-the-hour-if-not-by-the-page report full of wishful thinking.

Privatization is a very sick, deceptive panacea. It seeks to cure a problem that never existed. We never had too much government. Our government was far more efficient when it was run by competent civil servants under the close supervision of elected government officials.

Privatization is weakening and ruining our country.

It is yet another attempt by greedy individuals to form an aristocracy.

This is precisely what Madison and Jefferson opposed.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #75)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 02:11 PM

97. You and several million other people can claim they wrote grants. You do know that grants have

 

little to do with contracts for services, except possibly that they are both on paper.

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Response to jody (Reply #31)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 10:28 AM

46. Quite a few changes resulted from the A-76 fuckup at Walter Reed

A-76 is not the panacea you might think it is. It's a process that is more about politics than competition. Government employees initially won the A-76 competition at Walter Reed, but the rules were changed so the contractor could win. The results speak for themselves.

Public debate over A-76 policy ignited in February 2007 as a result of a series of articles in the
Washington Post on the conditions at the former Walter Reed Army Medical Center in
Washington, DC. The articles led to several investigations, resignations of some senior Army
officials, congressional hearings, and legislation passed by Congress to prohibit the conduct of A-
76 competitions at military medical facilities. Congress passed legislation in Public Law (P.L.)
110-181, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year (FY) 2008 to suspend DOD
public-private competitions under OMB Circular A-76. Congress also passed legislation in P.L.
111-8, the Omnibus Appropriations Act for FY2009, to halt the beginning of any new A-76
competitions throughout the rest of the federal government. The government-wide moratorium
has continued to the present.

http://www.ieeeusa.org/policy/eyeonwashington/2012/documents/OMBCirculara76.pdf

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #46)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 02:27 PM

101. I never said A-76 is a panacea. I pointed out it's a president's policy for "privatization" that the

 

OP opposes.

The OP lumps all government contracting for services together and then talks only about schools.

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Response to jody (Reply #101)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 04:33 PM

115. I appears as if you are suggesting that anyone who opposes A-76, opposes Obama

Even though the policy has been changed little since Eisenhower and has been suspended for almost Obama's entire term in office with past A-76 competitions under review.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #115)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 05:14 PM

119. I believe Obama wants to revise A-76 has have previous presidents. He's also being pressured by the

 

American Federation of Government Employees and other union groups.

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Response to jody (Reply #119)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 06:02 PM

123. Not just Obama, and that is exactly what is happening right now

A-76 has been suspended because the Washington Post revealed what a farce it had become. A-76 was suspended in 2008 for DOD and in 2009 for everything else. It's so bad the Republicans are even on board with changing it.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #123)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 07:14 PM

129. From my experience the problem is not the policies in A-76 nor the FAR & DAR. It's the people who

 

are supposed to comply with them.

They ignore them or get requirements waived that almost invariably lead to mismanagement of projects and programs.

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Response to jody (Reply #22)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 10:17 AM

44. Yes. I oppose many things that the Obama administration does.

At the same time, I strongly preferred Obama and the Democrats to Romney and the Republicans.

Obama is wrong to continue to privatize. Privatization is incompatible with democracy.

Privatization is quite compatible with the socialist aspects of fascism and communism.

Ironically, the merging of government and private companies is destroying free enterprise in our country. Privatization gives business an incentive to gobble up smaller companies that have lucrative government contracts.

Privatization also encourages companies to pay their workers less and reward the executives who politic to get the contracts more.

Privatization is really hurting our economy and our country in so many ways that it isn't funny.

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Response to jody (Reply #22)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:09 AM

55. While it may be true the OMB circulars are technically presidents' policies...

The A-76 process works something like this. One of a number of huge parasitic government contracting corporations wants a particular share of the government pie, so the first thing they do is draw up a proposal and give it to their friendly neighborhood congress critter, which almost inevitably is a Republican. This congress critter generates the support needed to get the A-76 process started. The affected government employees are now deemed a criminal of sorts. They must defend themselves against a politically motivated indictment, for which they will receive a public defender so the process will look more or less fair when they go up against multi-billion dollar parasitic government contracting corporations. In the unlikely event they manage to win the competition, the process comes under appeal and the rules are changed until such a time when parasitic government contractor wins.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #55)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:54 AM

67. Sorry but you are wrong. There are thousands of service contracts that function very effectively and

 

efficiently.

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Response to jody (Reply #67)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 12:03 PM

70. That has nothing to do with what I posted

So I'm not sure what you're claiming I'm wrong about.

There's a helluva lot of governmental functions performed by government employees that operate very effectively and efficiently also.

The only question is whether the A-76 process is prone to massive corruption and malfeasance. Even the Republican held House agreed that it was which is why the entire process is under review.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #70)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 12:07 PM

72. Your following statement is wrong.

 

The A-76 process works something like this. One of a number of huge parasitic government contracting corporations wants a particular share of the government pie, so the first thing they do is draw up a proposal and give it to their friendly neighborhood congress critter, which almost inevitably is a Republican. This congress critter generates the support needed to get the A-76 process started. The affected government employees are now deemed a criminal of sorts. They must defend themselves against a politically motivated indictment, for which they will receive a public defender so the process will look more or less fair when they go up against multi-billion dollar parasitic government contracting corporations. In the unlikely event they manage to win the competition, the process comes under appeal and the rules are changed until such a time when parasitic government contractor wins.

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Response to jody (Reply #72)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 12:13 PM

73. Just because you don't agree, doesn't mean I'm wrong

Just sayin'

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #73)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 01:39 PM

82. The Poster In Question Thinks Anyone Who Disagrees Is Wrong

 

Check out their posts. It is pretty clear. They are RIGHT! Always and forever!

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Response to HangOnKids (Reply #82)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 01:41 PM

83. A case of investing too heavily in one's own bullshit?

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #83)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 01:42 PM

85. Well you do have a POINT! n/t

 

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Response to HangOnKids (Reply #85)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 01:45 PM

86. I wasn't the first to come up with the concept, unfortunately

Egocentrism is characterized by preoccupation with one's own internal world. Egocentrics regard themselves and their own opinions or interests as being the most important or valid. Self-relevant information is seen to be more important in shaping one’s judgments than do thoughts about others and other-relevant information (Windschitl, Rose, Stalkfleet & Smith, 2008). Egocentric people are unable to fully understand or to cope with other people's opinions and the fact that reality can be different from what they are ready to accept.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egocentrism

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Response to jody (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:35 AM

25. With few exceptions, necessary public services should not be privatized

Support for the military (think Haliburton, Xe), private prisons, education, utilities like water, fire depts, should never be privatized. It IS an attempt to use the middle class American taxpayer base as an ATM for the overr-paid execs & shareholders of those companies.

Consumer goods & services work best as private entities, regulated to protect labor, consumers & the environment.

Many services (& goods) could be argued to be necessities on that razor's edge.

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Response to duhneece (Reply #25)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:38 AM

28. Then you oppose presidents' policies under A-76? See other posts in this thread for the circular. nt

 

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Response to jody (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:56 AM

34. Fact is, after decades of privatization favored more by Republicans than Democrats,

Republicans warn us that we face a fiscal cliff.

Republicans cannot have it both ways.

If privatization is saving us money, we are not facing a fiscal cliff.

If privatization is costing us a lot of money, then maybe we are facing a fiscal cliff.

We did not face a fiscal cliff when we hired civil servants and government employees to do the work we now privatize.

That is historical evidence that privatization is a failure. It is costing us taxpayers more than letting our government do its work would.

People complain that government makes such a mess of things. They never mention the Exxon Valdez, the many mining accidents, the BP spill, many pipeline spills, train derailings, gas company explosions, lawsuits over products that kill, pharmaceuticals that aren't properly tested, cigarettes that cause all kinds of illnesses -- and how the cigarette companies hid their research on their own products. The list goes on and on -- insurance companies that don't pay for needed medical care. The list of messes, catastrophes and deaths caused by private companies is extraordinarily long.

Meanwhile, on very limited budgets, our police, fire departments, schools, highway departments and many, many other government agencies are there, serving us, making few errors, cleaning up after us and after the big corporations.

The Coast Guard proved itself after the BP spill. Again and again, big corporations make a mess, and leave it for government to clean up. Climate change is one of those big messes.

We need a balance between the private sector and the government. Each has its role to play. Privatization of government work such as oversight of the private sector is a horrible idea.

Government can do a much better job of delivering relief aid in emergencies if given a chance. The more we privatize, the more we pay.

Sorry, I disagree with you completely, jody. People who watch too much Fox News tend to lose the ability to look at reality and think critically.

Lauding privatization has become the mantra of the right. In that respect, the right is very, very wrong.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #34)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 10:03 AM

40. +1,000 to what you said!

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #34)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:47 AM

64. You need to study the issue more thoroughly before you reject contracting out. The issue is much to

 

complex to cover in an internet discussion.

You could begin by visiting the Defense Acquisition University.

I doubt anyone who posts to this thread will do that but, some will continue to make unsupported assertions based on ignorance.

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Response to jody (Reply #64)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 12:22 PM

74. I'm 69 and I read a lot of history.

The privatizers are subverting our democracy.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #74)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 01:45 PM

87. I've also read lots of history. Does the Democratic Party Platform oppose "privatizers" if they as a

 

group "are subverting our democracy"?

If the threat is as serious as you seem to suggest, surly our Party would make opposition to privatizers an issue.

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Response to jody (Reply #87)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 03:33 PM

109. Not if we have the very corporations that profit from these contracts are running our

party and politicians. Not if we have apologists for government subversion by powerful corporations and the wealthy elite posting on DU to defend them.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #109)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 03:35 PM

111. Who is defending corporations? Not I! nt

 

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Response to jody (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:01 AM

50. Republican.

That's what those talking points are.

Entirely.

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Response to jody (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:03 AM

51. and which public services

are currently being provided more effectively and efficiently by private sources?

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Response to Dyedinthewoolliberal (Reply #51)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:26 AM

59. You're not going to get an answer if the earlier part of this discussion is any indicator.

"Private sector always good! Must make PROFIT! FROM EVERYTHING! Unions BAD, BAD, BAD!! Government ALWAYS inefficient!"

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Response to Dyedinthewoolliberal (Reply #51)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:51 AM

66. Go to any military base and the odds are its morale, recreation, and welfare units are operated by

 

contractors.

Its mess halls may be operated by contractors, as would some security, transportation, etc.

If two or more military services have units in the same area, some support functions are provided jointly by contractors.

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Response to jody (Reply #66)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 12:41 PM

76. But that fact, in and of itself,

doesn't prove efficiency or effectiveness. Why do we think having civilian cooks is cheaper for the government? No one would wnat to bid on the job unless they could make a profit and since military wages are low the overall cost HAS to be higher with civilians doesn't it?

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Response to Dyedinthewoolliberal (Reply #76)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 01:59 PM

92. Federal contracts for services are supposed to meet acquisition regulations that focus on

 

effectiveness and efficiency.

That does not guarantee the results from a contractor are in fact effective and efficient anymore than the results from organic resources are in fact effective and efficient.

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Response to jody (Reply #92)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 07:54 PM

130. if by organic you mean, in this case,

the military performing those duties, then I'd argue the organic resources don't have to be. They are already on the payroll so to speak. Paying a civilian to cook the eggs is silly when I can havea GI do that and not have to pay him overtime etc.......

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Response to jody (Reply #66)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 01:41 PM

84. You Have Been To Military Bases jody?

 

Are you military? Or a contractor?

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Response to HangOnKids (Reply #84)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 01:52 PM

90. I've been to military bases. Have you? nt

 

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Response to jody (Reply #90)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 01:57 PM

91. My Late Father Was A Flag Officer In The US Navy I Grew Up On Base

 

My hubby an F-14 pilot. Next?

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Response to HangOnKids (Reply #91)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 02:04 PM

94. OK but neither your experience nor mine has anything to do with the issue under discussion. Why did

 

you ask "You Have Been To Military Bases jody? Are you military? Or a contractor?"

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Response to jody (Reply #94)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 02:09 PM

96. Oh It matters a great deal. Are you Military? Or Contractor?

 

Just answer the question.

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Response to HangOnKids (Reply #91)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 03:20 PM

106. How does a Navy father and F-14 pilot give you even the most rudimentary knowledge of the FAR & DAR?

 

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Response to jody (Reply #106)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 03:28 PM

107. You Have NO Idea What I Do For A Living

 

Do I need to print my resume out here for your approval? Except I would never do that because you sound like a ______. Fill in the blank jody, now welcome to ignore. I have had enough of jr high for one day.

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Response to HangOnKids (Reply #107)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 03:34 PM

110. You really have gotten in over your head haven't you because you don't know about FAR & DAR. nt

 

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Response to jody (Reply #90)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 02:00 PM

93. Are you Civilian or Military jody?

 

dodge ball is not my game.

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Response to HangOnKids (Reply #93)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 10:08 AM

146. my dad was a civil servant and disabled vet

i've been on military bases plenty of times. before they privatized security, the MPs, APs were very courteous. it was "ma'am", "sir". a couple of years ago went on base with privatized security, daughter & SIL in military, the personnel treated the soldiers rudely. instead of respect, it was like disrespectful bully boys.

and how about corruption, when a private enterprise like a prison is wheeling and dealing with the judge, to get more bodies in their for profit jails? and how about the complaints of the citizens going unheeded? oh, congress might hold a hearing when things get too bad, like informing workers after they get on a plane they're going to be working in iraq and not letting them off? or spending our money on shitty constructed buildings in iraq that can't even be used? but, hey the contractors made a killing on those contracts, right? and we paid for it. or maybe electrocuting our soldiers with their shoddy work. but, after all that's spent and those hearings in congress, someone made a profit.

the more we privatize, the more these behemoth corporations have power over us. they have less accountability to us, we the people. there are some services that should never be privatized, where profit is not the motive.

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Response to newspeak (Reply #146)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 01:52 PM

147. Indeed!

 

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Response to jody (Reply #2)


Response to devilgrrl (Reply #81)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 01:50 PM

88. Well said - And do you need more butter for that?

is also good.

The regurgitation of Republican talking points is not.

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Response to devilgrrl (Reply #81)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 02:15 PM

98. Still Waiting On jody To Explain His Expertise On Military Functioning

 

Is he current or former military or a contractor or neither. He is evading the issue. Hmmm.

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Response to HangOnKids (Reply #98)


Response to devilgrrl (Reply #99)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 02:20 PM

100. Thank You

 

It is kind of obvious. Disturbing that he is allowed to post this nonsense.

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Response to devilgrrl (Reply #81)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 02:31 PM

102. Scoot over.

And pass the popcorn.

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Response to jody (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 03:36 PM

112. K&R

 

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Response to jody (Reply #2)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 02:35 AM

135. No, there aren't. What there is, is an often repeated lie that pubic services are provided more

 

effectively and efficiently by by private sources.

Your link simply goes to the directive and proves nothing whatsoever.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #135)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 08:53 AM

139. I did not say the presidential policy at the link proved anything. I said "One obvious set of

 

examples is every federal contract awarded under Circular A-76".

I don't know if there is an internet site with a list of all or even many of those federal contracts but they exist by the thousands.

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Response to jody (Reply #139)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 09:22 AM

143. The proposition that private is better than public is still a lie. And you are the one that is

 

trying to propagate it, once again. The fact that thousands of private contractors are robbing the public Treasury is not evidence of anything beyond the power of graft.

Government bureaucracy, like corporate bureaucracy, sucks. It has always sucked. The Romans complained about it. But that does not mean that it doesn't work, and the lack of the profit motive makes it cheaper in the long run.

"Privatizing" public assets is theft, pure and simple, which I believe is the point of the OP.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #143)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 09:35 AM

144. Only someone who is uninformed on the issue would allege a "lie". Have a great day and goodbye. nt

 

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Response to jody (Reply #144)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 09:49 AM

145. IOW, you got nothing. 30+ posts with nary a fact.

 

Doesn't work here and is losing its effectiveness IRL as well.
Buh-by

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Response to gollygee (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 08:52 AM

3. +100. I don't think the public always appreciates how much of the 'bad' is mandated from above.

 

often from very high above. and by deliberate design. the recent testing passion is just one example. it's very very bad, and it's by federal and state mandate. it doesn't serve students, it serves private interests.

we could actually describe it as a corporate 'entitlement' program.

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Response to gollygee (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 08:54 AM

4. I had this figured out years ago

 

The Kansas City school system has been taken over by the charter school thinking, with the common negative results. Even to the point of uncrediting the public school system.
For some reason, most people just do not see what is actually going on.

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Response to RC (Reply #4)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 08:57 AM

7. some don't see it because they're not informed enough, having just heard the propaganda about

 

'bad schools' without any rebuttal.

others don't see it because they don't want to, being fully invested in privatization for various reasons. personal profit is one of them.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #7)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:33 AM

60. And some don't see it because they think the school board knows what it is doing.

 

Kansas City MO is a prime example of this.

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Response to RC (Reply #60)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:39 AM

61. that's just a subset of lack of information. most people have no idea what anyone who represents

 

them is doing. they just assume expertise and hope for the best.

it's really not a democratic country at all. democracy = informed and participatory.

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Response to gollygee (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 08:57 AM

6. As Noam Chomsky said:


"Privatization does not mean you take a public institution and give it to some nice person. It means you take a public institution and give it to an unaccountable tyranny. Public institutions have many side benefits. For one thing they may purposely run at a loss. They're not out for profit. They may purposely run at a loss because of the side benefits. So, for example if a public steel industry runs at a loss it's providing cheap steel to other industries. Maybe that's a good thing. Public institutions can have a counter cyclic property. So that means that they can maintain employment in periods of recession, which increases demand, which helps you to get out of recession. Private companies can't do that in a recession. Throw out the work force because that's the way you make money."


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Response to marmar (Reply #6)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:05 AM

10. Chomsky is wrong for federal services contracted out under Circular A-76. nt

 

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Response to jody (Reply #10)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 01:34 PM

79. In theory theory and practice are identical..

In practice they are not.

What is written in A-76 is theory, in practice people migrate between the private sector and the federal agencies overseeing that same private sector on a basis regular enough to warrant the installation of many revolving doors.

Happened just the other day at the top level when the architect of Obamacare went to the medical insurance industry.

http://www.salon.com/2012/12/05/obamacare_architect_heads_to_big_pharma/

Liz Fowler, well known as the architect of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, never really left the healthcare industry. Before and after working as chief health policy counsel for Sen. Max Baucus (the position from which she drafted Obamacare), Fowler worked for the nation’s largest health insurance provider Well Point. She was then appointed by Obama to oversee the implementation of her Obamacare legislation and now, as Glenn Greenwald flagged Wednesday, will be taking up a senior position with Johnson & Johnson.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #79)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 01:50 PM

89. A-76 is no more theory than any other statement of policy published by the executive branch. The

 

fact that policies and the procedures based on them fail in practice does not mean that policy should be abolished.

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Response to jody (Reply #89)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 02:37 PM

103. I'm of the opinion that policy should work effectively in the real world

We have been privatizing government functions at a remarkable clip for decades now and yet government is on the edge of a fiscal cliff. This does not imply effective and efficient use of funds.

Just because my leg is wet doesn't mean it's actually raining.



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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #103)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 03:31 PM

108. Agree and policies like A-76 have evolved over decades under Democrats and Republican presidents.

 

Policies need procedures to be implemented, e.g. FAR and DAR.

Even those leave room for interpretation and exceptions often with disastrous consequences.

True we've "been privatizing government functions" but do you have any facts that is why "government is on the edge of a fiscal cliff"?

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Response to jody (Reply #108)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 03:53 PM

113. Are you arguing that the one has nothing to do with the other?

Because the same group that's driving while blind toward the fiscal cliff are the ones most in favor of privatization.

Tide goes in, tide goes out, can't explain that, eh?

And surely no one could have predicted that squeezing private profit from public functions would have led to unnecessary and wasteful expenditures.






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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #113)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 04:15 PM

114. Re subject question, answer "no". The OP made a blanket condemnation of privatization and IMO that's

 

not justified.

It appears from their posts that some who post to this thread believe that ALL government services should be accomplished with organic resources and not contracted out.

If that were implemented literally, the Corps of Engineers would have a work force for all the construction trades and skills to use in building every government project currently managed by the Corps.

The USPS could not use Federal Express to carry USPS Express Mail.

In my experience that's not the best way to use taxpayer dollars.

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Response to jody (Reply #114)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 04:36 PM

116. Fed Ex and UPS packages are routed through the USPS system regularly

Neither of those entities could function as they currently do without the USPS system.

And when the USPS system is eventually destroyed and/or completely privatized you'll pay the price in vastly increased shipping costs.


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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #116)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 04:58 PM

118. I stated USPS Express Mail goes via FedEx. That's privatization pure and simple. I understand the

 

added points you made, particularly "increased shipping costs."

I remember when airlines were deregulated under President Carter with the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978.

It had major negative effects on small airports.

IMO mail and transportation with all its dimensions are things that should be provided by governments or regulated. In all cases for the general welfare of We the People.

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Response to jody (Reply #118)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 05:37 PM

120. I'm glad we see eye to eye on this matter

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #120)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 05:41 PM

122. I thought we did. Have a great evening. nt

 

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Response to marmar (Reply #6)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 10:13 AM

43. + 1,000. Profit adds a layer of cost where there should be none in health, education and utilities.

The essentials of life and the structure to enable participation in a democracy must be available to all citizens. Unless one is willing to devolve into a class system where those things are determined by a matter of birth and wealth. That is classic anti-American philosophy and shunned by Democrats when given free reign by voters. Sadly, many of those voters want to dine on the Commons to position themselves above the rest, or have submitted to religious dogma. Thus we abandon the Commons and get charter schools voted in.



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Response to marmar (Reply #6)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:07 AM

53. Another point: at least theoretically, the gov. is more directly answerable to voters.

Corporations' first duties are to their stockholders, and the form of democracy afforded to stockholders is much weaker than the democracy we enjoy (theoretically) as citizens.

Granted, making gov. accountable to voters isn't always easy; but from a structural AND practical point of view, it's a lot easier/better than trying to hold Halliburton or BP accountable.

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Response to gollygee (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 08:57 AM

8. Thanks to Arne Duncan, the Sec of Ed, there are those who are now harvesting public assets.

 

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Response to gollygee (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:12 AM

12. For real-life examples of privatization hell, look to NJ

Prisons, Privatization, Patronage

By PAUL KRUGMAN

Over the past few days, The New York Times has published several terrifying reports about New Jersey’s system of halfway houses — privately run adjuncts to the regular system of prisons. The series is a model of investigative reporting, which everyone should read. But it should also be seen in context. The horrors described are part of a broader pattern in which essential functions of government are being both privatized and degraded.

First of all, about those halfway houses: In 2010, Chris Christie, the state’s governor — who has close personal ties to Community Education Centers, the largest operator of these facilities, and who once worked as a lobbyist for the firm — described the company’s operations as “representing the very best of the human spirit.” But The Times’s reports instead portray something closer to hell on earth — an understaffed, poorly run system, with a demoralized work force, from which the most dangerous individuals often escape to wreak havoc, while relatively mild offenders face terror and abuse at the hands of other inmates.

It’s a terrible story. But, as I said, you really need to see it in the broader context of a nationwide drive on the part of America’s right to privatize government functions, very much including the operation of prisons. What’s behind this drive?

You might be tempted to say that it reflects conservative belief in the magic of the marketplace, in the superiority of free-market competition over government planning. And that’s certainly the way right-wing politicians like to frame the issue.

But if you think about it even for a minute, you realize that the one thing the companies that make up the prison-industrial complex — companies like Community Education or the private-prison giant Corrections Corporation of America — are definitely not doing is competing in a free market. They are, instead, living off government contracts. There isn’t any market here, and there is, therefore, no reason to expect any magical gains in efficiency.

- more -

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/22/opinion/krugman-prisons-privatization-patronage.html


Flashback...

February 2011:

Democrats fight Gov. Christie's plan to privatize N.J. government functions

By Matt Friedman/Statehouse Bureau

TRENTON — Democrats are pushing back against Gov. Chris Christie’s plan to privatize some state government functions by calling for a change in the state constitution to put a short leash on agencies that want to hire private firms.

<...>

A Christie administration task force last year recommended privatizing functions like health care for prison inmates, toll collections, state parks, highway rest stops and career centers for the unemployed. The task force estimated the state government could save $210 million through the changes.

The New Jersey Turnpike Authority recently put out a request for proposals that calls for toll collectors to make $12 per hour — less than half what experienced employees now make.

Democrats said they were trying to avoid abuse and waste that occurred in the 1990s with the privatization of vehicle inspections and the installation of the E-ZPass toll system.

- more -

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/02/democrats_fight_gov_christie_p.html



July 2012 editorial:

Privatization no panacea for government

A task force assembled by Gov. Christie recently reported that New Jersey’s government could save a bundle simply by turning over many of its core functions — from motor-vehicle services to school facilities — to the private sector. But thanks partly to another governor named Christie, New Jerseyans need not wait in suspense for the results of this government innovation. That’s because the state already has some disastrous and relatively recent experience with privatization — much of it in the areas singled out by the task force.

Christie deserves credit for cutting the state budget and looking for more ways to do so. And so far this is only a report (though one ordered up and roundly praised by the governor himself). But given the state’s history, some of the task force’s ideas weren’t even worth examining, let alone pursuing any further.

In 1998, Gov. Christie Whitman’s outsourcing of motor-vehicle inspections to a private company led to epic lines and widespread outrage. It later emerged that the sweetheart contract had gone to a company associated with avid campaign giving. Whitman’s privatization of motor-vehicle agency offices also contributed to interminable waits, as well as corruption and security breaches. That helped end the Division of Motor Vehicles’ long death spiral and bring about an overhaul that replaced it with today’s Motor Vehicle Commission.

- more -

http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/inq_ed_board/Privatization_no_panacea_for_government.html

Privatizing the DMV was worse than a disaster. Using Krugman's phrase, it was "closer to hell on earth."

The definition of insanity:

Christie Seeks to Weaken Oversight of Halfway Houses
By SAM DOLNICK

Gov. Chris Christie’s administration came under heavy criticism from legislators last month at hearings on New Jersey’s privately run halfway houses, which handle thousands of inmates each year. On Wednesday, Mr. Christie fired back, saying he would significantly weaken a measure approved by the legislators to increase their oversight of the system.

It was the second time Mr. Christie moved to weaken new regulations for halfway houses.

The Democratic-controlled Legislature approved a bill in June that required the state auditor to conduct reviews of major corrections contracts with private operators, including those with a halfway house company that dominates the system and has close ties to Mr. Christie.

But the governor, a Republican, said Wednesday that he would sign the law only if all existing contracts, including those with halfway house operators, were exempted from the audits.

- more -

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/09/nyregion/christie-seeks-to-weaken-new-oversight-of-halfway-houses.html


New Jersey Fines Halfway Houses $45,000 Over Escapes

By SAM DOLNICK

The Christie administration said on Tuesday that it had issued $45,000 in fines against New Jersey halfway houses from which nine inmates escaped in recent months, the harshest penalties ever brought against the troubled network of private operators.

The halfway houses were fined for failing to quickly report escapees to state officials and for recording inmates who had escaped as present. In other cases, supervisors failed to keep track of inmates who had fled from work-release programs or slipped away before being sent back to prison, corrections officials said.

The inmates escaped from six different halfway houses, including two run by Community Education Centers, a company that dominates the state’s halfway house system and has drawn scrutiny because of its close ties to Gov. Chris Christie.

Hundreds of inmates escape from the state’s halfway houses each year, but authorities have previously done little to crack down on the problem. No penalties had ever been brought against halfway house operators until officials learned of The New York Times’s 10-month investigation into escapes and other problems at the privately run centers, which can be as big as prisons but have little of their security.

- more -

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/15/nyregion/new-jersey-fines-halfway-houses-over-inmate-escapes.html



Christie open to 'smart' halfway house changes

BY MELISSA HAYES |AND JOHN REITMEYER

STAFF WRITERS

Governor Christie is now willing to sign bills to improve New Jersey’s privatized system of halfway houses if Democratic leaders can get what he called “smart legislation” to his desk.

“If they want to do something constructive and positive for the people of the state, I’m all in,” the Republican governor said Monday amid new reports of escapes from halfway houses in recent months, including some from a Newark facility that lost power during superstorm Sandy.

“I’m happy to sign smart legislation from either party that helps make our state a better place,” he said. “But if all they want to do is play games, then I know how to do that, too.”

Christie continues to deal with questions about the management of halfway houses as his administration says it is working to improve accountability and oversight of a long-troubled system that has been turned over to private operators who house inmates outside of the traditional prison setting. The halfway houses supervise inmates through multiple public contracts — including the federal Bureau of Prisons, the state Parole Board, county jail operators and the state Department of Corrections. Although they are regulated by state law in New Jersey, the facilities themselves are not supervised directly by any one part of any state government.

The Record reported Monday how state government leaders have failed to make significant changes to the troubled system despite a series of warning signs in recent years, including the 2010 death of a Garfield woman, allegedly at the hands of a man staying at a halfway house who was able to escape custody.

- more -

http://www.northjersey.com/news/Christie_open_to_smart_halfway_house_changes.html

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Response to ProSense (Reply #12)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:22 AM

16. Thank you for those links!

Interesting quote:

But if you think about it even for a minute, you realize that the one thing the companies that make up the prison-industrial complex — companies like Community Education or the private-prison giant Corrections Corporation of America — are definitely not doing is competing in a free market. They are, instead, living off government contracts. There isn’t any market here, and there is, therefore, no reason to expect any magical gains in efficiency.

True of schools too. If everyone has to go to school, and every charter school is from the same corporation (which in a smaller city like mine would be likely), there is no competition.

Also, unless charter schools and public schools have the same rules and requirements, they aren't competing in a fair way.

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Response to gollygee (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:26 AM

18. Totally agree

This process started a long time ago. I remember being a little kid hearing on the radio people talking about whether DC should allow vouchers. Think it was the 80s. Why has it taken so long for people to figure out this was a destructive and horrible idea?

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Response to gollygee (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:54 AM

33. I've even seen it in 'Behavioral Health Administration'

In an effort to shrink government in New Mexico, the R's priivatized behavioral health administration, gutting decently-paying jobs with benefits ot to private health management companies which provide crappy service by many of the same folks who used to work for the gov't, but are now paid less & are fewer in number, while profits flow out of state. Their poor administration has contributed to the closing of many residential substance abuse facilities in our state, fewer programs like parenting classes, suicide prevention, teen pregnanacy prevention, laying off of counselors, etc.

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Response to gollygee (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:59 AM

36. If the Republicans/Corporate Overlords want to dismantle

the public school system then I have a major problem with government taking my tax dollars for "education." All taxation relating to education should be then be eliminated so that parents can use their money to fund their children's education. Imagine if people came together to form education co-ops to educate their children. The 99% could take away the government's ability to make K-12 education a profit based business.

Education based co-ops could be funded with money and an exchange of goods and services for those who are poor. It would also forces parents to become more involved in their children's education and promote less waste. Teachers could contract with different co-ops to teach specialty classes like general science, biology, chemistry, or foreign languages. Teachers could take back the ability to really teach and help children. Payment to teacher could be monetary or in goods and services. A parent might not have much money but they might know how to roofing, plumbing, electrical work, etc.

It all becomes a matter of learning how to play the game better then the Republicans, 1%, and Corporations.

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Response to gollygee (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 10:00 AM

37. yup, some things should not be driven by the profit motive

 

Education is one, medicine and health care is another. The right wing love privatizing everything and think everything should be designed to make as much money as possible.

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Response to gollygee (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 10:01 AM

38. that's why i call it "piratization". it's glorified looting of the treasury.

inserting a profit when none in necessary or appropriate.

what private enterprise does better is allocate resources to those in greater need at the expense of those in lesser need.

when you have something like, say, the post office, whose mission is to provide a basic service equally to EVERYBODY, there's nothing about private enterprise that should automatically make it any better. instead, the conflicts between agent and principal take over and bad actors start doing rotten things that somehow benefit themselves.

most of the things government traditionally has done SHOULD be done by government, not by private enterprise.

private enterprise should do what private enterprise does better, of course, there's plenty of room for that.

but things that are essential for everyone, and from which virtually everyone benefits, should be left to government.

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Response to gollygee (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 10:23 AM

45. You know when I was a little girl and my daddy was in the military we lived on base.

 

I remember soldiers having to do everything. We lived in government housing on the base and let's say if you had a plumbing problem you would call the office that handled that and a GI would come over and fix it. That is how soldiers got to learn different jobs that would be able to be used when they got out. It worked very well. Then they started changing things to know having civilians doing those jobs. You know they get paid more to do them then the soldiers. Republicans especially think take PUBLIC works out of the sitiuation then everthing will be right. Really it isn't.

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Response to southernyankeebelle (Reply #45)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 04:55 PM

117. Excellent info, southernyahkeebelle. That's just another way we shortchange our troops nowadays :(

We don't really support the troops. We support the private companies that do the work our troops used to be trained to do much more efficiently.

And to top it off, who is paying for this? NOT the top 1 or 2 %!!!! And neither were the rest of us until it was properly placed into the budget after GWB.

We spent the 8 years of Bush II descending into the debt and destruction hole, and the Republican remedies for that are ALL WRONG. If it's a republican solution, 99-100% of the time, it's WRONG.

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Response to We People (Reply #117)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 05:40 PM

121. The true distruction started under Reagan. He started with the union breakdown then letting

 

corporations take over and now we are still paying for this so called trickle down (the Kemp idea) that never worked.

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Response to gollygee (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 10:36 AM

47. I hope the democrats listen to this wake up call

Because they sure haven't been listening for the past few decades.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #47)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 10:57 AM

48. Lots of Dems voted for Issa's Post Office destruction efforts in 2006.

Maybe, they did not know what they were voting for.??... Now , Sen. Feinstein's husband is overseeing the sale of some of the US's most valued post offices.. How is it that Daryl Issa, author of the bill to destroy the Post Office, had his financial buddies miss out on this fire sale , worth billions for the Real Estate World.
.
.
.
.Protesters take “Save Post Office” demo to San Francisco
Campaigners who hope to persuade the U.S. Post Office not to sell Berkeley’s main post office at 2000 Allston Way took their protest to San Francisco on Tuesday, Dec. 4. This followed on the heels of a rally in Berkeley on Nov. 14.
The USPS announced in June that the main Berkeley post office, a distinguished 1914 Renaissance Revival building, was for sale. The plan is to move all its carrier and bulk mail operations to the Berkeley Destination Delivery Unit at 1150 Eighth St., and to find an alternate retail location for downtown customers.

The City Council passed a declaration in July asking that USPS not sell the main post office. Shortly afterwards, Eddie Orton, an award-winning developer who specializes in historic properties, told Berkeleyside that he would be interested in buying the building.
snip
http://www.berkeleyside.com/2012/12/05/protesters-take-save-post-office-demo-to-san-francisco/

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Response to cyclezealot (Reply #48)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 02:04 PM

95. Word at the time was that it was a Hobson's choice

As an APWU member, I recall it being explained that it was that law, or work would begin on total privatization and union contract nullification.

For employees, the choices were lose, or lose more.

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Response to gollygee (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 10:59 AM

49. There's a song that says the same when your bosses call you a "team"

It usually means work harder for the same pay.

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Response to gollygee (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:06 AM

52. ''Piratization''

If you love what they've done to America,
you'll love what they're planning for your kids' futures.



Thank you for a great OP, gollygee. Absolutely spot-on.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #52)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 06:07 PM

124. piratization...niiiice!

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #124)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 06:21 PM

125. ENRON was getting ready to piratize H2O itself.

Enron unit tried for water privatization in Florida

Michael Pollock & Chris Davis, Herald-Tribune (SW Florida)
March 2002

While Jeb Bush was running for Florida's governor in the summer of 1998, Enron Corp., a fast-growing Houston energy broker, was diversifying into a potentially lucrative new field - privatization of water supplies.

Even as Bush's secretary for the Department of Environmental Protection was settling into his office in February 1999, top executives of Enron's new water venture, Azurix Corp., were seeking audiences with the new governor and his DEP chief David Struhs.

Although Bush generally kept his distance from Azurix, his man Struhs stood on the sidelines like a cheerleader throughout Enron-Azurix's unsuccessful two-year attempt to privatize Florida's water market.

Struhs promoted two ideas near and dear to Azurix: auctioning off blocks of water to the highest bidder, and boosting underground water and storing it there for later withdrawal, a process called aquifer storage and recovery, or ASR.

CONTINUED...

http://www.afn.org/~iguana/archives/2002_03/20020314.html



These are gangster times. I mean, pirate times, Nashvillita. Soon the air won't be free.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #125)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 06:30 PM

126. If there were a way to hook us up to masks and meter the air we took in and let out each day

the government would privatize it and we'd have a charge or our air would be turned off.

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Response to gollygee (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:08 AM

54. As a Public Employee,

I can tell you that I hear the "privatization" word all the time.
When I rebut with the usual: Privatization just means that we have to pay more management more money, and workers less, or Privatization relies on companies whose only aim is profit, whereas the government has no profit motive, so projects cost less. I get silence.

This has been mulled about here for almost 20 years. Especially when someone new comes in, and things don't go their way.

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Response to gollygee (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:10 AM

56. I'd like to see more "deprivatization."

There's a few big corporations (banks, oil, health insurance companies, defense contractors... we all know a few) that ought to be "deprivatized" with extreme prejudice, their CEOs tried for political corruption, human rights violations, malfeasance, manslaughter, etc., their ill-gotten wealth seized, and upon conviction, their guilty asses thrown in prison for a long, long time.

We The People should also take back things that should never have been privatized in the first place, especially things like public utilities, schools, the radio spectrum, parking meters, prisons...

A full 51% share of "USA Incorporated" ought to be owned by the people and directed by people we elect.




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Response to gollygee (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:25 AM

58. yes be scared, they did it with the private prisons. The contracts broke states of their tax money.

remember? first they upped the 'costs' to house a prisoner to some crazy price like 24k a year. Then they had states sign contracts and guarantee to pay a percent of full prison beds. Arizona was one of the first to build-up the private prison bonanza and the bonanza of 'illegal people capture business. Tons of profit to make from Federal and state taxpayer money.

That's when the new stock for private prison corporation stock shot through the roof. Many states increased criminal penalties and America has more citizens in prisons than anywhere in the world by far.

Private school corporation already has stock set-up and they have a nice high price set of 'per-student costs.'

They will do the same thing to the public school system in America. Take all our taxpayer money Federal and State and make huge profits off us. It is not about kids education with those profiteers at all.

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Response to gollygee (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:48 AM

65. DURec

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Response to gollygee (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 01:12 PM

78. You've got it right despite some anti-government services cheerleaders here.

I watched British Rail privatize itself out of existence. And now rail service in the UK sucks.

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Response to gollygee (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 02:43 PM

104. k&r

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Response to gollygee (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 03:13 PM

105. That's exactly what's happening in my school district. We're in fiscal caution now...

The state will eventually take over.

Some people in the district know EXACTLY what's going on, but the majority just write letters to the editor or attend the school board meetings and blame the superintendent and the BOE.

Meanwhile, our execrable Governor Kasich keeps increasing the available vouchers every year, the money for which comes out of the district funds. It's all about "choice" doncha know.

That turd, Kasich, has to be laughing his ass off.

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Response to gollygee (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 06:41 PM

128. K & R in a large way.

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Response to gollygee (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 08:07 PM

131. Things that should NEVER be Privatized in a democracy:

*Prisons

*Armed Military Contractors (Mercenaries)

*Vote Counting, Tabulating, and Reporting

*Administration of Public Lands

*Roads, Bridges, and Highways

*Basic Communications and Information

*Power, Water, & Delivery Grids

*Schools

*Police & Fire Departments

*Health Insurance

*Intelligence Gathering and Compiling

In a Democracy, ALL of the above should be Publicly Owned, Government Administered, Non-Profit, 100% transparent, and accountable to The People.

The privatization of ANY of the above should set off alarm bells.



You will know them by their WORKS,
not by their rhetoric, promises, or excuses.
Solidarity99!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------






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Response to bvar22 (Reply #131)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 01:56 AM

133. Agreed, thank you!

esp. "*Basic Communications and Information" -- including the internet.

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Response to bvar22 (Reply #131)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 08:52 AM

138. Yes,

and the alarm bells have been ringing wildly for quite some time.

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Response to gollygee (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 02:07 AM

134. We need serious media blitz on the privatization steamroller that the one percent are driving

into so many areas of our lives.

IMO people will take all of these assaults more seriously and be better equipped to reject the propaganda if they see them as part of an overall pattern of privatization for profit. The corporate media do a marvelous job of keeping everything separate. The education debate is ostensibly about poor teachers. The post office debate is supposedly about efficiency and changing technology. I don't think most Americans even realize that prisons are being privatized.

We need to educate on this and expose the larger pattern.

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Response to gollygee (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 08:49 AM

137. And another kick for this post - Privatization being slightly more important than an

offensive diner check.

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Response to gollygee (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 09:11 AM

140. The Shock Doctrine

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Response to davidpdx (Reply #140)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 09:12 AM

141. See my signature

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Response to gollygee (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 07:08 PM

149. K & R - An excellent outline of privatization that should be memorized by everyone.

Definitely a keeper, in fact.

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