Mon Jan 14, 2013, 05:55 AM
HiPointDem (20,729 posts)
The U.S. and the Privatization of El Salvador
The corporate-financier drive to privatize the Salvadoran economy has taken the form of the proposed Public-Private Partnership law which, if approved, would grant the government the right to sell off national resources, infrastructure and services to foreign multinationals. In effect, it would allow for the privatization of those sectors of the economy traditionally controlled by the state. The ultimate goal of this legislation is not merely to cede control of state institutions to private interests, it is also to subvert and ultimately eliminate the power of organized labor and thereby reduce wages and the standard of living of working people in the country.
Public sector workers in El Salvador earn a minimum wage of $300 per month while their private sector counterparts earn anywhere between $187 and $219 per month....This transformation of the economy affects the working class and the poor most acutely. Not only is access to vital social services and resources reduced, but the prices are increased dramatically. One clear example of this is the privatization of much of the electrical distribution system in El Salvador back in 1996 which resulted in an average increase in price of 47.2% for the lowest-level consumers.iii Essentially then, the poor and working class of the country have to pay to subsidize the selling off of their own resources and services to powerful multinational corporations.
The Public-Private Partnership legislation is merely an outgrowth of the Obama Administration’s so-called “Partnership for Growth” bilateral agreement, signed with the Funes government in 2011... Despite the innocuous diplomatic rhetoric, the bilateral agreement intends to create a climate conducive to foreign exploitation of the resources and services of a country that is, in many ways, entirely dependent upon the United States for its economic survival...on more than one occasion, the Obama administration ambassador to El Salvador, Mari Carmen Aponte, has threatened to withhold crucial aid if the Public-Private Partnership law is not enacted.v In effect, the Partnership for Growth lays the foundation for a dependent relationship in which the United States, acting as the benefactor, controls the direction and type of development that El Salvador is allowed to have...
One of the primary mechanisms by which the substance of this agreement is enacted is a so-called “Growth Council...” Made up of five wealthy capitalists and five government bureaucrats, the council acts as a sort of advisory board to the President... promoting the agenda of private business at the highest levels of the Salvadoran government. This council is, for all intents and purposes, the mouthpiece of international finance capital... Another key player in this “partnership” is USAID...
One of the central aspects of the “Partnership for Growth” campaign is a sustained propaganda assault directed at the people of El Salvador. The attempt is to convince citizens, the middle class especially, that by simply addressing a few key “bottlenecks” in production, the country will be on its way to a brighter economic future. These main “constraints to growth” are crime and low productivity. Those of us in the United States should be familiar with this sort of terminology which is always used as a rhetorical smokescreen to refer to the poor and organized labor. When the Partnership for Growth committee, led by American “advisors” described these twin problems as the central obstacles to growth, it was essentially a declaration of war on the unions and the poor. Moreover, it further legitimizes the abhorrent so-called US drug war and the union-busting policies of neoliberalism.
The attempt is to convince the people of El Salvador that, rather than corrupt puppet governments and a disgraceful and exploitative economic system beholden to multinational corporations, the problems in that country are of their own making...
7 replies, 855 views
Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
The U.S. and the Privatization of El Salvador (Original post)
Response to HiPointDem (Original post)
Mon Jan 14, 2013, 08:23 AM
dotymed (5,377 posts)
3. Please read:
CONFESSIONS OF AN ECONOMIC HIT MAN by JOHN PERKINS.
It describes how these corporate/government cooperative entities convince these countries to borrow more than they could ever hope to repay. Then these austerity measures are implemented to repay the loans. They are basically mafia-type loan sharks, employed by "our" government and corporate masters. If the leaders of these countries resist, they are often killed (if blackmail, etc..doesn't work) by our CIA "jackals."
Perkins describes the process and even tells of the assassinations of two Latin american countries leaders who refused "the deal." It is very insightful about how when these countries inevitably default on these "loans", austerity follows and our corporations are encouraged to privatize public utilities, etc.. as repayment. Of course, it is the non-wealthy citizens who suffer.
Response to HiPointDem (Original post)
Mon Jan 14, 2013, 11:01 AM
Sunlei (6,310 posts)
5. El Salvador has already been stripped of natural resourses over the decades?
I mean look at it on google map, you can see the border lines with other countries by the scorched barren land. The countriy is so overpopulated you can see all the land is fenced into small lots.
I know people whos family owns land on the pacific ocean. They live here now because the druglords rule that country. Their used to be pristine beach sands, now the sand and the shoreline is covered with muckie silts from land runoff.
Their Gov is intermingled with corruption, any aid that comes into the country won't get used to help the common people. I think we should ask for some kind of direction and rules if they want our aid money.