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Thu Feb 14, 2013, 03:15 AM

AlterNet: Privatizing Roads, Bridges, Schools and Energy Grids? Corporatism Pervades SOTU




Privatizing Roads, Bridges, Schools and Energy Grids? Corporatism Pervades SOTU

While the President pledged to reel in corporations, his grand plans for the U.S. proposed just the opposite.

by Laura Gottesdiener, AlterNet

. . .

. . . on the issue of income inequality, the President’s rhetoric was right across the board--that is, until he actually began unfurling his Grand Plans. That’s when the President’s typical double-speak kicked in. He promised to curtail corporate profits, but his vision for a new, “high-tech” America seemed to entail turning everything from our highways to our public schools into corporate-owned, public-private partnerships.


. . . Obama’s proposed public-private partnerships went far beyond public school classrooms. They also include the country’s most essential infrastructure: roads, bridges, rails and even energy grid.


. . . Couched as a way to save taxpayers’ money, the President actually just dangled a considerable carrot in front of corporations: construction grants and partial ownership of nearly all of the United States’ infrastructure.Public private partnerships are essentially a stepping stone to full privatization of our roads, bridges, railways, power grids and--yes--even our public schools.

The implications of this proposal are so scary that they even startled a Fox News reporter who commented, “It’s unnerving to hear the suggestion that the best way to guard against corporate excess is by crafting ever-closer public/private partnerships.”

As a concept, public-private partnerships can be considered a metaphor for any type of privatization: they sound smart in a capitalist society, but they’re never what they’re cracked up to be.

As a trio of smart economics professors, including one at Yale University, writes in a paper on using these partnerships to revamp U.S. infrastructure, “Public-private partnerships are often touted as a “best-of-both-worlds” alternative to public provision and privatization. But in practice, they have been dogged by contract design problems, waste, and unrealistic expectations. Governments sometimes opt for a public-private partnership, for example, because they mistakenly believe that it offers a way to finance infrastructure without adding to the public debt. In other cases, contract renegotiations have resulted in excessive costs for taxpayers or losses for private firms.”

. . .

http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/privatizing-roads-bridges-schools-and-energy-grids-corporatism-pervades-sotu?paging=off











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Reply AlterNet: Privatizing Roads, Bridges, Schools and Energy Grids? Corporatism Pervades SOTU (Original post)
Faryn Balyncd Feb 2013 OP
snappyturtle Feb 2013 #1
scubadude Feb 2013 #2
snappyturtle Feb 2013 #6
woo me with science Feb 2013 #13
snappyturtle Feb 2013 #25
forestpath Feb 2013 #16
ReRe Feb 2013 #3
markpkessinger Feb 2013 #9
ReRe Feb 2013 #17
markpkessinger Feb 2013 #18
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #4
Berlum Feb 2013 #5
muriel_volestrangler Feb 2013 #7
ReRe Feb 2013 #21
bvar22 Feb 2013 #8
yurbud Feb 2013 #10
woo me with science Feb 2013 #11
WinkyDink Feb 2013 #12
markpkessinger Feb 2013 #14
woo me with science Feb 2013 #15
markpkessinger Feb 2013 #20
kenny blankenship Feb 2013 #19
forestpath Feb 2013 #22
RobertEarl Feb 2013 #23
woo me with science Feb 2013 #24

Response to Faryn Balyncd (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 04:57 AM

1. The President also very quickly put education into that mix in his SOTU speech.

It was a quick remark of corps partnering in education.....that pinged my gray matter because of teevee ads I've seen which casually remark of this partnering....EXXON/Mobil ads. All this coziness congers the cloning of the future indentured worker circa 1984.

I haven't read the article yet but jut had to add my 2 cents. Actually, I'm almost afraid to read it as this future picture scares me.

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Response to snappyturtle (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 06:13 AM

2. Remember, we are not to criticize. This is 3d chess at its finest.

n/t

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Response to scubadude (Reply #2)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 07:16 AM

6. Well, I'd prefer to be praising but I can't make a silk purse out of..........nt

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Response to snappyturtle (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 03:58 PM

13. Education is the next big target.

We are in such deep trouble in this country.

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Response to woo me with science (Reply #13)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 10:26 PM

25. Tell me about it! We are and I'm getting too old and fighting other battles that

I wonder where the strength will come from.

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Response to snappyturtle (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 04:36 PM

16. +1

 

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Response to Faryn Balyncd (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 06:19 AM

3. Oops...

... there go the commons. Bon voyagie commons.

Public-Private Partnerships. Doesn't sound right together. Reminds me of Church & State. Yeah, I was listening, and that stuck out like a sore thumb. Didn't like the sound of it, either. Sounds like our schools are going to be turned into old fashioned "technical schools." That's where they didn't teach you to read and write...they just taught you menial job skills so you could get nice low-wage employment when you graduated. At least you wasn't digging ditches. The more I think of it, it reminds me of North Carolina's Governor's statement a week or so ago about doing the same thing, only to the colleges in his state! That went over down there like a lead balloon, let me tell you.

And "Ask any CEO where they would rather locate and hire...". Well, we know the answer to that. Do they have high speed rail and great infrastructure in places like India, Mexico, Indonesia, China, etc., where they have been moving good jobs to for the last 30 some odd years?

We're going into full-blown Shock Doctrine Disaster Capitalism, folks, and it's beginning to scare the bajeesus out of this old girl. Cue "This is the End" by the Doors....

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Response to ReRe (Reply #3)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 03:07 PM

9. "Public-Private Partnerships" -- right up there with . . .

Last edited Thu Feb 14, 2013, 04:04 PM - Edit history (1)

. . . calling for meaningful action on global warming while promising to "speed up" oil and gas permits.

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Response to markpkessinger (Reply #9)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 04:53 PM

17. Disclaimer

.... because I do like PO very much. I voted for him twice, and I voted in the 2010 midterm as well. I vote Democrat every time the polls are open. Local, State or General election. But I live in one of those locked up pitiful crimson red states, so I feel like my vote doesn't count. I still vote, though.

But. When I hear double-speak coming out of the mouths of Democrats, even if it's PO, I feel I have to speak out. And there are some folks on DU who rip you apart when you have the nerve to say something. "Public-Private Partnerships", I feel is a new buzz thing to take the place of "Corporatization" or "Privatization." And yes, promoting climate change on one hand and signing offshore oil permits at the same time don't jive. I could go on and on but I won't. Things are really changing fast and no one is telling the People. Out of here... Happy Valentines Day!

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Response to ReRe (Reply #17)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 05:01 PM

18. I absolutely agree with you...

... Like you, I voted for him twice, and given the same choices as we had in those two elections, would readily do so again. But bullshit is bullshit, even when it comes from someone, like this President, whom I admire very much and otherwise support.

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Response to Faryn Balyncd (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 06:39 AM

4. kr

 

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Response to Faryn Balyncd (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 07:00 AM

5. It's freaking Ahrimanic (R) is what it is...

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Response to Faryn Balyncd (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 07:44 AM

7. It's true that 'public-private partnerships' are often a bargain with the devil

At their base, they are a way of borrowing the money for capital-intensive projects, without it showing up as 'government debt'. Instead, it shows up as debt owed by financing corporations, which are basically subsidiaries of banks. But they borrow money on the market at a rate higher than the US government, and they demand a profit too, so it's more expensive. The accountants try to justify this extra expense by claiming the risk (of a budget overrun in construction, or of maintenance costs being higher than anticipated) has been handed off to the private sector. But it hasn't, really - they structure the contracts so that the parent can walk away from it if it goes wrong, and the government has to take the responsibility - because it's vital public infrastructure (a school, a bridge etc.) that can't be allowed to fail.

They are a way of hiding the necessity to borrow money to build and maintain infrastructure. They're a good deal for the banks, a lousy deal for the taxpayer, and a convenient fiction for a government that is being criticised for having too high a national debt. If people stopped worrying about the size of the debt so much, there would be no need to use them. If you want an ulterior motive for the deficit hawks, this is it - to persuade the government to pay the private sector more to fix problems the government could fix itself.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #7)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 05:15 PM

21. Thanks for that great explanation...

... of public-private partnerships. Bottom line, it's just more slight of hand shell game, and in the process, we literally turn into America, Inc. They always have to get in the middle don't they? The money needs to flow through their hands so they can take their slice. Usury. Loan sharks. GREED. That's the way I look at all of it. Disgusting.

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Response to Faryn Balyncd (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:22 PM

8. I thought that was what the Republicans always wanted to do,

...have the RICH FUCKS own Every-fucking-thing-in-the-WORLD.


My Bad.

Now that it is the Democrats who want to privatize everything,
I guess it is All GOOD!




No Publicly Owned Necessities, Utilities, or Common Wealth
No Magna Carta
Back to the Dark Ages of Feudal Lords and Kings!!!

Those who haven't learned History are destined to repeat it!





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Response to Faryn Balyncd (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 03:50 PM

10. public private partnerships always make the public the junior partner at best

and any profit or benefits go solely to the corporations.

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Response to Faryn Balyncd (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 03:56 PM

11. And it will continue...

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Response to Faryn Balyncd (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 03:58 PM

12. The cost of re-election.

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #12)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 04:04 PM

14. "Just wait until his second term, when he will be freer to pursue a more progressive agenda" ...

. . . Isn't that (or some variation of it, what we've been told for the last four years?

I'm still waiting.

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Response to markpkessinger (Reply #14)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 04:35 PM

15. A post *this morning* crowed that the "real Obama" is about to emerge.

Four years in, and still trying to claim that the corporate one we've had for four years now isn't the real one.

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Response to woo me with science (Reply #15)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 05:03 PM

20. +1 n/t

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Response to Faryn Balyncd (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 05:03 PM

19. Corporations won't want to harm things they own!

You're being closed minded. That's liberals for ya. Besides, the Equity Line Of Credit you can get on your first born is way too good to pass up. No payments for five years!

Five years!

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Response to Faryn Balyncd (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 06:18 PM

22. I will never understand why Obama always wants the rich to use the government to get richer.

 

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Response to forestpath (Reply #22)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 07:29 PM

23. Who gets rich from government?

Why, it is the people we elect to be leaders. From what I've heard, it wasn't always this way. Seems in the past we had real servants who cared more for the general public than themselves. Seems like a modern myth today, don't it?

Anyway, Obama isn't rich because he gave it all away. And neither is congress. And they make the laws and they get richer, not poorer. At least they are spreading their riches. Some call it trickle down.

The US.gov is like the biggest bank in the world and the blokes at the top are 'working hard' to make sure all the 'haves' who Bush called 'his base', have more. They'll be fine. They write the laws. Do like Bush told us when presented with 9/11: Go shopping!

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Response to Faryn Balyncd (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 09:30 PM

24. kick

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