Newsletter: Privatization vs. The People
A snapshot from the future: You drive your kids to school, go to work, the hospital or a movie and you are charged for every mile of road you use through an EZ Pass. The road has been developed and maintained by a bond funded by wealthy investors at very high interest rates. The investors are the first on the list to be paid, since the city needs to keep a strong bond rating in order to borrow more from investors.
Bruce Dixon, editor of Black Agenda Report, writes, in “EZ Pass — Tip Of The Road Privatization Vacuum Cleaner,” that trade associations and lobby groups are working toward ‘pay-to-use’ roads in the near future. Roads will be privatized or become public-private partnerships. If we are unable to pay, we cannot use the roads or may even lose our license. Dixon points out that under the Obama administration toll lanes were allowed on more existing highways to advance toward privatized roads.
This is the essence of privatization today: turn a public good into a profit center for Wall Street. US economic policy has created a wealth class that is grotesquely wealthy and under-taxed so it has the money that the government needs to provide public services. This forces the government to borrow money from or sell a public service to the privateers or to create a public-private partnership (disguised corporate welfare and crony capitalism) in order to provide essential services.
This model was applied during the Obama years on a mega-level to health care. Rather than treating universal health care as a public service and expanding and improving Medicare to cover everyone, Obama worked with corrupt healthcare profiteers – the insurance and pharmaceutical industries and health care investors – for a law that benefited them. We described Obamacare as “the biggest insurance scam in history” in 2013, predicting it would lead to increased premiums, out-of-pocket costs and deductibles and decreased coverage while making the medical industry wealthy – this is exactly what happened.
The Market Rules While Public Services Are Cut
Under Obama and previous presidents, the market was king while public services were diminished or disappeared. Obama is infamous for his triad of trade agreements: the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and the Trade in Services Agreement. The common theme of all three was privatization by granting greater power to corporations, making it impossible to regulate them, and turning public services into profit centers for big business.
The TPP and TTIP both seem to be dead. It is unclear what the fate of TiSA will be under President Trump, but we must not allow it to be completed. Last week Trump said he wants no more multi-country trade deals and will pursue one-on-one negotiations where the US can demand terms from a smaller country and easily walk away if the country refuses.
TiSA is a grave danger. It is an agreement of 52 nations (including all of Europe) and from numerous leaks we know the thrust of TiSA is privatization of all services. Services are 80 percent of the US economy and include the postal service, education, health care, etc. TiSA creates a one-way street to privatization with incentives to Newsletter: Privatization vs. The People | PopularResistance.Org: