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Monday, August 19, 2013

Response to Sanjay Sanghoee's blog on HuffPo

The current class war began January 20, 1981, the day that Ronald Reagan took office. He and Nancy made it a point to undo the populism that Jimmy Carter had brought to the White House, with Nancy infamously holding $5M cocktail parties while the country went through 3 separate recessions, all caused by what his former-opponent-cum-Vice-President George HW Bush had labeled 'Voodoo Economics' or what came to be known as 'Trickle-Down Economics'. 

Reagan was a strong proponent of privatization and of limited government. You have to ask yourself why. Why do the wealthy want limited government? Is it just because they want lower taxes? No, that's not all. Limited government means limited power to oversee things like predatory lending, byzantine derivatives, shoddy work at top-tier prices, sub-standard materials in things like roads and bridges, and on and on. If they can get by on the cheap, they pocket the difference. If they can get by without that pesky guy from the Labor Bureau looking over their records, they can pay people whatever they want and pretend they only worked half as many hours, thereby pocketing the tax difference.

Take every "white collar" crime you've heard of from Martha Stewart's insider information to defense contractors underbidding and overcharging. Make 10,000 copies of each crime, then mix them all up and scatter them piecemeal all over your list of corporations. That's what privatization will lead to, but it will conveniently skip that annoying indictment and prosecution process and won't lead to jail, but to a new cabana in the USVI.

Privatization is the glue that binds class warfare as well as the engine that powers it. If the wealthy own it, the government can't very easily control it, and when they own every-damned-thing, the government will be a toothless tiger. 

Remember what the poet John Donne said, and think about it in a privatization context: "If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less. As well as if a promontory were. As well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were." 

When we allow a single piece of public property that should remain in public holding to pass to privatization, America will be the less.