Currently, in our dire economic times (do not allow anyone to fool you, they are dire economic times for the middle class), the “spin” word is privatize everything in the government. Do not trust the government. Make government smaller and turn over everything to private corporations to manage. That is capitalism, right? Capitalism unbridled, yes, a democracy for all the people, not so much.
Let’s take a look at just a few things that are privatized and let’s see how many shares you hold in those enterprises. What people seem to forget is that WE THE PEOPLE are the government! When things belong to the government, we all have a say in how it is managed, so basically, we are all the stockholders. We vote into office who we believe, will be the best steward of those things we need to function as a country.
When government operations are privatized, they are no longer in the realm of the people. Bottom line, they are then the private enterprise of that company (and currently regulations are waning on these corporations) with our tax dollars not being given to serve the people of the country but to make a profit for that, now privatized, corporation.
The shift is subtle. The slight of hand barely visible, such as in privatized prisons. It would be comparable to putting a fox in a chicken house and asking it nicely to please not hurt the chickens. This system is wide open to corruption by big money in government by donating money to politicians to serve the money instead of the people. Please tell me in what world that is acceptable and how that doesn’t eat away at the very core of what once made this country number one in the world in education, innovation, freedom, healthcare, human rights? However, where are we now as we look around the world?
Healthcare: In a blog from Forbes in June of 2014, we are dead last when compared to nine other developed countries. DEAD LAST. We are the country with privatized healthcare. We are the country with privatized insurance companies that are currently only on the upswing as far as raking in billions in profits, providing less to the consumer and the wage earner while increasingly, Americans struggle to afford it even with the Affordable Care Act in place. The White House has given us a glaring and gloomy picture of what part politics and greed play as people struggle with healthcare costs that remain privatized, even under the Affordable Care Act.
Finally, let’s take a look at the educational system. Most all universities in this country are private or require some form of tuition, even if state or community owned. I won’t even go into the nightmare that is the student loan program or the cost to students to get even a higher education. In our costly educational system, how is that paying off for us as a country? As it turns out, not too well.
Millennials, for example, are coming up short in their ability to perform in the modern, tech-savvy workplace. This has enormous implications from being able to find a job to being educated enough to access the facts needed to elect a public official with their best interests at heart. This fact is further pronounced when Pew Research did a study on how the US stands in relationship to other countries, and one can barely wrap their mind around the idea that we are lagging way behind. Six countries that are doing better than the US in education even allow foreigners to go to their schools for free! These countries recognize that to be a world leading country, education is at the top of the list, and it will be the only way to compete in an ever increasingly competitive workplace.
So the next time someone says all you want is “free stuff,” politely remind them that if we want to be a competitor in the world without being reduced to sweat shops, maybe a little bit of socialism is just what this country needs to get back on top to the benefit of all.