Just another Reality-based bubble in the foam of the multiverse.

Friday, September 01, 2006

The Company Serves Man

It's being noticed all over.

The Great Conservative Privatization Scam

By workingmansblues

One of the most pervasive beliefs among conservatives is that government is inherently flawed. Ronald Reagan, in his nomination speech before the 1980 Republican convention, stood before the nation and declared "government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem."Right wing talk show hosts rampage daily against the evil government and, even amongst many Democrats, government is seen as a necessary evil or a last resort.

This may be the greatest trick ever played upon the American people - to convince them that Their government, by the people, of the people, and for the people, is a bad thing. Mankind waited thousands of years for a constitution of self-governance, and these right wing millionaires have turned the people against it...

...those same demagogues and sophists who rail against our government have simultaneously hijacked it to serve their own purposes. While they cry out at the horrors of government in public, behind closed doors they are using it secure their power and reap its rewards.

For evidence of this fact, look no further than the massive privatization agenda pushed by conservative Republicans. Their argument is, of course, that government is really, really bad so we must replace it with private contractors who are more efficient due to their competitiveness and profit motive.

But time and time again, the evidence clearly shows that government contractors aren't more efficient, they rarely compete, and their profit motive ends up making a few people extremely wealthy at taxpayer's significant expense.

Last week we learned that privately run, charter schools failed to outperform public schools despite their being, private. We also heard about how disaster profiteers were landing big government contracts to clean up New Orleans and then sub-contracting down at pennies on the dollar:

The report claims many large companies established 'contracting pyramids', with each layer skimming money. It highlighted the $500m contract awarded to Ashbritt to remove debris, which worked out at $23 per cubic metre of rubbish moved. In turn, it hired C&B Enterprises to do the work for $9 per cubic metre, which in turn hired Amlee Transportation which was paid $8 per cubic metre. Amlee hired another company for $7 a cubic metre. Finally, the work was done at $3 per cubic metre by a haulier from New Jersey.

Today, a new report exposes how the CEOs of the top 34 defense contractors made a whopping $984 million since 9/11. Here are some other key findings:

* Since the “War on Terror” began, the CEOs of the top 34 defense contractors have enjoyed average pay levels that are double the amounts they received during the four years leading up to 9/11.
* Defense CEO pay was 108 percent higher on average in 2005 compared to 2001, whereas pay for their counterparts at other large U.S. companies increased only 6 percent during this period.
* Defense CEO pay was 44 times that of a military general with 20 years of experience and 308 times that of an Army private in 2005. Generals made $174,452 and Army privates made $25,085, while average defense CEO pay was $7.7 million.

The conservative privatization agenda is nothing more than a scam to get their greedy hands on our tax dollars. Record deficits and record profits for corporate contractors are proof of it...

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