More Public Options needed

Where are Barrett and Walker on this?

By Jack E. Lohman

Post Office:  The oldest. When there was little accountability in government they were pretty bad. They cleaned up their act and are now decent though far from perfect. But now they are in trouble. Fax crippled the overnight document delivery market, then email, online billing and automatic payments killed first-class delivery.  Package delivery is doing fair, as is FedEx and UPS. But obsolescence dictates that the USPS cut deliveries to three days a week and its personnel and property reduced accordingly.

Health Care: We’ve been through this before. The best option is to let businesses and individuals buy into Medicare at cost. Zero profits and zero losses, just provide an alternative that keeps the private insurers honest. Opt out if you wish, but let others opt in. But politicians don’t like it because the insurers don’t like it. Surprised? Contributions: $46M and $95M and $25M in 2008 alone.

Oil Production: Ultimately we’d like to see oil go away, and over time it will. In the meantime we (taxpayers) should buy our own oil drilling rigs and refineries to compete with the OPEC conspiracy and the oil speculators that pushed prices to $4.00 per gallon without ever taking delivery of the product. They were in it to gouge, and they did, but they wouldn’t have succeeded with a US Oil Option in the race. Contributions: $35M in 2008 alone. Don’t worry, it won’t get done.

Banks: Yea, I didn’t support the stupid bailout. But if we now own Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac we should pump taxpayer money into them to make auto and home loans where the private banks won’t. It’s silly to give them money to sit on, and worse to have them pay it out in executive bonuses. That’s not the economy that needs our help, but “we” are not funding the elections.

Utilities: Can you imagine what Enron would have done if it had to really compete? They trashed Southern California with the exception of Los Angeles County which had its own publicly-owned gas and electric company. How about that? Privatization that didn’t work and a public entity that did! Every community needs a public competitor, but state and local politicians take campaign cash too.

Water Supplies: Now the City of Milwaukee wants to privatize its public water service. What’s next, Tom Barrett? Air? Are the bidders also contributors?

Airports: And don’t forget that Milwaukee County now wants to sell off its airport. Will it ever stop, Scott Walker? Are the bidders also contributors?

Private is better than public when dealing with commercial products or non-critical infrastructure and community services. Otherwise the overpaid for-profit insurance executives cannot be trusted with public needs and lives. Trusting politicians is only slightly better, because we can at least vote them out (though we don’t do it often enough).

Politicians like to privatize everything because private companies can give campaign contributions and public entities can’t. And they often have personal investments in the companies they favor when writing legislation or voting on laws. How’s that for “fair and balanced?”

Politicians have a serious conflict of interest that is costing the nation its resources and democracy, and they refuse to correct it. If the voters knew why things are as bad as they are, there’d be a complete turnover every election.

Politicians like to address each other as “Esteemed Colleague.”  Probably because Dear Leader and Your Highness were taken, but I’d probably use “co-conspirator” instead.

Tidbits

— Health care is just one issue, owned by the insurance industry. But the high tax issue is owned by all the special interests that receive taxpayer-funded government assets.

— You’d think the Teabaggers would “get it.” They don’t. It’s the Dem’s fault, don’cha know?

— Political corruption IS the issue; health care and taxes are byproducts. But politicians absolutely will not discuss the corruption that is driving the issue. They continue to obscure by distraction.

2 Responses to More Public Options needed

  1. Joe Klein says:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/15/AR2009081502696_2.html

    The big financiers of the right are the Koch brothers.

    Cato, Reason Foundation, Americans for Prosperity … the tea-baggers are unwitting meat puppets for the two of the people in the top 25 wealthiest.

    The pro sprawl, anti-environmentalist, “libertarians;” who have made billions cutting down forests, developing land and selling gasoline.

    http://www.forbes.com/lists/2009/10/billionaires-2009-richest-people_Charles-Koch_Z9KL.html

    http://www.forbes.com/lists/2009/10/billionaires-2009-richest-people_David-Koch_QMFE.html

  2. Thanks Joe. Interesting stories. Sometimes having everything isn’t enough, though I don’t know what people can buy once they have everything.

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