Scott Walker’s “Privatization”

Privatization can only work if politicians are clean

By Jack E. Lohman

And this applies to Milwaukee’s taxpayer-owned airport as well, which is doing just fine as it is.

Politicians currently tilt toward privatization because they get a piece of the action through campaign contributions. Eliminate the bribes and we may have a workable formula.

Government clearly is not the only way to provide services, and in one major way it bypasses the profitability of the free-market system that at one time made this country great. But our politicians have frittered away even that value. (But don’t you worry; they did it for a price.)

Yes, government employees are overpaid, thanks to their unions and state and federal negotiators who have no skin in the game so they tend to give away the store. And the employees tend toward the bureaucratic side to protect their jobs. But by and large they are cheaper today than private companies who can get away with gouging the taxpayers if they pay off the right politicians.

The most talked about is the Postal Service. Clearly the Internet email and online billing and payment system has harmed them greatly, thus their recent bent on advertising their shipping capabilities. And the Internet has eaten into the business of FedEx and UPS as well, and helped DHL close its US operations.

The USPS should cut deliveries to 3 days a week, because it’s mostly junk mail anyway. Cutting the delivery personnel by half and closing up their small offices is what a wise CEO would do if it were privatized.

Compare the costs of privatization:

If a product or service’s true costs are = $100

$200 Give the job to the government and they’ll charge: $200 $100 + $100 for waste and bloated bureaucrat salaries
$175 Give the job to a good private company without political overhead and they’ll charge: $175 $100 + $75 for profits and CEO salaries
$750 Give the job to a private company that has politicians on their payroll and they’ll charge: $750 $100 + $50 for profits and another $100 to $500 for CEO salaries and bonuses and political payola

These are guestaments and will vary, but they are based on what the government currently spends on private services such as those provided by Blackwater and Halliburton in Iraq and Afghanistan, where private troops are costing us about five times what we spend on government troops.

Whenever we allow politicians to privatize anything, they expect something in return. Yea, a kickback… from the vendor… in the form of campaign contributions… if the vendor wants to be considered the next time around.

And if the vendor is going to play ball, the politicians will have to return the favor. Which they can, because they control the budget of the government agency overseeing the project. Thus oversight and regulations are minimized.

It’s a costly game we taxpayers are funding.

The only solution is to get the politicians off the payroll of corporations, especially the ones contracting with the government but all others as well. Politicians like to take political money and then pass laws or fail to pass laws, all to benefit their funders.

Why are state coffers in such dire condition? Follow the money. It absolutely doesn’t matter what your issue, you’ll find a politician somewhere in the loop taking cash contributions and pulling the strings. Importantly, good laws that benefit the community do not need political cash to flow. Only bad laws do. Good politicians don’t require bribes; only bad politicians do.

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