3/4/07

Walter Reed: Another Feature, Not A Bug
By: Mark W Adams


The modern conservative movement does not espouse anything remotely similar to a government responsive to the needs of it's citizens. It's mocks the social contract and equates profitability with efficiency in services which by their very nature cannot be measured directly in dollars and cents.

Universal availability of excellent health care, education and protection of the environment are investments a society can only produce dividends over a span of generations. They are not something a private investor has time nor inclination to see through. That's why our founders made it the government's responsibility to provide for the general welfare -- that together we could secure a more prosperious society than we would individually.

The lust to privatize all things, from the oil fields of Iraq to your neighborhood school flies in the face of our purpose in creating a government by and for the people.

The American Street » Follow The Money:

In all the shocked reporting on the Walter Reed scandal, why the hell isn’t this in the opening paragraph?

"The committee also released an internal Army memorandum reportedly written in September in which the Walter Reed garrison commander, Col. Peter Garibaldi, warned Weightman that “patient care services are at risk of mission failure” because of staff shortages brought on by the privatization of the hospital’s support workforce."
Capitalism is arguably THE best economic system ever devised, but when made into a system of government it has other names: feudalism and/or fascism.

Worshiping the idols of privatization dishonors the very servicemen and women who have been callously used as pawns in an attempt to prove a social experiment. The despicable treatment of our injured warriors at Walter Reed hospital is merely another growing pain of the global commercial empire our neo-con masters are developing. The fallout of this transition from a liberal democratic society to a neoconservative corporate ogliarchy can be seen in New Orleans as well as the ravaged manufacturing base of the Great Lakes region.

The obscene profits reaped by the energy and weapons providers has not translated into an appreciable benefit to Americans at large -- unless they happen to have enough disposable income to invest in those sectors. Those born to poverty, or outsourced into joblessness have no chance to reach the American Dream under these conditions. That our nation has gone further into debt to provide less and less in the way of service to the population while paying private contractors to fight our wars and teach our kids is likewise part of the plan. As servicing our cumulative debt outpaces social entitlements like Medicare and Social Security, the federal government will become fiscally unable to meet it's basic obligations, let alone initiating any new programs.

Privatization of basic government services does not, can not and will not make our lives better. It is not designed to. Corporations exist only as a vehicle to maximize profits for those owning a share of that corporation. There's nothing wrong with that, it works and keeps the US economic miracle going. But it was never designed to benefit those who don't own a piece of the pie.

As Americans, we all own a piece of our republic. Little by little however, over the course of the last several decades, the collective "deal" we made with ourselves has been sold to the most connected no-bidders. The results are a tragic precursor of what's to come if we don't take our country back.

3 Comments:

arubyan said...

It's been observed that the amount of money paid to private contractors by our government is equal to all the tax revenues collected from people making up to $100 thousand per year.

In other words, approximately a lot.

Now this could cut two ways, depending on your political persuasion: If you are a right-winger, you could say that the government should officially stop being the middleman, passing your dollars on to the private sector.

If you are a lefty, you could demand greater accountability from the private AND the public sector.

Me? I choose the latter. I've seen the right-wing future and it looks like post-Katrina New Orleans.

Chris said...

Good post. I'm sick and tired of this market fundamentalism that has been forced down our throats under the auspices of "free market" or "small gov't". I agree, capitalism is the best economic system. However that's all it is--an economic system, not a form of gov't. Some things are not meant to be privatized. Do I want our gov't to make shoes or DVD's? No, but education or healthcare are things that belong to us. And I don't mind paying taxes to the gov't to act as a public trust to provide these for us. It ensures that WE own it, not some CEO who could give a shit about your kid's education or health. Rant over...thanks

ohdave said...

Not a good post... GREAT post.

You are an ass kickin machine Mark.