Privatizing our Government
Not content with owning the land under our homes and our businesses is their continuous effort to privatize our governments, schools, parks, health and safety, and infrastructure. This would transfer the social ownership of us all to the few republican donors at the expense of us all. (3)
What is collectively owned by the citizens of America?
Fortunately home ownership is not the only way we own property. Collectively we own the land that our cities, our state and federal governments sit on, we own schools and libraries, roads, rivers, dams and seaports, parks of all sizes. When we purchase a product in the free market, we are paying not just for that product but also the rent of the private land needed (as it should be). On the other hand, when we go to schools we collectively own the land; so we need to pay only for labor, materials and buildings. Were we to capitalize our school system to private industry, the landlord, would calculate that rent is equal to what ever society can afford to pay for education less expenses; labor, materials and buildings. So society, for every dollar spent on education will go from, the pride of what we are currently providing children, to paying a fee to a business that has every incentive to lower the costs so as to increase the remainder, his rent; let me name this the “Rent Effect”. That is an ever increasing loop where the more profitable a business is the higher the rent. Then, the higher the rent the more pressure there is on lowering the cost of business and increasing the cost to the consumer. The counter argument of theRepublican Party, and well-meaning conservatives in general, is that competition will control this. Does it? How do you measure a pound of education? It is somewhat like asking, how do you measure a pound of health care. Since American health care, unlike our education, has already been capitalized, it gives use a good example how other social endeavors would fair with this “competition”.
A large part of the capitalization was the taking of hospitals that were either owned by the community or were non-profits set up by doctors giving all of us access to modern facilities beyond the doctor’s office, and selling them to international corporations. With that change the costs, including rent is folded into our modern health care costs. We can now examine the Rent Effect vs government ownership with the cost of both. American education costs, including both to the tax payer and student fees are higher, as a percentage of GDP, then most countries, but close to the average. Healthcare, on the other hand, as a percentage of GDP is two and a half times greater than the average costs of other countries. And being expensive is only half the problem. The Rent Effect demanded either higher consumer fees, or cost reductions to increase rents. In the heat of political pressure in the 80’s to bring prices under control with Clinton and Clinton single payer government insurance plans, the Republican Party countered with the HMO solution; private insurance companies that would compete with each other to keep prices down. While they were somewhat successful in controlling consumer costs, they did so by, in the small print, eliminating services, particularly disingenuous were the caps on the amount covered. This half medical insurance, the hallmark of the HMO, would be like education without math.
With this thought let’s look at the current history of the healthcare insurance debate. Most Non-Republicans want a single payer healthcare plan run by government bureaucrats. Of course we would be glade to let others, who wish for it, buy private health insurance on the unregulated, laze fare marketplace. But shouldn’t a truly free marketplace be willing to provision to the wishes of over half its market a single payer, open to persistent public review, government insurance, whose workers are motivated by a desire to serve the people and not profits? Not if the Republican Party can help it.
Here is that history; from the Clinton presidency through the Bush years, the Republican Party praised the “competitive”, “free market” insurance system in the small state of Massachusetts by the Republican Governor Mitt Romney. The state lowered the premiums by requiring everyone to participate and regulated the insurance companies so they all provided complete insurance which then, in the open market competed for each of its participants. Obama, in his attempt to provide a policy for all Americans, on both side of the so called political divide, put forward this Republican plan, but adding, for Demarcates, the “Public Option”. That is, letting a government insurance company, with all their open sources bureaucratic bumbling, compete with private insurance companies. “No”, said the Republican Party; the “Public Option” is a non-starter! So the bill passed without it, saving insurance companies from government competition. So you think the Republican Party would be dancing in the street! Not the case! All the Republicans voted against the plan; and that was just the beginning. Since the plan was adopted by congress and signed by the president, even supported by the Supreme Court you would expect that team America would pull together and all partisans would help with its implementation. Not the Republican Party, they did worse than nothing; they actively worked for its failure. They painted anyone, especially Obama, who supported the act, as demigods set out to destroy America. The Republican Party and Fox news saturated the broadcast airway with the supposed dooming of our county. Petitions were spontaneously organized throughout the country to impeach Obama as the dictatorial communist he was. All on account of the black Democratic president passing, what just two years earlier, was the Republican health care plan!?
We have now for years been told by the Republican Party that the Affordable Care Act, “Obama Care”, is the problem; that they have a much better plan. When they found themselves with complete control of the government we discovered they had no plan. Everyone, from Trump to every Republican congressperson, who said we have a better plan as they campaigned for your vote, lied; indeed they are guilty of a political perjury. Let any of them correct this statement if they can, but our so called Republican “leaders” were telling you what they were told to say, and we can only assume they are now doing only what they are told to do, and nothing more.
So the reality of competition controlling the Rent Effect is not just that it is missing, but that it is requiring otherwise good and talented humans to cover-up the fact that it can’t be controlled, and yet, that is not the worst of it. Ignoring the depths of derogation bought on by the parties’ blindness to the effects of capitalization on services that are hard to measure, they want to do this to education, parks, infrastructure and anything else you and I own collectively.