Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Idiocy of Privatization- Part Sixty Thousand or So

Here's an article from Firedoglake describing the inevitable reaction to Hurricane Sandy from Republicans:

"Rebuilding the East Coast after Superstorm Sandy will be an expensive proposition. A new estimate of the cost of the storm now reaches $50 billion, and just protecting New York City from future disasters through the use of a seawall and other barriers would tack on another $15 billion, though that money would be as well spent as any you can devise... in the aftermath of a life-changing event like a hurricane and flood, the shock doctrine starts to factor in. All of a sudden, developers see their chance to hollow out the undergrowth and remake cities and towns in an image that means more private profits for them...

The right-wing governors in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and the pro-business New Democrat Andrew Cuomo in New York will be all too happy to facilitate privatization in these projects. There could be billions of dollars sloshing around in these different projects."

And I have seen similar sentiments in other places.

Now, here's the thing:  What in the name of God does "privatization" of disaster response even mean?  Repairing things after disasters like Sandy or Katrina involves the expenditure of billions of dollars with absolutely no prospect of anything in return.  Why would any private company do that?  And if they would, nothing is stopping them now.  Why do we not see people paid by Koch Industries or Wal-Mart out there digging houses out of the sand or cleaning sewage out of the streets?  Why are they not proving to us that they can do a better job of disaster relief than the government?

Why not?  Because the whole idea is so absurd that no private company would put a nickel into trying to make this massively money-losing activity part of their business model.  No, here, as usual, is what Republicans mean by "privatizing" disaster relief:  The American people will cough up the money that is needed, and then rather than using FEMA or other government agencies, we will turn the money over to companies like Halliburton and KBR, so that they can skim off every damned penny they can, before spending the dead minimum on their job.  Yes, as is always the case, natural disasters will become nothing but one more way for Republicans to flood the pockets of the rich, while pretending to do their jobs.

Once again, the Republican party reveals itself (to anyone who cares to see) to be nothing but a gigantic criminal conspiracy created to strip this nation of every shred of wealth, and pass it along to the richest hundredth of one percent of people in the world.  The half of the population who apparently go along with this are nothing but the biggest bunch of suckers in history.


the yellow fringe said...

Slightly off the centerline of your subject, but central to the issue, S. Colbert said on his show (not exact but as good as I remember). "Yes, lets kill Fema at the federal level and give it to the states. Who better to quickly rebuild it's self than the very state who's infrastructure was all washed out to sea."

BB-Idaho said...

'Disasters R Us'; We Feel Your Pain. Bottled water $35/qt...

Green Eagle said...

Here's something I find amusing: I've seen a number of Republicans attacking Obama because gasoline is in very short supply in New Jersey, resulting in massive lines and price gouging.

Funny, I thought the oil business was private enterprise. Mitt seems to think that they would have handled the disaster much better than the government, but they can't even run their own business right when there is a crisis.

The Republican cant about the superiority of the private sector is as ludicrous as their lies about tax cuts for the rich stimulating the economy. We all know it's bunk, but enough people get paid very well to repeat the fairy tales that they become accepted wisdom among the mentally challenged, such as the mainstream media.

Dave Dubya said...


1. If your home is in the path of Sandy, evacuate to your second or third home immediately.

2. If your home sustains damages from Sandy, ask your parents for money to fix it.

3. Make sure you've moved your cars to the top floor of your garage.

4. Sandy is so violent because she was raised by a single mother.

5. Don't worry about evacuating. If it's a legitimate storm, your house has a way of shutting itself down to protect itself from damage.

6. My prayers and thoughts go out to 53% of you.

7. 53% of you will be fine. The other 47% I couldn't care less about.

8. If you survive, I'll take credit for it.

9. If you must drive in the storm, use extra-strength rope to secure your dog to the roof of the car.

10. Everyone chill out. Sandy will end earlier than male-named storms. She has dinner to get on the table.

11. I actually have a bunch of storm survival tips,, but I'm not going to tell you any of them until after the election.

12. Everyone in the path of the storm, don't be a victim and stop looking for handouts.

Anonymous said...

yep because FEMA is doing such a great job