Sunday, January 2, 2011

Egberto Willies: Privatization of government services nothing but corporate welfare in disguise

  The article at The Huffington Post titled "At Kaplan University, 'Guerilla Registration' Leaves Students Deep In Debt" hit a nerve. The premise of the article is that many at the mentioned private University used less than honest tactics to either enroll students or keep students enrolled. Worst, student's diplomas and/or transcripts were held hostage for phantom owed fees.

  This should not be surprising. Since Ronald Reagan professed that "Government is the problem," the government began the march to privatization. This was done under the premise that privatization would increase efficiencies and would somehow be less expensive. As an engineer well-schooled in math I always considered that statement one of the most deceiving lies of the politicians.

  To believe that privatization is less expensive one must believe the mathematical impossibility that the cost of a service or product alone is greater than the cost of the service or product plus profit plus taxes. It makes no sense.

  It is true that government bureaucracy can be very inefficient and needs to be fixed. You do not however fix it by passing a government bureaucracy to a private corporate bureaucracy that has the additional responsibility of making a profit for its shareholders. You fix it by concentrating on fixing government.

  A private company's ultimate fiduciary responsibility is to its shareholder. The government product/service becomes nothing but a commodity to extract a profit. The government product/service is the means by which the corporations usurp corporate welfare.

  In Iraq and Afghanistan private corporations charge on the order of $30.00 or more per meal as they hire foreign workers to serve our troops and buy foreign food at all substantial discounts. Private corporations pay some American private soldiers and workers six figures and foreign workers a pittance as they charge taxpayers several times a soldier's salary per employee. Hiring our capable soldiers to take care of our own is less expensive and does not become a corporate welfare catalyst.
  A private school pays low wages to teachers which translate into poor education as they take over 25 percent of all federal student assistant dollars. Outcomes from private universities are poor relative to public institutions.

  Ultimately in order to maximize corporate profits the taxpayer receiving the product/services from the private company will always be short changed. Some functions in society should always be maintained either government run or at best non-profit. There is absolutely no way that the privatization of education, wars, health insurance, and other social services that require no innovation can be successful because in order to maintain profits the private companies only option is to short change the taxpayer.

  When our friends on the Right continue to decry the evils of big government they conveniently forget that the greatness of our country is that we are a government by and of the people. The Corporation is for and by the shareholder. It is for this reason that it is critical that the right balance is maintained between the Government, The Corporation, and the Individual with an absolute bias to the individual.

  The drive to the privatization of everything will ultimately result in; the continued pilfering of the middle class, those who least can afford to be robbed. Privatization of rightful government services is nothing but corporate welfare, a transfer of the middle class's wealth to the top two percent.

  About the author: Egberto Willies is an entrepreneur, software engineer, author, and political activist that believes political involvement should be a requirement for citizenship. Egberto writes many newspaper articles and is the author of the book As I See It - Class Warfare The Only Solution To Right Wing Doom that can be found at

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