blue bits. red rocks.


The idea is that since the main goal of all private corporations is to make money, they’ll be much more willing than the government is to cut costs and eliminate waste. The result, conservatives and libertarians say, will be more efficient, responsible, and responsive services. That’s the theory, at least. In reality, privatization of public services has been a total disaster wherever it’s been tried. And, as a new report from the Center for Media and Democracy shows, it’s also created huge opportunities for fraud and corruption. The report, which was released today and is titled “Pay to Prey,” focuses on how Republican governors in states all across the country used the cover of privatization to enrich campaign donors and political cronies. The worst culprits include some the biggest names in Republican politics. A Red State Privatization Horror Story

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When you are willing to sacrifice the most vulnerable for political expediency it becomes easy, as Barack Obama and the Democratic Party have amply illustrated, to sacrifice all who are vulnerable—our own poor, workers, the sick, the elderly, students and our middle class. This is a Faustian compact. It ends by selling your soul to Goldman Sachs and ExxonMobil. It ends by deifying a military machine, now largely beyond civilian control, that, along with our organs of state security, has established surveillance and a security state that make us the most spied-upon, eavesdropped, monitored and photographed populace in human history. It is impossible to describe yourself as free when you are constantly watched. This is the relationship of a master and a slave. Chris Hedges

This new mode of authoritarianism mimics a form of terrorism because it abstracts economics from ethics and social costs, makes a mockery of democracy, works to dismantle the welfare state, thrives on violence, undermines any public sphere not governed by market values and transforms people into commodities. American society’s rigid emphasis on unfettered individualism, competitiveness and flexibility displaces compassion, sharing and a concern for the welfare of others. In doing so, it dissolves crucial social bonds, weakens public trust and undermines the profound nature of social responsibility and its ensuing concern for others. In removing individuals from broader social obligations, it not only tears up social solidarities, it also promotes a kind of individual and collective psychosis that is pathological in its disdain for public goods, community, social provisions and public values. As Hannah Arendt argued, we live in a time of absolute meaninglessness, which is the foundation of absolute evil, all of which produces a monstrous form of politics. Of course, this monstrous politics is revealed not only in savage social policies and attacks on the poor, public servants, women and young people, but also in the inability of American society to react to the suffering of others. Put differently, the United States has dethroned any viable notion of politics committed to the promise of a sustainable democracy. We have given up on the notion of the common good, social justice and equality that has been replaced by the crude discourses of commerce and militarization. Henry A. Giroux

Based on 2007 data (the most recently collected), 1,925 companies in the United States that employed 5,000 or more people represented just 32-thousandths of one percent of all companies, but had 33 percent of all business employees, 37 percent of all business payrolls, and 43 percent of all business revenues. How the executives in control of these very large corporations allocate resources has a profound impact on how the economy performs. William Lazonick

Once upon a time, monopoly and oligopoly were illegal in America. Our ancestors believed, correctly, that concentrated economic power was incompatible with democracy in all sorts of ways. Since the days of Ronald Reagan, however, every succeeding administration has chosen to enforce the antitrust laws only if the monopoly or oligopoly in question threatened to cause big price increases for consumers— and sometimes not even then. This has come to mean that nearly all mergers and takeovers are permitted, and that achieving monopoly has once again become the obvious strategic objective of every would-be business leader. Can The Democrats Win Back The House In November? Probably But It Would Take The Kind Of Bold Thinking And Bold Action They Fear

No tyranny, including the current corporatocracy, wants diverse groups to recognize what they have in common and to work together. Tyrants and other control-freaks know full well that achieving even small victories can transform people from a psychology of helplessness, hopelessness and defeatism to a psychology of empowerment. Coalitions and alliances that result in victories can inspire people to seek even greater power and demand true democracy. Truths and Falsehoods About Ralph Nader’s New Book

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