Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Selling Off The Future
Paul beat me to it, as usual. There was great uproar when the operating rights to several American ports were up for sale to a foreign government, yet there seems to be a tacit approval of selling off the actual infrastructure of America.
Private companies are buying the tollways and bridges out from under us. Now our transportation and defense-response networks are in the hands of private companies which may or may not support the same goals as we. Not only are we being taxed (feed) without being represented, we are being taxed without realizing any of the benefits of ownership.
Private ownership of bridges and roads is not new (think about the Billy Goats Gruff for an example.) One of the advances toward a cohesive civilization was the holding of these structures in common for the benefit of all. We are boldly striding into the 13th Century here.
Selling off assets for a one-time budget fix is not a plan for the future (see the tobacco settlement trust fund and lack thereof.) It is a giveaway of public assets to the highest bidder.
Like a junkie trying to make the nut for the day governments will keep looking for things to sell. When the roads are gone then will go the schools. We've started down the path to a for-profit school system already with vouchers and taxpayer subsidies for for-profit schools. Just like that junkie, we will eventually run out of things to sell and have nothing left of value to us.