The Privatization of America Marginalizes Americans
I read two articles today that gave me a regularly recurring reality check on what is happening to the world we live in on a pretty massive scale: the privatization of America. And the marginalization of our rights and well-being.
The first is about the industries profiting most from the failing war on drugs (including the Corrections Corporation of America - aka a FOR-PROFIT PRISON). If you’ve been paying attention, you won’t be surprised all these groups have benefited from hefty lobbying power and low-level convictions: http://bit.ly/JqBvq7
The second is about the current struggle for the USPS to stay afloat, after the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act was made law. Pushed heavily by lobbyists, this attempt to break the postal union and privatize the industry isn’t exactly in the interest of the average American. Unless this law is rolled back, it’s virtually impossible for USPS to remain in tact, after paying an unprecedented 100% of 75 years worth of future benefits for their employees - within 10 years - and being prohibited from striking up other fund-raising ventures, as is permitted in other countries: http://bit.ly/ILyEDD
It is well known that child labor and many other seemingly humanitarian laws were put into effect, primarily in order to boost the economy. So, it’s not exactly a shock that federal legislation is still being largely dictated by big money.
The difference I see across America is this - a vehement debilitation and dismantling of public services by the profit-driven private sector - an obvious detrimental hazard to the health, happiness, privacy, safety, and souls of its citizens.
The examples above, plus an endless number related to the military, security, education, and health care industries, etc., paint a surrounding realization that our country’s driving motivation is profit - not the good of the American People. Was it ever? Maybe not, but I imagine freedom and equality were an easier sell once upon a time, not the castaways they appear to be today.
The America of today is quite different than the one we pictured pledging allegiance to, with our hands over our hearts, at our grade school desks. Today, it seems, there’s liberty and justice for all…who can pay for it. And even then, especially if a particular private prison is shooting for a quota they promised to shareholders, it could really go either way.
This is not surprising, since what is at issue is the dismantling of public education in California. Just six years ago, tuition at the University of California was $5357. Tuition is currently $12,192. According to current proposals, it will be $22,068 by 2015-2016. We have discussed this in my classes, and about one third of my students report that their families would likely have to pull them out of school at the new tuition. It is not a happy moment when the students look around the room and see who it is that will disappear from campus. These are young people who, like college students everywhere and at all times, form some of the deepest friendships they will have in their lives.
This is what motivates students who have never taken part in any sort of social protest to “occupy” the campus quad. And indeed, there were students who were attacked with chemical agents by robocops who were engaging in their first civic protest. —
You should probably read this.
Nathan Brown, Assistant Professor University of California at Davis in an open letter to Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi (via cultureofresistance)
These officers are a disgrace. They should all be fired, their pensions revoked, and they should all face criminal prosecution.