Inspection- Taking a Contract Out on the Contractors

by Ken Carman

 When are we going to admit that privatizing some things simply doesn’t work?
  Snowden?
  Aaron Alexis: the Navy Yard Shooter, had access because he was vetted by a contractor?
  Halliburton?
  For profit prisons pushing for more laws and more strict enforcement to improve profits?
  When are we going to admit that privatizing has been one hell of a failure?
  When I was in college I wrote a news article comparing four colleges food services which came to the conclusion that Potsdam, and Mohawk Valley Community College, had the best because they had vended out. Every year the student council would vote: keep the current vender or not?
  The problem is in a country where corporations are considered people; and are free to stuff politicians pockets with cash, that model is unworkable. Even if that were not the case we’re not dealing with a small college of a few thousand. We’re dealing with millions and millions of people, hundreds of politicians and courts blessing corruption by corporations, some damn near qualifying as countries themselves, size-wise.
  How can corruption on an obscene scale not happen?
  At least if the food service for troops at war was government owned and run: as it once was, voters would know who to vote out of office. With privatization they can blame the corporation, the corporation blame the government and the troops are left defending venders whose business practices might just be lethal to them… rather than doing their damn job. Why? Because the record of huge corporations who enrich pols like Dick Cheney winning contracts is damn near win 100%, lose damn near zero.
  I’m sorry, Libertarians: it isn’t working!
  For the past 40 years we have skewed our economic system towards mega-corporations. In some states corporations can do eminent domain: take your property, legally, so they can head for higher profits while paying employees so little they encourage them to go on public assistance. Instead of increasing inspectors and inspectors we defund inspecting and insist the public must cook burgers and chicken into tasteless rubber. Why? Because it’s more profitable to crowd thousands of chickens into a small space, pump them full of antibiotics because they live in their own feces. That was the start. We thought we were safe with steak, but now steaks are “tenderized” by machines with unsanitized blades and screw the consumer: eat nsteak well dine or die. Corporate profits are more imprtant than our lives, our well being.
  Skewing everything towards corporations, all this privatization, has been so “successful:” at least for those seeking a lack of ethics and more profits, we decided letting Halliburton/KBR build facilities that electrocute soldiers in the shower, not providing water in a desert and defending contractors instead of fighting a war, were more important than winning wars or national security. Hell, just hire anyone to check out records of those who handle security, or might want to stick their hands down the pants, or up the skirt, of a passenger in our airports. As long as it gains more profit, who cares?
  What the hell is wrong with us?
  Word? Foam at the mouth ideology where hitting your head on a wall with deregulation, privatization and profit is the only thing that matters. Where “free” market ideology means we just haven’t slammed hard enough, or enough times, if we find we’re headed the wrong direction, like Steve Martin and John Candy in Planes, Trains and Automobiles.
  Let’s go back to what worked: soldiers providing for soldiers, smaller farms that may be more pricey: but safer. How?
  Let’s take a contract out on the contractors: keep the “private” in the private sector.

                                                     -30-

Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 30 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks and into the unseen cracks and crevasses that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.
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Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
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