With the results of the 2016 election and the embedding of #45 as our figurehead / president, America has reached a point where there is no longer any reason for the right to pretend. They no longer attempt to hide anything. Cabinet appointments, removal of regulations, calls to end unions, efforts to privatize and of course the eternal mantra to reduce taxes on the wealthy and corporations are the most obvious examples, but there are inumerable fronts where similar changes are taking place. There is no longer an effort to deny any of it. The game plan is: simply ignore questions, deflect and keep everything moving as fast as possible. Inertia is paramount for the pieces have never been so perfectly placed. What we are witnessing, no experiencing is the "full speed morphing of the American Democracy into a literal 21st century oligarchy" and most of us don't want to believe it. We are dumbfounded.
A brief review of the meaning of some terms may help clarify what is happening all around us:
- democracy: a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives.
- oligarchy: a small group of people having control of a country, organization, or institution.
- morph: change smoothly from one image to another by small gradual steps using computer animation techniques.
The Powell Memorandum taught conservatives that control must be their primary goal. Control of all major influences in our society: economy, media, entertainment, even education. What has very covertly changed is who has that control and there has been a concentrated and effective effort, since the 60's, by the right and wealthy to dominate positions of control on all selected fronts. These controlling forces are literally, effectively and rapidly morphing the American Democracy into a 21st century oligarchy. One popular method of control is to simply move functions from the public arena and into the private - privatization.
Efforts at privatization are major cogs in the engine of conservative / right wing change, constantly promoted as key parts of the religion of capitalism. But they often end up quite different than the sales pitch touted. Examples of privatization going wrong abound and the article below summarizes five nightmares resulting from privatization:
- Privatized Prisons - "the implications of a privatized prison system: if people go to prison it means more profit for the big for-profit prison corporations ... wanting more of us sentenced to long terms in jail so they can make more money! Even worse, there is an added corporate benefit: cheap prison labor."
- Parking Meters - "In a 2008 deal with Morgan Stanley, Chicago privatized its parking meters. In return for $1.15 billion Chicago gave up $11.6 billion of future revenue" and that wasn't all ...
- Wisconsin - "a statewide privatization nightmare ... (a county) plan ended up backfiring and costing the county extra money ... (the result is often little more than attempting) to undo the social contract and replace it with a private one ... may have violated federal rules ... questions were immediately raised about whether the arrangement would end up disproportionately benefiting GOP campaign donors, such as the Koch brothers" denied of course,
- Louisiana Privatizing Public-Employee Health Plans - "According to a story at Colorlines, Bobby Jindal’s Plan to Privatize Health Insurance for 250,000 Workers, Jindal’s privatization plan is very good for Goldman Sachs but not Louisiana",
- Traffic-law enforcement (including red-light cameras – decisions are made on profit motive, not good judgement) - "private systems are only interested in profit. So judgment and compassion are thrown out the window ... the public, not understanding or caring that the enforcement has been privatized, comes to see local government as little more than one more scammer after their money and loses trust and faith in government in general", further, but diametrically causing a demand for more privatization.
Generally, there are many common problems that arise post-privatization, some immediately and some over time. As "right-wing anti-government tax-cut schemes turn to privatization, sell off public assets" the public, both as a group and as individuals, finds it is less able to react to future needs.
- Privatization Just Shifts Costs To Other Parts Of Government Or To The Economy - "Does government really “save” if one government agency saves some money by contracting out, but other government agencies have to pick up the same costs."
- The Equation Of Privatization - "tax cuts leave governments desperate to raise cash, so they sell off public assets (the things We, the People own together) or cut jobs. Then they rent them back or the public pays for their use." A good deal for private entities but the public (We the People) are left searching for a way out from under the cloud of austerity, an intention byproduct of the process of privatization.
- Private Not Public Interest - "When things are privatized of course profit comes first, not public interest. Public functions are supposed to serve the public, us, We, the People. The ‘private’ in ‘privatization’ means that it is done for the private gain of a few. When a public function is privatized it means that instead of operating for the benefit of We, the People – the 99% – it is operated for the benefit of a few – the 1%."
Once again, it all comes down to control. The wealthy, Corporations, the 1% (Oligarchy) spend a good portion of their time and money, every day, solidifying and expanding their influence and control over all aspects of the American economy while at the same time diminishing any regulations or control the public might still have. Democracy adds nothing to those efforts of our oligarchy. For over 100 years they have been looking everywhere for any and every remedy to manipulate the American constitution. And today corporations now have legally become human, gaining the rights originally granted to human beings. They have become the almost unbeatable adversary whenever the American Oligarchy is in legal battle with We the People. To have any chance at curtailing the complete "morphing of the American Democracy into a literal 21st century oligarchy" this must change.
- "corporations are not people and have no rights under the US Constitution as such" and
- "money is not speech".