Skip to main content

I’m about at the end of my rope with the whole “Government can’t do things right, so we need to shift as much as possible to the private sector” meme.  Where, exactly, is this private sector utopia of competency I hear so much about?  Where, exactly, is this private sector bastion of effectiveness they speak of?

Is it West Fertilizer Company in Texas that blew up, killing 15 people and injuring hundreds more, all because of their glorious private proficiency in maximizing profits at the expense of worker safety?  Is that what they’re talking about?

Is it the chemical company in West Virginia, Freedom Industries, that spills 7,500 gallons of the chemical MCHM into the Elk River, cutting off clean water supply to more than 300,000 people?  Is that the pinnacle of effectiveness they’re referring to?

Is it the long, long list of Wall Street companies that effectively leveraged their abundance of greed to essentially destroy the U.S. and global economies?  Is that one?

Is it Rupert Murdock and his News International newspapers whose employees hacked into the phones of a murdered schoolgirl, relatives of deceased British soldiers, and victims of the 7/7 London bombings, all in the noble pursuit of a scoop?  Surely that’s a shining example of private sector responsibility, no?

Is it BP and its Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion which killed 11 and spilled nearly 5 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, all because of “cost-cutting” decisions designed to maximize already-record profits, then proceeded to hide documents and lie to Congress in the subsequent cover up.  That good corporate citizen?

Is it Johnson & Johnson that was handed a $2.2B fine in 2013 for withholding information on known potential side effects such as stroke for one of their drugs, and even bribing doctors to prescribe as much of the drug as possible?.  And why?  Say it with me now:  MONEY!!!

Is it big box, big-hearted Walmart and several of its top executives who systematically bribed Mexican government officials for years in order to allow them to open stores much more quickly than if Mexican laws had been adhered to?  That selfless “job” creator?  

I could go on and on with these examples, but I’m not going to.

Meanwhile the federal government has created and maintains some of the largest, most successful, most supported programs in our history.  Can anyone say Social Security?  How about Medicare/Medicaid?

The bottom line is that the for the most part, the private sector is driven by one and only one thing:  Maximizing profits.  And the actions and decisions which are required to fulfill that sole objective are quite often in complete conflict with the public’s best interests.  Conversely, the government’s sole purpose, at least in theory, is to look out for the public’s best interests.  Anytime there are human beings involved, there will be corruption and evil.  But this notion from the Right that government should be small enough to “drown in a bathtub” because it is incapable of competency compared to that of the private sector just doesn’t hold up for me when considering the facts.

Originally posted to FraidKnot on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 08:59 AM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

skybluewater, Egg, Mark Sumner, fly, Thumb, Alumbrados, tsackton, RobertInWisconsin, Sylv, nota bene, KeithH, Odysseus, melo, ferg, dalemac, Trendar, Geenius at Wrok, Gooserock, PeterHug, johnmorris, surfbird007, Sprinkles, karlpk, Yoshimi, Shockwave, mrhelper, Heimyankel, simaramis, LynChi, Pescadero Bill, Wintermute, SanJoseLady, eeff, dsb, xynz, mzinformed, elfling, sobermom, delver rootnose, RFK Lives, gjohnsit, wackoliberal, MarkInSanFran, expatjourno, hubcap, Heart of the Rockies, tyler93023, concernedamerican, bronte17, Babsnc, TracieLynn, EricS, kalihikane, wonkydonkey, whenwego, undercovercalico, SoCalJayhawk, ask, rabel, pedrito, Nate Roberts, Iberian, sidnora, dksbook, wader, psnyder, annan, Miss Jones, lungfish, pat bunny, MA Liberal, TiaRachel, wdrath, NYFM, Steven Payne, Bluehawk, RuralLiberal, eodell, lcrp, Brian82, Bluebirder, dkmich, walkshills, Kalil, zerelda, Black Max, AaronBa, Josiah Bartlett, bibble, murrayewv, Frank Vyan Walton, sawgrass727, Gowrie Gal, Ohkwai, la motocycliste, maybeeso in michigan, radarlady, 3goldens, tinfoilhat, NoMoreLies, BluejayRN, caul, Seldom Seen, unclejohn, irate, PsychoSavannah, Superpole, Simplify, ChemBob, YucatanMan, Dobber, Kevskos, Gary Norton, eru, owlbear1, ocooper, bleeding blue, grog, SaraBeth, spitemissile, lotlizard, Eric K, blue jersey mom, Steve in Urbana, markdd, illinifan17, Sandino, Shotput8, Jlukes, turdraker, Jim P, third Party please, Hirodog, Orinoco, Kingsmeg, cybersaur, 417els, profundo, ActivistGuy, mooshter, KenBee, The Wizard, rhetoricus, raincrow, EthrDemon, blueoasis, NBBooks, MJ via Chicago, wild hair, twigg, The Hindsight Times, NCJan, Crashing Vor, JVolvo, Preston S, antboy, Unitary Moonbat, middleagedhousewife, Turbonerd, onionjim, thenekkidtruth, CA Nana, doingbusinessas, RantNRaven, Tom Anderson, AllanTBG, krwheaton, ammasdarling, Cronesense, Habitat Vic, camlbacker, Debs2, leema, gailwax, bfbenn, EdSF, puakev, yoduuuh do or do not, Wino, Blue State 68, Cofcos, HeartlandLiberal, operculum, terabytes, Dave in Northridge, Uncle Moji, newpioneer, bnasley, HCKAD, eashep, millwood, Moderation, jhop7, carpunder, pioneer111, fallina7, aseth, Assaf, South Park Democrat, on the cusp, sand805, jwinIL14, MKinTN, Ezekiel in Exile, Amor Y Risa, mconvente, TruthFreedomKindness, misterwade, Justus, JeffW, gfv6800, Port City Moon, Youffraita, Involuntary Exile, Laughing Vergil, Buckeye Nut Schell, Calamity Jean, RandomNonviolence, left my heart, TokenLiberal, codairem, petulans, kallen808, mosec, OrdinaryIowan, Blueslide, rodentrancher, Mayfly, HoosierDeb, billybam, WearyIdealist, JBL55, Forbzee, MrsTarquinBiscuitbarrel, maggiejean, Bule Betawi, Turn Left, multilee, Glacial Erratic, Dirtandiron, ARS, greengemini, Domestic Elf, The Dead Man, cantelow, banjolele, LeftOfYou, maryabein, Methinks They Lie, indres, rbird, dRefractor, NWTerriD, sfarkash, Tortmaster, Leftcandid, LookingUp, FogCityJohn, willynel, flitedocnm, pdx kirk, estreya, piers, Polly Syllabic, Lost and Found, alguien, atxcats, ATFILLINOIS, NM Ray, gulfgal98, samanthab, MsGrin, kenwards, Oh Mary Oh, Onomastic, spindr27, kerflooey, Bluefin, cedar163, zooecium, ozsea1, Liberal Capitalist, Plox, matercarol, xarkGirl, hooktool, La Gitane, FarWestGirl, deeproots, Teiresias70, nezzclay, Alice Olson, armd, marleycat, zukesgirl64, sethtriggs, Jasonhouse, BarackStarObama, RfrancisR, sofa turf, tardis10, LSmith, Grandma Susie, createpeace, peregrine kate, myrmecia gulosa, bluedust, Desert Scientist, Dbug, BendixG15, Apost8, Rashaverak, jaebone, Auriandra, DEMonrat ankle biter, allergywoman, Laurel in CA, IowaBiologist, KansasNancy, OldDragon, anodnhajo, cwsmoke, Siri, ahumbleopinion, The Lone Apple, barkingcat, FloridaSNMOM, FreeSpeaker, Steve Masover, Horace Boothroyd III, This old man, Howdidigethere, peachcreek, LittleSilver, jan4insight, Karelin, reginahny, BusyinCA, MartyM, Galtisalie, doroma, lunachickie, wxorknot, Victim of Circumstance, FrY10cK, George3, wasatch, databob, peptabysmal, Robynhood too, WheninRome, Hammerhand, GoGoGoEverton, bisleybum, Lily O Lady, Blue Bell Bookworm, Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN, Dancun74, The grouch, Linda1961, teddywolf, SandersRavilyn, Witgren, goodpractice, HedwigKos, alice kleeman, GwenM, Alhambra, leeleedee, Aunt Pat, libraboom, Jollie Ollie Orange, ORswede, Homer177, helpImdrowning, Icicle68, bob152, ET3117, Hundred Acre Wood, jellin76, Another Grizzle, Kombema, skepticalcitizen, TheDuckManCometh, RUNDOWN, richardvjohnson, Ticorules, Chas 981, dannyboy1, Dodgerdog1, Capt Crunch, jbsoul, patbahn, AZsparky, Auburn Parks, thanatokephaloides, underTheRadar, Skyye, travelerxxx, theBreeze, SirVantes, Billlll, Darth Stateworker, SoCalSocialist, hbk, cjtjc, writeofwinter, AJayne, irocdk, nicestjerk

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site