We’ve written a lot on this website about the ways in which corporate overlords are gradually buying up our core public structures and converting them into private assets that can be squeezed and otherwise manipulated to maximize profits. Still, it’s always powerful to learn of new, brazen examples of this process in action.
Take for example this story on Blue NC this morning documenting the relationship between a leading candidate for Governor and a private “infrastructure” company with a less-than-stellar record in a neighboring state. The formula is startlingly simple and works well with politicians of both parties:
- Establish a company that performs some kind of service(s) that government ordinarily provides (e.g. road maintenance, mental health care or even running a school or a prison).
- Pay the workers lousy wages and look for other ways (like outsourcing and cutting quality) to keep costs very low.
- Give political candidates lots of campaign contributions.
- Hire fancy lobbyists and PR firms to whip up impressive presentations about “public-private partnerships” and “synergies.”
- Wangle big dollar contracts out of the politicians whose campaigns you helped fund in which government gives you boatloads of money to do what public institutions could have done just as well or better for the same amount of money.
- If you get chased out of one state, head to another to start the whole process over again with a new batch of corrupt and/or gullible pigeons.
Ah, the genius of the market.