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16 States On the Road to Privatization

March 9, 2011

Unions are the line between public ownership and privatization of government. That is what is happening in Michigan (see previous post). The unions are a political force that acts as a bulwark against corporatization. I have been writing about this for months as the fight from the right keeps ratcheting up. The right-wing in America (Republicans and Tea Partyists) is exploiting the financial collapse to advance their agenda and they are using every public tax dollar available to them – your money, my money, public pension money – to fund their efforts…..AND no money from the very banks that caused the collapse, and no increase in taxes to corporations, and on top of that the wealthy actually got a $2 trillion tax cut!

Essentially, the right-wing is attempting to strip everyday Americans of their wealth both privately and publicly, reduce their influence through union busting and no collective bargaining; not honor contracts to pay public pension fund monies to public workers; sell off and/or privatize public institutions; privatize public education; and do away with public benefits like Medicaid in order to turn around and privatize it. They want to implement cheap labor and no rights for the employee to bargain for anything. They want to defund public pensions assigning the wealth to general funds. They want to sell off public assets ( here in San Diego County the previous Governor Schwarzenegger wanted to sell off the Del Mar Track and Fairgrounds; Governor Jerry Brown has out a hold on that transaction) including parks, museums and public works, like county water authorities. They want to privatize all healthcare. They want to privatize all education. This is it folks – this is what they want. They want it all.

ProPublica has an excellent timeline of when and how much of our tax dollars were expended to address the crisis. That money – billions – needs to be returned with interest directly to the American people in the form of rebates. We need to sue the banks that caused the collapse for massive fraud. And we need to see the heads of these banks and mortgage firms who made these fraudulent loans prosecuted and go to jail.

We need to take action because it is only going to get worse. 16 states are on the road to advance this agenda. Michigan has made some inroads, but Wisconsin has held firm. Florida is cutting nearly $2 billion from public education. Ohio has just passed a draconian bill affecting ALL public workers. I am doing a separate post on Georgia after this one. And here is California where we have a $26 billion pothole, Republicans said today they are at an impasses over the Governor’s budget – why? because he wants to extend taxes BUT only with permission from California voters. The Repubs refuse to vote to approve putting the tax extension measure in an election this June. The party of NO continues their counterproductive behavior here as well.

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