Tuesday, December 12, 2006

WHAT IS GOVERNMENT FOR?

THE USES OF GOVERNMENT
There is a myth in the private sector that government does not create wealth, only the private sector does. The government, however, is the largest employer in the society.
It employs 18 million people. Besides that, it is charged with another kind of wealth which is equally important; supplying and administrating the public good. For example, is up to the government to provide parks, the post office, civilian defense, public safety, street signs, street lights fire departments, healthcare, education, housing, etc., because these things help give equal opportunity to a whole community. The question arises; are we all equal as citizens, or is full participation limited only to a small number of people?
The reason we all pay into the educational system is because it is not a private domain. It plays a role in our society of educating the next generation of Americans, who will, as educated people, be in a position to finance medical care and Social Security and the general standard of living for everyone. The role of government is to provide equal opportunity and create a level playing field for everyone. It is there to assure that one particular entity can’t become so powerful that it starts to write the rules of the system solely to supply its own interests and needs. The role of government is to regulate and then to redistribute.
The private sector talks about the miracle of the market, and how supply and demand regulate themselves, but the fact is that the market fails more often than it succeeds. The number of bankruptcies is legion. The private sector is unable to finance large risky projects, large-scale transportation networks, rail, highway systems, the safety of our water, of our food supply. For instance, high tech has been almost entirely funded through public funds or, indirectly, by tax credits and tax deductions for research and development. Agricultural productivity is also underwritten by the government.
The fact is that government does create wealth, commonwealth, and the private sector, if allowed to do so, comes along and appropriates that wealth for itself and begins to charge for its use. In these cases the private sector does not create wealth, but it is just transferring wealth from the public sector to itself. Overtime this wealth is concentrated among a smaller and smaller group of people.
Private sector propaganda declares that the only way something can be given value is for somebody to buy it. The airwaves have no value until so somebody buys and sells them. Minerals, vegetables and animals have no value until someone patents them (including their DNA or other properties) and puts them on the market.This is the mentality of the slave master. Markets are everything. Markets are the sole mediation of all human interaction, and private ownership is everything. Culture, economics and politics are all defined by the shopping mall.
The private sector is fond of saying that they deserve their wealth because they did it all by themselves. Yet the richest people don’t work, and a third were born into their wealth. In a régime controlled by the private sector, wealth is not taxed. In 2003, the US had a 200 billion-dollar deficit, which was equal to the Bush federal tax cut given to the wealthiest 1%. The private sector looks at the public sector and sees a tremendously lucrative markets of essential services with a guaranteed revenue stream. Its aim is to substitute markets for democratic institutions. It does this by outsourcing contracts, which makes them unaccountable to the people. Their goal is to develop a private army and private civilian services to take over the country and run it as they see fit.
When the public-sector is in private hands, these receive grants and subsidies which are another way of privatizing and transferring wealth. These entities obstensively provide social services at a profit. Those services, such as healthcare or education, that don’t show a profit are cut back. Businesses will then hire inexperiened people with no unions and low pay and who can be fired at will.
There is another aspect which is even more serious. When the police and the military, which are supposedly run by government, are in fact controlled by the private sector, citizens are spied on and propagandized into supporting wars for private profit of the rich minority. This spells the death of a democracy.
After a paper by Elaine Bernard.

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