Monday, August 29, 2011

Batten Down the Hatches

Batten Down Your Hatches

I don't have any hatches, but I've had to batten down a lot of things lately and I feel that way a lot of the time.  Something important is going to break, or go wrong, or just not work.

We’ve all gotten used to it in this country.  We don’t expect to have electricity during the mildest of storms, and I am not even surprised when the power goes out for an hour or two on a beautiful day.

Now, don’t go blaming the government.  Government services suck because you  get what you pay for.  At least where government is concerned.  From Amtrak to the power grid, the people with all the money just don’t want to pay for quality for the rest of us, and they just keep convincing us voters that they shouldn’t have to.

And the next verse to that tune is that businesses would do a better job than government.  So look around you.  Where do you get better bang for the buck?

At the airport, the airlines got government to foot the bill for security when they were unenthusiastic about paying for a job that did not immediately and positively impact their bottom line, and then they cut staff at the customer service lines so they could make an even bigger buck by not offering customer service.

If you like your private health insurance better than Medicare, it just may be because those people you voted into office on the platform of cutting the fat out of government managed to cut the budget out of government health care while siphoning off our tax dollars to the private insurers.

And you may not remember the days before ObamaCare, but they are unforgettable if you or a loved one had a pre-existing condition, or you had or were a jobless college graduate that fell ill, but it will all come back to you when the Republicans get the Supremes to repeal that nasty old socialist health care law.

And why pay government employees, when our tax dollars can pay a corporation, say, Halliburton or Blackwater (Xe, for goodness sakes), to pay employees, and we get to pay their wages as well as a tidy profit for the shareholders and CEO’s.   And an extra added benefit to that is, there is absolutely no governmental control over the quality of the job done.  Remember Abu Ghraib?

Sell off our highways, and then hit the government up for repairs as an incentive for "job creation"; privatize our prisons rather than provide the government the funds to better our communities.

Our internet, which should be free, but is actually free to all who can pay for it, is the next mountain for corporate America to conquer.  Because a well-informed public would also want to be a well-educated public.  And a well-informed and well-educated public would not be led around by fear, and would see the contradictions in the rhetoric of privatization and deregulation, and would know that government should be for us all, and not just the wealthy.

And then we would insist on a dependable electrical grid, and attractive schools that children would be proud to spend the day in, with well-paid teachers that are respected for the important job they do for our children.

And we would know that a good, honest government would do this gladly, and then we would only need to batten down the hatches in a rare emergency, and not every time it rains.

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