::Deadly pandemic rages::
Texas: “Let’s mismanage energy so thoroughly that our citizens are compelled to congregate en masse in heating centers designed to keep warm air and breath inside.” Here’s the problem with deregulation and privatization of public services.
The primary directive of a government is to serve and protect its citizens
The primary directive of a corporation is to make a buck.
When you give the duties of the former to the latter, failure ensues. Conservatives like to talk about running governments like businesses.
This is meant to drum up images of high corporate efficiency.
But a government that runs like a corporation is a failed government. A corporation, tasked with generating both higher profit and greater consumer satisfaction will work towards satisfaction ONLY insofar as it doesn’t impede higher profits.
If it’s one or the other, it will choose profit
This is a corporation doing what it is supposed to do. Theoretically the government’s choice should be the opposite.
It should work toward caring for people primarily, and if it is capable of recouping or exceeding its own costs then great.
But if public safety is at risk, money should be a secondary concern at best. In short, the govt model is “We’ll take care of you at any cost”
while the corporate model is “We’ll take care of you as long as it doesn’t cost us too much”
It’s clear why it’s dangerous to mix up these mandates.
Cause then people freeze to death over profit. It is understandable why government frequently needs to enlist corporations to provide specialized needs that the government can’t reasonably specialize in.
But that’s different than just ceding the whole thing to corporations and providing minimal regulation and oversight. It makes sense for instance that the government, without the equipment and resources to develop and mass produce vaccines, leans on corporations that already have the capacity.
But you don’t replace the Department of Health with Pfizer. Corporations are hostile to the things that citizens need from government:
- Job security
- Health care
- Living wages
- Civil rights
- Equal access
They are hostile because those things impede maximizing profit. This is the reason that some of the most employee-benficial employment environments are within government.
All those equity-increasing initiatives that corporations have to be arm-twisted to adopt, like anti-discrimination policies, government just has to do.
If someone promises they’re gonna run a State like a business, they’re saying that they will prioritize making money over the needs of the citizenry.
They are saying they will reconstruct government to cut every corner, pinch every penny and deprive people of costly services
Texas decided that corporations should be responsible for civic infrastructure and now people are literally freezing to death in their homes…
The poor people of course.
The rich people are fine. Because they have money and that’s how capitalism works.
Just not government. A big piece of the failure to properly upgrade and protect critical energy equipment from extreme weather was that nobody wanted to take on a costly rehab that might jeopardize their competition with other companies and lose money and market share. So when the choice was between
- “Ensure that citizens are safe, powered and warm”
- And “Make sure Company X doesn’t beat us”
Guess which won?
So now we have a state which is not only shamefully and woefully unprepared for the kind of extreme weather that their own denial of climate change ensures will only increase…
But whose only option now is to rely on a stopgap that accelerates a deadly pandemic. IF as discussed earlier, a government needs to rely on corporations to fill gaps in critical public resources, then it’s IMPERATIVE that those corporations be compelled to operate under the governmental mandate and not the corporate one.
Which is why strong regulation is key.