Air Traffic Control, environment, Federal jobs, Government shutdown, infrastructure, mining, national monumnets, oil and gas, prisons, privatization, Public Lands, Public Schools, roads and bridges, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Trump, Veterans Affairs health care
The real goal of Trump’s US government shutdown appears to be to get unpaid workers to leave their jobs, and allow him to quickly privatize more government functions, to the benefit of both his foreign and domestic corporate buddies. Additionally, when US government workers get their homes foreclosed upon, his corporate buddies can buy them for cheap, and then rent them for high amounts.
Reagan fired 11,345 air traffic controllers shortly after they went on strike in 1981. Air traffic wasn’t as important then, but it still caused problems for months, afterwards. It also led to the hiring of thousands new, young, air traffic controllers who have reached or passed the retirement age of 56. See: “Aviation system begins to feel stress from the shutdown, union leaders say” https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/aviation-system-begins-to-feel-stress-from-the-shutdown-union-leaders-say/2019/01/03/468d86ea-0f7f-11e9-84fc-d58c33d6c8c7_story.html
It is likely that Trump has in mind this historic firing, and doesn’t know or care that air travel is much more important today.
From the beginning, the Trump Administration has been aiming straight at essential government services, which need to remain 100% publicly owned, as part of public safety and the common good. The common good includes effective functioning of honest private business. He has even suggested that Saudi Arabia help build American infrastructure. https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2018/02/13/trump-sold-floor-of-trump-world-tower-to-saudi-arabia-a-few-months-before-911-now-trump-wants-saudi-to-build-us-infrastructure/
The United States has so wantonly given away citizenship to those who are only interested in exploiting the country, that there is much overlap between foreign and domestic corporate robber barons. A case in point would Soviet born British-American Len Blavatnik. While Trump’s government shutdown is effectively internal warfare by a de facto Russian operative, because it jeopardizes public safety, these facts are not mutually exclusive. The destructive chaos is simply lagniappe to go with the privatization.
The US government has frequently involved itself in things, which are not a necessary or proper function of government. Often this involves private contractors who feed at the taxpayer trough. The examples of this are legion. If such foolishness as paying private companies to manage public entities would be stopped, then more could be invested in public employee salaries, and public need, all while reducing cost.
The following is based on summary of an article by the AFGW:
Privatizing public assets allows companies “to overcharge for things which rightfully belong to all Americans“. Public-private partnerships are “expensive and inefficient” , a point supported by a Brookings Institution Report (and common sense).
Seven things which Trump wanted to privatize from the beginning:
1. Federal jobs. Government contractors are much more expensive than workers hired directly by government, at least two to three times more expensive. See: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/13/us/13contractor.html
2. Prisons. Obama had “decided to phase out private prisons after studies showed they have more safety, sanitary, and security problems than the ones run by the government” . Trump immediately changed this and increased funding to private prisons.
3. Veterans Affairs health care. Trump cut disabled Veternas benefits to help pay for privatization of veterans care, such as sending them to for-profit hospitals, which is more costly to the taxpayer, with often inferior care and services.
4. Public schools.
5. Air traffic control. The United States is “generally considered to have the busiest, most complex and safest ATC system in the world“, according to GAO: https://www.gao.gov/assets/680/675079.pdf Privatization “would create chaos and put our national defense’s surveillance and communications systems at risk” .
6. Roads and bridges. Trump wants to divert public infrasture money to private investors (including foreign investors such as Saudi Arabia). Americans will have to pay for even more expensive tolls and fees than is currently the case.
7. Public lands and national monuments. Trump’s review of national monuments had as its objective to “remove protections on public lands and waters” . This benefits oil and mining interests but not the American people. And, it is environmentally devastating.
The AFGE President J. David Cox Sr. explains that “When we privatize, we’re padding the pockets of CEOs and giving up key aspects of our democratic control… Their bottom line is profit, not the American people. In contrast, our government exists for the common good, to make our lives better. We need to fully fund our government programs, not diverting public money to enrich millionaires and billionaires.”
Summary based on the excellent article “7 Things Trump Wants to Privatize”
June 05, 2017, by American Federation of Government Workers. Read the original here: https://www.afge.org/article/7-things-trump-wants-to-privatize
Notes 1-5 are quotes from the article. In parentheses are our comments.
Trump wants to let Saudi Arabia build America’s infrastructure, America’s roads, bridges, and probably airports, too. Maybe he will sell them US air traffic control, which he wants to privatize? https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2018/02/13/trump-sold-floor-of-trump-world-tower-to-saudi-arabia-a-few-months-before-911-now-trump-wants-saudi-to-build-us-infrastructure/
Note that Len Blavatnik has objected to the Guardian newspaper that he is not a Russian oligarch. The traditional American term is robber baron. According to the Guardian: “Further, Sir Leonard Blavatnik’s lawyers have informed the Guardian that the term “oligarch” in his view does not apply to him. The Guardian editor-in-chief disagrees.” See: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/sep/03/len-blavatnik-oligarch-controversy-philanthropy-resignation-oxford-professor