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    Action Center
    Register of the Kentucky Historical Society
    Did you know...that the Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, first printed in 1903, is the oldest peer-reviewed publication dedicated to Kentucky history?Subscribe to the Register (only $40 per year).
  • Privatization and the Loss of Personal Freedom
    Posted On: Dec 12, 2016

    Privatization and the Loss of Personal Freedom

                                                                Joe Brennan

    Some will use terms like liberty, freedom, choice, self reliance, but these familiar terms merely obscure their true objectives: Privatization. Privatization is both a process and a mind set by which public enterprises and services become controlled by corporate interests at the loss to individuals. Free market, trickle-down economics, reduction of government intervention, deregulation, are their goals, unions and organized labor are seen as their opposition. It is however, the rights and privileges of individuals that are trampled on by the privatization process. Collective bargaining, grievance procedures, safety conditions are eliminated by "privatized efforts" as a response to allegations of "government designed socialism".

    Efforts to minimize "big government" are substituted by "big corporation". The administration of labor enterprise would be totally dictated by the governance of the investor or the Board of Directors, and remember "Corporations are persons my friend" (Mitt Romney). Privatization's tentacles reach out to grasp all aspects of community organization: schools, prisons, transportation, health and social services. Privatization efforts gather tolls on previously operated public roads, pension funds are diverted to privatized investment plans. There are mercenary forces to perform military functions, using facilities and supplies provided to them through privatized service operations.

    Given this framework where are freedom, liberty, choice? Ultimately, they are squelched. What "choice" is there when educational operations: administrative, curriculum, financial, employment conditions, are really dictated by the investors, not the consumers and tax payers? Unions that would protect the wage scale and working conditions of employees, that would assure that consumers are served by professionals, rather than be replaced by a lower skilled employee force characterized by a high job turnover and employment instability.  Where the rights of service providers are not respected, where worker participation in the process is not promoted, everyone in the community suffers. Trickle-down economics fails to trickle. Salary levels remain flat. Income and wealth inequality increases. The minimum wage remains unchanged. Is there any question why Corporate Privatization interests, and the "persons" they represent, wage an all out effort against Unions and the workers?       

        


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