Commentary: Privatization Bad for the Public

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Pretending to be "efficient," it transfers property and economic rights from the public to the big investors.

(PRWEB) June 30, 2005
Commentary by Rev. Bill McGinnis (

"Privatization" is nothing more than the systematic transfer of property and economic rights from the Public, which is all of us, to the Big Investors, who are the small percentage who already own most of the wealth.

By its very nature, it takes ownership and control from the Public and gives it to the non-Public. Takes away from "us" and gives to "them." Thus privatization causes the dominant corporations and large private investors to become even more wealthy, and everyone else to become less wealthy. "They own more; we own less."

Sometimes, privatization begins by transferring ownership to small investors - the mom-and-pop operations, or other small businesses. But soon, if they are successful, they are bought out by the larger corporations and investors; and the end result is exactly the same as if the Big Investors had taken the ownership in the first place.

Note: Many Americans, including myself, are now "small investors," because we have a 401(k) plan or own a few shares of stock or a small business. But we are not Big Investors, and we never will be. Our true interests lie with the Public, not with the Big Investors.

With ownership come the rights of ownership, which determine who has the rights to use that which is owned. This is the essence of economic control. The private owner usually sets the price and other conditions of use, unless there is some kind of Public regulation. Thus Public beaches become private beaches; Public roads become private roads; Public hospitals become private hospitals; Public schools become private schools; Public parks become private parks; Public armies become private armies; Public police forces become private police forces; Public information becomes private information, protected by unconstitutional expansion of the copyright laws; the Public airwaves become private airwaves, controlled by a handful of giant media owners, who allow only the content they choose to allow. And on and on and on . . .

Here's a good concept to remember:


There are two ways by which the Public interest can be served by private ownership of businesses: and these are, (1) Public regulation and (2) income taxation. Public regulation forces the private owners to act in a responsible manner toward the Public; and income taxation gives the Public its fair percentage of the profits gained by allowing the private owner to conduct his profit-making business within the Public economy, enabled and protected by laws and courts and other Public institutions. Without the Public economy, the private owner would not be able to function. The income tax is a fair and reasonable way for the Public to obtain its proper share of the profits.

"Deregulation" is the fraternal twin of privatization. It is the systematic attempt to remove Public regulation from private ownership of businesses. And income tax reduction is the systematic attempt to deprive the Public of its fair share of the profits derived from private owners' businesses operations in the Public economy.

Another concept to remember:


Capitalism works fine as long as the capitalists are properly regulated. Without proper regulation, they go crazy in their frenzied attempts to get the best of each other, and they harm everybody in the process.

The supposed justification for both privatization and deregulation is efficiency. Their supporters like to say that Public ownership and Public regulation are inherently inefficient and wasteful. They like to talk about "bloated bureaucracies" and "incompetent employees slurping at the Public trough," and "petty bureaucrats imposing needless burdensome regulations which hurt business."

And sometimes these criticisms may be true. But the remedy is not privatization and deregulation, because privatization and deregulation lead to murderous competition and ultimately to monopoly control, which efficiently steals as much as it wants from the Public by setting prices artificially high! This is very efficient for the monopolist, but not for anyone else!

No, the remedy for these bureaucratic inefficiencies is not privatization and deregulation, but better government. In our country, the People control the government. If the government is sloppy and inattentive and unresponsive, it is our fault! We need to fix it. How do we fix it? Please see our page at

Privatization and deregulation are two of the biggest frauds ever perpetrated by the Far Right Wing, the very wealthy Big Investors who form the natural heart of the Republican party. (Income tax reduction for Big Investors is another favorite fraud of theirs.) Pretending to be "efficient," privatization and deregulation transfer ownership and economic control from the Public to the Big Investors.

But, yes - the Big Investors are right about one thing: Privatization and deregulation do improve efficiency - the efficiency of transferring wealth and power from your pocket to theirs!

Blessings to you all, no matter what your views may be. May you thrive and prosper in all things.


Rev. Bill McGinnis, Director

Bio at

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