Thursday, May 10, 2007

Corporate takeover of everything?

This article describes an emerging phenomenon: privatization of public infrastructure. The reasons for it--providing ready cash for strapped local governments, reducing costs of upkeep and labor and thus lowering local taxes--seem so attractive to governments that the trend feels irrestible. The results, however, are appalling, as detailed in the article. Once all highways and bridges are owned by GM or Burger King or by blind trusts of investors (including, likely, foreigners) can our colleges be far behind? UCLA renamed FedEx U (or UPSU?), the Washington Huskies becoming the Starbucks, the Berkeley campus changed to Nike U?


corewell said...

A few years ago I read (and there was a movie)about a French company taking over the municipal water in Stockton. The city council made the decision and the public protested and wanted to vote on it and were denied the right to vote on it. Since then I have heard that
there is a French Co taking over our municipal water operations all across the country.
The corporate takeover is international and we the people, give them their charters to pursue profit above everything. We no longer have U.S.
corporations under U.S. jurisdiction. As soon as they get caught doing something wrong, they either change their name or allocate that activity to a subsidiary in another state or another nation, so there is no recourse in state law or national law. That's my read, anyway.

Unknown said...

I think the only thing that can stop such a trend is litigation. In other words, a supreme court decision affirming that what's public belongs to the public, and cannot be privatized. Slim chance.