Cross-posted from Paul Craig Roberts
Libertarian ideology favors privatization. However, in practice privatization is usually very different in result than libertarian ideology postulates. Almost always, privatization becomes a way for well-connected private interests to loot both the public purse and the general welfare.
Most privatizations, such as those that have occurred in France and UK during the neo-liberal era, and in Greece today and Ukraine tomorrow, are lootings of public assets by politically-connected private interests.
Another form of privatization is to turn traditional government functions, such as prison operation and many supply functions of the armed services, such as feeding the troops, over to private companies at a large increase in cost to the public. Essentially, the libertarian ideology is used to provide lucrative public contracts to a few favored persons who then reward the politicians. This is called "free enterprise."
The privatization of prisons in the US is an example of the extraordinary cost and injustice of privatization. Privatization of prisons requires ever higher rates of incarceration in order to build profitability. The US, supposedly "a land of liberty," has by far the highest incarceration rates of all countries. The "free" US has not only the highest percentage of its population in prison but also the highest absolute number. "Authoritarian" China with four times the US population has fewer citizens in prison.
This article shows how well prison privatization works for well-connected private interests. It also shows the extraordinary shame, corruption, and discredit that prison privatization has brought to the US.
A few years ago I wrote about the conviction of two judges who were paid by privatized juvenile detention facilities to sentence kids to their facilities.
As Alain of Lille and later Karl Marx said, "Money is all." In America money is all that is important to the political system and to the bulk of the population. Essentially, America has no other values.
Another great libertarian fantasy is Wall Street. In the libertarian mythology, Wall Street is the mother of entrepreneurs and of the start-up companies that blossom into industrial, manufacturing, and commercial giants. In actual fact, Wall Street is the mother of enormous corruption. As Nomi Prins shows in All The President's Bankers, it has always been the case.
Recently, there has been a spate of Wall Street whistleblowers. Many are reported by Pam Martens on her site, Wall Street On Parade. Unlike libertarian ideologues, Prins and Martens are former Wall Street insiders and know what they are talking about.
All US financial markets are rigged for the benefit of a few. We have had the exposure of high frequency trading front-running buy and sell orders. We have had the exposure of the big banks rigging the LIBOR interest rate and the London gold price fix. We have had the exposure of the Federal Reserve rigging via its dependent bullion banks the price of gold in the futures market. We have had the exposure in Congressional hearings of the rigging of metal and commodity prices. The dollar's exchange value is rigged. And so forth. Yet no heads have rolled. Recently an SEC prosecuting attorney, James Kidney, retired. Upon his retirement, he proclaimed that his cases against the criminal big banks have been suppressed by SEC higher ups who have their eyes fixed on big jobs with the banks they are protecting while in government service.
So there you have it. The United States government is so overwhelmingly corrupt that even the financial regulatory agencies have been corrupted by the money of the private capitalists they are supposed to regulate.
America the corrupted. That is what we have become.
Not even Vladimir Putin understands how totally corrupt and insensitive to humanity Washington is.
Putin's response to the Ukraine crisis created by Washington's coup in Kiev is to rely on "Russia's Western partners," the UN, the Obama regime, John Kerry, etc., to work out a reasonable solution to the crisis.
Putin's hope for a diplomatic solution is unrealistic. The NATO governments are bought-and-paid-for by Washington. For example, Germany is not a country. Germany is a mere piece of Washington's empire. The German government will do as Washington says.The German government represents Washington's agenda. The European governments to whom Putin is speaking are not listening.
Paul Wolfowitz, the neoconservative who as Deputy Secretary of Defense presided over the orchestration of the false evidence used by the Bush regime to launch Washington's wars in the Middle East, declared the minimization of Russian power as the "first objective" of US foreign and military policy: