38 online
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 16 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 7/6/11

Privatizing Society

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   No comments
Message Gregory Gull

Just how valid is the idea that privatization of society's services to its citizens ensures the highest quality of service to people in society?   Let's critically analyze by understanding the precepts of the private economic enterprise.  


Our current economic system aligns with the following underlying precepts: 1) maximize one's material self-interest; 2) pursue material growth without limit.   Accordingly, a private business enterprise seeks to maximize its material self-interest, and when formally connected to Wall Street it is compelled to do so quarter-to-quarter.   Or more simply, the business of business is profit.


Who Matters

The fundamental belief--that is the governing assumption--from which these propositions are derived, is that at base, human behavior is explainable through the pain-avoidance/pleasure-seeking self-interest dynamic evident in all animals.   As Adam Smith asserted, "every man . . . is much more deeply interested in whatever immediately concerns himself than in what concerns any other." That is, the propensity for satisfying one's material self-interest is most significant toward influencing (and explaining) an individual's behavior.   The economic translation being: homo sapien is in reality homo economicus.   In other words, we are to think about our self and each other as selfish and economically driven.


Smith further explained, "It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from the regard to their own interest."   Moreover Smith introduced an almost mythical governing mechanism often referred to as the invisible hand that saw to it that all would be better off, when we allow self-interest to reign unfettered.   The underlying belief is that people are unknowingly--and quite mysteriously--led to improve the welfare of society when they act in their own self-interest.   In short, the concern for what's in it for 'me' (somehow) miraculously best serves the collective 'we'.    


The unprecedented widening household income gap between the top 1% and the remaining 99% is clear evidence of the fallacy of this claim.   The only thing that can be said with certainty is the top 1% is seeing to it that their self-interests are being served.   Trickle-down doesn't trickle and the rising tide can't possibly lift all boats when there are two separate seas!


Clear Evidence

Basing an argument upon these erroneous assumptions leads to a logical fallacy that has people disregarding each other's as well as one's own humanity.   And as explained in It's the econoMe stupid , grounding a system of economics on this fallacy can't help but to negatively impact humankind.


All that is required is one counter example to disprove or invalidate a theory.   So, at the risk of being a bit redundant, I offer two examples as empirical evidence against the validity of the idea that private enterprise ensures the highest quality.  

o    The growth of agri-business along with the management-by-exception/crisis approach on the part of regulatory agencies has enabled profit maximization to diminish our ability to provide a safe food supply.

Next Page  1  |  2

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Well Said 1   Interesting 1   Valuable 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Gregory Gull Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

My educational background includes a Ph.D. in Organizational Studies, an M.A in Statistics and a B.S. in Mathematics/Education. My experience in business and industry is as extensive as it is diverse, having held positions across the full range of (more...)
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Privatizing Society

A Viable Society Requires A Viable Citizenry

Total Ecology Economics

Transcend Self-Interest

Corporate Overlords

Is This the Way We Want to Roll?

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend