Saturday, September 27, 2008

For Sale: Milwaukee County

No matter what the problem or the cause - cutting taxes, privatizing (or eliminating) public services, and/or eliminating programs always seems to be the Republican answer.

Redistributive policies seem to only flow upward these days (and most days). There’s never talk about controlling runaway executive pay (that’s just the “price of business”). There is no discussion of restoring equity between workers productivity and wages. Any mention of taxation, programs for improving Americans lives, money for infrastructure improvement, or what is generally regarded as investment in the public good and long-term sustainability, is immediately dismissed as socialistic and a slippery slope toward a welfare state.

When times are tough for workers…oh well, suck it up and hope for the best. When the Haves are presented with falling asset prices, measly stock returns, diminishing capital gains, or underperforming investment yields in general, then it’s time for the government to step in and spend.

If the last thirty years should have taught us anything, it’s that supply-side policies and privatization don’t work.

Scott Walker, like most Republicans, doesn’t understand this. This is why he wants to cut more Milwaukee County jobs and turn the services over to the private sector, while also selling off our airport. How convenient…more and more airlines will no doubt be facing bankruptcy due to increasing costs (fuel just being one of these). So the plan is to sell the private sector our airport, and then a few years down the line to have to bailout the private airlines, again, from the financial mess they have been creating, on and off, for many years with their mismanagement?

How often do we have to keep bailing out industry after industry before we realize they are not efficient, the market doesn’t have all the answers, and maybe, just maybe, government when run by people whom actually want to govern is a good thing? Maybe some things, like public infrastructure such as airports, are a public good and are not meant to make a profit.

James Rowen details Walker’s far-reaching incompetence regarding transit. Rowen also reports how amid all the talk of cuts and layoffs, Walker found money to give raises to some of his aides.

The problem with Walker’s shenanigans is that he won’t be the one to suffer from his policies, but his constituents in Milwaukee County will. The Republicans are a party so attached to ideology they are detached from reality.

For Further Reading:
Supply-side Economics

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