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Will Trump’s Infrastructure Plan Become Another Attack on Democracy?


#1

Will Trump’s Infrastructure Plan Become Another Attack on Democracy?

John Buell

Converting public things into private goods reinforces a trend toward corporate oligarchy.

"Things have not worked out and privatization has become a means by which politically and socially well positioned have increased their power." (Photo: Donald Trump/cc/flickr)

#2

“Will Trump’s Infrastructure Plan Become Another Attack on Democracy?”

What DOESN’T he do that ISN’T an attack on democracy, the country, the world, and the entire Planet Earth?!


#3

“We, the people…” equals the public. You and me and everyone else.

“all of our shadows are the same color”

In order for us to have a civilization we must be civil to each other. This does not mean tolls booths and private institutions. I personally am more than happy to pay taxes so I might have roads without pot-holes and public schools for all children. No matter their station, religion or creed.


#4

Neo-liberal supply side economics doesn’t work for the average worker, it only works for the ruling class and they just got a huge unneeded gift for Christmas. Privatization of public works only adds to the growing economic gap among Americans. This was all instigated as a revolt of the new deal policies of the 30’s and it’s,(the gap) has been growing since the major implementation of the 80’s. Also included is a switch to financialization of capital and a debt driven economy. As more of the industrial production was moved to cheaper wage markets vast numbers of Americans saw their decent jobs vanish, leaving empty factories to rot into decay. I could go on but why? The government has merged with industry and there’s nary any difference betwixt the two now. I call this the the time of dystopic synergism, the only thing people are needed for these days are for their votes, without much regard for the normal hardworking Americans. We all could have so much more but neo-liberal economics only hastens the impending collapse of the financial house of cards built on debt, fiat dollars and faith. Let’s all hope they, the idiots running things that is, can get their heads out of the clouds before acid rains washes it all down the deep, dark, rabbit hole of oblivion.


#5

It’s possible these recent below zero days and 4 foot snowfalls have caused visibility into my crystal ball to be reduced a bit. But I think it’s working well enough to see more bad days ahead for the 99%, especially if Dump’s infrastructure plans begin to start leaking from his tiny fake brain for people to see.

He’s pissed away money in his tax reduction plans for a permanent tax savings benefit for the 1%, so there’s not much he can spend on infrastructure out of the federal budget. But since the tax windfall for the 1% will leave them swimming in new found wealth, that could become a great investment opportunity for them. The great pool of cash could be used on the infrastructure to build new roads. Assuming the cost to the deficit from the recent tax bill to be 1.5 trillion going to the 1%, that would be an awful lot of money available to invest to help rebuild infrastructure.

Of course the only way this investment would be good for the 1% would be if the infrastructure repairs could be billed directly to the 99%. That means toll roads, toll bridges, and other forms of private ownership. There could even be more investment in private prisons, maybe even private police protection. How about the private military? Erik Prince has been promoting his views on a private mercenary force for Afghanistan. His sister, Betsy DeVos has an agenda to advance charter for profit schools over the public school system. Destruction of public education would be a great way to indoctrinate children to the Republican agenda.


#6

The only “infrastructure” project likely to originate with Trump is the Mexican Border wall and that project is considered infrastructure only because Trump defines it as such.

Although there will be many other projects included in whatever “infrastructure” bill Trump ultimately signs, they will indeed be privatization schemes devised by lobbyists, advanced by GOP Congresscritters, and rubber stamped by the dumpster fire in the oval office.


#7

It’s not just Trump and the Republicans, people. My Congressman, John Delaney, who puts a “D” after his name as some sort of inside joke, has only had one goal in mind since he took office: giving the commons over to private corporations. He is one of the wealthiest people in Congress, and devoutly believes in one thing - corporate rule. He has been touting his “public-private partnership infrastructure plan” for the past couple of years, and now has many co-signers, including quite a number of Democrats. He says he “looks forward to working with Trump and the Republicans in a bipartisan fashion” in bringing his plan to the floor.

Any time you hear “bipartisan”, especially when it involves the spending of tax-payer money, you should be alert to some scam that is going to take our tax money and shove it into the maw of a few giant corporations. [Think Pentagon budget, for example.]

These guys are going to hand over our infrastructure to Halliburton, Bechtel, GE, and Boeing. And we will be paying ever-increasing tolls and fees for the rest of eternity. Our property taxes will go directly into private charter schools, where the public has no say in how they are run or what is taught. Corporations have one mandate, and that is to make a profit for the shareholders. And, as a bonus, think of this: you cannot vote the corporations out of office.

You are going to hear a whole lot of Democrats voicing support for Trump’s “infrastructure spending”. Don’t be fooled into thinking that Democratic support makes these privatization ideas any less odious. These guys get their grift money from the same donors the Republicans do and they will happily hand everything over to the private sector just as quickly as the Republicans.

Just-Chubbles’ comment somewhere above mine is right on the money, too. S/he says: “He’s pissed away money in his tax reduction plans for a permanent tax savings benefit for the 1%, so there’s not much he can spend on infrastructure out of the federal budget. But since the tax windfall for the 1% will leave them swimming in new found wealth, that could become a great investment opportunity for them. The great pool of cash could be used on the infrastructure to build new roads. Assuming the cost to the deficit from the recent tax bill to be 1.5 trillion going to the 1%, that would be an awful lot of money available to invest to help rebuild infrastructure.”

That is EXACTLY the excuse both parties will use to justify handing the rest of our hard assets over to the corporatocracy.


#8

I’m at a loss to figure out the long term advantage to turning our infrastructure over to the private sector to build or maintain. Can there be any useful advantage of having been taxed for this purpose and then having to pay again to use the facilities we paid for either in personal taxes or in tax cuts and incentives for the builders?


#9

A few decades ago, hippies begged for an alternative to public education- Montessori schools, charters and such.
Now that those “alternatives” are being taken over by profit seeking conservatives, why aren’t those same hippies happy that they got what they asked for? I used to argue against those hippies that what they were wanting would lead to a deterioration of public schools. They didn’t care because they believed public schools were being used to indoctrinate and brainwash their children. They wanted alternatives in order to “protect” their children. Involvement in the PTO anyone? Or how about homeschool? Conservatives particularly of the religious persuasion caught on to that. Now we’ve got religion based charter schools sucking up public funds.

Personally, I believe the choices should be public school, homeschool, or private school. And you’re paying out of your own pocket if you want your kid to go to a private school- no vouchers! I know people feel that they shouldn’t have to pay for public schools since they don’t have any kids attending them and so aren’t “using them”. However, that is a false claim. We all depend on the education of our fellow citizens. Therefore, we all depend on public education whether or not we actually attend them.


#10

There is no advantage. Conservatives try to bs people into believing that the services will be cheaper since businesses are always trying to find ways to cut costs and “gov’t is wasteful.” However, in actual practice, the for-profit services will either be more expensive or lower quality since the business needs to make a profit. So either quality is cut to keep costs down, or costs go up to keep quality up and maintain a fat profit margin to make the stock holders happy. Gov’t doesn’t operate for-profit and doesn’t need to maintain a profit margin. The other arguement is gov’t can’t manage anything. So what are they saying? Are they criticizing the Dept of Defense for not being able to manage itself? Throw that back at them and watch them go pale. Also, is that saying that ALL businesses are managed superbly? Of course they aren’t. How many of rump’s businesses failed? A lot.


#11

An excellent case in point is Washington State’s privatization of liquor sales which brought a 350 ml bottle of JD Black to almost twenty bucks.


#12

There is no advantage to anyone other than the people in Dump’s tank of septic. It’s a gift to his wealthy friends so they might utilize the Trickle Down theory and provide the benefit by employing people to work on infrastructure projects. But, another gift from Dump and Republicans to corporate America is Right-to-Work, currently the law in 28 states, but likely to become a national law if the Republicans decide more disorganized workers are cheaper and easier to control.


#13

I believe that was decided when St. Ron broke the air controller’s union.


#14

Yes, the snowball began it’s dimensional increase at that time, when it’s descent began at the top of the labor security mountain. Bonzo destroyed all the security and dignity the ATC built over the years. It’s size and speed is still continuing, taking the middle class with it as RTW legislation efforts continue for the remaining States to create a national RTW law.


#15

Of course there is. The advantage is that your money is given to the rich. Twice.


#16

Gee I wish that a bottle cost merely 20 bucks in my state of New York.


#17

Erik Prince wants to take his private mercenaries into Afghanistan because there rare earth elements there. (That is BIG BUCKS for him.) https://www.nbcnews.com/science/science-news/rare-earth-afghanistan-sits-1-trillion-minerals-n196861