This made me wonder.. how far would the conservatives go with privitization and dereg

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by R.Perez, Apr 4, 2010.

  1. R.Perez macrumors 6502

    R.Perez

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    #1
    Just watched this documentary about the water crisis tonight.

    [​IMG]

    Made me think, how far would you go with your own belief and faith in privatization and deregulation??

    Do you believe we should privatize essential resources like water?

    How far are you willing to go? What resources, industries etc are off limits? Are any off limits? I really want to know.


    Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ikb4WG8UJRw&feature=channel


    Full film itunes, also available on netflix watch instantly
    http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewMovie?id=357140398&s=143441
     
  2. TechieJustin macrumors 6502

    TechieJustin

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    Whatever makes the most money for Haliburton.
     
  3. Sydde macrumors 68020

    Sydde

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    We do take water for granted, except for those who make a career of managing it. Here is an old example of the kind of thing that might happen when you privatize water:

    Bolivia

    Meanwhile, in Birmingham AL, they are having a slightly different problem on a related matter.

    What it all boils down to, so to speak, is that our contemporary Capitalist ethos is based on making the biggest possible profits off every possible revenue source. The government may have some very serious problems with regulation and management, but I cannot see where unconstrained private industry is an improvement.
     
  4. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    America has completely lost it's ability to regulate. We had meat plants repeatedly testing positive for e coli, courts ruled that the FDA lacked the authority to shut it down. WTF?

    Just today I ran across a post on Gizmodo about how courts ruled the FCC doesn't have the authority to impose net neutrality.

    America is owned by corporations and their interests. It's pathetic and quite frankly in certain instances it's dangerous.
     
  5. it5five macrumors 65816

    it5five

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    Neither the FDA or USDA have the authority to call a recall either. They just "suggest" it to the manufacturers, who proceed to recall a fraction of potentially contaminated meat. Too big a recall and it cuts into their profit margin.

    And people wonder why I became a vegetarian.

    I'd recommend reading Fast Food Nation to get a better understanding of the food industry in this country. Food Inc. is supposed to be a great movie, but I haven't seen it yet. If you have Netflix, it is available on instant watch, otherwise it will be on PBS later this month.
     
  6. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    Food Inc is a great documentary that's actually one of my sources. It's scary what has become of our food supply. We really only deal with about 6 companies in the US when it comes to meat. Don't even get me started on the ridiculous control companies have over farming now.
     
  7. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

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    If only that helped. Most of the recent outbreaks have been from the likes of spinach.
     
  8. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    Exactly. Almost all of our consumer/citizen protection agencies are a joke.
     
  9. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    Umm... so where are our conservatives? Surely, even the water supply would be better off privatized.

    I mean, the free market can do everything. :rolleyes:
     
  10. it5five macrumors 65816

    it5five

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    True, not going to deny it. Spinach is one of my favorite veggies too (raw though, don't like it cooked).

    Fortunately, lack of regulation in the food industry wasn't the only reason I stopped eating meat, although I'd prefer to talk about it in another thread if possible. I have a bad feeling this thread is going to crash and burn like every other thread on vegetarianism if we change the focus to my diet.
     
  11. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    I once saw a Huey, Dewey and Louie comic where Scrooge had brought up the rights to air and every person had a coin operated meter strapped to their backs,this was decades ago, at the time I thought it was funny nowadays I think it may have been very prescient.
     
  12. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    Of course they do. Do you have any idea how much our govt. gives away in farm welfare?
     
  13. it5five macrumors 65816

    it5five

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    Whats worse about that whole situation is that it goes to subsidize specific crops like corn and soy. That's why American have so much damn corn in their diet (it's in practically everything - go look at the ingredients of some items in your kitchen and you'll probably see a corn product in most).

    It wouldn't be bad if the government subsidized healthy fruits like apples, oranges, or pears and vegetables like tomatoes, spinach, or lettuce. But the subsidies are all dumped into corn, corn and more corn.
     
  14. IntheNet macrumors regular

    IntheNet

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    Bear with me for a somewhat lengthy answer here... The phrase "essential resources" is a loaded term; essential being an interpretative assessment, defined in the eye of the beholder, as what's essential. Certainly human necessities such as air, food, water, lodging, and for some, cigarettes, beer, and internet access, might be embraced as essential, others might limit that list significantly to the bare minimum (air, food, and water perhaps). In terms of privatization, I am also curious - do mean privately owned? Hard to own 'air' unless it means that existing above private land. Same for 'water' in many cases, being fresh water it could be located partially or wholly within private acreage. So too, with food and lodging, most of it being private in some way. None of it, thank God, is exclusively government owned. Thus your question, i.e., "do you believe we should privatize essential resources like water?" Absolutely. Let me tell you why. Government fails at everything it does. Letting government regulate everything, or anything, gives it a good excuse to fail, which it frequently does. Giving the government the keys to essential services and resources, for example water, means that something desperately needed, such as water, would be managed by incompetent bureaucrats, namely the government. While letting a private entity, via privatization and deregulation, manage a resource would only yield a slightly better result than the government, but it would be better. Case in point; I recall the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) being established in Washington; it was initially housed in a Mall in SE Washington, very close to a feeder river in Washington that you may know named the Anacostia, which flowed into the Potomac downstream from the National Mall. For each new EPA mission or high level effort, agency directors often posed next to the Anacostia and over the years most of the agency's directors would make some public relations commitment to clean America's waterways; matter of fact the nation's Clean Water Act (1972 I think) was originally signed within steps of the Anacostia. Over the years the EPA grew larger and their environmental pronouncements grew bolder and yet the pollution - often times raw sewage - within the Anacostia grew steadily worse. It stood as a symbol of EPA's complete failure - if you can't clean your backyard how are you planning to clean the nation? Each year the EPA would make bold statements about how it was cleaning the nation's environment yet the river so close to its headquarters grew worse. In recent years the EPA, as a agency, moved its headquarters over to the Reagan Building, away from SE Washington, and the pollution within the Anacostia River remains; many consider the river to be among the nation's most polluted - steps from the original EPA. The Anacostia serves as an example of why people shouldn't trust governments who promise environmental progress. So yeah; my own belief and faith in privatization and deregulation is sound; not because privatizing is hugely better but because government control is demonstrably worse! Because government fails at everything. And if we allow governments to privatize and regulate things like water we give government the tools to fail.
     
  15. KingYaba macrumors 68040

    KingYaba

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    I'll try and watch it tonight. But I do know Texas will have some sort of water crises if the population keeps growing at its current rate.
     
  16. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    World's longest paragraph...herein.

    But let's take it a step at a time.

    [​IMG]

    As one of those "incompetent bureaucrats", I resent the cartoonish implication that government workers are of necessity bungling.

    I know they're not all as smart as bank and auto manufacturing execs, but come on. ;)

    Well, here's an article from 2006 about the EPA's stewardship of the Anacostia. Apparently about the time Dubya came into office, the EPA set standards that allowed more pollution into the river than was allowed by the Clean Water Act. No surprise there -- Dubya was infamous for putting into agencies people who were industry-friendly and hostile to upholding high standards. It took environmentalists and a federal court to enforce the Clean Water Act and limit the pollutants. But hey, that judge and the legislators who passed the Clean Water Act were "incompetent bureaucrats", ya know?

    Let's follow that line of logic:

    • Business tries to make as much profit as possible.
    • This means trying to dismantle as many regulations as possible,
    • which in turn allows standards to fall
    • and eventually similar businesses merge for "cost economies",
    • leaving less and less competition,
    • which means there's no incentive to keep prices low
    • and no one forcing them to meet any quality standards.
    Yeah, I really want my water controlled by a monopoly answerable to no one.
     
  17. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    Government does not fail at everything it does. You love to throw that out there at the beginning, and you know it's false. If you don't, go fly an airplane sometime, or maybe get a drink of water out of your tap. Maybe flush your toilet.

    Segway... The Anacostia river gets over 2 billion gallons of raw sewage. Not from polluting bad guys, but from a sewer system under Washington DC and surrounding area that is very, very old. It leaks, and the pumps are old, and the pipes are clogged, and there have been efforts to fix it.

    To suggest that the river is polluted because of EPA's failure to regulate emissions if false, misleading, and pretty typical for you.
     
  18. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    We've privatised ours, with mixed results.
     
  19. skunk macrumors G4

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  20. IntheNet macrumors regular

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    I don't care why it's polluted; the example I cited was an acknowledgment that it is and illustrative of the folly of assigning government the role of regulation as opposed to privatization, in direct response to the first post. The government can do little, if anything, particularly in regard to water resources; the example serves as illustrative of this phemonena. As time goes on this nation will become more desperate for water resources and, much like the video cited, "Blue Gold:World Water Wars," water will become an increasingly important resource, perhaps as important as petroleum resources are today. And I don't want the government in charge of this important resource.
     
  21. R.Perez thread starter macrumors 6502

    R.Perez

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    #21
    it seems the privatization of water has led to consistently higher prices.

    I thought privatization spurred competition which lowered prices?

    I find it scary, that a person can suggest that something as essential as water should be bought, sold and profited on by corporations.

    So ITN, what if a person can not afford to purchase the water at the prices dictated by the corporation managing it?

    I really genuinely want to understand this mindset.

    In Bolivia Bectel bought the rights to all water processed and collected in the country. Even collecting RAIN WATER for yourself was considered illegal, at what point if any does privatization go too far?

    Also in reference to water, food and shelter is essential all that loaded of a term?

    Don't you think that grouping cigarettes and alcohol into the same category is a bit disingenuous?
     
  22. IntheNet macrumors regular

    IntheNet

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    You've touched upon an issue that is far too large to be appropriately addressed within the confines of a discussion post. Not that I want to monopolize this thread - we should have other views herein - but I do have strong feelings about government's failure in regard to water resources. And yes, there are clear cut examples of privatization issues that are problematic. However, my view is that privatization is the way to go with water resources simply because corporations have a vested interest in profit, therefore a vested interest in success to provide water to make that profit, while governments have no vested interest whatsoever. A case in California is applicable here; drought-stricken farmers in California who have been denied access to a major water supply by a judge citing the Endangered Species Act to protect a type of fish. That's the type of thing that worries me.

    There are, of course, examples such as this that point to problems with privatization. Becktel has its share of problems over the years, but it has provided many cities in nations the world over with complete water systems. It has also established water infrastructures. In some nations however it has run into trouble. According to reports, "In November 2001, Bechtel sued the country of Bolivia for $25 million for canceling a contract to run the water system of Cochabamba, the third largest city in the country." Thereafter, the nation turned against Becktel due to modest water price hikes it wanted, so perhaps Bolivia is not the best example of privatization, at least in regard to Becktel. The company's efforts in Saudi Arabia (Jubail) and in Canada (James Bay Hydro) are better success stories relating to water resource management in my view.

    I mentioned this earlier and perhaps it sidetracked the thread but it bears citation only to the extent of eventual taxation; which governments use to generate revenue. Since our government (local, state, and federal) loves to impose 'sin' tax on such things as tobacco and alcohol, it is not that much of a leap for it to similarly tax water, if indeed it regulated it anyway. So where does that leave us? Those opposed to privatization cite corporate profits, but yet governments would similarly tax that entity - water resources - that corporations would likewise charge. Disingenuous? Not at all.
     
  23. Sydde macrumors 68020

    Sydde

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    I have yet to hear of any case of where privatization has been an overall improvement. Maybe I am just not looking hard enough. Anyone?
     
  24. Eraserhead macrumors G4

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    #24
    The privatisation of airlines is usually successful.

    EDIT: Ditto coal and steel manufacture, and arguably other mining, though I'm not sure about that.
     
  25. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #25
    I have absolutely no problems with privatization, I have a HUGE problem with deregulation that seems to go hand and hand with it all the way.
     

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