Hello Cruel World
Saturday, October 11, 2003
This is what has so many worried about the "Free Trade" espoused in various international agreements. Any kind of government involvment is seen as special help, subsidization, & so forth, and therefore A Bad Thing. This is in assorted treaties, including bilateral & multilateral ones.
It includes (to the fundamentalists who seem to have so much influence) not just help to things like film & television (which has been in the news because of the well-known people protesting) and good public health systems, but also things like government schools, government transport, public utilities like water, electricity & communication, etc., etc.
It's one thing that does worry me about the idea of 'pricing resources'. If you know history, or the present situation in other countries, clean healthy drinking water could become beyond the easy reach of many. The health implications would not just affect those who would be suffering most obviously, it would be bound to spread through other parts of society. Meanwhile the social effects of this would be as harmful, if not more. I remember riots when the World Bank/IMF got governments to stop subsidising the supply of water to the large number of poor who couldn't afford it in some countries. But then you still have the problem of getting people to value things they presently waste.
Old social problems were addressed by the other institutions that are being smashed. Why would the problems not return? What are these idealogues' solutions to them - solutions that didn't cause or reinforce them before? (In the SMH "Health & Science" this week they spoke to Elizabeth Harris and she remembered what health services were like pre-Medicare.)
I'm not saying that all these institutions are/were perfect, but I consider it far better to improve them than go back to systems that are known to not help individuals, society & the world.
It really does make me wonder that no-one seems to ever pay attention to what can be learnt from history, even tho' some seem quite obessed with that history. None so blind as those who don't want to see.
From: Jim Edwards
Sent: 10/11/03 12:28 AM
Subject: Re: Insurance debacle [HyperScan 1.7]
Unfortunately, according to last week's Background Briefing, privatizing defence is just what they have done, at least in the non-combatant side of it. This has resulted in dangerous situations for troops where necessary supplies of food and medicine, etc. have been cut off because the non-combatant personnel cannot obtain insurance cover for work in a war
In the doctors' case, UMD collapsed because they could not obtain reinsurance at reasonable rates in Australia and had to go to the multinational insurance giants who screwed them for all they could get.
Everyone knows that the privatization of the government insurance offices was a mistake but the one-eyed, pig-headed friedmanites on both sides of politics have long since sold out to the corporate pirates and there seems little hope of any change in the foreseeable future.
>From: Gerald Cairns
>Date: Fri, 10 Oct 2003 12:21:37 +1000
>I agree with your views but would like to point out that the present
>Government is implacably opposed to anything that in their view smacks of
>Socialism and that is what they think Government provision of basic
>insurance, health, transport, communications and basic community services
>required to hold a civilised community together. This Idealistic Crap has
>led successive governments to dismantle service the community has a right
>to expect to be supplied by government and now the "chickens are coming
>home to roost". What you won't find is the privatisation of defence, that
>is too rich a source of political funding and electoral manipulation to let
>that one loose.
>It is really about "selling off" to their mates publicly owned essential
>assets that should never be sold off, with the resultant political
>donations and other forms of Payola, the public are being ripped off in
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