[FoRK] Capitalism, Contracts and Cronyism

Jeff Bone jbone at place.org
Tue Aug 26 14:56:11 PDT 2008


On Aug 26, 2008, at 3:04 PM, J. Andrew Rogers wrote:

> On Aug 26, 2008, at 12:51 PM, J. Andrew Rogers wrote:
>
>> It is not a big stretch to suggest that shitty privatization is  
>> still more efficient than having the government do it themselves.

Sing it, brother!

>> Even the crustiest of big old companies was never as bloated and  
>> inefficient as the Federal government in my experience.  If  
>> government was competent, companies like Haliburton would have no  
>> reason to exist and they've thrived for decades.
>
>
> To expand on this, for all the hate Halliburton gets as part of some  
> neocon conspiracy, they received the same kinds of no-bid contracts  
> from the Clinton Administration for Kosovo etc, with the same kinds  
> of dubious accounting and lost money.  Neither the Democrats nor  
> Republicans are unique in this regard and Halliburton has been in  
> this business a long time.
>
> Halliburton's place in the world would be obviated if the government  
> was competent enough to run their own operations in the first place,  
> but neither the Clinton nor Bush administration ever saw fit to  
> address that issue.  You would have to dislodge decades of  
> institutional cruft and fire thousands of career government  
> employees for that to happen, so there is no reason to be sanguine.  
> Twenty years from now, Halliburton will still be doing what  
> Halliburton does, whether the government is Democrat or Republican.   
> Just like it always has.

With all due respect to James, Halliburton & Friends it's clear that  
the magnitude of the things we're talking about, particularly apropos  
just a few preferred companies, has escalated greatly under Bush  
(particularly years 2-6) --- to levels significantly higher than ever  
before.  Not surprising, given that the upper echelons of the Bush  
administration in general were / are largely congruent with the upper  
management, ownership, and others in positions of influence (and  
benefit) with respect to those companies.  Don't believe me?  Just go  
look at the OMB's budget spreadsheets for the period, and explain  
where the bump in e.g. "office of the president" line comes from.  And  
that's the small, on-the-books stuff.  BBC thinks $23 yards in Iraq  
alone?  I'd estimate several times that considering all appropriations.

There is no doubt that Bush Inc. is a kleptocracy the likes the world  
has never seen before.  So much so that most refuse to even consider  
it, it's so outrageous and preposterous.

McCain has largely been an outsider to those circles for years.   
Whether he's now been admitted as a provisional member remains to be  
seen.

But I'll a bold statement, here:  if the choice is between  
continuation of current policies and effects for another 4-8 years  
versus a complete meltdown of the economy --- and I'm talking severe,  
Depression-era style but worse in terms of its long-term impact and  
the magnitude of its impact on our economy vs. the rest of the world  
--- I'll unhappily opt for the former.

That's (a) a false dichotomy, though;  there are no givens; and / or  
(b) as mentioned only the hysterical, the fooled, and the partisan axe- 
grinders believe that McCain is Bush.

jb




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