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Don’t be afraid, average Canadian… Be very, very afraid.

The push for privatisation is one of my pet peeves. To me, corporate self regulation is an oxymoron, perhaps the mother of all oxymorons. This is especially true when it comes to things like health care and public safety. How can an organization, whose primary raison d’etre is profit, be expected to err on the side of caution? Excuse me, I mean caution in the sense of protecting the public health and well – being. As Murray Dobbin points out in this article, on Rabble.ca, examples abound where the drive to preserve every penny-per-share possible trumps the welfare of those receiving the services. The neocons and neolibs have been leading us down this road for a long time…how much is enough? As those familiar with the works of  Douglas Adams will have noticed, the title of this post is a tip of the hat to the eminent sage. I have  a second one for all the corporate monkeys who think privatization is the cats a**: “The Syrius cybernetics corporation – a bunch of mindless jerks who will be the first ones against the wall when the revolution comes.” 

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4 thoughts on “Don’t be afraid, average Canadian… Be very, very afraid.

  1. Well said, sir.
    I recently saw the film (and read the book) “The Corporation”, which was considerably more frightening than most of the horror novels I’ve read.
    As an entity considered a person under law, which is established for the sole purpose of maximizing the profits of the shareholders, they are legally bound to maximize those profits regardless of the consequences. There have been lawsuits by shareholders in the past (in Britain, I believe) that resulted in a particularly unsettling verdict: efforts by corporate officers to minimize the damage done by a corporation at the expense of profits were declared illegal.
    Self-regulation is no regulation at all, according to the legal definition of a corporation.

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  2. I saw it too flash. As I recall they subjected a hypothetical and stereotypical corporation/individual to psychological profiling based on behaviours real corporations have exhibited. Result – corporation = psychopath + sociopath. Pretty scary. Granted, the examples were chosen specifically for that purpose, but I have seen enough snippets in the news to suggest that corporate behaviour is fairly homogenous; with those exhibiting beneficence being very much the minority – but it should be mentioned that tey do exhist.

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  3. The privatization fetishists will argue that bettering the bottom line makes for a better competitor and therefore, somehow, better service to the client. I’m not sure that I want quality healthcare to be a possible side effect of the system, not its goal. I’ve always maintained that all necessities – right from healthcare to power to education, should be taken out of private ownership altogether.

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  4. This reminds me of what John Raulston Saul said in describing the corporate world as behaving like a dog that won’t stop trying to get the food off the table. It has had no obedience training and doesn’t know any better. The behavior fits with the sociopathic traits mentioned in Flash’s comment.

    The chances, however, of seeing any change in corporate philosophy any time soon are very slim. In fact, all I see in the future is corporations getting meaner and more ravenous in their quest to squeeze more profits out of everyone. And I agree about privatization. The experience in Britain with privatizing the water utility should provide an example. After it was privatized, the water supply deteriorated and the rates went up. So much for private industry doing things more efficiently.

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