America Is Being Raped ... Just Like Greece and Other Countries

George Washington's picture

Washington’s Blog

Preface: The war between liberals and
conservatives is a false divide-and-conquer dog-and-pony show created
by the powers that be to keep the American people divided and
distracted. See this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this and this. So before assuming that privatization is a good thing, read on.

If these resources had
always been in the private sector, that would be fine ... that would be
free market capitalism.

But if they were purchased with our taxpayer funds and then sold to the big boys for cheap, that is looting.

Greece is thinking of selling some islands. Austria is thinking of selling mountains to pay off their national debt. Cities throughout the U.S. are thinking of privatizing their parking meters.

What's going on?

Well, as I predicted in December 2008, bailing out the giant, insolvent banks would cause a global debt crisis:

Bank for International Settlements (BIS) is often called the "central
banks' central bank", as it coordinates transactions between central


BIS points out in a new report
that the bank rescue packages have transferred significant risks onto
government balance sheets, which is reflected in the corresponding
widening of sovereign credit default swaps:

scope and magnitude of the bank rescue packages also meant that
significant risks had been transferred onto government balance sheets.
This was particularly apparent in the market for CDS referencing
sovereigns involved either in large individual bank rescues or in
broad-based support packages for the financial sector, including the
United States. While such CDS were thinly traded prior to the announced
rescue packages, spreads widened suddenly on increased demand for
credit protection, while corresponding financial sector spreads

In other words, by assuming huge portions of
the risk from banks trading in toxic derivatives, and by spending
trillions that they don't have, central banks have put their countries
at risk from default.

Top independent experts say that the biggest banks are insolvent (see this, for example), as they have been many times before.

And a study of 124 banking crises by the International Monetary Fund found that propping banks which are only pretending to be solvent hurts the economy:

Existing empirical research has shown that providing assistance to banks and their borrowers can be counterproductive, resulting in increased losses to banks, which often abuse forbearance to take unproductive risks at government expense. The typical result of forbearance is a deeper hole in the net worth of banks, crippling tax burdens to finance bank bailouts, and even more severe credit supply contraction and economic decline than would have occurred in the absence of forbearance.


analysis to date also shows that accommodative policy measures (such
as substantial liquidity support, explicit government guarantee on
financial institutions’ liabilities and forbearance from prudential
regulations) tend to be fiscally costly and that these particular policies do not necessarily accelerate the speed of economic recovery.



All too often, central banks privilege stability over cost in the heat of the containment phase: if so, they may too liberally extend loans to an illiquid bank which is almost certain to prove insolvent anyway.
Also, closure of a nonviable bank is often delayed for too long,
even when there are clear signs of insolvency (Lindgren, 2003). Since
bank closures face many obstacles, there is a tendency to rely
instead on blanket government guarantees which, if the government’s
fiscal and political position makes them credible, can work albeit at
the cost of placing the burden on the budget, typically squeezing future provision of needed public services.

By failing to break up the giant banks, governments are forced to take counter-productive emergency measures (see this and this) to try to cover up their insolvency. Those measures drain the life blood out of the real economy ... destroying national economies.

Selling the Farm to Pay for Debt Incurred to Make the Rich Richer

Matt Stoller notes:

takes inherently governmental functions — everything from national
defense to mass transit and roads — and turns them over to the control
of private actors, whose goal is to extract maximum revenue while
costing as little as possible.




It isn’t true, as a
general rule, that privatization shrinks the public sector. When
investor demand for high returns is combined with the natural
monopolies of public assets, what often results instead is citizens
finding themselves saddled with high fees and poor service.


more perniciously, selling infrastructure such as toll roads puts the
coercive power of the state in the hands of private actors. We have
great public assets built by prior generations. We should and could be
building a better country for our children, rather than liquidating what
we have.


Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) pointed out
the truth of the Obama administration’s stimulus program: “Larry
Summers hates infrastructure. And some of these other economists — they
don’t like infrastructure. … They want to have a consumer-driven

Both domestic manufacturing and taxation are opposed
by the current corporate and political elites. Take the liberal
establishment economist Alan Blinder, who horrified former Intel chief
Andy Grove when he celebrated
as “success” the fact that America today cannot make televisions. Or
Michael Boskin, an economic adviser to President Reagan, saying potato
chips, microchips, what’s the difference?

The real infrastructure
trend in America today is privatizing what is left. House
Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica has been
hearings on privatizating Amtrak’s Northeast corridor — ostensibly
because private capital can more easily bring in high-speed rail.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback just turned over
arts funding to the private sector, making Kansas the only state
without a publicly funded arts agency. Cities across California,
meanwhile, are trying to outsource
nearly all municipal functions. Chicago famously sold its parking
meter revenue to a consortium headed by Morgan Stanley. The Arizona
Legislature sold and then leased back its state capitol.


these good deals? History would say no. The granddaddies of
privatization were Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the housing giants whose
public role was supporting the secondary mortgage markets. These
companies were “private” in the sense that they operated without public
accountability. But eventually, their losses ended up on the public’s
balance sheet.

Most privatization deals of core public assets
have the same essential structure as Fannie and Freddie. Listen to a
Goldman Sachs managing director, John Ma, who expressed his
reservations about the privatization of Amtrak’s Northeast corridor.

these public-private transactions are always a delicate balancing
act,” Ma explained, “of what risks the public sector will retain and
what risks you’ll try to transfer to the private sector.” Privatization doesn’t actually make something private; it simply divides risks between public and private entities.

fact, the real allure of privatization is that it offers what looks
like a free lunch. The public receives revenue, but privatization keeps
the costs hidden by deferring them to the future. Political actors get
to close deficits without raising taxes on wealthy interests. And the
political muscle is provided by the people who ultimately benefit from
the deal — the same way that Countrywide, Fannie Mae and allied private
bankers brutalized their political critics in the name of


For Democrats, the benefits are more
subtle. Privatization allows them to paper over the party schism
between liberals and neoliberals by spending money for social aims
through what is, essentially, an off-balance-sheet channel.


Does this sound like Greece? Creating off-balance-sheet shenanigans to hide debt
and try to kick the can down the road, and then having to sell off
public assets and impose austerity to try to climb out of the sinkhole
of debt?

There's a reason for that .

Shock Doctrine

As I explained in 2008:

Well-known Austrian economist Friedrich von Hayek wrote:

"Emergencies” have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have eroded.

[Obama's former chief of staff] Rahm Emanuel famously said:

Never let a serious crisis go to waste. What I mean by that is it's an opportunity to do things you couldn't do before.

Naomi Klein documented in the Shock Doctrine
that the Neoliberals and Chicago school followers advocated a kind of
"disaster capitalism". Specifically, whenever a natural, economic,
war-related, or other disaster strikes, these folks pounce and use the
opportunity to quickly impose a brand of economic policy which benefits
the elite at the cost of everyone else (by increasing unemployment,
pushing the cost of essential goods through the roof, and otherwise
increasing poverty), while people are still in shock and before they can

Publishers Weekly's review of the Shock Doctrine puts it this way:

neo-liberal economic policies—privatization, free trade, slashed
social spending—that the Chicago School and the economist Milton
Friedman have foisted on the world are catastrophic in two senses,
argues this vigorous polemic. Because their results are
disastrous—depressions, mass poverty, private corporations looting
public wealth, by the author's accounting—their means must be
cataclysmic, dependent on political upheavals and natural disasters as
coercive pretexts for free-market reforms the public would normally

Amazon's review of Klein's book states:

the most chaotic juncture in Iraq'' civil war, a new law is unveiled
that will allow Shell and BP to claim the country's vast oil reserves…
Immediately following September 11, the Bush Administration quietly
outsources the running of the 'War on Terror' to Halliburton and
Blackwater… After a tsunami wipes out the coasts of Southeast Asia, the
pristine beaches are auctioned off to tourist resorts… New Orleans
residents, scattered from Hurricane Katrina, discover that their public
housing, hospitals and schools will never be re-opened." Klein not only
kicks butt, she names names, notably economist Milton Friedman and his
radical Chicago School of the 1950s and 60s which she notes "produced
many of the leading neo-conservative and neo-liberal thinkers whose
influence is still profound in Washington today."

And Pulitzer prize winning journalist David Cay Johnston provided an interesting example of disaster capitalism, noting that 2 days after 9/11, Congress was thinking about how to help the ultra-wealthy:

Both parties are doing this. They’re doing it because they’re
listening to a narrow group of very well to do people who do not want to
pay taxes, who do not want to share in the expenses of the country
that has made them rich. And they want you to pay their taxes. Those
are the people who get access. Every politician will say you to, you
can’t buy my vote. Generally, that’s true. The problem is that you and I
don’t have the real access, and the
proof that Congress is thinking about the super rich came two days
after 9/11. The House Republican leadership introduced ten bills to
address 9/11. One of them was a tax bill. What did it do? It gave
estate tax relief, which did nothing for the firefighters and police
officers and army sergeants at their desk and nurses and the busboy at
the World Trade Center. All of those people that were killed. A tiny
handful of people, but that’s what Congress thought these people
needed, was estate tax relief even though 99% wouldn’t pay estate taxes


[Interviewer:] It’s slipping it in as a very opportune time.


That was just for this group of people. That was just for this group
of people, but it’s indicative of what Congress is thinking about,
what’s on the minds of Congress are not the concerns of ordinary
Americans who want to educate their children, you know, who want to
engage in enjoying life. Their concerns are about the super rich and
within the super rich, those who are very anti-tax.

As I noted last year, this is a game which both liberals and conservatives play:

that agenda is labelled "conservative" or "liberal", it is almost
certain to benefit the powers-that-be, rather than the average

Some inside the halls of power have tried to warn of this risk:

Senator Leahy and the New York Times are questioning Paulson's use of shock and awe:

  • Senator Leahy said "If we learned anything from 9/11, the biggest mistake is to pass anything they ask for just because it's an emergency"
  • The New York Times wrote:

    rescue is being sold as a must-have emergency measure by an
    administration with a controversial record when it comes to asking
    Congress for special authority in time of duress."


    Paulson has argued that the powers he seeks are necessary to chase away
    the wolf howling at the door: a potentially swift shredding of the
    American financial system. That would be catastrophic for everyone, he
    argues, not only banks, but also ordinary Americans who depend on their
    finances to buy homes and cars, and to pay for college.

    Some are
    suspicious of Mr. Paulson’s characterizations, finding in his warnings
    and demands for extraordinary powers a parallel with the way the Bush
    administration gained authority for the war in Iraq. Then, the White
    House suggested that mushroom clouds could accompany Congress’s failure
    to act. This time, it is financial Armageddon supposedly on the

    “This is scare tactics to try to do something that’s in
    the private but not the public interest,” said Allan Meltzer, a former
    economic adviser to President Reagan, and an expert on monetary policy
    at the Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business. “It’s terrible.”

But the first world is still being turned into the third world:

the International Monetary Fund or World Bank offer to lend money to a
struggling third-world country (or "emerging market"), they demand "austerity measures".


As Wikipedia describes it:

In economics, austerity is when a national government reduces its spending in
order to pay back creditors. Austerity is usually required when a
government's fiscal deficit spending is felt to be unsustainable.


projects, welfare programs and other social spending are common areas
of spending for cuts. In many countries, austerity measures have been
associated with short-term standard of living declines until economic
conditions improved once fiscal balance was achieved (such as in the
United Kingdom under Margaret Thatcher, Canada under Jean Chrétien, and
Spain under González).


Private banks, or institutions like the
International Monetary Fund (IMF), may require that a country pursues an
'austerity policy' if it wants to re-finance loans that are about to
come due. The government may be asked to stop issuing subsidies or to
otherwise reduce public spending. When the IMF requires such a policy,
the terms are known as 'IMF conditionalities'.

Wikipedia goes on to point out:

programs are frequently controversial, as they impact the poorest
segments of the population and often lead to a wider separation between
the rich and poor. In many situations, austerity programs are imposed
on countries that were previously under dictatorial regimes, leading to
criticism that populations are forced to repay the debts of their

What Does This Have to Do With the First World?


the IMF and World Bank lend to third world countries, you may
reasonably assume that this has nothing to do with "first world"
countries like the US and UK.


But England's economy is in dire straight, and rumors have abounded that the UK might have to rely on a loan from the IMF.


And as former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker said :

People seem to think the [American] government has money. The government doesn't have any money.

Indeed, the IMF has already performed a complete audit of the whole US financial system, something which they have only previously done to broke third world nations.

Martin - former contributor to the Presidential Council of Economic
Advisors and retired naval intelligence officer - observed in an April
2005 newsletter that the ratio of total U.S. debt to gross domestic
product (GDP) rose from 78 percent in 2000 to 308 percent in April 2005.
The International Monetary Fund considers a nation-state with a total
debt-to-GDP ratio of 200 percent or more to be a "de-constructed Third
World nation-state."

Martin explained:

"de-constructed" actually means is that a political regime in that
country, or series of political regimes, have, through a long period of
fraud, abuse, graft, corruption and mismanagement, effectively
collapsed the economy of that country.

What Does It Mean?

Some have asked
questions like, "Is the goal to force the US into the same kinds of
IMF austerity programs that have caused riots in so many other
nations?" Some predicted years ago that the "international bankers"
would bring down the American economy.

I used to think, frankly, that such kinds of talk were crazy-talk. I'm not so sure anymore.

Austin Fitts - former managing director of a Wall Street investment
bank and Assistant Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban
Development (HUD) under President George Bush Sr. - calls what is
happening to the economy "a criminal leveraged buyout of America,"
something she defines as "buying a country for cheap with its own money
and then jacking up the rents and fees to steal the rest." She also
calls it the "American Tapeworm" model, explaining:

American Tapeworm model is to simply finance the federal deficit
through warfare, currency exports, Treasury and federal credit borrowing
and cutbacks in domestic "discretionary" spending .... This will then
place local municipalities and local leadership in a highly vulnerable
position - one that will allow them to be persuaded with bogus but
high-minded sounding arguments to further cut resources. Then, to
"preserve bond ratings and the rights of creditors," our leaders can he
persuaded to sell our water, natural resources and infrastructure
assets at significant discounts of their true value to global investors
.... This will be described as a plan to "save America" by
recapitalizing it on a sound financial footing. In fact, this process
will simply shift more capital continuously from America to other
continents and from the lower and middle classes to elites.

Writer Mike Whitney wrote in CounterPunch in April 2005:

towering [U.S.] national debt coupled with the staggering trade
deficits have put the nation on a precipice and a seismic shift in the
fortunes of middle-class Americans is looking more likely all the
time... The country has been intentionally plundered and will eventually
wind up in the hands of its creditors This same Ponzi scheme has been
carried out repeatedly by the IMF and World Bank throughout the world
Bankruptcy is a fairly straightforward way of delivering valuable public
assets and resources to collaborative industries, and of annihilating
national sovereignty. After a nation is successfully driven to
destitution, public policy decisions are made by creditors and not by
representatives of the people .... The catastrophe that middle class
Americans face is what these elites breezily refer to as "shock
therapy"; a sudden jolt, followed by fundamental changes to the system.
In the near future we can expect tax reform, fiscal discipline,
deregulation, free capital flows, lowered tariffs, reduced public
services, and privatization.

And given that experts on third world banana republics from the IMF and the Federal Reserve have said the U.S. has become a third world banana republic (and see this and this), maybe the process of turning first world into the third world is already complete.

The Raping of America

Dylan Ratigan writes:

Chicago, it's the sale of parking meters to the sovereign wealth fund
of Abu Dhabi. In Indiana, it's the sale of the northern toll road to a
Spanish and Australian joint venture. In Wisconsin it's public health
and food programs, in California it's libraries. It's water treatment
plants, schools, toll roads, airports, and power plants. It's Amtrak.
There are revolving doors of corrupt politicians, big banks, and rating
agencies. There are conflicts of interest. It's bipartisan.


it's coming to a city near you -- it may already be there. We're
talking about the sale of public assets to private investors... In an
era of increasingly stretched local and state budgets, privatization of
public assets may be so tempting to local politicians that the trend
seems unstoppable. Yet, public outrage has stopped and slowed a number
of initiatives.




On Wall Street, setting up and
running "Infrastructure Funds" is big business, with over $140 billion
run by such banks as Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Australian
infrastructure specialist Macquarie. Goldman's 2010 SEC filing should give you some sense of the scope of the campaign. Goldman says it will be involved with "ownership
and operation of public services, such as airports, toll roads and
shipping ports, as well as power generation facilities
physical commodities and other commodities infrastructure components,
both within and outside the United States." While the bank sees
increased opportunity in "distressed assets" (ie. Cities and states gone
broke because of the financial crisis), the bank also recognizes "reputational concerns with the manner in which these assets are being operated or held."


funds themselves are clear when communicating with investors about why
they are good investments -- a public asset is usually a monopoly.
Says Quadrant Real Estate Advisors:
"Most assets are monopolistic in nature and have limited competitors,
creating the opportunity for stable, long-term investment returns.
Investment choices include economic assets and social assets." Quadrant
notes that the market size is between $12-20 trillion, roughly the size
of the American mortgage market. "Given the market and potential
return opportunities, institutional investors should consider
infrastructure a strategic investment allocation."


As with
mortgage securitizations, the conflicts of interest are intense.
Pennsylvania nearly privatized its turnpike, with Morgan Stanley on
multiple sides of the deal as both an advisor to the state and a
potential bidder. As you'll see, these deals are often profitable because they constrain the public's ability to govern, not because they are creating value. For instance, private infrastructure company Transurban, now attempting to privatize a section of the Beltway around DC, is ready to walk away
if local governments insist on an environmental review of the project.
Many of them have clauses enshrining their monopolistic positions,
preventing states and localities from changing zoning, parking, or
transportation options.


While the trend is worldwide,
privatization of public infrastructure only came to America en masse in
the 2000s. It is worth discussing, because where it has happened it
has sparked deep and intense anger.




American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the influential think
tank that targets conservative state and local officials, has launched
an initiative called "Publicopoly",
a play on the board game Monopoly. "Select your game square", says the
webpage, and ALEC will help you privatize one of seven sectors:
government operations, education, transportation and infrastructure,
public safety, environment, health, or telecommunications.




The Obama administration has been encouraging Chinese
sovereign wealth funds to invest in American infrastructure as a way
to bring in foreign capital. It was Chicago Mayor and Democratic icon
Richard Daley who privatized Chicago's Midway Airport, Chicago's Skyway
road, and Chicago's Parking Meters. Out of office after 22 years, he
is now a paid advisor to the law firm that negotiated the parking meter


Ratings agencies are also in the game, rating up municipalities willing to privatize assets,
or even developing potential new profit centers around the trend (see
the chapter titled "Significant Debt issuance Expected with the
Privatization of Military Housing" from this September 2007 Moody's report).

Where To?

The strikes and riots in Greece, Spain, England and elsewhere are one reaction to the raping of their countries by creditors and politicians.

Others talk about taking the power to create debt away from the giant banks. But the banks (and the politicians which they own) - are obviously against that idea.

Max Keiser believes that Americans will simply stop making their mortgage payments en masse, an idea which many have discussed (and see this).

people stand up and demand that the bondholders and other creditors
take haircuts? Or will we all be scalped of our national assets, our
pension funds, our money ... and our freedom? Remember, more and more
national security and police services are being outsourced to the
private sector, and such military, intelligence and police powers are being used to protect big business. And see this.

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spritch's picture

Great article I couldn't agree with you more.

ebworthen's picture


Progressive versus Capitalists - a pointless argument.

Both liberal socialists and conservative crony capitalists are taking us straight to hell.

Government health-care for everyone but McDonalds and other corporate bedfellows of elite politicians can be excluded from the plan?

Brave conservatives who voted to bail out Wall Street and set the example that you don't really have to pay your debts as long as you have some "little people" to socialize the losses too?

These sides and people are of the same beast, of the same stripe, attached to the same scaled body that reeks of bile and rotting flesh; a two-headed hydra that promises a ride to paradise then in flight rips the riders in two - one head getting each half.

Both sides are elected by contributions from banks and corporations and universities; both sides allegiance is to their cronies and to themselves - constituents are cannon fodder, tax revenues, and votes to perpetuate the decption and tyranny.

Our system of government is completely broken, a shambles of lust, of greed, and of excess enacted by a population of narcissistic and juvenile leaders; a cult of sophistry and equivocation that oppresses the just responsible individual while feeding the selfish irresponsible louse.


divide_by_zero's picture

More progressive drivel.

snowball777's picture

Don't forget that jackhole governor from Florida trying to privatize your peepee.

fleur de lis's picture

For all intents and purposes we lost our country in 1913 when the traitor president Woodrow Wilson sold our country to the Rothschilds and their hive of central banker/looter friends. Too late he realized he'd been had when he said, 'I have betrayed my country."

Since then the central bankers have used the Federal Slush Fund Reserve to plan and fund wars, revolutions, and societal financial collapses at will. They have been roaming the world creating disasters and leaving rivers of blood since 1789, that was theirs, too.

And amid the devastation all around us, the parasitic central bankers - who own our military - see fit to use and abuse them by planning to re-fit the island of Guam as a massive and permanent Navy base over the bitter objections of the populace.

Don't be surprised if they are quieted down with a HAARP induced response.

Meantime we are subjected to lurid stories about a scrawny DC pervert with wierd sex problems and his cyber tramps. As if that's something new out of DC.

The central bankers could not get far without official complicity, so inept and vice-prone officials are particularly valuable to them, for their sex, money, addiction, etc., vices are fed and hidden in exchange for signatures on treaties, policies, etc., that the electorate does not want.

These scandals may be news to us but they are carefully nurtured and protected by Parasites, & Co., Inc. to keep their pols in line and policies legislated.  

The BIS was conjured up by these same parasites to buy assets for nothing after a disaster that they planned. It should not be called a bank, it is just a front operation for a financial crime syndicate, same as narcotics traffickers use to launder their money.

Central bankers and narco thugs share that commonality in order to do business, because they cannot produce honest work.

Until professional bankers understand that severe regulations and restrictions are penned by the miscreants who are deliberately eroding the system in favor of marxism, and that loans and agreements from central bankers are essentially elaborate hoaxes and scams and should not be paid back,  and until the bank parasites, and their aphid political addicts are ID'd and cleaned out, the r'g will continue.     

i-dog's picture


"These scandals may be news to us but they are carefully nurtured and protected by Parasites, & Co., Inc. to keep their pols in line and policies legislated."

One of the key measures used to control their weak servants ... invite them to "come are special" at Bilderberg, Bohemian Grove and Skull & Bones each year, then get them to join in the Bacchanalian romps and confessions with all kinds of perverted 'rituals' and file the evidence away for later use. (Later they are reminded: "You stray from the reservation, boy, and we'll destroy both you and your family name").

"same as narcotics traffickers use to launder their money"

Not just "same as" ... TPTB make most of their money FROM narcotics trafficking and other illegal activities. That's WHY they're illegal ... so that there is no competition for the TRILLIONS of dollars in off-the-books, non-taxable income each year. They even use their [owned] governments as enforcers of their monopolies. It's how most of the wealthy families originally made their fortunes! To quote de Balzac: "Behind every great fortune is a great crime"!

jackbooted gauleiter's picture

You only own what you have and can hold. That is why man invented government. It was to protect us from outsiders who want to march in and take our wealth. That is why the best rulers were ruthless psychopaths, because they were best at keeping the tribe down the road out of our fields and away from our daughters...  and the best at marching into our neighbours fields so we could steal their wealth and take their daughters.

War is not a good model. It is destructive, we want to steal our neighbours' wealth, not destroy it. It's so much better to set up a protection racket. So that's what we do, and our tribe simply demands tribute from the neighbouring tribes.

Nothing has changed from this primitive model to today's governments. They are still run by psychopaths (no sane person would endure all the political infighting or would run for office); they still demand tribute;  and they still protect us from external tribes.

But here's the question... who are the external tribes whom our government both protects us from and also threatens and pillages? The French? The Chinese? The Canadians? Georgians? Virginians? Jersey men?

Other tribes are people who are not like us. That is what makes them another tribe. If we are like bankers, then people who are not like bankers are another tribe, and it is good, decent, right, just and proper that we exploit them. If we are rich east coast plutocrats, then people who are not rich east coast plutocrats are our prey.

What tribe controls the government? That is the tribe that the government is protecting, that is the tribe that the government exacts tribute on behalf of.

Element's picture

Preface: The war between liberals and conservatives is a false divide-and-conquer dog-and-pony show created by the powers that be to keep the American people divided and distracted.


Privatization in Australia was sold to us as a massive improvement in efficiency and services.

It was pure bullshit, our public owned utilities, which were perfectly functional, viable, and provided fantastic public services, are now vastly indebted, and routinely overcharging and gouging, at well over 100% the price of the previous charges to the public and vastly outstripping inflation, (which conveniently excludes them in the fake and laughable Govt inflation measures, that are just designed to hide the theft that is occurring).

So we paid to build it, and maintain it, and staff it, and train the employees, the indebted Govts, who refused to budget responsibly and were too full of themselves to admit their total failure to govern, then sold these EXCELENT public assets in what can only be called a complete failure to act responsibly for the longer term public interests.

And now we are paying for it all AGAIN ... and the services these utilities provide are VASTLY more expensive.

How the fig is this 'privatization' more efficient?

It is more efficient, but only at gouging-out the public ever-more each year, as wealth is transferred to private pockets instead of to the revenue stream, so the budgets are not repaired ... and the cupboard is bare.

The whole PPP and privatization circus by successive failed state and federal govts, has been a massive PUBLIC THEFT, and nothing more, and there's no end in sight to the insanity of it, still be pumped by shills and absolutely unforgivable dupes and 'politicians'.

Privatization has been a massively destructive  G L O B A L   P L A G U E -  and any residual pretending that it isn't is quite laughable to an observer of the effects of it on actual communities.

We can afford to live extremely well, and very comfortably, and happily, but the No.1 problem here is everyone wants to just PRETEND we are more capable of spending than we are actually able to manage.

The banksters simply created and fanned this 'affordable credit' delusion to create the political conditions for this great privatization rip-off to occur, and be maintained, and the politicians are far too gutless to honestly admit they were TOTALLY WRONG ... so the circus of stupidity and theft continues ... when NATIONALIZATION is the real solution to what these theives have done to the people and the country.



PS: Macquarie Bank are the biggest pack of remorseless Bankster theives in Australia - the worst of the worst scum there is - buyer beware.

Macquarie Bank Macquarie Bank Macquarie Bank Macquarie Bank Macquarie Bank Macquarie Bank Macquarie Bank Macquarie Bank Macquarie Bank Macquarie Bank Macquarie Bank Macquarie Bank Macquarie Bank Macquarie Bank


Dont forget those pricks.

i-dog's picture

The problem is not privatisation, per se ... it is the privatisation into a pseudo-free market cartel that is the problem.

Each of these privatisations (whether power, prisons or tollways) is a carefully managed oligopoly or cartel with massive barriers to entry for competition. All players are either on a government-approved list or are outright monopolies by government [rigged] tender.

The situation HAS been made far worse by the last few decades of rampant pillaging from the middle classes by TPTB -- whereby only the big players now have any money to invest in privatised infrastructure -- but a truly free market would still see innovation and new entrants nudging out the old dinosaurs in time.

Element's picture

In theory that maybe possible, but in experience it's not. My main point though is that it's not more 'efficent' or cheaper. It's been a disaster, people predicted it would be, and it is. And it was totally avoidable, and it also has no end in sight, as the effects go on for decades.

So in practice, privatisation is the problem when this occurs (this is not always true of course). People have simply been too willing to blindly accept that public-own utilities = evil incarnate. It's pure nonsense, and just a line fed to us by banksters as a way into our wallets.

In fact, historically, our public utilities were cheap (affordable), and efficient (affordable), and reliable as hell (affordable), and you didn't have to pay more than once (affordable), so your bills were low and predictable (affordable), and we all liked that. But the Free-Marketeers (who were almost universally visiting USA Financiers, elites and intellectuals BTW) came in in the late 1980s and 1990s to try and blacken the very idea of the public OWNING outright, via taxes, the utilities they rely on for a smoothly-running well-ordered community.

The truth is that if a party were to propose to re-Nationalise almost all former public utilities again, they'd have overwhelming public support, because the community knows this has been a disaster, for them, and these utilities were built to serve the needs of the community, they were NOT supposed to turn a profit, nor pay for failed-Govts' debts or to make bankers happy, or richer. I regularly discuss this in conversation with regular people, and they ALL agree, and no one EVER says they think privatisation has been a good thing, or has improved anything - quite the reverse. Everyone is appalled at it, especially those who have known earlier decades of public utilities (before they became mere 'assets' and considered saleable) as efficient reliable cheap services.

It is ONLY the financier marketeers who profit from asset sales who promote the opposite view, and all our pathetic govts are interested in is covering-up how BADLY they are at managing public finances and longer term interest of the voter, or else, how outright corrupt they have become.

I've heard all the privatisation arguments under the sun 'for the past quarter century, and I think they are just a smokescreen and a vehicle for political corruption and asset stripping that is profoundly anti-community interests and needs (not wants).

To me this is not about ideology or theory i-dog, this is about using what's healthy for the community, and serves their interests, and I'm not interested in the 'fix'-what-wasn't-broken BS of the privatisation clique, who have done so much unwarranted and inexcusable damage to our country and communities, and which is on-going.

jackbooted gauleiter's picture

You only own what you have and can hold. That is why man invented government. It was to protect us from outsiders who want to march in and take our wealth. That is why the best rulers were ruthless psychopaths, because they were best at keeping the tribe down the road out of our fields and away from our daughters...  and the best at marching into our neighbours fields so we could steal their wealth and take their daughters.

War is not a good model. It is destructive, we want to steal our neighbours' wealth, not destroy it. It's so much better to set up a protection racket. So that's what we do, and our tribe simply demands tribute from the neighbouring tribes.

Nothing has changed from this primitive model to today's governments. They are still run by psychopaths (no sane person endure all the political infighting or would run for office); they still demand tribute;  and they still protect us from external tribes.

But here's the question... who are the external tribes whom our government both protects us from and also threatens and pillages? The French? The Chinese? The Canadians? Georgians? Virginians? Jersey men?

Other tribes are people who are not like us. That is what makes them another tribe. If we are like bankers, then people who are not like bankers are another tribe, and it is good, decent, right, just and proper that we exploit them. If we are rich east coast plutocrats, then people who are not rich east coast plutocrats are our prey.

What tribe controls the government? That is the tribe that the government is protecting, that is the tribe that the government exacts tribute on behalf of.

BlackholeDivestment's picture there is a corrupt body on the loose 

Corruption is; raping the Whore,  imprisoning the prostitute in the Whorehouse it built, and killing anyone that tries to arrest the Pimp. Deadly force is securing the Pimp and Rapist raping the Prostitute.

This does not sound or look like a political question or a systemic debate.  This means war and we are all in the Whorehouse. The ''prophetic'' revelation of ''the strong delusion'' (brought upon this last generation because it does not love The Truth enough to recognize war ...when it is in it ...or, the generation is evil, offensive and just U.N.Becoming) declares people standing by, as the rape and death is happening, and they are too numb and dumb to realize they are Tyler ...standing in the mirror ...saying ''go screw yourself some more Bitchez'' 

                      ...not standing fast and doing no harm.

Sathington Willougby's picture

Somehow the free market is to blame?  Doubt it.  Show me a free market first.  Then we'll try to blame it.  If you're talking about a pumped up unregulated fake paper market, don't confuse that with a free market.  A free market can't exist with central planning.  PERIOD.

The whole premise here is government does something (besides wage war on everything and everyone) and we need to preserve it from, uh, the government.  Government is the great eraser of productivity and wealth, it consumes, homogenizes and crushes.  It's stealing at the point of a gun (IRS puts you in ass pounding prison for living free of coercion and pursuing happiness).

How about we live free and you apes and livestock get the fuck out of our lives.  You don't know fuck all about how to manage your own.

One thing you got right is Democrat and Republican shit for brains aren't fit to wipe.  So stop clinging to the ass hairs of the real humans.

That Max Keiser horseshit is just as bad.  You don't like the way useful idiots are getting raped by a government they insist is necessary, so you don't honor a contract you sign your name to.  We traded moral fiber for electronic gadgetry and a "living, breathing" law.  What a bunch of buffoons.


tony bonn's picture

mr president, today's comment was sublime.....thank you for writing.....the bankstercrats' goal is to revive feudalism and to subjugate americans to their debt and consumer slavery....

Pitchman's picture

Argentina provides a good template to what is happening in Europe.

In the post: A TALE OF TWO ECONOMIES: 2010; BUBBLE MACHINES AND GROWING ENLIGHTENMENT excerpts from: Two-Party Oligarchy Vs. The People - Amped Status, DUDE, WHERE’S MY JOB? - The Burning Platform, The Lull Before The Storm: What’s Coming in 2011 - Gonzalo Lira, Bill Moyers: Welcome to the Plutocracy! - Truthout, And interviews with Yves Saint and Bill Black are featured.

The conclusion is as follows:

Whether it be Argentina, Greece or Ireland; The IMF does the bidding for, and implements policies that favor, the groups it represents -Multinational financial institutions (Wall Street) multinational corporations and financial elites.   

The IMF, World Bank, Multinational Corporations and their amoral Bankster Overlords are the Monster Machines on the road to destruction.  Under the guise of a helping hand the reality is a wholesale transfer of public assets to these corporate fascist through a cabal of oligarchs, corrupt politicians and captured bureaucratic minions.  If there is any guise of a free market economy still in existence this transfer serves the final death blow. Having decimated third world countries on a planetary scale; their 'debt slavery' economic model is rolling North and West across Europe to devour their own. - Inflection Point 

A very good film regarding the World Bank and IMF's methodology is "Memoria del saqueo".  It is a harsh cautionary tale of a society where capitalism is manipulated to ensure profits for a few Kelptocrats / Oligarchs while loses and plunder are perpetrated on the populace.   It's a total condemnation of international banking, the IMF, World Bank and "The New World Order"!

See it here: Memoria del saqueo (Social Genocide) - Argentina: A Cautionary Tale

Only through unity is there a chance to bring down a culture of Sociopathic leadership. - Inflection Point 


Ponzi Unit's picture

Can anyone advise me, please, on buying silver coins/rounds?

Lowest buyback % under delivered price?

Lowest markup over spot?

Vendetta's picture

Well done GW.  Important, real and dangerous to this nation's future.

medicalstudent's picture

will it?


hasn't it already been?


they can try. they will fail.



Eireann go Brach's picture

"Max Keiser believes that Americans will simply stop making their mortgage payments en masse"...this is very very true! Americans see this as their own form of a personal bailout, by saying fuck the system and fuck the banks..the sheeple are not all stupid, they are beginning to see what is going on and are taking their own retribution! Look down your street, I bet 3 out of 10 folks are not paying their mortgage!

Hacked Economy's picture

As I've recently said in other threads here, two of my own brothers have done just that!  One simply stopped paying a couple of years ago, and the other one joined him a few months ago.  They're both still in their homes!  Of course, both of them don't care what happens to their FICOs or whatnot, since they're both financially inept and can't keep a budget balanced if their lives depended on it.

But me?  I have one of the cleanest credit records (and solid FICO) you've ever seen because I not only incur little debt, but I actually pay on time, and pay ahead of schedule.  In other words, I keep my word.  And yet I'm still looking at another few years on my mortgage while my loser brothers somehow got off scott-free.  What is UP with that?

Pitchman's picture

Great article: It is a daunting task to get the people to see beyond the insignificant divide of liberal and conservative; Red and Blue.  While the citizens energies are expended in this senseless battle, a small group of sociopathic fascist are methodically making chattel of us all.

The Kleptocrats control of 'mean stream' propaganda and use of obfuscation brings two quotes to mind:

“The most potent weapon of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.” Steven Biko


“It is hard to free fools from the chains they revere.”- Voltaire

As Europe's banking situation worsens we are witnessing it's overt transformation into the Enslavement Zone!  This folks, is the tailor. The real thing is 'Coming Soon' to a town near you!


With this in mind it takes little effort to conclude that Gandhi had it right when he said:

"You assist an evil system most effectively by obeying its orders and decrees. An evil system never deserves such allegiance. Allegiance to it means partaking of the evil. A good person will resist an evil system with his or her whole soul."

The Banksters are so far ahead it is time for the citizens to quit the game; forfeit!


How Two Banksters Led Europe To Ruin -- AND REVOLUTION

Visit: Inflection Point

jomama's picture

what has this country come to when my privates are being privatized without my knowledge or consent?

apberusdisvet's picture

We're being invaded by govt psyops trolls.

theopco's picture

The entire government was privatized years ago, dudes. And you know what? I don't care. And I'd like to be someone important, like an actor.

Vic Vinegar's picture

Will people stand up and demand that the bondholders and other creditors take haircuts? No. Or will we all be scalped of our national assets, our pension funds, our money ... and our freedom?  Yes.

Until then, note that Terminator 2 is on AMC right now...

G. Marx's picture

Anyone who uses the lying Marxist Ms. Klein* to support their position, can kiss my ass. Thanks for saving me a bit more time in my daily life, I no longer have to read your essays here at ZH."

*(and if you want the proof Georgie, just ask. Apparently your "extensive research" comes to a complete halt when it doesn't jive with your ideology)

Freddie's picture


It is hilarious.  He uses all these left wing sources like Dan Rather, Ellsberg, Wesley Clark, Huff Post, NY Times and Newsweak to try to support his rambling leftist nonsense.  Loads of lefty Dems realizing their boy Mugabe has destroyed America and they voted for him.  They post this sh*t to try to assauge their guilt.   All these evil bankers give money to their boy Mugabe.  

dexter_morgan's picture

"Apparently your "extensive research" comes to a complete halt when it doesn't jive with your ideology"


George Washington's picture

Nice use of numbers 4 and 5! 

Twenty-Five Rules of Disinformation

You, sir, are a Marxist (just look at your name!) ... I am not (I hate marxists).

G. Marx's picture

Not only are you lazy, you're a coward. I clearly stated that all you had to do was ask and I'd put forth the facts, instead you link to "Twenty-Five Rules of Disinformation". What an ass.

Bubbles's picture

Another excellent and enlightening article, GW. 

The hard core objectivists can't stand it though because they believe privatization is a holy sacrament.  They're too busy rubbing one out while gawking over a photo of Ayn Rand to get it through their narrow minds that privatization (in this case) is nothing more than turning public assets over to private tyrranies for the destruction of the public interest.  Privatization of this type is the opposite of liberty.

And calling someone a Marxist is just their thought-termination-device of choice.  A way to closing off debate without having to think too hard

G. Marx's picture

Hey Bubbles,

I suggest you and Georgie do a bit of simple search engine research. You'll not only find out that's how Ms. Klein defines herself, but how self-professed Marxist find her to be one of their own.

Ms. Klein is either one of the most intellectually dishonest "journalist" employed today, or she's the most ignorant person in history to ever claim the mantle of intellectual.

You both can start here:



All written by those sympathetic to Ms. Klein's views.

As for the lies in her book "Disaster Capitalism," this was one of a number of responses written by those who knew Milton Friedman:

Doing a search of Naomi Klein and Johan Norberg will give you the full give and take between them concerning his criticisms of her book and analysis.

Also we have a side by side comparison of Klein's "interpretation" of what Prof. Friedman said and what he actually said:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Who sounds the more authentic? Of course that question can only be answered if one watches the videos.

As a devotee of the Austrian School, I have serious issues with Prof. Friedman's monetary theories (along with his mentor, Irving Fisher), but for Klein to essentially charge him with lies, crimes and psychological manipulation of the public, just goes beyond the pale, especially when she waits for him to die to make these charges. Not only is she an intellectual cheat, she's a moral coward. Friedman was sifnificantly responsible for ending the US draft (he ran the commission studying the draft vs. volunteer army), he promoted the end to all governmental subsidies and the decriminalization of all victimless crimes.

As for her theory "Shock Doctrine" it was actually best embodied by a political and ideological sympathizer, Rahm Emanuel when he said: "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste, and what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things that you didn’t think you could do before."

So Bubbles, try educating yourself in the future and speak from the facts, instead of letting others do your thinking for you. As to the both of you I leave you with a suggestion from ole Benjamin Franklin: "It is better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."

Urban Redneck's picture

Naomi Klein is a cunt who couldn't find herself with both hands because her head is so far up her ass. 

She has unrivaled ability to focus on a single sentence, paragraph, or document and arrive at an utterly incoherent and incorrect understanding of an actual situation, and then find someone willing publish her intellectual incontinence.

It is a miracle that she hasn't postulated that the earth is actually flat, and the spherical earth theory is nothing more than a conspiracy of big corporate interests to drive up consumer costs.

Unfortunately, if one doesn't understand the causes of a problem, they are extremely unlikely to propose any sort of solution which could actually address or solve the problem.  When such stupidity is granted a veil of legitimacy, it acts as a hindrance to actual progress in the reformation of the relationship between government and big business.


G. Marx's picture


Hello? George? I am waiting for your defense of Naomi.

dexter_morgan's picture

Looking for miracles there. Sux that a guy using the moniker George Washington is so cluless about many, but not all, things.

G. Marx's picture

Talk about hit and run.

FWM's picture

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) “Larry Summers hates infrastructure."

Pee-Dur commenting on anything having to do with economics is like John Edwards commenting on piety.  He could spend the rest of his life to maybe rise to the level of an anal wart, for all of the Truth, Beauty and Virtue he has given to world.

silverisgold's picture

Bullshit! Peter is a true 'citizen legislator' and well represents a part of Oregon that is known for it's self reliance, independent thinking & sustainable living. He was instrumental along with Ron Paul in proposing legislation to audit the fed. He did NOT vote for any of the bailouts or giveaways to the EE. He is unpretentious and sincere, and would do everything he could to help out a constituent no matter on which side of the fence he sits.

Branding Peter DeFazio a 'lefty or liberal' shows you are ignorant and pre-disposed to making superficial political stereotypes. He knows more about infrastructure funding & economics then anyone in Congress. He was chairman of the Transportation Committee for over 10 years, overseeing huge improvements to our transportation system. The same systems that the 'privatizers' now want to steal for pennies on a dollar, after all the 'peoples capital' and workers sweat has been committed.

His district represents a cross section of Oregon that includes loggers, fisherman, techies, farmers, hunters, fishermen, tree huggers, tea baggers, wingnuts, and your odd assortment of politically unclassifiable, but passionate patriots who care about this country, Oregon and their home.

Yeah, the govmnt sucks in way too many ways, but the people through the government & their own 'personal efforts' have accomplished some mighty great achievements (damns, roads, bridges, hospitals, schools, etc.) that every one of us benefits from every day. It was our forefathers and theirs before them who built this infrastructure & whose teat we all still suck on today. So many here complain about the govmnt and all it’s socialist programs, just as those who say "keep your government hands off my Medicare." I mean, this is fucking pathetic hypocrisy way beyond reason.

We are not going to bring down or change the system by sitting on our asses at our keyboards frantically spewing our opinions and political biases. ZH is a creative and inspiring place to gather ideas and share strategies, but just talking about the problems & creating divisiveness will never in itself solve them.

dexter_morgan's picture

But, he's a tried and true lefty and therefore on 'ol George's pedestal.

walküre's picture

I'm 100% in support of privatization.

IF that means that the size and scope of government gets reduced PROPORTIONALLY.

But that is mostly NOT the case!

Instead, government grows because the peons that work there get reshuffled and new jobs get created for no other reason than "work-programs". Welcome communism where 2 worker drones shared one job.

Don't complain about parking meters being privatized. The cost of parking was there before and is now being collected from a private group. What happened to the proceeds from the sale of the parking meter "business"? Did that reduce the tax burden? Doubtful!

Don't complain about it, just go after it yourself and buy a former public entity.

NotApplicable's picture

Given that government is nothing but the most organized form of crime, the idea that they own anything is a lie. It's all stolen goods (or bought with collective credit, another crime). So, from an ethical POV, I'm for privatization of ALL public assets. Problem is, in a moral world, the assets would be returned to owners (as well as the purchasing power stolen via inflation).

And here's the rub, there's no way to unwind this mess without making it worse! Because in both cases, it involves a transfer of wealth using A: political connections, and B: modern financing (the funny money machine). What will happen in this environment is the evil crony-capitalists will get real wealth at bargain rates with little outlay of their own.

In other words, it's just another twist on the wealth extraction operation called government, where today's solution creates tomorrow's problem.

RKDS's picture

"What will happen in this environment is the evil crony-capitalists will get real wealth at bargain rates with little outlay of their own."

I think a crony capitalist or one of their apologists junked you.