Tag Archives: infrastructure deficit

Privatization Via Blackmail

If you want to see why there isn’t much of a real left wing in the USA, this graph of those seeking the White House in 2008 pretty much covers it.

2008 US presidential candidates show little actual left wing juice.

If you want proof of how the neoliberal US Democratic Party is like the neoliberal Harper Conservatives, see this great piece:

Rahm Emanuel is not just any Democrat. He was Barack Obama’s first chief of staff, responsible for hiring many of the Obama administration’s key personnel. One of Obama’s appointees, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, is a former “Chief Executive Officer” of the Chicago public school system. In Chicago he had promoted the expansion of for-profit charter schools.

In Washington, Secretary Duncan developed the $4.35 billion “Race to the Top” program to encourage states to privatize their schools. The funding was structured as a competition. All 50 states adopted the Race to the Top program in hopes of receiving scarce federal funding during a severe recession; only 12 actually received any grants. The tournament format was designed to ensure maximum institutional impact for the smallest possible investment.

For a federal government to put a privatization condition on public education funding is not very left wing. It would be like a federal government saying to municipalities that to rebuild ageing infrastructure they can only get federal money if they privatize their projects, which is exactly what Canada’s Conservative government did with PPP Canada as cities and regions try to fund our $200 billion national infrastructure deficit.

PPP Canada works with provincial, territorial, municipal, First Nations, federal and private partners to support greater adoption of public-private partnerships in infrastructure procurement. To be eligible for a P3 Canada Fund investment, the infrastructure project must be procured, and supported by a province, territory, municipality or First Nation (i.e., a public authority).

When Obama’s policies are the same as Harper’s policies, we can see the gaping hole in any functional left wing in the USA. And let’s not be so complacent as to let the provincial and federal NDP slide to the right.