Monday, June 25, 2012
Cities forced to sell ads for chicken wings on public works!
The ongoing looting of public income and assets continues unabated. To survive, municipalities have been lowered to basically prostituting themselves: forced to reach for any means of producing income, whether that be through the sale of assets, heightened and expanded fines or other penalties and now even advertising on public works. That's right, cities are resorting to ad placement on such things as firetrucks, fire hydrants, manhole covers and whatever else they can find, in an effort to generate desperately needed revenue. Do you suddenly find yourself in the mood for spicy chicken wings? Well maybe that's because you just saw it advertised on a sewer grate.
In other words, instead of investing in the stuff that we really need like roads, bridges, tunnels, all kinds of infrastructure, 21st century public transportation, schools, research facilities--the things that comprise the real capital to support growth, prosperity and a high standard of living for the next generation or two--we force our economy deeper and deeper into this junk-consumption/rent-extracting mode, that will leave us short of the real assets we need to be a first world nation. But, hey, life will be wonderful for landfill operators!
And why do we do this lunacy? Because of an idiotic belief that we've "run out of money." NO more fiat. Can't push that button on the keyboard.
As the public sector is forced violently to shrink, what does the vaunted private sector create in its absence? Remember, we've been told that the problem was that government was too big, that the private sector was getting crowded out and if it were just left alone to work its magic, then there'd be jobs and a vibrant, efficient economy with prosperity for all. So this is the private sector answer: prisons, reality TV shows, plastic throway crap that pollutes the environment and turning everything into a billboard.
To be sure, the wealthy and big business are loving it. They can scoop up all the valuable public assets, which have been paid for 50 times over by you and me in the form of taxes, and then they can extract rents for their use. Mind you, we used to have these things for free or at minimal cost, but that's not how the efficient private sector works; it has to make profit.
Our kids, who no longer have first-rate educations because of school closures, teacher layoffs and budget cuts, can look forward to a future of menial work (that is, if they're lucky), perhaps waving palm frons over the rich as they relax leisurely while their bank accounts grow from the income earned on the assets that WE BUILT AND PAID FOR!
What a lovely system. All hail the private sector! All hail austerity!