Dear Editor: Ronald Reagan famously said government is the problem, not the solution. In keeping with this right-wing corporate dogma, Scott Walker is considering selling off the 37 state-owned and apparently well-run power plants that serve our universities and public buildings, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The proceeds would be used for road-building projects and other transfers of wealth to the special interests that allowed Walker to outspend his opponents by a substantial margin in the 2010 and recall elections.
We will be propagandized to deafness as to how this will make these “aging” facilities more efficient and will serve the best interests of all the citizens.
There are numerous examples of privatization of public services and utilities leading to disastrous results, such as tainted water in Atlanta, and a 700 percent increase in electric rates in California in just two years. A month ago we personally paid four times more to park in Chicago than three years ago ($8 an hour). It turns out four years ago Mayor Richard Daley sold the public parking meters in Chicago to a private investment firm. The proceeds are largely spent, and public outrage in the Windy City is everywhere. Who really gained and who really lost as a result of this privatization of government property? Well, Daley is now with the law firm that engineered the deal.
If you really believe the Republican dogma that the sale of well-run and properly maintained state assets such as these power plants is in the best economic interests of the citizens of Wisconsin, you probably also believed Mitt Romney when he said the reason he hid hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign banks had nothing to do with avoiding taxes.