The Public Sector Is Not Doing Fine
|September 8, 2012||Posted by Adam T under News Bump|
On June 5, Scott Walker survived a recall election, after bashing teachers’ and other unions into the ground. Then, mere days later, Mitt Romney comes out saying the message from Wisconsin is that we need less firefighters, teachers, and policemen.
There’s something wrong with that.
While the message from Wisconsin is certainly that a majority of the voters do not think that an all out assault on unions is enough of a reason to recall him, apparently neither is opposition to fair pay for women or a number of other issues. For them, it seems to be that they fell for Scott Walker’s early campaign to make it seem like anyone who absolutely abhored what he did once he got into office was just a sore loser.
But Mitt Romney’s takeway is clearly off the mark. Instead, it looks like he has overplayed his hand accidentally, and his gaffe has already been forgotten while Obama’s remark that sparked it (“the private sector is doing fine”) remains. Romney thinks we need less firefighters, policemen, and teachers, and President Obama thinks the opposite.
We could argue all day about how stupid this is. We could talk about the fact that less education means more people in prison. We could talk about how there are the same amount of students or more in classrooms while there are less teachers to teach them. We could talk about how public safety is severely threatened by cutting an already clearly strapped police force all across the country. We could talk about how less firefighters means more chances buildings will burn down. But all of that is pointless to conservatives and libertarians who subscribe to Mitt Romney’s way of thinking, which is that there should be no public sector firefighters, policemen, or teachers. To them, all those jobs need to be in the private sector.
I should not have to explain why this is a bad idea, but anyone who believes all these jobs should be in the private sector with no public sector that supports these jobs is already beyond logic and statistics. Their world view is that of a tiny state that somehow still works for a large continent and population.
Turning education into a completely private system, for instance, eliminates education for poor people. Period. There is no faster way to turn the working poor into a criminal class. This kind of thought process works well for someone’s bottom line. However, it creates a situation where poor people have to fight for the scraps of the jobs that are available at the bottom, and everyone else either ends up in prison or living like the industrial revolution never happened. And those who end up in prison end up in private prison: prison that gets more money the more prisoners they have. Again, this is all good for business, but terrible for regular people.
Another option, also subscribed to by Mitt Romney and followers, is to join the military. You see, the military are the only jobs the government should have, and it should be about sending as many of them off to die as early and as often as possible. There’s always a new war to fight. Just think how many more soldiers we would need if we jumped on every opportunity to start a ground war. We would have troops in Egypt, Libya, Syria, and Iran if the same people who subscribe to these nutcase theories were in control for the past four years.
When it comes right down to it, Romney’s “gaffe” tells us that he believes, or wants us to believe that he believes, in the libertarian and conservative ideals of a state so limited that its function is no longer to serve the people, but to instead serve a few rich people and a few large corporations.