Public/Private Plunder

Wealthy Californians would like to thank you for buying them expensive automobiles.

Didn’t know you that generous, eh?

In fairly recent political history, left-of-center ideologues and other special needs people have advocated “public/private partnerships”. Once opposed to anything corporate, alleged progressives now embrace funneling tax funds to corporations of every ilk that sustain their ideology, regardless of how insane the plot sounds to common folks with common sense. No less of a man than Bill Clinton (and given his serial freelance philandering, there is no lesser of a man) has focused his face into television cameras proclaiming that government funded private enterprise is wonderful, progressive, modern and futuristic. Oddly, this is not a new concept.

Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power. Benito Mussolini

obama-pirateThe fundamental flaw of feeding private organizations with public funds is that it rarely benefits the public. Choices are always made between policy and profit, between a perceived perfection and the elimination of alternatives. It is more than a clown cadre placing all-or-nothing bets by typically choosing their backers’ ventures. Public/private partnerships are the triumph of narrowing options and assuring that money finds its way into already well-padded pockets.

Which brings us to a green president using your green cash to buy cars for blue bloods in the Golden State.

If you haven’t seen a Tesla, prepare to be wowed by style, technology and sticker shock. These vehicles are not made for common folks. With list prices starting at $62,000 and peaking at well over $100,000, odds are this is not the car you’ll buy your daughter for high school graduation. Yet the Obama Administration, famous for making such wise green energy public/private decisions such as Solydra, also substantially subsidizes your rich neighbors Tesla, to the tune of $7,500 (a sum with which you can almost buy a new Nissan). A recent report also notes that California’s bankrupt government kicks in as much as $35,000 for each car Tesla manufactures (just the ones built, not actually sold). All told, as much as $45,000 of taxpayer “partnership” goes into a Tesla, making up 72% of the MSRP for the “cheap” model.

You can get a better government, but you can’t pay more.

Tesla is not alone in the public/private plunder. Bad governance poster child General Motors vends their arguably interesting Chevy Volt reverse hybrid car that sales figures show nobody wants (such vehicles make up about 0.1% of all new car sales). Buyers aren’t buying despite the feds offering the same $7,500 subsidy and a myriad of other incentives, making the unaffordable $49,000 Volt affordable … except by people who make so little they can’t afford any new car, yet pay taxes to buy them for wealthier folks.

A wag once said “If mass transit were such a great idea, corporations would have done it long ago.” They didn’t because the plunder known as public/private partnerships was not offered to them (well, they were offered to railroads, but let’s not echo how this was also of unilateral profitability).


Public/Private Plunder — 1 Comment

  1. The investment of public funds in any but the most secure and reliable returns was considered immoral and corrupt by professionals and professors in public administration and accounting. That was the standard. for a very long time.

    That and other standards have been discarded along with religion, freeing citizens and government to do more or less as wished short of scandals. Personal gain trumps common sense morality every time, in the absence of a deterring price… A shame that the many have to fund those individual gains, one price of inattention.

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