In my time studying and getting involved with politics, I’ve had countless debates with Republicans about our economy, regulations and free market capitalism. The general feeling I get from many of them is that they’ve been brainwashed into believing that liberals are all a bunch of socialists who hate capitalism. Which, of course, is absurd.
While there are undoubtedly liberals (mainly on the far left) who support socialism, most of the ones I know are supporters of free market capitalism — with sensible regulations.
Republicans, on the other hand, like to perpetuate this idea that regulations are tantamount to “socialism” and are therefore bad. This belief only proves that the vast majority of conservatives have no idea what the definition of “socialism” actually is.
But what Republicans really want is a society where everything is “for-profit.” In the perfect Republican society, greed is king. Isn’t that basically the cliché motto of the 80’s Republican? “Greed is good!”
You’re seeing it where Republicans are pushing to build private prisons, want to privatize programs like Social Security and Medicare and want to strip public eduction to such levels that the only way to get a quality education will be private school. Hell, even when it comes to fixing our postal service they refuse to let it happen.
Republicans have based the foundation of their party on the premise that government is awful and the private sector is where all prosperity lies.
So I figured I’d run through a few examples of what a completely “for-profit” society might look like in a Republican utopia.
Let’s just go ahead and privatize roads. Heck, they’re already doing this with toll roads as it is. I live in Dallas. Every new highway being built here is a toll road — and they’re not cheap. Now imagine if every road was a toll road. After all, if we had this current tea party Republican mind-set during the 50’s when we built the Interstate Highway system, we wouldn’t have built it at all. It would have been “too expensive” and “massive government spiraling out of control.” And if we did have one, in the perfect Republican world, it would be “for-profit” as well.
Imagine if everywhere you drove you had to pay a toll, then if you didn’t pay those tolls, you were fined heavily. It would cost most people hundreds per month just to do the basics in life. You know, get to work and run simple errands.
Heck, let’s just go ahead and privatize emergency services. Need to call the fire department if your house is on fire? Better hope you’re not late on your bill, otherwise they might not come. After all, it’s for-profit, right? They’re not there to serve you, they exist to make money.
“Oh, I’m sorry, it appears you didn’t pay last month’s fees. We can’t come put out that fire.” You can go ahead and throw the police in with this as well. You know, those “overpaid” first responders Republicans often vilify. Who needs them, right?
Is that so far-fetched? Isn’t a private prison system what they want and are currently pushing for in many of these Republican controlled states? You know, big corporations donating to the campaigns of judges and state legislators who create, and enforce, laws. What could go wrong with that, right? Oh, and let’s just go ahead and add the awesome idea of a corporation possibly owning both the local police force and prison system.
Buy off a few judges, get state legislators to pass laws that generate the most revenue and boom — you’ve massively increased profits. Corporations building giant prisons will be in need of residents to fill those cells so they can generate profits from the states legislatures.
State legislatures, by the way, which are populated with politicians who have been more or less paid off by these corporations that own these prisons. Then all they would have to do is pass laws which are geared toward the profits of the for-profit prison system. You know, the people who fund their campaigns.
Heck, let’s just go ahead and privatize water. Who needs public water, right? Let’s say we use a number 50% less than what Ozarka charges for their bottled water to calculate what they might charge for supplying an entire household with water.
There’s about 4.3 gallons of water in the average 32 pack of 16.9 oz Ozarka bottles which I buy for about $4.28. The average family of four uses about 10,000 gallons of water per month.
So let’s say $2.14 for every 4.3 gallons of water consumed per household. If you divide 10,000/4.3 you get 2,325. So, take 2,325 x 2.14 and you get $4,975.50 per month for a water bill. See how ridiculously overpriced bottled water is? And that’s cutting the current costs in half.
Yeah, a for-profit water system would be a great idea, right?
Isn’t that the kind of absurd overcharge we see with our health care now? An overnight stay can cost thousands. Hell, a quick trip in an ambulance can run a few hundred. Who thinks it makes sense that having a heart attack can empty a person’s life savings?
Education, another great area of our society that should be for-profit, right? I mean, what could go wrong? Big corporations shaping curriculum. I’m sure if big oil owned a few schools, science courses would still teach about the pollution caused by their companies that’s leading to climate change. But of course they would.
Big oil being in charge of anything climate change related reminds me of the ads I’ve seen from decades ago about “doctor recommended cigarettes.” Yes, big tobacco was such a corrupt industry (and still is) that they actually had “doctor studies” that said certain doctors recommended certain cigarettes.
Or imagine huge religious institutions owning schools, teaching creationism over evolution. Oh, wait — that’s actually already happening.
But that’s where Republican ignorance about many of their beliefs comes into play. They really don’t get how much of their lives are protected because capitalism hasn’t gone unregulated. They’ll drive around on public roads, send their children to public schools, drink public drinking water, attend public universities, eat safe foods, live in safe neighborhoods protected by local law enforcement — then claim the government doesn’t do anything for them.
It’s the people who hold up signs saying, “Keep your government hands off my Medicare!”
But the ideal “Republican society” is one where everything is “for-profit.” Which is why they spend most of their time doing everything they can to ensure anything government related fails. It’s why they run on a platform that “government is terrible” — while making government terrible. They’re literally causing the problems in government that they blame government for causing.
All for the primary goal of doing whatever they can to build a society that’s almost entirely run by big for-profit corporations.
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