Government privatization and Minnesota’s government shutdown: this is Sparta!
PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, The Real News Network
MICHAEL HUDSON, RESEARCH PROF., University of Missouri-Kansas City
JAY: So why should ordinary Americans or ordinary North Americans care about what’s going on in Greece?
HUDSON: Because what’s happening in Greece is a dress rehearsal for what’s going on in the United States. Already, a few weeks ago in Athens, the protestors had signs up referring to Wisconsin and the problems here. What’s happening in Greece in the last week is exactly what’s happened in Minnesota with the close-down of government. And the demands of privatization–Greece sell off its roads, its land, its port authority, its water and sewer–is just what Illinois’s been doing, what Chicago’s been doing, what Minnesota’s been told to do, and what American cities are trying to do. So you have an identical strategy being used between Greece and the United States. Greece is the first domino since Iceland. And the financial interests that are looking at this post-2008 debt crisis as a grab bag think now is the chance for us to make our move. Now we can take all this debt that we’ve built up and we can get out of the financial system, we can turn it into direct ownership of property. We can own the Greek islands, we can own the Greek public domain, just like we can own what Minnesota, Chicago, Wisconsin, and California own. And all of a sudden you have a huge virtual foreclosure process. Read more…
A coworker’s husband is a state employee in Minnesota. I forwarded this article to her: One by one, Minnesota bars run out of beer — and here’s part of her response:
“We’ve got 22,000 state workers out of work, who are not paying MN tax, all road construction has stopped, so the state and all of those workers are losing wages and tax. all state parks are closed, no lottery sales, the horse race park has closed losing all of those workers’ pay and the revenues from this. We’re on day 13 of shutdown. The state workers can start claiming unemployment next week, costing the state more monies, but the workers will lose half of their normal pay, in additional to losing their contributions to retirement accounts. No back pay will be paid to them. Many feel the shutdown will last until the school year starts in September, because maybe that would make the Legislature wake up. (But maybe the beer shortage will have more impact.)”
This Republican solution in Minnesota is clearly a winner for everyone! What else can this political party f*ck up, I wonder?