Killing The “Public” Entity


Will this one day soon be shuttered?

“Never let a good crisis go to waste” the old political saying goes. Lord knows we have a huge crisis in front of us. Had we had any kind of even substandard leadership, the US may have been able to control the coronavirus. Unfortunately we have some of the worst leadership the world has ever seen in Donald Trump and some very bad leadership at the state level in Kim Reynolds.

Yet no matter how bad they are as leaders, both are doing what they can to make changes that will favor their parties in the aftermath of the virus. Turning the US into a totally privatized society with very special privileges for the rich has long been the dream of the Republican Party. The pandemic and the recovery from it will be giving them a probably one time chance to make some giant overhauls that will be great for the rich and terrible for the rest of us.

You may have noticed over the years that the Republican Party (now wholly beholden to Donald Trump) has put a lot of effort into undermining anything that is done for the whole of society through the government. They have also spent huge amounts of time effort and money creating the perception that “public” anything is always bad.

Remember in this country perception is reality. Thus we have a society that perceives entities such as unions as bad even though in reality unions have done a huge amount of good in this country. We also had the perception that a pretend TV star would be capable of running a country. That was the perception, the reality has been a huge failure. Yet some still cling to the perception.

With the pandemic at reaching new heights daily, reality would dictate that we wait until conditions are much better before sending children and teachers into a Petri dish of virus. Yet Republicans paint a perception that children can’t get sick and want to open schools as normal. We all know a disaster will follow.

When “public” schools fail we can be assured that those who set them up for failure – the Republican Party – will be screaming to turn the education of America’s children over to privatized education system. Thus they will be working to kill a system that has produced some of the greatest scientists and thinkers the world has seen.

We have been watching Republicans preside over the slow strangling of the US Post Office System. Passing legislation that forced a once very successful entity into perpetual debt by forcing them to prepay retirements for 75 years in the future wasn’t enough to kill the Post office, so the current administration has imposed new rules to further choke it.

The administration has forced the Post Office to slow its work, thus putting it at a disadvantage to its competitors. The US Postal System has been the envy of the world for their ability to move such massive amounts of mail at such a low price to the furthest, most remote corners of the country. Leave it to the “party of business” to kill such a well run organization.

Republicans past, present and future have or will work their magic to kill this well run business with its extremely loyal employees. In a couple of years when you are mailing a letter with one of the private mail companies for $5 to $10, remember when you could send that same mail for 50 cents.

What about “public assistance?” Any form of so called “welfare” is looked down on as some sort of moral failure by those who claim that they never needed help from anyone. Yet, when we scratch below the surface we find that at some point most Americans get some aid from other Americans when they hit a rough patch. Iowa’s farm community should be able to remember easily the payments they got after the current administration destroyed corn and soybean markets. It was called a “subsidy.”

Yet, things like public assistance through welfare or food stamps is considered bad and in the sights for Republican destruction. Statistics say those who need assistance usually don’t need it for long. Let’s hope the farmers don’t.

One everyone has an immediate negative reaction to, in part because of the bad media over the years, has been public housing. People need a place to live, even the poor. Due in part to those who say “Not In My Back Yard” public housing has often be consigned to bad neighborhoods. With such a bad reputation, “public housing” has always been a huge target for the anti-public anything Republicans.

And of course there are the “socialist” programs such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and the ACA which are a form of “public” help. These are of course top targets of Republicans. Apparently seniors and the poor should somehow find jobs to pay their living expenses, including huge medical bills. If they can’t then maybe they should do what Ebenezer Scrooge opined and “die and decrease the surplus population.

Do we have an obligation to help our brother? All religions tell us to treat “our neighbor as we want to be treated.” Despite that, Republicans seem to be the only party in the world out to destroy the main vehicle for making that happen – government.

When we look at the myriad of perceived problems with government, the main problem we have is that people who want to destroy the system have often been selected to be in charge of the very system they want to destroy. No business person would hire a candidate who told them in an interview that if hired they will do whatever they can to destroy that business.

Yet here in Iowa we have Joni Ernst who has said she wants to drastically cut social security, who has voted to destroy the ACA with no replacement and no doubt will fully support the destruction of the USPS who is asking you to ut her back in a position to carry out her destruction.

I would hope that as a person who has a deep stake in our form of government surviving, you will assess Joni Ernst’s push to dismantle our government and tell her “No you don’t.”   

About Dave Bradley

retired in West Liberty
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