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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Sun Apr 14, 2019, 10:14 PM

3. privatization contributes to the dichotomization of a nation




Public services used to serve a double purpose. The first one was to deliver electricity, water, transport, postal services, etc. These services could in principle be offered by the private sector, but that option was rejected in favor of uniform quality of services nationwide. Public services aimed to establish that all citizens were equal, connoting that national solidarity overruled a business model. Keeping the nation together legitimized that citizens in big cities paid more than the cost price and by doing so subsidized the periphery. On average, they were richer than their fellow compatriots, so it amounted to progressive taxation.
During the 1980s the argument that private companies could offer services at a lower price gained traction. This could, however, only be achieved if the market and prices were segmented. Citizens would pay according to the cost of delivering services to where they lived. Such a business model was akin to favoring the big cities to the detriment of the periphery where lower population density and lack of infrastructure made same quality services more expensive. The priorities were reversed. A business model overruled national solidarity and regressive taxation took over.

Privatization also sapped the identity of the nation. The core symbol of being a citizen of a nation, and to feel proud of being so, is a passport. The nation-states’ authorities used to issue passports. In the past, citizens had to go to their country’s local police station to apply for one. This solemn procedure does not exist anymore. Nowadays the issuing of passports is a job that has been privatized to commercial companies. It may not sound like a big deal, but conceptually the signing away of this core function of national identity should not be underestimated....privatization contributes to the dichotomization of a nation.

The human factor and person-to-person communication is thrown away as nations quickly move toward a system of intransparency and obscurity. Citizens do not have the faintest clue about who makes decisions on important issues that may be vital for them.

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