|The Nossiter Net
The net that shall enmesh them all
Edited, Written, and Published by Josh Nossiter
|The Morning Mendacity
Wednesday, March 9th, 2005
|The Nossiter Net is cast to snare some of the riper rascalities of the day. Comments? firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Corporate sponsorship of sports and culture has been with us for a long time, from the old Virginia Slims womenís tennis tour, to the recently opened Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles. The Bush administration, ever innovative, has taken the principle of corporate patronage several steps farther. Rather than simply accepting cash from their backers in big business, Mr. Bush and his team work in partnership with them. Big business no longer has to settle for buying the laws it wants as crafted by others; thanks to President Bushís approach, big business actually drafts its own laws. Thus we have the Clean Air Act, written by the coal and petroleum industries; the Medicare pharmaceutical benefit, penned by big pharma, and now a bankruptcy bill being rushed through Congress, designed with loving care by the banking and credit card industries.
This practice is consistent with the Presidentís visionary plan to privatize wherever possible, in order to streamline government and establish a true ownership society. Just as military activities, from feeding troops to providing security for bases, are now handled by Halliburton, so other governmental functions are gradually being turned over to the private sector, including the writing of legislation. Indeed, the ultimate goal of the Presidentís plan is to radically reshape the legislative branch. Instead of wasting time and money on clamorous political campaigns for House and Senate seats, the election process will become a governmental profit center when each seat is sold at auction to the highest bidder. In the future, the delegation from RJR in the House will secure the rights of smokers everywhere, while in the upper chamber, Senators from ExxonMobil and ChevronTexaco debate the apportioning of drilling rights in our national parks.
Indeed, the entire Parks system will be soon be privatized. At present, lazy and inefficient bureaucrats control our vast wilderness areas, imposing arbitrary constraints on park-goers who want the freedom to drive their snowmobiles through fragile habitat in Yellowstone and chip off bits of El Capitan as souvenirs in Yosemite. Once sold to theme park operators such as Disney and Marriott, the management of our parks will be rationalized. Instead of costing taxpayers a fortune, the national parks, filled with exciting rides and tasty food concessions, will generate huge profits. Additional revenue will be earned by leasing logging rights in old growth forests to the timber industry, and converting seldom-visited wilderness areas into toxic waste dumps.
The Transportation Department is next on the list to be privatized. Over-burdened taxpayers now finance, to the tune of billions a year, the maintenance of our great interstate highway system. Adding insult to injury, the very motorists whose taxes pay for the roads are shackled by irksome rules and regulations governing everything from which lanes they can use to the speed they can travel. Selling the interstate highways to General Motors, Ford, Toyota and the like will lead to a far more cost-effective system. The auto manufacturers, allowed to charge whatever they want in tolls, will maintain the roads at a profit. Eliminating burdensome governmental road rules, the car companies will allow motorists to travel at whatever speed they wish, thus cutting commute times. Removing dividers and making all lanes free for motorists traveling in either direction will substantially cut down on traffic jams, since drivers will simply change to the lane with the least traffic. Even the unavoidable rise in the accident rate that road deregulation will cause has a bright side. Wrecked cars must be replaced, after all, spurring sales for the manufacturers. And injured motorists must be treated, adding greatly to the profits of the hospital chains.
It all boils down to the Presidentís vision of an ownership society, in which, simply put, everything is owned by somebody. From each according to his capacity to be swindled, to each according to his cash reserves, is the Bush twist on the old Marxian dogma. In such a system, itís only natural that big business, with more cash than anyone, will soon own everything.
Itís a brave new world President Bush is creating for us, and those who travel by private jet may survive to enjoy it.
©Joshua C. Nossiter, 2005
|A Fishlike Smell|
|Calling a Spade a Shovel|
|Cast Not the First Stoned|
|A Rose By Any Other Name|
|Shape of Things to Come|
|A Place in History|