I was not surprised to hear a Fox commentator suggest Amtrak should be privatized. Much like another plum, the U.S. Postal Service, it offers profit and, for those who are ideologically inclined, more shrinking of government as a good in itself.
In both cases, Congress has imposed onerous requirements to further that goal. The Postal Service has to fund retirement benefits for 75 years into the future. Amtrak has the unique obligation of turning a profit per passenger. Those are incredible constraints to operate under.
There is a sustained attack on the public sphere with more and more services for profit.
The military uses private contractors, referred to as mercenaries in the past, or fast-food companies to provide a touch of home in the desert.
Never miss a local story.
Seventy percent of the work of the national security apparatus is entrusted to private contractors. Edward Snowden worked for such a contractor.
Schools are privatized as charter schools and vouchers are promoted as salvation for the educational system.
Prisons are run on a for-profit basis -- the more prisoners, the greater the profit.
Several years ago, the Bush administration proposed privatizing Social Security, an idea that went nowhere, fortunately, before the latest financial crash.
It seems we lack the political will to promote the common good. Our infrastructure deteriorates, and we sell off our patrimony lacking a moral imagination to create a more loving and egalitarian society. Yes, that is right, a more loving community.
St. Helena Island