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AlterNet / The Next Kurdish War Looms on the Horizon
« Last post by AlterNet on Today at 06:19:09 AM »
The Next Kurdish War Looms on the Horizon


Turkey and Syria will never allow it to create a mini-state.


Colonel Thomas Veale has had the unenviable task of announcing the first official Western attempt to partition Syria on ethnic-sectarian lines. Whether or not he realises the implications of his extraordinary statement a few days ago, Colonel Veale ? a Kansas University and US Military Academy graduate who rejoices in the title of ?Public Affairs Director at Combined Joint Task Force, Operation Inherent Resolve? ? was quite open about the creation of another new and largely Kurdish force which will, in theory, control tens of thousands of square kilometres of Syria. Arab members of the same 30,000-strong ?Border Security Force? will man checkpoints further south along the Euphrates river valley.

To quote the good colonel, ?recruiting is done in such a manner as to build a force reflecting the populations they serve; both in gender and ethnicity?. And there you have it. The Kurds will look after the Kurds, the Arabs (largely Sunnis, though there aren?t many of them) will run the non-Kurdish bits of this new enclave which will, in the north, run right along the Turkish border ? an invitation to further civil war, if ever there was one.

For an indication of just how equivocal this US decision is, we only have to witness the unprecedented if brief alliance it has created between the Syrian regime ? anxious to regain every square foot of the nation which was under attack by Isis, al-Qaeda and various Western and US-armed military outfits for the past seven years ? and Turkey, which has over exactly the same period been trying to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Recep Tayip Erdogan has promised to ?suffocate? this latest American proxy ?terror army?, regarding it as a Kurdish force effectively controlled by the ?terrorist? Kurdish Workers Party, the PKK. Assad?s government called the enlistment of the new militia a ?blatant assault? on Syria?s sovereignty. Russia warned of partition.

Unfortunately for Colonel Veale, Turkey is right to suspect that the PKK controls local Kurdish fighters, Assad is correct in identifying the ?Border Security Force? as an attack on Syria?s sovereignty ? whoever rules the state itself ? and Russia, no stranger to the partition of the Ukraine, knows how to recognise similar US skulduggery. Its origins go back to the start of the war, when the local Kurdish ?People?s Protection Units? (YPG) were encouraged by the authorities in Damascus to oppose Isis, al-Qaeda (later Nusrah) and other jihadi groups who were trying to seize the Syrian state. The Syrian army handed the YPG thousands of weapons to defend themselves. In the early days, Assad himself even praised the Kurds for resisting the ?terrorist? forces of Isis and al-Qaeda.

Just over three years ago, I spent a week talking to both Syrian troops on the Turkish border at Qamishli and their Kurdish ?allies? ? as they were supposed to be ? further east. The Kurds, as always, expressed their desire for a ?federal? enclave in the north and swore to me that they would never forget the tortures they had suffered at the hands of the Syrian regime. The Syrian military insisted that they would ?never, ever? cede the territory to the Kurds. But then came the American decision to destroy Isis, the siege of Mosul in Iraq and, inside Syria, the assault on the Isis bastion of Raqqa.

Washington then created its first anti-Isis and anti-Assad militia, which it called the ?Syrian Defence Forces?. Like all such groupuscules, it was neither ethnically ?Syrian? ? since it was largely Kurdish ? and it wasn?t interested in ?defending? Syria as a state. And without US air cover, it had no ?force? whatsoever. Within hours, the acronym ?SDF? appeared, and the media swiftly stopped putting quotation marks around it, thus awarding it a spurious legality. It speedily morphed into ?the US-supported SDF?, bravely fought its way south, and finally took Raqqa, a major Syrian city, last October.

But the Syrian government army was only 12 miles on the other side of Raqqa and had already set up a coordination centre in a mud-walled village close to the Euphrates in which Syrian army officers, Kurdish fighters armed by the Americans and a Russian air force colonel regularly gathered. I met them ? all together ? at their headquarters just before the recapture of Raqqa. The Syrian authorities were already re-installing a (pro-Assad) local government for Raqqa in fields west of the city, supposedly arranging for the return of electricity from the Syrian grid, pensions for the elderly and the repair of sewage and other facilities. In other words, Syria would maintain its sovereignty over Raqqa, however many American-armed Kurds occupied its streets.

The region is, of course, inhabited by others; by Sunni Muslims, Circassian Christians and Armenians, by Turkmen and even Chechens. Hence Colonel Veale?s promise to make sure that future control of the area would be along ethnic ? ie sectarian ? lines. The ?Syrian Democratic Forces?, however, had clearly outlived their usefulness. Having played the role of America?s foot soldiers, they had to be reincarnated with another dubious title, this time the ?Border Security Force? ? soon, no doubt, to be awarded the usual media accolade of an acronym without quotation marks ? which would hold bits of Syria far away from the border with Turkey, which cannot (and will not) ensure Turkey?s ?security?, and which will, like its old namesake the ?SDF?, be totally reliant for its ?force? on US weapons, arms supplies, hardware, air cover and, if necessary, air strikes.

Be sure, as usual, that the Kurds will be betrayed. The new ?force? will exist just so long as the Americans think it necessary; after which it will be left to the mercy of the Syrians and Turks who both regard it as a threat to their hegemony. Both Erdogan and Assad have long ago regarded any enemy of their states as ?terrorists? ? a dangerous word whose etymology goes back to Tsarist Russia and World War Two but whose ascendance needed the Americans and the world?s reporters to crown ? and the Kurds, until they come to heal, will be treated as that by Ankara and Damascus. Syria cannot countenance a Kurdish mini-state on its territory and Turkey cannot tolerate a Kurdish mini-state along its southern border, however secular, liberal and socialist it claims (not without reason) to be.

Of course, the ?BDF? still has only ? wait for it ? 230 militiamen under arms and in training; the other 29,770 will follow later, if Colonel Veale is to be believed. And while these warriors are preparing to transfer their allegiance from one pro-American armed group to another, Messers Erdogan and Assad ? along with Mr Putin ? will have a mutual interest to discuss: the destruction of US political ambitions in Syria.

 

Related Stories


Source: The Next Kurdish War Looms on the Horizon
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Richard Mellor / Iran: Haft Tappeh Workers Threaten Occupation
« Last post by Richard Mellor on Yesterday at 06:13:27 PM »
Iran: Haft Tappeh Workers Threaten Occupation

On Monday January 15th Esmail Bakhshi, a representative of the Haft  Tappeh Sugar Cane complex?s workers, made a speech announcing the  continuation of their strike until management have met their demands. He  warned management that if their demands have not been met by Friday  then they will occupy the sugar cane complex on Saturday.

Over 500 day-labourers at Haft Tappeh, a sugar cane complex with  plantations and refineries in Khuzestan province, are demanding the  payment of unpaid wages and permanent contracts. They also object to a  retired manager being brought back to the company.

The following is the transcript of parts of Esmail Bakhshi?s speech,  distributed by the Haft Tappeh workers as a video clip. The full video  clip is 11 minutes long.

?What we want to say today is different from before. Today we are  saying something different. If by the end of this week [Friday, January  19th], listen up, if by the end of this week our demands and the  situation of our contracts have not been dealt with, then we give up our  demands. We will take Haft Tappeh back. [The workers cheer.]

?Today, today we have come to say that you can?t manage Haft Tappeh  anymore, we no longer have any confidence in your lies. If by the end of  this week the situation, the situation of the demands and contracts,  has not been dealt with, then we will sit in the management ourselves  and we will build up Haft Tappeh ourselves, we will manage it ourselves.  [The workers cheer.]

?They claim that they don?t have any money. Neither have we! But we  differ from them in that we have the expertise to produce sugar, so  we?ll manage it ourselves. We?ll sit there and manage until we find  proper sugar cane managers who can come here and manage. The first thing  that we?ll do in Haft Tappeh, in line with managing Haft Tappeh  ourselves, that we will be responsible for, will be uprooting from Haft  Tappeh the generation of fake and illiterate managers who have dragged  Haft

Tappeh to this state ? and are from Haft Tappeh themselves.  [The workers cheer.]

?The illiterate managers who have dragged Haft Tappeh to this state,  have no place in Haft Tappeh anymore. These gentlemen can?t produce.?

Mr Bakhshi then talks about the managers preparing to sell off the  land of Haft Tappeh. ?In 1386 [2007-08] all the land deeds for Haft  Tappeh were taken from here. ? They can?t produce. They want to sell  your land. Haft Tappeh is not theirs. ? Haft Tappeh is the inheritance  of our forefathers. ??

Esmail Bakhshi also talks about the legal and other authorities  always taking the side of management and the company?s owners. ?The  Labour Law is not a labour law. It has an attractive appearance. ?It is  a slavery law. This Labour Law was not written by the workers. The  workers of Iran did not pass this Labour Law in the Majles. The workers  have not expressed their opinion about the Labour Law.?

Mr Bakhshi also says that management ?? pay the wages once every four  months. Then tell us to be grateful that we have a job! ? You were  unemployed, we gave you a job. ??

Mr Bakhshi finishes his speech warning that the workers will not  stand for a retired manager being brought back and says the strike will  continue, and if their demands have not been met by Friday, then they  will take over the Haft Tappeh Sugar Cane complex on Saturday.

Translation: Shahrokh Zamani Action Campaign.

https://shahrokhzamani.com/2018/01/17/7tappeh-will-manage/
Source: Haft Tappeh workers.

Statement by the Haft Tappeh Sugar Cane Workers? Union
Haft Tappeh Sugar Cane Workers? Strike: Thirty Workers Locked Out
Haft Tappeh Pensioners End Their Protests
Retired Haft Tappeh Sugar Cane Workers Protest
Source: Iran: Haft Tappeh Workers Threaten Occupation
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AlterNet / Trump's Dysfunction Drives Shameless Republicans Toward the Abyss
« Last post by AlterNet on Yesterday at 06:13:24 PM »
Trump's Dysfunction Drives Shameless Republicans Toward the Abyss



 
 
 



As the porn-star loving president flubs his lines, women and independents are fleeing in droves.


 

It's hard to say who is more ludicrous: President Trump sowing chaos as he tries and fails to run the government, or his Republican enablers reaping a harvest of humiliation with the sh*t(hole)-eating grin of House Speaker Paul Ryan.

?It?s not causing us problems at all,? Ryan said at a news conference Thursday after Trump?s tweet on the popular Children?s Health Insurance Program sabotaged Republican plans to avert a government shutdown. (Three hours later, the White House announced Trump opposed the position he had just taken.)

When Trump described Haiti and unnamed African nations as sh*thole countries," Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark) boldly rose to his (non-) defense. The president actually said "sh*thouse," Cotton explained.

When Trump criticized the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act last week, which his administration was seeking to renew, only to reverse himself two hours later, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly denied the president had made his job more difficult.

"It's not more difficult," Kelly said with a straight face. "It's a juggling act."

That Trump is often ignorant of his party?s policy positions will surprise no one. That Republicans will humiliate themselves by mouthing obvious lies to stay in the good graces of a man who apparently paid off a porn star to conceal their affair, is slightly more surprising, especially when voters are fleeing their party.

?Electric Shock?

The surprise victory of a Democratic candidate in a western Wisconsin state legislative district that backed Trump by 17 points in 2016 is only the latest sign that voters aren?t amused by the ?juggling act? of Trump and his enablers.

?This special election hit the Wisconsin GOP like an electric shock,? Charlie Sykes, a former conservative radio host in Wisconsin told Politico. ?In particular, they?re very worried about women. They are losing women, suburban women, and if you extrapolate across the country, you have a real problem.?

For Democrats, make that a real possibility of a "blue wave" election. Coming after Doug Jones' upset victory in the Alabama senatorial election, the trend is clear. According to Politico:

Since 2016, Democrats have outperformed Hillary Clinton?s performance in more than two-thirds of state legislative special elections across the nation. And in the six congressional special elections held in 2017, Democrats over-performed in five of them.

Republicans who retain some sense of shame are fleeing. Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.), a conservative font of Republican bromides like, "we need to have a stronger voice from the center of the political spectrum," knows such caution has no future in the party of "alternative facts." So Dent is going home, rather than go to the sh*thouse of Trump's apologists.

Dent is among 34 Republican congressmen who have announced their plans to retire in 2018, thus sparing themselves the need to abase themselves with Trump and his supporters. That?s four times the number of Democrats who had retired at this point in the 2014 midterm elections.

In generic ballot polls about the 2018 congressional elections, Democrats are favored over Republicans by about 7 points. At this point in the 2014 cycle?which wound up being a great year for Republicans?the Democrats were actually ahead by 2 points.

Trump?s antics are driving a Democratic revival?with a lot of help from his enablers.






Source: Trump's Dysfunction Drives Shameless Republicans Toward the Abyss
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Inter Press Service - Labour / The Data Revolution Should Not Leave Women and Girls Behind
« Last post by Inter Press Service on Yesterday at 06:13:23 PM »
The Data Revolution Should Not Leave Women and Girls Behind

Jemimah Njuki is an expert on agriculture, food security, and women?s empowerment and works as a senior program specialist with IDRC. She is an Aspen Institute New Voices Fellow.

The post The Data Revolution Should Not Leave Women and Girls Behind appeared first on Inter Press Service.


Source: The Data Revolution Should Not Leave Women and Girls Behind
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Infoshop News / Erdo?an and His Opponents
« Last post by Alternative Media Project on Yesterday at 06:02:21 AM »
Erdo?an and His Opponents

Erdo?an?s would-be dictatorship is anything but stable. Here's a look at the contradictions and fractures roiling Turkish society.
Source: Erdo?an and His Opponents
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Infoshop News / Climate Crisis and the State of Disarray
« Last post by Alternative Media Project on Yesterday at 06:02:21 AM »
Climate Crisis and the State of Disarray

Could the revolutionary intercommunalism of the Black Panthers provide an answer to the state?s purposeful neglect of vulnerable communities during natural disasters?
Source: Climate Crisis and the State of Disarray
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Infoshop News / Open the Borders! Welcoming Climate Refugees
« Last post by Alternative Media Project on Yesterday at 06:02:21 AM »
Open the Borders! Welcoming Climate Refugees

Every minute, twenty-five people are displaced somewhere in the world ? a fourfold increase compared to ten years ago. At the same time, international borders are becoming more and more difficult to cross for the undesired, the persecuted and the poor.
Source: Open the Borders! Welcoming Climate Refugees
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AlterNet / Tucker Carlson Melts Down on Air, Hurls Obscenity at Guest
« Last post by AlterNet on Yesterday at 06:02:20 AM »
Tucker Carlson Melts Down on Air, Hurls Obscenity at Guest


The Fox News host didn't take kindly to being called out for his racism.


 

Fox News host Tucker Carlson has been ramping up his white-nationalist rhetoric over the last few months while also exhibiting a kind of angry recklessness previously unseen from the formerly establishment, club-tied Republican.

This mounting boil frothed over Wednesday night in a weather exchange with Chicago Alderman George Cardenas over so-called sanctuary cities in which he repeatedly called his guest a "loathsome little demagogue" and told him "up yours".

Carlson is a vociferous opponent of "sanctuary cities," known as a policy for state or local governments to not cooperate with federal immigration authorities on tactics such as holding undocumented immigrants beyond their release date. The Fox News host would not let go of the idea that American citizens had been slighted by men like Cardenas because of the policy, and Carlson demanded that his guest prove how citizens stand to benefit.

"Do you think that you have an obligation to represent American citizens first above people who are here illegally?" Carlson asked.

"Well, thank you, Tucker. I represent my citizens very well," Cardenas replied as Carlson interjected with laughter. "Everyone that comes through door ? You want me somehow to get us, just guess, they have to be blue-eyed and blonde to be American?"

Carlson appeared to have quickly said, "You know what? Up yours," before cutting himself off. "It's ridiculous that you would even say something like that."

"Is that your test for citizenship? I don't know. I can't tell," Cardenas said.

"What a loathsome little demagogue you are to say something like that. What a loathsome little demagogue you are, to say something like that. Just answer my question simply," a visibly enraged Carlson demanded. "Do you have an obligation to American citizens (of any color) over people who are here illegally? It's really simple. Can you answer that?"

Cardenas replied and said he meets all his obligations to all the residents of his area, and that he meets with many different types of people in Chicago, but that wasn't good enough for the Fox News host.

"How do Americans benefit from protecting illegal aliens in Chicago?" Carlson asked. To be fair to Carlson, Cardenas didn't have a real answer. But to be fair to Cardenas, it is not his job, nor is it in his ability, to separate undocumented residents from documented residents. Simply, he exists to help the residents of his district, not screen them. The point was lost on Carlson who was truly frantic by that time.

Chicago is the Holy Grail for conservative arguments. It's often utilized as a political vehicle to advocate for conservatives' staunch opposition to gun control and so they can draw equivalencies between illegal immigration, crime and cities that deem themselves sanctuaries.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions did just that in August when he said, "To a degree perhaps unsurpassed by any other jurisdiction, the political leadership of Chicago has chosen deliberately and intentionally to adopt a policy that obstructs this country?s lawful immigration system."

He added, "They have demonstrated an open hostility to enforcing laws designed to protect law enforcement ? Federal, state, and local ? and reduce crime, and instead have adopted an official policy of protecting criminal aliens who prey on their own residents."

Sessions' equivalency was rated false by Politifact:

But evidence overwhelmingly suggests this is much less a matter of "protecting criminal aliens" than of fostering trust between local law enforcement and immigrant communities. Yet because Chicago does not collect immigration data in police interactions, it can?t be known conclusively how many of its murders and gun crimes are committed by illegal immigrants "who prey on their own residents."

That absence of conclusive data to disprove Sessions doesn?t give him license to make claims that are groundless. Chicago?s sanctuary city policy does not protect undocumented people who commit crimes, despite what Sessions claims. Only the  microscopic sliver of ambiguity about conclusive data prevents us from labeling his statement "Pants on Fire," our lowest possible credibility rating. Instead, we rate it False.

Watch Carlson's full interview below, but take a deep breath first.

 

Related Stories


Source: Tucker Carlson Melts Down on Air, Hurls Obscenity at Guest
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Richard Mellor / Carillion and the ?dead end? of privatisation
« Last post by Richard Mellor on January 19, 2018, 06:07:38 PM »
Carillion and the ?dead end? of privatisation

by Michael Roberts

A few weeks ago, Martin Wolf, Keynesian economics journalist for the UK?s Financial Times, wrote a piece arguing that the renationalisation of privatised state companies was a ?dead end? and would not solve the failures of privately owned and run public services in the UK and elsewhere.

And yet within a week or so, it was announced that one of the leading  construction and service companies in the UK that has got much of the  ?outsourced? previously publicly owned projects had gone bust.   Carillion, as it likes to call itself, employs about 20,000 people in  the UK and has more staff abroad. It specialised in the construction of  public roads, rail and bridges and ?facilities management? and ongoing  maintenance for state schools, the armed forces, the rail network and  the UK?s national health service.

But it seems that it had taken on too many projects from the UK  public sector at prices that delivered very narrow margins.  So, as debt  issuance rose and profitability disappeared, cash began to  haemorrhage.  Carillion ran up a huge debt pile of 900m.  But this did  not stop the Carillion board lying about their financial state,  continuing to pay themselves large salaries and bonuses and fat  dividends to their shareholders.  In contrast, the company did little to  reduce a mounting deficit on the pensions fund of their 40,000 global  staff, putting their pensions in jeopardy. Indeed, Carillion raised its  dividends every year for 16 years while running up a pensions deficit of  587m.  It paid out nearly 200m in dividends in the last two years  alone.  The recently sacked CEO took home 660,000 a year plus bonuses.

But eventually, the bank creditors had enough and pulled the plug on  further loans and Carillion has closed.  With the liquidation of the  company, thousands of jobs are likely to go, while pension benefits  could be cut and the British taxpayer will have to pick up the bill of  maintaining necessary services previously provided by Carillion.

Amazingly, as I write, the Official Receiver for the bankrupt company says that all the top executives are ?still on the payroll? and  receiving their salaries, including the recently sacked chief  executive.  The government has announced it will guarantee the salaries  of employees in 450 public sector contracts run by Carillion.  So the  taxpayer will be covering these.  But over 60,000 employees working on  private sector jobs are likely to receive no more wages from now, while  up to 30,000 sub-contractors have invoices of 1bn that are unlikely  ever to be met.

Carillion is a very graphic confirmation that outsourcing public  services and sectors to private companies to ?save money? on  ?inefficient? public sector operations is a nonsense.  The reason for  privatisation and outsourcing has really been to cut the costs of  labour, reduce conditions and pension rights for employees and to make a  quick buck for companies and hedge funds.  But such is competition for  these contracts that, increasingly, private companies cannot sustain  services or projects even when they have cut costs to the bone.  So they  just pull out or go bust, leaving the taxpayer with the mess. It?s a  microcosm of capitalist economic collapse.

Carillion is not the first example in the UK.  The 2007 failure of  Metronet, which had been contracted to maintain and upgrade the London  Underground cost the taxpayer at least 170m.  In the UK, outsourcing of  public sector operations has reached 15% of public spending or about  100bn.  So more may be under threat.  Indeed, half a million UK  businesses have started 2018 in significant financial distress,  according to insolvency specialist Begbies Traynor, as the UK economy  felt the effects of higher inflation, rising interest rates, growing business uncertainty and weaker consumer spending.

A total of 493,296 businesses were experiencing significant financial  distress in the final quarter of 2017 according to Begbies? latest ?red  flag alert?, which monitors the health of UK companies. That was 36%  higher than at the same point in 2016 and 10% higher than in the third  quarter of 2017.  And the worst situation was to be found in the  services sector. A total of 121,095 businesses in the sector were  showing signs of financial difficulty, up 43% on a year earlier.

Martin Wolf?s claim that privatisation has been a success because it  is more efficient is just nonsense.  For the last 25 years, the UK  government, starting with Thatcher and continued by right-wing Blair and  Brown Labour governments, has resorted to ?private finance initiatives?  to fund public sector building of schools, hospitals, rail and roads.   Under the PFI, banks and hedge funds fund the projects in return for  interest and income paid by the operators of the projects, with payments  spread over 25 years.  The idea was to keep down ?public debt? levels.   But of course, this was at the expense of future generations of  taxpayers.

According to the UK?s National Audit Office in a new report,  taxpayers will be forced to hand over nearly 200bn to contractors  under PFI deals for at least the next 25 years.  And there was little  evidence that there were any financial savings in doing PFI ? indeed the  cost of privately financing public projects can be 40% higher than  relying solely upon government bonds, auditors found.  Annual charges  for these deals amounted to 10.3bn in 2016-17. Even if no new deals are  entered into, future charges that continue until the 2040s amount to  199bn, it.  ?After 25 years of PFI, there is still little evidence  that it delivers enough benefit to offset the additional costs of  borrowing money privately,? ? many local bodies are now shackled to  inflexible PFI contracts that are exorbitantly expensive to change.?

And yet Martin Wolf reckons that it does not make sense to  renationalise privatised state operations.  He makes the usual claim  that state companies were huge inefficient behemoths that were not  accountable to the public, ?chronically overmanned and heavily politicised. They either underinvested or made poor investment decisions?.  Oh, unlike the private profit monopolies that now run Britain?s utilities, rail and energy and broadband.

Wolf digs up some research from the 1980s and 1990s by William Megginson of the University of Oklahoma who argues that  public companies were more inefficient than the private counterparts.   Wolf also cites research from 2002 that British railways have been more  efficient under the nightmarish private franchise experiment that rail  travellers have experienced since 1997 along with the disastrous  collapse of RailTrack, the private company that took over the  maintenance of the track.  Tell this to rail travellers and staff.

There is, however, a pile of research that reaches opposite conclusions from Wolf?s sources.  I quote from the recent PSIRU report: ?there  is now extensive experience of all forms of privatisation and  researchers have published many studies of the empirical evidence on  comparative technical efficiency. The results are remarkably consistent  across all sectors and all forms of privatisation and outsourcing: there  is no empirical evidence that the private sector is intrinsically more  efficient. The same results emerge consistently from sectors and  services which are subject to outsourcing, such as waste management, and  in sectors privatised by sale, such as telecoms.?

Detailed studies of the UK privatisations of electricity, gas,  telecoms, water and rail have also found no evidence that privatisation  has caused a significant improvement in productivity.  A comprehensive  analysis in 2004 of all the UK privatisations concluded: ?These  results confirm the overall conclusion of previous studies that  ?privatisation per se has no visible impact ?. I have been unable to  find sufficient statistical macro or micro evidence that output, labour,  capital and TFP productivity in the UK increased substantially as a  consequence of ownership change at privatisation compared to the  long-term trend.?

Evidence from developing countries points to the same conclusion. A  global review of water, electricity, rail and telecoms by the World Bank  in 2005 concluded: ?the econometric evidence on the relevance of  ownership suggests that in general, there is no statistically  significant difference between the efficiency performance of public and  private operators? (Estache et al 2005).

The largest study of the efficiency of privatized companies looked at  all European companies privatized during 1980-2009. It compared their  performance with companies that remained public and with their own past  performance as public companies. The result? The privatized companies  performed worse than those that remained public and continued to do so  for up to 10 years after privatization.

Wolf?s answer to the failures of privatisation and outsourcing is to ?reform the structure and purposes of regulation?.   As if regulation ever worked; indeed, current thought among government  elites and big business is that economies need to loosen up regulation  again in order to get things going.  To quote Wolf himself from his book on the lessons of the banking crash: ?notwithstanding all the regulatory reforms, the system is bound to fail again,?

Public ownership is not of ?totemic significance? to the left, as Wolf harps.  It is based on clear evidence that delivering services that people need is best done within a plan  and not based on the level of profitability for the likes of Carillion.  Yes, public ownership and state companies that become just milk cows for  the profits of the private sector without any democratic control are  not what we require.  But democratically run public companies as part of a plan for production for need are not ?a dead end?, but the future.
Source: Carillion and the ?dead end? of privatisation
10
Infoshop News / Chelsea Manning: ?I?m a very different person than I was 10 years ago?
« Last post by Alternative Media Project on January 19, 2018, 06:07:36 PM »
Chelsea Manning: ?I?m a very different person than I was 10 years ago?

Manning calls her politics ?radical anti-authoritarianism?. Asked to explain, she grew animated, her voice crescendoing: ?The United States has the largest and most expensive military in the world, but we always want more. We have the largest prison system in the world, yet we want more. We have the largest and most sophisticated intelligence apparatus in the world by far, and still we want more. How much is enough? That is my moment ? we need this to stop.?
Source: Chelsea Manning: ?I?m a very different person than I was 10 years ago?
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