News today of the essence of your modern GOP: the Wisconsin legislature’s joint finance committee just passed a measure that would:
(A) force the University of Wisconsin to give back $39 million in federal funds to support the spread of high speed internet across the state…
(B) would essentially kill the nonprofit internet provider network that serves most of Wisconsin’s public schools and almost all of its libraries. Oh, and
“Another provision in the plan would bar any University of Wisconsin campus from participating in advanced networks connecting research institutions worldwide, according to [state superintendent of public instruction] Tony Evers’s memo.”
Which is to say that the University of Wisconsin researchers would be materially hampered in conducting research in any field that involves significant amounts of data and the expertise of people more than a sneaker-net away.
The immediate stupidity of all this is, I think, obvious.
So for the rest of this, I’ll just dive into a couple of the broader implications of this latest folly.
First: this is the Pawlenty doctrine in action. No public action should be taken when a Google search reveals a private alternative, no matter how inadequate that substitute might be.
I’m not making that up. This is how the those currently dominating Wisconsin — and GOP — politics framed this issue:
Republican lawmakers told the Wisconsin State Journal that the university should not be in the telecommunications business.
By this standard, of course, Wisconsin should simply shutter the University of Wisconsin, or rather, eliminate all state support for the institions; after all, the University of Phoenix provides a private sector alternative. Hell — why should taxpayers subsidize drivers on I 94 heading to Madison from Milwaukee; why not convert the whole system to toll-supported private ownership? After all, private enterprise seeks nothing more than simple equity:
Telecommunications companies themselves cast the debate as a question of competition. Bill Esbeck, executive director of the Wisconsin State Telecommunications Association, was quoted on Channel3000 saying that WiscNet should be allowed to run only without financial support from the University of Wisconsin.“WiscNet can continue to offer services, but in the future they are just going to do that on a more level playing field with the private-sector options that already exist,” Mr. Esbeck said.
Because, of course, everyone knows that the unfettered free market in US telecom services has left us with bleeding edge internet access. Or not.
This is what’s at stake in the political debate right now, so starkly expressed that even the MSM should be able to figure this one out.
The Republican party and its supporters reject the idea of the commonweal. Outside of defense (and subsidies for the most comfortable) there is nothing a modern society could need — no infrastructure, no common good — that a government should provide.
Really: education, transportation infrastructure, knowledge-making, the weather service, parks: you name it, and there is a private alternative, and no matter whether it costs more or does less, or puts individuals or the nation at risk, private = better.
Sadly, though, that means the entire GOP argument about government, debt, deficits and the economy turns on a false “fact.”
That’s the “fact” that the market for all kinds of goods and services is the ideal “free market” — the economists’ spherical cow — populated by that Randian hero, the perfectly rational economic actor. Never mind that what Ec. 10 courses define as a free market exist for a very small number of transactions in the real world, nor that buckets of Nobels have been handed out lately to economists who realized that all kinds of factors — features of economic activity and intrinsic qualities of human nature — produce a world of folks engaged in exchange who do qualify as god-like, always-reasoning beings.
Which is to say that in the best reading, our Republican friends are simply mired in fantasy…
…or else, (and more likely IMHO, that many or perhaps most of the leadership is simply bought and paid for by the usual suspects.
In any event, the distinctino doesn’t really matter. Whatever is going on inside the heads of Walker and the Fitzgeralds, or the Boehner’s and all the rest, the end result is the same: current GOP thinking and action both transfers public goods to private hands to the net detriment of the citizenry as a whole…
…while directly threatening the future wealth and power of Wisconsin — in this case — and the United States as a whole.
Which is my second point. Just to focus on the seemingly minor point of crimping the University of Wisconsin’s need for speed in its internet: cutting off these funds action it harder for any citizen of Wisconsin to learn, to research, to advance their ideas in schools or for a business idea or whatever. That’s what it means when you maim internet access at public libraries: over the years a less-informed, less data-practiced citizenry is no asset to a state. In time, Wisconsin will enjoy some difficult-to-quantify — but real — loss of good jobs, of new enterprises, probably of population. It will be a poorer place.
And that effect will be magnified by the direct damage to basic and applied research done right now by limiting the return on Wisconsin’s enormously hard-won stock of human capital at the universities.
I hope to blog later today on a couple of stories of research and researchers that have made exceptional use of big data and the connections to be forged between different bodies of knowledge and people with diverse expertise. But for now, what matters is that such work is increasingly the cutting edge of a whole range of scientific and technological research initiatives. And the one thing required for such work is access to a robust network. This is what the Wisconsin Republican-led legislature is targeting, with a determination that extends to turning down other people’s money.
The states really are the laboratories in which the future of our nation is being tried…so look to Wisconsin to see what could happen in a wholly GOP led United States.
There we see in microcosm how it is that empires die: first they sell themselves off to the highest bidders. Then they crumble.
The Republican party cannot be trusted with even a whiff of power. We have a lot to do over the next year and a half.
Factio Grandaeva Delenda Est.
Images: Quentin Massys, An Allegory of Folly, early 16th century
Whiskey Screams from a Guy With No Short-Term Memory
Pretty simple explanation: U of W does a lot of work on climatology.
Just another attack on climate change science, bought to you by the bought and paid for minions of the Koch Brothers.
There is no such thing as the “Free Market”™. It is a fantasy. Economics 101 consists of proposing a list of assumptions, all of which are false; then spinning out an elaborate theory based on those assumptions; then forgetting that the assumptions are false and pretending that your theory describes reality.
All transactions have externalities. All of them. There are no transactions, ever, without externalities.
Perfect information does not exist, ever. Provider induced demand is commonplace. All transactions have associated costs. Perfect competition never exists. And, of course, public and mixed goods are underproduced or not produced at all.
Furthermore, markets are not forces of nature, they are social constructions. In order to exist at all, markets in complex societies require profound, continuous government intervention. Governments create money, create and enforce the rules of commerce, enforce contracts, prosecute fraud, (hopefully) require at least minimal provision of accurate information about products, and so on.
Finally, there is nothing in the false and preposterous theory of the Free Market that supports a claim that it produces justice. That just isn’t there at all — it’s produced by going from a false “is” — this is how the market works, which isn’t true to begin with — to a completely unsupportable “ought,” to wit whatever distribution of rewards this (false) God produces must be just.
It’s economics 101. And it’s all bullshit.
As anyone who has their internet provided to them by the ‘free’ market can tell you, the quality of internet service in the state of Wisconsin is about to go into the shitter. It’ll either be death by service outages, or death by usage caps. Yay free market!
Tom Levenson @ Top:
Which means UW economists will no longer be able to do any research supporting FREE! markets, because they won’t have Google anymore. Ironic, haina?
Definition of American Conservatism as a paraphrase of Daniel Burnham:
Only Small Ideas That Fit Our Ideological Assumptions.
As a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin that spent a lot of ‘compiling’ time in the lab, transferring massive packets of biomechanical data models between Stanford and New Brunswick collaborators and ourselves, I got a big kick out of this development. Is the legislature saying we’d have to give all that data back?
Why the heck shouldn’t a public utility (the knowledge base at the UW) use its resources to improve what should be a public utility (internet access). How the telecom line, alone amongst all the other pipes and tubes that enter your house, gets to be monopolized by demonstrably lazy for-profits is a mystery.
Like Thom Hartmann often points out, you don’t get to decide which water or electricity provider hooks up to your house. And when power or water is delivered at a rate sub-standard to what they’re capable of, well, those are called brown-outs and water shortages. The monopolies that telecoms have in so many areas, especially rural ones like most of WI outside of Dane county, need to regulated like the monopolies they in fact are.
I hope the NYS Regents won’t let Gov. Cuomo Jr. get this particular bee in his cost-cutting bonnet. My kid has great internet access at U Buffalo.
No worries, tax cuts for the rich will spur all kinds of innovation. (/snark)
Tom Levenson @ Top:
Reductio ad absurdam is an ineffective argument when your opponent’s goal actually is absurdam. I’m sure the WI GOP legislators’ goal is to eventually replace UW with something like University of Phoenix.
This won’t exclude defense for much longer – surely they will start to argue that certain functions of the armed forces (e.g. the National Guard) are better off in the capable hand of mercenaries, and their companies.
All I can think of reading about this stuff is Elmer Fudd dancing around, singing “Kill the Gub’mint! Kill the Gub’mint!”
It’s not even that; it is that private enterprise expects to skim profit off of every single thing in the world; and 99% don’t have any way of skimming profit.
Villago Delenda Est
Adam Smith SAYS this in The Wealth of Nations. He explains how all this should work, in “perfect liberty”, that is, in theory.
THEN he goes on to explain in excruciating detail how reality beats up the theory every single time.
Before Ragu went to Yahoo, Wisconsin had one of the best database rearxh groups in the country – rivaling Stanford. And Dewitt is still there. Nice of the Wisconsin legislature to throw that away.
I was in the Internet Service business for quite awhile, operating a small, local ISP.
We provided connectivity to the local school system, and there was no way we could keep up with their ever-growing demand for bandwidth and make a profit, given the budget they had available to pay for service.
Our choice, if we wanted to make money? We’d have to throttle the schools back. Cut down their bandwidth to way below what they needed. In effect, we’d have to strangle them.
I hated that alternative for I knew the damage that would be done to the school and the kids if they had lousy internet access. But they were running me broke!
The solution came about when a large, regional ISP agreed to furnish sufficient bandwidth, which they provided at a loss in exchange for extensive boastful advertising.
My point is this: Private enterprise in many cases can’t make a profit providing services (of whatever sort) unless the services provided are low quality, because the consumer of the services just can’t afford to pay for the cost of good service plus profit.
See: Health insurance industry. Cost of healthcare plus profit margin = healthcare that’s too damn expensive.
In short, if you take profit out of many kinds of services (internet service to schools is a great example) quality suffers.
I’d like some free-market GOP type to explain their way around that reality.
Yes, this gets to the heart of it. Conservatives apparently believe that civilization itself should be provided only by private enterprise. Or not at all.
Welcome to Ferengi Nation.
My water service was privatized last year. Guess whether my service got better. Guess whether my rates went up. Guess whether there is any benefit to me.
Seriously, WTF does this mean? Would this mean that UW would have to be taken off the regular internet? There is nothing but spite and stupidity in what they passed, and the only end result will be to drag the state back into the 19th century. At least with the union busting, the federal money, and even the public network provider I can understand their motivation. Telling the university not to connect to other universities? Pure insanity.
* Yes, not everyone voted for these jerkwads, but I’m feeling grumpy.
It’s as if the wealthy in this country looked at Russia in the 90s and early naughties with jealousy and said, “Why can’t we have that here?” They have now collected about as much wealth as they can from the system without knocking it so far out of balance that pitchforks and torches are casting shadows on their gilded gates. having collected the wealth, they need to do something with it. Being rich isn’t enough, they need power as well. So, they bought it with the dimwits who may or may not be actual believers in the BS they spout night after night from the steps of the Capitol(s). And, since they are not politicians and feel they shouldn’t have to compromise on anything with anybody because they are just so damned much richer and smarter than the rest of us, they want to destroy the political system and have a simple transfer of everything into their control with the ostensibly legal cover that the politicians are the ones making the laws and allowing it to happen and the people keep electing the politicians that are doing it so it is all democratic and good.
I know, I know… a rant… it’s all been said before… la, la, la. It’s just my turn to get it out of my system.
It looks like they are locking them out of PlanetLab. And if that is the case, they might as well shut down their graduate computer science program.
Fucen Pneumatic Fuck Wrench Tarmal
so, what, the big tennish, is now going to have to look for another 12th member?
i mean surely the purely not competing at all with the private sector minded idealists can see a problem with the athletic department, and the big ten network, and all sorts of things.
this is good news for the packers, bucks, and northwestern.
The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik
Free Market uber alles.
Do not argue with the Invisible Hand, even as it chokes you to death.
@Fucen Pneumatic Fuck Wrench Tarmal: They’ll outlaw the Packers pretty soon since it is not owned by one of the local oligarchs. A publicly-owned football team? Not sustainable, clearly, since they
never won anything never succeed never make enough money to compete… clearly, just because!
La-la-la, I can’t hear you!
Yup, nice little brain drain with only minor barriers to movement and funding being transferred to other out-of-state institutions to pop up a few FTEs elsewhere. Thanks for the transfer of the above plus associated multipliers WI-GOP.
It’s like we’re living in a fucking George Romero film: “The Crazies, Part II.” Waves of contagious insanity roll across the nation, driving everyone who becomes infected into acts of psychotic self-destruction.
From my dim recollection of reading the Worst Book Ever Written, I seem to recall that one of the high points of Atlas Shrugged was when Dagny’s brother finally realized that the whole time he had been acting under an insane compulsion to destroy everyone who might be able to save him from his own self-destruction. Do the Randroids have any idea how much they act like the Looters rather than the Producers?
Villago Delenda Est
Obviously, they’re not doing it right. You’re supposed to ignore reality, loot the company you’re working at, and then high tail it to the Caribbean with your looted swag.
Yeah, I just went and looked back at the article. They would have to withdraw from Internet2 and would probably lose access to the NSF LambdaRail. The CS department is toast if that stands.
Does anyone know what the reasoning was behind this provision? Nothing obvious comes to mind. I can’t come up with a justification for this that could possibly be spun as good for the people of the state.
The university has to provide its own nodes on the internet backbone to be a part of the Internet2 activities. The law is forcing UW to stop handling its own internet and to go through a private provider.
This is the university where human embryonic stem cells were first isolated and grown in culture, right?
Turns out it’s really not that fun to see your home country getting turned into a 4th rate oligarchy.
@Bill Arnold: Good one! ROTFLMAO! As if destruction of your political foes isn’t a public good! Damn, I’ll have to bookmark this reply!
To prevent UWisc from even considering developing the infrastructure to be a source of advanced network services that others would use. Basically, to prevent Wiscnet from ever happening again.
@Bill Arnold: Opening a second front in The War on Education? Education is a gateway drug for DFHdom.
OK. There are private Internet2 providers in Wisconsin?
There is no private Internet2 anything. It is a research consortium.
Nose cutting for face spiting. I think the Republicans have decided that the Permanant Republican Majority will never happen, so their new plan is to light as many things on fire while they’re in power so that the Democrats won’t be able to advance their agenda.
‘Fuck you hippie’ is a reason.
That’s what I recalled; Internet2 is a non-profit consortium. Just was wondering if it had changed somehow.
Villago Delenda Est
If it wasn’t for some obscure government entity called DARPA, there would be no Internet1, let alone an Internet2.
Yet these fuckheads don’t seem to understand that…they assume that the demands in the marketplace that exist today existed 20 years ago.
There was no demand for internet services 20 years ago. The successors to Ma Bell saw no market to pander to. It was all voice. After all, Ma Bell itself told DoD that it was not possible to set up a data network, and even if it was, Ma Bell would not provide it to DoD.
Which is why DoD told DARPA to look into it, and a bunch of eggheads at various places like, oh, I don’t know, the University of Wisconsin, played with some computers and some copper and made it happen.
Ah, sort of like the way Saddam Hussein had his forces blow up and torch all those oil wells in Kuwait when he was forced to retreat.
The Other Chuck
Geez, they’ve dropped even the pretense of the looting of the public sector being about any kind of progress toward efficiency. They are literally trying to outlaw public property, or even anything inbetween that isn’t outright sold and controlled by a vendor.
And people still vote for them because the other guy makes the baby Jebuz cry. Our primary education system was destroyed a generation ago and we’re well and truly reaping the fruits.
“…a less-informed, less data-practiced citizenry is
noan asset to a stateFox News. There, fixed that for ya.
The budget also lightens the regulatory load on septic systems. Used ta be that if your septic system was leaking the gestapo from WI-DNR would stomp all over your freedoms with their jackboots. Now (praise Rand!) your property can be swimming in shit and no one can do a thing about it! (Neighbors don’t like the smell of freedom? That’s they’re problem!)
Of course if some of the shit leaks over onto their property, that’s another matter…presuming they can prove the provenance of said shit.
We are marching toward neofeudalism some more, I see.
@Jon Marcus: Holy….
Nah, not going to say it.
But it really does take some special stupids to think that unregulated septic tanks are a good idea.
Well duh, the answer’s staring you in the face: Cut the pay of overpaid, lazy, union teachers, who are greedily hording wealth and depriving their students of high quality internet access.
@Tom Levenson: If you are self-sustained on top of the hill, it requires no stupidity at all.
Villago Delenda Est
Everything these Randite shitstains accuse others of is pure projection. It’s like being at the octoplex at the Mall over Memorial Day weekend.
To include charges of “parasitism”, “looting”, and “theft”.
@Bill Arnold: Nope. More like if Saddam went into Kuwait and immediately started going scorched Earth. These guys aren’t waiting for lame duck sessions, they’re busting out the gas and matches on day one.
@Jon Marcus: But, what if the FreedomStench (R) impacts adjoining property values? !
There is a simple explanation that appeals to the relatively wealthier middle class right thinking aggrieved Teabaggers who think their tax money all goes to undeserving parasites: I you can’t pay you are not productive enough to deserve it.
And you can find enough economists who will be willing to cough up a fragment of theory to justify it. Marginal productivity theory of income distribution has serious problems in theory and reality, but the WI legislature could get up a letter signed by people they say are economists.
In a more conspiratorial thought…
Perhaps they are trying to destroy Wisconsin in such a fashion that the federal government, i.e., the black man in Washington, is forced to step in and “occupy” them for denying basic rights. They can then use this pretext to start a new civil war a/o dissolve the union once and for all, start their own little Randian paradises with no one a shade darker than bleach allowed, and finally shoot their 2nd Amendment loads for more than just target practice.
Also too, Adam Smith, that communist, came up a couple of times earlier in the thread. A few things from his Wealth of Nations comes to mind.
First, was Smith’s concern about the effect of division of labor on intellectual human capital. The very brief bottom line was the Smith thought that the specialization of labor made work in industrial economies made people’s intellectual horizons narrow. Too narrow to function as responsible public citizens. Smith was thinking about factory labor, but the modern service industry has a lot in common with factory labor. If a person has to focus their entire mind on pushing out product due to the drive for efficiency in production, I don’t see much difference between a person fastening heads on pins all day, and late into the evening, and a mortgage servicer processing documents all day and late into the evening.
That concern is why Smith supported freely available public education that included more than readin’ writin’ and ‘rithmatic, at least primary and the eighteenth century version of secondary.
Smith was also concerned about the ability of the primitive version of the modern multinational corporation, the joint stock company, to influence legislation and intellectual frameworks (the kind of ‘intellectual capture’ we talk about today) to bend social institutions towards serving only their benefit and not society’s.
I think we see both of Smith concerns are still valid. The kind of intellectual capture we see here will not only harm, but halt, productivity growth for the economy.
A few private internet providers will get some short run cash, and that is what they care about, not the welfare of society. Smith also noted that problem with large firms with lots of cash on hand.
You go to project Gutenberg and you can download most of Adam Smith’s works, including Wealth of Nations for free, if you don’t want to spring a couple of bucks for a cheap paperback version.
@Whiskey Screams from a Guy With No Short-Term Memory:
Also, too, all those damn liberals in Madison are the ones who did $2 billion worth of damage to the Capitol with their dirty commie protests.
The Market (may peace be upon it) is like a little piggy, looking for truffles: Awesome at finding the available goodies within range of its nose– but otherwise near-sighted, easily distracted, and lacking any sense of overall direction.
@TooManyJens: That explains a lot. Thanks.
While we still can, use the hell out of the UWisc NW Atlantic floater picture
Feature, not bug.
If your parents can’t afford to send you to an Ivy League school, you have no business doing that edumacation thing. Besides, you don’t need a degree to wash your overlord’s laundry or mow his lawn.
This is ridiculous, absurd, destructive, shallow, vituperative, stupid.
How is stuff like this, ever passed, every allowed?
We are basically in the rise of Tribalism 2.0, where the Powers That Be, adopt and extend the various organs of communication, which they have grasped the reins of (4 media companies now), to drive forward the agenda of the top 1% plutocrats, using the media tools available, as a faux tribalism – in image, radio, TV – to get the masses on it’s side, or simply to lull the masses into a stupor.
Who would have thought, in this post-modern world, with all the riches of science that are on display all around us – that such a throwback state of being: authoritarian tribalism, cannily used by the plutocratic 1% – would be such a power?
All the signs of authoriarian tribalism are existent, in this new Tribalism 2.0.
a. “Enemies” – a list of enemies, who are the enemies, no matter what.
b. Fantasy – a belief in things that clearly are false, and disdain for rational empiricism that would show those beliefs contradicted.
c. IOKIYAIT – It’s Okay If You Are In The Tribe – hypocritical standards of behavior.
d. Leader fetish – elevation of leaders as if they embody ‘superhuman qualities’. “Bush’s brilliance” as an example.
this mindset and psychology has been around forever, maybe the primal state of humanity.
What’s fascinating and horrifying, is how easily the 1% can use the ‘post-modern’ tools of electronic communication – email, internet, TV, radio – to simply neutralize and pacify rational discourse.
Gay In Maine
Interestingly enough (or scarily enough), I’m reading a book about China’s Cultural Revolution right now. Just wondering when we will start forcing teachers and professors into the public square wearing placards admitting their sins before being sent off to re-education.
Hyperbole, I know, but I can’t help to see a bit of connection.
Wisconsin being good test case, we’ll see whether the population embraces this pseudo-tribalism promoted by the corporate Republicans, or whether they rebel.
Another example, Rick Scott, who should have never been elected, if our system was working correctly.
Gay In Maine
China’s Cultural Revolution is a great example of a reactive, but modern, incarnation of Authoritarian Tribalism.
I just sometimes wonder if the psychology of the modern human, is just as comfortable in say a Singaporean/modern Chinese system – with clear elites running the show, with some limited economic freedom for the masses – as in say, the current European welfare system, which guarantees both economic and individual freedom.
We like to think that eventually the drive for both personal freedom and baseline compassion in a rich country – which leads to a minimum level of human security – will win out.
But is this so?
In other words, fascism.
Okay, maybe not; I don’t want to get too over-the-top here, but I definitely see elements of proto-fascism developing more rapidly in this country. Even if we don’t end up with a fascist state here in the US, we could go in the direction of some kind of not-quite-fascist right-wing variant of government.
Seriously, spell-check and read-through…missing words and typos everywhere in this otherwise very excellent piece.
I wonder if they realize how much of our satellite data depends on these dedicated research networks?
So basically the modern GOP is against civilization.
I think Lysenkoism was mentioned in a different thread but go read about it: interesting echos on multiple fronts, taken all in all. At least, I’m having fun (gulp) learning about it.
WE DON’T NEED NONE A YER GOD-DAMN BIG HEAD ELITIST ‘SCIENCE’ AND ‘PERFESSERS’ AND ‘RESEARCH’ HERE IN REAL AMURKA!
I LEARNED EVERYTHING I NEEDED TO KNOW IN KINDERGARTEN!
AND I MADE SURE NOT TO LEARN NO FURTHER!
LIKE GOD INTENDED. GOD SAID IT, I MIGHT HAVE READ IT, I BELIEVE IT, AND FREE MARKET.
Villago Delenda Est
A lot of these assholes didn’t learn about sharing in Kindergarten…
@Perfect Tommy: You do realize that a lot of ‘scientists’ use all these satellites to measure stuff that gives evidence they use to put out all this ‘global warming’ nonsense?
If we take away their telescopes, we won’t have to worry about them looking too far into the sky no more.
Just like we managed to do canceling “Goresat”, which would have just sat waaaaay out in space and looking at the Urf and giving too much damn information at once about energy hitting and leaving the planet and all that. And OMG that would have give all this info for the first time from one vantage point far away enough to measure. But Al Gore didn’t count on Dick Cheney, did he? Hyuk hyuk!
We don’t need a buncha damn TV boxes in space tellin’ us that the Sun is Hot. We already know that!
@Whiskey Screams from a Guy With No Short-Term Memory: Climate science or maybe they’re going all out to shutdown PZ Meyers.
@Walker: This. Can you imagine anything more counterproductive to entrepreneurial activity in your state than chasing away its world class computer science research community?
Glad the assholes at Johnsonville are getting their tax rates lowered. Sausages are the future.
So, is this a done deal or is there anything U-W or the Democrats can do to stop it?
@askew: Not a done deal. It’s passed out of a committee– unfortunately a joint committee, which (I believe) means it’s in process in both houses of the legislature. But it hasn’t made it through the legislature yet.
It is my hope that enough ridicule at folks who reject free money in order to make their everyday lives obviously worse will help turn the tide.
Hope, that is, not expectation, not with this crew.
@Nate Dawg: Sorry, Dawg.
Too crazed today to do even minimal proofreading; all I could do was get my bile down in something like sentences.
@JohnB: PZ Myers is at UMinnesota Morris, so cancelling the University of Wisconsin isn’t going to do much to him. :)
Presumably they are also forcing the public networks and universities to be sold off so they can be run more efficiently by the private sector. (Like Kaplan! They don’t depend on government subsidies! Oh, right. They do.)
We are, or soon will be, Argentina. I remember in The Shock Doctrine that the Argentinian national airline, which had been paid for by the taxpayers, sold off its assets to private industry with the claim that they would be more efficient. The price was set so that each passenger jet sold for $12. In other words, the public’s property was stolen from them.
I think that’s the end-game of the Wisconsin/Michigan/Ohio plan.
Wow, these clowns are fucking senseless. Does this mean that Wisconsin can’t use Medline?
“This won’t exclude defense for much longer – surely they will start to argue that certain functions of the armed forces (e.g. the National Guard) are better off in the capable hand of mercenaries, and their companies”
SeaBees build complete air bases on a chunk of coral sticking a few feet out of the Pacific, while under fire, in a matter of days
Haliburton cant build a barracks in the middle Baghdad without electrocuting our soldiers
If the Army wants to fly soldier somewhere, they go on Dakotas’s owned and operated by Uncle Sam free of charge
Have your credit card handy Private, you have to pay extra for baggage since we now contract out air transport
Additional loss thanks to all these attacks on Universities that are springing up?
The “free market” private sector does not innovate.
Pretty much ever.
Most new designs, new drugs, new markets are found by Universities first, bought by private industry (for way less than its value) and monetized.
So, fucking with the Universities ability to learn and expand human knowledge also means our industry suffers.
And in fact, it already has. Our companies have become mostly stagnant, desperate to wring the last cent out of old markets rather than corner new markets and a lot of sectors have found foreign companies dominating in green energy, transportation solutions, pharmaceuticals, cars, and so on.
It’s about the oligarchy making more money in the short term at the expense of the long term.
@Cerberus: beep “Reality does not conform to theoretical expectations: ruled out of play.” Keep up.
@Cerberus: An example of failing to innovate: IBM was known for its research labs and the range of its scientists and their work. They owned thousands of patents. What may not have been known by the general public was that the business side of the company was positively allergic to bringing out products based on the research. The metal plated-plastic typing element in the Selectric was based on research done at least a decade (or more) before the typing element was itself developed. They patented the plating process, filed it away and never actively tried to develop a product using it. Until the Selectric needed a lightweight but still metalized way to imprint letters and someone remembered the metalized plating on plastic.
@Nate Dawg: No sheet! Not to get extra-rude, but McArdle is a prefect example of this never re-read anything syndrome.
I am withholding my opinion on the measure until Ann Althouse weighs in.
Fucen Pneumatic Fuck Wrench Tarmal
but the packers ownership had an organized crime problem, and who knows, i mean those shares everyone and their cheddar smelling brother have aren’t yielding dividends. the packers may just be ok, professional courtesy.
Absolutely horrifying. My stomach is a wreck after reading this.
While I have no faith whatsoever in the Democrats’ ability to “do the right thing” nationally, were I living in Wisconsin, I’d be doing everything I could to oust the current government. We seem to be dealing with an entirely different species here, a tribe of nihilistic psychopaths intent on the destruction of anything that works. Much the same dynamic is at work on the national level, where even the Democrats are caught up in the madness.
As a country, we appear to be hell-bent on cutting our own throats. It’s so bizarre.
@scav: Have your fun. I’ll be over here, digging a hole.
@Tom Levenson: @jefft452:
1940’s: Troops fed themselves on MRE and supplemental rations. Peeling potatoes was punitive duty.
2000’s: KFC, Burger King, and Taco Bell have concession stands on Army bases.
@El Cid: I know all too well, I am one of those scientists …
Like little Timmy Palenty meant to say, no private company you can find on Google should have to compete with the government.
It’s all William Cronon’s fault. He bucked the Machine, and now they’re going after everything he loves!
Looks like the WI Rethuglicans will have to go after the UN as well, given that they recently released this statement:
“Internet access is a human right, and ensuring universal access to the Web should be a priority for all states.”
Notice that it says ‘states’ not ‘corporations.’
Sure it does. A lot of it is gradual safe hill-climbing style innovation, but it’s real. Only free enterprise or some equivalently powerful form of competition would have brought us the 6+++ orders of magnitude speed we’ve seen in computer speed over the last 60 years, the cost decreases, the size decreases. A lot (,arguably most), of the incremental technology changes involved were invented in corporate labs. A significant amount of non-gradual innovation is done by startups (not so much established corporations), driven in part by the possibility of vast riches (and yes, fed in part by talent from universities).
but is probably more likely to vote against their own interests and vote Republican.
@daveNYC: I think it’s an effort to pull them out of the Department of Energy’s Energy Sciences Network, which would be an absolute shame.
Hmmmm, looks like our search committee will now be seriously perusing the Wisconsin-Madison CS / EE faculty to see who we can pilfer.
Amazingly short sighted but everyone outside of Wisconsin appreciates it.