Posts Tagged ‘privatization’

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Pawlenty makes making sense a priority

February 11, 2010

I heard Republican Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty speak at a conference this week.  And, well, he was a great speaker.

He argued that we’re headed into a period of “radical decentralization” as technology threatens the aggregated power of centralized monopolies.   Because these monopolies tend to be sluggish, technological innovations are leapfroging them—institutions like higher education (versus online universities) and major newspapers (versus dispersed, real time news sources).  He also added “many current roles of government” to the list, though wasn’t as clear about what the decentralized alternative would look like—privatization, I’d imagine.

While I think there are many government functions that shouldn’t be privatized—prisons, detention centers, pre-collegiate education, and most overseas military operations, among others—it was a smart, compelling speech.

And it made me wonder why the hell conservatives are even looking at Palin when they’ve got someone like Pawlenty actually making sense.

Jonas

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Americans wise up, start not paying for free stuff

August 13, 2009

I’m talking about water, of course.

…sales of bottled water have fallen for the first time in at least five years, assailed by wrathful environmentalists and budget-conscious consumers, who have discovered that tap water is practically free.

Great news, but this article weirdly misses a huge point. The reporter, Ylan Mui, focuses on opposition to the bottled water industry from environmentalists, citing the amount of oil needed to make all those plastic bottles, and all the landfill space those bottles take up. Mui quotes the NGO Food and Water Watch multiple times as a leading group in the debate. But Food & Water Watch isn’t really an environmental group; their bottled water campaign starts from a broader critique regarding the privatization of natural resources (and also brings in public health and other angles), not just the environmental effects of making lots of bottles. Perhaps that kind of systemic analysis is too much for the Post?

Flying Whale