The Privatization Putsch
Hardin, HerschelPublisher: Institute for Research on Public Policy, Halifax, Canada
Year Published: 1989
Pages: 224pp ISBN: 0-88645-084-5
Library of Congress Number: HD3850.H37 Dewey: 338.62
Resource Type: Book
Cx Number: CX4268
According to Hardin, privatization is the expression of the ideology of a right wing, corporate agenda: business wants to gets its hands on public funds and politicians are more than willing to hand over publicly owned enterprises and public services to business friends, nearly always on terms that are immensely favourable to the corporations involved.
With government and the media agressively pushing the ideology of privatization as the cure to economic problems, Harshel Hardin's Privatization Putsch is a timely expose of the truths underlying the myths. Hardin shows that privatization is not a self-evident, rational econmic formula for economic well-being. According to Hardin, privatization is the expression of the ideology of a right wing, corporate agenda: business wants to gets its hands on public funds and politicians are more than willing to hand over publicly owned enterprises and public services to business friends, nearly always on terms that are immensely favourable to the corporations involved. Hardin identifies the "privatization bureaucracy" which stands to gain from privatization: investment groups, corporations, investment dealers, securities dealers, consulting companies, bankers, lawyers, accountants, financial magazines and stockbrokers. For example, in 1986 alone, British underwriters 'earned' $200 million in fess from privatization transactions, all directly from the taxpayers' pockets. Hardin points out the irony of accusations that public enterprise is bureaucratic. He demonstrates that public enterprises are commonly less bureaucratic than private enterprise, a fact that is commonly hidden from view by ideology. As Hardin notes, private enterprise in fact breeds a huge unproductive bureaucracy involved in paper entrepreneurship, mergers and takeovers, golden parachutes, financial lobbying,etc. It is just that it is never called a bureaucracy by the media, the politicians, or the business community.
Hardin strongly argues the merits and contributions of public ownership, showing that public enterprise has been crucial to the development of Canadian needs in developing enterprises when business would not take the risk.
The Privatization Putsch also argues that public enterprise could be an effective way of developing decentralization of economic pwoer, and democratic ownership and control of enterprises and economic decision-making.
[Abstract by Ulli Diemer]
Table of Contents
1. The Rigged Debate
2. Britain: Ideological Tag Teams and Roman Circuses
3. The Historic Failure of British Private Enterprise
4. The European Dossier
5. Shareholders' Democracy: The Counterfeit and the Real Article
6. Propaganda In. (in Britain, Propaganda PLC; in France, Propagande SA)
7. The New Bureaucracy
8. Back in Canada : BCRIC and Other Privatizations
9. Canadian Public Enterprise in Economic History
10. Community-Centred Enterprise
11. Public Enterprise in the Competitive Marketplace
12. Air Canada: Kindly Shoot Public Ownership
13. Public Enterprise Decentralizaton of Power Versus Private Enterprise Concentration of Power
14. Holding One's Own in the West
15. Scapegoating and the Canadair Case
16. The Abject Media: Houses of Dogma
17. Moving Public Enterprise Forward
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