So How Was Infrastructure Week?
In his weekly address, Trump was talking a lot about it. He’s the only one who is:
— The Hill (@thehill) June 10, 2017
Oh snap. You go Blankfein! Also you go-Twitter:
— The Hill (@thehill) June 10, 2017
Let’s face it-despite Herr Trump’s pious hopes, this was in no way shape or form infrastructure week. It was James Comey week. And in answer-it was a very good week.
FWIW, Scott Sumner thinks Trump’s infrastructure idea is good-though he has lots of great criticism of Trump as well and thinks he should be impeached.
“Let’s focus on the positive, Trump’s proposal to privatize air traffic control. Here are a few thoughts:
1. When in doubt, the presumption should always favor the private sector over the public sector. There is a mountain of evidence that the private sector is usually more efficient.
Maybe there is, but Sumner doesn’t provide it here. While I always find him an interesting economic thinker he and I never got along-which is why by mutual agreement, mostly his, I don’t comment there anymore-he has this tendency to assume conversance with the wide literature on claims like this.
If you ask him-then you’re too ignorant to be in the conversation and need to go out and consult this literature. But not only does he refuse to discuss it, he refuses to provide links to the literature where presumably you could be ‘educated’ on the matter.
So for me it’s not clear how you can know this based on what he says other than to assume it on faith due to his higher knowledge and wisdom of the matter.
Back to Sumner:
2. There may be cases where the public sector is more appropriate. But even in those cases, an independent government-owned corporation may well be better than a government agency that Congress can easily order around. I believe some of the European countries use that model.
3. The pilots and the air traffic controllers favor privatization, an indication of just how outmoded their equipment is.
4. We also need to privatize airports and airport security, a trend where the Europeans are far ahead of us.
“Will Trump get this through Congress? I doubt it.”
Here’s the truth-whether or not there are good ideas, and I’m very skeptical of 1-it certainly won’t get through Congress. Because this wasn’t infrastructure week this was Comey week.
“Those promoting privatization claim that:
“the private sector can provide increased efficiency, better quality and more innovation in services than the government;”
“a smaller government will reduce costs to the taxpayer; and”
“less regulation will provide a better environment for business, thus creating more jobs.”
“Those concerned about privatization suggest the following.”
“Profits: The mandate to make a profit will endanger public safety and reduce services available to the general public.”
“Costs: There will be increased costs to consumers.”
“Transparency and Accountability: Private companies will lack transparency, adequate oversight and accountability.”
“Corruption: There will be increased corruption between government and for-profit, private companies.”
“National Defense: Privatizing sectors such as ports, utilities and defense can result in foreign control and will put the country at risk in the event of war.”
“Inequality: The scale of privatized programs will result in chronic high unemployment, low wages and abusive labor practices, leading to growing inequality between the wealthy and poor.”
What about an actual study of the airport privatization they did in the 1970s? Compare airport service then to now. Is this the Golden Age? Hardly. The airports are constantly raising prices and finding new things to charge.
But here’s the good news-nobody cares about anything Trump is trying to get through Congress, only Comey and Russia.
P.S. As we saw in my poll out last week, the long awaited poll results are in, and right now I’m just 11 points down vs. Peter King (GOP-NY-District 2). And the voters don’t even know who I am yet.
There is nothing more important in getting answers to Trump-Russia collusion than a Democratic House in 2019. Please donate to help me in my part of the effort to fight for a Dem House.
Thank you. We must have a Dem House. And so, we will.