Jul 17, 2012



Privatizing social security, private sector job growth...capitalism is the name of the game in the United States of America.  If there is a problem, the private sector can solve it.  The private sector is the standard.  The private sector and capitalism is the way to go. But does the private sector have the answer for everything?  Should the private sector be the answer for everything?
Before going too deep into this commentary, I will first say that I think capitalism is great.  With a capitalist society, opportunities are limitless.  I cannot say that I have the greatest entrepreneurial spirit but as of late, I have been keeping my mind and heart open to receiving a great idea that would financially set me free.  Capitalism is a beautiful thing.  At the same time, I believe in balance and I happen to believe that the goal of capitalism is to increase CAPITAL.  That is capital of the monetary persuasion.  Human capital and property are means to a monetary end. 
Like I said, I believe in balance.  There are some things the private sector does well and there are some things the non profit, education, and  yes even the public sectors also do well.  Collaborative efforts between the sectors can yield great outcomes as well.  So what sector should do what? The seemingly loudest voices in the current political debate would have one think that the private sector has all of the answers. Privatizing supposedly unlocks ingenuity and innovation which will lead to an increase in capital of the monetary persuasion and that should appeal to all because who doesn't want to be rich?
I ask the question again does the private sector indeed have all of the answers?  I think the private sector has alot more capital/money but not all of the answers.  There is an idea out there about allowing advertising on fire trucks.  This idea is proposed to bring in revenue to help cash-strapped cities.  I say why not?  What's the harm?  Great idea!  Private businesses and corporations sponsor events and service projects all of the time.  They put up the capital but become a silent partner of sorts.  Providing the capital says I believe in the mission of the project.  The Olympics are coming up.  The private sector and perhaps other sectors are financing the opportunity for many athletes.  Sure it is a marketing opp for them.  I do not know what their return is but more than anything it says they believe in their product/service.  The product in this example is athletic ability. 
Advocacy is a HUGE need.  Everyone needs someone to believe in them and fight for them at some point in life.  If you are wrongfully convicted, do you want the lawyer who will only factor in the financial costs against your chances or do you want the Innocence Project because they believe your innocence warrants all the resources they have.  If educators solely valued money, we would not have any in this country.  In some countries, the inverse of this philosophy prevails.  But that's not the point of this particular essay.  Not that the government is the best at correction and rehabilitation, but if the choice were available when you made a mistake, would you want the public prison system that at least offers the chance of starting over and reinventing yourself?  Or would you choose the private prison system that has to fulfill their 90% occupancy rate guarantee?
The seemingly loudest voices in the current political debate wants the electorate to believe that any public/government entity, affiliation or program is automatically poor quality and low-caliber.  Government has become a dirty word.  Not that public labor relations is perfect, but why can't a public employee make a descent living?  What is so wrong with the rare occasion of a public employee earning more that his/her private counterpart?   In analyzing job growth, why is there such a delineation between public and private sector growth.  I didn't realize that public employees had to be sacrificial lambs when it comes to losing jobs.  Are their wages not taxed? Maybe they are some different type of species that does not require food, clothing, and shelter.  They must be a different type of American that does not deserve life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
The government is good for nothing, huh. The government can't be innovative?  The public sector can't start the race and then hand off the baton?  USPS seemed to lay a great foundation for UPS and FedEx.  When the private sector takes space exploration to the next level, let us not forget that the government agency known as NASA paved the way.  Let us also not forget that our tax money, through the years, provided the capital to keep a number of markets afloat.  Sounds like not only the poor have a safety net in the government. The government seems to provide the capital investment in the forms of grants, scholarships, loans, as well as the human capital that helped developed the minds and confidence of industry leaders and innovators not only in this country but throughout the world.
In closing, I will relate my commentary to the black diaspora, as the Savvy Sista requires.  For the few blacks that have achieved financial success through capitalism and the private sector, some have lost sight of the big picture of how all sectors fit together and thus considered sellouts.  Other wealthy blacks are slow to align themselves with the seemingly loud voices of the current political debate, because they know all too well the interconnectedness of public and private.  We have needed, and still need, the public to having private access.  Perhaps once we have multi-generational wealth and have also mastered the system, we might buy into the belief that the private sector has all of the answers.  But until then, we need to remain the conscience that reminds this country that sole goal of increasing capital of the monetary persuasion can take us back to a time of inhumane activity.  A time that we all agree that we do not want to revisit.  Or should I say a time that I thought no one wanted to revisit because the current national conversation makes me believe that there are actually some people that are itching to revisit that era.  Earlier I mentioned being open to an idea that would set me financially free.  I have had to awaken my entrepreneurial spirit not because I aspire to have enormous wealth but because if the private sector supremacy mindset is not kept in check, there does not appear to be another way to survive.

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